« PreviousContinue »
The country wit, religion of the town,
The courtier's learning, policy o' the gown, Are best by thee express'd; and shine in thee alone,
The parson's cant, the lawyer's sophistry,
Lord's quibble, critic's jest; all end in thee, All rest in peace at last, and sleep eternally,
THOUGH Artemisia talks by fits,
Of councils, classics, fathers, wits;
Reads Malebranche, Boyle, and Locke:
Yet in some things methinks she fails,
"Twere well if she would pare her nails,
And wear a cleaner smock.
Haughty and huge as High-Dutch bride,
Such nastiness, and so much pride,
Are oddly join'd by fate:
On her large squab you find her spread,
Like a fat corpse upon a bed,
That lies and stinks in state.
She wears no colours (sign of grace)
On any part except her face;
All white and black beside:
Dauntless her look, her gesture proud,
Her voice theatrically loud,
And masculine her stride.
So have I seen in black and white
A prating thing, a magpie hight,
A stately worthless animal,
That plies the tongue, and wags the tail,
All flutter, pride, and talk.
PARYNE had talents for mankind,
Open she was, and unconfined,
Like some free port of trade:
Merchants unloaded here their freighty
And agents from each foreign state,
Here first their entry made.
Her learning and good-breeding such,
Whether the Italian or the Dutch,
Spaniards or French came to her:
To all obliging she'd appear.
'Twas Si Signor, 'twas Yaw Mynheer,
'Twas S'il vous plait, Monsieur. Obscure by birth, renown'd by crinies, Still changing names, religions, climes,
At length she turns a bride:
In diamonds, pearls, and rich brocades,
She shines the first of batter'd jades,
And flutters in her pride.
So have I known those insects fair
(Which curious Germans hold so rare)
Still vary shapes and dyes; Still gain new titles with new forms; First grubs obscene, then wriggling worms,
Then painted butterflies.
THE HAPPY LIFE OF A COUNTRY PARSON.
PARSON, these things in thy possessing
Are better than the bishop's blessing.
A wife that makes conserves; a steed
That carries double when there's need;
October store, and best Virginia,
Tithe-pig, and mortuary guinea
Gazettes sent gratis down, and frank'd;
For which thy patron's weekly thank'd;
A large Concordance, bound long since;
Sermons to Charles the First, when Prince;
A Chronicle of ancient standing;
A Chrysostom to smooth thy band in:
The Polyglott-three parts, -my text:
Howbeit-likewise now to my next:
Lo here the Septuagint,--and Paul,
To sum the whole,-the close of all.
He that has these, may pass his life,
Drink with the 'squire, and kiss his wife;
On Sundays preach, and eat his fill;
And fast on Fridays if he will;
Toast Church and Queen, explain the news,
Talk with church-wardens about pews,
Pray heartily for some new gift,
And shake his head at Dr. St.
EPISTLE TO ROBERT EARL OF OXFORD, AND
EARL OF MORTIMER.
Sent to the Earl of Oxford with Dr. Parnell's Poems, published by our author, after the said Earl's imprisonment in the Tower, and retrea tinto the country, in the year 1721.
SUCH were the notes thy once-loved poet sung,
Till death untimely stopp'd his tuneful tongue.
Oh just beheld, and lost! admired and mourn'd!
With softest manners, gentlest arts adorn'd!
Blest in each science, blest in every strain !
Dear to the Muse!--to HARLEY dear-in vain !
For him, thou oft hast bid the world attend,
Fond to forget the statesman in the friend;
For SWIFT and him, despised the farce of state,
The sober follies of the wise and great;
Dext'rous, the craving, fawning crowd to quit,
And pleased to ’scape
from Flattery to Wit.
Absent or dead, still let a friend be dear,
(A sigh the absent claims, the dead a tear)
Recall those nights that closed thy toilsome days,
Still hear thy Parnell in his living lays,
Who, careless now of interest, fame, or fate,
Perhaps forgets that OXFORD 'e'er was great;
Or, deeming meanest what we greatest call,
Beholds thee glorious only in thy fall.
And sure, if aught below the seats divine
Can touch immortals, 'tis a soul like thine:
A soul supreme, in each hard instance tried,
Above all pain, all passion, and all pride,
The rage of power, the blast of public breath,
The lust of lucre, and the dread of death.
In vain to deserts thy retreat is made;
The Muse attends thee to thy silent shade:
"Tis hers, the brave man's latest steps to trace,
Rejudge his acts, and dignify disgrace.
Interest calls off all her sneaking train,
And all the obliged desert, and all the vain;
She waits, or to the scaffold, or the cell,
When the last lingering friend has bid farewell.
Even now she shades thy evening-walk with bays,
(No hireling she, no prostitute to praise)
Even now, observant of the parting ray,
Eyes the calm sun-set of thy various day,
Through Fortune's cloud one truly great can see,
Nor fears to tell, that MORTIMER is he.
EPISTLE TO JAMES CRAGGS, ESQ.
A SOUL as full of worth, as void of pride,
Which nothing seeks to show, or needs to hide,
Which nor to guilt nor fear its caution owes,
And boasts a warmth that from no passion flows.
A face untaught to feign; a judging eye,
That darts severe upon a rising lie,
And strikes a blush through frontless flattery.
All this thou wert; and being this before,
Know, kings and fortune cannot make thee more.
Then scorn to gain a friend by servile ways,
Nor wish to lose a foe these virtues raise;
But candid, free, sincere, as you began,
Proceed-á minister, but still a man.
Be not (exalted to whate'er degree)
Ashamed of any friend, not even of me:
The patriot's plain, but untrod, path punues
If not, 'tis I must be ashamed of you.