Page images
PDF
EPUB

Touch'd by your hand his manly frame improves 65
With grace divine, and like a god he moves.

Ev'n I, the meanest of the Muses' train,
Inflam'd by thee, attempt a nobler strain;
Advent'rous waken the Mæonian lyre,
Tun'd by your hand, and sing as you inspire;
So arm'd by great Achilles for the fight,
Patroclus conquer'd in Achilles' right;

Like theirs, our friendship! and I boast my name
To thine united---for thy friendship's fame.

This labour past, of heav'nly subjects sing,
While hov'ring angels listen on the wing,
To hear from earth such heart-felt raptures rise,
As, when they sing, suspended hold the skies:
Or, nobly rising in fair Virtue's cause,

From thy own life transcribe th' unerring laws:
Teach a bad world beneath her sway to bend,
To verse like thine fierce savages attend,

70

And men more fierce: when Orpheus tunes the lay, Ev'n fiends relenting hear their rage away.

75

80

W. BROOME.

TO MR. POPE,

ON THE PUBLISHING HIS WORKS.

He comes, he comes! bid ev'ry bard prepare
The song of triumph, and attend his car.
Great Sheffield's muse the long procession heads,
And throws a lustre o'er the pomp she leads;
First gives the palm she fir'd him to obtain,
Crowns his gay brow, and shews him how to reign.

5

Thus young Alcides, by old Chiron taught,
Was form'd for all the miracles he wrought;
Thus Chiron did the youth he taught applaud,
Pleas'd to behold the earnest of a god.

[ocr errors]

15

But hark! what shouts, what gath'ring crowds rejoice!
Unstain'd their praise by any venal voice,
Such as th' ambitious vainly think their due,
When prostitutes or needy flatt'rers sue.
And see the chief! before him laurels borne,
Trophies from undeserving temples torn;
Here rage unchain'd reluctant raves, and there
Pale Envy dumb, and sick'ning with despair,
Prone to the earth she bends her loathing eye,
Weak to support the blaze of majesty.

But what are they that turn the sacred page?
Three lovely virgins, and of equal age;
Intent they read, and all enamour'd seem,
As he that met his likeness in the stream:

The Graces these; and see how they contend,
Who most shall praise, who best shall recommend!
The chariot now the painful steep ascends;

20

25

The peans cease; thy glorious labour ends.
Here fix'd, the bright eternal temple stands,
Its prospect an unbounded view commands.

30

Say, wond'rous youth, what column wilt thou choose,
What laurell'd arch for thy triumphant muse?
Though each great Ancient court thee to his shrine,
Though ev'ry laurel through the dome be thine,
(From the proud epic down to those that shade
The gentler brow of the soft Lesbian maid)

35

Go to the good and just, an awful train,
Thy soul's delight, and glory of the fane;
While thro' the earth thy dear remembrance flies,
"Sweet to the world, and grateful to the skies."

40

SIMON HARCOURT.

TO MR. POPE.

FROM ROME, 1730.

IMMORTAL Bard! for whom each muse has wove
The fairest garlands of th' Aonian grove;
Preserv'd, our drooping genius to restore,
When Addison and Congreve are no more;
After so many stars extinct in night,
The darken'd age's last remaining light!

To thee from Latian realms this verse is writ,
Inspir'd by memory of ancient wit:

For now no more these climes their influence boast,
Fall'n is their glory, and their virtue lost :
From tyrants, and from priests, the Muses fly,
Daughters of Reason and of Liberty.

Nor Baie now, nor Umbria's plain they love,
Nor on the banks of Nar or Mincia rove;
To Thames's flow'ry borders they retire,
And kindle in thy breast the Roman fire.

So in the shades, where cheer'd with summer rays,
Melodious linnets warbled sprightly.lays,

Soon as the faded, falling leaves complain
Of gloomy Winter's inauspicious reign,
No tuneful voice is heard of joy or love,
But mournful silence saddens all the grove.

[ocr errors]

10

15

20

[ocr errors]

Unhappy Italy! whose alter'd state

Has felt the worst severity of Fate:

Not that barbarian hands her fasces broke,

And bow'd her haughty neck beneath their yoke;
Nor that her palaces to earth are thrown,

Her cities desert, and her fields unsown;
But that her ancient spirit is decay'd,

25

30

That sacred wisdom from her bounds is fled,
That there the source of science flows no more,
Whence its rich streams supply'd the world before.
Illustrious names! that once in Latium shin'd,
Born to instruct, and to command mankind;
Chiefs, by whose virtue mighty Rome was rais'd, 35
And poets, who those chiefs sublimely prais'd!
Oft I the traces you have left explore,

Your ashes visit, and your urns adore;

Oft kiss, with lips devout, some mould'ring stone,
With ivy's venerable shade o'ergrown;
Those hallow'd ruins better pleas'd to see
Than all the pomp of modern luxury.

As late on Virgil's tomb fresh flow'rs I strow'd,
While with th' inspiring muse my bosom glow'd,
Crown'd with eternal bays my ravish'd eyes
Beheld the poet's awful form arise:

Stranger, he said, whose pious hand has paid
These grateful rites to my attentive shade,
When thou shalt breathe thy happy native air,
To Pope this message from his master bear:
"Great Bard, whose-numbers I myself inspire,
To whom I gave my own harmonious lyre,

40

45

[ocr errors]

If high exalted on the throne of Wit;
Near me and Homer thou aspire to sit.
No more let meaner satire dim the rays
That flow majestic from thy nobler bays;
In all the flow'ry paths of Pindus stray,
But shun that thorny, that unpleasing way;
Nor, when each soft engaging muse is thine,
Address the least attractive of the Nine.

55

60

:65

"Of thee more worthy were the task to raise A lasting column to thy country's praise; To sing the land which yet alone can boast That liberty corrupted Rome has lost; Where Science in the arms of Peace is laid, And plants her palm beneath the olive's shade. Such was the theme for which my lyre I strung, Such was the people whose exploits I sung; Brave, yet refin'd, for arms and arts renown'd, With diff'rent bays by Mars and Phoebus crown'd, 70 Dauntless opposers of tyrannic sway,

But pleas'd a mild Augustus to obey.

"If these commands submissive thou receive,
Immortal and unblam'd thy name shall live;
Envy to black Cocytus shall retire,
And howl with furies in tormenting fire;
Approving Time shall consecrate thy lays,
And join the patriot's to the poet's praise."

75

GEORGE LYTTLETON,

Volume I.

G

« EelmineJätka »