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A Sacred Eclogué. Y E nymphs of Solyma! begin the
song: To heavenly themes sublimer strains belong. The mossy fountains, and the silvan shades, The dreams of Pindus, and the Aonian maids, Delight no more-0 thou my voice inspire Who touch'd Isaiah's hallow'd lips with fire!
Rapt into future times, the bard begun : A virgin shall conceive, a virgin bear a son! From Jesse's root behold a branch arise, Whose sacred flower with fragrance fills the skies: The' etherial spirit o'er its leaves shall move, And on its top descends the mystic dove. Ye heavens! from high the dewy nectar pour, And in soft silence shed the kindly show'r ! The sick and weak the healing plant shall aid, From storms a shelter, and from heat a shade. All crimes shall cease, and ancient fr. ud shall fail; Returning Justice lift aloft her scale ; Peace o'er the world her olive wand extend, And white-rob'd Innocence from Heav'n descend. Swift fly the years, and rise the expected morn! O spring to light, auspicious babe! be born. See Nature hastes her earliest wreaths to bring, With all the incense of the breathing spring ; See lofty Lebanon his head advance, See nodding forests on the mountains dance: See spicy clouds from lowly Saron rise, And Carmel's flowery top perfumes the skies ! Hark! a glad voice the lonely desert cheers : Prepare the way! a God, a God appears ! A God, a God! the vocal hills reply; The rocks proclaim the approaching Deity. Lo, earth receives him from the bending skies! Sink down, ye mountains, and, ye vallies, rise; Vol. II.
With heads declin'd, ye cedars, homage pay ;
To leafless shrubs the flowering palms succeed,
EPISTLE TO DR. ARBUTHNOT. P. 'SHUT,
shut the door, good John ! fatigued, I said;
the knocker, say I'm sick, I'm dead.'
What walls can guard me, or what shades can hide?
Is there a parson much be-mus'd in beer, A maudlin poetess, a rhyming peer, A clerk foredoom'd his father's soul to cross, Who pens a stanza when he should engross? Is there who, lock'd from ink and paper, scrawls With desperate charcoal round his darken'd walls? All fly to Twit'nam, and in humble strain Apply to me to keep them mad or vain. Arthur, whose giddy son neglects the laws, Imputes to me and my damn'd works the cause : Poor Cornus sees his frantic wife elope, And curses wit, and poetry, and Pope.
Friend to my life! (which did not you prolong, The world had wanted many an idle song) What drop or nostrum can this plague remove? Or which must end me, a fool's wrath or love? A dire dilemma ! either way I'm sped; If foes, they write; if friends, they read me dead. Seiz'd and tied down to judge, how wretched I! Who can't be silent, and who will not lie. To laugh were want of goodness and of grace, And to be grave exceeds all pow'r of face.
I sit with sad civility, I read
*Nine years ! cries he, who, high in Drury-lane, Lull’d by soft zephyrs through the broken pane, Rhymes ere he wakes, and prints before term ends, Oblig'd by hunger and request of friends: *The piece, you think, is incorrect? why take it, I'm all submission; what you'd have it-make it.'
Three things another's modest wishes bound; My friendship, and a prologue, and ten pound.'
Pitholeon sends to me: 'You know his grace, I want a patron; ask him for a place.' Pitholeon libell'd me But here's a letter Informs you, Sir, 'twas when he knew no better. Dare you refuse him ? Curll invites to dine, He'll write a journal, or he'll turn divine.' Bless me! a packet.— 'Tis a stranger sues, A virgin tragedy, an orphan Muse.' If I dislike it, 'Furies, death, and rage! If I approve, ‘Commend it to the stage.' There (thank my stars) my whole commission ends, The players and I are, luckily, no friends. Fir'd that the house rejects him, “'Sdeath, I'll print it, And shame the fools-your interest, Sir, with Lintot.' Lintot, dull rogue, will think your price too much :
Not, Sir, if you revise it, and retouch.' All my demurs but double his attacks ; At last he whispers, ‘Do, and we go snacks.' Glad of a quarrel, straight I clap the door; Sir, let me see your works and you no more,' "Tis sung, when Midas' ears began to spring, (Midas, a sacred person and a king) His very minister who spied them first (Some say his queen) was forc'd to speak or burst, And is not mine, my friend, à sorer case, When every coxcomb perks them in my face?