« ElőzőTovább »
That, thrown again upon the coast
The violet sweet and lily fair,
To deck my charming Chloe's hair.
Upon her brow the various wreath ; The flowers less blooming than her face,
The scent less fragrant than her breath.
The flowers she wore along the day :
And every nymph and shepherd said, That in her hair they look'd more gay
Than glowing in their native bed.
Undrest at evening, when she found
Their odors lost, their colors past; She chang'd her look, and on the ground
Her garland and her eye she cast.
That eye dropt sense distinct and clear,
As any Muse's tongue could speak, When from its lid a pearly tear
Ran trickling down her beauteous check.
The reason of the thing is clear
“Since this has been authentic truth,
“Your care does further yet extend :
Youthful and healthy, flesh and blood,
Allow this logic to be good ?”
“Sir, will your questions never end ? I trust to neither spy nor friend. In short, I keep her from the sight of every human face."-"She'll write."“From pen and paper she's debarr'd." “Has she a bodkin and a card ? She 'll prick her mind."-"She will, you say: But how shall she that mind convey ? I keep her in one room : I lock it: The key, (look here,) is in this pocket."“The key-hole, is that left!"_" Most cer
tain." “She'll thrust her letter through, Sir Martin.".
"Dear, angry friend, what must be done?
Dissembling what I knew too well,
“My love, my life," said I, “ explain This change of humor: pr'ythee tell :
That falling tear-what does it mean ?"
She sigh'd ; she smil'd; and, to the flowers
Pointing, the lovely moralist said : "See, friend, in some few fleeting hours,
See yonder, what a change is made!
“Ah, me! the blooming pride of May, • And that of Beauty, are but one: At morn both flourish bright and gay;
Both fade at evening, pale, and gone.
" At dawn poor Stella danc'd and sung;
The amorous youth around her bow'd : At night her fatal knell was rung;
I saw, and kiss'd her in her shroud.
• Such as she is, who died to-day;
Such I, alas! may be to-morrow : Go, Damon, bid thy Muse display
The justice of thy Chloe's sorrow."
AN ENGLISH PADLOCK. Miss Danaë, when fair and young, (As Horace has divinely sung.) Could not be kept from Jove's embrace By doors of steel, and walls of brass.
• Lady Catharine Hyde, now Duchess of Queensberry. | The Earl of Essex married Lady Jane Hyde.
My softest verse, my darling lyre,
Upon Euphelia's toilet lay; When Chloe noted her desire,
That I should sing, that I should play
THE LADY'S LOOKING-GLASS.
In imitation of a Greek Idyllium.
But, oh the change the winds grow high ; Impending tempests charge the sky;
The lightning flies, the thunder roars,
"Once more, at least, look back," said I,
“But when vain doubt and groundless fear
"Shipwreck'd, in vain to land I make, While Love and Fate still drive me back : Forc'd to dote on thee thy own way, I chide thee first, and then obey. Wretched when from thee, vex'd when nigh, I with thee, or without thee, die "
Join Gay, a well-krown poet, was born at or near some South-sea stock presented to him by secretary Barnstaple, in Devonshire, in 1688. After an edu- Craggs, raised his hopes of fortune at one time to a eation at the free-school of Barnstaple, he was sent considerable height; but the loss of the whole of to London, where he was put apprentice to a silk- this stock affected him so deeply as to throw him mercer. A few years of negligent attendance on into a dangerous degree of languor, for his recovery the duties of such a station procured him a separa- from which he made trial of the air of Hampstead. tion by agreement from his master; and he not long He then wrote a tragedy called “ The Captives," afterwards addicted himself to poetical composition, of which was acted with applause; and in 1726, he which the first-fruits were his “ Rural Sports,” pub-composed the work by which he is best known, his ished in 1711, and dedicated to Pope, then first rising " Fables," written professedly for the young Duke to fame. In the following year, Gay, who possessed of Cumberland, and dedicated to him. In the man. much sweetness of disposition, but was indolent and ner of narration there is considerable ease, together improvident, accepted an offer from the Duchess of with much lively and natural painting, but they will Monmouth to reside with her as her secretary. He hardly stand in competition with the French fables had leisure enough in this employment to produce of La Fontaine. Gay naturally expected a handin the same year his poem of “ Trivia, or the Art of some reward for his trouble ; but upon the accession Walking the Streets of London," which proved one of George II. nothing better was offered him than of the most entertaining of its class. It was much the post of gentleman-usher to the young Princess admired ; and displayed in a striking manner that Louisa, which he regarded rather as an indignity talent for the description of external objects which than a favor, and accordingly declined. peculiarly characterized the author.
The time, however, arrived when he had little In 1714, he made his appearance from the press occasion for the arts of a courtier to acquire a degree on a singular occasion. Pope and Ambrose Philips of public applause greater than he had hitherto ex had a dispute about the respective merits of their perienced. In 1727, his famous “ Beggar's Opera" pastorals; upon which, Gay, in order to serve the was acted at Lincolns-inn-fields, after having been cause of his friend, undertook to compose a set of refused at Drury-lane. To the plan of burlesquing pastorals, in which the manners of the country should the Italian operas by songs adapted to the most be exhibited in their natural coarseness, with a view familiar tunes, he added much political satire de. of proving, by a sort of caricature, the absurdity of rived from his former disappointments; and the rePhilips's system. The offer was accepted ; and sult was a composition unique in its kind, of which Gay, who entitled his work “The Shepherd's the success could not with any certainty be foreseen. Week,” went through the usual topics of a set of " It will either (said Congreve) take greatly, or be pastorals in a parody, which is often extremely damned confoundedly.” Its fate was for some time humorous. But the effect was in one respect dif- in suspense; at length it struck the nerve of public ferent from his intended purpose ; for his pictures taste, and received unbounded applause. It ran of rural life were so extremely natural and amusing, through sixty-three successive representations in the and intermixed with circumstances so beautiful and metropolis, and was performed a proportional numtouching, that his pastorals proved the most popular ber of times at all the provincial theatres. Its songs works of the kind in the language. This perform- were all learned by heart, and its actors were raised ance was dedicated to Lord Bolingbroke; and at to the summit of theatric fame. This success, inthis period Gay seems to have obtained a large share deed, seems to indicate a coarseness in the national of the favor of the Tory party then in power. He taste, which could be delighted with the repetition was afterwards nominated secretary to the Earl of of popular ballad-tunes, as well as a fondness for the Clarendon, in his embassy to the court of Hanover; delineation of scenes of vice and vulgarity. Gay but the death of Queen Anne recalled him from his himself was charged with the mischiefs he had thus, situation, and he was advised by his friends not to perhaps unintentionally, occasioned; and if the neglect the opportunity afforded him to ingratiate Beggar's Opera delighted the stage, it encountered himself with the new family. He accordingly wrote more serious censure in graver places than has been a poetical epistle upon the arrival of the Princess of bestowed on almost any other dramatic piece. By Wales, which compliment procured him the honor making a highwayman the hero, he has incurred the of the attendance of the prince and princess at the odium of rendering the character of a freebooter an exhibition of a new dramatic piece.
object of popular ambition; and, by furnishing his Gay had now many friends, as well among per- personages with a plea for their dishonesty drawn sons of rank, as among his brother-poets; but little from the universal depravity of mankind, he has was yet done to raise him to a state of independence. been accused of sapping the foundations of all A subscription to a collection of his poems pub- social morality. The author wrote a second pari lished in 1720, cleared him a thousand pounds; and (of this work, entitled “ Polly," but the Lord Cham
berlain refused to suffer it to be performed; and time he employed such intervals of health and spirits though the party in opposition so far encouraged it as he enjoyed, in writing his “ Acis and Galatea,” by their subscriptions that it proved more profitable an opera called “Achilles," and a “Serenata." to him than even the first part, it was a very feeble His death took place in 1732, at the early age of performance, and has sunk into total neglect. forty-four, in consequence of an inflammation of
Gay, in the latter part of his life, received the the bowels. He was sincerely lamented by his kind patronage of the Duke and Duchess of Queens- friends; and his memory was honored by a monuberry, who took him into their house, and conde-ment in Westrninster Abbey, and an epitaph in a scended to manage his pecuniary concerns. At this strain of uncommon sensibility by Pope.
Here blooming Health exerts her gentle reign,
And strings the sinews of th' industrious swain
Through dewy fields I take my frequent way,
Where I behold the farmer's early care
In the revolving labors of the year.
When the fresh Spring in all her state is crown'd -Securi prælia ruris
And high luxuriant grass o'erspreads the ground, Pandimus.
The laborer with a bending scythe is seen,
Shaving the surface of the waving green;
Of all her native pride disrobes the land,
And meads lays waste before his sweeping hand , You, who the sweets of rural life have known, While with the mounting Sun the meadow glows, Despise th' ungrateful hurry of the town;
The fading herbage round he loosely throws : In Windsor groves your easy hours employ, But, if some sign portend a lasting shower, And, undisturb'd, yourself and Muse enjoy. Th' experienc'd swain foresees the coming hour, Thames listens to thy strains, and silent flows, His sun-burnt hands the scattering fork forsake, And no rude wind through rustling osiers blows, And ruddy damsels ply the saving rake; While all his wondering nymphs around thee In rising hills the fragrant harvest grows, throng,
And spreads along the field in equal rows. [gains To hear the Syrens warble in thy song.
Now when the height of Heaven bright Phætus But I, who ne'er was blest by Fortune's hand, And level rays cleave wide the thirsty plains, Nor brighten'd plowshares in paternal land, When heifers seek the shade and cooling lake, Long in the noisy town have been immur'd, And in the middle path-way basks the snake: Respir'd its smoke, and all its cares endur'd; O lead me, guard me, from the sultry hours, Where news and politics divide mankind, Hide me, ye forests, in your closest bowers, And schemes of state involve th' uneasy mind: Where the tall oak his spreading arms entwines, Faction embroils the world ; and every tongue And with the beach a mutual shade combines ; Is mov'd by flattery, or with scandal hung: Where flows the murmuring brook, inviting dreams Friendship, for sylvan shades, the palace flies, Where bordering hazel overhangs the streams, Where all must yield to interest's dearer ties : Whose rolling current, winding round and round, Each rival Machiavel with envy burns,
With frequent falls makes all the woods resound; And honesty forsakes them all by turns ;
Upon the mossy couch my limbs I cast, While calumny upon each party's thrown,
And e'en at noon the sweets of evening taste. Which both promote, and both alike disown. Here I peruse the Mantuan's Georgic strains, Fatigu'd at last, a calm retreat I chose,
And learn the labors of Italian swains;
This waving field is gilded o'er with corn,
Here I survey the purple vintage grow, Frequented by the Mantuan swain and you. Climb round the poles, and rise in graceful row: "Tis not that rural sports alone invite,
Now I behold the steed curvet and bound, But all the grateful country breathes delight; And paw with restless hoof the smoking ground
The dewlap'd bull now chafes along the plain,
While burning love ferments in every vein ; * This poem received many material corrections from His well-arm'd front against his rival aims, the author, after it was first published.
And by the dint of war his mistress claims.