Page images

Nor could philosophy divine

Such solid joys impart,
As each soft strain, each magic line,

Of your diviner art.
Then string again your slacken'd lyre

To peaceful Anna's praise;
What would not innocence inspire,

And Anna's glory raise !

Though faction all its rage oppose,

The pleasing theme pursue;
They only who were Anna's foes,

Are enemies to you.



WHEN PRIOR’s Muse prepares to sing
Some god, or godlike hero's praise,
She soars aloft, and on her airy wing
High as their high deserts their fame does raise.
Thus William's glory scales the sky,
Through rolling ages to remain,
Which neither brass nor marble can attain,
Raised thus above the reach of vulgar destiny.
Much we commend the poet's skill,
That so exalted sings a theme sublime:
But more his art to cover fatal ill-
Such shades make William's glory brighter shine.

[ocr errors]

0! long as breath inspires this fleeting frame,
Be my example Prior's grateful name:
Though not a Dorset shed his rays on me,
Happy am I, if but inspired by thee.

A. T.




How sweet the music of thy happy times,
Poetic PRIOR: full of mirth thy Muse,
And exquisite her jest. Ah ! hear it not,
Ye sober fair, for fulsome is the taste,
And only fit for the distemper'd ear
Of jolly libertines. His graver song
Applaud unsatisfied, and ever laugh
To see him mount the furious Pegasus
Pindaric, often tried, but tried in vain,
And never to be tamed by crazy wits.
'Twas an unruly and a hard-mouth'd horse,
* And flung his rider if he sat not sure,'
Dan Cowley said. Yet up sprung Mat resolved;
O'er sea and land with an unbounded loose
Runs the mad steed, a Gilpin race I ween.
• Hardly the Muse can sit the head-strong horse'.
See now she gallops round the Belgic shore,
Now through the raging ocean ploughs her way
To rough Ierne's camps; there sounds alarms,
In the dank marshes finds her glorious theme,
And plunges after him through Boyne's fierce flood.

See his Carmen Seculare to the King.


Back to his Albion then, then with stiff wing
East, over Danube and Propontis' shores,
From the Mæotus to the northern sea,
To visit the

Muscovite; thence up
Resolved to reach the high empyrean sphere,
And ask for William an Olympic crown;
Till lost in trackless fields of shining day,
Unhorsed, and all aghast, down, down she comes,
Comes rushing with uncommon ruin down.'
Glorious attempt, but not unhappy fate.
'Twas lucky, MAT, thou badst not given a name
To some Icarian gulf, or shook at least
The carnal mar so sore that he had limp'd
And tamely hobbled to the vorge of life.
But, thank our stars, thy pace as even yet,
And happily the Muse.her parthful song
In durance vile protongs. So have I heard
The captive finch, in narrow cage confined,
Charm all his woe away with cheerful song,
Which might have melted e'en a heart of steel
To give him liberty.







It looks like no great compliment to your Lordship that I prefix your name to this Epistle, when, in the Preface, I declare the Book is published almost against my inclination. But, in all cases, my Lord, you have an hereditary right to whatever may be called mine. Many of the following pieces were written by the command of

your excellent father, and most of the rest under his protection and patronage.

The particular felicity of your birth, my Lord; the natural endowments of your mind, which, without suspicion of flattery, may you are very great : the good education with which these parts have been improved, and your coming into the world, and seeing men very early, make us expect from your Lordship all the good which our hopes can form in favour of a young nobleman. Tu Marcellus eris,-our eyes and our hearts are turned on you. You must be a judge and master of polite learning, a friend and patron to men of letters and merit, a faithful and able counsellor to Afterwards created Duke of Dorset.


my own

your Prince, a true patriot to your country, an ornament and honour to the titles you possess, and, in one word, a worthy son to the great Earl of Dorset?.

It is as impossible to mention that name without desiring to commend the person, as it is to give him the commendations which his virtues deserved. But I assure myself the most agreeable compliment I can bring your Lordship is to pay a grateful respect to your

memory :

: and obligations to him were such, that the world must pardon my endeavouring at his character, however I may miscarry in the attempt.

A thousand ornaments and graces met in the composition of this great man, and contributed to make him universally beloved and esteemed. The figure of his body was strong, proportionable, beautiful; and were his picture well drawn, it must deserve the praise given to the portraits of Raphael, and at once create love and respect. While the greatness of his mien informed men they were approaching the nobleman, the sweetness of it invited them to come nearer to the patron. There was in his look and gesture something that is more easily conceived than described, that gained upon you in his favour before he spake one word. His behaviour was easy and courteous to all; but distinguished, and adapted to each man in particular, according to his station and quality. His civility was free from the formality of rule, and flowed immediately from his good sense. Such were the natural faculties and strength of

2 See Catalogue of Royal and Noble Authors.

« EelmineJätka »