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Still to new heights his restless wishes tow'r;
What gave great Villiers to th' assassin's knife,
Should no disease thy torpid veins invade,
By kings protected, and to kings ally'd?
From age to age in everlasting debt;
How just his hopes, let Swedish Charles decide;
There is a tradition, that the study of friar Bacon, built on an arch over the bridge, will fall when
a man greater than Bacor. shall pass under it.
§ A very learned divine and mathematician, fellow of New College Oxford, and rector of Okerton near Banbury. He wrote, among many others, a Latin Treatise, De Natura Cali, &c. in which he attacked the sentiments of Scaliger and Aristotle; not bearing to hear it urged that some things are true in philosophy and false in divinity. He made above six hundred sermons on the harmony of the Evangelists. Being unsuccessful in publishing his works, he lay in the prison of Bocardo at Oxford, and the king's-bench, till bishop Usher, Dr. Laud, Sir William Boswell, and Dr. Pink, released him by paying his debts. He petitioned King Charles I. to be sent into Ethiopia, &c. to procure MSS. Having spoken in favor of monarchy and bishops, he was plundered by the parliament forces, and twice carried away prisoner from his rectory; and afterwards had not a shirt to shift him in three months, unJess he borrowed it, and he died very poor in 1646.
¶ Ver. 147--167.
Peace courts his hand, but spreads her charms in vain ;
Think nothing gain'd, he cries, till nought remain,
On Moscow's walls till Gothic standards fly, And all be mine beneath the polar sky." The march begins in military state, And nations on his eye suspended wait; Stern Famine guards the solitary coast, And Winter barricades the realms of Frost ; He comes, nor want nor cold his course delay;Hide, blushing Glory, hide Pultowa's day The vanquish'd hero leaves his broken bands, And shows his miseries in distant lands, Condemn'd a needy supplicant to wait, While ladies interpose, and slaves debate. But did not Chance at length her error mend? Did no subverted empire mark his end? Did rival monarchs give the fatal wound? Or hostile millions press him to the ground? His fall was destin'd to a barren strand, A petty fortress, and a dubious hand; He left the name, at which the world grew pale, To point a moral, or adorn a tale.
All times their scenes of pompous woes afford, From Persia's tyrant, to Bavaria's lord. In gay hostility, and barb'rous pride, With half mankind embattl'd at his side, Great Xerxes comes to seise the certain prey, And starves exhausted regions in his way; Attendant Flatt'ry counts his myriads o'er, Till counted myriads sooth his pride no more; Fresh praise is try'd till madness fires his mind, The waves he lashes, and enchains the wind; New pow'rs are claim'd, new pow'rs are still bestow'd,
Till rude resistance lops the spreading god ;
The bold Bavarian, in a luckless hour,
Time hovers o'er, impatient to destroy,
No sounds, alas! would touch th'impervious ear,
Unnumber'd maladies his joints invade,
The queen, the beauty, sets the world in arms;
But grant, the virtues of a temp'rate prime Bless with an age exempt from scorn or crime; An age that melts with unperceiv'd decay, And glides in modest innocence away; Whose peaceful day Benevolence endears, Whose night congratulating Conscience cheers; The gen'ral fav'rite as the gen'ral friend: Such age there is, and who shall wish its end?
Yet ev'n on this her load Misfortune flings, To press the weary minutes flagging wings; New sorrow rises as the day returns, A sister sickens, or a daughter mourns. Now kindred Merit fills the sable bier, Now lacerated Friendship claims a tear. Year chases year, decay pursues decay, Still drops some joy from with'ring life away; New forms arise, and diff'rent views engage, Superfluous lags the vet'ran on the stage, Till pitying Nature signs the last release, And bids afflicted worth retire to peace.
But few there are whom hours like these await, Who set unclouded in the gulphs of Fate. From Lydia's monarch should the search descend, By Sofon caution'd to regard his end, In life's last scene what prodigies surprise, Fears of the brave, and follies of the wise! From Marlb'rough's eyes the streams of dotage And Swift expires a driv'ler and a show. [flow,
The teeming mother, anxious for her race, Begs for each birth the fortune of a face ;.
Yet Vane could tell what ills from beauty spring:
What care, what rules your heedless charms
Each nymphyour rival, and each youthyourslave?
In crowd at once, where none the pass defend,
So oft have tripp'd in her fantastic train,
Or caught the orient blush of quick surprise,
Chas'd by a charm still lovelier than the last.
Luxuriant fancy, pause! an hour like this
Demands the tribute of a serious song.
Where cold and wan the slumb'rer rests her
In still small whispers to reflection's ear
She breathes the solemn dictates of the dea1. O catch the awful notes, and lift them loud!
Proclaim the theme by sage, by fool rever'd,
E'en in the midst of pleasure's mad career, [leap;
The mental monitor shall wake and weep!
What brighter planet on your births arose? Or gave of fortune's gifts an ampler share,
In life to lavish, or by death to lose? Early to lose! While, borne on busy wing,
Ye sip the nectar of each varying bloom; Nor fear, while basking in the beams of spring,
The wintry storm that sweeps you to the tomb; Think of her fate! revere the heavenly hand
That led her hence, tho' soon by steps so slow; Long at her couch Death took his patient stand, And menac'd oft, and oft withheld the blow. To give reflection time, with lenient art,
Each fond delusion from her soul to steal! Teach her from folly peaceably to part,
And wean her from a world she lov'd so well Say, are you sure his mercy shall extend
To you so long a span? Alas, ye sigh! [friend, Make then, while yet ye may, your God your And learn with equal case to sleep or die! Nor think the Muse, whose sober voice ye hear, Contracts with bigot frown her sullen brow; Casts round religion's orb the mists of fear, [glow.
Or shades with horrorswhat with smiles should No--she would warn you with scraphic fire,
Heirs as ve are of heaven's eternal day; Would bid you boldly to that heaven aspire, Nor sink and sluniber in your cells of clay. Know
Must dull Suspense corrupt the stagnant mind?
$75. Elegy on the Death of Lady Coventry. Written in 1760. Mason.
THE midnight clock has toll'd--and, hark
Of death beats slow! heard ye the note pro-
• Ver. 346966.
Know, ye were form'd to range von azure field,
Yet will I praise you, triflers as you are,
Who from the phalanx, bid the battle bleed, Nor wish for more; who conquer bnt to die.
Hear, Folly, hear, and triumph in the tale! Like you they reason, not like you enjoy
The breeze of bliss, that fills your silken sail On pleasure's glitt'ring stream ye gaily steer
Your little course to cold oblivion's shore; They dare the storm, and thro' th' inclement year Stem the rough surge, and brave the torrent's
Par un même destin il ne pensera plus!
Who breath'd on man a portion of his fire, Bade his free soul, by earth nor time confin'd, To heav'n, to immortality aspire.
Nor shall the pile of hope his mercy rear'd By vain philosophy be e'er destroy'd: Eternity, by all or wish'd or fear'd,
Shall be by all or suffer'd or enjoy'd!
§ 76. Elegy to a young Nobleman leaving the University. Mason.
Is it for glory? That just Fate denies;
Long must the warrior moulder in his shroud, Ere from her trump the heaven-breath'd accents That lift the hero from the fighting crowd! [rise Is it his grasp of empire to extend?
To curb the fury of insulting foes? Ambition, cease! the idle contest end:
"Tis but a kingdom thou canst win or lose. And why must murder'd myriads lose their all (If life be all), why desolation low'r With famish'd frown on this affrighted ball,
That thou mayst flame the meteor of an hour? Go, wiser ye, that flutter life away,
Crown with the mantling juice the goblet high? Weave the light dance, with festive freedom gay,
And live your moment, since the next ye die! Yet know, vain sceptics! know, th' Almighty Mind,
ERE yet, ingenuous youth, thy steps retire [vale,
And met thee musing in her cloisters pale;
And this let voluntary friendship pay.
Yet know, the time arrives, the dang`rous time, When all those virtues, 'op'ning now so fair, Transplanted to the world's tempestuous clime, Must learn each passion's hoist'rous breath to bear;
There, if ambition, pestilent and pale,
Or luxury should taint their vernal glow ; If cold self-interest, with her chilling gale, [blow; Should blast th' unfolding blossoms ere they If mimic hues, by art or fashion spread,
Their genuine simple coloring should supply; O may with them these laureate honors fade,
And with them (if it can) my friendship die! Then do not blame, if, tho' thyself inspire, Caution strike the panegyric string; The Muse full oft pursues a meteor fire, And, vainly vent'rous, soars on waxen wing: Too actively awake at friendship's voice,
The poet's bosom pours the fervent strain, Till sad reflection blames the hasty choice,
Nore. In a book of French verses, intitled, Ouvres du Philosophe de Sans Souci, and lately reprinted at Berlin by authority, under the title of Poesies Diverses, may be found an Epistle to Marshal Keith, written professedly against the immortality of the soul. By way of specimen of the whole, take the following lines:
De l'avenir, cher Keith, jugeons par le passé :
And oft invokes oblivion's aid in vain. Call we the shade of Pope from that blest bow'r, Where thron'd he sits with many a tuneful sage; Ask, if he ne'er bemoans that hapless hour
When St. John's naine illumin'd glory's page. Ask, if the wretch, who dar'd his mem'ry stain;
Ask, if his country's, his religion's foe, Deserv'd the need that Marlbro' fail'd to gain; The deathless meed he only could bestow: The hard will tell thee, the misguided praise
Clouds the celestial sunshine of his breast; Ev'n now, repentant of his erring lays,
He heaves a sigh amid the realms of rest. If Pope thro" friendship fail'd, indignant view, Yet pity, Dryden-hark, whene'er he sings, How adulation drops her courtly dew
On titled rhymers and inglorious kings! See, from the depths of his exhaustless mine. His glitt'ring stores the tuneful spendthrift
Where fear or int'rest bids, behold they shine; Now grace aCromwell's, now aCharles'sbrows. Born with too gen'rous or too mean a heart, Dryden! in vain to thee those stores were lent; Thy
Thy sweetest numbers but a trifling art:
Was Parnell's modest fame, and may be mine.
And all thy virtue dictates dare to do.
$77. The Choice of Hercules: from the
As on a day, reflecting on his age
For highest deeds now ripe, Alcides sought Retirement, nurse of contemplation sage, Step following step, and thought succeeding thought; Musing, with steady pace the youth pursued His walk, and lost in meditation stray'd Far in a lonely vale, with solitude
Conversing; while intent his mind survey'd The dubious path of life: before him lay, [way. Herevirtue's rough ascent, there pleasure's flow'ry Much did the view divide his wav'ring mind: Now glow'd his breast with gen'rous thirst of Nowlove of ease to softer thoughts inclin'd [fame; His yielding soul,and quench'd the rising flame: When, lo! far off two female forms he spics: Direct to him their steps they seem to bear; Both large and tall, exceeding hunan size; Both, far exceeding human beauty, fair.
Graceful, yet each with different grace they move This striking sacred awe; that, softerwinning love. The first in native dignity surpass'd;
Artless and unadorn'd she pleas'd the more; Health o'er her looks a genuine lustre cast;
A vest more white than new-fallen snow she
August she trod, yet modest was her air; [wore :
Pleasure corrected with an awful fear;
But bold her mien, unguarded rov'd her eye,
Lightly she danc'd along; her robe betray'd Thro' the clear texture every tender limb,
Heightning the charms it only seem'd to shade. And as it flow'd adown, so loose and thin, [skin. Her stature show'd more tall, more nowywhiteher Oft with a smile she view'd herself askance;
Even on her shade a conscious look she threw: Then all around her cast a careless glance,
To mark what gazing eyes her beauty drew. As they came near, before that other maid
Approaching decent, eagerly she press'd With hasty step; nor of repulse afraid, [dress'd;
With freedom bland the wond'ring youth adWith winning fondness on his neck she hung; Sweet as the honey-dew flow'd her enchanting
"Dear Hercules, whence this unkind delay? Dear youth, what doubts can thus distract thy Securely follow where I lead the way, [mind?
And range thro' wilds of pleasure unconfin'd. With me retire from noise, and pain, and care,
Embath'd in bliss, and wrapt in endless ease : Rough is the road to fame, thro' blood and war;
Smooth is my way, and all my paths are peace. With me retire, from toils and perils free, Leave honor to the wretch! pleasures were made for thee.
"Then will I grant thee all thy soul's desire; All that may charm thine ear, and please thy sight;
All that the thought can frame, or wish require,
The fragrant bow'r, cool fountain, shady grove; Fresh flow'rs to strew thy couch, and crown thy [thy bed. Joy shall attend thy steps, and case shall smooth
These will I freely, constantly supply, Pleasure's not earn'd with toil, nor mix'd with Far from thy rest repining want shall fly, [woe; Nor labor bathe in sweat thy careful brow. Mature the copious harvest shall be thine, Let the laborious hind subdue the soil;