« 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 strains as precious as bis hero's blood;
Preserve those strains, an everlasting charm
To keep that blood and thy remembrance warın;
Be this thy guardian image ftill fecure,
In vain shall force invade, or fraud allure ;
Our great Palladium Thall perform its part,
Fix'd and enshrin'd in every British heart,
He mind to virtue is by verse subdu'd ;
And the true poet is a public good.
This Britain feels, while, by your lines inspir’d,
Her free-born sons to glorious thoughts are fir'd.
In Rome had you espous’d the vanquish'd cause,
Inflam'd her senate and upheld her laws;
Your manly scenes had liberty restord,
And giv'n the just success to Cato's sword!
Oer Cæfar's arms your genius had prevailid;
And the muse triumph'd, where the patriot fail'd.
O wake the foul by tender strokes of art,
To raise the genius, and to mend the beart,
To make mankind in conscious virtue bold,
Live o'er each scene, and be what they bebold:
For this the tragic muse first trod the stage,
Commanding tears to stream thro' every age;
Tyrants no more their favage nature kept,
And foes to virtue wonderd how they wept.
Our author founs by vulgar springs to move
The bero's glory, or the virgin's love;
in pitying love we but our weakness foow,
And wild ambition well deserves its woe.
Here tears shall flow from a more gen'rous cause,
Such tears as patriots
shed for dying laws: He bids your breasts with antient arduur rise, And calls forth Roman drops from British
Virtue confefd in hunian bape he draws,
What Plato thought, and godlike Cato was:
No common object to your light displays,
But what with pleasure heav'n itself surveys ;
A brave man struggling in the forms of fate,
And greatly falling with a falling fate!
While Cato gives bis little fenate laws,
What bosom beats not in bis country's cause?
Who fees bim act, but envies ev'ry deed?
Who hears bim groan, and wishes not to bleed?
Evn when proud Cæsar 'midst 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 reu'rend image past,
The pomp was darken'd, and the day o'ercast,
The triumph ceas’d, mtears gußd from ev'ry eye,
The world's great vidor pafsd unbeeded by ;
Her last good man dejected Rome ador'd,
And honour'd Cæsar's less than Cato's sword.
Britons, attend: Be worth like this approv'd,
And shew you have the virtue to be mov'd.
With honeft fcorn the first fand Cato view'd
Rome learning arts from Greece, whom she subdu’d:
Our scene precariously subfifts too long
On French translation, and Italian fong.
Dare to have sense yourselves; assert the stage,
Be justly warm’d with your own native rage.
Such plays alone should please a British ear,
As Cato's self had not disdain'd to hear.
SCENE a large hall in the Governor's
palace of Utica.
HE dawn is over-cast, 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 Cæfar
Has ravag'd more than half the globe, and sees
Mankind grown thin by his destructive sword.
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!
M A R CUS.
Thy steady temper, Portius,
Can look on guilt, rebellion, fraud, and Cafar,
In the calm lights of mild philosophy;