« AnteriorContinuar »
His indisputed rights extend Through all the lane, from end to end; The neighbours round admire his shrewdness For songs of loyalty and lewdness; Outdone by none in rhyming well, Although he never learn'd to spell. Two bordering wits contend for glory; And one is Whig, and one is Tory: And this for epics claims the bays, And that for elegiac lays: Some fam'd for numbers soft and smooth, By lovers spoke in Punch's booth; And some as justly fame extols For lofty lines in Smithfield drolls, Bavius in Wapping gains renown, And Maevius reigns o'er Kentish-town: Tigellius, plac'd in Phoebus' car, From Ludgate shines to Temple-bar; Harmonious Cibber entertains The court with annual birth-day strains; Whence Gay was banish'd in disgrace; Where Pope will never show his face; Where Young must torture his invention To flatter knaves, or lose his pension. But these are not a thousandth part Of jobbers in the poet's art, Attending each his proper station, And all in due subordination, Through every alley to be found, In garrets high, or under ground; And when they join their pericranies, Out skips a book of miscellanies. Hobbes clearly proves that every creature Lives in a state of war by nature. The greater for the smallest watch, But meddle seldom with their match. A whale of moderate size will draw A shoal of herrings down his maw; A fox with geese his belly crams; A wolf destroys a thousand lambs: But search among the rhyming race, The brave are worry'd by the base. If on Parnassus' top you sit, You rarely bite, are always bit. Each poet of inferior size On you shall rail and criticise, And strive to tear you limb from limb; While others do as much for him. The vermin only tease and pinch Their foes superior by an inch. So, naturalists observe, a fiea Hath smaller fleas that on him prey; And these have smaller still to bite 'em, And so proceed ad infinitum. Thus every poet in his kind Is bit by him that comes behind: Who, though too little to be seen, Can tease, and gall, and give the spleen; Call dunces fools and sons of whores, Lay Grub-street at each other's doors; Extol the Greek and Roman masters, And curse our modern poetasters; Complain, as many an ancient bard did, How genius is no more rewarded; How wrong a taste prevails among us; How much our ancestors outsung us; Can personate an awkward scorn For those who are not poets born; And all their brother-dunces lash, Who crowd the press with hourly trash.
O Grub-street ! how do I bemoan thee, Whose graceless children scorn to own thee! Their filial piety forgot, Deny their country, like a Scot; Though, by their idiom and grimace, They soon betray their native place. Yet thou hast greater cause to be Asham'd of them, than they of thee, Degenerate from their ancient brood, Since first the court allow'd them food. Remains a difficulty still, To purchase fame by writing ill. From Flecknoe down to Howard's time, How few have reach'd the low sublime ! For when our high-born Howard dy'd, Blackmore alone his place supply'd : And, lest a chasm should intervene, When Death had finish'd Blackmore's reign, The leaden crown devolv'd to thee, Great poet of the hollow tree. But ah! how unsecure thy throne! A thousand bards thy right disown: They plot to turn, in factious zeal, Duncemia to a common weal; And with rebellious arms pretend An equal privilege to descend. In bulk there are not more degrees From elephants to mites in cheese, Than what a curious eye may trace In creatures of the rhyming race. From bad to worse, and worse, they fall; But who can reach the worst of all? For though, in nature, depth and height Are equally held infinite ; In poetry, the height we know ; 'Tis only infinite below. For instance: when you rashly think, No rhymer can like Welsted sink, His merits balanc'd, you shall find The laureat leaves him far behind. Concannen, more aspiring bard, Soars downwards deeper by a yard. Smart Jemmy Moor with vigour drops: The rest pursue as thick as hops. With heads to points the gulph they enter, Link'd perpendicular to the centre; And, as their heels elated rise, Their heads attempt the nether skies. Oh, what indignity and shame, To prostitute the Muse's name ! By flattering kings, whom Heaven design'd The plagues and scourges of mankind; Bred up in ignorance and sloth, And every vice that nurses both. Fair Britain, in thy monarch blest, Whose virtues bear the strictest test; Whom never faction could bespatter, Nor minister nor poet flatter; What justice in rewarding merit! What magnanimity of spirit! What lineaments divine we trace Through all his figure, mien, and face! Though peace with olive bind his hands, Confess'd the conquering hero stands. Hydaspes, Indus, and the Ganges, Dread from his hand impending changes. From him the Tartar and Chinese, Short by the knees, entreat for peace. The consort of his throne and bed, A perfect goddess born and bred,
Appointed sovereign judge to sit
And tune your harps, and strow your bays.
Your panegyrics here provide;
A DESCRIPTION OF A CITY-SHOWER,
IN IMITATION of virgil's GeoRGics. 1710. CAREFUL observers may fortell the hour (By sure prognostics) when to dread a shower. While rain depends, the pensive cat gives o'er Her frolics, and pursues her tail no more. Returning home at night, you'll find the sink Strike your offended sense with double stink. If you be wise, then go not far to dine; You'll spend in coach-hire more than save in wine. A coming shower your shooting corns presage, Old aches will throb, your hollow tooth will rage. Sauntering in coffee-house is Dulman seen ; He damns the climate, and complains of spleen. Meanwhile the south, rising with dabbled wings, A sable cloud athwart the welkin flings, That swill'd more liquor than it could contain, And, like a drunkard, gives it up again. Brisk Susan whips her linen from the rope, While the first drizzling shower is borne aslope: Such is that sprinkling which some careless quean Flirts on you from her mop, but not so clean: You fly, invoke the gods; then, turning, stop To rail; she, singing, still whirls on her mop. Not yet the dust had shunn'd th' unequal strife, But aided by the wind, fought still for life: And, wafted with its foe by violent gust, 'Twas doubtful which was rain, and which was dust. Ah! where must needy poet seek for aid, When dust and rain at once his coat invade? Sole coat! where dust cemented by the rain Erects the nap, and leaves a cloudy stain : Now in contiguous drops the flood comes down, Threatening with deluge this devoted town. To shops in crowds the daggled females fly, Pretend to cheapen goods, but nothing buy. The templar spruce, while every spout ’s abroach, Stays till 'tis fair, yet seems to call a coach. The tuck'd-up sempstress walks with hasty strides, While streams run down her oil’d umbrella's sides. Here various kinds, by various fortunes led, Commence acquaintance underneath a shed. Triumphant Tories and desponding Whigs Forget their feuds, and join to save their wigs. Box'd in a chair, the beau impatient sits, While spouts run clattering o'er the roof by fits, And ever and anon with frightful din The leather sounds; he trembles from within. So when Troy chairmen bore the wooden steed, Pregnant with Greeks impatient to be freed, (Those bully Greeks, who, as the moderns do, Instead of paying chairmen, ran them through,) Laocoon struck the outside with his spear, And each imprison'd hero quak'd for fear. Now from all parts the swelling kennels flow, And bear their trophies with them as they go : Filths of all hues and odours seem to tell What street they sail'd from by their sight and smell. They, as each torrent drives, with rapid force, From Smithfield or St. "Pulchre's shape their course, And in huge confluence join’d at Snowhill ridge, Fall from the conduit prone to Holborn bridge. Sweepings from butchers' stalls, dung, guts, and blood, (mud, Drown'd puppies, stinking sprats, all drench'd in Dead cats, and turnip-tops, come tumbling down the flood,
HORACE, BOOK III. ODE II.
to rhE EARL or or Ford, LATE LoRD TREAsurer.
sENT to HIM when IN THE ToweR, 1617.
How blest is he who for his country dies,
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;
Humbly showeth, 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 > And, God knows, I thought my money was as safe as my maidenhead.
• The ensign of the lord treasurer's office. + The Earls of Berkeley and of Galway. # Lady Betty Berkeley, afterwards Germaine.
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 a plain case. 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 a-dream’d, methought, that we went and search'd the folks round, And in a corner of Mrs. Dukes's "box, ty'd in a rag, the money was found. So next morning we told Whittle +, and he fell a-swearing : Then my dame Wadger 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 2 Nay, said she, my Lord Colway'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.) However, I am resolv'd to bring the discourse slily about: 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.
* Wife to one of the footmen.
+ Earl of Berkeley's valet.
# The old deaf housekeeper.
| The Earl of Drogheda, who, with the primate, was to succeed the two earls.
* Clerk of the kitchen.
++ An usual saying of hers.
Now, Mrs. Dukes, you know, and every body understands, 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 have had me gone to the cunning man 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, out I blunder'd, Parson, said I, canyou cast a nativity, whena body's plunder'd? (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; You are no tert for my handling; so take that from me: 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 away. Well: I thought I should 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, don't cry; I'll give you something towards thy loss; and, says my lady, so will I. Oh! but, said I, what if, after all, the chaplain won't come to * For that, he said, (an't please your ercellencies,) I must petition you. The premisses tenderly consider'd, I desire your ercellencies protection, And that I may have a share in next Sunday's collection; And over and above, that I may have your ercellencies 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 coxim ANDED THE Battish Forces in spark
MoRDANTo fills the trump of fame,
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 morn: 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.
THE PROGRESS OF POETRY.
The farmer's goose, who in the stubble
Hard exercise and harder fare
The steed, oppress'd, would break his girth,