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But see where artful Dryden next appears
Grown old in rhyme, but charming ev'n in years.
Great Dryden next, whose tuneful muse affords
The sweetest numbers, and the fittest words.
Whether in comick sounds or tragick airs

a

She forms her voice, she moves our smiles or tears.

If satire or heroic strains she writes,

Her hero pleases, and her satire bites.

From her no harsh unartful numbers fall,
She wears all dresses, and she charms in all.
How might we fear our English poetry,

That long has flourish'd, shou'd decay with thee;
Did not the muses other hope appear,
Harmonious Congreve, and forbid our fear:
Congreve! whose fancy's unexhausted store
Has given already much, and promis'd more.
Congreve shall still preserve thy fame alive,
And Dryden's muse shall in his friend survive.

b

I'm tir'd with rhyming, and would fain give o'er,
But justice still demands one labour more:
The noble Montague' remains unnam'd,

For wit, for humour, and for judgment fam'd;

To Dorset he directs his artful muse,

In numbers such as Dorset's self might use.

The noble Montague. It is of Montague that Pope says, "he was fed with dedications," and Tickell, that he rewarded them all.-.

a Whether in comic sounds or tragick airs. A writer in fashion, like the stoical wise man, is every thing he has a mind to be. Dryn's comedies are very indifferent, and his tragedies still worse.

b Congreve shall still. Another poet in fashion: but it is not safe to prophecy of such. All he had of Dryden's muse was only his quaint and ill-applied wit.

How negligently graceful he unreins.

His verse, and writes in loose familiar strains;

How Nassau's godlike acts adorn his lines,
And all the hero in full glory shines.

We see his army set in just array,

And Boyne's dy'd waves run purple to the sea.

Nor Simois choak'd with men, and arms, and blood;

Nor rapid Xanthus' celebrated flood,

Shall longer be the poet's highest themes,

Tho' gods and heroes fought promiscuous in their streams.
But now, to Nassau's secret councils rais'd,

He aids the hero, whom before he prais'd.

I've done at length; and now, dear friend, receive
The last poor present that my muse can give.

I leave the arts of poetry and verse1

1

To them that practise 'em with more success.
Of greater truths 2 I'll now prepare to tell,
And so at once, dear friend and muse, farewell.

1 I leave the arts, &c. These lines have found a place in the twelfth chapter of "The art of sinking in poetry." "Let verses run in this manner, just to be a vehicle to the words. (I take them from my last cited author, who, though otherwise by no means of our rank, seemed, once in his life, to have a mind to be simple, &c.) "G.

Of greater truths. Addison, at this time, thought of taking orders.

LINES TO THE KING.

PRESENTED TO THE LORD KEEPER.

TO THE

RIGHT HON. SIR JOHN SOMERS, LORD KEEPER OF THE GREAT SEAL 1

Ir yet your thoughts are loose from state affairs,"

Nor feel the burden of a kingdom's cares,

If yet your time and actions are your own,
Receive the present of a muse unknown :

1To the Right Honorable, &c., Sir John Somers :-Somers, equally eminent as a constitutional lawyer, a statesman, and a patron of letters, was born at Worcester in 1652. He studied at Oxford, soon distinguished himself at the bar, made his first appearance in political life as an opponent of the policy of Charles II., established his legal reputation by his five minutes' plea in defence of the seven bishops, sat for Worcester in the convention of parliament, was one of the managers for the Commons in the conference with the lords on the word abdicate, was knighted and made Solicitorgeneral in 1689, Attorney-general in 1692, Lord Keeper in 1693, and Lord High Chancellor in 1695, and Peer, by the title of Lord Somers, Baron Evesham. After William's death, he retired from public life to letters, which he had always loved, and, in this capacity, was chosen President of the Royal Society. In 1706 he drew up a plan of union for England and Scotland, and was appointed one of the Commissioners for carrying it into effect.

In 1708 he returned to public life as President of the Council, was dismissed in 1710, and died in 1716 of an apoplectic fit, at the age of 64. of 64. As a patron of letters, his name is closely associated with that of Addison, like whom he contributed to call attention to the neglected beauties of the Paradise Lost. He translated some of Ovid's epistles, Plutarch's Alcibiades, and wrote several tracts, one of which, called "The judgment of whole kingdoms and nations concerning the rights, powers, and preroga. tives of kings, and the rights, privileges, and properties of the people,

a This short address to his patron, is polite and proper, but, like the poem, which it introduces, very prosaic.

A muse that in advent'rous numbers sings
The rout of armies, and the fall of kings,
Britain advanc'd, and Europe's peace restor'd,
By Somers' counsels, and by Nassau's sword.

To you, my lord, these daring thoughts belong,
Who help'd to raise the subject of my song;
To you the hero of my verse reveals
His great designs, to you in council tells
His inmost thoughts, determining the doom
Of towns unstorm'd, and battles yet to come.
And well could you, in your immortal strains,
Describe his conduct, and reward his pains:
But since the state has all your cares engrost,
And poetry in higher thoughts is lost,
Attend to what a lesser muse a indites,

Pardon her faults and countenance her flights.

shewing," &c., &c., was reprinted during the discussions which preceded our own revolution, with the following date:

Newport, Rhode Island: reprinted and sold by Solomon Southwick, in Queen-street, 1774.

Somers left also a large collection of scarce tracts, from which a selection was published, in 14 vols., and in 1809-1812, a new edition, in 12 vols. 4to. edited by Sir Walter Scott.

It is to him that Swift, in a letter to Bolingbroke, attributes "the regularity of an alderman or a gentleman usher;" and Evelyn says of him, in the 3d vol. of his memoirs, "It is certain that this chancellor was a most excellent lawyer, very learned in all polite literature, a superior pen, master of a handsome style, and of easy conversation: but he is said to make too much haste to be rich, as his predecessor, and most in place it. this age did, to a more prodigious excess than was ever known.”

Addison, who was not yet known to Somers, was invited to wait upon him; and thus his second verses, like the first, opened the way to an im portant political as well as literary acquaintance.-G.]

a Lesser muse. Little has two leaves us at libery to employ either.

comparatives, less and lesser. Ust The sound will direct us when t prefer the one to the other. As here, a lesser muse, is clearly better thar

On you, my lord, with anxious fear I wait,
And from your judgment must expect my fate,
Who, free from vulgar passions, are above
Degrading envy, or misguided love;

If you, well pleas'd, shall smile upon my lays,
Secure of fame, my voice I'll boldly raise,
For next to what you write, is what you praise.

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TO THE KING.1

WHEN now the business of the field is o'er,
The trumpets sleep, and cannons cease to roar,
When ev'ry dismal echo is decay'd,

And all the thunder of the battle laid;
Attend, auspicious prince, and let the muse
In humble accents milder thoughts infuse.

Others, in bold prophetick numbers skill'd,
Set thee in arms, and led thee to the field,
My muse expecting on the British strand
Waits thy return, and welcomes thee to land:
She oft has seen thee pressing on the foe,
When Europe was concern'd in ev'ry blow;
But durst not in heroick strains rejoice;

The trumpets, drums, and cannons drown'd her voice.

This poem was addressed to William on his return from the cam paign of 1695 in Flanders, against the French army under Villeroy. The great event of the campaign was the taking of Namur on the 4th of August.-G.

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a less muse. But, in general, it may be a good rule "to join less with a singular noun, and lesser with a plural: -as, when we say, a less difficulty, and, lesser difficulties. The reason is, that few singular nouns terminate in s, and most plural nouns do.

Worser, the second comparative of bad, has not the same authority to plead, as lesser, and is not, I think, of equal use. Our grammarians do not enough attend to the influence, which the ear has in modelling a lan guage.

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