Page images

Love made him doubt his broad barbarian sound;
By love his want of words and wit he found;
That sense of want prepar'd the future way
To knowledge, and disclos'd the promise of a day.
What not his father's care, nor tutor's art,
Could plant with pains in his unpolish'd heart,
The best instructor, Love, at once inspir'd,
As barren grounds to fruitfulness are fir'd:

This to prevent, she wak'd her sleepy crew,
And, rising hasty, took a short adieu.

Then Cymon first his rustic voice essay'd,
With proffer'd service to the parting maid
To see her safe; his hand she long denied,
But took at length, asham'd of such a guide.
So Cymon led her home, and leaving there,
No more would to his country clowns repair,

Love taught him shame; and Shame, with Love at But sought his father's house, with better mind,


Soon taught the sweet civilities of life;
His gross material soul at once could find
Somewhat in her excelling all her kind:
Exciting a desire till then unknown,
Somewhat unfound, or found in her alone.
This made the first impression on his mind,
Above, but just above, the brutal kind.
For beasts can like, but not distinguish too,
Nor their own liking by reflection know;
Nor why they like or this or t' other face,
Or judge of this or that peculiar grace;
But love in gross, and stupidly admire:
As flies, allur'd by light, approach the fire.
Thus our man-beast, advancing by degrees,
First likes the whole, then separates what he sees;
On several parts a several praise bestows,
The ruby lips, the well-proportion'd nose,
The snowy skin, and raven-glossy hair,
The dimpled cheek, and forehead rising fair,
And, ev'n in sleep itself, a smiling air.
From thence his eyes descending view'd the rest,
Her plump round arms, white hands, and heaving

Long on the last he dwelt, though every part
A pointed arrow sped to pierce his heart.

Thus in a trice a judge of beauty grown,
(A judge erected from a country clown)
He long'd to see her eyes, in slumber hid,
And wish'd his own could pierce within the lid :
He would have wak'd her, but restrain'd his thought,
And Love, new-born, the first good-manners taught.
And awful Fear his ardent wish withstood,
Nor durst disturb the goddess of the wood;
For such she seem'd by her celestial face,
Excelling all the rest of human race.
And things divine, by common sense he knew,
Must be devoutly seen, at distant view :
So checking his desire, with trembling heart
Gazing he stood, nor would nor could depart;
Fix'd as a pilgrim wilder'd in his way,
Who dares not stir by night, for fear to stray,
But stands with awful eyes to watch the dawn of

At length awaking, Iphigene the fair

(So was the beauty call'd who caus'd his care)
Unclos'd her eyes, and double day reveal'd,
While those of all her slaves in sleep were seal'd.
The slavering cudden, propp'd upon his staff,
Stood ready gaping with a grinning laugh,
To welcome her awake; nor durst begin
To speak, but wisely kept the fool within.
Then she:
What makes you, Cymon, here alone?"
(For Cymon's name was round the country known,
Because descended of a noble race,
And for a soul ill sorted with his face.)

[ocr errors]

But still the sot stood silent with surprise,
With fix'd regard on her new-open'd eyes,
And in his breast receiv'd th' envenom'd dart,
A tickling pain that pleas'd amid the smart.
But, conscious of her form, with quick distrust
She saw his sparkling eyes, and fear'd his brutal lust:

Refusing in the farm to be confin'd.

The father wonder'd at the son's return,
And knew not whether to rejoice or mourn;
But doubtfully receiv'd, expecting still
To learn the secret causes of his alter'd will.
Nor was he long delay'd: the first request
He made, was like his brothers to be dress'd,
And, as his birth requir'd, above the rest.

With ease his suit was granted by his sire,
Distinguishing his heir by rich attire:
His body thus adorn'd, he next design'd
With liberal arts to cultivate his mind:
He sought a tutor of his own accord,
And studied lessons he before abhorr'd.

Thus the man-child advanc'd, and learn'd so fast,
That in short time his equals he surpass'd:
His brutal manners from his breast exil'd,
His mien he fashion'd and his tongue he fil'd;
In every exercise of all admir'd,

He seem'd, nor only seem'd, but was inspir'd:
Inspir'd by Love, whose business is to please;
He rode, he fenc'd, he mov'd with graceful ease,
More fam'd for sense, for courtly carriage more,
Than for his brutal folly known before.


What then of alter'd Cymon shall we say,
But that the fire which chok'd in ashes lay,
A load too heavy for his soul to move,
Was upward blown below, and brush'd away by
Love made an active progress through his mind,
The dusky parts he clear'd, the gross refin'd,
The drowsy wak'd; and as he went impress'd
The Maker's image on the human breast.
Thus was the man amended by desire,
And though he lov'd perhaps with too much fire,
His father all his faults with reason scann'd,
And lik'd an error of the better hand;
Excus'd th' excess of passion in his mind,
By flames too fierce, perhaps too much refin'd:
So Cymon, since his sire indulg'd his will,
Impetuous lov'd, and would be Cymon still;
Galesus he disown'd, and chose to bear
The name of fool confirm'd and bishop'd by the fair
To Cipseus by his friends his suit he mov'd,
Cipseus the father of the fair he lov'd:
But he was pre-engag'd by former ties,
While Cymon was endeavoring to be wise:
And Iphigene, oblig'd by former vows,
Had given her faith to wed a foreign spouse:
Her sire and she to Rhodian Pasimond,
Though both repenting, were by promise bound,
Nor could retract; and thus, as Fate decreed,
Though better lov'd, he spoke too late to speed.

The doom was past, the ship, already sent,
Did all his tardy diligence prevent:
Sigh'd to herself the fair unhappy maid,
While stormy Cymon thus in secret said:
"The time is come for Iphigene to find
The miracle she wrought upon my mind:
Her charms have made me man, her ravish'd love
In rank shall place me with the bless'd above.
For mine by love, by force she shall be mine,
Or death, if force should fail, shall finish my design.'

Resolv'd he said; and rigg'd with speedy care
A vessel strong, and well equipp'd for war.
The secret ship with chosen friends he stor❜d;
And, bent to die or conquer, went aboard.
Ambush'd he lay behind the Cyprian shore,
Waiting the sail that all his wishes bore;
Nor long expected, for the following tide
Sent out the hostile ship and beauteous bride.
To Rhodes the rival bark directly steer'd,
When Cymon sudden at her back appear'd,

But all at once; at once the winds arise,
The thunders roll, the forky lightning flies.
In vain the master issues out commands,
In vain the trembling sailors ply their hands:
The tempest unforeseen prevents their care,
And from the first they labor in despair.

The giddy ship betwixt the winds and tides,
Forc'd back, and forwards, in a circle rides,
Stunn'd with the different blows; then shoots amain,
Till, counterbuff'd, she stops, and sleeps again.

And stopp'd her flight: then, standing on his prow, Not more aghast the proud archangel fell,

In haughty terms he thus defied the foe:
"Or strike your sails at summons, or prepare
To prove the last extremities of war.'

Thus warn'd, the Rhodians for the fight provide ;
Already were the vessels side by side,

These obstinate to save, and those to seize the bride.
But Cymon soon his crooked grapples cast,
Which with tenacious hold his foes embrac'd,

Plung'd from the height of Heaven to deepest Hell,
Than stood the lover of his love possess'd,
Now curs'd the more, the more he had been bless'd;
More anxious for her danger than his own,
Death he defies; but would be lost alone.

Sad Iphigene to womanish complaints
Adds pious prayers, and wearies all the saints;
Ev'n if she could, her love she would repent,

And, arm'd with sword and shield, amid the press he But, since she cannot, dreads the punishment:


Fierce was the fight, but, hastening to his prey,
By force the furious lover freed his way:
Himself alone dispers'd the Rhodian crew,
The weak disdain'd, the valiant overthrew;
Cheap conquest for his following friends remain'd,
He reap'd the field, and they but only glean'd.
His victory confess'd, the foes retreat,

And cast the weapons at the victor's feet.

Her forfeit faith, and Pasimond betray'd,
Are ever present, and her crime upbraid.
She blames herself, nor blames her lover less,
Augments her anger, as her fears increase :
From her own back the burthen would remove,
And lays the load on his ungovern'd love,
Which, interposing, durst, in Heaven's despite,
Invade, and violate another's right:
The powers incens'd awhile deferr'd his pain,

Whom thus he cheer'd: "O Rhodian youth, I fought And made him master of his vows in vain :

For love alone, nor other booty sought:
Your lives are safe; your vessel I resign;
Yours be your own, restoring what is mine;
In Iphigene I claim my rightful due,
Robb'd by my rival, and detain'd by you:
Your Pasimond a lawless bargain drove,
The parent could not sell the daughter's love;
Or, if he could, my Love disdains the laws,
And like a king by conquest gains his cause:
Where arms takes place, all other pleas are vain,
Love taught me force, and force shall love maintain,
You, what by strength you could not keep, release,
And at an easy ransom buy your peace."

But soon they punish'd his presumptuous pride;
That for his daring enterprise she died;
Who rather not resisted, than complied.

Then impotent of mind, with alter'd sense,
She hugg'd th' offender, and forgave th' offence,
Sex to the last: meantime with sails declin'd
The wandering vessel drove before the wind:
Toss'd and retoss'd, aloft, and then below,
Nor port they seek, nor certain course they know,
But every moment wait the coming blow.
Thus blindly driven, by breaking day they view'd
The land before them, and their fears renew'd;
The land was welcome, but the tempest bore

Fear on the conquer'd side soon sign'd th' accord, The threaten'd ship against a rocky shore.

And Iphigene to Cymon was restor❜d:
While to his arms the blushing bride he took,
To seeming sadness she compos'd her look;
As if by force subjected to his will,
Though pleas'd, dissembling, and a woman still.
And, for she wept, he wip'd her falling tears,
And pray'd her to dismiss her empty fears;

For yours I am," he said, "and have deserv'd
Your love much better whom so long I serv'd,
Than he to whom your formal father tied
Your vows, and sold a slave, not sent a bride."
Thus while he spoke, he seiz'd the willing prey,
As Paris bore the Spartan spouse away.
Faintly she scream'd, and ev'n her eyes confess'd
She rather would be thought, than was distress'd.
Who now exults but Cymon in his mind?
Vain hopes and empty joys of human-kind,
Proud of the present, to the future blind!
Secure of Fate, while Cymon plows the sea,
And steers to Candy with his conquer'd prey,
Scarce the third glass of measur'd hours was run,
When. like a fiery meteor, sunk the Sun;
The promise of a storm; the shifting gales
Forsake by fits, and fill the flagging sails;
Hoarse murmurs of the main from far were heard,
And night came on, not by degrees prepar'd,

A winding bay was near; to this they bent,
And just escap'd; their force already spent:
Secure from storms, and panting from the sea,
The land unknown at leisure they survey;
And saw (but soon their sickly sight withdrew)
The rising towers of Rhodes at distant view;
And curs'd the hostile shore of Pasimond,
Sav'd from the seas, and shipwreck'd on the ground
The frighted sailors tried their strength in vain
To turn the stern, and tempt the stormy main;
But the stiff wind withstood the laboring oar,
And forc'd them forward on the fatal shore!
The crooked keel now bites the Rhodian strand,
And the ship moor'd constrains the crew to land:
Yet still they might be safe, because unknown,
But, as ill-fortune seldom comes alone,
The vessel they dismiss'd was driven before,
Already shelter'd on their native shore;
Known each, they know; but each with change of
The vanquish'd side exults; the victors fear;
Not them, but theirs, made prisoners ere they fight,
Despairing conquest, and depriv'd of flight.


The country rings around with loud alarms,
And raw in fields the rude militia swarms;
Mouths without hands; maintain'd at vast expense
In peace a charge, in war a weak defence

Stout once a month they march, a blustering band,
And ever, but in times of need, at hand;
This was the morn when, issuing on the guard,
Drawn up in rank and file they stood prepar'd
Of seeming arms to make a short essay,
Then hasten to be drunk, the business of the day.
The cowards would have fled, but that they knew
Themselves so many, and their foes so few :
But, crowding on, the last the first impel;
Till overborne with weight the Cyprians fell.
Cymon enslav'd, who first the war begun,
And Iphigene once more is lost and won.
Deep in a dungeon was the captive cast,
Depriv'd of day, and held in fetters fast:
His life was only spar'd at their request,
Whom taken he so nobly had releas'd:
But Iphigenia was the ladies' care,
Each in their turn address'd to treat the fair;
While Pasimond and his the nuptial feast prepare.
Her secret soul to Cymon was inclin'd,
But she must suffer what her Fates assign'd;
So passive is the church of woman-kind.
What worse to Cymon could his fortune deal,
Roll'd to the lowest spoke of all her wheel?
It rested to dismiss the downward weight,
Or raise him upward to his former height;
The latter pleas'd; and Love (concern'd the most)
Prepar'd th' amends, for what by love he lost.

The sire of Pasimond had left a son,
Though younger, yet for courage early known,
Ormisda call'd, to whom, by promise tied,
A Rhodian beauty was the destin'd bride;
Cassandra was her name, above the rest
Renown'd for birth, with fortune amply bless'd.
Lysimachus, who rul'd the Rhodian state,
Was then by choice their annual magistrate :
He lov'd Cassandra too with equal fire,
But Fortune had not favor'd his desire;
Cross'd by her friends, by her not disapprov'd,
Nor yet preferr'd, or like Ormisda lov'd:
So stood th' affair: some little hope remain'd,
That, should his rival chance to lose, he gain'd.
Meantime young Pasimond his marriage press'd,
Ordain'd the nuptial day, prepar'd the feast;
And frugally resolv'd (the charge to shun,
Which would be double should he wed alone)
To join his brother's bridal with his own.

Lysimachus, oppress'd with mortal grief,
Receiv'd the news, and studied quick relief:
The fatal day approach'd; if force were us'd,
The magistrate his public trust abus'd;
To justice liable, as law required;
For, when his office ceas'd, his power expir'd:
While power remain'd, the means were in his hand
By force to seize, and then forsake the land:
Betwixt extremes he knew not how to move,
A slave to fame, but more a slave to love:
Restraining others, yet himself not free,
Made impotent by power, debas'd by dignity.
Both sides he weigh'd; but, after much debate,
The man prevail'd above the magistrate.

Love never fails to master what he finds,
But works a different way in different minds,
The fool enlightens, and the wise he blinds.
This youth, proposing to possess and 'scape,
Began in murder, to conclude in rape :
Unprais'd by me, though Heaven sometimes
An impious act with undeserv'd success:
The great it seems are privileg'd alone
To punish all injustice but their own.

But here I stop, not daring to proceed,
Yet blush to flatter an unrighteous deed:
For crimes are but permitted, not decreed.

Resolv'd on force, his wit the pretor bent,
To find the means that might secure th' event.
Nor long he labor'd, for his lucky thought
In captive Cymon found the friend he sought;
Th' example pleas'd: the cause and crime the same;
An injur'd lover, and a ravish'd dame.

How much he durst he knew by what he dar'd,
The less he had to lose, the less he car'd

To manage lothesome life, when love was the reward.
This ponder'd well, and fix'd on his intent.
In depth of night he for the prisoner sent;
In secret sent, the public view to shun,
Then with a sober smile he thus begun.
"The powers above, who bounteously bestow
Their gifts and graces on mankind below,
Yet prove our merit first, nor blindly give
To such as are not worthy to receive.
For valor and for virtue they provide
Their due reward, but first they must be tried:
These fruitful seeds within your mind they sow'd;
"Twas yours t' improve the talent they bestow'd :
They gave you to be born of noble kind,
They gave you love to lighten up your mind,
And purge the grosser parts; they gave you care
To please, and courage to deserve the fair.

[ocr errors]

Thus far they tried you, and by proof they found The grain intrusted in a grateful ground: But still the great experiment remain'd, They suffer'd you to lose the prize you gain'd, That you might learn the gift was theirs alone, And when restor'd, to them the blessing own. Restor'd it soon will be; the means prepar'd, The difficulty smooth'd, the danger shar'd: Be but yourself, the care to me resign, Then Iphigene is yours, Cassandra mine. Your rival Pasimond pursues your life, Impatient to revenge his ravish'd wife, But yet not his; to-morrow is behind, And Love our fortunes in one hand has join'd: Two brothers are our foes, Ormisda mine, As much declar'd as Pasimond is thine: To-morrow must their common vows be tied : With Love to friend, and Fortune for our guide, Let both resolve to die, or each redeem a bride.

Right I have none, nor hast thou much to plead ; 'Tis force, when done, must justify the deed: Our task perform'd, we next prepare for flight: And let the losers talk in vain of right: We with the fair will sail before the wind, If they are griev'd, I leave the laws behind. Speak thy resolves: if now thy courage droop, Despair in prison, and abandon hope: But if thou dar'st in arms thy love regain, (For liberty without thy love were vain,) Then second my design to seize the prey, Or lead to second rape, for well thou know'st the Said Cymon overjoy'd, Do thou propose The means to fight, and only show the foes: For from the first, when love had fir'd my mind, Resolv'd I left the care of life behind."

[ocr errors]
[ocr errors]

To this the bold Lysimachus replied,


'Let Heaven be neuter, and the sword decide: The spousals are prepar'd, already play



The minstrels, and provoke the tardy day:
By this the brides are wak'd, their grooms are dress'd;
All Rhodes is summon'd to the nuptial feast,
All but myself, the sole unbidden guest.

Unbidden though I am, I will be there,
And, join'd by thee, intend to joy the fair.

The troop retires, the lovers close the rear,
With forward faces not confessing fear:

"Now hear the rest; when Day resigns the light, Backward they move, but scorn their pace to

And cheerful torches gild the jolly Night,
Be ready at my call; my chosen few
With arms administer'd shall aid thy crew.
Then, entering unexpected, will we seize
Our destin'd prey, from men dissolv'd in ease,
By wine disabled, unprepar'd for fight,
And hastening to the seas, suborn our flight:
The seas are ours, for I command the fort,
A ship well-mann'd expects us in the port:
If they, or if their friends, the prize contest,
Death shall attend the man who dares resist."
It pleas'd: the prisoner to his hold retir'd,
His troop with equal emulation fir'd,

All fix'd to fight, and all their wonted work requir'd.
The Sun arose; the streets were throng'd around,
The palace open'd, and the posts were crown'd,
The double bridegroom at the door attends
Th' expected spouse, and entertains the friends:
They meet, they lead to church, the priests invoke
The powers, and feed the flames with fragrant smoke.
This done, they feast, and at the close of night
By kindled torches vary their delight,


Then seek the stairs, and with slow haste descend.
Fierce Pasimond, their passage to prevent,
Thrust full on Cymon's back in his descent;
The blade return'd unbath'd, and to the handle

Stout Cymon soon remounts, and cleft in two
His rival's head with one descending blow:
And as the next in rank Ormisda stood,

He turn'd the point; the sword, inur'd to blood,
Bor'd his unguarded breast, which pour'd a purple

With vow'd revenge the gathering crowd pursues,
The ravishers turn head, the fight renews;
The hall is heap'd with corps; the sprinkled gore
Besmears the walls, and floats the marble floor.
Dispers'd at length the drunken squadron flies,
The victors to their vessel bear the prize;
And hear behind loud groans and lamentable cries.
The crew with merry shouts their anchors weigh,
Then ply their oars, and brush the buxom sea,
While troops of gather'd Rhodians crowd the key.

These lead the lively dance, and those the brimming What should the people do when left alone?

bowls invite.

Now at th' appointed place and hour assign'd,
With souls resolv'd the ravishers were join'd:
Three bands are form'd; the first is sent before
To favor the retreat, and guard the shore;
The second at the palace-gate is plac'd,
And up the lofty stairs ascend the last:
A peaceful troop they seem with shining vests,
But coats of mail beneath secure their breasts.

Dauntless they enter, Cymon at their head,
And find the feast renew'd, the table spread:
Sweet voices, mix'd with instrumental sounds,
Ascend the vaulted roof, the vaulted roof rebounds.
When like the harpies rushing through the hall
The sudden troop appears, the tables fall,
Their smoking load is on the pavement thrown;
Each ravisher prepares to seize his own;
The brides, invaded with a rude embrace,
Shriek out for aid, confusion fills the place.
Quick to redeem the prey their plighted lords
Advance, the palace gleams with shining swords.
But late is all defence, and succor vain;
The rape is made, the ravishers remain :
Two sturdy slaves were only sent before

To bear the purchas'd prize in safety to the shore.

The governor and government are gone.
The public wealth to foreign parts convey'd;
Some troops disbanded, and the rest unpaid.
Rhodes is the sovereign of the sea no more;
Their ships unrigg'd, and spent their naval store,
They neither could defend, nor can pursue,
But grinn'd their teeth, and cast a helpless view;
In vain with darts a distant war they try,
Short, and more short, the missive weapons fly.
Meanwhile the ravishers their crimes enjoy,
And flying sails and sweeping oars employ:
The cliffs of Rhodes in little space are lost,
Jove's isle they seek; nor Jove denies his coast.
In safety landed on the Candian shore,
With generous wines their spirits they restore :
There Cymon with his Rhodian friend resides,
Both court, and wed at once the willing brides.
A war ensues, the Cretans own their cause,
Stiff to defend their hospitable laws:
Both parties lose by turns; and neither wins,
Till peace propounded by a truce begins.
The kindred of the slain forgive the deed,
But a short exile must for show precede:
The term expir'd, from Candia they remove;
And happy each, at home, enjoys his love.


JOHN PHILIPS, an English poet, was the son of His didactic poem on Cider, published in 1706, is Dr. Stephen Philips, archdeacon of Salop. He was considered as his principal performance, and is that born at Bampton, in Oxfordshire, in 1676, and re- with which his name is chiefly associated. It beceived his classical education at Winchester school. came popular, and raised him to eminence among He was removed to Christ-Church college, in Ox- the poets of his age and class. This, and his ford, in 1694, where he fully maintained the dis-Splendid Shilling," are the pieces by which he tinction he had already acquired at school, and ob- will chiefly deserve to be remembered. Philips tained the esteem of several eminent literary char- died of a pulmonary affection, in February 1708, acters. In 1703 he made himself known by his at his mother's house in Hereford, greatly regretted poem of "The Splendid Shilling," a pleasant bur- by his friends, to whom he was endeared by the lesque, in which he happily imitated the style of modesty, kindness, and blamelessness of his characMilton. The reputation he acquired by this piece ter. Besides a tablet, with a Latin inscription, caused him to be selected by the leaders of the in Hereford cathedral, he was honored with a monuTory party to celebrate the victory of Blenheim, ment in Westminster Abbey, erected by Lord in competition with Addison, an attempt which, Chancellor Harcourt, with a long and classical however, seems to have added little to his fame. epitaph, composed by Atterbury.


Sing, heavenly Muse! Things unattempted yet, in prose or rhyme," A shilling, breeches, and chimeras dire.

HAPPY the man, who, void of cares and strife,
In silken or in leather purse retains

A Splendid Shilling: he nor hears with pain
New oysters cried, nor sighs for cheerful ale;
But with his friends, when nightly mists arise,
To Juniper's Magpie, or Town-hall* repairs:
Where, mindful of the nymph, whose wanton eye
Transfix'd his soul, and kindled amorous flames,
Chloe, or Phillis, he each circling glass
Wisheth her health, and joy, and equal love.
Meanwhile, he smokes, and laughs at merry tale,
Or pun ambiguous, or conundrum quaint.
But I, whom griping penury surrounds,
And Hunger, sure attendant upon Want,
With scanty offals, and small acid tiff,
(Wretched repast!) my meagre corpse sustain :
Then solitary walk, or doze at home
In garret vile, and with a warming puff

Two noted alehouses in Oxford, 1700.

Regale chill'd fingers: or from tube as black
As winter-chimney, or well-polish'd jet,
Exhale mundungus, ill-perfuming scent:
Not blacker tube, nor of a shorter size,
Smokes Cambro-Briton (vers'd in pedigree,
Sprung from Cadwallador and Arthur, kings
Full famous in romantic tale) when he,
O'er many a craggy hill and barren cliff,
Upon a cargo of fam'd Cestrian cheese,
High over-shadowing rides, with a design
To vend his wares, or at th' Arvonian mart.
Or Maridunum, or the ancient town
Yelep'd Brechinia, or where Vaga's stream
Encircles Ariconium, fruitful soil!
Whence flow nectareous wines, that well may vie
With Massic, Setin, or renown'd Falern.

Thus while my joyless minutes tedious flow,
With looks demure, and silent pace, a Dun,
Horrible monster! hated by gods and men,
To my aerial citadel ascends,

With vocal heel thrice thundering at my gate,
With hideous accent thrice he calls; I know
The voice ill-boding, and the solemn sound.
What should I do? or whither turn? Amaz'd,
Confounded, to the dark recess I fly

Of wood-hole; straight my bristling hairs erect
| Through sudden fear; a chilly sweat bedews

« EelmineJätka »