« EelmineJätka »
The promis'd seat of empire shall again
"Now, Solomon! remembering who thou art,
Whom no man fully sees, and none can see!
THE THIEF AND THE CORDELIER,
To the Tune of King John and the Abbot of Canterbury.
The fatal retreat of th' unfortunate brave; Where Honor and Justice most oddly contribute To ease heroes' pains by a halter and gibbet.
Derry down, down, hey derry down.
There Death breaks the shackles which Force had put on,
"Pugh! pr'ythee ne'er trouble thy head with such fancies:
Rely on the aid you shall have from Saint Francis: If the money you promis'd be brought to the chest, You have only to die: let the church do the rest. Derry down, &c.
"And what will folks say, if they see you afraid? It reflects upon me, as I knew not my trade: Courage, friend; for to-day is your period of sorrow; And things will go better, believe me, to-morrow." Derry down, &c.
And the hangman completes what the judge but" begun ;
There the squire of the pad, and the knight of the post,
Find their pains no more balk'd, and their hopes
"Alas!" quoth the squire, "howe'er sumptuous the treat,
Parbleu! I shall have little stomach to eat;
I should therefore esteem it great favor and grace.
"That I would," quoth the father, "and thank you to boot;
But our actions, you know, with our duty must suit
Then, turning about to the hangman, he said, Dispatch me, I pr'ythee, this troublesome blade; For thy cord and my cord both equally tie, And we live by the gold for which other men die Derry down, &c.
In vain you tell your parting lover,
Be gentle, and in pity choose
That, thrown again upon the coast
THE pride of every grove I chose,
At morn the nymph vouchsaf'd to place
Undrest at evening, when she found
Their odors lost, their colors past;
That eye dropt sense distinct and clear,
Ran trickling down her beauteous cheek.
Dissembling what I knew too well,
"My love, my life," said I, "explain This change of humor: pr'ythee tell:
That falling tear-what does it mean?"
She sigh'd; she smil'd; and, to the flowers Pointing, the lovely moralist said:
"See, friend, in some few fleeting hours, See yonder, what a change is made!
"Ah, me! the blooming pride of May,
"At dawn poor Stella danc'd and sung; The amorous youth around her bow'd: At night her fatal knell was rung;
I saw, and kiss'd her in her shroud.
Such as she is, who died to-day; Such I, alas! may be to-morrow: Go, Damon, bid thy Muse display The justice of thy Chloe's sorrow."
AN ENGLISH PADLOCK. MISS Danaë, when fair and young, (As Horace has divinely sung,) Could not be kept from Jove's embrace By doors of steel, and walls of brass.
The reason of the thing is clear,
"Since this has been authentic truth,
"Your care does further yet extend:
The rules of friendship too severe,
Youthful and healthy, flesh and blood, Easy with him, ill us'd by thee,
Allow this logic to be good?"
Of every human face."-" She'll write.".
"From pen and paper she's debarr'd."
"She'll thrust her letter through, Sir Martin.""Dear, angry friend, what must be done?
"Is there no way?"-"There is but one.
That all this mingled mass, which she,
Is a dull farce, an empty show,
Powder, and pocket-glass, and beau;
A staple of romance and lies,
False tears and real perjuries:
Where sighs and looks are bought and sold,
And love is made but to be told:
Where the fat bawd and lavish heir
The spoils of ruin'd beauty share;
And youth, seduc'd from friends and fame.
My lyre I tune, my voice I raise,
Fair Chloe blush'd: Euphelia frown'd;
I sung, and gaz'd; I play'd and trembled: And Venus to the Loves around
Remark'd, how ill we all dissembled.
THE LADY'S LOOKING-GLASS.
In imitation of a Greek Idyllium.
CELIA and I, the other day,
But, oh the change! the winds grow high; Impending tempests charge the sky;
The lightning flies, the thunder roars,
"Once more, at least, look back," said I,
"But when vain doubt and groundless fear Do that dear foolish bosom tear; When the big lip and watery eye Tell me the rising storm is nigh; "Tis then, thou art yon angry main, Deform'd by winds, and dash'd by rain; And the poor sailor, that must try
Its fury, labors less than I.
'Shipwreck'd, in vain to land I make, While Love and Fate still drive me back :
Forc'd to dote on thee thy own way,
I chide thee first, and then obey.
Wretched when from thee, vex'd when nigh,
I with thee, or without thee, die."
JOHN GAY, a well-known poet, was born at or near some South-sea stock presented to him by secretary Barnstaple, in Devonshire, in 1688. After an edu- Craggs, raised his hopes of fortune at one time to a ration at the free-school of Barnstaple, he was sent considerable height; but the loss of the whole of to London, where he was put apprentice to a silk- this stock affected him so deeply as to throw him mercer. A few years of negligent attendance on into a dangerous degree of languor, for his recovery the duties of such a station procured him a separa- from which he made trial of the air of Hampstead. tion by agreement from his master; and he not long He then wrote a tragedy called The Captives," afterwards addicted himself to poetical composition, of which was acted with applause; and in 1726, he which the first-fruits were his "Rural Sports," pub-composed the work by which he is best known, his ished in 1711, and dedicated to Pope, then first rising" Fables," written professedly for the young Duke to fame. In the following year, Gay, who possessed of Cumberland, and dedicated to him. In the manmuch sweetness of disposition, but was indolent and ner of narration there is considerable ease, together improvident, accepted an offer from the Duchess of with much lively and natural painting, but they will Monmouth to reside with her as her secretary. He hardly stand in competition with the French fables had leisure enough in this employment to produce of La Fontaine. Gay naturally expected a handin the same year his poem of “Trivia, or the Art of some reward for his trouble; but upon the accession Walking the Streets of London," which proved one of the most entertaining of its class. It was much admired; and displayed in a striking manner that talent for the description of external objects which peculiarly characterized the author.
of George II. nothing better was offered him than the post of gentleman-usher to the young Princess Louisa, which he regarded rather as an indignity than a favor, and accordingly declined.
The time, however, arrived when he had little In 1714, he made his appearance from the press occasion for the arts of a courtier to acquire a degree on a singular occasion. Pope and Ambrose Philips of public applause greater than he had hitherto exhad a dispute about the respective merits of their perienced. In 1727, his famous "Beggar's Opera" pastorals; upon which, Gay, in order to serve the was acted at Lincolns-inn-fields, after having been cause of his friend, undertook to compose a set of refused at Drury-lane. To the plan of burlesquing pastorals, in which the manners of the country should the Italian operas by songs adapted to the most be exhibited in their natural coarseness, with a view familiar tunes, he added much political satire deof proving, by a sort of caricature, the absurdity of rived from his former disappointments; and the rePhilips's system. The offer was accepted; and sult was a composition unique in its kind, of which Gay, who entitled his work "The Shepherd's the success could not with any certainty be foreseen. Week," went through the usual topics of a set of" It will either (said Congreve) take greatly, or be pastorals in a parody, which is often extremely damned confoundedly." Its fate was for some time humorous. But the effect was in one respect dif- in suspense; at length it struck the nerve of public ferent from his intended purpose; for his pictures taste, and received unbounded applause. It ran of rural life were so extremely natural and amusing, through sixty-three successive representations in the and intermixed with circumstances so beautiful and metropolis, and was performed a proportional numtouching, that his pastorals proved the most popular ber of times at all the provincial theatres. Its songs works of the kind in the language. This perform- were all learned by heart, and its actors were raised ance was dedicated to Lord Bolingbroke; and at to the summit of theatric fame. This success, inthis period Gay seems to have obtained a large share deed, seems to indicate a coarseness in the national of the favor of the Tory party then in power. He taste, which could be delighted with the repetition was afterwards nominated secretary to the Earl of of popular ballad-tunes, as well as a fondness for the Clarendon, in his embassy to the court of Hanover; delineation of scenes of vice and vulgarity. Gay but the death of Queen Anne recalled him from his situation, and he was advised by his friends not to neglect the opportunity afforded him to ingratiate himself with the new family. He accordingly wrote a poetical epistle upon the arrival of the Princess of Wales, which compliment procured him the honor making a highwayman the hero, he has incurred the of the attendance of the prince and princess at the exhibition of a new dramatic piece.
himself was charged with the mischiefs he had thus, perhaps unintentionally, occasioned; and if the Beggar's Opera delighted the stage, it encountered more serious censure in graver places than has been bestowed on almost any other dramatic piece. By
odium of rendering the character of a freebooter an object of popular ambition; and, by furnishing his Gay had now many friends, as well among per- personages with a plea for their dishonesty drawn sons of rank, as among his brother-poets; but little from the universal depravity of mankind, he has was yet done to raise him to a state of independence. been accused of sapping the foundations of ail A subscription to a collection of his poems pub- social morality. The author wrote a second part lished in 1720, cleared him a thousand pounds; and of this work, entitled "Polly," but the Lord Cham