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While yet it burns, th' officious nation Alies,
But he, for whom this busy care they take, Some to condole, and some to bring supplies :
Poor ghost ! is wandering by the Stygian lake: One sends him marble to rebuild, and one
Affrighted with the ferryman's grim face ; With naked statues of the Parian stone,
New to the horrors of that uncouth place; The work of Polyclete, that seem to live;
| His passage begs with unregarded prayer, While other images for altars give;
And wants two farthings to discharge his fare. One books and screens, and Pallas to the breast:
Return we to the dangers of the night; Another bags of gold, and he gives best.
And, first, behold our houses' dreadful height, Childless Arturius, vastly rich before,
From whence come broken potsherds tumbling down, Thus by his losses multiplies his store :
And leaky ware, from garret-windows thrown; Suspected for accomplice to the fire,
| Well may they break our heads, and mark the flinty That burnt his palace but to build it higher.
stone. But could you be content to bid adieu
'Tis want of sense to sup abroad too late, To the dear play-house and the players too,
Unless thou first hast settled thy estate. Sweet country seats are purchas'd everywhere, As many fates attend thy steps to meet, With lands and gardens, at less price than here As there are waking windows in the street. You hire a darksome dog-hole by the year;
The scouring drunkard, if he does not fight A small convenience decently prepard,
Before his bed-time, takes no rest that night; A shallow well that rises in your yard,
Passing the tedious hours in greater pain That spreads his easy crystal streams around,
Than stern Achilles, when his friend was slain : And waters all the pretty spot of ground.
'Tis so ridiculous, but so true withal, There, love the fork, thy garden cultivate,
A bully cannot sleep without a brawl : And give thy frugal friends a Pythagorean treat ; Yet, though his youthful blood be fir'd with wine, "Tis somewhat to be lord of some small ground, He wants not wit the danger to decline: In which a lizard may, at least, turn round.
Is cautious to avoid the coach-and-six, "Tis frequent here, for want of sleep, to die,
And on the lacqueys will no quarrel fix. Which fumes of undigested feasts deny ;
His train of flambeaux, and embroider'd coat, And, with imperfect heat, in languid stomachs fry. May privilege my lord to walk secure on foot; What house secure from noise the poor can keep, But me, who must by moonlight homeward bend, When ev'n the rich can scarce afford to sleep; Or lighted only with a candle's end So dear it costs to purchase rest in Rome;
Poor me he fights, if that be fighting, where And hence the sources of diseases come.
He only cudgels, and I only bear. The drover who his fellow drover meets
| He stands, and bids me stand : I must abide; In narrow passages of winding streets;
For he's the stronger, and is drunk beside. The wagoners that curse their standing teams,
Where did you whet your knife to-night, he cries, Would wake ey'n drowsy Drusius from his dreams. And shred the leeks that in your stomach rise ! And yet the wealthy will not brook delay,
With what companion-cobbler have you fed But sweep above our heads, and make their way, On old ox-cheeks, or he-goat's tougher head? In lofty litters borne, and read and write,
What! are you dumb? Quick with your answer, quick, Or sleep at ease : the shutters make it night.
Before my foot salutes you with a kick. Yet still he reaches, first, the public place;
Say in what nasty cellar under ground, The press before him stops the client's pace:
Or what church porch your rogueship may be found ! The crowd that follows crush his panting sides, Answer, or answer not, 'tis all the same; And trip his heels; he walks not, but he rides. He lays me on, and makes me bear the blame. One elbows him, one justles in the shoal:
Before the bar, for beating him you come ; A rafter breaks his head, or chairman's pole;
This is a poor man's liberty in Rome. Stocking'd with loads of fat town-dirt he goes; You beg his pardon, happy to retreat And some rogue soldier, with his hob-nail'd shoes, With some remaining teeth to chew your meat. Indents his legs behind in bloody rows.
Nor is this all ; for when retired, you think See with what smoke our doles we celebrate;
To sleep securely; when the candles wink, A hundred guests, invited, walk in state:
When every door with iron chains is barr'd, A hundred hungry slaves, with their Dutch kitcher.s, And roaring taverns are no longer heard ; wait.
The ruffian-robbers by no justice aw'd, Huge pans the wretches on their heads must bear, And unpaid cut-throat soldiers are abroad; Which scarce gigantic Corbulo could rear;
Those venal souls, who, harden'd in each ill, Yet they must walk upright beneath the load : To save complaints and persecution, kill. Nay, run, and running, blow the sparkling flames Chas'd from their woods and bogs, the padders come abroad;
To this vast city as their native home; Their coats, from botching newly bought, are torn. To live at ease, and safely skulk in Rome. Unwieldy timber-trees in wagons borne,
The forge in fetters only is employ'd ; Stretch'd at their length, beyond their carriage lie, | Our iron mines exhausted and destroy'd That nod, and threaten ruin from on high.
In shackles; for these villains scarce allow For should their axle break, its overthrow
Goads for teams, and ploughshares for the plough. Would crush, and pound to dust, the crowd below: Oh, happy ages of our ancestors, Nor friends their friends, nor sires their sons could | Beneath the kings and tribunitial powers ! know:
One jail did all their criminals restrain, Nor limbs, nor bones, nor carcass would remain, Which now the walls of Rome can scarce contain. But a mash'd heap, a hotch-potch of the slain.
More I could say, more causes I could show One vast destruction; not the soul alone,
For my departure ; but the sun is low : But bodies, like the soul, visibly are flown.
The wagoner grows weary of my stay, Meantime, unknowing of their fellows' fate,
And whips his horses forwards on their way. The servants wash the platter, scour the plate, Farewell ; and when, like me, o'erwhelm'd with care, Then blow the fire, with puffing cheeks, and lay You to your own Aquinum shall repair, The rubbers, and the bathing sheets display;
To take a mouthful of sweet country air, And oil them first; and each is handy in his Be mindful of your friend ; and send me word way.
| What joys your fountains and cool shades afford;
Then, to assist your satires, I will come,
Dr Johnson, but they excite no poetical associations. And add new venom when you write of Rome.
Their works present a dead-level of tame and unin
teresting mediocrity. The artificial taste introduced [Enjoyment of the Present IIour Recommended.] in the reign of Charles II., to the exclusion of the
romantic spirit which animated the previous reign, [From the twenty-ninth ode of the First Book of Horace.]
sunk at last into a mere collocation of certain phrases Enjoy the present smiling hour,
and images, of which each repetition was more And put it out of Fortune's pow'r:
weak than the last. Pope revived the national spirit The tide of business, like the running stream,
by his polished satire and splendid versification; but Is sometimes high, and sometimes low,
the true poetical feeling lay dormant till Thomson's And always in extreme.
Seasons and Percy's Relics of Ancient Poetry spoke Now with a noiseless gentle course
to the heart of the people, and recalled the public It keeps within the middle bed ;
taste from art to nature. Anon it lifts aloft the head,
Of the artificial poets of this age, John PHILIPS And bears down all before it with impetuous force ; |(1676-1708) evinced considerable talent in his And trunks of trees come rolling down;
Splendid Shilling, a parody on the style of Milton. Sheep and their folds together drown:
He was the son of Dr Philips, archdeacon of Salop, Both house and homestead into seas are borne; who officiated as minister of Bampton, in Oxford
And rocks are from their old foundations torn ; shire. He intended to follow the medical profesAnd woods, made thin with winds, their scatter'd sion, and studied natural history, but was cut off honours mourn.
at the early age of thirty-three. Philips wrote a
poem on the victory of Blenheim, and another on Happy the man, and happy he alone,
Cider, the latter in imitation of the Georgics. The He who can call to-day his own :
whole are in blank verse. He was an avowed He who, secure within, can say,
imitator of Milton, but regretted that, like his own To-morrow do thy worst, for I have liv'd to-day.
Abdiel, the great poet had not been "faithful Be fair or foul, or rain or shine,
found'— The joys I have possess’d, in spite of fate, are mine. Not heaven itself upon the past has power;
But he-however let the muse abstain, But what has been, has been, and I have had my Nor blast his fame, from whom she learnt to sing
In much inferior strains, grovelling beneath
Th’Olympian hill, on plains and vales intentFortune, that with malicious joy
Does man, her slave, oppress, Proud of her office to destroy,
The notion, that Philips was able, by whatever he Is seldom pleas'd to bless :
might write, to blast the fame of Milton, is one of Still various, and inconstant still,
those preposterous conceits which even able men But with an inclination to be ill,
will sometimes entertain.
And makes a lottery of life.
The Splendid Shilling.
- Sing, heavenly muse !
Things unattempted yet, in prose or rhyme,'
A shilling, breeches, and chimeras dire.
Happy the man, who, void of care and strife,
A Splendid Shilling: he nor hears with pain
New oysters cried, nor sighs for cheerful ale;
But with his friends, when nightly mists arise,
Where, mindful of the nymph, whose wanton eye
Transfix'd his soul, and kindled amorous flames,
Chloe or Phillis, he each circling glass
Wishes her health, and joy, and equal love.
Meanwhile he smokes, and laughs at merry tale,
Or pun ambiguous, or conundrum quaint.
But I, whom griping penury surrounds,
And hunger, sure attendant upon want,
With scanty offals, and small acid tiff,
Wretched repast ! my meagre corpse sustain:
Then solitary walk, or doze at home
In garret vile, and with a warming puff
Regale chill'd fingers; or from tube as black
As winter-chimney, or well-polish'd jet,
Exhale mundungus, ill-perfuming scent:
Not blacker tube, nor of a shorter size,
Smokes Cambro-Britain (versed in pedigree, Mr Southey has said that the age from Dryden to Sprung from Cadwallader and Arthur, kings Pope is the worst age of English poetry. In this Full famous in romantic tale) when he interval, which was but short, for Dryden bore fruit | O'er many a craggy hill and barren cliff, to the last, and Pope was early in blossom, there Upon a cargo of fam'd Cestrian cheese, were about twenty poets, most of whom might be High over-shadowing rides, with a design blotted from our literature, without being missed To vend his wares, or at th' Avonian mart, or regretted. The names of Smith, Duke, King, Or Maridunum, or the ancient town Sprat, Garth, Hughes, Blackmore, Fenton, Yalden, Hammond, Savage, &c., have been preserved by
1 Two noted alehouses in Oxford, 1700. 2
Y clep'd Brechinia, or where Vaga's stream
And restless wish, and rave; my parched throat Encircles Ariconium, fruitful soil!
Finds no relief, nor heavy eyes repose : Whence flows nectareous wines, that well may vie But if a slumber haply does invade With Massic, Setin, or renowni'd Falern.
My weary limbs, my fancy's still awake; Thus, while my joyless minutes tedious flow
Thoughtful of drink, and eager, in a dream, With looks demure, and silent pace, a dun,
Tipples imaginary pots of ale Horrible monster! hated by gods and men,
In vain ; awake, I find the settled thirst To my aërial citadel ascends:
Still gnawing, and the pleasant phantom curse. With vocal heel thrice thundering at my cate:
Thus do I live, from pleasure quite debarr'd, With hideous accent thrice he calls; I know
Nor taste the fruits that the sun's genial rays The voice ill-boding, and the solemn sound.
Mature, John-apple, nor the downy peach,
Nor medlar, fruit delicious in decay.
By time subdued (what will not time subdue !)
A horrid chasm disclos'd with orifice Intrench'd with many a frown, and conic beard, Wide, discontinuous ; at which the winds And spreading band, admir'd by modern saints, Eurus and Auster, and the dreadful force Disastrous acts forebode; in his right hand
Of Boreas, that congeals the Cronian waves, Long scrolls of paper solemnly he waves,
Tumultuous enter with dire chilling blasts, With characters and figures dire inscribed,
Portending agues. Thus, a well-fraught ship,
Long sail'd secure, or through th' Ægeau deep,
The Lilybean shore, with hideous crush
On Scylla or Charybdis (dangerous rocks !) A catchpole, whose polluted hands the gods
She strikes rebounding; whence the shatter'd oak, With force incredible, and magic charms,
So fierce a shock unable to withstand, First have endued : if he his ample palm
Admits the sea ; in at the gaping side Should haply op ill-fated shoulder lay
The crowding waves gush with impetuous rage, Of debtor, straight his body, to the touch
Resistless, overwhelming! horrors seize Obsequious (as whilom knights were wont),
The mariners ; death in their eyes appears ; To some enchanted castle is convey'd,
They stare, they lave, they pump, they swear, they Where gates impregnable, and coercive chains,
pray ; In durance strict detain him, till, in form
(Vain efforts!) still the battering waves rush in, Of money, Pallas sets the captive free.
Implacable; till, delug'd by the foam,
JOHN POMFRET (1667-1703) was the son of a With his unhallow'd touch. So (poets siny)
clergyman, rector of Luton, in Bedfordshire, and Grimalkin, to domestic vermin sworn
himself a minister of the church of England. He An everlasting foe, with watchful eye
obtained the rectory of Malden, also in Bedfordshire, Lies nightly brooding o'er a chinky gap,
and had the prospect of preferment; but the bishop Portending her fell claws, to thoughtless mice
of London considered, unjustly, his poem, The Choice, Sure ruin. So her disembowell'd web
as conveying an immoral sentiment, and rejected Arachne, in a hall or kitchen, spreads
the poetical candidate. Detained in London by this Obvious to vagrant flies: she secret stands
unsuccessful negotiation, Pomfret caught the smallWithin her woven cell; the humming prey,
pox, and died. The works of this amiable ill-fated Regardless of their fate, rush on the toils
man consist of occasional poems and some Pindaric Inextricable; nor will aught avail
Essays, the latter evidently copied from Cowley. Their arts, or arms, or shapes of lovely hue;
The only piece of Pomfret's now remem The wasp insidious, and the buzzing drone,
can hardly say read) is 'The Choice.' Dr Johnson And butterfly, proud of expanded wings
remarks that no composition in our language has Distinct with gold, entangled in her spares.
been oftener perused ; and Mr Southey asks why Useless resistance make: with eager strides,
Pomfret's Choice' is the most popular poem in the She tow'ring flies to her expected spoils :
English language? To the latter observation Mr Then, with en venom'd jaws, the vital blood
Campbell makes & quaint reply-It might have Drinks of reluctant foes, and to her care
been demanded with equal propriety, why London Their bulky carcasses triumphant drags.
bridge is built of Parian marble.' It is difficult So pass my days. But, when nocturnal shades in the present day, when the English muse has This world envelop'd, and th’ inclement air
awakened to so much higher a strain of thought and Persuades men to repel benumbing frosts
expression, and a large body of poetry, full of passion, With pleasant wines and crackling blaze of wood, natural description, and emotion, lies between us Me, lonely sitting, nor the glimmering light
and the times of Pomfret, to conceive that the Of make-weight candle, nor the joyous talk
* Choice' could ever have been a very popular poem, Of loving friend, delights ; distress'd, forlorn,
It is tame and commonplace. The idea, however, Amidst the horrors of the tedious night,
of a country retirement, a private seat, with a wood, Darkling I sigh, and feed with dismal thoughts garden, and stream, a clear and competent estate, My anxious mind; or sometimes mournful verse and the enjoyment of lettered ease and happiness, is Indite, and sing of groves and myrtle shades,
so grateful and agreeable to the mind of mtan, espeOr desperate lady near a purling stream,
cially in large cities, that we can hardly forbear Or lover pendent on a willow-tree.
liking a poem that recalls so beloved an image to Meanwhile I labour with eternal drought,
Tour recollection. Swift has drawn a similar picture in his exquisite imitation of Horace's sixth satire ; his crew. He was a lord of the bedchamber to and Thomson and Cowper, by their descriptions of Charles II., and was chamberlain of the household rural life, have completely obliterated from the to William and Mary. Prior relates, that when public mind the feeble draught of Pomfret.
Dorset, as lord chamberlain, was obliged to take the king's pension from Dryden, he allowed him an
equivalent out of his own estate. He introduced [Extract from The Choice.]
Butler's Hudibras to the notice of the court, was If Heaven the grateful liberty would give
consulted by Waller, and almost idolised by Dryden. That I might choose my method how to live ;
Hospitable, generous, and refined, we need not
wonder at the incense which was heaped upon And all those hours propitious fate should lend, In blissful ease and satisfaction spend ;
Dorset by his contemporaries. His works are Near some fair town I'd have a private seat,
trifling; a few satires and songs make up the cataBuilt uniform, not little, nor too great ;
logue. They are elegant, and sometimes forcible ; Better, if on a rising ground it stood ;
but when a man like Prior writes of them, there On this side fields, on that a neighbouring wood.
is a lustre in his verses like that of the sun in Claude It should within no other things contain
Lorraine's landscapes,' it is impossible not to be But what are useful, necessary, plain;
struck with that gross adulation of rank and fashion Methinks 'tis nauseous; and I'd ne'er endure which disgraced the literature of the age. Dorset's The needless pomp of gaudy furniture.
satire on Mr Edward Howard has some pointed lines: A little garden grateful to the eye,
They lie, dear Ned, who say thy brain is barren, And a cool rivulet run murmuring by;
When deep conceits, like maggots, breed in carrion. On whose delicious banks a stately row
Thy stumbling founder'd jade can trot as high Of shady limeg or sycamores should grow.
As any other Pegasus can fly ; At th' end of which a silent study plac'd,
So the dull eel moves nimbler in the mud Should be with all the noblest authors grac'd: Than all the swift-finn'd racers of the flood. Horace and Virgil, in whose mighty lines
As skilful divers to the bottom fall Immortal wit and solid learning shines;
Sooner than those who cannot swim at all,
So in this way of writing, without thinking,
Dorinda's sparkling wit and eyes, With all those moderns, men of steady sense,
United, cast too fierce a light, Esteeni'd for learning and for eloquence.
Which blazes high, but quickly dies ; In some of these, as fancy should advise,
Pains not the heart, but hurts the sight. I'd always take my morning exercise;
Love is a calmer, gentler joy ; For sure no minutes bring us more content
Smooth are his looks, and soft his pace; Than those in pleasing useful studies spent.
Her Cupid is a blackguard boy,
That runs his link full in your face.
Written at sea, the first Dutch war, 1665, the night before Too much at fortune ; they should taste of mine;
an engagement. And all that objects of true pity were, Should be reliev'd with what my wants could spare;
To all you ladies now at land, For that our Maker has too largely given
We men at sea indite; Should be return'd in gratitude to Heaven.
But first would have you understand A frugal plenty should my table spread ;
How hard it is to write; With healthy, not luxurious, dishes spread;
The Muses now, and Neptune too, Enough to satisfy, and something more,
We must implore to write to you. To feed the stranger, and the neighbouring poor.
With a fa la, la, la, la. Strong meat indulges vice, and pampering food
For though the Muses should prove kind, Creates diseases, and inflames the blood.
And fill our empty brain; But what's sufficient to make nature strong,
Yet if rough Neptune rouse the wind, And the bright lamp of life continue long,
To wave the azure main, I'd freely take; and, as I did possess,
Our paper, pen, and ink, and we, The bounteous Author of my plenty bless.
Roll up and down our ships at sea.
With a fa, &c.
Then, if we write not by each post,
Think not we are unkind; CHARLES SACKVILLE, EARLOF DORSET (1637-1706),
Nor yet conclude our ships are lost wrote little, but was capable of doing more, and
By Dutchmen or by wind : being a liberal patron of poets, was a nobleman Our tears we'll send a speedier way; highly popular in his day. Coming very young to The tide shall bring them twice a-day. the possession of two plentiful estates, and in an age
With a fa, &c. when pleasure was more in fashion than business, he applied his talents rather to books and conversation The king with wonder and surprise, than to politics. In the first Dutch war he went a Will swear the seas grow bold; volunteer under the Duke of York, and wrote or Because the tides will higher rise finished a song (his best composition, one of the Than e'er they did of old : prettiest that ever was made,' according to Prior) But let him know it is our tears the night before the naval engagement in which Bring floods of grief to Whitehall-stairs. Opdam, the Dutch admiral, was blown up, with all
With a fa, &c.
Should foggy Opdam chance to know
former is an Essay on Satire, which Dryden is Our sad and dismal story,
reported to have revised. His principal work, howThe Dutch would scorn so weak a foe,
ever, is his Essay on Poetry, which received the And quit their fort at Goree;
praises of Rosconimon, Dryden, and Pope. It is For what resistance can they find
written in the heroic couplet, and seems to have From men who've left their hearts behind? suggested Pope's ‘ Essay on Criticism. It is of the With a fa, &c.
style of Denham and Roscommon, plain, perspicuous, Let wind and weather do its worst,
and sensible, but contains as little true poetry, or Be you to us but kind;
less, than any of Dryden's prose essays. Let Dutchmen vapour, Spaniards curse,
[Extract from the Essay on Poetry.]
Of all those arts in which the wise excel,
Nature's chief master-piece is writing well;
No writing lifts exalted man so high,
As sacred and soul-moving poesy :
No kind of work requires so nice a touch,
And, if well finish'd, nothing shines so much.
But heaven forbid we should be so profane
To grace the vulgar with that noble name.
'Tis not a flash of fancy, which, sometimes We were undone when we left you.
Dazzling our minds, sets off the slightest rhymes;
Bright as a blaze, but in a moment done:
True wit is everlasting like the sun,
Which, though sometimes behind a cloud retir'd, Whilst you, regardless of our wo,
Breaks out again, and is by all admir'd.
Number and rhyme, and that harmonious sound
Which not the nicest ear with harshness wound,
Are necessary, yet but vulgar arts;
And all in vain these superficial parts
Contribute to the structure of the whole;
Without a genius, too, for that's the soul:
A spirit which inspires the work throughout,
As that of nature mores the world about;
A flame that glows amidst conceptions fit,
Even something of divine, and more than wit;
Itself unseen, yet all things by it shown,
Describing all men, but describ'd by none.
Where dost thou dwell? what caverns of the brain
Can such a vast and mighty thing contain ! When we for hopes of honour lose
When I at vacant hours in vain thy absence mourn, Our certain happiness;
O where dost thou retire? and why dost thou return, All those designs are but to prove
Sometimes with powerful charms, to hurry me away Ourselves more worthy of your love.
From pleasures of the night and business of the day ! With a fa, &c.
Ev'n now too far transported, I am fain
To check thy course, and use the needful rein,
As all is dulness when the fancy 's bad,
So without judgment fancy is but mad:
And judgment has a boundless influence,
Not only in the choice of words or sense,
But on the world, on manners, and on men :
Fancy is but the feather of the pen ;
Which gains the head, while t'other wins the heart.
First, then, of songs, which now so much abound;
| Without his song no fop is to be found. (1649-1721) was associated in his latter days with
A most offensive weapon which he draws the wits and poets of the reign of Queen Anne, but
On all he meets, against Apollo's laws; he properly belongs to the previous age. He went | Though nothing seems more easy, yet no part with Prince Rupert against the Dutch, and was
Of poetry requires a nicer art; afterwards colonel of a regiment of foot. In order For as in rows of richest pearl there lies to learn the art of war under Marshall Turenne, he Many a blemish that escapes our eyes, made a campaign in the French service. The lite- | The least of which defects is plainly shown rary taste of Sheffield was never neglected amidst | In one small ring, and brings the value down : the din of arms, and he made himself an accomplished So songs should be to just perfection wrought; scholar. He was a member of the privy council of Yet when can one be seen without a fault? James II., but acquiesced in the Revolution, and was Exact propriety of words and thought; afterwards a member of the cabinet council of Expression easy, and the fancy high; William and Mary, with a pension of £3000. Shef- Yet that not seem to creep, nor this to fly; field is said to have made love' to Queen Anne No words transpos'd, but in such order all, when they were both young, and her majesty heaped As wrought with care, yet seem by chance to fall. honours on the favourite immediately on her accession to the throne. He was an opponent of the Of all the ways that wisest men could find court of George I., and continued actively engaged To mend the age, and mortify mankind, in public affairs till his death. Sheffield wrote Satire well writ has most successful prov'd, several poems and copies of verses. Among the | And cures, because the remedy is lov'd.