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Behold him in the evening-tide of life,
A life well-spent, whose early care it was
His riper years should not upbraid his green:
By unperceiv'd degrees he wears away;
Yet like the sun, seems larger at his setting!
(High in his faith and hopes), look how he reaches
After the prize in view! and, like a bird
That's hamper'd, struggles hard to get away!
Whilst the glad gates of sight are wide expanded
To let new glories in, the first fair fruits
Of the fast-coming harvest.-Then, oh then!
Each earth-born joy grows vile, or disappears,
Shrunk to a thing of nought.-Oh! how he longs
To have his passport sign'd, and be dismiss'd!
"Tis done! and now he's happy!—The glad soul
Has not a wish uncrown'd.-Ev'n the lag flesh
Rests too in hope of meeting once again
Its better half, never to sunder more.
Nor shall it.hope in vain :—the time draws on
When not a single spot of burial earth,
Whether on land, or in the spacious sea,
But must give back its long-committed dust
Inviolate and faithfully shall these
Make up the full account; not the least atom
Embezzled, or mislaid, of the whole tale.
Each soul shall have a body ready-furnish'd;
And each shall have his own.-Hence, ye profane!
Ask not how this can be?-Sure the same pow'r
That rear'd the piece at first, and took it down,
Can re-assemble the loose scatter'd parts,
And put them as they were.-Almighty God
Has done much more; nor is his arm impair'd
Through length of days: and what he can, he will
His faithfulness stands bound to see it done.
When the dread trumpet sounds, the slumb'ring dust,
Not unattentive to the call, shall wake:
And ev'ry joint possess its proper place,
With a new elegance of form, unknown
To its first state.-Nor shall the conscious soul
Mistake its partner, but amidst the crowd
Singling its other half, into its arms
Shall rush with all th' impatience of a man [sent,
That's new come home, who having long been ab-
With haste runs over ev'ry different room,
In pain to see the whole. Thrice happy meeting!
Nor time, nor death, shall ever part them more.
'Tis but a night, a long and moonless night;
We make the grave our bed, and then are gone.
Thus, at the shut of even, the weary bird
Leaves the wide air, and in some lonely brake
Cowers down, and dozes till the dawn of day;
Then claps his well-fledg'd wings, and bears away.
WRITTEN IN A LADY'S IVORY
Peruse my leaves through every part,
And think thou seest my owner's heart,
Scrawl'd o'er with trifles thus, and quite
As hard, as senseless, and as light;
Expos'd to every coxcomb's eyes,
But hid with caution from the wise.
Here you may read, "Dear charming saint!"
Beneath, "A new receipt for paint;"
Here, in beau-spelling, "Tru tel deth;"
There, in her own, "For an el breth;"
Here, "Lovely nymph, pronounce my doom!"
There, "A safe way to use perfume:"
Here, a page fill'd with billet-doux;
On t'other side," Laid out for shoes"-
"Madam, I die without your grace"-
"Item, for half a yard of lace."
Who that had wit would place it here,
For every peeping fop to jeer;
In power of spittle and a clout,
Whene'er he please, to blot it out;
And then, to heighten the disgrace,
Clap his own nonser.se in the place?
Whoe'er expects to hold his part
In such a book, and such a heart,
If he be wealthy, and a fool,
Is in all points the fittest tool;
Of whom it may be justly said,
He's a gold pencil tipp'd with lead.
MRS. HARRIS'S PETITION, 1699.
To their Excellencies the Lords Justices of Ireland, the humble petition of Frances Harris, Who must starve, and die a maid, if it miscarries;
That I went to warm myself in Lady Betty's chamber, because I was cold;
And I had in a purse seven pounds, four shillings, and sixpence, besides farthings, in money and gold;
So, because I had been buying things for my Lady last night,
I was resolv'd to tell my money, to see if it was right. Now, you must know, because my trunk has a very bad lock,
Therefore all the money I have, which, God knows, is a very small stock,
I keep in my pocket, ty'd about my middle, next to my smock.
So when I went to put up my purse, as God would have it, my smock was unript,
And, instead of putting it into my pocket, down it slipt;
Then the bell rung, and I went down to put my Lady to bed;
And, God knows, I thought my money was as safe as my maidenhead.
So, when I came up again, I found my pocket feel very light:
But when I search'd, and miss'd my purse, Lord! I thought I should have sunk outright. Lord! Madam, says Mary, how d' ye do? Indeed, says I, never worse:
But pray, Mary, can you tell what I have done with my purse?
Lord help me! said Mary, I never stirr'd out of this place;
Nay, said I, I had it in Lady Betty's chamber, that's
So Mary got me to bed, and cover'd me up warm: However, she stole away my garters, that I might do myself no harm,
So I tumbled and toss'd all night, as you may very well think,
But hardly ever set my eyes together, or slept a wink. So I was adream'd, methought that we went and search'd the folks round,
And in a corner of Mrs. Duke's box, ty'd in a rag, the money was found.
So next morning we told Whittle, and he fell aswearing;
Then my dame Wadgar came; and she, you know, is thick of hearing.
Dame, said I, as loud as I could bawl, do you know what a loss I have had?
Nay, said she, my Lord Conway's folks are all very sad:
For my Lord Dromedary comes a Tuesday without fail.
Pugh! said I, but that's not the business that I ail. Says Cary, says he, I have been a servant this five
and twenty years come spring,
And in all the places I liv'd I never heard of such a thing.
Yes, says the steward, I remember, when I was at my Lady Shrewsbury's,
Such a thing as this happen'd just about the time of gooseberries.
So I went to the party suspected, and I found her full of grief,
(Now, you must know, of all things in the world, I hate a thief.) [about: However, I am resolv'd to bring the discourse slily Mrs. Dukes, said I, here's an ugly accident has happen'd out:
'Tis not that I value the money three skips of a louse; But the thing I stand upon is the credit of the house. 'Tis true, seven pounds, four shillings, and sixpence, makes a great hole in my wages:
Besides, as they say, service is no inheritance in these ages.
Now, Mrs. Dukes, you know, and every body un
That though 'tis hard to judge, yet money can't go without hands.
The devil take me! said she (blessing herself) if ever I saw't!
So she roar'd like a bedlam, as though I had call'd her all to naught.
So you know, what could I say to her any more?
I e'en left her, and came away as wise as I was before.
Well; but then they would had me gone to the
No, said I, 'tis the same thing, the chaplain will be here anon.
So the chaplain came in. Now the servants say he is my sweetheart,
Because he's always in my chamber, and I always take his part.
So as the devil would have it, before I was aware,
(Now, you must know, he hates to be call'd parson like the devil!)
Truly, says he, Mrs. Nab, it might become you to be more civil;
If your money be gone, as a learned divine says, d'ye see,
[me; You are no text for my handling; so take that from I was never taken for a conjurer before, I'd have you to know.
Lord! said I, don't be angry, I am sure I never thought you so;
You know I honour the cloth; I design to be a parson's wife;
I never took one in your coat for a conjurer in all my life;
With that he twisted his girdle at me like a rope, as who should say,
Now you may go hang yourself for me, and so went Well I thought I would have swoon'd. Lord! said I, what shall I do!
I have lost my money, and shall lose my true love too! Then my Lord call'd me: Harry, said my Lord,
For that, he said, (an't please your Excellencies) I must petition you.
The premises tenderly consider'd, I desire your [lection; Excellencies' protection,
And that I may have a share in next Sunday's colAnd, over and above, that I may have your Excellencies' letter,
With an order for the chaplain aforesaid, or, instead of him, a better;
And then your poor petitioner, both night and day, Or the chaplain (for 'tis his trade), as in duty bound, shall ever pray.
TO THE EARL OF PETERBOROW, WHO COMMANDED THE BRITISH FORCES IN SPAIN.
Mordanto fills the trump of fame,
The Christian world his deeds proclaim,
And prints are crowded with his name.
In journies he outrides the post,
Sits up till midnight with his host,
Talks politics, and gives the toast;
Knows every prince in Europe's face, Flies like a squib from place to place, And travels not, but runs a race.
From Paris gazette à-la-main,
This day arriv'd, without his train,
Mordanto in a week from Spain.
A messenger comes all a-reek,
Mordanto at Madrid to seek;
He left the town above a week.
Next day the post-boy winds his horn, And rides through Dover in the moru : Mordanto's landed from Leghorn.
Mordanto gallops on alone;
The roads are with his followers strown; This breaks a girth, and that a bone.
His body active as his mind, Returning sound in limb and wind, Except some leather lost behind.
A skeleton in outward figure,
His meagre corpse. though full of vigour, Would halt behind him, were it bigger.
So wonderful his expedition, When you have not the least suspicion, He's with you like an apparition:
Shines in all climates like a star; In senates bold, and fierce in war; A land commander, and a tar:
Heroic actions early bred in, Ne'er to be match'd in modern reading, But by his name-sake Charles of Sweden.
BUILT FROM THE RUINS OF WHITEHALL, 1706. In times of old, when time was young, And poets their own verses sung, A verse would draw a stone or beam, That now would overload a team; Lead them a dance of many a mile, Then rear them to a goodly pile. Each number had its different power: Heroic strains could build a tower; Sonnets, or elegies to Chloris, Might raise a house about two stories; A lyric ode would slate; a catch Would tile; an epigram would thatch. But, to their own or landlord's cost, Now poets feel this art is lost. Not one of all our tuneful throng Can raise a lodging for a song: For Jove consider'd well the case, Observ'd they grew a numerous race; And, should they build as fast as write, "Twould ruin undertakers quite. This evil therefore to prevent, He wisely chang'd their element: On earth the god of wealth was made Sole patron of the building trade; Leaving the wits the spacious air, With licence to build castles there: And, 'tis conceiv'd, their old pretence To lodge in garrets comes from thence.
Premising thus, in modern way,
The better half we have to say:
Sing, Muse, the house of poet Van
In higher strains than we began.
Van (for 'tis fit the reader know it)
Is both a herald and a poet;
No wonder then if nicely skilled
In both capacities to build.
As herald, he can in a day
Repair a house gone to decay;
Or, by achievement, arms, device,
Erect a new one in a trice;
And, as a poet, he has skill
To build in speculation still.
Great Jove! he cry'd, the art restore
To build by verse as heretofore,
And make my Muse the architect;
What palaces shall we erect!
No longer shall forsaken Thames
Lament his old Whitehall in flames;
A pile shall from its ashes rise,
Fit to invade or prop the skies.
Jove smil'd, and, like a gentle god,
Consenting with the usual nod,
Told Van, he knew his talent best,
And left the choice to his own breast.
So Van resolv'd to write a farce;
But, well perceiving wit was scarce,
With cunning that defect supplies;
Takes a French play as lawful prize;
Steals hence his plot and every joke,
Not once suspecting Jove would smoke;
And (like a wag set down to write)
Would whisper to himself, a bite;
Then, from this motley, mingled style,
Proceeded to erect his pile.
So men of old, to gain renown, did
Build Babel with their tongues confounded.
Jove saw the cheat, but thought it best
To turn the matter to a jest:
Down from Olympus too he slides,
Laughing as if he'd burst his sides:
Ay, thought the god, are these your tricks?
Why then old plays deserve old bricks;
And, since you're sparing of your stuff,
Your building shall be small enough.
He spake, and grudging, lent his aid;
Th' experienc'd bricks, that knew their trade,
(As being bricks at second-hand),
Now move, and now in order stand.
The building, as the poet writ,
Rose in proportion to his wit:
And first the prologue built a wall
So wide as to encompass all.
The scene a wood produc'd, no more
Than a few scrubby trees before.
The plot as yet lay deep; and so
A cellar next was dug below:
But this a work so hard was found,
Two acts it cost him under ground:
Two other acts, we may presume,
Were spent in building each a room.
Thus far advanc'd, he made a shift
To raise a roof with act the fifth.
The epilogue behind did frame
A place not decent here to name.
Now poets from all quarters ran
To see the house of brother Van;
Look'd high and low, walk'd often round;
But no such house was to be found.
One asks the waterman hard-by,
"Where may the poets palace lie?"
Another of the Thames inquires,
If he has seen its gilded spires?
At length they in the rubbish spy
A thing resembling a goose-pye.
Thither in haste the poets throng,
And gaze in silent wonder long,
Till one in rapture thus began
To praise the pile and builder Van:
Thrice happy poet! who mayst trail
Thy house about thee like a snail;
Or, harness'd to a nag, at ease
Take journeys in it like a chaise ;
Or in a boat, whene'er thou wilt,
Canst make it serve thee for a tilt!
Capacious house! 'tis own'd by all
Thou'rt well contriv'd, though thou art small:
For every wit in Britain's isle
May lodge within thy spacious pile.
Like Bacchus thou, as poets feign,
Thy mother burnt, are born again,
Born like a phoenix from the flame;
But neither bulk nor shape the same:
As animals of largest size
Corrupt to maggots, worms, and flies;
A type of modern wit and style,
The rubbish of an ancient pile.
So chemists boast they have a power
From the dead ashes of a flower
Some faint resemblance to produce,
But not the virtue, taste, or juice:
So modern rhymers wisely blast
The poetry of ages past;
Which after they have overthrown,
They from its ruins build their own.
BAUCIS AND PHILEMON. 1708.
ON THE EVER-LAMENTED LOSS OF THE TWO YEWTREES IN THE PARISH OF CHILTHORNE, SOMERSET.
Imitated from the Eighth Book of Ovid.
In ancient times, as story tells,
The saints would often leave their cells,
And stroll about, but hide their quality,
To try good people's hospitality.
It happen'd on a winter's night,
As authors of the legend write,
Two brother-hermits, saints by trade,
Taking their tour in masquerade,
Disguis'd in tatter'd habits, went
To a small village down in Kent;
Where, in the strollers' canting strain,
They begg'd from door to door in vain,
Tried every tone might pity win;
But not a soul would let them in.
Our wandering saints, in woful state,
Treated at this ungodly rate,
Having through all the village past,
To a small cottage came at last!
Where dwelt a good old honest yeʼman,
Call'd in the neighbourhood Philemon;
Who kindly did these saints invite
In his poor hut to pass the night;
And then the hospitable sire
Bid goody Baucis mend the fire
While he from out the chimney took
A flitch of bacon off the hook,
And freely from the fattest side
Cut out large slices to be fry'd;
Then stepp'd aside to fetch them drink,
Fill'd a large jug up to the brink,
And saw it fairly twice go round;
Yet (what is wonderful!) they found,
"Twas still replenish'd to the top,
As if they ne'er had touch'd a drop.
The good old couple were amaz'd,
And often on each other gaz'd;
For both were frighten'd to the heart,
And just began to cry,-What ar't!
Then softly turn'd aside to view
Whether the lights were burning blue.
The gentle pilgrims, soon aware on't,
Told them their calling, and their errand.
Good folks, you need not be afraid,
We are but saints, the hermits said;
No hurt shall come to you or yours:
But for that pack of churlish boors,
Not fit to live on Christian ground,
They and their houses shall be drown'd;
Whilst you shall see your cottage rise,
And grow a church before your eyes.
They scarce had spoke, when fair and soft
The roof began to mount aloft;
Aloft rose every beam and rafter;
The heavy wall climb'd slowly after.
The chimney widen'd, and grew higher,
Became a steeple with a spire.
The kettle to the top was hoist,
And there stood fasten'd to a joist,
But with the upside down, to show
Its inclination for below:
In vain; for a superior force,
Apply'd at bottom, stops its course:
Doom'd ever in suspence to dwell,
'Tis now no kettle, but a bell.
A wooden jack, which had almost
Lost by disuse the art to roast,
A sudden alteration feels,
Increas'd by new intestine wheels;
And, what exalts the wonder more,
The number made the motion slower:
The flier, though 't had leaden feet,
Turu'd round so quick, you scarce could see 't;
But, slacken'd by some secret power,
Now hardly moves an inch an hour.
The jack and chimney, near ally'd,
Had never left each other's side:
The chimney to the steeple grown,
The jack would not be left alone;
But, up against the steeple rear'd,
Became a clock, and still adher'd;
And still its love to household cares,
By a shrill voice at noon, declares,
Warning the cook-maid not to burn
That roast-meat which it cannot turn.
The groaning-chair began to crawl,
Like a huge snail, along the wall;
There stuck aloft in public view,
And, with small change, a pulpit grew.
The porringers, that in a row
Hung high, and made a glittering show,
To a less noble substance chang'd,
Were now but leathern buckets rang'd.
The ballads, pasted on the wall,
Of Joan of France, and English Moll,
Fair Rosamond, and Robin Hood,
The Little Children in the Wood,
Now seem'd to look abundance better,
Improv'd in picture, size, and letter;
And, high in order plac'd, describe
The heraldry of every tribe.
A bedstead of the antique mode,
Compact of timber many a load,
Such as our ancestors did use,
Was metamorphos'd into pews;