Sivut kuvina

As only show'd the paint, but hid the face.
But as in perspective we beauties see,
Which in the glass, not in the picture, be;
So here our sight obligingly mistakes
That wealth, which his your bounty only makes.
Thus vulgar dishes are, by cooks disguis'd,
More for their dressing than their substance priz’d.
Your curious notes so search into that age,
When all was fable but the sacred page,
That, since in that dark night we needs must stray,
We are at least misled in pleasant way.
But what we most admire, your verse no less
The prophet than the poet doth confess.
Ere our weak


discern'd the doubtful streak Of light, you saw great Charles his morning break. So skilful seamen ken the land from far, Which shows like mists to the dull passenger. To Charles your muse first pays her duteous love, As still the ancients did begin from Jove. With Monk you end, whose name preserv'd shall be, As Rome recorded Rufus'

memory, Who thought it greater honour to obey His country's interest, than the world to sway. But to write worthy things of worthy men, Is the peculiar talent of your pen: Yet let me take your mantle up, and I Will venture in your right to prophesy. This work, by merit first of fame secure, Is likewise happy in its geniture : For, since'tis born when Charles ascends the throne, It shares at once his fortune and its own.






[ocr errors]

The longest tyranny that ever sway'd
Was that wherein our ancestors betray'd
Their free-born reason to the Stagirite,
And made his torch their universal light.
So truth, while only one supplied the state,
Grew scarce, and dear, and yet sophisticate.
Still it was bought, like empiric wares, or charms,
Hard words seal’d up with Aristotle's arms.
Columbus was the first that shook his throne,
And found a temperate in a torrid zone:
The feverish air fann'd by a cooling breeze,
The fruitful vales set round with shady trees ;
And guiltless men, who danc'd away their time,


* The book that occasioned this epistle made its appear. ance in quarto in 1663. It is dedicated to King Charles II. and entitled, “Chorea Gigantum; or, The most famous Antiquity of Great Britain, Stone-Henge, standing on Salisburyplain, restored to the Danes by Dr. Walter Charleton, M. D. and Physician in Ordinary to his Majesty.' It was written in answer to a treatise of Inigo Jones's, which attributed this stupendous pile to the Romans, supposing it to be a temple, by them dedicated to the god Coelum, or Cælus.



Fresh as their groves, and happy as their clime.
Had we still paid that homage to a name,
Which only God and nature justly claim ;
The western seas had been our utmost bound,
Where poets still might dream the sun

And all the stars that shine in southern skies
Had been admir'd by none but savage eyes.

Among the asserters of free reason's claim, Our nation's not the least in worth or fame. The world to Bacon does not only owe Its present knowledge, but its future too. Gilbert shall live, till loadstones cease to draw, Or British fleets the boundless ocean awe. And noble Boyle, not less in nature seen, Than his great brother read in states and men. The circling streams, once thought but pools, of

blood (Whether life's fuel, or the body's food) From dark oblivion Harvey's name shall save ; While Ent keeps all the honour that he gave. Nor are you, learned friend, the least renown'd; Whose fame, not circumscrib'd with English

Flies like the nimble journeys of the light;
And is, like that, unspent too in its flight.
Whatever truths have been, by art or chance,
Redeem'd from error, or from ignorance,
Thin in their authors, like rich veins of ore,
Your works unite, and still discover more.


Such is the healing virtue of your pen,
To perfect cures on books, as well as men.
Nor is this work the least: you well may give
To men new vigour, who make stones to live.
Through you, the Danes, their short dominion lost,
A longer conquest than the Saxons boast.
Stonehenge, once thought a temple, you have found
A throne, where kings, our earthly gods, were

Where by their wond’ring subjects they were seen,
Joy'd with their stature, and their princely mien.
Our sovereign here above the rest might stand,
And here be chose again to rule the land.

These ruins shelter'd once his sacred head,
When he from Worcester's fatal battle fled;
Watch'd by the genius of this royal place,
And mighty visions of the Danish race.
His refuge then was for a temple shown ;
But, he restor’d, 'tis now become a throne.

53 These ruins shelter'd once, &c.] In the dedication, made by Dr. Charleton, of his book, concerning Stonehenge, to King Charles II. there is the following memorable passage, which gave occasion to the six concluding lines of this poem. • I have had the honour to hear from that oracle of truth and wisdom, your Majesty's own mouth : you were pleased to visit that monument, and, for many hours together, entertain yourself with the delightful view thereof, when after the defeat of your loyal army at Worcester, Almighty God, in infinite mercy to your three kingdoms, miraculously delivered you out of the bloody jaws of those ministers of sin and cruelty. D.




As seamen, shipwreck'd on some happy shore,
Discover wealth in lands unknown before ;
And, what their art had labour'd long in vain,
By their misfortunes happily obtain :

much-envied muse, by storms long tost, 5 Is thrown upon your hospitable coast,

So my

* Mr. Dryden's first play, called the Wild Gallant, was exhibited with but indifferent success. The lady, whose patronage he acknowledges in this epistle, was Barbara, daughter of William Villiers, Lord Grandison, who was killed in the king's service at the battle of Edge-hill, in 1642, and buried in Christ church, in Oxford. This lady was one of Charles the Second's favourite mistresses for many years, and she bore him several children. 1. Charles Fitzroy, Duke of Southampton ; 2. Henry Fitzroy, Earl of Euston and Duke of Grafton ; 3. George Fitzroy, Earl of Northumberland ; 4. Charlotta, married to Sir Edward Henry Lee, of Ditchley, in Oxfordshire, afterwards Earl of Lichfield, and brother to Eleonora, Countess of Abingdon, on whom Dryden has written a beautiful elegy ; 5. A daughter, whom the king denied to be his. This lady was,

before she was known to his Majesty, married to Roger Palmer, Esq. who was created Earl of Castlemain, by whom she had a daughter, whom the king adopted, and who married with Thomas Lord Dacres, Earl of Sussex.

The countess of Castlemain was afterwards created Duchess of Cleveland. D.

VOL. 11.


« EdellinenJatka »