« ElőzőTovább »
Swift o'er the land the dismal rumour flies,
And public moumings pacify the skies;
The laureat tribe in venal verse relate,
How virtue wars with persecuting fate;
With well-feign'd gratitude the pension'd band
Refund the plunder of the beggar'd land.
See! while he builds, the gaudy vassals come,
And crowd with sudden wealth the rising dome;
The price of boroughs and of souls restore;
And raise his treasures higher than before :
Now bless'd with all the baubles of the great,
The polish'd marble and the shining plate,
& Orgilio sees the golden pile aspire,
And hopes from angry Heav'n another fire.
"Could'st thou resign the park and play content,
For the fair banks of Severn or of Trent;
There might'st thou find some elegant retreat,
Some hireling senator's deserted seat;
And stretch thy prospects o'er the smiling land,
For less than rent the dungeons of the Strand;
There prune thy walks, support thy drooping flowers,
Direct thy rivulets, and twine thy bowers ;
* And, while thy grounds a cheap repast afford,
Despise the dainties of a venal lord:
There ev'ry bush with Nature's musick rings,
There ev'ry breeze bears health upon its wings;
On all thy hours security shall smile,
And bless thine evening walk and morning toil.
Prepare for death if here at night you roam,
And sign your will before you sup from home.
Some fiery fop, with new commission vain,
Who sleeps on brambles till he kills his man;
Some frolick drunkard, reeling from a feast,
Provokes a broil, and stabs you for a jest.
'Yet ev’n these heroes, mischievously gay,
Lords of the street, and terrors of the way;
Flush'd as they are with folly, youth, and wine,
Their prudent insults to the poor confine;
Afar they mark the flambeau's bright approach,
And shun the shining train, and golden coach.
* In vain, these dangers past, your doors you close,
And hope the balmy blessings of repose;
Cruel with guilt, and daring with despair,
The midnight murd'rer bursts the faithless bar;
Invades the sacred hour of silent rest,
* And leaves, unseen, a dagger in your breast.
Scarce can our fields, such crowds at Tyburn die, il With hemp the gallows and the fleet supply. 7 Propose your schemes, ye senatorian band, Whose
ways and meanst support the sinking land:
Lest ropes be wanting in the tempting spring,
To rig another convoy for the king. I 16
°A single gaol, in ALFRED's golden reign,
Could half the nation's criminals contain ;
Fair justice, then, without constraint ador'd,
Held high the steady scale, but sheath'd the sword ;
No spies were paid, no special juries known,
Blest age! but, ah! how diff'rent from our own!
P Much could I add,-but see the boat at hand,
The tide retiring calls me from the land :
Farewell !—When youth, and health, and fortune spent, Thou fly'st for refuge to the Wilds of Kent; And, tir'd like me with follies and with crimes, In angry numbers warn’st succeeding times; Then shall thy friend, nor thou refuse his aid, Still foe to vice, forsake his Cambrian shade; In virtue's cause once more exert his rage, Thy satire point, and animate thy page.
LET *Observation with extensive view
Survey mankind, from China to Peru;
Remark each anxious toil, each eager strife,
And watch the busy scenes of crowded life;
Then say how hope and fear, desire and hate,
O'erspread with snares the clouded maze of fate,
Where wav'ring man, betrayed by vent'rous pride
To chase the dreary paths without a guide,
As treach'rous phantoms in the mist delude,
Shuns fancied ills, or chases airy good; 7 1.
How rarely reason guides the stubborn choice,
Rules the bold hand, or prompts the suppliant voice, +
How Nations sink, by darling schemes oppress'd,
When vengeance listens to the fool's request.
·Fate wings with ev'ry wish th' affictive dart, +
Each gift of nature and each grace of art;
With fatal heat impetuous courage glows, 2:
With fatal sweetness elocution flows,
Impeachment stops the speaker's pow'rful breath,
And restless fire precipitates on death.
But, scarce observ'd, the knowing and the bold
Fall in the gen’ral massacre of gold;
Wide wasting pest! that rages unconfin’d,
And crowds with crimes the records of mankind;
Por gold his sword the hireling ruffian draws,
Por gold the hireling judge distorts the laws;
Wealth heap'd on wealth, nor truth nor safety buys,
The dangers gather as the treasures rise.
Let Hist'ry tell where rival kings command,
And dubious title shakes the madded land,
When statutes glean the refuse of the sword,
How much more safe the vassal than the lord :
Low sculks the hind beneath the rage of power,
And leaves the wealthy traitor in the Tower,
Untouch'd his cottage, and his slumbers sound,
Though Confiscation's vultures hover round.
The needy traveller, serene and gay,
Walks the wild heath, and sings his toil away. .
Does envy seize thee? crush th' upbraiding joy,
Increase his riches, and his peace destroy,
“Now fears in dire vicissitude invade,
The rustling brake alarms, and quiv'ring shade,
Nor light nor darkness bring his pain relief,
One shews the plunder, and one hides the thief.
* Yet still one gen’ral cryd the skies assails,
And gain and grandeur load the tainted gales :
Few know the toiling statesman's fear or care, no
Th' insidious rival and the gaping heir termes *3. tOnce more, Democritus, arise on earth,
With cheerful wisdom and instructive mirth,
See motley life in modern trappings dress’d,
And feed with varied fools th' eternal jest:
Thou who could’st laugh where want enchain'd caprice,
Toil crush'd conceit, and man was of a piece;
Where wealth unlov'd without a mourner died;
And scarce a sycophant was fed by pride ;
Where ne'er was known the form of mock debate,
Or seen a new-made mayor's unwieldy state;
Where change of fav’rites made no change of laws,
And senates heard before they judg'd a cause;
How would'st thou shake at Britain's modish tribe,
Dart the quick taunt, and edge the piercing gibe?