Sivut kuvina
PDF
ePub

310

315

But charity, and great examples gain. Forgiveness is our thanks for such a day, 'Tis godlike God in his own coin to pay.

But you, propitious queen, translated here, From your mild heaven, to rule our rugged sphere, Beyond the sunny walks, and circling year : You, who

your

native climate have bereft Of all the virtues, and the vices left; Whom piety and beauty make their boast, Though beautiful is well in pious lost; So lost, as starlight is dissolv'd away, And melts into the brightness of the day; Or gold about the regal diadem Lost to improve the lustre of the gem. What can we add to your triumphant day? Let the great gift the beauteous giver pay For should our thanks awake the rising sun, And lengthen, as his latest shadows run, [done. That, tho' the longest day, would soon, too soon be Let angels' voices with their harps conspire, But keep the auspicious infant from the quire; Late let him sing above, and let us know No sweeter music than his cries below.

Nor can I wish to you, great monarch, more Than such an annual income to your store; The day which gave this Unit, did not shine For less oinen, than to fill the Trine. After a Prince, an Admiral beget; The Royal Sovereign wants an anchor yet. Our isle has younger titles still in store, And when the exhausted land can yield no more,

320

325

a

330

Your line can force them from a foreign shore.

The name of Great your martial mind will suit; But justice is your darling attribute : Of all the Greeks, 'twas but one hero's * due, 335 And, in him, Plutarch prophesied of you. A prince's favours but on few can fall, But justice is a virtue shar'd by all. [sum’d,

Some kings the name of conquerors have asSome to be great, some to be gods presum'd ; 340 But boundless power, and arbitrary lust, Made tyrants still abhor the name of just; They shunn'd the praise this godlike virtue gives, And fear'd a title that reproach'd their lives.

The power, from which all kings derive their state, Whom they pretend, at least, to imitate, Is equal both to punish and reward; For few would love their God, unless they fear'd.

Resistless force and immortality Make but a lame, imperfect, deity; Tempests have force unbounded to destroy, And deathless being e'en the damn'd enjoy ; And yet Heaven's attributes, both last and first, One without life, and one with life accurs’d: But justice is Heaven's self, so strictly he, That could it fail, the Godhead could not be. This virtue is your own; but life and state Are one to fortune subject, one to fate : Equal to all, you justly frown or smile; Nor hopes nor fears your steady hand beguile ; Yourself our balance hold, the world's, our isle.

* Aristides. See his life in Plutarch. Orig. ed.

350

355

MAC FLECKNOE.*

All human things are subject to decay,
And when fate summons, monarchs must obey.
This Flecknoe found, who, like Augustus, young
Was call’d to empire, and had govern'd long;
In prose and verse, was own'd, without dispute,

* This is one of the best, as well as severest satires, ever produced in our language. Mr. Thomas Shadwell is the hero of the piece, and introduced, as if pitched upon, by Flecknoe, to succeed him in the throne of dulness; for Flecknoe was never poet-laureate, as has been ignorantly asserted in Cibber's Lives of the Poets.

Richard Flecknoe, Esq., from whom this poem derives its name, was an Irish priest, who had, according to his own declaration, laid aside the mechanic part of the priesthood. He was well known at court; yet, out of four plays which he wrote, could get only one of them acted, and that was damned. He has," says Langbaine, published sundry works, as he styles them, to continue his name to posterity, though possibly an enemy has done that for him, which his own endeavours could never have perfected : for, whatever may become of his own pieces, his name will continue whilst Mr. Dryden's satire, called Mac Flecknoe, shall remain in vogue.”

Prom this poem Pope took the hint of his Dunciad. D.

There is a copy of this satire in manuscript, among the manuscripts in the Archiepiscopal Library at Lambeth Palace, which presents some readings, different from the printed copies, that may probably amuse the reader, and perhaps in two or three instances induce him to prefer the written tert. The MS. is numbered 711. 8. T.

10

[ocr errors]

Through all the realms of Nonsense, absolute. 6
This aged prince, now flourishing in peace,
And bless'd with issue of a large increase;
Worn

ut with business, did at length debate
To settle the succession of the state :
And, pondering, which of all his sons was fit
To reign, and wage immortal war with wit,
Cried, “ 'Tis resolv'd; for nature pleads, that he
Should only rule who most resembles me.
Shadwell alone my perfect image bears,
Mature in dulness from his tender

years : Shadwell alone, of all my sons, is he Who stands confirm'd in full stupidity. The rest to some faint meaning make pretence, But Shadwell never deviates into sense. Some beams of wit on other souls may fall, Strike through, and make a lucid interval ; But Shadwell's genuine night admits no ray, His rising fogs prevail upon the day. Besides, his goodly fabric fills the eye, And seems design'd for thoughtless majesty : Thoughtless as monarch oaks, that shade the plain, And, spread in solemn state, supinely reign. Heywood and Shirley were but types of thee, Thou last great prophet of tautology. Even I, a dunce of more renown than they, Was sent before but to prepare thy way; And, coarsely clad in Norwich drugget, came

$3 And, coarsely clad in Norwich drugget, came] And coarsely cloth'd in rusty drugget came. MS. T.

25

30

VOL. II.

To teach the nations in thy greater name.
My warbling lute, the lute I whilom strung,
When to king John of Portugal I sung,
Was but the prelude to that glorious day,
When thou on silver Thames didst cut thy way,
With well tim'd oars before the royal barge,
Swell’d with the pride of thy celestial charge; 40
And big with hymn, commander of a host,
The like was ne'er in Epsom blankets toss'd.
Methinks I see the new Arion sail,
The lute still trembling underneath thy nail.
At thy well-sharpen'd thumb from shore to shore
The trebles squeak for fear, the bases roar:
Echos from Pissing-Alley Shadwell call,
And Shadwell they resound from Aston-Hall.
About thy boat the little fishes throng,
As at the morning toast that floats along.
Sometimes, as prince of thy harmonious band,
Thou wield'st thy papers in thy threshing hand.
St. André's feet ne'er kept more equal time,
Not e'en the feet of thy own Psyche's rhyme;
Though they in number as in sense excel :
So just, so like tautology, they fell,
That, pale with envy, Singleton forswore
The lute and sword, which he in triumph bore,
And vow'd he ne'er would act Villerius more.'

Here stopp'd the good old sire, and wept for joy, In silent raptures of the hopeful boy.

53 St. André's feet ne'er kept, &c.] A French dancingmaster, at this time greatly admired. D.

55

« EdellinenJatka »