Page images

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 morial 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.

[ocr errors]

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 band 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."

To this the bold Lysimachus replied,


[ocr errors][merged small]


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.

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

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

"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
Yclep'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 aërial 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

My shuddering limbs, and (wonderful to tell!)
My tongue forgets her faculty of speech;
So horrible he seems! His faded brow,
Intrench'd with many a frown, and conic beard,
And spreading band, admir'd by modern saints,
Disastrous acts forbode; in his right hand
Long scrolls of paper solemnly he waves,
With characters and figures dire inscrib'd,
Grievous to mortal eyes; (ye gods, avert

Nor taste the fruits that the Sun's genial rays
Mature, john-apple, nor the downy peach,
Nor walnut in rough-furrow'd coat secure,
Nor medlar, fruit delicious in decay;
Afflictions great! yet greater still remain:
My galligaskins, that have long withstood
The winter's fury, and encroaching frosts,
By time subdued (what will not time subdue!)
An horrid chasm disclos'd with orifice

Such plagues from righteous men!) Behind him stalks Wide, discontinuous; at which the winds
Another monster, not unlike himself,
Sullen of aspect, by the vulgar call'd

A catchpole, whose polluted hands the gods,
With force incredible, and magic charms,
First have endued if he his ample palm
Should haply on ill-fated shoulder lay
Of debtor, straight his body, to the touch
Obsequious (as whilom knights were wont,)
To some enchanted castle is convey'd,
Where gates impregnable, and coercive chains,
In durance strict detain him, till, in form
Of money, Pallas sets the captive free.

Beware, ye debtors! when ye walk, beware,
Be circumspect; oft with insidious ken
The caitiff eyes your steps aloof, and oft
Lies perdue in a nook or gloomy cave,
Prompt to enchant some inadvertent wretch
With his unhallow'd touch. So (poets sing)
Grimalkin, to domestic vermin sworn
An everlasting foe, with watchful eye
Lies nightly brooding o'er a chinky gap,
Protending her fell claws, to thoughtless mice
Sure ruin. So her disembowell'd web
Arachne, in a hall or kitchen, spreads
Obvious to vagrant flies: she secret stands
Within her woven cell: the humming prey,
Regardless of their fate, rush on the toils
Inextricable, nor will aught avail
Their arts, or arms, or shapes of lovely hue;
The wasp insidious, and the buzzing drone,
And butterfly, proud of expanded wings
Distinct with gold, entangled in her snares,
Useless resistance make; with eager strides,
She towering flies to her expected spoils;
Then, with envenom'd jaws, the vital blood
Drinks of reluctant foes, and to her cave
Their bulky carcasses triumphant drags.

So pass my days. But when nocturnal shades
This world envelop, and th' inclement air
Persuades men to repel benumbing frosts
With pleasant wines, and crackling blaze of wood;
Me, lonely sitting, nor the glimmering light
Of make-weight candle, nor the joyous talk
Of loving friend, delights: distress'd, forlorn,
Amidst the horrors of the tedious night,
Darkling I sigh, and feed with dismal thoughts
My anxious mind: or sometimes mournful verse
Indite, and sing of groves and myrtle shades,
Or desperate lady near a purling stream,
Or lover pendent on a willow-tree.
Meanwhile I labor with eternal drought,
And restless wish, and rave; my parched throat
Finds no relief, nor heavy eyes repose:
But if a slumber haply does invade
My weary limbs, my fancy's still awake,
Thoughtful of drink, and eager, in a dream,
Tipples imaginary pots of ale,

In vain; awake I find the settled thirst
Still gnawing, and the pleasant phantom curse.
Thus do I live, from pleasure quite debarr'd,

Eurus and Auster, and the dreadful force
Of Boreas, that congeals the Cronian waves,
Tumultuous enter with dire chilling blasts,
Portending agues. Thus a well-fraught ship,
Long sail'd secure, or through th' Ægean deep,
Or the Ionian, till cruising near

The Lilybean shore, with hideous crush
On Scylla, or Charybdis (dangerous rocks!)

She strikes rebounding; whence the shatter'd oak,
So fierce a shock unable to withstand,
Admits the sea: in at the gaping side

The crowding waves gush with impetuous rage,
Resistless, overwhelming; horrors seize

The mariners; Death in their eyes appears,
They stare, they lave, they pump, they swear, they

pray :

(Vain efforts!) still the battering waves rush in, Implacable, till, delug'd by the foam,

The ship sinks foundering in the vast abyss.



Honos erit huic quoque Pomo?Virg.

Воок І.

WHAT soil the apple loves, what care is due
To orchats, timeliest when to press the fruits,
Thy gift, Pomona, in Miltonian verse
Adventurous I presume to sing; of verse
Nor skill'd, nor studious: but my native soil
Invites me, and the theme as yet unsung.

Ye Ariconian knights, and fairest dames,
To whom propitious Heaven these blessings grants,
Attend my lays, nor hence disdain to learn,
How Nature's gifts may be improv'd by art.
And thou, O Mostyn, whose benevolence,
And candor, oft experienc'd, me vouchsaf'd
To knit in friendship, growing still with years,
Accept this pledge of gratitude and love.
May it a lasting monument remain

Of dear respect; that when this body frail
Is moulder'd into dust, and I become

As I had never been, late times may know

I once was bless'd in such a matchless friend!
Whoe'er expects his laboring trees should bend
With fruitage, and a kindly harvest yield,
Be this his first concern, to find a tract
Impervious to the winds, begirt with hills
That intercept the Hyperborean blasts
Tempestuous, and cold Eurus' nipping force,
Noxious to feeble buds: but to the west
Let him free entrance grant, let zephyrs bland
Administer their tepid genial airs;
Nought fear he from the west, whose gentle warmth
Discloses well the Earth's all-teeming womb,
Invigorating tender seeds; whose breath
Nurtures the orange, and the citron groves,

Hesperian fruits, and wafts their odors sweet
Wide through the air, and distant shores perfumes.
Nor only do the hills exclude the winds:
But, when the blackening clouds in sprinkling

Distil, from the high summits down the rain
Runs trickling; with the fertile moisture cheer'd,
The orchats smile; joyous the farmers see
Their thriving plants, and bless the heavenly dew.
Next let the planter, with discretion meet,
The force and genius of each soil explore;
To what adapted, what it shuns averse :
Without this necessary care, in vain
He hopes an apple-vintage, and invokes
Pomona's aid in vain. The miry fields,
Rejoicing in rich mould, most ample fruit
Of beauteous form produce; pleasing to sight,
But to the tongue inelegant and flat.
So Nature has decreed; so oft we see
Men passing fair, in outward lineaments
Elaborate; less, inwardly, exact.

Nor from the sable ground expect success,
Nor from cretaceous, stubborn and jejune:
The Must, of pallid hue, declares the soil
Devoid of spirit; wretched he, that quaffs
Such wheyish liquors; oft with colic pangs,
With pungent colic pangs distress'd he'll roar.
And toss, and turn, and curse th' unwholesome

But, farmer, look where full-ear'd sheaves of rye
Grow wavy on the tilth, that soil select
For apples: thence thy industry shall gain
Ten-fold reward: thy garners, thence with store
Surcharg'd, shall burst; thy press with purest juice
Shall flow, which, in revolving years, may try
Thy feeble feet, and bind thy faltering tongue.
Such is the Kent-church, such Dantzeyan ground,
Such thine, O learned Broome, and Capel such,
Willisian Burlton, much-lov'd Geers his Marsh,
And Sutton-acres, drench'd with regal blood
Of Ethelbert, when to th' unhallow'd feast
Of Mercian Offa he invited came,
To treat of spousals: long connubial joys
He promis'd to himself, allur'd by fair
Elfrida's beauty: but, deluded, died
In height of hopes

oh! hardest fate, to fall
By show of friendship, and pretended love!
I nor advise, nor reprehend the choice
Of Marcley-hill; the apple nowhere finds
A kinder mould: yet'tis unsafe to trust
Deceitful ground: who knows but that, once more,
This mount may journey, and, his present site
Forsaking, to thy neighbor's bounds transfer
The goodly plants, affording matter strange
For law-debates? If therefore thou incline

To deck this rise with fruits of various tastes,
Fail not by frequent vows t'implore success;
Thus piteous Heaven may fix the wandering gleb
But if (for Nature doth not share alike
Her gifts) an happy soil should be withheld;
If a penurious clay should be thy lot,
Or rough unwieldy earth, nor to the plow,
Nor to the cattle kind, with sandy stones
And gravel o'er-abounding, think it not
Beneath thy toil; the sturdy pear-tree here
Will rise luxuriant, and with toughest root
Pierce the obstructing grit, and restive marle.
Thus nought is useless made; nor is there land.
But what, or of itself, or else compell'd,
Affords advantage. On the barren heath
The shepherd tends his flock, that daily crop
Their verdant dinner from the mossy turf,
Sufficient; after them the cackling goose,
Close-grazier, finds wherewith to ease her want.
What should I more? Ev'n on the cliffy height
Of Penmenmaur, and that cloud-piercing hill,
Plinlimmon, from afar the traveller kens
Astonish'd, how the goats their shrubby browse
Gnaw pendent; nor untrembling canst thou see,
How from a scraggy rock, whose prominence
Half overshades the ocean, hardy men,
Fearless of rending winds, and dashing waves,
Cut samphire, to excite the squeamish gust
Of pamper'd luxury. Then, let thy ground
Not lie unlabor'd; if the richest stem
Refuse to thrive, yet who would doubt to plant
Somewhat, that may to human use redound,
And penury, the worst of ills, remove?

There are, who, fondly studious of increase,
Rich foreign mould on their ill-natur'd land
Induce laborious, and with fattening muck
Besmear the roots; in vain! the nursling grove
Seems fair awhile, cherish'd with foster earth;
But when the alien compost is exhaust,
Its native poverty again prevails.

Though this art fails, despond not; little pains,
In a due hour employ'd, great profit yield.
Th' industrious, when the Sun in Leo rides,
And darts his sultriest beams, portending drought,
Forgets not at the foot of every plant
To sink a circling trench, and daily pour
A just supply of alimental streams,
Exhausted sap recruiting; else false hopes
He cherishes, nor will his fruit expect
Th' autumnal season, but, in summer's pride,
When other orchats smile, abortive fail.

Thus the great light of Heaven, that in his course Surveys and quickens all things, often proves Noxious to planted fields, and often men Perceive his influence dire; sweltering they run To grots, and caves, and the cool umbrage seek Of woven arborets, and oft the rills *February the seventh, 1571, at six o'clock in the Thirst inextinguishable but if the spring Still streaming fresh revisit, to allay evening, this hill roused itself with a roaring noise, and Preceding should be destitute of rain, by seven the next morning had moved forty paces; it kept moving for three days together, carrying with it Or blast septentrional with brushing wings sheep in their cotes, hedgerows and trees, and in its pas. Sweep up the smoky mists, and vapors damp, sage overthrew Kinnaston Chapple, and turned two high. Then woe to mortals! Titan then exerts ways near an hundred yards from their former position. His heat intense, and on our vitals preys; The ground thus moved was about twenty-six acres, Then maladies of various kinds and names which opened itself, and carried the earth before it for Unknown, malignant fevers, and that foe four hundred yards' space, leaving that which was pasture To blooming beauty, which imprints the face in the place of the tillage, and the tillage overspread Of fairest nymph, and checks our growing love, with pasture. See Speed's Account of Herefordshire, Reign far and near; grim Death in different shapes page 49, and Camden's Britannia. Depopulates the nations; thousands fall

« EelmineJätka »