« 上一页继续 »
In Imitation of Dean Swift.
LOGICIANS have but ill defin'd
As rational the human mind; Reason, they say, belongs to man, But let them prove it if they can. Wise Aristotle and Smiglesius,
By ratiocinations specious,
Have strove to prove with great precision, With definition and division,
Homo est ratione preditum ;
But for my soul I cannot credit 'em,
And must in spite of them maintain,
That man and all his ways are vain;
And that this boasted lord of nature
Is both a weak and erring creature.
That instinct is a surer guide
Than reason, boasting mortals' pride;
But that brute beasts are far before 'em,
Deus est anima brutorum.
Who ever knew an honest brute
At law his neighbour prosecute;
Bring action for assault and battery,
Or friend beguile with lies and flattery?
O'er plains they ramble unconfin'd,
No politics disturb their mind;
They eat their meals, and take their sport,
Nor know who's in or out at court.
They never to the levee go
To treat as dearest friend, a foe:
They never importune his grace,
Nor ever cringe to men in place;
Nor undertake a dirty job,
Nor draw the quill to write for Bob.
Fraught with invective, they ne'er go
To folks at Pater-noster Row:
No jugglers, fiddlers, dancing-masters,
No pickpockets, or poetasters,
Are known to honest quadrupedes:
No single brute his fellow leads.
Brutes never meet in bloody fray,
Nor cut each other's throats for pay.
Of beasts, it is confest, the ape
Comes nearest us in human shape,
Like man, he imitates each fashion,
And malice is his ruling passion;
But both in malice and grimaces,
A courtier any ape surpasses.
Behold him humbly cringing, wait
Upon the minister of state:
View him soon after to inferiors
Aping the conduct of superiors;
He promises with equal air,
And to perform takes equal care.
He in his turn finds imitators,
At court, the porters, lackeys, waiters,
Their masters' manners still contract,
And footmen, lords and dukes can act.
Thus at the court, both great and small
Behave alike, for all ape all.
ON A BEAUTIFUL YOUTH STRUCK BLIND BY LIGHTNING.
Imitated from the Spanish.
RE 'twas by Providence design'd,
Rather in pity than in hate,
That he should be, like Cupid, blind,
To save him from Narcissus' fate.
had I sought in vain to find A likeness for the scribbling kind; The modern scribbling kind, who write, In wit, and sense, and nature's spite: Till reading, I forget what day on, A chapter out of Took's Pantheon, I think I met with something there To suit my purpose to a hair; But let us not proceed too furious, First please to turn to God Mercurius ! You'll find him pictur'd at full length, In book the second, page the tenth: The stress of all my proofs on him I lay; And now proceed we to our simile.
Imprimis-pray observe his hat, Wings upon either side-mark that. Well! what is it from thence we gather? Why these denote a brain of feather. A brain of feather! very right, With wit that's flighty, learning light; Such as to modern bards decreed; A just comparison-proceed.
In the next place, his feet peruse, Wings grow again from both his shoes; Design'd, no doubt, their parts to bear, And waft his godship thro' the air; And here my simile unites, For in modern poet's flights, I'm sure it may be justly said, His feet are useful as his head.
Lastly, vouchsafe t'observe his hand,
Fill'd with a snake-encircled wand;
By classic authors term'd Caduceus,
And highly fam'd for several uses.
To wit-most wond'rously endu'd,
No poppy-water half so good;
For let folks only get a touch,
Its soporific virtue's such,
Tho' ne'er so much awake before,
That quickly they begin to snore.
Add too, what certain writers tell,
With this he drives men's souls to hell.
Now to apply, begin we then:
His wand's a modern author's pen;
The serpents round about it twin'd,
Denote him of the reptile kind;
Denote the rage with which he writes,
His frothy slaver, venom'd bites;
An equal semblance still to keep
Alike too both conduct to sleep.
This difference only, as the God
Drove souls to Tart'rus with his rod,
With his goose-quill the scribbling elf,
Instead of others damns himself.
And here my simile almost tript,
Yet grant a word by way of postscript.
Moreover, Merc'ry had a failing:
Well! what of that? out with it-stealing;
In which all modern bards agree,
Being each as great a thief as he:
But e'en this deity's existence
Shall lend my simile assistance.
Our modern bards! why what a pox
Are they but senseless stones and blocks?
On the Death of a Mad Dog.
OOD people all, of every sort,
Give ear unto my song;
And if you find it wondrous short,
It cannot hold you long.
In Islington there was a man,
Of whom the world might say,
That still a godly race he ran,
Whene'er he went to pray.
A kind and gentle heart he had,
To comfort friends and foes;
The naked every day he clad-
When he put on his clothes.
And in that town a dog was found,
As many dogs there be,
Both mongrel, puppy, whelp, and hound,
And curs of low degree.
This dog and man at first were friends;
But when a pique began,
The dog, to gain his private ends,
Went mad, and bit the man.
Around from all the neighb'ring streets,
The wondering neighbours ran,
And swore the dog had lost his wits,
To bite so good a man.
The wound it seem❜d both sore and sad,
To every Christian eye;
And while they swore the dog was mad,
They swore the man would die.
But soon a wonder came to light,
That shew'd the rogues they ly'd,
The man recover'd of the bite,
The dog it was that dy'd.
THE CLOWN's REPLY.
JOHN TROTT was desir'd by two witty peers,
To tell them the reason why asses had ears? "An't please you," quoth John, "I'm not given to
"Nor dare I pretend to know more than my betters; "Howe'er from this time I shall ne'er see your graces, "As I hope to be sav'd; without thinking on asses." Edinburgh, 1753.