« ForrigeFortsæt »
What can from such be hop'd, but a base brood
Of coward curs, a frantic, vagrant race?
When now the third revolving Moon appears, With sharpen'd horns, above th' horizon's brink, Without Lucina's aid, expect thy hopes
Are amply crown'd; short pangs produce to light The smoking litter; crawling, helpless, blind, Nature their guide, they seek the pouting teat That plenteous streams. Soon as the tender dam Has form'd them with her tongue, with pleasure view
The marks of their renown'd progenitors,
Sure pledge of triumphs yet to come.
Select with joy; but to the merciless flood
Expose the dwindling refuse, nor o'erload
Th' indulgent mother. If thy heart relent,
Unwilling to destroy, a nurse provide,
And to the foster-parent give the care
Of thy superfluous brood; she'll cherish kind
The alien offspring; pleas'd thou shalt behold
Her tenderness, and hospitable love.
If frolic now and playful they desert
Their gloomy cell, and on the verdant turf,
With nerves improv'd, pursue the mimic chase,
Coursing around; unto the choicest friends
Commit thy valued prize: the rustic dames
Shall at thy kennel wait, and in their laps
Receive thy growing hopes, with many a kiss
Caress, and dignify their little charge
With some great title, and resounding name
Of high import. But cautious here observe
To check their youthful ardor, nor permit
The unexperienc'd younker, immature,
Alone to range the woods, or haunt the brakes
Where dodging conies sport; his nerves unstrung,
And strength unequal; the laborious chase
Shall stint his growth, and his rash forward youth
Contract such vicious habits, as thy care
And late correction never shall reclaim.
When to full strength arriv'd, mature and bold, Conduct them to the field; not all at once, But as thy cooler prudence shall direct, Select a few, and form them by degrees To stricter discipline. With these consort The staunch and steady sages of thy pack, By long experience vers'd in all the wiles And subtle doublings of the various Chase. Easy the lesson of the youthful train When instinct prompts, and when example guides. If the too forward younker at the head Press boldly on in wanton sportive mood, Correct his haste, and let him feel abash'd The ruling whip. But if he stoop behind In wary modest guise, to his own nose Confiding sure; give him full scope to work His winding way, and with thy voice applaud His patience, and his care: soon shalt thou view The hopeful pupil leader of his tribe, And all the listening pack attend his call.
Oft lead them forth where wanton lambkins play, And bleating dams with jealous eyes observe Their tender care. If at the crowding flock He bay presumptuous, or with eager haste Pursue them scatter'd o'er the verdant plain, In the foul fact attach'd, to the strong ram Tie fast the rash offender. See! at first His horn'd companion, fearful and amaz'd, Shall drag him trembling o'er the rugged ground; Then, with his load fatigu'd, shall turn ahead, And with his curl'd hard front incessant peal
The panting wretch; till, breathless and astunn'd
Stretch'd on the turf he lie. Then spare not thou
The twining whip, but ply his bleeding sides
Lash after lash, and with thy threatening voice,
Harsh-echoing from the hills, inculcate loud
His vile offence. Sooner shall trembling doves
Escap'd the hawk's sharp talons, in mid air,
Assail their dangerous foe, than he once more
Disturb the peaceful flocks. In tender age
Thus youth is train'd; as curious artists bend
The taper pliant twig, or potters form
Their soft and ductile clay to various shapes.
Nor is 't enough to breed; but to preserve,
Must be the huntsman's care. The staunch old
Guides of thy pack, though but in number few,
Are yet of great account; shall oft untie
The Gordian knot, when reason at a stand
Puzzling is lost, and all thy art is vain.
O'er clogging fallows, o'er dry plaster'd roads,
O'er floated meads, o'er plains with flocks distain'd
Rank-scenting, these must lead the dubious,
As party-chiefs in senates who preside,
With pleaded reason and with well-turn'd speech,
Conduct the staring multitude; so these
Direct the pack, who with joint cry approve,
And loudly boast discoveries not their own.
Unnumber'd accidents, and various ills,
Attend thy pack, hang hovering o'er their heads,
And point the way that leads to Death's dark
Short is their span; few at the date arrive
Of ancient Argus, in old Homer's song
So highly honor'd: kind, sagacious brute!
Not ev'n Minerva's wisdom could conceal
Thy much-lov'd master from thy nicer sense.
Dying his lord he own'd, view'd him all o'er
With eager eyes, then clos'd those eyes, well pleas'd.
Of lesser ills the Muse declines to sing,
Nor stoops so low; of these each groom can tell
The proper remedy. But O! what care,
What prudence, can prevent madness, the worst
Of maladies? Terrific pest! that blasts
The huntsman's hopes, and desolation spreads
Through all th' unpeopled kennel unrestrain'd,
More fatal than th' envenom'd viper's bite;
Or that Apulian spider's poisonous sting,
Heal'd by the pleasing antidote of sounds.
When Sirius reigns, and the Sun's parching beams
Bake the dry gaping surface, visit thou
Each ev'n and morn, with quick observant eye,
Thy panting pack. If, in dark sullen mood,
The glouting hound refuse his wonted meal,
Retiring to some close, obscure retreat,
Gloomy, disconsolate; with speed remove
The poor infectious wretch, and in strong chains
Bind him suspected. Thus that dire disease
Which art can't cure, wise caution may prevent.
But, this neglected, soon expect a change, A dismal change, confusion, frenzy, death. Or in some dark recess the senseless brute Sits sadly pining; deep melancholy, And black despair, upon his clouded brow Hang lowering; from his half-opening jaws The clammy venom, and infectious froth, Distilling fall; and from his lungs inflam'd, Malignant vapors taint the ambient air, Breathing perdition; his dim eyes are glaz'd, He droops his pensive head, his trembling limbs No more support his weight; abject he lies,
Dumb, spiritless, benumb'd; till Death at last
Gracious attends, and kindly brings relief.
Or, if outrageous grown, behold, alas!
A yet more dreadful scene; his glaring eyes
Redden with fury, like some angry boar
Churning he foams; and on his back erect
His pointed bristles rise; his tail incurv'd
He drops, and with harsh broken howlings rends
The poison-tainted air; with rough hoarse voice
Incessant bays, and snuffs the infectious breeze;
This way and that he stares aghast, and starts
At his own shade: jealous, as if he deem'd
The world his foes. If haply towards the stream
He cast his roving eye, cold horror chills
His soul; averse he flies, trembling, appall'd.
Now frantic to the kennel's utmost verge
Raving he runs, and deals destruction round.
The pack fly diverse; for whate'er he meets
Vengeful he bites, and every bite is death.
If now perchance through the weak fence escap'd
Far up the wind he roves, with open mouth
Inhales the cooling breeze; nor man, nor beast,
He spares implacable. The hunter-horse,
Once kind associate of his sylvan toils,
(Who haply now without the kennel's mound
Crops the rank mead, and listening hears with joy
The cheering cry, that morn and eve salutes
His raptur'd sense,) a wretched victim falls.
Unhappy quadruped! no more, alas!
Shall thy fond master with his voice applaud
Thy gentleness, thy speed; or with his hand
Stroke thy soft dappled sides, as he each day
Visits thy stall, well pleas'd; no more shalt thou
With sprightly neighings, to the winding horn,
And the loud opening pack in concert join'd,
Glad his proud heart. For oh! the secret wound
Rankling inflames, he bites the ground, and dies!
Hence to the village with pernicious haste
Baleful he bends his course: the village flies
Alarm'd; the tender mother in her arms
Hugs close the trembling babe; the doors are barr'd,
And flying curs, by native instinct taught,
Shun the contagious bane; the rustic bands
Hurry to arms, the rude militia scize
Whate'er at hand they find; clubs, forks, or guns,
From every quarter charge the furious foe,
In wild disorder, and uncouth array:
The wound; spare not thy flesh, nor dread th' event:
Vulcan shall save when Esculapius fails.
Here should the knowing Muse recount the means
To stop this growing plague. And here, alas!
Each hand presents a sovereign cure, and boasts
Infallibility, but boasts in vain.
On this depend, each to his separate seat
Confine, in fetters bound; give each his mess
Apart, his range in open air; and then
If deadly symptoms to thy grief appear,
Devote the wretch, and let him greatly fall,
A generous victim for the public weal.
Sing, philosophic Muse, the dire effects
Of this contagious bite on hapless man.
The rustic swains, by long tradition taught
Of leeches old, as soon as they perceive
The bite impress'd, to the sea-coasts repair.
Plung'd in the briny flood, th' unhappy youth
Now journeys home secure; but soon shall wish
The seas as yet had cover'd him beneath
The foaming surge, full many a fathom deep.
A fate more dismal, and superior ills,
Hang o'er his head devoted. When the Moon,
Closing her monthly round, returns again
To glad the night; or when full-orb'd she shines
High in the vault of Heaven; the lurking pest
Begins the dire assault. The poisonous foam
Through the deep wound instill'd with hostile rage,
And all its fiery particles saline,
Invades th' arterial fluid: whose red waves
Tempestuous heave, and their cohesion broke,
Fermenting boil; intestine war ensues,
And order to confusion turns embroil'd.
Now the distended vessels scarce contain
The wild uproar, but press each weaker part
Unable to resist: the tender brain
And stomach suffer most; convulsions shake
His trembling nerves, and wandering pungent pains
Pinch sore the sleepless wretch; his fluttering pulse
Oft intermits; pensive, and sad, he mourns
His cruel fate, and to his weeping friends
Laments in vain; to hasty anger prone,
Resents each slight offence, walks with quick step.
And wildly stares; at last with boundless sway
The tyrant frenzy reigns: for as the dog
(Whose fatal bite convey'd th' infectious bane)
Raving he foams, and howls, and barks, and bites;
Till, now with wounds on wounds oppress'd and Like agitations in his boiling blood
At one short poisonous gasp he breathes his last.
Hence to the kennel, Muse, return, and view
With heavy heart that hospital of woe;
Where Horror stalks at large! insatiate Death
Sits growling o'er his prey: each hour presents
A different scene of ruin and distress.
How busy art thou, Fate! and how severe
Thy pointed wrath! the dying and the dead
Promiscuous lie; o'er these the living fight
In one eternal broil; not conscious why
Nor yet with whom. So drunkards, in their cups,
Spare not their friends, while senseless squabble
Huntsman! it much behoves thee to avoid
The perilous debate! Ah! rouse up all
Thy vigilance, and tread the treacherous ground
With careful step. Thy fires unquench'd preserve,
As erst the vestal flames; the pointed steel
In the hot embers hide; and if surpris'd
Thou feel'st the deadly bite, quick urge it home
Into the recent sore, and cauterize
See there distress'd he lies! parch'd up with thirst.
But dares not drink. Till now at last his soul
Trembling escapes, her noisome dungeon leaves,
And to some purer region wings away.
One labor yet remains, celestial Maid!
Another element demands thy song.
No more o'er craggy steep, through coverts thick
With pointed thorn, and briers intricate,
Urge on with horn and voice the painful pack:
But skim with wanton wing the irriguous vale,
Where winding streams amid the flowery meads
Perpetual glide along; and undermine
The cavern'd banks, by the tenacious roots
Of hoary willows arch'd; gloomy retreat
Of the bright scaly kind; where they at will
On the green watery reed their pasture graze.
Suck the moist soil, or slumber at their ease,
Rock'd by the restless brook, that draws aslope
Its humid train, and laves their dark abodes.
Where rages not Oppression? Where, alas!
Is Innocence secure? Rapine and Spoil
Haunt ev'n the lowest deeps; seas have their sharks,
Rivers and ponds inclose the ravenous pike;
He in his turn becomes a prey; on him
Th' amphibious otter feasts. Just is his fate
Deserv'd: but tyrants know no bounds; nor spears
That bristle on his back, defend the perch
From his wide greedy jaws; nor burnish'd mail
The yellow carp; nor all his arts can save
Th' insinuating eel, that hides his head
Beneath the slimy mud; nor yet escapes
The crimson-spotted trout, the river's pride,
And beauty of the stream. Without remorse,
This midnight pillager, ranging around,
Insatiate swallows all. The owner mourns
Th' unpeopled rivulet, and gladly hears
The huntsman's early call, and sees with joy
The jovial crew, that march upon its banks
In gay parade, with bearded lances arm'd.
The subtle spoiler, of the beaver kind,
Far off perhaps, where ancient alders shade
The deep still pool, within some hollow trunk
Contrives his wicker couch: whence he surveys
His long purlieu, lord of the stream, and all
The finny shoals his own. But you, brave youths,
Dispute the felon's claim; try every root,
And every reedy bank; encourage all
The busy spreading pack, that fearless plunge
Into the flood, and cross the rapid stream.
Bid rocks and caves, and each resounding shore,
Proclaim your bold defiance; loudly raise
Each cheering voice, till distant hills repeat
The triumphs of the vale. On the soft sand
See there his seal impress'd! and on that bank
Behold the glittering spoils, half-eaten fish,
Scales, fins, and bones, the leavings of his feast.
Ah! on that yielding sag-bed, see, once more
His seal I view. O'er yon dank rushy marsh
The sly goose-footed prowler bends his course,
And seeks the distant shallows. Huntsman, bring
Thy eager pack, and trail him to his couch.
Hark! the loud peal begins, the clamorous joy,
The gallant chiding, loads the trembling air.
Ye Naiads fair, who o'er these floods preside, Raise up your dripping heads above the wave, And hear our melody. Th' harmonious notes Float with the stream; and every winding creek And hollow rock, that o'er the dimpling flood Nods pendent, still improve from shore to shore Our sweet reiterated joys. What shouts! What clamor loud! What gay heart-cheering sounds Urge through the breathing brass their mazy way! Nor quires of Tritons glad with sprightlier strains The dancing billows, when proud Neptune rides In triumph o'er the deep. How greedily They snuff the fishy steam, that to each blade Rank-scenting clings! See! how the morning dews They sweep, that from their feet besprinkling drop Dispers'd, and leave a track oblique behind. Now on firm land they range; then in the flood They plunge tumultuous; or through reedy pools Rustling they work their way: no hole escapes Their curious search. With quick sensation now The fuming vapor stings; flutter their hearts, And joy redoubled bursts from every mouth In louder symphonies. Yon hollow trunk,
That with its hoary head incurv'd salutes
The passing wave, must be the tyrant's fort,
And dread abode. How these impatient climb,
While others at the root incessant bay!
They put him down. See, there he drives along!
Th' ascending bubbles mark his gloomy way.
Quick fix the nets, and cut off his retreat
Into the sheltering deeps. Ah! there he vents!
The pack plunge headlong, and protended spears
Menace destruction: while the troubled surge
Indignant foams, and all the scaly kind,
Affrighted, hide their heads. Wild tumult reigns,
And loud uproar. Ah, there once more he vents!
See, that bold hound has seiz'd him! down they sink,
Together lost: but soon shall he repent
His rash assault. See, there escap'd, he flies
Half-drown'd, and clambers up the slippery bank
With ooze and blood distain'd. Of all the brutes,
Whether by Nature form'd, or by long use,
This artful diver best can bear the want
Of vital air. Unequal is the fight,
Beneath the whelming element. Yet there
He lives not long; but respiration needs
At proper intervals. Again he vents;
Again the crowd attack. That spear has pierc'd
His neck; the crimson waves confess the wound.
Fixt is the bearded lance, unwelcome guest,
Where'er he flies; with him it sinks beneath,
With him it mounts; sure guide to every foe.
Inly he groans; nor can his tender wound
Bear the cold stream. Lo! to yon sedgy bank
He creeps disconsolate: his numerous foes
Surround him, hounds, and men. Pierc'd through
On pointed spears they lift him high in air;
Wriggling he hangs, and grins, and bites in vain:
Bid the loud horns, in gaily-warbling strains,
Proclaim the felon's fate; he dies, he dies.
Rejoice, ye scaly tribes, and leaping dance
Above the wave, in sign of liberty
Restor'd; the cruel tyrant is no more.
Rejoice secure and bless'd; did not as yet
Remain some of your own rapacious kind;
And man, fierce man, with all his various wiles.
O happy! if ye knew your happy state,
Ye rangers of the fields; whom Nature boon
Cheers with her smiles, and every element
Conspires to bless. What, if no heroes frown
From marble pedestals; nor Raphael's works,
Nor Titian's lively tints, adorn our walls?
Yet these the meanest of us may behold;
And at another's cost may feast at will
Our wondering eyes; what can the owner more?
But vain, alas! is wealth, not grac'd with power.
The flowery landscape, and the gilded dome,
And vistas opening to the wearied eye,
Through all his wide domain; the planted grove,
The shrubby wilderness, with its gay choir
Of warbling birds, can't lull to soft repose
Th' ambitious wretch, whose discontented soul
Is harrow'd day and night; he mourns, he pines,
Until his prince's favor makes him great.
See, there he comes, th' exalted idol comes!
The circle's form'd, and all his fawning slaves
Devoutly bow to earth; from every mouth
The nauseous flattery flows, which he returns
With promises, that die as soon as born.
Vile intercourse! where virtue has no place.
Frown but the monarch; all his glories fade;
He mingles with the throng, outcast, undone,
The pageant of a day; without one friend
To soothe his tortur'd mind: all, all are fled.
For, though they bask'd in his meridian ray,
The insects vanish, as his beams decline.
Not such our friends; for here no dark design,
No wicked interest, bribes the venal heart;
But inclination to our bosom leads,
And weds them there for life; our social cups
Smile, as we smile; open, and unreserv'd,
We speak our inmost souls; good-humor, mirth,
Soft complaisance, and wit from malice free,
Smooth every brow, and glow on every cheek.
O happiness sincere! what wretch would groan
Beneath the galling load of power, or walk
Upon the slippery pavements of the great,
Who thus could reign, enenvied and secure!
Ye guardian powers who make mankind your care,
Give me to know wise Nature's hidden depths,
Trace each mysterious cause, with judgment read
Th' expanded volume, and submiss adore
That great creative Will, who at a word
Spoke forth the wondrous scene. But if my soul
To this gross clay confin'd flutters on Earth
With less ambitious wing; unskill'd to range
From orb to orb, where Newton leads the way;
And view with piercing eyes the grand machine,
Worlds above worlds; subservient to his voice,
Who, veil'd in clouded majesty, alone
Gives light to all; bids the great system move,
And changeful seasons in their turns advance,
Unmov'd, unchang'd, himself: yet this at least
Grant me propitious, an inglorious life,
Calm and serene, nor lost in false pursuits
Of wealth or honors; but enough to raise
My drooping friends, preventing modest Want
That dares not ask. And if, to crown my joys,
Ye grant me health, that, ruddy in my cheeks,
Blooms in my life's decline; fields, woods, and
Each towering hill, each humble vale below, Shall hear my cheering voice, my hounds shall wake The lazy Morn, and glad th' horizon round.
ALEXANDER POPE, an English poet of great emi- ample remuneration for his labor. This noble work nence, was born in London in 1688. His father, was published in separate volumes, each containwho appears to have acquired wealth by trade, was ing four books; and the produce of the subscripa Roman Catholic, and being disaffected to the tion enabled him to take that house at Twickpolitics of King William, he retired to Binfield, in enham which he made so famous by his residence Windsor Forest, where he purchased a small house and decorations. He brought hither his father and with some acres of land, and lived frugally upon mother; of whom the first parent died two years the fortune he had saved. Alexander, who was from afterwards. The second long survived, to be cominfancy of a delicate habit of body, after learning to forted by the truly filial attentions of her son. About read and write at home, was placed about his eighth this period he probably wrote his Epistle from year under the care of a Romish priest, who taught "Eloisa to Abelard," partly founded upon the exhim the rudiments of Latin and Greek. His nat- tant letters of these distinguished persons. He has ural fondness for books was indulged about this period by Ogilby's translation of Homer, and Sandy's of Ovid's Metamorphoses, which gave him so much delight, that they may be said to have made him a poet. He pursued his studies under different priests, to whom he was consigned. At length he became the director of his own pursuits, the variety of which proved that he was by no means deficient in industry, though his reading was rather excursive than methodical. From his early years poetry was adopted by him as a profession, for his poetical reading was always accompanied with attempts at imitation or translation; and it may be affirmed that he rose at once almost to perfection in this walk. His manners and conversation were equally beyond his years; and it does not appear that he ever cultivated friendship with any one of his own age or condition.
rendered this one of the most impressive poems of which love is the subject; as it is likewise the most finished of all his works of equal length, in point of language and versification. The exaggeration, however, which he has given to the most impassioned expressions of Eloisa, and his deviations from the true story, have been pointed out by Mr. Berrington in his lives of the two lovers.
During the years in which he was chiefly engaged with the Iliad, he published several occasional works, to which he usually prefixed very elegant prefaces; but the desire of farther emolument induced him to extend his translation to the Odyssey, in which task he engaged two inferior hands, whom he paid out of the produce of a new subscription. He himself, however, translated twelve books out of the twenty-four, with a happiness not inferior to his Iliad; and the transaction, conducted in a truly mercantile spirit, was the source of considerable profit to him. After the appearance of the Odyssey, Pope almost solely made himself known as a satirist and moralist. In 1728 he published the three first books of the "Dunciad," a kind of mock-heroic, the object of which was to
Pope's Pastorals were first printed in a volume of Tonson's Miscellanies in 1709, and were generally admired for the sweetness of the versification, and the lustre of the diction, though they betrayed a want of original observation, and an artificial cast of sentiment: in fact, they were any thing rather than real pastorals. In the mean time he was exer- overwhelm with indelible ridicule all his antagocising himself in compositions of a higher class; nists, together with some other authors whom spleen and by his "Essay on Criticism," published two or party led him to rank among the dunces, though years afterwards, he obtained a great accession of they had given him no personal offence. Notwithreputation, merited by the comprehension of thought, standing that the diction and versification of this the general good sense, and the frequent beauty of poem are labored with the greatest care, we shall illustration which it presents, though it displays borrow nothing from it. Its imagery is often exmany of the inaccuracies of a juvenile author. In tremely gross and offensive; and irritability, ill1712 his Rape of the Lock," a mock-heroic, nature, and partiality, are so prominent through the made its first appearance, and conferred upon him whole, that whatever he gains as a poet he loses as the best title he possesses to the merit of invention. a man. He has, indeed, a claim to the character of The machinery of the Sylphs was afterwards added, a satirist in this production, but none at all to that an exquisite fancy-piece, wrought with unrivalled of a moralist.
skill and beauty. The "Temple of Fame," altered The other selected pieces, though not entirely from Chaucer, though partaking of the embarrass-free from the same defects, may yet be tolerated; ments of the original plan, has many passages which and his noble work called the "Essay on Man," may rank with his happiest efforts.
In the year 1713, Pope issued proposals for publishing a translation of Homer's Iliad, the success of which soon removed all doubt of its making an accession to his reputation, whilst it afforded an
which may stand in the first class of ethical poems, does not deviate from the style proper to its topic. This piece gave an example of the poet's extraor dinary power of managing argumentation in verse, and of compressing his thoughts into clauses of