« PreviousContinue »
Or cut wide views through mountains to the plain,
You'll wish your hill or shelter'd seat again.
Evin in an ornament its place remark,
Nor in an hermitage set Dr. Clarke.
Behold Villario's ten years' toil complete,
His quincunx darkens, his espaliers meet,
The wood supports the plain, the parts unite,
And strength of shade contends with strength of light:
A waving glow the bloomy béds display,
Blushing in bright diversities of day,
With silver-quivering rills meander'd o'er
Enjoy them, you ! Villario can no more :
Tir'd of the scene parterres and fountains yield,
He finds at last he better likes a field.
Thro' his young woods how pleas'd Sabinusstray'd Or sat delighted in the thickening shade, With annual joy the reddening shoots to greet, Or see the stretching branches long to meet ! His son's fine taste an opener visto loves, Foe to the dryads of his father's groves ; One boundless green or flourish'd carpet views, With all the mournful family of yews; The thriving plants, ignoble broomsticks made, Now sweep those alleys they were born to shade.
At Timon's villa let us pass a day; Where all cry out,' What sums are thrown away!' So proud, so grand; of that stupendous air, Soft and agreeable come never there. Greatness with Timon dwells in such a draught As brings all Brobdignag before your thought. To compass this, his building is a town, His pond an ocean, his parterre a down : Who but must laugh, the master when he sees, A puny insect shivering at a breeze ! Lo, what huge heaps of littleness around! The whole a labor'd quarry above ground. Two cupids squirt before : a lake behind Improves the keenness of the northern wind. His gardens next your admiration call; On every side you look, behold the wall!
No pleasing intricacies intervene,
No artful wildness to perplex the scene ;
Grove nods at grove, each alley has a brother,
And half the platform just reflects the other.
The suffering eye inverted Nature sees,
Trees cot to statues, statues thick as trees;
With here a fountain never to be play'd,
And there a summer-house that knows no shade ;
Here Amphitrité sails through myrtle bowers,
There gladiators fight or die in flowers;
Uowater'd see the drooping seahorse mourn,
And swallows roost in Nilus' dusty urn.
My lord advances with majestic mien,
Smit with the mighty pleasure to be seen :
But soft-by regular approach-not yet-
First through the length of yon hot terrace sweat;
And when up tep steep slopes you've dragg'd your
thighs, Just at his study-door he'll bless your eyes.
His study! with what authors is it stor'd?
In books, not authors, curious is my lord;
To all their dated backs he turns you round;
These Aldus printed, those Du Suëil has bound!
Lo, some are vellum, and the rest as good,
For all his lordship knows, but they are wood!
For Locke or Milton 'tis in vain to look ;
These shelves admit not any modern book.
And now the chapel's silver bell you hear,
That summons you to all the pride of pray'r:
Light quirks of music, broken and unev'n,
Make the soul dance upon a jig to Heav'n.
On painted ceilings you devoutly stare,
Where sprawl the saints of Verrio or Laguerre,
Or gilded clouds in fair expansion lie,
And bring all paradise before your eye.
To rest, the cushion and soft dean invite,
Who never mentions hell to ears polite.
But, hark! the chiming clocks to dinner call;
A hundred footsteps scrape the marble hall:
The rich buffet well-colour'd serpents grace,
And gaping Tritons spew to wash your face.
Is this a dinner? this a genial room?
No, 'tis a teniple and a hecatomb.
A solemn sacrifice perform'd in state,
You drink by measure, and to minutes eat.
So quick retires each flying course, you'd swear
Sancho's dread doctor and his wand were there.
Between each act the trembling salvers ring,
From soup to sweet wine, and God bless the King.
In plenty starving, tantaliz'd in state,
And complaisantly help'd to all I hate,
Treated, caress'd, and tir'd, I take my leave,
Sick of his civil pride from morn to eve;
I curse such lavish cost and little skill,
And swear no day was ever pass'd so ill.
Yet hence the poor are cloth'd, the hungry fed :
Health to himself, and to his infants bread
The labourer bears : what his hard heart denies,
His charitable vanity supplies.
Another age shall see the golden ear Imbrown the slope, and nod on the parterre, Deep harvests bury all his pride has plann'd, And laughing Ceres reassume the land.
Who then hall grace, or who improve the soil ?
Who plants like Bathurst, or who builds like Boyle!
Tis use alone that sanctifies expence,
And splendour borrows all her rays from sense.
His father's acres who enjoys in peace,
Or makes his neighbours glad if he increase;
Whose cheerful tenants bless their yearly toil,
Yet to their lord owe more than to the soil ;
Whose ample lawns are not asham'd to feed
The milky heifer and deserving steed;
Whose rising forests, not for pride or show,
But future buildings, future navies, grow :
Let his plantations stretch from down to down,
First shade a country, and then raise a town.
You, too, proceed ! make falling arts your care, Erect new wonders, and the old repair;
Jones and Palladio to themselves restore,
And be whate'er Vitruvius was before :
Till kings call forth the ideas of your mind,
(Proud to accomplish what such hands design'd)
Bid harbours open, public ways extend,
Bid temples worthier of the God ascend,
Bid the broad arch the dangerous flood contain,
The mole projected break the roaring main,
Back to his bounds their subject sea command,
And roll obedient rivers through the laud:
These honours peace to happy Britain brings;
These are imperial works, and worthy kings.
ELEGY To the Memory of an unfortunate Lady. WHAT beck'ning ghost along the moon-lightshade
Invites my steps, and points to yonder glade?
Tis she !but why that bleeding bosom gor'd ?
Why dimly gleams the visionary sword ?
Oh ever beauteous, ever friendly! tell,
Is it, in Heav'n, a crime to love too well?
To bear too tender, or too firm a heart,
To act a lover's or a Roman's part?
Is there no bright reversion in the sky
For those who greatly think, or bravely die?
Why bade ye else, ye pow'rs! her soul aspire
Above the vulgar flight of low desire?
Ambition first sprung from your blest abodes,
The glorious fault of angels and of gods :
Thence to their images on earth it flows,
And in the breasts of kings and heroes glows.
Most souls, 'tis true, but peep out once an age,
Dull sullen prisoners in the body's cage :
Dim lights of life, that burn a length of years
Useless, unseen, as lamps in sepulchres;
Like eastern kings a lazy state they keep,
And, close confin'd to their own palace, sleep.
From these, perhaps (ere nature bade her die,) Fate snatch'd her early to the pitying sky. As into air the purer spirits flow, And separate from their kindred dregs below; So flew the soul to its congenial place, Nor left one virtue to redeem her race.
But thou, false guardian of a charge too good, Thou, mean deserter of thy brother's blood ! See on these ruby lips the trembling breath, These cheeks now fading at the blast of death ; Cold is that breast which warm'd the world before, And those love-darting eyes must roll no more. Thus, if eternal justice rules the ball, Thus shall your wives, and thus your children fall: On all the line a sudden vengeance waits, And frequent herses shall besiege your gates; There passengers shall stand, and pointing say (While the long funerals blacken all the way.) Lo! these were they whose souls the furies steel'd. And curs'd with hearts unknowing how to yield. Thus unlamented pass the proud away, The gaze of fools, and pageant of a day! So perish all, whose breast ne'er learn'd to glow For others' good, or melt at others' woe..
What can atone (oh, ever-injured shade !) Thy fate unpitied, and thy rites unpaid ? No friend's complaint, no kind domestic tear, Pleas'd thy pale ghost, or grac'd thy mournful bier. By foreign hands thy dying eyes were clos'd, By foreign hands thy decent limbs compos’d, By foreign hands thy humble grave adorn'd, By strangers honour'd, and by strangers mourn'd! What though no friends in sable weeds appear, Grieve for an hour, perhaps, then mourn a year; And bear about the mockery of woe To midnight dances, and the public show? What though no weeping loves thy ashes grace. Nor polish'd marble emulate thy face? What though no sacred earth allow thee room, Nor hallow'd dirge be mutter'd o'er thy tomb ?