« VorigeDoorgaan »
"Twere pity, treason at his door to lay,
Who makes Heaven's gate a lock to its own key.
Let him rail on: let his invective muse
Have four-and-twenty letters to abuse,
Which if he jumbles to one line of sense,
Indict him of a capital offence.
In fireworks give him leave to vent his spite,
Those are the only serpents he can write;
The height of his ambition is, we know,
But to be master of a puppet-show;
On that one stage his works may yet appear,
And a month's harvest keeps him all the year.
Now stop your noses, readers, all and some,
For here's a tun of midnight-work to come,
Og from a treason-tavern rolling home.
Round as a globe, and liquor'd every chink,
Goodly and great, he sails behind his link;
With all this bulk, there's nothing lost in Og,
For every inch that is not fool, is rogue :
A monstrous mass of foul corrupted matter,
As all the devils had spew'd to make the batter.
When wine has given him courage to blaspheme,
He curses God; but God before curs'd him :
And if man could have reason, none has more,
That made his paunch so rich and him so poor.
With wealth he was not trusted, for Heaven knew
What 'twas of old to pamper up a Jew;
To what would he on quail and pheasant swell,
That e'en on tripe and carrion could rebel?
But though Heav'n made him poor, with reverence
He never was a poet of God's making;
The midwife laid her hand on his thick skull,
With this prophetic blessing-"Be thou dull;
Drink, swear, and roar, forbear no lewd delight
Fit for thy bulk; do any thing but write:
Thou art of lasting make, like thoughtless men;
A strong nativity-but for the pen!
Eat opium, mingle arsenic in thy drink,
Still thou may'st live, avoiding pen and ink.”
I see, I see, 'tis counsel given in vain,
For treason botch'd in rhyme will be thy bane;
Rhyme is the rock on which thou art to wreck;
'Tis fatal to thy fame, and to thy neck.
Why should thy metre good King David blast?
A psalm of his will surely be thy last.
Dar'st thou presume in verse to meet thy foes, Thou, whom the penny-pamphlet foil'd in prose ? Doeg, whom God for mankind's mirth has made, O'ertops thy talent in thy very trade : Doeg to thee, thy paintings are so coarse, A poet is, though he's the poet's horse. A double noose thou on thy neck dost pull, For writing treason, and for writing dull: To die for faction is a common evil, But to be hang'd for nonsense, is the devil. Hadst thou the glories of thy king exprest, Thy praises had been satire at the best; But thou, in clumsy verse, unlick'd, unpointed, Hast shamefully defied the Lord's anointed. I will not rake the dunghill of thy crimes, For who would read thy life that reads thy rhymes? But of King David's foes be this the doom,
May all be like the young man Absalom ;
And for my foes, may this their blessing be,
To talk like Doeg, and to write like thee.] *
Achitophel each rank, degree, and age,
For various ends neglects not to engage ;
The wise and rich, for purse and counsel brought;
The fools and beggars, for their number sought;
Who yet not only on the Town depends,
For ev'n in Court the faction had its friends;
These thought the places they possest too small,
And, in their hearts, wish'd Court and King to fall;
Whose names the Muse disdaining, holds i' the' dark,
Thrust in the villain-herd without a mark;
With parasites and libel-spawning imps,
Intriguing fops, dull jesters, and worse pimps.
Disdain the rascal rabble to pursue,
Their set cabals are yet a viler crew;
See where involv'd in common smoke they sit,
Some for our mirth, some for our satire fit;
These gloomy, thoughtful, and on mischief bent,
While those for mere good fellowship frequent
The' appointed club, can let sedition pass,
Sense, nonsense, any thing, to' employ the glass;
And who believe, in their dull honest hearts,
The rest talk treason but to show their parts;
Who ne'er had wit or will for mischief yet,
But pleas'd to be reputed of a set.
But in the sacred annals of our plot,
Industrious Arod never be forgot;
The labours of this midnight-magistrate
May vie with Corah's, to preserve the state:
In search of arms he fail'd not to lay hold
On War's most powerful, dangerous weapon, gold;
And last, to take from Jebusites all odds,
Their altars pillag'd, stole their very gods.
Oft would he cry, when treasure he surpris'd,
'Tis Baalish gold in David's coin disguis'd;
Which to his house with richer relics came,
While lumber-idols only fed the flame:
For our wise rabble ne'er took pains to' inquire
What 'twas he burnt, so't made a rousing fire.
With which our elder was enrich'd no more
Than false Gehazi with the Syrian's store;
So poor, that when our choosing-tribes were met,
E'en for his stinking votes he ran in debt;
For meat the wicked, and, as authors think,
The saints he chous'd for his electing drink;
Thus every shift and subtle method past,
And all to be no Zaken at the last.
Now, rais'd on Tyre's sad ruins, Pharaoh's pride Soar'd high, his legions threatening far and wide; As when a battering storm engender'd high, By winds upheld, hangs hovering in the sky, Is gaz'd upon by every trembling swain, This for his vineyard fears, and that his grain; For blooming plants, and flowers new-opening, these For lambs yean'd lately, and far-labouring bees: To guard his stock each to the gods does call, Uncertain where the fire-charg'd clouds will fall : E'en so the doubtful nations watch his arms, With terror each expecting his alarms. Where, Judah, where was now thy Lion's roar? Thou only couldst the captive lands restore; But thou, with inbred broils and faction prest, From Egypt need'st a guardian with the rest, Thy prince from Sanhedrims no trust allow'd, Too much the representers of the crowd, Who for their own defence give no supply, But what the Crown's prerogatives must buy; As if their monarch's rights to violate More needful were, than to preserve the state! From present dangers they divert their care, And all their fears are of the royal heir;
Whom now the reigning malice of his foes Unjudg'd would sentence, and ere crown'd, depose:
Religion the pretence, but their decree
To bar his reign, whate'er his faith shall be!
By Sanhedrims and clamorous crowds thus prest,
What passions rent the righteous David's breast?
Who knows not how to oppose or to comply,
Unjust to grant, and dangerous to deny!
How near in this dark juncture Israel's fate,
Whose peace one sole expedient could create,
Which yet the' extremest virtue did require,
E'en of that prince whose downfal they conspire!
His absence David does with tears advise
To' appease their rage: undaunted he complies.
Thus he who, prodigal of blood and ease,
A royal life expos'd to winds and seas,
At once contending with the waves and fire,
And heading danger in the wars of Tyre,
Inglorious now forsakes his native sand,
And, like an exile, quits the Promis'd Land!
Our monarch scarce from pressing tears refrains,
And painfully his royal state maintains,
Who now embracing on the' extremest shore
Almost revokes what he enjoin'd before;
Concludes at last more trust to be allow'd
To storms and seas, than to the raging crowd!
Forbear, rash Muse, the parting scene to draw,
With silence charm'd as deep as theirs that saw!
Not only our attending nobles weep,
But hardy sailors swell with tears the deep!
The tide restrain'd her course, and more amaz'd,
The twin-stars on the royal brothers gaz'd:
While this sole fear-