« EelmineJätka »
OCT 25 1916
Entered according to Act of Congress, in the year 1854, by
LITTLE, BROWN, AND COMPANY,
in the Clerk's Office of the District Court of the District of Massachusetts.
WELCH, BIGELOW, AND COMPANY,
ELEGIES AND EPITAPHS.
To the Memory of Mr. Oldham
To the Pious Memory of the Accomplished Young
Upon the Death of the Earl of Dundee
ABSALOM AND ACHITOPHEL.
Si quis tamen hæc quoque, si quis
TO THE READER.
In the year 1680, Mr. Dryden undertook the poem of Absalom and Achitophel, upon the desire of King Charles II. The performance was applauded by every one; and several persons pressing him to write a second part, he, upon declining it himself, spoke to Mr. Tate to write one, and gave him his advice in the direction of it; and that part beginning with 'Next these, a troop of busy spirits press,'
and ending with
'To talk like Doeg, and to write like thee.' containing near two hundred verses, were entirely Mr. Dryden's compositions, besides some touches in other places.
SINCE men like beasts each other's prey were made,
Shower down the manna of a gentle reign;
While wealthy faction aw'd the wanting throne. 10
His rights to invade, his tributes to refuse,
As if from heavenly call this license fell,
Achitophel with triumph sees his crimes. Thus suited to the madness of the times; And Absalom, to make his hopes succeed, Of flattering charms no longer stands in need; 20 While fond of change, tho' ne'er so dearly bought, Our tribes outstrip the youth's ambitious thought; His swiftest hopes with swifter homage meet, And crowd their servile necks beneath his feet. Thus to his aid while pressing tides repair, He mounts and spreads his streamers in the air. The charms of empire might his youth mislead, But what can our besotted Israel plead ? Sway'd by a monarch, whose serene command Seems half the blessing of our promis'd land. Whose only grievance is excess of ease; Freedom our pain, and plenty our disease! Yet, as all folly would lay claim to sense, And wickedness ne'er wanted a pretence, With arguments they 'd make their treason good,