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HO puts off Death, to the last moments

Is near the grave, but very far from Heav'n 31.
He who repents, and gains the wish'd reprieve,
Was fit to die, and is more fit to live.
Chuse a good convoy in an hostile course;
Right foresight never makes a danger worse.



Casually lucky, fortunately great,
Ten times his planet overcame his fate.
Riches flow'd in; and accidents were kind;
Health join'd her opium to delude the mind;
Whilst pride was gratify'd in ev'ry view,
And pow'r had scarce an object to pursue;
Cramm'd to the throat with happiness and ease,
Till nature's self could do no more to please.-
Vain-glorious mortal, to profusion blest!
And almost by prosperity distrest!

Whilst poets, the worst panders of the age,
Hymn'd his no-virtues in each flatt'ring page:
True parasitic plants 8, which only grow
Upon their patron trees, like miscelto:
So pella-mountain on the flax appears,
And thyme, th' epíthĭmy 9, (her bastard) rears

Put not your trust in princes, nor in the son of Just so th' agáric from the larix springs,
man, in whom there is no help.

Psalm cxlvi, v. 3. Now behold, thou trusteth upon the staff of a bruised reed-on which if a man lean, it will go through his hand and pierce it: so is Pharaoh, king of Egypt, unto all that trust in him.

2 Kings, ch. xviii, v. 21.

WITH diffidence, O Muse, awake the string!
Proba', herself a Muse, commands to sing:
Divest thyself of thy pretended bays, [lays:
And crown'd with short-liv'd flow'rs present thy
From female archives stol'n, a tale disclose,
Verse tortur'd into rhymes from honest prose.
Short fables may with double grace be told;
So smallest glasses sweetest essence hold.
Antonia somewhere 2 does a tale report,
Of no small use to rising inen at court:
(Who seek promotion in the worldly road,
And make their titles and their wealth their


Antonia! who the Hermit's Story fram'd 3:
A tale to prose-men known 4, by verse-men
fam'd 5.

A courtier, of the lucky, thriving sort,
Rose like a meteor, and eclips'd the court;
By chance or cunning ev'ry storm outbraves:
Topmost he rode, midst shoals of fools and

Triumphant, like an eygre, o'er the waves:

31 A saying of pious Jeremy Taylor.

And fav'rites fatten on perspiring kings.—
More might be said; but this we leave untold,
That better things their proper place may hold.
Our mirror of good luck, whom chance had

As her own offspring, was Amariel nam'd.
At his first horoscope the goddess smil'd,
And wrapp'd in her own mantle her own child;
Then, as a wit upon th' occasion said,
(Not less a wit, we hope, for being dead,)
"Gave him her blessing, put him in a way,
Set up the farce, and laugh'd at her own play."
Fortune, the inistress of the young and bold,
Espous'd him early, but caress'd him old;
Duteous and faithful as an Indian wife,
She made appearance to be true for life:
And kept her love alive, and like to last,
Beyond the date her Pompey was disgrac'd.
But nothing certain (as the wise man 1o found)
Is to be deem'd on sublunary ground.

7 "Prosperous health and uninterrupted ease are often the occasion of some fatal misfortune. Thus a long peace makes men unguarded, and sometimes unmindful, in matters of war: it being observed, that the most signal overthrow is usually given us, when an unexpected enemy surpriseth us in the deep sleep of peace and security," St. Gregor, the Great.

8 Parasitical plants, according to the language of botanists, will not grow in the common matrix of the earth, but their seeds, being dispers. ed by winds, take root in the excrementitious 1 A Roman young lady of quality and a Chris- parts of a decayed tree, or arise as an excrestian convert. She afterwards married Adelphus, cence from the exsudations of some tree or who was a proconsul in the reign of Honorius plant. Thus the dodder (cuscuta), formerly and Theodosius junior. She composed an His-called pella-mountain, grows usually on flax; and tory of the Old and New Testament in verse. therefore the Italian peasant calls it podagra di Her epitaph on her husband is much admired. | linio. Both pieces were printed at Francfort in 1541. Her name at length was Proba Valeria Falconia.

2 Trai é sur la Pieté solide. Epit. xx, par Madame Antoinette de Bourignon.

Epit. de Bourignon. Partie seconde, Epit. xvii

Dr. Patrick's Farable of the Pilgrim. 5 Parnelle's Hermit.

6 The tenth wave, when rivers are swollen by floods, or agitated by storms, is called in some parts of England an eygre.

See Dryden's Threnod. August.

9 The Arabians and Italians (imitating the Greek word w.vior) call this adscititious plant efitimo and epithimo; but very few of our English botanists make mention of it. As far as I have hitherto seen, only one of our herbalists has touched upon it, namely, Peter Treveris, who flourished about the reign of Henry VII. He calls it epithimy. For my own part, not caring to invent new words in poetry, I have thought proper to retain the word which he (Treveris) has used, as it is well-sounding, and not inelegant.

10 Son of Sirach.

Join'd to good fortune, 'twas our courtier's lot | So, in the daily work she labours at,

To serve a prince who ne'er his friends forgot:
Humane, discreet, compassionate, and brave;
Not milder when he lov'd, than when forgave.
Gen'rous of promise, punctual in the deed;
Grac'd with more candour than most monarchs

A milkiness of blood his heart possess'd;
With grief be punish'd, and with transport

As noblest metals are most ductile found,
Great souls with mild compassion most abound.
The golden dye with soft complacence takes
Each speaking lineament th' engraver makes,
And wears a faithful image for mankind,
True to the features, truer to the mind:
Whilst stubborn iron (like a barren soil
To lab'ring hinds) cludes the artist's toil;
To ev'ry stroke ungrateful and unjust,
Corrodes itself, or hardens into rust.

Good-nature, in the language from above12,
Is universal charity and love:
Patient of wrongs, and enemy to strife;
Basis of virtue, and the staff of life!
Whilst av'rice, private censure, public rage,
Are th' old man's hobby-horse, and crutch of age.
Party conducts us to the meanest ends;
Party made Herod and a Pilate friends 13.
Scorn'd be the bard, and banish'd ev'n from

Who first immortaliz'd man-killing fools;
Blockheads in council, bloody in command:
Warriors-not of the head, but of the hand;
True brethren of the iron-pated Suede14:
They fight like Ajax, and like Ajax read.

Of all the great and harmless things below,
Only an elephant is truly so.

(Thus writes a wit15, well known a cent❜ry past;
Forgotten now; yet still his fame shall last.)
Kings have their follies; statesmen have their

Wealth spoils the great; beauty ensnares our
And wits are doubly dup'd by having parts.
Some have ten times the parts they ought to use;
"A great wit's greatest work is to refuse 16!"
Never, O bards, the warning voice despise ;-
To add is dang'rous, to retrench is wise.
Poets instead of saying what they could,
Must only say the very thing they should.
This mighty EYPHKA reserv'd for few,
Virgil and Boileau, Pope and Dryden knew.
(Thus by the way.) Now, Muse, resume thy

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The swallow toils, and rises with a gnat.—

It chanc'd as through his groves our monarch

T enjoy the coolness of a summer shade,
Wrapt up in virtuous schemes of means and ends,
To reconcile his foes, or bless his friends,
He spy'd a figure, which by shape he knew,
In a lone grotto half conceal'd from view:
Thither the prudent wand'rer had retir'd,
As modesty and well bred sense requir'd:
Studious of manners, fearful to intrude
On precious hours of royal solitude.
"Amariel," cry'd the prince, "I know thee
Invelop'd in the umbrage of a cell: [well,


I like thy modesty, with manuers fraught ;-
But, as my spirits ask a pause from thought,
Walk with thy master, and with him inhale
The cooling freshness of the western gale.
Amariel," added he, and gently smil'd,
"This grove's my kingdom, and each tree my


(Forgive the vanity, which thus compares
My self to Cyrus, and his rural cares 17;)
My ready pencil sketch'd the first design,
These eyes adjusted ev'ry space and line;
These hands have fixt th' inoculated shoots,
Train'd the louse branches, and reform'd the

Happy the monarch of the town and field,
Where vice to laws, and weeds to culture yield
"My human realms a tenfold care demand,
Reluctant is the staples of the land:
Sour are the juices, churlish is the soil,
Of rule impatient, and averse to toil.
In vain I cherish, and in vain replace;
Th' ungrateful branch flies back, and wounds my
Courtiers are like th' hyena, never tame :
No bounties üx them, and no arts reclaim:
Frontless they run the muck 19 through thick and


Not poorer, if they lose ;-and they may win.
Patriots of their own int'rest, right or wrong:
Foes to the feeble, flatt'rers to the strong.
Stiff complaisance thro' their best homage
So turn-soles 20 court the Sun with 'wry-neck'd
True as a dial, when their patrons shine;
But blank, if the said patrons pow'r resign.
Like good sir Martin 29, when he lost his mau,
They grieve-and get another as they can.
Yet, (though small real comfort is enjoy'd
Where man the ruler is, and men employ'd,)
Of all my friends and servants, you alone
Have pleas'd me best, and most reliev'd the

17 Xenophout. Oeconomic. c. iv, &c.

18 The staple of the soil, in an husbandrysense, is the upper earth, which lies within the reach of the plough and influence of the atmosphere.

Thus we call wool, with relation to England a staple commodity.

19 Dryden's Hind and Panther.

20 The heliotrope, or Sun-flower, called, by the Italians, orologio dei cortegiani.

21 Sir Martin Marr-all, in a comedy of Dryden's writing.

Whatever then my bounty can provide; Whatever by my friendship be supply'd; As far as faith can bind, or speech can say, Ask, and I meet thy wishes half the way.'

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The servant bow'd, and gratitude express'd; Such gratitude as dwells in courtier's breast: Pleas'd to the height of transport he retir'd; His fears were calm'd, and his ambition fir'd. Unhappy man, in both his objects wrong; The weak he trusted, and forgot the strong!

Six years were past, when lo, by slow degrees,
A fever did his limbs and spirits seize :
Advancing gently, no alarm it makes, [brakes:)
(Like murd'ring Indians gliding through the
But, having mark'd her sure approaches well,
She storms, and nothing can her force repell.
Instant, a liquid fire inflames the blood,
Whilst spasms impede the self-refining flood:
Petechial spots th' approach of Death proclaim,
Redd'ning like comets with vindictive flame;
Whilst wand'ring talk, and mopings wild, presage
Moon-struck illusion, and conclude in rage.
Inevitable Death alarms the heart:

Nature stands by, and bids her aim the dart.
The sick man, stupify'd with fear and woe,
Had hardly words to speak, or tears to flow;
At length in broken sounds was heard to cry,
"Grant me to see my master, e'er I die."
The master came. "Ah, prince," Amariel said,
"Now keep thy promise, and extend thy aid;
Unfurl my tangled thread of human breath,
And call me back one year, before my death."
The prince (for he was wise, and good withall,)
Stood like a statue mortis'd to the wall:
At length recov'ring from amazement, broke
An awful silence, and thus gravely spoke :
"Amariel, sure thy pangs disturb thy brain:
The boon you ask is blasphemous and vain :
Am I a god, to alter Death's decree?
That's the prerogative of Heav'n, not me."

"Then," cry'd Amariel, with an hasty tone, "Gain me a week, three days, or gain me one." "Impossible!" agen the prince reply'd; "Sure thy disease to madness is ally'd: Ask me for riches-freely I resign A third, or half, and bid thee make them thine. Whate'er the world can human greatness call, Pow'r, rank, grants, titles, I'll bestow them all. Then die in peace, or with contentment live, Nor ask a gift no mortal pow'r can give."

With eyes that flash'd with cagerness and fire The sick man then propos'd a new desire: "As Death's dread tyranny has no control, Can you ensure the safety of my soul? Anxious and doubtful for my future state, I read the danger, but I read too late." The prince stood mute; compassion and amaze Tore his divided heart ten thousand ways: Aud, having rightly weigh'd the sick man's


Thus he reply'd in sorrow and despair:

"Salvation of the soul by grace is giv'n ;Unalienable is the grace of Heav'n.

I tremble at the rash request you make,
Which is not mine to grant, or yours to take."
Amariel then, with disappointment spent,
Turn'd from his prince in mournful discontent,
And, lifting up to Heav'n his hands and eyes,
Thus in a flood of tears obtests the skies:

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"Wretch that I am, unworthy of my breath Deceiv'd when living, and deceiv'd in death! Why did I waste my strength, my cares, my To serve a master-master but in name? [fame, An ethnic idol, for delusion made;

Eyes without sight, protection without aid?
Unable to bestow the good we want,
And ready, what avails us not, to grant!
Deceitful, impotent, unuseful pow'r;
Which can give di'monds, but not give an hour!
At Rimmon's shrine no longer will I bow,
But thus to th' all-pow'rful king address my vow:
"O thou, the only great, and good, and wise,
Ruler of Earth, and monarch of the skies;
Thou, whom th' intents of virtuous actions
Whose laws are freedom, and whose service
Whose mercy waits th' offender to the grave,
Willing to hear; omnipotent to save!
Who ne'er forgot one meritorious deed,
Nor left a servant in the hour of need;
To mercy and to equity inclin'd;

Who mind'st the heart, and tenour of the mind.
Forgive my errour, and my life restore;
Thee will I serve alone, and thee adore!
Farewell Earth's deities and idols all;

Moloch and Mammon, Chiun 24, Dagon, Baal:
Whose chemarims 25 tread their fantastic rounds
O'er Aven's 6 plains, and dance to Tyrian

"Hence, false Astarte 27, who the world suborns, Life's lambent meteor glist'ring round her horns. Let Thammuz moan his self-inflicted pain, And Sidon's stream run purple to the main.

"No star of Remphan 28 shall attract my sight, Shorn of its beams, and gleaming sickly light: Malignant orb! which tempts bewilder'd swains To gulphs, to quicksands, and waste trackless By thee the false Achitophel was led; [plains! And Haman dy'd aloft, and made a cloud his bed.

"From worldly hopes and false dependance freed,

I'll seek no safety from a splinter'd reed; Which causes those to fall, who wish to stand; Or, if it aids the steps, gangrenes the hand 3o.

"How vain is all the chymic wealth of pow'r; Sought for an age, and squander'd in an hour! Full late we learn, in sickness, pains, and woe, What in high health 'twas possible to know.

"Two ages may have two Elishas seen; Groups of Gehazis 31 choke the space between:

22 Idcirco servi sumus, ut liberi esse possimus. Cicero.

23 Bishop Jer. Taylor.

24 Chiun, probably from KYON: Qu. if not Anubis. See also Amos, ch. v, v. 26. 1 Kings, ch. xi. v. 32.

25 For the chemarims of Baal, see Hosea, ch. x. v. 5, in Marg. 2 Kings, ch. xxiii. v. 5. 26 Aven. Hosea, ch. x. v. 8. Plains of Aven. Amos, ch. i. v. 5.

27 Perhaps the same as Astaroth, or Venus the goddess of the Sidonians.

28 Acts, ch. viii. v. 43.

29 Esther, ch. vii. v. 9.

30 Isaiah, ch. xxxvi, v. 6.

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Who live unthinking, and obdurate die,
Nor heed their own or children's leprosy 32.
Sin-born and blind! Who change, protest, and


With the same ease they draw the vital air.
Proud of the wit, and heedless of the sin,
They strip, and sell the Christian to the skin 33.
Charms irresistible the dupes behold

In vineyards, farms, and all-compelling gold.
Others (still weaker) set their truth to sale
For a mere sound, and cut off Heav'n's entail:
Whilst he, who never fails his imps, supplies
Prompt treachery, and fresh-created lies.-
Time-servers are at ev'ry man's command
For loaves and fish on Dalmanutha's strand 34 ̧”
He spoke and, with a flood of tears oppress'd,
Gave anguish vent, and felt a moment's rest.
Heav'n with compassion heard the sick man

And Hezekiah gain'd the wish'd reprieve 35.
Once more his blood with equal pulses flow'd,
And health's contentment on his visage glow'd.
Places and honours be with joy resign'd;
(Peace-off'rings to procure a tranquil mind 36!)
Gave all his riches to the sick and poor,
And made one patriarch-farm his only store.
To groves and brooks our new Elijah ran,
Far from the monster world, and traitor man.
Thus he surviv'd the tempest of the day,
And ev❜ning-sunshine shot a glorious ray.
Diseases, sickness, disappointments, sorrow,
All lend us comfort, whilst they seem to borrow.
Here I might paint him in a life retir'd,
Ennobled by the virtues he acquir'd;
But the true transports of the wise and good
Are best by implication understood;
Except the Muse with Dryden's strength could


Me, humble Prudence whispers37 to give o'er.

Bad bards, worse critics!-Thus we multiply
Poems and rules, but write no poetry.
Ev'n Pope, like Charlemagne, with all his fire
Made Paladins-but not an host entire 9.
Far as its pow'rs could go, thy genius went :
Good sense still kept thee in thy own extent40.
Rare wisdom! both t' enjoy and know thy

Most wits, like misers, always covet more.
Leave me, lov'd bard, instructor of my youth,
Leave me the sounds of verse, and voice of truth;
So when Elias dropp'd his mantle, ran
Elisha, and a prophet's life began 4'.

Add, that the Muses, nurst in various climes,
Yield diff'rent produce, and at diff'rent times.
Italian plants, in nature's hot-bed plac'd,
Bear fruits in spring, and riot into waste.
French flow'rs less early, (and yet early,) blow;
Their pertness is a green-house from the snow.
Cold northern wits demand a longer date;
Our genius, like our climate, ripens late.
The fancy's solstice is at forty o'er,

The tropic of our judgment sees three-score.
Thus summer codlings yield a poignant draught,
Which frisks the palate, but ne'er warms the

Rough cackagées, (four months behind them
Take all bad weathers, and through autumn last:
Mellow'd from wild austerity, at length
They taste like nectar, and adopt its strength.


The mistress of witchcrafts.

Nahum, ch. iii, v. 4.

A safe retreat; plann'd and perform'd with care, Draw near hither, ye sons of the sorceress.
Stands for a vict'ry in poetic war.

So when the warbling lark has mounted high
With upright flight, and gain'd upon the sky,
Grown giddy, she contracts her flick'ring wings:
Thrids her descending course in spiral rings,
Less'ning her voice; but to the ground she sings;
Resolving, on a more auspicious day,
Higher to mount, and chant a better lay 3.

How few can still their reader's minds en-

One Pope is the slow child-birth of one age. Others write verses, but they write unblest; Some few good lines stand sponsors for the rest: They miss wit's depth, and on the surface skim; (He who seeks pearls, must dive, as well as swim.)

32 Ibid. v. ult.


Isaiah, ch. Ivii, v. 3.

According to their pasture, so were they filled: they were filled, and their heart was exalted: Therefore they have forgotten me.

Hosea, ch. xiii, v. 6.

39 An answer made by Boccace, when it was objected to him, that some of his novels had not the spirit of the rest.

40 Amongst Mr. Pope's great intellectual abilities, good sense was his most distinguishing character: for he knew precisely, and as it were by a sort of intuition, what he had power to do,

and what he could not do.

He often used to say, that for ten years together he firmly resisted the importunity of friends and flatterers, when they solicited him to under

They pull off the robe with the garment." take a translation of Virgil after Dryden. Nor

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did he ever mistake the extent of his talents, but
in the following trivial instance; and that was,
when he writ his Ode to Music on St. Cecilia's day,
induced perhaps by a secret ambition of rivalling
the inimitable Dryden. In which case, if he
hath not exceeded the original, (for there is al-
ways some advantage in writing first) he hath at
least surpassed (and perhaps ever will surpass)
those that come after him, and attempt to make
the same experiment.
41 2 Kings, ch. ii.

EMPTY, illusory life,

Pregnant with fraud, in mischiefs rife 1;
Form'd to ensnare us, and deceive us :
Nahum's enchantress! which beguiles
With all her harlotry of wiles !-
First she loves, and then she leaves us!

Erring happiness beguiles

The wretch that strays o'er Circe's isles;
All things smile, and all annoy him;
The rose has thorns, the doves can bite;
Riot is a fatigue till night,
Sleep an opium to destroy him.

Louring in the groves of death
Yew-trees breathe funereal breath,
Brambles and thorns perplex the shade;
Asphaltic waters creep and rest;
Birds, in gaudy plumage drest,
Scream unmeaning through the glade".

Earth fallacious herbage3 yields,
And deep in grass its influence shields;
Acrid juices, scent annoying;-
Corrosive crow-feet choke the plains,
And hemloc strip'd with lurid stains,
And luscious mandrakes, life-destroying.

Gaudy bella-donna blowing,
Or with glossy berries glowing,

Lures th' unwise to tempt their doom:
Love's apples masks the fruit of death;
Sick hen-bane murders with her breath,
Actea with an harlot's bloom.

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But cover'd half with ivy-walls;-
There, where Eusebio 9 rais'd a shrine,
Snatch'd from the gulf by Pow'r Divine,
Where Reiga's tumbling torrent falls 1.
Compar'd with thee, how dimly shows
Poor Anacreon's life-less rose?
What is Homer's plant 11 to thee?-
In vain the Mantuan poet try'd
To paint Amellus' starry 12 pride,
Emblem of wit's futility!

Men saw, alas, and knew not thee,
Mystic evangelic tree!

Thou hadst no charms for paynim-eyes;
Till, guided by the lamp of Heav'n,
To chaste Urania pow'r was giv'n
To see, t'admire, and moralize.

All beauteous flow'r, whose centre glows
With studs of gold; thence streaming flows.
Ray-like effulgence. Next is seen
A rich expanse of varying hue,
Enfring'd with an empurpled-blue,
And streak'd with young Pomona's green 13.

High o'er the pointal, deck'd with gold,
(Emblem mysterious to behold,)

9 The baron De Bottoni.

10 This alludes to a well-known fact in the dutchy of Carniola, where the present ode was written.

About the year 1675, a nobleman was riding at night upon a road which goes near the edge of the precipice here mentioned. Mistaking his way (and that for a few steps only) his horse stopped short, and refused to go on; upon which the rider, who in all probability was heated with liquor, (otherwise he ought to have known the precipice better, it being not far from his own castle) lost both his temper and prudence, and spurred the horse with great anger; upon which the poor beast took a desperate leap, intending, as was imagined, to have reached another angle of the precipice on the same side which the road lay. The horse fell directly into the torrent, two or three hundred feet beneath, and was hurried away with such rapidity that the body was never found. The nobleman was discovered next day in an opening of the rock, about half way down, where a few bushes grew; and, as

the saddle was found not far from him, it was

supposed that the horse, by the violence of the effort he made, burst the saddle-girths. The rider lived many years after this wonderful escape, and, out of gratitude to God, erected a beautiful chapel on the edge of the precipice, dedicated (if I mistake not) to St. Anthony of Padua.

I made a drawing of the chapel, precipice, torrent, and nobleman's castle; of which a copy was taken afterwards by the celebrated draftsman Visentini, at Venice, in 1750.

"Moly. Homer's Odyssey, 1. XI, v. 305. 12 Aster Atticus, or (purple Italian) star-wort. Georg. IV, v. 271.

13 Alluding to that particular species of green called by the French pomme-verte, or applegreen.

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