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J OH N P O M F R E T.

The Poems of Dr. Watts were by my recommendation inserted in this Collection ; the Readers of " which are to impute to me whatever pleasure or weariness they may find in the perusal of Blackmore, Watts, Pomfret, and Yalden.”

DR. JOHNSON

I

P R E F A C E. T will be to little purpose, the Author presumes, to offer any reasons, why the true ; and if he does, it is much greater odds, whether the gentle reader is so courteous as to believe him.

He could tell the world, according to the laudable cuftom of Prefaces, that it was through the irresistible importunity of friends, or Come other excuse of ancient renown, that he ventured them to the press ; but he thought it much better to leave every man to guess for himself, and then he would be sure to satisfy himself: for, let what will be pretended, people are grown so

very apt to fancy they are always in the right, that, unless it hit their humour, it is immediately condemned for a sham and hypocrify.

In short, that which wants an excuse for being in print, ought not to have been printed at all; but whether the ensuing poems deserve to stand in that class, the world must have leave to determine. What faults the true judgment of the Gentleman may find out, it is to be hoped his candour and good-humour will easily pardon; but those which the peevishness and ill-nature of the Critic may discover, must expect to be unmercifully used : Though, methinks, it is a very prepofterous pleasure, to scratch other persons till the blood comes, and then laugh at and ridicule them.

Some persons, perhaps, may wonder, how Things of this Nature dare come into the world without the protection of some great name, as they call it, and a fulfome Epiftle Dedicatory to his Grace, or Right Honourable : for, if a Poem ftru out under my Lord's Patronage, the Author imagines it is no less than scandalum magnatum to dislike it; especially if he thinks fit to tell the world, that this fame Lord is a person of wonderful Wit and Understanding, a notable Judge of Poetry, and a very considerable Poet himself. But if a Poem have no intrinsic excellencies, and real beauties, the greatest name in the world will never induce a man of sense to approve it; and if it has them, Tom Piper's is as good as my Lord Duke's; the only difference is, Tom claps half an ounce of snuff into the Poet's and, and his Grace twenty guineas : for, indeed there lies the strength of a great name, and the greatest protection an Author can receive from it.

To please every one, would be a new thing; and to write so as to please nobody, vould be as new: for even Quarles and Withers have their admirers. The Author s not so fond of fame, to desire it from the injudicious Many ; nor of fo mortified a emper, , not to wish it from the discerning Few. It is not the multitude of aplauses, but the good sense of the applauders, which establishes a valuable reputason ; and if a Rymer or a Congreve say it is well, he will not be at all solicitous How great the majority may be to the contrary,

London, 1699 VOL. II.

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F Heaven the grateful liberty would give, I'd have a little vault, but always for'd

With the best wines each vintage could afferd. And all those hours propitious Fate should lend, Wine whets the wit, improves its native force, In blissful ease and satisfaction spend;

And gives a pleasant flavour to discourse: Near some fair town I'd have a private seat,

By making all our spirits debonair, Built uniform, not little, nor too great :

Throws off the lees, the sediment of case. Better, if on a rising ground it stood;

But as the greatest blessing Heaven lends On this fide fields, on that a neighbouring wood.

May be debauch'd, and serve ignoble ends; It should within no other things contain,

So, but too oft, the grape's refreshing juice But what are useful, necessary, plain :

Does many inischievous effects produce. Methinks 'tis nauseous; and I'd ne'er endure

My house should no such rude disorders know, The needless pomp of gaudy furniture.

As from high drinking confequently low; A little garden, grateful to the eye;

Nor would I use what was so kindly given, And a cool rivulet run murmuring by :

To the dishonour of indulgent Heaven. On whose delicious banks a stately row

If any neighbour came, he should be free, Of shady limes, or sycamores, should grow.

Us’d with respect, and not uneasy be, At th' end of which a filent study placid,

In my retreat, or to himself or me. Should be with all the noblest authors grac’d:

What freedom, prudence, and right reason gave, Horace and Virgil, in whose mighty lines

All men may, with impunity, receive : Immortal wit, and solid learning, shines ;

But the leaft swerving from their rule 's too much ; Sharp Juvenal, and amorous Ovid too,

For what's forbidden us, 'tis death to touch. Who all the turns of love's soft paflion knew:

That life may be more comfortable yet,
He that with judgment reads bis charming lines, And all my joys refin'd, fincere, and great ;
In which strong art with stronger nature joins, I'd choose two friends, whose company would be
Must grant his fancy does the best excel;

A great advance to my felicity :
His thoughts so tender, and express'd so well: Well-born, of humours suited to my own,
With all those moderns, men of steady sense,

Discreet, and men as well as books have known: Efteem'd for learning, and for cloquence.

Brave, generous, witty, and exadly free In some of these, as fancy should advise,

From loose behaviour, or formality: I'd always take my morning exercise:

Airy and prudent ; merry, but not light; For fure no minutes bring us more content,

Quick in discerning, and in judging right : Than those in pleafing, useful studies spent.

Secret they should be, faithful to their trust; I'd have a clear and competent estate,

In reasoning cool, strong, temperate, and jut; That I might live genteely, but not great :

Obliging, open, without huffing, brave; As much as I could moderately spend;

Brisk in gay talking, and in fober, grave: A little more, sometimes t'oblige a friend,

Clofe in dispute, but not tenacious; try'à Nor should the fons of poverty repine

By folid reason, and let that decide : Too much at fortune, they should taste of mine; Not prone to luft, revenge, or envious hate ; And all that objects of true pity were,

Nor busy medlers with intrigues of state: Should be reliev'd with what my wants could spare : Strangers to Nander, and sworn foes to spite; For that our Maker has too largely given,

Not quarrelsome, but stout enough to fight ; Should be return'd in gratitude to Heaven.

Loyal, and pious, friends to Cæsar ; true A frugal plenty should my table spread;

As dying Martyrs, to their Maker 100. With healthy, not luxurious, dishes spread :

In their society I could not miss Enough to satisfy, and something more,

A permanent, fincere, fubftantial bliss. To feed the stranger, and the neighbouring poor.

Would bounteous Heaven once more indulge

, I'd Strong meat indulges vice, and pampering food

choose Creates diseases, and inflames the blood.

(For who would so much fatisfaction lafe, But what's fufficient to make nature strong,

As witty nymphs, in conversation give) And the bright lamp of life continue long,

Near some obliging modest fair to live: I'd freely take; and, as I did poffels,

For there 's that fwectness in a female mind, The bounteous Author of my plenty bless.

Which in a man's we cannot hope to find;

LOVE TRIUMPHANT OVER REASON.

T

That, by a secret, but a powerful art,
Winds up the spring of life, and does impart
Fresh vital heat to the transported heart.

I'd have her reason all her passions (way:
Easy in company, in private gay :
Coy to a fop, to the deserving free;
Still constant to herself, and just to me.
A soul the should have for great actions fit;
Prudence and wisdom to direct her wit :
Courage to look bold danger in the face ;
No fear, but only to be proud, or base;
Quick to advise, by an emergence preft,
To give good counsel, or to take the best.
I'd have th' expression of her thoughts be such,
She might not seem reserv'd, nor talk too much :
That shews a want of judgment, and of sense ;
More than enough is but impertinence.
Her conduct regular, her mirth refind;
Civil to ftrangers, to her neighbours kind:
Averse to vanity, revenge, and pride ;
In all the methods of deceit untry'd :
So faithful to her friend, and good to all,
No censure might upon her actions fall:
Then would ev'n envy be compelld to say,
She goes the least of womankind aftray.

To this fair creature I'd sometimes retire;
Her conversation would new joys inspire ;
Give life an edge so keen, no surly care
Would venture to assault my soul, or dare,
Near my retreat, to hide one secret snare.
But fo divine, lo noble a repast
I'd seldom, and with moderation, tafte:
For highest cordials all their virtue lose,
By a too frequent and too bold a use;
And what would cheer the spirits in distress,
Ruins our health, when taken to excess.

I'd be concern'd in no litigious jar ;
Belov'd by all, not vainly popular.
Whate'er affistance I had power to bring,
T'oblige my country, or to serve my king,
Whene'er they call, I'd readily afford
My tongue, my pen, my counsel, or my sword.
Law-suits I'd shun, with as much ftudious care,
As I would dens where hungry lions are ;
And rather put up injuries, than be
A plague to him, who 'd be a plague to me.
I value quiet at a price too great,
To give for my revenge so dear a rate :
For what do we by all our bustle gain,
But counterfeit delight for real pain?

If Heaven a date of many years would give, Thus I'd in pleasure, ease, and plenty live. And as I rear approach'd the verge of life, Some kind relation (for I'd have no wife) Should take upon him all my worldly care, Whilst I did for a better state prepare. Then I'd not be with any trouble vex'd, Nor have the evening of my days perplex'd ; But by a filent and a peaceful death, Without a figh, resign my aged breath. And when committed to the dust, I'd have Few tears, but friendly, dropt into my grave, Then would my exit to propitious be, 111 men would wish to live and dię like me.

A VISION.
HO'gloomy thoughts difturb’d my anxious breast

All the long night, and drove away my reft ;
Just as the dawning day began to rise,
A grateful Number clos'd my waking eyes;
But active fancy to strange regions flew,
And brought furprizing objects to my view.

Methought I walk'd in a delightful grove,
The soft retreat of gods, when gods make love.
Each beauteous object my charm'd soul amaz'd,
And I on each with equal wonder gaz'd;
Nor knew which most delighted : all was fine :
The noble product of some Power Divine.
But as I travers'd the obliging thade,
With myrtle, jeffamine, and roses, made,
I saw a person whose celestial face
At first declar'd her goddess of the place :
But I discover'd, when approaching near,
An aspect full of beauty, but severe,
Bold and majestic; every awful look
Into my soul a secret horror struck.
Advancing farther on, she made a stand,
And beckond me; I, kneeling, kiss’d her hand :
Then thus began-Bright Deity! (for fo
You are, no mortals such perfections know)
I may intrude; but how I was convey'd
To this strange place, or by what powerful aid,
I'm wholly ignorant ; nor know I more,
Or where I am, or whom I do adore.
Instruct me then, that I no longer may
In darkness serve the goddess I obey.

Youth! the reply'd, this place belongs to one,
By whom you 'll be, and thousands are undone.
These pleasant walks, and all these shady bowers,
Are in the government of dangerous powers.
Love's the capricious master of this coast;
This fatal labyrinth, where fools are løst.
I dwell not here amidft these gaudy things,
Whose short enjoyment no true pleasure brings ;
But have an empire of a nobler kind :
My regal feat's in the celestial mind;
Where, with a godlike and a peaceful hand,
I rule, and make those happy I command.
For, while I govern, all within 'e at reft ;
No stormy passion revels in my breast:
But when my power is despicable grown,
And rebel appetites usurp the throne,
The soul no longer quiet thoughts enjoys į
But all is tumult, and eternal noise.
Know, youth! I'm Reason, which you 'vc oft despis'd;
I am that Reason, which you never priz'd;
And though my arguments successless prove,
(For Reason seems impertinence in love)
Yet I 'll not see my charge (for all mankind
Are to my guardianship by Heaven afsign'd)
Into the grasp of any ruin run,
That I can warn them of, and they may fhun.
Fly, youth, these guilty shades; retreat in time,
Ere your mistake's converted to a crime :
For ignorance no longer can atone,
When once the error and the fault is known.
You thought perhaps, as giddy youth inclincs,
Imprudently to value all that thines,

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In these retirements freely to possess
True joy, and strong substantial happiness:
But here gay Folly keeps her court, and here,
In crowds, her tributary Fops appear ;
Who, blindly lavish of their golden days,
Consume them all in her fallacious ways.
Pert Love with her, by joint commission, rules
In this capacious realm of idle fools;
Who, by false hearts, and popular deceits,
The careless, fond, unthinking mortal cheats.
'Tis easy to descend into the snare,
By the pernicious conduct of the fair ;
But safely to return from this abode,
Requires the wit, the prudence of a god :
Though you, who have not tasted that delight,
Which only at a distance charms your fight,
May, with a little toil, retrieve your hcart :
Which loft is subject to eternal smart.
Bright Delia's beauty, I must needs confess,
Is truly great ; nor would I make it less :
That were to wrong her, where she merits most;
But dragons guard the fruit, and rocks the coast,
And who would run, that's moderately wise,
A certain danger, for a doubtful prize?
If you miscarry, you are lost so far
(For there 's no erring twice in love and war)
Yoa 'll ne'er recover, but must always wear
Those chains you 'll find it difficult to bear.
Delia has charms, I own; such charms would move
Old age, and frozen impotence to love ;
But do not venture, where such danger lles ;
Avoid the fight of those victorious eyes,
Whose poisonous rays do to the soul impart
Delicious ruin, and a pleasing smart.
You draw, insensibly, destruction near;
And Jove the danger, which you ought to fear.
If the light pains you labour under now,
Destroy your ease, and make your spirits bow;
You'll find them much more grievous to be borne,
When heavier made by an imperious scorn:
Nor can you hope, she will your passion hear
With softer notions, or a kinder ear,
Than those of other swains; who always found,
She rather widen'd than clos d up the wound.
But grant, she should indulge your flame, and give
Whate'er, you'd ask, nay, all you can receive;
The short-liv'd pleafure would fo quickly cloy,
Bring such a weak, and such a feeble joy,
You'd have but small encouragement to boaft
The tinsel rapture worth the pains it cost.
Consider, Strephon, soberly of things,
What strange inquietudes Love always brings !
The foolish fears, vain hopes, and jealousies,
Which still attend upon this fond disease:
How you must cringe and bow, submit and whine;
Call every feature, every look, diyine :
Commend each sentence with an humble smile;
Though nonsense, swear it is a heavenly style :
Servilely rail at all the disapproves ;
And as ignobly fatter all the loves:
Renounce your very fenfe, and filent sit,
While the puts off impertinence for wit;
Like setting-dog, new whipp'd for foringing game,
You must be made, by due correction, tame.
But if you can endure the nauscous rule
Of woman, do; love on, and be a foo!,

You know the danger, your own methods use;
The good or evil's in your power to choose:
But who'd expect a short and dubious bliss
On the declining of a precipice ;
Where if he flips, not fate itself can save
The falling wretch from an untimely grave?

Thou great directress of our minds, fad I,
We safely on your di&tates may rely;
And that which you have now fo kindly preit,
Is true, and, without contradi&ion, beft :
But with a steady sentence to control
The heat and vigour of a youthful foul,
While gay temptations hover in our fight,
And daily bring new objects of delight,
Which on us with furprizing beauty smile,
Is difficult; but is a noble toil.
The beft may flip, and the most cautious fall;
He's more than mortal that ne'er err'd at all.
And though fair Delia has my foul pofleft,
I'll chase her bright idea from my breaft:
At least, I'll make one essay. If I fail,
And Delia's charms o'er Reason do prevail,
I may be, sure, from rigid cenfures free,
Love was my foe; and Love's a deity.

Then she rejoin'd; you may successful prove,
In your attempt to curb impetuous Love :
Then will proud paffion on her rightful lord,
You to yourself, I to my throne restor'd;
But to confirm your courage, and inspire
Your resolutions with a boider fire,
Follow me, youth! I 'll show you that thall me
Your soul to curse the tyranny of Love.

Then the convey'd me to a dismal fhade, Which melancholy yew and cypress made ; Where I beheld an antiquated pile Of rugged building in a narrow ise; The water round it gave a nauseous smell, Like vapours steeming from a sulphurous cell. The ruin'd wall, compos'd of stinking mud, O'er-grown with hemlock, on supporters food; As did the roof, ungrateful to the view: "Twas both an hospital, and bedlam too. Before the entrance, mouldering bones were spread, Some skeletons entire, fome lately dead; A little rubbish loosely scatter'd o'er Their bodies uninterr'd, lay round the door. No funeral rites to any here were paid, But dead like dogs into the dust conveyd. From hence, by Reafon's conduct, I was brought, Through various turnings to a spacious vault, Where I beheld, and 't was a mournful fight, Vaft crowds of wretches all debart'd from light, But what a few dim lamps, expiring, had; Which made the prospect more amazing fad. Some wept, some ray'd, some mufically mad: Some swearing loud, and others laughing : Some Were always talking; others always dumb. Here one, a dagger in his breaft, expires, And quenches with his blood his amorous fires: There hangs a second ; and, not far remor'd, A third lies poison'd, who false Celia lov'd. All sorts of madness, every kind of death, By which unhappy mortals lose their breatii, Were here expos'd before my wondering eyes, The sad effects of female treacheries;

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Others I saw, who were not quite bereft

Who'd eat with emperors, if o'er his head Of sense, though very small remains were left, A poniard hung but by a single thread *? Curfing the fatal folly of their youth,

Love's banquets are extravagantly sweet, For trusting to perjurious woman's truth.

And either kill, or surfeit, all that eat; There on the left. _Upon the right a view Who, when the fated appetite is tird, Of equal horror, equal misery too;

E'en loath the thoughts of what they once admir’d. Amazing! all employ'd my troubled thought, You ’ve promis.d, Strephon, to forsake the charms And, with new wonder, new averfion brought. Of Delia, though she courts you to her arms; There I beheld a wretched, numerous throng And sure I may your resolution trust; Of pale, lean mortals; some lay stretch'd along You 'll never want temptation, but be just. On beds of straw, disconsolate and poor ;

Vows of this nature, youth, must not be broke; Others extended naked on the floor;

You 're always bound, though 't is a gentle yoke. Exild from human piry, here they lie,

Would men be wise, and my advice pursue, And know no end of misery till they die,

Love's conquests would be small, his triumphs few But death, which comes in gay and prosperous days For nothing can oppose his tyranny, Too foon, in time of misery delays.

With such a prospect of success as I. These dreadful spectacles had so much power,

Me he detests, and from my presence flies,

Who know his arts, and stratagems despise,
I vow'd, and folemnly, to love no more :
For fure that Aame is kindled from below,

By which he cancels mighty Wisdom's rules,

To make himself the deity of fools: Which breeds such fad variety of woe.

Him dully they adore, him blindly serve, Then we descended, by some few degrees,

Some while they're sots, and others while they larve From this stupendous scene of miseries ;

For those who under his wild conduct go, Bold Reason brought me to another cave,

Either come coxcombs, or he makes them so ; Dark as the inmoft chambers of the grave.

His charms deprive, by their strange influence,
Here, youth, she cry'd, in the acutest pain,

The brave of courage, and the wise of sense;
Those villains lic, who have their fathers Nain, In vain philosophy would set the mind
Stabb'd their own brothers, nay, their friends, to please At liberty, if once by him confin'd:
Ambitious, proud, revengeful mistresses ;

The scholar's learning, and the poet's wit,
Who, after all their services, preferr'd

A while may struggle, but at last submit;
Some rugged fellow of the brawny herd

Well-weigh'd results and wife conclufions seem
Before those wretches; who, despairing, dwell But empty chat, impertinence to him;
In agonies no human tongue can tell.

His opiates seize so strongly on the brain,
Darkness provents the too amazing light ;

They make all prudent application vain: And you may bless the happy want of light.

If, therefore, you resolve to live at ease, But my tormented ears were fill'd with sighs,

To taste the sweetness of internal peace ; Expiring groans, and lamentable cries,

Would not for safety to a battle fly, So very sad I could endure no more;

Or choose a shipwreck, if afraid to die ; Methought I felt the miseries they bore.

Far from these pleasurable fhades remove,

And leave the fond, inglorious toil of Love.
Then to my guide said I, For pity now
Conduct me back; here I confirm my vow.

This said, she vanih'd, and methought I found Which, if I dare infringe, be this my fate,

Myself transported to a riling ground; To die thus wretched, and repent too late.

From whence I did a pleasant vale survey, The charms of beauty I'll no more pursue :

Large was the prospecz, beautiful, and gay, Delia, farewell, farewell for ever too.

There I beheld th' apartments of delight,

Whofe curious forms oblig'd the wondering sight; Then we return'd to the delightful grove ;

Some in full view upon the champain plac'd, Where Reason still diffuaded me from Love.

With lofty walls and cooling streams embrac'd : You see, the cry'd, what misery attends

Others, in fhady groves, retir'd from noise, On Love, and where too frequently it ends ;

The seat of private and exalted joys. And let not that unwieldy passion sway

At a great distance I perceiv'd there stood Your soul, which none but whining fools obey, A stately building in a spacious wood, The masculine, brave spirit scorns to own

Whose giided turrets rais'd their beauteous heads The proud ufurper of my facred throne;

High in the air, to view the neighbouring meads, Vor with idolatrouis deyotion pays

Where vulgar lovers spend their happy days, To the false god, or sacrifice, or praise.

In ruftic dancing, and delightful plays. The Syren's music charms the sailor's ear;

But whilc I gaz'd with admiration round, But he is ruin'd if he stops to hear :

I heard from far cæleftial music found; And, if you listen, Love's harmonious voice

So soft, so moying, fo harmonious, all As much delights, as certainly destroys.

The artful charming notes did rise and fall; Ambrofia mix'd with Aconite may have

My soul, transported with the graceful airs, pleasant taste, but sends you to the grave; Shook off the pressures of its former fears ; For though the latent poison may be still

I felt afresh the little god begin while, it very seldom fails to kill.

To stir himself, and gentle move within.
But who'd partake the food of gods, to die
Vithin a day, or live in misery?

* The fear of Damocles.

Then

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