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Or spite, or smut, or rhymes or blasphemies:
His wit all see-saw, between that and this,
Now high, now low, now master up, now miss,
And he himself one vile antithesis.
Amphibious thing ! that, acting either part,
The trfling head, or the corrupted heart;
Fop at the toilet, flatterer at the board,
Now trips a lady, and now struts a lord.
Eve's tempter thus the rabbins have expressid,
A cherub's face, and reptile all the reast :
Beauty that shocks you, parts that none will trust,
Wit that can creep, and pride that licks the dust.
Not fortune's worshipper, nor fashion's fool,
Not lucre's madman, nor ambition's tool,
Not proud, nor servile : be one poet's praise,
That, if he pleased, he pleased by manly ways;
That flattery, e'en to kings, he held a shame,
And thought a lie in verse or prose
the same :
That not in fancy's maze he wander'd long,
But stoop'd to truth, and moralized his song;
That not for fame, but virtue's better end,
He stood the furious foe, the timid friend,
The damning critic, half-approving wit,
The coxcomb bit, or fearing to be hit:
Laugh’d at the loss of friends he never had,
The dull, the proud, the wicked, and the mad;
'The distant threats of vengeance on his head,
The blow unfelt, the tear he never shed;
The tale revived, the lie so oft o’erthrown,
The imputed trash, and dulness not his own;
The morals blacken'd when the writings 'scape,
The libell'd person, and the pictured shape;
Abuse, on all he loved, or loved him, spread,
A friend in exile, or a father dead;
The whisper, that, to greatness still too near,
Perhaps yet vibrates on his sovereign's ear-
Welcome for thee, fair virtue! all the past;
For thee, fair virtue! welcome e'en the last!
A. But why insult the poor, affront the great ?
P. Aknave's a knave to me,
my scorn, if he succeed or fail,
Sporus at court, or Japhet in a jail :
A bireling scribbler, or a hireling peer,
Knight of the post corrupt, or of the shire ;
If on a pillar or near a throne,
He gain his prince's ear, or lose his own.
Yet soft by nature, more a dupe than wit,
Sappho can tell you how this man was bit,
This dreaded satirist Dennis will confess
Poe to his pride, but friend to his distress!
So humble, he has knock'd at Tibbald's door,
Has drunk with Cibber, nay, has rhyrned for Moore.
Full ten years slanderd, did he once reply?
Three thousand suns went down on Weisted's lie
To please a mistress one aspersed his life:
He lash'd him not, but let her be his wife:
Let Budgell charge low Grub-street on hisiquill,
And write whate'er he pleased, except his will;
Let the two Curlls of town and court abuse
His father, mother, body, soul, and mise.
Yet why! that father held it for a rule,
was a sin to call our neighbour fool:
That harmless mother thought no wife a whore :
Hear this and spare his family, James Moore !
Unspotted names, and memorable long!
If there be force in virtae or in song.
Of gentle blood (part shed in honour's cause, While yet in Britain honour and applause) Each parent sprung--A. What fortune, pray ?-P.
And better got than Bestia's from the throne.
Born to no pride, inheriting no strife,
Nor marrying discord in a noble wife,
Stranger to civil and religious rage,
The good man walk'd innoxious through his age,
No courts he saw, no suits would ever try,
Nor dared an oath, nor hazarded a lie.
Unlearn’d, he knew no schoolman's subtle art,
No language but the language of the heart.
By nature honest, by experience wise ;
Healthy hy temperance and by exercise ;
His life, though long, to sickness pass'd unknown,
His death was instant, and without a groan.
Ogrant me thus to live, and thus to die!
Who sprung from kings shall know less joy than I.
O friend ! may each domestic bliss be thine!
Be no unpleasing melancholy mine:
Me, let the tender office long engage,
To rock the cradle of reposing age,
With lenient arts extend a mother's breath,
Make languor smile, and smooth the bed of death ;
Explore the thought, explain the asking eye,
And keep awhile one parent from the sky!
On cares like these if length of days attend,
May Heaven, to bless those days, preserve my friend!
Preserve him social, cheerful, and serene,
And just as rich as.when he served a queen!
A. Whether that blessing be denied or given. Thus far was right; the rest belongs to Heaven,
"The occasion of publishing these Imitations was the clamour raised
on some of my Epistles. An answer from Horace was both more full, and of more dignity, than any I could have made in my own person : and the example of much greater freetlom in so eminent a divine as Dr. Donne, seemed a proof with what indignation and Contempt a Christian may treat vice or folly, in ever so low or ever so high a station. Both these authors were acceptable to the princes and ministers under whom they lived, The satires of Dr. Donne I versified at the desire of the Earl of Oxford while he was lord treasurer, and of the duke of Shrewsbury, who had been secretary of state ; neither of whom looked upon a satire on vicious courts as any reflection on those they served in. And indeed, there is not in the world a greater error, than that which fools are so apt to fall into, and knaves with good reason to encourage, the mistaking a satirist for a libeller; whereas to a truc satirist, nothing is so odious as a libeller, for the same reason as to a man truly virtuous nothing is so hateful as a hypocrite.
Uni æquus virtuti atque ejus amicis.
Whoever especis a paraphrase of Horace, or a faithful copy of his geniuz, or manner of writing, in these imitations, will be much disappointed. Our author uses the Roman poet fur little more than his canvass : and if the old design or colouring chance to suit his purpose, it is well; if not, he emyloys his own, without scruple or ceremony. Hence it is, he is so frequently serious where Horace is in jest, and at ease where Horace is disturbe:1. In a word, he regulates his movements no further on his original, than was necessary for his concurrence in promoting their cominon plan of refornirtion
Had it been his purpose merely to paraphrase an ancient satirist, he had hardly made choice of Horace; with whom, as a poet, he
held little in common, besides a comprehensive knowledge of life and manners, and a certain curious felicity of expression, whicb con. sists in using the simplest language with dignity, and the most orna. mented with ease. For the rest, his harmony and strength of numbers, his force and splendour of colouring, his gravity and sublimity of sentiment, would have rather led him to another model. Nor was his temper less u like that of Horace, than his talents. What Horace would only smile at, Mr. Pope woulu treat with the grave severity of Persius ; and what Mr. Pope would strike with the caus. tic lightning of Juvenal, Horace would content himself in turning into ridicule.
If it be asked then, why he took any body at all to imitate, he has informed us in his advertisement. To which we may add, that this sort of imitations which are of the nature of parodies, adds reflected grace and splendour on original wit. Besides, he deemed it more modest to give the name of imitations to his satire, than like Des. preaux, lo give the name of satires to imitations,
P. There are (I scarce can think it, but am told
There are, to whom my satire seems too bold ;
Scarce to wise Peter complaisant enough,
And something said of Chartres much to rough.
The line's are weak, another's pleased to say ;
Lord Fanny spins a thousand such a day.
Timorous by nature, of the rich in awe,
I come to counsel learned in the law :
You'll give me, like a friend, both sage and free,
Advice : and (as you use) without a fee.
F. I'd write no more.
P. Not write ? but then I think,
And for my soul I cannot sleep a wink.
I nod in company, I wake at night,
Fools rush into my head, and so I write.