Festes Faviula

GILBERT WEST. In the life of a worthy man society becomes interested. It is therefore to be regretted that but few parti·culars are known concerning Gilbert West, the Author of the following Poems.

When or where he was born has not been said; but he was son of the Rev. Dr. West, by a sister of Sir Richard Temple, afterwards Lord Cobham. He was first fent to Eaton, and next to Oxford. Whether his father ever designed him for the church, as has been alleged, is uncertain; but it is known that his first appearance on the publick theatre was in the military line, by virtue of a commiffion in a regiment of dragoons procured him by his uncle. In this service hc spent some time, but refigning his conmiffion he entered into the business of civil life under Lord Townfhend, who procured him the office of Clerk-extraordinary to the Privy-council, a nomination which though it placed him in a state of expe&ation brought with it no immediate emoluments. He lived however to enjoy one ofthe more lucrative Clerkships of the Privy-council, and Mr. Pitt, his intimate friend, finally infalled him in the office of Treasurer to Chelsea Hospital.

He refided at Wickham in Kent, where he devoted his leisure time to the improvement of his own mind



and the exercises of piety. It was here that he was frequently visited by Lyttelton and Pitt, who found in his literary conversation a folacement for their political debates and intrigues. About the 1775 his only fon died, and on the 26th March thereafter the father resigned his life.

Besides the original poems in this volume Mr. West was author of a treatise on the Resurrection, generally known and admired, published in 1747, for which the Universityof Oxford created him a Doctor of Laws 30th March 1748. It is believed that this work, together with Mr. West's pious conversation, paved the

way for Lyttelton's Observations on the Converfion of St. Paul," a treatise,” says Dr. Johnson, to " which Infidelity has never been able to fabricate a “ specious answer.”

Mr. West's translations, viz. his Pindarick Odes, &c. make no part of this volume, which consists of originals, but these will appear in a separate publication under thegeneral title of Translations, including in it the chief poems of the Greek and Roman writers.

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The argument.

Archimage tempts the Redcross knight
From love of Fairyland
With thew of foreign pleasures all,
The which he doth withstand.


ISE was that Spartan lawgiver of old
Who rais'd on Virtue's base his wellbuilt state,
Exiling from her walls barbarick gold,
With all the mischiefs that upon it wait,
Corruption, luxury, and envious hate,

And the distinctions proud of rich and poor,
Which among brethren kindle foul debate,
And teach Ambition, that to fame would soar,
To the false lure of wealth her stooping wing to lower.


Yet would Corruption foon have entrance found, 19
And all his boasted schemes eftsoon decay'd,
Had not he cast a pow'rful circle round,
Which to a distance the arch felon fray'd,
And ineffuctual his foul engines made;
This was to weet that politick command 15
Which from vain travel the young Spartan stay'd,
Ne suffer'd him forsake his native land
To learn deceitful arts and science contrabando



Yet had the ancient world her courts and schools,
Great kings and courtiers civil and refin’d,
Great rabbins deeply read-in Wisdom's rules,
And all the arts that cultivate the mind,
Embellish life and polish humankind:
Such, Asia, birthplace of proud Monarchy!
Such, elder Egypt, in thy kingdonis shin’d, 25
Mysterious Egypt! the rank nursery
Of superstitions fond and learned vanity.

But what accomplishments, what arts polite,
Did the young Spartan want his deeds to grace,
Whose manly virtues and heroick spright
Check'd by no thought impure no falsehood base,
With natural dignity might well outface
The glare of manners false and mimick pride?
And wherefore should they range from place to place
Who to their country's love fo firm were ty'd, 35
All homely as she was, that for her oft'they dy'd ?

And footh * it is (with rev'rence may ye hcar
And honour due to passion fo refin'd)
'The strong affection which true patriots bear
'To their dear country zealous is and blind, 40
And fond as is the love of womankind,
so that they may not her defects efpy,
Ne other paragone f may ever find,

† Rival, or one to compare with her.

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* Truih.

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But gazing on her with an awful eye
And superstitious zeal her learn to deify. 45

And like as is the faith unsound, untrue,
Of him who wand'ring aye from fair to fair
Conceiveth from each object passion new,
Or from his heart quite drives the troublous cate;
So with the patriot lover doth it fare
Who thro' the world delighting aye to rove,
His country changeth with each change of air,
Or weening the delights of all to prove
On none or all alike bestows his vagrant love.

Als * doth corruption in a distant soil

With double force affay † the youthful heart,
Expos'd suspectless to the traytor's wile,
Expos'd unwarn’d to Pleasure's poison'd dart,
Expos'd unpractis'd in the world's wide mart,
Where each one lies, imposes, and betrays, 60
Without a friend due counsel to impart,
Without a parent's awe to rule his ways,
Without the check of shame or spur of publick praise,

VIII. Forthy | false Archimago, traytor vile! Who burnt 'gainst Fairyland with ceaseless ire, 65 'Gan cast with foreign pleasures to beguile Her faithful knight, and quench the heav'nly fire

* Moreover, besides. † Allault. I Therefore.


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