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Kind Boyle, before his poet, lays
A table with a cloth of bays;
And Ireland, mother of sweet singers,
Presents her harp still to his fingers.
The feast, his towering genius marks
In yonder wild-goose and the larks !
The mushrooms show his wit was sudden!
And for his judgment, lo, a pudden!
Roast beef, though old, proclaims him stout,
And grace, although a bard, devout.
May Tom, whom Heaven sent down to raise
The price of prologues and of plays,
Be every birth-day more a winner,
Digest his thirty-thousandth dinner;
Walk to his grave without reproach,
And scorn a rascal and a coach.
Advertisement. The, bint of the following piece was taken from Chaucer's
House of Fame. The design is in a manner entirely altered, the descriptious and most of the particular thoughts my own : yet I could not suffer it to be printed without this acknowledgment. The reader who would compare this with Chaucer, may begin with his third book of Fame, there being nothing in the two first books that answers to their title.
In that soft season, when descending showers
Call forth the greeos, and wake the rising flowers;
When opening buds salute the welcome day,
And earth relenting feels the genial ray;
As balmy sleep had charm’d my cares to rest,
And love itself was banish'd from my breast,
(What time the morn mysterious visions brings,
While purer slumbers spread their golden wings)
A train of phantoms in wild order rose,
And, join'd, this intellectual scene compose.
I stood, methought, betwixt earth, seas, and
The whole creation open to my eyes :
In air self-balanced hung the globe below,
Where mountains rise and circling oceans flow;
Here naked rocks, and empty wastes were seen,
There towery cities, and the forests green;
Here sailing ships delight the wandering eyes;
There trees and intermingled temples rise :
Now a clear sun the shining scene displays,
The transient landscape now in clouds decays.
O’er the wide prospect as I gazed around,
Sudden I heard a wild promiscuous sound,
Like broken thunders that at distance roar,
Or billows murmuring on the hollow shore:
Then gazing up, a glorious pile beheld,
Whose towering summit ambient clouds conceal’d.
High on a rock of ice the structure lay,
Steep its ascent, and slippery was the way;
The wondrous rock like Parian marble shone,
And seem'd, to distant sight, of solid stone.
Inscriptions here of various names 1 view'd,
The greater part by hostile time subdued;
Yet wide was spread their fame in ages past,
And poets once had promised they should last.
Some fresh engraved appear'd of wits renown'd:
I look'd again, nor could their trace be found.
Critics I saw, that other names deface,
And fix their own, with labour, in their place:
Their own, like others, soon their place resign'd,
Or disappear’d, and left the first behind.
Nor was the work impair’d by storms alone,
But felt the' approaches of too warm a sun;
For fame, impatient of extremes, decays
Not more by envy than excess of praise.
Yet part no injuries of heaven could feel,
Like crystal faithful to the graving steel:
The rock's high summit, in the temple's shade,
Nor heat could melt, nor beating storm invade.
There names inscribed unnumber'd ages pass'd
From time's first birth, with time itself shall last;
These ever new, nor subject to decays,
Spread, and grow brighter with the length of days.
So Zembla's rocks (the beauteous work of frost)
Rise white in air, and glitter o’er the coast;
Pale suns, unfelt, at distance roll away,
And on the’ impassive ice the lightnings play ;
Eternal snows the growing mass supply,
Till the bright mountains prop the’ incumbent sky:
As Atlas fix'd, each hoary pile appears,
The gather’d winter of a thousand years.
On this foundation Fame's high temple stands;
Stupendous pile! not rear’d by mortal hands.
Whate’er proud Rome or artful Greece beheld,
Or elder Babylon, its frame excell'd.
Four faces had the dome, and every face
Of various structure, but of equal grace:
Four brazen gates, on columns lifted high,
Salute the different quarters of the sky. .
Here fabled chiefs in darker ages born,
Or worthies old, whom arms or arts adorn,
Who cities raised, or tamed a monstrous race,
The walls in venerable order grace:
Heroes in animated marble frown,
And legislators seem to think in stone.
Westward a sumptuous frontispiece appear’d, On doric pillars of white marble rear’d, Crown'd with an architrave of antique mould, And sculpture rising on the roughen’d gold. In shaggy spoils here Theseus was beheld, And Perseus dreadful with Minerva's shield : There great Alcides, stooping with his toil, Rests on his club, and holds the' Hesperian spoil:
Here Orpheus sings; trees moving to the sound
Start from their roots, and form a shade around:
Amphion there the loud creating lyre
Strikes, and beholds a sudden Thebes aspire !
Cythæron's echoes answer to his call,
And half the mountain rolls into a wall:
There might you see the lengthening spires ascend,
The domes swell up, the widening arches bend,
The growing towers, like exhalations, rise,
And the huge columns heave into the skies.
The eastern front was glorious to behold,
With diamond flaming, and barbaric gold.
There Ninus shone, who spread the’ Assyrian fame,
And the great founder of the Persian name:
There in long robes the royal magi stand,
Grave Zoroaster waves the circling wand;
The sage Chaldeans robed in white appear’d,
And brachmans, deep in desert woods revered.
These stopp'd the moon, and call’d the' unbodied
shades To midnight banquets in the glimmering glades; Made visionary fabrics round them rise, And airy spectres skim before their eyes ; Of talismans and sigils knew the power, And careful watch'd the planetary hour, Superior and alone Confucius stood, Who taught that useful science,-to be good. But on the south, a long majestic race Of Egypt's priests the gilded niches grace, Who measured earth, described the starry spheres, And traced the long records of lunar years. High on his car Sesostris struck my view, Whom sceptred slaves in golden harness drew : His hands a bow and pointed javelin hold; His giant limbs are arm’d in scales of gold.