« ПредыдущаяПродолжить »
And every virtue lessens in her eye :
With her own lightnings oft the fair she warms,
And melts the heart of beauty by its charms;
The dart, directed at the man of wit,
Flies wing'd with quills with which his genius writ;
The shaft that's pointed at the breast of beaus,
Is fledg'd with feathers or brocaded cloaths;
And statesmen (who like me are least afraid)
Are caught in nets which they themselves have
To charge with generous thoughts the clearest head,
Consult the living, and read o'er the dead;
Where ancient Wisdom grows more wise with age,
And hoary seniors dignify the page;
Time's eldest-born! sires grey to us in fame!
The ancient's glory, but the modern's shame.
Supreme of those inspired Plato see,
A name rever'd by all antiquity:
Pride of his sect, and honor of his kind;
A worthy Heathen, with a Christian mind,
Whose style and manner moderns like so well,
That he alone could Shaftesbury excell.
In those fam'd days of literature and taste,
Liv'd Porphyry's tutor, and Zenobia's guest!
Aurelian's dread! endow'd with every art,
In which the two Minervas claim a part;
Whose character survives in the sublime,
As the best judge and critic of his time.
How courtier-like gay Horace ridicules,
While he refines on Aristotle's rules,
By Pindar taught to tune th' Ausonian lyre,
With Grecian elegance, and Roman fire:
In him Alcaeus thunders once again,
Temper'd by Sappho's more harmonious strain;
While in thick fits her softer lightnings play,
Flash through the lines, and doubly gild the day.
Read Cicero; consider Plutarch well,
What man he was let Chaeronea tell :
In Arnè long this patriot pass'd his days,
Nor could Boeotian climes obscure his praise;
To him the noblest heroes lives were known,
Who studied others to improve his own.
The Mantuan swan on Mincio's margin sings,
Or o'er Cremona claps his mourning wings;
To Tyber's banks and solitudes retires,
And mid his poplars feels poetic fires :
Courts the cool osier's green refreshing bed,
Or through the willows shews his silver head;
Or sails with transport down the tuneful tide,
Sweet-warbling Vida swimming by his side:
At Naples too they tell those birds are seen,
To keep together on the haunted green;
Brundusium oft with sudden song surprise,
And warble as they journey through the skies,
To mild Parthenope's delightful shore,
And lands belov'd by Virgil long before.
See Heaven descend in Homer's aweful lines,
Where all the god and all the hero shines ;
Behind Achilles lags devouring Death,
And the lines run the reader out of breath:
Thunders and lightnings blaze before his eyes,
Blue streams the sulphur from poetic skies!
Line after line the flood of light rolls on,
Foams to a fire, and brightens to a sun!
These are the oracles of Learning now,
Consult those books, and to those Sibyls bow;
These are the lights that call good actions forth,
Revive their value, and emblaze their worth;
By those great souls let Regulus be tried,
And the brave Decii who for freedom died!
And is there not with whom you may advise,
A friend to relish and to criticise?
One who has prov'd how hard it is to please,
Not first to blame, nor yet the last to praise ;
With whose good sense an author might be free,
And whose good-nature ne'er was flattery:
When such the character, and such that shines,
The name of Lawson need not end those lines:
Such late was Parnell-oh! too slightly mourn'd,
With every Grace, with every Muse adorn'd!
By Swift belov'd, by Pope lamented most,
Lost to the world-to wit and friendship lost-
Yet shall he live, while Taste is kept alive,
And his lov'd Plato in his verse revive;
Yet shall he live, as long as Truth shall charm
In mystic Fable, or fair Virtue warm ;
The first remember'd in our weak essays,
With honor mention'd, dignify'd with praise.
Nor let proud Albion thus her neighbours scorn, As if her sons alone were poets born; We too may boast ourselves the sons of fame, Nor are we foreign to that sacred name : Juverna's genius yet shall wear the bay, And drink as deep of Helicon as they; In spite of all our hopeful foes abroad, Prevail at last, and soar into a God; The Dunciad comes, sure omen of their fate, And Ireland yet may be the Muses' seat.
O! could I live to see my country shine,
Our sable cliffs invite the tuneful Nine;
Those barren rocks with bays immortal smile,
And Phoebus bless his once-beloved isle :
With life itself I gladly then would part,
My country's glories throbbing at my heart.
What's to be done in this august affair?
First let us banish all our foreign ware;
Our foolish fondness for Italian lays,
And look at home for bards and better days:
Roscommon, Parnell, both, alas, are lost!
And few indeed the present times can boast:
Yet let those few be valued as they shou'd,
Here shew your taste and judgment to be good :
Judgment! that touch-stone that directs our thoughts,
That shows us all our beauties with our faults;
Sound judgment will direct us what to do,
And how to think of men and manners too;
Wit join'd with judgment gilds good sense with light,
As diamond solid, and as diamond bright!
Thus far a youthful Muse presum'd to sing,
To growing bards, upon a venturous wing:
In cloister'd shades and academic groves,
Whose peaceful glooms a musing fancy loves;
Where learned Usher bless'd the reverend pile,
And Alma's glories in her Berkeley smile;
Where sacred Brown indulg'd the thoughtful hours,
In sage recesses, and Athenian bowers :
Where Parnell wak'd the long-forgotten strain,
And old Ierne strings her harp again :
Here pleas'd to listen to the well-known sound,
And hail our mother rising from the ground;
Shake off the dust that soil'd the silent wire,
And tune once more her venerable lyre,
While green with ivy grow her aweful walls,
And from her face the Druid's mantle falls:
Along the park, beneath the quivering trees,
I walk retir'd, and court the cooling breeze,
Where the tall elms project the brownest shade,
There oft the Muses wander through the glade;