« EelmineJätka »
Sullen approv'd, too obstinate to melt,
And sicken'd with the pleasures which they felt.
Not so the fair their passions secret kept,
Silent they heard, but as they heard, they wept,
When gloriously the blooming Marcus dy'd,
And Cato told the gods, I'm satisfy'd.
See! how your lays the British youth inflame!
They long to shoot, and ripen into fame;
Applauding theatres disturb their rest,
And unborn Catos. heave in every breast;
Their nightly dreams, their daily thoughts repeat,
And pulses high with fancy'd glories beat.
So, griev'd to view the Marathonian spoils,
The young Themistocles vow'd equal toils;
Did then his schemes of future honours draw
From the long triumphs which with tears he saw.
How shall I your unrival'd worth proclaim,
Lost in the spreading circle of your fame!
We saw you the great William's praise rehearse,
And paint Britannia's joys in Roman verse.
We heard at distance soft, enchanting strains,
From blooming mountains, and Italian plains.
Virgil began in English dress to shine,
His voice, his looks, his grandeur still divine.
From him too soon unfriendly you withdrew,
But brought the tuneful Ovid to our view.
Then, the delightful theme of every tongue,
Th' immortal Marlb'rough was your daring song.
From clime to clime the mighty victor flew,
From clime to clime as swiftly you pursue;
Still with the hero's glow'd the poet's flame,
Still with his conquests you enlarg'd your fame.
With boundless raptures here the muse could swell,
And on your Rosamond for ever dwell :
There opening sweets, and every fragrant flower
Luxuriant smile, a never-fading bower.
Next, human follies kindly to expose,
You change from numbers, but not sink in prose;
Whether in visionary scenes you play,
Refine our tastes, or laugh our crimes away.
Now, by the buskin'd muse you shine confest,
The patriot kindles in the poet's breast.
Such energy of sense might pleasure raise,
Tho' unembellish'd with the charms of phrase :
Such charms of phrase would with success be crown'd,
Tho' nonsense flow'd in the melodious sound,
The chastest virgin needs no blushes fear,
The learn'd themselves, not uninstructed, hear,
The libertine, in pleasures us'd to roll,
And idly sport with an immortal soul,
Here comes, and by the virtuous heathen taught,
Turns pale, and trembles at the dreadful thought.
Whene'er you traverse vast Numidia's plains,
What sluggish Briton in his isle remains?
When Juba seeks the tiger with delight,
We beat the thicket, and provoke the fight.
By the description warm'd, we fondly sweat,
And in the chilling east-wind pant with heat.
What eyes behold not, how the stream refines,
Till by degrees the floating mirror shines?'
While hurricanes 'in circling eddies play,
Tear up the sands, and sweep whole plains away,'
We shrink with horror, and confess our fear,
And all the sudden sounding ruin hear.
When purple robes, distain'd with blood, deceive,
And make poor Marcia beautifully grieve,
When she her secret thoughts no more conceals,
Forgets the woman, and her flame reveals,
Well may the prince exult with noble pride,
Not for his Libyan crown, but Roman bride.
But I in vain on single features dwell,
While all the parts of the fair piece excel,
So rich the store, so dubious is the feast,
We know not which to pass, or which to taste.
The shining incidents so justly fall,
We may the whole new scenes of transport call.
Thus jewellers confound our wandering eyes,
And with variety of gems surprise.
Here sapphires, here the Sardian stone is seen,
The topaz yellow, and the jasper green.
The costly brilliant there, confus'dly bright,
From numerous surfaces darts trembling light.
The different colours mingling in a blaze,
Silent we stand, unable where to praise,
In pleasure sweetly lost ten thousand ways.
Trinity College, Cambridge.
Too long hath love engross'd Britannia's stage,
And sunk to softness all our tragic rage;
By that alone did empires fall or rise,
And fate depended on a fair one's eyes;
The sweet infection, mixt with dangerous art,
Debas'd our manhood, while it sooth'd the heart.
You scorn to raise a grief thyself must blame,
Nor from our weakness steal a vulgar fame:
A patriot's fall may justly melt the mind,
And tears flow nobly, shed for all mankind.
How do our souls with gen'rous pleasure glow!
Our hearts exulting, while our eyes o'erflow,
When thy firm hero stands beneath the weight
Of all his sufferings venerably great;
Rome's poor remains still shelt'ring by his side,
With conscious virtue, and becoming pride.
The aged oak thus rears his head in air,
His sap exhausted, and his branches bare;
'Midst storms and earthquakes he maintains his state,
Fixt deep in earth, and fasten'd by his weight :
His naked boughs still lend the shepherds aid,
And his old trunk projects an awful shade.
Amidst the joys triumphant peace bestows,
Our patriots sadden at his glorious woes,
Awhile they let the world's great bus'ness wait,
Anxious for Rome, and sigh for Cato's fate.
Here taught how ancient heroes rose to fame,
Our Britons crowd, and catch the Roman flame,
Where states and senates well might lend an ear,
And kings and priests without a blush appear.
France boasts no more, but, fearful to engage,
Now first pays homage to her rival's stage,
Hastes to learn thee, and learning shall submit
Alike to British arms, and British wit:
No more she'll wonder, (forc'd to do us right,)
Who think like Romans, could like Romans fight,
Thy Oxford smiles this glorious work to see,
And fondly triumphs in a son like thee.
The senates, consuls, and the gods of Rome,
Like old acquaintance at their native home,
In thee we find each deed, each word exprest,
And every thought that swell'd a Roman breast.
We trace each hint that could thy soul inspire
With Virgil's judgment, and with Lucan's fire;
We know thy worth, and, give us leave to boast,
We most admire, because we know thee most.
WHEN your generous labour first I view'd,
And Cato's hands in his own blood imbru'd;
That scene of death so terrible appears,
My soul could only thank you with her tears.
Yet with such wondrous art your skilful hand
Does all the passions of the soul command,
That even my grief to praise and wonder turn'd,
And envy'd the great death which first I mourn'd.
What pen but yours could draw the doubtful strife,
Of honour struggling with the love of life?
Describe the patriot, obstinately good,
As hovering o'er eternity he stood :
The wide, th' unbounded ocean lay before
His piercing sight, and heaven the distant shore.
Secure of endless bliss, with fearless eyes,
He grasps the dagger, and its point defies,
He rushes out of life, to snatch the glorious prize.
How would old Rome rejoice, to hear you tell
How just her patriot liv'd, how great he fell!