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Our easy bliss, when each thing joy supply'd ; But what most show'd the vanity of life,
In cruel broils engag'd, and deadly strife : Of the wild brooks !—But fondly wandering wide, Most Christian kings, inflam'd by black desire, dy Muse, resume the task that yet doth thee abide. With honourable ruffians in their hire,
Cause war to rage, and blood around to pour : One great amusement of our household was, of this sad work when cach begins to tire, In a huge crystal magic globe to spy,
They sit them down just where they were before, Still as you turn’d it, all things that do pass Till for new scenes of woe peace shall their force Upon this ant-hill Earth; where constantly of idly-busy men the restless fry Run bustling to and fro with foolish haste, To number up the thousands dwelling here, In search of pleasure vain that from them fly, An useless were, and eke an endless task ;
Or which obtain'd, the caititfs dare not taste : From kings, and those who at the helm appear, When nothing is enjoy'd, can there be greater To gypsies brown in summer-glades who bask.) waste?
Yea, many a man, perdic, I could unmask,
Whose desk and table make a solemn show, “ Of vanity the mirrour" this was call'a.
With tape-ty'd trash, and suits of fools that ask Here you a muckworm of the town might see, For place or pension laid in decent row; At his dull desk, amid his legers stallid,
But these I passen by, with nameless numbers moe. Eat up with carking care and penurie : Most like to carcase parch'd on gallow-tree. Of all the gentle tenants of the place, “ A penny saved is a penny got;"
There was a man of special grave remark : Firm to this scoundrel maxim keepeth he,
A certain tender gloom o'erspread his face, Ne of its rigour will he bate a jot,
Pensive, not sad, in thought involv'd, not dark; Till it has quench'd his fire, and banished his pote As soot this man could sing as morning-lark,
And teach the noblest morals of the heart : Straight from the filth of this low grub, behold! But these his talents were yburied stark ; Comes fluttering forth a gaudy spendthrift heir, Of the fine stores he nothing would impart, All glossy gay, enamell'd all with gold, Which or boon Nature gave, or Nature-painting The silly tenant of the summer-air,
Art. In folly lost, of nothing takes he care; l'imps, lawyers, stewards, harlots, flatterers vile, To noontide shades incontinent he ran, And thieving tradesmen him among them share : Where purls the brook with sleep-inviting sound;
His father's ghost from limbo-lake, the while, Or when Dan Sol to slope his wheels began, Sees this, which more damnation doth upon him pile. Amid the broom he bask'd him on the ground,
Where the wild thyme and camomoil are found: This globe pourtray'd the race of learned men, There would he linger, till the latest ray Suill at their books, and turning o'er the page Of light sat trembling on the welkin's bound; Backwards and forwards : oft they snatch the pen, Then homeward through the twilight shadows As if inspir'd, and in a Thespian rage ;
stray, Then write, and blot, as would your ruth engage. Sauntering and slow. So had he passed many a day! Why, authors, all this scrawl and scribbling sore ? To lose the present, gain the future age,
Yet not in thoughtless slumber were they past : Praised to be when you can hear no more,
For oft the heavenly fire, that lay conceal'd And much enrich'd with fame, wlien useless worldly Beneath the sleeping embers, mounted fast,
And all its native light anew reveal'd:
Oft as he travers'd the cerulean field, Then would a splendid city rise to view,
And markt the clouds that drove before the wind, With carts, and cars, and coaches, roaring all : Ten thousand glorious systems would he build, Wide pour'd abroad behold the giddy crew; Ten thousand great ideas fill'd his mind; See how they dash along from wall to wall ! But with the clouds they fled, and left no trace At every door, hark how they thundering call!
behind. Good Lord! what can this giddy rout excite ? Why, on each other with fell tooth to fall ; With him was sometimes join'd, in silent walk,
A neighbour's fortune, fame, or peace to blight, (Profoundly silent, for they never spoke,) And make new tiresome parties for the coming One shyer still, who quite detested talk : night.
Oft, stung by spleen, at once away he broke,
To groves of pine, and broad o'ershadowing oak; ! The puzzling sons of party next appear’d,
There, inly thrill’d, he wander'd all alone, In dark cabals and nightly juntos met ; (rear'd
And on himself his pensive fury wroke, And now they whisper'd close, now shrugging Ne ever utter'd word, save when first shone Th' important shoulder ; then, as if to get The glittering star of eve — “ Thank Heaven ! the New light, their twinkling eyes were inward set.
day is done." No sooner Lucifer recalls affairs, Than forth they various rush in mighty fret ; Here lurk'd a wretch, who had not crept abroad When, lo! push'd up to power, and crown'd For forty years, ne face of mortal seen;
(stairs. In chamber brooding like a loathly toad : In comes another sett, and kicketh them down And sure his linen was not very clean.
Through secret loop-holes, that had practis'd been A bard here dwelt, more fat than bard beseems; Near to his bed, his dinner vile he took ;
+ Who, void of envy, guile, and lust of gain, Unkempt, and rough, of squalid face and mien, On virtue still, and Nature's pleasing themes,
Our castle's shame! whence, from his filthy nook, Pour'd forth his unpremeditated strain : We drove the villain out for fitter lair to look. The world forsaking with a calm disdain,
Here laugh’d he careless in his easy seat; One day there chaunc'd into these halls to rove Here quaft 'd encircled with the joyous trail, A joyous youth, who took you at first sight; Oft moralizing sage ; his ditty sweet Him the wild wave of pleasure hither drove, He loathed much to write, ne cared to repeat. Before the sprightly tempest-tossing light : Certes, he was a most engaging wight,
Full oft by holy feet our ground was trod, Of social glee, and wit humane, though keen, Of clerks good plenty here you mote espy. Turning the night to day, and day to night : A little, round, fat, oily man of God, )
For him the merry bells had rung, I ween, Was one I chiefly mark'd among the fry: If in this nook of quiet bells had ever been.
He had a roguish twinkle in his eye,
And shone all glittering with ungodly dew, But not ev'n pleasure to excess is good :
If a tight damsel chaunc'd to trippen by; What most elates then sinks the soul as low : Which, when observ'd, he shrunk into his mew, When spring-tide joy pours in with copious food, And straight would recollect his piety anew. The higher still th' exulting billows flow, The farther back again they flagging go,
Nor be forgot a tribe, who minded nought And leave us grovelling on the dreary shore : (Old inmates of the place) but state-affairs: Taught by this son of joy, we found it so: They look’d, perdie, as if they deeply thought ;
Who, whilst he staid, kept in a gay uproar And on their brow sat every nation's cares. Our madden'd castle all, th' abode of sleep no more. The world by them is parcell'd out in shares.
When in the hall of smoke they congress hold, As when in prime of June a burnish'd fly, And the sage berry sun-burnt Mocha bears Sprung from the meads, o'er which he sweeps Has clear'd their inward eye : then, smoke-enalong,
roll'd, Cheer'd by the breathing bloom and vital sky, Their oracles break forth mysterious, as of old. Tunes up amid these airy halls his song, Soothing at first the gay reposing throng:
Here languid Beauty kept her pale-fae'd court: 1 And oft he sips their bowl: or, nearly drown'd, Bevies of dainty dames, of high degree, He, thence recovering, drives their beds among, From every quarter hither made resort; And scares their tender sleep, with trump pro Where, from gross mortal care and business found;
free, Then out again he flies, to wing his mazy round. They lay, pour'd out in ease and luxury.
Or should they a vain show of work assume, Another guest there was, of sense refin’d,
Alas! and well-a-day! what can it be? Who felt each worth, for every worth he had ; To knot, to twist, to range the vernal bloom : Serene, yet warm, humane, yet firm his mind, But far is cast the distaff, spinning-wheel, and As little touch'd as any man's with bad :
loom. Him through their inmost walks the Muses lad, To him the sacred love of Nature lent,
Their only labour was to kill the time; ) And sometimes would he make our valley glad;
And labour dire it is, and weary woed When as we found he would not here be pent, They sit, they loll, turn o'er some idle rhyme; To him the better sort this friendly message sent.
Then, rising sudden, to the glass they go,
Or saunter forth, with tottering step and slow : “ Come, dwell with us! true son of virtue, come! This soon too rude an exercise they find; But if, alas ! we cannot thee persuade,
Straight on the couch their limbs again they To lie content beneath our peaceful dome,
throw, Ne ever more to quit our quiet glade ;
Where hours on hours they sighing lie reclin'd, Yet when at last thy toils but ill apaid
And court the vapoury god soft-breathing in the Shall dead thy fire, and damp its heavenly spark,
wind. Thou wilt be glad to seek the rural shade, There to indulge the Muse, and Nature mark : Now must I mark the villainy we found, We then a lodge for thee will rear in Hagley-Park.” But, ah! too late, as shall eftsoons be shown.
A place here was, deep, dreary, under ground; Here whilom ligg'd th’Esopus * of the age ; Where still our inmates, when unpleasing grown, But call'd by Fame, in soul ypricked deep, Diseas'd'and loathsome, privily were thrown. A noble pride restor'd him to the stage,
Far from the light of Heaven, they languish'd And rous'd him like a giant from his sleep.
there, Ev'n from his slumbers we advantage reap: Unpity'd uttering many a bitter groan ; With double force th' enliven'd scene he wakes, For of these wretches taken was no care : Yet quits not Nature's bounds. He knows to keep Fierce fiends, and hags of Hell, their only nurses
Each due decorum : now the heart he shakes, And now with well-urg'd sense th' enlighten’d judgment takes.
+ This character of Mr. Thomson was written • Mr. Quin.
by Lord Lyttelton.
Alas! the change! from scenes of joy and rest, I care not, Fortune, what you me deny:
You cannot shut the windows of the sky, (face ;
And I their toys to the great children leave : And taught withouten pain and strife to yield the Of fancy, reason, virtue, nought can me bereave. breath,
Come then, my Muse, and raise a bolder song ; Of limbs enormous, but withal unsound,
Come, lig no more upon the bed of sloth,
Thy half-writ scrolls all eaten by the moth: For still he drank, and yet he still was dry. Arise, and sing that generous imp of Fame, And moping here did Hypochondria sit,
Who with the sons of softness nobly wroth, Mother of Spleen, in robes of various dye,
To sweep away this human lumber came, Who vex'd was full oft with ugly fit; [a wit. Or in a chosen few to rouse the slumbering flame. And some her frantic deem'd, and some her deem'd
In Fairy-land there liv'd a knight of old, A lady proud she was, of ancient blood,
Of feature stern, Selvaggio well yclep'd, Yet oft her fear her pride made crouchen low : A rough unpolish'd man, robust and bold, She felt, or fancy'd in her fluttering mood,
But wondrous poor: he neither sow'd nor reap'd, · All the diseases which the spittles know,
Ne stores in summer for cold winter heap'd; And sought all physic which the shops bestow. In hunting all his days away he wore;
And still new leeches and new drugs would try, Now scorch'd by June, now in November steep'd, - Her humour ever wavering to and fro;
Now pinch'd by biting January sore, For sometimes she would laugh, and some- He still in woods pursued the libbard and the boar. Then sudden waxed wroth, and all she knew not As he one morning, long before the dawn, why.
Prick'd through the forest to dislodge his prey,
Deep in the winding bosom of a lawn, Fast by her side a listless maiden pin'd,
With wood wild-fring'd, he mark'd a taper's ray, With aching head, and squeamish heart-burnings; That from the beating rain, and wintery fray, Pale, bloated, cold, she seem'd to hate mankind, Did to a lonely cot his steps decoy; Yet lov’d in secret all forbidden things.
There, up to earn the needments of the day, And here the Tertian shakes his chilling wings;
He found dame Poverty, nor fair nor coy : The sleepless Gout here counts the crowing cocks, Her he compress’d, and fill'd her with a lusty boy. A wolf now gnaws him, now a serpent stings; Whilst Apoplexy cramm'd Intemperance knocks Amid the green-wood shade this boy was bred, down to the ground at once, as butcher felleth ox. And grew at last a knight of muchel farne,
Of active mind and vigorous lustyhed,
The Knight of Arts and Industry by name. Canto II.
Earth was his bed, the boughs his roof did frame;
He knew no beverage but the flowing stream ; The knight of arts and industry,
His tasteful well-earn'd food the sylvan game, And his achievements fair ;
Or the brown fruit with which the woodlands teem: That by his castle's overthrow,
The same to him glad summer, or the winter breme. Secur'd, and crowned were.
So pass'd his youthly morning, void of care, Escap'd the castle of the sire of sin,
Wild as the colts that thro' the commons run: Ah! where shall I so sweet a dwelling find ? For him no tender parents troubled were, For all around, without, and all within,
He of the forest seem'd to be the son, Nothing save what delightful was and kind, And certes had been utterly undone; Of goodness savouring and a tender mind,
But that Minerva pity of him took, E'er rose to view. But now another strain, With all the gods that love the rural wonne, Of doleful note, alas! remains behind :
That teach to tame the soil and rule the crook ; I now must sing of pleasure turn'd to pain, Ne did the sacred Nine disdain a gentle look. nd of the false enchanter, Indolence, complain.
Of fertile genius him they nurtur'd well, Is there no patron to protect the Muse,
In every science, and in every art, And fence for her Parnassus' barren soil ?
By which mankind the thoughtless brutes excel, To every labour its reward accrues,
That can or use, or joy, or grace impart, And they are sure of bread who swink and moil ; Disclosing all the powers of head and heart : But a fell tribe th’ Aonian bive despoil,
Ne were the goodly exercises spar'd, As ruthless wasps oft rob the painful bee :
That brace the nerves, or make the limbs alert, Thus while the laws not guard that noblest toil, And mix elastic force with firmness hard : Ne for the other Muses meed decree,
Was never knight on ground mote be with him ey praised are alone, and starve right merrily.
Then Egypt, Greece, and Rome, their golden | Ah! gracious God, thou know'st they ask noch
Sometimes, with early morn, he mounted gay Successive had ; but now in ruins grey
To crown his toils, sir Industry then spread
, Or wheel'd the chariot in its mid career, (peer. All careless rambling where it lik'd them most : Or strenuous wrestled hard with many a tough com Their wealth the wild-deer bouncing through the
glade ; At other times he pry'd through Nature's store, They lodg’d at large, and liv'd at Nature's eest; Whate'er she in th' ethereal round contains, Save spear, and bow, withouten other aid ; Whate'er she hides beneath her verdant floor, Yet not the Roman steel their naked breast The vegetable and the mineral reigns: (mains,
inay'd. Or else he scann'd the globe, those small do Where restless mortals such a turmoil keep, He lik'd the soil, he lik'd the clement skies, Its seas, its floods, its mountains, and its plains ; He lik’d the verdant hills and flowery plains, But more he search'd the mind, and rous'd from “ Be this my great, my chosen isle," he cries sleep
“ This, whilst my labours Liberty sustains, Those moral seeds whence we heroic actions reap. This queen of Ocean all assault disdains. "
Nor lik’d he less the genius of the land,
And oft he put himself to Neptune's school, Whatever finish'd Agriculture knows, Fighting with winds and waves on the vext ocean Fair queen of arts! from Heaven itself who caste pool.
When Eden flourished in unspotted fame :
And still with her sweet Innocence we find, To solace then these rougher toils, he try'd And tender Peace, and joys without a name, To touch the kindling canvass into life ;
That, while they ravish, tranquillize the mind : With Nature his creating pencil vy'd,
Nature and Art, at once, delight and use com With Nature joyous at the mimic strife :
bin'd. Or, to such shapes as grac'd Pygmalion's wife, He hew'd the marble ; or, with varied fire,
The towns he quicken'd by mechanic arts, He rous'd the trumpet and the martial fife,
And bade the fervent city glow with toil; Or bade the lute sweet tenderness inspire, [lyre. Bade social Commerce raise renowned marts, Or verses fram'd that well might wake Apollo's Join land to land, and marry soil to soil
Unite the Poles, and, without bloody spoil
, Accomplish'd thus he from the woods issued, Bring home of either Ind the gorgeous stores; Full of great aims, and bent on bold emprize ; Or, should despotic rage the world embroil
, The work, which long he in his breast had brew'd, Bade tyrants tremble on remotest shores
, mours Now to perform he ardent did devise ;
While o'er th' encircling deep Britannia's thunder To wit, a barbarous world to civilize. Earth was till then a boundless forest wild ; The drooping Muses then he westward call'd
, Nought to be seen but savage wood, and skies ; From the fam'd city by Propontic sea, No cities nourish'd arts, no culture smil'd,
What time the Turk th' enfeebled Great No government, no laws, no gentle manners mild.
Thence from their cloister'd walks he set da A rugged wight, the worst of brutes, was man ;
free, On his own wretched kind he, ruthless, prey'd : And brought them to another Castalie, The strongest still the weakest over-ran;
Where Isis many a famous noursling breeds; In every country mighty robbers sway'd,
Or where old Cam soft-paces o'er the lea And guile and ruffian force were all their trade. In pensive mood, and tunes his Doric reeds Life was a scene of rapine, want, and woe; The whilst his flocks at large the lonely slajdere Which this brave knight, in noble anger, made
feeds. To swear, he would the rascal rout o'erthrow, For, by the powers divine, it should no more be so! Yet the fine arts were what he finish'd least.
For why? They are the quintessence of all, It would exceed the purport of my song,
The growth of labouring time, and slow increat To say how this best Sun from orient climes Unless, as seldom chances, it should fall, Came beaming life and beauty all along,
That mighty patrons the coy sisters call Before lim chasing indolence and crimes. Up to the sun-shine of uncumber'd ease, (tra Still as he pass'd, the nations he sublimes,
Where no rude care the mounting thought wel And calls forth arts and virtues with his ray :
And where they nothing have to do but please. times,
But now, alas! we live too late in time :
Of public virtue much he dull’d the sense, Our patrons now ev'n grudge that little claim, Ev'n much of private ; ate our spirit out, Except to such as sleek the soothing rhyme ; And fed our rank luxurious vices: whence And yet, forsooth, they wear Mæcenas' name, The land was overlaid with many a lout; Poor sons of puft-up vanity, not fame.
Not as old Fame reports, wise, generous, bold, and Unbroken spirits, cheer! still, still remains
stout. Th' eternal patron, Liberty ; whose flame,
While she protects, inspires the noblest strains. A rage of pleasure madden'd every breast, The best, and sweetest far, are toil-created gains. Down to the lowest lees the ferment ran :
To his licentious wish each must be blest,
Thus Vice the standard rear'd; her arrier-ban
man, When this great plan, with each dependent art, The lacquey, be more virtuous than his lord ? Was settled firm, and to his heart's content, Enjoy this span of life! 'tis all the gods afford."
Then sought he from the toilsome scene to part, And let life's vacant eve breathe quiet through the The tidings reach'd to where, in quiet hall, heart.
The good old knight enjoy'd well-earn'd repose.
“ Come, come, sir Knight! thy children on thee For this he chose a farm in Deva's vale,
call : Where his long alleys peep'd upon the main. Come, save us yet, ere ruin round us close ! In this calm seat he drew the healthful gale, The demon Indolence thy toils o'erthrows." Here mix'd the chief, the patriot, and the swain. On this the noble colour stain'd his cheeks, The happy monarch of his sylvan train,
Indignant, glowing through the whitening snows Here, sided by the guardians of the fold,
Of venerable eld; his eye full speaks He walk'd his rounds, and cheer'd his blest His ardent soul, and from his couch at once he domain !
breaks. His days, the days of unstain’d nature, rollid, Replete with peace and joy, like patriarchs of old. " I will,” he cry'd, “so help me God! destroy
That villain Archimage.” His page then Witness, ye lowing herds, who gave him milk;
straight Witness, ye flocks, whose woolly vestments far He to him callid, a fiery-footed boy, Exceed soft India's cotton, or her silk;
Benempt Dispatch. “My steed be at the gate ; Witness, with autumn charg'd, the nodding car, My bard attend; quick, bring the net of Fate.' That homeward came beneath sweet evening's This net was twisted by the sisters three; (late star,
Which when once cast o'er harden'd wretch, too Or of September moons the radiance mild.
Repentance comes; replevy cannot be 0, hide thy head, abominable War!
From the strong iron grasp of vengeful Destiny. Of crimes and ruffian-idleness the child From Heaven this life ysprung, from Hell thy glories He came, the bard, a little druid-wight, vild !
Of wither'd aspect; but his eye was keen,
With sweetness mix'd. In russet brown bedight, Nor from this deep retirenient banish'd was As is his sister * of the copses green, Th' amusing care of rural industry.
He crept along, unpromising of mien. Still as with grateful change the seasons pass, Gross he who judges so. His soul was fair, New scenes arise, new landskips strike the eye, I Bright as the children of yon azure sheen. And all th' enliven'd country beautify:
True comeliness, which nothing can impair, Gay plains extend where marshes slept before; Dwells in the mind: all else is vanity and glare. O'er recent meads th' exulting streamlets fly; Dark frowning heaths grow bright with Ceres' “ Come," quoth the knight, “ a voice has reach'd store,
mine ear : And woods imbrown the steep, or wave along the The demon Indolence threats overthrow
To all that to mankind is good and dear : As nearer to his farm you made approach,
Come, Philomelus; let us instant go, He polish'd nature with a finer hand :
O'erturn his bowers, and lay his castle low. Yet on her beauties durst not art incroach ; Those men, those wretched men who will be 'Tis art's alone these beauties to expand.
slaves, In graceful dance immingled, o'er the land, Must drink a bitter wrathful cup of woe : Pan, Paleas, Flora, and Pomona play'd :
But some there be, thy song, as from their graves, Here too brisk gales the rude wild common fann'da Shall raise. Thrice happy he! who without rigour
An happy place; where free, and unafraid, Imid the flowering brakes each coyer creature stray'de
Issuing forth, the knight bestrode his steed,
Of ardent bay, and on whose front a star [breed But in prime vigour what can last for ay ? Shone blazing bright: sprung from the generous That soul-enfeebling wizard Indolence,
That whirl of active day the rapid car,
• The nightingale.