Poems on several occasions. Together with the Song of the three children paraphras'd. By the Lady Chudleigh.
by Mary, Lady Chudleigh (1656-1710).
London: Printed by W. B. for Bernard Lintott at the Middle Temple Gate in Fleetstreet, 1703.
Together with the
Song of the Three Children
By the Lady CHUDLEIGH.
Printed by W. B. for Bernard Lintott at the
Middle Temple Gate in Fleetstreet. 1703.
Most Excellent Majesty.
'TIS not without awful Thoughts and a trembling Hand that these Poems are laid at your Royal Feet. The Address has too much [Page] Confidence; the Ambition is too aspiring; But to whom should a Woman unknown to the World, and who has not Merit enough to defend her from the Censure of Criticks, fly for Protection, but to Your Majesty? The Greatest, the Best, and the most Illustrious Person of Your Sex and Age.
That wonderful Condescension, that surprizing Humility, and admirable Sweetness of Temper, which induc'd Your Majesty to accept a Congratulatory Ode on Your happy Accession to the Crown, give Ground to hope that from a Goodness and Generosity boundless as Yours, I may promise [Page pro- mise] my self both Pardon and Protection, who am, with the profoundest Veneration,
Your Majesty's most Loyal,
most Humble, and
most Obedient Servant,
THE following Poems were written at several Times, and on several Subjects: If the Ladies, for whom they are chiefly design'd, and to whose Service they are intirely devoted, happen to meet with any thing in them that is entertaining, I have all I am at. They were the Employment of my leisure Hours, the innocent Amusement of a solitary Life: In them they'll find a Picture of my Mind, my Sentiments all laid open to their View; they'll sometimes see me cheerful, pleas'd, sedate and quiet; at other times griev'd, complaining, struggling with my Passions, blaming my self, endeavouring to pay a Homage to my Reason, and resolving for the future, with a decent Calmness, an unshaken Constancy, and a resigning Temper, [Page] to support all the Troubles, all the uneasinesses of Life, and then by unexpected Emergencies, unforeseen Disappointments, sudden and surprizing Turns of Fortune, discompos'd, and shock'd, till I have rallied my scatter'd Forces, got new Strength, and by making an unweary'd Resistance, gain'd the better of my Afflictions, and restor'd my Mind to its former Tranquillity.
'Tis impossible to be happy without making Reason the Standard of all our Thoughts, Words and Actions, and firmly resolving to yield a constant, ready, and cheerful Obedience to its Dictates. Those who are govern'd by Opinion, inslav'd to Custom, and Vassals to their Humors, are Objects of Pity, if such as are wretched by their own Choice, can be properly said to deserve Commiseration. They act by no steady Principles, are always restless, disturb'd, and uneasie; sometimes agitated by one Passion, and sometimes by another, fretting about Trifles, and lamenting the Loss of such Things, as others would think it a part of their Felicity to be without. [Page]
What we generally call Misfortunes, what we fancy to be Miseries, are not really so; they exist only in the Imagination, are Creatures of the Brain, Troubles of our own forming, and like Phantoms vanish as soon as Reason shines clear.
Would we contract our Desires, and learn to think that only necessary, which Nature has made so, we should be no longer fond of Riches, Honours, Applauses, and several other Things which are the unhappy Occasions of much Mischief to the World, which unavoidably involve Mankind in great Misery, and draw after them a long Train of Vice; and doubtless were we so happy as to have a true Notion of the Dignity of our Nature, of those great Things for which we are design'd, and of the Duration and Felicity of that State to which we are hastning, we should scorn to stoop to mean Actions, blush at the very Thoughts of doing any thing below our Character, and look on the little worthless Concerns of Life, viz. on the amassing Treasures, the gaining [Page] Titles, the making a pompous Appearance, and the gratifying our Appetites, as Trifles below our Care, and unworthy of our Thoughts, Things too mean to be the Business, much less the Delight of rational Beings, of such as were created for nobler, and much more sublime Employments: We should then without Regret, or at least with Patience and a becoming Submission to the Divine Pleasure, see our selves depriv'd of those Things which we now falsly fancy to be constituent Parts of our Happiness; we should then, if Death wounds us in the tenderest part of our Souls, robs us of what 'tis most allowable for us to prize, snatches from us our dearest Relations, our best, our darling Friends, look on them as Persons not lost, but only remov'd to better, more blissful Habitations, and where we may reasonably flatter our selves with the hope, that they may have the same Kindness for us, the same Friendship, the same Inclinations, the same Readiness to do us obliging Offices, and where we shall very shortly meet again, and renew our Endearments, and where our Love shall be as lasting as our Souls, as great as our Happiness. [Page]
The way to be truly easie, to be always serene, to have our Passions under a due Government, to be wholly our own, and not to have it in the Power of Accidents, of things foreign to us to ruffle and disturb our Thoughts, is to retire into our selves, to live upon our own Stock, to accustom our selves to our own Conversation, to be pleas'd with nothing but what strictly and properly speaking, we may justly pretend a Right to; of which kind, such things can never be said to be, of which 'tis in the Power of Fortune to deprive us.
No Joy but what results from virtuous Actions, no Pleasure but what arises from a Sense of having done what we ought, no Acquisition but that of Wisdom, no Applause but that of Conscience, is truly desirable; such Delights as these, such valuable Treasures, are the Things I would recommend to my Sex: I would have them no longer solicitous about Impertinences, anxious about Trifles, Slaves to their own Humors, and a Prey to every mean, designing Flatterer; I [Page] would not have them employ more Time in beautifying their Faces, in rendring themselves agreeable, than in adorning their Minds, and enriching their Understandings: There is a noble Disdain, a becoming and allowable Pride; 'tis commendable to scorn to be below others in Things that are essentially Praise-worthy, and they may be permitted to put a true Value on themselves, when instead of exciting them to Vanity, giving them wrong Notions of Perfection, false Ideas of their own Merits, it tends only to the raising them above those mean despicable Things, those contemptible Accomplishments of which the most are proud: I beg their Pardon for presuming so freely to advise them, and I own it to be a Fault which nothing but the Zeal I have for them can excuse.
These Poems begin with a very long one on the Death of the Duke of Glocester: Tho' I never had the Honour to view the fair Original, so that I pretend not to draw from the Life, yet having had from Persons on whom I can well depend, a just and full Character of him, as of a Prince of wonderful [Page wonder- ful] Hopes, and who at his first Appearance, in his Dawn of Life, the Morning of his Age, discover'd a shining Merit, a more than ordinary Propensity to Knowledge, a winning Sweetness of Temper, join'd with a Generosity becoming his Birth: In a word, all those great and distinguishing Qualities which raise his Royal Parents as much above those of their own Rank, as their sublime Dignity has elevated them above the meanest of the People, I thought so great a Loss would sufficiently justifie all I cou'd say on that Subject, and render the Length of it excusable.
|ON the Death of his Highness the Duke of Glocester.||Page 1|
|On the Vanities of this Life.||14|
|To Mr. Dryden, on his excellent Translation of Virgil.||25|
|Song. To Lerinda.||31|
|The Happy Man.||ibid.|
|A Dialogue between Alexis and Astrea.||37|
|To the Ladies.||40|
|To the Queen's most Excellent Majesty.||41|
|A Pindarick Ode.||68|
|A Dialogue between Virgil and Mævius.||74|
|To Dr. Musgrave of Exeter.||77|
|A Dialogue between Lucinda and Marissa: On the Death of her Mother.||88|
|A Dialogue between Lucinda and Marissa: On the Death of her Daughter.||94|
|The fifteenth Psalm paraphras'd.||116|
|One of Lucian's Dialogues of the Dead paraphras'd.||117|
|To the Queen.||121|
The Song of the Three Children paraphras'd.
PAge 3. line 27. for quench read quench'd. p. 61. l. 6. dele that. p. 83. l. 5. for unkindled r. enkindled. p. 108. for who r. who's. p. 119. l. 10. for delare r. declare.
In the Song of the Three Children, p. 7. l. 5. for Reflexion, r. Reflection. p. 20. l. 2. for bare r. bore. p. 30. l. 27. for mafte r. make. p. 42. l. 10. for Nation r. Nations. p. 46. l. 6. for Deserts r. Desarts.
[ 1 ]
On the Death of his Highness the Duke of Glocester.
I'LE take my Leave of Business, Noise and Care,
And trust this stormy Sea no more:
Condemn'd to Toil, and fed with Air,
I've often sighing look'd towards the Shore:
And when the boistrous Winds did cease,
And all was still, and all was Peace,
Afraid of Calms, and flatt'ring Skies,
On the deceitful Waves I fixt my Eyes,
And on a sudden saw the threatning Billows rise:
Then trembling beg'd the Pow'rs Divine,
Some little safe Retreat might be for ever mine:
O give, I cry'd, where e'er you please,
Those Gifts which Mortals prize,
Grown fond of Privacy and Ease,
I now the gaudy Pomps of Life despise.
Still let the Greedy strive with Pain,
T'augment their shining Heaps of Clay;
And punish'd with the Thirst of Gain,
Their Honour lose, their Conscience stain:
Let th'ambitious Thrones desire
And still with guilty hast aspire;
Thro' Blood and Dangers force their Way,
And o'er the World extend their Sway,
While I my time to nobler Uses give,
And to my Books, and Thoughts entirely live;
Those dear Delights, in which I still shall find
Ten thousand Joys to feast my Mind,
Joys, great as Sense can bear, from all its Dross refin'd.
The Muse well pleas'd, my choice approv'd,
And led me to the Shades she lov'd:
To Shades, like those first fam'd Abodes
Of happy Men, and rural Gods;
Where, in the World's blest Infant State,
When all in Friendship were combin'd
And all were just, and all were kind;
E're glitt'ring Show'rs, dispers'd by Jove,
And Gold were made the Price of Love,
The Nymphs and Swains did bless their Fate,
And all their mutual Joys relate,
Danc'd and sung, and void of Strife.
Enjoy'd all Harmless Sweets of Life;
While on their tuneful Reeds their Poets play'd,
And their chast Loves to future Times convey'd.
Cool was the place, and quiet as my Mind,
The Sun cou'd there no Entrance find:
No ruffling Winds the Boughs did move:
The Waters gently crept along,
As with their flowry Banks in Love:
The Birds with soft harmonious Strains,
Did entertain my Ear;
Sad Philomela sung her Pains,
Express'd her Wrongs, and her Despair;
I listen'd to her mournful Song,
The charming Warbler pleas'd,
And I, me thought, with new Delight was seiz'd:
Her Voice with tender'st Passions fill'd my Breast,
And I felt Raptures not to be express'd;
Raptures, till that soft Hour unknown,
My Soul seem'd from my Body flown:
Vain World, said I, take, take my last adieu,
I'le to my self, and to my Muse be true,
And never more phantastick Forms pursue:
Such glorious Nothings let the Great adore,
Let them their airy Juno's court,
I'le be deceiv'd no more,
Nor to the Marts of Fame resort:
From this dear Solitude no more remove,
But here confine my Joy, my Hope, my Love.
Thus were my Hours in Extasies employ'd,
And I the secret Sweets of Life enjoy'd:
Serene, and calm, from every Pressure free,
Inslav'd alone by flatt'ring Poesie:
But Oh! how pleasing did her Fetters prove!
How much did I, th' endearing Charmer Love!
No former Cares durst once my Soul molest,
No past Unkindness discompos'd my Breast;
All was forgot, as if in Lethe's Stream
I'd quench'd* my Thirst, the past was all a Dream:
But as I pleas'd my self with this unenvy'd state,
Behold! a wondrous Turn of Fate!
A hollow Melancholy Sound
Dispers'd an awful Horror round,
And hideous Groans thro' all the Grove resound
Nature the dismal Noise did hear,
Nature her self did seem to fear:
The bleating Flocks lay trembling on the Plains;
The Brooks ran murmuring by,
And Echo to their Murmurs made reply:
The lofty Trees their verdant Honours shake;
The frighted Birds with hast their Boughs forsake,
And for securer Seats to distant Groves repair.
The much wrong'd Philomel durst now no more
Her former Injuries deplore;
Forgot were all her moving Strains,
Forgot each sweet melodious Air;
The weaker Passion, Grief, surrendred to her Fear.
A sudden Gloom its dusky Empire spread,
And I was seiz'd with an unusual dread:
Where e'er I look'd, each Object brought affright:
And I cou'd only mournful Accents hear,
Which from th' adjacent Hills did wound my Ear;
Th' adjacent Hills the gen'ral Horror share:
Amaz'd I sat, depriv'd of all Delight,
The Muse was fled, fled ev'ry pleasing Thought,
And in their Room were black Ideas brought,
By busie Fear, and active Fancy wrought.
At length the doleful Sound drew near,
And lo, the British Genius did appear!
Solemn his Pace,
Dejected were his Eyes,
And from his Breast thick thronging Sighs arise:
The Tears ran down his venerable Face,
And he with Lamentations loud fill'd all the sacred Place.
He's Dead he cry'd! the young, the much belov'd!
From us too soon, Ah! much too soon remov'd!
Snatch'd hence in his first Dawn, his Infant Bloom!
So fell Marcellus by a rigorous Doom.
The Good, the Great, the Joy, the Pride of Rome!
But Oh! he wants like him a Maro to rehearse
His early worth in never dying Verse:
To sing those rising Wonders which in him were seen,
That Morning light which did it self display,
Presaging earnest of a glorious Day;
His Face was Charming, and his Make Divine,
As if in him assembl'd did combine
The num'rous Graces of his Royal Line:
Such was Ascanius, when from flaming Troy
Pious Æneas led the lovely Boy,
And such the God when to the Tyrian Queen
A welcom Guest he came;
And in his Shape caress'd th' illustrious Dame
And kindled in her Breast the inauspicious Flame.
But this, alas! was but th' exterior part;
For the chief Beauties were within:
There Nature shew'd her greatest Art,
And did a Master-piece begin:
But ah! the Strokes were much too fine,
Too delicate to last:
Sweet was his Temper, generous his Mind,
And much beyond his Years, to Martial Arts inclin'd:
Averse to Softness, and for one so young,
His Sense was manly, and his Reason strong:
What e'er was taught him he would learn so fast
As if 'twas his design
When he to full Maturity was grown,
Th' applauding World amaz'd should find
What e'er was worthy to be known,
He with the noblest Toil had early made his own.
Such, such was he, whose Loss I now lament;
O Heav'n! why was this matchless Blessing sent!
Why but just shewn, and then, our Grief to raise,
Cut off in the beginning of his Days!
Had you beheld th' afflicted Royal Pair
Stand by that Bed, where the dear Suff'rer lay
To his Disease a helpless Prey,
And seen them gaze on the sad doubtful Strife,
Between contending Death, and strugling Life,
Observ'd those Passions which their Souls did move,
Those kind Effects of tender'st Love;
Seen how their Joys a while did strive
To keep their fainty Hopes alive,
But soon alas! were forc'd to yield
To Grief and dire Despair,
The short contested Field:
And them in that curst Moment view'd,
When by prevailing Death subdu'd,
Breathless and pale, the beauteous Victim lay,
When his unwilling Soul was forc'd away
From that lov'd Body which it lately blest,
That Mansion worthy so divine a Guest,
You must have own'd, no Age could ever show
A sadder Sight, a Scene of vaster Woe.
Sorrow like theirs, what Language can express!
Their All was lost, their only Happiness!
The good Ægeus could not more be griev'd
When he the Sable Flag perceiv'd,
Than was the Prince; but we this difference find,
The last was calmer, more resign'd,
And had the stronger, more Majestick Mind:
He knew Complaints could give him no Relief,
And therefore cast a Veil upon his sullen Grief:
Th' afflicted Princess could not thus controul
The tender Motions of her troubled Soul:
Unable to resist, she gave her Sorrows way,
And did the Dictates of her Grief obey:
Maternal Kindness still does preference claim,
And always burns with a more ardent Flame:
But sure no Heart was ever thus opprest,
The Load is much too great to bear;
In sad Complaints are all her Minutes spent,
And she lives only to lament:
All soft Delights are Strangers to her Breast:
His unexpected Fate does all her Thoughts ingross,
And she speaks nothing but her mighty Loss.
So mourn'd Andromache when she beheld
Astyanax expos'd to lawless Pow'r,
Precipitated from a lofty Tow'r:
Depriv'd of Life the Royal Youth remain'd,
And with the richest Trojan Blood the Pavement stain'd:
Speechless she gaz'd, and by her Grief impell'd,
Fearless amidst the Græcian Troops she run,
And to her panting Bosom clasp'd her mangl'd Son.
As thus he spoke Britannia did appear,
Attended by a Sylvan Throng,
And with her brought the River Nymphs along:
He's dead! he's dead! the Genius loudly cry'd,
On whose dear Life you did so much depend,
He's dead, He's dead, she mournfully reply'd:
Heav'n would not long the mighty Blessing lend:
Some envious Pow'r, who does my Greatness fear,
Foreseeing if he shou'd to Manhood live,
He'd glorious Proofs of wondrous Valor give:
To distant Lands extend his Sway,
And teach remotest Nations to obey:
Resolv'd no pow'rful Art his Life should save,
Nor I should longer my lov'd Gloucester have.
No more they said, but to their Sighs gave way,
The Nymphs and Swains all griev'd no less than they.
He's dead! he's dead! they weeping said;
In his cold Tomb the lovely Youth is laid,
And has too soon, alas! too soon the Laws of Fate obey'd.
No more, no more shall he these Groves adorn,
No more by him shall flow'ry Wreaths be worn:
No more, no more we now on him shall gaze,
No more divert him with our rural Lays,
Nor see him with a godlike Smile receive our humble Praise.
Their loud Laments the Nereids hear,
And full of Grief, and full of Fear,
Their watry Beds in haste forsake;
And from their Locks the pearly Moisture shake:
All with one Voice the much lov'd Youth lament,
And in pathetic Strains their boundless Sorrow vent.
Upon the Ground I pensive lay;
Complain'd and wept as much as they:
My Country's Loss became my own,
And I was void of Comfort grown.
He's dead! he's dead! with them I cry'd,
And to each Sigh, each Groan reply'd.
The Thracian Bard was not more mov'd,
When he had lost the Fair he lov'd;
When looking back to please his Sight
With all that could his Soul delight,
He saw her sink int' everlasting Night.
The Sorrows of the Princess pierc'd my Heart,
And I, me thought, felt all her Smart:
I wish'd I cou'd allay her Pain,
Or part of her Affliction share;
But Oh! such Wishes are in vain,
She must alone the pond'rous Burthen bear.
O Fate unjust! I then did cry,
Why must the young, the virtuous die!
Why in their Prime be snatch'd away,
Like beauteous Flow'rs which soon decay,
While Weeds enjoy the Warmth of each succeeding Day?
While thus I mourn'd, a sudden Light the Place o'er spread
Back to their genuine Night the frighted Shadows fled:
Dilating Skies disclos'd a brighter Day,
And for a glorious Form made way;
For the fam'd Guardian of our Isle:
The wondrous Vision did with Pomp descend,
With awful State his kind Approaches made,
And thus with an obliging Smile
To the much griev'd Britannia said,
No more, my much lov'd Charge, no more
Your time in useless Sorrows spend;
He's blest whose Loss you thus deplore:
Above he lives a Life Divine,
And does with dazling Splendor shine:
I met him on th' Æthereal Shore,
With Joy I did th' illustrious Youth embrace,
And led him to his God-like Race,
Who sit inthron'd in wondrous State,
Above the Reach of Death or Fate:
The Caledonian Chiefs were there,
Who thro' the World have spread their Fame,
And justly might immortal Trophies claim:
A long Descent of glorious Kings,
Who did, and suffer'd mighty things:
With them the Danish Heroes were,
Who long had ancient Kingdoms sway'd,
And been by Warlike States obey'd:
With them they did their Honours share,
With them refulgent Crowns did wear,
From all their Toils at length they cease,
Blest with the Sweets of everlasting Peace.
Among the rest, that beauteous suff'ring Queen
Who'd all the Turns of adverse Fortune seen;
Robb'd of a Crown, and forc'd to mourn in Chains,
And on a Scaffold end her num'rous Pains,
Receiv'd him with a cheerful Look,
And to her Arms her dearest Off-spring took:
Next came the martyr'd Prince, who liv'd to know
The last Extremities of Woe:
Expos'd unjustly to his People's hate,
He felt the Rigor of remorseless Fate.
Virtue and spotless Innocence,
Alas! are no Defence:
They rather to the Rage expose
Of bloody and relentless Foes:
Too fierce they shine, too glaring bright,
The Vicious cannot bear their Light.
Next came his Son, who long your Sceptre sway'd,
And whom his Subjects joyfully obey'd;
Then last of all the fair Maria came,
Who lately grac'd the British Throne;
And there with a reviving Splendor shone,
But made a short, a transient Stay,
By Death from all her Glories snatch'd away:
How vain is Beauty, Wealth, or Fame,
How few the Trophies of a boasted Name!
Death can't be brib'd, be won by none:
To Slaves and Kings a Fate a like, a like Regard is shown.
All these the lovely Youth carest,
And welcom'd him to their eternal Rest:
Welcome, they said, to this our blissful Shore,
To never ending Joys, and Seats Divine,
To Realms where clear unclouded Glories shine,
Here you may safely stand and hear the Billows roar,
But shall be toss'd on that tempestuous Sea no more:
No more shall grieve, no more complain,
But free from Care, and free from Pain,
With us for ever shall remain.
While thus they spoke, celestial Musick play'd,
And welcom! welcom! every Angel said:
With eager hast their Royal Guest they crown'd,
While welcom! welcom! echo'd all around,
And fill'd th' Æthereal Court with the loud cheerful Sound.
He said; and to superior Joys return'd;
Britannia now no longer mourn'd:
No more the Nymphs, no more the Swains,
With Lamentations fill'd the Plains:
The Muse came back, and with her brought
Each sprightly, each delightful Thought:
Kindly she rais'd me from the Ground,
And smiling wip'd my Tears away:
While Joy, she said, is spread around,
And do's thro' all the Groves resound,
Will you to Grief a Tribute pay,
And mourn for one who's far more blest,
Than those that are of Crowns possest?
No more, no more you must complain,
But with Britannia now rejoice:
Britannia to the Choir above
Will add her charming Voice:
Not one of all her beauteous Train
But will obsequious prove;
And each will try who best can sing,
Who can the highest Praises bring;
Who best describe his happy State,
And best his present Joys relate.
Hark! Hark! the Birds are come again,
And each renews his sweet melodious Strain.
Clear is the Skie, and bright the Day,
Among the Boughs sweet Zephyrs play,
And all are pleas'd, and all are gay.
And dare you still your Grief express,
As if you wish'd his Honours less,
And with an envious Eye beheld his Happiness?
Ah! cruel Muse, with Sighs I said,
Why do you thus your Slave upbraid?
I neither at his Bliss repine;
Nor is't my choice to disobey:
Your Will, you know, has still been mine;
And I would now my ready def'rence pay:
But Oh! in vain I strive, in vain I try,
While my lov'd Princess grieves, I can't comply:
Her Tears forbid me to rejoice,
And when my Soul is on the Wing,
And I would with Britannia sing,
Her Sighs arrest my Voice.
But if once more you'd have me cheerful prove,
And with your Shades again in Love,
Strive by your Charms to calm her troubled Mind;
Let her the Force of pow'rful Numbers find:
And by the Magick of your Verse restore
Her former Peace, then add Delights unknown before
Let her be blest, my Joys will soon return,
But while she grieves, I ne'er can cease to mourn.
[ 14 ]
On the Vanities of this Life:
A Pindarick Ode.
WHat makes fond Man the trifle Life desire,
And with such Ardor court his Pain?
'Tis Madness, worse than Madness, to admire
What brings Ten thousand Miseries in its Train:
To each soft moment, Hours of Care succeed,
And for the Pleasures of a Day,
With Years of Grief we pay;
So much our lasting Sorrows, our fleeting Joys exceed.
In vain, in vain, we Happiness pursue,
That mighty Blessing is not here;
That, like the false misguiding Fire,
Is farthest off, when we believe it near:
Yet still we follow till we tire,
And in the fatal Chase Expire:
Each gaudy nothing which we view,
We fancy is the wish'd for Prize,
Its painted Glories captivate our Eyes;
Blinded by Pride, we hug our own Mistake,
And foolishly adore that Idol which we make.
Some hope to find it on the Coasts of Fame,
And hazard all to gain a glorious Name;
Proud of Deformity and Scars,
They seek for Honour in the bloodiest Wars;
On Dangers, unconcern'd, they run,
And Death it self disdain to shun:
This, the Rich with Wonder see,
And fancy they are happier far
Than those deluded Heroes are:
But this, alas! is their Mistake;
They only dream that they are blest,
For when they from their pleasing Slumbers wake,
They'll find their Minds with Swarms of Cares opprest,
So crouded, that no part is free
To entertain Felicity:
The Pain to get, and Fear to lose,
Like Harpies, all their Joys devour:
Who such a wretched Life wou'd chuse?
Or think those happy who must Fortune trust?
That fickle Goddess is but seldom just.
Exterior things can ne'er be truly good,
Because within her Pow'r;
This the wise Ancients understood,
And only wish'd for what wou'd Life sustain;
Esteeming all beyond superfluous and vain.
Some think the Great are only blest,
Those God-like Men who shine above the rest:
In whom united Glories meet,
And all the lower World pay Homage at their Feet:
On their exalted Heights they sit in State,
And their Commands bind like the Laws of Fate:
Their Regal Scepters, and their glitt'ring Crowns,
Imprint an awful Fear in ev'ry Breast:
Death shoots his killing Arrows thro' their Frowns;
Their Smiles are welcom, as the Beams of Light
Were to the infant World, when first it rose from Night.
Thus, in the Firmament of Pow'r above,
Each in his radiant Sphere does move,
Remote from common View;
Th' admiring Croud with Wonder gaze,
The distant Glories their weak Eyes amaze:
But cou'd they search into the Truth of Things,
Cou'd they but look into the Thoughts of Kings;
If all their hidden Cares they knew,
Their Jealousies, their Fears, their Pain,
And all the Troubles of their Reign,
They then wou'd pity those they now admire;
And with their humble State content, wou'd nothing more desire.
If any thing like Happiness is here,
If any thing deserves our Care,
'Tis only by the Good possest;
By those who Virtue's Laws obey,
And cheerfully proceed in her unerring Way;
Whose Souls are cleans'd from all the Dregs of Sin,
From all the base Alloys of their inferior Part,
And fit to harbour that Celestial Guest,
Who ne'r will be confin'd
But to a holy Breast.
The pure and spotless Mind,
Has all within
That the most boundless Wish can crave;
The most aspiring Temper hope to have:
Nor needs the Helps of Art,
Nor vain Supplies of Sense,
Assur'd of all in only Innocence.
Malice and Envy, Discontent, and Pride,
Those fatal Inmates of the Vicious Mind,
Which into dang'rous Paths th' unthinking Guide,
Ne'er to the pious Breast admittance find.
As th' upper Region is Serene and clear,
No Winds, no Clouds are there,
So with perpetual Calms the virtuous Soul is blest,
Those Antepasts of everlasting Rest:
Like some firm Rock amidst the raging Waves
She stands, and their united Force outbraves;
Contends, till from her Earthly Shackles free,
She takes her flight
Into immense Eternity,
And in those Realms of unexhausted Light,
Forgets the Pressures of her former State.
O'er-joy'd to find her self beyond the reach of Fate.
O happy Place! where ev'ry thing will please,
Where neither Sickness, Fear, nor Strife,
Nor any of the painful Cares of Life,
Will interrupt her Ease:
Where ev'ry Object charms the Sight,
And yields fresh Wonder and Delight,
Where nothing's heard but Songs of Joy,
Full of Extasie Divine,
Seraphick Hymns! which Love inspire,
And fill the Breast with sacred Fire:
Love refin'd from drossy Heat,
Rais'd to a Flame sublime and great,
In ev'ry Heav'nly Face do's shine,
And each Celestial Tongue employ:
What e'er we can of Friendship know,
What e'er we Passion call below,
Does but a weak Resemblance bear,
To that blest Union which is ever there,
Where Love, like Life, do's animate the whole,
As if it were but one blest individual Soul.
Such as a lasting Happiness would have,
Must seek it in the peaceful Grave,
Where free from Wrongs the Dead remain.
Life is a long continu'd Pain,
A lingring slow Disease.
Which Remedies a while may ease,
But cannot work a perfect Cure:
Musick with its inchanting Lays,
May for a while our Spirits raise,
Honour and Wealth may charm the Sense,
And by their pow'rful Influence
May gently lull our Cares asleep;
But when we think our selves secure,
And fondly hope we shall no future Ills endure,
Our Griefs awake again,
And with redoubl'd Rage augment our Pain:
In vain we stand on our Defence,
In vain a constant Watch we keep,
In vain each Path we guard;
Unseen into our Souls they creep,
And when they once are there, 'tis very hard
With all our Strength to force them thence;
Like bold Intruders on the whole they seize,
A Part will not th' insatiate Victors please.
In vain, alas! in vain,
We Reason's Aid implore,
That will but add a quicker Sense of Pain,
But not our former Joys restore:
Those few who by strict Rules their Lives have led,
Who Reason's Laws attentively have read;
Who to its Dictates glad Submission pay,
And by their Passions never led astray,
Go resolutely on in its severest Way,
Could never solid Satisfaction find:
The most that Reason can, is to persuade the Mind,
Its Troubles decently to bear,
And not permit a Murmur, or a Tear,
To tell th' inquiring World that any such are there:
But while we strive our Suff'rings to disown,
And blush to have our Frailties known;
While from the publick View our Griefs we hide,
And keep them Pris'ners in our Breast,
We seem to be, but are not truly blest;
What like Contentment looks, is but th' Effect of Pride:
From it we no advantage win,
But are the same we were before,
The smarting Pains corrode us still within;
Confinement do's but make them rage the more:
Upon the vital Stock they prey,
And by insensible degrees they wast our Life away.
In vain from Books we hope to gain Relief,
Knowledge does but increase our Grief:
The more we read, the more we find
Of th' unexhausted Store still left behind:
To dig the wealthy Mine we try,
No Pain, no Labour spare;
But the lov'd Treasure too profound does lie,
And mocks our utmost Industry:
Like some inchanted Isle it does appear;
The pleas'd Spectator thinks it near;
But when with wide spread Sails he makes to shore,
His Hopes are lost, the Phantom's seen no more:
Asham'd, and tir'd, we of Success despair,
Our fruitless Studies we repent,
And blush to see, that after all our Care,
After whole Years on tedious Volumes spent,
We only darkly understand
That which we thought we fully knew;
Thro' Labyrinths we go without a Clue,
Till in the dang'rous Maze our selves we lose,
And neither know which Path t'avoid, or which to chuse.
From Thought to Thought, our restless Minds are tost,
Like Ship-wreck'd Mariners we seek the Land,
And in a Sea of Doubts are almost lost.
The Phœnix Truth wrapt up in Mists does lie,
Not to be clearly seen before we die;
Not till our Souls free from confining Clay,
Open their Eyes in everlasting Day.
[ 21 ]
PErmit Marissa in an artless Lay
To speak her Wonder, and her Thanks repay:
Her creeping Muse can ne'er like yours ascend;
She has not Strength for such a towring Flight.
Your Wit, her humble Fancy do's transcend;
She can but gaze at your exalted Height:
Yet she believ'd it better to expose
Her Failures, than ungrateful prove;
And rather chose
To shew a want of Sense, than want of Love:
But taught by you, she may at length improve,
And imitate those Virtues she admires.
Your bright Example leaves a Tract Divine,
She sees a beamy Brightness in each Line,
And with ambitious Warmth aspires,
Attracted by the Glory of your Name,
To follow you in all the lofty Roads of Fame.
Merit like yours, can no Resistance find,
But like a Deluge overwhelms the Mind;
Gives full Possession of each Part,
Subdues the Soul, and captivates the Heart.
Let those whom Wealth, or Interest unite,
Whom Avarice, or Kindred sway
Who in the Dregs of Life delight;
And ev'ry Dictate of their Sense obey,
Learn here to love at a sublimer Rate,
To wish for nothing but exchange of Thoughts,
For intellectual Joys,
And Pleasures more refin'd
Than Earth can give, or Fancy can create.
Let our vain Sex be fond of glitt'ring Toys,
Of pompous Titles, and affected Noise,
Let envious Men by barb'rous Custom led
Descant on Faults,
And in Detraction find
Delights unknown to a brave gen'rous Mind,
While we resolve a nobler Path to tread,
And from Tyrannick Custom free,
View the dark Mansions of the mighty Dead,
And all their close Recesses see;
Then from those awful Shades retire,
And take a Tour above,
And there, the shining Scenes admire,
Th' Opera of eternal Love;
View the Machines, on the bright Actors gaze,
Then in a holy Transport, blest Amaze,
To the great Author our Devotion raise,
And let our Wonder terminate in Praise.
To your lov'd Bosom pleas'd Marissa flies;
That place where sacred Friendship gives a Right,
And where ten thousand Charms invite.
Let others Pow'r and awful Greatness prize;
Let them exchange their Innocence and Fame
For the dear Purchase of a mighty Name:
Let greedy Wretches hug their darling Store,
The tempting Product of their Toils adore,
And still with anxious Souls, desire and grasp at more:
While I disdain to have my Bliss confin'd
To things which Fortune can bestow, or take,
To things so foreign to the Mind,
And which no part of solid Pleasure make:
Those Joys of which I am possest,
Are safely lodg'd within my Breast,
Where like deep Waters, undisturb'd they flow,
And as they pass, a glassy smoothness show:
Unmov'd by Storms, or by th' Attacks of Fate,
I envy none, nor wish a happier State.
When all alone in some belov'd Retreat,
Remote from Noise, from Bus'ness, and from Strife,
Those constant curst Attendants of the Great;
I freely can with my own Thoughts converse,
And cloath them in ignoble Verse,
'Tis then I tast the most delicious Feast of Life:
There, uncontroul'd I can my self survey,
And from Observers free,
My intellectual Pow'rs display,
And all th' opening Scenes of beauteous Nature see:
Form bright Ideas, and enrich my Mind,
Enlarge my Knowledge, and each Error find;
Inspect each Action, ev'ry Word dissect,
And on the Failures of my Life reflect:
Then from my self, to Books, I turn my Sight,
And there, with silent Wonder and Delight,
Gaze on th' instructive venerable Dead,
Those that in Virtue's School were early bred,
And since by Rules of Honour always led;
Who its strict Laws with nicest Care obey'd,
And were by calm unbyass'd Reason sway'd:
Their great Examples elevate my Mind,
And I the force of all their Precepts find;
By them inspir'd, above dull Earth I soar,
And scorn those Trifles which I priz'd before.
Next these Delights Love claims the chiefest Part,
That gentle Passion governs in my Heart:
Its sacred Flames dilate themselves around,
And like pure Æther no Confinement know:
Where ever true Desert is found,
I pay my Love and Wonder too:
Wit, when alone, has Pow'r to please,
And Virtue's Charms resistless prove;
But when they both combine,
When both together shine,
Who coldly can behold a Glory so Divine?
Since you, Clorissa, have a Right to these,
And since you both possess,
You've, sure, a double Title to my Love,
And I my Fate shall bless,
For giving me a Friend, in whom I find
United, all the Graces of the Female kind.
Accept that Heart your Merit makes your own,
And let the Kindness for the Gift attone:
Love, Constancy, and spotless Truth I bring,
These give a Value to the meanest Thing.
O! let our Thoughts, our Interests be but one,
Our Griefs and Joys, be to each other known:
In all Concerns we'll have an equal Share,
Enlarge each Pleasure, lessen ev'ry Care:
Thus, of a thousand Sweets possest,
We'll live in one another's Breast:
When present, talk the flying Hours away,
When absent, thus, our tender Thoughts convey:
And, when by the Decrees of Fate
We 're summon'd to a higher State,
We'll meet again in the blest Realms of Light,
And in each other there eternally delight.
To Mr. Dryden, on his excellent
Translation of Virgil.
THou matchless Poet, whose capacious Mind
Contains the whole that Knowledge can impart,
Where we each charming Science find,
And ev'ry pleasing Art:
Permit my Muse in plain unpolish'd Verse,
In humble Strains her Wonder to rehearse:
From her low Shade she lifts her dazl'd Sight,
And views the Splendor and amazing Height:
See's boundless Wit, in artful Numbers play,
And like the glorious Source of Day,
To distant Worlds both Light and Heat convey.
Before the happy Birth of Light,
E'er Nature did her forming Pow'r display,
While blended in their native Night,
The Principles of all things lay;
Triumphant Darkness did her self dilate,
And thro' the Chaos with resistless Sway
Her dusky Horrors spread;
Such in this Isle was once our wretched State:
Dark melancholy Night her sable Wings display'd,
And all around her baleful Influence shed;
From Gloom, to Gloom, with weary'd Steps we stray'd,
Till Chaucer came with his delusive Light,
And gave some transient Glimm'rings to the Night:
Next kinder Spencer with his Lunar Beams
Inrich'd our Skies, and wak'd us from our Dreams:
Then pleasing Visions did our Minds delight,
And airy Spectres danc'd before our Sight:
Amidst our Shades in antick Rounds we mov'd,
And the bright entertaining Phantoms lov'd.
With Waller our first Dawn of Light arose,
He did the Beauties of the Morn disclose:
Then Milton came, and Cowley blest our Eyes;
With Joy we saw the distant Glory rise:
But there remain'd some Footsteps of the Night,
Dark Shadows still were intermix'd with Light:
Those Shades the mighty Dryden chas'd away,
And shew'd the Triumphs of refulgent Day:
Now all is clear, and all is bright,
Our Sun from his Meridian height
Darts kindly down reviving Rays,
And one continu'd Splendor crowns our Days.
This Work, great Poet, was reserv'd for thee,
None else cou'd us from our Confinement free:
By thee led on, we climb the sacred Hill,
And our pleas'd Eyes with distant Prospects fill:
View all th' Acquests thy conqu'ring Pen has made,
Th' immortal Trophies of thy Fame:
And see, as if we stood on Magick Ground,
Majestick Ghosts with verdant Laurels crown'd:
Illustrious Heroes, ev'ry glorious Name,
That can a Place in ancient Records claim:
Among the rest, thy Virgil's awful Shade,
Whom thou hast rais'd to bless our happy Land,
Does circl'd round with radiant Honours stand:
He's now the welcom Native of our Isle,
And crowns our Hopes with an auspicious Smile;
With him we wander thro' the Depths below,
And into Nature's Close Recesses go;
View all the Secrets of th' infernal State,
And search into the dark Intriegues of Fate:
Survey the Pleasures of th' Elysian Fields,
And see what Joys the highest Region yields.
What Thanks, thou gen'rous Man, can we repay,
What equal Retributions make,
For all thy Pains, and all thy Care,
And all those Toils, whose kind Effects we share?
Our Language like th' Augean Stable lay,
Rude and uncleans'd, till thou by Glory mov'd,
Th' Herculean Task didst undertake,
And hast with Floods of Wit th' offensive Heaps remov'd:
That ancient Rubbish of the Gothick Times,
When manly Sense was lost in trifling Rhimes:
Now th' unform'd Mass is to Perfection wrought;
Thou hast inlarg'd our Knowledge, and resin'd our Thought.
Long mayst thou shine within our British Sphere,
And may not Age, nor Care,
The sprightly Vigor of thy Mind impair:
Let Envy cease, and all thy Merits own,
And let our due Regards in Praise be ever shown:
And when from hence thou shalt remove
To bless th' harmonious World above,
May thy strong Genius on our Isle descend,
And what it has inspir'd, eternally defend.
Why Damon, why, why, why so pressing?
The Heart you beg's not worth possessing:
Each Look, each Word, each Smile's affected,
And inward Charms are quite neglected:
Then scorn her, scorn her, foolish Swain,
And sigh no more, no more in vain.
Beauty's worthless, fading, flying;
Who would for Trifles think of dying?
Who for a Face, a Shape, wou'd languish,
And tell the Brooks, and Groves his Anguish,
Till she, till she thinks fit to prize him,
And all, and all beside despise him?
Fix, fix you Thoughts on what's inviting,
On what will never bear the slighting:
Wit and Virtue claim your Duty,
They're much more worth than Gold and Beauty:
To them, to them, your Heart resign,
And you'll no more, no more repine.
MEthinks I see the Golden Age agen,
Drawn to the Life by your ingenious Pen:
Then Kings were Shepherds, and with equal Care
'Twixt Men and Sheep, did their Concernments share:
There was no need of Rods and Axes then,
Crooks rul'd the Sheep, and Virtue rul'd the Men:
Then Laws were useless, for they knew no Sin,
From Guilt secur'd by Innocence within:
No Passion but the noblest, fill'd each Breast,
They were too good to entertain the rest:
Love, which is now become an Art, a Trade,
It self to them with all its Sweets convey'd;
Indulgent Nature their kind Tutress prov'd,
And as she taught, without Deceit, they lov'd:
Thus did they live; thus they employ'd their Hours;
Beneath cool Shades, on Banks of fragrant Flow'rs,
They sat and listen'd, while their Poets sung
The Praises of the Brave, the Wise, the Young;
What e'er was Good, or Great, their Theme they made,
To Virtue still a Veneration paid;
But Love did in each Song Precedence claim,
And in soft Numbers they made known their Flame:
Poets by Nature are to Love inclin'd;
To them, the Lover's God was ever kind:
They still observ'd his Laws, and all their Care
Was to win Fame, and to oblige the Fair:
But ah! dear Friend, those happy Days are past;
Hard Fate! that only what is ill should last!
Unhappy we! born in the Dregs of Time,
Can ne'er to their vast height of Virtue climb;
But lie immers'd in Vice, forsaken quite
Of those pure Joys which did their Souls delight:
We live disguis'd, nor can each other trust,
But only seem obliging, kind and just,
To serve our low Designs; by Int'rest sway'd,
That pow'rful God by all Mankind obey'd!
Nor are those Vices in the Town alone,
The Country too does with the Pressure groan:
For Innocence (once our peculiar boast)
Is now with all her Train of Virtues lost;
From hence to the divine Abodes retir'd
Here undeserv'd, as well as undesir'd:
Yet some imperfect Footsteps still are seen,
That future Times may know they once have been:
But oh! how few will tread that sacred way;
By Vice, or Humor, most are led astray:
Those few who dare be good, must live alone
To all Mankind, except themselves, unknown:
From a mad World, to some obscure Recess,
They must retire, to purchase Happiness:
Yet of this wretched Place so well you've writ,
That I admire your Goodness and your Wit,
And must confess your excellent Design
To make it with its native lustre shine:
To hide its Faults, and to expose to view
Nought but its Beauties, is becoming you.
CEase, Dear Lerinda, cease admiring
Why Crouds and Noise I disapprove;
What e'er I see abroad is tiring;
O let us to some Cell remove;
Where all alone our selves enjoying,
Enrich'd with Innocence and Peace,
On noblest Themes our Thoughts employing,
Let us our inward Joys increase:
And still the happy Taste pursuing,
Raise our Love and Friendship higher,
And thus the sacred Flames renewing,
In Extasies of Bliss expire.
[ 32 ]
When Daphne first her Shepherd saw,
A sudden Trembling seiz'd her;
Honour her wandring Looks did awe,
She durst not view what pleas'd her.
When at her Feet he sighing lay,
She found her Heart complying;
Yet wou'd not to her Love give way,
To save her Swain from dying.
The little God stood laughing by
To see her dextrous feigning;
He bid the blushing Fair comply,
The Shepherd leave complaining.
WOuld but indulgent Fortune send
To me a kind, and faithful Friend,
One who to Virtue's Laws is true,
And does her nicest Rules pursue;
One Pious, Lib'ral, Just and Brave,
And to his Passions not a Slave;
Who full of Honour, void of Pride,
Will freely praise, and freely chide;
But not indulge the smallest Fault,
Nor entertain one slighting Thought:
Who still the same will ever prove,
Will still instruct, and still will love:
In whom I safely may confide,
And with him all my Cares divide:
Who has a large capacious Mind,
Join'd with a Knowledge unconfin'd:
A Reason bright, a Judgment true,
A Wit both quick, and solid too:
Who can of all things talk with Ease,
And whose Converse will ever please:
Who charm'd with Wit, and inward Graces,
Despises Fools with tempting Faces;
And still a beauteous Mind does prize
Above the most enchanting Eyes:
I would not envy Queens their State,
Nor once desire a happier Fate.
O how ambitious is my Soul,
How high she now aspires!
There's nothing can on Earth controul,
Or limit her Desires.
Upon the Wings of Thought she flies
Above the reach of Sight,
And finds a way thro' pathless Skies
To everlasting Light:
From whence with blameless Scorn she views
The Follies of Mankind;
And smiles to see how each pursues
Joys fleeting as the Wind.
Yonder's the little Ball of Earth,
It lessens as I rise;
That Stage of transitory Mirth,
Of lasting Miseries:
My Scorn does into Pity turn,
And I lament the Fate
Of Souls, that still in Bodies mourn,
For Faults which they create:
Souls without Spot, till Flesh they wear,
Which their pure Substance stains:
While they th' uneasie Burthen bear,
They're never free from Pains.
[ 35 ]
FRiendship is a Bliss Divine,
And does with radiant Lustre shine:
But where can that blest Pair be found
That are with equal Fetters bound?
Whose Hearts are one, whose Souls combine,
And neither know or Mine, or Thine;
Who've but one Joy, one Grief, one Love,
And by the self same Dictates move;
Who've not a Frailty unreveal'd,
Nor yet a Thought that is conceal'd;
Who freely one another blame,
And strive to raise each other's Fame;
Who're always just, sincere, and kind,
By Virtue, not by Wealth, combin'd;
Whose Friendship nothing can abate,
Nor Poverty, nor adverse Fate,
Nor Death it self: for when above,
They'll never, never, cease to love,
But with a Passion more refin'd,
Become one pure celestial Mind.
The Happy Man.
He is the happy Man whose constant Mind
Is to th' Enjoyment of himself confin'd:
Who has within laid up a plenteous Store,
And is so rich that he desires no more:
Whose Soul is always easie, firm, and brave,
And much too great to be Ambition's Slave:
Who Fortune's Frowns without Concern can bear,
And thinks it less to suffer, than to fear:
Who, still the same, keeps up his native State,
Unmov'd at all the Menaces of Fate:
Who all his Passions absolutely sways,
And to his Reason cheerful Homage pays,
Who's with a Halcyon Calmness ever blest,
With inward Joy, untroubl'd Peace, and Rest:
Who while the Most with Toil, with Guilt, and Heat,
Lose their dear Quiet to be Rich and Great,
Both Business, and disturbing Crouds does shun,
Pleas'd that his Work is with less Trouble done:
To whom a Grove, a Garden, or a Field,
Much greater, much sublimer Pleasures yield,
Than they can find in all the Charms of Pow'r,
Those splendid Ills which so much Time devour:
Who more than Life, his Friends and Books can prize,
And for those Joys the noisie World despise:
Who when Death calls, no Weakness does betray,
Nor to an unbecoming Fear give way;
But to himself, and to his Maxims true,
Lies smiling down, and bids Mankind adieu.
[ 37 ]
A Dialogue between Alexis and Astrea.
Come, fair Astrea, let us for a while
Beneath this pleasant Shade our Cares beguile:
In kind Discourses let us pass away
The tiresom Heat, and Troubles of the Day:
The Gods no greater Blessing can bestow
Than mutual Love, 'tis all our Bliss below.
Astrea. But Men, false Men, take Pleasure to deceive,
And laugh, when we their Perjuries believe;
Their Languishments, and all their other Arts,
Their Sighs, and Vows, are only Snares for Hearts.
Alexis. Think not, unjust Astrea, all are so,
Alexis will a deathless Passion show.
May the severest of all Plagues, your Hate,
And all the Rigors of an angry Fate,
With all those Curses that to Guilt are due,
Fall on my Head, when I am false to you.
A Love like mine, can no decrease admit;
A Love, inspir'd by Virtue, and by Wit,
Like its immortal Cause, will ever last,
And be the same, when Youth, and Beauty's past:
Nor need Astrea blush to own my Flame,
Or think 'twill prove a Blemish to her Fame,
Since 'tis as pure, as Spotless as her Mind,
Bright as her Eyes, from all its Dross refin'd.
Astrea. When Humors are alike, and Souls agree,
How sweet! how pleasant must that Union be!
But oh! that Bliss is but by few possest,
But few are with the Joys of Friendship blest.
Marriage is but a fatal Lott'ry made,
Where some are Gainers, but the most betray'd:
The mild and froward, cruel and the kind,
Are in unequal Chains by Fate confin'd:
Most are a Sacrifice to Interest made,
Interest, and Gold, now more than Love persuade:
To conqu'ring Gold, the most themselves submit,
That has more Charms, than Beauty, Youth, or Wit:
Unhappy they! whom Riches thus unite,
Whom Wealth does to the sacred Band invite:
The languid Passion quickly will expire,
Wealth can ne'er keep alive the dying Fire:
Virtue the Hymenæan Torch shou'd light,
'Tis that alone preserves its Lustre bright:
The Rich and Great let the vain World admire,
Neither their Gold, nor Grandeur, I desire;
Virtue, and Love, to me's a great Estate,
I wish no more, but leave the rest to Fate.
Alexis. Let Kings for Empire, and for Crowns contend,
Let them their Arms to distant Realms extend:
I envy none, no not the Pow'rs above,
I've all I covet in Astrea's Love.
Astrea. How blest are we! nothing our Hearts can sever,
Not Death it self, we'll love, we'll love for ever.
Alexis. But we must part; hard Fate will have it so,
Alexis must from his Astrea go.
Yes, we must part; O th' afflicting Sound!
It shakes my Breast, my very Soul does wound.
Is there no way, this Misery to shun,
Ye cruel Gods! what has Alexis done
To merit this severe, this rig'rous Fate?
Had you no way, but this, to shew your Hate?
Astrea. Cease these Complaints; while you possess my Heart,
While there you live, can we be said to part?
Our Thoughts shall meet, they ne'er can be confin'd,
We'll still be present to each other's Mind:
I'll view you with my intellectual Sight,
And in th' indearing Object take Delight:
My faithful Mem'ry shall your Vows retain,
And in my Breast you shall unrival'd reign.
Alexis. And your dear Image shall my Solace prove,
On that I'll gaze, to that I'll sigh my Love:
To that a thousand tender things I'll say,
And fancy that does ev'ry Sigh repay:
Each word approves by an obliging Smile,
As if it kindly wou'd my Griefs beguile:
Thus, will I languish out the tedious Day,
Thus, will I pass my saddest Hours away.
Astrea. What tho' by Fate our Bodies are confin'd,
Nought can obstrust the Journies of the Mind:
A virtuous Passion will at distance live,
Absence to that will a new Vigor give,
Which still increases, and grows more intense,
The farther 'tis remov'd from the mean Joys of Sense.
[ 40 ]
To the Ladies.
WIfe and Servant are the same,
But only differ in the Name:
For when that fatal Knot is ty'd,
Which nothing, nothing can divide:
When she the word obey has said,
And Man by Law supreme has made,
Then all that's kind is laid aside,
And nothing left but State and Pride:
Fierce as an Eastern Prince he grows,
And all his innate Rigor shows:
Then but to look, to laugh, or speak,
Will the Nuptial Contract break.
Like Mutes she Signs alone must make,
And never any Freedom take:
But still be govern'd by a Nod,
And fear her Husband as her God:
Him still must serve, him still obey,
And nothing act, and nothing say,
But what her haughty Lord thinks fit,
Who with the Pow'r, has all the Wit.
Then shun, oh! shun that wretched State,
And all the fawning Flatt'rers hate:
Value your selves, and Men despise,
You must be proud, if you'll be wise.
[ 41 ]
To the QUEEN's most Excellent
PErmit me at Your Royal Feet to lay
This humble Off'ring of a trembling Muse;
Permit me there to pay
This Tribute to transcendent Merit due;
To that transcendent Merit which conspicuous is in You.
Bold is th' Address, and the Presumption high!
But she all meaner Objects does refuse,
To this vast height will fly,
And hopes Your Goodness will th' ambitious Flight excuse.
I strove a while her Ardor to conceal,
Unseen it burnt within my Breast;
But now impetuous grows, and will it self reveal;
'Tis much too strong to be supprest.
What was at first but Warmth, now to a Flame do's rise,
On you she gazes with admiring Eyes,
And ev'ry lower Object does despise:
Pardon her Transports, since from Zeal they spring,
And give her Leave of You to sing;
Of You, the noblest Theme that she can chuse,
Of You, who're with Ten thousand Graces fraught,
Of You, who far exceed the widest Bounds of Thought:
In whom as to their Centre Lines are drawn,
All those bright Qualities in one combine,
Which did till now with scatter'd Glory shine;
Appear'd till now but in their Dawn:
You're the Meridian Splendor of Your Line;
And on Your Sex entail a lasting Fame;
We shall be ever proud of Your illustrious Name.
Long may You reign, long fill the British Throne,
And make the haughty Gallick Foe our English Valor own:
Assert the Rights of Your Imperial Crown,
And vie with ancient Heroes for Renown:
Tread in his Steps whom Fate has snatch'd away,
Like him the Terror of Your Arms display;
But longer, longer much Your happy Subjects sway,
His mighty Acts cou'd not the Victor save,
Those Conquests he had gain'd
Cou'd not preserve his Life:
Death to his vast Designs a Period gave,
Sent him amidst his Triumphs to the Grave:
For You he fought, for You he Wreaths obtain'd,
For You he strove to humble France:
For You has been the Toil, for You the Strife,
For You the Battels he has won,
The wondrous things which he has done:
To him there nothing now remains,
But empty Fame, that mean Reward for all his Pains.
Heav'n brought him here Your Grandeur to advance,
That was the kind Design of Fate,
And took him hence when he had aggrandiz'd Your State.
To You he all his Trophies yields,
To You the dusty Honours of the bloody Fields:
He at Your Feet lays all his Lawrels down.
And adds his great Atchievements to the Glories of Your Crown.
If Poets may to Prophesie pretend,
If they're allow'd to pry,
Into the hidden Secrets of Futurity,
They dare presage, You will Your Pow'r extend,
And spite of Salic Laws, the Gallick Throne ascend:
For You that noble Task's assign'd,
'Tis You are born Mankind to free,
From arbitrary Sway, and hateful Tyranny:
You, none but You, are for that Work design'd;
We no where cou'd a fitter Champion find:
Go on great Heroin, and exalt Your Name,
Go fearless on in the bright Tracks of Fame:
When Beauty leads, and Virtue shows the Way,
The Men will soon with joyful hast obey,
None then will shew a greater Zeal than they:
They for Your Service with a noble Pride
Will all Your Enemies defie,
Will all their Vain Efforts deride,
And strive who first for You shall die;
Who first th' ambition'd Honour have,
Who first lie down in the contested Grave.
Where You reside, may Pleasures still abound,
May blooming Joys disperse themselves around,
And may there nothing there but soft Delights be found:
Still may Your Subjects make Your Bliss their Care,
Contending Parties in Your Cause unite:
No more within our British Sphere
May threatning Clouds appear,
Or deafning Storms affright,
But all be calm, and all be bright;
Bright as those Virtues which adorn Your Mind,
Those Virtues, which we no where else can in Perfection find,
May Heav'n indulgent to Your Wishes prove,
And make You still chief Object of its Love:
Bless You with all the Favours it can give,
And let You in a num'rous Off-spring live;
An Off-spring worthy of Your Princely Line,
Great as Your Merit, like Your self Divine.
My pious Pray'rs have quick Acceptance found,
Propitious Omens Heaven is pleas'd to send,
Pleas'd Nature does this glorious Change approve;
On You she seems t'attend
Commission'd from Above:
Each Hour of Your auspicious Reign,
Has been with wondrous Blessings crown'd;
The Sun restores his Heat again,
Again restores reviving Rays,
Again we're blest with radiant Days:
No noxious Vapors now dare rise,
No Streams of Earth pollute the Skies,
Back to their gloomy Source each darkning Atom flies:
A balmy Swetness fills the Air,
Health and Pleasure revel there;
The Flow'rs rise beauteous from the Ground,
And spread their fragrant Odors round;
The Trees prepare
Their verdant Crowns to wear;
Amidst their Boughs soft Zephyrs play:
And in low whisp'ring Murmurs their glad Homage pay:
The warbling Birds resound Your Praise,
And welcom You with cheerful Lays:
Joy does in every Face appear,
In ev'ry Face is seen to smile;
A Joy till now to us unknown,
A Joy which You cou'd give alone;
You to Your Subjects are more dear,
To us the happy Natives of this Isle,
Than Life, and all the Pleasures we possess below,
All, all the gay Delights Your Albion can bestow,
Which rich in You, and Your immortal Fame,
The Title now of Fortunate may claim,
And justly be allow'd to glory in so great a Name.
YES, dear Philistris, in my lov'd Retreat
I will the Malice of my Stars defeat:
I've not deserv'd my Fate, and therefore dare
To brave my Fortune when 'tis most severe:
While Innocence and Honour guard my Breast,
I shall in spite of my worst Foes be blest:
In spite of all the Rage the Furies can inspire,
When into mortal Breasts they breath infernal Fire,
With Eyes that dart malignant Horrors round,
And Voices which affright with their tremendous Sound,
They fiercely may the cruel Fight begin,
And hope by Violence the Day to win;
But all in vain; I'll smiling ward each Blow,
And where my Duty calls undaunted go:
Secure within, their Shock I dare sustain,
My Souls impassive, and can feel no Pain:
I've secret Joys, Delights to them unknown,
In Solitude I never am alone:
Books are the best Companions I can find,
At once they please, at once instruct the Mind.
Fam'd Rochester, who Athens's Plague has writ
With all the Charms of Poetry and Wit,
Does Honour on his sacred See bestow;
At once its Glory, and its Blessing too:
Him I with Pleasure read, each well weigh'd Line,
Delights my Soul, his Thoughts are all Divine.
With awful Fear on Stillingfleet I gaze,
His wondrous Knowledge and deep Sense my ravish'd Soul amaze:
Smooth Tillotson affords no less Delight,
None ever did with more Exactness write,
Or with more Clearness each dark Text unfold,
He sacred Truths intelligibly told:
Strong are his Reasons, and his Language fine,
And like his Subjects, ev'ry where Divine;
Much the learn'd Sarum's pompous Stile do's please,
His Thoughts, tho' lofty, are express'd with Ease:
What e'er he writes so captivates the Mind,
We there the Strength of pow'rful Reason find:
See human Nature to its Zenith rais'd,
And Virtue with a winning Sweetness prais'd:
So charming made, and so majestick too,
We're forc'd to Love, what awfully we view:
Thou wondrous Man! who can enough admire
The amazing Force of that celestial Fire,
Which thro' each Line do's sacred Warmth inspire?
To darkest Minds clear dazling Light convey,
Refulgent Beams of intellectual Day!
Th' ingenious Norris in a flowing Strain,
With various Scenes of Wit do's entertain;
Sometimes in Prose he sweetly do's invite,
And then in Verse takes an unbounded Flight:
Plato reviv'd, we in his Writings find,
His Sentiments are there, but more refin'd.
'Twould be too tedious if I all should name,
Who have a just, unquestion'd Right to Fame.
O happy Albion! in thy Clergy blest,
In Sons that are of ev'ry Grace possest!
May they increase, and like ascending Light
Chase hence those Spectres that are pleas'd with Night,
Nor can endure a Glory so divinely bright:
Those restless Troublers of the Churches Peace;
May their Attacks, and their Reproaches cease;
While she supported by Almighty Love,
Securely on the wat'ry Deep do's move;
In sacred Pomp on swelling Surges rise,
And all the Monsters of the Main despise.
Philosophers next these, are my Delight;
O let me learn from them to think aright:
Contending Passions timely to restrain,
And o'er my self a happy Conquest gain:
To stand unalter'd at the Turns of Fate,
And undejected in the worst Estate.
With Secret Pleasure I the Lives survey
Of those great Men who Virtue did obey,
And went unweary'd on in her steep painful Way;
Their bright Examples fortifie my Mind,
And I within both Strength and Calmness find:
When I am wrong'd, or treated with Neglect,
I on the patient Socrates reflect;
That virtuous Man, who was severely try'd,
Who injur'd liv'd, and much more injur'd dy'd:
Methinks I see him laugh'd at on the Stage,
And made a Victim to the Poets Rage;
Expos'd, and ridicul'd, while he sits by,
And calmly bears their spiteful Calumny:
In him none coul'd the least Emotion find,
He bore Reproaches with a constant Mind,
And bravely met that Fate, which Fate for him design'd;
That Fate, which he persuaded was to shun;
But he resolv'd to keep the Glory he had won:
His Fame, to him than Life, was much more dear,
And Death was what he ne'er had learnt to fear:
Brave to the last, and to his Virtue true,
Without Concern he bid his Friends adieu,
And with a free, untroubl'd, cheerful Air,
Did for another, better State prepare,
And smiling drank the welcome Cure of all his Care:
That happy Draught, that Balm for all his Grief,
His best, his last, his only sure Relief.
O who wou'd live, that with such ease could go
From this vile World, this dismal Scene of Woe,
Where most are false, and no Compassion show,
Where our Misfortunes but a Jest are made,
Where by pretended Friends we're most betray'd:
Where Men are to their Int'rest wholly ty'd,
Slaves to their glitt'ring Gold, and to their Pride,
And where Ambition, and Self-love as sovereign Lords preside:
Where Kindness only do's to Words extend,
And few are truly that which they pretend,
And where the greatest Prodigy's a Friend.
Thrice happy Times when Riches were despis'd,
And Men for innate Worth were only priz'd:
When none to Titles their respect did pay,
Nor were to Bribes a mercenary Prey:
When all to rural Cares their Thoughts did bend,
And on their harmless Flocks with Peace attend;
When underneath some cool delightful Shade,
They to their Nymphs their artless Courtship made,
And were with kindest Vows, and unfeign'd Truth repaid:
When Constancy their highest Boast became,
And Friend was held the most endearing Name;
When nothing ill was harbour'd in the Mind,
But all were pious, gen'rous, just and kind.
But that blest Age, alas! was quickly past,
What's eminently good can never last:
Short was the peaceful Saturn's Golden Reign:
But oh! this Iron Age do's still remain.
Betimes the Vicious their Insults began,
And fatal was Integrity to Man:
The virtuous still to Hardships were inur'd,
And still the Drudgeries of Fate indur'd:
Saw Fools admir'd, and wealthy Fops carest,
And Rebels with Imperial Purple drest:
Knaves made the Props of an unthinking State,
When Truth and Justice shou'd support the Weight:
Ill Men ador'd, and prais'd above the Skies,
While at their Feet neglected Merit lies,
And Regulus amidst his Tortures dies:
An Aristides from his Athens sent,
From his ungrateful Town to Banishment:
A Cato bleeding in the noblest Cause,
A Victim to his Honour, and the Laws:
He reads with Pleasure of th' immortal State,
And then with hast anticipates his Fate;
With the same Courage he for Rome had fought,
He for his Soul a welcom Passage sought.
A Petrus strugling with a Tyrant's Rage,
A suff'ring Arria, Wonder of her Age!
The best of Wives, the kindest, truest Friend;
Her Spouse in all his Troubles did attend:
His Grief was hers, and so was all his Care;
Well pleas'd she was with him the worst of Ills to share.
When he was doom'd by his own Hand to die,
She beg'd him with the Sentence to comply;
Told him a wretched Life deserv'd no Care,
And that a Roman never ought to fear:
Bid him remember with what noble Pride
The valiant Curtius, and the Decii dy'd;
And how th' immortal Brutus Death's griefly Form defy'd:
But when she saw her Reasons could not move,
She gave a vast, a wondrous Proof of Love:
With hast she snatch'd his Poniard from his Side,
And with her dearest Blood the fatal Weapon dy'd;
Then drawing it undaunted from her Breast,
And with a Look that no Concern exprest,
She smiling gave it to his trembling Hand,
And said, O Petus, thus, thy Fate command:
Thus, Cæsar's Malice, and thy Stars defie;
Believe me, 'tis not difficult to die.
She said no more; he sighing clos'd her Eyes,
And taught by her, with conscious Blushes dies:
Asham'd to think for such a noble Deed
He shou'd th' Example of a Woman need.
An Epictetus in a Nero's Court,
The best of Men, a Slave, and Fortune's Sport.
A Belisarius, blind, despis'd, and poor,
Seeking precarious Alms from Door, to Door;
And meanly striving to prolong his Breath,
To save a Life more to be fear'd, than Death:
While Earth-born Monsters, a degen'rous Race,
Rise from their Slime, and fill the heav'nly Space;
Where, for a while, like Meteors they amaze,
And fright the World with their portentous Blaze;
Till having wasted all their Stock of Light,
They fall unpity'd from their tow'ring Hight,
And lie despis'd in the dark Shades of Night.
Thus Hist'ry Shews the World in its rude Infant State,
And does the Progress of Mankind relate;
By what slow Steps they first to Greatness rose;
Does all their Arts, their Policies disclose:
There, I behold th' Assyrian Empire rise,
And Babel's lofty Tow'rs insult the Skies:
See mighty Cyrus all their Hopes defeat,
And place himself in the Imperial Seat:
From whence I see the great Darius fall,
And the Pellean Youth possest of all:
Him, full of Glory, full of God-like Fire
I see amidst adoring Crouds expire:
Young Ammon all his boasted Conquests quit,
And early to the Laws of Fate submit:
He, whose Ambition towr'd above the Skies,
Now with a Spot of Earth scarce cover'd lies;
And in a dark, a narrow, silent Grave,
Sleeps undistinguish'd from his meanest Slave.
I next observe the Western Empire rise,
The Roman Eagles wanton in the Skies:
Those Birds of Jove clap their extended Wings,
While with the clattering Sound the wide Expansum rings:
See Royal Shepherds an Usurper chase,
And on his Throne their injur'd Grandsire place;
With happy Omens the Foundations lay
Of that great City which the World must sway:
See Rome's rash Builder, the Derider kill,
And a dear Brother's Blood relentless spill.
O what is Man, if by his Passion led!
Lions and Tigers with less cause we dread:
They much the gentler, much the kinder prove,
Whom nothing can against their Species move:
But Men each other's Ruin still design,
They break thro' all the Ties, the Laws Divine:
Nor Blood, nor Friendship, can their Rage restrain,
Intreaties all are lost, and Tears are shed in vain:
Slaves to their Will, they ev'ry Vice obey,
And on their Actions no Restriction lay.
This fatal Truth the sad Lucretia found;
Methinks in Tears I see her almost drown'd:
Confus'd she sits among her grieving Friends,
While each to her distressful Tale attends:
Trembling and Pale, with Sighs, and downcast Eyes,
The moving Rhetorick of her Sorrow tries:
And then by her own Hand with wondrous Courage dies.
Pride of thy Sex! thy Glory still shall live,
To thee we will our loudest Plaudits give:
My Muse with Joy shall celebrate thy Fame,
And make the Groves resound with thy immortal Name,
Th' amaz'd Beholders view the breathless Fair,
And for a just a quick Revenge prepare:
The proud Tarquinius with his guilty Race
They from his undeserv'd Dominions chase:
Govern'd by Consuls then, with Freedom blest,
And of the noblest Parts of Earth possest,
Rome long enjoy'd the Glories she had won;
But was inthrall'd at length by her victorious Son,
To his superior Fortune she gave way,
But did not long his Tyranny obey:
The Roman Soul exerts it self once more,
T'assert lost Rights, and Liberty restore;
The mighty Cæsar to their Rage did yield,
Nor could the Goddess her lov'd Off-spring shield.
See, full of Wounds, the Hero gasping lies,
And fiercely rolling his Majestick Eyes,
Seems to call Vengeance from his Kindred Skies.
How vain is Greatness, and how frail is Pow'r!
Those who above their Fellow Mortals tow'r,
Who with a Word can save, or with a Word destroy,
Can't to themselves insure one Moment's Joy:
But soon may tumble from their slippery State,
And feel the Pressures of an adverse Fate.
Sure for our selves if we our Terms could make,
We should not Life on such Conditions take;
Life, which subjects us to Ten thousand Ills,
And ev'ry Minute with new Trouble fills:
By which to Fortune we're still Captives made,
And to the worst of Tyrannies betray'd;
Captives to her, who makes Mankind her Sport,
Who slights the best, and does the basest court;
Who low with Earth the mighty Pompeys lays,
And from the Dust does Aniello's raise.
When such Reflections, such sad Thoughts as these
On my dejected Soul begin to seize,
To pleasant Studies I my self apply,
And feast upon the Sweets of Poetry;
Those luscious Banquets which the Mind invite,
Where all is to be found that can delight.
Sometimes in Homer I the Grecians view,
See, what the King, and injur'd Husband do;
See, tow'ring Ilium compass'd round with Foes,
And for her sake her Sons their Lives expose;
Her valiant Sons, who prodigal of Blood,
Long in Defence of their lov'd Country stood:
See, from their Seats superior Pow'rs descend,
And on the Phrygians and the Greeks attend,
And with indecent warmth among themselves contend.
View fierce Achilles full of Grief and Rage,
Victorious Hector with redoubl'd Strength engage:
Revenge to ev'ry Blow new Force does give;
The Hopes of Ilium must no longer live:
Fate signs his Doom; the Godlike Hero falls,
And thrice his Body's drag'd around the Trojan Walls:
The Cyprian Goddess mourns her Favourite slain,
And loud Laments fill all the Idalian Plain.
The wise Ulysses does my Wonder raise,
Who can enough his prudent Conduct praise?
With his ill Fortune he did long contest,
And was not with the sight of his lov'd Princess blest:
The Royal Mourner for his Absence wept,
And from her Heart intruding Princes kept;
In vain they sigh'd, in vain Addresses made,
They cou'd not by their utmost Arts persuade:
To her first Vows she still did constant prove,
Doubly secur'd by Honour, and by Love.
The Prince of Lyricks, full of heav'nly Fire,
Well pleas'd I read, and as I read, admire:
Of Gods and Heroes, and of God-like Kings,
He with unequal'd Strength, and Sweetness sings:
Sometimes his Muse flies near, and keeps in Sight,
Then on a sudden takes a towring Flight,
And soars as high as the bright Realms of Light.
The help of mean and servile Art disdains,
While in each charming Line luxuriant Nature reigns:
His pregnant Fancy from its Boundless Store,
Selects the richest, and the noblest Oar,
Which his unerring Judgment so refines,
That thro' the whole a pleasing Lustre shines;
Virtue's the darling Subject of his Lays,
In ev'ry Ode he Piety displays,
And to the Gods due Veneration pays.
Great was the Pow'r of his immortal Song,
That could his Fame in ancient Greece prolong:
Twice save his House, when Thebes was made a Prey
Untouch'd that stood, while Thebes in Ashes lay.
The Force of Numbers warlike Sparta knew,
For her what Wonders did Tyrtæus do!
He sung the Glories which on Fame attend;
And Honour gain'd by those who shall the State defend:
Who full of Courage, full of Heat Divine,
No Hazards for their Gods, and Laws, decline;
Who fear not Death, when the Reward is Praise,
That blest Exchange for all their coming Days:
The listning Soldiers with fresh Ardor fir'd;
As if they were by Mars himself inspir'd,
With furious Transports to the Field repair'd,
And met those Dangers, which before they fear'd:
Nothing Messene from their Rage could shield,
She to her former Lords was forc'd to yield:
She who to Martial Pow'r would not submit,
Was made a Prey to all-commanding Wit.
Theocritus in soft harmonious Strains,
Describes the Joys of the Sicilian Swains,
When with their Flocks they grace the flow'ry Plains,
And on their Pipes to listning Beauties play,
Who with their kind Regards the lov'd Musicians pay:
He, Nature in her native Plainness drew,
He, who the Springs of tender'st Passions knew,
Did Love in all its Infant Graces shew;
Love, unacquainted with deceitful Arts,
And only aiming at Exchange of Hearts.
Lucretius with his Philosophick Strains,
My Mind at once delights, and entertains:
Thro' Paths untrod, I see him fearless go;
His Steps I tread, with eager hast to know:
With him explore the boundless Realms of Chance,
And see the little busie Atoms dance:
See, how without Direction they combine,
And form a Universe without Design,
While careless Deities supremely blest,
Enjoy the Pleasures of eternal Rest,
Resolv'd that nothing here their Quiet shall molest.
Strange that a Man of such a Strength of Thought,
Could think a World was to Perfection brought
Without Assistance from the Pow'rs above,
From the blest Source of Wisdom, and of Love!
All frightful Thoughts he from my Soul does chase,
And in their room glad, bright Ideas place:
Tells me that Happiness in Virtue lies,
And bids me Death, that dreaded Ill, despise:
That Phantom, which if we but judg'd aright,
Would never once disturb, nor once affright;
The shocking Prospect of a future State,
Does in our Souls an anxious Fear create;
That unknown Somewhere which we must explore,
That strange, that distant, undiscover'd Shore,
Where we must land, makes us the Passage dread:
But were we by inlightned Reason led,
Were false Opinions banish'd from the Mind,
And we to the strict Search of Truth inclin'd,
We sure shou'd meet it with as much Delight
As the cool Pleasures of a silent Night,
And to our Graves with Cheerfulness should run,
Pleas'd that our tedious Task of Life were done.
Virgil with sacred Raptures fills my Mind,
In him I unexhausted Treasures find:
While he my ravish'd Soul does entertain,
Malice and Rage employ their Shafts in vain:
Easie and pleas'd, by him I'm led along,
And hear the wise Silenus's charming Song:
Among his Nymphs and Swains with Pleasure live,
And to their Musick glad Attention give:
Then hear his Shepherds for some Prize contend,
And see his Husbandmen their much lov'd Toil attend:
Next with him to the burning Ilium go,
Where he displays Ten thousand Scenes of Woe:
Amidst the Flames the pious Prince I View,
Fearless, unmov'd, his great Designs pursue:
Like great Alcides he with Toil and Pain,
To th' utmost Height of Glory did attain,
And unrelenting Juno's Hate sustain;
A due Reward at length his Virtue found,
And he with Glory and with Love was crown'd.
Horace is full of Wit, and full of Art,
My Mind he pleases, and inflames my Heart,
And fills my Breast with his Poetick Fire:
O that he cou'd his wondrous Heat inspire:
But mine's a pale, a languid, feeble Flame,
Wholly unworthy such a Poet's Name:
My humble Muse her Eyes can only raise,
Pleas'd that she has the Liberty to her Gaze,
And Leave to offer up the Tribute of her Praise.
When by soft moving Ovid I am told,
Of those strange Changes which were wrought of old,
When Gods in Brutal Shapes did Mortals court,
And unbecoming Actions made their Sport,
When helpless Wretches fled from impious Pow'rs,
And hid themselves in Birds, Beasts, Trees, and Flow'rs:
When none from Outrage cou'd securely dwell,
But felt the Rage of Heav'n, of Earth, and Hell:
Methinks, I see those Passions well exprest,
Which play the Tyrant in the Mortal Breast:
They to Ten thousand Miseries expose,
And are our only, and our deadly Foes:
They like the Vultur on our Entrails prey,
And in our Path the Golden Apple lay,
But from us snatch our dear Euridices away.
Up the steep Hill the pond'rous Torment roll,
And cheat with empty Shews the famish'd Soul:
Those who are still submitted to their Sway,
Must in the gloomy Realms of Pluto stay,
And never more re-visit cheerful Day:
But those who're from their earthly Dross calcin'd,
Who tast the Pleasures of a virtuous Mind,
Who'd rather chuse to die, than once their Conscience stain,
Who midst Temptations Innocence retain,
And o'er themselves an undisputed Empire gain:
In th' Elysian Fields shall be for ever blest,
And with the Happy, there enjoy the Sweets of Rest.
How well does he express unhappy Love!
Each Page does melt, and ev'ry Line does move.
The fair Oenone does so well complain,
That I can't chuse but blame her faithless Swain:
Good Hypermnestra much laments her Fate,
Forsaken Phyllis her deplor'd Estate;
Her absent Lord sad Laodamia mourns,
And Sappho for her perjur'd Phaon burns:
O wondrous Woman! Prodigy of Wit!
Why didst thou Man to thy fond Heart admit?
Man, treacherous Man, who still a Riddle proves,
And by the Dictates of his Fancy moves,
Whose Looks are Snares, and ev'ry Word a Bait,
And who's compos'd of nothing but Deceit?
What Pity 'twas thou shouldst to Love give way,
To Love, to vicious Love, become a Prey,
And by a guilty, inauspicious Flame,
Eclipse the Splendor of so bright a Name.
On Juvenal I look with great Delight,
Both he and Persius with much Keeness write,
They gravely teach, as well as sharply bite.
Think not* to th' ancient Bards I am alone confin'd,
They please, but never shall ingross my Mind;
In modern Writers I can Beauties find.
Phœbus has been propitious to this Isle,
And on our Poets still is pleas'd to Smile.
Milton was warm'd by his enliv'ning Fire,
Who Denham, Waller, Cowley did inspire,
Roscommon too, whom the learn'd World admire:
The tuneful Dryden felt his hottest Rays,
And long with Honour wore his freshest Bays:
The Arts, the Muses, and the Graces try
To raise his Name, and lift him to the Skie,
And bless him with a Fame that ne'er shall die:
But he is gone! extinguish'd is that Light,
Which with its Lustre so long charm'd our Sight:
Yet at his Loss we dare not once repine,
While we see Dorset with such Glory shine,
While we see Normanby adorn the Skies,
And Halifax with dazling Brightness rise:
That fam'd Triumvirate of Wit and Sense,
Who Laws to the whole Under-world dispence;
Whose Praise for me t' attempt, would be a Fau't,
So much are they beyond the highest flight of Thought.
Granville the Charms of Virtue does rehearse,
Bright it appears in his majestick Verse:
Forsaken Honesty's his chief Delight,
To That, and Honour, he does all invite:
Commends that Peace, that Quiet of the Mind,
Which those enjoy, who to themselves confin'd
Forsake the noisie World, and leave its Cares behind,
Who live in Shades, where true Contentment's found,
And fly from Courts, as from unhallow'd Ground.
How wondrous good has he Chryseis made!
How full of Charms is that fair Captive Maid!
What noble Proofs of Kindness does she give!
For her Atrides she can wretched live!
Whom she so much above her self does prize,
That when his Safety in the Balance lies,
From his lov'd Sight, and all her Bliss she flies;
And rather than his Happiness destroy,
Will take an everlasting leave of Joy.
Such an Affection, such a gen'rous Flame,
Sure, the severest Censor cannot blame.
As firm, as lasting, would our Friendships prove,
If, as we ought, we knew but how to love:
Did Honour chuse, and Truth unite our Hearts,
If we were free from sordid wheedling Arts,
From Av'rice, Pride, and Narrowness of Mind,
We shou'd to others, as our selves be kind,
And all the Pleasures of a virtuous Union find.
The lov'd Commerce would more and more endear,
We with our Friends in all Concerns should share.
With them rejoice, and grieve, and hope, and fear;
And by Degrees to such an Ardor rise,
That we for them should Life it self despise,
And much above our own, their Satisfaction prize.
Than Dennis none with greater Judgment writes,
Fancy with Vigor in his Stile unites.
A Place with these, Vanbrook may justly claim,
His Thoughts are full of Wit, and full of Flame:
Instructing Sharpness runs thro' ev'ry Page;
His Æsop's the Thersites of our Age.
Than Garth none can with greater Smoothness write,
Just is his Stile, his Satyr is Polite:
Not rude like those which in the Woods are bred,
Each piercing Truth's with courtly Softness said:
But when he glorious Actions does rehearse,
And makes the Great the Subject of his Verse,
He soars aloft above the Reach of Thought,
And all's with wondrous Art, with wondrous Fancy wrought.
Like him, methinks, I mighty Heroes view;
See fam'd Camillus flying Gauls pursue,
The prudent Fabius Rome from Danger shield,
And Carthage to victorious Scipio yield:
The great Nassaw unwith'ring Lawrels gain,
Unmov'd the Shock of Gallick Force sustain,
Fierce as the God of War on the Phlegræan Plain:
But he's no more: The Fair ascends Throne,
And we with Joy the lov'd Minerva own;
Pleas'd that we Heav'ns peculiar Care are grown.
Congreve to ev'ry Theme does Beauty give,
His fair Almeria will for ever live.
Homer looks great in his rich English Dress;
So well he Priam's Sorrow does express,
That I with him for valiant Hector grieve;
His Suff'rings on my Mind a deep Impression leave.
With sad Andromache a part I bear,
With her in all her Lamentations share:
With Hecuba bewail a darling Son,
Who for his Country glorious Things had done:
His Country, which its Prop thus snatch'd away,
She knew must to the Græcians fall a Prey;
And she with all her House must foreign Lords obey.
Rowe to the Skies does his great Hero raise;
His Tamerlane deserves immortal Praise:
No Pen but his cou'd ev'ry Feature trace,
No Pen but his describe each Martial Grace:
With noble Ardor to the War he goes,
And all around commanding Glances throws,
And fearless views Ten thousand thousand Foes:
Unwilling to destroy, he mourns their Fate,
Th' ensuing Slaughter does his Thirst of Fame abate:
When he from Bajazet has won the Field,
And all to his superior Virtue yield,
He's still the same; still humble, just, and kind;
In him we still the God-like Scythian find,
The same compassionate, forgiving, gen'rous Mind.
Who for Arpasia can from Tears abstain?
Or hear unmov'd, her much wrong'd Prince complain?
With melting Softness they their Woes express;
Their Sorrows charm in his attracting Dress.
Ovid himself could not with greater Art
Describe the tender Motions of the Heart,
The Grief they feel, who must for ever part.
Who beauteous Selima expos'd can see
To her inhuman Father's Cruelty
Without Concern? And when in such Distress
Not her Axalla, her Deliv'rer bless?
May he go on, still thus adorn the Stage,
Still show such bright Examples to our Age,
Till he to us lost Virtue shall restore,
And we see Honour flourish here once more:
Till Justice all her ancient Rights regains,
And in her once lov'd Albion unmolested reigns.
When these have for some time employ'd my Mind,
In other Authors I fresh Pleasures find,
And meet with various Scenes of Thoughts behind:
Lost Montezuma in Accosta view,
See what for Gold the barb'rous Spaniards do:
See the good Inca's bend beneath their Fate,
And dying mourn the downfal of their State:
Then with him lofty Andes Height ascend;
See the fam'd Amazon her Streams extend,
And to the Sea her wide-stretch'd Current bend.
Then view in others Asiatick Pride,
See a few Men the spacious East divide:
Whose hard Commands poor Wretches must obey,
Doom'd to the Mischiefs of Tyrannick Sway:
To Toil condemn'd, they pass their Time in Pain,
But dare not of their rig'rous Fate complain:
Nothing is theirs, their Lives are not their own,
To them no Pity, no Regard is shown:
Like Beasts they're us'd, and little more they know,
And ev'ry Place like them, does Signs of Slavery show:
Their Plains once fruitful, now neglected lie;
And glorious Structures which once brav'd the Skie,
Can hardly now their awful Relicks Show,
We scarce can their majestick Ruins know,
While China govern'd by the wisest Rules,
And all her Nobles bred in great Confutius Schools,
Shews me what Art and Industry can do:
Pleas'd I their Morals and Politeness view:
Delighted see how happy they remain,
Who still the Love of Learning entertain,
And where, pure uncorrupted Reason still does Reign.
Then look on their Reverse, whom all deride,
Who seem design'd to pull down human Pride:
Those rude inhabitants of Africk's Shore,
Who seek no future Good, no God adore:
Whose Ornaments are nauseous to the Sight,
And who seem made with a Design to fright:
From such loath'd Objects I divert my Eyes,
And pity those I did at first despise,
Why, O ye Heav'nly Pow'rs, I sighing say,
Are Souls condemn'd to such vile Loads of Clay,
To Bodies which their Faculties confine,
Thro' which not one celestial Ray can shine?
We shou'd, alas! as despicable prove,
Were we not made the Care of unexhausted Love:
To That the diff'rence we must still assign,
And ev'ry proud aspiring Thought decline:
When we by Flatt'rers are rais'd too high,
And Man, vain Man, beyond his Sphere does fly,
Narcissus-like on's own Perfections gaze,
He ought to turn his Vanity to Praise,
And study to be grateful all his Days.
While thus employ'd, I no Misfortunes fear,
And can unmov'd the greatest Troubles bear:
Quiet, and pleas'd, on my own Stock I live,
And to my self Content, and Riches give.
[ 68 ]
A Pindarick Ode.
PLeasures, like Syrens, still invite,
And with delusive Charms,
Bewitching Baits of soft Delight,
Allure th' unwary to their Arms:
The thoughtless Many drawn away
By sweet inticing Lays,
Soon fall a voluntary Prey,
And meanly end their Days:
While the more manly, and the brave,
Themselves by Resolution save:
As on the boist'rous Sea of Life they sail,
With watchful Eyes,
A Vigilance which ne'er can fail,
They mark the Skies, the Rocks, the Sands:
Still at the Helm their Reason stands,
When she the fatal Isle descries,
And each Inchantress sees prepare
To tune her Voice, and lay her Snare.
She loudly cries, O my lov'd Charge, beware:
Fly, quickly fly that dang'rous Shore;
O see! with Bones 'tis cover'd o'er:
Let others Ruin make you wise;
Remote from them your Safety lies:
They none but thoughtless Fools surprize.
They can't to you now wing their Way,
Their Plumes the Muses now adorn;
They only can by Wiles betray:
You their united Force may scorn.
Be like the wise Ulysses bound,
Pernicious freedom shun,
Be deaf to ev'ry flatt'ring Sound;
The most are by themselves undone:
How few like Orpheus dare depend
On their superior Skill,
How few with good Success attend
The fickle Motions of their Will!
None but exalted Souls who move
By the Direction of celestial Love:
Who soar aloft, and full of heav'nly Fire,
To the Perfection of their kind aspire,
Who with Contempt view ev'ry thing below,
And to the Source of Pleasure go,
That pure, unmix'd, eternal Spring,
From whence those muddy Rivers flow,
With which we strive to quench our Thirst;
To which we rav'nous Cravings bring;
And are with wish'd Repletion curst:
When we the largest Draughts obtain,
We but oppressing Burthens gain;
Which only swell the Mind,
And when they're gone, leave an uncomfortable Void behind.
Such Souls alone with Airs Divine
Always themselves delight:
In vain their Skill the Tempters try,
They both the Tempters, and their Skill defie;
Their Notes are lost in Strains more bold and high,
Asham'd they quit their vain Design,
And full of anxious Spight,
With drooping Heads repine;
While th' joyful Victors onward move,
And chaunt the Praise of him above,
Of him, who does their Art bestow,
From whom harmonious Numbers flow:
Thrice happy they who thus can live,
Can on the mounting Billows ride,
Can to themselves Contentment give,
And void of Fear, and void of Pride,
To lofty Heights themselves can raise,
And sweetly warble out their Days,
Regardless of designing, meaner Lays.
WHilst Icarus his Wings prepar'd
His trembling Father for him fear'd:
And thus to him he sighing said,
O let paternal Love persuade:
With me, my dearest Son, comply,
And do not proudly soar too high:
For near, Apollo's scorching Heat,
Will on thy Wings too fiercely beat:
And soon dissolve the waxen Ties.
Nor loiter in the lower Skies,
Least Steams should from the Land arise,
And damp thy Plumes, and check thy Flight.
And plunge thee into gloomy Night.
Th' ambitious Youth led on by Pride,
Did all this good Advice deride;
And smiling, rashly soar'd on high;
Too near the Source of Light did fly;
A while, well pleas'd, he wanton'd there,
Rejoicing breath'd Æthereal Air:
But ah! the Pleasure soon was past,
The Transport was too great to last:
His Wings dropt off, and down he came
Into that Sea which keeps his Name.
His grieving Father saw him drown'd,
And sent loud moving Crys around:
Ah! wretched Youth, he weeping said,
Thou'rt now a dire Example made,
Of those who with ungovern'd Heat
Aspire to be supremely great;
Who from obscure Beginnings rise,
And swoln with Pride, Advice despise;
Mount up with hast above their Sphere,
And no superior Pow'rs revere.
O may thy Fall be useful made,
May it to humbler Thoughts persuade:
To Men th' avoidless Danger Show
Of those who fly too high, or low;
Who from the Paths of Virtue stray,
And keep not in the middle Way:
Who singe their Wings with heav'nly Fire;
Amidst their glorious Hopes expire:
Or with a base and groveling Mind
Are to the Clods of Earth confin'd.
As vainly wishing, gazing, dying,
The fond Narcissus lay,
Kind Echo, to his Sighs replying,
These words was heard to say;
Ah! wretched Swain, by Pride betray'd:
That Pois'ner of the Mind;
That Voice by none but Fools obey'd,
That Test of Souls design'd:
That dang'rous Ill which ne'er is found,
In such as with Minerva's Gifts are crown'd.
What will you do when Time decaying
That lovely beauteous Face,
And you the Laws of Fate obeying,
Must to old Age give place?
Old Age, which comes with Swiftness on:
Your hasty Minutes fly;
Some part of what you were is gone,
Deforming Death is nigh:
When Time and Pain your Charms abate,
How will you then this Chrystal Mirror hate?
The God of Love you're now offending,
He looks with Anger down;
And while you're on your self attending,
Regardless of his Frown,
He'll make you curse that fatal Hour
In which you hither came:
When he makes known his wondrous Pow'r,
You'll your indiff'rence blame:
And wish to me you'd kinder prov'd,
And less, much less, your own Perfections lov'd.
Be gone, be gone, he still replying,
Felt an inward Anguish:
And still the wat'ry Image eying
For himself did languish:
The pitying Nymph stood grieving by
To see his vain Desire:
With out-stretch'd Arms she heard him cry,
O why dost thou retire?
Why does this dear attracting Shape,
From my Embrace with so much hast escape?
While thus he was himself admiring,
The cruel Sportive Pow'r,
Who saw his Reason was expiring,
Transform'd him to a Flow'r:
The Nymph amaz'd, the Wonder view'd,
And wou'd not thence remove;
At length she by her Grief subdu'd,
An empty Voice did prove:
Both were to Folly Victims made,
She by her Fondness, he by Pride betray'd.
A Dialogue between Virgil and Mævius.
Where are those sacred Lawrels now
Which did above adorn thy Brow?
And where the mighty Maro's Fame?
Here Mævius is as great a Name.
Virgil. Tho' me the Ghosts will not obey,
Yet those Above due Honours pay:
There I'm by all the Wits rever'd,
And still by ev'ry Mævius fear'd.
Mine, and Homer's awful Shade,
By the learn'd World supreme are made;
There, like th' infernal Judges, we
Can punish, or Rewards decree.
Mævius. Can this a real Good bestow?
Or make you happier here below?
A starving Man may dream of Meat,
May in his Sleep choice Viands eat:
And Beggers, shivering with Cold,
May dream of Robes, of Fires, and Gold:
And Men, when tost on raging Seas,
May dream of Safety, Calms, and Ease:
But when they wake, are still the same,
Their Bliss from Sportive Fancy came.
Virgil. Immortal Praise does feed the Mind.
Mævius. You, that an airy Food will find.
Virgil. 'Tis what the Heroes still have sought,
What with their Blood and Lives they've bought:
For This the Men of Sense contend;
In This their Toils of Thinking end:
'Tis This the Rich, the Proud, the Vain,
With so much Labour strive to gain:
For This the Fair their Charms employ,
In This they place their highest Joy:
In This all with one Voice combine;
All own it is a Gift Divine.
Mævius. How can a Puff of fleeting Air
Deserve to be a Wise Man's Care?
Or who'd be fond of empty Praise,
Of what the noisie Rabble says?
Men fickle as th' inconstant Wind,
Who but by Starts are Just, or Kind.
See those who when you were above
Did treat you with Respect and Love,
Do now by you regardless slide
With a stiff and sullen Pride,
Not one obliging Look will give:
Now all alone you here must live,
A poor forsaken wandring Shade,
By none desir'd, by none obey'd;
And to your self a Burthen made.
Virgil. The Man who is by Phœbus fir'd,
Can never with himself be tir'd:
He still within new Trophies raises,
Himself both entertains, and praises:
He ev'ry noisie Fool despises,
Good Sense and Learning only prizes:
And while he is of these possest,
When most alone is chiefly blest.
My Thoughts, the Springs of pure Delight,
Still to internal Views invite;
Scenes charming, gay, and ever new;
To me the Works of Nature shew,
And all the Mimick Art can do:
Me and my Muse they still employ,
To us are constant Funds of Joy:
We past and present Ages see,
And pry into Futurity;
Then thro' the glorious Fields of Light
We take a bold and towring Flight,
View all the happy Seats above,
The shining Court of thund'ring Jove;
Thence downward wing our easie Way,
And ev'ry Sea, and Land survey;
Then to these Realms descend again,
Where soft Delights for ever reign;
And where I something always find
Fit to divert and feast my Mind.
While thus employ'd, I here below
The Height of Bliss, and Pleasure know:
I neither need, nor value praise,
And scorn a with'ring Wreath of Bays.
To the Learn'd and Ingenious
Dr. Musgrave of Exeter.
THose who like me their Gratitude would show,
Are griev'd to think they still must owe:
Be still oblig'd, and never know the way
The smallest part of the vast Sum to pay:
A Sum beyond th' Arithmetick of Thought,
And which does daily higher rise:
To be your Debtor is no more my Fault,
The whole that I can give, will not suffice:
I am too poor Returns to make,
Unless you'll Thanks as a Requital take:
Thanks are the whole that I can bring:
My Muse shall of Your wondrous Bounty sing;
Your gen'rous Temper to the World make known,
That gen'rous Temper you've so often shown,
And which I still must with the highest Praises own.
But what, alas, is it I say!
Can I with Thanks for a lov'd Daughter pay?
Can her dear Life that's owing to your Care,
Any Proportion to such Trifles bear?
With weeping Eyes I saw her fainting lie,
Gasping for Breath,
But saw no Safety nigh.
As some poor Wretch who from the distant Shore,
And with insulting Waves quite cover'd o'er,
With piteous Crys does for Assistance pray,
And strives t' escape the liquid Death;
Thus almost lost your helpless Patient lay,
To the devouring Waters left a Prey,
Till she was rescu'd by your Hand:
By such amazing Skill, and Depth of Thought,
Once more into the Number of the Living brought:
Where she the Trophy of Your Art do's stand,
That pow'rful Art, which hitherto does save
A Life, which long since seem'd determin'd to the Grave.
Under Your Care while she remain'd,
Each Day she Strength and Spirits gain'd:
Her Health such quick Advances made,
That all with Wonder did its Progress view,
And when they look'd on her, applauded you:
But since she from your Care was snatch'd away
Like Plants which want reviving Rays,
She withers in the Shade,
And hourly does decay:
Had Heav'n design'd her Length of Days,
She ne'er had been from you remov'd,
But Fate to her has inauspicious prov'd:
Weak as she is, she still does Thanks repay,
Does still your former Favours own,
Those Kindnesses you've in her Sickness shown;
And in the fittest Words that she can frame,
She strives to pay her Homage to your Fame,
And add a worthless Mite to th' Glory of your Name.
But by a Child, and one so young,
There can be no becoming Praises sung:
I'll undertake the Task, and try
If I can her Defect supply:
My Muse shall strive to make your Virtues known;
Those Virtues which you modestly conceal,
She shall to th' applauding World reveal:
Your Prudence, Truth, and Justice shall rehearse,
Tho' each alone
Would prove a copious Subject for her Verse:
And you to all Mankind shall recommend,
For the sincerest, most obliging Friend,
For one in whom they may confide, on whom they may depend:
For one who's blest with all they can desire,
With whatsoever can Esteem engage;
With all those Qualities in one combin'd,
Which singly they admire,
And can but seldom find:
Who to the Coolness of delib'rate Age,
Has added all that sprightly youthful Fire,
Which do's the noblest Thoughts inspire:
To solid Judgment, elevated Sense,
And all the Knowledge Learning can dispence,
Has join'd the Charms of pow'rful Eloquence.
You like a second Æsculapius rise,
Before you Fame, that noisie Goddess, flies,
And Musgrave's Name is echo'd thro' the Skies:
Th' obsequious Mountains answer to the Sound,
And friendly Winds disperse the glorious Accents round.
Diseases yield; they to your Art submit,
And Health does on your Steps attend;
When you appear, Death must her Conquest quit;
She dares not touch what you defend:
Murm'ring she flies, griev'd at her Loss of Pow'r;
And finds she must not now with so much Ease devour,
Long may you live the Blessing of this Isle,
From ev'ry Pain, and ev'ry Ill secure;
On you may Fortune ever smile,
And still your Happiness ensure.
O may we long your Conversation have,
And with the Sweets of Friendship blest,
For num'rous Years defeat the Grave,
And keep you back from everlasting Rest;
Till tir'd with Length of Days, and crown'd with Fame,
You the great Privilege of Dying claim,
Pleas'd to live only here in an immortal Name.
[ 81 ]
NO State of Life's from Troubles free,
Grief mixes with our vital Breath:
As soon as we begin to be,
From the first moment of our Birth,
We have some tast of Misery:
With Sighs and Tears our Fate we mourn,
As if our Infant Reason did presage
Th' approaching Ills of our maturer Age,
And wish'd a quick Return.
When Souls are first to their close Rooms confin'd,
Nothing of their Celestial Make is seen,
Obscuring Earth does interpose between:
Like Tapers hid in Urns they shine.
The Life of Sense and Growth we only see,
Which Beasts enjoy as well as we:
But th' active Mind
Which bears the Image of the Pow'r Divine,
Cannot exert its Energy:
The streiten'd Intellect immur'd does lie,
Shut up within a narrow place,
Till Nature does enlarge the Space,
And by degrees the Organs fit,
For those great Operations which are wrought by it.
Thus for some Years we live by Sense,
Happy in nothing but in Innocence:
But when our feebler Age is past,
And we to sprightly Youth arrive,
The Race of Life we run so fast,
As if we thought our Strength would always last:
Hurry'd by Passion, and by Fancy led,
We all the various Paths of Folly tread:
Reason we slight, and her Commands despise,
In vain she calls, in vain advise,
And ev'ry gentle Method tries:
Against her kind Endeavours still we strive,
And run where ever Head-strong Passions drive:
Those Ills we court, which we as Plagues shou'd shun,
And are by ev'ry false Appearance won:
But wiser Thoughts when riper Years inspire,
We at the Follies of our Youth admire;
And wonder how such childish Things as these
Cou'd Minds endu'd with Reason please;
Yet while we proudly our past Actions blame,
We do as foolish Things, tho' not the same;
Our Follies differ only in the Dress and Name.
Self-love so crouds the human Breast,
That there's no Room for any other Guest;
By it inspir'd we all Mankind despise,
And think our selves the only Good and Wise:
Fond Thought! a Thought that only can
Become the vainest Part of the Creation, Man:
That haughty Creature, who puff'd up with Pride,
And fill'd with airy Notions soars on high,
And thinks himself the Glory of the Sky,
Where for a while in Fancy's flatt'ring Light
Th' enkindl'd* Vapour plays,
Much pleas'd with its imaginary Rays;
Till having wasted its small Stock of Flame,
The heavy Lump, the thing without a Name,
Falls headlong down from its exalted Height
Into Oblivion's everlasting Night.
HAppy are they who when alone
Can with themselves converse;
Who to their Thoughts are so familiar grown,
That with Delight in some obscure Recess,
They cou'd with silent Joy think all their Hours away,
And still think on, till the confining Clay
Fall off, and nothing's left behind
Of drossy Earth, nothing to clog the Mind,
Or hinder its Ascent to those bright Forms above,
Those glorious Beings whose exalted Sense
Transcends the highest Flights of human Wit;
Who with Seraphick Ardor fir'd,
And with a Passion more intense
Than Mortal Beauty e'er inspir'd;
With all th' endearing Extasies of Love,
Will to their blest Society again
The long lost Wand'rers admit,
Where freed from all their former Pain,
And cleans'd from ev'ry Stain,
They bask with Pleasure in eternal Day,
And grow as pure, and as refin'd as they.
But few, ah! few are for Retirement fit;
But few the Joys of Solitude can taste;
The most with Horror fly from it,
And rather chuse in Crouds their Time to waste;
In busie Crouds, which a Resemblance bear
To th' unshap'd Embryo of the World,
That formless Mass where all things were
Without Distinction rudely hurl'd:
Tumult and Noise the Empire there had gain'd,
Unrival'd there Disorder reign'd:
The thoughtless Atoms met by chance,
Without Design they mov'd, Confusion led the Dance:
Sometimes the earthly Particles aspir'd,
And upward forc'd their way,
While the spirituous Parts retir'd,
And near the Centre lay
Depress'd and sunk, till by the next Remove
They disengag'd, and got above,
But cou'd not long th' impelling Shock sustain,
By Turns they rise, by Turns they fell again.
We in our selves a second Chaos find;
There is a Transcript of it in the human Mind:
Our restless Passions endless Wars maintain,
And with loud Clamors fill the Breast:
Love often there the Sov'reignty does gain,
As often is by Hatred dispossess'd:
Desire the Soul with anxious Thoughts does fill,
Insatiate boundless Thoughts instill:
Some distant Good we view,
Which we, by Hope push'd on, pursue,
Breathless, and faint, the toilsom Chase renew:
And when 'tis ours, tumultuous Joy does rise,
Ungovern'd Transport Sparkles in our Eyes;
And we all Extasie, all Fire,
The darling Prize admire,
And hug the Blessing till it does expire:
Then to despair our selves resign,
And sigh, and grieve, and still repine,
Curse Heav'n, our selves, our Friends, our Fate,
And new, more pungent, Woes create:
But if the Sportive Goddess lay
A bright Temptation in our way,
All is forgot, and full of Heat,
Our former Toils we soon repeat;
Again pursue the airy Game;
And fond of Grandeur, Fond of Fame,
Of Glory, Pow'r, and glitt'ring Clay,
We in laborious Nothings waste our short Remains of Day.
When distant Ills we see,
The dismal Prospect us affrights,
The sad Futurity
Fear in our Minds excites:
And by a mean dishonourable Dread
Of Evils which may never be,
Our selves we fright, our Spirits waste,
And often our Misfortunes haste:
When they are present, then we rage,
Impatient, hot, and furious grow,
Nothing our Fury can asswage;
No Limits, no Restraints we know:
But by the Headlong Passion led,
Without the least Demur obey;
And like some mighty Torrent force our Way:
Some mighty Torrent which no Limit knows,
But with a rapid Course still onward goes,
Destroys the snowy Flocks, and lays Majestick Structures low:
But if a glimm'ring Hope arise,
If but a Gleam of Bliss appear,
Again we're easie, pleas'd, and gay:
Forgetful of what past before,
Above the Clouds we vainly soar:
Impending Dangers we despise,
And present Evils dread no more:
And while we proudly hover there,
Look down with Scorn upon the Phantom Fear.
Thus they alternately do lose and win,
And all is Anarchy within:
Reason her native Right may claim,
And strive to re-ascend the Throne,
But few, alas! her Pow'r will own:
The most to Folly their Allegiance pay,
Pleas'd with her easie, and her childish Sway:
Their Passions rule, and they contentedly obey:
Slaves to themselves they without Murmurs prove,
And with the meanest, worst of Servitudes in Love,
By the strong Impulse of their Vices move:
Their Chains they hug, and Wisdom's Aid refuse,
And will not her for their Director chuse:
Her Paths they shun, her Yoke they will not bear,
And think her Precepts too severe:
Deaf to the Calls of Virtue and of Fame,
They madly wander thro' the Maze of Life,
Employ'd in Trifles, or engag'd in Strife:
Inslav'd by Interest, fond of glitt'ring Toys,
And much more pleas'd with Bubbles, than with solid Joys.
On the Death of my Honoured Mother Mrs. Lee:
A Dialogue between Lucinda and Marissa.
On the Death of my dear Daughter
Eliza Maria Chudleigh:
A Dialogue between Lucinda and Marissa.
O my Lucinda! O my dearest Friend!
Must my Afflictions never, never End!
Has Heav'n for me no Pity left in Store,
Must I! O must I ne'er be happy more,
Philinda's Loss had almost broke my Heart,
From her, Alas! I did but lately part:
And must there still be new Occasions found
To try my Patience, and my Soul to wound?
Must my lov'd Daughter too be snatch'd away,
Must she so soon the Call of Fate obey?
In her first Dawn, replete with youthful Charms,
She's fled, she's fled from my deserted Arms.
Long did she struggle, long the War maintain,
But all th' Efforts of Life, alas! were vain.
Could Art have sav'd her she had still been mine,
Both Art and Care together did combine,
But what is Proof against the Will Divine!
Methinks I still her dying Conflict view,
And the sad Sight does all my Grief renew:
Rack'd by Convulsive Pains she meekly lies,
And gazes on me with imploring Eyes,
With Eyes which beg Relief, but all in vain,
I see, but cannot, cannot ease her Pain:
She must the Burthen unassisted bear,
I cannot with her in her Tortures share:
Wou'd they were mine, and she stood easie by;
For what one loves, sure 'twere not hard to die.
See, how she labours, how she pants for Breath,
She's lovely still, she's sweet, she's sweet in Death!
Pale as she is, she beauteous does remain,
Her closing Eyes their Lustre still retain:
Like setting Suns, with undiminish'd Light,
They hide themselves within the Verge of Night.
She's gone! she's gone! she sigh'd her Soul away!
And can I! can I any longer stay!
My Life, alas! has ever tiresome been,
And I few happy, easie Days have seen;
But now it does a greater Burthen grow,
I'll throw it off and no more Sorrow know,
But with her to calm peaceful Regions go.
Stay thou, dear Innocence, retard thy Flight,
O stop thy Journy to the Realms of Light,
Stay till I come: To thee I'll swiftly move,
Attracted by the strongest Passion, Love.
Lucinda. No more, no more let me such Language hear,
I can't, I can't the piercing Accents bear:
Each Word you utter stabs me to the Heart:
I cou'd from Life, not from Marissa part:
And were your Tenderness as great as mine,
While I were left, you would not thus repine.
My Friends are Riches, Health, and all to me,
And while they're mine, I cannot wretched be.
Marissa. If I on you cou'd Happiness bestow,
I still the Toils of Life wou'd undergo,
Wou'd still contentedly my Lot sustain,
And never more of my hard Fate complain:
But since my Life to you will useless prove,
O let me hasten to the Joys above:
Farewel, farewel, take, take my last adieu,
May Heav'n be more propitious still to you
May you live happy when I'm in my Grave,
And no Misfortunes, no Afflictions have:
If to sad Objects you'll some Pity lend,
And give a Sigh to an unhappy Friend,
Think of Marissa, and her wretched State,
How she's been us'd by her malicious Fate,
Recount those Storms which she has long sustain'd,
And then rejoice that she the Port has gain'd,
The welcome Haven of eternal Rest,
Where she shall be for ever, ever blest;
And in her Mother's, and her Daughter's Arms,
Shall meet with new, with unexperienc'd Charms.
O how I long those dear Delights to taste;
Farewel, farewel; my Soul is much in haste.
Come Death and give the kind releasing Blow;
I'm tir'd with Life, and over-charg'd with Woe:
In thy cool, silent, unmolested Shade,
O let me be by their dear Relicks laid;
And there with them from all my Troubles free,
Enjoy the Blessings of a long Tranquillity.
Lucinda. O thou dear Suff'rer, on my Breast recline
Thy drooping Head, and mix thy Tears with mine:
Here rest a while, and make a Truce with Grief,
Consider; Sorrow brings you no Relief.
In the great Play of Life we must not chuse,
Nor yet the meanest Character refuse.
Like Soldiers we our Gen'ral must obey,
Must stand our Ground, and not to Fear give way,
But go undaunted on till we have won the Day.
Honour is ever the Reward of Pain,
A lazy Virtue no Applause will gain,
All such as to uncommon Heights would rise,
And on the Wings of Fame ascend the Skies,
Must learn the Gifts of Fortune to despise.
They to themselves their Bliss must still confine,
Must be unmov'd, and never once repine:
But few to this Perfection can attain,
Our Passions often will th' Ascendant gain,
And Reason but alternately does reign;
Disguis'd by Pride, we sometimes seem to bear
A haughty Port, and scorn to shed a Tear;
While Grief within still acts a tragick Part,
And plays the Tyrant in the bleeding Heart.
Your Sorrow is of the severest kind,
And can't be wholly to your Soul confin'd:
Losses like yours, may be allow'd to move
A gen'rous Mind, that knows what 'tis to love.
Who that her innate Worth had understood,
Wou'd not lament a Mother so divinely good?
And who, alas! without a Flood of Tears,
Cou'd lose a Daughter in her blooming Years:
An only Daughter, such a Daughter too,
As did deserve to be belov'd by you;
Who'd all that cou'd her to the World commend,
A Wit that did her tender Age transcend,
Inviting Sweetness, and a sprightly Air,
Looks that had something pleasingly severe,
The Serious and the Gay were mingl'd there:
These merit all the Tears that you have shed,
And could Complaints recall them from the Dead,
Could Sorrow their dear Lives again restore,
I here with you for ever would deplore:
But since th' intensest Grief will prove in vain,
And these lost Blessings can't be yours again,
Recal your wand'ring Reason to your Aid,
And hear it calmly when it does persuade;
'Twill teach you Patience, and the useful Skill
To rule your Passions, and command your Will;
To bear Afflictions with a steady Mind,
Still to be easie, pleas'd, and still resign'd,
And look as if you did no inward Trouble find.
Marissa. I know, Lucinda, this I ought to do,
But oh! 'tis hard my Frailties to subdue:
My Head-strong Passions will Resistance make,
And all my firmest Resolutions shake:
I for my Daughter's Death did long prepare,
And hop'd I shou'd the Stroke with Temper bear,
But when it came, Grief quickly did prevail,
And I soon found my boasted Courage fail:
Yet still I strove, but 'twas, alas! in vain,
My Sorrow did at length th' Ascendant gain:
But I'm resolv'd I will no longer yield;
By Reason led, I'll once more take the Field,
And there from my insulting Passions try
To gain a full, a glorious Victory:
Which till I've done, I never will give o'er,
But still fight on, and think of Peace no more;
With an unweary'd Courage still contend,
Till Death, or Conquest, does my Labour end.
ACcept, my God, the Praises which I bring,
The humble Tribute from a Creature due:
Permit me of thy Pow'r to sing,
That Pow'r which did stupendous Wonders do,
And whose Effects we still with awful Rev'rence view:
That mighty Pow'r which from thy boundless Store,
Out of thy self where all things lay,
This beauteous Universe did call,
This Great, this Glorious, this amazing All!
And fill'd with Matter that vast empty Space,
Where nothing all alone
Had long unrival'd sat on its triumphant Throne.
See! now in every place
The restless Atoms play:
Lo! high as Heav'n they proudly soar,
And fill the wide-stretch'd Regions there;
In Suns they shine Above, in Gems Below,
And roll in solid Masses thro' the yielding Air:
In Earth compacted, and diffus'd in Seas;
In Corn they nourish, and in Flow'rs they please:
In Beasts they walk, in Birds they fly,
And in gay painted Insects croud the Skie:
In Fish amid the Silver Waves they stray,
And ev'ry where the Laws of their first Cause obey:
Of them, compos'd with wondrous Art,
We are our selves a part:
And on us still they Nutriment bestow;
To us they kindly come, from us they swiftly go,
And thro' our Veins in Purple Torrents flow.
Vacuity is no where found,
Each Place is full: with Bodies we're encompass'd round:
In Sounds they're to our Ears convey'd,
In fragrant Odors they our smell delight,
And in Ten thousand curious Forms display'd,
They entertain our Sight:
In luscious Fruits our Tast they court,
And in cool balmy Breezes round us sport,
The friendly Zephyrs fan our vital Flame,
And give us Breath to praise his holy Name,
From whom our selves, and all these Blessings came.
Receive my Thanks, 'tis all that I can pay,
The whole I can for num'rous Favours give;
Their Number does increase each Day,
I still on unexhausted Bounty live:
My Life, my Health, the Calmness of my Mind,
All those Delights I in my Reason find,
Those dear Delights which are from all the Dregs of Sense refin'd,
Are Donatives of Love Divine,
The Benefactor in his Gifts does shine:
His boundless Goodness still it self displays,
Still warms with kind refulgent Rays:
In it the whole Creation share;
The whole Creation is his Care:
All Beings upon him depend;
To whatsoe'er he made, still his Regards extend:
Nothing's so high, nor yet so low,
As to escape his Sight,
He do's the Wants of all his Creatures know,
And to relieve them is his chief Delight,
A Pleasure worthy that Almighty Mind,
Whose Kindness like himself is unconfin'd.
Ah! thankless Mortals, can't such wondrous Love,
Inspire you with a grateful Sense?
Can't such amazing Favours move?
Must he his Blessings unobserv'd dispence,
Have no Return, no Tribute paid,
No Retributions for such Bounties made?
O think, and blushing at his Footstool fall,
There beg his Pardon, prostrate lie,
And for Forgiveness to his Mercy fly:
Remember 'tis to him you owe your All,
He gives you Pow'r upon himself to call:
Should he from you his Aid withdraw,
You quickly wou'd have cause to mourn,
And sighing to your Dust return:
He is your Strength, your Life, your Light,
He to your jarring Principles gives Law,
And the Destroyer Death does awe:
His Angels compass you around,
And keep off Ills from the forbidden Ground:
By his Command you're ever in their Sight,
And made at once their Care, and their Delight:
O quickly then your Gratitude express,
And as becomes you, your Creator bless:
Before his Throne melodious Off'rings lay,
And in harmonious Strains your long neglected Homage pay.
I'll strive with you my Zeal to show,
With you I'll strive to pay
Some little Part of what I owe:
My self before his Throne I'll lay,
My self, and all he does on me bestow:
My Reason for him I'll employ,
And in his Favour place my Joy:
His Favour which to me's more dear
Than all the tempting Glories here:
My Tongue shall still extol his Name,
Shall still his wondrous Works proclaim:
My Mem'ry shall his Kindnesses inrol,
And fix them firmly in my Soul:
From him my Thoughts no more shall stray,
No more my Passions I'll obey,
No more to the rash Dictates of my Will give Way,
But still to him, and him alone, a glad Submission pay.
To Love I will my self resign;
But it shall be to Love Divine:
That o'er me ever shall preside,
Shall ev'ry Word, and ev'ry Action guide:
To it I will my self unite,
In it I'll place my sole Delight,
And ev'ry meaner Object slight;
Till one at last with it I grow,
And tir'd with treading this dull Round below,
To its blest Source with eager Swiftness go;
To its blest Source, where constant Joys are found,
And where ne'er ending Pleasures spread themselves around;
Where nothing's wanting that we can desire,
Where we to nothing greater can aspire,
And where e'en Thought it self can soar to nothing higher.
[ 104 ]
FOR what the World admires I'll wish no more,
Nor court that airy nothing of a Name:
Such flitting Shadows let the Proud adore,
Let them be Suppliants for an empty Fame.
If Reason rules within, and keeps the Throne,
While the inferior Faculties obey,
And all her Laws without Reluctance own,
Accounting none more fit, more just than they.
If Virtue my free Soul unsully'd keeps,
Exempting it from Passion and from Stain:
If no black guilty Thoughts disturb my Sleeps,
And no past Crimes my vext Remembrance pain.
If, tho' I Pleasure find in living here,
I yet can look on Death without Surprize:
If I've a Soul above the Reach of Fear,
And which will nothing mean or sordid prize.
A Soul, which cannot be depress'd by Grief,
Nor too much rais'd by the sublimest Joy;
Which can, when troubled, give it self Relief,
And to Advantage all its Thoughts employ.
Then am I happy in my humble State,
Altho' not crown'd with Glory nor with Bays:
A Mind, that triumphs over Vice and Fate,
Esteems it mean to court the World for Praise.
CEase, fair Calistris, cease disdaining; Calistris.
Damon, be gone; I hate complying;
'Tis time to leave that useless Art:
Your Shepherd's weary of complaining;
Be kind, or he'll resume his Heart.
Go court some fond, believing Maid:
I take more Pleasure in denying,
Than in the Conquests I have made.
CEase, fair Calistris, cease disdaining;
Damon, be gone; I hate complying;
Why, cruel Nymph, why, why so slighting?
Is this the Treatment I must have?
Were not your Beauty so inviting,
I wou'd no longer be your Slave.
Damon, begon, I hate complying,
Your Heart's not worth the having;
Were there Ten thousand Shepherds dying,
Not one were worth the saving.
A Dialogue between Cleanthe and Marissa.
Cleanthe. TELL me, Marissa, by what Rule
May I judge who's the greatest Fool?
Is't he, that in pursuit of Wealth,
Neglects his Ease, neglects his Health,
And void of Rest, and full of Care,
Becomes a Slave to his next Heir;
To him, who does his Thrift despise,
And from him with Abhorrence flies:
And when he's dead, with eager haste
Will soon his ill-got Riches waste?
Or he, who seeks in bloody Wars,
For Fame, and honourable Scars?
For Fame, that idle, useless Toy,
Which Fools can give, and Fools destroy!
Or is't the Man, who dully grave,
Is to his Books a willing Slave?
Who, if he has the Classicks read,
And talk'd with all the mighty dead;
Knows the much fam'd Atomick Dance,
And all the wondrous Works of Chance;
What Particles form th' active Fire,
And what the wat'ry Parts require;
Which constitute th' Earth, and which th' Air,
Which th' Æsop's Form, and which the Fair,
Which make the Fools, and which the Wise,
And where the grand Distinction lies:
Knows all the Vortices on High,
And all the Worlds that grace the Sky;
Can tell what Men, what Beasts are there,
And what gay Clothes the Ladies wear;
What their fine airy Heroes do,
And how they fight, and how they woo;
And whether like our Beaux below,
They're pleas'd with Trifles, Noise, and Show,
Full of a stiff pedantick Pride,
Does all besides himself deride:
If you some Syllables misplace,
And can't them to their Fountain trace;
Can't tell among the Words you speak,
Which are Saxon, French, or Greek,
Which to the Roman Tongue belong,
And which to th' ancient Druid's Song;
Why Names a diff'rent Sense have gain'd;
Why some are shun'd, and some retain'd;
And why, since Honesty's forgot,
The Title Knave shou'd prove a Blot;
Why Tyrant, which past Princes us'd,
Shou'd by crown'd Heads be now refus'd;
Those guiltess Names, which juster Times
That blush'd even at the Thought of Crimes,
And were too gen'rous to abuse,
Did without Scruple freely use:
He'll with a supercilious Air
His scornful Thoughts of you declare,
And gravely swear that you're unfit
For the Converse of Men of Wit.
Marissa. No, no, 'tis none, 'tis none of these;
But you, methinks, shou'd guess with Ease:
Think, Cleanthe, think again,
And you'll find some yet much more vain.
Cleanthe. Is it that Ape in Masquerade,
The Gallant by the Tailor made?
The Man who's* hid with Snush and Hair,
And furnish'd with a modish Air;
Who lately made the Tour of France,
And learnt to talk, to dress, and dance;
Who, if he can but neatly write,
And moving Billets Doux indite,
Cares nor for English, nor for Sense,
He knows we can with both dispence?
Or is't the worthy Country Squire,
Who does himself, and's Wealth admire,
Who hunts, and games, and swears, and drinks,
But seldom reads, and never thinks,
Who's, if he can a Warrant write,
Or but a Mittimus indite,
Can in Law-terms harangue the Croud,
Call Names, insult, and talk aloud.
He struts about, and looks as great,
As if whole Armies he had beat?
Or is it he, who thinks he's able
To direct a Council Table,
To teach the Senate of the Nation,
And instruct the Convocation;
Presumes to judge what's fit and right,
And when we shou'd, and shou'd not fight;
Who can on Machiavel refine,
And thinks his Policy Divine;
Who descants on the weekly News,
And can both Dutch and French accuse;
Find fault with Italy and Spain,
And dares the Swede and Czar arraign;
Th' Emperor's Conduct too dares blame,
And thinks the German Diet tame;
Censures each State, and full of Pride,
Thinks he the busie World could guide?
Or is't the Man who waking dreams
Of Nymphs, and Shades, and Hills, and Streams,
Makes Gods and Goddesses descend,
And on their Creature Man attend;
Who thro' th' infernal World dares go,
And does their griesly Monarch know;
Th' Elysian Fields distinctly view;
Knows what departed Heroes do;
Sees how the Beauties are employ'd,
And what Delights are there enjoy'd:
Then quick as Thought can upward fly,
And view the vast expanded Skie;
Sees the Celestial Monsters there,
The Crab, the Scorpion, and the Bear.
Hears Canis bark, and Taurus roar,
With many deaf'ning Noises more:
Then makes a Tour from Pole to Pole,
And sees the threatning Billows roll:
Sees Sea-Gods with their wat'ry Train
Riding in Triumph on the Main:
Thence sees the Paphian Goddess rise
With tempting Looks, and sparkling Eyes;
Amid the Waves she spreads her Fire,
And does each Breast with Love inspire;
Fair Amphitrite feels the Heat,
And Neptune does his Vows repeat:
The Nereids sigh, the Tritons burn,
And each does Glance for Glance return:
Then like the glorious Source of Day,
He does both East and West survey,
Thro' ev'ry State, each Kingdom goes,
And all their Laws and Customs knows,
And which are Wits, and which are Fools,
Who bred in Wilds, and who in Schools;
Who with a courtly Neatness treat,
And who like Beasts devour their Meat:
And who of this vast Knowledge proud,
Looks with Disdain upon the Croud,
And thinks he has a just Pretence
To the Monopoly of Sense:
If's Thoughts he smoothly can express,
And put them in a florid Dress,
Can to a Poet's Name pretend,
And lash a Vice, or praise a Friend,
Thinks he's as happy and as great
As if he fill'd th' Imperial Seat;
And still averse to Gold and Cares,
The Badges of the Muses wears;
And is as fond of being poor,
As others of their boasted Store?
Marissa. I'll tell you, since you can't discover,
It is an awkard, whining Lover;
Who talks of Chains, of Flames and Passion,
And all the pretty Words in Fashion;
Words, which are still as true a Mark
Of an accomplish'd modish Spark,
As a long Wig, or powder'd Coat:
Like A, B, C, they're learnt by rote;
And then with equal Ardor said,
Or to the Mistress, or the Maid:
An Animal for Sport design'd,
Both very tame, and very kind:
Who for a Smile his Soul would give,
And can whole Months on Glances live:
Who still a Slave is to your Will,
And whom you with a Frown may kill:
Who at your Feet whole Days will lie,
And watch the Motions of your Eye:
Will kiss your Hand, and fawn, and swear,
That you, and none but you, are fair;
And if he sees that you're inclin'd
At length his humble suit to mind,
He then all Extasie will prove,
Is all Delight, and Joy, and Love:
But if you shou'd a Look misplace,
Or any favour'd Rival grace,
He full of Rage, and of Despair,
Nor him, nor you, nor Heav'n, will spare,
But challenges the happy Man,
Who whips him thro' the Lungs, and then
While he is bleeding, begs your pity,
In strains so moving, soft and witty;
That they your Heart at length must move
To some Remorse, if not to Love,
Which he soon guesses by your Eyes,
And in an amorous Rapture dies.
A Dialogue between Emilia and Marissa.
Virtue sure's th' only Treasure,
Th' only solid lasting Pleasure:
It does our Souls, our Thoughts refine,
And gives us Joys almost Divine.
It may a while obscur'd remain,
But soon its Lustre will regain;
Like Phœbus chase the Shades away,
And bring again triumphant Day:
Censures like Clouds sometimes appear,
And keep its Rays from shining clear:
But having reach'd Meridian Height,
They fly before its conqu'ring Light;
Before that Light whose glorious Blaze
Does trembling guilty Souls amaze,
And from its dazling Seat on high
Disperses Splendor thro' the Skie:
Pale Envy sickens at the Sight,
And full of Shame, and full of Spite,
To the dark nether World returns,
And there, her Disappointment mourns:
But oh! my dearest Friend, I find
That Malice still is left behind:
Alas! that Fury never sleeps,
But thro' the World still slily creeps,
Each Day a new Disguise she takes,
Each Day some diff'rent Figure makes:
Like Zeal and Pity she appears,
And drown'd in false dissembling Tears,
Often the Mask of Friendship wears,
And with a Shew of Love insnares,
On me she's bent to wreak her Spite,
And with her dire Attacks affright:
From her to this Recess I fled,
And here my Life obscurely led;
Supposing She with Crouds wou'd stay,
Or with the Great, the Rich, the Gay,
With the Young, the Fair, the Wise,
And me, poor worthless me, despise;
But now too late, alas! I find
She will not, will not stay behind,
Emilia. Since Virtue's seated in her Breast,
Marissa ne'er can be distrest:
Malice may you perhaps assail,
But never, never can prevail:
Fortune too may take her part,
Exert her Strength, and shew her Art;
With these the Vicious may combine,
And favour their unjust Design;
But Virtue will the Shock sustain,
And you'll unvanquish'd still remain:
Your inward Joys will be secure,
And you'll no Loss, nor Ill endure.
Marissa. Virtue has, ever had my Love,
And still my Choice, my Guide shall prove;
To me shall still point out the Way,
Until I reach eternal Day,
That dear, that welcome, blissful Shore
Where I shall never suffer more;
No more the Toils of Life sustain,
But live secure from Sin and Pain.
Hark! hark! I'm call'd! I'm call'd away!
I cannot, will not, longer stay:
My Guardian Angel see appear,
See! see! he cuts the yielding Air:
Celestial Musick sweetly plays,
I hear! I hear Seraphick Lays!
O! the soft enchanting Sound!
Nothing here's so charming found!
Adieu, vain World, vain World, adiue:
I come, ye blest! I come to you!
Fortune's Gifts I ne'er could prize,
And now her Trifles I despise:
If at my Feet her Bounties lay,
And Crowns were scatter'd in my Way,
I'd scorn 'em all, and onward go;
There's nothing tempting here below.
Emilia. O! stay my Friend! O! stay for me,
I still will your Companion be:
My Love to Virtue, Love to you,
Was ever strong, and ever true;
And still the same shall ever prove;
Nothing my fixt Resolves shall move.
The Sun may sooner cease to shine,
And it may freeze beneath the Line;
Mountains may sink, and Plains may rise,
Beasts chuse the Seas, and Fish the Skies;
Birds their lov'd airy Region leave,
And flatt'ring Men no more deceive,
Than my Marissa shall e'er find
Emilia faithless, or unkind:
O! do not then her suit disdain,
O! let her not implore in vain:
She longs, she longs with you to die;
Thus, Hand in Hand we'll upward fly;
Thus, thus, my best, my dearest Friend,
Thus, thus embracing we'll ascend.
Marissa. No, thou lov'd Darling of my Heart,
We'll never, never, never part:
Those Virtues which our Souls combine,
Shall ever in our Union shine:
Together we'll lay down our Clay,
Together throw the Load away;
And bright as Fire, and light as Air,
To the superior World repair;
To glorious Seats, and Realms Divine,
Where Love do's in Perfection shine:
Love undisguis'd, without alloy,
Noble, pure, and full of Joy,
Sincere, and strong, and still the same,
One steady, bright, immortal Flame:
There, there our Friendship we'll improve,
Together tast the Sweets of Love;
Still in each other's Bliss rejoice,
And prove one Soul, one Thought, one Voice;
In nothing ever disagree,
Throughout a blest Eternity.
[ 116 ]
The Fifteenth Psalm Paraphras'd.
WHO on thy Holy Hill, my God, shall rest,
And be with everlasting Pleasures blest?
The Man who blameless is, and still sincere,
And who no Judge do's but his Conscience fear:
Whose Practice is a Transcript of thy Law,
And whom thy Omnipresence keeps in awe:
Who speaks the Truth, and wou'd much sooner die,
Than owe his Life to the loath'd Refuge of a Lie.
Whose Soul is free from Falshood and Design,
And in whose Words Integrity do's shine:
Who scorns to flatter, and by little Arts
To purchase Treasures, or inveagle Hearts:
Who to his Neighbour has no Mischief done,
Do's spiteful Actions with Abhorrence shun,
And cannot be to what's Inhuman won:
Who thinks the best, and none will e'er defame,
But as his own, preserves another's Name:
Who's ever humble, and is still inclin'd
T'inspect himself, and his own Failings find:
Who loves Reproofs, and a Respect do's pay
To those who kindly guide him in his Way,
Who loves the Good, those who to Virtue true,
Its Dictates always cheerfully pursue;
And a Regard for Honour in their Actions shew:
Who when he swears, true to his Oath will prove,
And whom nor Fear, nor Int'rest e'er can move,
(No, not tho' it to's Prejudice should be,)
To disappoint his greatest Enemy:
Much less, tho' to his Ruin it should tend,
Once to deceive a kind confiding Friend:
Who bravely avaricious Thoughts disdains,
And is a Stranger to base sordid Gains:
Who'd rather starve than th' Innocent betray,
Or to base undermining Thoughts give way:
He who lives thus, who this his Bus'ness makes,
And never once the Paths of Life forsakes,
Like some strong Tow'r unshaken shall remain,
And all the Batteries of Fate sustain.
One of Lucian's Dialogues of the
O Pollux, when thou next revisit'st Light,
Menippus to these nether Realms invite;
Tell him, if he's not tir'd with Fools above,
Where all that's said, and done, his Mirth does move,
He'll here fit Subjects for his Laughter find,
New Scenes of Madness to divert his Mind:
For tho' blind Mortals no Ideas have
Of any thing beyond the silent Grave,
But vainly fancy, as their Toil and Care,
So too their Souls find equal Periods there,
And all the dislodg'd Atoms mingle with the Air.
Yet here are no such impious Scepticks found,
Each Place does with complaining Ghosts abound:
He sure with me would full of Wonder gaze
On mighty Men whose glorious Acts amaze,
Who conquer'd Kingdoms, and who Thrones did grace,
And left their Sceptres to their God-like Race,
Here, undistinguish'd from the meanest Shade,
Depriv'd of Grandeur, and by none obey'd:
They by no other Marks can now be known,
But Sighs, and Groans, and sad Complaints alone:
But bid him with him some Provisions bring,
A Crust were here a Present for a King:
He'll here find nothing Nature to sustain,
Throughout the vast Extent of this dark empty Plain.
Pollux. I'll readily perform what you desire;
But tell me where I shall for him inquire;
Describe his Person, Humor, and Attire.
Diogenes. He's old and jolly, and to Bacchus kind,
To Fools averse, to Satire still inclin'd:
A Cloak he wears the poorest Wretch wou'd scorn,
And which Ten thousand Patches wretchedly adorn:
At Athens, or at Corinth him you'll find,
Lampooning the whole Race of Human Kind:
He strikes at all, both th' Ugly and the Fair,
Nor Young, nor Old, nor yet the Great does spare,
But on Philosophers is most severe:
Their vain Pretences, and their towring Flights,
Their mystick Terms, and all those little Slights,
By which they strive their Ignorance to hide,
Those Cobweb Cov'rings for their nauseous Pride,
Are still the Subjects which his Laughter move
The chief Diversion that he finds above.
Pollux. By this Description he'll with ease be known:
But is your Message sent to him alone?
Can you not think of something that is fit
To be deliver'd to those Men of Wit,
Those high Pretenders to gigantick Sense,
To boundless Knowledge, matchless Eloquence?
Diogenes. Bid them lay all their vain Disputes aside,
No longer Truth from their Disciples hide:
No more thro' Nature's puzling Labyrinths stray,
No more of her mysterious Motions say:
No more with an affected haughty Air,
Their Thoughts of Things beyond their reach declare,*
Things far remote from the most piercing Sight,
Beyond the Ken of intellectual Light.
Pollux. Such a Discourse as this wou'd not be born,
'Twou'd both expose me to their Hate, and Scorn:
They'll gravely tell me, I my Ign'rance show,
And rail at what I want the Sense to know.
Diogenes. Tell them from me th' important Message came;
'Tis I their Pride and Ignorance proclaim:
I bid them with Remorse past Follies view,
And their Repentance by their Blushes shew.
Pollux. I with exactest Care your Order will obey,
Without being mov'd at what the noisie Boasters say.
Diogenes. When this is done, then to the Great repair,
And speak to them with a commanding Air:
Say, What ye mad Men, makes you thus in vain,
To heap up Honours, and increase your Train,
As if you here for ever shou'd remain?
Riches and Grandeur do but load the Mind,
And they are Trifles you must leave behind:
Naked and poor, you to the Shades must go,
Only Despair will stay with you below:
The more you've now, the more you will lament,
When you from all your Pomp, and all your Joys are sent.
Next to th' Effeminate Megilbus go,
And let the brawny Damoxenus know
That none below are handsom, strong, or brave;
All are meer Phantoms when they're past the Grave:
None here their Youth and boasted Charms retain,
None here the fam'd Olympick Prizes gain:
No killing Eyes bewitching Glances dart,
No flowing Tresses win an amorous Heart:
No blushing Cheeks, not one inticing Smile,
Can here be seen th' unwary to beguile:
Nothing is lovely, nothing pleasing here,
Nothing but Dust and Ashes does appear.
Pollux. This I with Speed, and with Delight will do,
Since 'tis a Message worthy me, and you.
Diogenes. Inform the Poor, of whom vast Crouds you'll see,
That here they'll find a just Equality;
Tell 'em, they'll here unhappy Partners find,
Afflictions are not to one State confin'd:
Millions of Suff'rers throng the Stygian Shore,
And there for ever will their Fate deplore,
Then bid them to complain and weep no more;
Since none will here their former Pomp retain,
But on a humble Level all remain:
None here will richer, greater, happier live,
No flatt'ring Titles to each other give:
No Room is left for Av'rice, or for Pride,
Where Poverty and Death, and dreadful Night reside.
And then from me, degen'rate Sparta blame,
Tell them they've tarnish'd their once glorious Fame;
They now no longer breath that Martial Heat,
Which made them once so formidably Great.
Pollux. Such Words as these, Diogenes, forbear,
I can't with Patience such Reproaches hear:
My Country's Honour, as my own, I prize,
And cou'd for it my Share of Life despise.
All your Commands, but this, without Delay
I'll e'er to morrow Night with Care obey.
Diogenes. 'Tis kindly said; I will no more desire:
May Hermes his persuasive Skill inspire,
And may your Voice be sweet as th' Orphean Lyre.
That list'ning Mortals, by your Precepts taught,
May to the Knowledge of their Faults be brought,
Reclaim'd from Ill, and made themselves to know:
A Lesson they too late will learn below!
To the QUEEN's most Excellent
WHen Heav'n designs some wondrous Prince to raise,
Deserving Empire and eternal Praise;
It chuses one of an illustrious Line,
In whom Hereditary Graces shine:
Who good and great by his Descent is made,
And by the Rules of native Honour sway'd:
Him it exposes to th' Insults of Fate,
To all the Blows of Malice and of Hate,
Before it raises him to an exalted State.
The pious Trojan, its peculiar Care,
Did num'rous Hardships, num'rous Trials bear;
Ten thousand Toils with Patience he sustain'd,
Before he undisturb'd in Latium reign'd:
To Pains inur'd, with Disappointments crost,
Wan'dring thro' Flames, on mounting Surges tost:
Suff'rings and War to Grandeur led the Way,
And fitted him for independent Sway.
Happy that People whose blest Monarch owes
Unto himself the Wisdom which he shows,
Whose Prudence from his own Experience flows.
Who has in Shades seen dark'ning Vapors rise,
And gloomy Horrors over-cast the Skies:
Neglected liv'd in some obscure Retreat,
And learnt in secret to be truly great;
To rule within, his Passions to subdue,
And all his Souls most hidden Movements view:
Those Springs of Thought, which when they are refin'd
Bestow a dazling Brightness on the Mind:
Who disengag'd from Bus'ness and from Noise,
To noblest Purposes his Hours employs:
Searches past Records, and with vast Delight
Presents fam'd Heroes to his ravish'd Sight:
Sees them the shining Paths of Honour tread,
By Praise push'd on, and daring Courage led:
With eag'rest Hast to lofty Heights ascend,
And their Renown beyond the Grave extend:
Sees pious Kings with Joy and Zeal obey'd,
And cheerful Homage to wise Princes paid:
Who're still the Objects of a filial Love,
Whom all admire, whose Actions all approve.
Such was that Virgin Glory of our Isle,
On whom Apollo long was pleas'd to smile:
Who was with Wisdom, and with Science bless'd,
By ev'ry Muse, and ev'ry Grace caress'd:
She knew Afflictions, felt a Sister's Hate,
And learnt to reign, while in a private State;
By adverse Fortune taught her self to know,
That Knowledge chiefly requisite below.
And such the Queen who now the Throne does grace,
The brightest Glory of her Royal Race:
In whose rich Veins the noblest Blood does flow
That God-like Kings, and Heroes could bestow:
Like her she bravely stood the Shock of Fate,
And liv'd serene in a dependent State:
Bore unconcern'd the Calumnies of those
Whom their Ill-nature only made her Foes:
Who thought her Merit too divinely bright,
And strove t'eclipse the overflowing Light:
Merit, in narrow Minds does Envy raise,
Large gen'rous Souls are most inclin'd to Praise.
Like her she stem'd the dang'rous swelling Tide,
And soar'd aloft with a becoming Pride:
Like her a gen'ral Approbation found,
And was with joyful Acclamations crown'd:
Ev'n Heav'n it self her Unction did approve,
And by auspicious Omens shew'd its Love:
Refreshing Breezes fan'd the balmy Air,
The fertile Earth a florid Green did wear:
No Clouds obscur'd the Sun's refulgent Light,
He never shone more eminently bright:
All things conspir'd her Welcom to proclaim,
Who the Protectress of her People came,
By Heav'n design'd, and her propitious Fate,
To be the Bulwark of a tott'ring State.
Britannia now all glorious does arise,
And shoots her Head above the starry Skies:
Her sacred Guardian, all the Sons of Light,
With Shouts of Joy behold the pleasing Sight:
The list'ning Goddess hears the cheerful Sound,
From Hill to Hill, from Vale to Vale rebound:
On all her Plumes at once, sublime she flies,
At once employs her num'rous Tongues and Eyes:
To distant Lands our Happiness makes known;
Tells them a Heroin fills the British Throne:
A Heroin greater than Romance can frame,
And worthy of the Line from whence she came;
In whom the Great and Brave, the Soft and Kind,
In One are by the firmest Ties combin'd:
Where nothing's wanting that we can desire,
And where we see each Minute something to admire.
The trembling Nations aw'd by Gallick Arms,
Imploring come, drawn by resistless Charms:
To her they sue, and beg from her Relief;
She looks with God-like Pity on their Grief:
Exerts her Pow'r, and makes th' Iberian Shore;
The Spaniards hear her murth'ring Canon roar?
Her Fleet dilates a panick Terror round,
And British Valor's once more dreadful found:
Her Troops descend with noble Ardor fir'd,
By Heav'n, and their Heroick Queen inspir'd:
In vain they strive their darling Gold to save,
What can resist the Daring and the Brave?
Those Sons of War thro' Dangers force their Way,
And from the Dragons snatch the shining Prey:
Fame spreads the News thro' all th' incircling Air;
Aloud proclaims the Triumphs of the Fair:
The drooping Eagles prune their Wings and rise,
With joyful Haste they cut the sounding Skies;
Secure once more of that auspicious Fate
Which on them did so many Ages wait:
The Belgick Lion casts his Fear away,
And with new Strength pursues the destin'd Prey:
All the Distrest with Raptures of Delight,
In sweetest Songs of grateful Praise unite:
Blest Albion's Queen their only Theme does prove;
Like Pallas sprung from all-commanding Jove,
She comes, they sing, to give us timely Aid,
Is kind, and wise, as that celestial Maid:
As able to advise, and to defend,
And does her Care to ev'ry Part extend:
Like Phœbus darts reviving Beams of Light,
And dissipates the Horrors of the Night.
O that I cou'd the best of Queens attend;
Cou'd at your Feet my coming Moments end:
I past Misfortunes shou'd not then deplore,
And present Evils wou'd afflict no more:
But fill'd with Joy, with Transport, and with Love,
My Hours wou'd in a blissful Circle move:
And I the noblest Bus'ness still wou'd chuse,
Both for my self, and my ambitious Muse,
Be still employ'd in Service, and in Praise,
In glad Attendance, and in grateful Lays,
Thus wing'd with Praise, we penetrate the Skie,
Teach Clouds and Stars to praise him as we fly;
The whole Creation, by our Fall made groan,
His Praise to Echo, and suspend their Moan.
For, that he reigns all Creatures should rejoice,
And we with Songs supply their want of Voice.
The Church triumphant, and the Church below
In Songs of Praise their present Union show:
Their Joys are full, our Expectation long;
In Life we differ, tho' we join in Song.
Angels and we, assisted by this Art,
May sing together, tho' we dwell apart.
Benedicite omnia Opera Domini Domino.
THE retir'd Life I live in the Country, affording me much Leisure, I thought I could not employ it more advantageously, or to better purpose, than in Paraphrasing the Hymn of the Three Children; which I think to be a very fit Subject for a Pindarick Ode, because it Comprehends all the Works of Nature, and excites not only Angels and Men, the noblest and most exaltted Parts of the Creation, but also Brutes, Plants, and inanimate Beings, to pay a grateful Tribute of Praise to their bountiful Creator.
The Reason why I chuse this sort of Verse, is, because it allows me the Liberty of running into large Digressions, gives a great Scope to the Fancy, and frees me from the trouble of tying my self up to the stricter Rules of other Poetry. [Page]
How these Verses will please I know not, neither am I very solicitous about it. I writ 'em with no other design than that of exercising and enlarging my Thoughts, and of heightning and refining those Ideas which I had already fram'd, of the infinite Goodness, Wisdom, and Power of God, to whose Service I think my self oblig'd to devote my Time, my Faculties, and all that small Stock of Understanding which it has pleas'd his Divine Goodness to bestow upon me.
I have in this Poem taken the liberty to mention some Notions which are not generally receiv'd, but they being only Matters of Speculation, and not Articles of Faith, I thought I might be permitted to make use of them as often as I pleas'd. Among these, is the Doctrine of Pre-existence, which supposes, that all Souls were created in the beginning of Time, before any material Beings had their Existence, and that they being united to Ætherial Bodies, were made Possessors of as much Happiness as they were capable of enjoying. From their sublime Station, and Bliss unexpressibly great, being by the Solicitation of their lower Faculties, unhappily drawn to a Love of Pleasure, and [Page] by adhering too much to the Delights of the Body, enervating and lessening the Activity and Strength of their noblest and most perfect Powers, which proportionably abated, as the other increas'd, they sunk by degrees into an Aerial State, from whence, such as by repeated Acts of Disobedience, and the too eager Gratification of their sensitive Appetites, are render'd unfit for the Exercise of their more exalted Faculties (which by disuse, being almost laid asleep, and the Sensitive ones being quite tir'd by too long Exercises) fall lower yet, and lie in a State of Silence and Inactivity, till they are awaken'd into Life in such Bodies as by their previous Dispositions they are fitted for: So that no sooner is there any Matter of due vital Temper prepar'd, but presently a Soul that is suitable to such a Body, is sent into it. This is, according to the Notion I have of it, a true, tho' short Account of that Hypothesis, which has not only been asserted by Plato and his Disciples, by the Pythagoreans, the Jewish Rabbins, and some of the Fathers, but also by several modern Writers, Men of Wit and Learning, and by others as much decry'd. Its Advocates tell us, that 'tis contrary to the [Page] Idea we have of the Justice and Goodness of God, to believe that he would condemn innocent Spirits, such as had never committed any Sin, nor done any thing that could justly Occasion their forfeiting his Favour, to such Bodies as must unavoidably rob them of their Native Purity, and render them obnoxious to his Wrath, and its dreadful Consequence, eternal Punishment. Those who will not allow this Hypothesis to be probable, say among other things, that had we liv'd in a Pre-existent State, 'tis very likely we should still have some Remembrance of our past Felicity, and retain a Consciousness of our past Actions, and that to believe that God will punish us for Faults which we have wholly forgotten, is not agreeable to those Sentiments it becomes us to entertain, of his infinite Justice and Goodness. The Sacred Scripture tells us, that at the great Day, when every one shall receive according to his Works, the Secrets of all Hearts shall be laid open, the Sentence shall be justified by the Consciousness all Persons shall have, that they themselves in whatsoever Bodies they appear, or what Substances soever that Consciousness adheres to, are the same that committed [Page com- mitted] those Actions, and deserve that Punishment. And methinks 'tis highly rational to conclude, that, that way of proceeding which the infinitely Just and Merciful God will then make use of, has always been practis'd by him, as being most suitable to his adorable Perfections, and the unalterable Rectitude of his Divine Nature. But, yet I dare not rely so much on my own Judgment, as to presume to pass any Censure on an Opinion which has had the good Fortune to be espous'd by such a Crowd of ancient and modern Authors, Men of great depth of Thought, and solid Learning. To me 'tis indifferent which is true, as long as I know I am by the Laws of Poetry allow'd the Liberty of chusing that which I think will sound most gracefully in Verse.
In Paraphrasing that part of the Hymn which mentions the Stars, I have made use of the Cartesian Hypothesis, that the Fixt Stars are Suns, and each the Center of a Vortex; which I am willing to believe, because it gives me a noble and sublime Idea of the Universe, and makes it appear infinitely larger, fuller, more magnificent, and every way worthier of its great Artificer. We know very little of our [Page] selves, less of the World we inhabit: And of those few things with which we pretend to be fully acquainted, we have but very imperfect and confus'd Notions. This Earth on which we live, and which by being divided into so many mighty Empires, and spacious Kingdoms appears so vastly big to our imagination, is but a Point, a Nothing, if compar'd with the other Parts of the Universe: How numerous are those huge Globes which roll over our Heads! And how many more may there be in those boundless Spaces above us, which we cannot possibly discover! And yet some are so vain, or rather so arrogant, as to suppose, that those glorious Orbs were made wholly for our Use; doubtless the wise Author of Nature design'd them for nobler Purposes than to give us Light and Heat, to regulate and diversifie our Seasons, and render our Nights agreeable: 'Tis highly probable that as many of them are Suns, so others are habitable Worlds, and fill'd with Beings infinitely superior to us; such as may have greater Perfections both of Soul and Body, and be by the Excellency of their Nature, fitted for much more rational and sublime Employments. [Page]
My Lord Roscommon tells us a great Truth in his excellent Essay on translated Verse, when he says, that,
Pride, (of all others the most dangerous Fault,)For did we but accustom our selves to think, and employ our Time in endeavouring to pass a true and impartial Judgment on things, we should quickly have humbler thoughts of our selves, and be ready to own, that what we falsely call Knowledge, upon a strict and severe enquiry, proves to be nothing but Conjecture. We are very much in the Dark, and the greatest part of our time is spent in the pursuit of Shadows; but when Death draws up the Curtain, we shall have a full, clear, and distinct view of all those amazing Scenes, of which we can hardly now be truly said to have so much as a transient Glimps. The whole Oeconomy of Nature will then be visible to us, and we shall know the Truth of those things about which we now so eagerly and [Page] vainly dispute: In the mean time, it becomes us with profound Humility and an entire Submission to acquiesce in, and yield a full assent to all those Divine Truths which the infinitely Wise God hath vouchsaf'd to reveal to us; but in all other things to suspend our Belief, and make it our Business to avoid being impos'd on, either by our selves or others; which we cannot otherwise prevent, but by endeavouring to gain a generous Liberty of Mind, a large and universal Spirit, a Soul free from popular Prejudices, and a meek and teachable Temper.
Proceeds from want of Sense, and want of Thought.
I fear, what I have written of the Formation of the Earth will not please an Age so accurate, so inquistive and knowing as this wherein we live: But 'tis not reasonable to expect that a Woman should be nicely skill'd in Physicks: We are kept Strangers to all ingenious and useful studies, and can have but a slight and superficial Knowledge of things: But if any thing in that Part of the Poem which mentions the Creation of the World, is thought to be contradictory to the receiv'd Principles of Philosophy, or the Mosaick Account of the Creation, I shall readily acknowledge my [Page] Errour, and take it as a Favour to be better inform'd: I know but one particular which relates to this Matter, that is liable to Exception, and that is, my supposing the Face of the Ante-diluvian Earth to be smooth, regular and uniform, without Mountains or Hills. This, I know, is with great appearance of Reason, deny'd by the learned Mr. Ray, but since 'tis asserted by both ancient and modern Writers, particularly by the ingenious Dr. Burnet, in his Theory of the Earth, and since Mountains are not mention'd in Scripture till the Water was risen to its utmost height, I thought in a Pindarick Ode, I might chuse which Opinion I wou'd, without troubling my self, nicely to examine all the Reasons that might be given for each. The like Apology I may make for my self, in reference to what I have said of a new habitable Earth, the Pleasures of a happy Millennium, and the Residence of separate Spirits before their re-union with their Bodies at the general Resurrection, and the Consummation of their Bliss in the Enjoyment of the Beatifick Vision; of each of which, learned Men have entertain'd very different Sentiments, and which of them are in the right God only [Page] knows; 'tis not becoming such weak-sighted Creatures as we are to be too positive, nor to rely too much on our own Judgment: These, and things of the like Nature, are part of the Divine Arcana; Mysteries which we should be contented to view at an awful Distance, and not presume to prophane by too near an Approach.
But I should quite tire my Reader, as well as my self, if I should make a Defence for every thing that needs it in this Poem: therefore to avoid giving either him, or my self any unecessary Trouble, I will only mention one Particular, and so conclude, and that is, the Freedom I take to advise the Clergy: I beg them to do me the Justice to believe, that I would not have assum'd so great a Boldness, had not my Subject led me to it: 'Tis impossible for any Person to have a greater Honour for them than I have; and I am ready to own to all the World, that I believe the Church of England was never bless'd with a more Learned, Orthodox, and Ingenious Clergy than now; Persons who make doing Good the Business of their Lives, who have no other Design, no other Aim, but that of imitating their great Master, and making themselves shining Examples of Piety and Virtue: [Page Vir- tue:] Such among them as answer this Character, will not, I hope, misconstrue my Words, and take that ill, which I'm sure is well design'd. The pretending to be religious, the being bigotted to a Party, the placing Devotion either in a strict and nice Observance of the Punctilios of Publick Worship, or in a flying from, and an abhorrence of establish'd Forms, will not give us an Interest in the Divine Favour, or entitle us to a future Reward: All vicious Extremes must be avoided, all Violences and Heats, all uncharitable Censures, all Dependances on external Performances, all Disputes about trivial unnecessary Matters, about things in themselves indifferent, which being no Essentials of Worship, may be us'd, or not us'd without Sin, and are no longer Obligatory than they are made so by the Sanction of a Law, and the great, the indispensable Duties of Life made our Business. We should study to be really good, as well as to appear so; and be more concern'd to approve our selves to God, and our own Consciences, than to the World: We ought to consider, that the inward Applauses of the Mind, carry with them the truest, the highest Satisfaction, and that nothing [Page] can be more acceptable to the Deity, than a holy blameless Conversation, a spotless Innocency, a true substantial Integrity, a steady unshaken Honesty, a firm unbyass'd Justice, a constant un-yielding Temperance, an humble, sincere, undesigning, compassionate, and forgiving Temper: In a word, a Life regulated by the Divine Precepts, and govern'd by an inward Principle, not by a slavish Fear, a Dread of Punishment, or the Prospect only of a future Recompence, but from an innate Love of Virtue, an ardent Desire of being united to the supreme Good, and of imitating all his communicable Perfections. From what I have said, I would not have it thought, that I am an Enemy to outward Observances, to publick Demonstrations of Reverence: I assure my Reader, I am so far from being guilty of a Fault of that kind, that I think I may truly say, none can be more conformable to the Ceremonies of the Church than I am: I look on them as decent Significations of Zeal, as necessary Helps to raise our Devotion: All that I aim at is, to prove, that external Testimonies of Respect and Homage will be of little use, unless they are join'd with internal Honours, and an universal Obedience: [Page] unless the Mind is purify'd, the Will intirely subjected to the Divine Pleasure, and all our Passions, Affections, and Appetites devoted and consecrated to the Service of God: There must be an inseparable Union, an inviolable Agreement between them; and we may assure our selves, there will be so in all such as by a constant Contemplation of the Divine Nature, of his infinite, amazing, and adorable Excellencies, and of their own Imperfections, Weaknesses, and Defects, have fram'd in their Minds awful, noble, and reverential Ideas of him, and have by such sublime Exercises, rais'd their Souls above the little Concerns of Earth, the trifling Amusements of a worthless deceitful World. But it being a Truth too well known to be deny'd, that the generality of Mankind have false Notions of Religion, and are apt to fancy if they devote themselves to the Worship of God, and employ a considerable part of their Time in his Service, if they can talk plausibly, devoutly, and warmly for the Persuasion they espouse, and strongly calumniate, and abusively ridicule those whose Opinions are contrary to theirs, 'tis no matter what their Morals are; whether they are virtuous, [Page vir- tuous,] honest, temperate, sincere, and charitable. 'Tis such as these I beg them to instruct: and I think they cannot do the Church a greater Service, or employ themselves in any thing more worthy their sacred Character, than in assuring these hypocritical Pretenders to Piety, that 'tis not Talking, but Living well, not the being of this or that Denomination, of this or that Sect or Party, that will make them eternally happy; but the being exactly conformable to those Divine Rules which are prescribed in the Holy Scriptures, those unerring Precepts, of which that sacred Volume is full.
[ 1 ]
The Song of the Three Children
ASCEND my Soul, and in a speedy Flight
Haste to the Regions of eternal Light;
Look all around, each dazling Wonder view,
And thy Acquaintance with past Joys renew.
Thro' all th' Æthereal Plain extend thy Sight,
On ev'ry pleasing Object gaze;
On rolling Worlds below,
On Orbs which Light and Heat bestow:
And thence to their first Cause thy Admiration raise
In sprightly Airs, and sweet harmonious Lays.
Assist me, all ye Works of Art Divine,
Ye wondrous Products of Almighty Pow'r,
You who in lofty Stations shine,
And to your glorious Source by glad Approaches tow'r:
In your bright Orders all appear;
With me your grateful Tribute pay,
Before his Throne your joint Devotions lay.
Ye charming Off-springs of the Earth draw near,
And for your Beauties pay your Homage here,
Let all above, and all below,
All that from unexhausted Bounty flow,
To Heav'n their joyful Voices raise,
In loud melodious Hymns of Praise.
When Time shall cease, and each revolving Year,
Lost in Eternity shall disappear,
The blest Employment ever shall remain,
And God be sung in each immortal Strain.
O ye bright Ministers of Pow'r Divine,
In whom the Deity in Miniature does shine;
Ye first Essays of his creating Skill,
Who guard his Throne, and execute his Will,
Adore his Goodness, whose unweary'd Love
Call'd into Act that great Design,
That kind Idea to Perfection brought,
Which long had lain in his eternal Thought;
Who, when of all Felicity possest,
And in himself supremely blest,
To make his wondrous Bounty known,
Was pleas'd to raise
From nothing mighty Monuments of Praise:
Such as convincing Evidences prove
Of the Benignity Divine,
And in their blissful State above
With a resplendent Lustre shine:
Forms much more beautiful than Light,
And full of Charms to us unknown,
Of Charms peculiar to themselves alone:
Adorn'd with Glory not to be express'd;
With Glory much too bright,
To be the Object of a mortal Sight.
Active as Air, as Æther pure,
Exempt from Passions, and from Pain secure,
From cumb'rous Earth, and all its Frailties free,
Happy, and crown'd with Immortality,
And knowing as created Minds can be.
Blessings like yours, extatick Euges claim;
Thro' the celestial Courts your Thanks proclaim;
In highest Raptures, loudest Songs of Joy,
And Hallelujahs, your Eternity employ.
Ye glorious Plains of pure unshaded Light,
Which far above the gloomy Verge of Night
Extended lie, beyond the sharpest Ken of Sight;
Whose Bounds exceed the utmost Stretch of Thought,
Where vast unnumber'd Worlds in fluid Æther roll,
And round their radiant Centers move,
Making by Steps unequal, one continu'd Dance of Love:
Extol his Wisdom, who such Wonders wrought,
Who made, and like one individual Soul
Fills ev'ry Part, and still preserves the Mighty Whole.
Ye Products of condensing Cold,
Ye Clouds, who liquid Treasures hold,
Who from your wat'ry Stores above,
(Where wafted by concurring Winds you move)
On the glad Earth your Bounties pour,
And make it rich with each prolifick Show'r:
Not so you fall, as when you were design'd
To punish the rebellious Race of human Kind:
Then, with impetuous haste stupendous Cataracts fell;
Descending Spouts, ascending Torrents met;
And mingled Horrors did the Vict'ry get:
Nature could not their mighty Force repel;
Beauty and Order from her Surface fled,
While o'er the Ball the liquid Ruin spread:
Now in mild Show'rs you make your kind Descent,
Refresh the Earth, and all our Wants prevent;
From lofty Mountains in Meander's slide,
And roll by grassy Banks your Silver Wealth along;
Let those celestial Springs from whence you are supply'd
Their silent Homage pay;
And till that fatal Hour the grateful Task prolong,
When fierce devouring Flames shall force their dreadful Way,
And make this beauteous Globe their Prey;
From which sulphureous Steams shall rise
And chase the congregated Vapors from the Skies.
Ye blest Inhabitants of Light,
Who from your shining Seats above,
Are often sent on Embassies of Love:
To distant Worlds you take your willing Flight,
And in the noblest Charity delight:
From the blest Source of Good, like Rays you flow,
And kindly spread your Influence below:
In vain the Great their mighty Deeds proclaim,
And think the highest Praise their Due,
And to themselves ascribe that Fame
Which wholly owing is to you:
In vain the grave considering Wise
Unto themselves Applauses give,
And think they by their own Endeavours rise,
And rich and honour'd live:
The whole unto your Care they owe,
From it each prosp'rous Turn, each blest Event doth flow:
That tender Care, which over all presides,
And for the common Good of Man provides.
Your high Prerogatives with Joy confess;
In lofty Strains your kind Creator bless:
In unforc'd, grateful, and exalted Lays:
You know him best, and ought him most to praise.
Thou glorious Sun, bright Author of our Day,
Whose dazling Beams around themselves display,
And to the frozen Poles thy needful Heat convey.
From their long Night the shiv'ring Natives rise,
And see vast Trains of Light adorn their Skies.
Before thy Fire the vanquish'd Cold Retires,
And Nature at the sudden Change admires:
Then their lost Verdure Woods and Fields regain,
And Seas and Rivers break their Icy Chain.
How blest are they who in Warm Climes are born!
Those happy Climes thy Rays do most adorn!
Where balmy Sweets their fragrant Off'rings pay,
And warbling Birds salute the rising Day:
Where vital Warmth does sprightly Thoughts inspire,
Thoughts brisk, and active as thy Rays:
Th' immortal Homer felt thy Fire,
That wondrous Bard! whom all succeeding Ages praise.
To the first Cause, the uncreated Light,
The radiant Source of everlasting Day,
The Center whence thy Glories flow,
Those dazling Splendors we admire below,
With us thy Adoration pay.
And thou, fair Orb, whose Beauties still invite;
Who with thy paler Beams of borrow'd Light,
Bring'st back the Solar Rays to bless our Night:
From thee reflected, on the Earth they shine,
And make the awful Prospect seem Divine:
Thy welcom Light the Northern Climates see,
Their tedious Night is pleasant made by thee:
From that exalted Walk above,
Where round our Globe thou solemnly dost move,
Admire and laud thy mighty Maker's Love.
Ye glitt'ring Stars, who float in liquid Air,
Both ye that round the Sun in diff'rent Circles move,
And ye that shine like Suns above;
Whose Light and Heat attending Planets share:
In your high Stations your Creator praise,
While we admire both him and you;
Tho' vastly distant, yet our Eyes we raise,
And wou'd your lofty Regions view;
Those immense Spaces which no Limits know,
Where purest Æther unconfin'd doth flow;
But our weak Sight cannot such Journies go:
'Tis Thought alone the Distance must explore;
Nothing but That to such a Height can soar,
Nothing but That can thither wing its Way,
And there with boundless Freedom stray,
And at one View Ten thousand sparkling Orbs survey,
Innumerable Worlds and dazling Springs of Light.
O the vast Prospect! O the charming Sight!
How full of Wonder, and Delight!
How mean, how little, does our Globe appear!
This Object of our Envy, Toil and Care,
Is hardly seen amidst the Croud above;
There, like some shining Point, do's scarce distinguish'd move.
Yet Man by his own Thoughts betray'd,
Curst with Self-love, not with Reflection* blest,
If of a great Estate possest,
Is to his Vanity a Victim made;
No longer he himself does know,
And looks with Scorn on all below:
But if by chance a Kingdom is his Share,
And he a Diadem does wear,
Full of himself, and heightned by his Pride,
He to Divinity does tow'r,
And from his visionary Sphere of Pow'r
Commands his Subjects with imperious Sway,
And forces them his Passions to obey:
Humor, not Reason, is most times his Guide:
Too great to be advis'd, by Vice and Folly led,
He will the dang'rous Paths of slippery Grandeur tread,
And rashly mount that steep Ascent he ought to dread.
Mistaken Wretch! what is this worthless All
Which does thy heated Fancy move?
If thou the whole thy own couldst call,
'Twere but a Trifle if compar'd with those above;
Which may, perhaps, the happy Mansions be
Of Creatures much more noble, much more wise than we.
Ye Exhalations that from Earth arise,
Whose minute Parts cannot be seen,
Till they're assembled in the lower Skies;
Where being condens'd, they fall again
In gentle Dews, or Show'rs of Rain.
To you we owe those Fruits our Gardens yield,
And all the rich Productions of the Field:
But Oh! how much are you by those desir'd,
Who are with scorching Sun-beams fir'd?
The swarthy Natives of the Torrid Zone,
Who live expos'd to the fierce burning Rays,
And wou'd in dazling Brightness waste their Days,
Did you not sometimes cast a Shade between,
And from their Sight th' excessive Glory skreen:
Your well tim'd Bounty they must ever own;
On them you annual Kindnesses bestow,
Their Air you cool, and all their Ground o'erflow.
As you descend, that God adore,
Unto whose Pow'r you owe your unexhausted Store.
Ye blust'ring Winds, who spacious Regions sway,
As thro' your airy Realms you force your Way,
High as the starry Arch your Voices raise,
And with loud Sounds your great Creator praise,
Whose wondrous Pow'r your Motion does declare:
Strange! that such little Particles of Air,
Such Nothings as escape our Sight,
With so much Strength, such wondrous Force shou'd move,
So pow'rful in their Operations prove!
Sometimes imprison'd in the Vaults below,
You all the dreadful Marks of Fury show;
The Earth you shake, make mighty Cities reel,
And ev'ry Part the dire Concussion feel.
Chasms you cause, and helpless Mortals fright,
Who trembling sink int' everlasting Night:
With dying Accents on their Friends they call,
They hear, and in one common Ruin fall:
The pale Survivors panting fly,
And with loud Screeches rend the Skie;
To neighbouring Hills they take their hasty Flight,
But Hills, alas! can no Protection yield,
They can't themselves from the devouring Mischief shield:
Pursu'd by Terrors, lost in wild Amaze,
They on surrounding Horrors gaze:
With Sighs and Groans, and with repeated Cries,
They prostrate fall, and with imploring Eyes,
All bath'd in Tears, from Heav'n they beg Relief,
From Heav'n which sees, and only can asswage their Grief.
Sometimes disturb'd, they ruffle all the Air,
And neither Earth, nor Ocean spare:
The mounting Waves with loud Confusion roar,
And furious Surges dash against the Shore:
The stately Cedar bends her awful Head;
The meaner Trees can no Resistance make;
Their broken Branches all around are spread,
And all their leafy Honours shed:
The frighted Birds their shatter'd Nests forsake:
Their verdant Food the trembling Cattle shun,
And urg'd by Fear to gloomy Coverts run.
Blest be that God who doth our Good design,
Whose Kindness do's in each Occurrence shine:
Who makes the boist'rous Winds declare his Love,
And from our Air the noxious Steams remove,
Those pois'nous Vapors which would fatal prove.
By him restrain'd, they gently blow,
And friendly Gales bestow:
To sultry Climes Relief convey,
Where Sun-burnt Indians faint away,
And curse th' excessive Heat of their tormenting Day.
To them the Greedy, and the Curious owe
A Part of what they have, and what they know.
By them assisted, they new Seas explore,
And visit ev'ry foreign Shore:
Their Sails they fill; the Ships make speedy way,
And to wish'd Ports their precious Freight convey.
Thou kind inlivening Fire,
Which dost a needful Warmth inspire;
And Heat which does to all extend,
From Stars above, to Mines below:
Which does on Natures Works attend,
At once to cherish, and defend,
And make her tender Embryo's grow:
The whole Creation springs from thee,
Both what we are, and what we see,
Are owing to thy wondrous Energy.
Opprest with Cold, and void of Day,
The sluggish Matter stupid lay,
Till that propitious Hour,
When thy invigorating Pow'r
Did first its self display:
Then Life and Motion soon begun,
And fiery Atoms form'd the Sun.
How various are the Blessings you bestow!
To that great God from whom they flow,
With us your Praises send;
Let them in purest Flames ascend;
To your bright Centre swiftly move,
Th' eternal Fountain both of Heat and Love.
Ye kind Vicissitudes of Heat and Cold,
Which thro' the Year a due Proportion hold;
As on the Wings of Time your Round you move,
Extol that wise Almighty Mind,
Who has your diff'rent Tasks assign'd;
And from his lofty Throne above
Instructs you when to warm, and when to cool,
And does your Order with an undisputed Empire rule.
Your grateful Changes Health and Pleasure give;
Blest with the dear Variety we live:
Variety which tempts us on
The painful Ills of Life to bear,
And when the cheating Vision's gone,
For us does new deluding Scenes prepare:
From Place to Place,
Fresh Pleasures we pursue,
And the delightful Toil renew,
Till Death o'ertakes us in our thoughtless Chase,
And puts an End to our phantastick Race.
Ye Frosts and Ice, and you descending Snow,
Adore that God to whom your Pow'r you owe,
While we, well-pleas'd, your chilling Cold endure,
And to the friendly Smart our selves inure;
And with the pure, the fresh, the salutif'rous Air,
The Mischiefs of the Summers Heat repair;
Then with new Pleasure wait th' approaching Spring,
And grasp those Blessings which th' increasing Year does bring.
But Oh! the Rigors of the Northern Air!
What Pains must those unhappy Mortals bear,
Who near the Pole, remote from Phœbus Rays
Wast in uncomfortable Darkness half their Days!
There, piercing Winds commence their stormy reigns,
And Icy Cold th' Ascendant gains:
There, Seas congeal, and Rivers cease to flow,
Where harden'd Earth doth firm as Marble grow,
And where both Hills and Vales are ever hid with Snow.
Nature to them penuriously does give;
They on a scant Allowance live:
Yet with contented Minds their Lot sustain,
Not knowing better, and inur'd to Pain.
Ye silent Nights, who sacred are to Rest,
Wherein th' afflicted, by their Griefs opprest,
Are with a short Cessation blest;
While in the downy Bands of Sleep they lie,
Sorrow can no Impression make,
Slumbers the absent Joy supply;
And they are happy till they wake.
Where you command, an awful Quiet reigns;
Ev'n Nature seems the Blessing to partake.
On the smooth verdant Plains
The weary Beasts recline their Heads,
And fall asleep upon their grassy Beds:
The drowsie Birds sit nodding on the Boughs;
To all her Works she soft Repose allows.
E'er Darkness has her Veil withdrawn,
Or Light unbarr'd her radiant Gate,
Before the cheerful Morn begins to dawn;
While you march slowly on in solemn State,
With gentlest Whispers, Accents soft as Air,
The Praises of your bounteous God declare.
And ye bright Days, who from the East arise,
And with diffusive Glories gild the Skies,
With them your early Tribute pay;
While we by kindly Sleep refresh'd,
Rise gay and sprightly from our Rest,
And see, well-pleas'd, the Out-guards of the Night,
The gloomy Shades give way
To your victorious Light;
At whose Approach Joy spreads it self around,
Pleasures in ev'ry Place abound:
The busie Peasants their lov'd Toil renew,
And active Youths their noisie Sports pursue:
With loud-mouth'd Hounds the frighted Hare they chase,
And with his Spoils their Triumphs grace:
The harmless Flocks lie basking in your Beams,
And Birds awaken'd from their Dreams,
From their soft Wings shake off the pearly Dew,
And their melodious Strains, in tuneful Notes renew.
Let Darkness, whom th' infernal Pow'rs obey,
And who e'er Time begun, with universal Sway
Thro' the wide Void its Empire did extend,
And still do's with its younger Sister Light
In its nocturnal Course contend,
And ancient Rights defend:
As round th' Almighty's Throne, with sable Wings display'd,
It forms a venerable Shade,
A Shade, which does from each celestial Sight
Such dazling Glories hide,
As did it not a needful Veil provide,
Wou'd with their prodigious Blaze
Attending Seraphims amaze;
For the high Honour thankful prove.
And thou, fair Off-spring of eternal Love,
Thou brightest Gift of Pow'r Divine,
Which thro' the happy Plains above
Didst with an undiminish'd Splendor shine:
From whence thou kindly didst descend,
And thro' the mournful Gloom thy cheerful Beams extend;
(Then beauteous Nature from the Chaos rose,
And did a thousand Charms disclose:
With wondrous Pleasure she receiv'd the Grace,
And blooming Joy sat smiling in her Face.)
To thy bright Fountain on retorted Rays
Send constant Tributes of unweary'd Praise.
Ye transient Fires, who with tremendous Light
Rush thro' the dusky Horrors of the Night,
As with a dreadful Sound you force your way
Thro' those resisting Clouds where you imprison'd lay,
To Heav'n your Adoration pay;
While we your dang'rous Glories view
Glories, whose pernicious Blaze
Does the trembling World amaze:
Both Birds and Beasts with Haste retire,
And Men the Dictates of their Fear pursue;
From open Fields, and from th' enkindled Air,
They to the neighbouring Cliffs repair;
But who can shun your penetrating Fire?
The subtile Mischief spreads it self around,
And tumbles lofty Temples to the Ground;
Rocks feel its Pow'r, Marbles are forc'd to yield,
Nor can the Trees their shady Cov'rings shield:
Thro' closest Pores it makes its speedy Way,
And on the vital Stock does prey.
Unhappy Mortals, thus expos'd by Fate
To the fierce Rage of each impending Ill,
Find in their transitory State,
That Death has many Ways to kill:
The Treasure, Life, is kept with Pains and Cost,
And sometimes hardly seen, before 'tis lost.
O let the Earth her great Creator bless,
And all the Wonders of his Pow'r confess:
From Pole to Pole, let her resound his Praise;
Around her Globe let the glad Accents fly,
Till they are echo'd by the neighbouring Skie:
To all the list'ning Worlds above
Let her proclaim aloud
The blest Effects of his transcendent Love,
Who out of nothing did her beauteous Fabrick raise.
O Prodigy of Art Divine!
The Deity did in the wondrous Structure shine!
Who can in fit Expressions the sublime Idea dress,
Or the stupendous Marvels of that Work express!
Angels themselves, whose Intellects are free
From those dark Mists which our weak Reason cloud,
Who things in their remotest Causes see,
Whose Knowledge like their Station's great and high,
Above the loftiest Flights of weak Mortality,
Astonish'd saw the rising World appear;
The new, the glorious, the transporting Sight,
So full of Wonder, and Delight,
With rapt'rous Joys fill'd each celestial Breast,
With Joys too vast to be exprest;
Such Extasies as here
We could not feel, and live;
They to our Beings wou'd a Period give:
The killing Pleasure wou'd be too intense,
And quite o'erwhelm our feeble Sense;
But they who are all Intellect and Will,
And what they please fulfil,
Whose Minds are pure, free from the least Allay,
Serene, and clear, as everlasting Day,
Imbibe the most extatick Joys with eager Haste,
Nor can th' immense Excess immortal Spirits waste.
Zeal tun'd their Harps, by it inspir'd they sung;
The charming Sound thro' all th' Empyrean rung:
Their God they with unweary'd Ardor bless'd,
And in their sacred Hymns his Praise express'd:
His Wisdom, Pow'r, and Goodness they admire,
These were the constant Themes of all th' Angelick Quire:
All these they saw on his new Work Imprest:
They saw his pow'rful Fiat soon obey'd;
He spoke, and streight that mighty Mass was made,
Where Earth and Water, Air and Fire,
Without Distinction, Order, or Design,
Did in one common Chaos join:
Stupid, unactive, without Form, or Light,
They lay confus'dly huddl'd in their native Night;
Till on the gloomy Deep his Spirit mov'd;
Th' Emanations of the Power Divine,
Did all its Parts with vital Influence bless,
And scatter'd thro' the whole their motive Energies.
Th' active Warmth did ev'ry Part impell,
The heaviest downward made their way,
And to a new made Centre fell,
Where, by their Weight together prest,
They did in one firm Body rest,
On which a Mass of Liquids lay:
The lucid Particles together came,
And join'd in one propitious Flame,
Which round the new-form'd Globe did Light and Heat convey,
And blest it with the welcom Birth of Day:
But to one Sphere the Fire was not confin'd,
Still a sufficient Stock was left behind,
Which thro' the Whole in due proportion went,
And needful Warmth to ev'ry Part was sent.
By Heat excited, Exhalations rose,
And did the Regions of the Air compose:
The thicker Parts our Atmosphere did frame,
While the more subtil took a nobler Flight,
And fill'd with purest Æther the celestial Height,
Then Land appear'd; th' obsequious Floods gave way,
And each within appointed Bounds did stay;
But rude and unadorn'd the new Concretion lay,
Till by a sudden Act of Pow'r Divine,
Th' unshap'd Mass a beauteous Earth became;
Charming it look'd in its gay Infant Dress;
Goodness and Art at once did shine,
And both the God confess.
Thrice blest that Pair, who in the Dawn of Time
Were made Possessors of that happy Clime:
But wretched they soon lost their blissful State,
Undone by their own Folly, not their Fate.
Serene and Calm those early Regions were,
A constant Spring was always there,
And gentle Breezes cool'd the Air,
Rough Winds and Rains they never knew,
But unseen Showr's of pearly Dew,
(Aereal Streams) their Balmy Drops distill'd,
And with prolifick moisture the smooth surface fill'd.
The beauteous Plains perpetual Verdure wore,
With lovely Flow'rs embroider'd o'er.
Flowers so wondrous sweet, so wondrous Fair,
Ne'er grac'd our Earth, never perfum'd our Air,
Peculiar to those happier Fields they were;
Thro' which the winding Rivers make their Way,
The clear unsullied Streams with wanton Play
In Thousand various Figures Stray;
Sometimes concurring Waters make
A little Sea, a Chrystal Lake,
Where for a while in their soft Bed they rest,
Till by succeeding Currents prest,
To distant Parts they gently flow,
And murmur as they go,
As if they wish'd a longer Stay,
And ran unwillingly away:
On their enamel'd Banks were seen
Plants ever Beauteous, ever Green;
Plants, whose odoriferous Smell,
Did the since fam'd Sabæan sweets excell.
Nature profusely spread her Riches there,
The fertile Soil prov'd grateful to her Care,
The new unlabour'd Ground large stately Trees did bear,
Trees whose Majestick Tops aspir'd so high,
They almost seem'd to touch the Sky;
Loaden with Blossoms, and with Fruit at once they stood;
At once the Beauties of the Spring and Autumn crown'd the Wood:
At once they did the Bounties of both Seasons wear.
Such was the Earth so Beautious and so Gay,
Fresh as the Morn, delightful as the Day:
Not the Hesperian Gardens so much fam'd of old,
Where glorious Trees bore* vegetable Gold;
Nor that whereof Mæonides has writ,
Alcinous Garden, which its Beauty ow'd
To that great Genius, that transcendent Wit,
Who could the lowest Subject raise,
And make the meanest things deserve Eternal Praise:
Such was Phæacia, 'till with wondrous Art
He 'mbelish'd ev'ry Part:
His Fancy the rich Dress bestow'd:
To future Times it had been little known,
Having no native Lustre of its own,
Had not his Muse enroll'd its Name,
And laid it up secure within th' Archives of Fame.
Nor these, nor yet those happy Plains,
Virgil describes in his immortal Strains,
Could equal the Perfections of that charming Place,
Which Nature had adorn'd with her exactest Care,
And furnish'd it with every Grace;
Her Skill did every where appear:
All that was lovely, all that lov'd Delight,
Might there be seen in its exalted Height:
In it conspicuously did shine
Th' inimitable Strokes of Art Divine,
The God was seen in every dazling Line.
Such it continu'd, till deform'd by Sin:
Guilt call'd down Vengeance from above,
And quickly spoil'd the Workmanship of Love:
Guilt on the Earth a dreadful Deluge brought;
In vain th' offending Race Protection sought,
In vain they from the liquid Mischief fled,
The fatal Cause was still within:
From Mountains Tops they saw the floating Dead:
Th' increasing Waters did their Steps pursue,
And none escap'd but the blest Fav'rite few:
Who rode in Triumph on the watry Waste,
Secure above the swelling Surges plac'd:
Amaz'd they saw the daring Billows rise,
They pass'd the Clouds, and mingl'd with the Skies:
High on th' exalted Waves they look'd around,
But no Remains of their dear Country found;
Th' insulting Floods had cover'd all the Ground:
With Pity they their Brethrens Fate deplore,
And then the Mercies of their God adore;
His Mercy, who such wondrous Diff'rence made,
And gave such pregnant Proofs how much he lov'd:
Who, when no human Pow'r cou'd aid,
Himself their kind Protector prov'd.
While thus employ'd, they saw the Sea subside,
Th' impetuous Waters gradually withdrew;
Nature for their Reception did provide;
And they cou'd once again their native Regions view.
On some bleak Mountains Top they sighing stay'd,
And thence the Horrors of the Plains survey'd:
Those pleasant Plains, once fill'd with all Delight,
Afforded only now a melancholy Sight:
There Trees lay scatter'd, all defil'd with Mud,
And finny Monsters flounc'd where spacious Cities stood:
The Ground with Heaps of Bones was cover'd o'er,
They ev'ry where found something to deplore:
Long on the sad Catastrophe they gaz'd,
At once afflicted, and amaz'd;
And the vindictive Justice of their God rever'd,
That Justice, which so dreadfully appear'd.
At length embolden'd, and the Earth grown dry,
They from th' inhospitable Heights descend;
Th' aerial Kind disperse themselves around,
Their Steps the Flocks and Herds attend,
And seek their Food upon the slimy Ground,
The slimy Ground cou'd not their Wants supply;
Indulgent Nature pity'd their Distress,
And did the Fields with useful Herbage bless:
But Men, unhappy Men, were forc'd to toil,
To plough, to sow, and cultivate the Soil:
The stubborn Earth without their Care,
Nor Fruits, nor Corn, nor the rich Vine would bear:
They to their Labour their Subsistance ow'd,
And all their Plenty on themselves bestow'd.
We, the curst Off-spring of that wandring Race,
Are still condemn'd to this unhappy Place;
This Earth, where we with Tears are usher'd in,
And where our Griefs, do with our Years begin;
Where, without Labour, we can nothing gain,
And where the Purchase equals not the Pain;
Who wou'd with so much Toil th' Incumbrance Life maintain?
But we must live Probationers for Joy,
In noble Deeds our coming Hours employ;
That, when from this bad World releas'd by Fate,
We may be re-admitted to that glorious State,
Where our pure Souls possess'd supreme Delight,
And liv'd within the Verge of everlasting Light.
What, ye blest Spirits, what cou'd you excite
To leave your radiant Seats above?
Could mortal Bodies such Attractives prove?
Was Happiness grown your Disease?
Or were you surfeited with Ease?
O dreadful Lapse! O fatal Change!
Must you, who thro' the higher Orbs could range,
Survey the beauteous Worlds above,
And there adore the Source of Love,
Be here confin'd to Lumps of Clay,
To darksom Cells, remote from your Ætherial Day?
On this vain Theatre of Noise and Strife,
Must you be forc'd to act the Farce of Life:
Our Souls, Good God, to their first Bliss restore,
And let them actuate dull Flesh no more.
'Tis granted; Hark! I hear the Trumpet sound,
The mighty Voice dilates it self around,
And in its Clangor ev'ry lesser Noise is drown'd.
He comes! he comes! with a refining Fire,
The Clouds before him awfully retire:
The parting Skies with haste give way
And show to trembling Men the bright eternal Day:
Lightning and Thunder on his Triumph wait,
With all the fiery Ministers of Fate:
Ten thousand Meteors roll along the Air;
Hot Exhalations waste their Fury there:
And burning Mountains send their Flames on high;
Swift as our Thoughts the scorching Mischiefs fly:
Mixt with thick Smoak the threatning Terrors rise,
And fill with sooty Atoms the dark gloomy Skies:
The Earth does shake, by fierce Convulsions rent,
And searching Fires to ev'ry Part are sent.
Hark! how the troubled Sea does roar!
Its scalding Waters beat against the Shore:
The Fishes leave their oozy Bed;
With Haste they swim to Land,
But find no Rest upon the burning Sand:
Both Land and Water equally they dread,
And on the glowing Beach in mighty Sholes lie dead.
The feather'd Kind forsake their lofty Heights,
And from the sultry Regions of the Air,
By speedy Flights
For Refuge to the Earth repair,
Where, with sing'd Wings they gasping lie;
The lowing Herds fall panting by,
And Beasts of Prey with strugling Fury die.
The brute Creation one great Holocaust is made,
And altogether on the burning Altar laid.
By flaming Horrors ev'ry where pursu'd,
From Place to Place, poor frighted Mortals run;
Where e'er they go, their Danger is renew'd,
They can't the swift Destruction shun:
Tortur'd with Heat they fainting fall,
And cast despairing Glances round;
The Children on their Parents call;
The wretched Parents sighing lie,
And see their tender Off-spring die:
With loud Complaints they fill the Air;
The heav'nly Vault returns the Sound,
And spreads the mournful Accents round:
In vain they groan, in vain they cry,
In vain their Screeches pierce the Sky,
Alas! no Help, no Aid is nigh:
The common Vengeance all must share,
And with the Earth, the fiery Trial bear;
Both rich, and poor, must leave their mingl'd Ashes there.
See! see! she's now a Sea of Fire,
A vast enormous Blaze!
The neighb'ring Worlds the Prodigy admire,
And on the new-form'd Glory gaze:
The Fire has all her Dross calcin'd,
Ev'ry Part is now refin'd:
Justice appeas'd, to Love gives way,
Love will once more its Pow'r display,
And the Foundations of a second Fabrick lay.
'Tis done! 'tis done! an Earth does rise,
Encompas'd round with purer Skies;
An Earth, much better than the first,
Than that, which for our sake was curst:
Much more beauteous, much more fine,
Much more of Skill Divine
Does in the charming Texture shine:
No inequalities of Air,
No noxious Vapors govern there;
The brighten'd Skies unclouded Lustre wear.
There Plenty spreads her Wings around,
And broods upon the fertile Ground:
Without Expence, or Toil, or Care,
The fruitful Ground does all things bear:
It has an unexhausted Store;
The greedy cannot wish for more:
Sparkling Gems, and golden Oar,
Useful Corn, and gen'rous Wine,
Woods of Cedar, Oak, and Pine,
And lofty Groves for ever green,
With Beds of fragrant Flow'rs between;
Pure chrystal Springs, sweet cooling Streams,
Such as were once the Poets Themes.
See! see! melodious Birds are there;
They please the Eye, and charm the Ear;
And inoffensive Beasts their Pleasure mind,
Neither for Labour, nor for Food design'd:
They do not on each other prey,
But new, and better Laws obey;
Both Lambs and Lions there together play.
O ye celestial Race!
By Providence design'd,
The blest Possessors of this happy Place,
You who like us did earthy Bodies wear,
Like us did human Frailties share,
And all the painful Ills of ling'ring Life did bear:
But now to nobler Posts consign'd,
Have left your cumbrous Flesh behind;
And now are cloth'd with radiant Light,
With Bodies active, pure, and bright;
Admire and praise that wondrous Love
Which has for you such Joys in Store:
When landed on that glorious Shore,
You'll think of your past Griefs no more:
Divine Munificence will prove
The blest Employment of your happy Hours,
And still exert your most exalted Pow'rs.
No more with Trifles you'll be then in Love,
No more your former vain Pursuits approve:
No more endeavour to be rich and great;
And to your Cares a Prey,
In anxious Thoughts employ the Night,
And in Fatigues the Day:
No more such needless Toils repeat;
No more in Luxury delight:
No more be wretched by your Passions made,
Nor by your Appetites betray'd:
From all your Follies you'll abstain,
No more penurious be, nor vain,
Nor will you ever more complain:
Your former Pleasures will insipid prove,
No more than Dreams your waken'd Reason move;
New Objects wholly will ingross your Love:
Objects of which we can't Ideas frame,
And Joys, for which we cannot find a Name.
Such Joys as here from Contemplation spring;
That best, that noblest Pleasure of the Mind,
Which keeps the Soul upon the Wing,
And will not be to any Place confin'd;
But range at large, as unrestrain'd as Thought, or Wind.
To you Delights 'twill ever yield:
'Twill lead you into Nature's boundless Field;
To you her various Beauties shew,
And let you her Arcanum view:
The Scenes of Providence display,
Before you all the Machines lay;
The whole Oeconomy Divine,
Where Art does in Perfection shine,
And where amaz'd you'll find
Wisdom and Goodness, with Almighty Pow'r combin'd:
Shew you the past Occurrences of Time,
From Natures Birth, to her Decay,
From the rude Chaos, to that last concluding Day,
Which sweeps both Men and all their vast Designs away:
Sights such as these, so wondrous, and sublime,
Will highest Transports raise,
And prove fit Matter for eternal Praise.
There, with each other you'll with Joy converse,
And all the Warmth of sacred Love express:
Each Breast will with a holy Ardor flame,
Your Souls unite, and ever be the same:
Without Reserve, without Disguise you'll live,
No Artifice, no sep'rate Int'rest know;
You Heart for Heart will freely give,
And pay the Kindness which you owe.
That Friendship which from Virtue springs,
Immortal as its Cause does prove;
With it, Ten thousand Joys it brings,
Such Joys as Death cannot remove:
They will beyond the Grave remain,
And solace us above;
Where, for the Good we lov'd below,
We our Affection shall retain;
Which still to greater Heights shall rise,
Shall still more fervent grow,
And like the Glory of the Skies,
Shall no Decay, no Diminution know.
Ye lofty Mountains whose aspiring Heights
Stop rising Vapors in their airy Flights;
Where when condens'd, from thence they flow,
And water all the Plains below.
To you, the mightiest Rivers owe their Birth,
And the most precious Treasures of the Earth:
Silver, and Gold, those Darlings of Mankind,
We in your wealthy Bowels find:
On us, you Copper, Iron, Lead and Tin bestow,
And there, both shining Gems, and useful Min'rals grow.
When from your airy Tops we look around,
On ev'ry side are pleasing Objects found,
Yonder, large Plains their verdant Beauties show,
And there, with noisie haste resistless Torrents flow:
Here, various Animals, and Herbs invite,
There, Towns we see, here Forests yield Delight,
And there, the mighty Ocean bounds our Sight.
As high above the Clouds your Heads you raise,
The wondrous Pow'r of your Creator praise;
Let thund'ring Blasts spread the loud Accents round,
And let each Hill return the joyful Sound.
Ye lovely Greens, who cloath the Earth,
And to the Sun, and Moisture owe your Birth:
All you that are for use design'd,
The Pride of Meadows, where the bleating Cattle find
Enough their Hunger to suffice,
And still are blest with fresh Supplies:
Ye tender Herbs, who beauteous Flow'rs produce,
And ye, enrich'd with balmy Juice,
Who are with healing Virtues blest,
And you who for Delight were made,
For Ornament, or Shade,
With all th' odoriferous Kind:
To Heav'n from whence your Beauties came,
Your Thanks in pure Effluviums send;
Thither let all your Praises be addrest;
In plenteous Steams let them ascend,
And with an eager Swiftness fly
Thro' the soft yielding Skie.
Ye towring Trees, do you the same;
You, that with verdant Honours crown'd
Cast your wide spreading Branches round,
And from the Sun's too fervent Heat
Afford a welcom cool Retreat.
O ye lov'd Groves! my early dear Delight!
You to a thousand Joys invite:
Joys known but to a thoughtful Mind,
Which can within true Satisfaction find;
And needs no Foreign Help to make* it blest,
But all-sufficient in its self can rest.
Come all ye Fountains your due Tribute pay,
And let each River as it rolls along;
The universal Call obey,
And with the whole Creation join in one harmonious Song:
Thro' all the bright Expanse above,
The boundless Theatre of Love,
Let the melodious Noise resound,
And spread the grateful Transports round:
Let Nature too her Homage pay
In ev'ry charming Lay.
Hear, O ye Seas! th' inviting Sound,
Let all your boistrous Roarings cease,
And let your watry Subjects taste the Sweets of Peace.
See! they attend! a sacred Silence reigns,
And Quiet sits triumphant on the liquid Plains.
Ye list'ning Waves, with a low murm'ring Voice,
Express your Thanks, and with the rest rejoice:
With you we'll join, and the great Subject raise:
Almighty Goodness claims the highest Praise.
Ye Monarchs of the finny Race,
Who in the Northern Seas delight;
Where your huge Bodies fill a mighty Space,
And show like living Islands to the wond'ring Sight;
As you your Heads above the Waters raise,
Speak by your Gestures your Creator's Praise:
With you let ev'ry lesser Fish combine;
Such as in scaly Armour shine,
With those that near the Surface play,
And to the pleas'd Spectator's Sight,
Their beauteous Forms, and glitt'ring Finns display;
All such as in the Depths delight,
And thro' the weedy Lab'rinths stray;
Those who themselves in muddy Coverts hide,
And such as in strong pearly Shells reside;
With those that in the Rivers live,
Far distant from th' incroaching Tide;
Let all by Signs their Plaudits give;
Before his Throne their mute Devotion lay,
And, as they can, their silent Adoration pay.
Ye pretty Rangers of the Air,
Who, unconfin'd, can at your Pleasure fly
Thro' the wide Regions of the lower Sky:
And in pursuit of fresh Delight,
Or weary'd with your towring Flight,
Can to the Earth with Ease repair,
And feed on tempting Viands there;
And thence to silent Groves retire,
Where, undisturb'd, you sit and sing,
And welcom back the flow'ry Spring;
Or at the Summer's Warmth rejoice;
That Warmth, to which you owe the Fire
Which does harmonious Strains inspire.
Well-pleas'd with your delightful Choice,
From Bough to Bough you warbling fly;
While neighb'ring Hills return the Voice,
And to each charming Note reply.
As thus your happy Minutes glide along,
To Heav'n melodious Off'rings pay:
With you an equal Share
Let the whole Species bear;
The wild and tame, the beauteous, swift and strong;
Let all contribute to the Song:
And each in his peculiar way
To Heav'ns eternal King,
With cheerful Haste his vocal Tribute bring.
Come all ye Beasts, your Homage pay,
You of the fierce devouring Kind,
Who chiefly live on Prey;
And all the Night intent on Spoil,
Range up and down with restless Toil,
Where if by chance you wretched Trav'lers find,
Who are by Fate your Prey design'd,
On them without Remorse you seize,
And with their Blood your craving Stomachs please;
But when returning Day
Has chas'd the dusky Shades away,
Back to your Dens with Fear you run,
At once pursuing Men, and hated Light to shun:
And you, whose Innocence, and Use,
Keep you secure from all Abuse;
Ye harmless Flocks, who grace the Field,
And you, that milky Treasures yield:
All you that on the Mountains breed,
And you, that in the Vallies feed:
You, who on craggy Rocks reside,
And you, that in the Earth abide:
Let ev'ry individual Beast,
As well the largest, as the least,
Before their bounteous God rejoice,
And pay their Thanks with an united Voice.
Ye Sons of Men, ye chosen Race
Whom God does with transcendent Favours grace:
You, who depend on his Almighty Pow'r,
And taste his Bounty ev'ry Hour;
Return those Thanks which are his Due,
And let the brutal Kind be all out-done by you:
Exert your Reason, ev'ry Thought improve,
And let your Faculties be all employ'd on Love:
That Love, to which our all we owe,
And which takes Pleasure freely to bestow.
When first this beauteous World was wrought,
While we existed but in Thought,
Love, even then our Good design'd,
Even then in ev'ry Part it shin'd:
Each Place had something to invite,
The whole was crouded with Delight.
The Air was calm, the balmy Spring
Did all its fragrant Treasures bring:
The Beasts rejoyc'd, and void of Strife,
Enjoy'd a pleasant, easie Life:
Sung the glad Birds, and all conspir'd
To make the Earth a Place desir'd,
A Paradise, that cou'd not be enough admir'd!
When thus prepar'd, Love smiling came,
And did our happy Parents frame:
Beauteous they were as dawning Light,
Their Understandings clear and bright.
To you, said he, this Earth I give;
Amidst unnumber'd Pleasures live.
Prove but obedient, and your Bliss shall be
As lasting as my own Eternity.
He spoke; they listen'd to the joyful Sound,
Then cast their ravish'd Eyes around,
Where e'er they gaz'd, they some new Wonder found.
Ah! thoughtless Pair! how soon were you undone!
O cou'd you not the fatal Tempter shun!
Accursed Pride! thou Ruin of our Race,
Thou black Inhabitant of Hell,
How durst thou enter that forbidden Place,
And prompt them to rebel?
O 'twas the vain Desire of knowing more,
Of adding to your intellectual Store,
Which made both you, and all your wretched Off-spring poor.
Too late, alas! they their sad Change lament,
And to the Woods their fruitless Sorrows vent.
Its dire Effects their Guilt displays,
For Innocence once lost, Content no longer stays:
Pursu'd by Vengeance, of themselves afraid,
They were a Prey to ev'ry Terror made:
The Fear of Death, that unknown worst of Ills,
Their sad desponding Souls with black Ideas fills:
Where e'er they look'd, a dismal Horror reign'd,
And ev'ry Creature in its turn complain'd:
Full of Despair, they shun the hated Day,
And in dark Shades sigh their sad Hours away:
But they, alas! in vain retire;
Shades cannot hide from Wrath divine;
That all-consuming Fire
Will thro' the thickest Covert shine:
Nor subterranean Vaults, nor an Egyptian Night
Are Proof against the searching Rays of pure Æthereal Light.
Offended Justice comes to try their Cause,
And from their close Recess the trembling Wretches draws.
Struck pale with Horror, self-condemn'd they stood,
And for themselves some vain Excuses made:
Deceiv'd they were by a pretended Good,
And all the Blame on the false Tempter laid:
The Judge incens'd, their Follies wou'd not hear,
The weak Results of Shame and Fear.
Their Wills were free, and they had Pow'r to chuse;
The Good they knew, and might the Ill refuse:
Felicity was theirs; and if they'd pleas'd
The glorious Treasure had been still their own;
They cou'd not be by Fraud, or Force disseiz'd:
Their Loss was owing to themselves alone:
Their Disobedience to the Law divine
Made Death, eternal Death, their Due:
In vain they at their Punishment repine,
Th' impartial Judge will no Compassion shew.
Their future Race with them must bear a Part,
Involv'd both in the Guilt, and in the Smart.
Love look'd with Pity on their lost Estate,
And strove to mitigate their rig'rous Fate:
But its Attempts all unsuccessful prove.
Relentless Justice nought could move:
'Twas deaf to all the soft Remonstrances of Love.
When it in vain all other Ways had try'd,
It put on Flesh, and for the Guilty dy'd:
Offer'd it self in Sacrifice for All,
And did a willing Victim fall.
O wondrous Goodness! Kindness all Divine!
The God does in the bounteous Action shine!
See, he appears! he leaves his glorious Throne!
Puts off his Robes of dazling Light
And all alone
He downward takes his Way
To Realms remote from his eternal Day!
Where all those Splendors which our Eyes invite,
Are if compar'd to those above,
Like Lunar Beams, or wandring Fires,
And all as mean, as transient Pleasures prove.
He comes! he comes! our Nature wears!
And all our sinless Frailties shares,
And all our Sorrows, all our Suff'rings bears!
Each Angel at the Sight admires,
And stooping low, with wondring Eyes,
Into th' awful Myst'ry pries.
Gaze on, gaze on, O holy Quire!
And as you gaze, his Praises sing;
Such wondrous Love you can't enough admire,
A Love which only cou'd from boundless Pity spring:
But stay a while, your heav'nly Musick cease,
Behold a Scene your Wonder will increase:
A Scene, that wou'd, cou'd you be touch'd with Grief,
The deepest Sorrow in your Breasts excite,
A melancholy, an amazing Sight,
A Prodigy beyond Belief!
A God surrounded by insulting Foes,
And meekly yielding to their barb'rous Rage,
Condemn'd, despis'd, and scourg'd by those
For whose lov'd sakes he this hard Treatment chose!
With cruel Men, infernal Pow'rs engage,
And the Variety of Torments try:
No common Suff'rings can their Wrath asswage,
He must with complicated Tortures die.
View him! O view him on th' accursed Wood,
His tender Hands and Feet all stain'd with Blood,
Bending beneath an ignominious Fate,
The dire Result both of their Guilt and Hate.
See, by his Cross, the Virgin Mother stands
With streaming Eyes, and lifted Hands:
Fixt on the mournful Object she appears,
And only speaks by Sighs and Tears.
Thou wondrous Pattern of maternal Love!
Cou'd Grief like thine no Pity move?
Such Sorrow might ev'n hungry Tigers charm,
And fierce Barbarians of their Wrath disarm:
But the more savage Jews were Strangers grown
To those soft Dictates Nature does inspire;
They did all tender Sentiments disown,
And were by Hellish Malice set on Fire:
But oh! our Sins strike deeper than their Rage,
And in their Cause, celestial Wrath ingage:
They pierc'd his Soul with Sorrows more intense,
Than ever since were felt by human Sense.
While thus he suffer'd, the condoling Sun
Withdrew his Light,
That he the dismal Sight might shun;
Darkness, great as their Crimes, the World o'erspread,
And ev'ry Ray back to its Center fled.
While they are wondring at the sudden Night,
His dreadful Agonies increase,
Our Sins disturb'd his inward Peace:
With loud Complaints, and strong pathetick Cries,
He tow'rds his Father's Throne cast his expiring Eyes,
To him resigns his Soul, and full of Anguish dies.
See! O thou holy Mourner! see!
Commiserating Nature joins with thee!
The trembling Earth resounds thy Moans,
And answers ev'ry Sigh with loud redoubl'd Groans:
The Beasts refuse their Meat, the Birds complain,
And with sad Notes fill each adjoining Plain;
The neighb'ring Hills return the mournful Sound,
And spread the melancholy Musick round:
The Rivers with condoling Murmurs flow,
And crystal Fountains Signs of Sadness show:
The Rocks are rent,
And the rough Soldiers wear
Th' unusual Badge of Sorrow and of Fear:
Full of Compassion each retires;
The moving Sight so vast Concern inspires.
All, but the cruel Jews relent;
Their harden'd Hearts cannot of Ill repent.
The kind Redeemer in his Grave is laid;
For us he has a mighty Ransom paid,
And for our Sins full Satisfaction made.
With liveliest Colours in our Thoughts we'll paint
The buried Son, and the lamenting Saint;
By him she sits, with num'rous Woes opprest,
And wrings her Hands, and beats her snowy Breast:
With Sorrows, such as she ne'er felt before,
And Floods of Tears, she does her Loss deplore;
Fain wou'd she speak, but Words can find no way,
She must the Motions of her Grief obey,
And only by her Sighs her Thoughts convey.
Those thronging Dolors which her Soul molest,
Are much too great to be exprest;
They can't in sad Complaints a Passage find;
By their Excess, unhappily confin'd,
They still remain within, the Burthen of her Mind.
Oh! who can see the holiest of her Kind,
With humble Duty to her God resign'd,
Bear such Afflictions with a Patient Mind,
And not with conscious Shame
Their own ungovern'd Tempers blame?
Ah! blessed Virgin, let us learn from thee
To live from all our sinful Passions free:
Let us no more at Providence repine,
But yield a calm Submission to the Will Divine:
Like thee all Injuries, all Losses bear,
And be contented when they're most severe.
Thy pious Grief succeeding Times shall praise,
And to thy Honour lasting Trophies raise:
Where e'er thy Son extends his Heav'nly Laws,
And with his saving Precepts vicious Mortals awes;
Thy dear Remembrance ever shall remain,
And thou a mighty Veneration gain:
Thy blest Example shall our Pattern be,
We'll strive to live, to love, to grieve, like thee.
Now cease to weep, thy Task of Grief is done;
Attend the Triumphs of thy conqu'ring Son:
He shall no longer in the Grave remain,
With Ease he breaks Death's adamantine Chain;
O'er it, and Hell, see him victorious rise,
And once again
Restore himself to thy desiring Eyes;
Make hake, make haste, with eager Raptures meet
Th' ascending God, and breath thy Transports at his Feet:
Make known thy Troubles, there thy Griefs repeat,
And let thy Joys, be like thy Sorrows, great.
The holy Dead re-visit Earth again;
Those who whole Ages in their Graves had lain,
Awake from their long silent Night,
And croud to see the joyful Sight:
With them, the faithful Few on their dear Saviour gaze,
And lose their Reason in the blest Amaze:
With doubting Minds on his lov'd Face they look;
The welcom Vision strikes them with Surprize;
At once with Joy and Wonder strook,
They trembling stand, and disbelieve their Eyes;
Till his known Voice dispels their Fear,
That Voice, with Transports they were wont to hear
Go, my lov'd Followers, graciously he said,
Go, and the sinful World persuade;
I will my self your kind Endeavours aid:
First to the Jews my righteous Doctrines preach,
And then the Heathen Nations* teach;
To them my sacred Laws make known,
I will by Miracles your Mission own:
Go, fearless on, and my Commands obey,
And slight those Dangers which obstruct your way.
Pursue those Paths which I have trod,
And boldly share the Suff'rings of your God:
Eternal Glory your Reward shall prove,
The dear-bought Purchase of your Master's Love.
These charming Accents their glad Souls elate,
And reconcile them to their coming Fate;
To honour him who for their sakes had dy'd,
They Death, and its preceding Ills, defy'd:
Resolv'd they wou'd the cruel Jews oppose,
And preach Repentance to his barb'rous Foes:
They to remotest Countries dauntless go,
Thro' burning Sand, and chilling Snow:
No Pain, no Labour spare,
But ev'ry where
His sacred Truths declare:
Those sacred Truths which Souls refine,
And if they his Assistance have,
The most obdurate Sinners save.
While fill'd with Pleasure all Divine,
They gaz'd on the transporting Sight,
He his Blessing to them gave;
And then before their wond'ring Eyes
Return'd to his deserted Skies,
And re-assum'd his Regal State.
They saw him mount cloth'd with refulgent Light:
Th' incircling Air, made by Reflexion bright,
They saw with dazling Splendor shine.
And now above the Reach of Fate,
Beyond the narrow Verge of Time,
By his pleas'd Father's side he sits sublime;
With him ador'd, encompass'd round
With num'rous Crouds, who his due Praise resound:
There, he for ever will his Merits plead,
And with unweary'd Kindness intercede,
For such as here his just Commands obey,
And at his Feet their darling Int'rests lay.
While the Disciples with attentive Eyes
Fixt their Regards on the resplendent Skies,
And view'd those distant Tracts of Light
Which their dear Lord had left behind,
Two glorious Forms appear'd before their Sight,
And with fresh Wonder fill'd each Mind:
Beauteous they were as new created Day,
And did resistless Charms display:
Ætherial Splendors compass'd them around,
And they with glitt'ring Beams were crown'd:
With wondrous Grace, and a majestick Air,
They to th' astonish'd List'ners said,
Why, O ye Galileans, stand ye gazing here,
By too much Love betray'd
To groundless Fear?
He is not lost, for whom you mourn;
You shall once more see him return:
From Heav'n he shall descend again
Attended by a pompous Train:
Myriads of Angels, than the Sun more bright,
Clad all in Robes of shining white,
Shall on his radiant Chariot wait,
Resounding Trumpets shall proclaim his coming State,
While bending Clouds their glorious Weight disclose,
And show th' avenging God to his despairing Foes.
That God whom they did once despise,
Shall then become the Terror of their Eyes:
With swiftest Haste they'll his dread Presence shun,
And to dark Caves, and closest Caverns run:
With deaf'ning Clamors to the Hills they'll call,
And wish the Mountains on their Heads wou'd fall;
Beneath the mighty Ruins they wou'd hide,
Or in unfathomable Depths abide:
As They with Horror, so the Good with Joy,
Shall on the bright Appearance gaze,
And meet their God with cheerful Songs of Praise:
He comes! he comes! exultingly they'll sing,
He comes the wicked to destroy!
Those long since dead, and those that yet remain,
He dooms! he dooms! to everlasting Pain:
But from each Land his suff'ring Saints will bring:
From their long Sleep his injur'd Servants wake;
They shall a Part of the resplendent Triumph make:
In pure, immortal Bodies they shall rise,
And mount, all-glorious mount the Skies:
Where free from Sin, from Pain, from Fear,
They shall the welcom Euge hear;
Well done, well done, shall their pleas'd Saviour say;
Come, and receive a Recompence from me;
You've been my Foll'wers in the rugged Way,
And now shall taste of my Felicity.
Go, these important Truths make known;
His Resurrection joyfully declare;
Not to the Jews alone;
Let the whole World in the glad Tidings share.
They said; and as a transient Flash of Light,
With Swiftness glances on Spectators Sight,
And in a moment mingles with the Air,
And loses all its Splendor there;
Such was the quick Appearance, such the quick Remove,
Of those bright Forms, those Ministers of Love.
Replete with Joy, by flaming Ardor sway'd,
The pleas'd Disciples their lov'd Lord obey'd:
With prosp'rous Haste his holy Faith they spread,
And in his Name restor'd the Sick, and rais'd the Dead;
That awful Name from which the trembling Devils fled!
Th' opposing World they for his sake defy'd,
For him they liv'd, and in his Service dy'd.
Thrice blest are you who still obey his Voice,
And make this dang'rous Proof of Zeal your Choice:
Who, by a Love for your dear Lord inspir'd,
And by diffusive Goodness fir'd,
Cross Seas unknown, thro' pathless Desarts* go,
And no Concern for your own Safety show;
Intrepid, and untir'd, no Toils decline
That may advance your great Design:
Contemning Dangers, still pursue your Way,
And far as the remotest Bounds of Day,
The glorious Ensign of your Suff'ring God display.
Let Israel, that distinguish'd Race,
Those Darlings of Almighty Love,
Whom Heav'n has bless'd with his peculiar Grace,
To their great Benefactor thankful prove:
To him, who in their infant State,
When they, expos'd and helpless, lay,
To ev'ry threatning Ill a Prey:
Obnoxious to the Storms of Fate,
And their insulting Neighbours Hate,
Kept them from all approaching Harms
Secure, in his all-pow'rful Arms:
And who in their mature Estate,
When they Egyptian Fetters wore,
And cruel Pressures bore,
Then, even then, their Good design'd,
Midst all their Streights his Kindness shin'd,
And when resolv'd to set them free
By Methods All-divine,
He brought about his great Design;
And let the haughty Tyrant see,
That while he multiply'd their Pains,
And faster strove to tie their Chains,
He but his own Destruction wrought,
And on his Land a speedy Ruin brought.
The fav'rite People safe remain'd,
While Plagues among his Subjects reign'd;
Such Plagues as with amazing Haste
Laid all his fruitful Country waste:
His fertile Nile with Blood made flow,
The sanguin Mischief thro' its Channels spread;
While from th' infectious Stench the poison'd Fishes fled,
And on the putrid Mud in noisom Heaps lay dead:
The Crocodiles their watry Haunts forsake,
And to the Land for Shelter go;
Where, all defil'd with Gore, they wall'wing lie,
And stretch'd at length, the bulky Monsters die:
The wretched Natives of these Ills partake;
Quite parch'd with Thirst, they all the Land survey'd,
Thro' ev'ry Field, and ev'ry Desart stray'd;
With wishing Eyes they search'd around,
But wholesom Streams they no where found:
In this Distress, upon their Gods they call;
Before their Shrines the fainting Suppliants fall:
They to their Isis, and Osiris cry'd,
But all in vain; their Wants were not supply'd.
Frogs in vast Numbers from the Rivers came,
And with loud Crokings their Ascent proclaim:
With hideous Clamors they the Land invade,
The Temples fill'd, and in the Royal Chambers stay'd:
While on their loathsom Guests the People gaze,
Succeeding Wonders heighten their Amaze:
Dry earthy Particles prolifick prove,
Each animated Dust does move:
On Men and Beasts the eager Insects seise,
And with a bloody Feast their hungry Stomachs please:
These soon were follow'd by vast Swarms of Flies,
Which fill'd the Earth, and darken'd all the Skies;
In Triumph rode the Circuit of the Air,
And play'd, and wanton'd there,
And neither Pharaoh, nor his Gods revere.
A deadly Ill does on their Cattle seise;
They faint, they sink, they yield to the Disease:
From th' unerring Shaft 'twere vain to fly,
They in the Fields, and at the Altars die:
The small Remain with grievous Boils were seis'd:
Nor were the harmless Beasts alone diseas'd;
With them th' infectious Ill their Masters share,
With them, the noisom Sickness bear:
As they were murm'ring at their Fate,
And cursing their abhorr'd Estate,
They saw new Plagues preparing in the Air,
Black dreadful Clouds were gath'ring there;
Loud Thunders roar, and forky Lightnings fly
With glaring Terror cross the darken'd Sky,
Vapors congeal'd, in mighty Hail descend,
And certain Ruin did its Fall attend:
Nor Men, nor Beasts its Fury cou'd avoid;
The Fields it spoil'd, and ev'ry Herb destroy'd;
The Trees it rob'd of all their native Green,
And nothing round their Roots but scatter'd Boughs were seen:
The frighted Peasants with Amazement strook,
With trembling Haste their rural Cares forsook,
To closest Caves, and sacred Vaults they fled,
And there, remain'd secure, among the happier dead.
At all their Ills Pharaoh remain'd unmov'd,
His flinty Heart more hard than Marble prov'd:
He still resolv'd the Hebrews to detain;
And for their sakes was plagu'd again:
With fatal Haste vast Flights of Locusts came.
Their Prince, the suff'ring People blame;
And see with Grief, the quick Devourers shar'd,
That little which the Hail had spar'd.
Thick darkning Vapors from the Earth arise,
And with their clammy Atoms fill all th' ambient Skies;
So vast their Numbers, not one Ray of Light
Cou'd penetrate the Shades of that black horrid Night:
Three Days they sate hid from each other's view,
And all their Sighs, their Tears, their sad Complaints renew.
Highly provok'd by their obdurate King,
God did on them a greater Judgment bring:
While with soft Sleep they strove to calm their Grief,
And hop'd to find in Slumbers some Relief,
To ev'ry House he the Destroyer sent,
And bid him all the First-born kill;
With Haste he on the dreadful Errand went,
And did the dire Command fulfil:
Amaz'd, and griev'd the sad Egyptians rise,
And with shrill Screeches, and loud dismal Cries,
Proclaim their Loss, and to their King repair,
And beg he wou'd his mourning Subjects spare:
They saw impending Dangers threaten from on high,
And fear'd they shou'd like their dear Off-spring die:
With Horror struck, they their sad suit renew'd:
Mov'd by their Prayers he did at length relent;
And by their Sighs and Tears subdu'd,
From Egypt he the joyful Hebrews sent.
Their great Preserver now their Guide became;
By Night he led them with a bright auspicious Flame;
By Day a Cloud did their Conductor prove,
Thus were they still the Care of his unweary'd Love.
Th' Egyptian Tyrant soon his Rage renew'd,
And with a num'rous Host the frighted Jews pursu'd:
On th' Erythræan Shore they trembling stay'd,
And thence the Sea, and their approaching Foes survey'd:
Inclos'd with Dangers, to their God they cry'd,
To him, who never yet his Aid deny'd:
When thus distrest, he bid the Sea retire;
Th' obsequious Sea with Haste obey'd,
And at an awful Distance stay'd,
While they were thro' its Depths from all their Fears convey'd:
With joyful Speed amid the Shades of Night,
They follow'd their directing Fire,
And by its glorious Light,
View'd all the Wonders of the new-form'd Way,
And saw their God his mighty Pow'r display.
The rash Egyptians still their Steps pursu'd,
And thought they might be now with Ease subdu'd;
Onward they went, push'd forward by their Fate,
And saw no Danger till it was too late.
When the safe Shore the Israelites had gain'd,
The Sea no longer was restrain'd,
But with tumultuous Haste its ancient Ground regain'd.
From Place to Place the lost Pursuers fled,
And vainly strove th' impetuous Waves to shun,
Each Path to some new Danger led,
They could not from surrounding Waters run:
Strugling and weary to their Gods they cry'd,
And full of Horror, and Confusion dy'd:
The joyful People, when returning Day
Had chas'd the melancholy Shades away,
Saw on the Shore the dead Egyptians lie,
With Arms and Horses scatter'd by;
Thick as Autumnal Leaves they lay,
To ev'ry rav'nous Bird, and ev'ry Beast a Prey.
Those mighty Men, whom they so lately fear'd,
Now Objects of Contempt appear'd:
With Joy they gaz'd, and as they gaz'd, they sung;
The Heav'nly Arch with cheerful Accents rung:
With thankful Hearts they their Protector bless'd,
And in sweet moving Strains their Gratitude express'd.
Then forward march'd, by the same Kindness led,
Secur'd from Dangers, and divinely fed
With Angels Food, with pure celestial Bread:
Thus favour'd, they thro' trackless Desarts went,
Where from hard Rocks reviving Streams were sent:
Continu'd Mercies fill'd each circling Hour,
The rich Productions of unbounded Pow'r!
In vain against them warlike Nations rose,
In vain 'gainst them combine,
In vain their conqu'ring Arms oppose;
In vain was ev'ry deep Design:
Without Success, their Stratagems they try,
Without Success, to lawless Arts they fly:
In vain did Moab Altars raise,
In vain desir'd the Prophet's Aid,
In vain that he wou'd curse them pray'd:
In vain the Seer to curse the Blest essay'd:
An inward Force, a Pow'r Divine,
Turn'd his intended Curses into Praise:
Compell'd, their Triumphs he foretels,
Long on the hated Subject dwells.
Thus blest, and prosper'd by Almighty Love,
In sacred Pomp their Forces onward move;
And full of Glory, reach'd the happy Soil,
The kind Reward of their obedient Toil,
The promis'd Canaan; where, the fruitful Ground
Did with rich Nature's choicest Gifts abound,
And where, their Wishes were with full Fruition crown'd.
Ye sacred Priests, who at the Altar wait,
And there, well-skill'd in Rites Divine,
His wondrous Passion celebrate,
In whom unprecedented Love did shine:
Extol his Name, enlarge upon his Praise,
And as it merits, the great Subject raise:
With Zeal, and Clearness, holy Truths relate;
And strive by Reason to convince the Mind:
Let useless Subtilties, those Tricks of Pride,
Those Masks that Ignorance does chuse
Her Sloth, and her Deformity to hide,
No Place in your Discourses find:
For solid Notions, banish empty Shews,
And in the noblest Cause your Rhet'rick use:
No more in vain Disputes engage;
No more a War with diff'rent Parties wage,
But make it your whole Bus'ness to reform the Age:
With Vice alone the Combat try,
To vanquish that your Skill apply;
And with a Courage dauntless and sublime,
A Courage, worthy of your Faith, and you,
Exert your utmost Strength the Hydra to subdue.
Preach Justice to the Great, to such as climb
With guilty Haste the dang'rous Heights of Fame,
And wade thro' Blood to Grandeur and a Name.
Tell them a Nemesis Divine,
Does all the Actions of Mankind survey,
Sees each ambitious, each unjust Design;
And tho' Oppressors prosper for a while,
And Fortune seems on their Attempts to smile,
Yet in the last impartial Day,
God with eternal Vengeance will their Crimes repay.
Tell those whose Bliss is to their Wealth confin'd,
Virtue's the greatest Treasure they can gain,
A Treasure which for ever will remain.
Persuade them with a bounteous Mind
To be to the deserving Needy Kind,
And like that God to whom they all things owe,
Their Riches freely to bestow.
Th' unthinking Proud unto themselves make known;
Tell them they've nothing they can call their own:
Those things they boast, may soon be snatch'd away,
They can't insure their Bliss for one short Moment's stay.
Wealth may be lost, and Beauty will decay:
Titles are vain, and what they Honour call,
Does often to the Share of the unworthy fall:
Inconstant Fortune blindly does bestow
Promiscuous Favours with a careless Hand;
Sometimes she lifts the Mean on high,
And Sons of Earth again insult the Sky;
On the bright airy Heights of Pow'r they stand,
Prais'd and ador'd by all below;
While such as merit Empires, live obscure,
And all th' Indignities of Fate endure.
Persuade all such as of their Knowledge proud,
Cast scornful Glances on th' illiterate Croud,
To look within, and let each haughty Thought
Be to the Test of sober Reason brought:
Tell them their Pride from Ign'rance flows,
He's ever humblest who most knows:
Those whose rich Souls are always bright,
Who live encompass'd round with intellectual Light,
Do in their Minds a thousand Errors see,
And seldom are from their own Censures free:
Their Wisdom adds but to their Pain,
And they by their Researches gain
Only uncertain Notices of Truth:
When they to outward Objects turn their Sight,
They find them all involv'd in Night;
Like fleeting Shadows they escape their view:
If at th' Expence of Health, of Ease, and Youth,
They the thin airy Forms pursue,
Themselves they tire with the long toilsom Race,
And lose at last the Phantoms which they chase:
The World of Learning none could yet explore;
The most laborious only coast it round the Shore;
View Creeks, and Bays, and distant Mountains see,
The rest is hid from Human Industry.
Teach the luxurious with a noble Scorn
To look on all the glitt'ring Trifles here below:
Tell them they were for higher Bus'ness born,
And on their Minds should all their Thoughts bestow;
There all their Care, and all their Skill should show.
Tell them the Pomp of Life is but a Snare,
Riches, Temptations which they ought to fear,
Empire, a Burthen few have Strength enough to bear.
The true, substantial Wealth is lodg'd within;
'Tis there the brightest Gems are found:
Such as wou'd great and glorious Treasures win,
Treasures which theirs for ever will remain,
Must Piety and Wisdom strive to gain:
Those shining Ornaments which always prove
Incentives to Respect and Love.
Virtue its Splendor ever will retain,
And Wisdom still an inward State maintain;
Still in the Soul with a Majestick Grandeur reign.
In vicious Minds they Admiration raise,
What they won't practice, they are forc'd to praise:
With gnawing Envy they their Triumphs view,
But dare not their malignant Rancor shew,
Nor undisguis'd the Dictates of their Spite pursue:
Like Birds obscene they shun th' offensive Light,
And hide themselves beneath the gloomy Veil of Night.
Thrice blest are they who're with interior Graces crown'd,
Whose Minds with rational Delights abound,
With Pleasures more delicious, more refin'd,
Than the voluptuous can in their Enjoyments find;
Such Pleasures as ne'er yet regal'd their Sense,
Which Earth can't give, nor mightiest Kings dispence,
And whose Description far exceeds the Pow'r of Eloquence.
To th' Intemperate, Abstinence commend,
Tell them what Mischiefs vicious Lives attend:
How soon Excesses will their Health destroy,
That chiefest Blessing here below;
That unexhausted Spring of Joy,
Without which, all things else insipid grow.
Tell them tho' now they kind Instructions slight,
And their unhappy Conduct praise;
Yet when they're to Diseases made a Prey,
They'll then for their retrieveless Follies mourn,
And in Repentance languish out each painful Day.
To please the Taste is but a mean Delight;
The Bliss of Beasts, and not of Men:
And all those Arts by which their Appetites they raise,
Are only finer, more compendious Ways
Destructive Poisons to convey.
How happy shou'd we be, if we agen
To the first Rules of Living cou'd return,
By Nature, the best Tut'ress taught,
Her just and easie Laws obey,
Like those she on th' early Stage of Action brought?
Who to few Things their Wishes could confine,
On Herbs and Fruits contentedly cou'd dine;
To quench their Thirst of crystal Springs cou'd drink;
Pure crystal Springs the want of Wine supply'd:
No harmless Beast t'appease their Hunger dy'd.
From Bough to Bough Birds unmolested flew.
They sought no Pomp, no Delicacies knew
Nor Wealth admir'd,
That greatest Plague of Life;
Nor glorious Palaces desir'd;
But underneath some pleasant Shade,
Strangers to Toil, to Care and Strife,
Did sweetly sleep, or calmly think;
To one another kind Discourses made,
With Cheerfulness their Consciences obey'd,
And to their God a joyful Homage paid.
Temp'rance is still Companion of the Wise;
They only can those Snares avoid,
By which th' Imprudent are with so much Ease destroy'd:
They only taste those Pleasures which from Abstinence arise;
Those pure Delights, those Banquets of the Mind,
Which from enlighten'd Reason spring:
Reason, when from the Dregs of Sense refin'd,
From all those Steams, those darkning Vapors freed,
Which from Excess proceed;
When no thick Damps of Earth retard its Flight,
Or make it flag the Wing,
Will boldly soar on high,
Above the Atmosphere,
Where all is calm, and all is clear,
And there, at Pleasure fly,
Bless'd with a free, distinct, unclouded Sight
Of all those Glories which adorn the happy Realms of Light.
Our Faculties will all awake,
And each will sprightly grow,
Exert its Pow'r, and its whole Force will show:
Th' Imagination quick and active prove,
Thro' the whole Compass of created Nature rove:
Collect bright Images, from them Ideas make,
From ev'ry Object some new Hint will take,
And with them entertain the Mind,
And Bus'ness for the Understanding find:
The Understanding more sublime will grow,
We shall more accurately think, and much more fully know.
To the Revengeful teach the gen'rous Way,
With Kindness, Inj'ries to repay:
Tell them 'tis great, and shews a noble Mind,
To pass Affronts regardless by,
And look on Contumelies with a careless Eye:
The brave an inward Firmness find;
They will not from their State descend:
Like Rocks they dare the Tide and Wind,
Themselves from ev'ry Storm defend.
Reproaches from the Earth like Vapors rise,
And fill with Noise the lower Skies.
But cannot to superior Regions fly:
They are above the Sphere of their Activity.
What we call Wrongs would not be so,
Nor the least Impression make,
Did we our selves not aid each Blow.
'Tis from Opinion we our Measures take;
And often rage, complain and weep
For things, which of themselves would no Offences prove,
Wou'd not our Indignation move,
If we but judg'd aright,
And view'd them in their true and proper Light.
Reason, did we its help desire,
Wou'd its Assistance lend;
Wou'd us impassive keep,
Or from Attacks defend:
With pious Sentiments wou'd us inspire,
Tell us 'tis glorious to forgive;
Bid us all angry Thoughts expel,
And by the best of Patterns live;
The suff'ring JESUS, who lov'd those so well,
From whom he did the utmost Scorn sustain,
By whom revil'd he liv'd, and was unpity'd slain,
That in th' extremest Agonies of Death,
He pray'd for them with his departing Breath.
Thou blest Example of transcendent Love!
O may we in thy shining Footsteps move!
By thee instructed, to our Foes be kind;
With their Mistakes, their Frailties bear;
And with a mild commiserating Mind,
The guilty Sallies of their Passions see,
Yet keep our selves from the Contagion free:
Good, for their Evil let us still return,
And for their Sins, and Follies mourn:
Our selves to them by friendly Acts endear;
Not only make our Patience to appear,
But them with gen'rous Tenderness pursue,
To them repeated Favors shew,
With their Aversion thus a War maintain,
And not leave off, till we the Conquest gain;
Till all their Enmities and Quarrels cease,
And we enjoy the Halcyon Calms of Peace.
Sincerity and Truth to this bad Age
With all your Rhet'rick recommend;
You cannot in a nobler Cause engage,
Nor more the Word befriend:
Tell false designing Men, 'tis much below
Th' exalted Creature Man, such little Tricks to show:
To fawn, deceive, and cringe, for sordid Ends,
For worthless Gold, or for the Bubble Fame,
For Grandeur, Pow'r, or for the Trifle call'd a Name.
Heroick Souls such Meannesses despise,
They scorn to circumvent their greatest Enemies,
And wou'd much sooner die than once delude their Friend;
Honour and Conscience are to them more dear,
Than all the Gifts which Fortune can bestow,
Themselves they more than all the World revere,
Still to themselves the highest Def'rence pay,
And Reason as their Lord obey:
Unworthy Actions they disdain to do,
Are just to others, to themselves are true;
One uniform, direct, and steady Course pursue;
Intrepid and unmov'd, still onward go,
And no Concern for Censures, or Applauses show;
Desire no Gain, but what from Virtue springs,
Nor wish for any higher Praise, than what she brings.
Thus to your Auditors their Duty shew,
Teach them their Passions to subdue,
To shun each Vice, and ev'ry Good pursue:
And that your Precepts may successful prove,
Practice those Virtues you wou'd have them love:
Strict blameless Lives, will more than Words, persuade;
We're by Examples chiefly sway'd:
Like beauteous Pictures they invite;
At once they fix, and entertain the Sight,
And yield us both Instruction and Delight.
Hapyy! O happy they
Who like the lucid Spring of Day,
At once both Life and Warmth convey;
Who to Mankind such pious Lessons give,
And universal Blessings live:
Their holy Labours due Rewards shall find,
And Wreaths of Glory their immortal Temples bind.
Ye Servants of the Lord your Homage pay;
To your great Master thankful prove,
Before his Throne th' expected Tribute lay
Of Gratitude and Love:
Observe his Laws, and let each stubborn Thought
Be a Submission to his Precepts taught:
In your Discourses praise his holy Name,
And let your Actions at his Glory aim:
Since all that's yours you to his Bounty owe,
Be grateful, and your selves on him bestow,
No other Good, no other Joy, no other Bus'ness know.
Ye holy Souls, who from your Bondage free,
Have reach'd th' inmost Mansions of the Skie,
And there, those dazling Glories see,
Beyond the utmost Ken of a weak mortal Eye:
Adore his Goodness who has broke your Chains,
And put a Period to your Pains;
And gives you leave in Vehicles more fine,
More active, more divine,
To live at large in the soft balmy Air,
And feast on ev'ry Pleasure there;
Pleasures adapted to your nobler Taste,
And such as will not in th' Enjoyment waste,
How vastly diff'rent is your present State,
From that which you once liv'd below!
Here, Sickness did your Joys abate,
And Disappointments, Injuries and Fears,
Render'd uneasie your long tedious Years;
With Toil you gain'd that little you did know;
Laborious was the Task, and your Advances slow:
But now your Understandings are refin'd;
Your Reason strong, your Knowledge unconfin'd;
Vast is your Prospect, and enlarg'd your Sight,
At once you view this Earth, and all the Worlds of Light.
But yet your Happiness is not compleat;
There are reserv'd for you Joys much more great;
Felicities proportion'd to a higher State:
To that blest State to which you shall ascend,
To that blest State which shall your Wandrings end:
Where you no more shall Revolutions see,
But live from Dangers, and Temptations free:
Whither in glorious Bodies you shall go;
Not such as you inform'd below;
But in immortal Bodies, which shall ever be
From Pains, from Death, and all Disorders free:
Which shall be Proof against th' Attacks of Fate,
Against th' Assaults of Envy and of Rage,
And all th' Efforts of dull deforming Age:
Whose Beauty still shall in its Bloom appear,
Which still Ten thousand Charms shall wear;
Like Suns shall ever, ever shine,
But be than Suns more bright, their Lustre all Divine:
With these lov'd Part'ners you shall ever stay,
And with the beatifick Vision blest,
Employ your everlasting Day
In Transports much too vast to be exprest;
In Pleasures which from boundless Goodness flow;
Which boundless Goodness only can bestow,
And which none but the blest Possessors of those Regions know.
Those happy Seats, where Love Divine
Does with refulgent Brightness shine:
Where, the great Suff'rer sits inthron'd,
And is with universal Plaudits own'd:
Where his blest Mother her Reward has found,
And by him stands, with beamy Glories crown'd:
Where, on their golden Harps rejoicing Angels play,
And in melodious Strains their pleasing Homage pay:
Where, ev'ry Object Extasies do's raise,
And where, with them, you'll sing your bounteous Maker's Praise.
O blest Employment! O supreme Delight!
O wondrous Place! and O more wondrous Sight!
Look, dearest Saviour, with a pitying Eye,
On those for whom thou didst with so much Kindness die:
Raise our dull Souls above the Joys of Sense,
Above those Trifles Earth can give:
And when by Death we're summon'd hence,
Let us for ever in thy Presence live;
In thy lov'd Presence, where is all Delight,
All that can charm the Mind, or please the Sight,
All, all that can the most aspiring Soul invite:
And ye blest Spirits who have liv'd below,
And who our Miseries by your own Experience know,
Add your Requests, and beg that we may share
Your Pleasures, and with you immortal Glories wear;
Then we'll together join in Hymns of Praise,
Together Trophies to our dear Deliv'rer raise,
Together at his Feet our Joys make known,
And with one Voice his unexampl'd Kindness own.
Ye holy Men, whose humble Hearts are free
From swelling Pride, and childish Vanity:
Who know your selves, and all those Arts despise,
Which others use, to make themselves thought wise:
Who own your Faults, and without Anger bear
Reproofs, and never think them too severe:
Who judge your selves, and still employ'd within,
Have neither Leisure, nor Desire,
To censure those with whom you live:
Their Failures, Pity in your Breasts inspire,
And you Allowances for human Frailties give:
The vicious you with Kindness strive to win,
And in the softest Language tell them of their Sin;
But while you their immoral Actions blame,
You with the nicest Care conceal their Shame,
Their Persons you esteem, and still preserve their Fame:
O praise that God from whom these Virtues flow;
Him, for your heav'nly Tempers bless;
Discharge some Part of that vast Debt you owe,
In fervent, and unweary'd Thankfulness.
Ye Jewish Heroes, whose unshaken Zeal
Was Proof against the strong Efforts of Pow'r;
Who in that trying Hour,
When the Assyrian Monarch menac'd high,
And Death stood threatning by,
Would not your holy Faith conceal:
Before the Idol you refus'd to fall,
And wou'd not on the glorious Nothing call.
With noble Scorn you to the Tyrant spoke,
And did his utmost Rage provoke:
Seize them he cry'd, and let them feel that Pain,
And meet that Fate which they so much disdain:
Heat hotter yet the Furnace they despise,
And let its Flames with frightning Horror rise:
You dauntless saw the dire Command obey'd,
And by his mightiest Men were to the Fire convey'd,
By those, who with their Lives, for their Obedience pay'd.
Safe in the burning Furnace you remain'd,
And walk'd unmov'd, and calmly there:
The Fire on your impassive Bodies gain'd
No more Advantage than on fluid Air:
The lambent Flames incircling Glories prov'd,
Round you the waving Splendors play'd;
And that th' admiring Croud might see
How much you were belov'd,
The God you serv'd, whose Laws you still obey'd,
Did to your Aid a glorious Angel send,
And bid him your Companion be:
Th' obsequious Minister of Light
Did from superior Joys descend,
And hither came your Triumphs to attend:
Th' astonish'd King beheld the dazling Sight,
And wonder'd at a Form so bright:
With eager'st Haste he call'd you from the Fire,
And did th' amazing Pow'r of your great God admire.
O bless, for ever bless his holy Name,
From whom your wondrous Courage came:
That Courage, which was your Support
Amid the tempting Glories of a vicious Court:
Which kept you firm, when both the Great, and Wise,
Were by their Fear, to mean Submissions led;
You did ev'n then the Tyrant's Threats despise,
And brav'd those Dangers they so much did dread:
Life, on vile impious Terms you did refuse,
And, unconcern'd, did all your Honours lose:
Inclos'd with Terrors, you intrepid stood,
And durst amidst a guilty Croud be good.
Now you the Purchase of your Faith enjoy,
And in a State Divine,
Among the blest Confessors shine,
In grateful Retributions all your Time employ:
Recount with Joy the Wonders wrought for you,
And with continu'd Zeal the pleasing Theme pursue;
His Favours to admiring Saints rehearse,
And cloth your Raptures in harmonious Verse;
With charming Numbers their Attention move,
And loudly sing the Triumphs of his Love.
To GOD the FATHER let us Glory give,
Unto th' immortal King,
The great Original of all,
In whom we center, and in whom we live,
With never ceasing Ardor sing:
The Benefits which he bestows,
For constant Praises call,
A gen'rous Soul no higher Pleasure knows,
Than paying what he owes.
Let narrow Minds, let grov'ling Sons of Earth,
Stick to that Dirt from whence they have their Birth;
On glitt'ring Dust let them with Transports gaze,
And never their dull Eyes to nobler Objects raise:
While we by better Principles inspir'd,
Will learn to think aright;
And having a due Sense of things acquir'd,
To the all-bounteous Giver turn our Sight:
The distant Streams we'll pass regardless by,
And to the Source of Blessings swiftly fly,
There quench our Thirst, and then replete with Joy,
In Hallelujahs all our Hours employ.
Th' eternal SON let all the World revere,
With his great Father let him equal Glory share:
And let us still, with thankful Hearts, retain
A grateful Sense of Favours past,
Long as our Lives, may the Remembrance last.
O Love, thou sweetest Passion of the Mind,
Thou gentlest Calmer of the Storms within,
Where didst thou ever find,
A kinder welcom, a more noble Seat,
Than in his Breast, who by Compassion led,
And by the tender'st Sentiments possest,
Left undesir'd, his everlasting Rest,
Left that bright Place, where Light Divine has spread
Its glitt'ring Beams around,
Where all that's charming, all that's good is found,
And where unutterable Joys abound:
Left it for us, when all deform'd with Sin,
And for our sakes with Patience did sustain
Th' intensest Sorrow, and the sharpest Pain.
O who, unmov'd, such Goodness can repeat!
Or who enough the dear Obliger praise!
Such wondrous Kindness a Return does claim,
And in us equal Flames should raise.
Of all the Virtues we can boast,
'Tis Gratitude becomes us most,
It gives a Grace, a Varnish to our Fame,
And adds a Splendor to the brightest Name.
But where, O where, can it a Subject find!
Like this among the Race of human Kind:
Who ever did such Obligations lay!
O let us strive the mighty Debt to pay:
Let meaner Objects now no more delight,
Nor lesser Favours entertain the Mind,
For to our Love he has a double Right,
Both by his Merit, and by being kind.
To that blest Spirit who does us inspire
With every grateful, every good Desire,
Let us due Honour pay,
And with attentive Heed, and reverential Fear,
His holy Motions entertain,
And all his gentle Whispers hear:
Now he his Gifts in secret does convey;
On Minds prepar'd, like Morning Dews they fall;
Thro' unresisting Air they make their silent Way,
And unobserv'd, Admittance gain:
Not so of old th' Inspirer did descend;
Then wondrous Pomp his coming did attend;
With a loud rushing Sound amidst the faithful Few
The God his bright Appearance made,
And on each sacred Head the glorious Vision stay'd:
The num'rous Gazers trembl'd at the Sight,
An awful Horror seiz'd on all,
But 'twas a Horror mingl'd with Delight;
At once their Pleasure, and their Fear they shew'd,
And with fixt Eyes the dazling Wonders view'd.
But O, how great was their Surprize,
To what a Height did their Amazement rise,
When by the blest Apostles they were told
Important Truths till then unknown,
In Languages peculiarly their own!
Parthians and Medes, and those whose fruitful Land
Betwixt Euphrates and swift Tygris lies;
With those who heard the stormy Euxine roar;
Natives of Asia, and Pamphylia's fertile Soil,
With such as dwelt nigh the Ægean Shore,
Near that fam'd Place, where Ilium stood of old,
And where, by flow'ry Banks, divine Scamander roll'd:
Egyptians, Cretans, and that warlike Race
Who liv'd in Tents amid the barren Sand;
With those who breath'd scorch'd Lybia's sultry Air,
Where fond of Toil,
And pleas'd with rural Care,
They dwelt secure; of Ease and Peace possest,
Envy'd by none, and with Contentment blest:
Inhabitants of Rome, that august Place,
That glorious Seat of independent Sway,
Which to the prostrate World gave Law,
And still does Sovereign Princes awe,
And the most haughty makes obey:
All these they taught; to each themselves addrest;
And with a sudden Elocution blest,
In ev'ry diff'rent Tongue, their flowing Notions drest.
O let such Glory still be given
To these eternal THREE,
This great united ONE,
By the Possessors both of Earth and Heav'n,
As was by Infant Nature pay'd
As soon as Time begun to be,
And God, no longer pleas'd to live alone,
His mighty Pow'r had shown,
And for his Honour noble Creatures made;
Creatures, design'd to celebrate his Fame,
To build immortal Trophies to his Name,
And make his Service their immediate Aim:
And such as is by all the grateful here,
And by the num'rous Hosts above,
Who think they never can enough revere
Amazing Goodness, and unbounded Love,
With Ardor pay'd in Strains Divine:
And such as shall, when Time shall be no more,
But vast Eternity, like some high swelling Flood,
Shall pass its long confining Shore,
Pass all those Banks which its Insults withstood;
And o'er the whole extend its mighty Sway,
And sweep both us, and all our towring Thoughts away,
The joyful Bus'ness prove
Of those blest Souls, who in the Realms of Light
Shall on the beatifick Vision gaze,
And then with Transports of Delight,
In one harmonious Song combine,
And in the noblest Flights of Love and Praise,
Employ with an unweary'd Zeal, their everlasting Days.
Older typestyles have been modernized (e.g. VV is transcribed as W; long s ſ is transcribed as s) but spellings have been left as they originally appeared. In one or two cases a name has been expanded for consistency throughout a poem: Alexis for Ale. Marissa for Mar.; Lucinda for Luc.; Cleanthe for Cle., etc.
The Errata listed in the original printing have been incorporated into the text, with superscripted * hyperlinks connecting changes back to the original errata.
The Table of Contents did not originally list "The Song of the Three Children paraphras'd". For the convenience of the online reader, it has been added with hyperlink to the preface and the poem itself, in a grey font to distinguish it from the original text.
Within the poems, the original pagination has been indicated. Note that the page numbers begin again at 1 at the beginning of the poem "The Song of the Three Children paraphras'd".