Obrázky stránek




Now crowds on crowds around the goddess press,
Each eager to present the first address.
Dame scorning dame beholds the next advance,
But fop shows fop superior complaisance.
When, lo! a spectre rose, whose index-hand
Held forth by virtue of the dreadful wand;
His beaver'd brow a birchen garland wears,
Dropping with infant's blood, and mother's tears.
O'er every vein a shuddering horror runs ;
Eton and Winton shake through all their sins.
All fesh is humbled, Westminster's bold race
Shrink, and confess the genius of the place:
The pale boy-senator yet tingling stands,
And holds his breeches close with both his hands.

Then thus, since man from beast by words is known,
Words are man's province, words we teach alone.
When Reason doubtful, like the Samian letter,
Points him two ways, the narrower is the better.
Placed at the door of Learning, youth to guide,
We never suffer it to stand too wide.
To ask, to guess, to know, as they commence,
As fancy opens the quick springs of sense,
We ply the memory, we load the brain,
Blind rebel Wit, and double chain on chain,
Confine the thought, to exercise the breath:
And keep them in the pale of words till death.
Whate'er the talents, or howe'er design'd,
We hang one jingling padlock on the mind :
A poet the first day, he dips his quill;
And what the last ?-a very poet still.
Pity! the charm works only in our wall,
Lost, lost too soon in yonder house or hall.

There truant Windham every muse gave o'er,
There laibot sunk, and was a wit no more!
How sweet an Ovid, Murray, was our boast !
How many Martials were in Pulteney lost !
Else sure some bard, to our eternal praise,
In twice ten thousand rhyming nights and days,
Had reach'd the work, the all that mortal can;
And South beheld that masterpiece of man.

Oh (cried the goddess) for some pedant reign !
Some gentle James, to bless the land again;
To stick the Doctor's chair into the throne,
Give law to words, or war with words alone,
Senates and courts with Greek and Latin rule,
And turn the council to a grammar school !
For sure, if dullness sees a grateful day,
"Tis in the shade of arbitrary sway.
Oh! if my sons may learn one eartbly thing,
Teach but that one, sufficient for a king;
That which my priests, and mine alone, maintain
Which, as it dies or lives, we fall or reign :
May you, my Cam, and Isis, preach it long.
“The right divine of kings to govern wrong."

Prompt at the call, around the goddess roll Broad hats, and hoods, and caps, a sable shoal : Thick and more thick the black blockade extends, A hundred head of Aristotle's friends. Nor wert thou, Isis ! wanting to the day, (Though Christ Church long kept prudisbly away.) Each staunch Polemic, stubborn as a rock, Each fierce logician, still expelling Locke, Came whip and spur, and dash'd through thin and thick On German Crouzaz, and Dutch Burgersdyck. As many quit the streams that murmuring fall To lull the sons of Margaret and Clare Hall, Where Bentley late tempestuous wont to sport In troubled waters, but now sleeps in port.

Before them march'd that awful Aristarch ;
Plough'd was bis front with many a deep remark;
His hat, which never veil'd to human pride,
Walker with reverence took and laid aside.
Low bow'd the rest : He, kingly, did but nod;
So upright Quakers please both man and God.
Mistress ! dismiss that rabble from your throne :
Avaunt—is Aristarchus yet unknown?
The mighty Scholiast, whose unwearied pains
Made Horace dull, and humbled Milton's strains.
Turn what they will to verse, their toil is vain,
Critics like me shall make it prose again.
Roman and Greek grammarians ! know your better :
Author, or something yet more great than letter;
While tow'ring o'er your alphabet like Saul,
Stands our Digamma, and o'ertops them all.
'Tis true, on words is still our whole debate,
Disputes of Me or Te, or Aut or At,
To sound or sink in cano O or A,
To give up Cicero to C or K.
Let Freind affect to speak as Terence spoke,
And Æsop never but like Horace joke :
For me, what Virgil, Pliny may deny,
Manilius or Solinus shall supply:
For Attic phrase in Plato let them seek,
I poach in Suidas for unlicensed Greek
In ancient sense if any needs will deal,
Be sure I give them fragments, not a meal ;
What Gellius or Stobæus hash'd before,
Or chew'd by blind old scholiasts o'er and o'er,
The critic eye, that microscope of wit,
Sees hairs and ports, examines bit by bit :
How parts relate to parts, or they to whole ;
The body's harmony, the beaming soul,
Are things which Kuster, Burman, Wasse shall see,
When man's whole frame is obvious to a flea.

Ah, think not, Mistress! more true dullness lies In Folly's cap than Wisdom's grave disguise.

Like buoys, that never sink into the flood,
On Learning's surface we but lie and nod;
Thine is the genuine head of many a house,
And much divinity without a Nous.
Nor could a Barrow work on every block,
Nor has one Atterbury spoild the flock.
See! still they own the heavy Canon roll,
And metaphysic smokes involve the Pole.
For thee we dim the eyes, and stuff the head
With all such reading as was never read :
For chee explain a thing till all men doubt it,
And write about it, goddess, and about it :
So spins the silkworm small its slender store,
And labors, till it clouds itself all o'er.
What though we let some better sort of fool
Thread ev'ry science, run through every school ?
Never by tumbler through the hoops was shown
Such skill in passing all, and touching none.
He may, indeed, (if sober all this time),
Plague with Dispute, or persecute with Rhyme.
We only furnish what we cannot use,
Or wed to what he must divorce-a muse :
Full in the midst of Euclid dip at once,
And petrify a Genius to a Dunce :
Or, set on metaphysic ground to prance,
Show all his paces, not a step advance.
With the same cement ever sure to bind,
We bring to one dead level every mind.
Then take him to develope if you can,
And hew the block off, and get out the man,
But wherefore waste I words? I see advance
Whore, Pupil, and lac'd Governor from France.
Walker ! our hat—no more he deign’d to say,
But, stern as Ajax' spectre, strode away.
In flow'd at once a gay


race, And tittering push'd the pedants off the place: Some would have spoken, but the voice was drown'd

By the French horn, or by the opening hound; VOL. IV,


The first came forwards with as easy mien
As if he saw St. James's and the queen.
Then thus th' attendant orator begun,
Receive, great Empress ! thy accomplish'd son :
Thine from the birth, and sacred from the rod,
A dauntless infant! never scar'd with God.
The sire saw, one by one, his virtues wake :
The mother begg'd the blessing of a rake.
Thou gavest that ripeness, which so soon began,
And ceas'd so soon, he ne'er was boy nor man.
Through school and college, thy kind cloud o'ercast,
Safe and unseen, the young Æneas past :
Thence bursting glorious, all at once let down,
Stunn'd with his giddy larum half the town,
Intrepid then, o'er seas and lands he flew :
Europe he saw, and Europe saw him too.
There all thy gifts and graces we display,
Thou, only thou, directing all our way:
To where the Seine obsequious as she runs,
Pours at great Bourbon's feet her silken sons ;
Or Tyber, now no longer Roman, rolls,
Vain of Italian arts, Italian souls :
To happy convents, bosom'd deep in vines,
Where slumber abbots, purple as their wines :
To isles of fragrance, lily-silver'd vales,
Diffusing languor in the panting gales :
To lands of singing or of dancing slaves,
Love-whispering woods, and lute-resounding waves,
But chief her shrine where naked Venus keeps,
And Cupids ride the lion of the deeps,
Where, eased of fleets, the Adriatic main
Wafts the smooth eunuch and enamor'd swain :
Led by my hand, he saunter'd Europe round,
And gather'd every vice on Christian ground;
Saw every court, heard every king declare
His royal sense of operas, or the fair ;
The stews and palace equally explored,
Intrigued with glory, and with spirit whored ;

« PředchozíPokračovat »