Page images
PDF
EPUB

As love of pleasure, or of place invites :
And sometimes catch him taking snuff at White's.

Howe'er, to do you right, the present age,
Breeds very hopeful monsters for the stage;
That scorn the paths their dull forefather's trod,
And wo'n't be blockheads in the common road.
Do but survey this crowded house to-night:
Here's still encouragement for those that write.

Our author, to divert his friends to-day, Stocks with variety of fools his play; And that there may be something gay and new, Two ladies-errant has expos'd to view: The first a damsel, travell’d in romance; The t'other more refin'd; she comes from France: Rescue, like courteous knights, the nymph from danger; And kindly treat; like well-bred men, the stranger.

EPILOGUE

TO THB

BRITISH ENCHANTERS*.

When Orpheus tun'd his lyre with pleasing woe,
Rivers forgot to run, and winds to blow,
While list’ning forests cover'd, as he play'd,
The soft musician in a moving shade.
That this night's strains the same success may find,
The force of magic is to music joind:
Where sounding strings and artful voices fail,
The charming rod and mutter'd spells prevail.
Let sage Urganda wave the circling wand
On barren mountains, or a waste of sand,

* A dramatic poem written by the Lord Lansdown.

The desert smiles; the woods begin to grow,
The birds to warble, and the springs to flow.

The same dull sights in the same landscape mix’d,
Scenes of still life, and points for ever fix’d,
Á tedious pleasure on the mind bestow,
And pall the sense with one continu'd show:
But as our two magicians try their skill,
The vision varies, though the place stands still,
While the same spot its gaudy form renews,
Shifting the prospect to a thousand views.
Thus (without unity of place transgress'd)
Th' enchanter turns the critic to a jest.
But howsoe'er, to please your wand'ring eyes

, Bright objects disappear and brighter rise : There's none can make amends for lost delight, While from that cirle we divert your sight.

HORACE,

ODE III. BOOK III.

Augustus had a design to rebuild Troy, and make it the Metropolis of the

Roman Empire, having closeted several Senators on the project: Horace

is supposed to have written the following Ode on this occasion. THE

He man resolv'd and steady to his trust,
Inflexible to ill, and obstinately just,
May the rude rabble's insolence despise,
Their senseless clamours and tumultuous cries;
The tyrant's fierceness he beguiles,
And the stern brow, and the harsh voice defies,
And with superior greatness smiles.

Not the rough whirlwind, that deforms
Adria’s black gulf, and vexes it with storms,
The stubborn virtue of his soul can move;
Not the red arm of angry Jove,

That flings the thunder from the sky,
And gives it rage to roar, and strength to fly.

Should the whole frame of nature round him break
In ruin and confusion hurl'd,
He, unconcern'd, would hear the mighty crack,
And stand secure amidst a falling world.

Such were the godlike arts that led
Bright Pollux to the blest abodes ;
Such did for great Alcides plead,
And gaind a place among the gods;
Where now Augustus, mix'd with heroes, 'lies,
And to his lips the nectar bowl applies :
His ruddy lips the purple tincture show,
And with immortal strains divinely glow.

By arts like these did young Lyæus rise :
His tigers drew him to the skies;
Wild from the desert and unbroke,
In vain they foam'd, in vain they star’d,
In vain their eyes with fury glar'd;
He tam'd them to the lash, and bent them to the yoke.

Such were the paths that Rome's great founder trod,
When in a whirlwind snatch'd on high,
He shook off dull mortality,
And lost the monarch in the god.
Bright Juno then her awful silence broke,
And thus th' assembled deities bespoke.

Troy, says the goddess, perjur'd Troy has felt
The dire effects of her proud tyrant's guilt;
The tow’ring pile, and soft abodes,
Wall’d by the hand of servile gods,
Now spreads its ruins all around,
And lies inglorious on the ground.
An umpire, partial and unjust,
And a lewd woman's impious lust,
Lay heavy on her, and sink her to the dust.

Since false Laomedon's tyrannic sway,
That durst defraud th' immortals of their pay,
Her guardian gods renounc'd their patronage,

Nor would the fierce invading foe repel ;
To my resentment, and Minerva's rage,
The guilty king and the whole people fell.

And now the long protracted wars are o'er,
The soft adult'rer shines no more;
No more does Hector's force the Trojan's shield,
That drove whole armies back, and singly clear'd the

field.
My vengeance sated, I at length resign
To Mars his offspring of the Trojan line;
Advanc'd to godhead let him rise,
And take his station in the skies;
There entertain his ravish'd sight
With scenes of glory, fields of light;
Quaff with the gods immortal wine,
And see adoring nations crowd his shrine:

The thin remains of Troy's afflicted host,
In distant realms may seats unenvy'd find,
And flourish on a foreign coast;
But far be Rome from Troy disjoind,
Remov'd by seas, from the disastrous shore,
May endless billows rise between, and storms unnum-

bered roar.
Still let the curst detested place,
Where Priam lies, and Priam's faithless race,
Be cover'd o'er with weeds, and hid in grass.
There let the wanton flocks unguarded stray;
Or, while the lonely shepherd sings,
Amidst the mighty ruins play,
And frisk upon the tombs of kings.

May tigers there, and all the savage kind,
Sad solitary haunts, and silent deserts find;
In gloomy vaults, and nooks of palaces,
May th' unmolested lioness
Her brinded whelps securely lay,
Or, couch’d, in dreadful slumbers waste the day.

While Troy in heaps of ruins lies,
Rome and the Roman Capitol shall rise;

Th’ illustrious exiles unconfin'd
Shall triumph far and near, and rule mankind.

In vain the sea's intruding tide
Europe from Afric shall divide,
And part the sever'd world in two:
Through Afric's sands their triumphs they shall spread,
And the long train of victories pursue
To Nile's yet undiscover'd head.

Riches the hardy soldier shall despise,
And look on gold with undesiring eyes,
Nor the disboweld earth explore
In search of the forbidden ore;
Those glitt'ring ills conceal’d within the mine,
Shall lie untouch'd, and innocently shine.
To the last bounds that nature sets,
The piercing colds and sultry heats,
The godlike race shall spread their arms;
Now fill the polar circle with alarms,
Till storms and tempests their pursuits confine;
Now sweat for conquest underneath the line.

This only law the victor shall restrain,
On these conditions shall he reign;
If none his guilty hand employ
To build again a second Troy,
If none the rash design pursue,
Nor tempt the vengeance of the gods anew.

A curse there cleaves to the devoted place,
That shall the new foundations rase:
Greece shall in mutual leagues conspire
To storm the rising town with fire,
And at their armies head myself will show
What Juno, urg'd to all her rage, can do.

Thrice should Apollo's self the city raise,
And line it round with walls of brass,
Thrice should my fav’rite Greeks his works confound,
And hew the shining fabric to the ground;
Thrice should her captive dames to Greece return,
And their dead sons and slaughter'd husbands mourn,

« EelmineJätka »