« EelmineJätka »
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,
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."
The troop retires, the lovers close the rear,
With forward faces not confessing fear:
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.
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
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?
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
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, 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.
THE SPLENDID SHILLING.
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
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.
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' Egean deep,
Or the Ionian, till cruising near
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,
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
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
(Vain efforts!) still the battering waves rush in,
Implacable, till, delug'd by the foam,
The ship sinks foundering in the vast abyss.
A POEM, IN TWO BOOKS.
Honos erit huic quoque Pomo?-Virg.
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
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
Still streaming fresh revisit, to allay
Thirst inextinguishable: but if the spring
Preceding should be destitute of rain,
Or blast septentrional with brushing wings
Sweep up the smoky mists, and vapors damp,
Then woe to mortals! Titan then exerts
*February the seventh, 1571, at six o'clock in the
evening, this hill roused itself with a roaring noise, and
by seven the next morning had moved forty paces; it
kept moving for three days together, carrying with it
sheep in their cotes, hedgerows and trees, and in its pas.
sage overthrew Kinnaston Chapple, and turned two high.
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
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
His victims; youths, and virgins, in their flower,
Reluctant die, and sighing leave their loves
Unfinish'd, by infectious Heaven destroy'd.
Supplants their footsteps: to, and fro, they reel
Astonish'd, as o'ercharg'd with wine; when lo!
The ground adust her riven mouth disparts,
Horrible chasm; profound! with swift descent
Such heats prevail'd, when fair Eliza, last
Of Winchcomb's name (next thee in blood and Old Ariconium sinks, and all her tribes,
Heroes, and senators, down to the realms
O fairest St. John!) left this toilsome world
In beauty's prime, and sadden'd all the year:
Nor could her virtues, nor repeated vows
Of thousand lovers, the relentless hand
Of Death arrest: she with the vulgar fell,
Only distinguish'd by this humble verse.
But if it please the Sun's intemperate force
To know, attend; whilst I of ancient fame
The annals trace, and image to thy mind,
How our forefathers, (luckless men!) ingulft
By the wide-yawning Earth, to Stygian shades
Went quick, in one sad sepulchre inclos'd.
Of endless night. Meanwhile, the loosen'd winds,
Infuriate, molten rocks and flaming globes
Hurl'd high above the clouds; till, all their force
Consum'd, her ravenous jaws th' Earth satiate clos'd
Thus this fair city fell, of which the name
Survives alone; nor is there found a mark,
Whereby the curious passenger may learn
Her ample site, save coins, and mouldering urns,
And huge unwieldy bones, lasting remains
Of that gigantic race; which, as he breaks
The clotted glebe, the plowman haply finds,
Appall'd. Upon that treacherous tract of land,
She whilom stood; now Ceres, in her prime,
Smiles fertile, and with ruddiest freight bedeck'd,
The apple-tree, by our forefathers' blood
Urging her destin'd labors to pursue.
In elder days, ere yet the Roman bands
Victorious, this our other world subdued,
A spacious city stood, with firmest walls
Sure mounded, and with numerous turrets crown'd, Improv'd, that now recalls the devious Muse,
Aerial spires, and citadels, the seat
Of kings, and heroes resolute in war,
Fam'd Ariconium: uncontroll'd and free,
Till all-subduing Latian arms prevail'd.
Then also, though to foreign yoke submiss,
She undemolish'd stood, and ev'n till now
Perhaps had stood, of ancient British art
A pleasing monument, not less admir'd
Than what from Attic, or Etruscan hands
Arose; had not the heavenly Powers averse
Decreed her final doom: for now the fields
Labor'd with thirst; Aquarius had not shed
His wonted showers, and Sirius parch'd with heat
Solstitial the green herb: hence 'gan relax
The ground's contexture, hence Tartarian dregs,
Sulphur, and nitrous spume, enkindling fierce,
Bellow'd within their darksome caves, by far
More dismal than the loud disploded roar
Of brazen enginery, that ceaseless storm
The bastion of a well-built city, deem'd
Impregnable: th' infernal winds, till now
Closely imprison'd, by Titanian warmth
Dilating, and with unctuous vapors fed,
The prudent will observe, what passions reign
In various plants (for not to Man alone,
But all the wide creation, Nature gave
Love, and aversion :) everlasting hate
The Vine to Ivy bears, nor less abhors
The Colewort's rankness; but with amorous twine
Clasps the tall Elm: the Pæstan Rose unfolds
Her bud more lovely, near the fetid Leek,
(Crest of stout Britons,) and enhances thence
The price of her celestial scent: the Gourd,
And thirsty Cucumber, when they perceive
Th' approaching Olive, with resentment fly
Her fatty fibres, and with tendrils creep
Diverse, detesting contact; whilst the Fig
Contemns not Rue, nor Sage's humble leaf,
Close-neighboring: th' Herefordian plant
Caresses freely the contiguous Peach,
Hazel, and weight-resisting Palm, and likes
T' approach the Quince, and the Elder's pithy stem;
Uneasy, seated by funereal Yew,
Or Walnut, (whose malignant touch impairs
All generous fruits,) or near the bitter dews
Of plants, how they associate best, nor let
Ill neighborhood corrupt thy hopeful graffs.
Wouldst thou thy vats with gen'rous juice should
Disdain'd their narrow cells; and, their full strength Of Cherries. Therefore weigh the habits well
Collecting, from beneath the solid mass
Upheav'd, and all her castles rooted deep
Shook from their lowest seat: old Vaga's stream,
Forc'd by the sudden shock, her wonted track
Forsook, and drew her humid train aslope,
Crankling her banks: and now the lowering sky,
And baleful lightning, and the thunder, voice
Of angry gods, that rattled solemn, dismay'd
The sinking hearts of men. Where should they turn
Distress'd whence seek for aid? when from below
Hell threatens, and ev'n Fate supreme gives signs
Of wrath and desolation: vain were vows,
And plaints, and suppliant hands to Heaven erect!
Yet some to fanes repair'd, and humble rites
Perform'd to Thor, and Woden, fabled gods,
Who with their votaries in one ruin shar'd,
Crush'd, and o'erwhelm'd. Others in frantic mood
Run howling through the streets; their hideous yells
Rend the dark welkin; Horror stalks around,
Wild-staring, and, his sad concomitant,
Despair, of abject look: at every gate
The thronging populace with hasty strides
Press furious, and, too eager of escape,
Obstruct the easy way; the rocking town
Respect thy orchats; think not, that the trees
Spontaneous will produce an wholesome draught.
Let Art correct thy breed: from parent bough
A cion meetly sever: after, force
A way into the crabstock's close-wrought grain
By wedges, and within the living wound
Inclose the foster twig; nor over-nice
Refuse with thy own hands around to spread
The binding clay: ere-long their differing veins
Unite, and kindly nourishment convey
To the new pupil; now he shoots his arms
With quickest growth; now shake the teeming trunk,
Down rain th' empurpled balls, ambrosial fruit.
Whether the Wilding's fibres are contriv'd
To draw th' earth's purest spirit, and resist
Its feculence, which in more porous stocks
Of cider-plants finds passage free, or else
The native verjuice of the Crab, deriv'd
Through th' infix'd graff, a grateful mixture forms
Of tart and sweet; whatever be the cause,