Imagens das páginas


TO MY LORD PROTECTOR, Of the Present Greatness, and Joint Interest, of his

Highness and this Nation. WHILE with a strong, and yet a gentle, hand, You bridle faction, and our hearts command, Protect us from ourselves, and from the foe, Make us unite, and make us conquer too : Let partial spirits stili aloud complain, Think themselves injur'd that they cannot reign, And own no liberty, but where they may Without control upon their fellows prey. Above the waves as Neptune show'd his face, To chide the winds, and save the Trojan race; So has your highness, rais'd above the rest, Storms of ambition, tossing us, represt.


For women, born to be control'd,
Stoop to the forward and the bold;
Affect the haughty and the proud,
The gay, the frolic, and the loud.
Who first the generous steed opprest;
Not kneeling did salute the beast ;
But with high courage, life, and force,
Approaching, tam'd th' unruly horse.
Unwisely we the wiser East
Pity, supposing them opprest,
With tyrants' force, whose law is will,
By which they govern, spoil, and kill :
Each nymph, but moderately fair,
Commands with no less rigour here.
Should some brave Turk, that walks among
His twenty lasses, bright and young,
And beckons to the willing dame,
Preferr'd to quench his present fame,
Behold as many gallants here,
With modest guise, and silent fear,
All to one female idol bend,
While her high pride does scarce descend
To mark their follies, he would swear,
That these her guard of eunuchs were;
And that a more majestic queen,
Or humbler slaves, he had not seen.

All this with indignation spoke,
In vain I struggled with the yoke
Of mighty love : that conquering look,
When next beheld, like lightning strook
My blasted soul, and made me bow
Lower than those I pity'd now.

So the tall stag, upon the brink
Of some smooth stream, about to drink,
Surveying there his armed head,
With shame remembers that he fled
The scorned dogs, resolves to try
The combat next : but, if their cry
Invades again his trembling ear,
He strait resumes his wonted care;
Leaves the untasted spring behind,
And, wing'd with fear, outflies the wind.

Your drooping country, torn with civil hate, Restor'd by you, is made a glorious state ; The seat of empire, where the Irish come, And the unwilling Scots, to fetch their doom.

The sea's our own : and now, all nations greet, With bending sails, each vessel of our fleet : Your power extends as far as winds can blow, Or swelling sails upon the globe may go.

Heaven (that hath plac'd this island to give law,
To balance Europe, and her states to awe,)
In this conjunction doth on Britain smile,
The greatest leader, and the greatest isle !

Whether this portion of the world were rent,
By the rude ocean, from the continent,
Or thus created; it was sure design'd
To be the sacred refuge of mankind.

Hither th' oppress'd shall henceforth resort, Justice to crave, and succour, at your court; And then your highness, not for our's alone, But for the world's protector shall be known.

Fame, swifter than your winged navy, flies Through every land, that near the ocean lies; Sounding your name, and telling dreadful news To all that piracy and rapine use.

With such a chief the meanest nation blest,
Might hope to lift her head above the rest :
What may be thought impossible to do
By us, embraced by the sea and you ?

DESIGN or Chance make others wive,
But Nature did this match contrive :
Eve might as well have Adam fled,
As she deny'd her little bed
To him, for whom Heav'n seem'd to frame,
And measure out this only dame.

Thrice happy is that humble pair,
Beneath the level of all care!
Over whose heads those arrows fly
Of sad distrust and jealousy :
Secured in as high extreme,
As if the world held none but them.

To him the fairest nymphs do show
Like moving mountains topp'd with snow;
And every man a Polypheme
Does to his Galatea seem :
None may presume her faith to prove;
He proffers death, that proffers love.

Ah! Chloris ! that kind Nature thus
From all the world had sever'd us;
Creating for ourselves us two,
As Love has me for only you!

Lords of the world's great waste, the ocean, we
Whole forests send to reign upon the sea ;
And every coast may trouble, or relieve :
But none can visit us without your leave.

Angels and we have this prerogative,
That none can at our happy seats arrive :
While we descend at pleasure, to invade
The bad with vengeance, and the good to aid.

Our little world, the image of the great, Like that, amidst the boundless ocean set, Of her own growth hath all that nature craves, | And all that's rare, as tribute from the wavese

As Egypt does not on the clouds rely,

| Your never-failing sword made war to cease, But to the Nile owes more than to the sky;

And now you heal us with the acts of peace; So, what our Earth, and what our Heaven, denies, Our minds with bounty and with awe engage, Our ever-constant friend, the sea, supplies.

Invite affection, and restrain our rage.

The taste of hot Arabia's spice we know,

Less pleasure take brave minds in battles won, Free from the scorching sun that makes it grow : Than in restoring such as are undone : Without the worm, în Persian silks we shine; Tigers have courage, and the rugged bear, And, without planting, drink of every vine. But man alone can, whom he conquers, spare. To dig for wealth, we weary not our limbs ; To pardon, willing, and to punish, loth, Gold, though the heaviest metal, hither swims. You strike with one hand, but you heal with both; Ours is the harvest where the Indians mow, Lifting up all that prostrate lie, you grieve We plough the deep, and reap what others sow. You cannot make the dead again to live. Things of the noblest kind our own soil breeds; When Fate or errour had our age misled, Stout are our men, and warlike are our steeds : And o'er this nation such confusion spread; Ronne, though her eagle through the world had flown, The only cure, which could from Heaven come down, Could never make this island all her own. | Was so much power and piety in one.

Here the third Edward, and the Black Prince too, One! whose extraction from an ancient line
France-conquering Henry flourish'd, and now you; Gives hope again, that well-born men may shine :
For whom we stay'd, as did the Grecian state, The meanest in your nature, mild and good;
Till Alexander came to urge their fate.

The noblest rest secured in your blood.

When for more worlds the Macedonian cry'd,
He wist not Thetis in her lap did hide
Another yet: a world reserv'd for you,
To make more great than that he did subdue.

Oft have we wonder'd, how you hid in peace
A mind proportion'd to such things as these ;
How such a ruling sp'rit you could restrain,

And practise first over yourself to reign.
| Your private life did a just pattern give,
| How fathers, husbands, pious sons, should live;

Born to command, your princely virtues slept,
Like humble David's, while the flock he kept.

He safely might old troops to battle lead,
Against th' unwarlike Persian and the Mede,
Whose hasty flight did, from a bloodless field,
More spoils than honour to the victor yield.

A race unconquer'd, by their clime made bold,
The Caledonians, arm'd with want and cold,
Have, by a fate indulgent to your fame,
Been from all ages kept for you to tame.

But when your troubled country call'd you forth,
Your flaming courage and your matchless worth,
Dazzling the eyes of all that did pretend,
To fierce contention gave a prosperous end.

Whom the old Roman wall, so ill confin'd,
With a new chain of garrisons you bind:
Here foreign gold no more shall make them come;
Oar English iron holds them fast at home,

They, that henceforth must be content to know
No warmer region than their hills of snow,
May blame the sun; but must extol your grace,
Which in our senate hath allow'd them place.

Still, as you rise, the state, exalted too,
Finds no distemper while 'tis chang'd by you ;
Chang'd like the world's great scene ! when without

The rising sun night's vulgar lights destroys.
Had you, some ages past, this race of glory
Run, with amazement we should read your story:
But living virtue, all achievements past,
Meets envy still, to grapple with at last.
This Cæsar found; and that ungrateful age,
With losing him, went back to blood and rage ;
Mistaken Brutus thought to break their yoke,
But cut the bond of union with that stroke.

Prefer'd by conquest, happily o’erthrown,
Falbag they rise, to be with us inade one:
So kind dictators made, when they came home,
Their vanquish'd foes free citizens of Rome.

Like favour find the Irish, with like fate
Advanc'd to be a portion of our state ;
While by your valour, and your bounteous mind,
Nations divided by the sea are join'd.

That sun once set, a thousand meaner stars
Gave a dim light to violence and wars;
To such a tempest as now threatens all,
Did not your mighty arm prevent the fall

Holland, to gain your friendship, is content
To be our out-guard on the continent :
Se from her fellow-provinces would go,
Rather than hazard to have you her foe.

If Rome's great senate could not wield that sword,
Which of the conquer'd world had made them lord;
What hope had ours, while yet their power was new,
To rule victorious armies, but by you ?

In our late fight, when cannons did diffuse,
Preventing posts, the terrour and the news,
Our neighbour princes trembled at their roar :
But our conjunction makes them tremble more.

You ! that had taught them to subdue their foes,
Could order teach, and their high spirits compose :

To every duty could their minds engage,
| Provoke their courage, and command their rage.

So, when a lion shakes his dreadful mane, | Verse, thus design’d, has no ill fate,
And angry grows, if he that first took pain | If it arrive but at the date
To tame his youth, approach the haughty beast, | Of fading beauty, if it prove
He bends to him, but frights away the rest. But as long-liv'd as present love.
As the vex'd world, to find repose, at last
Itself into Augustus' arms did cast ;
So England now does, with like toil opprest,
Her weary head upon your bosom rest.

Then let the Muses, with such notes as these,

Instruct us what belongs unto our peace!

Your battles they hereafter shall indite,
And draw the image of our Mars in fight;

THYRsts, a youth of the inspired train,

Fair Sacharissa lov'd, but lov'd in vain : Tell of towns storm'd, of armies over-run,

Like Phæbus sung the no less amorous boy ; And mighty kingdoms by your conduct won;

Like Daphne she, as lovely, and as coy! How, while you thunder'd, clouds of dust did choke

| With numbers he the flying nymph pursues ; Contending troops, and seas lay hid in smoke.

With numbers, such as Phæbus' self might use !

Such is the chase, when Love and Fancy leads, Illustrious acts high raptures do infuse,

O’er craggy mountains, and through flowery meads; And every conqueror creates a Muse :

Invok'd to testify the lover's care, Here in low strains your milder deeds we sing :

Or form some image of his cruel fair. But there, my lord! we'll bays and olive bring

Urg'd with his fury, like a wounded deer,

O'er these he fled; and now approaching near, To crown your head, while you in triumph ride

Had reach'd the nymph with his harmonious lay, O'er vanquish'd nations, and the sea beside;

Whom all his charms could not incline to stay. While all your neighhour princes unto you,

Yet, what he sung in his immortal strain,
Like Joseph's sheaves, pay reverence and bow.

Though unsuccessful, was not sung in vain :
All, but the nymph that should redress his wrong,
Attend his passion, and approve his song.
Like Phoebus thus, acquiring unsought praise,
He catch'd at love, and fill'd his arms with bays.

[blocks in formation]

Beauty like a shadow flies,

Nor all appear, among those few, And our youth before us dies.

Worthy the stock from whence they grew : Or, would youth and beauty stay,

The sap, which at the root is bred, Love hath wings, and will away.

In trees, through all the boughs is spread : Love hath swifter wings than Time;

But virtues, which in parent shine, Change in love to Heaven does climb

Make not like progress through the line. Gods, that never change their state,

'Tis not from whom, but where, we live: Vary oft their love and hate.

The place does oft those graces give. Phyllis ! to this truth we owe

Great Julius, on the mountains bred, All the love betwixt us two:

A flock perhaps, or herd, had led : Let not you and I inquire,

He, that the world subdued, had been What has been our past desire;

But the best wrestler on the green. On what shepherd you have smil'd,

'Tis art, and knowledge, which draw forth Or what nymphs I have beguil'd:

The hidden seeds of native worth : Leave it to the planets too,

They blow those sparks, and make them rise What we shall hereafter do:

Into such flames as touch the skies. For the joys we now may prove,

To the old heroes hence was given
Take advice of present love.

A pedigree, which reach'd to heaven :
Of mortal seed they were not held,
Which other mortals so excell'd.
And beauty too, in such excess

As yours, Zelinda ! claims no less.

Smile but on me, and you shall scorn,

Henceforth, to be of princes born. That, which her slender waist confin'd,

I can describe the shady grove, Shall now my joyful temples bind :

Where your lov'd mother slept with Jove, No monarch but would give his crown,

And yet excuse the faultless dame, His arms might do what this has done.

Caught with her spouse's shape and name :

Thy matchless form will credit bring
It was my Heaven's extremest sphere,

To all the wonders I shall sing.
The pale which held that lovely deer :
My joy, my grief, my hope, my love,
Did ail within this circle move!

A narrow compass! and yet there
Dzelt all that's good, and all that's fair:

Give me but what this ribbon bound,
Take all the rest the Sun goes round.

CHLORIS, yourself you so excel,

When you vouchsafe to breathe my thought, That, like a spirit, with this spell

Of my own teaching, I am caught.

That eagle's fate and mine are one,

Which, on the shaft that made him die, Espy'd a feather of his own,

Wherewith he wont to soar so high.

Parzest piece of well-form'd earth!
Crge not thus your haughty birth :
The power which you have o'er us, lies
Not in your race, but in your eyes.
Vore but d prince! - Alas! that voice
Confines you to a narrow choice.
Should you no honey vow to taste,
But what the master-bees have plac'd
In compass of their cells, how small
A portion to your share would fall!

Had Echo with so sweet a grace

Narcissus' loud complaints return'd
Not for reflection of his face,

But of his voice, the boy had burn'd.



John DRYDEN was born, probably in 1631, in post of poet-laureat, to which was added the sine the parish of Aldwincle-Allsaints, in Northamp- cure place of historiographer royal; the joint salam tonshire. His father possessed a small estate, ries of which amounted to 2001. acted as a justice of the peace during the usurp- The tragedies composed by Dryden were written ation, and seems to have been a presbyterian. | in his earlier periods, in rhyme, which circumstance John, at a proper age, was sent to Westminster probably contributed to the poetical rant by which school, of which Busby was then master; and was they were too much characterised. For the corthence elected to a scholarship in Trinity college, rection of this fault, Villiers, Duke of Buckingham, Cambridge. He took his degrees of bachelor and in conjunction with other wits, wrote the celebrated master of arts in the university ; but though he had burlesque drama, entitled “ The Rehearsal," of written two short copies of verses about the time of which Dryden, under the name of Bayes, was made his adınission, his name does not occur among the the hero ; and, in order to point the ridicule, his academical poets of this period. By his father's dress, phraseology, and mode of recitation, were death, in 1654, he succeeded to the estate, and, re-exactly imitated by the actor. It does not, how. moving to the metropolis, he made his entrance into ever, appear that his solid reputation as a poet was public life, under the auspices of his kinsman, injured by this attack. He had the candour to acSir Gilbert Pickering, one of Cromwell's council | knowledge that several of the strokes were just, and house of lords, and staunch to the principles and he wisely refrained from making any direct then predominant. On the death of Cromwell, reply. Dryden wrote some “ Heroic Stanzas,” strongly In 1681, and, as it is asserted, at the king's exmarked by the loftiness of expression and variety of press desire, he wrote his famous political poem, imagery which characterised his more mature entitled “ Absolom and Achitophel ;' in which efforts. They were, however, criticised with some the incidents in the life of David were adapted to severity.

those of Charles II. in relation to the Duke of At the Restoration, Dryden lost no time in Monmouth and the Earl of Shaftesbury. Its obliterating former stains; and, as far as it was poetry and its severity caused it to be read with great possible, rendered himself peculiarly distinguished eagerness; and as it raised the author to high fafor the base servility of his strains. He greeted the vour with the court party, so it involved him in irking's return by a poem, entitled “ Astræa Redux,” | reconcilable enmity with its opponents. These which was followed by “ A Panegyric on the feelings were rendered more acute by his “ Medal, Coronation :" nor did Lord Chancellor Clarendon a Satire on Sedition," written in the same year, on escape his encomiastic lines. His marriage with occasion of a medal struck by the whigs, when a Lady Elizabeth Howard, daughter of the Earl of grand jury returned Ignoramus to an indictment Berkshire, is supposed to have taken place in 1665. | preferred against Lord Shaftesbury, for high treaAbout this time he first appears as a writer for the son. The rancour of this piece is not easily to be stage, in which quality he composed several pieces ; paralleled among party poems. In 1682, he pub and though he did not display himself as a prime | lished “ Mac-Flecknoe," a short piece, throwing favourite of the dramatic muse, his facility of har- | ridicule upon his very unequal rival, Shadwell. monious versification, and his splendour of poetic In the same year, one of his most serious poems, diction, gained him admirers. In 1667 he pub- the “ Religio Laici,” made its appearance. Its Lished a singular poem, entitled “ Annus Mira- purpose was to give a compendious view of the arbilis," the subjects of which were, the naval war guments for revealed religion, and to ascertain in with the Dutch, and the fire of London. It was what the authority of revelation essentially consists written in four-line stanzas, a form which has since Soon after this time he ceased to write for the gone into disuse in heroic subjects; but the piece stage. His dramatic vein was probably exhausted, abounded in images of genuine poetry, though in- and his circumstances were distressed. To this petermixed with many extravagances.

riod Mr. Malone refers a letter written by him to At this period of his life Dryden became pro Hyde, Earl of Rochester, in which, with modest fessionally a writer for the stage, having entered dignity, he pleads merit enough not to deserve to into a contract with the patentees of the King's starve, and requests some small employment in the

Theatre, to supply them with three plays in a customs or excise, or, at least, the payment of half year, upon the condition of being allowed the profit a year's pension for the supply of his present necesof one share and a quarter out of twelve shares and sities. He never obtained any of the requested three quarters, into which the theatrical stock was places, and was doomed to find the booksellers his divided. Of the plays written upon the above con- best patrons. tract, a small proportion have kept their place on Charles II. died in 1685, and was succeeded by the stage, or in the closet. On the death of his brother James II., who openly declared his atSir W. Davenant, in 1668, Dryden obtained the tachment to the religion of Rome. It was not long

« AnteriorContinuar »