all full of thee, and differing but in name. But let no alien Sedley interpose,

to lard with wit thy hungry Epsom prose.

And when false flowers of rhetoric thou wouldst cull, trust nature, do not labour to be dull;

but write thy best, and top; and, in each line,

Sir Formal's oratory will be thine:

Sir Formal, though unsought, attends thy quill, and does thy northern dedications fill.

Nor let false friends seduce thy mind to fame, by arrogating Jonson's hostile name.

Let father Flecknoe fire thy mind with praise,
and uncle Ogleby thy envy raise.

Thou art my blood, where Jonson had no part:
what share have we in nature or in art?
Where did his wit on learning fix a brand,
and rail at arts he did not understand?

Where made he love in Prince Nicander's vein,
or swept the dust in Pysche's humble strain?
where sold he bargains, whip-stitch, kiss my a—e,
promis'd a play, and dwindled to a farce?
When did his muse from Fletcher scenes purloin,
as thou whole Etherage did transfuse to thine?
but so transfus'd, as oil and waters flow,
his always floats above, thine sinks below.
This is thy province, this thy wondrous way,
new humours to invent for each new play;
this is that boasted bias of thy mind,

by which, one way, to dulness 't is inclin'd;
which makes thy writings lean on one side still,
and, in all changes, that way bends thy will.
Nor let thy mountain-belly make pretence
of likeness; thine's a tympany of sense.
A tun of man in thy large bulk is writ,
but sure thou 'rt but a kilderkin of wit.

Like mine, thy gentle numbers feebly creep;
thy tragic Muse gives smiles, thy comic sleep.
With whate'er gall thou sett'st thyself to write,
thy inoffensive satires never bite.

In thy felonious heart though venom lies,
it does but touch thy Irish pen, and dies.
Thy genius calls thee not to purchase fame
in keen iambics, but mild anagram.

Leave writing plays, and choose for thy command, some peaceful province in acrostic land.

There thou mayst wings display and altars raise, and torture one poor word ten thousand ways. Or if thou wouldst thy different talents suit, set thy own songs, and sing them to thy lute." He said; but his last words where scarcely heard: for Bruce and Longvil had a trap prepar'd, and down they sent the yet declaiming bard. Sinking, he left his drugget robe behind, borne upwards by a subterranean wind. The mantle fell to the young prophet's part, with double portion of his father's heart.


To the pious memory of the accomplished young Lady



Thou brightest virgin-daughter of the skies,
made in the last promotion af the blest;
whose palms, new pluck'd from paradise,
in spreading branches more sublimely rise,
rich with immortal green above the rest:
whether, adopted to some neighbouring star,
No. 77.

thou roll'st above us, in thy wand'ring race,
or, in procession fix'd and regular,
mov'd with the heaven's majestic pace;
or, call'd to more superior bliss,

thou treadst, with seraphims, the vast abyss:
whatever happy region is thy place,
cease thy celestial song a little space;
thou wilt have time enough for hymns divine,
since heaven's eternal year is thine.

Hear then a mortal Muse thy praise rehearse,
in no ignoble verse;

but such as thy own voice did practise here,
when thy first fruits of Poesy were given;
to make thyself a welcome inmate there:
while yet a young probationer,

and candidate of heaven.

If by traduction came thy mind,
our wonder is the less to find

a soul so charming from a stock so good;
thy father was transfus'd into thy blood:
so wert thou born into a tuneful strain,
an early, rich, and inexhausted vein.
But if thy pre-existing soul

was form'd, at first, with myriads more, it did through all the mighty poets roll,

who Greek or Latin laurels wore,

and was that Sappho last, which once it was before. If so, then cease thy flight, O heaven-born mind! thou hast no dross to purge from thy rich ore: nor can thy soul a fairer mansion find,

than was the beauteous frame she left behind: return to fill or mend the choir of thy celestial kind.

May we presume to say, that, at thy birth, [earth by joy was sprung in heaven, as well as here on

for sure the milder planets did combine
on thy auspicious horoscope to shine,
and e'en the most malicious were in trine.
Thy brother-angels at thy birth

strung each his lyre, and tun'd it high,
that all the people of the sky

might know a poetess was born on earth,

and then, if ever, mortal ears

had heard the music of the spheres.

And if no clustering swarm of bees

on thy sweet mouth distill'd their golden dew,
't was that such vulgar miracles
heaven had not leisure to renew:
for all thy blest fraternity of love


solemniz'd there thy birth, and kept thy holy-day

O gracious God! how far have we prophan'd thy heavenly gift of poesy? made prostitute and profligate the Muse, debas'd to each obscene and impious use, whose harmony was first ordain'd above for tongues of angels, and for hymns of love? O wretched we! why were we hurry'd down this lubrique and adulterate age,

(nay added fat pollutions of our own)

t' increase the streaming ordures of the stage?
what can we say t'excuse our second fall?
let this thy vestal, heaven, atone for all;
her Arethusian stream remains unsoil'd,
unmix'd with foreign filth, and undefil'd;

her wit was more than man, her innocence a child.
Art she had none, yet wanted none;
for nature did that want supply:
so rich in treasures of her own,

she might our boasted stores defy:

such noble vigour did her verse adorn,

that it seem'd borrow'd, where 't was only born. Her morals too were in her bosom bred,

by great examples daily fed,

what in the best of books, her father's life she read.

And to be read herself she need not fear;
each test, and every light, her Muse will bear,
tho' Epictetus with his lamp were there.

Ev'n love (for love sometimes her Muse exprest)
was but a lambent flame which play'd about her
light as the vapours of a morning dream, [breast:
so cold herself, while she such warmth exprest,
't was Cupid bathing in Diana's stream.

Born to the spacious empire of the Nine,
one would have thought, she would have been con-
to manage well that mighty government; [tent
but what can young ambitious souls confine?
To the next realm she stretch'd her sway,
for Painture near adjoining lay,

a plenteous province, and alluring prey.
A Chamber of Dependencies was fram'd,
(as conquerors will never want pretence,
when arm'd, to justify th' offence)

and the whole fief, in right of Poetry, she claim'd. The country open lay without defence:

for poets frequent inroads there had made, and perfectly could represent

the shape, the face, with every lineament; and all the large domains which the Dumb Sister All bow'd beneath her government,

[sway'd. received in triumph wheresoe'er she went. Her pencil drew, whate'er her soul design'd, and oft the happy draught surpass'd the image in her The sylvan scenes of herds and flocks,


« ForrigeFortsett »