Oldalképek
PDF

TWO CHORUSES

TO THE
TRAGEDY OF BRUTUS

CHORUS OF ATHENIANS.

STROPHE I.
Yo shades, where sacred truth is sought;
Groves, where imınortal sages taught :
Where heavenly visions Plato fir'd,
And Epicurus lay inspir'd!
In vain your guiltless laurels stood

Unspotted long with human blood.
War, horrid war, your thoughtful walks invades,
And steel now glitters in the Muses' shades.

10

ANTISTROPHE I.
O heav'n-born sisters! source of art!
Who charm the sense, or mend the heart;
Who lead fair virtue's train along,
Moral truth and mystic song!
To what new clime, what distant sky,

Forsaken, friendless, shall ye fly?
Say, will ye bless the bleak Atlantic shore?
Or bid the furious Gaul be rude no more?

STROPHE II.
When Athens sinks by fates unjust,
When wild Barbarians spurn her dust;
Perhaps ev'n Britain's utmost shore
Shall cease to blush with strangers' gore:
See Arts her savage sons control,
And Athens rising near the pole!
Till some new tyrant lifis his purple hand,
And civil madness tears them from the land.

ANTISTROPHE Ir.
Ye gods! what justice rules the ball ?
Freedom and arts together fall;
Fools grant whate'er ambition craves,
And men, once ignorant, are slaves.
Oh curs'd effects of civil hate,

In every age, in every state!
Still, when the lust of tyrant pow'r succeeds,
Some Athens perishes, some Tully bleeds.

CHORUS OF YOUTHS AND VIRGINS.

SEMICHORUS.
O tyrant Love! hast thou possest
The prudent, learn'd, and virtuous breast?
Wisdom and wit in vain reclaim,
And arts but soften us to feel thy flanie.

Love, soft intruder, enters here,
But entering learns to be sincere.
Marcus with blushes owns he loves,
And Brutus tenderly reproves.
Why, virtue, dosť thou blame desire

Which nature hath imprest?
Why, Nature, dost thou soonest fire

The mild and generous breast?

CHORUS.
Love's purer fames the gods approve;
The gods and Brutus bend to love:

Brutus for absent Porcia sighs,
And sterner Cassius melts at Junia's eyes.
What is loose 'love? a transient gust,
Spent in a sudden storm of lust,
A vapour fed from wild desire,
A wandering, self-consuming fire.
But Hymen's kinder flames unite,

Aud burn for ever one;
Chaste as cold Cynthia's virgin light,

Productive as the sun.

SEMICHORUS.
Oh, source of every social tye,
United wish, and mutual joy!
What various joys on one attend,
As son, as father, brother, husband, friend!
Whether his hoary sire he spies,
While thousand grateful thoughts arise ;
Or meets his spouse's fonder eye,
Or views his smiling progeny;
What tender passions take their turns,

What home-felt raptures move!
His heart now melts, now leaps, now burns,

With reverence, hope, and love.

[merged small][ocr errors]

CHORUS.
Hence guilty joys, distastes, surmises,
Hence false tears, deceits, disguises,
Dangers, doubts, delays, surprises,

Fires that scorch, yet dare not shine.
Purest love's unwasting treasure,
Constant faith, fair hope, long leisure,
Days of ease, and nights of pleasure;

Sacred Hymen! these are thine,

[graphic]

10

TO
ROBERT EARL OF OXFORD AND

MORTIMER*.
Such were the notes thy once-lov'd poet sung,
Till death untimely stopp'd his tuneful tongue.
Oh, just beheld and lost! admir'd and mourn'd!
With softest manners, gentlest arts adorn'd!
Bless'd in each science! bless'd in every strain! 5
Dear to the Muse! to Harley dear in vain!

For him thou oft hast bid the world attend,
Fond to forget the statesman in the friend;
For Swift and him despis'd the farce of state,
The sober follies of the wise and great;
Dextrous the craving, fawning, crowd to quit,
And pleas'd to 'scape from fiattery to wit."

Absent or dead, still let a friend be dear,
(A sigh the absent claims, the dead a tear)
Recall those nights that clos'd thy toilsome days, 15
Still hear thy Parnell in his living lays;
Who, careless now of interest, fame, or fate,
Perhaps forgets that Oxford e'er was great;
Or deeming meanest what we greatest call,
Beholds thee glorious only in thy fall.

And sure if aught below the seats divine
Can touch immortals, 'tis a soul like thine;
A soul supreme, in each hard instance tried,
Above all pain, all passion, and all pride,
The rage of pow'r, the blast of public breath,
The lust of lucre, and the dread of death.

In vain to deserts thy retreat is made,
The Muse attends thee to thy silent shade: ,
'Tis ber's the brave man's latest steps to trace,'
Rejudge his acts, and dignify disgrace: “
When Interest calls off all her sneaking train,
And all th' oblig'd desert, and all the vain,

Sent to the Earl of Oxford with Dr. Parnell's poems, published by our author after the said Earl's imprisonment in the Tower and retreat into the couutry, in the year 1721.

30

She waits, or to the scaffold or the cell,
When the last lingering friend has bid farewell.
Ev'n now she shades thy evening walk with bays; 35
(No hireling she, no prostitute to praise)
Ev'n now, observant of the parting ray,
Eyes the calm sunset of thy various day,
Through fortune's cloud one truly great can see,
Nor fears to tell that Mortimer is he.

TO JAMES CRAGGS, ESQ.

SECRETARY OF STATE, 1720.
A soul, as full of worth as void of pride,
Which nothing seeks to shew, or needs to hide,
Which nor to guilt nor fear its caution owes,
And boasts a warmth that from no passion flows.
A face untaught to feign; a judging eye,
That darts severe upon a rising lie,
And strikes a blush through frontless flattery.
All this thou wert; and being this before,
Know kings and fortune cannot make thee more.
Then scorn to gain a friend by servile ways,
Nor wish to lose a foe these virtues raise;
But candid, free, sincere, as you began,
Proceed-a minister, but still a man.
Be not (exalted to whate'er degree)
Asham'd of any friend, not ev'n of me:
The patriot's plain but untrod path pursue;
If not, 'tis I must be asham'd of you.

10

15

TO MR. ADDISON.
OCCASIONED BY HIS DIALOGUES ON MEDALS.
See the wild waste of all-devouring years!
How Rome her own sad sepulchre appears !
With nodding arches, broken temples spread!
The very tombs now vanish'd like their dead!

VOL. II, .

« ElőzőTovább »