« ForrigeFortsett »
To him the wit of Greece and Rome was known,
And every author's merit but his own.
Such late was Walsh–the Muse's judge and friend,
Who justly knew to blame or to commend;
To failings mild, but zealous for desert,
The clearest head, and the sincerest heart.
This humble praise, lamented shade! receive ;
This praise at least a grateful Muse may give :
The Muse whose early voice you taught to sing,
Prescrib'd her heights, and prun'd her tender wing,
(Her guide pow lost) no more attempts to rise,
But in low numbers short excursions tries;
Content if hence the’unlearn'd their wants may view,
The learn'd reflect on what before they knew :
Careless of censure, nor too fond of fame;
Still pleas'd to praise, yet not afraid to blame;
Averse alike to flatter or offend;
Not free from faults, nor yet too vain to mend:
OF THE USE OF RICHES.
To Allen, Lord Bathurst.
P. WHO shall decide when doctors disagree,
And soundest casuists doubt,like you and me?
You hold the word from Jove to Momus giv'n,
That man was made the standing jest of Heav'n;
And gold but sent to keep the fools in play,
For some to heap and some to throw away.
But I, who think more highly of our kind, (And surely Heav'n and I are of a mind) Opine that nature, as in duty bound, Deep hid the shining mischief under ground: But when by man's audacious labour won Flam'd forth this rival to its sire the sun, Then careful Heaven supplied two sorts of men, To squander these, and those to hide again.
Like doctors thus, when much dispute has past, We find our tenets just the same at last:
Or find some doctor that would save the life
Of wretched Shylock, spite of Shylock's wife.
But thousands die without or this or that,
Die, and endow a college or a cat.
To some indeed Heav'n grants the happier fate
To' enrich a bastard, or a son they hate.
Perhaps you think the poor might have their part?
Bond damns the poor, and hates them from his heart.
The grave Sir Gilbert holds it for a rule
That every man in want is knave or fool.
God cannot love (says Blunt, with tearless eyes)
The wretch he starves'-and piously denies :
But the good bishop, with a meeker air,
Admits, and leaves them, Providence's care,
Yet, to be just to these poor men of pelf,
Each does but hate his neighbour as himself:
Damn'd to the mines, an equal fate betides
The slave that digs it and the slave that hides.
B. Who suffers thus, mere charity should own,
Must act on motives powerful though unknown.
P. Some war, some plague or famine, they foresee,
Some revelation hid from you and me.
Why Shylock wants a meal the cause is found;
He thinks a loaf will rise to fifty pound.
What made directors cheat in South-sea year?
To live on ven'son, when it sold so dear.
Ask you why Phryne the whole auction buys?
Phrynè foresees a general excise.
Why she and Sappho raise that monstrous sum ?-
Alas! they fear a man will cost a plum.
Wise Peter sees the world's respect for gold,
And therefore hopes this nation may be sold.
Glorious ambition! Peter, swell thy store,
And be what Rome's great Didius was before.
The crown of Poland, venal twice an age,
To just three millions stinted modest Gage.
But nobler scenes Maria's dreams unfold,
Hereditary realms, and worlds of gold.
Congenial souls! whose life one avarice joins,
And one fate buries in the Asturian mines.
A statesman's slumbers how this speech would spoil!
'Sir, Spain has sent a thousand jars of oil;
Huge bales of British cloth blockade the door ;
A hundred oxen at your levee roar.'
Poor avarice one torment more would find,
Nor could profusion squander all in kind :
Astride his cheese Sir Morgan might we meet,
And Worldly crying coals from street to street,
Whom with a wig so wild and mien so maz'd
Pity mistakes for some poor tradesman craz'd.
Had Colepepper's whole wealth been hops and hogs,
Could he himself have sent it to the dogs ?
His grace will game: to White's a bull be led,
With spurning heels and with a butting head :
To White's be carried, as to ancient games,
Fair coursers, vases, and alluring dames.
Shall then Uxorio, if the stakes he sweep,
Bear home six whores, and make his lady weep?
Or soft Adonis, so perfum'd and fine,
Drive to St. James's a whole herd of swine ?
Oh filthy check on all industrious skill,
To spoil the nation's last great trade,-quadrille !
Since then, my lord, on such a world we fall,
What say you? B. Say? Why, take it, gold and all
P. What riches give us let us thien inquire : Meat, fire, and clothes. B. What more? P. Meat,
clothes, and fire. Is this too little ? would you more than live? Alas! 'tis niore than Turner finds they give. Alas ! 'tis more than (all his visions past) Unhappy Wharton, waking, found at last! What can they give ? to dying Hopkins heirs? To Chartres vigour? Japhet nose and ears? Can they in gems bid pallid Hippia glow? In Fulvia's buckle ease the throbs below? Or heal, old Narses, thy obscener ail, With all the embroidery plaster'd at thy tail ?-They might (were Harpax not too wise to spend) Give Harpax' self the blessing of a friend;
Who sees pale Mammon pine amidst his store,
Sees but a backward steward for the poor;
This year a reservoir to keep and spare,
The next a fountain spouting through his heir,
In lavish streams to quench a country's thirst,
And men and dogs shall drink him till they burst.
Old Cotta sham'd his fortune and his birth,
Yet was not Cotta void of wit or worth:
What though (the use of barbarous spits forgot)
His kitchen vied in coolness with his grot?
His court with nettles, moats with cresses stor'd,
With soups unbought, and salads, bless'd his board?
If Cotta liv'd on pulse, it was no more
Than bramins, saints, and sages, did before:
To cram the rich was prodigal expence;
And who would take the poor from Providence ?
Like some lone chartreux stands the good old hall,
Silence without, and fasts within the wall;
No rafter'd roofs with dance and tabor sound,
No noontide bell invites the country round;
Tenants with sighs the smokeless tow'rs survey,
And turn the unwilling steeds another way;
Benighted wanderers, the forest o'er,
Curse the sav'd candle and unopening door;
While the gaunt mastiff, growling at the gate,
Affrights the beggar whom he longs to eat.
Not so his son; he mark'd this oversight, And then mistook reverse of wrong for right: (For what to shun will no great knowledge need, But what to follow is a task indeed !) Yet sure, of qualities deserving praise, More go to ruin fortunes than to raise. What slaughter'd hecatombs, what floods of wine, Fill the capacious 'squire and deep divine! Yet no mean motive this profusion draws; His oxen perish in his country's cause; "Tis George and liberty that crown the cup, And zeal for that great house which eats him up. The woods recede around the naked seat, The silvans groan-no matter-for the fleet :
Next goes his wool-to clothe our valiant bands;
Last, for his country's love, he sells his lands.
To town he comes, completes the nation's hope,
And heads the bold trainbands, and burns a pope.
And shall not Britain now reward his toils,
Britain, that pays her patriots with her spoils !
In vain at court the bankrupt pleads his cause ;
His thankless country leaves him to her laws.
The sense to value riches, with the art
To' enjoy them, and the virtue to impart,
Not meanly nor ambitiously pursued,
Not sunk by sloth, nor rais'd by servitude;
To balance fortune by a just expence,
Join with economy magnificence;
With splendour charity, with plenty health,
O teach us, Bathurst ! yet unspoil'd by wealth!
That secret rare, between the extremes to move
Of mad good-nature and of mean self-love.
B. To worth or want well-weigh'd be bounty giv'n, And ease or emulate the care of Heav'n : (Whose measure full o'erflows on human race) Mend Fortune's fault, and justify her grace. Wealth in the gross is death, but life diffus'd, As poison heals in just proportion us'd: In heaps, like ambergris, a stink it lies, But well dispers'd is incense to the skies.
P. Who starves by nobles, or with nobles eats ? The wretch that trusts them, and the rogue that
cheats. Is there a lord who knows a cheerful noon Without a fiddler, flatterer, or buffoon ? Whose table wit or modest merit share, Un-elbow'd by a gamester, pimp, or play'r ? Who copies your's or Oxford's better part, To ease the oppress'd, and raise the sinking heart? Where'er he shines, O Fortune! gild the scene, And angels guard him in the golden mean! There English bounty yet a while may stand, And honour linger ere it leaves the land.