« AnteriorContinuar »
For such a fool was never found,
Who pulld a palace to the ground,
Only to have the ruins made
Materials for an house decay'd.
Verses on the death of Dr SWIFT,
occasioned by reading the following maxim in RochfOUCAULT.
Dans l'adversité de nos meilleurs amis nous trouvons toue
jours quelque cbole, qui ne nous deplaist pas. In the adversity of our best friends we always find.
something that doth not displease us.
AS Rochefoucault his maxims drew
From nature, I believe them true ;
They argue no corrupted mind
In him; the fault is in mankind.
This maxim more than all the reft
Is thought too base for human breaft:
“ In all diftreffes of our friends
“ We first consult our private ends ;
“ While nature, kindly bent to ease us,
• Points out some circumstance, to please us."
If this perhaps your patience move,
Let reason and experience prove.
We all behold with envious eyes
Our equal rais d above our fize.
Who would not at a crouded show
Stand high himself, keep others low?
I love my friend as well as you:
But why should he obstruct my view ?..
Then let me have the higher post ;
Suppose it but an inch at most.
If in a battle you should find
One, whom you love of all mankind,
Had some heroic action done,
A champion kill'd, or trophy won;
Rather than thus be overtopt,
Would you not with bis laurels cropt?
Dear hunelt Ned is in the gout,
Lies rack'd with pain, and you without:
How patiently you hear him groan !
How glad, the case is not your own!
What poet would not grieve to see
His brother write as well as he ?
But, rather than they should excel,
Would with his rivals all in hell ?
Her end when emulation misses,
She turns to envy, ftings, and hisses :
The strongest friendship yields to pride,
Unless the odds be on our fide.
VAIN human-kind! fantastic race !
Thy various follies who can trace?
Self love, ambition, envy, pride,
'Their empire in our hearts divide.
Give others riches, power, and station ;
'Tis all on me an ufurpation.
I have no title to aspire ;
Yet, when you fink, I seem the higher.
In Pope I cannot read a line,
But with a figh I wish it mine :
When he can in one couplet fix
More fenfe than I can do in fix,
It gives me such a jealous fit,
I cry, Pox take him and his wit.
I grieve to be outdone by Gay
In my own hum'rous biting way.
Arbuthnor is no more my friends
Who dares to irony pretend,
Which I was born to introduce,
Refin'd it firft, and shew'd its use.
St John ", as well as Pultney t, knows
That I had some repute for prose;
And, till they drove me out of date ;
Could maul a minister of state.
If they have mortify'd my pride,
And made me throw my pen
If with such talents heav'n hath bless'd 'em,
Have I not reason to deteft 'em ?
To all my foes, dear Fortune, send
Thy gifts, but never to my. friend:
I tamely can endure the first;
But this with envy makes me burst.
Thus much may serve by way
proem; Proceed we therefore to our poem.
The time is not remote, when I
Must by the course of nature die ;
When, I foresee, my special friends
Will try to find their private ends :
And, tho''tis hardly understood,
Which way my death can do them good,
Yet thus, methinks, I hear them speak :
See, how the Dean begins to break !
Poor Gentleman, he drops apace !
You plainly find it in his face.
That old vertigo in his head
Will never leave him, till he's dead.
Besides, his memory decays:
He recollects not what he fays ;
He cannot call his friends to mind;
Forgets the place where last he din'd;
Plies you with stories o'er and o'er;
He told them fifty times before.
• Lord Viscount Bolingbroke.
† William Pultpey Esq; now Earl of Bath.
How does he fancy, we can fit
To hear his out of-fashion wit?
But he takes
Who for his wine will bear his jokes.
"Faith he must make his stories shorter,
Or change his comrades once a quarter :
In half the time he talks them round:
There must another set be found.
For poetry, he's past his prime;
He takes an hour to find a rhyme:
His fire is out, his wit decay’d,
His fancy sunk, his muse a jade.
I'd have him throw away
pen; But there's no talking to some men.
And then their tenderness appears
By adding largely to my years :
He's older than he would be reckon'd,
And well remembers Charles the Second.
He hardly drinks a pint of wine ;
And that, I doubt, is no good sign.
His ftomach too begins to fail :
Last year we thought him strong and hale;
But now he's quite another thing :
I wish he may hold out till spring.
They hug themselves, and reason thus
It is not yet so bad with us.
In such a case they talk in tropes,
And by their fears express their hopes. .
Some great misfortune to portend,
enemy can match a friend.
With all the kindness they profess,
The merit of a lucky guess
(When daily how-d'ye's come of course,
And servants answer, Worfe and worse!"
Would please them better, than to tell,
That, God be prais'd, the Dean is well.
Then he who prophesy'd the best,
Approves his forefight to the reft:
“ You know I always fear'd the worst,
“ And often told you fo at firft."
He'd rather chuse that I should die,
Than his predi&tions prove a lie.
Not one foretels I shall recover ;
But all agree to give me over.
Yet, should fome neighbour feel a pain
Just in the parts where I complain ;
many a message would he fend?
What hearty pray'rs that I should mend?
Inquire what regimen I kept ;
What gave me ease, and how I slept ?
And more lament when I was dead,
Than all the sniv'lers round my bed.
My good companions, never fear;
For tho' you may mistake a year,
Tho' your prognostics run too fast,
They must be verify'd at last.
BEHOLD the fatal day arrive!
How is the Dean? he's just alive.
Now the departing pray'r is read;
He hardly breathes -The Dean is dead.
Before the palling-bell begun,
The news thro' half the town is run.
Oh! may we all for death prepare !
What has he left ? and who's his heir ?
I know no more than what the news is;
"Tis all bequeath'd to public uses.
To public uses ! there's a whim !
What had the public done for him ?
Mere envy, avarice, and pride :
He gave it all but first he dy'd.