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Some fiery fop, with new commission vain, Where wav'ring man, betray'd by vent'rous
Who sleeps on brambles till he kills his man; pride,
Some frolic drunkard, reeling from a feast, To chase the dreary paths, without a guide,
Provokes a broil, and stabs you for a jest. As treach'rous phantoms in the mist delude,

" Yet e'en these heroes, mischievously gay, Shuns fancied ills, or chases airy good ; Lords of the street, and terrors of the way; How rarely reason guides the stubborn choice, Flush'd as they are with folly, youth, and Rules the bold hand, or prompts the suppliant wine,

voice; Their prudent insults to the poor confine; How nations sink by darling schemes opAfar they mark the flambeau's bright ap press'd, proach,

When vengeance listens to the fool's request. And shun the shining train and golden coach. Fate wings with ev'ry wish th' afflictive dart, “In vain, these dangers pass'd, your doors Each gift of nature and each grace of art : you close,

With fatal heat impetuous courage glows, And hope the balmy blessings of repose : With fatal sweetness elocution flows, Cruel with guilt, and daring with despair, Impeachment stops the speaker's powerful The midnight murderer bursts the faithless breath,

And restless fire precipitates on death. Invades the sacred hour of silent rest,

But, scarce observed, the knowing and the And plants, unseen, a dagger in your breast.

bold "Scarce can our fields, such crowds at Tyburn Fall in the general massacre of gold ; die,

Wide wasting pest! that rages unconfined, With hemp the gallows and the fleet supply. And crowds with crimes the records of manPropose your schemes, ye senatorian band,

kind; Whose ways and means support the sinking For gold his sword the hireling ruffian draws, land;

For gold the hireling judge distorts the laws; i Lest ropes be wanting in the tempting spring, Wealth heap'd on wealth, nor truth nor safety To rig another convoy for the king.

buys, "A single jail, in Alfred's golden reign, The dangers gather as the treasures rise. Could half the nation's criminals contain ;

Let history tell where rival kings comFair Justice then, without constraint adored, mand, Held high the steady scale, but sheathed the And dubious title shakes the madded land, sword;

When statutes glean the refuse of the sword, No spies were paid, no special juries known; How much more safe the vassal than the Bless'd age! but ah! how different from our

lord ; own!

Low skulks the hind beneath the rage of "Much could I add, -but see the boat at power,

And leaves the wealthy traitor in the Tower, The tide retiring, calls me from the land : Untouch'd his cottage, and his slumbers Farewell !-When youth, and health, and for sound, tune spent,

Though confiscation's vultures hover round. Thou fliest for refuge to the wilds of Kent; The needy traveller, serene and gay, And, tired like me with follies and with crimes, Walks the wild heath and sings his toil In angry numbers warn'st succeeding times ;

away. Then shall thy friend, nor thou refuse his Does envy seize thee? crush th' upbraiding

joy, Still foe to rice, forsake his Cambrian shade; Increase his riches, and his peace destroy, In virtue's cause once more exert his rage, Now fears in dire vicissitude invade, Thy satire point, and animate thy page.” The rustling brake alarms, and quiv'ring

Samuel Johnson.-Born 1709, Died 1784.

Nor light nor darkness bring his pain relief,
One shows the plunder, and one hides the

Yet still one gen'ral cry the skies assails,

And gain and grandeur load the tainted 885.—THE VANITY OF HUMAN

gales; WISHES

Few know the toiling statesman's fear or

care, Let observation, with extensive view,

The insidious rival and the gaping heir. Survey mankind from China to Peru;

Once more, Democritus, arise on earth, Remark each anxious toil, each eager strife, With cheerful wisdom and instructive mirth, And watch the busy scenes of crowded life; See motley life in modern trappings dress’d, Then say how hope and fear, desire and And feed with varied fools the eternal jest: hate,

Thou who couldst laugh, where want enO'erspread with snares the clouded maze of chain'd caprice,

Toil crush'd conceit, and man was of a piece ;





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Where wealth unloved without a mourner Still to new heights his restless wishes tower, died;

Claim leads to claim, and power advances And scarce a sycophant was fed by pride ;

power : Where ne'er was known the form of mock Till conquest unresisted ceased to please, debate,

And rights submitted left him none to seize : Or seen a new-made mayor's unwieldy state ; At length his sov'reign frowns—the train of Where change of fav’rites made no change of state laws,

Mark the keen glance, and watch the sign to And senates heard before they judged a hate. cause;

Where'er he turns, he meets a stranger's eye, How wouldst thou shake at Britain's modish His suppliants scorn him, and his followers

tribe, Dart the quick taunt, and edge the piercing Now drops at once the pride of awful state, gibe !

The golden canopy, the glitt'ring plate, Attentive truth and nature to descry,

The regal palace, the luxurious board, And pierce each scene with philosophic eye. The liväried army, and the menial lord. To thee were solemn toys, or empty show, With age, with cares, with maladies opThe robes of pleasure, and the veils of woe :

press'd, All aid the farce, and all thy mirth maintain, He seeks the refuge of monastic rest. Whose joys are causeless, or whose griefs are Grief aids disease, remember'd folly stings, vain.

And his last sighs reproach the faith of Such was the scorn that fill'd the sage's kings. mind,

Speak thou whose thoughts at humble Renew'd at ev'ry glance on human kind;

peace repine, How just that scorn ere yet thy voice declare, Shall Wolsey's wealth with Wolsey's end be Search ev'ry state, and canvass ev'ry prayer. thine ? Unnumber'd suppliants crowd Preferment's Or livest thou now, with safer pride content, gate,

The wisest justice on the banks of Trent? Athirst for wealth, and burning to be great; For, why did Wolsey, near the steeps of fate, Delusive Fortune hears th' incessant call, On weak foundations raise the enormous They mount, they shine, evaporate, and fall. weight? On ev'ry stage the foes of peace attend, Why, but to sink beneath misfortune's blow, Hate dogs their flight, and insult mocks their With louder ruin to the gulfs below ? end.

What gave great Villiers to the assassin's Love ends with hope, the sinking statesman's knife, door

And fix'd disease on Harley's closing life? Pours in the morning worshipper no more; What murder'd Wentworth, and what exiled For growing names the weekly scribbler lies, Hyde, To growing wealth the dedicator flies ;

By kings protected, and to kings allied ? From ev'ry room descends the painted face, What but their wish indulged in courts to That hung the bright palladium of the place ; shine, And, smoked in kitchens, or in auctions sold, And power too great to keep or to resign ! To better features yields the frame of gold; When first the college rolls receive his: For now no more we trace in ev'ry line

name, Horoic worth, benevolence divine :

The young enthusiast quits his ease for The form distorted justifies the fall,

fame; And detestation rids the indignant wall. Resistless burns the fever of renown,

But will not Britain hear the last appeal, Caught from the strong contagion of the Sign her foe's doom, or guard her favourite's gown : zeal ?

O'er Bodley's dome his future labours spread, Through Freedom's sons no more remon And Bacon's mansion trembles o'er his strance rings,

head. Degrading nobles and controlling kings ; Are these thy views? Proceed, illustrious Our supple tribes repress their patriot youth, throats,

And Virtue guard thee to the throne of And ask no questions but the price of votes ;

Truth! With weekly libels and septennial ale,

Yet should thy soul indulge the gen'rous Their wish is full to riot and to rail.

heat In full-blown dignity, see Wolsey stand, Till captive Science yields her last retreat ; Law in his voice, and fortune in his hand : Should reason guide thee with her brightest To him the church, the realm, their powers ray, consign,

And pour on misty doubt resistless day; Through him the rays of regal bounty shine, Should no false kindness lure to loose delight, Turn'd by his nod the stream of honour Nor praise relax, nor difficulty fright; flows,

Should tempting Novelty thy cell refrain, His smile alone security bestows:

And Sloth effuse her opiate fumes in vain;

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Should Beanty blunt on fops her fatal dart, Peace courts his hand, but spreads her charms Nor claim the triumph of a letter'd heart;

in vain; Should no disease thy torpid veins invade, “ Think nothing gain'd," he cries, “till Nor Melancholy's phantoms haunt thy shade ; nought remain, Yet hope not life from grief or danger free, On Moscow's walls till Gothic standards fly, Nor think the doom of man reversed for And all be mine beneath the polar sky." thee :

The march begins in military state, Deign on the passing world to turn thine And nations on his eye suspended wait; eyes,

Stern Famine guards the solitary coast, And pause awhile from letters to be wise ; And Winter barricades the realms of Frost; There mark what ills the scholar's life assail, He comes, nor want nor cold his course Toil, envy, want, the patron, and the jail.

delay;-See nations, slowly wise and meanly just, Hide, blushing glory, hide Pultowa's day: To buried merit raise the tardy bust.

The vanquish'd hero leaves his broken bands, If dreams yet flatter, once again attend, And shows his miseries in distant lands; | Hear Lydiat's life, and Galileo's end.

Condemn'd a needy supplicant to wait, Nor deem, when Learning her last prize While ladies interpose, and slaves debate. bestows,

But did not chance at length her error mend ? The glitt'ring eminence exempt from foes ; Did no subverted empire mark his end ? See, when the vulgar 'scapes, despised or Did rival monarchs give the fatal wound ? awed,

Or hostile millions press him to the ground ? Rebellion's vengeful talons seize on Laud. His fall was destined to a barren strand, From meaner minds though smaller fines A petty fortress, and a dubious hand; content,

He left the name, at which the world grew The plunder'd palace, or sequester'd rent,

pale, Mark'd out by dangerous parts, he meets the To point a moral, or adorn a tale. shock,

All times their scenes of pompous woes And fatal Learning leads him to the block :

afford, Around his tomb let Art and Genius weep, From Persia's tyrant to Bavaria's lord. But hear his death, ye blockheads, hear and In gay hostility and barb'rous pride, sleep.

With half mankind embattled at his side, The festal blazes, the triumphal show, Great Xerxes comes to seize the certain prey, The ravish'd standard, and the captive foe, And starves exhausted regions in his way ; The senate's thanks, the Gazette's pompous Attendant Flatt'ry counts his myriads o'er, tale,

Till counted myriads soothe his pride no With force resistless o'er the brave prevail.

more ; Such bribes the rapid Greek o'er Asia whirl'd, Fresh praise is tried till madness fires his For such the steady Roman shook the world; mind, For such in distant lands the Britons shine, The waves he lashes, and enchains the wind ; And stain with blood the Danube or the New powers are claim'd, new powers are still

bestow'd, This power has praise, that virtue scarce can Till rude resistance lops the spreading god;

The daring Greeks deride the martial show, Till fame supplies the universal charm. And heap their valleys with the gaudy foe; Yet reason frowns on war's unequal game, Th’ insulted sea with humbler thought he Where wasted nations raise a single name ;

gains, And mortgaged states their grandsires' A single skiff to speed his flight remains; wreaths regret,

Th' encumber'd oar scarce leaves the dreaded From age to age in everlasting debt;

coast Wreaths which at last the dear-bought right Through purple billows and a floating host. convey

The bo:4 Bavarian, in a luckless hour,
To rust on medals, or on stones decay. Tries the dread summits of Cæsarean power,
On what foundation stands the warrior's With unexpected legions bursts away,

And sees defenceless realms receive his sway : How just his hopes, let Swedish Charles Short sway ! fair Austria spreads her mournful

charms, A frame of adamant, a son of fire,

The queen, the beauty, sets the world in No dangers fright him, and no labours tire;

arms; D'er love, o'er fear, extends his wide domain, From hill to hill the beacon's rousing blaze Unconquer'd lord of pleasure and of pain ; Spreads wide the hope of plunder and of No joys to him pacific sceptres yield,

praise; War sounds the trump, ho rashes to the The fierce Croatian, and the wild Hussar, field;

With all the sons of ravage, crowd the war ; Behold surrounding kings their powers com The baffled prince, in honour's flatt'ring bine,

bloom And one capitulate, and one resign;

Of hasty greatness, finds the fatal doom ;




His foes' derision and his subjects' blame, And steals to death from anguish and from

shame. “Enlarge my life with multitude of days !” In health, in sickness, thus the suppliant

prays : Hides from himself its state, and shuns to

know, That life protracted is protracted woe. Time hovers o'er, impatient to destroy, And shuts up all the passages of joy: In vain their gifts the bounteous seasons

pour, The fruit autumnal, and the vernal flower ; With listless eyes the dotard views the store, He views, and wonders that they please no

more; Now pall the tasteless meats, and joyless

wines, And Luxury with sighs her slave resigns. Approach, ye minstrels, try the soothing

strain, Diffuse the tuneful lenitives of pain : No sounds, alas! would touch the impervious

ear, Though dancing mountains witness'd Orpheus

near ; Nor lute nor lyre his feeble powers attend, Nor sweeter music of a virtuous friend ; But everlasting dictates crowd his tongue, Perversely grave, or positively wrong. The still returning tale, and ling'ring jest, Perplex the fawning niece and pamper'a

guest, While growing hopes scarce awe the gath'ring

sneer, And scarce a legacy can bribe to hear : The watchful guests still hint the last

offence; The daughter's petulance, the son's expense, Improve his heady rage with treach'rous

skill, And mould his passions till they make his

will. Unnumber'd maladies his joints invade, Lay siege to life, and press the dire blockade ; But unextinguish'd av'rice still remains, And dreaded losses aggravate his pains ; He turns, with anxious heart and crippled

hands, His bonds of debt, and mortgages of lands; Or views his coffers with suspicious eyes, Unlocks his gold, and counts it till he dies.

But grant, the virtues of a temp?rate prime Bless with an age exempt from scorn

New sorrow rises as the day returns,
A sister sickens, or a daughter mourns.
Now kindred Merit fills the sable bier,
Now lacerated Friendship claims a tear ;
Year chases year, decay pursues decay,
Still drops some joy from with’ring life

away ;
New forms arise, and different views engage,
Superfluous lags the vet'ran on the stage,
Till pitying Nature signs the last release,
And bids afflicted worth retire to peace.
But few there are whom hours like these

await, Who set unclouded in the gulfs of Fate. From Lydia's monarch should the search

descend, By Solon caution'd to regard his end, In life's last scene what prodigies surprise, Fears of the brave, and follies of the wise! From Marlb'rough's eyes the streams of

dotage flow, And Swift expires a driv'ler and a show.

The teeming mother, anxious for her race, Begs for each birth the fortune of a face ; Yet Vane could tell what ills from beauty

spring; And Sedley cursed the form that pleased a

king. Ye nymphs of rosy lips and radiant eyes, Whom pleasure keeps too busy to be wise ; Whom joys with soft varieties invite, By day the frolic, and the dance by night; Who frown with vanity, who smile with art, And ask the latest fashion of the heart; What care, what rules, your heedless charms

shall save, Each nymph your rival, and each youth your

slave? Against your fame with fondness hate com

bines, The rival batters, and the lover mines. With distant voice neglected Virtue calls, Less heard and less, the faint remonstrance

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Tired with contempt, she quits the slipp'ry

reign, And Pride and Prudence take her seat in

vain. In crowd at once, where none the pass

defend, The harmless freedom, and the private

friend. The guardians yield, by force superior plied: To Int'rest, Prudence; and to Flatt’ry,

Pride. Here beauty falls, betray'd, despised, dis

tress'd, And hissing Infamy proclaims the rest. Where then shall Hope and Fear their

objects find ? Must dull suspense corrupt the stagnant

Must helpless man, in ignorance sedate,
Roll darkling down the torrent of his fate?
Must no dislike alarm, no wishes rise,
No cries invoke the mercies of the skies?

An age that melts with unperceived decay,
And glides in modest innocence away ;
Whose peaceful day benevolence endears,
Whose night congratulating conscience cheers;
The general fav'rite as the general friend :
Such age there is, and who shall wish its

end ? Yet ev'n on this her load Misfortune

flings, To press the weary minutes' flagging wings;

Inquirer, cease ; petitions yet remain
Which Heav'n may hear, nor deem religion

vain. Still raise for good the supplicating voice, But leave to Heav'n the measure and the

choice ; Safe in his power, whose eyes discern afar The secret ambush of a specious pray'r; Implore his aid, in his decisions rest, Secure, whate'er he gives, he gives the best. Yet, when the sense of sacred presence fires, And strong devotion to the skies aspires, Pour forth thy fervours for a healthful mind, Obedient passions, and a will resign'd; For love, which scarce collective man can For patience, sov'reign o'er transmuted ill; For faith, that, panting for a happier seat, Counts death kind Nature's signal of retreat: These goods for man the laws of Heav'n

ordain, These goods he grants, who grants the pow'r

to gain ; With these celestial Wisdom calms the mind, And makes the happiness she does not find.

Samuel Johnson.-Born 1709, Died 1784.

His virtues walk'd their narrow round,

Nor made a pause, nor left a void; And sure th' Eternal Master found

The single talent well employ'd. The busy day, the peaceful night,

Unfelt, uncounted, glided by ; His frame was firm, his powers were bright,

Though now his eightieth year was nigh.
Then with no throbs of fiery pain,

No cold gradations of decay,
Death broke at once the vital chain,
And forced his soul the nearest way.

Samuel Johnson.—Born 1709, Died 1784.


887.-ODE TO PITY. O thou, the friend of man assign'd With balmy hands his wounds to bind,

And charm his frantic woe: When first Distress, with dagger keen, Broke forth to waste his destined scene,

His wild unsated foe!



1782. Condemn'd to Hope's delusive mine,

As on we toil from day to day,
By sudden blasts, or slow decline,

Our social comforts drop away.
Well tried through many a varying year,

See Levett to the grave descend,
Officions, innocent, sincere,

Of every friendless name the friend. Yet still he fills affection's eye,

Obscurely wise and coarsely kind; Nor, letter'd arrogance, deny

Thy praise to merit unrefined. When fainting Nature call'd for aid,

And hovering Death prepared the blow. His vigorous remedy display'd

The power of art without the show.
In Misery's darkest cavern known,

His useful care was ever nigh,
Where hopeless Anguish pour'd his groan,

And lonely want retired to die.
No summons mock'a by chill delay,

No petty gain disdain'd by pride; The modest wants of every day

The toil of every day supplied.

By Pella's bard, a magic name,
By all the griefs his thought could frame,

Receive my humble rite:
Long, Pity, let the nations view
Thy sky-worn robes of tenderest blue,

And eyes of dewy light!
But wherefore need I wander wide
To old Ilissus' distant side,

Deserted stream, and mute ?
Wild Arun too has heard thy strains,
And Echo, 'midst my native plains,

Been soothed by Pity's lute.
There first the wren thy myrtles shed
On gentlest Otway's infant head,

To him thy cell was shown;
And while he sung the female heart,
With youth's soft notes unspoil'd by art,

Thy turtles mix'd their own.
Come, Pity, come, by Fancy's aid,
E'en now my thoughts, relenting maid,

Thy temple's pride design :
Its southern site, its truth complete,
Shall raise a wild enthusiast heat

In all who view the shrine.

There Picture's toil shall well relate
How Chance, or hard involving Fate,

O'er mortal bliss prevail :
The buskin'd Muse shall near her stand,
And sighing prompt her tender hand,

With each disastrous tale. There let me oft, retired by day, In dreams of passion melt away,

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