Obrázky na stránke
PDF
ePub

P. Lo, what decrepid age for fame endures!
Lo, the pale victim whom her voice allures !
No ray of health illumes your languid eye,
And on your cheek youth's faded roses die.
Yet you, O times ! O manners! toil for fame,
And value knowledge only for its name.
Old M. “But still, 'tis fine to be admired and known,
To gazing strangers by the finger shown.”
P. Truly 'tis fine, that fools extol your art,
That lisping schoolboys learn your songs by heart;
That when the flush'd voluptuary sups,
He celebrates your name amidst his cups.
Here one there is, in purple clad, whose Muse
Collects the rancid offals of the stews;
In drawling snivelling song, delights to tell,
How Phyllis loved, how constant, and how well-
Sure, when this favour'd bard at length shall die,
On his bless'd bones the turf shall lightly lie,
Unfading laurel shall o'ershade the ground,
And sweetest violets breathe incense round.
But our offended poet stops us here,
Condemns the satire, and reproves the sneer.
“ Who lives,” he asks, “insensible to praise,
Deserves, and yet neglects the proffer'd bays ?
" Who is not pleased, that from the bookworm's rage
“ The juice of cedar shall preserve his page ?
“ That page which cooks nor chandlers shall employ,
“ Nor ruthless grocers in their haste destroy.”

Quisquis es, ô modo quem ex adverso dicere feci,
Non ego, cum scribo, si fortè quid aptius exit,
Quando hæc rara avis est, si quid tamen aptius exit,
Laudari metuam : neque enim mihi cornea fibra est :
Sed recti, finemque, extremumque, esse recuso
EUGE tuum, et BELLE, nam belle hoc excute totum :
Quid non intus habet ? Non heic est Ilias Acci
Ebria veratro? non si qua elegidia crudi
Dictarunt proceres? non quicquid denique lectis
Scribitur in citreis ? calidum scis ponere sumen :
Scis comitem horridulum trita donare lacerna :
Et, verum, inquis, amo ; verum mihi dicite de me.
Qui pote ? vis dicam ? nugaris, cum tibi calve
Pinguis aqualiculus propenso sesquipede exstet.
O Jane, à tergo quem nulla ciconia pinsit,
Nec manus auriculas imitata est mobilis albas,
Nec linguæ, quantum sitiat canis Appula, tantæ.

O thou, whate'er thy name, whoe'er thou art,
Whom I suppose upon the adverse part,
Think not, when well, if ever well, I write,
I feel from praise no genuine delight :
But praise ought not to be the only end,
For which our morals or our lives we mend,
For which our virtue struggles to excel,
And seeks pre-eminence in doing well.
Besides, do all obtaining men's applause,
Deserve the admiration which it draws?
Does drunken Accius glow with Homer's fire,
Though courts extol him, and though fools admire ?
From noble pens do no crude numbers flow,
No cant of elegy, no whine of woe?
Have no quaint verses issued from the heads
Of princes, lolling on their citron beds ?
The winning art is not to you unknown,
By which the venal crowd becomes your own.
Rich banquets crown your hospitable board ;
Your wardrobe too cast garments can afford.
But you will have the truth. Shall I be plain;
Then, dotard, learn, that all your toil is vain.

when swoln and bloated with excess,
Trick your old Muse in meretricious dress. .
O! two-faced Janus, whom the people pass,
Nor lift the mimic hands to show the ass !
No tongue lolls out, no finger points at thee,
None laughs, or nods, or winks, but thou must see.

[ocr errors]

Nor now,

Vos ô patricius sanguis, quos viverc fas est
Occipiti cæco, posticæ occurrite sannæ.
Quis populi sermo est? quis enim? nisi carmina molli
Nunc demum numero fluere, ut per

lêve severos
Effundat junctura ungues : scit tendere versum
Non secus, ac si oculo rubricam dirigat uno :
Sive opus in mores, in luxum, in prandia regum,
Dicere res grandes nostro dat Musa poëtæ.
Ecce modo heroas sensus afferre docemus
Nugari solitos Græcè, nec ponere lucum
Artifices, nec rus saturum laudare, ubi corbes,
Et focus, et porci, et fumosa Palilia fono:
Unde Remus, sulcoque terens dentalia, Quinti,
Quum trepida ante boves Dictatorem induit uxor :
Et tua aratra domum lictor tulit: euge poëta.
Est nunc Brisæi quem venosus liber Acci,
Sunt quos Pacuviusque, et verrucosa moretur
Antiopa, ærumnis cor luctificabile fulta.
Hos pueris monitus patres infundere lippos

Ye chiefs of Rome, who have not eyes behind, Prevent all insults on the side that's blind. What say the people ? “What,” the flatterer cries, “ But that your verse the critic's spleen defies; “ That taste and judgment mark each flowing line, « The sound harmonious, and the sense divine : « That whether feasts or battles be the theme, “ A hero's glory, or a lover's dream, Thy golden numbers by the Muse inspired, “ By art are polish'd, and by genius fired." Heroic verse unletter'd dunces write, And scribbling schoolboys dictate and indite Some praise the fields; yet wanting skill to sing, Confound the tints of autumn and of spring ; Forgetting nature, paint a garish scene, Of cloudless skies, and groves for ever green: Or with rude pencil rustic manners draw, Where swarms the village round the kindling straw, Where pigs and panniers crowd the bustling street, And merry hinds to honour Pales meet; Or show the spot whence Rome's great founders sprung:

: Nor, gallant Quintus, dost thou rest unsung, When the dictator's laurel graced thy brow, And thine own lictors bore away thy plough. Are there not some who love the turgid strain, Of drunken Accius, in his moody vein ? For whom a tragic rant can yield delight, Nor ev'n Pacuvius is too dull to write?

« PredošláPokračovať »