« ElőzőTovább »
In book the second, page the tenth ;
The stress of all my proofs on him I lay,
And now proceed we to our simile.
Imprimis, pray observe his hat,
Wings upon either side - mark that.
Well! what is it from thence we gather?
Why, these denote a brain of feather.
A brain of feather! very right;
With wit that's flighty, learning light;
Such as to modern bard's decreed :
A just comparison — proceed.
In the next place, his feet peruse,
Wings grow again from both his shoes;
Design’d, no doubt, their part to bear,
And waft his godship through the air :
And here my simile unites;
For in a modern poet's flights,
I'm sure it may be justly said,
His feet are useful as his head.
Lastly, vouchsafe t observe his hand,
Filld with a snake-encircled wand,
By classic authors term'd caduceus,
And highly famed for several uses:
To wit, - most wondrously endued,
No poppy-water half so good ;
For let folks only get a touch,
Its soporific virtue's such,
Though ne'er so much awake before,
That quickly they begin to snore;
Add, too, what certain writers tell,
With this he drives men's souls to hell.
Now, to apply, begin we then:--
His wand's a modern author's pen;
The serpents round about it twin'd
Denote him of the reptile kind,
Denote the rage with which he writes,
His frothy slaver, venom'd bites;
An equal semblance still to keep,
Alike, too, both conduce to sleep;
This difference only, as the god
Drove souls to Tart'rus with his rod,
With his goose-quill the scribbling elf,
Instead of others, damns himself.
And here my simile almost tript,
Yet grant a word by way of postcript.
Moreover, Merc'ry had a failing ;
Well! what of that? out with it stealing
In which all modern bards agree,
Being each as great a thief as he.
But e’en this deity's existence
Shall lend my simile assistance:
Our modern bards! why, what a pox,
Are they but senseless stones and blocks?
WHERE the Red Lion, staring o'er the way,
Invites each passing stranger that can pay;
Where Calvert's butt, and Parson's black champagne,
Regale the drabs and bloods of Drury-lane:
There, in a lonely room, from bailiffs snug,
The Muse found Scroggen stretch'd beneath a rug;
A window, patch'd with paper, lent a ray,
That dimly show'd the state in which he lay;
The sanded floor that grits beneath the tread ;
The humid wall with paltry pictures spread;
The royal game of goose was there in view,
And the twelve rules the Royal Martyr drew;
The Seasons, framed with listing, found a place,
And brave Prince William show'd his lamp-black face.
The morn was cold; he views with keen desire
The rusty grate unconscious of a fire:
With beer and milk arrears the frieze was scored,
And five crack'd tea-cups dress'd the chimney-board;
A nightcap deck'd his brows instead of bay,
A cap by night - a stocking all the day!
WRITTEN AND SPOKEN BY THE POET LABERIUS, A ROMAN
KNIGHT, WHOM CÆSAR FORCED UPON THE STAGE.
[Preserved by Macrobius.]
WHAT! no way left to shun th' inglorious stage,
And save from infamy my sinking age!
Scarce half alive, oppress'd with many a year,
What in the name of dotage drives me here?
A time there was, when glory was my guide,
Nor force nor fraud could turn my steps aside ;
Unawed by power, and unappall’d by fear,
With honest thrift I held my honor dear:
But this vile hour disperses all my store,
And all my hoard of honor is no more ;
For, ah! too partial to my life's decline,
Cæsar persuades, submission must be mine;
Him I obey, whom Heaven itself obeys,
Hopeless of pleasing, yet inclined to please.
Here then at once I welcome every shame,
And cancel, at threescore, a life of fame :
No more my titles shall my children tell,
The old buffoon will fit my name as well :
This day beyond its term my fate extends,
For life is ended when our honor ends.
AN ELEGY ON THE GLORY OF HER SEX,
Good people all, with one accord,
Lament for Madam · Blaize,
Who never wanted a good word -
From those who spoke her praise.
The needy seldom pass'd her door,
And always found her kind;
She freely lent to all the poor -
Who left a pledge behind.
She strove the neighborhood to please
With manners wondrous winning; And never follow'd wicked ways.
Unless when she was sinning.
At church, in silks and satin new,
With hoop of monstrous size, She never slumber'd in her pew
But when she shut her eyes.
Her love was sought, I do aver,
By twenty beaux and more; The king himself has follow'd her
When she has walk'd before.
But now, her wealth and finery fled,
Her hangers-on cut short all: The doctors found, when she was dead
Her last disorder mortal.
Let us lament in sorrow sore,
For Kent Street well may say, That had she lived a twelvemonth more
She had not died to-day.
STRUCK BLIND BY LIGHTNING.
SURE, 'twas by Providence design’d,
Rather in pity than in hate,
That he should be, like Cupid, blind,
To save him from Narcissus' fate.