Page images
PDF
EPUB

For Pigeons' flesh he seems not much to care;
Cramm'd Chickens are a more delicious fare.
On this high potentate, without delay,
I wish you would confer the sovereign sway;
Petition him to accept the government,
And let a splendid embassy be sent.

This pithy speech prevail'd, and all agreed,
Old enmities forgot, the Buzzard should succeed.
Their welcome suit was granted, soon as heard,
His lodgings furnish'd, and a train prepared,
With B's upon their breast, appointed for his guard.
He came, and, crown'd with great solemnity,
God save King Buzzard! was the general cry.
A portly prince, and goodly to the sight,
He seem'd a son of Anach for his height.
Like those whom stature did to crowns prefer,
Black-brow'd, and bluff, like Homer's Jupiter;
Broad-back'd, and brawny-built for love's delight,
A prophet form'd to make a female proselyte ;*
A theologue more by need than genial bent,
By breeding sharp, by nature confident.
Interest in all his actions was discern'd;
More learn'd than honest, more a wit than learn'd;
Or forced by fear, or by his profit led,

Or both conjoin'd, his native clime he fled;
But brought the virtues of his heaven along,
A fair behaviour, and a fluent tongue.

And yet with all his arts he could not thrive,
The most unlucky parasite alive;
Loud praises to prepare his paths he sent,,
And then himself pursued his compliment;
But by reverse of fortune chased away,
His gifts no longer than their author stay;

*Note XXVIII.

He shakes the dust against the ungrateful race,
And leaves the stench of ordures in the place.
Oft has he flatter'd and blasphemed the same;
For in his rage he spares no sovereign's name.
The hero and the tyrant change their style,
By the same measure that they frown or smile.*
When well received by hospitable foes,
The kindness he returns, is to expose;

For courtesies, though undeserved and great,
No gratitude in felon minds beget;

As tribute to his wit, the churl receives the treat.
His praise of foes is venomously nice;

So touch'd, it turns a virtue to a vice;†

"A Greek, and bountiful, forewarns us twice."
Seven sacraments he wisely does disown,
Because he knows confession stands for one;
Where sins to sacred silence are convey'd,
And not for fear, or love, to be betray'd.
But he, uncall'd, his patron to controul,
Divulged the secret whispers of his soul;
Stood forth the accusing Satan of his crimes,
And offer'd to the Moloch of the times.
Prompt to assail, and careless of defence,
Invulnerable in his impudence,

He dares the world; and, eager of a name,
He thrusts about, and jostles into fame.
Frontless, and satire-proof, he scowers the streets,
And runs an Indian-muck at all he meets.
So fond of loud report, that, not to miss
Of being known, (his last and utmost bliss,)
He rather would be known for what he is.

*Note XXIX.

[ocr errors]

† Note XXX.

Note XXXII.

timeo Danaos el dona ferentes. Æneid, II. lib. Note XXXI.

Such was, and is, the Captain of the Test,*
Though half his virtues are not here exprest;
The modesty of fame conceals the rest.
The spleenful Pigeons never could create
A prince more proper to revenge their hate;
Indeed, more proper to revenge, than save;
A king, whom in his wrath the Almighty gave:
For all the grace the landlord had allow'd,
But made the Buzzard and the Pigeons proud;
Gave time to fix their friends, and to seduce the
crowd.

They long their fellow-subjects to inthral,
Their patron's promise into question call,†
And vainly think he meant to make them lords
of all.

False fears their leaders fail'd not to suggest,
As if the Doves were to be dispossest;

Nor sighs, nor groans, nor goggling eyes did want,
For now the Pigeons too had learn'd to cant.
The house of prayer is stock'd with large increase;
Nor doors, nor windows, can contain the press,
For birds of every feather fill the abode ;
E'en atheists out of envy own a God,"
And, reeking from the stews, adulterers come,
Like Goths and Vandals to demolish Rome.

That conscience, which to all their crimes was mute,
Now calls aloud, and cries to persecute:

No rigour of the laws to be released,

And much the less, because it was their Lord's request;

*Note XXXIII.

+ The promise to maintain the Church of England, made in James's first proclamation after his accession; and which the church party alleged he had now broken. Note XXXIV.

They thought it great their sovereign to controul, And named their pride, nobility of soul.

}

"Tis true, the Pigeons, and their prince elect, Were short of power, their purpose to effect; But with their quills did all the hurt they could, And cuff'd the tender Chickens from their food: And much the Buzzard in their cause did stir, Though naming not the patron, to infer, With all respect, he was a gross idolater.* But when the imperial owner did espy, That thus they turn'd his grace to villainy, Not suffering wrath to discompose his mind, He strove a temper for the extremes to find, So to be just, as he might still be kind; Then, all maturely weigh'd, pronounced a doom Of sacred strength for every age to come.† By this the Doves their wealth and state possess, No rights infringed, but license to oppress: Such power have they as factious lawyers long To crowns ascribed, that kings can do no wrong. But since his own domestic birds have tried The dire effects of their destructive pride, He deems that proof a measure to the rest, Concluding well within his kingly breast, His fowls of nature too unjustly were opprest. ‡ He therefore makes all birds of every sect Free of his farm, with promise to respect Their several kinds alike, and equally protect. His gracious edict the same franchise yields To all the wild increase of woods and fields, And who in rocks aloof, and who in steeples builds:

* See note XXXIII.

+ Declaration of indulgence. Note XXXV.

Note XXXVI.

To Crows the like impartial grace affords,
And Choughs and Daws, and such republic birds
Secured with ample privilege to feed,

Each has his district, and his bounds decreed;
Combined in common interest with his own,
But not to pass the Pigeons' Rubicon.

Here ends the reign of this pretended Dove;
All prophecies accomplish'd from above,
For Shiloh comes the sceptre to remove.
Reduced from her imperial high abode,
Like Dionysius to a private rod,*

The passive church, that with pretended grace
Did her distinctive mark in duty place,
Now touch'd, reviles her Maker to his face.
What after happen'd is not hard to guess;
The small beginnings had a large increase,
And arts and wealth succeed the secret spoils of

peace.

"Tis said, the Doves repented, though too late,
Become the smiths of their own foolish fate:†
Nor did their owner hasten their ill hour,
But, sunk in credit, they decreased in power;
Like snows in warmth that mildly pass away,
Dissolving in the silence of decay.‡

of S

The Buzzard, not content with equal place, Invites the feather'd Nimrods of his race, To hide the thinness of their flock from sight, And all together make a seeming goodly flight: But each have separate interests of their own; Two Czars are one too many for a throne.

;

* The tyrant of Syracuse, who, after being dethroned, taught a school at Corinth.

Quisque sua fortunæ faber. SALLust,

Note XXXVII.

« PreviousContinue »