« PreviousContinue »
HALIFAX-A. D. 1661-1715.
THE MAN OF HONOUR. OCCASION ED BY A POSTSCRIPT OF PENN'S LETTER. Not all the threats or favour of a crown, A prince's whisper, or a tyrant's frown, Can awe the spirit, or allure the mind, Of him, who to strict honour is inclin'd. Though all the pomp and pleasure that does wait On public places, and affairs of state, Should fondly court him to be base and great ; With even passions, and with settled face, He would remove the harlot's false embrace.
Though all the storms and tempests should arise, That church-magicians in their cells advise, And from their settled basis nations tear, He would unmov'd the mighty ruin bear; Secure in innocence contemn them all, And decently array'd in honours fall.
For this, brave Shrewsbury and Lumley's name Shall stand the foremost in the list of fame; Who first with steady minds the current broke, And to the suppliant monarch boldly spoke; “ Great Sir, renown'd for constancy, how just Hare we obey'd the crown, and serv'd our trust, Espous'd your cause and interest in distress, Yourself must witness, and our foes confess! Permit us then ill fortune to accuse, That you at last unhappy councils use, And ask the only thing we must refuse. Our lives and fortunes freely we'll expose, Honour alone we cannot, must not lose ; Honour, that spark of the celestial fire, That above nature makes mankind aspire ; Enpobles the rude passions of our frame With thirst of glory, and desire of fame; The richest treasure of a generous breast, That gives the stamp and standard to the rest. Wit, strength, and courage, are wild dangerous
force, Unless this softens and directs their course; And would you rob us of the noblest part? Accept a sacrifice without a heart? 'Tis much beneath the greatness of a throue To take the casket when the jewel's gone ; Debauch our principles, corrupt our race, And teach the nobles to be false and base: What confidence can you in them repose, Who, ere they serve you, all their value lose ? Who once enslave their conscience to their lust, Have lost their reins, and can no more be just.
" Of honour, men at first like women vice, Raise maiden scruples at unpractis’d vice; Their modest nature curbs the struggling flame,
And stifles what they wish to act with shame.
force, Could they oppose to stop the torrent's course ?
“ Then Pembroke, then the nobles firmly stood, Free of their lives, and lavish of their blood; But, when your orders to mean ends decline, With the same constancy they all resign."
Thus spake the youth, who open'd first the way, And was the phosph'rus to the dawning day; Follow'd by a more glorious splendid host, Than any age, or any realm can boast : So great their fame, so numerous their train, To name were endless, and to praise in vain; But Herbert and great Oxford merit more ; Bold is their fight, and more sublime they soar ; So high their virtue as yet wants a name, Exceeding wonder, and surpassing fame. Rise, glorious church, erect thy radiant head ; The storm is past, th' impending tempest fed ; Had fate decreed thy ruin or disgrace, It had not given such sons, so brave a race. When for destruction Heaven a realm designs, The symptoms first appear in slavish minds. These men would prop a sinking nation's weight, Stop falling vengeance, and reverse ev'n fate. Let other nations boast their fruitful soil, Their fragrant spices, their rich wine and oil ; In breathing colours, and in living paint, Let them excel; their mastery we grant. But to instruct the mind, to arm the soul With virtue which no dangers can controul, Exalt the thought, a speedy courage lend, That horror cannot shake, or pleasure bend; These are the English arts, these we profess,
WRITTEN FOR THE TOASTING-GLASSES OF THE
To be the same in misery and success ;
KIT-CAT CLUB, 1703.
Duchess of St. Alban's. When kings commit to hungry priests the scale ?
The line of Vere, so long renown'd in arms, All merit's light when they dispose the weight,
Concludes with lustre in St. Alban's charms. Who either would embroil or rule the state; Defame those heroes who their yoke refuse,
Her conquering eyes have made their race complete;
They rose in valour, and in beauty set.
Duchess of Beaufort.
Offspring of a tuneful sire,
Blest with more than mortal fire ;
Likeness of a mother's face,
Blest with more than mortal grace ;
You with double charms surprise,
With his wit, and with her eyes. Of native value, and exactest mould,
Lady Mary Churchill. By worth conceal’d, in private closets shine,
Fairest and latest of the beauteous race, [face; For vulgar use too precious and too fine ;
Blest with your parents' wit, and her first blooming Whilst tin and copper with new stamping bright, Born with our liberties in William's reign, Coin of base metal, counterfeit and light,
Your eyes alone that liberty restrain. Do all the business of the nation's turn,
Duchess of Richmond. Rais'd in contempt, us'd and employ'd in scorn.
Of two fair Richmonds different ages boast, So shining virtues are for courts too bright,
Their's was the first, and our's the brightest toast ; Whose guilty actions fly the searching light: Rich in themselves, disdaining to aspire,
Th'adorers offerings prove who's most divine, Great without pomp, they willingly retire ;
They sacrific'd in water, we in wine. Give place to fools, whose rash misjudging sense
Lady Sunderland. Increases the weak measures of their prince ;
All Nature's charms in Sunderland appear, They blindly and implicitly run on,
Bright as her eyes, and as her reason clear: Nor see those dangers which the others shun: Yet still their force, to men not safely known, Who slow to act, each business duly weigh,
Seems undiscover'd to herself alone. Advise with freedom, and with care obey ;
Mademoiselle Spanheime. With wisdom fatal to their interest, strive
Admir'd in Germany, ador'd in France, To make their monarch lov'd, and nation thrive.
Your charms to brighter glory here advance; Such have no place where priests and women reign, The stubborn Britons own your beauty's claim, Who love fierce drivers, and a looser rein.
And with their native toasts enrol your name.
Bring Homer, Virgil, Tasso near,
Come, bind the victim,- there he lies,
The goblet in my hand I take,
A health to poets! all their days
Now bring the weapon, yonder blade,
How like the son of Jove I stand,
round. But hold, before I close the scene, The sacred altar should be clean. Oh, had I Shadwell's second bays, Or, Tate! thy pert and humble lays! (Ye pair, forgive me, when I vow I never miss'd your works till now) I'd tear the leaves to wipe the shrine, (That only way you please the nine); But since I chance to want these two, I'll make the songs of Durfey do.
Rent from the corpse, on yonder pin,
“ This trophy from the Python won,
AN ALLEGORY ON MAN. A thoughtful being long and spare, Our race of mortals call him Care (Were Homer living, well he knew What name the gods had call’d him too), With fine mechanic genius wrought, And lov'd to work, though no one bought.
This being, by a model bred
Known by the Gods, as near he draws, In Jove's eternal sable head,
They make him umpire of the cause. Contriv'd a shape empower'd to breathe,
O'er a low trunk his arm he laid, And be the worldling here beneath.
Where since his hours a dial made; The man rose staring like a snake,
Then leaning heard the nice debate, Wondering to see himself awake!
And thus pronounc'd the words of fate: Then look'd so wise, before he knew
Since body from the parent earth, The business he was made to do;
And soul from Jove receiv'd a birth, That, pleased to see with what a grace
Return they where they first began; He gravely show'd his forward face,
But since their union makes the man, Jove talk'd of breeding him on high,
Till Jove and earth shall part these two, An under-something of the sky.
To Care who join'd them, man is due. But ere he gave the mighty nod,
He said, and sprung with swift career Which ever binds a poet's god
To trace a circle for the year ; (For which his curls ambrosial shake,
Where ever since the seasons wheel, And mother earth's oblig'd to quake),
And tread on one another's heel. He saw old mother earth arise,
'Tis well, said Jove, and for consent She stood confess'd before his eyes ;
Thund’ring he shook the firmament. But not with what we read she wore,
Our umpire Time shall have his way, A castle for a crown before,
With Care I let the creature stay : Nor with long streets and longer roads
Let business vex him, avarice blind, Dangling behind her, like commodes:
Let doubt and knowledge rack his mind, As yet with wreaths alone she drest,
Let error act, opinion speak, And trail'd a landskip-painted vest.
And want afflict, and sickness break, Then thrice she rais'd, as Ovid said,
And anger burn, dejection chill,
And joy distract, and sorrow kill.
Time draws the long destructive blow;
And wasted man, whose quick decay Then what hast thou to call him thine?
Comes hurrying on before his day, Nay rather ask, the monarch said,
Shall only find by this decree,
The soul flies sooner back to me.
Far in a wild, unknown to public view,
From youth to age a reverend hermit grew; Thus with the Gods debate began,
The moss his bed, the cave his humble cell, On such a trivial cause, as man.
His food the fruits, his drink the crystal well : And can celestial tempers rage ?
Remote from men, with God he pass d his days, Quoth Virgil, in a later age.
Prayer all his business, all his pleasure praise. As thus they wrangled, Time came by;
A life so sacred, such serene repose, (There's none that paint him such as I,
Seem'd heaven itself, till one suggestion rose; For what the fabling ancients sung
That vice should triumph, virtue vice obey, Makes Saturn old, when Time was young.)
This sprung some doubt of Providence's sway : As yet his winters had not shed
His hopes no more a certain prospect boast, Their silver honours on his head;
And all the tenour of his soul is lost: He just had got his pinions free,
So when a smooth expanse receives imprest From his old sire, Eternity.
Calm nature's image on its watery breast, A serpent girdled round he wore,
Down bend the banks, the trees depending grow, The tail within the mouth, before ;
And skies beneath with answering colours glow: By which our almanacks are clear
But if a stone the gentle sea divide, That learned Egypt meant the year.
Swift ruffling circles curl on every side, A staff he carry'd, where on high
And glimmering fragments of a broken sun, A glass was fix'd to measure by,
Banks, trees, and skies, jo thick disorder run. As amber boxes made a show
To clear this doubt, to know the world by sight, For heads of canes an age ago.
To find if books, or swains, report it right, His vest, for day and night, was py'd ;
(For yet by swains alone the world he knew, A bending sickle arm’d his side ;
Whose feet came wandering o'er the nightly dew) And spring's new months his train adorn!
He quits his cell; the pilgrim staff he bore, The other seasons were unborn.
And fix’d the scallop in his hat before;
Then with the sun a rising journey went,
Its owner's temper, timorous and severe, Sedate to think, and watching each event.
Unkind and griping, caus'd a desert there. The morn was wasted in the pathless grass,
As near the miser's heavy doors they drew, And long and lonesome was the wild to pass; Fierce rising gusts with sudden fury blew; But when the southern sun had warm'd the day, The nimble lightning mix'd with showers began, A youth came posting o'er a crossing way;
And o'er their heads loud rolling thunders ran. His raiment decent, his complexion fair,
Here long they knock, but knock or call in vain, And soft in graceful ringlets wav'd his hair. Driven by the wind, and batter'd by the rain. Then near approaching, father, hail! he cry'd, At length some pity warm’d the master's breast And hail, my son, the reverend sire reply'd ; ('Twas then his threshold first receiv'd a guest); Words follow'd words, from question answer flow'd, Slow creeking turns the door with jealous care, And talk of various kind deceiv'd the road;
And half he welcomes in the shivering pair; Till each with other pleas'd, and loth to part, One frugal faggot lights the naked walls, While in their age they differ, join in heart. And nature's fervour through their limbs recalls Thus stands an aged elm in ivy bound,
Bread of the coarsest sort, with eager wine, Thus youthful ivy clasps an elm around.
(Each hardly granted) serv'd them both to dine ; Now sunk the sun; the closing hour of day And when the tempest first appear'd to cease, Came onward, mantled o'er with sober grey; A ready warning bid them part in peace. Nature in silence bid the world repose ;
With still remark the pondering hermit view'd, When near the road a stately palace rose :
In one so rich, a life so poor and rude ; There, by the moon, through ranks of trees they pass, And why should such, within himself he cry'd, Whose verdure crown'd their sloping sides of grass ; Lock the lost wealth a thousand want beside ? It cbanc'd the noble master of the dome
But what new marks of wonder soon took place, Still made his house the wandering stranger's home:
In every settling feature of his face; Yet still the kindness, from a thirst of praise, When from his vest the young companion bore Prov'd the vain flourish of expensive ease.
That cup the generous landlord own'd before, The pair arrive : the livery'd servants wait;
And paid profusely with the precious bowl Their lord receives them at the pompous gate. The stinted kindness of this churlish soul. The table groans with costly piles of food,
But now the clouds in airy tumult fly;
The sun emerging opes an azure sky;
And, glittering as they tremble, cheer the day: At length 'tis morn, and at the dawn of day, The weather courts them from the poor retreat, Along the wide canals the zephyrs play :
And the glad master bolts the wary gate. Fresh o'er the gay parterres the breezes creep, While hence they walk, the pilgrim's bosom And shake the neighbouring wood to banish sleep.
wrought Up rise the guests, obedient to the call:
With all the travel of uncertain thought; An early banquet deck'd the splendid hall ;
His partner's acts without their cause appear, Rich luscious wine a golden goblet grac'd,
'Twas there a vice, and seem'd a madness here : Which the kind master forc'd the guests to taste. Detesting that, and pitying this, he goes, Then, pleas'd and thankful, from the porch they go ; Lost and confounded with the various shows. And, but the landlord, none had cause of woe ; Now night's dim shades again involve the sky," His cup was vanish’d; for in secret guise
Again the wanderers want a place to lie; The younger guest purloin'd the glittering prize. Again they search, and find a lodging nigh. As one who spies a serpent in his way,
The soil improv'd around, the mansion neat, Glistening and basking in the summer ray,
And neither poorly low, nor idly great: Disorder'd stops to shun the danger near,
It seem'd to speak its master's turn of mind, Then walks with faintness on, and looks with fear;
Content, and not for praise but virtue kind. So seem'd the sire; when far upon the road,
Hither the walkers turn with weary feet, The shining spoil his wily partner show'd.
Then bless the mansion, and the master greet: He stop'd with silence, walk'd with trembling heart, Their greeting fair, bestow'd with modest guise, And much he wish'd but durst not ask to part: The courteous master hears, and thus replies: Murmuring he lifts his eyes, and thinks it hard Without a vain, without a grudging heart, That generous actions meet a base reward.
To him who gives us all, 1 yield a part; While thus they pass, the sun his glory shrouds, From him you come, for him accept it here, The changing skies hang out their sable clouds ; A frank and sober, more than costly cheer. A sound in air presag'd approaching rain,
He spoke, and bid the welcome table spread: And beasts to covert scud across the plain.
They talk of virtue till the time of bed, Warn’d by the signs, the wandering pair retreat, When the grave household round his hall repair, To seek for shelter at a neighbouring seat.
Warn’d by a bell, and close the hours with prayer. 'Twas built with turrets, on a rising ground,
At length the world, renew'd by calm repose, And strong, and large, and unimprov'd around; Was strong for toil, the dappled morn arose ;