Imagens da página
PDF
ePub
[ocr errors]
[ocr errors][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small]

There was a time, I heard her say,
Ere females were seduc'd by play,

When Beauty was her throne;
But now, where dwelt the Soft Desires,
The Furies light forbidden fires,

To Love and her unknown.

TO THE RIGHT HONOURABLE HENRY PELHAM.

From these th' indignant goddess flies, And where the spires of Science rise,

A while suspends her wing; But pedant Pride and Rage are there, And Faction tainting all the air,

And pois'ning eyery spring.

Long through the sky's wide pathless way
The Muse observ'd the waud'rer stray,

And mark'd her last retreat;
O'er Surry's barred heaths she flew,
Descending like the silent dew

On Esher's peaceful seat.

........ Vir bonus est quis ? Hor. TAKE wing, my Muse! from shore to shore

Fly, and that happy place explore
Where Virtue deigns to dwell;
If yet she treads on British ground,
Where can the fugitive be found,

In city, court, or cell ?
Not there, where wine and frantic mirth
Unite the sensual sons of Earth

In Pleasure's thoughtless train;
Nor yet where sanctity's a show,
Where souls nor joy nor pity know

For human bliss or pain.
Her social heart alike disowns
The race, who, shunning erowds and thrones,

In shades sequester'd doze;
Whose sloth no generous care can wake,
Who rot, like weeds on Lethe's lake,

In senseless, vile repose.
With these she shuns the factious tribe,
Who spurn the yet unoffer'd bribe,

And at corruption lour;
Waiting till Discord Havoc cries,
In hopes, like Catiline, to rise

On anarchy to pow'r !
Ye wits, who boast from ancient times
A right divine to scourge our crimes,
Is it with you she rests?
No Int'rest, slander are your views,
And Virtue now, with every Muse,

Flies your unhallow'd breasts.

There she beholds the gentle Mole
His pensive waters calmly roll,

Amidst Elysian ground:
There through the windings of the grove
She leads her family of Love,

And strews her sweets around.

I hear her bid the daughters fair
Oft to yon gloomy grot repair,

Her secret steps to meet : “ Nor thou," she cries, “ these shades forsake, But come, lov'd consort, come and make

The husband's bliss complete.”

Yet not too much the soothing ease Of rural indolence shall please

My Pelham's ardent breast; The man whom Virtue calls her own Must stand the pillar of a throne,

And make a nation blest.

Pelham ! 'tis thine with temp'rate zeal

Her snaky locks, her hollow eyes, To guard Britannia's public weal,

And haggard form forbad disguise ; Attack'd on every part:

Pale discontent and sullen hate Her fatal discords to compose,

Upon ber wrinkled forehead sat; Unite her friends, disarm her foes,

Her left hand, clench'd, her cheek sustain'd, Demands thy head and heart.

Her right (with many a murder stain'd)

A dagger clutch'd, in act to strike, When bold Rebellion shook the land,

With starts of rage, and aim oblique, Ere yet from William's dauntless hand

Last on the left was Clamour seen, Her barbarous army fled ;

Of stature vast, and horrid mien ; When Valoor droop'd, and Wisdom fear'd, With bloated cheeks, and frantic eyes, Thy voice expiring Credit heard,

She sent her yellings to the skies; And rais'd her languid head.

Prepard with trumpet in her hand,

To blow sedition o'er the land. Now by thy strong assisting hand,

With these, four more of lesser fame, Fix'd on a rock I see her stand,

And humbler rank, attendant came; Against whose solid feet,

Hypocrisy with smiling grace, In vain, through every future age,

And Impudence with brazen face, The loudest, most tempestuous rage

Contention bold, with iron lungs, Of angry war shall beat.

And Slander with her hundred tongues.

The walls in sculptur'd tale were rich, And grieve not if the sons of Strife

And statues proud (in many a nich) tempt to cloud thy spotless life,

Of chiefs, who fought in Faction's cause, And shade its brightest scenes;

And perish'd for contempt of laws. Wretches, by kindness unsubdu'd,

The roof in vary'd light and shade, Who see, who share the common good,

The seat of Anarchy display'd. Yet cavil at the means.

Triumphant o'er a falling throne

(By emblematic figures known) Like these, the metaphysic crew,

Confusion rag'd, and Lust obscene, Proud to be singular and new,

And Riot with distemper'd mien, Think all they see deceit;

And Outrage bold, and Mischief dire, Are warm'd and cherish'd by the day,

And Devastation clad in fire. Feel and enjoy the heav'nly ray,

Prone on the ground a martial maid
Yet doubt of light and heat.

Expiring lay, and groan'd for aid;
Her shield with many a stab was pierc'd,
Her laurels torn, her spear revers'd;
And near her, crouch'd amidst the spoils,

A lion panted in the toils.
THE TRIAL OF SELIM THE PERSIAN', With look compos'd the pris'ner stood,

And modest pride. By turns he view'd
FOR DIVERS HIGH CRIMES AND MISDEMEANORS.

The court, the counsel, and the crowd,

And with submissive rev'rence bow'd. The court was met; the pris'ner brought;

Proceed wę now, in humbler strains, The counsel with instructions fraught ;

And lighter rhymes, with what remains. And evidence prepar'd at large,

Th’ indictment grievously set forth, On oath, to vindicate the charge.

That Selim, lost to patriot worth, But first 'tis meet, where form denies

(In company with one Will Pitt?, Poetic helps of fancy'd lies,

And many more, not taken yet) Gay metaphors, and figures fine,

In Forty-five, the royal palace 3 And similies to deck the line;

Did enter, and to shame grown callous, "Tis meet (as we before have said)

Did then and there his faith forsake, To call description to our aid.

And did accept, receive, and take, Begin we then (as first 'tis fitting)

With mischievous intent and base, With the three chiefs in judgment sitting.

Value unknown, a certain place. Above the rest, and in the chair,

He was a second time indicted, Sat Faction with dissembled air;

For that, by evil zeal excited, Her tongue was skill'd in specious lies,

With learning more than layman's share, And murmurs, whence dissentions rise;

(Which parsons want, and he might spare) A smiling mask her features veild,

In letter to one Gilbert West 4, · Her form the patriot's robe conceal'd;

He, the said Selim, did attest, With study'd blandishments she bow'd,

Maintain, support, and make assertion
And drew the captivated crowd.

Of certain points, from Paul's conversion,
The next in place, and on the right,
Sat Envy, hideous to the sight;

Afterwards earl of Chatham.
I George Lyttelton, esq. afterwards lord Lyttel-

3 Mr. Lyttelton was appointed a lord of the ton. The Persian Letters of this nobleman were

treasury 25th Dec. 1744. written under the character of Selim, which occa- 4 Entitled, Observations on the Conversion and sioned Mr. Moore to give him the same name in Apostleship of St. Paul, In a Letter to Gilbert this poem.

West, esq. 8vo. 1747.

[ocr errors]

8 rose,

By means whereof the said apostle

As if to evils known and real Did many an unbeliever jostle,

'Twas needful to annex ideal; Starting unfashionable fancies,

When all of human life we know And building truths on known romances.

Is care, and bitterness, and woe, A third charge ran, that knowing well

With short transitions of delight, Wits only eat as pamphlets sell,

To set the shaiter'd spirits right. He, the said Selin, notwithstanding,

Then why such mighty pains and care, Did fall to answ'ring, shaming, branding

To make us humbler than we are? Three curious Letters to the Whigss;

Forbidding short-liv'd mirth and laughter, Making no reader care three figs

By fears of what may come hereafter? For any facts contain'd therein;

Better in ignorance to dwell; By which unchari'able sin

None fear, but who believe a Hell; An author, modest and deserving,

And if there should be one, no doubt, Was destin'd to contempt and starving ;

Men of themselves would find it out. Against the king, his crown and peace,

“ But Selim's crimes,” he said, “ went further, And all the statutes in that case.

And barely stopp'd on this side murther; * The pleader rose with brief full charg'd,

One yet remain'd to close the charge, And on the pris'ner's crimes enlarg'd

To which (with leave) he 'd speak at large. But not to damp the Muse's fire

And, first, 'twas needful to premise, With rbet'ric, such as courts require,

That though so long (for reasons wise) Well try to keep the reader warm,

The press inviolate had stood, sift the form

Productive of the public good; " Virtue and social love," he said,

Yet still, too modest to abuse, " And honour from the land were fled;

It rail'd at vice, but told not whose. That patriots now, like other folks,

That great improvements, of late days, Were made the butt of vulgar jokes;

Were made, to many an author's praise, While Opposition dropp'd her crest,

Who, not so scrupulously nice, And courted pow'r for wealth and rest.

Proclaim'd the person with the vice; Why some folks laugh’d, and some folks rail'd, Or gave, where vices might be wanted, Why some submitted, some assail'd,

The name, and took the rest for granted. Angry or pleas'd-all solv'd the doubt

Upon this plan, a champion With who were in, and who were out.

Unrighteous greatness to oppose, The sons of Clamour grew so sickly,

Proving the man inventus non est, They luokd for dissolution quickly;

Who trades in pow'r, and still is honest; Their weekly journals, finely written,

And (God be prais'd) he did it rounilly, Were sunk in privies all besh-n;

Flogging a certain junto soundly. Old England, and the London Evening,

But chief his anger was directed, Hardly a soul was found believing in ;

Where people least of all suspected; And Caleb?, once so bold and strong,

And Selim, not so strong as tall, Was stupid now, and always wrong.

Beneath his grasp appear'd to fall. " Ask ye whence rose this foul disgrace? But Innocence (as people say) Why Selim has receiv'd a place,

Stood by, and sav'd him in the fray. And thereby brought the cause to shame;

By her assisted, and one Truth, Proving that people, void of blame,

A busy, prating, forward youth, Might serve their country and their king,

He rally'd all his strength anew, By making both the self-same thing:

And at the foe a letter threw 9: By which the credulous believ'd,

His weakest part the weapon found, And others (by strange arts deceiv'd)

And brought him senseless to the ground. That ministers were sometimes right,

Hénce Opposition fled the field, And meant not to destroy us quite.

And Ignorance with her seven-fold shield; “* That bart'ring thus in state affairs,

And well they might, for (things weigh'd fully) He next must deal in sacred wares,

The pris'ner, with his whore and bully, The clergy's rights divine invade,

Must prove for every foe too hard, And smuggle in the gospel-trade:

Who never fought with such a guard. And all this zeal to re-instate

“ But Truth and Innocence,” he said, Exploded notions, out of date;

“ Would stand bim here in little stead; Sending old rakes to church in shoals,

For they had evidence on oath, Like children, sniv'ling for their souls;

That would appear too hard for both." And ladies gay, from smut and libels,

Of witnesses a fearful train To learn beliefs, and read their bibles ;

Came next, th' indictments to sustain Erecting conscience for a tutor,

Detraction, Hatred, and Distrust, To damn the present by the future;

And Party, of all foes the worst,

Malice, Revenge, and Unbelief, $ Entitled, Three Letters to the Whigs ; occa

And Disappointment worn with grief, sioned by the Letter to the Tories. 8vo. 1748.

Dishonour foul, unaw'd by shame,

And every fiend that Vice can name, An opposition paper at that time published, in which Mr. Lyttelton was frequently abused.

8 Author of the Letters to the Whigs. ? Caleb d'Anvers, the name assumed by the 9 Probably, A Congratulatory Letter to Selim on writers of the Craftsman.

the Letters to the Whigs. 8vo. 1748.

All these in ample form depos'd,

Integrity and Honour swore Each fact the triple charge disclos'd,

Benevolence, and twenty more, With taunts and gibes of bitter sort,

That he was always of their party, And asking vengeance from the court.

And that they knew him firm and hearty. The pris'ner said in his defence,

Religion, sober dame, attended, That he indeed had small pretence

And, as she could, his cause befriended. To soften facts so deeply sworn,

She said, 'twas since he came from college, But would for his offences mour;

She knew him introduc'd by Knowledge: Yet more he hop'd than bare repentance

The man was modest and sincere, Might still be urg'd to ward the sentence.

Nor further could she interfere. That he had held a place some vears,

The Muses begg'd to interpose; He own'd with penitence and tears,

But Envy with loud hissings rose, But took it not from motives base,

And calld them women of ill fame, Th' indictment there mistook the case;

Liars, and prostitutes to shame; And though he had betray'd his trust

And said, to all the world 'twas known, In being to his country just,

Selim had had them every one. Neglecting Faction and her friends,

The pris'ner blush'd, the Muses frown'd,
He did it not for wicked ends,

When silence was proclaim'd around,
But that complaints and feuds might cease, And Faction, rising with the rest,
And jarring parties mix in peace.

In form the pris'ner thus address'd.
That what he wrote to Gilbert West,

You, Selin, thrice have been indicted: Bore hard against him, he confessid;

First, that by wicked pride excited. Yet there they wrong'd him; for the fact is, And bent your country to disgrace, He reason'd for belief, not practice;

You have receiv'd and held a place: And people might believe, he thought,

Next, Infidelity to wound, Though practice might be deem'd a fault.

You ’ve dard, with arguments profound, He either dreamt it, or was told,

To drive Freethinking to a stand, Religion was rever'd of old,

And with Religion vex the land : That it gave breeding no offence,

And lastly, in contempt of right, And was no foe to wit and sense;

With horrid and unnat'ral spite, But whether this was truth, or whim,

You have an author's fame o'erthrown, He would not say; the doubt with him

Thereby to build and fence your own. (And no great harm he hop'd) was, how

“ These crimes successive, on your trial, Th' enlightend world would take it now:

Have met with proofs beyond denial ; If they admitted it, 'twas well;

To which yourself, with shame, conceded, If not, he never talk'd of Hell;

And but in mitigation pleaded. Nor ev'n hop'd to change men's measures, Yet that the justice of the court Or frighten ladies from their pleasures.

May suffer not in men's report, One accusation, he confess'd,

Judgment a moment I suspend, Had touch'd him more than all the rest;

To reason as from friend to friend. Three patriot-letters, high in fame,

* And first, that you, of all mankind, By him o'erthrown, and brought to shame. With kings and courts should stain your mind! And though it was a rule in vogue,

You! who were Opposition's lord ! If one man call'd another rogue,

Her nerves, her sinews, and her sword ! The party injur'd might reply,

That you at last, for servile ends, And on his foe retort the lie;

Should wound the bowels of her friends, Yet what accru'd from all his labonr,

Is aggravation of offence, But foul dishonour to his neighbour?

That leaves for mercy no pretence. And he's a most unchristian elf,

Yet more For you to urge your hate, Who others damns to save himself.

And back the church, to aid the state! Besides, as all men knew, he said,

For you to publish such a letter! Those Letters only rail'd for bread;

You! who have known Religion better! And hunger was a known excuse

For you, I say, to introduce For prostitution and abuse:

The fraud again !-there's no excuse. A guinea, properly apply'd,

And last of all, to crown your shame, Had made the writer change his side;

Was it for you to load with blame He wish'd he had not cut and carv'd him,

The writings of a patriot-youth, And own'd, he should have bought, not starv'd him. And summon Innocence and Truth The court, he said, knew all the rest,,

To prop your canse? ---Was this for you? And must proceed as they thought best;

But justice does your crimes pursue; Only he hop'd such resignation

And sentence now alone remains, Would plead some little mitigation;

Which thus, by me, the court ordains: And if his character was clear

“ That you return from whence you came, From other faults, (and friends were near,

There to be stript of all yonr fame Who would, when call'd upon, attest it)

By vulgar hands; that once a week He did in humblest form request it,

Old England pinch you till you squeak ; To be from punishment exempt,

That ribbald pamphlets do pursue you, And only suffer their contempt.

And lies and murmurs, to undo you. The pris'ner's friends their claim preferr'd, With every foe that Worth procures, In turn demanding to be heard.

And only Virtue's friends be your's."

[ocr errors]
« AnteriorContinuar »