« EelmineJätka »
Next thein a train of loval peers ascend; Thus long have I, by native mercy sway'd,
So much the father did the king assuage.
to all she bechi his fame could bear: Of antient race by birılı, but nobler yel Had God ordainulois fite for empire born, Dit his own wortti, and without title great: lle would bave given his soul another turn: The sanhedriun long time as chiei he ruid, Gulld with a patriot's name, whose modern Their reason guidel, and their passion cold: So dextrous was he in the crowns defence, Is one that would by law supplant his prince; So form'd to speak a loyal nation's sense, The people's brave, the politician's tool ; That, as their band was Israel's tribes in small, Never was patriot yet but was a fool. So fit was he to represent them all.
Whence comes in that religion and the laws Now rasher charioteers the seat ascend, Should more be Absalom's than David's cause? Whose loose careers his steady skill commend : Ilis old instructor, ere he lost his place, They, like thi' unequal ruler of the day, Was never thoughii endued with so much grace. Misguide the seasons, and mistake the way; Good heavens! how faction can a patriot paint ! While he withdrawn at their mad labors smilcs, My rebel ever proves my people's saint, And safe enjoys the sabbath of his toils. Would they impose an
upon the throne, These were the chief,asınallbut faithfulband- Let sanliedrims be taught to give their own. Of worthies, in the breach who dar'd to stand, 1 king's at least a part of government; And tempt th' united fury of the land. And mine as requisite as their consent : With grief they view'd such pow'rful engines Without my leave a future king to choose, bent
Infers a right the present to depose. To batter down the lawful governinent : True, they petition me t' approve their choice: A num'rous faction, with pretended frights, But Isan's hands suit ill with Jacob's voice. In sanhelrims to plume the regal rights ; My pious subjects for my safety pray; The true successor from the court reinord; which to secure, they take my pow'r away. The plot by hireling witnesses improv'd. Froin plots and treasons heaven preserve ny years, These ills they saw, and, as iheir duty bound, But save me most from ny petitioners ! They show'd ike king the danger of the wound : Unsatinte as the barren womb or grave, Thaino concessions from the throne would please, God cannot grant so much as they can crave. But lenitives fomentell the disease :
What then is left, but with a jealous eye That Absalom, ambitious of the crown, To guard the small remains of loyalty ? Was made the lure to draw the people down: The law shall still direct iny peaceful sway, That false Achitophel's pernicious liate And the same laws teach rebels to obey : Had turn'd the plot to ruin church and slate ; Voies shall no more establish'd power control, The council violent, the rabble worse : Such voles as make a part exceed the whole. That Shimei taught Jerusaleın to curse. No groundless clamors shall my friends remore,
With all these loads of injuries opprest, Nor croniils have pow'r to punish ere they prove; And long revolving in his circful breast For Gods and godlike kings their care express, Th' event of thing, at last his patience tird, Still to defend their servants in distress. Thus from his royal thronc, by heaven inspir'd, Oh, that my pow'r to saving were contin'd! The godlike David spoke; with awful fear Whyam I forcid, like heaven, against my mind, Ilis irain their Maker in their inaster lear: To inake exainples of another kind?
Mast I at length the sword of justice draw? While pamper'd crowds to nad sedition run, Oh curst etfects of necessary law !
And monarchs by indulgence are undone.. How ill my fear they by my mercy scan! Thus David's clemency was fatal grown, Beware the fury of a patient man.
While wealthy faction aw'd the wanting throne; Law they require, let law then show her face; For now their sovereign's orders to contemn Thiey could not be content to look on grace, Was held the charter of Jerusalem ; Her hinder parts, but with a daring cye His rights t'invade, his tributes to refuse, To tempt the terror of her front, and die. A privilege peculiar to the Jews; By their own aris 'tis righteously decreed, As if from heavenly call this licence fell, Those dire arưiticers of death shall bleed; And Jacob's seed were closen to rebel! Against themselves their witnesses will swear, Achitophel with triumph sees his crimes Till, viper-like, their mother plot they tear; Thus suited to the madness of the times; And suck for nutriment that bloody gore; And Absalom, to make his hopes succeed, Which was their principle of life beture. Of Matt'ring charms no longer stands in need; Tveir Belial with their Beelzebub will fight: Wbile, fondofchange, tho'ne'er so dearlybought, This on my foes my foes shall do me right. Ourtribes outstript theyouili's ambitiousthought, Nordoubt th' event: for factious crowds engage, His swiftest hopes with swifter bomage meet, In their first onset, all their brutal rage. And crowd their servile necks beneath his fcet. Then let them take an unresisted course : Thus to his aid while pressing rides repair, Retire, and traverse, and delude their force: He mounts, and spreads his streamers in the air. But when they stand all breathless, urge the fight, The charms of empire might his youth mislead, And rise upon them with redoubled might: But what can our besotied Israel plead ? For lawful pow'r is still superior found; Sway'd by a monarch whose serene command When long driv'n back, al length it stands the Seems half the blessing of our promis'd land, ground.
Whose only grievance is excess of ease;
And guilty Jebusites from law protect,
Whose very chiefs, convict, were never freed ;
Nay, we have seen their sacrifices bleed!
While in the bounds of sense they did contain ; In the year 1680, Mr. Dryden undertook the But soon they launch'd into th' unfathom’d tide, poera of Ilsalom and Achitophel, upon the de- And in the depths they knew disdain'd to ride. sire of king Charles II. The performance was
For probable discoveries to dispense applauded ly every one ; and several persons Mere truth was duil, nor suited with the port
Was thought below a pension'd evidence; pressing him to urite a Second Past, he, upon declining it himself, spoke to Mr. Tate to write Of pamper'd Corah when advanc'd to court.
give him his adrice in the direction of No less than wonders now they will impose, it: and that part beginning with
And projects void of grace or sense disclose. " Next these, a troop of busy spirits press,"
Sueh was the change on pious Michael brought,
Michael that ne'er was cruel even in thought, and ending with
The best of queens and most obedient wife, “To talk like Doeg, and to write like thee," Impeach'd of curst designs on David's life!
His life, the theme of her eternal pray's, containing near two hundred verses, was entirely 'Tis scarce so much bis guardian angel's care : Mr. Drylen's composition, lesides some touches Not sumnier norns such mildness can disclose, in other places. — The preceding lines, upwards The Hermon lily, nor the Sharon rose. of three hundred in number, were written ly Neglecting each vain pomp of majesty, Mr. Tate. The poem is here printed complete. Transported Michael feeds her thoughts on high:
She lives with angels, and, as angels do, ABSALOM AND ACHITOPHEL. Ouits heaven sometiines toblessihe world below: Since men, like beasts, each other's prey were Where,cherishdbyherbounty's plenteous spring,
Reviving widows smile, and orphans sing. Since trade began, and priesthood grew a trade; Oh! when rebellious Israel's crimes at height Since realms were form’d, none sure so curst as Are threaten'd with her lord's approaching fate; those
The piety of Michael then remain That inadly their own happiness oppose ;
In Heaven's remembrance, and prolong his reign! There Heiven itself, and godlike kings in vain
Less desolation did the pest pursue Show'ı down the manna of a gentle reign ;
That from Dau's limits to Beersheba slev,
Less fatal the repeated wars of Tyre,
And if th'imagin'd guilt thus wound my thought, And less Jerusalem's avenging fire ;
Whal will it when the tragic scene is wrought? With gentler terror these our state o'er-ran, Dire war must first be conjur'd from below, Than since our evidencing days began! The realm we'd rule we first must overthrow; On ev'ry check a pale confusion sat,
And when the civil furies are on the wing, Continued fear beyond the worst of fate ! That blind and undistinguish'd slaughters fling, Trust was no more; art, science, uscless made ; Who knows what iinpious chance may reach All occupations lost but Corali's trade.
the king? Meanwlule a guard on modest Corah wait, Oh! rather let me perish in the strife, If not for safety, needful yet for state.
Than have my crown the price of David's life! Well might he deem eachpeerand princehis slave, Or, if the tempest of the war he stand, And lord it o'er the tribes which he could save: In peace, some vile oflicious villain's hand Ev'n vice in him was virtue - what sad fate His soul's anointed teinple may invade; But for his honesty had seisid our state ! Or, pressid by clam rous crowds, myself be made And with what tyranny had we been curst, His murderer rebellious crowds, whose guilt Had Corah never prov'd a villain first ! Shall dread his vengeance till his blood be spilt. T have told his knowledge of th' intrigue in which if my filial tenderness oppose, Had been, alas ! 10 our deponent's loss: (gross, Since to the empire by their arnis I rose, The travellid Levite had th' experience got, Those very arins on me shall be employd, To husband well, and make the best of '- plot; A new usurper crown'd, and I destroy'd. And therefore, like an evidence of skill, The same pretence of public good will hold, With wise reserves secur'd luis pension still; And new Achitophels be found as bold Not quite of future pow'r himself bereft, To
urce the needful change, perhaps the old. But límbos large for unbelievers left.
He said : the statesman with a smile replies, And now his writ such reverence had got, A smile that did his rising spleen disguise : "Twas worse than plotting to suspect his plot. My thoughts presum'd our labors at an end, Some werc so well convinc'd, they'niade no doubt and are we still with conscience to contend, Themselves to help the founder'd swearers out. Whose want in kings as needful is allow'd Some had their sense impos'd on by their fear, As 'tis for thein to find it in the crowd? But more for interest sake believe and swear : Far in the doubtful passage you are gone, Even to that height with some the phrenzy grew, And only can be safe by pressing on. They rag'd to find their danger not prove true. The crown's true heir, a prince severe and wise,
Yet, thavall these a viler crew remain, Has view'd your motions long with jealous eyes; Who with Achitophel the cry maintain ; Your person's charms, your more prerailing arts, Not urg'd by fear, nor thro' misguided sense And mark'd your progress in the people's hearts
, Blind zeal and starving need had some pretence- Whose patience is th' effect of stinted pow'r, But for the good old cause that did excite But treasures vengeance for the fatal hour; Th' original rebel's wiles — revenge and spite. And, if remote the peril he can bring, These raise the plot to have the scandal thrown your present danger's greater from the king, Upon the bright successor of the crown, Let pot a parent's name deceive your sense, Pl'hose virtue with such wrongs theyhalpursued, Nor trust the father in a jealous prince ! As sceni'd all hope of pardon to exclude. Your trivial faults if he could so resent, Thus, while on private ends their zeal is built, To doom you little less than banishinent, The cheated crowd applaud and share their guilt. What rage muse your presumption since inspire!
Such practices as these, too gross to lie Against his orders rou return from 'Tyre. Long linobserv'd by each discerning eye, Sör only so, but with a pomp more high, The more judicious Israelites unspelli, Avd open court of popularity, Though still the charm the giddy rabble held. The factions tribes-And this reproof from thee? Even Absalom, amidst the dazzling heims The prince replies, () statesman's winding shill! Of empire, and ainbition's Ratt'ring dreams, They firsi condemn that first advis'd the ill! Perceives the plot, too foul to be excósd, Mustrious youth, return'di Achitophel, To aid designs, no less pernicions, us'd: Misconsule not the words that niean you well
. And, filial sense yet striving in his breast, The course
you steer I worthy blame conclude, Thus to Achitophel his doubts express'd: But 'tis because you leare it unpursvied. (Why are my thoughts upon a crown employ'dl. A monarch's crown with fate surrounded lies; Which once obtain'd can be but half enjoyd ? Itho reach, lay hold on deatlı that wiss the prize. Not so when virtue did my arms require, Did you for this expose yourself to show, And ti» my father's wars I flew entire. And to the crowd how popularly low? My regal pow'r how will my foes resent, For this your glorious progress next ordain, When I myself have scarce my own consent ! With chariots, fiorsemen, and a mimerous train; Give me a 'son's unblemish'd truth again, With fame before you like the morning star, Or quench the sparks of duty that remain. And shouts of joy saluting from afar? How slight to force a throne that legions guard Oh, fromtheheighitsyou've reach'd but takeaview, The task to me; to prove unjust, how hard ! Scarce leading Lucifer could fall like you!
And must I bere my shipwreck'd arts bemoan? (For if succession once to nought they bring,
I not dispute, the royal youth replies, Nor boots it on what cause at first they join,
Associations of mysterious sense,
'Tis a drawn game at worst, and we secure our With shifted sails a several course you steer'd.
stake. What from a sway did David c'er pursue,
He said ; and for the dire success depends That seem'd like absolute, but sprung from you: On various sects, by.common guilt made friends; Who at your instance quash'd each penal law, Whose heads, tho'ne'ersodifl'ring in their creed, That kept dissenting factious Jews in awe; l' th' point of treason yet were well agreed. And who suspends tix'd laws, may abrogaie; 'Mongst these, extorting Ishban first appears, That done, form new, and so enslave the state. Pursued by meagre troops of bankrupt heirs. Even property, whose champion now you stand, Blest tinies, when Ishban, he whose occupation And seem for this the idol of the land, So long has been to cheat, reforms the nation! Did ne'er sustain such violence before,
Ishban of conscience suited to liis trade,
Return reproaches, and cries up the cause.
Yet his auibition once was found so bold,
Could David's wants have so been brib’d, to Even yet of such a season can we 'dream,
shame When royal rights you made your darling theme, And seandalise our pcerage with his name, For pow'r unlimited could reasons draw, For which, his dear sedition he 'd forswear, And place prerogative above the law;
And ev'n turu loyal to be made a peer. Which on your fall from otlice grew unjust, Next him, let railing Rabsheka have place, The laws made king, the kiug a slave in trust;
So full of zeal he has no need of grace;: Whom with state-craft, to int'rest only true,
A saint that can both flesh and spirit use,
To this hell's agent - Royal youth, fix here, of whom the question difficult appears,
Let David's brother but approach the town,
Some future hopes, some present payment draws, Debar the heir, or starve in his defence ; To sell their conscience and espouse the cause. Conditions which our elders ne'er will quit, Such stipends those vile hirelings best befit, And David's justice never can admit. Priests without grace, and poets without wit. Or forc'd by wants his brother to betray,
Shall that false Hebronite escape our curse, To your ambition next he clears the way; Judas that keeps the rebels' pensive purse ;
Judas that pays the treason-writer's fee, | Such thanks the present church thy pen will give
Must antient failings be examples made ?
Then murderers from Cain may leam their trade. Young, prophets with an early care secures,
As thou the heathen and the saint last diawn, And with the dung of his own arts manures ? Methinks th' apostate was the better man; What have the men of Hebron here to do? And thy hot father, waving my respect, What part in Israel's promis'd land have you? Not of a mother-church, but of a sect: Here Phaleg the lay-Hebronite is come, And such he needs must be of thy indiving; 'Cause like the rest he could not live at home; This comes of drinking asses' milk, and writing, Who from his own possessions could not drain if Balak should be call'd to leave his place, An omer even of Hebronitish grain,
As profit is the loudest call of grace, Here struts it like a patriot, and talks high His temple, dispossess'd of one, would be Of injur'd subjects, alter'd property:
Replenish'd with seven devils more by thee. An emblem of that buzzing insect just,
Levi, thou art a load, I 'll lay thee down, Thay mounts the wheel,and thinks she raisesdast. And show rebellion bare, without a gown; Can dry bones live? or skeletons produce Poor slaves, in metre, dull and addle-pated, The vital warmth of cuckoldising juice? Who rhyniebelow ev’n David'sPsalms iranslated. Slim Phaley could, and at the table fed, Some in my speedy pace I must out-run, Return'd the grateful product to the bed. As lame Mephibosheth, the wizard's son; A waiting man to travelling nobles chose, To make quick way, I 'll leap o'er heavy blocks, He his own laws would saucily impose ; Shun routen Uzza as I would the pox; Till bastinadoed back again he went,
And hasten Og and Doeg to rehearse, To learn those manners he to teach was sent. Two fools that crutch their feeble sense on verse; Chastis'd he ought to have retreated home; Who by my Muse to all succeeding tinies But he reads politics to Absalom.
Shall live, in spite of their own doggrel rhymes. For never Hebronite, tho'kick'd and scorn'd, Doeg, though without knowing how or why, To his own country willingly return'd. Made still a blundering kind of melody; But, leaving famisha Phaleg to be fed, Spurr'd boldlyon, and dash'd thro'thick and thin, And to talk treason for his daily bread. Thro' sense and nonsense, wiever out por in; Let Hebron, nay let hell, produce a man Free from all meaning, whether good or bad, So made for mischief as Ben-Jucharian; Ane, in one word, heroically mad : A Jew of humble pareritage was he, He was tog warm on picking-work to dwell, By trade a Levite, though of low degree : But fagotted his notions as they fell, His pride no higher than the desk aspir'd; And, if they rhymd and rattled, all was well;) But for the drudgery of priests was hird, Spiteful he is not, though he wrote a satire, To read and pray in linen ephod brave, For still there goes some thinking to ill-nature; And pick up single shekels from the grave. He needs no more than birds and beasts to Married at last, but finding charge come faster, think, He could not live by God, so chang'd his master. All his occasions are to eat and drink, Inspir'd by want, was made a factious tool; If he call rogue and rascal from a garret, They got a villain, and we lost a fool. He means you no more mischief than a parrot ; Still violent, whatever cause he took,
The words for friend and foe alike were made ; But most against the party he forsook. To fetter thein in verse, is all his trade. For renegadoes, who ne'er turn by halves, For almonds he 'll cry whore to his own mother; Are bound in conscience to be double knaves. And call young Absalom king David's brother. So this prose-prophet took most monstrous pains, Let him be gallours-free by my consent, To let his masters see he earn'd his gains. And nothing suffer since he nothing meant ; But, as the devil owes all his imps a shame, Hanging supposes humau soul and reason; He chose th' apostate for his proper theme; This animal's below committing treason ; With little pains he made the picture true, Shall he be hang'd who never could rebel ? And from reflection took the rogue he drew; That's a preferinent for Achitophel, A woud'sous work, to prove the Jewish nation The woman that committed burglary In every age a murmuring generation : Was rightly sentenc'd by the law to die ; To trace them from their infancy of sinning, But 'twas hard fate that to the gallows led Andshow themfactious from their firstbeginning, The dog that never heard the statute read. To prove they could rebel, and rail, and mack, Railing in other men may be a crime, Much to the credit of the chosen flock : But ought to pass for mere instinct in bim: A strong authority, which must convince, Iustinct he follows, and no farther knows; That saints owe no allegiance to their prince, For to write verse with him is to transpose As 'tis a leading card to make a whore, "Twere pity treagon at his door to lay, To prove her mother had turn'd up before. Who makes heaven's gate a lock to its own keys But, tell me, did the drunken patriarch bless Let him rail on, let his invective Muse The son that show'd his father's nakedness. Have four-and-twenty letters to abuse ;