Imágenes de páginas
PDF
EPUB

No gainful trade their induftry can 'fcape, • They fing, they dance, clean shoes, or cure a clap; • All sciences a fafting Monsieur knows, • And bid him go to hell, to hell he goes.

« Ah! what avails it, that, from flav'ry far, • I drew the breath of life in English air ; • Was early taught a Briton's right to prize, • And lisp the tales of Henry's victories ; • If the gulld conqueror receives the chain, • And flattery subdues when arms are vain?

• Studious to please, and ready to submit, • The fupple Gaul was born a parasite: • Still to his int'reft true, where'er he goes, • Wit, brav'ry, worth, his lavith tongue beftows; • In ev'ry face a thoufand graces shine, • From ev'ry tongue flows harmony divine. • These arts in vain our rugged natives try, • Strain out with fault'ring diffidence a lye, • And gain a kick for aukward flattery.

• Besides, with justice, this discerning age • Admires their wond'rous talents for the stage: • Well may they venture on the mimick's art, • Who play from morn to light a borrow'd pärt ; • Practis'd their master's notions to embrace, • Repeat his maxims, and reflect his face; • With ev'ry wild absurdity comply, « And view each object with another's eye ; • To shake with laughter ere the jeft they hear, • To pour at will the counterfeited tear, • And as their patron hints the cold or heat, • To Make in dog-days, in December sweat. • How, when competitors like these contend, ! Can furly Virtue hope to fix a friend? • Slaves that with serious impudence beguile, • And lye without a blush, without a smile ;

}

« Exalt • He

• Exalt each trifle, ev'ry vice adore,
• Your tatte in fnuff, your judgment in a whore :
• Can Balbo's eloquence applaud, and swear

gropes, his breeches with a monarch's air ? • For arts like these preferr'd, admir'd, caress'd, • They first invade your table, then your breast;

Explore your secrets with insidious art, • Watch the weak hour, and ransack all the heart ; • Then soon your ill-plac'd confidence repay, • Commence your lords, and governor betray.

• By numbers here, from shame or çensure free, · All crimes are safe, but hated poverty:

This, only this, the rigid law pursues; • This, only this, provokes the snarling Muse. The sober trader, at a tatter'd cloak, • Wakes from his dream, and labours for a joke; • With brikker air the filken courtiers gaze, • And turn the varied taunt a thousand ways. . Of all the griefs that harrafs the diftrefs'd; • Sure the most bitter is a scornful jeft; • Fate never wounds more deep the gen'rous heart, · Than when a blockhead's insult points the dart!

• Has Heaven reserv'd, in pity to the poor, • No pathless waste or undiscover'd shore ? • No secret island in the boundless main;

No peaceful desart yet unclaim'd by Spain?

Quick let us rifę, the happy feats explore, .. And bear Oppression's insolence no more.

• This mournful truth is ev'ry where confess'd; « Slow rises worth, by poverty depress'd:” . But here more Now, where all are flaves to gold, * Where looks are merchandize, and smiles are sold, * Where, won by bribes, by flatteries implor'd, * The groom retails the favours of his lord.

• But hark! th' affrighted crowd's tumultuous cries • Rall through the streets, and thunder to the skies :

[ocr errors]

• Rais’d from some pleasing dream of wealth and pow's, . Some pompous palace, or some blissful bow'r,

Aghaft you start, and scarce, with aching fight, 'Sustain th' approaching fire's tremendous light; • Swift from pursuing horrors take your way; « And leave your little all to flames a prey; « Then thro' the world a wretched vagrant roam, . For where can starving merit find a home?

In vain your mournful narrative disclose, • While all neglect, and most insult your woes.

• Should Heav'n's just bolts Orgilio's wealth confound, * And spread his flaming palace on the ground, '* Swift o'er the land the dismal rumour flies, • And publick mournings pacify the skies ; · The laureat tribe in servile yerse relate, • How virtue wars with persecuting fate; • With well-feign'd gratitude the penfion'd band • Refund the plunder of the beggar'd land. • See! while he builds, the gaudy vasals come, • And croud with sudden wealth the rising dome ; • The price of boroughs and of souls restore, . And raise his treasures higher than before. • Now bless'd with all the baubles of the great, « The polish'd marble, and the shining plate, • Orgilio fees the golden pile aspire, . And hopes from angry. Heav'n another fire.

• Couldst thou resign the park and play content, . For the fair banks of Severn or of Trent; • There mightft thou find fome elegant retreat, • Some hireling senator's deserted seat; • And stretch thy prospects o'er the smiling land, • For less than rent the dungeons of the Strand; • There pruge thy walks, fupport thy drooping Aow'rs, • Direct thy rivulets, and twine thy bow'rs; • And, while thy beds a cheap repah afford, • Despise the dainties of a venal lord.

• There

[ocr errors]

There ev'ry bush with Nature's mufick rings, • There ev'ry breeze bears health upon it's wings • On all thy hours security shall smile, And bless thy evening walk and morning toil.

Prepare for death, if here at night you roam, · And sign your will before you sup from home.

Some fiery fop, with new commission vain, • Who sleeps on brambles till he kills his man; • Some frolick drunkard, reeling from a feast, « Provokes a broil, and stabs you for a jeft.

Yet e'en these heroes, mischievously gay, • Lords of the street, and terrors of the way,

Flash'd as they are with folly, youth and wine, · Their prudent insults to the poor confine; • Afar they mark the flambeau's bright approach, * And fun the shining train, and golden coach.

• In vain, these dangers pass’d, your doors you close;

And hope the balmy blessings of repose: • Cruel with guilt, and daring with despair, • The midnight murd'rer bursts the faithless bar; • Invades the sacred hour of filent rest, . And plants, unseen, a dagger in your breaft.

Scarce can our fields, such crowds at Tyburn die, • With hemp the gallows and the feet súpply.

Propose your schemes, ye senatorian band, (

Whose ways and means support the finking land;

Left ropes be wanting in the tempting spring, To rig another convoy for the king."

• A single gaol, in Alfred's golden reign, • Could half the nation's criminals contain ;

Fair Justice then, without constraint ador'd,

Held high the steady scale, but deep'd the sword; • No spies were paid, no special juries known' ; * Bless’å age! but, ah! how diffrent from our own!

- Much could I add, but see the boat at hand, "The tide retiring calls me from the land.

E

"Farewel!

[ocr errors]
[ocr errors]
[ocr errors]

• Farewel!—When youth, and health, and fortune spent, Thou fly'st for refuge to the wilds of Kent;

And tir'd, like me, with follies and with crimes,

In angry numbers warn'lt fucceeding times; Then shall thy friend, nor thou refuse his aid, • Still foe to vice, forsake his Cambrian fhade ; • In virtue's caufe once more exert his

rage, « Thy fatire point, and animate thy page.'

ODE TO

E V ENING.

BY

MR.

COLLINS

I

F aught of oaten stop, or pastoral song,
May hope, chaste Eve, to soothe thy modeft ear,

Like thy own folemn springs,

Thy springs and dying gales,
O nymph reserv'd, while now the bright-hair'd fun
Sits on yon western tent, whose cloudy skirts

With brede etherial wove,

O'erhang his wavy bed ;
Now air is huth'd, save where the weak-ey'd bat,
With short shrill shrieks fits by on leathera wing,

Or where the beetle winds

His small but sullen horn,
As oft he rises midst the twilight path,
Against the pilgrim borne in heedless hum;

Now teach me, maid compos'd,

To breathe some foften'd strain,
Whose numbers, stealing through thy dark’ning vale,
May not unseemly with it's stillness sait,

As musing Now, I hail
Thy genial lov'd return !

For

« AnteriorContinuar »