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But does no other lord it at this hour,
As wild and mad? the avarice of pow'r?
Does neither rage inflame, nor fear appal?
Not the black fear of death, that saddens all?
With terrors round, can reason hold her throne, 310
Despise the known, or tremble at th' unknown?
Survey both worlds, intrepid and entire,
In spite of witches, devils, dreams, and fire?
Pleas'd to look forward, pleas'd to look behind,
And count each birthday with a grateful mind, 315
Has life no sourness drawn so near its end?
Canst thou endure a foe, forgive a friend?
Has age but melted the rough parts away,
As winter fruits grow mild ere they decay?
Or will you think, my friend your business done,
When of a hundred thorns you pull out one?
Learn to live well, or fairly make your will; You've play'd, and lov'd, and ate, and drank your fill.
Walk sober off before a sprightlier age
Comes tittering on, and shoves you from the stage: Leave such to trifle with more grace than ease, 326 Whom folly pleases, and whose follies please.
new tumults in my breast?
Ah, spare me, Venus! let me, let me rest!
I am not now, alas! the man
As in the gentle reign of my queen Anne.
Ah! sound no more thy soft alarms,
Nor circle sober fifty with thy charms.
Mother too fierce of dear desires!
Turn, turn to willing hearts your wanton fires:
To number five direct your doves,
There spread round Murray all your blooming loves;
Noble and young, who strikes the heart
With every sprightly, every decent part;
Equal the injur'd to defend,
To charm the mistress, or to fix the friend:
He, with an hundred arts refin'd,
Shall stretch thy conquests over half the kind:
To him each rival shall submit,
Make but his riches equal to his wit.
.Then shall thy form the marble grace,
(Thy Grecian form) and Chloe lend the face:
His house embosom'd in the grove,
Sacred to social life and social love,
Shall glitter o'er the pendant green,
Where Thames reflects the visionary scene:
Thither the silver-sounding lyres
Shall call the smiling loves and young desires;
There every grace and Muse shall throng,
Exalt the dance or animate the song;
There youths and nymphs, in consort gay,
Shall hail the rising, close the parting day.
With me, alas! those joys are o'er;
With me the vernal garlands bloom no more.
Adieu! fond hope of mutual fire,
The still-believing, still-renew'd desire:
Adieu! the heart-expanding bowl,
And all the kind deceivers of the soul!
But why? ah! tell me, ah! too dear!
Steals down my cheek th' involuntary tear?
Why words so flowing, thought so free,
Stop, or turn nonsense, at one glance of thee!
Thee, dress'd in fancy's airy beam,
Absent I follow through th' extended dream;
Now, now I seize, I clasp thy charms,
And now you burst (ah, cruel!) from my arms!
And swiftly shoot along the mall,
Now shown by Cynthia's silver ray,
Or softly glide by the canal;
And now on roiling waters snatch'd away.
LEST you should think that verse shall die
Which sounds the silver Thames along,
Taught on the wings of truth to fly
Above the reach of vulgar song;
Though daring Milton sits sublime,
In Spenser native Muses play;
Nor yet shall Waller yield to time,
Nor pensive Cowley's moral lay-
Sages and chiefs long since had birth
Ere Cæsar was or Newton nam'd;
These rais'd new empires o'er the earth,
And those new heav'ns and systems fram'd.
Vain was the chief's, the sage's pride!
They had no poet, and they died.
In vain they schem'd, in vain they bled!
They had no poct, and are dead.
DR. JOHN DONNE,
DEAN OF ST. PAUL'S,
Quid vetat et nosmet Lucili scripta legentes
Quærere, num illius, num rerum dura negarit
Versiculos natura magis factos, et euntes
YES, thank my stars! as early as I knew
This town, I had the sense to hate it too;
Yet here, as ev'n in hell, there must be still
One giant vice so excellently ill,
That all beside one pities, not abhors,
As who knows Sappho, smiles at other whores.
I grant that poetry's a crying sin;
It brought no doubt th' excise and army in:
Catch'd like the plague, or love, the Lord knows how, But that the cure is starving all allow.
Yet like the Papist's is the poet's state,
Poor and disarm'd, and hardly worth your hate!
Here a lean bard, whose wit could never give
Himself a dinner, makes an actor live:
The thief condemn'd, in law already dead,
So prompts and saves a rogue who cannot read.
Thus as the pipes of some carv'd organ move,
The gilded puppets dance and mount above:
Heav'd by the breath th' inspiring bellows blow;
Th' inspiring bellows lie and pant below.
One sings the fair; but songs no longer move:
No rat is rhym'd to death, nor maid to love:
In love's, in nature's spite the siege they hold.
And scorn the flesh, the devil, and all but gold.
These write to lords, some mean reward to get,
As needy beggars sing at doors for meat:
Those write because all write, and so have still
Excuse for writing, and for writing ill.
Wretched indeed! but far more wretched
Is he who makes his meal on others' wit:
'Tis chang'd, no doubt, from what it was before;
His rank digestion makes it wit no more:
Sense pass'd through him no longer is the same;
For food digested takes another name.
I pass o'er all those confessors and martyrs,
Who live like S-tt-n, or who die like Chartres.
Outcant old Esdras, or outdrink his heir,
Out-usure Jews, or Irishmen out-swear;
Wicked as pages, who in early years
Act sins which Prisca's confessor scarce hears.
Ev'n those I pardon, for whose sinful sake
Schoolmen new tenements in hell must make;
Of whose strange crimes no canonist can tell
In what commandment's large contents they dwell.
One, one man only breeds my just offence,
Whom crimes gave wealth, and wealth gave impu
Time, that at last matures a clap to p-x, [dence:
Whose gentle progress makes a calf an ox,
And brings all natural events to pass,
Hath made him an attorney of an ass.
No young divine, new benefic'd, can be
More pert, more proud, more positive than he.
What further could I wish the fop to do
But turn a wit, and scribble verses too?
Pierce the soft lab'rinth of a lady's ear
With rhymes of this per cent. and that per year?
Or court a wife, spread out his wily parts,
Like nets, or lime-twigs for rich widow's hearts;
Call himself barrister to ev'ry wench,
And woo in language of the Pleas and Bench?
Language which Boreas might to Auster hold,
More rough than forty Germans when they scold.
Curs'd be the wretch, so venal and so vain,
Paltry and proud as drabs in Drury-Lane. 'Tis such a bounty as was never known, If Peter deigns to help you to your own:
What thanks, what praise, if Peter but supplies!
And what a solemn face if he denies!
Grave as when pris'ners shake the head, and swear 'Twas only suretyship that brought 'em there.