Poetical Works of Johnson, Parnell, Gray, and Smollett
Samuel Johnson, Thomas Parnell, Thomas Gray, and Tobias Smollett
Part 5 out of 5
I'll own my error and expunge my verse.
Come, come, howe'er the day was lost or won,
The world allows the race was fairly run. 40
But, lest the truth too naked should appear,
A robe of fable shall the goddess wear:
When sheep were subject to the lion's reign,
E'er man acquired dominion o'er the plain,
Voracious wolves, fierce rushing from the rocks,
Devour'd without control the unguarded flocks;
The sufferers, crowding round the royal cave,
Their monarch's pity and protection crave:
Not that they wanted valour, force, or arms,
To shield their lambs from danger and alarms; 50
A thousand rams, the champions of the fold,
In strength of horn and patriot virtue bold,
Engaged in firm association stood,
Their lives devoted to the public good:
A warlike chieftain was their sole request,
To marshal, guide, instruct, and rule the rest.
Their prayer was heard, and, by consent of all,
A courtier ape appointed general.
He went, he led; arranged the battle stood,
The savage foe came pouring like a flood; 60
Then Pug, aghast, fled swifter than the wind,
Nor deign'd in threescore miles to look behind,
While every band fled orders bleat in vain,
And fall in slaughter'd heaps upon the plain.
The scared baboon, (to cut the matter short)
With all his speed, could not outrun report;
And, to appease the clamours of the nation,
'Twas fit his case should stand examination.
The board was named--each worthy took his place,
All senior members of the horned race; 70
The wedder, goat, ram, elk, and ox were there,
And a grave hoary stag possess'd the chair.
The inquiry past, each in his turn began
The culprit's conduct variously to scan.
At length the sage uprear'd his awful crest,
And, pausing, thus his fellow chiefs address'd:
'If age, that from this head its honours stole,
Hath not impair'd the functions of my soul,
But sacred wisdom, with experience bought,
While this weak frame decays, matures my thought, 80
The important issue of this grand debate
May furnish precedent for your own fate,
Should ever fortune call you to repel
The shaggy foe, so desperate and fell.
'Tis plain, you say, his excellence Sir Ape
From the dire field accomplish'd an escape;
Alas! our fellow subjects ne'er had bled,
If every ram that fell like him had fled;
Certes, those sheep were rather mad than brave,
Which scorn'd the example their wise leader gave. 90
Let us then every vulgar hint disdain,
And from our brother's laurel wash the stain.'
The admiring court applauds the president,
And Pug was clear'd by general consent.
There needs no magic to divine your scope,
Mark'd, as you are, a flagrant misanthrope:
Sworn foe to good and bad, to great and small,
Thy rankling pen produces nought but gall:
Let virtue struggle, or let glory shine,
Thy verse affords not one approving line. 100
Hail, sacred themes! the Muse's chief delight!
Oh, bring the darling objects to my sight!
My breast with elevated thought shall glow,
My fancy brighten, and my numbers flow!
The Aonian grove with rapture would I tread,
To crop unfading wreaths for William's head,
But that my strain, unheard amidst the throng,
Must yield to Lockman's ode, and Hambury's song.
Nor would the enamour'd Muse neglect to pay
To Stanhope's worth the tributary lay, 110
The soul unstain'd, the sense sublime to paint,
A people's patron, pride, and ornament,
Did not his virtues eternised remain
The boasted theme of Pope's immortal strain.
Not e'en the pleasing task is left to raise
A grateful monument to Barnard's praise,
Else should the venerable patriot stand
The unshaken pillar of a sinking land.
The gladdening prospect let me still pursue,
And bring fair Virtue's triumph to the view; 120
Alike to me, by fortune blest or not,
From soaring Cobham to the melting Scot.
But, lo! a swarm of harpies intervene,
To ravage, mangle, and pollute the scene!
Gorged with our plunder, yet still gaunt for spoil,
Rapacious Gideon fastens on our isle;
Insatiate Lascelles, and the fiend Vaneck,
Rise on our ruins, and enjoy the wreck;
While griping Jasper glories in his prize,
Wrung from the widow's tears and orphan's cries. 130
Relapsed again! strange tendency to rail!
I fear'd this meekness would not long prevail.
You deem it rancour, then? Look round and see
What vices flourish still unpruned by me:
Corruption, roll'd in a triumphant car,
Displays his burnish'd front and glittering star,
Nor heeds the public scorn, or transient curse,
Unknown alike to honour and remorse.
Behold the leering belle, caress'd by all,
Adorn each private feast and public ball, 140
Where peers attentive listen and adore,
And not one matron shuns the titled whore.
At Peter's obsequies I sung no dirge;
Nor has my satire yet supplied a scourge
For the vile tribes of usurers and bites,
Who sneak at Jonathan's, and swear at White's.
Each low pursuit, and slighter folly, bred
Within the selfish heart and hollow head,
Thrives uncontroll'd, and blossoms o'er the land,
Nor feels the rigour of my chastening hand. 150
While Codrus shivers o'er his bags of gold,
By famine wither'd, and benumb'd by cold,
I mark his haggard eyes with frenzy roll,
And feast upon the terrors of his soul;
The wrecks of war, the perils of the deep,
That curse with hideous dreams the caitiff's sleep;
Insolvent debtors, thieves, and civil strife,
Which daily persecute his wretched life,
With all the horrors of prophetic dread,
That rack his bosom while the mail is read. 160
Safe from the road, untainted by the school,
A judge by birth, by destiny a fool,
While the young lordling struts in native pride,
His party-colour'd tutor by his side,
Pleased, let me own the pious mother's care,
Who to the brawny sire commits her heir.
Fraught with the spirit of a Gothic monk,
Let Rich, with dulness and devotion drunk,
Enjoy the peal so barbarous and loud,
While his brain spews new monsters to the crowd; 170
I see with joy the vaticide deplore
A hell-denouncing priest and ... whore;
Let every polish'd dame and genial lord,
Employ the social chair and venal board;
Debauch'd from sense, let doubtful meanings run,
The vague conundrum, and the prurient pun,
While the vain fop, with apish grin, regards
The giggling minx half-choked behind her cards:
These, and a thousand idle pranks, I deem
The motley spawn of Ignorance and Whim. 180
Let Pride conceive, and Folly propagate,
The fashion still adopts the spurious brat:
Nothing so strange that fashion cannot tame;
By this, dishonour ceases to be shame:
This weans from blushes lewd Tyrawley's face,
Gives Hawley praise, and Ingoldsby disgrace,
From Mead to Thomson shifts the palm at once,
A meddling, prating, blundering, busy dunce!
And may, should taste a little more decline,
Transform the nation to a herd of swine. 190
The fatal period hastens on apace.
Nor will thy verse the obscene event disgrace;
Thy flowers of poetry, that smell so strong,
The keenest appetites have loathed the song,
Condemn'd by Clark, Banks, Barrowby, and Chitty,
And all the crop-ear'd critics of the city:
While sagely neutral sits thy silent friend,
Alike averse to censure or commend.
Peace to the gentle soul that could deny
His invocated voice to fill the cry! 200
And let me still the sentiment disdain
Of him who never speaks but to arraign,
The sneering son of Calumny and Scorn,
Whom neither arts, nor sense, nor soul adorn;
Or his, who, to maintain a critic's rank,
Though conscious of his own internal blank,
His want of taste unwilling to betray,
'Twixt sense and nonsense hesitates all day,
With brow contracted hears each passage read,
And often hums, and shakes his empty head, 210
Until some oracle adored pronounce
The passive bard a poet or a dunce;
Then in loud clamour echoes back the word,
'Tis bold, insipid--soaring, or absurd.
These, and the unnumber'd shoals of smaller fry,
That nibble round, I pity and defy.
[Footnote 1: 'Williamson:' governor of the Tower.]
[Footnote 2: 'Vanquished knight:' Sir John Cope.]
[Footnote 3: 'Stanhope:' the Earl of Chesterfield.]
[Footnote 4; 'Scot, Gideon,' &c.: forgotten contractors,
[Footnote 5: 'Peter's obsequies:' Peter Waters, Esq.]
[Footnote 6: 'Hawley:' discomfited at Falkirk in 1746.]
* * * * *
THE TEARS OF SCOTLAND.
WRITTEN IN THE YEAR 1746.
1 Mourn, hapless Caledonia! mourn
Thy banish'd peace, thy laurels torn!
Thy sons, for valour long renown'd,
Lie slaughter'd on their native ground;
Thy hospitable roofs no more
Invite the stranger to the door;
In smoky ruins sunk they lie,
The monuments of cruelty.
2 The wretched owner sees afar
His all become the prey of war;
Bethinks him of his babes and wife,
Then smites his breast, and curses life.
Thy swains are famish'd on the rocks,
Where once they fed their wanton flocks:
Thy ravish'd virgins shriek in vain;
Thy infants perish on the plain.
3 What boots it, then, in every clime,
Through the wide-spreading waste of Time,
Thy martial glory, crown'd with praise,
Still shone with undiminish'd blaze?
Thy towering spirit now is broke,
Thy neck is bended to the yoke.
What foreign arms could never quell,
By civil rage and rancour fell.
4 The rural pipe and merry lay
No more shall cheer the happy day:
No social scenes of gay delight
Beguile the dreary winter night.
No strains but those of sorrow flow,
And nought be heard but sounds of woe,
While the pale phantoms of the slain
Glide nightly o'er the silent plain.
5 Oh! baneful cause, oh! fatal morn,
Accursed to ages yet unborn!
The sons against their father stood,
The parent shed his children's blood.
Yet, when the rage of battle ceased,
The victor's soul was not appeased:
The naked and forlorn must feel
Devouring flames, and murdering steel!
6 The pious mother, doom'd to death,
Forsaken wanders o'er the heath,
The bleak wind whistles round her head,
Her helpless orphans cry for bread;
Bereft of shelter, food, and friend,
She views the shades of night descend,
And, stretch'd beneath the inclement skies,
Weeps o'er her tender babes, and dies.
7 While the warm blood bedews my veins,
And unimpair'd remembrance reigns,
Resentment of my country's fate,
Within my filial breast shall beat;
And, spite of her insulting foe,
My sympathising verse shall flow:
Mourn, hapless Caledonia! mourn
Thy banish'd peace, thy laurels torn!
* * * * *
VERSES ON A YOUNG LADY
PLAYING ON A HARPSICHORD AND SINGING.
1 When Sappho struck the quivering wire,
The throbbing breast was all on fire;
And when she raised the vocal lay,
The captive soul was charm'd away!
2 But had the nymph possess'd with these
Thy softer, chaster power to please,
Thy beauteous air of sprightly youth,
Thy native smiles of artless truth--
3 The worm of grief had never prey'd
On the forsaken love-sick maid;
Nor had she mourn'd a hapless flame,
Nor dash'd on rocks her tender frame.
* * * * *
IN IMITATION OF TIBULLUS.
1 Where now are all my flattering dreams of joy?
Monimia, give my soul her wonted rest;
Since first thy beauty fix'd my roving eye,
Heart-gnawing cares corrode my pensive breast.
2 Let happy lovers fly where pleasures call,
With festive songs beguile the fleeting hour;
Lead beauty through the mazes of the ball,
Or press her, wanton, in Love's roseate bower.
3 For me, no more I'll range the empurpled mead,
Where shepherds pipe, and virgins dance around,
Nor wander through the woodbine's fragrant shade,
To hear the music of the grove resound.
4 I'll seek some lonely church, or dreary hall,
Where fancy paints the glimmering taper blue,
Where damps hang mouldering on the ivied wall,
And sheeted ghosts drink up the midnight dew:
5 There, leagued with hopeless anguish and despair,
A while in silence o'er my fate repine:
Then with a long farewell to love and care,
To kindred dust my weary limbs consign.
6 Wilt thou, Monimia, shed a gracious tear
On the cold grave where all my sorrows rest?
Strew vernal flowers, applaud my love sincere,
And bid the turf lie easy on my breast?
* * * * *
Where wast thou, wittol Ward, when hapless fate
From these weak arms mine aged grannam tore?
These pious arms essay'd too late
To drive the dismal phantom from the door.
Could not thy healing drop, illustrious quack,
Could not thy salutary pill prolong her days,
For whom so oft to Marybone, alack!
Thy sorrels dragg'd thee, through the worst of ways?
Oil-dropping Twickenham did not then detain
Thy steps, though tended by the Cambrian maids; 10
Nor the sweet environs of Drury Lane;
Nor dusty Pimlico's embowering shades;
Nor Whitehall, by the river's bank,
Beset with rowers dank;
Nor where the Exchange pours forth its tawny sons;
Nor where, to mix with offal, soil, and blood,
Steep Snowhill rolls the sable flood;
Nor where the Mint's contamined kennel runs:
Ill doth it now beseem,
That thou should'st doze and dream, 20
When Death in mortal armour came,
And struck with ruthless dart the gentle dame.
Her liberal hand and sympathising breast
The brute creation kindly bless'd;
Where'er she trod, grimalkin purr'd around,
The squeaking pigs her bounty own'd;
Nor to the waddling duck or gabbling goose
Did she glad sustenance refuse;
The strutting cock she daily fed,
And turkey with his snout so red; 30
Of chickens careful as the pious hen,
Nor did she overlook the tom-tit or the wren,
While red-breast hopp'd before her in the hall,
As if she common mother were of all.
For my distracted mind,
What comfort can I find;
O best of grannams! thou art dead and gone,
And I am left behind to weep and moan,
To sing thy dirge in sad and funeral lay,
Oh! woe is me! alack! and well a-day! 40
[Footnote 1: Smollett, imagining himself ill-treated by Lord
Lyttelton, wrote the above burlesque on that nobleman's Monody on the
death of his lady.]
* * * * *
ODE TO MIRTH.
Parent of joy! heart-easing Mirth!
Whether of Venus or Aurora born,
Yet Goddess sure of heavenly birth,
Visit benign a son of grief forlorn:
Thy glittering colours gay,
Around him, Mirth, display,
And o'er his raptured sense
Diffuse thy living influence:
So shall each hill, in purer green array'd,
And flower adorn'd in new-born beauty glow, 10
The grove shall smooth the horrors of the shade,
And streams in murmurs shall forget to flow.
Shine, Goddess! shine with unremitted ray,
And gild (a second sun) with brighter beam our day.
Labour with thee forgets his pain,
And aged Poverty can smile with thee;
If thou be nigh, Grief's hate is vain,
And weak the uplifted arm of Tyranny.
The morning opes on high
His universal eye, 20
And on the world doth pour
His glories in a golden shower;
Lo! Darkness trembling 'fore the hostile ray,
Shrinks to the cavern deep and wood forlorn:
The brood obscene that own her gloomy sway
Troop in her rear, and fly the approaching morn;
Pale shivering ghosts that dread the all-cheering light,
Quick as the lightning's flash glide to sepulchral night.
But whence the gladdening beam
That pours his purple stream 30
* * * * *
ODE TO SLEEP.
Soft Sleep, profoundly pleasing power,
Sweet patron of the peaceful hour!
Oh, listen from thy calm abode,
And hither wave thy magic rod;
Extend thy silent, soothing sway,
And charm the canker care away:
Whether thou lov'st to glide along,
Attended by an airy throng
Of gentle dreams and smiles of joy,
Such as adorn the wanton boy; 10
Or to the monarch's fancy bring
Delights that better suit a king,
The glittering host, the groaning plain,
The clang of arms, and victor's train;
Or should a milder vision please,
Present the happy scenes of peace,
Plump Autumn, blushing all around,
Rich Industry, with toil embrown'd,
Content, with brow serenely gay,
And genial Art's refulgent ray. 20
* * * * *
ODE TO LEVEN WATER.
On Leven's banks, while free to rove,
And tune the rural pipe to love,
I envied not the happiest swain
That ever trod the Arcadian plain.
Pure stream, in whose transparent wave
My youthful limbs I wont to lave,
No torrents stain thy limpid source;
No rocks impede thy dimpling course,
That sweetly warbles o'er its bed,
With white, round, polish'd pebbles spread; 10
While, lightly poised, the scaly brood
In myriads cleave thy crystal flood;
The springing trout, in speckled pride,
The salmon, monarch of the tide,
The ruthless pike, intent on war,
The silver eel, and mottled par.
Devolving from thy parent lake,
A charming maze thy waters make,
By bowers of birch, and groves of pine,
And edges flower'd with eglantine. 20
Still on thy banks, so gaily green,
May numerous herds and flocks be seen,
And lasses, chanting o'er the pail,
And shepherds, piping in the dale,
And ancient faith, that knows no guile,
And Industry, embrown'd with toil,
And hearts resolved, and hands prepared,
The blessings they enjoy to guard.
* * * * *
ODE TO BLUE-EYED ANN.
1 When the rough north forgets to howl,
And ocean's billows cease to roll;
When Lybian sands are bound in frost,
And cold to Nova-Zembla's lost;
When heavenly bodies cease to move,
My blue-eyed Ann I'll cease to love!
2 No more shall flowers the meads adorn,
Nor sweetness deck the rosy thorn,
Nor swelling buds proclaim the spring,
Nor parching heats the dog-star bring,
Nor laughing lilies paint the grove,
When blue-eyed Ann I cease to love.
3 No more shall joy in hope be found,
Nor pleasures dance their frolic round,
Nor love's light god inhabit earth,
Nor beauty give the passion birth,
Nor heat to summer sunshine cleave,
When blue-eyed Nanny I deceive.
4 When rolling seasons cease to change,
Inconstancy forgets to range;
When lavish May no more shall bloom,
Nor gardens yield a rich perfume;
When Nature from her sphere shall start,
I'll tear my Nanny from my heart.
* * * * *
ODE TO INDEPENDENCE.
Thy spirit, Independence! let me share,
Lord of the lion-heart and eagle-eye;
Thy steps I follow with my bosom bare,
Nor heed the storm that howls along the sky.
Deep in the frozen regions of the north,
A goddess violated brought thee forth,
Immortal Liberty, whose look sublime,
Hath bleach'd the tyrant's cheek in every varying clime.
What time the iron-hearted Gaul,
With frantic Superstition for his guide, 10
Arm'd with the dagger and the pall,
The sons of Woden to the field defied;
The ruthless hag, by Weser's flood,
In Heaven's name urged the infernal blow,
And red the stream began to flow:
The vanquished were baptised with blood!
The Saxon prince in horror fled
From altars stain'd with human gore;
And Liberty his routed legions led
In safety to the bleak Norwegian shore. 20
There in a cave asleep she lay,
Lull'd by the hoarse resounding main;
When a bold savage pass'd that way,
Impell'd by destiny, his name Disdain.
Of ample front the portly chief appear'd:
The hunted bear supplied a shaggy vest;
The drifted snow hung on his yellow beard,
And his broad shoulders braved the furious blast.
He stopp'd; he gazed; his bosom glow'd,
And deeply felt the impression of her charms; 30
He seized the advantage Fate allow'd,
And straight compress'd her in his vigorous arms.
The curlew scream'd, the Tritons blew
Their shells to celebrate the ravish'd rite;
Old Time exulted as he flew,
And Independence saw the light;
The light he saw in Albion's happy plains,
Where, under cover of a flowering thorn,
While Philomel renew'd her warbled strains,
The auspicious fruit of stolen embrace was born. 40
The mountain Dyriads seized with joy
The smiling infant to their charge consign'd;
The Doric Muse caress'd the favourite boy;
The hermit Wisdom stored his opening mind:
As rolling years matured his age,
He flourish'd bold and sinewy as his sire;
While the mild passions in his breast assuage
The fiercer flames of his maternal fire.
Accomplish'd thus he wing'd his way,
And zealous roved from pole to pole, 50
The rolls of right eternal to display,
And warm with patriot thoughts the aspiring soul;
On desert isles 'twas he that raised
Those spires that gild the Adriatic wave,
Where Tyranny beheld, amazed,
Fair Freedom's temple where he mark'd her grave:
He steel'd the blunt Batavian's arms
To burst the Iberian's double chain;
And cities rear'd, and planted farms,
Won from the skirts of Neptune's wide domain. 60
He with the generous rustics sate
On Uri's rocks in close divan;
And wing'd that arrow sure as fate,
Which ascertain'd the sacred rights of man.
Arabia's scorching sands he cross'd,
Where blasted Nature pants supine,
Conductor of her tribes adust
To Freedom's adamantine shrine;
And many a Tartar horde forlorn, aghast,
He snatch'd from under fell Oppression's wing, 70
And taught amidst the dreary waste
The all-cheering hymns of liberty to sing.
He virtue finds, like precious ore,
Diffused through every baser mould;
E'en now he stands on Calvi's rocky shore,
And turns the dross of Corsica to gold.
He, guardian Genius! taught my youth
Pomp's tinsel livery to despise;
My lips, by him chastised to truth,
Ne'er paid that homage which my heart denies. 80
Those sculptured halls my feet shall never tread,
Where varnish'd Vice and Vanity, combined
To dazzle and seduce, their banners spread,
And forge vile shackles for the freeborn mind;
While Insolence his wrinkled front uprears,
And all the flowers of spurious Fancy blow;
And Title his ill-woven chaplet wears,
Full often wreath'd around the miscreant's brow;
Where ever-dimpling Falsehood, pert and vain,
Presents her cup of stale Profession's froth; 90
And pale Disease, with all his bloated train,
Torments the sons of gluttony and sloth.
In Fortune's car behold that minion ride,
With either India's glittering spoils oppress'd;
So moves the sumpter-mule in harness'd pride,
That bears the treasure which he cannot taste.
For him let venal bards disgrace the bay,
And hireling minstrels wake the tinkling string;
Her sensual snares let faithless Pleasure lay;
And jingling bells fantastic Folly ring; 100
Disquiet, doubt, and dread shall intervene,
And Nature, still to all her feelings just,
In vengeance hang a damp on every scene,
Shook from the baneful pinions of Disgust.
Nature I'll court in her sequester'd haunts,
By mountain, meadow, streamlet, grove, or cell,
Where the poised lark his evening ditty chaunts,
And Health, and Peace, and Contemplation dwell.
There Study shall with Solitude recline,
And Friendship pledge me to his fellow swains, 110
And Toil and Temperance sedately twine
The slender cord that fluttering life sustains;
And fearless Poverty shall guard the door,
And Taste unspoil'd the frugal table spread,
And Industry supply the humble store,
And Sleep unbribed his dews refreshing shed;
White-mantled Innocence, ethereal sprite!
Shall chase far off the goblins of the night,
And Independence o'er the day preside,
Propitious power! my patron and my pride! 120
[Footnote 1: 'Baptised with blood:' Charlemagne obliged four thousand
Saxon prisoners to embrace the Christian religion, and immediately
after they were baptized, ordered their throats to be cut. Their
prince, Vitikind, fled for shelter to Gotrick, king of Denmark.]
[Footnote 2: 'Adriatic wave:' although Venice was built a considerable
time before the era here assigned for the birth of Independence, the
republic had not yet attained to any great degree of power and
[Footnote 3: 'Neptune's wide domain:' the Low Countries, and their
revolt from Spain, are here alluded to.]
[Footnote 4: 'Uri's rocks:' alluding to the known story of William
Tell and his associates.]
[Footnote 5: 'Calvi's rocky shore:' the noble stand made by Paschal
Paoli, and his associates, against the usurpations of the
* * * * *
1 While with fond rapture and amaze,
On thy transcendent charms I gaze,
My cautious soul essays in vain
Her peace and freedom to maintain:
Yet let that blooming form divine,
Where grace and harmony combine,
Those eyes, like genial orbs that move,
Dispensing gladness, joy, and love,
In all their pomp assail my view,
Intent my bosom to subdue,
My breast, by wary maxims steel'd,
Not all those charms shall force to yield.
2 But when, invoked to Beauty's aid,
I see the enlighten'd soul display'd;
That soul so sensibly sedate
Amid the storms of froward fate,
Thy genius active, strong, and clear,
Thy wit sublime, though not severe,
The social ardour, void of art,
That glows within thy candid heart;
My spirits, sense, and strength decay,
My resolution dies away,
And, every faculty oppress'd,
Almighty Love invades my breast!
* * * * *
1 To fix her!--'twere a task as vain
To count the April drops of rain,
To sow in Afric's barren soil,
Or tempests hold within a toil.
2 I know it, friend, she's light as air,
False as the fowler's artful snare,
Inconstant as the passing wind,
As winter's dreary frost unkind.
3 She's such a miser, too, in love,
Its joys she'll neither share nor prove,
Though hundreds of gallants await
From her victorious eyes their fate.
4 Blushing at such inglorious reign,
I sometimes strive to break her chain,
My reason summon to my aid,
Resolved no more to be betray'd.
5 Ah! friend, 'tis but a short-lived trance,
Dispell'd by one enchanting glance;
She need but look, and, I confess,
Those looks completely curse or bless.
6 So soft, so elegant, so fair,
Sure something more than human's there;
I must submit, for strife is vain,
'Twas Destiny that forged the chain.
* * * * *
1 Let the nymph still avoid and be deaf to the swain,
Who in transports of passion affects to complain;
For his rage, not his love, in that frenzy is shown,
And the blast that blows loudest is soon overblown.
2 But the shepherd whom Cupid has pierced to the heart,
Will submissive adore, and rejoice in the smart;
Or in plaintive, soft murmurs his bosom-felt woe,
Like the smooth-gliding current of rivers, will flow.
3 Though silent his tongue, he will plead with his eyes,
And his heart own your sway in a tribute of sighs:
But when he accosts you in meadow or grove,
His tale is all tenderness, rapture, and love.
* * * * *
1 From the man whom I love though my heart I disguise,
I will freely describe the wretch I despise;
And if he has sense but to balance a straw,
He will sure take the hint from the picture I draw.
2 A wit without sense, without fancy a beau,
Like a parrot he chatters, and struts like a crow;
A peacock in pride, in grimace a baboon,
In courage a hind, in conceit a Gascon.
3 As a vulture rapacious, in falsehood a fox,
Inconstant as waves, and unfeeling as rocks;
As a tiger ferocious, perverse as a hog,
In mischief an ape, and in fawning a dog.
4 In a word, to sum up all his talents together,
His heart is of lead, and his brain is of feather;
Yet, if he has sense but to balance a straw,
He will sure take the hint from the picture I draw.
* * * * *
1 Come listen, ye students of every degree;
I sing of a wit and a tutor _perdie,_
A statesman profound, a critic immense,
In short, a mere jumble of learning and sense;
And yet of his talents though laudably vain,
His own family arts he could never attain.
2 His father, intending his fortune to build,
In his youth would have taught him the trowel to wield.
But the mortar of discipline never would stick,
For his skull was secured by a facing of brick;
And with all his endeavours of patience and pain,
The skill of his sire he could never attain.
3 His mother, a housewife, neat, artful, and wise,
Renown'd for her delicate biscuit and pies,
Soon alter'd his studies, by flattering his taste,
From the raising of wall to the rearing of paste;
But all her instructions were fruitless and vain,
The pye-making mystery he could ne'er attain.
4 Yet, true to his race, in his labours were seen
A jumble of both their professions, I ween;
For when his own genius he ventured to trust,
His pies seem'd of brick, and his houses of crust;
Then, good Mr Tutor, pray be not so vain,
Since your family arts you could never attain.
END OF SMOLLETT'S POEMS.
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