« EdellinenJatka »
Great 6 Rome and Venice early did impart
To thee th' examples of their wond'rous art.
Those mafters then, but feen, not understood,
With generous emulation fir'd thy blood:
For what in nature's dawn the child admir'd,
The youth endeavour'd, and the man acquir'd.
If yet thou haft not reach'd their high degree,
'Tis only wanting to this age, not thee.
Thy genius, bounded by the times, like mine,
Drudges on petty draughts, nor dare defign
A more exalted work, and more divine.
For what a fong, or fenfeless opera
Is to the living labour of a play;
Or what a play to Virgil's work would be,
Such is a fingle piece to history.
But we, who life beftow, ourselves muft live:
Kings cannot reign, unless their fubjects give;
And they, who pay the taxes, bear the rule:
Thus thou, fometimes, art forc'd to draw a fool:
But fo his follies in thy pofture fink,
The fenfelefs idiot feems at laft to think.
Good heaven! that fots and knaves fhould be fo vain, To wish their vile resemblance may remain! And ftand recorded, at their own request,
To future days, a libel or a jeft!
Elfe fhould we fee your noble pencil trace
Our unities of action, time, and place:
A whole compos'd of parts, and those the best,
With every various character expreft:
Heroes at large, and at a nearer view;
Lefs, and at diftance, an ignobler crew.
With all the figures in one action join,
As tending to complete the main defign.
More cannot be by mortal art exprest ;
But venerable age fhall add the reft.
6 He travelled very young into Italy,
For time fhall with his ready pencil stand;
Retouch your figures with his ripening hand;
Mellow your colours, and imbrown the teint;
Add every grace, which time alone can grant;
To future ages fhall your fame convey,
And give more beauties than he takes away.
HOU common fhore of this poetic town,
Where all the excrements of wit are thrown,
For fonnet, fatire, bawdry, blafphemy,
Are emptied, and difburden'd all in thee:
The choleric wight untruffing all in rage
Finds thee, and lays his load upon thy page:
Thou Julian, or thou wife Vefpafian rather,
Doft from this dung thy well pickt guineas gather,
All mifchief's thine, tranfcribing thou wilt ftoop,
From lofty Middlefex to lowly Scroop.
What times are thefe, when in the hero's room,
Bow-bending Cupid doth with ballads come,
And little Afton offers to the bum?
Can two fuch pigmies fuch a weight support,
Two fuch Tom-Thumbs of fatire in a court?
Poor George grows old, his muse worn out of fashion,
Hoarfly he fung Ephelia's lamentation.
Lefs art thou help'd by Dryden's bed-rid age,
That drone has loft his fting upon the stage:
Refolve me, poor apoftate, this my doubt,
What hope haft thou to rub this winter out?
Know, and be thankful then, for Providence
By me hath sent thee this intelligence.
A knight there is, if thou can't gain his grace,
Known by the name of the hard-favour'd face,
For prowess of the pen renown'd is he,
From Don Quixote defcended lineally.
And tho' like him unfortunate he prove,
Undaunted in attempts of wit and love..
Of his unfinish'd face, what fhall I say?
But that 'twas made of Adam's own red clay,
That much much oaker was on it beftow'd,
God's image 'tis not, but fome Indian god:
Our christian earth can no resemblance bring
But ware of Portugal for fuch a thing;
Such carbuncles his fiery face confefs,
As no Hungarian water can redrefs.
A face which should he fee (but heaven was kind,
And to indulge his felf, Love made him blind.)
He durft not ftir abroad for fear to meet
Curfes of teeming women in the street:
The best could happen from this hideous fight,
Is that they fhould mifcarry with the fright-
Heaven guard them from the likeness of the knight.
Such is our charming Strephon's outward man,
His inward parts let thofe difclose who can:
One while he honoureth Birtha with his flame,
And now he chants no lefs Lovifa's name;
For when his paffion hath been bubbling long,
The fcum at laft boils up into a fong;
And fure no mortal creature at one time,
Was e'er fo far o'ergone with love and rhime.
To his dear felf of poetry he talks,
His hands and feet are scanning as he walks ;
His writhing looks his pangs of wit accufe,
The airy fymptoms of a breeding mufe,
And all to gain the great Lovifa's grace,
But never pen did pimp for fuch a face;
There's not a nymph in city, town, or court,
But Strephon's billet-doux has been their sport.
Still he loves on, yet ftill he's fure to mifs,
As they who wash an Ethiop's face, or his.
What fate unhappy Strephon does attend?
Never to get a mistress, nor a friend.
Strephon alike both wits and fools deteft,
'Cause he's like Efop's batt, half bird half beaft ;
For fools to poetry have no pretence,
And common wit supposes common fense,
Not quite fo low as fool, nor quite a top,
He hangs between them both, and is a fop,
His morals like his wit are motley too,
He keeps from arrant knave with much ado.
But vanity and lying fo prevail,
That one grain more of each would turn the scale :
He would be more a villain had he time,
But he's fo wholly taken up with rhyme,
'That he mistakes his talent; all his care
Is to be thought a poet fine and fair.
Small-beer, and gruel, are his meat and drink,
The diet he prescribes himself to think;
Rhyme next his heart he takes at the morn peep,
Some love-epiftles at the hour of fleep;
So betwixt elegy and ode we fee
Strephan is in a course of poetry :
This is the man ordain'd to do thee good,
The pelican to feed thee with his blood;
Thy wit, thy poet, nay thy friend, for he
Is fit to be a friend to none but thee.
Make fure of him, and of his muse betimes,
For all his ftudy is hung round with rhimes.
Laugh at him, juftle him, yet ftill he writes,
In rhyme he challenges, in rhyme he fights;
Charg'd with the laft, and bafeft infamy,
His bufinefs is to think what rhymes to lye,
Which found in fury he retorts again,
Strephon's a very dragon at his pen ;
His brother murder'd, and his mother's whor'd,
His mistress loft, and yet his pen's his sword.