صور الصفحة
النشر الإلكتروني

Pigram undam volvunt, & sola papavera pascunt: Quorum lentus odor, lethæaque pocula somnos Suadent perpentus, circumfusæque tenebræ.

Horrendo visu obstupui: quin Pegason ipsum Defecere animi; sensit dux, terque flagello Insonuit clarùm, terque alta voce morantem Increpuit: secat ille cito pede lævia campi Ætherei, terræque secundâ allabitur aurâ.

Cantabr. in Comitiis prioribus, 1740-1.


BY CHRISTOPHER SMART, M. A. VERVECUM in patria, quà latè Belgica squalent Arva inarata, palus horrenda voragine crebrâ Ante oculos jacet; haud illic impune viator, Fer tenebras iter instituat; tremit undique tellus Sub pedibus malefida, vapores undique densos Sudat humus, nebulisque amicitur tristibus herba. Huc fato infelix si quando agiteris iniquo, Et tutò in medium liceat penetrare, videbis Attonitus, nigrå de nube emergere templum, Templum ingens, immane, altum penetrale


Plumbea stat turris, plumbum sinuatur in arcus,
Et solido limosa tument fundamina plumbo.
Hanc pia Materies Divo ædem extruxit inerti,
Stultitiæ impulsu-quid enim? Lethargica sem-

[blocks in formation]

The woods, if woods there be, lie leafless, low Beneath bleak mountains of eternal snow. Dull animals inhabit this abode,

The owl, mole, dormouse, tortoise, and the toad.
Dull rivers roll within their channels deep,
And only feed the poppy as they creep: [vite
Whose stagnant fumes, and dozing draughts in-
Perpetual slumbers in perpetual night.

Aghast I stood, the drowsy vapours lull
My soul in gloom, ev'n Pegasus grew dull.
My guide observ'd, and thrice he urg'd his speed,
Thrice the loud lash resounded from the steed,
Fir'd at the strokes, he flies with slacken'd rein
Swift o'er the level of the liquid plain,
Glides with the gentle gale, and lights on earth

[blocks in formation]

You'll see, within the centre of the land,
The fane of Dulness, of prodigious size,
Emerging from a sable cloud arise.

A leaden tower upheaves its heavy head,
Large leaden arches press the slimy bed,
The soft soil swells beneath the load of lead.
Old Matter here erected this abode,
At Folly's impulse, to the slothful god.
Here the majestic drone delights to stay,
Slumbering the dull, inactive hours away;
Here still, unless by foreign force imprest,
She holds the sceptre of eternal rest.

Their habitation here those monsters keep,
Whom Matter father'd on the god of Sleep:
Here Zoilus, with cankering envy pale,
Here Mævius bids his brother Bavius, hail;
Bold atheist leaders head their senseless mobs,
Spinoza, Pyro, Epicurus, Hobbes.

How can the Muse recount the numerous crew
Of frequent dunces crowding on the view?
Nor can learn'd Albion's sun that burns so bright,
Illuminate the realms involv'd in night.
Boeotia thus remain'd, in days of yore,
Senseless and stupid, tho' the neighbouring shore
Afforded salutary hellebore:

No cure exhal'd from Zephyr's buxom breeze,
That gently brush'd the bosom of the seas,
As oft to Lesbian fields he wing'd his way.
Fanning fair Flora, and in airy play
Breath'd balmy sighs, that melt the soul away.

Behold that portico! how vast, how wide!
The pillars Gothic,wrought with barbarous pride:
Four monstrous shapes before the portal wait,
Of horrid aspect, centies to the gate:
Lo! in the entrance, with disdainful eye,
In Logick's dark disguise, stands Sophistry:
Her very front would common sense confound,
Encompass'd with ten categories round :

[blocks in formation]

Tertia Microphile, proles furtiva parentis Divina! produxit enim commixta furenti Diva viro Physice-muscas & papiliones Lustrat inexpletùm, collumque & tempora rident Floribus, & fungis, totâque propagine veris. Rara oculis nugarum avidis animalia quærit Omne genus, seu serpit humi, seu ludit in undis, Seu volitans tremulis liquidum secat aëra pennis. O! ubi littoribus nostris felicior aura

Polypon appulerit, quanto cava templa Stuporis

Mugitu concussa trement, reboabit & ingens
Pulsa palus! Plausu excipiet Dea blanda secundo
Microphile ante omnes; jam non crocodilon ado-
Nen bombyx, chonchave juvant; sed Folypon
Solum Polypon ardet,-& ecce! faceta feraci
Falce novos creat assiduè, pascitque creatos,
Ab modo dilectis pascit nova gaudia muscis.

Quartam Materies peperit conjuncta Stupori, Nomen Atheia illi, monstrum cui lumenademptum,

Atque aures; cui sensus abest, sed mille trisulca Ore micant linguæ, refugas quibus inficit auras.

She from Old Matter, the great mother came,
By birth the eldest-and how like the dame!
Her shrivel'd skin, small eyes, enormous pate,
Denote her shrewd, and subtle in debate:
This hand a net, and that sustains a club,
T'entangle ber antagonist, or drub.
The spider's toils, all o'er her garment spread,
Imply the mazy errours of her head.
Behold her marching with funereal pace,
Slow as old Saturn through prodigious space,
Slow as the mighty mountains mov'd along,
When Orpheus rais'd the lyre attended song!
Slow as at Oxford, on some gaudy day,
Fat beadles, in magnificent array,
With big round bellies bear the ponderous treat
And heavily lag on, with the vast load of meat.
Next her, mad Mathesis; her feet all bare,
Ungirt, untrimm'd, with loose neglected hair:
No foreign object can her thoughts disjoint;
Reclin'd she sits, and ponders o'er a point
Before her, lo! inscrib'd upon the ground
Strange diagrams th' astorish'd sight confound,
Right lines and curves, with figures square and

With these the monster, arrogant and vain,
Boasts that she can all mysteries explain,
And treats the sacred sisters with disdain,
She, when great Newton sought his kindred skies,
Sprung high in air, and strove with him to rise,

In vain-the mathematic mob restrains
Her flight, indignant, and on Earth detains;
E'er since she dwells intent on useless schemes,
Unmeaning problems, and deliberate dreams.
Microphile is station'd next in place,
The spurious issue of celestial race;
From heavenly Physice she took her birth,
Her sire a madman of the sons of Earth;
On flies she pores with keen, unwearied sight,
And moths and butterflies, her dear delight;
Around her neck hang dangling on a string
The fungous tribe, with all the flowers of spring.
With greedy eyes she'll search the world to find
Insects and reptiles rare of every kind ;

Whether along the lap of Earth they stray,
Or nimbly sportive in the waters play,
Or through the light expanse of ether fly,
And on light wing float wavering in the sky.
Ye gales, that gently breathe upon our shore,
O! let the polypus be wafted o'er;
How will the hollow dome of Dulness ring?
With what loud joy receive the wonderous thing?
Applause will rend the skies, and all around
The quivering quagmires bellow back the sound?
How will Microphile her joy attest,

And glow with warmer raptures than the rest?

No longer shall the crocodile excel,

Nor weaving worm, nor variegated shell;

The polypus shall novelties inspire,

The polypus, her only fond desire.

Lo! by the wounds of her creating knife,
New polypusses wriggle into life,
Fast as the reptiles rise, she feeds with store
Of once rare flies, but now esteem'd no more.

The fourth dire shape from mother Matter
Dulness her sire, and Atheism her name ; [came,
In her no glimpse of sacred Sense appears,
Depriv'd of eyes, and destitute of ears:
And yet she brandishes a thousand tongues,
And blasts the world with air-infecting lungs,

Hanc stupor ipse parens odit, vicina nefandos
Horret sylva sonos, neque surda repercutit Echo.
Mendacem natura redarguit ipsa, Deumque
Et cœlum, & terræ, veraciaque Astra fatentur.
Se simul agglomerans surgit chorus omnis aqua-


Et puro sublimè sonat grave fulmen olympo.

Fonte ortus Lethæo, ipsus ad ostia templi, Ire soporifero tendit cum murmure rivus, Huc potum Stolidos Deus evocat agmine magno: Crebri adsunt, largisque sitim restinguere gaudeut [stupendo. Haustibus, atque iterant calices, certantque "Me, me etiam," clamo, occurrens ;-sed vellicat


Calliope, nocuasque vetat contingere lymphas

Curs'd by her sire, her very words are wounds,
No grove re-echoes the detested sounds.
Whate'er she speaks all nature proves a lye,
Earth, Heaven, and stars proclaim a Deity:
The congregated waves in mountains driven
Roar in grand chorus to the lord of Heaven;
Through skies serene the pealing thunders roll,
Loudly pronounce the god, and shake the
sounding pole.

A river, murmuring from Lethæan source,
Full to the fane directs its sleepy course;
The Power of Dulness, leaning on the brink,
Here calls the multitude of fools to drink.
Swarming they crowd to stupify the skull,
With frequent cups contending to be dull.

[ocr errors]

Me, let me taste the sacred stream," (I cry'd), With out-stretch'd arm-the Muse my boon deny'd,

And sav'd me from the sense-intoxicating tide.

[merged small][merged small][merged small][ocr errors][merged small]

Edita vix tandem est monstrum Folychasmia,

Tanto digna parente, aviæque simillima Nocti.
Illa oculos tentat nequicquam aperire, veterno
Torpida, & horrendo vultum distorta cachinno.
Enulus hanc Jovis aspiciens, qui fictile vulgus
Fecerat infelix, imitarier arte Prometheus
Audet-nec flammis opus est cœlestibus: auræ
Tres Stygiæ flatus, nigræ tria pocula Lethes
Miscet, & innuptæ suspiria longa puellæ,
His adipem suis & guttur conjungit aselli,
Tensaque cum gemitu somnisque sequacibus ora.
Sic etiam in terris dea, quæ mortalibus ægris
Ferret opem, inque hebees dominarier apta,

creata est.

Nonne vides, ut præcipiti petit oppida cursu
Rustica plebs, stipatque forum? sublime tribunal
Armigerique equitesque premunt, de more parati
Justitiæ lances proferre fideliter æquas,
Grande capillitium induti, frontemque minacem,
Non temerè attoniti caupones, turbaque furum
Aufugiunt, gravidæque timent trucia ora puellæ.
At mox fida comes Polychasmia, matutinis
Quæ se miscuerat poc'lis Cerealibus, ipsum
Judicus in cerebrum scandit-jamque unus &
Cœperunt longas in hiatum ducere voces: [alter
Donec per cunctos dea jam solenne, profundum
Sparserit Hum-nutaut taciti, tum brachia


Extendunt nisu, patulis & faucibus biscunt.

[ocr errors]



WHEN Pallas issued from the brain of Jove,
Momus, the mimic of the gods above,
In his mock mood impertinently spoke,
About the birth, some low, ridiculous joke:
Jove, sternly frowning, glow'd with vengeful ire,
And thus indignant said th' almighty sire;

Thou shalt conceive, and bring forth at thy jaws."
Loquacious slave, that laugh'st without a cause,
He spoke-stretch'd in the hall the mimic lies,
And as his jaws a horrid chasm disclose,
Supinely dull, thick vapours din his eyes:
The Gallic trumpet sounded from his nose;
Harsh was the strain, and horrible to hear,
Like German jargon grating on the ear.

At length was Polychasmia brought to light,
Like her strange sire, and grandmother, Old

Her eyes to open oft in vain she try'd,
Lock'd were the lids, her mouth distended wide.
Her when Prometheus happen'd to survey
(Rival of Jove, that made niankind of clay)
He dar'd to emulate the wonderous frame,
Nor sought assistance from celestial flame.
To three Lethæan cups he learn'd to mix
Deep sighs of virgins, with three blasts from Styx,
The bray of asses, with the grunt of boar,
The sleep-preceding groan, and hideous snore.
Thus took the goddess her mirac'lous birth,
Helpful to all the muzzy sons of Earth.

Behold! the motley multitude from far
Haste to the town, and crowd the clam'rous bar.
The prest bench groans with many a squire and

Who weigh out justice, and distribute right:
Severe they seem, and formidably big,
With awful aspect and tremendous wig.
The pale delinquent pays averse his fine,
And the fat landlord trembles for his sign.
Poor, pilfering villains skulk aloof dismay'd,
And conscious terrours seize the pregnant maid.
Soon Polychasmia, who was always near,
Full fraught with morning cups of humming beer,
Steals to his worship's brain; thence quickly ran
Prodigious yawnings, catch'd from man to man:

Intereà legum caupones jurgia miscent,
Queis nil rhetorice est, nisi copia major hiandi:
Vocibus ambiguis certant, nugasque strophasque
Alterais jaculantur, & irascuntur amicè,
Donantque accipiuntque stuporis missile plum-


Vos, Fanatica turba, nequit pia Musa tacere. Majoremne aliunde potest diducere rictuin? Ascendit gravis Orator, miserâque loquelâ Expromit thesin; in partes quam deinde minutas Distrahit, ut connectat, & explicat obscurando: Spargitur hue! pigris verborum somnus ab alis, Grex circùm gemit, & plausum declarat hiando.

Nec vos, qui falsò matrem jactatis Hygeian, Patremque Hippocratem,taceam-Polychasmia,


Agnosco natos: tumidas sine pondere voces
In vulgum eructant; emuncto quisque bacillum
Applicat auratum naso, graviterque facetus
Totum se in vultum cogit,medicamina pandens-
Rusticus haurit amara, atque insanabile dormit; |
Nec sensus revocare queant fomenta, nec herbæ,
Non ars, non miræ magicus sonus Abracadabræ.

Ante alios summa es, Polychasmia, cura sophistæ :

Ille Tui cæcas vires, causamque latentem Sedulus exquirit-quo scilicet impete fauces Invitæ disjungantur; quo vortice aquosæ Particulæ fluitent, comitesque ut fulminis imbres,

Cum strepitu erumpant; ut deinde vaporet ocellos

Materies subtilis; ut in cutis insinuet se
Retia; tum, si forte datur contingere nervos
Concordes, cunctorum ora expanduntur hiulca.
Sic ubi, Phoebe pater, sumis chelyn, harmoniam-

Abstrusam in chordis simul elicis, altera, siquam
Aqualis tenor aptavit, tremit æmula cantûs,
Memnoniamque imitata lyram sine pollicis ictu
Divinum resonat proprio modulamine carmen.

Me quoque, mene tuum tetigisti, ingrata, poetam ?

Hei mihi totus hio tibi jam stupefactus, in ipso Farnasso captus longè longèque remotas Prospecto Musas, sitioque, ut Tantalus alter, Castalias situs inter aquas, inhiantis ab ore Nectarei fugiunt latices-hos Popius urnâ Excipit undanti, & fontem sibe vendicat omnem.

Haud aliter Socium esuriens Sizator edacem Dum videt, appositusque cibus frustratur hiantem,

Dentibus infrendens nequicquam lumine torvo
Sæpius exprobrat ; nequicquam brachia tendit
Sedulus officiosa, dapes removere paratus.
Olli nunquam exempta fames, quin frusta su-


Devoret, & peritura immani ingurgitet ore: Tum demum jubet auferri; nudata capaci Ossa sonant, lugubre sonant catino.

[ocr errors]
[ocr errors]

Silent they nod, and with laborious strain
Stretch out their arms, then listless yawn again:
For all the flowers of rhetoric they can boast,
Amidst their wranglings, is to gape the most;
Ambiguous quirks, and friendly wrath they vent,
And give and take the leaden argument.

Ye too, Fanatics, never shall escape
The faithful Muse; for who so widely gape?
Mounted on high, with serious care perplext,
The miserable preacher takes his text;
Then into parts minute, with wondrous pains,
Divides, connects, disjoints, obscures, explains:
While from his lips lean periods lingering creep,
And not one meaning interrupts their sleep,
The drowsy hearers stretch their weary jaws,
Add groan to groan, and yawn a loud applause.

The quacks of physic next provoke my ire, Who falsely boast Hippocrates their sire: Goddess! thy sons I ken-verbose and loud, They feed with windy puffs the gaping crowd. With look important, critical, and vain, Each to his nose applies the gilded cane; Each as he nods, and ponders o'er the case, Gravely collects himself into his face, Explains his med'cines-which the rustic buys, Drinks the dire draught, and of the doctor dies; No pills, no potions can to life restore; Abracadabra, necromantic power! Can charm, and conjure up from death no more. The Sophs, great goddess, are thy darling


Who hunt out questions intricately rare;
Explore what secret spring, what hidden cause,
Distends with hideous chasm th' unwilling jaws,
How watery particles with wonderous power
Burst into sound, like thunder with a shower:
How subtile matter, exquisitely thin,
Pervades the curious net-work of the skin,
Affects th' accordant nerves-all eyes are

In drowsy vapours, and the yawn goes round.
When Phoebus thus his flying fingers flings
Across the chords, and sweeps the quiverings
If e'er a lyre at unison remain, [strings;
Trembling it swells, and emulates the strain:
Thus Memnon's harp, in ancient times renown'd,
Express'd, untouch'd, sweet-modulated sound.

But oh! ungrateful! to thy own true bard, Is this, O goddess! this my just reward? Thy drowsy dews upon my head distil, Just at the entrance of th' Aonian hill; Listless I yawn, unactive, and supine, And at vast distance view the sacred Nine: Wishful I view Castalia's streams, accurst, Like Tantalus, with unextinguish'd thirst; The waters fly my lips, my claim disownPope drinks them deeply, they are all his own.

Thus the lank Sizar views, with gaze aghast, The harpy tutor at his noon's repast; In vain his teeth he grinds-oft checks a sigh, And darts a silent censure from his eye: Now he prepares, officious, to convey The lessening relics of the meal away— In vain, no morsel 'scapes the greedy jaw, All, all is gorg'd in magisterial maw; Till at the last observant of his word, The lamentable waiter clears the board, And inly-murmuring miserably groans,

To see the empty dish, and hear the rattling


[blocks in formation]


WHILE at your Loversal, secure retreat,
Far from the vain, the busy, and the great,
Retirement's calm, yet useful arts you know,
Bid buildings rise, and future navies grow;
Or, by the sacred thirst of learning led,
Converse familiar with th' illustrious dead,
Worthies of old, who life by arts refin'd,
Taught wholesome laws, and humaniz'd man-

Can my friend listen to this flowery lay,
Where splendid Douglas paints the blooming

If aught these lines thy candid ear engage,
The Muse shall learn to moralise the page,
Give modest merit the reward that's due,
And place the interests of mankind in view,
Form tender minds by virtue's better lore,
And teach old infidels to doubt no more.
To thee this verse belongs; and may it prove
An earnest of my gratitude and love.


of Angus. His father was Archibald, the sixth earl of Angus: he married Elizabeth, daughter to Robert Boyd, (who was chancellor and one of the governors of the kingdom of Scotland, A. D. 1468) by whom he had issue four sons, George, William, Gawin, and Archibald. The two eldest, with two hundred gentleman of the name of Douglas, were killed in the battle of Flodden.

Our author was born the latter end of the year 1474, or the beginning of 1475. Great care was taken of his education,and he was early instructed in the liberal arts and sciences. When he had completed his studies in his own country, he went abroad, that he might farther improve himself by conversation with great and learned men, and observations on the laws and customs of other countries. Upon his return to Scotland, he was advanced to be provost of the collegiate church of St. Giles in Edinburgh, and rector of Heriot church, some few miles distant from it.

In this station he continued several years, behaving himself as became his holy character, noble birth, and liberal education. After the battle of Flodden many ecclesiastical dignities became vacant; among which was the abbacy of Aberbrothock, one of the most considerable in the kingdom. The queen mother, who was then regent, and shortly after married to the earl of Angus, our author's nephew, presented him to it; and soon after to the archbishopric of St. Andrews. But he met with so great opposition in this affair, that neither the royal authority, nor the influence of his noble relations, nor his own unexceptionable merit, were able to procure him peaceable possession: for Andrew Forman (bishop of Murray, and archbishop of Bourges in France) by the interest he had in the court of Rome, and the duke of Albany, obtained a bull from the pope for that dignity, and was accord

THE following poem of Gawin Douglas is prefixed to the XIIth book of his translation of Virgil's Æneis, and entitled, "Ane singular lernit Proloug of the discription of May;" and is now publish'd, as a proof, that the muses had visitedingly acknowledged as archbishop by most of the Great Britain, and the flowers of poetry began to bloom 250 years ago. It may also serve as an instance, that the lowland Scotch language and the English, at that time were nearly the same. Chaucer and Douglas may be look'd upon as the two bright stars that illumined England and Scotland, after a dark interval of dulness, a long night of ignorance and superstition, and foretold the return of day, and the revival of learning.

This description of May is extremely picturesque and elegant, and esteemed to be one of the most splendid descriptions of that month that has appeared in print; which is all the apology I shall make for having given it a more modern dress.

The old Scotch is printed exactly after the Edinburgh edition, which was published in the

year 1710.



GAWIN DA CLAS, bishop of Dunkeld, was nobly descended, being a son of the illustrious family

clergy of the see. Mr. Douglas, reflecting on the scandals which arose from such unworthy contests, and preferring the honour of a Christian, and peaceable disposition to his temporal interest and greatness, wholly laid aside his pretensions to that see. But the bishopric of Dunkeld becoming vacant, in January 1515, the queen advanced him to it; and afterwards, by the intercession of Henry III. king of England, obtained a bull in his favour from pope Leo X. Notwithstanding his right was founded on the royal and papal authority, yet he could not obtain consecration for a considerable time, because of a powerful competitor; for Andrew Stuart, prebendary of Craig, and brother to the earl of Athole, had got himself nominated bishop by such of the chapter as were present; and his title was supported by all the enemies of the queen and her husband the earl of Angus, particularly the duke of Albany, who returning to Scotland in May 1515, was declared regent. In the first session of parliament after the governor's arrival, Mr. Douglas was accused, on some groundless pretext or other, of acting contrary to the laws of the nation, was pronounced guilty, and committed to the castle of St. Andrews, and imprisoned upwards of a year, till the governor was reconciled to the queen and the

« السابقةمتابعة »