« PreviousContinue »
All, all but Truth, drops dead-born from the press,
When black ambition * ftains a public cause,
Not so, when diadem’d with rays divine, Touch'd with the flame that breaks from Virtue's shrine, Her priestess Muse forbids the good to die, And opes the temple of Eternity.
235 There, other trophies deck the truly brave, Than such as Anstis g casts into the grave; Far other stars than * and **
may descend to Mordington from STAIR; (Such as on Hough's unsully'd Mitre shine, 240 Or beam, good DIGBY , from a heart like thine) Let Envy howl, while Heav'n's whole chorus fings, And bark at honour not conferr'd by kings; Let Flatt'ry fick’ning see the incense rise, Sweet to the world, and grateful to the skies : 245 Truth guards the poet, sanctifies the line, And makes immortal, verse as mean as mine.
Yes, the last pen for freedom let me draw, When Truth ftands trembling on the edge of law; Here, last of Britons ! let your names be read; 250 Are none, none living? let me praise the dead,
* The case of Cromwell in the civil war of England ; and (ver. 229) of Louis XIV. in his conquest of the Low Countries.
$ The chicf herald at arms. It is the custom, at the funeral of great peers, to cast into the grave the broken staves and enligns of honour.
† John Dalrymple earl of Stair, knight of the thistle, served in all the wars under the duke of Marlborough ; and afterwards as ambassador in France.
| Dr. John Hough, bishop of Worcester, and the lord Digby. The one an assertor of the church of England, in opposition to the false measures of king James II. The other as firmly attached to the cause of that king. Both acting out of principle, and equally men of honour and virtue.
And for that cause which made your fathers shine,
F. Alas! alas ! pray end what you began,
This was the last poem of the kind printed by our author, with a resolution to publish no more ; but to enter thus, in the most plain and folemn manner he could, a sort of PROTEST against that insuperable corruption and depravity of manners, which he had been so unhappy as to live to see. Could he have hoped to have amended any, he had continued thofe attacks : but bad men were grown so lameless and so powerful, that ridicule was become as unsafe as it was ineffectual. The Pocm raised him, as he knew it would, some enemies; but he had reason to be satisfied with the approbation of good men, and the testimony of his own conscience.
ON Ο Ν
Receiving from the Right Hon, the Lady
FRANCES SHIRLEY *
A STANDIS H and TWO PENS.
YES, I beheld th’ Athenian queen
Descend in all her fober charms ! “ And take (she faid, and smil'd serene)
" Take at this hand celestial arms.
“ Secure the radiant weapons wield;
“ This golden lance shall guard desert, “ And if a vice dares keep the field,
" This steel shall ftab it to the heart.”
Aw'd on my bended knees I fell,
Receiv'd the weapons of the sky; And dipt them in the fable well,
The fount of fame or infamy.
" What well? what weapon? (Flavia cries)
" A ftandish, steel and golden pen! “ It came from Bertrand's, not the skies; " I gave
it you to write again.
A lady whose great merit Mr. Pope took a real pleasure in celebratinge
66 But, “ But, friend, take heed whom you attack; 66 You'll bring a house (I mean of
peers) “ Red, blue, and green, nay, white and black,
66 L- and all about your ears.
" You'd write as smooth again on glass,
66. And run, on ivory, so glib, « As not to stick at fool or ass,
“ Nor stop at flattery or fib.
“ Athenian queen! and sober charms !
“ I tell ye, fool, there's nothing in't : «« 'Tis Venus, Venus gives these arms;
" In Dryden's Virgil see the print.
“ Come, if you'll be a quiet soul,
" That dares tell neither truth nor lies, “ I'll list you in the harmless roll
« Of those that fing of these poor eyes.”