Page images
PDF
EPUB

With such mad seas the daring Gama fought In bashful coyness or in maiden pride,
For many a day and many a dreadful night, The soft return conceal’d, save when it stole
Incessant lab'ring round the stormy Cape,

In side-long glances from her downcast eye,
By bold ambition led, and bolder thirst

Or from her swelling soul in stifled sighs. Of gold: for then from ancient gloom emerg'd Touch'd by the scene, no stranger to bis vows, The rising world of trade: the genius then

He fram'd a melting lay to try her heart, Of navigation, that in hopeless sloth

And if an infant passion struggled there, Had slumber'd on the vast Atlantic deep

To call that passion forth. Thrice happy swain ! For idle ages, starting, heard at last

A lucky chance, that oft' decides the fate The Lusitanian Prince, who, heav'n-inspir'd, Of mighty monarchs, then decided thine : To love of useful glory rous'd mankind,

For, lo! conducted by the laughing loves, And in unbounded commerce mix'd the world. This cool retreat his Musidora sought:

Increasing still the terrors of these storms, Warm in her cheek the sultry season glow'd, His jaws horrific arm’d with threefold fate,

And rob’d in loose array, she came to bathe Here dwells the direful shark. Lur’d by the scent Her servent limbs in the refreshing stream. Of steaming crowds, of rank disease, and death, What shall he do? In sweet confusion lost, Behold! he rushing cuts the briny flood,

And dubious flutt’rings, he awhile remain’d: Swift as the gale can bear the ship along,

A pure ingenuous elegance of soul, And from the partners of that cruel trade

A delicate refinement, known to few, Which spoils unhappy Guinea of her sons,

Perplex'd his breast, and urg'd him to retire ; Demands his share of prey; demands themselves. But love forbade. Ye prudes in virtue! say, The stormy fates descend: one death involves Say, ye severest! what would you have done ? Tyrants and slaves; when straight their mangled Mean-time this fairer nymph than ever bless'd Crashing at once, he dyes the purple seas [limbs Arcadian stream, with timid eye around With gore, and riots in the vengeful meal.

The banks surveying, stripp'd her beauteous limbs, When o'er this world, by equinoctial rains To taste the lucid coolness of the flood. Flooded immense, looks out the joyless sun,

Ah then! not Paris ou the piny top And draws the copious steam from swampy fens, Of Ida panted stronger, when aside Where putrefaction into life ferments,

The rival goddesses the veil divine And breathes destructive myriads; or from woods, Cast unconfin'd, and gave him all their charms, Impenetrable shades, recesses foul,

Than, Damon, thou, as from her snowy leg In vapours rank and blue corruption wrapp'd, And slender foot th’inverted silk she drew: Whose gloomy horrors yet no desperate foot

As the soft touch dissolv'd the virgin zone, Has ever dar'd to pierce; then, wasteful, forth And through the parting robe the alternate breast, Walks the dire pow'r of pestilent disease.

With youth wild-throbbing, on thy lawless gaze A thousand hideous fiends her course attend, In full luxuriance rose. But, desp'rate youth ! Sick nature blasting, and to heartless woe

How durst thou risk the soul-distracting view, And feeble desolation casting down

As from her naked limbs, of glowing white, The tow'ring hopes and all the pride of man; Harmonious swell'd by nature's finest hand, Such as of late at Carthagena quench'd

In folds loose-floating fell the fainter lawn, The British fire. You, gallant Vernon ! saw And fair-expos'd she stood, shrunk from herself, The miserable scene; you, pitying, saw

With fancy blushing, at the doubtful breeze To infant-weakness sunk the warrior's arm;

Alarm’d, and starting like the fearful fawn?
Saw the deep-racking pang, the ghastly form, Then to the flood she rush'd; the parted flood
The lip pale-quiv’ring, and the beamless eye Its lovely guest with closing waves receiv'd,
No more with ardour bright: you heard the groans And ev'ry beauty soft'ning, ev'ry grace
Of agonizing ships from shore to shore;

Flushing anew, a mellow lustre shed:
Heard nightly plung’d amid the sullen waves As shines the lily through the crystal mild,
The frequent corse, while on each other fix’d, Or as the rose amid the morning dew,
In sad presage, the blank assistants seem'd,

Fresh from Aurora's hand, more sweetly glows. Silent to ask whom fate would next demand.

While thus she wanton'd, now beneath the wave
But ill conceal'd, and now with streaming locks,

That half-embraced her in a humid veil,
Close in the covert of an hazel copse,

Rising again, the latent Damon drew Where winded into pleasing solitudes

Such madd’ning draughts of beauty to the soul, Runs out the rambling dale, young Damon sat, As for awhile o'erwhelm'd his raptur'd thought Pensive, and pierc'd with love's delightful pangs: With luxury too daring. Check'd at last There to the stream that down the distant rocks By love's respectful modesty, he deem'd Hoarse murm'ring fell, and plaintive breeze that The theft profane, if aught profane to love Among the bending willows, falsely he [play'd Can e'er be deem'd; and struggling from the shade, Of Musidora's cruelty complain’d.

With headlong hurry fled; but first these lines, She felt his flame; but deep within her breast, Trac'd by his ready pencil on the bank,

:

DAMON AND MUSIDORA.

[ocr errors]
[ocr errors]

DESCRIPTION OF A DRINKING SCENE.

With trembling hand he threw. “Bathe on, my fair! Gives all his swift aerial soul to flight.
Yet unbeheld save by the sacred eye

Against the breeze he darts, that way the more Of faithful love. I go to guard thy haunt,

To leave the less'ning murd'rous cry behind : To keep from thy recess each vagrant fool,

Deception short! though fleeter than the winds And each licentious eye.” With wild surprise, Blown o'er the keen-air'd mountains by the north, As if to marble struck, devoid of sense,

He bursts the thickets, glances through the glades, A stupid moment motionless she stood:

And plunges deep into the wildest wood;
So stands the statue that enchants the world; If slow, yet sure, adhesive to the track
So bending tries to veil the matchless boast, Hot-steaming, up behind him come again
The mingled beauties of exulting Greece.

Th’inhuman rout, and from the shady depth
Recovering, swift she flew to find those robes Expel him, circling through his ev'ry shift.
Which blissful Eden knew not; and, array'd He sweeps the forest oft, and sobbing sees
In careless haste, th' alarming paper spatch’d: The glades mild op’ning to the golden day;
But when her Damon's well known hand she saw, Where in kind contest with his butting friends
Her terrors vanish'd, and a softer train

He wont to struggle, or his loves enjoy. Of mix'd emotions, hard to be describ’d,

Oft in the full-descending flood he tries Her sudden bosom seiz'd : shame void of guilt, To lose the scent, and lave his burning sides; The charming blush of innocence, esteem

Oft seeks the herd: the watch ful herd alarm'd, And admiration of her lover's flame,

With selfish care avoid a brother's woe. By modesty exalted; even a sense

What shall he do ? His once-so-vivid nerves, Of self-approving beauty stole across

So full of buoyant spirit, now no more Her busy thought. At length a tender calm Inspire the course, but fainting breathless toil, Hush'd by degrees the tumult of her soul,

Sick, seizes on his heart: he stands at bay, And on the spreading beech, that o'er the stream And puts his last weak refuge in despair. Incumbent hung, she with the sylvan pen

The big round tears run down his dappled face; Of rural lovers this confession carv'd,

He groans in anguish, while the growling pack, Which soon her Damon kiss'd with weeping joy: Blood-happy, hang at his fair jutting chest, “ Dear youth! sole judge of what these verses mean, And mark his beauteous chequer'd sides with gore. By fortune too much favour’d, but by love, Alas! not favour'd less, be still, as now, Discreet: the time may come you need not fly.” But first the fuel'd chimney blazes wide;

The tankards foam; and the strong table groans

Beneath the smoking sirloin, stretch'd immense Poor is the triumph o'er the timid hare !

From side to side, in which with desp’rate knife Scar'd from the and now to some lone seat They deep incision make, and talk the while Retir'd: the rushy fen; the ragged furze

Of England's glory, ne'er to be defac'd
Stretch'd o'er the stony heath ; the stubble chapp'd; While hence they borrow vigour; or amain
The thistly lawn; the thick entangld broom ; Into the pasty plung'd, at intervals,
Of the same friendly hue the wither'd fern;

If stomach keen can intervals allow,
The fallow ground laid open to the sun

Relating all the glories of the chase. Concoctive; and the nodding sandy bank,

Then sated hunger bids his brother thirst Hung o'er the mazes of the mountain brook.

Produce the mighty bowl; the mighty bowl, Vain is her best precaution, though she sits

Swell’d high with fiery juice, steams lib'ral round Conceal'd with folded ears; unsleeping eyes,

A potent gale, delicious as the breath By nature rais'd to take th' horizon in;

Of Maia to the love-sick shepherdess, And head couch'd close betwixt her hairy feet, On violets diffus'd, while soft she hears In act to spring away. The scented dew

Her panting shepherd stealing to her arms. Betrays her early labyrinth ; and deep,

Nor wanting is the brown October, drawn In scatter'd sullen op'nings, far behind,

Mature and perfect from his dark retreat
With ev'ry breeze she hears the coming storm: Of thirty years: and now his honest front
But nearer, and more frequent, as it loads

Flames in the light refulgent, not afraid
The sighing gale, she springs amaz’d, and all Ev'n with the vineyard's best produce to vie.
The savage soul of game is up at once :

To cheat the thirsty moments, whist awhile
The pack full op'ning, various; the shrill horn Walks his dull round beneath a cloud of smoke,
Resounded from the hills; the neighing steed, Wreath'd fragrant from the pipe; or the quick dice,
Wild for the chase; and the loud hunter's shout; In thunder leaping from the box, awake
O'er a weak, harmless, flying creature, all

The sounding gammon; while romp-loving miss Mix'd in mad tumult and discordant joy!

Is haul'd about in gallantry robust.
The stag, too, singled from the herd, where long At last these puling idlenesses laid
He rang'd the branching monarch of the shades, Aside, frequent and full the dry divan
Before the tempest drives. At first in speed Close in firm circle, and set ardent in
He sprightly puts his faith; and rous’d by fear, For serious drinking. Nor evasion sly,

HARE AND STAG HUNTING.

corn,

THE PLEASURES OF RETIREMENT.

Nor sober shift is to the puking wretch

Unbounded o'er the world, and, mingling thick, Indulg'd apart; but earnest brimming bowls A formless gray confusion covers all. Lave ev'ry soul, the table floating round, And pavement, faithless to the fuddled foot. Thus as they swim in mutual swill, the talk,

Oh! knew he but his happiness, of men Vociferous at once from twenty tongues,

The happiest he, who, far from public rage, Reels fast from theme to theme; from horses, hounds, Deep in the vale with a choice few retir'd, To church or mistress, politics or ghost,

Drinks the pure pleasures of the rural life. [gate In endless mazes intricate perplex’d.

What though the dome be wanting, whose proud Meantime with sudden iuterruption loud

Each morning vomits out the sneaking crowd Th' impatient catch bursts from the joyous heart; Of flatt'rers false, and in their turn abus'd ? That moment touch'd is ev'ry kindred soul, Vile intercourse! What though the glitt'ring robe, And, op'ning in a full-mouth'd cry of joy,

Of ev'ry hue reflected light can give, The laugh, the slap, the jocund curse, go round; Or floating loose, or stiff with massy gold; While from their slumbers shook, the kennellid The pride and gaze of fools ! oppress him not? hounds

What though from utmost land and sea purvey'd, Mix in the music of the day again.

For him each rarer tributary life
As when the tempest, that has vex'd the deep Bleeds not, and his insatiate table heaps
The dark night long, with fainter murmurs falls, With luxury and death? What though his bowl
So, gradual, sinks their mirth. Their feeble tongues, Flames not with costly juice, nor sunk in beds,
Unable to take up the cumberous word,

Oft of gay care, he tosses out the night,
Lie quite dissolv’d. Before their maudlin eyes, Or melts the thoughtless hours in idle state?
Seen dim and blue the double tapers dance,

What though he knows not those fantastic joys Like the sun wading through the misty sky;

That still amuse the wanton, still deceive, Then sliding soft they drop. Confus’d above A face of pleasure, but a heart of pain, Glasses and bottles, pipes and gazetteers,

Their hollow moments undelighted all ? As if the table ev'n itself was drunk,

Sure peace is his; a solid life, estrang'd Lie a wet broken scene; and wide below

To disappointment and fallacious hope : Is heap'd the social slaughter; where astride Rich in content, in nature's bounty rich, The lubber pow'r in filthy triumph sits

In herbs and fruits, whatever greens the spring, Slumb'rous, inclining still from side to side, When heav'n descends in show'rs, or bends the And steeps them drench'd in potent sleep till morn.

bough, Perhaps some doctor of tremendous paunch, When summer reddens, and when autumn beams, Awful and deep, a black abyss of drink!

Or in the wintry glebe whatever lies Outlives them all, and from his bury'd flock Conceal’d, and fattens with the richest sap, Retiring full of rumination sad,

These are not wanting ; nor the milky drove, Laments the weakness of these latter times.

Luxuriant, spread o'er all the lowing vale ;
Nor bleating mountains ; nor the chide of streams,

And hum of bees, inviting sleep sincere
Now, by the cool declining year condens'd, Into the guiltless breast beneath the shade,
Descend the copious exhalations check'd

Or thrown at large amid the fragrant hay; As up the middle sky unseen they stole,

Nor aught besides of prospect, grove, or song, And roll the doubling fogs around the hill. Dim grottoes, gleaming lakes, and fountains clear. No more the mountain, horrid, vast, sublime, Here, too, dwells simple truth, plain innocence, Who pours a sweep of rivers from his sides, Unsully'd beauty, sound unbroken youth, And high between contending kingdoms rears Patient of labour, with a little pleas’d, The rocky long division, fills the view

Health ever-blooming, unambitious toil,
With great variety; but in a night

Calm contemplation, and poetic ease.
Of gath'ring vapour from the baffled sense
Sinks dark and dreary; thence expanding far, The rage of nations, and the crush of states,
The huge dusk gradual swallows up the plain :

Move not the man who, from the world escap'd,
Vanish the woods; the dim-seen river seems In still retreats and flow'ry solitudes
Sullen and slow to roll the misty wave.

To nature's voice attends, from month to month, Ev'n in the height of noon oppress’d the sun And day to day, through the revolving year; Sheds weak and blunt his wide-refracted ray, Admiring sees her in her ev'ry shape, Whence glaring oft with many a broaden'd orb Feels all her sweet emotions at his heart, He frights the nations. Indistinct on earth, Takes what she lib’ral gives, nor thinks of more. Seen through the turbid air, beyond the life He when young spring protrudes the bursting gems, Objects appear, and wilder'd o'er the waste Marks the first bud, and sucks the healthful gale The shepherd stalks gigantic: till at last

Into his freshen’d soul; her genial hours Wreath'd dun around in deeper circles still

He full enjoys, and not a beauty blows, Successive closing, sits the gen’ral fog

And not an op'ning blossom breathes in vain.

MISTS IN AUTUMN.

4 CHARACTER, PANEGYRIC, AND DE- Let them, with their gosling quills, SCRIPTION OF THE LEGION-CLUB.

Scribble senseless heads of bills.

We may, while they strain their throats, 1736.

Wipe our a-s with their votes. As I stroll the city, oft I

Let Sir Tom, that rampant ass, See a building large and lofty,

Stuff his guts with flax and grass; Not a bow-shot from the college ;

But, before the priest he fleeces, Half the globe from sense and knowledge:

Tear the bible all to pieces: By the prudent architect,

At the parsons, Tom, halloo, boy, Plac'd against the church direct,

Worthy offspring of a shoe-boy, Making good thy grandame's jest,

Footman, traitor, vile seducer, “ Near the church”-you know the rest.

Perjur'd rebel, brib'd accuser, Tell us, what the pile contains ?

Lay thy paltry privilege aside, Many a head that holds no brains.

Sprung from papists, and a regicide ; These demoniacs let me dub

Fall a-working like a mole, With the name of Legion-club.

Raise the dirt about your hole. Such assemblies, you might swear,

Come, assist me, Muse obedient! Meet when butchers bait a bear;

Let us try some new expedient; Such a noise, and such haranguing,

Shift the scene for half an hour, When a brother thief is hanging:

Time and place are in thy power. Such a rout and such a rabble

Thither, gentle Muse, conduct me; Run to hear Jack-pudding gabble;

I shall ask, and you instruct me. Such a crowd their ordure throws

See, the Muse unbars the gate! On a far less villain's nose.

Hark, the monkeys, how they prate ! Could I from the building's top

All ye gods who rule the soul! Hear the rattling thunder drop,

Styx, through hell whose waters roll! While the devil upon the roof

Let me be allow'd to tell (If the devil be thunder-proof)

What I heard in yonder hell. Should with poker fiery red

Near the door an entrance gapes, Crack the stones, and melt the lead ;

Crowded round with antic shapes, Drive them down on every skull,

Poverty, and grief, and care, While the den of thieves is full;

Causeless joy, and true despair ; Quite destroy the harpies’ nest :

Discord, periwigg'd with snakes, How might then our isle be blest !

See the dreadful strides she takes ! For divines allow that God

By this odious crew beset, Sometimes makes the devil his rod;

I began to rage and fret, And the gospel will inform us,

And resolv'd to break their pates, He can punish sins enormous.

Ere we enter'd at the gates ; Yet should Swift endow the schools,

Had not Clio in the pick For his lunatics and fools,

Whisper'd me,“ Lay down your stick.” With a rood or two of land,

What, said I, is this the mad-house? I allow the pile may stand.

These, she answer'd, are but shadows, You perhaps will ask me, Why so ?

Phantoms bodiless and vain, But it is with this proviso:

Empty visions of the brain. Since the house is like to last,

In the porch Briareus stands, Let the royal grant be pass'd,

Shows a bribe in all his hands; That the club have right to dwell

Briareus the secretary, Each within his proper cell,

But we mortals call him Carey. With a passage left to creep in,

When the rogues their country fleece, And a hole above for peeping.

They may hope for pence a-piece. Let them when they once get in,

Clio, who had been so wise Sell the nation for a pin;

To put on a fool's disguise, While they sit a-picking straws,

To bespeak some approbation, Let them rave at making laws;

And be thought a near relation, While they never hold their tongue,

When she saw three hundred brutes Let them dabble in their dung:

All involv'd in wild disputes, Let them form a grand committee,

Roaring till their lungs were spent, How to plague and starve the city:

Privilege of Parliament : Let them stare, and storm, and frown,

Now a new misfortune feels, When they see a clergy gown;

Dreading to be laid by th' heels. Let them, ere they crack a louse,

Never durst the Muse before Call for th' orders of the house ;

Enter that infernal door.

Clio, stifled with the smell,

How they swagger from their garrison ! Into spleen and vapours fell,

Such a triplet could you tell By the Stygian streams that flew

Where to find on this side hell ? From the dire infectious crew.

Harrison, and D-ks, and Clements, Not the stench of Lake Avernus

Keeper, see they have their payments ; Could have more offended her nose;

Every mischief's in their hearts; Had she flown but o'er the top,

If they fail, 'tis want of parts. She had felt her pinions drop,

Bless us, Morgan! art thou there, man ! And by exhalations dire,

Bless mine eyes! art thou the chairman ! Though a goddess, must expire.

Chairman to your damn'd committee ! In a fright she crept away;

Yet I look on thee with pity. Bravely I resolv’d to stay.

Dreadful sight! what! learned Morgan When I saw the keeper frown,

Metamorphos'd to a Gorgon? Tipping him with half a crown,

For thy horrid looks, I own, Now, said I, we are alone,

Half convert me to a stone. Name your heroes one by one.

Hast thou been so long at school, Who is that hell-featur'd brawler?

Now to turn a factious tool ? Is it Satan? No, 'tis Waller.

Alma Mater was thy mother, In what figure can a bard dress

Every young divine thy brother. Jack the grandson of Sir Hardress ?

Thou, a disobedient varlet, Honest keeper, drive him further,

Treat thy mother like a harlot ! In his looks are hell and murther;

Thou ungrateful to thy teachers, See the scowling visage drop,

Who are all grown reverend preachers! Just as when he murder'd T-p.

Morgan, would it not surprise one! Keeper, show me where to fix

Turn thy nourishment to poison! On the puppy pair of Dicks;

When you walk among your books, By their lantern jaws and leathern,

They reproach you with their looks : You might swear they both are brethren:

Bind them fast, or from their shelves Dick Fitzbaker, Dick the player,

They will come and right themselves; Old acquaintance, are you there?

Homer, Plutarch, Virgil, Flaccus, Dear companions hug and kiss,

All in arms prepare to back us. Toast Old Glorious in your —;

Soon repent, or put to slaughter Tie them, keeper, in a tether,

Every Greek and Roman author. Let them starve and stink together;

Will you in your faction's phrase, Both are apt to be unruly,

Send the clergy all to graze, Lash them daily, lash them duly;

And, to make your project pass, Though 'tis hopeless to reclaim them,

Leave them not a blade of grass ? Scorpion rods perhaps may tame them.

How I want thee, humorous Hogarth! Keeper, yon old dotard smoke,

Thou, I hear, a pleasing rogue art. Sweetly snoring in his cloak;

Were but you and I acquainted, Who is he? 'tis humdrum Wynne,

Every monster should be painted: Half encompass’d by his kin:

You should try your graving-tools There observe the tribe of Bingham,

On this odious group of fools: For he never fails to bring 'em;

Draw the beasts as I describe them While he sleeps the whole debate,

From their features, while I gibe them ; They submissive round him wait;

Draw them like ; for I assure you Yet would gladly see the hunks

You will need no car'catura; In his grave, and search his trunks.

Draw them so, that we may trace See, they gently twitch his coat,

All the soul in every face. Just to yawn and give his vote,

Keeper, I must now retire, Always firm in his vocation,

You have done what I desire : For the court, against the nation.

But I feel my spirits spent Those are A-s, Jack and Bob,

With the noise, the sight, the scent. First in every wicked job,

“ Pray be patient ; you shall find Son and brother to a queer

Half the best are still behind : Brain-sick brute, they call a peer.

You have hardly seen a score ; We must give them better quarter,

I can show two hundred more." For their ancestor trod mortar,

Keeper, I have seen enoughAnd H-th, to boast his fame,

Taking then a pinch of snuff, On a chimney cut his name.

I concluded, looking round them, There sit Clements, D-ks, and Harrison : “ May their god, the devil, confound them !"

« PreviousContinue »