« EelmineJätka »
Plant of our growth, and aim of all our cares,
The toil of ages, and the crown of wars :
If, taught by thee, the poet's wit has flow'd
In ftrains as precious as his hero's blood;
Preserve those strains, an everlasting chartn
To keep that blood and thy remembrance warm;
Be this thy guardian image ftill fecure,
In vain fhall force invade, or fraud allure;
Our great Palladium fhall perform its part,
Fix'd and enshrin'd in every British heart.
HE mind to virtue is by verfe fubdu'd;
And the true poet is a public good.
This Britain feels, while, by your lines infpir'd,
Her free-born fons to glorious thoughts are fir'd.
In Rome had you efpous'd the vanquish'd caufe,
Inflam'd her fenate and upheld her laws;
Your manly scenes had liberty reftor'd,
And giv'n the juft fuccefs to Cato's sword!
O'er Cæfar's arms your genius had prevail'd;
And the mufe triumph'd, where the patriot fail'd.
By Mr. PO PE.
Spoken by Mr. WILKS.
O wake the foul by tender ftrokes of art,
To raise the genius, and to mend the beart,
To make mankind in confcious virtue bold,
Live o'er each scene, and be what they behold:
For this the tragic mufe first trod the ftage,
Commanding tears to ftream thro' every age;
Tyrants no more their favage nature kept,
And foes to virtue wonder'd how they wept.
Our author fbuns by vulgar springs to move
The hero's glory, or the virgin's love;
In pitying love we but our weakness show,
And wild ambition well deferves its woe.
ve tears shall flow from a more gen'rous cause,
Such tears as patriots shed for dying laws :
He bids your breafts with antient ardour rise,
And calls forth Roman drops from British eyes.
Virtue confefs'd in human shape he draws,
What Plato thought, and godlike Cato was:
No common object to your fight displays,-
But what with pleasure heav'n itself surveys;
A brave man firuggling in the forms of fate,
And greatly falling with a falling flate!
While Cato gives his little fenate laws,
What bofom beats not in his country's cause?
Who fees him act, but envies ev'ry deed?
Who hears him groan, and wishes not to bleed?
Ev'n when proud Cæsar 'midft triumphal cars,
The spoils of nations, and the pomp of wars,
Ignobly vain, and impotently great,
Shew'd Rome ber Cato's figure drawn in state,
As her dead father's rev'rend image paft,
The pomp was darken'd, and the day o'ercaft,
The triumph ceas'd,-tears gufb'd from ev'ry eye,
The world's great victor pass'd unheeded by ;
Her laft good man dejected Rome ador'd,
And honour'd Cæfar's lefs than Cato's fword.
Britons, attend: Be worth like this approv'd,
And fhew you have the virtue to be mov'd.
With boneft fcorn the first fam'd Cato view'd
Rome learning arts from Greece, whom she subdu'd:
Our scene precariously fubfifts too long
On French tranflation, and Italian fong.
Dare to have fenfe yourselves; affert the ftage,
Be juftly warm'd with your own native rage.
Such plays alone bould pleafe a British ear,
As Cato's felf had not difdain'd to hear.
SCENE a large hall in the Governor's palace of Utica.
HE dawn is over-caft, the morning lours,
And heavily in clouds brings on the day,
The great, th' important day, big with the fate
Of Cato and of Rome-Our father's death
Would fill up all the guilt of civil war,
And close the scene of blood. Already Cafar
Has ravag'd more than half the globe, and fees
Mankind grown thin by his deftructive fword.
Should he go further, numbers would be wanting
To form new battles, and support his crimes.
Ye gods, what havock does ambition make
Among your works!
Thy steady temper, Portius,
Can look on guilt, rebellion, fraud, and Cæfar,
In the calm lights of mild philofophy;