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Therc various news I heard of love and strife, Oh! if the Muse must flatter lawless sway, of peace and war, health, sickness, death, and life, And follow still where Fortune leads the way; Of loss and gain, of famine and of store,
Or if no basis bear my rising name, Of storms at sea, and travels on the shore,
But the fall’n ruins of another's fame; Of prodigies, and portents seen in air,
Then teach me, Heaven! to scorn the guilty bays, or fires and plagues, and stars with blazing hair, Drive from my breast that wretched lust of praise ; Of turns of fortune, changes in the state,
Unblemish'd let me live, or die unknown; The falls of favourites, projects of the great, Oh, grant an honest fame, or grant me none !" Of old mismanagements, taxations new : All neither wholly false, nor wholly true.
Above, below, without, within, around,
THE FABLE OF DRYOPE.
PROM OVID'S METAMORPHOSES, BOOK IX.
And kindly sigh for sorrows not your own;
No nymph of all Echalia could compare
That pleas'd a god, succeeded to her arms. Till to the clouds their curling heads aspire,
A lake there was, with shelving banks around, And towers and temples sink in floods of fire. | Whose verdant summit fragrant myrtles crown'd.
When thus ripe lies are to perfection sprung, These shades, unknowing of the Fates, she sought, Full grown, and fit to grace a mortal tongue, And to the Naiads flowery garlands brought; Through thousand vents, impatient, forth they flow, | Her smiling babe (a pleasing charge) she prest And rush in millions on the world below;
Within her arms, and nourish'd at her breast. Fame sits aloft, and points them out their course, Not distant far, a watery lotos grows; Their date determines, and prescribes their force : | The spring was new, and all the verdant boughs, Some to remain, and some to perish soon;
Adorn'd with blossoms, promis'd fruits that vie Or wane and wax alternate like the Moon.
In glowing colours with the Tyrian dye: Around a thousand winged wonders fly, (the sky. Of these she cropp'd to please her infant son ; Borne by the trumpet's blast, and scatter'd through And I myself the same rash act had done;
There, at one passage, oft you might survey But lo! I saw (as near her side I stood) A lie and truth contending for the way;
The violated blossoms drop with blood. And long 'twas doubtful, though so closely pent, Upon the tree I cast a frightful look ; Which first should issue through the narrow vent: The trembling tree with sudden borrour shook, At last agreed, together out they fly,
| Lotis the nymph (if rural tales be truc), Inseparable now the truth and lie;
| As fronı Priapus' lawless lust she flew, The strict companions are for ever join'd,
Forsook her form; and, fixing herc, became And this or that unmix'd, no mortal e'er shall find. A flowery plant, which still preserves her name. While thus I stood, intent to see and hear,
This change unknown, astonishid at the sight, One came, methought, and whisper'd in my car: ! My trembling sister strove to urge her flight : • What could thus high thy rash ambition raise?
| And first the pardon of the nymphs implor'd, Art thou, fond youth, a candidate for praise ?” And those offended sylvan powers ador'd : « 'Tis true," said I, “ not void of hopes I came,
But when she backward would have fled, she found For who so fond as youthful bards of Fame? Her stiffening feet were rooted in the ground: But few, alas! the casual blessing boast,
In vain to free her fastening feet she strove, So hard to gain, so easy to be lost.
And, as she struggles, only moves above; How vain that second life in others breath,
She feels th' encroaching bark around her grow Th' estate which wits inherit after death!
By quick degrees, and cover all below : Ease, health, and life, for this they must resign, Surpris'd at this, her trembling hand she beaves Unsure the tenure, but how vast the tine!) To rend her hair ; her hand is fill'd with leaves : The great man's curse, without the gains, endure, Where late was hair, the shooting leaves are seen Be envy'd, wretched, and be flatter'd, poor; To rise, and shade her with a sudden green. All luckless wits their enemies profest,
The child Amphissus, to her bosom pressid, And all successful, jealous friends at best.
Perceiv'd a colder and a harder breast, Nor Fame I slight, nor for her favours call; And found the springs, that ne'er till then deny'd Ste comes unlook'd for, if she comes at all. | Their milky moisture, on a sudden dry'd. But if the purchase costs so dear a price
i I saw, unhappy! what I now relate, As soothing Folly, or exalting Vice :
And stood the helpless witness of thy fate,
A a 4 .
Embrac'd thy boughs, thy rising bark delay'd, Now sliding streams the thirsty plants rcrew.
These cares alone her virgin breast employ
Averse from Venus and the nuptial joy. A springing tree for Dryope they find,
Her private orchards, wall’d on every side,
And old Silenus, youthful in decay,
To pass the fences, and surprise the fair !
To gain her sight a thousand forms he wears: “ If to the wretched any faith be given,
And first a reaper from the field appears; I swear by all th' unpitying powers of Heaven, Sweating he walks, while loads of golden grain No wilful crime this heavy vengeance bred; O’ercharge the shoulders of the seeming swain. In mutual innocence our lives we led :
Oft o'er his back a crooked scythe is laid, If this be false, let these new greens decay,
And wreaths of hay his sun-burnt temples shade: Let sounding axes lop my limbs away,
Oft in his harden'd hand a goad he bears, And crackling flames on all my honours prey ! Like one who late unyok'd the sweating steers. But from my branching arms this infant bear, Sometimes his pruning-hook corrects the vines, Let some kind nurse supply a mother's care : And the loose stragglers to their ranks confines. And to his mother let him oft be led,
Now gathering what the bounteous year allows, Sport in her shades, and in her shades be fed; He pulls ripe apples from the bending boughs. Teach him, when first his infant voice shall frame A soldier now, he with his sword appears; Imperfect words, and lisp his mother's name, A fisher next, his trembling angle bears, To hail this tree; and say, with weeping eyes, Each shape he varies, and each art he tries, Within this plant my hapless parent lies :
On her bright charms to feast his longing eyes. And when in youth he seeks the shady woods, A female form at last Vertumnus wears, Oh, let him fly the crystal lakes and foods, With all the marks of reverend age appears, Nor touch the fatal flowers; but warn'd by me, His temples thinly spread with silver hairs : Believe a goddess shrin'd in every tree.
Propp'd on his staff, and stooping as he goes, My sire, my sister, and my spouse, farewell ! A painted mitre shades his furrow'd brows If in your breasts or love or pity dwell,
The god, in this decrepit form array'd, Protect your plant, nor let my branches feel The gardens enter'd, and the fruit survey'd; The browzing cattle, or the piercing steel.
And “ Happy you !" (he thus address'd the maid) Farewell ! and since I cannot bend to join
“ Whose charms as far all other nymphs out-shine, My lips to yours, advance at least to mine.
As other gardens are excell'd by thine!” My son, thy mother's parting kiss receive,
Then kiss'd the fair ; (his kisses warmer grow While yet thy mother has a kiss to give.
Than such as women on their sex bestow ;) I can no more ; the creeping rind invades
Then, plac'd beside her on the flowery ground, My closing lips, and hides my head in shades : Beheld the trees with autumn's bounty crown'd. Remove your hands; the bark shall soon suffice
An elm was near, to whose embraces led, Without their aid to seal these dying eyes.”
The curling vine her swelling clusters spread : She ceas'd at once to speak, and ceas'd to be; He view'd her twining branches with delight, And all the nymph was lost within the tree; And prais'd the beauty of the pleasing sight. Yet latent life through her new branches reign'd, “ Yet this tall elm, but for his vine” (he said) And long the plant a human heat retain'd. “ Had stood neglected, and a barren shade;
And this fair vine, but that her arms surround
Ah, beauteous maid ! let this example more
Your mind, averse from all the joys of love:
Deign to be lov'd, and every heart subdue ! FROM OVID'S METAMORPHOSES, BOOK Iv.
What nymph could e'er attract such crowds as you? The fair Pomona flourish'd in his reign:
Not she whose beauty urg'd the Centaur's arms, Of all the virgins of the sylvan train,
Ulysses' queen, nor Helen's fatal charms. None taught the trees a nobler race to bear, Ev’n now, when silent scorn is all they gain, Or more improv'd the vegetable care.
A thousand court you, though they court in vairl, To her the shady grove, the flowery field,
A thousand sylvans, demigods, and gods, The streams and fountains, no delights could yield; That haunt our mountains, and our Alban woods 'Twas all her joy the ripening fruits to tend, But if you'll prosper, mark what I advise, And see the boughs with happy burthens bend. Whom age and long experience render wise, The hook she bore instead of Cynthia's spear, And one whose tender care is far above To lop the growth of the luxuriant year,
| All that these lovers ever felt of love, To decent form the lawless shoots to bring,
(Far more than e'er can by yourself be guessid) And teach th' obedient branches where to spring. Fix on Vertumnus, and reject the rest. Now the cleft rind inserted graffs receives,
For his firm faith I dare engage my own; And yields an offspring more than Nature gives; Scarce to himself, himself is better known.
To distant lands Vertumnus never roves;
of putting himself in the place of God, and judgLike you, contented with his native groves;
ing of the fitness or unfitness, perfection or imperNor at first sight, like most, admires the fair ; fection, justice or injustice, of his dispensations. For you he lives; and you alone shall share
V. The absurdity of conceiting himself the final His last affection, as his early care.
cause of the creation, or expecting that perfection Besides, he's lovely far above the rest,
in the moral world, which is not in the natural. With youth immortal, and with beauty blest.
VI. The unreasonableness of his complaints Add, that he varies every shape with ease,
against Providence, while on the one hand he And tries all forms that may Pomona please.
demands the perfection of the angels, and on But what should most excite a mutual flame,
the other the bodily qualifications of the brutes ; Your rural cares and pleasures are the same.
though, to possess any of the sensitive faculties To him your orchard's early fruit are due,
in a higher degree, would render him miserable. (A pleasing offering when 'tis made by you,)
VII. That throughout the whole visible world, He values these ; but yet (alas)! complains,
an universal order and gradation in the sensual That still the best and dearest gift remains.
and mental faculties is observed, which causes a Not the fair fruit that on yon branches glows
subordination of creature to creature, and of all With that ripe red th' autumnal sun bestows;
creatures to man. The gradations of sense, inNor tasteful herbs that in these gardens rise,
stinct, thought, reflection, reason; that reason alone Which the kind soil with milky sap supplies;
countervails all the other faculties. VIII. How You, only you, can move the god's desire :
much farther this order and subordination of Oh, crown so constant and so pure a fire!
living crcatures may extend above and below us ; Let soft compassion touch your gentle mind;
were any part of which broken, not that part Think, 'tis Vertumnus begs you to be kind;
only, but the whole connected creation inust be So may no frost, when early buds appear,
destroyed. IX. The extravagance, madness, and Destroy the promise of the youthful year;
pride of such a desire. X. The consequence of Nor winds, when first your florid orchard blows, all the absolute submission due to Providence, Shake the light blossoms from their blasted boughs!" both as to our present and future state.
This when the various god had urg'd in vain, He straight assum'd his native form again; Awake, my St. John ! leave all meaner things Such, and so bright an aspect now he bears, To low ambition and the pride of kings. As when through clouds th' emerging Sun appears, Let us (since life can little more supply And, thence exerting his refulgent ray,
Than just to look about us, and to die) Dispels the darkness, and reveals the day.
Expatiate free o'er all this scene of man; Force he prepar'd, but check'd the rash design :
| A mighty maze! but not without a plan: For when, appearing in a form divine,
A wild, where weeds and flowers promiscuous shoot ;
Of all who blindly creep, or sightless soar;
I. Say, first, of God above, or man below,
What can we reason, but from what we know?
Of man, what see we but his station here,
From which to reason, or to which refer?
Through worlds unnumber'd though the God be TO N. ST. JOHN, LORD BOLINGBROKE.
'Tis ours to trace him only in our own.
He, who through vast immensity can pierce,
Observe how system into system runs,
What other planets circle other suns,
What vary'd Being peoples every star,
May tell why Heaven has made us as we are. Of man in the abstract. I. That we can judge But of this frame the bearings and the ties,
only with regard to our own system, being igno The strong connections, nice dependencies, rant of the relations of systems and things. Gradations just, has thy pervading soul II. That man is not to be deemed imperfect, but Look'd through? or can a part contain the whole ? a being suited to his place and rank in the crea- Is the great chain, that draws all to agree, tion, agreeable to the general order of things, and And drawn supports, upheld by God, or thee? conformable to ends and relations to him un- II. Presumptuous man! the reason wouldst thou known. III. That it is partly upon his ignorance
find, of future events, and partly upon the hope of a Why form'd so weak, so little, and so blind ? future state, that all his happiness in the present | First, if thou canst, the harder reason guess, depends. IV. The pride of aiming at more know- Why form'd no weaker, blinder, and no less ? ledge, and pretending to more perfection, the Ask of thy mother Earth, why oaks are made cause of man's errour and misery. The impiety Taller or weaker than the weeds they shade?
OF THE NATURE AND STATE OF MAN WITH RESPECT
Or ask of yonder argent fields above,
To be, contents his natural desire, Why Jove's Satellites are less than Jove?
He asks no angel's wing, no seraph's fire; Of systems possible, if 'tis confest,
But thinks, admitted to that equal sky, That Wisdom infinite must form the best,
His faithful dog shall bear him company. Where all must full or not coherent be,
IV. Go, wiser thou ! and in thy scale of sense, And all that rises, rise in due degree;
Weigh thy opinion against Providence ; Then, in the scale of reasoning life, 'tis plain, Call imperfection what thou fancy'st such; There must be, somewhere, such a rank as man: Say, here he gives too little, there too much: And all the question (wrangle e'er so long)
Destroy all creatures for thy sport or gust, Is only this, if God has plac'd him wrong?
Yet say, if man's unhappy, God's unjust; Respecting man, whatever wrong we call
If man alone ingross not Heaven's high care,
Alone made perfect here, immortal there :
In Pride, in reasoning Pride, our errour lies;
All quit their sphere, and rush into the skies.
Pride still is aiming at the blest abodes,
Aspiring to be angels, men rebel : When the proud steed shall know wliy man rc And who but wishes to invert the laws strains
Of order, sins against th' Eternal Cause. His fiery course, or drives him o'er the plains;
V. Ask for what end the heavenly bodies shine, When the dull ox, why now he breaks the clod, Earth for whose use ? Pride answers, “ Tis for mine; Is now a victim, and now Ægypt's god :
For me kind Nature wakes her genial power ; Then shall man's pride and dulness comprehend Suckles each herb, and spreads out every flower ; His actions', passions', being's, use and end ; Annual for me, the grape, the rose, renew Why doing, suffering, check’d, impellid; and why The juice nectareous, and the balmy dew; This hour a slave, the next a deity.
For me, the mine a thousand treasures brings; Then say not Man's imperfect, Heaven in fault; For me, health gushes from a thousand springs; Say, rather, Man's as perfect as he ought :
Seas roll to waft me, suns to light me rise ; His knowledge measur'd to his state and place; My foot-stool Earth, my canopy the skies." His time a moment, and a point his space.
But errs not Nature from this gracious end, If to be perfect in a certain sphere,
From burning suns when livid deaths descend, What matter, soon or late, or here, or there? When earthquakes swallow, or when tempests sweep The blest to day is as completely so,
Towns to one grave, whole nations to the deep As who began a thousand years ago. Fate,No," 'tis reply'd, “the first Almighty Cause
III. Heaven from all creatures hides the book of Acts not by partial, but by general laws; All but the page prescrib'd, their present state: | Th' exceptions few; some change since all begun : From brutes what men, from men what spirits know: And what created perfect ?” Why then man? Or who could suffer being here below?
If the great end be human happiness, The lamb thy riot dooms to bleed to-day,
Then Nature deviates; and can man do less ? Had he thy reason, would he skip and play? As much that end a constant course requires Pleas'd to the last, he crops the flowery food, Of showers and sun shine, as of man's desires; And licks the hand just rais'd to shed his blood. As much eternal springs and cloudless skies, O! blindness to the future ! kindly given,
As men for ever temperate, calm, and wise. Tliat each may fill the circle mark'd by Heaven : If plagues or earthquakes break not Heaven's design, Who sces with equal eye, as God of all,
Why then a Borgia, or a Catiline; A hero perish, or a sparrow fall,
Who knows, but he whose hand the lightning forins, Atoms or systems into ruin hurl'd,
Who heaves old Ocean, and who wings the storms; And now a bubble burst, and now a world.
Pours fierce ambition in a Cæsar's mind, then ; with trembling pinions soar, | Or turns young Ammon loose to scourge mankind Wait the great teacher, Death; and God adore. From pride, from pride our very reasoning springs: What future bliss, he gives not thee to know, Account for moral as for natural things : But gives that hope to be thy blessing now. Why charge we Heaven in those, in these acquit? Hope springs eternal in the human breast :
In both, to reason right, is to submit. Man never Is, but always To be blest :
Better for us, perhaps, it might appear, The soul, uneasy, and confin'd from home,
Were there all harmony, all virtue here;
That never air or ocean felt the wind,
The general order, since the whole began,
Is kept in Nature, and is kept in man. Behind the cloud-topt hill, an humbler Heaven; VI. What would this man? Now upward will be Some safer world in depth of woods embrac'd,
soar, Some happier island in the watery waste,
And, little less than angel, would be more ; Where slaves once more their native land behold, Now looking downwards, just as griev'd appears No fiends torment, no Christians thirst for gold. To want the strength of bulls, the fur of bears.
Made for his use all creatures if he call,
| From Nature's chain whatever link you strike, Say what their use, had he the powers of all ? Tenth, or ten thousandth, breaks the chain alike. Nature to these without profusion, kind,
And, if each system in gradation roll The proper organs, proper powers assign'd; Alike essential to th' amazing whole, Each seeming want compensated of course,
The least confusion but in one, not all Here with degrees of swiftness, there of force ; That system only, but the whole must fall. All in exact proportion to the state ;
Let Earth unbalanc'd from her orbit fly, Nothing to add, and nothing to abate
| Planets and suns run lawless through the sky; Each beast, each insect, happy in its own :
Let ruling angels from their spheres be huri'd, Is Heaven unkind to man, and man alone ? Being on being wreck'd, and world on world ; Shall he alone, whom rational we call,
Heaven's whole foundations to their centre nod, Be pleas'd with nothing, if not blest with all ? And Nature trembles to the throne of God.
The bliss of man (could Pride that blessing find) | All this dread order break — for whom? for thee? Is not to act or think beyond mankind;
Vile worm! - oh madness! pride ! impiety! No powers of body or of soul to share,
IX. What if the foot, ordain'd the dust to tread, But what his nature and his state can bear.
Or hand, to toil, aspir'd to be the head ? Why has not man a microscopic eye?
What if the head, the eye, or ear, repin'd For this plain reason, man is not a fly.
To serve mere engines to the ruling mind ?
Just as absurd for any part to claim
Just as absurd, to mourn the tasks or pains
The great directing mind of all ordains. Or quick effluvia darting through the brain,
All are but parts of one stupendous whole, Die of a rose in aromatic pain ?
Whose body Nature is, and God the soul; If Nature thunder'd in his opening ears,
That chang'd through all, and yet in all the same ; And stunn'd him with the music of the spheres, Great in the Earth, as in th' ethereal frame; How would he wish that Heaven had left him still Warms in the Sun, refreshes in the breeze, The whispering zephyr, and the purling rill! Glows in the stars, and blossoms in the trees; Who finds not Providence all good and wise, Lives through all life, extends through all extent; Alike in what it gives, and what denies ?
Spreads undivided, operates unspent ; VII. Far as creation's ample range extends, Breathes in our soul, informs our mortal part, The scale of sensual, mental powers ascends : | As full, as perfect, in a hair as heart, Mark how it mounts to man's imperial race, As full, as perfect, in vile man that mourns, From the green myriads in the peopled grass : As the rapt seraph that adores and burns : What modes of sight betwixt each wide extreme, | To him no high, no low, no great, no small; The mole's dim curtain, and the lynx's beam; He fills, he bounds, connects, and equals all. Of smell, the headlong lioness between,
1 X. Cease, then, nor order imperfection name : And hound sagacious on the tainted green;
Our proper bliss depends on what we blame. Or hearing, from the life that fills the flood, Know thy own point: this kind, this due degree To that which warbles through the vernal wood! | Of blindness, weakness, Heaven bestows on thee. The spider's touch, how exquisitely fine!
| Submit. - In this, or any other sphere, Feels at each thread, and lives along the line : Secure to be as blest as thou canst bear : In the nice bee, what sense so subtly true
Safe in the hand of one disposing Power, From poisonous herbs extracts the healing dew! Or in the natal, or the mortal hour.. How Instinct varies in the grovelling swine, All Nature is but Art, unknown to thee; Compar'd, half-reasoning elephant, with thine! | All Chance, Direction, which thou canst not see; *Twixt that, and Reason, what a nice barrier! | All Discord, Harmony not understood; For ever separate, yet for ever near!
| All partial Evil, universal Good. Remembrance and Reflection how allied!
| And, spite of Pride, in erring Reason's spite,
OF THE NATURE AND STATE OF MAN WITH RESPECT Is not thy Reason all these powers in one?
TO HIMSELF, AS AN INDIVIDUAL VIII. See, through this air, this ocean, and this
Argument. earth, All matter quick, and bursting into birth.
1. The business of man not to pry into God, but Above, how high! progressive life may go!
to study himself. His middle nature : his powers Around, how wide ! how deep extend below! and frailties. The limits of his capacity. U. The Vast chain of being ! which from God began,
two principles of man, self-love and reason, both Natures ethereal, human, angel, man,
necessary. Self-love the stronger, and why. Beast, bird, fish, insect, what no eye can see,
Their end the same. III. The passions, and No glass can reach ; from Infinite to thee,
their use. The predominant passion, and its force. From thee to Nothing. - On superior powers Its necessity, in directing men to different purWere we to press, inferior might on ours;
poses. Its providential use, in fixing our prinOr in the full creation leave a void,
ciple, and ascertaining our virtue. IV. Virtuc Where, one step broken, the great scale's destroy'd :/ and vice joined in our mixed nature; the limits