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Maintain your modesty and station,
And if my actions suit my song, So women shall preserve the nation.
You can 'i in conscience ihink me wrong. Mothers, 'tis said, in days of old, Exeenid their girls more choice than gold; To well a daughter's worth they knew,
$ 81. Vision I. Slander. Inscribed to
And pray believe my Visions true;
They'll add new beanatics to your face;
And when old age impairs your prime, And fancy pietur'd all the rest.
You'll triumph o'er the spoils of timo. But now no mother fears a foe;
Childhood and youth engage my pen ; No daughter shudders at a beau.
"Tis labor lost to talk to men: Pleasure is all the reigning theme;
Youth may perhaps reform when wrong;
He who at fifty is a fool,
Nor ends but with our setting sun;
Which, like a noxious weed can spoil They 'll think it hard to be undone.
The fairest Row'rs, and choke the soil! Do not arraign my want of taste,
"Tis Slander--and, with shame I ona, Or sight, to ken where joys are placu. The vice of human kind alone. They widely ert who think me blind;
Be Slander, then, my leading dream,
Tho' you 're a stranger to the theme;
Thy softer breast, and honest heart, i only strive to feel aright.
Scorn the defamatory art,
Nor asks detraction's wings to rise;
In foreign spoils let others shine,
The bird in peacock's plumnes who shone
The silly theft betray'd her pride, And want goes smiling from my door. And spoke her poverty beside. Will forty shullings warm the breast
Th’insidious sland'ring thief is worse Of worthi or industry distrest
Than the poor rogne who steals pour purse. This sum I cheerfully impart,
Say, he purloins your glitt'ring store ; To fourscore pleasures to my heart;
Who takes your gold, takes trash -- no mort; And you may make, by means like these, Perhaps he pilfers to be fedFive talents ten, whene'er you please.
Al! gniltless wretch who steals for bread! Tis true, . my little purse grows light;
But the dark villain who shallaiin But then I sleep so sweet at night!
To blast my fair, my spotless name, This grand specific will prevail
He'd steal a precious gem away, When all the doctor's opiates fail.
Steal what both Indies can 't repay!
Here the strong pleas of want are vain,
No sinking family to save!
No gold to glut rh' insatiate knare! I're too much grace to play the knave, linprove the hint of Shakspeare's tongue; And too much pride to turn a slave.
"Twas thus immortal Shak-peare sung * : I love my country from my soul,
And trust the bard's unerring rule, And grieve when k'naves or fools control: For nature was that poct's school. I'm pleased when vice and folly smart,
As I was nodding in my chair, Or at the gibbet or the cart :
I saw a rueful wild appear; Itt always pity where I can;
No verdure met iny aching sight, Abhor the guilt, but mourn the man.
But hemlock and cold aconite; Now the religion of your poet.
Two very pois nous plants, 'tis true, Dres not this litile prefáce show it !
But not so bad as vice to you. Mr Visions if you scan with care,
The dreary: prospect spread around;
Deep snow had whitend all the ground:
A bleak and barren mountain nigh,
Slander smild horribly, to view
How wide her conquests daily grew :
Like oriental slaves of state; • A bloated toad-stool rais'd her head,
Of either sex whole arinies prest,
Is it a breach of friendship's law,
Slander assumes the idol's part, Were witness to her distant sway.
And claims the tribute of the heart; The tyrant claim'd a mightier host
The best in some unguarded hour, Than the proud Persian c'er could boast.
Have bow'd the knee, and own'd her pow's. No conquest grac'd Darius' sont,
Then let the poet not reveal
What candor wishes to conceal.
If I beheld some faulty fair,
Much worse delinquents crowded there: Her troops a deeper scarlet worc
Prelates in sacred lawn I saw, Than ever arinies knew before.
Grave physic, and loquacious law; No plea divers the fury's rage,
Courtiers, like summer flies, abound; The fury spares nor sex nor age.
And hungry poets swarm around. E'en Merit, with destructive charms,
But now my partial story ends, Provokes the vengeance of her arms.
And makes my females full amends. Whene'er the tyrant sounds to war,
If Albion's isle such dreams fulfils, Her canker'd trump is heard afar.
'Tis Albion's isle which cures the ills; Pride, with a heart unknown to vield,
Fertile of ev'ry worth and grace, Commands in chief, and guides the field;
Which warın ihe heart and Hush the face. He stalks with vast gigantic stride,
Fancy disclos'd a smiling train And scatters fear and ruin wide:
Of British nymphs that tripp'd the plain. So the impetucus torrents sweep
Good-nature first, a sylvan queen, At once whole nations to the deep.
Attir'd in robes of chicerful green; Revenge, that base Hesperiant, known
A fair and smiling virgin she! A chief support of Slander's throne,
With ev'ry charn that shines in thee. Amidst the bloody crowd is seen,
Prudence assuin'd the chief command, And treach'ry brooding in his mien;
And bore a mirror in her hand; The monster often chang'd his gait,
Grey was the matron's head by age, But march'd resolv'd and fix'd as fate.
Her mind by long experience sage; Thus the fell kite, whom hunger stings,
Of ev'ry distant ill afraid, Now slowly moves his outstretch'd wing;
And anxious for the simp’ring maid. Now swift as lightning bears away,
The Graces danc'd before the fair ; And darts upon his trembling prey.
And white-rob’d Innocence was there. Envy commands a sacred band,
The trees with golden fruits were crown'd With sword and poison in her hand,
And rising How'rs adorn d the ground; Around her haggard cye-balls roll;
The sun display'd each brighter ray, A thousand fiends possess her soul.
And shone in all the pride of day: The artful unsuspected sprite
When Slander sicken'd at the sight,
And skulk'd away to shun the light.
82. Vision II. Pleasure. Or shoot the wing d malignant lic,
HEAR, ye fair mothers of our isle, And female honors pine and die.
Poet's homely style.
I'll warrant that my doctrine 's true:
You judge it of important weight,
To keep your rising otfspring straight; * Garth's Dispensatory.
+ Xerxes, king of Persia, and son of Darius. He invaded Greece with an army consisting of more than a million of men (some say more than two millions); who, together with their cattle, perished in a great measure through the inability of the countries to supply such a vast host with provisión.
Hesperia includes Italy as well as Spain; and the inhabitants of both are remarkable for their revengeful dispositions.
For this such anxious moments feel,
Paint Cressy's vanquish'd field anew, And ask the friendly aids of steel ;
Their souls shall kindle at the view; For this import the distant cane,
Resolv'd to conquer or to fall, Or slay the monarch of the main.
When Liberty and Britain call. And shall the soul be warp'd aside
Thus shall they rule the crimson plain; By passion, prejudice, and pride?
Or hurl their ihunders thro' the main; Deformity of heart I call
Gain with their blood, nor grudge the cost, The worst deformity of all.
What their degen'ra te sires have lost: Your cares to body are confin'd;
The laurel thus shall grace their hrow, Few fear obliquity of mind.
As Churchill's once, or Warren's now. Why not adorn the better part?
One summer evening as ! stray'd This is a noble theme for art.
Along the silent moon-light glade, For what is form, or what is face,
With these reflections in my brcast, But the soul's index, or its case ?
Beneath an oak I sunk to rest; Now take a simile at hand,
A gentle slumber intervenes, Conspare the mental soil to land.
And fancy dress'd instructive scenes, Shall fields be tilld with annual carc,
Methought a spacious road I spied, And ininds lie fallow ev'ry year?
And stately trees adorn'u its side; Oh, since the crop depends on you,
Frequented by a gidely crowd Give them the culture which is due :
Of ihoughtless mortals, vain ard loud; Hoe ev'ry weed, and dress the soil,
Who tripp'd with jocund heel along, So hars est shall repay your toil.
And bade me join iheir smiling throng. If human minds resemble trees ;
I straight obey'd --persuasion hung (As ev'ry moralist agrees),
Like honey on the speaker's tongues Prime all the stragglers of your vine,
A cloudless sun improu 'd the day, Then shall the purple clusters shine.
And pinks and roses strew'd our war: The gard'ner knows that fruitful life
Now as our journey we purstie, Demands that salutary knife:
A beauteous fabric rose to view; For ev'ry wild laxuriant shoot
A stately dome, and sweetly grac'd Or robs the bloom, or starves the fruit.
With ey’ry ornainent of taste. A satirist * in Roman times,
This struciure was a female's claim,
The hall we enter'd uncontrold,
Arabian sweets persum'd the ground,
And laughing Cupids flutter'd round; That all the wild advent'rer gains,
A Aowing rest adorn'? the fair, Are perils, penitence, and pains.
And flow'ry chaplets wreath'd her hair. Approve, ye fair, the Roman page,
Fraud taught the queen a thousand wiles, And bid your sons revere the sage;
A thousand soft insidious siniles; In study spend their midnight oil,
Love taught her lisping tongue to speal,
And form'd the dimple in her cheek;
The tincture of her face compose;.
Nor did the god of wit disdain And save us from the chains of France. To mingle with the shining train. Yes, bid your sons betimes forego
Her vot'ries flock from various parts, Those treach'rous paths where pleasures grow, And chicfly youth resign'd their hearts; Where the young mind is Folly's slave; The old in sparing numbers press'd, Where ev'ry virtue finds a grave.
But awkivard devotees at best! Let each bright character be namid,
• Now let us range at large,' we cried, For wisdom or for valor fam'd.
• Thro' all the garden's boasied pride.' Are the dear youths to science prone ?
Here jasınines spread the silver flows, Tell how th’immortal Bacon shone !
To deck the wall, or weave the bow'r; Who, leaving meaner joys to kings,
The woodbines mix in am'rous play, Sourd high on contemplation's wings ; And breathe their fragrant lives away. Rang'd the fair fields of nature o'er,
Here rising myrtles forir a shade; Where never mortal trod before :
There roses blush, and scent the glade;. Bacon! whose vast capacious plan
The orange, with a vernal face, Be.poke him angel more than man!
Wears ev'ry rich autumnal grace; Does love of martial fame inspire?
While the young blossoms here unfold, Cherish, ye fair, the gen'rous sire ;
There shines the fruit like pendent gold. Teach them to spurn inglorious rest,
Cirrons their balmy sweets exhale, And rouse the hero in his breast :
And triumph in tlie distant gale. • Persius,
Now fountains, murm'ring to the song, Blush, tvrant, blush! for, oh! 'lis true,
That no fell serpent bites like you.
The guests were order'd to depart; The faithful turiles coo their lores;
Reluctance sat on every heart: The lark ascending pours his notes,
A porter show'd a diff'rent door, And linnets swell their räpt'rous throats. Not the fair portal known before. Pleasure, imperial fair ! how
The gates, nicthought were open'd wide ;
The crowds descended in a tide :
A barren heath bcfore us lay,
Ind gath'ring clouds obscurd the day; The childish toys, and wanton page,
The darkness rose in smoky spires; Wlich sink and prosiitute the stage! The lightning tash'd their livid fires; The masquerade, that just otlence
Loud peals of thunder rent the air, To virtue, and reproach to sense!
With vengeance chill'd our hearts will fear. The midniglit dance, the mantling bowl, Five ruihless tyrants sway'd the plain, And all that dissipaie the soul;
And triumph'd o'er the mangled slain. All that to ruin nian combine,
llere sat Distaste, wiih sickly mnien, Yes, specious harici! all are thine.
And more than half devour'd with spleen: Whence sprung th'accursed lust of play,
There siood Remorse with thought oppresi, Which beggars thousands in a day?
And vipers feeding on his breast :
Ilis everlasting thirst confessid
The fires which rag'd within his breast A dupe to ev'ry artful knave,
Death clos'd the train! the hideous form To ev'ry abject wish a slave:
Smild, unrelenting, in the storm ; But who against himself combines,
When straight a doleful shrick was hcard: Abets his enemy's designs.
I'woke-she vision disappear'd. When rapine niedicates a blow,
Let not the unexperienc'd boy He shares the guilt who aids tlie foc.
Deny that pleasures will destroy;
Or say that dreams are rain and wild,
Important hints the wise may reap
Froin sallies of the soul in sleep;
And since there's meaning in my dream,
83. Vision III. Healih.
ATTEND my Visions, thoughtless youths, His time, his liberty, his health ·
Ere long you 'll think them weighty truths ; ; Virtue forsakes his sordid mind,
Prudent it were to think so now,
Ere age has silver'd o'er your brow :
Has sown in vice, shall reap in tears.
If folly has possesz’d his prime, Or chaos, and impervious night!
Disease shall gather strength in time; Each gen'rous principle destroy'd,
Poison shall rage ju ev'ry vein; And dæmons crowd the frighiful void. Nor penitence dilute the stain : Shall Siam's elephant supply
And when cach hour shall urge his fate, The baneful desolating die!
Thought, like the doctor, comes too late. Against the honest sylvan's will,
The subject of my song is Health, You taught his iv'ry tusk to kill.
A good superior far to wealth. Heaven, fond its favors to dispense,
Can the young mind distrust its worth? Gave him that weapon for defence:
Consult the monarchs of the earth : That weapon for his guard desigu'd,
Inperial czars, and sultans, own You render'd fatal to mankind.
No gem so bright that decks their throne; He plann'd no death for thoughtlers youth; Each for this pearl his crown would quit, You gave the venom to his tooth.
And turn a rustic, or a cit.
Viark, tho' the blessing's lost with ease, The annals say (to prove her worth) 'Tis not recover'd when you please.
The Graces soiuinnicü her birth, Say not that gruels shall avail;
Garlands of various How's they wrought, For salutary gruels fail;
The orchard's blushing pride they brought: Say not, Apollo's sons succeed;
Hence in her face the lily speaks, Apollo's Son is Egypt's * reed.
And hence the rose which paints her cheeks; How fruitless the physician's skill,
The cherry gave her lips to glow : How vain the penitencial pill,
Her eyes were debtors to the sloe; The marble monuments proclaim ;
And, to complete the lovely fair, 'The humbler turf confirnis the sarwe!
'Tis said the chesnut stain' her hair. Prevention is the better cure ;
The virgin was averse to courts, So says the proverb, and 'tis sure.
But often seen in rural sports : Would you extend your narrow span,
When in her rosy vest the morn And make the most of life you can ;
Walks o'er the dew-bespangled lawn, Would you, when med'cines cannot save, The nymph is first to form the race, Descend with ease into the grave
Or wind the horn, and lead the chace, Calmly retire, like ev'ning light,
Sudden I heard a shouting train;
Abundant joy impsov'd the scene,
Two smiling cherubs grac'd her throne Proud to be thought a man of sense?
(To modern courts, I fear, unknown): let Temp'rance (always friend to fame) One was the nymph that loves the light, With steady hand direct your aim!
Fair Innocence, array'd in white; Or, like an archer in the dark,
With sister Peace in close embrace, Your random shaft will miss the mark : And heaven all opening in her face. For they who slight her golden rules,
The reign was long, the empire great, In wisdom's volume stand for fools.
And Virtue ininister of state.
In other kingrons, ev'ry hour,
Vice was a perfect stranger here;
No knaves engross'd the royal ear: Soft were my slumbers, sweet my rest,
No fools obtain'd this monarchi's grace; Such as the infant's on the breast;
Virtue dispos'd of ev'ry place. When fancy, ever on the wing,
What sickly appetites are ours, And fruitful as the genial spring,
Still varying with the varying hours ! Presented in a blaze of light,
And thó' from good to bad we range, A new creation to my sight.
No matter,' says the fool,
" 'tis change. A rural landscape I deseried,
Her subjects now express d apace Drest in the robes of summer pride ;
Dissatisfaction in their face; The herds adorn'd the sloping hills;
Soine view the state with Envy's eye; I'nat glitter'd with their tinkling rills; Some were displeas'd, they knew not why; Below the Acecy mothers stray'd,
When Faction, cver bold and vain, And round their sportive jambkins play'd. With rigor tax'd their monarch's rign. high to a murm'ring brook I saw
Thus, should an angel from above, An humble cottage, thatch'd with straw ; Fraught with benevolence and love, Behind, a garden, that supplied
Descend to earth, and here impert All things for use, and none for pride : Important truths to mend the heart, Beauty prevail'd thro' ev'ry part;
Would not ih' instructive guest dispense But n.ore of nature than of art.
With passion, appetite, and sense, Hail, thou sweet, calm, uncnvied seat!'. We should his heavenly lore despise, Isid, and bless'd the fair retreat ;
And send hiin to his foriner skies. Here would I pass my remnant days, A dang'rous hostile pow'r arose Unknown to censure or to praise ;
To Health, whose household were her foes : Forget the world, and be forgot,
A harlot's loose attire she wore, * As Pope describes his vestal's lot.'
And Luxury the name she bore. While thus I mus'd, a beauteous maid This princess of unbounded sway, Stepp'd from a thicket's neighbouring shade; Whom Asia's softer sons obey, Not Hampton's gallery can boast,
Made war against the queen of Health Nor lludson's paint, so fair a toast :
Assisted by ile troops of \'calıhı. She clim'd the cottage for her own:
The queen was first to take the field, To Health a cottage is a throne.
Arm'u with her helinet and her shield; * An allusión to 2 Kings, xviii. 21.