Sidebilder
PDF
ePub

Grief aids disease, remember'd folly stings,
And his last sighs reproach the faith of kings.
Speak thou, whose thoughts at humble peace re-

pine,
Shall Wolsey's wealth, with Wolsey's end, be thive?
Or livest thou now, with safer pride content,
The wisest justice on the banks of Trent ?
For why did Wolsey, near the steeps of fate,
On weak foundations raise the enormous weight ?
Why, but to sink beneath misfortune's blow,
With louder ruin to the gulfs below?

What gave great Villiers to the assassin's knife, And fix'd disease on Harley's closing life? What murder'd Wentworth', and what exiled Hyde”, By kings protected, and to kings allied ? What but their wish indulged in courts to shine, And power too great to keep, or to resign ?

When first the college-rolls receive his name, The young enthusiast quits his ease for fame; Through all his veins the fever of renown Spreads from the strong contagion of the gown ; O’er Bodley's dome his future labours spread, And Bacon's 3 mansion trembles o'er his head. Are these thy views ? proceed, illustrious youth ; And Virtue guard thee to the throne of Truth! Yet should thy soul indulge the generous heat, Till captive Science yields her last retreat ;

1 Earl of Strafford.

9 Earl of Clarendon. 3 There was a tradition, that the study of Friar Bacon, built on an arch over the bridge at Oxford, would fall, when a man greater than Bacon should pass under it: but the study was taken down some years since, and left the tradition harmless.

Should Reason guide thee with her brightest ray,
And pour on misty Doubt resistless day;
Should no false Kindness lure to loose delight,
Nor Praise relax, nor Difficulty fright;
Should tempting Novelty thy cell refrain,
And Sloth effuse her opiate fumes in vain ;
Should Beauty blunt on fops her fatal dart,
Nor claim the triumph of a letter'd heart;
Should no Disease thy torpid veins invade,
Nor Melancholy's phantoms haunt thy shade;
Yet hope not life from grief or danger free,
Nor think the doom of man reversed for thee:
Deign on the passing world to turn thine eyes,
And pause awhile from letters, to be wise;
There mark what ills the scholar's life assail,
Toil, envy, want, the patron, and the jail.
See nations slowly wise, and meanly just,
To buried merit raise the tardy bust.
If dreams yet flatter, once again attend,
Hear Lydiat’s life, and Galileo's end 4.

Nor deem, when Learning her last prize bestows,
The glittering eminence exempt from woes;
See when the vulgar 'scape, despised or awed,
Rebellion's vengeful talons seize on Laud 5.
From meaner minds, though smaller fines content
The plunder'd palace or sequester'd rent;
Mark'd out by dangerous parts he meets the shock,
And fatal Learning leads him to the block :

4 Lydiat passed part of his life in prison, and Galileo lost his sight from continual application to his telescope, added to the baneful effects of pocturnal air.

5 Archbishop of Canterbury; beheaded on Tower-hill, 1645.

Around his tomb let Art and Genius weep,
But hear his death, ye blockheads ! hear and sleep.

The festal blazes, the triumphal show,
The ravish'd standard, and the captive foe,
The senate's thanks, the gazette's pompous tale,
With force resistless o'er the brave prevail.
Such bribes the rapid Greek o'er Asia whirl'd,
For such the steady Romans shook the world ;
For such in distant lands the Britons shine,
And stain with blood the Danube or the Rhine;
This power has praise that virtue scarce can warm,
Till fame supplies the universal charm.
Yet Reason frowns on War's unequal game,
Where wasted nations raise a single name,
And mortgaged states their grandsires' wreaths re-

gret, From age to age in everlasting debt; Wreaths which at last the dear-bought right convey To rust on medals, or on stones decay.

On what foundation stands the warrior's pride, How just his hopes, let Swedish Charles decide ; A frame of adamant, a soul of fire, No dangers fright him, and no labours tire ; O'er love, o'er fear, extends his wide domain, Unconquer'd lord of pleasure and of pain ; No joys to him pacific sceptres yield, War sounds the trump, he rushes to the field; Behold surrounding kings their powers combine, And one capitulate, and one resign ; Peace courts bis hand, but spreads her charms in vain;

[main; ' Think nothing gain'd,' he cries, 'till daught reOn Moscow's walls till Gothic standards fly, And all be mine beneath the polar sky.'

The march begins in military state,
And nations on his eye suspended wait ;
Stern Famine guards the solitary coast,
And Winter barricades the realms of Frost :
He comes; not want and cold his course delay;
Hide, blushing Glory, hide Pultowa's day:
The vanquish'd hero leaves his broken bands,
And shows his miseries in distant lands;
Condemn'd a needy supplicant to wait;
While ladies interpose, and slaves debate.
But did not Chance at length her error mend ?
Did no subverted empire mark his end ?
Did rival monarchs give the fatal wound ?
Or hostile millions press him to the ground ?
His fall was destined to a barren strand,
A petty fortress, and a dubious hand;
He left the name, at which the world grew pale,
To point a moral, or adorn a tale.

All times their scenes of pompous woes afford,
From Persia's tyrant to Bavaria's lord.
In gay hostility, and barbarous pride,
With half mankind embattled at his side,
Great Xerxes comes to seize the certain prey,
And starves exhausted regions in his way;
Attendant Flattery counts his myriads o'er,
Till counted myriads soothe his pride no more;
Fresh praise is tried till madness fires his mind,
The waves he lashes, and enchains the wind;
New powers are claim'd, new powers are still be-

stow'd,
Till rude resistance lops the spreading god;
The daring Greeks deride the martial show,
And heap their valleys with the gaudy foe ;

The insulted sea with humbler thoughts he gains,-
A single skiff to speed his flight remains;
The encumber'd oar scarce leaves the dreaded coast
Through purple billows and a floating host.

The bold Bavarian, in a luckless hour,
Tries the dread summits of Cæsarian power ;
With unexpected legions bursts away,
And sees defenceless realms receive his sway;
Short sway! fair Austria spreads her mournful

charms, The queen, the beauty, sets the world in arms; From hill to hill the beacon's rousing blaze Spreads wide the hope of plunder and of praise ; The fierce Croatian, and the wild Hussar, And all the sons of ravage, crowd the war ; The baffled prince in honour's flattering bloom Of hasty greatness finds the fatal doom, His foes' derision, and his subjects' blame, And steals to death from anguish avd from shame.

• Enlarge my life with multitude of days !In health, in sickness, thus the suppliant prays ; Hides from himself his state, and shuns to know, That life protracted is protracted woe. Time hovers o'er, impatient to destroy, And shuts up all the passages of joy. In vain their gifts the bounteous Seasons pour, The fruit autumnal, and the vernal flower, With listless eyes the dotard views the store, He views, and wonders that they please no more ; Now pall the tasteless meats, and joyless wines, And Luxury with sighs her slave resigns. Approach, ye minstrels, try the soothing strain, And yield the tuneful lenitives of pain :

« ForrigeFortsett »