The wily shafts of state, those jugglers' tricks,
Which we call deep designs and politics,
(As in a theatre the ignorant fry,
Because the cords



eye, Wonder to see the motions fly), Methinks, when you expose the scene,

Down the ill-organ'd engines fall; Off fly the vizards, and discover all:

How plain I see through the deceit!

How shallow and how gross the cheat!
Look where the pulley's tied above !
Great God! (said I) what have I seen!

On what poor engines move
The thoughts of monarchs and designs of states !

What petty motives rule their fates !
How the mouse makes the mighty mountains shake!
The mighty mountain labors with its birth,

Away the frighten’d peasants fly,

Scared at th’ unheard-of prodigy, Expect some great gigantic son of earth;

Lo! it appears!
See how they tremble ! how they quake!
Dut starts the little mouse, and mocks their idle fears,

Then tell, dear favorite Muse
What serpent's that which still resorts,
Still lurks in palaces and courts ?

Take thy unwonted flight,
And on the terrace light.

See where she lies !
See how she rears her head,

And rolls about her dreadful eyes,
To drive all virtue out, or look it dead!
'Twas sure this basilisk sent Temple thence,
And though as some ('tis said) for their defence

Have worn a casement o'er their skin,

So he wore his within,
Made up of virtue and transparent innocence;

And though he oft renewed the fight,
And almost got priority of sight,

He ne'er could overcome her quite, In pieces cut, the viper still did reunite :

Till, at last, tired with loss of time and ease,
Resolved to give himself, as well as country, peace.

Sing, beloved Muse! the pleasures of retreat,
And in some untouch'd virgin strain
Show the delights thy sister Nature yields;

Sing of thy vales, sing of thy woods, sing of thy fields ;

Go, publish o'er the plain
How mighty a proselyte you gain ;
How noble a reprisal on the great!

How is the Muse luxuriant grown!

Whene'er she takes this flight

She soars clear out of sight. These are the paradises of her own:

Thy Pegasus, like an unruly horse,

Though ne'er so gently led,
To the loved pastures where he used to feed,
Runs violent o'er his usual course.

Wake from thy wanton dreams,

Come from thy dear-loved streams,
The crooked paths of wandering Thames.

Fain the fair nymph would stay,
Oft she looks back in vain,
Oft ’gainst her fountain does complain,

And softly ste als in many windings down,

As loth to see the hated court and town; And murmurs as she glides away.


In this new happy scene
Are nobler subjects for your learned pen ;

Here we expect from you
More than your predecessor Adam knew;
Whatever moves our wonder or our sport,
Whatever serves for innocent emblems of the court;

How that which we a kernel see
(Whose well-compacted forms escape the light,
Unpierced by the blunt rays of sight)

Shall ere long grow into a tree;
Whence takes it its increase, and whence its birth,
Or from the sun, or from the air, or from the earth,

Where all the fruitful atoms lie;
How some go downward to the root,

Some more ambitiously upward fly,
And form the leaves, the branches, and the fruit.
You strove to cultivate a barren court in vain,
Your garden's better worth your nobler pain,
Here mankind fell, and hence must rise again.


Shall I believe a spirit so divine

Was cast in the same mould with mine? Why then does Nature so unjustly share Among her elder sons the whole estate,

And all her jewels and her plate ? Poor we! cadets of Heaven, not worth her care, Take up at best with lumber and the leavings of a fato :

Some she binds 'prentice to the spade,

Some she does to Egyptian bondage draw,
Bids us make bricks, yet sends us to look out for straw:

Some she condemns for life to try
To dig the leaden mines of deep philosophy;
Me she has to the Muse's galleys tied :
In vain I strive to cross the spacious main,

In vain I tug and pull the oar;

And when I almost reach the shore,
Straight the Muse turns the helm, and I launch out again;

And yet, to feed my pride,
Whene'er I mourn, stops my complaining breath,
With promise of a mad reversion after death.

Then, sir, accept this worthless verse,

The tribute of an humble Muse,
'Tis all the portion of my niggard stars ;

Nature the hidden spark did at my birth infuse,
And kindled first with indolence and ease ;

And since too oft debauch'd by praise,
'Tis now grown an incurable disease :
In vain to quench this foolish fire I try

In wisdom and philosophy:
In vain all wholesome herbs I sow,

Where nought but weeds will grow:
Whate'er I plant (like corn on barren earth),

By an equivocal birth,
Seeds, and runs up to poetry.

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The recovery of this Ode was owing to the exertions of M. Nichol. (See his select

collection of poems, 1778.)
To purchase kingdoms and to buy renown

Are arts peculiar to dissembling France ;
You, mighty monarch, nobler actions crown,

And solid virtue does your name advance.
Your matchless courage with your prudence joins

The glorious structure of your fame to raise ;
With its own light your dazzling glory shines,

And into adoration turns our praise.
Iad you by dull succession gain’d your crown,

(Cowards are monarchs by that title made,)
Part of your merit Chance would call her own,

And half your virtues had been lost in shade.
But now your worth its just reward shall have:

What trophies and what triumphs are your due,
Who could so well a dying nation save,

You saw how near we were to ruin brought,

You saw th' iinpetuous torrent rolling on;
And timely on the coming danger thought,

Which we could neither obviate nor shun.
Britannia stripp'd of her sole guard, the laws,

Ready to fall Rome's bloody sacrifice;
You straight stepp'd in, and from the monster's jaws

Did bravely spatch the lovely, helpless prize.
Nor this is all; as glorious is the care

To preserve conquests, as at first to gain :
In this your virtue claims a double share,

Which what is bravely won does well maintain.
Your arm has now your rightful title show'd,

An arm on which all Europe's hopes depend,
To which they look as to some guardian God,

That must their doubtful liberty defend.
Amazed, thy action at the Boyne we see !

When Schomberg started at the vast design:
The boundless glory all redounds to thee,

Th’ impulse, the fight, th’ event, were wholly thine.
The brave attempt does all our foes disarm ;

You need but now give orders and command,
Your name shall the remaining work perform,

And spare the labor of your conquering hand.
France does in vain her feeble arts apply

To interrupt the fortune of your course :
Your influence does the vain attacks defy

Of secret malice or of open force.
Boldly we hence the brave commencement date

Of glorious deeds that must all tongues employ ;
William's the pledge and earnest given by Fate

Of England's glory, and her lasting joy.


Moor-park, Feb. 14, 1691

As when the deluge first began to fall,

That mighty ebb never to How again,
When this huge body's moisture was so great,

It quite o'ercame the vital heat;
That mountain which was highest first of all
Appeared above the universal main,
To bless the primitive sailor's weary sight;
And 'twas, perhaps, Parnassus, if in height

It be as great as 'tis in fame,

And nigh to heaven as is its name; "I have been told that Dryden, having perused these verses, said . Cousin Swift, you will never be a poet;' and that this denunciation was the motive of




So, after th' inundation of a war,
When Learning's little household did embark,
With her world's fruitful system. in her sacred ark,

At the first ebb of noise and fears,
Philosophy's exalted head appears
And the Dove-Muse will now no longer stay,
But plumes her silver wings, and flies away;

And now a laurel wreath she brings from far,
To crown the happy conqueror,

To show the flood begins to cease,
And brings the dear reward of victory and peace.

The cager Muse took wing upon the waves' decline,

When war her cloudy aspect just withdrew,

When the bright sun of peace began to shine, And for a while in heavenly contemplation sat,

On the high top of peaceful Ararat ; And pluck'd a laurel branch (for laurel was the first that grew, The first of plants after the thunder, storm, and rain),

And thence, with joyful, nimble wing,

Flew dutifully- back again,
And made an humble chaplet for the king.'

And the Dove-Muse is fled once more,
(Glad of the victory, yet frightened at the war,)

And now discovers from afar
A peaceful and a flourishing shore:

No sooner did she land
On the delightful strand,
Than straight she sees the country all around,

Where fatal Neptune ruled erewhile,
Scatter'd with flow'ry vales, with fruitful gardens croin'd,

And many a pleasant wood;
As if the universal Nile

llad rather water'd it than drown'd:
It seems some floating piece of Paradise,

Preserved by wonder from the flood,
Long wandering through the deep, as we are told

Famed Delos did of old;
And the transported Muse imagined it
To be a fitter birthplace for the God of wit,

Or the much-talk’d-of oracular grove
When, with amazing joy, she hears
An unknown music all around,

Charming her greedy ears

With many a heavenly song
Of nature and of art, of deep philosophy and love;
While angels tune the voice, and God inspires the tongue.

In vain she catches at the empty sound,
In vain pursues the music with her longing eye,

And courts the wanton echoes as they iy.

The Ode I writ to the king in Ireland. — SWIFT.

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