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Easy the conduct, simple the design,
As when the rapid Rhone, o'er swelling tides, Striking the moral, and the soul divine :
Te grace old Ocean's court, in triumph rides, Let nature art, and judgment wit, exceed ; Though rich his source, he drains a thousand springs, O'er learning reason reign; o'er that, your creed : Nor scorns the tribute each small rivulet brings. Thus virtue's seeds, at once, and laurel's, grow;
So thou shalt, hence, absorb each feeble ray, Do thus, and rise a Pope, or a Despreau :
Each dawn of meaning, in thy brighter day ; And when your genius exquisitely shines,
Shalt like, or, where thou canst not like, excuse, Live up to the full lustre of your lines :
Since no mean interest shall profane the Muse, Parts but expose those men who virtue quit; No malice, wrapt in truth's disguise, offend, A fallen angel is a fallen wit;
Nor flattery taint the freedom of the friend. And they plead Lucifer's detested cause.
When first a generous mind surveys the great, Who for bare talents challenge our applause. And views the crowds that on their fortune wait Would you restore just honours to the pen ? Pleas'd with the show (though little understood) From able writers rise to worthy men. (strain? He only seeks the power, to do the good;
“Who's this with nopsense, nonsense would re- Thinks, till he tries, 't is godlike to dispose, Who's this,” they cry, "so vainly schools the vain? And gratitude still springs, where bounty sows; Wbo damns our trash, with so much trash replete? That every grant sincere affection wins, As, three ells round, huge Cheyne rails at meat?" And where our wants have end, our love begins :
Shall I with Bavius then my voice exalt, But those who long the paths of state have trod, And challenge all mankind to find one fault? Learn from the clamours of the murmuring crowd, With huge examens overwhelm my page,
Which cramm'd, yet craving still, their gates beAnd darken reason with doginatic rage ?
siege, As if, one tedious volume writ in rhyme,
'Tis easier far to give, than to oblige. In prose a duller could excuse the crime?
This of thy conduct seems the nicest part, Sure, next to writing, the most idle thing The chief perfection of the statesman's art, is gravely to harangue on what we sing.
To give to fair assent a fairer face, At that tribunal stands the writing tribe, Or soften a refusal into grace: Which nothing can intimidate or bribe,
But few there are that can be truly kind, Time is the judge; Time has nor friend nor foe; Or know to fix their favours on the mind; False fame must wither, and the true will grow. Hence, some, whene'er they would ublige, offend, Arm'd with this truth, all critics I defy;
And while they inake the fortune, lose the friend; For if I fall, by my own pen I die;
Still give, unthank'd; still squander, not hestow; While snarlers strive with proud but fruitless pain, For great men want not, what to give, but how. To wound immortals, or to slay the slain.
The race of men that follow courts, 't is true, Sore prest with danger, and in awful dread Think all they get, and more than all, their due; Of twenty pamphlets level'd at my head,
Still ask, but ne'cr consult their own deserts, Thus have I forg'd a buckler in my brain,
And measure by their interest, not their parts : Of recent form, to serve me this campaign ! From this mistake so many men we see And safely hope to quit the dreadful field
But ill become the thing they wish'd to be ; Delug'd with ink, and sleep behind my shield; Hence discontent, and fresh demands arise, Unless dire Codrus rouses to the fray
More power, more favour in the great man's eyes ; In all his might, and damns me for a day. All feel a want, though none the cause suspects, As turns a flock of geese, and, on the green, But hate their patron, for their own defects; Poke out their foolish necks in awkward spleen, Such none can please, but who reforms their hearts, (Ridiculous in rage!) to hiss, not bite,
And, when he gives them places, gives them parts. So war their quilis, when sons of dulness write. As the:e o'erprize their worth, so sure the great
May sell their favour at too dear a rate;
And long attachment waits among the herd;
When no distinction, where distinction 's due,
When strong cabal constrains them to be just, THE RIGHT HON. SIR RODERT WALPOLE.
And makes them give at last-because they must;
What hopes that men of real worth should prize,
The man who justly o'er the whole presides,
His well-weigh'd choice with wise affection guides; Cæcus iter monstrare velit
knows when to stop with grace, and when ad
Nor gives through importunity or chance ; Though strength of genius, by experience tanght, But thinks how little gratitude is ow'd, Gives thee to sound the depths of human thought, When favours are extorted, not bestow'd. To trace the various workings of the mind,
When, safe on shore ourselves, we see the crowd And rule the secret springs, that rule mankind; Surround the great, importunate, and loud ; (Rare gift!) yet, Walpole, wilt thou condescend Through such a tumult, 't is no easy task To listen, if thy unexperienc'd friend
To drive the man of real worth to ask : Can aught of use impart, though void of skill, Surrounded thus, and giddy with the show, And win attention by sincere good-will;
'T is hard for great men, rightly to bestow ; For friendship, sometimes, want of parts supplies, From hence so few are skill'd, in either case, The heart may furnish what the head denies. To ask with dignity, or give with grace,
AFTERWARDS LORD MELCOMBE,
Sometimes the great, sedne'd by love of parts, In awful ruin, like Rome's senate, fall, Consult our genius, and neglect our hearts; The prey and worship of the wondering Gaul. Pleas'd with the glittering sparks that genius flings, No doubt, to genius some reward is due, They lift us, towering on their eagle's wings, (Excluding that, were satirizing you ;) Mark out the fights by which themselves begun, But yet, believe thy undesigning friend, And teach our dazzled eyes to bear the sun; When truth and genius for thy choice contend, Till we forget the hand that made us great,
Though both have weight when in the balance cast, And grow to envy, not to emulate:
Let probity be first, and parts the last. To emulate, a generous warmth implies,
On these foundations if thou dar'st be great, To reach the virtues, that make great men rise; And check the growth of folly and deceit; But envy wears a mean malignant face,
When party rage shall droop through length of days, And aims not at their virtues--but their place. And calumny be ripen d into praise,
Such to oblige, how vain is the pretence! Then future times shall to thy worth allow When erery favour is a fresh offence,
That fame, which envy would call flattery now. By which superior power is still imply'd,
Thus far my zeal, though for the task unfit, And, wbile it helps their fortune, hurts their pride. Has pointed out the rocks where others split; Slight is the hate, neglect or hardships breed; By that inspir'd, though stranger to the Nine, But those who hate from envy, bate indeed.
And negligent of any fame but thine,
You act from nature what I teach from art.
THE OLD MAN'S RELAPSE.
OCCASIONED BY THE FOREGOING EPISTLE, To hink that knaves can be of real use.
The man, who contradicts the public voice, And strives to dignify a worthless choice,
-Sopitos suscitat ignes.
VIRG. Attempts a task that on that choice refects, And lends us light to point out new defects. From man's too curious and impatient sight, One worthless man, that gains what he pretends, The future, Heaven involves in thickest night. Disgusts a thousand unpretending friends:
Credit gray hairs: though freedom much we boast, And since no art can make a counterpass,
Some least perform, what they deternine most. Or add the weight of gold to mimic brass,
What sudden changes our resolves betray! When princes to bad ore their image join,
To morrow is a satire on to day, They more debase the stamp, than raise the coin. And shows its weakness. Whom shall men believe,
Be thine the care, true merit to reward, When constantly themselves, theinselves deceive? And gain the good-nor will that task be hard ; Souls form’d alike so quick by nature blend,
Long had I bid my once-lov'd Muse adieu ; An honest man is more than half thy friend,
You warm old age; my passion burns anew. Him, no mean views, or haste to rise, shall
How sweet your verse! how great your force of mind!
What power of words! what skill in dark mankind! sway,
Polite the conduct; generous the design ;
And beauty tiles, and strength sustains, each line.
Thus Mars and Venus are, once more, beset; Nor is wit dangerous in an honest hand : Besides, if failings at the bottom lie,
Your wit has caught them in its golden net. We view those failings with a lover's eve;
But what strikes home with most exalted grace Though small his genius, let him do his best, Is, haughty genius taught to know its place; Our wishes and belief supply the rest.
And, where worth shines, its humbled crest to bend, Let others barter servile faith for gold,
With zeal devoted to that godlike end. His friendship is not to be bought or sold :
When we discern so rich a vein of sense, Fierce opposition he, unmov’d, shall face, Through the smooth flow of purest eloquence; Modest in favour, daring in disgrace,
'Tis like the limpid streams of Tagus roll'd To share thy adverse fate alone, pretend;
O'er boundless wealth, o'er shining beds of gold. In power, a servant; out of power, a friend.
But whence so finishd, so refind a piece ? Here pour thy favours in an ample flood,
The tongue denics it to old Rome and Greece; Indulge thy boundless thirst of doing good :
The genius bids the moderns doubt their claim, Nor think that good to him alone contin'd;
And slowly take possession of the fame. Such to oblige, is to oblige mankind.
But I nor know, nor care, by whom 't was writ, If thus thy mighty master's steps thou trace,
Enough for me that 't is from human wit,
But this have others done; a like applause And make him tremble when he trikes the blow; But they to glory by degrees aruse,
An ancient and a modern Horace draws',
Meridian lustre you at once disclose.
'Tis continence of mind, unknown before,
I. THE BRITISH SAILOR'S EXULTATION, Next to the godlike praise of writing well,
II. HIS PRAYER BEFORE ENGAGEMENT.
TO MR. VOLTAIRE.
My Muse, a bird of passage, flies An age, which had not held its pride so long,
From frozen clime to milder skies; But for the want of so complete a song.
From chilling blasts she seeks thy cheering beam, A golden period shall from you commence :
A beam of favour, here denied; Peace shall be sign'd 'twixt wit and manly sense ;
Conscious of faults, her blushing pride Whether your genius or your rank they view,
Hopes an asylum in so great a name. The Muses find their Halifax in you.
To dive full deep in ancient days', Like him succeed ! nor think my zeal is shown The warriors' ardent deeds to raise, For you; 'tis Britain's interest, not your own; And monarch's aggrandize ;-the glory, thine ; For lofty stations are but golden snares,
Thine is the drama, how renown'd! Which tempt the great to fall in love with cares. Thine, epic's loftier trump to sound ;I would proceed, but age has chill'd my vein,
But let Arion's sea-strung harp be mine : 'T was a short fever, and I'm cool again.
But where's bis dolphin? Know'st thou, where? Though life I hate, methinks I could renew
May that be found in thee, Voltaire ! Its tasteless, painful course, to sing of you.
Save thou from harm my plunge into the wave : When such the subject, who shall curb his flight? How will thy name illustrious raise When such your genius, who shall dare to write ? My sinking song! Mere mortal lays, In pure respect, I give my rhyming o'er,
So patronis'd, are rescued from the grave. And, to commend you most, commend no more. “Tell me," say'st thou,“who courts my smile? Adieu, whoe'er thou art! on death's pale coast No stranger, sir! though born in foreign climes ;
What stranger stray'd from yonder isle !" Ere long I'll talk thee o’er with Dryden's ghost; The bard will smile. A last, a long farewell!
On Dorset downs, when Milton's page, Henceforth I hide me in my dusky cell ;
With Sin and Death, provok'd thy rage, There wait the friendly stroke that sets me free,
Thy rage provok'd, who sooth'd with gentle And think of immortality and thee
rhymes ? My strains are number'd by the tuneful Nine;
Who kindly couch'd thy censure's eye, Each maid presents her thanks, and all present thee And gave thee clearly to descry mine.
Sound judgment giving law to fancy strong ?
W'ho half inclin'd thee to confess,
Nor could thy modesty do less,
That Milton's blindness lay not in his song?
But such debates long since are fuwn;
For ever set the suns that shone NOT LONG BEFORE HIS LORDSHIP'S DEATH'.
On airy pastimes, cre our brow's were grey : Kind companion of my youth,
How shortly shall we both forget, Lov'd for genius, worth, and truth!
To thee, my patron, I my debt, Take what friendship can impart,
And thou to thine for Prussia's golden key! Tribute of a feeling heart;
The present, in oblivion cast, Take the Muse's latest spark?,
Full soon shall sleep, as sleeps the past; Ere we drop into the dark.
Full soon the wide distinction die between He, who parts and virtue gave,
The frowns and favours of the great ; Bad thee look beyond the grave :
High flush'd success, and pale defeat; Genius soars, and virtue guides;
The Gallic gaiety, and British spleen. Above, the love of God presides.
Ye wing'd, ye rapid moments! stay ! There's a gulf 'twixt us and God;
Oh friend! as deaf as rapid, they ; Let the gloomy path be trod :
Life's little drama done, the curtain falls !-
Dost thou not hear it? I can hear,
Though nothing strikes the listening ear;
Time groans his last ! Eternal loudly calls !
Nor calls in vain; the call inspires
Far other counsels and desires,
Than once prevail'd; we stand on higher ground; 1 A Poetical Epistle from the late lord Melcombe What scenes we see !-Exalted aim ! to the earl of Bute, with corrections by the au- With ardours new, our spirits flame; thor of the Night Thoughts, was published in 4to, Ambition blest! with more than laurels crown'd. 1776. 2 See Mr. Cust's Life of Young.
* Annals of the emperor Charles XII, Lewis XIV.
ODE THE FIRST.
From the dread front of ancimt war
Less terrour frown'd; her scythed car, THE BRITISH SAILOR'S EXULTATION.
Her castled elephant, and battering beain, In lofty sounds let those delight
Stoop to those engines which deny Who brave the fue, but fear the fight;
Superior terrours to the sky, And, bold in word, of arms decline the stroke : And boast their clouds, their thunder, and their 'Tis mean to boast; but great to lend
fiaine. To fues the counsel of a friend,
The fame, the thunder, and the cloud, And warn them of the vengeance they provoke.
The night by day, the sea of blood, From whence arise these lond alarms? Hosts whirl'd in air, the yell of sinking throngs,
Why gleams the south with brandish'd arms? The graveless dead, an ocean warm’d, War, bath'd in blood, from curst ambition springs : A firinament by mortals storm'd, Ambition! mean, ignoble pride!
To patient Britain's angry brows belongs. Perhaps their ardours may subside,
Or do I dream? Or do I rave? When weigh'd the wonders Britaju's sailor sings.
Or see I Vulcan's sooty cave, Hear, and rerere. At Britain's nod,
Where Jove's red bolts the giant brothers frame? From each enchanted grove and wood
Those swarthy gods of toil and heat Hastes the huge oak or shadeless forest leaves ;
Loud peals on mountain anvils heat,
Spread canvass-wings, and Av through storms,
Unfinish'd let those baubles fall,
Yon shield of Mars, Minerva's helmet blue :
Your strokes suspend, ye brawny throng! In smoking rivers runs her molten ore;
Charm’d by the magic of my song,
Drop the feign'd thunder, and attempt the true.
Fierce flame, and clouds of thickest night, On empires wide, an island's will, (powers! And ghostly terrour, paler than the dead; When thrones upjust wake vengeance; know, ye
Then borta from the north bis roar, In sudden night, and ponderous balls,
Mix groans and deaths; one phial pour And floods of flame, the tempest falls,
Of wrongd Britannia's wrath ; and it is made; When brav'd Britannia's awful senate lowers,
Gaul starts and trembles—at your dreadful trade. In her grand council? she surveys,
In patriot picture, what may raise, Of insolent attempts, a warm disdain ;
ODE THE SECOND: From hope's triumphant summit thrown,
IN WHICH IS THE Like darted lightning, swiftly down The wealth of Ind, and contidence of Spain, SAILOR'S PRAYER BEFORE ENGAGEMENT. Britannia sheaths her courage keen,
So form'd the bolt, ordain'd to break And spares her nitrous magazine;
Gaul's bauglity plan, and Bourbon shake; Her cannon slumber, till the proud aspire,
If Britain's crimes support not Britain's foes, And leave all law below them; then they blaze! And edge their swords : O power divine ! They thunder from resounding seas,
If blest by thce the bold design, Touch'd by their injur'd master's soul of fire. Embattled hosts a single arm o'erthrows. Then furies rise! the battle raves!
Ye warlike dead, who fell of old And rends the skies! and warms the waves!
In Britain's cause, by fame enroll'd And calls a tempest from the peaceful deep, In deathless annal! deathless deeds inspire; In spite of Nature, spite of Jove,
From oozy beds, fur Britain's sake,
Awake, illustrious chiefs ! awake;
The day commission'd from above,
Our worth to weigh, our hearts to prove,
Or form to stand its final blow,
And turn to crimson the discolour'd main;
That day 's arriv'd, that fatal hour!
“Hear us, ( hear, Almighty Power !
Our guide in counsel, and our strength io fight! There war's whole sting is shot, wbole fire is spent, Whole glury blooms: how pale, how tame,
Now war's important die is thrown,
If left the day to man alone, How lambent is Bellona's flame!
How blind is wisdom, and how weak is might! How her storms languish on the continent!
Houe of lords.
3 Alluding to Virgil's description of thunder
“Let prostrate hearts, and awful fear,
A NAVAL LYRIC:
WRITTEN IN IMITATION OF PINDAR'S SPIRIT. Than angry Nature's wasteful war,
Occasioned by His Majesty's Return, September 1729, The whirl of tempests, and the roar of seas.
and the succeeding Peace. “ From ont the deep, to thee we cry, To thee, at Nature's helm on high !
Monte decurrens velut amnis, imbres Steer thou our conduct, dread Omnipotence!
Quem super notas aluere ripas, To thee for succour we resort ;
Fervet, immensusque ruit profundo. Thy favour is our only port;
PIND. Our only rock of safety, thy defence.
Concines lætosque dies, & urbis “O thou, to whom the lions roar,
Publicum ludum, super impetrato And, not unheard, thy boon implore !
Fortis AUGUSTI reditu.
HOR, Thy throne our bursts of cannon loud invoke :
Thou canst arrest the flying ball;
A Pindaric carries a formidable sound; but there On those, from whose proud deck the thunder broke. is nothing formidable in the true nature of it; of
which (with utmost submission) I conceive the cri“ Britain in vain extends her care
tics have hitherto entertained a false idea. Pindar To climes 'reinote, for aids in war;
is as natural as Anacreon, though not so familiar, Still farther must it stretch to crush the foe;
As a fixt star is as much in the bounds of Nature, There's one alliance, one alone,
as a flower of the field, though less obvious, and of Can crown her arms, or fix her throne; greater dignity. This is not the received notion of And that alliance is not found below.
Pindar; I shall therefore soon support at large that * Ally Supreme! we turn to thee;
hint which is now given. We learn obedience froin the sea ;
Trade is a very noble subject in itself; more proWith seas, and winds, henceforth, thy laws fulfil: per than any for an Englishman; and particularly 'Tis thine our blood to freeze, or warm ;
seasonable at this juncture, To rouse, or hush, the martial storm ;
We have more specimens of good writing in every And turn the tide of conquest, at thy will.
province, than in the sublime ; our two famous epic
poems excepted. I was willing to make an attempt “ 'Tis thine to beam sublime renown,
where I had fewest rivals. Or quench the glories of a crown;
If, on reading this ode, any man has a fuller idea 'T is thine to doom, 't is thine, from death to free ; of the real interest, or possible glory of his country, To turn aside his level'd dart,
than before ; or a stronger impression from it, or a Or pluck it from the bleeding heart:
warmer concern for it, I give up to the critic any There we cast anchor, we conside in thee.
We have many copies and translations that pass “'Thou, who hast taught the north to roar, for originals. This ode I humbly conceive is an
And streaming lights nocturnal pour?' original, though it professes imitation. No man Of frightful aspect! when proud foes invade, can be like Pindar, by imitating any of his parti.
Their blasted pride with dread to seize, cular works; any more than like Raphael, by copying
Bid Britain's flags, as meteors, blaze; the cartoons. The genius and spirit of such great And George depute to thunder in thy stead. men must be collected from the whole ; and when
thus we are possessed of it, we must exert its “ The right alone is bold and strong ;
energy in subjects and designs of our own. Nothing Black, hovering clouds appal the wrong is so unpindarical as following Pindar on the foot. With dread of vengeance: Nature's awful sire !
Pindar is an original, and he must be so too, who Less than one moment shouldst thou frown,
would be like Pindar in that which is his greatest Where is puissance and renown?
praise. Nothing so unlike as a close copy, and a Thrones tremble, empires sink, or worlds expire, noble original. “ Let George the just chastise the rain :
As for length, Pindar has an unbroken ode of six Thou, who durst curb the rebel main,
hundred lines. Nothing is long or short in writing, To mount the shore when boiling billows rave !
but relatively to the demand of the subject, and Bid George repel a bolder tide,
the manner of treating it, A distich may be long, The boundless swell of Gallic pride;
and a folio short. However, I have broken this ode And check ambition's overwhelming wave.
into Strains, each of which may be considered as
a separate ode if you please. And if the variety " And when (all milder means withstood) and fullness of matter be considered, I am rather Ambition, tam'd by loss of blood,
apprehensive of danger from brevity in this ode, Regains her reason; then, on angel's wings, than from length. But lark writing is what I think
Let Peace descend, and shouting greet, ought most to be declined, if for nothing else, for With peals of joy, Britannia's feet,
our plenty of it. How richly freighted! It, triumphant, brings The ode is the most spirited kind of poetry, and The poise of kingdoms, and the fate of kings.” the Pindaric is the most spirited kind of ode ; this
I speak at my own very great peril: but truth has
an eternal title to our confession, though we are » Russia, * Aurora borealis.
sure to suffer by it.