Pagina-afbeeldingen
PDF
ePub

eat;

Could'st thou resign the park and play, content,
For the fair banks of Severn or of Trent;
There might'st thou find some elegant retreat,
Some bireling senator's deserted
And stretch thy prospects o'er the smiling land,
For less than rent the dungeons of the Strand;
There prune thy walks, support thy drooping flowers,
Direct thy rivulets, and twine thy bowers;
* And, while thy grounds a cheap repast afford,
Despise the dainties of a venal lord :
There ev'ry bush with nature's musick rings ;
There ev'ry breeze bears health upon its wings ;
On all thy hours security shall smile,
And bless thine evening walk and morning toil.

Prepare for death, if here at night you roam,
And sign your will, before you sup from home.
*Some fiery fop, with new commission vain,
Who sleeps on brambles, till he kills his man;
Some frolick drunkard, reeling from a feast,
Provokes a broil, and stabs you for a jest.
'Yet e'en these heroes, mischievously gay,
Lords of the street, and terrours of the

way;

[blocks in formation]

* Ebrius, ac petulans, qui nullum forte cecidit, Dat pænas, noctem patitur lugentis amicum Pelidæ.

1- Sed, quamvis improbus annis, Atque mero fervens, cavet hunc, quem coccina læna Vitari jubet, et comitum longissimus ordo, Multum præterea flammarum, atque ænea lampas.

* And, while thy beds.

n

Flush'd, as they are, with folly, youth, and wine;
Their prudent insults to the poor confine;
Afar they mark the flambeau's bright approach,
And shun the shiniug train, and golden coach.

m In vain, these dangers past, your doors you close, And hope the balmy blessings of repose; Cruel with guilt, and daring with despair, The midnight murd'rer bursts the faithless bar; Invades the sacred hour of silent rest, * And leaves, unseen, a dagger in your breast.

Scarce can our fields, such crowds at Tyburn die, With hemp the gallows and the fleet supply. Propose your schemes, ye senatorian band, Whose ways and meanst support the sinking land: Lest ropes be wanting in the tempting spring, To rig another convoy for the king I.

°A single gaol, in Alfred's golden reign, Could half the nation's criminals contain ; Fair justice, then, without constraint ador’d, Held high the steady scale, but sheath'd the sword S; No spies were paid, no special juries known, Blest age! but ah! how diff'rent from our own!

P Much could I add,-but see the boat at hand, The tide, retiring, calls me from the land :

m Nec tamen hoc tantum metuas: nam qui spoliet te, Non deerit, clausis domibus, &c.

n Maximus in vinclis ferri modus, ut timeas, ne Vomer deficiat, ne marra et sarcula desint.

• Felices proavorum atavos, felicia dicas Sæcula, quæ quondam sub regibus atque tribunis Viderunt uno contentam carcere Romam.

p His alias poteram, et plures subnectere causas : Sed jumenta vocant

* And plants unseen. + A cant term in the house of commons for methods of raising money. # The nation was discontented at the visits made by the king to Hanover.

Sustain’d the balance, but resigu'd the sword.

? Farewell !— When youth, and health, and fortune spent,
Thou fly'st for refuge to the wilds of Kent;
And, tird, like me, with follies and with crimes,
In angry numbers warn’st succeeding times;
Then shall thy friend, nor thou refuse his aid,
Still foe to vice, forsake his Cambrian shade;
In virtue's cause, once more, exert his rage,
Thy satire point, and animate thy page.

9

- Ergo vale nostri memor et, quoties te
Roma tuo refici properantem reddet Aquino,
Me quoque ad Helvinam Cererem vestramque Dianam
Convelle a Cumis. Satirarum ego, ni pudet illas,
Adjutor gelidos veniam caligatus in agros.

THE

VANITY OF HUMAN WISHES;

IN IMITATION OF

THE TENTH SATIRE OF JUVENAL.

LET * observation, with extensive view,
Survey mankind, from China to Peru ;
Remark each anxious toil, each eager strife,
And watch the busy scenes of crowded life;
Then say, how hope and fear, desire and hate
O’erspread with shares the clouded maze of fate;
Where wav'ring man, betray'd by vent'rous pride
To tread the dreary paths, without a guide,
As treach'rous phantoms in the mist delude,
Shuns fancied ills, or chases airy good;
How rarely reason guides the stubborn choice,
Rules the bold hand, or prompts the suppliant voice ;
How nations sink, by darling schemes oppress'd,
When vengeance listens to the fool's request.
Fate wings with ev'ry wish th' afflictive dart,
Each gift of nature, and each grace of art;
With fatal heat impetuous courage glows,
With fatal sweetness elocution flows,
Impeachment stops the speaker's pow'rful breath,
And restless fire precipitates on death.

But, scarce observ'd, the knowing and the bold
Fall in the gen'ral massacre of gold;
Wide wasting pest! that rages unconfin'd,
And crowds with crimes the records of mankind;
For gold his sword the hireling ruflian draws,
For gold the hireling judge distorts the laws;
Wealth heap'd on wealth, nor truth nor safety buys,
The dangers gather as the treasures rise.

a Ver. 1-11.

b Ver. 12-22.

Let hist’ry tell where rival kings command,
And dubious title shakes the madded land,
When statutes glean the refuse of the sword,
How much more safe the vassal than the lord ;
Low sculks the hind beneath the rage of power,
And leaves the wealthy traitor in the Tower",
Untouch'd his cottage, and his slumbers sound,
Though confiscation's vultures hover round d.

The needy traveller, serene and gay,
Walks the wild heath, and sings his toil away.
Does envy seize thee? crush th' upbraiding joy;
Increase his riches, and his peace destroy ;
e Now fears, in dire vicissitude, invade,
The rustling brake alarms, and quiv'ring shade ;
Nor light nor darkness bring his pain relief,
One shows the plunder, and one hides the thief.

Yet still one gen'ral crys the skies assails,
And gain and grandeur load the tainted gales :
Few know the toiling statesman's fear or care,
Th' insidious rival, and the gaping heir.
Once more, Democritus, arise on earth,
With cheerful wisdom and instructive mirth,
See motley life in modern trappings dress’d,
And feed with varied fools th' eternal jest:
Thou, who could’st laugh where want enchain'd caprice,
Toil crush'd conceit, and man was of a piece ;
Where wealth, unlov'd, without a mourner died;
And scarce a sycophant was fed by pride;
Where ne'er was known the form of mock debate,
Or seen a new-made mayor's unwieldy state;
Where change of fav’rites made no change of laws,
And senates heard, before they judg’d a cause ;
How would'st thou shake at Britain's modish tribe,
Dart the quick taunt, and edge the piercing gibe?

« In the first edition, “the bonny traitor !" an evident allusion to the Scotch lords who suffered for the rebellion in 1745. Clang around e New fears.

I Ver. 23–37. & Yet still the gen’ral cry.

b Ver. 28–65.

« VorigeDoorgaan »