« PreviousContinue »
“ But write thy best and top; and in each line
“ Sir Formal's oratory will be thine.
“ Sir Formal, though unsought, attends thy quill
“And does thy northern dedications fill.
“Nor let false friends seduce thy mind to fame
“ By arrogating Jonson's hostile name;
“Let father Flecknoe fire thy mind with praise
“ And uncle Ogleby thy envy raise.
“ Thou art my blood; where Jonson has no part;
“ What share have we in nature or in art?
“ Where did his wit on learning fix a brand
“ And rail at arts he did not understand ?
“ Where made he love in Prince Nicander's vein
“ Or swept the dust in Psyche's humble strain ?
“ When did his Muse from Fletcher scenes purloin,
“ As thou whole Etheridge dost transfuse to thine ?
“But so transfused as oil on waters flow,
“ His always floats above, thine sinks below.
“ This is thy province, this thy wondrous way,
“ New humours to invent for each new play:
“ This is that boasted byas of thy mind,
“ By which one way to dulness 'tis inclined,
“ Which makes thy writings lean on one side still,
“ And, in all changes, that way bends thy will.
“Nor let thy mountain belly make pretence
“ Of likeness; thine's a tympany of sense.
“ A tun of man in thy large bulk is writ,
“ But sure thou'rt but a kilderkin of wit.
“ Like mine, thy gentle numbers feebly creep;
“ Thy tragic Muse gives smiles, thy comic sleep.
“ With whate'er gall thou sett'st thy self to write,
“ Thy inoffensive satyrs never bite ;
“In thy fellonious heart though venom lies,
“ It does but touch thy Irish pen, and dyes.
“ Thy genius calls thee not to purchase fame
“In keen Iambicks, but mild Anagram.
“ Leave writing plays, and choose for thy command
“ Some peacefull province in Acrostick land.
“ There thou may'st wings display and altars raise,
" And torture one poor word ten thousand ways;
“ Or, if thou would'st thy diff'rent talents suit,
“ Set thy own songs, and sing them to thy lute."
He said, but his last words were scarcely heard,
For Bruce and Longville had a trap prepared,
And down they sent the yet declaiming bard.
Sinking he left his drugget robe behind,
Born upwards by a subterranean wind.
The mantle fell to the young prophet's part
With double portion of his father's art.
A SONG FOR ST. CECILIA’S DAY.
From harmony, from heav'nly harmony
This universal frame began.
When Nature underneath a heap
Of jarring atoms lay,
And cou'd not heave her head,
The tuneful voice was heard from high :
Arise, ye more than dead.
Then cold and hot and moist and dry
In order to their stations leap,
And Musick's pow'r obey.
From harmony, from heav'nly harmony
This universal frame began;
From harmony to harmony
Through all the compass of the notes it ran,
The diapason closing full in Man.
What passion cannot Musick raise and quell?
When Jubal struck the corded shell,
His list'ning brethren stood around,
And, wond'ring, on their faces fell
To worship that celestial sound;
Less than a god they thought there cou'd not dwell
Within the hollow of that shell,
That spoke so sweetly, and so well.
What passion cannot Music raise and quell?
The trumpets loud clangor
Excites us to arms
With shrill notes of anger
And mortal alarms.
The double double double beat
Of the thundering drum
Cries, heark: the foes come! Charge, charge, 'tis too late to retreat!
The soft complaining flute
In dying notes discovers
The woes of hopeless lovers,
Whose dirge is whisper’d by the warbling lute.
Sharp violins proclaim
Their jealous pangs and desperation,
Fury, frantick indignation,
Depth of pains and height of passion,
For the fair, disdainful dame.
But oh! what art can teach,
What human voice can reach
The sacred organs praise ?
Notes inspiring holy love, Notes that wing their heav'nly ways
To mend the choires above.
Orpheus cou'd lead the savage race,
And trees unrooted left their place,
Sequacious of the lyre;
But bright Cecilia rais'd the wonder high'r:
When to her organ vocal breath was giv'n;
An angel heard, and straight appear'd,
Mistaking earth for heav'n.
As from the pow'r of sacred lays
The spheres began to move,
And sung the great Creator's praise
To all the bless'd above :
So, when the last and dreadful hour
This crumbling pageant shall devour,
The trumpet shall be heard on high,
The dead shall live, the living die,
And Musick shall untune the sky.
OR, THE POWER OF MUSIC.
'Twas at the royal feast for Persia won
By Philip's warlike son,
Aloft in awful state
The godlike hero sate
On his imperial throne ;
His valiant peers were plac'd around,
Their brows with roses and with myrtles bound ;
(So shou'd desert in arms be crown'd.)
The lovely Thais, by his side,
Sate like a blooming Eastern bride,
In flow'r of youth and beauty's .pride.
Happy, happy, happy pair !
None but the brave,
None but the brave,
None but the brave deserves the fair.
Timotheus, plac'd on high
Amid the tuneful quire,
With flying fingers touch'd the lyre ;
The trembling notes ascend the sky,
And heav'nly joys inspire.
The song began from Jove,
Who left his blissful seats above,
(Such is the pow'r of mighty love.)
A dragon's fiery form bely'd the god;
Sublime on radiant spires he rode,
When he to fair Olympia press'd,
And while he sought her snowy breast;
Then round her slender waste he curl'd,
And stamp'd an image of himself, a sov'raign of the world.
The list’ning crowd admire the lofty sound,
A present deity, they shout around;
A present deity, the vaulted roofs rebound,
With ravish'd ears
The monarch hears,
Assumes the god,
Affects to nod,
And seems to shake the spheres.
The praise of Bacchus then the sweet musician sung,
Of Bacchus ever fair, and ever young.
The jolly god in triumph comes;
Sound the trumpets, beat the drums;
Flush'd with a purple grace
He shews his honest face ;
Now give the hautboys breath; he comes, he comes.
Bacchus, ever fair and young,
Drinking joys did first ordain ;
Bacchus blessings are a treasure,
Drinking is the soldier's pleasure;
Rich the treasure,
Sweet the pleasure,
Sweet is pleasure after pain,
Sooth'd with the sound the king grew vain ;
Fought all his battails o'er again ;
And thrice he routed all his foes, and thrice he slew the slain.
The master saw the madness rise,
His glowing cheeks, his ardent eyes;
And while he heaven and earth defy’d,
Chang'd his hand, and check'd his pride.