Sidebilder
PDF
ePub

What subtle witchcraft man constrains
to change his pleasure into pains,
and all his freedom into chains?

[ocr errors]

May not a prison, or a grave,
like wedlock, honour's title have?
that word makes free-born man a slave.

How happy he that loves not lives!
him neither hope nor fear deceives
to Fortune who no hostage gives.
How unconcern'd in things to come!
if here uneasy, finds at Rome,
at Paris, or Madrid, his home.

: Secure from low and private ends,
his life, his zeal, his wealth attends
his prince, his country, and his friends.
Danger and honour are his joy;
but a fond wife or wanton boy
may all those gen'rous thoughts destroy.
Then he lays by the public care,
thinks of providing for an heir;
learns how to get, and how to spare.
Nor sire, nor foe, nor fate, nor night,
the Trojan hero did affright,
who bravely twice renew'd the fight:
tho' still his foes in number grew,
thicker their darts and arrows flew,
yet left alone no fear he knew.
But Death in all her forms appears
from ev'ry thing he sees and hears
for whom he leads and whom he bears.*

His father and son.

ގ

[ocr errors]

Love, making all things else his foes,
like a fierce torrent overflows
whatever doth his course oppose.
This was the cause, the poets sung,
thy mother from the sea was sprung;
but they were mad to make thee young.
Her father, not her son art thou;
from our desires our actions grow;
and from the cause th' effect must flow.
Love is as old as place or time;::
't was he the fatal tree did climb,
grandsire of father Adam's crime.

Well may'st thou keep this world in awe; religion, wisdom, honour, law,

the tyrant in his triumph draw.

'T is he commands the powers above;
Phoebus resigns his darts, and Jove
his thunder, to the god of Love.

To him doth his feign'd mother yield;
nor Mars (her champion) his flaming shield
guards him, when Cupid takes the field.

He clips Hope's wings, whose airy bliss much higher than fruition is,

but less than nothing, if it miss.

When matches love alone projects,
the cause transcending the effects,
that wildfire's quench'd in cold neglects:

whilst those conjunctions prove the best
where Love's of blindness dispossest
by perspectives of interest.

"

Tho' Sol'mon with a thousand wives
to get a wise successor strives,
but one (and hé a fool) survives. -

Old Rome of children took no care;

they with their friends their beds did share, secure t'adopt a hopeful heir.

Love drowsy days and stormy nights
makes, and breaks friendship, whose delights
feed, but not glut, our appetites.

Well-chosen friendship, the most noble
of virtues, all our joys makes double,
and into halves divides our trouble.
But when th' unlucky knot we tie,150
care, av'rice, fear, and jealousy,
make friendship languish till it die.

[ocr errors]

The wolf, the lion, and the bear,
when they their prey in pieces tear,
to quarrel with themselves forbear:
yet tim❜rous deer and harmless sheep,
when love into their veins doth creep,
that law of Nature cease to keep.
Who then can blame the am'rous boy,
who, the fair Helen to enjoy,
to quench his own set fire on Troy?
Such is the world's prepost'rous fate,
amongst all creatures mortal hate
Love (tho' immortal) doth create.
But Love may beasts excuse, for they
their actions not by reason sway,
but their brute appetites obey.

But man's that savage beast, whose mind,
from reason to self-love.declin'd,
delights to prey upon his kind.

A SONG,!

Morpheus! the humble good that dwells
in cottages and smoky cells,

[ocr errors]

hates gilded roofs and beds of down,
and tho' he fears no prince's frown
flies from the circle of a crown:

come, I say, thou pow'rful god,
and thy leaden charming rod,
dipp'd in the Lethean lake,.
o'er his wakeful temples shake,
lest he should sleep, and never wake.
Nature, (alas!) why art thou so
oblig'd to thy greatest foe?
Sleep that is thy repast,"

yet of death it bears a taste,

and both are the same thing at last.'

[merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][ocr errors]

JOHN DRYDEN,

one of the most eminent poets that this country has produced, was son of Erasmus Dryden of Tichmersh in Northamptonshire, and born at Aldwincle, in that county. Being of a genteel family which had long been resident at Canons-Ashby, great attention was paid to his education. He was first put under the care of Dr. Busby at Westminster-school, where he produced some promising verses. In 1650 he became a student of Trinity College, Cambridge, where he took a bachelor's degree, and occasionally produced fugitive poems, which exhibited no extraordinary indications of genius. In 1663 he commenced dramatic writer, but with bad success. Yet, not discouraged, he continued to write, and composed, in all, not less than 28 pieces, of various merit: yet scarcely one besides his "All for Love" has been retained upon the stage. His prefaces, however, are valuable pieces of criticism, while his dedications shew that he sacrificed rather to Pluto than to Apollo. He succeeded to the appointment of Poet Laureat, but his rising celebrity was subjected to the envy of the Earl of Rochester, who advised Mr. Crowne to write a mask for the court, which was properly Dryden's province. He was satirised also by the Duke of Buckingham in that admired piece called the "Rehearsal." Dryden however did not suffer these attacks to pass with impunity, for in 1679, he produced his Essay on Satire, containing severe reflections on the Earl of Rochester and the Dutchess of Portsmouth, and in 1681, heintroduced the Earl of Buckingham as Zimri in his Absalom and Achitophel, a portrait calculated to repay with interest, the ridicule thrown on Dryden in the No. 77.

9

« ForrigeFortsett »