Full text of "The poetical works of Sir Richard Blackmore ... Containing Creation; a philosophical poem, in seven books. To which is prefixed the life of the author"
Presented to the
LIBRARY of the


Dae Hon. Peter Wright





To which It prefix;*


The themes of vulgar lays, with juft difdam

I leave unfung, the flocks, the amorous fwain,

The pleafures of the land, and terrors of the main. ~

I meditate to foar above the ikies, f

To hights unknown, through ways untryM to rife ;

I would th* Eternal from his works aflert,

And fing the wonders of Creating Art.




Anr.9 1793,

JJRPA^V . '(j

"', " "*



Off SIR RICHARD BLACKMORE, eminent as he was, both as a poet and aphyfician, very few me
morials have been left by his contemporaries. His writings have attracted much notice ; but it
hag been his lot to be much oftener mentioned by enemies than by friends.

He was the fon of Robert Blackmore of Corfharn, in Wiltfliirc, Gent, defcended from a good
family in Dorfet(hire,and ftyled by Jacob, an " Attorney at Law." The time of his birth is not cer
tainly known.

'He received his early education at a private country fchool, from whence, in the thirteenth year
of his age, he was removed to Weftminfter. Of his fchool excrcifes tradition has prefcrved no ac

In 1668, he was entered a commoner of Edmund Hall, Oxford, where he took the degree of
Mailer of Arts, June 3. 1676, and refided thirteen years; a much longer time than it is ufual to
fpend at the Univerfity, and which feems to have been pafied in the ftudies preparatory to the pro-
feflion he intended to follow ; which was that of phyfic.

Dr. Johnfon, who has written his life with candour and difcernment, is of opinion that he fpent
his time at the Univerfity with very little attention to the bufincft of the place ; becaufe, in his
poems, the ancient names of nations, or places, which he often introduces, are pronounced by chance.
But it may be reasonably doubted, whether a few inftances of falfe pronunciation, or capricious or
thography, are fuflicient to warrant the fuppufuion of his being negligent of (tudy, or deficient in
chflical erudition.

In the early period of his life, he is faid to have been engaged for fome time in the profeffion of a
fchoolmafter ; a Ctuation certainly not in itfelf diihonourablc, though it was often urged as a kind
of reproach, when he became confpicuous chough to excite malevolence. In one of the numerous
fatirical pieces that were written againft him, arc the following pungent lines, attributed by T. Brown,
to Colonel Codrington :

By nature form'd, by want a pedant made,

Biackmore at firft fet up the whipping trade ;

Next quack commenced, then fierce with pride he fwore>

That toothach, gout, and corns, fbould be no more.

In vain his drugs, as well as birch he tried ;

His boys grew blockheads, and his patients died.

His being a fchoolmafter, is alfo alluded to by Garth, in the following UncS :

Unwieldly pedant, let thy awkward mufe
With confciouspraife, with flatteries ab life;
To lafh, and not be felt, in theeYan art;
Thou ne'er mad'ft any but thy fchool-boys fmart.

" And let it be remembered," fays Dr. Johnfon, " for his hononr, that to have been once a
fclioolmafter, is the only reproach which all the perfpicacity of malice, animated by wit, has ever
fixed upon his private life."

It is probable that his indigence did not long compel him to teach a fchool. Some circumftances
concurring, it may bciprefumed, in his favour, he travelled into Italy, and took the degree of Doctor
of Phyfic, at the Univerfity of Padua.

He alfo vifited France, Germany, and the Low Countries, and, having fpent about a year and at
half abroad, he returned to England.

On his arrival in London, he commenced PhyCciaii, and obtained high eminence and extenfiw



In 1718, he published a colle&ion of Poems en various Subjefis containing, the fmall pieces for
merly printed, together with Hymn to the Light of the World, ii'itfj a Jefeription of the Cartoons of
Raphael, firft printed in 1703, The Nature of Man, in three books, firft printed 1711, and Cremts,
E'fatire, The ' tcry of Don Carlos, Prince of Spain, An Ode to the Creator, Hymn to the Sacred Spirit, On
Repentance, On Retirement, Iff*.

Having fucceeded fo well in demonftrating the exiftence and providence of God, in his poem on
the Creation, he now undertook to eftablifh the truth of Revelation, and publifhed, in 1711, Tie Re
deemer, a Poem in fix books.

The fame year he produced A new verjion of the Pfafms of David, fated to the tunes nfed iti CLurchet,.
Tvhich was recommended by public authority to be ufed in the Churches and Chapels of England. '

There was yet another monarch of this ifland whom he confidered as worthy of the epic mufe,
and in 1723, he produced King Alfred, an Heroic Poem, in twelve books, whkh, like Eliza, " drop
ped dead-born from the prefs," and clofed his epic labours. In the dedication he fays, that " he
had a greater part in the fucceffion of the Houfe of Hanover than ever he had boafted."

" Of his four epic poems," fays Dr. Johnfon, " the firft had fuch reputation and popxilarity, as
enraged the critics ; the fecond was at leaft known enough to be ridiculed ; the two l&ft found nei
ther friends nor enemies."

Befides the original poems and effays already enumerated, he wrote a Variety of hiftorical, theo
logical, and medkal tracls, which were publifhed in the following order : A Difcourfe on the PlaguS,-
Svo, 1720: Modern Arians Unmajked, 8vo, 1 721; a Treatife on tie "Small- Pox, 8vo, 1722; Htf.ory
of the Confpiracy againft King William, 8vo, 1723; a Treat'fe on Confumptions, 8vo, 1724; a Treatifs'
on tie Spleen and Vapours, 8vo, 1725 ; a Critical Dijfertalion on the Spleen, 8vo, 1725 ; Juft Prejudices'
.againjl the Arian Hyp'othejis, 8vo, 1725 > Difcourfes on the Gent, Rheumatlfm, and Kings Evil, 8vo, 1726;
DijJ'ertations On a Droffy, a Tymfany, the Jaundice, the Static, and Diabetes, 8vo, I fi^J^ Natural Thtologt^
8vo, 1728.

His biographers have reported, that the ridicule which was thrown on the poet,, was in time
followed by the neglect of the phyfician ; and that his practice, which was once invidioufly great, for-
fook him in the latter part of his life : but the fad may be reafonably doubted, "and fome commu
nications in the " Gentleman's Magazme," for- 1 792, fhew that he was confuited by perfons of
the highefl rank, and prefcrved his profefSonal credit and reputation till the clcfe of his life.

He died on the 8th of O&ober 1729, in an advanced age, and manifefted in his laft illnefs the'
fame fervent piety which had diftinguifhed him in his life. He left behind him The Accompli/bed
Preacher, or an Effay upon Divine Eloquence, which was printed in 8ro, 1731, by the'Rev. Mr.'
John White of Nayland in EfTex, who attended his death-bed, and bore teftimony to the elevated
piety with which he prepared for his approaching diflolution.

Since his death, none of his numerous publications have been reprinted, except his Creation, which
has gone through feveral editions, and was recommended by Dr. Johnfon to be infertcd in the col
lection of " The Engliih Poets," with the general approbation of the public.

Of the private life and domeflic character of Blackmore, there are no memorials. As a man he
was jufHy entitled to great applaufe : for numerous as his enemies and opponents were, they feem
to- have been incapable of fixing the leaft imputation on his ehara&er ; and thofe who perfonally
knew him, fpoke highly of his virtues. He was the friend of Hughes. Addifon appears to have had
a great perfonal regard for him, and he was in terms of friendihip with Pope, fo late as 1714.
This friendfhip was broken by -his accufing Pope, in hi* E/ays, of profanenefs and immorality, oir a
report from Curl that he was the author of a " Traveftie on the Firft Pfalm." Pope was after
wards the perpetual and inceffant enemy of Blackmore, and fatirized him in the " Dunciad," ia
the following lines :

But far o'er all, fonorous Blackmore's ftrain;
Walls, fteeples, ikies, bray back to him again.
In Tot'nam fields, the brethren, with amaze \
Prick all their ears up, and forget to graze,
JLong Chanc'ry-lane retentive rolls the found,
f :. And courts to courts return it round and round ;


Thames wafts it thence fo Rufus' roaring hall,
And Hungerford re echoes bawl for bawl.
All hail him victor in both arts of fong,
Who fings fo loudly and who fings fo long.

Hardly any writer has ever been more ridiculed than Blackmore ; yet there have been few, perhaps
none, who have had better intentions. He was certainly a man of confiderabie learning and abili
ties, and a moft zealous advocate for the interefts of religion and virtue. He wrote, indeed, too
much, and was deficient in tafte; nor did he take fuiiiicient time to polifh his compofitions; but he
was far from being deficient in genius, and, it is evident^ that it was not his dnllnefs whkh cx-
oited fo much animofity againft him.

His Crettion is by univerfal confent accounted the nobleft prodiiclion of his genius. Addifon
[Spefl, 339.] fays, it " was undertaken with fo good an intention, and executed with fo great a
maftery, that it deferves to be looked upon as one of the moft ufeful and noble productions in our
Englifh verfe. The reader cannot but be pleafed to fee the depths of philofophy enlivened with all
the charms of poetry, and to fee fo great a Urength of reafon amid/I fo beautiful a redundancy of
the imagination." Even Dennis calls it a " Philofophical Poem, which has equalled that of Lucre
tius, in the beauty of its verification, and infinitely furpafied it in the folidity and flrength of its
reafoning." "This writer," fays Mr. Duncombe, [Lcitcrt of Eminent Perfom, vol. i.p. 82.] " though
the butt of the wits, efpecially Dryden and Pope, was treated with more contempt than he defervcd.
In particular, his poem on the Creation has much merit. And let it be remembered, that the re-
fentment of thofe wits were excited by Sir Richard's zeal for religion and virtue, by cenfuring the
Kbertinifm of Dryden, and the (fuppofed) profanencfs of Pope."

" Blackmore," fays Dr. Johnfon, " by the unremitted enmity of the wits, whom he provoked
more by his virtue than his dullnefs, has been expofed to worfe treatment than he deferved : his
name was fo long ufed to. point every epigram upon dull writers, that it became at lad a bye-word
F contempt ; but it deferves obfervation, that malignity takes hold only of his writings, and that
his life pafied without reproach, even when his boldnefs of reprehenfion naturally turned upon him
many eyes defirous to fpy faults } which mary tongues would have made hade to publifh.

" As an author, he may juftiy claim the honours of magnanimity. The inceflant attack of his
enemies, whether ferious or merry, arc never difcovered to have difturbed his quiet, or to have
Icfiened his confidence in himfelf ; they neither awaked him to filence^nor to caution ; they neither
provoked him to petulance, nor deprefled him to complaint. While the diftributors of literary fame
were endeavouring to depreciate and degrade him, he either defpifed or defied them, wrote on as
he had written before, and never turned afide to quiet them by civility or reprefs them by con

" He depended with great fecurity on his own powers, and perhaps was for that reafon lefs di
ligent in perufing books. His literature was, I think, but fmall. What he knew of antiquity,
I fufpedl him to have gathered from modern compilers ; but though he could not boaft of much
eriticiJ knowledge, his mind was ftored with general principles; and he left minute reproaches to
thofe whom he confidered as little minds.

41 With this difpofition he wrote moft of his poems. Having formed a magnificent defign, he
was carclefs of particular and fubordinate elegancies; He fludied no niceties of verification ; h
waited for no felicities of fancy ; but caught his firft thoughts on his firft words in which they
were prefented ; nor does it appear that he faw beyond his performances, or had ever elevated his
ideas to that ideal perfection which every genius born to excel is condemned always to purfuc, and
never overtake. In the firfl fuggeftions of his imagination, he acquiefced ; he thought them good,
and did not feek for better. His works may be read a long time without the occurrence of a fingle
line that ftands prominent from the reft.

" The poem on Creation has, however, the appearance of more circumfpeclion ; it wants neither
harmony of numbers, accuracy of ftyle, nor elegance of di<Stion ; it has either been written with
great care, or what. cannot be imagined of fo long a work, with Aich felicity as made care left


" Its two conftituent parts are ratiocination and description. To reafon in verfe, is allowed 1 tcr
fee difficult ; but Blackmore, not only reafons in verfe, but very often reafons poetically, and finds
he art of uniting ornament with ftrength, and eafe with clofenefs. This is a flcill which Pope
might have condefcended to learn from him, when he needed it fo much in his " Moral Eflays."

  • In his defcriptions both of life and nature, the poet and the philofopher happily co-operate ;
    fcfuth is recommended by elegance, and elegance fuftained by truth.

In the ftru&urc and order of the poem, not only the greater parts are properly confecutive s
fcut the deda&ic and illuftrative paragraphs are fo happily mingled, that labour is relieved by plea-
fure, and the attention is led on through a long fucceffion of varied excellence, to the original po*
fition, the fundamental principle of wifdom and of virtue.'*







Principle cerium, ac terras campofqwc liquentes,

  • Lucentemque globum JLunac, Titaniaque aftra

" Spiritus intus alit, totamque infufa per artus

" Mens agitat molem, et mag no fe corpore mifcet.

" Inde hominum, pecudumque genus, viteque volantnm,

" Et quat znarmoreo fert monftra fub aecjucrc pontus."



IT has been the opinion of many perfons of great
Tenfe and learning, that the knowledge of a God,
as well as fome other felf- evident and uncontefted
notions, is born with us, and exifts antecedent to
any perception or operation of the mind. They
cxprefs themfelves on this fubjcft in metaphorical
terms, altogether unbecoming philofophical and
judicious inquiries, while they affert, that the
knowledge of a God is interwoven with our con-
ilitution, that it is written, engraven, ftamped,
and imprinted in clear and difcernible characters
en the heart ; in which manner of fpeech they
affect to follow the great Orator of the Romans.

By thefe unartful phrafes they can mean no
thing but this, that the propofition, There is a
God, is actually exiftent in the mind, as foon as
the mind has its being ; and is not at firft acquired,
though it may be afterwards confirmed, by any
ail of reafbn, by any argument or demon ft ration.
1 mull confefs my inability to conceive this inbred
knowledge, thefe original independent ideas, that
owe not their being to the operation of the under-
ftanding, but are, I know not how, congenite and
t;o-cxiftcnt with it.

For how a man can be faid to have knowledge
jefore he knows, how ideas can exift in the mind
without and before perception, I mud own is too
difficult for me to comprehend. That a man is
born with a faculty or capacity to know, though
as yet without any actual knowledge ; and that,
as the eye has a native difpofition and aptitude to
perceive the light, when fitly offered, though as
yet it never exercifed any a& of vifion, and had
no innate images in the womb ; fo the mind Is
endued with a power and faculty to know and
perceive the truth of this proportion, There it a*
GoJ, as foon as it fhall be reprefented to it ; all
this is clear and intelligible ; but any thing more
is, as I have faid, above my reach. In this opi
nion, which I had many years ago entertained,
was afterwards confirmed by the famous author o
the Eflay on Human Underftanding. Nor can S
fee that, by this dodtrine, the argument for the>
exiftence of a Deity, drawn from the general af-
fcnt of all nations (excepting perhaps fome few,
who are fo barbarous that they approach very
near the condition of brute animals), is at all in-
validated. For iuppoficg there is no inbred kntm^


ledge of a God; yet if mankind generally aflent to
It whether their belief proceeds from their re
flection on themfelves, or on the vifible creation
about them, it will be certainly true, that the ex-
iftence of a Deity carries with it the cleareft and
moft uncontrolable evidence ; fince mankind fo
rcadvly and fo univerfally perceive and embrace it.
It deferves confideration, that St. Paul upon this
argument does not appeal to the light within, or
to any characters of the Divine Being originally
engraven on the heart, "but deduces the caufe
from the effect, and from the creation infers the

It Is very probable that thofe who believe an in
nate idea of a Divine Being, unproduced by* any
operation of the mind, were led by this to ano
ther opinion, namely, that there never was in the
world a real Atheift in belief and fpeculation, how
many foever there may have been in life and prac
tice. But, \ipon due examination, this opinion, I
imagine, will not abide the teft ; which I fhall
endeavour to make evident.

But, before I enter upon this fubje&, it feems
proper to take notice of the apology, which fe-
veral perfoiis of great learning and candour have
made for many famous men, and great philofo-
phers, unjuflly accufed of impiety.

Whoever fiiall fet about to mend the world, and
reform men's notions, as well as their manners,
will certainly be the mark of much fcandal and
reproach ; and will effe&ually be convinced, that
it is too poflible the greateft lovers and benefadlors
of mankind may be represented by the multitude,
whole opinions they contradict, as the worft of
Kien. The hardy undertakers, who exprefs their
zeal to rectify the fentiments of a prejudiced peo
ple in matters of religion, who labour to ftem the
tide of popular error, and ftrike at the founda
tions of any ancient, eftablifhed fuperflition, rnufl
themfelves expect to be, treated as pragmatical and
infolent innovators, diilurbers of the public peace,
and the grc-at enemies of religion. The obferva-
tion of all ages confirms .this truth ; and, if any
mail who is doubtful of it would try the experi
ment, I make no qucftion he will very foon be
thoroughly convinced.

It is no wonder, therefore, that Anaxagoras,
though he was the firft philofopher who plainly
afferted an Eternal Mind by whofe power the ^
world was made, for oppofing the public worfhip *
at Athens, whofe refined wits were plunged in
the mofc lenfelefs idolatry, and particularly for
denying the divinity of the Sun, fhould be
condemned for irreligion, and treafon againft t^he
-rods ; and be heavily fined and banifhed the city,
ft is r.o wonder, after fo fharp a perfecution of
this zealous reformer, that Socrates, the next fuc-
c.t'flbr but one to Anaxagoras, and the lafl of the
Ionic fchool, for oppofing their fcandalous rabble
e deities, ar,d afferting one Divine Being, mould
he condemned for atheifra, and put to death, by
"blind fuperflition and implacable bigotry.

Some have been condemned by their antagonifts

for impiety, wl:o maintain pofitions, which thofe

\vhora they difient imagine have a tendency

to the difbelief of a Deity. But this is a manifett
violation of juflice, as well as candour, to impute
to any man the remote confequences of his opi
nion, which he himfelf difclaims and detefts, and
who, if he faw the connection cf his principles
with fuch conclufions, would readily renounce
them. No man can be reafonably charged with
more opinions than he owns; and if this juftice
were obferved in polemical difcourfes, as well of
theology as philofophy, many perfons had efcaped
thofe hard names, ami terrible cenfures, which
their angry antagonifts have thought fit to fix
upon them. No one, therefore, is to be reputed
an Atheift, or ap enemy to religion, upon the ac
count of any erroneous opinion, from which ano
ther may, by a long chain of fequels, draw that
conclufion ; much lefs for holding any doctrines
in philofoph;-, which the common people are not
able to examine cr comprehend, who, when they
meddle with fpeculations, of which ttoey are un
qualified to judge, will be as apt to cenfure a
philofopher for an atheift, as an aftronomer for a

I would fain too in this place make fome apo
logy for the great numbers of loofe and vicious
men, who laugh at religion, and feem in their
converfation to difclaim the belief of a Deity. I
do not mean an apology for their practice, but
their opinion. I hope thefe unhappy perfons, at
leaft. the greateft part, who have given up the
reins to their paffions and exorbitant appetites,
are, rather than atheifls, a carelefs and ftupid
fort of creatures, who, either out of a fupihe tem
per, or for fear of being difturbed with remorfe iti
their unwarrantable enjoyments, never foberly
confider with themfelves, or exercife their reafon
on things of the higheft importance. Thefe per
fons never examine the arguments that enforce the
belief of a Deity, and the obligations of religion :
but take the word of their ingenious friends, or
fome atheiftical pretender to philofophy, who af
lures them there is no God, and therefore no re
ligion. And notwithftanding all atheifts have
leave given them by their principles to become li
bertines, yet it is not true that all libertines are
atheifts. Some plainly aflert their belief of a
God ; and others, who deny his exiftence, yet do
not deny it upon any principles, any fcherrie of
philofophy which they have framed, and by which
they account for the exiftence and duration of the
world, in the beautiful order in which we fee it,
without the aid of a Divine Eternal Mind.

But there are two forts of men, who, without
injuftice, have been called atheifts; thofe who
frankly and in plain terms have denied the being-
of a God ; and thofe who, though they afferted his
being, denied thofe attributes and perfections,
which the idea of a God includes ; and fo, while
they acknowledged the name, fubvertedthe thing.
Thefe are as real atheifts as the former, but lefs
Cncere. If any man fhould declare he believes a
Deity, but afiirms that this Deity is of human
fhape, and not eternal ; that he derives his being
from the fortuitous concourfe and complication cf
atoms ; 'or, though, he allowed him to be eternal.



fhould maintain, that lie f!;o\ved i\o wifdom, de-
gn, or prudence, in the formation, and no care
or providence in the government of the world ;
that he never reflects on any thing exterior to his
own being, nor interefts himfelf in humr.n affairs ;
.iloes not know, or does not attecd to, any of our
aliens : fuch a perfon is, indeed, and in effect,
as ranch an atheifb as the former. For though
he owns ths- appellation, yet his defcription is de
finitive of the idea of a God. I do not affirm,
that the idea of a God implies the relation of a
Creator : but, fince in the demonstration of the
exiftenceiof a God, we argue from the effect to the
caufe, and proceed from the contemplation of the
creature to the knowledge of the Creator, it is evi-
ient we cannot know there is a God, but we muft
know him to be the Maker, and, if the Maker,
then the Governor and Benefactor of the world.
Could there be a God, who is entirely regardlefs
of things without him, who is perfectly uncon
cerned with the direction and government of the
world, is altogether indifferent whether we wor-
fhip or affront him, and is neither pleafed nor dif-
}>leafed with any of our actions ; he would cer
tainty to us be the fame as no God. The log in
the fable would be altogether as venerable a deity ;
for, if he has no concern with us, it is plain, we
liave none with him : if we are not fubject to any
laws he has made for us, we can never be obedient,
or difobedient, nor can we need furgivennefs, or
expect reward. If we are nut the fubjedts of his
care and protection, we can owe hkn no love or
gratitude ; if he either does not hear, or difregards
cur prayers, how impertinent is it to build temples,
and to worfhip at his altars '. In my opinion, fuch
notions of a Deity, which lay the axe to the root
of all religion, and make all the expreffions of it
idle and ridiculous; which deftroy the diflinction
of good and bad, all morality of our actions, and
remove all the grounds and reafuns of fear of pu-
nifliment, 'and hope of reward; will juftly de
nominate a man an atheift, though he ever fo
much difclaims that ignominious title.

Thales, the founder cf the Ionic fchool, and the
philofophers who Succeeded him, Anaximander,
Anaximenes, Diogenes, Apollionates, Anaxagoras,
and Archelaus, are cenfured by Ariftotle as dif-
helievcrs of a Deity ; the reafon he gives is, that
thefe philofophers, in treating of the principles
of the world, never introduce the Deity as the
efficient caufe. But if it be confidered, that na
tural fcience was then in its infancy, and that thofe
primitive philofophers only undertook to account
for the material principle out of which the world
was made, which one aflerted to be water, one
lire, another air ; though this may prove that they
formed but a lame and unfinifhed fcheme of phi
lofophy, yet it does not evince, that they denied
the being of a God, or that they did not believe
him to be the efficient caufe of all things. It is
indeed a convincing evidence that their philofo-
phy was imperfect, as at firft it might well be ;
tut from their filence or omiflion of him in their
fyftems, when they defigned to treat only of the
material caufes of things, it is unreaJTonable to af

firm that they denied las being t and it Is certain
Anaxagoras taught, that, befuies it matter, was
absolutely neceffary to aflsrt a Divine Mind, the
Contriver and Maker of the world; and for this
religious principle, as we faid before, he was at
Athens un iiluflrious confeffor.

After the death of Socrates, the Ionic fchool
was foon divided into various fects and philofo-
phienl parties : of the Cyrer.aic fchool, Theodo }
rus and Dion Borifthenitcs, were reputed Atheifts,
contcmners of the Gods, and deridcrs nf religion.
Yet iince it does not appear, that they had formed
any impious fcheme of philofophy, or maintained
their irreligion by any pretended principles of rea
fon, it is not improbable that thefe men we're ra
ther abandoned libertines, without confidera-
tion and reflection, than fpeculative and philofo-
phical Atheifts.

The Italic fchool, to its great difhonour, was
more fertile in impiety, and produced a greater
number of thefe irreligious philolbphers. The
mailers, who fuccecded their famous founder Py
thagoras, foon degenerated from his noble and
pious principles, and not only corrupted the purity
of his doctrine, but became downright apoftates,
renouncing the belief of a God, and fubverting
the foundations of religion. Leucippus, Dcmo-
critus, Diagoras, and Protagoras, were juftly
reckoned in this rank; who aflerted, that the
world was made by the cafual combination of
atoms, without any afliftance or" direction of a
Divine Mind. They taught their followers this
doctrine, fupported it with argument!, and fo
were Atheiils on the pretended principles of rea
fon. But x among all the ancient obdurate A-
theiftsj and inveterate 'enemies of religion, no
one feems more fincere, or more implacable, than

And though this perfon was .perhaps of as dull
an underftanding, of as unrefined thought, and as
little fagacity and penetration, as any man who
was ever complimented with the name of a philo-
fopher ; yet fevcral great wits, arid . men of di-
ftinguifhed learning, in this laft age, have been
pleafed to give the world high encomiums of his
capacity and fuperior attainments.

After a long night cf ignorance had overspread
the face of Europe, many wife men, from a gene
rous love of truth, refolved to exercife their rea
fon, and free themfelves from prejudice, and a
fervile veneration of great names, and prevailing-
authority ; ami, growing impatient of tyrannical
impofitions, as well in phiiolbphy as religion, to
their great honour, feparated both from the church
of Rome, and the fchool of Ariftotle. Thefe pa
triots of the commonwealth of learning, combined
to reform the corruptions, and redrefs the griev
ances of philofophy : to pull down the Peripatetic
monarchy, and fet up a free and independent ftate
of fcience ; and, being fully convinced of th,c
weaknefs and unreafonablenefs of Ariflotle's fy-
fiem, which confifted chiefly of words without
any determined meaning, and of idle metaphyfical
definitions, o-f which many \verc falfe. and many
unintelligible ; they in this cafe had rccourfc to


the Corpufcularian hypothefis, and revived the ob-
iblete and exploded fyftem of Epicurus.

Many of thefc noble leaders, who had declared
again ft the Peripatetic ufurpation, and aflerted the
rights and liberties of human underftanding, called
in this phitofopher, for want of a better, to depofe
Ariftctle. And tho.ugh a general revolution did
*not follow, yet the defection from the prince of
fcience, as he was once efteemed, was very great.
When thefc firft reformers of Ariftotle's fchool had
^fpoufed the intereft of, and introduced
liis doctrines, that his hypothesis might be received
with the lefs oppofition, they thought it necefiary
to remove the ignominious character of impiety,
under which their ph jlofopher had Jong lain. And
it is indeed very natural for a man, who has em
braced another's notions and principles, to believe
'well of his mafter, and to ftand up in the defence
c his reputation. The learned Gaflendus is emi
nent above all othcrsior the warm zeal he has ex-
prcfled, and the great pains he has taken, to vin
dicate the honour of Epicurus, and clear his cha
racter from the imputation of irreligion.

After the unhappy fate of Anaxagoras and the
great Socrates, it is no wonder that the philofo-
phers, who fucceeded fhould .grow more cautious
in propagating their opinions, for fear of provok
ing the magiftrate, and making thcmfelves ob
noxious to the laws of .their country : and, if any
had formed irreligious fchemes, it is to be fuppofed,
they would talce care to guard, as well as they
could, againft the punifliment to be inflicted on
*11 who denied the gods, and derided the efta-
bliihed worfhip. An atheift cannot be fup.pofed
to be fond of fuffering, when pain and death are
what he chiefly abhors : and therefore Epicurus,
who, if Cicero and Plutarch knew his opinion,
was a downright profefled atheift, has not in
terms denied, but indeed averted, the being of the
gods; and fpeaks honourably of them, fo far as
regards the excellence of their nature, and their
feappinefs. But when he defcribes his gods, and
gives them a human face and limbs, and fays they
are neither incorporeal nor corporeal, but as ijt
were corporeal ; while he excludes them from any
liand in making, or care including and governing
the world, and undertakes to (how that all things
^were brought about by mere chance, without any
lielp or dire&ion of the gods, who are altogether
unconcerned with human affairs, and regardlefs of
our actions; he muft laugh in himfelf,and be fup-
jpofed to have formed this ridiculous idea of a Di
vine Being, merely to efcape the chara&er of an
impious philosopher. For though he owns the name
of a God, by his dcfcription he entirely deftroys
the Divine Nature. Nor do I think, that Ariftotle
can be defended from the charge of atheifm ;
for while he affirms, that the world, as to its for
mation, as well as its progreilion and duration, is
independent on the go,ds, and owes nothing to
their power, wifdom, or providence, he utterly
Subverts all pretence to religion and divine wor-
ihip, and comes at laft into the dregs of the Epi
curean fcheme : this, I believe, I have plainly
j&roved in the following pocBJ.

As to the modern Athicfls, Vaninus, HoKbea;
and Spinofa ; I have fpokcn of them in their turn,
and Ihall not anticipate what is faid hereafter.

J have been determined to employ fome of my
leifure hours in writing on this fubjeft, by the me
lancholy reflexion I have often made on the growth
of profanenefs, and the prevailing power of loofe
and irreligious principles in this nation.

It is a mortifying confideration to all who love
mankind, and wifh well to their country, that this
opinion has of late years, above the example of
paft ages, fpread its contagious influence fo far and
wide, that now, emboldened by' the power and
number of its affertors, it becomes infolent and for
midable. Thofe impious maxims, which a fmall
party in the laft age, when inflamed with wine,
vented in private, are now the entertainment of
the coffee-houfe, publicly profefled, and in many
companies fpokcn of in cool blood, as the ordinary
fubje6ts of cnverfation.

All ages have brought forth fome monfters, fome
profeflbrs and patrons of irreligion; monilers in
refpe-ft of their fcarcenefs, as well as deformity;
but the amazing abundance of thefe odious pro
ductions is, 1 believe, peculiar to this fertile age.
I am apt to think, that moft who were reckoned
athiefts in former rigns were rather unbridled
libertines, than irreligious in principle : but now
we are fa far advanced, that the infection has feiz-
ed the mind ; the Atheift in practice is become one
in fpeculation, and loofcnefs of manners improved
to intellectual impiety.

Many (which is without example )Texprefs an,
ardent zeal for profanenefs, are grown bigots in
atheifm., and with great induftry and application
propagate their principles, form parties, and con
cert meafures to carry on with vigour the caufe of,
irreligion. They carefs, and are very fond of,
thofe who boldly declare forimpiety, and mock all
religion as cheat and impofture. Thefe are wits,
mep of fenfe, of large and free thoughts, and can
not fail of being men in fafhion. And as the re
negades and deferters of heaven, who renounce
their God for the favour of men, and choofc to
grow -popular at the deareft rate, are by many pro
tected and applauded : fo there are places where
a man, that has the affurance to own the belief of
a Deity and a future ftate, would be expofed and
laughed out of countenance. Hence many are
tempted to conceal their notions of religion, for
fear of Wafting their reputation, and of being ne-
gledled and defpifed by thofe from whofe favouf
they expecl profit or promotion.

Immediately after the Restoration, {the people,
intoxicated with the pleafures of peace, and influ
enced by the example of a loofe court, as well as
from their great averfion to the former fanatical
ftridnefs and feverity of converfation, which they
detefted as hypocrify, indulged themfelves in fen-
fual liberties, and by degrees funk deep into luxury
and vice. Then it was that fome irreligious men,
taking advantage of this growing diffolution of
manners, began to propagate their deteftable no
tions, and fow the feeds of profanenefs and im
piety, which fprung up apace, and flowiihed. i>


f roportion to the growth of "immorality. Thus
vice and irrcligion, mutually afiifting each other,
extended their power by daily encroachments; and
the folid temper and firmnefs of mind, which the
people once poffeffed, being flackened and diffolved
by the power of riot and forbidden pleafure, their
judgment foon became vitiated ; which corruption
of tafte has ever fmce gradually increafed, as the
confederate powers of vice and profanenefs have
fpread their infection, and gained upon religion.

While loofe principles and impious opinions per-
yert the judgment, a petulant humour, that inclines
nien to give an air ef levity and ridicule to all
their difcourfes, and turn every thing to mirth and
raillery, does in proportion get ground; this being
efteemed the moft fuccefsful method to weaken
the power and authority of religion in the minds
of men.

I would not here be underftood as if I condemn
ed the qualifications of wit and pleafantry, but
only the mifapplication of them. I fhall always
retain a great value for ingenious men, provided
they do not abufe and proftitute their talents to the
worft purpofes ; I mean the deriding all fobriety
of manners, and turning into jeft the principles
which conftitute our duty here, and affure ourhap-
pinefs hereafter. But can any man who reveres a
God, and loves his country, (land by unconcerned,
while loofe and profane wits fhow fo much zeal
and diligence in propagating maxims, which tend
fo directly to the difhonour of the one, and the
ruin of the other ?

Should Atheifm and corruption of manners,
thofe infeparable companions, which, as caufes and
effects, mutually introduce and fupport each other,
prevail much farther; fhould impious notions in
any age hereafter generally infect the higheft, as
well as the inferior ranks of men ; what confufion
of affairs mud enfue ! It would be impoffible to
find men of principle to fill the places of trull and
honour, or patrons to promote them : merit would
incapacitate and disqualify fqr the favour of great
men, and a religious character would bean invinci
ble obftmdlion to advancement ; there woqld be no
perfons of rank to encourage men of worth, and
bring negle&ed virtue into fafhion. On the contra
ry, the contemners of heaven and deriders of piety
would be careffed, applauded, and promoted ; the
difpofers of preferment would confer all on thofe
who embrace their opinions : and what a terrible
temptation would this be to our youth, to accom
modate their notions to thofe of the men in power,
when they fhall fee that their favour is not other-
wife to be procured !

Is it not highly probable that, in fuch an age,
clubs and cabals would be formed of fcoffers and
buffoons, to laugh religion out of countenance, and
make the profefibrs of it the objeft of public fcorn
and contempt ?

Befides, it is natural to believe that magiftrates
in a commonwealth, generally compofed of a-
theifts, would likewife proceed to violence, and
perfecute thofe whom they could not perfuade to
embrace their notions, as much as any^fecT: of reli
gion has ever done. For it is not religion, but

corrupted human nature, that pufhes men on to
compulfive methods of obliging their adverfaries
to renounce their own, and affert the opinions of
men in power. It is from the factious temper of
a party, not the fpirit of piety ; it is from pride
and an impatience of contradiction, or from luft of
dominion, or a violent defire of engroffing the
places of honour and profit, that men endeavour,
by cruel and coercive methods, to ftlence their op
ponents, and fupprefs their competitors. And if ic
will be allowed that human paflions will always
exert themfelves with uniformity, and therefore
ftill produce the like effects ; if we may foretel
what atheifts when in power are like to do, fromv
what they have done, as far as they had ability ;
we may be aflured,when they do not want power,
they will never want a will to employ violence, to
extinguifli the notions of piety, and the hateful
herefy of religion. It would not be ftrange if a-
theiftical tefts, in fuch a ftate of affairs, fhould bo
formed and impofed, to keep men of dangerous
principles out of all pofts of power and profit; and
all that believed the being of a God, and the re-
wards and punifhments of another life, fhould be
looked on as difaffected to the government, an'4
the difturbers of the public peace.

And if fuch notions of impiety, and fuch a de
generate conftitution of manners, fhould ever pre
vail in this unhappy nation, any man, without the
gift of prophecy, and, indeed, with a very mode
rate penetration, may forefes, that the, public will
then be expofed to inevitable ruin.

But before the interefts of virtue and religion
re reduced to fo deplorable a ftate, it is to be hop
ed this once wife and fober nation will awakea
from its lethargy ; that, notwithftanding the pre-
fent popularity of vice, levity, and impiety, it ma/
one day recover its relifh of folid knowledge and
real merit; that buffoons themfelves may one day
be erpofed, the laughers in their turn become ridi
culous, and an (atheiftical fcoffer be as much out
of credit, as a fober and religious man is at pre-
fent : virtue, ferioufneft, and a due reverence o
facred and divine things, may revive among us -
and it is the duty and intcreft ef every man that
loves his country, and wifhes well to mankind, to
make his utinoft efforts to bring about fuch a happy
revolution. This would the fooner be effected, if
the virtuous part of ingenious men (for virtue has
ftill a party) would not fupinely ftand by, and fee
the honour and intereft of religion expofed and in-
fulted ; but, inftead of an abject, unactive defpon-
dence, would unite their endeavours, with vigour
and refolution, again ft the common enemies of God
and their country. It is great pity, that in fo no
ble a caufc any fhould fhow fuch poornefs of fpirit,
as to be afhamcd of aflerting their religion, and
ftemming the tide of impiety, for fear of becoming
the entertainment of fcoffing libertinef.

I know the gentlemen of atheiftical notions
pretend to refined parts, and pafs themfelves upon
the world for wits of the firft rank : yet in debate
they decline argument, and rather truft to the de-
cifion of raillery. But if it were poffible for thefe
gentlemen to apply themfelves in good eyncft to.


the rfafens alleged in proof of o Divine Being, in
a manner thai becomes an inquiry of fuch confe-
<Juence, I mould believe their conviction were not
to be dcfpaired of.

But there is little appearance that they will be
ever prevailed on to confider this mafter with de
liberate and unprejudiced thought ; and, therefore,
I am not fo fanguine to think v that any arguments
I can -bring, though ever fo clear and demonftra-
tive, arc like to make any impreflion upon a vete
ran atheift. I have, neverthelefs, thought it a fea-
fonable fervice to endeavour to Hop the contagion,
and, as far as I am able, to prefervc thofe who are
not yet infected,

1 would entreat thefe to diftinguifh between
raillery and argument, and not believe that mirth
jought to determine in fo weighty a cafe; that they
would not admit of principles of the utmoft con
cern without examination, and take impiety upon
content ; that they would appeal from the buffoon
and the mocker, to the impartial decifion of right
reafon, and debate this matter with ihe gravity
that becomes the importance of the fubject.

But, fmce the gentlemen who own no obliga
tions of religion for the rule of behaviour, fet up
in its, ftead a fpuricus principle, which they call
honour, and a greatnefs of mind, that will not de-
fccnd to a mean or bafe action ; let them reflect,
whether that term, as they ufe it, is not an empty
found without any determined meaning. If ho-
liour lays a man under any obligation to perform
<ir forbear any action, then, .it is evident, honour
is a law or rule, and the tranfgreffion of it makes
us guilty and obnoxious to pumfhment : and if it
be a law, it-mud be the decoration of fome legif-
Jatcr's- will ; for this is the definition of a law that
regulates the manners of a moral agent. Now, I
aik a man of honour, who denies religion, what,
or whofe law he breaks, if he deviates from what
he imagines a point of honour ? It is plain there
can be no tranfgreffion, where there is no law ; no
irregularity where there is no rule ; nor can a
man do a bafe or dishonourable thing, if he lies
under no obligation to the contrary. Honour,
therefore, abftracted from the notion of religion,
which enjoins it, is an idle chimera, which can
have little power over any man that does not be
lieve a Divine Legiflator, whofe authority muft en
force it.

It is the fame with friendfhlp and gratitude,
which-^re principles that the Atheift will often
commend. But how is any man bound to be
grateful, or to be a friend ? Should he act a con
trary part, and be treacherous and ungrateful, what
guilt has he contracted ? Has he offended againft
any law ? or can he become guilty, without the
breach of any ? If you fay he has broken any law,
tell us the law, and by whom it was made. If the
laws of the Supreme Being are fet afide, we can
Jie under no regulation, but have an unbounded
liberty over all our actions; we may, without the
leail fault or difhonour, break our oaths, fubyert
the government, betray our friends, afiaffinate our
parents , in fhort, commit all khjds of the moft
dcteftabic crimes without remorfe ; for, not being

controlled by any obligation, we may do whatever
our paffions or our interefts prompt us to, without
' being accountable to any tribunal for the leaft

If it be faid, we are obliged by the laws of our
counrry ; I anfwer, that, as to the actions we are
! fpeakiug of, fuch as a man of, honour, a great and
generous mind, a friend, a grateful perfon, is fup-
pofed to think himfelf obliged to, thefe are fuch
as are not regulated by municipal laws, and there
fore men are at liberty, whether they will ad by
what they call a principle of honour or not, and
can juftly incur no cenfure or reproach, fhould
they have no regard to that pompous and founding
word; for if their actions are not morally deter
mined either by human or divine laws, they may
very juftly, and honourably too, aft with unlimited
freedom in thefe matters. Befides, whoever be
lieves himfelf free from the obligations of divine
precepts, cannot look on himfelf as bound by any
human laws. He may indeed, from the appre-
henfion of punifhment, forbear an action thus for
bidden, and it is his intereft fo to do : but, if he
thinks no divine authority makes it; his duty to
fubmit to the magiftrate, and obey the laws of his
country, he is at liberty, as to any guilt, whether
he will obey or no If he ventures the punifh
ment, he efcapes the fin. If an Atheift fwears fi
delity to his prince, what controlling power is he
under, which affects the mind, not to betray him,
if he thinks it fit and fafe to do it ? If he lets hip
parents, or his patron, or his friend perilb, what
iniquity is he accountable for ?

The exifteuce of a God has heen already cleared,
and abundantly demonftrated, by many pious and
learned authors; whence this attempt may be cen-
fured as impertinent and unnecelfary. But all
thofe excellent performances being writ in profe,
and the greatcft part in the learned languages, or
at leaft in a fcholaftic manner, arc ill-accommoda
ted to great numbers not of a learned education ;
and many who have more knowledge, and greater
genius, will not undergp the trouble of reading
and confidering the arguments expreffed in a man
ner to them obfcure, dry, and difagreeable. I have
therefore 'formed a poem on this great and impor
tant fubject, that J might give it the advantages
peculiar to poetry, and adapt it more to the gene
ral apprehension and capacity of mankind. The
harmony of numbers engages many to read and
retain what they wquld neglect if written in profe ;
and I perfuade myfelf the Epicurean philofophy
had not lived fo long, nor been fo much efteemed,,
had it not been kept alive and propagated by the
famous poem of Lucretius,

I have chofen to demonftrate the exiftence of at
God from the marks of wifdom, defign, contri
vance, and the choice of ends and means, which
appear in the univerfe. Out of the various argu
ments that evince the truth of this propofition,
" There is a God," I havefeiected this as the moft
evident and intelligible.

I may with reaibn prefume, tbat I fliall not in
cur any ceniure for net employing new arguments
to prove the being of a God; none but v/hat hav



i>sen produced before by many writer?, even from
the tided days of philofophy. It was never obje&ed
to Lucretius, that, in his applauded poem, he has
not invented a new fyftem of philofophy, but only
recited in poetical numbers th ancient d< dtriues
of Democritus and Epicurus. Nor can it with
reafon be fuppofed, that the arguments by which
he lupports their opinions were not long before in
the fchools of Greece. Nor ha<e modern writers
en this fubje6t invented, but purfcied the demon-
ftration of a God, from the evident appearance of
contrivance and wifdom in the vifible world,
which they have done wich more clearnefs and
flrength, than thofe who went before them. And
while thcfe have attempted to evircee the exigence
of a God only from the contemplation of corporeal
jiature, I have carried the argument on to the ac
tions of living, fenfitive, and intelligent beinps, fo
far as we are acquainted with them ; believing
<hat brighter and more noble itrokes of wifdom
and defigti appear in the principles of life, fenfa-
tion, and reafon, than in all the compafs of the
material world.

I have endeavoured to give the fubjecft yet great
er degrees of perfpicuity, more variety of argu
ment, a* well as eafy and familiar expreflinn, that,
the ftyle being more plealing, and the dcmonftra-
tion more readily apprehended, it may leave a
deeper impreflu/n, and its effects and ufefulnefs
may become more extenfive. In order to this, I
have rarely ufed any term of art, or any phrafe
peculiar to the writing and convtrfation of learn
ed men. I have attempted, as Monfieur Fonte-
nelle has ione with great fucccfs in his plurality
of worlds, to bring philofopby out of the iecret re-
ceifes of the fchood*, and ftrip it of its uncouth and
myfterious drefs, that it may become agreeable,
and admitted to a general converfation.

I take* it for granted, that no judicious reader
will exped, in the philofophical and argumenta
tive parts of this poem, the ornaments of poetical
eloquence. In this cafe, where metaphor and de-
fcription are not admitted left they fhould darken
and enfeeble the argument, if the reafoning be
clofe, ftrong, and eafily apprehended; if there be
an elegant fimplicity, purity, and propriety of
words, and a juft order and connection of the
parts, mutually fupporting and enlightening one
another, there will be all the perfection: which the
flyle can demand.

I may fafely conclude, that no man will expe&
that in this po<jm I fliould borrow any embellifti-
ments from the exploded and obfolete theology of
the ancient idolaters of Greece or Rome ; that 1
fhould addrcfs any rapturous invocations to their
idle deities, or adorn the ftyle with allufions to
their fabulous actions. I have more than one.-
publicly declared my opinion, that a Chriftian poet
cannot but appear monftrous and ridiculous in a
Pagan drefs; that though it fliould be granted,
that the heathen religion might be allowed a place
in light and loofe longs, mock heroic, and the
lower lyric compefitions ; yet, in Chriftian pccms
of the fublime and greater kind, the mixture of
the Pagan theology muff, by all who arc rea' ! cr

Jot. VII.

of refle6'don and good fenfe, be condemned, if not
as impious, at leaft as impertinent and abfurd.
And this is a truth fo clear and evident, that I
make no do':bt it will by degrees force its way,
and prevail over the contrary practice. Should
Briton* recover their virtue, and reform th^jr tafta,
they would no more bear the heathen religion in
verfe, than in profe. Chriftian poets, as well as
Chriftian preachers, the buiinefs of botfr being to
inftrn6t the people, though the lait only are whol
ly appropriated to it, (houlcl endeavour to confirm,
and fpread their own true religion. If a divine
Ihould begin his fermon with a folernn prayer to
Bacchus, or Apollo, to Mars, or Venus, what
would the people think of tbdr preacher * And is
it not as re- ally, though not equally, abfurd, for a
p<jet in a great and ferious poem, wherein he cele
brates foiiie wonderful and happy event of Divine
Providence, or magnifies the illuttrioHS inftrument
that was honoured to bring the event about, to ad-
drefs his prayer to falfe deities, and cry for help
to the abominations of the heathen?

The dcfign of this poem is to demonftrtte the
felf-exiftent-e of an Eternal Mind from the created
and dependent exiftence of the univerfe, and to
confute the hypothefis of the Epicureans and Fa-
Utlifts, under whom all the patrons of impiety, an
cient or modern, of whatfoevcr denomination,
may be ranged. The firft of whom affirm the
world was in time caufed by chance; and the
other that it exifted from eternity without<a caufe.
It is true, as before mentioned, both thcfe acknowr
ledged the exiftence of gods ; but, by their abfunl
aivd ridiculous defcription of them, it is plain they
had nothing elfe in view, but to avoid the pbnoxi-
ous character of atheiftical philofphers.

This likewifc has been often objected to the
deifts of the prefent times, that at leaft a great
part of them only conceal their notions under that
name, wJiile they are really to be numbered amonj*
the arheifts. 1 have before expreifed my rcafont,
why I cannot embrace this opinion. It is true,
indeed, that mo.t of the deift* maintain a parti
cular friendship with the atheifts, are pleafed with
their loofe and impious con variation, and appear
very tender of their credit and efteem. They arc
charitable in crying up their fhining qualities, and
in concealing, exculiug, or leflening, their immor
al actions; while at the fame time they fhow an,
affectation in expofing the faults and follies of the
Chriftians, efpscially thofe who are the moft ftridt
and regular in their manners, and appear to be
moft in earneft. It is likewife remarkable, that
thefe gentlemen exprefs no zeal for the extirpation
of irreligious principles : they have never, as far
as I know, written any thing againft them; nor
are they pleafed in company to declare their de-
teftation of fuch impious maxims, or to produce
arguments to confute them ; while at the fame
time they take great pains, and Ihow a warm zeal,
to weaken the belief of the Chriftian religion, and
to expole the pretended errors of its different pro-
feffors ; which feems, indeed, ftrange, fince he that
owns a God and his providence, (hould in reafon,
look tipou thole why Inlieve neither to be infinitely



i>nore oppofite'to htni, than thofe who agree with
bim in the belief of a God, and differ only in the
point of revealed religion.

Befides, it is obfervable that the prefent deifts
have not drawn and publiihcd any fcheme of re
ligion, QF catalogues of the duties they are obliged
to perform, or whence fuch obligations arife.
They do not tell us, that they look on man as an
accountable creature ; nor, if they do, for what,
and to whom, or when, that account is to be
nvdde, and what rewards and punifhments will at
tend it. I do not affirm they have no fuch fcheme
in their thoughts ; but, fince they will not let us
know their creed, and in the mean time deride
and triumph over that of the Chriftians, I cannot
defend them from thofe who fay they are juftly
to be fufpedled.

And that the deift may clear himfelf from the
fufpicion of being an atheift, or at leaft a friend
and favourer of their principles; I could wifh he
would in public affert and demonftrate the being
of a God and his providence, and declar? his ab
horrence of the principles of thofe who difbelieve
them. v.*

It would likewife give gn-at fatisfadlion, and
remove the objodtions of th< fc that charge them
with direct irreligion, if they would plcafe to give
fome accoont of their belief : Whether they look
upon God as one who governs mankind by laws
to be difcovered by the light of reafou, which re-
ilrain our inclinations and determine our duty ;
that they would tell us -what thofe laws are, and
\vhat fandlions do enforce them ; and until this
be done, they 'cannot well difcharge themfelves
from the fufpicion before-mentioned.

And here I would addrefs myfelf to the irreli
gious gentlemen of the age : and I defue them
nut to take up prejudices againft the exiftence of
a God, and run away with impious maxims, until
they have exercifed tbeir confideration, and made
an impartial inquiry into the grounds and reafons
that fupport the" belief of a Divine Eternal Being.
In order to fuch a reafonable examination, it is
but jufl and decent they mould be in earneft, and
hear the arguments vye offer with temper and pa
tience ; that they ihould inure themfeives to think,
and weigh the force of thofe arguments, as be
comes fincere inquirers after truth. The being of
a .God, and the duties that refult from that prin
ciple, are fubje<5bs of the greateft excellence and
dignity in themfelves, and of the greateft concern
and importance to mankind ; and, therefore, fhould
never be treated in mirth and ridicule. Generals
of armies and counsellors of ftate, fenators, and
judges, in the great .and weighty affairs that come
before them, do not put n the air of jefters and
buffoons, and, inftead of grave and folemn debate?,,
aim at nothing but failies of wit, and treat their
fubjecls and one another only with raillery and
derifion :.yet the bufmefs propofed to the confi-
dcraticn of the perfons 1 fpeak to is, in every re-
fpecl:, infinitely fuperior to any of theirs bcfore-

Ae they furc there is no God, and therefore no

Religion ? If they are not, what a ternbk lifque do


they run ! If their reafons amount only to a pro*
bability, the contrary opinion may be true, and
that may be is enough to give them the moft
frightful apprehenfions, and didurb them amid 't
all the pleafures they enjoy. But if they fay they
are allured, and paft doubt, there is no God ; let
them confider, confidence in an opinion is not al
ways the effecV of certainty and demonftration.
Their prcdeceffors, the atheifU of former ages,
were as certain, that is, as confident, they reafoned
right, as they can be. They cannot pretend to
clearer light, and greater affurance of the truth of
their maxims, than Epicurus and Lucretius did ;
or infult their adverfaries with greater contempt
than thofe have done : yet thefe men themfelve?,
at leaft many of them, allow thofe philofophers
were grofsly miftaken, and will by no means truft
to the Epicurean fcheme, as the foundation of their
opinions. If thefe great matters, notwithftanding
their unexampled confidence, have been miftaken,
why may not their fucceffors be fo ?

If they fet up Ariftotle's fcheme, and think they
fecure their principles by making the world to be
eternal, and all effe& and events the refult of fuch
a fatal neceffity, and an indiffoluble concatenation
of caufes, as render it impoffible, that things that
are mould not be, or that they fhould be other-
wife than they are ; let them confider, that the
greateft affertors of impiety, I mean Democritus,
Leucippus, Epicurus, and Lucretius, oppofed this
as an idle and incoherent fyftem ; and that indeed
it is fo, fhall be after demonftrated : and fhould
not this fhake their confidence, that all their
friends in the Epicurean fchools, who were fuffi-
ciently delivered from the prejudices of education
and fuperftitious imprefftons, could not fee the
leaft probability in the fcheme of the Fatalifts, on
which thefe gentlemen are pleafed to rely in a.
matter of the higheft importance ?

Will they confide in Mr. Hobbes ? has that phi-
lofopher faid any thing new ? does he bring any
ftronger forces into the field than the Epicureans
did before him ? will they derive their certainty
from Spinofa ? can fuch an bfcure, perplexed, un
intelligible author create fuch certainty, as leaves
no doubt or diftnrft ? If he is indeed to be under-
ftood, what does he allege more than the ancient
Fatalifts have done, that fhould amount to demon
ftration \

Befides, if, as they pretend, they are eftablifhed
beyond pofiibility of deception in the truth of their
maxims, why are they fo very fond of thofe au
thors, that let up any new doctrine ? and why do
they embrace with fo much pieafure their new
fchemes of irreligion ? They are very glad to hear
of any great ' genius, that can invent frefti argu
ments to ftrengjben their opinions ; and does not
this betray a fecret diffidence, that demands fur
ther light and confirmation ?

But further; fince thefe gentlemen fhow fo
much induftry in propagating their opinions, and
are fo fond of making prolelytes to atheifm ; fince
they affe<5r. a zeal in countenancing, applauding,
and preferring, thofe whom they have delivered
from religitus prejudices, and reformed and ^-


fined with their free, large, and generous princi
ples; how comes it to pafs, that they neglect to
inform and improve their neareft relations? Are
they careful to hr'ruct their wives and daughters,
that they need n^t revere the imaginary phantom
of a God ; that religion is the creature of a timor
ous and fuperftitious mind, or of crafty priefts,
and cunning politicians ; that, therefore, they arc
free from ail reftraints of virtue and confidence,
and may proftitute their perfuns in the mod licen
tious manner, without any remorfe, or uneafy re
flection ; that it is idle to fear any. divine punilh-
ment hereafter ; and as to the fhame and diuV>nour
that may attend the liberties they take, in cafe
they become public, that fcandal proceeds from
the grofs mifta ; .es of people perverted with reli
gion, and mhguided by a belief of a Divine Being,
and of rewards and punifhments in an imaginary
life after this

Do they take pains to inform their eldeft fons,
that they owe them no gratitude or obedience ;
that they may ufe an uncontrolled freedom in in
dulging all their appetites, paffions, and inclina
tions ; that, if they are willing to poffefs their fa
ther's honour and eftate, they may, by poifon or
the poignafd, take away his life : and, if they are
careiul to avoid the punifhment of the magiftrate,
by their fecret conduct, they may be fully fatis-
fied of the innocence of the action ; and as they
have done themfeives much good, fo they have
done their father no injury, and therefore may
enjoy in perfect tranquillity the fruits of their
parricide ? Whatever they may affirm among their
loofe friends, 1 cannot conceive they can be guilty
of fo much f .lly, as to propagate thefe opinions in
their own families, and inftruct their wives and
children in the boundkfs liberties, which, by the
-principle* of atheifm, are their undoubted right ;
for in all actions, where religion does not inrer-
pofc and reftrain us, we arc perfectly, as has been
faid, free to ad; as we think bed for our profit and

Befides, to what a deplorable condition would
mankind be reduced, fhould thefe opinions be uni-
verfally embraced ! If fo many kings and jrotcn-
tates, who yet profefs their belief of a God, and of
rewards and punifhments in a life to come, do
notwithflanding, from boundlefs ambition and a
cruel temper, opprtfs their fubje&s at hoaie, and
ravage and deftroy their neighbours abroad, fhould
think themfeives free from all divine obligations,
and therefore too from the reftraints of oaths and
folemn contracts; thefe fences and fecurities re
moved, what a deluge of calamities would break
in upon the world . what, opprtffion, what vi -
lence, what rapine, whaf devaluation, would finifh
the ruin of human nature! f r, if mighty p:incts
, arc fatisfied that ft is imtoflible for them to do
' any wtong, what bounds are left to infatiable .
avarice and exorbitant thirft of power' if mo-'
narch> may, wi'hout che lead guilt, violate their
treaties, break their vows, betray their friends,
and facrificc their truth and honour at pleature to

their paffions, or their intereft, what trufl, what
confidence, d>uld be fupported between neighbour
potentates! and without this what confufion and
diffraction muft of ncceffity enfue !

On the other hand, if fubjcts were univerfally
atheiils, and looked on themfeives as under no
divine obligation to pay any du',y or obedience to
the fupreme magiftrate ; if they believed that,
when they took their oaths o/ allegiance, they
fwore by nothing, and invocated a power not in
being ; that therefore thofe oaths oblige them no
longer than they think it fafe, and for thtir inte-
reft, to break them ; fliould fuch principles obtain,
would not the throne* of princes be moft precari
ous would not ambition, revenge, refentmcnt, or
intereft continually excite fume or other to betray
or affault the lives of their fovereigns ? and why
mould they be biamed by the atheift for doing it ?
why are traitors, aflaffins, haters rf their princes,
and enemies to ther counrry, branded with the
odious names of ruffiai.s and villains,- if they lie.
under no obligations, to act other wile than they
do ?

Should confpirators, who affaffinate their lawful
fovereign, have the good fortune to make their
efcape, I afk the atheift, if he has in ths Jeaft an
ill opinion of theri f r being engaged in f'.ich an.
execrable undertaking? If he fays he ha.; not,
then the point is gained, and an atheift i- what J.
have nprefented. If he lays ha has, I iu j xt afk
him, why ? Let him tell me in what their guilt
confifts? Is ir in the breach of any divine l.uv ?
That csnnot be, for he owns none. Is it th > tranf-
gn.ffion of any human law ? Tell n\e what bMiga-
tioii he is under to obey any human lavvj" if no
divine law enforces fuch obedience. Does their
guilt confiil in the breach of their duty NFiheir
prince and their oaths of allegiance ? Stil! the fame
queftion recurs, what duty can a fubject owe to a
prince which divine laws do not conftifute and
determine ? and how can an oath of allegiance
bind but by virtue of fo;ne divine command, that
obliges Us not to vi ,late our vows?

By thi- it appears that an atheift muft be the,
worll of fubjects ; that his principles fubvei t the
thrones of princes, and undermine the foundations
of government and fociety, on which the happi-
nefs of mankind fo much depends; and therefore
it is not poffible to conceive how there can be a
greater diftutber of the public peace, or a greater
enemy to his prince and country, than a profcffed
athei , who propagates with zeal his deilrudive


I have proved, in the following poem, that no
hypothecs hitherto invented in favour of impiety
has the leaft ftrength or foliditv, no not the leaft
appearance of truth to recommend it. A man
muft be deferted of Heaven, and inflexibly har
dened, that cannot, or will not, fee the un-
reafonablenefs of irreligious principles. I demand
only a candid te.v.per in the reader, and a mind,
pleated trutn, and delivered from the preju
dices of atheiflical convex i'.ition,





THE defign of this work is to demonftrate the
exlftencc of a Divine Eternal Mind.

The arguments ufed for' this end are taken from
the various marks of wifdcm and artful contri
vance, which are evident to obfervaticn in the fe-
veral parts of the material world, and the 'faculties
t>f the human foul.

The firfi book contains the proof of a Deity,
from the inftances of defign and -choice, which
occur ia the ftru<5ture and qualities of the earth
y.nd fea.

The fecond purfues the proof of the fame pro-
pofition; THEUE is A GOD, from-thc celeftial mo
tions, and more fully from the appearances in the
Solax fyftem, and the air. . . >.*.-

- In the third, the objections which are brought
fcy atheiftical philofophers againft the hypothecs
in the two preceding books, are an-

^^ the fourth, is laid down the hypothecs of
the Atomifts or Epicureans, and other irreligious
philofophers, and' confuted. .

In the fifth, the doctrine of the Fatalifts, or Ari-
ftotelians, v/ha make the world to be eternal, is
confidered and fuhverted.

In the fixth, the argument of the two firft books
is refumed, and the; exiftence'of God demonftrated
from the prudence and art difcovered in the feve-
ral pans of the body of man.

In the feveiith, the fame deraonftration is car
ried on from the contemplation of the inftind?
in brute animals, and the faculties and operation*
of the foul of man. .

The book concludes with a recapitulation of
what has been treated of, and a 'hymn to lh.3
Creator of the World. < . .:



'Tli Argument.

The proportion. The invocation. The exigence of a God demonftrated, from the marts of wlf~
dom, choice, and art, which appear in the vifible world, and infer an intelligent and free caufe.
This evinced from the contemplation, I. of the earth. I. Its filiation, a. The cohefion of icd
parts, not to be folved hy any nypothcfis yet prodyced. 3. Its {lability. 4. Its ftructure, or the
order of its parts. 5. Its motion diurnal and annual, or elfe the motion of the fun in both thofs
refpect*. The caufe of thefe motions not yet accounted for by any philofophor. 6. Its outfide or
face ; the beauties and conveniencie* of it ; its mountains, lakes, and rivers. If. The exiftence of a
God proved from the marks and impreflions of prudence and defign, which appear in the fea. I Iti

its formation, a. The proportion of its part* in refpect ofc, the earthy. 3. Its fituation.
contexture of its parts. 5. Its brackifh or briny quality. 6. Its flux and reflux.

4. Tha

lain, -J
("wain, f
of the I

No more of courts, of triumphs, or of arms,
fao more of valour's force, or beauty *s ( charms*,
The themes, of vulgar lays, with julk difdain,
I leave unfung, the flocks, the amorous fwain
The pleafures of the land, and terrors


How abject, how inglorious 'tis to lie . : ...
Grovelling in duit and darknefs, when ion high
Empires immenfe, and rolling worlds of light,
To range fteir heavenly frenes, the mufe mvite!
1 meditate tofoar above the ikies,
To heights unknown, through ways entry 'd to


I would th' Eternal from hU works aflert,
And finjj the wonders of creating art.
. While I this unexampled talk efiay,
Pafs awful gulfs, and beat my painful way;
<>leftial Dove! divine afllftance bring,
$!iftain me on thy ftrong-extended wing,
That I may reach th' Almighty's facred throne,
And make his caufeltfs power, the caufc of all

things known.

Thoudo'l the full extent of nature fee,
And the wide realms of vafl immenfity :
Eternal Wifdom thou doft comprehend,
Rife to her heights, and to her depths defcend :
The Father's facred counfels thou canft tell,
"Who in his bofom didll for ever dwell.
Thou on the deep's dark face, immorcal (Jove 1
Thou with Almighty energy did ft move
On the wild waves, incumbent didll difplay
Thy genial wings, and hatch primeval day.
Order from thec, from thee diilinwlion came,
And all the beauties of the wond'rous frame.
Hence fcampt on nature we perfection tcdj
fair a th' idvain tii Eternal Mind.

Sec, through this vaft extended theatre
Of (kill divine what fhining marks appear !
Creating power is all around expreft,
The God difcover'd, and his care confeft.
Nature's high birth her heavenly beauties fhow*;
By every feature we the parent knoW.
Th' expanded fpheres, amazing to the fight !
Magnificent with ftars and globes of light,
The glorious orbs, which heaven's bright ho$


Th* imprifon'd fc-a, tha? reftlefs ebbs and flow's,
The fluctuating fields of liquid air,
With all the curious meteors hovering there,
And the wide regions of the land, proclaim
The Power Divine, thatrais'd the mighty frame.'
. What things foe'er are to an end referr'd,
And in-lheir motions Hill that end regard,
Always the fitnefs of the means refped,
Thefe as conducive choofe, and thofe reject,
Muft by a judgment foreign and unknown
Be guided to their end, or by their own ;
For to defign an end, and to purfue
That end by means, and have it ftill in view,-
Demands a qonfcioun, wife, reflecting caufe,
Which freely moves, and acts by rcafon'a laws;
That can deliberate, means elect, and find
Their due connection with the end defign'd.
And Cncc the world's wide frame docs not include
A caufe with fuch capacities endued;
Some other caufe o'er nature muft prefide,
Which gave her birth, and does her motions guide.
And here behold the caufe, which God \ve name,
The fource of beings, and the mindfupreme;
Whole perfect wifdorn, and whofe prudent Care,
With one confederate voice unnumbef'd worlds


See, how the earth has gain'd that very place,
"Which of all others in the boundlefs fpace,
Is moft convenient, and will heft conduce
To the wife ends requir'd for nature's ufe.
You, who the Mind and Caufe Supreme deny,
lJof oft his aid to form the world rely,
jVIufr. grant, had perfect wifdom heen employ'd
To find, through all th' interminable void,
A feat m< ft proper, and which beft became
The earth and fea, it muft have keen the fame.

Now who can this furprifing fad conceive,
Who this event fortuitous believe-,
That the brute earth, unguided, ihould embrace")
The oniy ufrful, only proper place
Of all rhe millions in the empty fpace ? j

Cou'd ftupid atoms with impetuous fpeed
33y di r i*:ent roads and adveife ways proceed;
3*rom regions opptofite begin their flight,
That here they might rencounter, here unite ?
"\Vhat charms could thefe terreftrial vagrants fee
In this one point of all immenfity,
That all th' enamour'd troops fhould thither flow ?
Did they its ufeful fituation know ?
And, when the fquadrons with a fwift career ~J
Had reach'd that point, why did they fettle/
.there, ,[nfair;f

"When nothing check'd their flight but gulfsj
Since Epicurus and his fcholars fay ")

That uuobftru&ed matter flies away, >

Ranges the void, arid knows not where to flay ? j
If you, fagacious fons of art, pretend ~\

That by their native force they did defcend, /
And cea.^'d to move, when they had gain'df
their end ; j

That native force -till you enlighten'd know,
Can its myfterious fpring difclofe, and fliovr
Hw 'tis exerted, how it does impel,
Your unir.ftru&ive words no doubts difpe.l.
We aik you, whence does motive vigour flow ?
You.- fay, the nature of the thing is fo.
33ut how does this relieve th' inquirer's, pain ?
Or how the dark impullive power explain ?

The Atormfts, who fluil mechanic teach,
"VVbo boaft their clearer fight, and deeper reach,"
Aflert their atoms took that hapj.y feat,
Determin'd thither by their inbred weight;
That downward- through the fpacious void they

ft rove

To that one point, from all the parts above.
Grant this .pofition true, though up and down
Are to a fpace not limited unknown ;
But fince they fay our earth from morn to morn
On its own axis is oblig'd to turn ;
That fwift rotation muft difperfe in air
All things, which on the rapid orb appear :
And if no power that motion fhould controul,
It muft disjoint and di.ilipatc the whole.
*Tis by experience wicontefted found.
Bodies orbicular, 'when .whirling round,
Still fhake off all things on their furface plac'd,
And to a diftance from the centre cait.

If pomleious atoms are fo much in love
With this one point, that all will thither mov~,
Give them the ikuati n .they .defire;
iSut let us rhen, yc fages next

What caufe of their cchefion can you find ;
What props fupport, what chains the fabric bind I
Why do not beads that move, or (tones that lie
Loofe on the field, through diftant regions fly?
Or why do fragments, from a mountain rent,
Tend to the earth with fuch a fwift defcent ?

Thofe who afcribe this one determin'd covrfe
Of ponderous things to gravitating force,
Refer us to a quality occult,
To fenfelefs wards, for which while they infult
With juft contempt the famous .itagyrite, /
Their fchools fhouid blefs the world with clearer


Some, che round earth's cohefion to fecure,.
For that hard tafk employ magnetic power.
Remark, fay they, the globe ; with wonder own
Its nature, like the fam'd attractive ftone.
This has its axis, fo th' obferver tells,
Meridians, pole-, asquator, parallels.
To the terreftrial poles by conftant fate
Th' obfequious poles themfelves accommodate,
And, when of this pofition difpoffeft,
They move, and ftrive, nor ever will they reft,
Till their lov'd lituation they regain,
Where plcas'd they fettle, and unmov'd remain.
And fhould you, fo experience does decide,
Into fmall parts the wondrous ftone divide,
Ten thoufand of minuteft fize exprefs
The fame propenfion, which the large poffefs.
Hence all the glebe ('tis faid) we may conclude
With this prevailing energy endued r
That this attractive, this furprifirg ftone
Has no peculiar virtue of its own ;
Nothing but what is common to the whole,
To fzdes, to axis, and to either pole.

The mighty magnet from the centre darts
This ftrong, though fubtle force, through aii the

parts ;

Its active rays, ejaculated thence,
Irradiate all the wide circumference.
While every part is in proportion bleft,
And of its due attractive power poffeft ;
Whiie adverfe ways the adverfe atoms draw
With the fame ftrength, by nature's conftant law
Balanc'd and fix'd; they can no longer move ;
Through gulfs immenfe no more unguided rove.
If cords are pull'd two adverfe ways, we fird
The more we draw them, they the fafter bind,
ijo when with equal vigour nature ftrains
This way and that theic fine mechanic chains,
They fix the earth, they part to part uni-e,
Prefcrve their ftru6lure, and prevent their flight,
Preffure, .they fay, and weight, we muft difown,
As things occulr, by no ideas kn<"wn,
And on the earth',* magnetic power depend ,
I'o fix its fear, its union to defend.

Let us this ram'd hypothcfis f rvey, "^

And with attentive thought remark the way, >
H.-.w earth's attractive parts their force difplay. j
The mafs, 'tis faid, from its wide hofom pours
Torrents of atoms, and eternal fhowers
Of fine magnetic darts, of matter made
So fubtle, marble they with cafe pervade :
Refin'd, and (next to incorporeal) thin.
Not by Aufonian glaffes to be feen.

c R E A- T i o N;

"' I

line? j

thefe emanations take their ccnflant flight
Swift from the earth, as from the fun the light;
To a determin'd diftance they afcend,
And there inflecSb their courfe, and downward

What can infult unequal reafon more,
Than this magnetic, this myfterious power ?
That cords and chains, beyond conception fmall,
Should gird and bind fo faft this mighty bail !
That a.dtive rays fhould fpring from every part,
And, though f<> fubtle, fhould fuch force exert 1
That the light legions fhould be fcnt abroad,
Range all the air, and travcrfe every road !
To ftated limits fhould excuriions make,
Then backward of thefnfelves their journey take ;
Should in their way to folid bodies cling,
And home to earth the captive matter bring;
Where all things on its furtace fpread are bound
By their coerfive vigour to the ground !
Can this be done without a Guide Divine ?
Should we to this hypothefis incline,
Say, dues not here confpitfuous wifdom fhine?
Who can enough magnetic force admire ?
TJoes it not counfel and defign require
To give the earth this wondrous energy,
In fuch a meafure, fuch a juft degree,
That it fhould ftill perform its deftin'd tafk,
As nature's ends and various ufesaflc?

For, fhould our globe have had a greater fbare
Of this ftrong force, by which the parts cohere,
Things had been bound by fuch a powerful chain,
That all would fix'd and motionlcfs remain ;
All men, like ftatues, on the earth would ftand.
Nor would they move the foot, or ftretch the hand ;
Birds would not range the Ikies, nor beafts the


Nor could the fifh divide the (liffer.'d floods.
Again, had this ftrange energy been lefs,
Defect had been as fatal as excefs.
For want of cement ftrong enough to bind
The ftruclure faft, huge ribs of rock, diijoin'd
Without an earthquake, from their bale would


A r nd hills unhing'd from their deep roots depart.
And, while our orb perform'd its daily race,
All beings, found upon his ample face,
Would, by that motion diflipated, fly
Whirl'd from the globe, and fcutter through

the fky :

They muft, obedient to mechanic laws,
Aflemble where the ftronger magnet draws;
Whether the fun that ftrorigcr magnet proves,
Or elfc fome planet's orb that nearer moves.

Who can unfold the caufe that does recall
Magnetic rays, and make them backward fall ?
If thefe .effluvia, which do upwarci tend,
Becaufe lels heavy than the air, alcend ;
Why do they ever from their height retreat,
And why return to feek thtir central feat?
From the fame caufe, ye i\n:s of art, declare
Can they by "turns ticfcend, and rife in air ?
Prodigious 'tis, that one attractive ray
.Should this way bend, the next an adverfe way;
For, fhould th' unit-en magnetic jetsdefcend
All the fame way, they could not gain their end ;

  • )

in, >

They could not draw and bind the fabric faft,
Unlefs alike they every part embrac'cl

How does Cartefius all his finews ftrain,
How much he laboursj and how much in vain,
The earth's attractive vigour to explain !
This bold contriver thus his thoughts conveys:
IncffTant ftreams of thin magnetic rays
Gufh from their fountains with impetuous force,
In either pole, then take an a.dyerfe courfe :
Thofe from the fouthern pole the northern feek ;
The fouthern thofe that from the northern break j
In either pole thefe rays emitted meet
Small poresj>rovided, for their figures fit ;
Still t*> and fro they circulating pafs,
Hold all the frame, and firmly bind the maR
Thus he the parts of earth from flight reftrains,
And girds itr faft by fine imagin'd chains.

But oh ! how dark is human reafoiWbund !
How vain the man with wit and learning crown'd *
How feeble all his ftrength when he effays
Td trace dark Nature, and detect her ways;
Unlefs he calls its Author to his aid,
Who every fecret fpring of motion laid,
Who over all his wondrous works prefides,
And to their ufcful ends their caufes guides !
Thefe paths in rain are by inquirers trod ;
There's DO philnfophy without a God.

Admir'd Cartefius, let the curious know,
If your magnetic atoms always flow
From pole to pole, what fcrm'd their double fource,
What fpurr'd, what gave them their inflected

courfe ?

Tell, what could drill and perforate the pclrs,
And to th' attractive rays adapt their holes ?
A race>fo long what prompts them to purfuc ?
Have the blind troops th* important end iu view I
How are they fure they in the poles ihall meet
Pores of a figure to their figure lit ?
Are they with fuch fagacity endued
To know, if this their, journey be purfucd,
They fhall the earth's conftruclure clofe'y bind,
And to the ceutre keep the parts confin'd ?

Let us review this whole magnetic fchcme,
Till wiler heads a wifer'model frame.
For its formation let fit atoms ft;art.
To one detcrmin'd point, from ev^ry part.
Encountering there from regions oppofite,
They clafh, and interrupt each other's flight;
And, rendezvoufing with an adverle coarfe,
Produce an eqiral poife, by equal force :
For while the parts by laws magnetic act,
And are at once atttacted, and attract;
While match'd in ftrength they keep the doubt-"

ful field,

And neither overcome, and neither yield,
To happy purpofe they their vigour i'pend ;
For thefe contentions in the balance end, '
Which muft in liquid air the globe fufpend.

Befidcs maf erials which arc brute and blind,
Did not this work require a knowing mind,
Who for the tafk fhould fie detachments choofe
From all the atoms, which their hoft diffufe
Through the wide regions of the boundle&


And for thtir rendezvous appoint the place ?
P p iiii


Who fhould conimand, by his almighty nod,
Thefe chi.fen trcop?, unconfcioua of the road,
Av.d unacquainted wirh th' appointed end,
Their marches to begin, and thither teud ;
Direct them all to take the neareft way,
Whence none of all th' unnumber'd millions ftray ;
Make them advance with fuch an equal pace, ">
From all the advrrfe regions of the fpace, (

That they at once fhould reach the deftin'df
place; J

f-houtd muftcr there, and rourd the centre (warm,
And draw together in a globoas form ?

Gram, that by mutual oppofition made J

0f advcrfe parts, their mutual flight is ftaid ; >
That thus the whole is in a balance laid ; j

Does it not all mechanic heads confound,
That troops of atoms, from all parts around,
Of equal number, and of equal force,
Should to this Cngle point direct their eourfe;
Thatfb the counter-prcffure every way, ^

Of equal vigour, might their motions flay,
And, by a fteady poife, the whole in quiet lay ?j
Befides, the ftru&ure of the earth regard : ~*
for firmnefs how is all its frame prepar'd ! /

"With what amazing fkill is the vaft building f
fear'd ! 3

M^tak arid veins of folid ftone are found
The chief materials which the globe compound.
See, how the hills, which high in air afcend,
From pole to pole their lofty lines extend.

Thefe flrong unfhaken mounds refift the (hocks
Of tides and feas tempeftuous, while the rocks,
That fecret in a Jong continued vein
Pafs through the earth", the pondcWus pile fnftaln :
Thefe mighty girders, which the fabric bind, ,
Thefe ribs robuft and vaft, in order join'd ;
Thefe fubterranean walls, difpos'd with art,
Such ftrength, and fuch ftability impart,
That ftorms above, and earthquakes underground, 1
Break not the pillars, nor th* work confound.

Give to the earth a form orbicular,
L,et it be pors'd, and hung in ambient air ;
Give it the fituation to the fan
Such as is only fit ; when this is dore,
Suppofe it flill rema : n'd a lazy heap ;
From what we grant, you no advantage reajj.
You either muft the earth from rell diHurb,
Or roll around the heavens the fo!ar orb.
Jilfe what a dreadful face will nature wear !
How horrid wifl thefc lonefome feats- appear f
<This ne'er woald fee one kind refreihing ray ;
That would be ruin'd, but u different way,
Condemn'd to light, and curs'd with endlefs day :
A cold Icelandian defert one would grow ;
One, like Sicilian furnaces, would glow.
That nature may this fatal error fliun,
Move, which will pleafe you beft, the earth or fun.
But, fay, from what great builder's magazines
YaiTU engines fetch, what ftrong, what vaft ma-
Will you employ to give this motion birth, [chines
And whirl > fwiftly round the fun or earth i
Yet, learned heads, by v.'hat mechanic laws
Will you of either orb this motion caufe ?
Why do they move? why in a circle? why
With- &ch a mcafui-e oi" velocity?

Say, why the earth if not the earth, the fun
Does through his winding road the zodiac' run?
Why do revolving orbs their tracks fublime-
So conftant keep-, that fmce the birth of time
They never vary'd their accuftom'd place,
Nor loft a minute in fo long a race ?
But hold ! perhaps I ruddy prefs too far ;
You are not vers'd in reafoning fo fevere.
To a fvrft queflion your reply's at hand ;
Afk but a fecond, and you fpecchlefs" ftand.
You fwim at top, and on the furfact? ftrive,*
But to the depths of nature never dive :
For if you did, inftructed you'd explore
Divine contrivance, and a God adore.
Yet fns of art one curious piece dcvife,
From wliofe conftructure motion fhall arile.
Machines, to all philofophers 'tis known,
Move by a foreign impulfe, not their own.
Then let Gaffendus choofe what frame he plea/e,
By which to turn the heavenly orba with eafe ;
Thofe orbs muft reft, till by th' exerted force
Of feme firft mover they begin their eourfe :
Mere dHfpofition, mere mechanic art,
C T an never motiofl to the globes impart ;
And, if they could, the marks of wife defigti
In that contrivance would xonfpicuous fhine.
Thefe queftions flill recur : we itill demand,
What moves them firft, and puts them oflfat hand f
What makes them this we way their race diredfc, ")
While they a thoufand other ways reje& ? ^

Why do they never onee their eourfe infie<9: ? J)
Why do they roll with fuch an equal pace,
AM to a moment ftill perform their race !
Why earth or fun diurnal ftages keep ?
In fpiral traek-s why through the zodiac creep ?
Who can account for this, unleis they fay
Thefe orbs th' Eternal Mind's command obey^
Who bad the'm move, did all their motions guide,
To each its deftin'd province did divide ;
Which to complete, he gave them motive power,
That fhall, as long as he does will, endure ?

Thys we the fram* of nature have expreft;
Now view the earth in finifh'd beauty dreft ;
The various fccnes, which various charms difpFay,
Through all th' extended theatre furvey.

See how fublime th* uplifted mountains rife,
And wirh their pointed heads invade the fkies !
How the high cliffs their craggy arms extend,
Diftingmfh ftates, and fever'd realms defend 1
How ambient fhores confine the reftiefs deep,
And in their ancient? bounds tlie billows keep J
The hollow vales their fmiling pride unfold ^
What rixrh abundance do their bofoms hold !
Regard their lovely verdure, ravifh'd view
The party-colour'd fitowers of various hue.
Not eaftern monarchs, on their nuptial day,-
In dazzling gold and purple fhine fo gay
As the bright natives of th' unlabcur'd field,
Uaverb'd hi fpinnirg, and in looms urfkill'd.
See, how the ripening fruits the gardens crown,
Imbibe the fun, and make his light their own !
See the fvveet brooks in filvcr mazes creep,
hnrich the meadows, and fupply the deep ;
While from their weeping urns the fountains flow,
And vital moifture, where ifcsy pafc,


narrow dream, and fpreading like,
The proud afpinng grovs, and humble brake :
How do the forefts and the woods delight !
How the glades and openings charm the fight!
Obferve the pkafant lawn and airy plain,
The fertile furrows rich with various prain ;
How ufeful all ! how all confpire So grace
Th' extended earth, and beautify her face !

Now, fee, with how much art thr parts are made?
With how much wifdom are the ftrata laid,
Of different weight, and of a different kind,
Of ftmdry forma, for funory ends dtfign'd !
Here in their beds the finifti'd minerals reft,
There the rich vrombs the feeds of gold digeft.
Here in fit moulds, to Indian nations known,
Are caft the feveral kinds of precious itonc ;
The diamond here, by mighty monarch* worn,
Fair as the ftar that beauti lies the morn ;
And.fplendid by the fun's embody'd ray,
The rubies there their crimfon light difplay ;
There marble's various colour'd veins are fpread;
Here of bitumen unuous ftores are bred.
What fkill on all its furface is beitow'd,
To make the earth for man a fit abode !
The upper moulds, with adive fpirits ftor r d,
And rich in verdant progeny, afford
The flowery pafture, and the fhady wood,
To men their phyfic, and to beafts their food.

Proceed ytt farther, and a profpedt take
Of the fwift ftrram. and of the ftanding lake.
Had not the deep been form'd, that might contain
All the colle&ed treafurei of the main,
The earth had ftill o'erwhelm'd with water flood,
To man an uninhabitable flood.
Yet had not part as kindly ftaid behind,
In the wide citterns of the lakes confin'd ;
Did not the fprings- and rivers drench the land,
Our globe would grow a wildernefs of fand ;
The plants and groves, the fame and favage beaft,
And man, their lord, would die with drought c-p-


Now, as you fee, the floating element
art loofe in ftreams, part in the ocean pent,
So wifely is difpos'd, as may conduce
To man's delight, or ncceffary ufe.

See how the mountains in the mid.l divide
The nobleft regions, that from either fide
The ftreams, which to the hills their currents")
owe, f

May every way along the valley flow,
And verdant wealth on all the foil beftow !
So Atlas and the mountains of the moon,
From north to fouth, in lofty ridges run
Through Afric realms, whence falling waters lave
Th' inferior regions with a winding wave.
They various rivers give to various foil,
Niger to Guinea, and to ./Egypt Nile.
So from the towering Alps on different fides,
Diffolving fnows defccnd in numerous tides,
Which in the vale beneath their parties join
To form the Rhone, the Danube, and the Rhine.
So Caucafius, afpiring Taurus fo,
And fam'd Inuiis, ever white wiih fnow,
Through eaftern climes their lofty lines extend,
" rtii; and that way ample currents fend,

A thonfartd rivers make their ereoked way,
And difembogue their floods into the fea ;
Whence fhould they ne'er hy focret roads retire
And to the hills, from whence they came, afpirc
They by their conftant frreams would fo increafst
The watery ftores, and raife fo high the feas,
That the wide hollflw would not long contain
Th' unequal treafures of the fwelling main ;
Scorning the mounds which now its tide withftatwf,'
The fta would pafs the f!iores,and drown the land.

Tell, by what paths, what fubterranean ways,"} *
Back to the fountain's head the lea conveys >
The refluent rivers, and the land repays ? }

Tcl^what fuperior, what controlling caqfe
Makes waters, in contempt of nature's laws,
Ciimb u]>, and pain th' afpiring mountains height,
Swift and forgetful of their native weight ?
What happy works, what engines under-ground
What inftruments of curious art are found,
Which mutt with eve/laftmg labour play,
Back to their fprings the rivers to convey,
And keep their correfpondence wich the fea ?

Perhaps you'll fay, their dreams the rivers ow
In part to rain, in part to melting fnow;
And that th* attracted watery vapours rife
From lakes and feas, and fill the lower Ikies :
Thefe when condens'd the airy region pours
On the dry earth in rain, or gentle fhowers 5
Th'mfinuating drops fink through the fand,
And t.afs the porous ftrainers of the land ;
Which frelh fupplies of watery riches brinj?
To every river's head, to ach exhaufted fpringj
The ftreams are thus, their lofles to repair.
Back to their fourcc tranfmitted to the air;
The waters ftill their circling courfe maintain,
Flow down in rivers, and return in rain ;
And on the foil with heat immoderate dry'd,
To which the rain's pure treafures are dcny'd.
The mountains more fublime in aether rife,
Transfix the clouds, and tower amic. he fkiet;,
The fnowy fleeces, which their heads involve,
Still ftay in part, and ftill in part diffolve;
Torrents and loud impetuous cataradh
Through roads abrupt, and rude unfafhirnM tra&s^
Roll down the lofty mountain's channoll'd fides,
And to the vale convey their foaming tides;
At length, to make their various currents one,
The congregated floods {ogether run ; [heai,

Thcfe coniluent fir earns make forae great river's
By ftores ftill melting and defcending fed ;
Thus from th* afpiring mountains of the moon
Diffblving treafures ruih in torrents down,
Which pafs the fun-burnt realms and fandy foil.
And blefs th' Egyptian nation with their Nile;
Then whafoe'er his fecret rife would know,
Muft clirnb the hills, and trace his head in fnow;-
And through the Rhine, the Danube, and the)


Ail ample rivers of our milder 2one,
While they advance along the flats and plains,
Spread by the (bowers augmented, and the rainj ;
Yet thefc their i'ource and firft beginning owe
To ftores, that from the Alpine mountains flow;
Hence, when the fuows in winter ceafe to weep,
Acd undifiblv'd their flaky texture keep,


The jbanks with cafe their humble firearm con

Which fwell in fummer, and thofe banks difdain.
Be this account allnw'd, fay, do not here
Th' impreffions of confummate art appear ?

In every ipacious realm a rifing ground,
Obfervers tell, is in the middle found ;
That all the ftream>, \vhich flow from either fide,
3VIay 'hrough the valleys unobftructed glide.
What*various kingdoms does the Danube lave,
Before the Euxine fea receives its wave !
How many nations of the fun-burnt foil
Fam'd Nrger blefs ! how many drink the Nile !
Through what vaft regions near the rifing fun
Does Indus, Ganges, and Hydafpes, run!
What happy empires, wide Euphrates, teem,
And pregnant grow by thy prolific ftream !
How many fpaci<*us countries does the Rhine,
In winding banks, and mazes ferpentine,
Traverfe, before he fplits in Belgia's plain,
And loft in fand creeps to the German main !
Floods which through Indian realms their courfe


That Mexico enrich, and wafh Peru,
With their unwearied ftreams yet farther pafs,
Before they reach the fea, and end their race.
And ftnce the rivers and the floods demand,
For their defcent, a prone and finking land,
Bocs not this due declivity declare
A wife director's providential care ?

See, how the ftreams advancing to the main
Through crooked channels draw their, cryftal train!
While lingering thus they in meanders glide,
They fcatter verdant life on either fide.
The, valleys fmile, and with their flowery face
And wealthy births confefs the floods embrace.
But this great blefling would in part be loft,
Nor would the meads their blooming plenty boaft;
Did unchtck'd rivers draw their fluid train
In Jines direct, and rapid feek the main.

The fea does next demand our view ; and there
No lefs the marks of perfect {kill appear.
When firft the atoms to the congrefs came,
And by their concourle form'd the mighty frame,
What did the liquid to th' affcmbly call,
Vo give their aid to form the ponderous ball ?
Firft, ttll us, why did any come ? next, why
Infuch a difproportion to the dry ?
Why were the moift in number fo outdone,
That to a thoufand dry, they are but one ?
When they united, and together clung,
When undiftinguiftx'd in one heap they hung,
How was the union broke, the knot unty'd ?
What did th' entangled elements divide ?
Why did the moift disjoin'd, without refpect
To their lefs weight, the low eft feat elect ?
Could they dilpenfe to lie below the land,
With nature's law, and unrepeal'd command ;
Which gives to lighter things the greateft height,
And feats inferior to fuperir weight ?
Did they forefee, unlels they lay io low, "~)

The reftiel's flood the land would overflow, >
By which the dclug'd earth would uielefs grow ? j
What r but a confcious agent, could provide
The fpacious hollow, where the waves rcfide ?

Where, barr'd with rock, and fenc'd with hills, ths?


Does in its womb the floating treafures keep ;
And all the raging regiments reftrain
In ftated limits, that the fwelling main
May not in triumph o'er the frontier ride,
And through the land licentious fpread its tide?
What other caufe the frame could fo contrive,
That, when tempeftueus winds the ocean drive,
They cannot break the tye, nor difunite
The waves which roll connected in their flight ?
Their bands, though? flack, no diffolutirtn fear, ~)
Th' unfever'd parts the greateft preflure bear, C
Though loofe, and fit to flow, they ftill cohere, j
This apt, this wife contexture of the fea,
Makes it the (hips driv'n by the winds obey ;
Whence hardy merchants fail from fhore to fhore,
Brrng Indian fpices home, and Guinea's ore.

When you wir h liquid ftores have filPd the deep,
What does the flood from putrefa&ion keep ?
Should it lie ftagnant in its ample feat,
The fun would through it fpread destructive heat.
The wife Contriver, on his end intent,
Careful this fatal error to prevent,.
And keep the waters from corruption free,
Mixt them with fait, and feafon'd all the fea.
What other caufe could this effect produce ?
The brackifli tincture through the main diffufe I
You, who to folar beams this talk affign,
To fcald the waves, and turn the tide to brine,
Reflect, that all the fluid ftores, which fleep
In the remoteft caverns of the deep,
Have of the briny force a greater ihare
Than thofe above, that meet the ambient air.
Others, but oh how much in vain ! erect
Mountains of fait, the ocean to infect.
Who, vers'd in nature, can defcribe the land,
Or fix the place on which thofe mountains ftand ?
Why have thofe rocks fo long unwafted ftood,
Since, laviflv of their ftock, they through the flood
Have, ages paft, their melting cryftal Ipread,
And with their fpoils the liquid regions fed ?

Yet more, the wife Contriver did provide, "}
To keep the lea from ftagnating, the tide ;
Which now we fee advance, and now fubfide. j
If you exclude this great Directing Mind,
Declare -what caufe of this effect you find.
You who this globe round its own axis drive,
From that rotarion this event derive :
You fay, the fea, which with unequal pace
Attends the earth in this its rapid race.
Does with its waves fall backward to the weft,
And, thence repell'd, advances to the eaft :
While this revolving motion does endure,
The deep muft reel, and rufh from more to fhore S
Thus to the fetting, and the rifing fun,
Alternate tides in ftated order run.
Th' experiments you bring us, to explain
This notion, are impertinent and vain :
An orb or ball round its own axi* whirl,
Will not the motion to a diftance huri,
Whatever duft or fand you on it phce,
And drops of water from its convex face *
If this rotation does the feas affect,
The rapid motion rather would


The ftores the low capacious caves contain,
And from its ample bafon caft the main ;
Aloft in air would make the ocean fly,
And dafh its fcatter'd waves againft the iky.

If you, to folve th' appearance, have refourfe
To the bright fun's or moon's impulfive force;
Do you, who call for demonftration, tell
Howdiftant orbs th' obedient flood impel ?
This ftrong myfterious influence explain,
By which, to i'well the waves, they prefs the main.
But if you choofe magnetic power, and fay
Thofe bodies by attraction move the lea ;
Till with new light you make this fecret known,
And tell us how 'tis by attra&ion done,
You leave the mind in darknefs ftill involvM,
Nor have you, like philofophers, refolv'd
The doubts, which we to reafoning men refer,
But with a cant of words abufe the ear.

Thofe who affert the lunar orb prefidet
O'er humid bodies, and the ocean guides ;
Whofe waves obfcquious ebb, orfwelling run,
With the declining or increafing moon ;
With i eafon fcem her empire to maintain,
As miftrefs of the rivers and the main-
Perhaps her active influences caufe
Th* alternate flood, and give the billow laws;

The waters feem her orders to obey\
And ebb and flow, determin'd by her fway.

Grant that the deep this foreign fovereign owHS f
That mov'd by her it this and that way runs :
Say, by what force fhe makes the ocean fvvcll;
Does fhe attract the waters, orimjiel ? .
How does fhe rule the rolling waves, and guide
By fixt and conftant laws the reftltfs ride?
Why does fhe dart her force to that degree,
As gives fo juft a motion to the fea,
That it fhould flow no more, no more retire,
Than nature's various ufeful ends require ?
A Mind Supreme you therefore muft approve,
Whofe high coTfcmand caus'd matter firft to

move :

Who ftill prefcrves its courfe, and, with refpe<5l
To his wife ends, all motions does diredt.
He to the filver moon this province gave,
And fixt her empire o'er the briny wave ;
Endued her with fuch juft degrees of power,
As might his aims and wife defigns procure,
Might agitate and work the troubled deep,
And rolling waters from corruption keep,
But not impel them o'er their bounds of fand,
Nor force the wafteful deluge o'er the land.


The Argument,

The introduction. The numerous and important bleffings of religion. The exiftencc of a God de-
monftrated, from fhe wifdom and dcfign which appear in the motions of the heavenly orbs ; but
more particularly^ the folar fyftem. I. In the fituation of the fun, and its due diftance from the
earth. The fatal confequences of its having been placed atherwiff than it is. II. In its diurnal
motion, whence the change of day and night proceeds : then in its annual motion, whence arife the
different degrees of heat ^and cold. The confinement of the fun between the tropics, not to be ac
counted f>-r by any philosophical hypothtfis. The difficulties of the fame, if the earth moves, and
the fun refts. The fp ing of the fun's motion, not to he explained by any irreligious philolophy*
The contemplation of the folar light, and the ufes made of it for the end propofed. The appear-,
ances in the lolar fyftem not t<> be folved, but by afftrting a God. The fyftems of Ptolemy, Co
pernicus, Tycho Brahe, and Kepler, ccnfidered Tbe folar fyftem described, and compared with
the fixed ftars, which are fuppofed centres of the like fyftems. Reflections on that comparison.
The hypothefis of Epicurus, in relation to the motion of the fun. Wifdom and dcfign difcovcred
in the air-; in its ufeful ftruclure, its elafticity, its various meteors; the wind, the rain, thunder, and
lightning. A fhort contemplation of the vegetable kind.

CARUS, by hardy Epicurus taught,
From Greece to Rome his impious fyftem brought ;
Then wni with heaven he did infulting wage,
And breath'd againft the gods immortal rage:
See, he txcUims, the foufce of all our woe !
Our fears and fufferings from religion flow

We grant, a rrain of nnlchiefs oft proceeds
From fnperl'itious rites and penal creeds;
But view religion in her native charms,
Difporfmg bieflings with indulgent armj

I From her fair eyes what heavenly rays are fpread,
What blooming joy? fmile round her blilsfui headi

Offspring divine ; by thee we bkf> the caue,
Who iorm'd the world, and rules it by his laws;
His independent being we adore,
Ex'ol his goodnefs, and revert his power ;
Our wondering eyes his high perfections view,
The lofty contemplation we purfue,
Till ravifh'd we the great idea find,
bhinuig in bright impreffions on our mind*


Infpir'd by thee, gueft of celeftial race,
With generous love, we human-kind embrace ;
We provocations unprovok'd receive,
Patient of wrong, and eafy to forgive;
Protect the orihan, plead the widow's caufe,
Nor deviate from the line unerring juflice draws.

Thy luftre, bleft. effulgence, can difpel
The clouds of error, and the gloom of hell;
(Can to the foul impart ethereal light,
Give life divine and intellectual fight;
Before our ravifiVd eyes thy beams difylay
The opening fcenes of blifs, and endlcfs day ;
By, which incited, we with ardour rife,
ijcorn this inferior ball,, and claim the Ikies.
, -. fywnts to thee a change of nature owe,
Diimiis their tortures, and indulgent grovr.
Ambitious conquerors in their mad carceiy
Check'd by thy voice, lay down the fwordand fpcar.
The^ boideft champions of impiety,
Scorn ittj of Hea en, fubdu'd or won by thee,
Before thy hallow'd altars bend the knee ;
Loofe wits, made wife, a public good become,
The fons of pride an humble mien affume ;
The profligate in morals grows fevere,
Defrauders juft, .and fycophants fmcere. . ; .; ;> - .,

With amorous language, and bewitching fmi!es,
Attra&ive airs, and all the lover's wiles,
The fair Egyptian Jacob's fon carefs'd,
Hung on his neckband languifh'd on hisbreaft ;
Courted with freedom now the beauteous fiave,
Now flattering fued, and threatening now did rave ;
But not the various eloquence of love,
fctor power enrag'd, could his fix'd virtue movei
See, aw'd by Heaven, the blooming Hebrew flies
Her artful tongue, and more perfuafive eyes ;
And, fpringing from her difappointed arms,
Prefers a dungeon to forbidden charms.

Stedfaft in virtue's and his country's caufe,
Th' illuftrious founder of the JewHh laws,
"Who, taught by Heaven, at genuine greatnefs


With worthy pride imperial olood difclaim'd ;
Th' alluring hopes of Pharaoh's throne fefign'd,
And the vain pleafures of a court declin'd ;
Pleas'd with ohfcure recefs, to cafe the pau
Of Jacob's race, and break their fervile chains
Such generous minds are iorm'd where bleft re
ligion reigns.

Ye friends of Epicurus, look around,
All nature view with marks of prudence crown'd :
]yiind the wife ends, which proper means promote ;
See hot? the different parts for different ufe are

wrought ;

Contemplate all this conduct and defign,
Then own and praife th' Artificer Divine.

Regard the orb fublime, in aether borne,
Which the blue regions of the ikies adorn ;
Compar'd with whofe extent this low-hung ball,
Shrtik to a point, is defpicably fmall :
Their number, counting thofe th' unaided eye
Can fee, or by invented tubes defcry,
With thofe which in the adverfe hemifphere,
Or near each pole to lands remote appear ;
The wideft flretch of human thought exceeds,
And in th' attentive mind amazement breeds;

UHS ; /
:ft re- f

While thefe fo numerous, and Co vaft of fize,
In various, ways roll through the tracklef* Ikies ;
Through crofiing roads perplex'd and intricate,
Perform their ftages, and their rounds repeat ;
None by collifion from their courfe are driven,
No fhocks, no conflicts, break the peace of heaven;
No fhatter'd globes, no glowing fragments fall,
No worlds o'erturn'dcrufn this terreftrial ball ;
In beauteous order all the orbs advance,
And in their mazy complicated dance,
Not in one part of all the pathlefs flcy,
Did any ever halt, or ftep awry.

When twice ten thoufand men depriv'd of fight ;
To fome wide vale direct their footfteps right;
Shall there a varioui figur'd dance effiy,
Move by juft fteps, and meafur'd time obey;
Shall croi's each other with unerring feet,
Never miftake their place, and never meet :
Nor (hall in many years the leaft decline
From the fame ground, and the fame winding line s
Then may in various roads the orbs above,
Without a guide, in perfect concord move ;
Then beauty, order, and harmonious laws,
May not require a wife Directing Caufe.

See how th' indulgent father of the day
At fuch due diftance does his beams difplay,
That he, his heat may give to fea and land,
In juft degrees,. as all their wants demand !
But had he, iri th' unmeafurable fpace
Of athef, chofen a remoter place ;
For inftance, pleas'd with that fuperior feat
Where Saturn, or where. Jove, th^ir courfe repeat;
Or had he happen'd farther yet to lie,
In the more diftant quarters of the flcy;
How fad, how wild, how exquifite a fcene
Of defolation, had this planet been !
A wa'fteful, cold, untrodden wilderhefs,
The gloomy haunts of horror and diftrefs :
Inftead of wdods, which crown the mountain's


And the gay honours of the verdant mead ;
In Head of golden fruits, the garden's pride,
By genial Ihow'rs and folar heat fupply'd ;
tcelandian cold, and Hyperborean fnows,
Eternal froft, with ice that never flows,
Unfufferable winter, had defac'd
Earth's blooming charmt.and made a barren wafte :
No mild indulgent gales would gently bear,
On their foft wings, fvveet vapours through the air,
The balmy fpoils of plants and fragrant flowers,
Of aromatic gioves, and myrtle bovvers,
Whofe odoriferous exhalations fan .
The flame of life, and recreate beafl; and man ;
But ftorms, ev'n worfc than vex Norwegian waves,.
That breed in Scythia's hills, or Lapland caves,
Would through this bleak terreftrial defart blow,
Glaze it with ice, or whelm it o'er with fnow.

Or had the fun, by like unhappy fate,
Elected to the earth a nearer feat,
His beams had cleft the liill, the valley dry'd,*
Exhal'd the lake, and draiu'd the briny tide :
A heat lupcrior far to that which broils
Borneo, or Sumatra, Indian ifles ;
Than that which ripens Guinea's golden ore ?
Or burns the Lybian hind, or tans the Moorj


Had laid all nature wafte, ar.d turn'd the land

To hills of cinders, and to vales of fahd ;

No beafts could then have rang'd the leaflefs wood,

Nor finny nations cut the boiling flood :

Birds had not beat the airy road, the fwains

No flocks had tended on the ruffet plains.

Thus, had the fun's bright orb been more remote,

The cold had kill'd ; and, if more near, the


Next fee, Lucretian fages, fee the fun
His courfe diurnal and his annual run.
How in his glorious race he moves along,
Gay as a bridegroom, as a giant ftrong :
How his unvary'd labour he repeats,
Returns at morning, and at eve retreats;
And by the diftribution of his light,
Now give's to man the day, and now the night ;
Night, when the drowfy fwain and traveller ceafe
Their daily toil, and foothe their limbs with

cafe ;

When all the weary fons of woe reftrain T

Their yielding cares \Vith (lumber's filken cha^i, >
Solace fad grief, and lull reluctant pain. j

And while the fun, ne'er covetous of reft.
Flies with fuch rapid fpeed from e'a.1 to weft,
In tracks oblique he through the zodiac rolls,
Between the northern and the fouthern poles :
From which revolvipg progrefs through the fkics,
The needful feafons of the year arifc.
And as he now advances, now retreats,
Whence winter colds proceed, and fummer beats,
He qualifies and cheers the air by turns,
Which winter freezes, and which fummer burns.
Thus his kind rays the two extremes reduce',
And keep a temper fit for nature's ufe.
The froft and drought, by this alternate power,
The earth's prolific energy reftore.'
The lives of man and beail demand the change ;
Hence fowls the air, and fifh the ocean, range.
Of heat and cold this jufl fucceflive reign,
Which does the balance of the year maintain ;
The gardener's hope and farmer's patience props,
Gives vernal verdure and autumnal crops. ;

Should but the fun his duty once forget,
Nor from the north, nor from the fouth retreat :
Should not the beams revive, and footh the foil,
Mellow the furrow for the ploughman's toil ;
A teeming vigour fhould they not diffufc,
Ferment the glebe, and genial fpirits loofe,
Whith lay imprifon'd in the ftifFen'd ground,
Congeal'd with cold, in frofty fetters bound ;
Unfruitful earth her wretched fate would rriourn,
No grafs would clothe the plains, no fruit the tree


But did the lingering orb much longer ftay,
Unmindful of his courfe, and croaked way ;
The earth, of dews defrauded, would deleft
The fatal favour of th' effulgent gueft;
To diftant worlds implore him to repair,
And free from noxious beams the fulfry air;
His rays productive now of wealth and joy,
Would then the pafture and the hills annoy, (
And with too great indulgence would deftroy : j
la vain the labouring hind would till the land,
Turn up th gkbe, and fow his feed in fand - t

The meads would crack, in want of finding dews,
The channels would th' exhaling river lofe :
While in their haunts wilds bea^s expiring lie,
The panting herds would on the pafture die.
But now the fun at neither tropic ftay*
A longer time than his alternate rays
n fuch proportion heat and luftre give,
As do not ruin nature, but revive.

When the bright orb, to folace fouthern feats.
Inverts his courfe, and from the north retreats*
As he advances, his indulgent beam
Makes the glad earth with frefh conceptions teem;
Reftores. their leafy honours to the \voods,
Flowers to the banks, and freedom to the floods;
Unbinds the turf, exhihtates the plain,
Brings back his labour, and recruits the fwain ;
Through all the foil a genial ferment fpreads,
Regenerates the plants, and new adorns the meads.
The birds on branches ptrch'd, or on the wing,
At nature's verdant reftoration fing,
And with melodious lay falute the fpring.

The heats of fummer benefits produce
Of equal number, and of equal ufe :
The fprouting births, and beauteous vernal bloom.
By warmer rays to ripe perfection come ;
Th' auftere and ponderous juices they fublime,
Make them afcend the porous foil, and climb
The orange-tree, the citron, and the lime ;
Which, drunk in plenty by the thirfty root,
Break forth ia painted flowers, and golden fruit :
They explicate the leaves, and ripen food
For the (ilk-labourers of the mulberry wood ;
And the fweet liquor on the cane beftow,
From which prepar'd the lufcious fugars flow ;
With generous juice enrich the fprcading vine,
And in the grape digeft the fprightly wine.
The fragrant trees, which grow by Indian floods,
And in Arabia's aromatic woods,
Owe all their fpiccs to the fummer's heat,
Their giuntny tears, and odoriferous fweat.
Now the bright fun compads the precious ftone,
Imparting radient luftre, like his own :
He tinctures rubies with their rofy hue,
And on the fapphire fpreads a heavenly blue;
For the proud monarch's dazzling crown pre

Rich orient pearl, and adamantine ftars.
Next autumn, when the fun's withdrawing ray
The night enlarges, and contracts the day,
To crown his labour to the farmer yields
The yellow treafures of his fruitful fields :
Ripens the harveft for the crooked fteel,
( While bending ftalks the rural weapon feel ;)
The fragrant fruit for the nice palate fits,
And to the prefs the fwelling grape fubmits.

At length, forfaken by the folar rays,
See, drooping nature fickens and decays;
While winter all hh faowy (lores difplays,
In hoary triumph unmolcfted reigns
O'er barren hills, and bleak untrodden plains;
Hardens the glebe, the fhady grove deforms,
Fetters the floods, and (hakes the air with ftorms.
Now adive fpnhs arc reftrain'd with cold,
And prifons, cramp'd with ice, the genial captive*


The meads their flowery pride no longer wear,
Arid trees extend their naked arms in air;
The frozen furrow, and the fallow field,
Nor to the fpade, nor to the harrow, yield.

Yet in their turn the fnows and frofts produce
Various effects, and of important ufe.
Th' intemperate heats of fummer are controll'd
By winter's rigour, and inclement cold,
Which checks contagious fpawn,and noxious fleams,
The fatal offspring of immoderate beams ;
Th* exhaufted air with vital nitre fills,
Infection flops, arid deaths in embryo kills ;
Conftrains the. glebe, keeps back the hurtful weed,
And fits th furrow for the vernal feed.
The Ipirits now, as faid, imprifon'd flay, ~)

Which elfe, by warmer fun-beams drawn away, >
Would roam in air, and diffipated flray. ^ j
Thus art the winter frofts to nature kind,
IYo::S, which reduce exceflive, heats, and bind
Prolific ferments in refifllefs chains,
"Whence parent earth her f-ruitfulnefs maintains.
To compafs all thefe happy ends, the fun
In winding tracks does through the zodiac run.

You, who fo much are vers'd in caufes, tell,
What from the tropics can the fun repel ?
What vigorous arm, what repercufiive blow,
Bandies the mighty globe flill to and fro,
Yet with fuch conduct:, fuch unerring art,
He never did the tracklef* road defert ?
Why does he never in his fpiral race
The trcpics or the polar 'circles pafs ? [trol

What gulfs, what mounds, what terrors can con.
The rufhing orb, and make him backward roll ?
Why fhould he halt at either flation ? why
>Iot forward run in unobftructive iky ?
Can he not pafs an aftronomic line ?
-Or does he dread th* imaginary fign ;
That he fhould ne'er advance to either pole,
>Jor farther yet in liquid zether roll,
Till he has gain'd iome unfrequented place
Loft to the world in vaft unmeafur'd fpace ?

If to the old you the new fchools prefer,
And to the fam'd Copernicus adhere ;
If you efteem that fuppofition beft,
Which moves the earth, and leaves the fun at reft ;
With a new veil your ignorance you hide,
Still is the knot as hard to be unty'd ;
You.change your fcheme,but the old doubts remain,
And ftill you leave th' inquiring mind in pain.

This problem, as philofophers, refolve :
What makes the globe from weft to eaft revolve ?
What is the ftrong impulfive caufe, declare,
Which rolls the ponderous orb fo fwift in air ?
To your vain aniwer will you have recourfe,
And tell us 'tis ingenite, active force,
Mobility, or native power to move,
Words which mean nothing, and can nothing prove ?
That moving power, that force innate explain,
Or your grave anfwcrs are abfurd and vain :
We no folution of our que:iion find ;
Your words bewilder, not direct the mind.

If you, this rapid motion to procure,
For the hard tafk employ magnetic power;
Whether that .power you at the centre place,
'Or in the middle regions of the mafs,


Or elfe, as fome philofophers affert,

You give an equal fhare to every part ;

Have you by this the caufe of motion fhown ?

After explaining, is it not unknown ?

Since you pretend, by reafon's ftricteft laws,

Of an effect to manifeft the caufe;

Nature, of wonders fo immenfe a field,

Can none more ftrange.none more myfterious yield t

None that eludes fagacious reafon more

Than this obfcure, inexplicable power.

Since you the fpring of motion cannot (how,

Be jufi:, and faultlefs ignorance allow ;

Say, 'tis obedience to th' Almighty nod,

That 'tis the will, the power, the hand of God.

Philofophers of fpreading fame are found,
Who by th' attraction of the orbs around
Would move the earth, and make its courfe obey
The fun's and moon's inevitable fway.
Some from the preffure and impelling force
Of heavenly bodies would derive its courfe ;
Whilft in the dark and difficult difpute
All are by turns confuted, and confute ;
Each can fubvert th' opponent's fcheme, but none
Has ftrength of reafon to fupport his own.

The rnind employ 'd in fearch of fecret things,
To find out motion's caufe and hidden fprings,
Through all th' ethereal regions mounts on high,
Views all the fpheres, and ranges all the fky ;
Searches the orbs, and penetrates the air
With unfnccefsful toil, and fruiclefs care ;
Till, ftopp'd by awful heights, and gulfs immenfe
Of wifdom, and of vaft omnipotence,
She trembling (lands, and docs in wonder gaze,
Loft in the wide inextricable maze.

See, how the fun does on the middle fhine,
And round the globe defcribe th' asquator line ;
By which wife means he can the whole furvey
With a direct, or with a flanting ray,
In the fucceffion of a night and day.
Had the north pole been fix'd beneath the fun,
To fouthern realms the day had been unknown :
If the fouth pole had gain'd that nearer feat,
The northern climes had met as hard a fate.
And fince the fpace, that lies on either fide
The folar oib, is without limits wide ;
Grant that the fun had happen'd to prefer
A feat afcanr but one diameter,
Loft to the light by that unhappy place
This globe had lain a frozen, lonefome mafs.

Behold the light emitted from the fun,
What more familiar, and what more unknown!
While by its fpreading radiance it reveals
All nature's face, it ftill itfelf conceals.
See how each morn it does its beams difplay,
And on its golden wings bring back the day !
How foon th' effulgent emanations fly
Through the blue gulf otinterpofing fky !
How foon their luftre all the region fill?,
Smiles on the vallies, and adorns the hills!
Millions of miles, fo rapid is their race,
To cheer the earth, they in few moments pafs.
Amazing progrefs ! At its utmoft ftretch,
What human mind can this fwift motion reach ?
But if, to fave fo quick a flight, you fay
The ever- rolling orb's impulfive ray


On the next threads and filaments does bear
"Which form the fpringy texture of the air,
That thofe ftill ftrike the nex^, till to the fight
The quick vibration propagates the light ;
'Tis ftill as hard, if we this fchcme believe,
The caufe of light's fvvift progref.* to conceive.

With thought from prepnffcflion free, reflect
On folar rays, as they the fight rcfpect.
The beams of light had been in vain difplay'd,
Had not the eye been fit for vifion made :
In vain the author had the eye prepar'd
With fo much ikill, had not the light appear'd.

The old and new aftronomers in vain
Attempt the heavenly motions to explain.
Firft Ptolemy his fcheme celeftial wrought,
And of machines a wild provision brought :
Orbs centric and eccentric he prepares,
Cycles and epicycles, folid fpheres,
In order plac'd and with bright globes inlaid,
To folve the tow'rs by heavenly bodies made.
But fo perplex'd, fo intricate a frame,
The latter ages with derifion name.
The comets, which at feafons downward tend,
Then with their flaming equipage afcend ;
Venus, which in the purlieus of the fun
Does now above him, now beneath him, run ;
The ancient ftructure of the heavens fubvtrt,
Rear'4 with vaft labour, but with little art.

Copernicus, who rightly did condemn
This eldeft fyftem, form'd a wifer fchcme;
In which he leaves the fun at reft, and rolls
The orb terreflrial on its proper poles ;
Which makes the night and day by this career,
And by its flow and crooked courfe the year.
The famous Dane, who oft the modern guides,
To earth and fun their provinces divides :
The earth's rotation makes the night and day ;
The fun revolving through the th' ecliptic way
Effects the various feafons of the year,
Which in their turn for happy ends appear.
This fcheme or that, which pleafes bcft, embrace,
Still we the fountain of their motion trace.

Kepler afferts thefe wonders may be dune
By the magnetic virtue of the fun,
Which he, to gain his end, thinks fit to place
Full in the centre of that mighty fpace,
Which does the fpheres, where planets roll, include,
And leaves him with attractive force endued.
The fun, thus feated, by mechanic laws,
The earth and every diftant planet draws;
By which attraction all the planets, found
Within his reach, are turn'd in sether round.

If all thefe rolling orbs the fun obey,
Who holds his empire by magnetic fvvay ?
Since all are guided with an equal force,
Why are they fo unequal in their courfe ?
Saturn in thirty years his ring completes,
Which fwifter Jupiter in twelve repeacs.
Mars three and twenty months revolving fpends;
The earth in twelve her annual journey ends.
Venus, thy race in twice four months is run ; }
For his, Mercurius three demands ; the moon >
Jier revolution finifhes in one. j

If all at once are mov'd, and by ortf fpring,
Why fo unequal ib their annual ring ?

If fome, you fay, prefs'd w'th a por.derdus load
Of gravity, move flower in their road,
Becaufe, with weight incumber'd and oppreft
Thefe fluggifh orbs th' attractive fun refift ;
Till you can weight and gravity explain,
Thofe words are infignificant and vain.
If planetary orbs the fun obey,
Why fhould the moon difown hisfovereign fway *
Why in a whirling eddy of her own
Around the globe terreftrial fhould fhe run ?
This difobedicnce of the moon will prove
The fun's bright orb does not the planet move.

Philofophers may fpare their toil ; in vain -\
They form new fchemes,and rack their thought*/

ful brain,

The caufe of heavenly motions to explain : j

After their various unfuccefsful ways,
Their fruitlefs labour, and inept effiys,
No caufe of thofe appearances they'll find,
But power exerted by th' Eternal Mind ;
Whicji through their roads the orbs celeftial drivei,
And this or that determin'd motion gives.
The Mind Supreme does all his worlds controul,
Which by his order this and that way roll;
Fro ( m him they take ft delegated force,
An'd by his high command maintain their courfe ;
By laws decreed e'er fleeting time begun,
In their fix'd limits they their ftages run.

But if the earth, and each erratic world,
'Around their fun their proper centre whirl'd,
Compofe but one extended vaft machine,
And from one fpring their motions all begin ;
Does not fo wide, fo intricate a frame,
Yet fo harmonious, fovercign arc proclaim ?
Is it a proof of judgment to invent
A work of rpheres involv'd, which reprefent
The fituation of the orbs above,
Their fize and number fbow, and how they move 3
And does not in the orbs themfelves appear
A great- contrivance, and defign as clear?

This wide machine the univerfe regard,
With how much fkill is each apartment rear'd !
The fun, a globe of fire, a glowing mafs,
Hotter 'than melting flint, or fluid glafs,
Of this our fyftem holds the middle place.
Mercurius, neareft to the central fun,
Does in an oval orbit circling run ;
But rarely is the object of our fight
In folar glory funk, and more prevailing light.
Venus the next, whofc lovely beams adorn
As well-the dewy eve, as opening morn,
Does her fair orb in beauteous order turn.
The globe terreftrial next, with flanting poles,
And all its ponderous load, unwearied rolls.
Then we behold bright planetary Jove
Sublime in air through his wide province move;
Four fccond planets his dominion own,
And round him turn, as round the earth the


Saturn, revolving in the higheft fphere,
With lingering labour finifhes his year.

.Yet is this mighty fyftem, which contains
So many worlds, fuch vaft sethereal plains,
But one of thoufands, which compofe the whole,
Perhaps as glorious, and of worlds as fall.



The ftars, which grace the, high expanfion, bright
jBy their own beams, and uriprecarious light,
Though fome near neighbours feem, and fome dif-


United luftre in the millcy way,
At a vaft diftance from each other He,
Sever'd by fpacious voids of liquid flcy.
All thefe illuftrious worlds, and many more,
"Which by the tube aftronomers explore ;
And millions which the glafs can ne'er defcry,
Loft in the wilds of vaft immen(hy ;
Are funs, are centres, whofe fuperior fway
planets of various magnitude obey.

If we with one clear comprehenfive fight
Saw all thefe fyftems, all thefe orbs of light ;
If we their order and dependence knew,
Had all their motions and their ends in view,
With all the comets which in ZEther ftrny,
Yet conftant to their time and to their way ;
"Which planets feem, though rarely they appear,
Rarely approach the radiant fun fo near,
That his fair beam* their atmofphere pervade,
Whence their bright hair and flaming train* are

made ; ;

Would not this view convincing marks impart
Of perfeft prudence, and ftupendous art ?

The mafters form 'din Newton's famous fchool,
Who does the chief jn modern fcience rule,
JEreet their fchemtfs by mathematic laws,
And folve appearances with juft applaufe :
Thefe, who have nature's fteps with care pur&ed,
That matter is with active force endued,
That all its parts magnetic power exert,
And to each other gravitate, affert-
While by this power they on each other acjt,
They are at 6nce attracted, and attract.
JLefs bulky matter therefore muft obey
JMore bulky matters more engaging fway ;
By this the fabric they together hold,
jBy this the courfe of heavenly orbs unfold.
Yet thefe fagacious fons of fcience own
Attractive virtue is a thing unknown^
This wondrous power, they pioufly affert,
Th' Almighty Author did at firft imparf'
To matter in degrees, that might produce
The motions he defign'd for nature's ufe. :

But, left we fhould not here due reverence pay
To learned Epicurus, fee the way
By which this, of fuch high renown,
JMoves through th' ecliptic road the rolling fun.
Oppreft with thirft and heat, to adverfe feats
By turns, fays he, the painting fun retreats
To flake his drought, his vigour to repair
In fnowy climes, and frozen fields of air ;
Where the bright glutton revels without reft
On his cool banquet, and aerial feaft;
Still to and fro he does his light convey ~\

Through the fame track, the fame unalter'd way, C
On luxury intent, and eager of his prey. j

' But if the fun is back and forward roll'd,
To treat his thirfly orb with polar cold,
Say, is it not, good Epicurus, flrange
He fbottld not once beyond the tropic range,
Where he, to quench his drought fo much inclin'd,
May fnowy fields, and nitrous paflurss findj

Meet (lores of cold fo greedily purfuM,
And be refrefh'd with never-wafting food ?

Sometimes this wondrous man is pleas'd t
This way and that ftrong blafts the fun convey :
A northern wind his orb v ith vigour drives,
Till at the fouthern tropic it arrives;
Then, wanting breath, and with his toil oppreft,
He drops his wings, and leaves the air at reft ;
Frefh gufts, nowfpringing from the fouthern pole,
Aflault him there, and make him backward roll.
Thus gales alternate through the zodiac blow
The failing orb, and waft him to and fro;
While Epicurus, bleft with thought refin'd,
Makes the vaft 'globe the paftime of the wind.

Were it not idle labour to confute
Notions fo wild, unworthy of difpute ;
I'd of the learned Epicurus afk,
If this were for the winds a proper taflc ?
Illuftrious fage, inform th* inquirer, why
Still from one ftated point of all the &y
The fickle meteor (hould the fun convey
Through the fame ftages of his fpiral way ?
Why in ore path, why with fuch equal pace,
That he fhould never mifs in all his race,
Of time one minute, or one inch of fpace

Remark the air's tranfparent element,
Its curious ftrui&ure, and its vaft extent :
Its wondrous web proclaims the loom divine;
Its threads, the hand that drew them out fo fine.
This thin contexture makes its bofom fit
Celeilial heat and luftre to tranfmit;
By which of foreign orbs the riches flow
On this dependent, needy ball below.

Obferve its parts link'd in fuch arfful fort,
All are at cnce fuppnrted, and ftippoft :
The column pois'd fits hovering on our heads,
And a foft burden oh our fhoulders fpreads;
So the fide-arches all the weight fuftain,
We find no preffure, and we feel no pain ;
Still are the fubtile firings in tenfion found,
Like thofe of lutes to juft proportion wound,
Which of the air's vibration i the fource,
When it receives the ftrokes of foreign force.

Let curious minds, who would the air infpect.
On its elaftic energy reflect.
The fecret force through all the frame difTusV,
By which its firings are from compreffion loos'dj
The fpungy parts, now to a fliaiter feat
Are forc'd by cold, and widen'd now by heat j
By turns they all extend, by turns retire,
As nature's various fervices require ;
They now expand to fill an empty fpace,
Now fhrink to let d ponderous body pafs.
If raging winds invade the atmofphere, *)

iTheir force its curious texture cannot tear,
Make no disruption in the threads of air ; J

Or if it docs, thofe parts themfelves reftore,
Heal their own wounds, and their own breaches
cure. ' '

Hence the melodious tenants of the flcy,
Which haunt inferior feats, or foar on high,
With eafe through all the fluid region ftray,
And through the wide expanfion wing their way;
Whofe open me flies let terreftrial ft earns
Pafs through, entic'd a^vay by folar beams;



And thus a road reciprocal difplay

To riling vapours, and defcendiug day.

Of heat and light, what ever-during ftores,
Brought from the fun's exhauftlefs golden fhores,
Through gulfs immenfe of intervening air,
Enrich the earth, and every lofs repair !
The land, its gainful traffic to maintain,
Sends out crude vapours, in exchange for rain ;
The flowery garden, and the verda'nt mead, T
Warm'd by their rays, their exhalations fpread,V
In (howers and balmy dews to be repaid ; j

The ftreams, their banks forfaken, upward move,
And flow again in wandering clouds above :
Thefe regions Nature's magazines on high
With all the (lores demanded there fupply ;
Their different ftcams the air's wide bofom fill,
M6ift from the flood, dry from the barren hill;
Materials into meteors to be wrought,
Which back to thefe terreftrial feats are brought,
By Nature (hap'd to various figures, thofe
The fruitful rain, and thefe the hail cumpofe,
The fnowy fleece, and curious froft-work ; thefc
Produce the dew, and thofe the gentle breeze :
Some form fierce winds, which o'er the mountain


And beat with vigorous wings the valley's face;
O'er 'the wide lake and barren defart blow,
O'er Libya's burning fand, and Scythia'a fnow ;
Shake the high cedar, through the foreft fwcep,
And with their furious breath ferment the deep.

This thin, this foft contexture of the air
Shows the wife Author's providential care,
Who did the wondrous ftru&ure fo contrive,
That it might life to breathing creatures give ;
Might reinfpire, and make the circling mafj .
Through all its winding channels fit to pafs.
Had not the Maker wrought the fpringy frame
Such as it is, to fan the vital flame,
The blood, defrauded of its nitrous food,
Had cool'd and languifh'd in th* arterial road :
While the tir'd heart had ftrove with - fruitlcfs

To pufh the lazy tide along the vein.

Of what important ufe to human kind,
To what great ends fubfervient, is the wind \
Behold, where'er this active vapour flies,
It drives the clouds, and agitates the Ikies :
This from ftagnation and corruption fares
Th' aerial ocean's ever-rolling waves.
This animals, to fuccour life, demand ;
For, mould the air unventilated ftand,
The idle deep corrupted would contain
Blue deaths, and fecret ftores of raging pain ;
The fcorching fun would with a fatal beam
Make all the void with births malignant teem,
Engender jaundice, fpotted torments breed,
And purple plagues, from peftilential feed ;
Exhaling vapours would be turn'd to fwarms
Of noxious infedb, and deftru&ive worms,
More than were rais'd to fcourge tyrannic luft,
By Mofeii' rod, from animated duft.

Another blefling, -which the breathing wind
Benevolent conveys to human kind,
Is, that it cools ami qualifies the air,
And with foft breezes docs the rejiious cheer,

n which the fun o'er-friendly does difplay
Heat too prevailing:, and redundant day.
c fwarthy nations of the torrid zone,
low well to you i=> this great bounty known !
s frequent gales from the wide ocean rife
o fan your air, and moderate your flues ;
o conftant winds, as well as rivers, flow
'rom your high hills enrich'd with ftores of fnow;
or this great end, thefe hills rife more fublimc
"han thofe erected in a temperate clime.
lad not the Author this provifion made,
Jy which your air is cool'd, your fun allay'd,
Deftroy'd by too intenfe a flame, the land
lad lain a parch'd inhofpitable fand.
hefe diftridts, which between the tropics lie,
Which fcorching beams directly darted fry,
Were thought an uninhabitable feat,
Surnt by the neighbouring orb's immoderate heat :
5ut the frelh breeze, that from the ocean blows,
rom the wide lake, or from the mountain fnovvs,
So fooths the air, and mitigates the fun,
So cures the regions of the fultry zone,
That oft* with Nature's bleflings they abound,
Frequent in people, and with plenty crown'd.

As aclivc winds relieve the air and land,
The leas no lefs their ufoful blafts demand :
Without this aid, the Aiip would ne'er advance
Along the deep, and o'er the billow dance,
But lie a lazy and a ufclefs load,
The foreft's wafted fpoils, the lumber of the flood,
Let but the wind with an aufpicinus gale,
To (hove the veflel, fill the fpreading fail,
And fee, with fwelling canvafs wing'd, fhe flies,
And with her waving llreamers fweeps the ikies!
Th' adventurous merchant thus purfues his way
Or to the rife, or to the fall of day.
Thus mutual traffic fever 'd realms maintain,
And manufactures change to mutual gain ;
Each other's growth and arts they fell and buy,
Eafe their redundance, and their wants fupply.

Ye Britons, who the fruit of commerce find,
How is your ille a debtor to the wind,
Which thither wafts Arabia's fragrant fpoils,
Gems, pearls, and fpices, from the Indian ifles,
From Perfia filks, wines from Iberia's fhore,
Peruvian drugs, and Guinea's golden orel
Delights and wealth to fair Augufta flow
From every region whence the winds can blow.

See, how the vapours congregated rear
Thei* gloomy columns and obfcure the air I
Forgetful of their gravity, they rife,
Renounce the ctntre.and uftirp the fkies,
Where, form'd to clouds, they their black lines dif

And take their airy march, as winds convey.
Sublime in air while they their courfe purfue,
They from their fable fleeces {hake the dew-
On the parch'd mountain, and with genial rain
Renew the foreft, and refrefti the plain :
They fhed their healing juices on the ground,
Cement the crack, and clofe the gaping wound,
Did not the vapours, by the folar heat
ThinnM and exhal'd, rife to their airy feat,
Or not in watery clouds colle&cd fly,
Then form'd to ponderousjrops defat the Iky:


The fields w.oulo! no recruits of moifture find,
Jjut, by the fun-beams dry 'd, and by the wind,
Would never plant, or flower, or fruit, produce,
Or for the beaft, or for his matter's ufe.

But in the fpacious climates, which the rain
t)oes never blefs (fuch is th' Egyptian plain),
With how much art is that defect fupply'd !
See, how fome noble river's fwelling tide,
Augmented by the mountains' melting fnows,
Breaks from its banks, and o'er the region flows !
Hence fruitful crops and flowery wealth enfue, "*)
And to the fwain fuch mighty gains accrue, >
He ne'er reproaches Heaven for want of dew. j

See, and revere, th' artillery of heaven,
Drawn by the gale, or by the tempeft driven !
A dreadful fire the floating batteries make,
O'erturn the mountain, and the foreft (hake.
This .way and that they drive the atmofphere,
And its wide bofom from corruption clear,
While their bright flame confumes the fulphur


And noxious vapours, which infe5l oar veins.
Thus they refine the vital element,
Secure our health, and growing plagues prevent.

Your contemplation farther yet purfue ;
The wondrous world of vegetables view!
Obferve the foreft oak, the mountain pine,
The towering cedar, and the humble vine,
The bending willow, that o'erfhades the flood,
And each fpontaneous offspring of the wood !

The oak and pine, which high from eatffh arifey
And wave their lofty heads amidft the fkies,
Their parent earth in like proportion wound,
And through crude metals penetrate the ground ;
Their ftrong and ample roots defcend fo deep
That fixt and firm they may their ftation keep,
Arid the fierce fhocks of furious winds defy,
With all the outrage of inclement flcy.
But the bafe brier and the noble vine
Their arms around their ftronger neighbour twine.
The creeping ivy, to prevent its fall,
Clings with its fibrous grapples to the wall.
Thus are the tree* of every kind fecure,
Or by their own, or by a borrow'd power.
But every tree from all its branching roots
Amidit the glebe fmall hollow fibres fhoots;
Which drink with thirfty mouths the vital juice,
And to the limbs and leaves their food diffufe :
Peculiar pores peculiar juice receive,
To this deny, to that admittance give.

Hence various, trees their various fruits produce,
Some for delightful tafte, and fome for ufe.
Heftce fprouting plants enrich the plain and wood.
For phyfic fome, and fonie defign'd for food.
Hence fragrant flowers, with different colours dy'd,
On fmiling meads unfold their gaudy pride.

Review thefe numerous fcenes, at once furvcy
Nature's extended face ; then, fceptics, fay,
In this wide field of wonders can you find
No art difcover'd, and no end defign'd ?


Tte Argument.

The introduction. tJfeful knowledge firft purfued by mat). Agriculture. Architecture. Sculpt'ufe.
Painting. Mufic. The Grecian philofophers firft engaged in ufeleffffpeculations. The abfurdity of aflert-
ing the felf-exiftent, independent, and eternal being uf atoms, according to the fcheme of Epicurus.
Anfwer to the objections of atheifts to the fcheme of creation afferted in the two former books. The
bje6lions brought by Lucretius againft creation, from the neeeffity of pre-exiftent matter for the
formation of all kinds of beings; from the pretended unartful contrivance of the world; from thorns,
briers, and noxious weeds ; from favage beads, ftorms. thunder, difeafes ; from the painful birth and
the fhort life of man ; from the inequality of heat and cold in different climates ; anfwered. The
objections of the Pyrrhoniaus, or Sceptics, anfwered. A reply o thofe who aflert all things owe
their being and their motions to nature. Their different and fenfelefs account of that word. More
apparent and eminent fkill and wifdom expreffed in the works of nature than in thofe of humaji art.
The unreafonablertefs of denying fkill and defcgn in the author of thofe works. Vaninus, Hobbes,
and Spinofa, ccmfidered.

JElRE vain philpfophy had rear'd her fchool,
Whefe chiefs irnagin'd realms of fcience rule,
With idle toil form vifionary fchemes,
And wage eternal war for rival dreams;
"fctudious of good, man difregarded fame,
And ufeful knowledge was his eldeft aim :
Through metaphyfic wilds he never flew,
Nor the dark haunts of fchool chimasras knew,
$ttt had alone his hap pinefs in view.

He mi&'d the lowing herd, he prefc'd the


Folded the flock, nd fpun the woolly fleece.
In urns the bees delicious dews he lay'd,
Whofe kindling wax in vented day difplay'd;
Wrefted their iron entrails from the hills,
Then with the fpoils his glowing forges fills ;
And fhap'd with vigorous ftrokes the ruddy te
To rural arais> unsonfcious yet of war.


Me made the ploughfhare In the furrow fliine,
Andlearn'd to fow his bread, and plant his vine.
JNow verdant fond adorn'd the garden beds,
And fruitful trees (hot up their branching heads ;
Rich balm from groves, and herbs from grafly

His fever footh'd, or heal'd his wounded veins.

Our fathers next, in architecture flcill'd,
Cities for ufe, and forts for fafety build :
Then palaces and lofty domes arofe,
Thefe for devotion, and for pleafure thofe.
Their thoughts were next to artful fculpture turn'd,
Which now the palace, now the dome adorn'd.
The pencil then did growing fame acquire, "^
Then was the trumpet heard, and tuneful lyre, /
One did the triumph fing, and one the war in-f
fpire. J

Greece did at length a learned race produce,
Who needful icience mock'd, and arts of ufe,
Confum'd their fruitlefs hours in eager chafe
Of airy notions, through the boundlefs fpace
Of fpecuhtion, and the darkfome void,
Where wrangling wits, in endlefs ftrife employ'd,
Mankind with idle fubtiltics embroil,
And faftiion fyfteros with romantic toil;
Thefe with the pride of dogmatizing fchools
Impos'd on nature arbitrary rules ;
Forc'd her their Vain inventions to obey,
And move as learned frenzy trac'd the way :
Above the clouds while they prefum'd to foar^
Her tracklefs heights ambitious to explore,
And heaps of undigcfted volumes writ,
lllufive notions of fantaftic wit ;
bo long they Nature fearcn'd, and mark'd her laws,
They loft the knowledge of th' Almighty caufe.

Th' erroneous dictates of each Grecian fage
Renounc'd the doctrines of the eldcft age.
Vet thefe their matchlcfs fcience did proclaim,
Ufurp diftindion, and appropriate fame.

But though their fchools produc'd no nobler fruit
Than empty fchemes, and triumphs of difpute ;
The notions which arife from Nature's light
As well adorn the mind, as guide her right,
Enlarge her compafs, and improve her fight.
Thefe ne'er the breaft with vain ambition fire,
But banifh pride, and modeft thoughts infpire.
By herinform'd, we hleft religion learn,
Its glorious object by her aid difcern ;
The rolling worlds around us we furvey,
Th' alternate fovereigns of the night and day ;
View the wide earth adorn'd with hil.s and woods,
Rich in her herds, and fertile by her floods ;
Walk through the deep apartments of the main,
Afcend the air to vifit clouds and rain ;
And, while we ravifh'd gaze on Nature's face,
Remark her order, and her motions trace,
The long coherent chain of things we find
Leads to a Caufe Supreme, a wife Creating Mind.

You, who the being cf a God difclaini,
And think mere chance produc'd this wondrous

frame ;

Say, did you e'er reflect, Lucretian tribe,
To matter what perfections you afcribe ?
Can you to ciuft fuch veneration fliow ?
A atom wi:h fuch privilege endow,

That from its nature's pure neeeffity
It fliould exift, and no corruption fee ?

Since your firft atoms independent are,
And not each other's being prop and bear,
And fince to this it is fortuitous
That others fhould exiftencc have ; fuppofe
You in your mind one atom fliould remove
From all the troops, that in the vacant ftrovfc,
Cannot our thought conceive one atom lefs ?
If fo, you Grecian fages muft confefs
That matter, which you independent name,
Cannot a being necejlary claim ;
For what has being from neceflity,
It is impoflible it fhould not be.

Why has an atom this one place pofTeft
Of all the empty void, and not the reft ?
If by its nature's force 'tis prefent here,
By the fame force it muft be eTery where ;
Can beings be confin'd, which neceffary are ?
If a firft body may to any place
Be not determin'd, in the boundlefs fpace,
'Tis plain, it then may abfent be from all ;
Who then will this a felf-exiftence call ?
As time does vaft eternity regard,
So place is with infinitude compar'd :
A being then, which never did commence,
Muft, as eternal, likewife be immehfe.
What caufc within, or what without, is found,
That can a being uncreated bound ?
None that's internal, for it has no caufe;
Nor can it be controll'd by foreign laws,
For then ic clearly would dependent be
On force fuperior, which will ne'er agree
With felf-exiftence and neceffity;
Abfurdly then to atoms you aflign
Such powers, and fuch prerogatives divine.
Thus while the notion of a God you flight,
Yourfelves (who vainly think you reafoii right)
Make vile material Gods, in number infinite.

Now let us, as 'tis juft,in turn prepare
To ftand the foe, and wage dcfenfive war.
Lucretius firft, a mighty hero, fprings
Into the field, and his own triumph fmgs.
He brings; to make us from our ground retire,
The reaibner's weapons, and the poet's fire.
The tuneful fophift thus his battle forms
Our bulwarks thus in polifh'd armour ftorms :

To parent matter things their being owe,
Becaufe from nothing no productions flow ;
And, if we grant no pre-exiftent fred,
Things, different things, from what they

might breed,

And any thing from any thing proceed ;
The fpicy groves might Scythia's hills adorn,
The thiftle might the amarauth have borne,
The vine the lemon, and the grape tht thorn ;
titrds from the hills, men, from the feas mig


From woods the whales, and lions from the fkie,
Th' elated bard here, with a conqueror's air,
Difdainful (miles, and bids his foes defpair.
But, Carus, here you ufe poetic charms,
And not a (Tail us with the reafoner's arms.
Where all is clear, you fancy'd doubts remove,
And what we grant with cafe, with labour provc$



What you would prave, but cannot, you decline ;
But choofc a thinjr you can, and there you ihine.

Tell us, fam'd Roman, was it e'er denied,
That feeds for fuch productions are fupplied ?
Thar Nature always muft materials find
For beafts and trees, to propagate their kind?
.All generation, the rude peafant knows,
A pre-exiftent matter muft fuppofe.
But what to Nature firft her being gave ?
Tell, whence your atoms their exiftence have ?
We afk you, whence the feeds constituent fpring
Of every plant, and every living thing ?
Whence every creature ftiould produce its kind,
And to its proper fpecies be confin'd ?
To anfwer this, Lucretius, will require
More than fweec numbers and poetic fire.

But fee how well the poet will fupport
jHis caufe, if we the argument retort.
If chance alone could manage, fort, divide,
And, beings to produce, your atoms guide ;
If caiual concourfe did the world compofe,
And things from hits fortuitous arofe;
Then any thing might come from any thing ;
For how from chance can conftant order fpring ?
The foreft oak might bear the blufhing rofe,
And fragrant myrtles thrive in Ruffian fnows ;
The fair pomegranate might adorn the pine,
The grape the bramble, and the floe the vine ;
Filh front the plains, birds from the floods might

And lowing herds break from the ftarry flues.

But, fee, the chief does keener weapons choofe,
Advances bold, and thus the fight renews :

" If I were doubtful of the fource and fpring
" Whence things arife, I from the ikies could


ct And every part of nature, proofs, to {how
" The world to gods cannot its being owe ;
" So full of faults is all th' unartful frame :
" Firft we the air's unpeopled defert blame.
" Brute beafts poflefs the hill, and fliady wood ;
" Much do the lakes, but more the ocean's flood
<* ( Which fevers realms, and fhores divided leaves)
** Take from the land by interpofing waves ;
" One third, by freezing cold and burning heat,
" Lies a deform'd, inhofpitable feat;
" The reft, unlabour'd, would by nature breed
* Wild brambles only, and the noxious weed,
*' Did not induftrious man, with endlcfs toil,
'** Extort his food from the reluctant foil ;
<c Did not the farmer's fteel the furrow wound,
^ And harrows tear the harveft from the ground,
" The earth would no fpontaneous fruits afford
" To man, her vain imaginary lord.
c Oft', when the labouring hind has plough'd the

" field,

" And forc'd the glebe unwillingly to yield,
*' When green and flowery nature crowns his hope
*' With the gay promife of a plenteous crop,
" The fruits (fad ruin :) perifti on the ground,
" Burnt by the fun, or by the deluge drown'd ;
** Or foon decay, by fnows immoderate chill'd,
* ' By winds are blafted, or by lightning kill'd.
' Nature, befides, the favage beaft fuftains,

Breeds ia the hills the terror of the plains,

To man a fatal race. Could this be fo,
Did gracious gods difpofe of things below ?
Their proper plagues with annual feafons comey v
And deaths untimely blaft us in the bloom.
Man at his birth (unhappy fon of grief!)
Is helplefs cad on the wide coafte of life,
" In want of all things whence our comforts flow;
A fad and moving fpe&acle of woe.
Infants in ill-prefaging cries complain,
As confcious of a coming life of pain, [grants,
All things mean time to beafts kind Nature
Prevents their fufferings, and fupplies their
" wants ; [and feed,

" Brought forth with eafe, they grow, and fkip,
" No dangling nurfe, or jingling gewgaw, need ;
" In caves they lurk, or o'er the mountains range,
" Nor ever through the year their garment change ;
" Unvers'd in arms, and ignorant of war,
" They need no forts, and no invafion fear ;
" Whate'er they want, from Nature's hand they

" gain;
" The life flie gave, flie watches to maintain."

Thus impotent in fenfe, though ftrong in rage,
The daring Roman does the gods engage ;
But undifmay'd we face th' intrepid foe,
Suftain his nnfet, and thus ward the blow.

Suppofe defects in this terreftrial feat,
That nature is not, as you urge, complete ;
That a divine and wife Artificer
Might greater wonders of his art confer,
And might with eafe on man, and man's abode,
More bounty, more perfection, have beftow'd ;
If in this lower world he has not Ihown
His utmoft {kill, fay, has he therefore none ?
We in productions arbitrary fee
Marks of perfe&ion, different in degree.
Though mafters now more {kill, now lefs impart,
Yet are not all their works the works of art ?
Do poets ftill fublimer fubje&s fmg,
Still ftretch to heaven a bold afpiring wing,
Nor e'er defcend to flocks and labouring fwains,
Frequent the floods, or range the humble plains ?
Did, Grecian Phidias, all thy pieces (hine
With equal beauty ? or, Apelles, thine ?
Or Raphael's pencil never choofe to fall ?
Say, are his works transfigurations all ?
Did Buonorota never build, O Rome,
A meaner ftructure, than thy wondrous dome ?
Though, in their works applauded as their beft,
Greater defign and genius are expreil,
Yet is there none acknowledg'd in the reft ?
In all the parts of Nature's fpacious fphere
Of art, ten thoufand miracles appear :
And will you not the Author's {kill adore,
Becaufe you think he might difcover more ?
You own a watch th' invention of the mind,
Though for a fingle motion 'tis dcfign'd,
As well as that, which is with greater thought,
With various fpi ings, for various motions wrought.

An independent, wife, and confcious caufc,
Who freely acts by arbitrary laws,
Who at connexion and at order aims,
Creatures diftinguifti'd in perfection frames.
Unconfcious cauies only ftill impart
heir utmoft {kill, their utmoft power exert.


Thofc, winch can freely choofe, difcern, andy

know, (.

In acting can degrees of vigour (how, f

And more or lefs of art or care bellow. J

If all perfection were in all things fhown,
All beauty, all variety, were gone.

As this inferior habitable feat
By different parts is mad* one whole complete ;
So our low world is only one of thofe,
Which the capacious univerfe compofe.
Now to the univerfal whole advert ;
TJie earth regard as of that whole a part,
In which wide frame more noble worlds abound ;
Witnefs, ye glorious orbs, which hang around,
Ye fhiniRg planets, that in aether dray,
And thou, bright lord and ruler of the day !
Witnefs, ye dars, which beautify the fkies,
Haw much do your vad globes in height and fize,
In beauty and magnificence outgo
Our ball of earth, that hangs in clouds below !
Between yourfelves too is.diftin&ion found,
Of different bulk, with different glory crown'd ;
The people, which in your bright regions dwell,
Mud this low world's inhabitants excel ;
And, fince to various planets they agree, ^

They from each other mud didinguifli'd be, >
And own perfections different in degree. 3

When we on fruitful Nature's care refledt,
And her exhaudlefs energy refpecl,
That docks this globe, which you Lucretians call
The world'* coarfe dregs, which to 'the bottom

fall, *

With numerous kinds of life, and bounteous fills
With breathing gueds the vallies, floods, and


We may pronounce each orb fudains a race
Of living things adapted to the place.
Were the refulgent parts and mod refin'd
Only to ferve the dark and bafe defign'd ?
Were all the dars, whole beauteous realms of


At didance only hung to fhine by right,
And with their twinkling beams to pleafe our

fight ?

How many roll in aether, which the eye
Could ne'er, till aided by the glafs, defcry ;
And which no commerce with the earth maintain!
Are all thofe glorious empires made in vain ?

Now, as I laid, the globe tcrredrial view,
As of the whole a part, a mean one too.
Though 'tis not like th' aethereal worlds refin'd,
Yet is it jud, and finifh'd in its kind ;
Has all perfection which the place demands,
Where in coherence with the red it (lands.
Were to your view the univerfe difplay'd,
And all the fcenes of nature open laid ;
Could you their place, proportion, harmony,
Their beauty, order, and dependence, fee,
You'd grant our globe had all the marks of art,
AU the perfection due to fuch a part,
Though not with ludre, or with magnitude,
Like the bright dars, or brighter fun, endued.

Yqu oft* declaim on man's unhappy fate; ~\
Infulting, oft' demand in this debate,
If the kind gods could fuch a wretch create ? 3


But whence can this unhappinefs arife ?
You fay, as foon as born, he helplefs lies,
And mourns his woes in ill-prefaging cries.
But does not Nature for the child prepare
The parent's love, the nurfe's tender care,
Who, of their own forgetful, feck his good,
Enfold his limbs in bands, and fill his veins with

i food?

That man is frail and mortal, is coqfeft ;
Convulfions rack his nerves, and cares his bread ;
His flying life is chas'd by ravening pains,
Through all its doubles in the winding veint;
Within himfelf he Cure dedru&ion breeds,
And fecret torment in his bowels feeds ;
By cruel tyrants, by the favage bead,
Or his own fiercer pailions he's opprcft ;
Now breathes malignant air, now poifon drinks ;
By gradual death, or by untimely, finks.

But thefe objectors mud the caufe upbra.54
That has not mortal man immortal made ;
For, if he once mud feel the fatal blow,
Is it of great importance when, or how ?
Should the Lucretian lingering life maintain
Through numerous ages, ignorant of pain,
Still might the dif contented murmurer cry,
Ah, haplefs fate of man ! ah, wretch, doom'd once

to die !

But oh ! how foon would you, who thus complain,
And Nature's caufe of cruelty arraign,
By reafon's dandard this midake correct,
And ceafe to. murmur, did you once reflect,
That death removes us only from our (eat,
Does not extinguidi life, but change its date.
Then are difplay'd (oh ravifhing furprife !)
Fair fcenes of blifs, and triumphs in the fkies ;
To which admitted, each fuperior mind,
By virtue's vital nergy refin'd,
Shines forth with more than folar glory bright,
And, cloth'd with robes of beatific light,
His hours in heavenly tranfports does employ,
Young with immortal bloom from living dreams of


You afk us, why the foil th thidle breeds ? *)
Why its fpontaneous births are thorns and {

weeds ? f

Why for the harveft it the harrow needs ? 3
The Author might a nobler world have made, V
In brighter drefs the hills and vales array'd, V
And all its face in flowery fcenes difplay'd : j
The glebe untill'4 might plenteous crops have


And brought forth fpicy groves indead of thorn;
Rich fruit and flowers, without the gardener's pains.
Might every hill have crown'd, have honour'd all

the plains :

This nature might have boaded, ha4 the mind,
Who form'd the fpacious univerfe, defign'd
That man, from labour free as well as grief,
Should pafs in lazy luxury his life.
But he his creature gave a fertile foil,
Fertile, but not without the owner's toil;
That fome reward his indudry fhould crown,
And that his food in part might be his own.
But while, infulting, you arraign the land,
Afk why it want* the plough, or labourer's b*nd.



Kipd to the marble rocks, you ne'er complain

That they without the fculptor'sfkill and pain

No perfect ftatue yield, no baffe relieve,

Or finifh'd column for the palace give ;

Yet if from hills unlabour'd figure* came,

Man might have eafe enjoy'd, though never fame.

You may the world of more defects upbraid,
That other works by Nature are unmade;
That fhe did never at her own expence,
A palace rear, and in magnificence
Out-rival art, to grace the ftately rooms ;
That fhe no caftle builds, no lofty domes,
liad Nature's hand thefe various werks prepar'd,
What thoughtful care,wfcat labour had been fpar'd !*
But then no realm would one great matter fho\y,
No Phidias Greece, and Rome no Angelo.
With equal reafon too you might demand,
Why boats and fh?ps require the artift's hand ?
Why generous Nature did not thefe provide
To pate the {landing lake, or flowing tide ?

You fay the hills, which high in air arife,
Harbour in clouds, and mingle with the ikies,
The earth's difhonour and encumbering load, -\
Of many fpacious regions man defraud, t

For beafts and birds of prey a delolate abode. \
But can th' objedlor no convenience find -|

In 'mountains, hills, and rocks, which gird and/
bind f*

The mighty frame, that elfe would be disjoin'd ? j
Do n^t thofe heaps the raging tide reftrain,
And for the dome afford the marble vein ?
Does not the river from the mountain flow,
And bring down riches to the vale below ?
See how the torrent rolls the golden fand
From the high ridges to the flater land.
The lofty lines abound with endlefs {lore
Of mineral treafure, and metallic ore ;
With precious veins of filver, copper, tin,
Without how barren, y how rich within !
They bear the pine, the oak and cedar yield,
To form the palace, and the navy build.

When the inclement meteors you accufe.
And afk if gracious God would ftorms produce ;
You ne'er reflect, that by the driving wind
The air fromLnoxious vapours is refin'd;
Freed from the putrid feeds of pain and death,
That living creatures might not, by their breath,
Through their warm veins, inftead of vital food,
Difperfe contagion, and corrupt their blood.
Without the wind, the fhip were made in vain,*y
Adventurous merchants could not crofs the/
main, r"

Nor fever'd realms their gainful trade maintain.J

Then with this wife reflection you difturb
Your anxious thought, that our terrcftrial orb
In many parts is not by man poffeft,
With too much heat, or too much cold, oppreft.
But in miftake you this objection found :
iJnnumber'd ifles and fpacious traces of ground,
Which feel the fcorching fun's direcler beam,
And did to you inheritable feem,
With tawny nations, or with black, abound,
With noble rivers lav'd, with plenty crewn'd ;
And regions too from the bright orb remote
Are peopled, which you unfic<jutm?tf t

But conld Lucretius on the fun reflet,
His proper diftancc from the earth refpect,
Obferve his conftant road, his equal pace,
His round diurnal, and his annual race ;
Could he regard the nature of the light, J

Its beauteous luftre, and its rapid flight,
And its relation to the fenfe of fight; ; j|

Could he to all thefe miracles advert,
And not in all perceive one ftroke of art ?
Grant, that the motions of the fun are fuch,
That fome have Hght too little, fome too much :
Grant, that in different tracts he might have roH'd,
And given each clime more equal heat and cold i
Yet view the revolutions, as they are,
Does there no wifdom, no defign appear ?
Could any but a knowing, prudent Cauie
Begin fuch motions, and affign fuch laws ?
If the Great Mind had form'd a different frame a
Might not your wanton wit the fyftem blame ?
Though here you all perfection fhould not find,
Yet is it all th' Eternal Will defign'd :
It is a finifh'd world, and perfect in its kind.
Not that its regions every charm include,
With which celeftial empires are endued ;
Nor is confummate goodnefs here conferr'd,
If we perfection abfolute regard ;
But what's before afierted, we repeat,
Of the vaft whole it is a part complete.

But fince you are difpleas'd the partial fur^
Is not indulgent to the frigid zone ;
Suppofe more funs in proper orbits roll'd,
Diffolv'd the fnows, and chas'd the polar cold
Or grant that this revolv'd in fuch a way,
As equal heat to all he might convey,
And give the diftant poles their fharc of day ;
Obfervfc how prudent Nature's icy hoard,
With all her nitrous ftores, would be dcvour'd ;
Then would unbalanc'd heat licentious reign,
Crack the dry hill, and chap the ruffet plain ;
Her moifture all exhal'd, the cleaving earth
Would yield no fruit, and bear no verdant birth.

You of the pools and fpacious lakes complain,^
And of the liquid defer ts of the main,
As hurtful thefe, or ufelefs, you arraign. j,

Betides the pleafure which the lakes afford,
Are not their waves with fifh delicious ftor'd ?
Does not the wide capacious deep the flcy
With dewy clouds, the earth with rain, fupply ?
Do not the rivers, which the valley lave,
Creep through the fecret fiibterranean cave,
And to the hills convey the refluent wave ?
You then mufl own, the earth the ocean needs,
Which thus the lake recruits, the fountain feeds*

The noxious plant, and favage animal,
Which you the earth's reproach and blemifh cal! }
Are ufeful various ways ; if not for food,
For manufactures or for medicine good.
Thus we repel with reafon, not evade,
The bold objections by Lucretius made.

Pyrrhonians next, of like ambitious aim,
Wanton of wit, and panting after fame,
Who drove to fink the fects of chief renown.
And on their ruin'd fchools to raife their own
Boldly prefum'd, with rhetorician pride,
Tc hold of any quefllon cither fide,


life divine, ^
1*8 line, f

lent life, like f

They thought, in every fubject of debate,
In either fcale the proof of equal weight.

Afk, if a God exiftent they allow ?
The vain declaimers will attempt to fhow,
That, whether you renounce him, or affert,
There's no fuperior proof on either part.
Suppofe a God, we muft, fay they, conclude
He lives ; if fo, he is with fenfe endued ;
And, if with fenfe endued, may pain perceive,
And what can fuffer pain may ccafe to live.

Pyrrhonians, we a living God adore,
An unexhausted fpring of vital power ;
But his immortal, uncreated life
No torment feels, and no deflructive grief.
Does he by different organs tafte or hear ?
Or by an eye do things to him appear ?
Has he a mufcle, or extended nerve,
Which to impart or pain or pleafure fervc ?
Of all perfection poflible poffeft,
He finds no want, nor is with woe oppreft.
Though we can ne'er explore the life divine,
And found the hlelt abyfe by reafon's line.
Yet 'tis not, mortal man, a tranficnt

Others, to whom the whole mechanic tribe
With an harmonious fympathy fubfcribe,
Nature with empire uruverfal crown,
And this high queen the world's Creator own.
If you what builder rear'd the world demand,
They fay 'twas done by Nature's powerful hand ;
If whence its order and its beauty rofe,
Nature, they fay, did fo the frame difpofe ;
Jf what its iteady motions does maintain,
And holds of caufes and effects the chaio,
O'er all her works this Sovereign Caufc prefides,
Upholds the orbs, and all their motions guides.
Since to her bounty we fuch bleffings owe,
Our generous Benefactor let us know.
When the word Nature you exprefs, declare,
Form'd in your minds what image does appear ?
Can you that term of doubtful found explain I
Show it no idle offspring of the brain ?

Sometimes by Nature your enlighten'd fchool
Intends of things the unirerfal whole ;
Sometimes it is the order, that connects,
And holds the chain of caufes and effects :
Sometimes it is the manner and the way,
In which thoie caufes do their force convey,
And in effects their energy difplay.
That (he's the work itfelf, you oft affert,
AS oft th' artificer, as oft the art ;
That is, that we may Nature clearly trace,
And by her marks diftinctly know her face ;
She's now the building, now the architect,
And now the rule which does his hand direct.

But let this emprefs be whatc'er you plwfe $
Let her be all e>r any one of thefe ;
She is with reafon, or fhe's not, endu'd !
If you the firft affirm, we thence conclude
A God, whofe being you oppofe, you grant :
But if this mighty queen does reafon want,
HOW could this noble fabric be defign'd,
And fafliion'd by a Maker brute and blind ?
Could it of art fuch miracles invent,
And raife a beauteous wurld cf fad* extent .'

Still at the helm does this dark pilot (land,

And with a fteady, never-erring hand,

Steer all the floating worlds, and their fet courfe

command ?

That clearer ftrokes of mafterly defign,
Of wife contrivance, and of judgment, fhine
In all the parts of Nature, we affert,
Than in the brighteft works of human art :
And (hall not thofe be judg'd th' effect of thought.
As well as thefe with (kill inferior wrought ?
Let fuch a fphcre to India be convey'd,
A Archimede or modern Hugens made ;
Will not the Indian, though untaught and rude,
This work th' effect of wife defign conclude I
Is there fuch {kill in imitation fhown ?
And in the things, we imitate, is, none ?
Are not our arts, by artful Nature taught,
With pain and careful obfervation fought ?

Behold the painter, who with Nature viess
See his whole fowl exerted in his eyes !
He views her various fcenes, intent to trace
The mafter lines, that form her finifh'd face t
Are thought and conduct in the copy clear.
While none in all th' original appear ?

Tell us, what mafter, for mechanics fam'd,
Has one machine fo admirably fram'd,
Where you will art in fuch perfection grant.
As in a living creature or a plant ? j

Declare, what curious workmanihip can vie
Or with a hand or foot, an ear, or eye ?
That can for (kill as much applaufe deferve, I

As the fine texture of the fibrous nerve ;
Or the (tupendous fyftcrn^ which contains
Th' arterial channels, or the winding vci&s 2
What artificial frame, what instrument,
Did one fuperior genius yet invent,
Which to the bones or mufcles is preferr'd,
If you their order, form, or ufe, regard ?
Why then to works of nature is affigu'd "V

An Author unintelligent and blind, f

When ours proceed from choice and confdutis ^
mind ? ^

To this you fay, that Nature's are indeed
Moft artful works, but then they ne'er proceed
From Nature acting with defign and art,
Who, void of choice, her vigour does exert ;
And by unguided motion things produce,
Regardjefs of their order, end, or ufc.
By Tally's mouth thus Cotta does difpute,
But thus, with cafe, the Roman we confute.

Say, if in artful things no art is fhown,
What arc the certain marks, that make it known \
How will you artful from unartful bound,
And not th' ideas in our mind confound ?
Than this no truth difplays before our fight
A brighter beam, or more convincing Jight ;
That fkilful works fuppofe a flcilful Caufe,
Which acts by choice, and move* by pruden


Where you, unlefs you are as matter blind.
Conduct and beauteous difpofition nd,
Confpiring order, fitnefs, harmony,
Ufe, and convenience ; will you not agree
That fuch effects could not be undefign'd,
Nor could proceed but from a knowing mind J


Old fyftems you may try, or new ones raife,
3VIay (hift and wind, and plot a thoufand ways;
3VIay various words, and foims of diction ufe,
And with a different cant th' unjudging ear a-

mufe ;

Yor may affirm, that chance did things create,
Or let it nature be, or be it fare ;
Body alone, inert and brute, you'll find,
The caufe of all things is by you affign'd.
And. after all your fruitlels toil if you
A Caufe di 'incT: from matter will allow,
It r> uft be confcious, not like matter blind,
And fhpw y<ni gra;:t a God, by granting mind.

Vaninu? next, a hardy modern chief,
A boll oppofer of l>ivine Belief,
Attempts religion's fences to fubvert,
Strong in his rage, but deftitute of art :
In impious maxims fix'd, he Heaven defy'd,
An unbelieving, anti- martyr dy'd.
Strange, that an atheift pleafure ihould refufe,
3lelinquifh life, and death in torment choofe 1
Of fcience what a defpicable fhare
Vaninus own'd, his publifh'd dreams declare.
JLet impious wits applaud a godlef; mind,
As tyeft with piercing fight, and fenfe refin'd,
Contriv'd and wrought by Nature'* careful hand,
All the proud fchools of learning to command ;
!Let them pronounce each patron of their caufe
Claims by diftinguifiVd merit juft applaufe ;
"Yet I this writer's want of fenfe. arraign, }

Treat all his empty pages with difdain, >

And think a grave reply mif-fpent and vain : j
To borrow light, his error to amend,
I would the atheift to Vaninus fend

At length Britannia's foil, immortal (name \
^Brought forth a iage of celebrated name,
Who with contempt on blcft religion trod,
jVIock'd all her precepts, and renonnc'd his God.
jtis awful (hades and horrors of the night
Difturb the mother, and the child affright ;
"Who fee dire fpedtres through the gloomy air *)
In threatening forms advance, and fhudderingf
hear fdefpair . f

The groans of wandering ghofts, and yellings of 3
Ifrom the fame fpring, he fays, devotion flows,
Conference of guilt from dread of vengeance rofe ;
llcligi' n is the creature of the fpleen,
Anci troubled fancy forms the world unfeen ;
That timorous minds, with felf-tormenting care,
Create thofe awful phantoms which they fear.

Such arms were us'd by impious chiefs of old,
"Vain as this modern hero, and as bold.
"Who would not this philofopher adore,
for finding worlds dilcover'd long before I
Can he one flower in all hi:- garden fhow,
"Which in his Grecian mailer's did not grow 2
And yet, imperious, with' a ^eacher's air,
Boaftful, he claims a right to wifdom's chair;
Gafping with ardenr thirft of falfe renown, "J
"Wrh Gi ecian wreaths he does his temples crown, /
.Triumphs \vith borr^w'd fpoils, and trophies not f"
his own j

The world, he grants, with clouds was over-

fp r ead ;
rujh ne'er 'erected yet her ftarry head.

Till he, bright geniut, rofe to chafe the night,
And through all nature {hone with new-fprun^

But let th' inquirer know, proud Briton 1 why
Hope ftiould not gods, as well as fear fupply ;
D :es not th' idea of a God include
The notion of beneficent and good ;
Of one to mercy, not revenge, inclin'd,
Able and willing to rtjieve mankind?
And does not this idea more appear
The object of our hope, than of <.>ur fear ?
Then tell us, why this paffion, more than that.
Should build their altars, and the gods create?

But let us grant the weak and timorous mind
To fuperftitious terrors is inclin'd ;
That horrid fcenes, and monfters form'd in air,
By night the children and the mother fcare ;
That appariti -ns, by a fever bred,
Oi by the ffleen's black vapours fill the head;
Does i hat affedt the fage of fenfe refin'd,
Whofe body's healthful, and ferene his mind ?
Yet more, infulting Briton I let us try
Your reafon's force, your arguments apply.
You fay, fince fpedres from the fancy flow,
To timorous fancy gods their being owe;
Since phantoms to the weak feem real things,
Religion from miftake and weaknefs fprings.

But though the vulgar have illufions feen,
Thought objedls were without that were with*


Yet we from hence abfurdly (hould conclude,
All objects of the mind the mind delude :
That our ideas idle are, that none
Were ever real, and that nothing's known,.

But, leaving phantoms and illufive fear,
Let us at reafon's judgment-feat appear ;
There let the queftion be feverely try'd ;
By an impartial fentence we abide :
Th' Jiternaj Mind's exiftence we fuftain,
By proofs fo full, by evidence fo plain,
That none of all the fciences haVe fliown
Such demonftration of the truths they own.

Spinofa next, to hide his black defign,
And to his fide th' unwary to incline,
For heaven his enfigns treacherous difplays,
Declares for God, while be that God betrays ;
For whom he's pleas'd fuch evidence to bring,
As faves the name, while it fubyerts the thing.

Now hear his labour'd fcheme of impious ufe :
No fubftance can another e'er produce ;
Subftance no limit, no confinement, knows,
And its exiftence from its nature flows, ;
The fpbftance of the univerfe is one,
Which is the felf-exiftent God alone.
The fpheres of sether, which the world enclofe,
An^ all th' apartments, which the whole com-

pofe ;

The lucid orbs, the earth, the air, the main,
With every different being they contain,
Are one prodigious aggregated God,
Of whom each fand is part, each ftone and cloJ ;
Supreme perfections in each infeifl fiiine,
Each fbrub is facred, and each weed divine.

Sages, no longer Egypt's fons defpife,
For thpir cheap gpds, and f^voury d,eit;e^ 1

G R E A T I O N.

No more their coarfe divinities revile !
To \cek-s to onions to the crocodile,
You might your humble adorations pay,
Were you not gods y^urfelves, as well as they.

As murh you pull religion'* altars down,
By owning all things God., as owning none ;

For frould all beings be alike divine,
Of worfhip if an object you aflign,
God to himtelf muft veneration fhew,
Muft be the idol and the votary too ;
And their affertions are alike abfurd,
Who own no God, or none to be adcr'd.


Tie Argument.

The introduction. No man happy, that has not conquered the fears of death. The inability of the
Epicurean fchemc to accomplifh that end. Religion only capable of fubduing thofe fears. The
hypothefis of Epicurus concerning the formarion of the univerfe fhown to he abiurd. I. In a more
general furvey of the parts of the univerfe. II. By a more clofe and drift examination of his
fcheme. The principle of motion not accounted for by that fcheme ; nor the determination of it
one way* Pondus, gravity, innate mobility, words without a meaning Defcent of atoms; up-'
wards and downwards, a middle or centre abfurdly afferted by Epicurus in infinite fpace. His hy
pothefis not to be fupported, whether his matter be fuppofed finite or infinite. His ridiculous afler-
tion relating t<> the diurnal and annual motion of the fun. The impoffibility of forming the World
by the cafual concourfe of atoms. They could never meet if they moved with equal fpeed. Pri
mitive atoms, being the fmalleft parts of matter, would move more flowly than bodies of greater
bulk, which have more gravity , yet thefe are abfurdly fuppofed to move the fwifreft. His afler-
tion, that fome primitive atoms have a direct, and others an inclining motion, implies a contra
diction. Lucretius'* explanation of this inclining motion of fome firft atoms not intelligible. The
inexplicable difficulty of (lopping the atoms in their flight, and caufmg them to fettle in a formed
world. The ponderous earth not to be fuftained in liquid air. The Epicurean formation of the
heavens very ridiculous. No account given by the Epicureans how the fun and ftars are upheld in.
fluid aether. Their idle account of the formation of the air. The variety of figure and fize given
by Epicurus to his atoms, a convincing proof of wifdom and defign. Another proof is the difpro-
portion of the moift and dry atoms in the formation of the earth. His ludicrous and childifh ac
count of the formation of the hollow for the fea. No account given by Epicurus, or his followers,
of the motion of the heavenly orbs, particularly of the fun.

CARUS, we grant, no man is bleft, but he
Whofe mind from anxious thoughts ef death is


Let laurel wreaths the vidtor's brows adorn,
Sublime through gazing throngs in triumph borne ;
Let acclamations ring around the ikies,
While curling clouds of balmy incenfe rife ;
Let fpoils immenfe, let trophies gain'd in war,
And conquer'd kings, attend his rolling car;
If dread of death, ftill unfubdu'd remains,
And fecret o'er the vanquifh'd vidlor reigns ;
Th' illuftiious flave in endlefs thraldom bears
A heavier chain than his led captive wears.

With f wifteft wing, the fears of future fate
Elude the guards, and pafs the palace gate;
Traverfe the lofty rooms, and uncontroll'd "}
Fly hovering round the painted roofs, and bold /
To the rich arras cling, and perch on bufts of T

gold; J

Familiar horrors haunt the monarch's head,
And thoughts ill-boding from the downy bed
Chafe gentle flcep ; black cares the foul infeft,
And brordcf'd ftars adorn a troubled breaft :

In vain they aflc the charming lyre, in vain
The flatterer's fweeter voice, to lull their pain ;
Riot and wine but for a moment pleafe ;
Delights they oft enjoy, but never cafe.

What are diftinction, honour, wealth, and ftate,
The pomp of courts, the triumphs of the great ;
The numerous troops, that envy'd thrones fe-


And fplendid enfigns of imperial power ?
What the high-paJace, rear'd with vaft expencc,
Unrivall'd art, and luxury immenfe,
With ftatutes grac'd by ancient Greece fupply'd,
With more than Perfian wealth, and Tyrian pride?
What are the foods of all delicious kinds,
Which now the huntfman, now the fowler, finds ;
The richeft wines, which Gallia's happy field,
Which Tufcan hills, or thine, Iberia, yield?

Nature deprav'd abundance does purfue ;
Her firft and pure demands are cheap and few.
What health promotes, and gives unenvy'd peace,
Is all expencelefs, and procur'd with eafe.
Behold the fhepherd, fee th' induftrious fwain,
Who ploughs the field, or reaps the r*j>en'd


mean, and yet how tafleful is their fare !
fwect their fleep ! their fouls how free from


They drink the dreaming cryftal, and efcape
Th' inflaming juices of the purple grape ;
And, to pr-oretl their limbs from rigorous air,
-Garments, their own domeftic work, they wear :
Yet thoughts of death their lonely cots moleft,
Affright the hind, and bjeak the labourer's reft.

Since thefc -reflections. on approaching fate
Diftruft and ill-prefaging care create;
*Tis clear we ftrive for happinefs in vain,
While fears of death whhin infukkng reign.
But then Lucretian wits abfurdly frame,
To'fink thcfe inbred fears, their impious fchemer
iTo chafe the horrors of a confcious mind,
They defpcratc means and wild expedients Jfind ;
The hardy rebels aiming to appeafe
Their fierce remorfe, and dream a while at cafe,
Of crying guilt th' avenging power difown,
And puil their high Creator from his throne ;
That done, they mock the threats of future paio,
As monftrous fiction of the poet's brain.

Thy force alone, Religion ! Death difarms,
Breaks all his darts, and every viper charms ;
Soften'd by thee, the grifly form appears
Io more the horrid object of our lears ;
"We undifmay'd this awful power obey, {way,
That guides us through the fafe, though gloomy
"Which leads to life, and to the bled abode,
\Vhere ravHh'd minds enjoy, what here they own'd,

a God.

Regard, ye fages of .Lucretian race,
Nature's rich drefs, behold her lovely face. .
Look all around, terreftrial realms furvey,
The ifles, the rivers, and the fpacious lea ;
Obferve the air, view with attentive eyes "\

The glorious concave of the vaulted Ikies ; /

Could thefe from cafual hits, from tumult thofe, f
arife i .)

Can rule and beauty from diftraclion grow ?
Can fymmetry from wild confufion flow?
"When atoms in th' unmeafur'd Ipace did rove,
And in the dark for doubtful empire ftrove ;
Did intervening chance the feuds compofe,
Eftablifh friendfhip, and difarm the foes ?
Did this the ancient darkfome horrors chafe, ">
Diftin<Slion give, and fpread celeftial grace V
O'er the black diftri&s of the empty fpace ? j
Could atoms, which, with undire<fted flight,
Hoani'd through the void, and rang'd the realms

of night,

Of reafon deftitute, without intent,
Depriv'd of choice, and mindlefs of event,
In order march, and to their pofts advance^
JLed by no guide, but undefigning chance ?
. What did th' entangled particles divide,
And fort the various feeds of things ally'd ?
To make primaeval elements felcct
All the fit atoms, and th' unfit reject ?
piftinguifti hot from cold, and moift from dry,
IRange fome to form the earth, and fome the fky ?
From the embrace, and gloomy arms, of night,
What freed the glimmcrujg fire, and difengag'd
the light ?

Could chanoeCuch juft and prudent meafures take?
To frame the world, fuch diftribution make ?
If to your builder you will conduct give,
A power to choofe, to manage, and contrive,
Your idol chance, fuppos'd inert and blind,
Muft be inroll'd an active confcious mind.
Did this your wife and iovereign architect
Defign the model, and the world erect ?
Were by her fkill the deep foundations laid,
The grobes fufpended, and the heavens difplay'd ?
By what elaftic engines did fhe rear
The ftarry roof, and roll the orbs in air ?
,Gn the formation of the earth reflect ;
-Is this a blind fortuitous cfFeil?
Did all the grofler atoms, at the call
Of chance, file off, to form the ponderous ball,
And undetermin'd into order fall?
Did of themfelves th' affembled feeds arrive,
And without art this artful frame contrive ?
To build the earth, did chance materials choofe,
And thro.ugh ihe parts cementing glue diffufe ; -
Adjuft the frontier of the fea and foil,
Balance and hang in air the finifh'd pile ?
Ye towering hills, whofe fnowy peaks arife
Above the clouds, and winter in the flcies;
Ye rocks, which on the fhores your heads aeU

vance ;

Are you the labour and the care of chance ?
To draw up ftones of fuch prodigious weight,
And raife the amazing heaps to fuch a height,
What huge machine, what forceful inftrumcnt^
Did your blind builder of the world iavent ?
Could it diftinguifh, could it wall around
The damp and dark apartments undej ground ;,
With rocky arches vault the hollow caves,
And form the tracks of fubterranean waves;
Extend the different mineral veins, and fpread
For rich metallic ores the genial bed ?

What could prepare the gulfs to entertain
Between their (bores the interpofing main ;
Disjoin the land, the various realms divide,
And fpread with fcatt^r'd ifles th' extended tide ?
Regard th' unnumber'd wonders of the deep,
Where confluent ftreams, their race completed,

fleep :

Did chance the compafs take, and in the dark
The wide dimenfions of the ocean mark ;
Then dig the ample cave, and ftretch the fhoret
Whofe winding arms confine the liquid ftores,
Which, gufhing from the mountain to the main,
Through verdant vallics draw their humid train f
Did it dtfign the deep abyfs., and fpread
The ancient waters on their central bed ?
To the wild flood did fovercign fortune fay,
Thus far advance, and here thy billows ftay;
Be this thy barrier, this enclofing fand *\

Thoa fhalt not pafs, nor overflow the land ? C
And do the waves revere her high command ? j

Did chemic chance the furnaces prepare,
Raife all the labour-houfes of the air,
And lay crude vapours in digeftion there ;
Where nature is employ'd, with wondrous fkill,
To draw her Ipirits, and her drops diftil;
Meteors for various purpofes to form,
The breeze to cheer, to tenify th? ftorm?


Did fhe extend the glcomy clouds on high,
Where all th' amazing fireworks of the iky
In unconcocted feeds fermenting lie,
Till the imprifon'd flames are ripe for birth,
And ruddy bolts exploded wound the earth ?
What ready hand applies the kindled match,
Which evening trains of unctuous vapours catch ?
Whence /hoots with lambent flight the falling


And flames unhurtful hovering dance in air ?
What curiousloom does chance by evening fpread ?*^
With what fine (buttle weave the virgin's thread, f
Which, like the fpider's net, hangi on the grafly f
mead ? J

Let us the moulds to faftuon meteors know,
How thefe produce the hail, and thofe the fnow ?
What gave the exhalations wings to rife,
To leave their centre, and poflefs the ikies ?

Let us no longer mifllve weapons throw,
But clofe the fight, and grapple with the foe ;
Submit to reafon's ftricteft teft their fcheme,
And by mechanic laws purfue the huddled frame.
See, how th' ambitious architects defign :
To rear the world without the power divine,
As principles, the great contrivers place
Unbounded matter in unbounded fpace :
Matter was firft, in parts minute, endued
With various figures, various magnitude |
Some, moving in the fpacious infinite,
Defcribe a line oblique, and fome a right ;
For, did not fome from a ftrait courfe deficit,
They could not meet, they could no world erect :
While unfatipued from cndlefs ages paft,
They rang'd the dark interminable wafte,
Oft' dafhing and rencountering in their flight,
Some atoms leap afide, and fome upright ;
They various ways recoil, and fwiftly flow
By mutual repercuflions to and fro,
Till, fliufflcd and entangled in their race,
They clafp each other with a clofe embrace ;
Combin'd by concourfe, mingled and compreft,
They grow in bulk, and complicated reft.
Hence did the world and all its parts arife !
Hence the bright fun and ftars, and hence the


Hence fprung the air, the ocean, and the earth !
And hence all nature had its cafual birth !

If you demand what wife directing mind
The wondrous platform of the world dcfign'd ;
Did range, divide, and in their order place,
The crude materials of th' unfafhion'd mafs ;
Did move, direct, and all the parts control,
With perfect (kill, to ferve the beauteous whole ;
Fortune to this high honour they advance,
And no furveyor want, no guide, but chance.

Lucretian mailers, now to make it plain
In building worlds how raw you are, and vain ;
Grant that before this mighty frame was rear'd,
Before confufion fled, and light appear'd,
In the dark void and empty realms of night
Your reftlefs atoms did purfue their flight;
And iu their adverfe paths, and wild career,
By chance rencounter, and by chance cohere ;
Thus clafp'd in ftrict embraces, they produce
Unnutnbej'd cafual forms foj different ufe ;

You, who to clearer reafon maJce pretence,

Of wit refin'd, and eminent in fenfe,

Let us, ye fons of Epicurus, know

The fpring, whence all thefe various motions flow.

What vigour puih'd primzval atoms on ?

Was it a foreign impulie, or their own ?

If 'twas a foreign delegated force, [courfe;

Which mov'd thofe bodies, and control'd their

Aflerting this, you your own fcheme deftroy,

And power divine, to form the world, employ.

If from a moving principle within

Your active atoms did' their flight begin,

That fpring, that moving principle explain,

And in the fchools unrivall'd you ihail reign ;

Declare its nature, and aifign its name ;

For motion, and its caufe, are not the fame.

We know, you'll tell us, 'tis impulfive weighty
Mobility, or power to move innate :
Profound folution ! worthy of your fchools,
Where reafon in its boafted freedom rules.
But thus you mock mankind, and language ufc,
Not to inform the mind, but to amufe.
Of motion we the principle demand ;
You fay 'tis power to move, and there you ftand I
Bat is it to explain, to change the name ?
Is not the doubt in different words the fame ?
Do you reveal the fpring of motion more,
By wifely calling that a moving power,
Which we had term'd a principle before ?
The youngeft head new-vers'd in reafoning know*
That motion nauft a power to move fuppofe ;
Which while in vain you labour to unfold,
You clearly tell us, that Lucretians hold
An a&ive fpring, a principle approve,
Diftinct from matter, which muft matter move.
Matter, as fuch, abftracted in the mind,
We from a power to move diverted find,
Not more to motion than to reft inclin'd ;
The power, which motion does to matter give,
W,e therefore moft diftinct from both conceive;
A power to nature given by Nature's Lord,
When firft he fpoke the high creating word,
When for his world materials he prepar'd,
And on each part this energy conferr'd.

Ye vain philofophers ! prefumptuous race \
Who would the Great Eternal Mind difplace ;
Take from the world its Maker, and advance
To his high throne your thoughtlefs idol chance 5
Let us th' inquiry by juft fteps purfue ;
With motion we your atoms will endue,
We aik, when in the fpacious void they ftray,
Why ftill they beat one track, and move OEC


Still the fame flight why do their parties take ?
Why this, or that way, no digreiCon make I

What will to this our Atomifts reply ?
They anfwer, by an innate gravity
The ponderous bodies ftjll are downward bqrnCj
And never upwards of themfelves return.
Acute and folid anfwer ! fee a flight,
Worthy of fineft wit, and cleareft fight !
Do not thefe wife mechanic mailers know,
That no man can conceive, or high oriow 3
Nor find diftinction of fuperior place,
Or cf inferior, in the empty fpacc



Uncircumferib'd, and ignorant of bound,
And where no midft, no centre, can be found ?

Perhaps, your mafter's doctrine to fuftain,
And matter's downward motion to explain,
You with this famous Gallic friend affert,
That isfuj-i-rior, whence your atoms ftart,
And that inferior in the empty fpace
To which they all direct tru ir rapid race.

Now let us recoiled, and what you fay
At large, in one contracted view furvey.
You fay, your atoms move ; we afk you, why ?
Becaufe it is their nature, yt,u reply.
But fince that native power yc u never fhow,
You only fay they move, becaufc they do ;
But let your atorss move, we bid you fay,
Why they move this, and not a different way ?
You tell us, 'tis from inbred gravity;
That is, you tell us, 'tis yojj knuw not why.
Till what is gravity you let us know,
By fenf clefs woi-ds how can we wifer gxow ?
We give you this ingenite, moving force,
That makes them always downward take their

oburfe ;

We then demand, which place inferior is
Within the fyacious unconfin'd abyfs ?
You fay 'tis that, to which the atoms bend
Their iwift career, for ftill they muft defcend
That is, they downward move, becaufe they
downward tend.

Let us, Lucretians, now our tafic purfue,
And of your fcheme remaining wondcra view.
Say, if your atoms of immortal race
Are equal and commenfurate to fpace :
If fo, the boundlefs vait immenfity
While thus poffeft would full of matter be ;
For in the vacant (as your fchools approve)
Should finite matter be fuppos'd to move,
Not knowing how to flop, or where to ftay,
It unobftructed muft purfue its way,
Be loft in void immenfe, and diflipated ftray ;
The fcattering bodies never would combine,
Nor to compofe a world by concourfe join,
But, if all fpace is full, if all poffeft,
Which fuppofition you embrace as beft,
Then crowded matter would for ever reft ;
Nature no change of place had ever feen ;
Where all is full, no motion can begin ;
JFor, if it fhould, you'll be compeli'd to fay,
Body does body pierce, to force its way ;
Or unconfia'd immenfity retreats,
To give your atoms room to change their feats.
And here with us Lucretius does agree,
That, if fome place from matter be not free,
In plenitude no motion could commence,
All would be ftagnate in the vaft immenfe.

If it be fa id, f-, all parts of empty fpace
Are inteifpers'd through all the ipreading mafs,
By which ieme bodies give to culiers place ;
Then matter, you muft giant, would finite be,
And ftretch unequal toin.nunfny;
And then, a*> hpicurus judges rh;ht,
It would for ever take a uieiefs iiight,
Loft in expanfion void and infinite.
Befides, allowing through th' extended whole
Small fcatterM (paces not of body full,

Then matter, you Lucretians muft agree,
Has not exiftence from neceffity;
For, if its being neceflary were,
Why are fome parts of fpace from matter clear ?
Why does it here exift, and why not there ?
Lucretians, now, which fide you pleafe, em
brace :

If in your void you finite fubftance place,
Tis difiipated through th' immenfe abyfs,
And you to form the world materials mifs ;
You'll not the progrefs of your atoms ftay,
Nor to collect the vagrants find a way.
Thus too your mafter's fcheme will be deftroy'd, }
Who, wholly to poffefs the boundlefs void, C

No lefs than matter infinite employ'd. j

If you, in honour to your founder's (kill,
The boundlefs void with boundlefs fubftance fill,
Then tell us, how you can your bodies roll
Through fpace, of matter fo completely full ?
The force this fingle reafon does exert
Will the foundations of your fcheme fubvert:
Nor were it needful to purfue the blow,
Or form a frefh attack, unlefs to (how
How flight yotr works in every quarter are,
How ill your huddled fentiments cohere.

Be this, O Greece, thy everlafting fhame,
That thoughtlefs Epicurus rais'd a name,
Who built by artlefs chance this mighty frame.
Could one whofe wit fuch narrow limits bound,
Nature, thy depths unfathomable found ?
Of his fagacious thoughts to give a part,
Docs not this wife philofopher affert
The radiant fun's extinguifh'd every nighf,
And every morn, rekindled, darts his light ?
That the vaft orb, which cafts fo far his beams,
Is fuch, or not, much bigger, than he feems ?
That the dimenfions of his glorious face
Two geometric feet do fcarce furpafs ?
Does he not make the fickle winds convey
The fun revolving through his crooked way ?
But, fince his ichool has gain'd fuch fpreadinj


And modern wits his mafter-fkill proclaim ;
Let us yet farther carry this debate,
Acid, as you afk, confer on matter weight,
To make it move within the vaft abyfs,
And downward too, ev'n where no downward is>
If this be true, as you Lucretians fay,
J hat atoms wing with equal fpeed their way,
Then how could this that atom overtake ?
How could they clafh, and how collifions make ?
If in a line oblique your bodies rove,
Or in a perpendicular they move,
If fome advance /not flower in their race,
And fome more fwift fhould not purfue thei


How could they be entangled, how embrace ? _
'Tis demonftration, 'tis meridian light,
Thofe bodies ne'er could juftle, ne'er could figbt,
Nor by their mutual fhocks be ruffled in their |


Since matter of a greater magnitude
Muft be with greater gravity endued,
Then the mmuteft parts muft ftill proceed
With lefs, the greater with the greater



Hence your firft bodies, which the fmalleft are,
On which the fwifteft motion you confer,
Mud be contented with the floweft pace,
And yield to matter of more bulk the race.

How wondrous little muft thofe atoms be,
Which you endow with fuch velocity !
Minute beyond conception, when we find
Bodies fo fmall, where many are combin'd !
How many various figures muft we take,
What numerous complications ufe, to make
Some compound things, fo fmall of magnitude,
That all our fenfes they with eafe elude !

JLight exhalations, that from earth arife,
Attracted by the fun-beams through the fkies,
Which the myfterious feeds of thunder bear,
Of winds, and all the meteors of the air;
Though they around us take their conftant flight,
Their little fize efcapes the (harped fight.
The fragrant vapours breath'd from rich per

From Indian fpices, and Arabian gums,
Though many years they flow, will fcarce abate
The odoriferous body's bulk or weight.

Though antimonial cups, prepar'd with art,
Their force to wine through ages fliould impart ;
This difllpation, this profufe expence,
Nor fhrinks their fize, nor waftes their (lores


The powder which deftructive guns explode,
And by its force their hollow wombs unload,
When rarefy'd of fpace, poflefles more,
Five hundred times, than what it fill'd before.
The feeds of fern, which, by prolific heat
Cheer'd and unfolded, form a plant fo great,
Are lefs a thoufand times than what the eye
Can unafiifted by the tube delcry.
By glaiTes aided, we in liquor fee
Some living things minute to that degree,
That a prodigious number muft unite,
To make the fmalleft object of the fight.

How little bodies mull the light compound,
Which by your mailers is corporeal ownM ;
Since the vaft deluge of refulgent rays, ">

Which in a day the fun a thouiand ways >

Through his wide empire lavifhiy conveys, J
Were they collected in one folid mafs,
Might not in weight a fingle drachm furpafs !

At leaft thofc atoms wondrous fmall muft be,
Small to an unconceivable degree ;
Since though thefe radiant fpoils, difpers'd in air,
Do ne'er return, and ne'er the fun repair,
Yet the bright orb, whence ftill new torrents flow,
Does no apparent lofs, no diminution know.
Now, curious wits, who nature's work infpect
With rapture, with aftonifhment, reflect
On the fmall fize of atoms, which unite
To make the fmalleft particle of light 1
Then how minute primaeval atoms are,
From this account Lucretians may infer :
Yet they on thefe, without regard to right,
Confer the honour of the quickeft flight.

Within the void, with what a fwift career
Your rapid matter moves will thus appear.
That all mix'd bodies arc in fpeed outdone
y your firft atoms, you with eale will own ;

For componnd beings can no motion have,
But what their firft conftituenr atoms gave :
Then your primaeval fubftances exceed
The fwift-wing'd wind, or fwifter light, in fpeed.
How foon the fun-beams at the morning's birth
Leap down from heaven, and light upon the earth !
Prodigious flight ! they in few moments pafs
The vaft aethereal interpofing fpace.
Should you enjoin a rock fo hard a tafk,
It would more years, than light will minutes, afk.
One atom then (fo you'll be forc'd to fay)
Muft rocks and hills and the whole globe out
weigh ;

Since it exceeds them by its fwifter flight,
And fwifter motion fprings from greater weight.

If nature's rule your atoms do enjoin ->'

To move directly downward in a line ; \.

Say, how can any from that path decline? ^
Th' inclining motion then, which you fuppofe,
Whence the firft concourfe of your atoms rofe,
Muft the great maxim of your fchools fuhvert,
Which ftill with one confederate voice affdrt,
That matter by neceffity defccnds
In lines direct, yet part obliquely tends.
And thus your matter, by its native force,
To different points would fteer a different courfe ;
Determin'd by the fame impulfive weight,
Move in a line oblique, and in a ftraight.

To heal your fyftem's deep and ghaftly wound,.
Which this objection gives, Lucretius found
A method ; who a motion did invent
Not Itraight entirely, nor entirely bent,
Which fortns a line to crooked fomewhat like,
Slanting almoft, and, as it were, oblique.
Who does not now this wondrous bard adore ?
See re-ifon's conquering light, and wit's rtfiftlefs
power ?

If atoms, after their eternal danc,
Into this beauteous fabric leap'd by chance ;
If they combin'd by cafnal concourfe; fay, "*\
What, in a free and unobftructed way,
Did in a full career your atoms flay ? j

What mounds, what force, when rufliing froivi

the height

Of fpace immenfe, could flop them in their flight?
Why in their road did they not forward pafs?
But fay, where now we find the fettled maf,
Why did they ceafe from moving in defpite
Of their own nature, and impelling weight?
Had the wife troops fagacity to know,
That, there arriv'd, they fliould no further go?
That, in this point of all the fpacious void,
To form a world they were to be employ'd?
Did they, in profpect of fo great a good,
In this one place of alt the liquid road,
All their encumbering gravity unload ?
Fatigued, and fpent with labour infinite.
Did they grow torpid, and unapt for flight ?
Or, in th' embrace and downy lap of air
Lull'd and enchanted, did they fettle there !

Grant in this fingle place by chance they met.
That there by chance they did their weight for
get ;

It happen'd there they form'd a mighty nnfr,
Where ^t DO erder, no diftinction, was:



lain, (
lin. j

X,et this be fa ; we aflc you to explain

The wondrous power that did the parts fuftain

JFor flill their nature and their weight remain

What from defcent fhould ponderous matter ftsy,

"When no more ponderous matter flops its way ?

Can airy columns prop the mighty ball,

Its preffure balance, and prevent its fall ?

And after this remains a mighty taflc,

"Which more than human flcill and power will afk,

The flrong myfterious cements to unfold,

"Which atoms ftridly complicated hold.

But let us leave the heap in air's embrace, "^
To reft unmov'd within the empty fpace, f

Which knows no height, or depth, or middle f

place : J

Tell, how you build the chambers of the Iky,
Extend the fpheres, and hang the orbs on high ?
You fay, when matter firft began to fall,
And fettle into this terreftrial ball,
Prefs'd from the earth thin exhalations rofe,
Vapours and iteams, materials to compofc
The fpacious regions of the liquid air,
The heavens, and all the luminaries there :
Thefe vapours foon (miraculous event !)
Shuffled by chance, and mix'd by accident,
Into fuch ranks and beauteous order fell,
As no effect of wifdom can excel.
Hence did the planets, hung in aether, ftray !
Hence rofe the ftars, and hence the milky way !
Hence did the fun along the Ikies advance !
The fource of day but fprung from night and

chance !

But who can (how the legends, that record
More idle tales, or fable fo abfurd ?
'Does not your fcheme affront ev'n Vulgar fenfe ;
That fpheres of fuch a vaft circumference,
That all the orbs, which in the regions roll,
Stretching from eaft to weft, from pole to pole,
Should their conftru&ure, and their beauty, owe
To vapours prefs'd from this poor ball below 1
From this fmall heap could exhalations rife
Enough, and fit, to fpread and vault the flcies ?
Lucretius thus the manner has difplay'd
How meteors, not how heavenly globes, are made.
But gfant the fleams, which by expreffion rofe,
Pid all the fpheres and every orb compofe ;
Since their ingenite gravity remains,
What girder binds, what prop the frame faftains ?
The fun's bright beams, which you of matter

From heaven their downward flight perpetual

take :

Why does not then his body, which outweighs
By infinite degrees his golden rays,
By its own force precipitated fall,
And hide in ruins this terreftrial ball?
Can air, unable to fuftain the light,
Support the fan of fuch fuperior weight ;
And all the ponderous heavenly orbs fufpend
Againft their nature, which does downward tend ?
Tell, wife Lucretius, tell the fecret art,
Which keeps the heavens and earth fo long apart.
Thus too the air, prefs'd from this mafs, you

Between the earth and Ikies expanded lay j

Not with intention that the folar light
Through the thin gulf might rake an eafy flignij
Or that with nitrous food it fhould infpire
The breathing lungs, and feed the vital fire;
But mere contingence did the gulf extend,
Regardlefs of convenience, ufe, or end.
Now, vaunting poet! fhould it be confefs'd,
That from the earth the air is thus exprefs'd;
Siftce things by heavier things are upward thrown,
Which tend with ftronger gravitation down ;
Why are the fnn, and the fair orbs of light, ">
All which fo far exceed the air in weight, V

Hung from the centre at a greater height ? j
Why do not thefe their nature's law obey,
Rufh frm above, and near the centre flay,
And make all lighter bodies give them way ?
Tell us, Lucretius, why they ne'er purfue
This natural bent, and this undoubted due ?
Since to the earth you give the middle place,
To which all heavy things direct their race ;
If nothing does obftrud, by certain fate
Things would in order of their different weight
Lie round the earth, and make one mighty heap j
They would their place, as different ftrata, keep.
Nor would the air, or interceding Iky,
Between the diftant orbs and worlds divided lie ;
^Ether and air would claim the highelt place,
The ftars and planets would the earth embrace,
As now the ocean floats upen its face.
In vain you labour by mechanic rules,
In vain exhauft the reafon of your fchools,
Thefe queftions to refolve, and to explain
How feparate worlds were made, and feparate

ftill remain.

Since to your un compounded atoms you
Figures in number infinite allow,
From which, by various combination, fprings
This unconfin'd diverfity of things;
Are not, in this, defign and counfel clear?
Does not the wife Artificer appear,
Who the corporeal particles enduect
With different fhape, and different magnitude,
That from their mixtures all things might have


In the wide fea, and air, and heaven, and earth ?
To all thefe figures of diftinguifh'd kind,
And different fizes, are not ends affign'd ?
Then own their caufo did a& with wife intent,
Which did thofe fizes fquare, and every fhape in

When atoms fir ft the world began to frame,
Is it not ftrange that every number came
Of fuch a figure, and of fuch a fize,
As ferv'd to found the earth, and fpread the fkic* ?
Had they not met in fuch proportion, were
Their form and number not as now they are,
In a rude mafs they had confus'dly join'd,
Not in a finifh'd world, like this, combin'd.
Did thefe affembled fubftances refkdt,
That here a beauteous frame they muft -ereA ?
Did they a general council wifely call,
To lay the platform of each mighty ball;
To fettle prudent rules, and orders make,
In rearing worlds, what methods they fhoul4


To every atom Tfras his taflc enjoln'd ?

His poft, and fellow-labourers, affign'd ?

Did they confent what parts they fhould compofe

That thefe fhould aether make, or water thofe ?

That fome fhould be the moon, arid fome the

earth ?

Thofe give the fun, and thefe the planet birth ?
If all thefe noble worlds were undefign'd,
And carry 'd on without a confcious mind ;
Oh, happy accident ! aufpicious chance !
That in fuch order made the work advance ! ,
At length to fuch admir'd perfection brought
The finifh'd ftructure, as it had been wrought
With art tranfcendent and confunjmate thought !

Since 'tis an outrage done to cdmmon fenfc
To fix a central point HI fpace immenfe *
Why is a middle to the earth affign'd,
To which your ponderous bodies are inclin'd ?

Befidcs, reflect how this terreftrial mafs
Does the whole fea a thoufand times furpafs ;
Which in a line, if drawn directly dow,
More than a mile in depth is rarely known.
Now if by chance more watery atoms came
Than earthy, to compofe this wondrous frame ;
Or had they both in equal number met,
Which might as well have been, had chance

thought fit ;

Or if the watery (we no farther prefs)
Were but an hundred times in number lefs ;
This globe had lain, if not a general flood,
At Icaft a fen, a mafs of ooze and mud,
"With no rich fruit, or verdant beauty, bleft,
Wild and unpeopled, or by man, or beaft.

Who will our orb's unequal face explain,
Which Epicurus made a41 imootfc and plain ?
How did thy rocks, O earth ! thy hills, arife ? "j
How did thy giant fong invade the flcies ?
Lucretius, that it happen'd thus, replies. j

Now give us leave, great poet, to demand,
How the capacious hollow in the land
Was firft produc'd, with cafe to entertain
All the aflembled waters of the main ?
When earth was made, this hollow for the fea
Was form'd ; but how it happen'd fo to be ?
It on a time fell out, that every wave
Forfook the earth, andfill'd the mighty care,
Which happen'd opportunely to be there,
Where now their heads the rolling billows rear.
It then fell out, that Hones did rocks compoie,
That vales fubfided, and that hills arofe.
Thus the formation of the world you know;
80 all events fell out, and all things happen'd fo.

Can tales more fenielefs, ludkrous, and vain,
By winter-fires old nurfes entertain ?
Does this unfold how all things firft were madi
Without divine and fupernatural aid ?
His penetration has Lucretius fhown,
By faying things proceed from chance alone
As their efficient caufe, that is, from none
But let your troops, which rang'd the plains of

And through the vacant wing'd their carelefs


The high command of ruling chance obey,
Vnguided and unconfcious of the way,


Let them advance to one determin'cl place,
Prefcrib'd by chance, in all th' unmeafur'd fpacej
Their proper ftatioas undirected find,
To form a world thar never was defign'd ;
Let all the rolling globes, and fpacious ikies,
From happy hits of heedlefs atoms rife ;
Be thus the earth's unmov'd foundations laid,
Thus the thin regions of the air difplay'd ;
Chance {hall the planets in their place fufpend.
Between thefe worlds th' sethereal plains extend;.
Diredt the fun to that convenient feat,
Whence he difplays his luftre and his heat.
This labour, all this progrefs, is in vain^
Unlefs the orbs their various motions gain :
For let the fun in buoyant aether float,
Nor nearer to the earth, nor more remote ;
Yet did his orb unmov'd its beams diffufe,
He'd fure dcftru&ion to the earth produce ;
One half for heat, and one for cold, would pray j
This would abhor the night, and that the day :
Did he not yearly through the zodiac paf,
Were he not conflant to his daily race,
He would not, by alternate fhade and light,
Produce the needful change of day and night :
Nor would the various feafons of the year,
By turns revolving, rife and difappear.
Now can judicious atomifts conceive,
Chance to the fun could this jtfft impulfe give,
By which the fourcc of day fo fwiftly flies,
His ftages keeps, and traverfes the ficiea ! [flow ?
We aflc you, whence thefe conftant motions
Will learned heads reply, they happened fo ?
You fay, the folar orb, firft mov'd by chance,
Does north and fouth, and eafl and well, advance!.
We aik, why firft in thefe determin'd ways
He chofe to move ? Why thence he never ftraysj
Why did he ne'er, fince time began, decline
His round diurnal, or his annual line ?
So fteadily does fickle fortune fleer
Th' obedient orb, that it fhould never err;
Should never ftart afide, and never ftray ;
Never in pathlefs ajther mifs his way ?
Why does he ne'er beyond the tropics go ?
Why ftill revolve ? why travel to and iro ?
Will it a wife philosopher content, >

To fay thefe motions came by accident,
That all is undcfign'd, fortuitous event ? j

But if the fluggifh fun you'll not diflurb,
But motion give to this terreftrirl orb ;
Still of the earth we the fame queftion aflc,
Which to explain, you have as hard a taflc.

Can chance this frame, thefe artful fcenes ere&,_
Which knows not works lefs artful to effetft ?
Did it mechanic engines e'er produce,
A globe, or tube of aftronomk ufe ?
Why do not veflels, built and rigg'd by chance,
Drawn in long order, on the billows dance ?
Might not the Sovereign Caufe with greater eaf
A navy build, than make the winds andfeas ?
Let atoms once the form of letters take
3y chance, and let thofe huddled letters make
A finhVd poem by a lucky hit,
Such as the Grecian, or the Mantuan, writ;
Then we'll embrace the doctrines you advance
And yield the world's fair poem made by chance/



'The Argument.

The mtroduaion. A defer! ption of the calamitous ftate of mankind, by reafon of Innumerable woes
and fufferings to which they are obnoxious. Difeafes of the body. Trouble and grief of mind
Violence and opprefiion. The viciffimde of human affairs, and the certain profpecl of death*
Whence it appears that it fuits the itate of mankind* and therefore is defirable, there (hould be a
God. Arguments againft the Fatalifb, who aflert the eternity of the world There muft be erant-
, fd fome felf-exiftem and independent being. The corporeal world cannot be that being proved
from its mutability, and the variety of forms rifing and difappearing in the feveral parts of nature-
from the poffibility of conceiving, without any confequent contradiction, lefs or more parts in the
world, than are actually exiflent; from the poffibUity of plants and animals having had different
ihapes, and limbs, from what they now have. The. pretended fatal chain of things not feif-exiftent
acd independent; becaufe all its links or parts are dependent, and obnoxious to corruption. Fate
a word without fenfe or meaning. Two more arguments againft the eternity of the world, from
the contemplation of the light of the fun, and of motion. Ariftotle's fcheme confidered and con

AH, haplefs mortal man ! ah, rigid fate!
What cares attend our fhort, uncertain ftate !
How wide a front, how deep and black a rear,
What fad varieties of grief and fear,
Drawn in array, exeit their fatal rage, p

And gall obnoxious life through every ftage, >
From infancy to youth, from youth to age ! }

Who can compile a roll of all our woes, ?
Our friends are faithlefs, and fiucere our foes ;
The poifon'd arrows of an envious tongue
Improve our errors, and our virtues wrong ;
Th' oppreffor now with arbitrary mi^ht
Tramples on law, and robs us of our right ;
Dangers unfeen on every fide invade,
And fnares o'er all th' unfaithful ground are laid.

Oft wounds from foreign violence we feel,
Now from the ruffian's, now the warrior's, fteel;
By bruifes or by labour we are pain'd ;
A bone disjointed, or a finew ftrai'd ;
Now fettering fores afflidl our torrur'd limbs ;
Now to the yielding heart the gangrene climbs.

Acute diftempers fierce our veins aflail,
Rufh on with fury, and by fturm prevail ;
Others with thrift difpenie their ftores of grief,
And by the fap prolong the fiege of life ;
While to the grave we for deliverance cry,
And, promis'd ftill, are ftill denied to die.

See colic, gout, and ftone, a cruel train,
Qppos'd by all the healing race in vain ;
Their various racks and lingering plagues emO
P lo 7> f

Relieve each other, and by turns annoy, T

And, tyrant like, torment, but not deftroy. 3
We noxious infects in our bowels feed,
Jingender deaths, and dark deftiudlion breed.
The fpleen with fallen vapours clouds the brain,
And binds the fpirits in its heavy chain :

Hewe'er the caufe fantaftic may appear,
Th' effea is real, and the pain tfncere.
Hydropic wretches by degrees decay,
Growing the more, the more they wafte away;
By their own ruins they augmented lie,
With thirft and heat amidft a deluge fry:
And while in floods of water thefe expire,
More fcorching perifh by the fever's fire ;
Stretch'd on our downy, yet uneafy beds,
We change our pillows, and we raife our heads ;
Fix-in fide to fide in vain for reft we turn,
With cold we fhiver, or with heat we burn;
Of night impatient, we demand the day :
The day arrives, and for the night we pray ;
The night and day fucceffive come and go,
Our lafting pains no interruption know.

Since man is born to fo much woe and care,
Muft ftill new terrors dread, new forrows bear ;
Does* it not fuit the ftate of human kind,
There fhould prefide a good Almighty Mind ;
A Caufe Supreme, that might all nature fteer,
Avert our danger, and prevent our fear ;
Who, when implor'd, might timely fuccour


Solace our anguifh, and our wants relieve ;
Father of comfort, mi^ht our fouls fuftain,
When preft with grief, and mitigate our pain ?

'Tis certain fomething fr.-m ail ages paft
Without beginning was, and Hill will laft ;
For if of time one period e'er had been
When nothing was, then nothing could begin.
That things fhould to themfelves a being give,
Reluctant reafon never can conceive.
If you affirm, effects themfelves produce,
You fhock the mind, and c.mrradidion choofe ;
For they, 'tis clear, rnuft adl ard move, before
They were in being, or had motive power j



As aive caiifes nr.ifl of right at once
Exiftence claim, and as effects renounce.
Then fomething is, which no beginning had,
A caufelefs caufe, or nothing could Lc made,
Which mull by pure necefficy exift,
And whofe duration nothing can refift.

Let us.inquire, and fearch by due degrees,
^IVhat, who, this felf-exiftent being is.

Should this material world's capacious frame
tJncaus'd and independent being claim ;
It would, thus form'd and fafhion'd as we fee,
Derive exigence from necefilty,
And then to ages unconfin'd muft laft,
Without the lead diverfity or waftc.
Neceflity, view'd with attentive thought,
t)oes plain impoflibihty denote,
That things fliould not exift, which adrfal are,
Or in another (hape or different modes appear.

But fee in all corporeal nature's fcene,
What changes, what diverfities, have been !
Matter not long the fame appearance makfes,
\But fliifts her old, and a new figure takes:
\f now flic lies in winter's rigid arms,
Difhonour'd and defpoil'd of "all her charms,
Soft vernul airs will loofe th' unkind embrace,
And genial dews renew her wither'd face ;
Like fabled nymphs transform'd, ihe's now a t/ee.
Now weeps into a flood, and ftreaming feeks the
She's now a gaudy fly, before a worm, [fea.

Below a vapour, and above a ftorm ;
This oze was late a monftcr of the main* 3

That turf a lowing grazer ot the plain,
A lip'n this djd o'er the foreft reign. j

Regard that fair, that branching laurel plant,
Behold that loVely blufhing amarant ;
One might have William's broken frame affum'd,
And one from bright Maria's duft have bloom'd.
Thefe (hifting fcenes, thefe quick rotations, fhow'
Things from necefiity could never flow,
But muft to mrnd and choice precarious being

Let us fuppofe, that Nature ever was
Without beginning, and without a caufe ;
As her firft order, difpofition, frame,
Muft then fubfift unchangeably the fame;
So muft our mirtd pronounce, it would not be
Within the reach of pofiibility,
That e'er the world a being could have had
Different from what it is, or could be made
Of more or lefs, or other parts than thole
Which the corporeal univerfe compofc.
Now, Fatalift, we aik,if thofe fubvert
Reafon's eftublifh'd maxims, who affert
That we the world's exiftence may conceive,
Though we one atom out of Nature leave ;
Though fome one wandering orb, or twinkling ftar,
Were abfent, from the heavens, which now is thete;
Though fome one kind of plant, or fly, or worm,
No being had, or had another's form ?

And might not other animals arife,
Of different figure, and of different fize ?
In the wide womb of poflibility
J-,ie many things, which ne'er may actual be ;
And more productions of a various kind
Will caufe no cgmradi&ion in the mind.


inn d.


'Tis poflible the things in Nature found,

Might different forms and different parts hive

own'd :

The boar might wear a trunk, the wolf a horn.
The peacock's train the bittern might adorn ;
Strong tufics might in the node's mouth have

And lions might have fpots, arid Jeopards none.

But, if the world knows no fuperior caufe,
Obeys no fovereign's arbitrary laws;
If abfolute neccffity maintains
Of caufes and effects the fatal chains;
What could one motion ftcp, change one event ?
It would tranfcehd the wide, the vaft extent,
The utmoft ftrelch of poffibility.
That things, from what they are.fhould difagrec.

If, to elude this reafoning, you reply,
Things what they are, are by neceffity ;
Which neVer elfe fo aptly could confpire
To ferve the whole, and Nature's ends acquire ;
To form the beauty, order, harmony,
.Which we through all the works of Nature fee :
Ready we this affcrtion will allow,
Fpr what can more exalted wifdom fhow ?
With zeal we this necefiity defend,
Or means directed to their ufeful end :
But 'tis not that which fatalifts intend,
Nor th^it which we oppofe in this debate,
An uncootrol'd neceflity of fate.
Which all things blindly docs and muft produce,"^
LTnconfciou* of their go >dnefs and their ufe, f
Which cannot ends defign, nor means conve-T

nient choofe. j

If you perfift, and fondly will maintain
Of caufcs and effect an endlcfs train ;
That this fucceflive ferics ftill has been,
Will never ceafe, and never did begin ;
That things did always, as they do, proceed,
And no firft caufe, no wife director, need :
Say, if no links of all your fatal chain
Free from corruption, and unchang'd remain ;
If of the whole each part in time arofe,
And to a caufe its bnrrow'd being owes;
How then the whole can independent be ?
How have a being from neceflity ?
Is not the whole, ye learned heads, the fame
With all the parts, and different but in name ?
Could e'er that whole the leaft perfection (ho\v,
Which from the parts, that form it, did not flow,
Then, tell us, can it from its parts derive,
What in thcmfelves thofe parts had not to give ?

Farther to clear the fubjedl in debate,
Inform us, what you underftand by fate.
Have you a juft idea in the mind
Of this great caufe of things by you aflign'd J
If you the order and dependence mean,
By which effects upon their caufes lean,
The long fucceffion of th' efficient train,
And firm coherence of th' extended chain ;
Then fate is nothing but a mode of things,
Which from continued revolution fprings ;
A pure relation and a mere refpect
Between the caufe effective and th' cffe<5h
If caufes and effects themfelves are that
Which your clear-fighted fchools imcnd by fate;


Then fjte by no idea can be known,

' Tis one thing only, as a heap is one :

You no diftinguifti'd being by it mean,

But all th' effects and caules that have been.

If you affert, that each fufficient caufe

Muft ad by fix'd inevitable laws;

If you affirm this necefiary ftate,

And tell us this neceflity is fate;

When will you blefs the world with light to fee

The fpring and fource of this neceflity *

Say, what did fo difpofe, fo things ordain,

To form the links of all the cafual chain,

That nature by inevitable force

Should run one ring, and keep one fceady courfe I

That things muft needs in one fet order flow,

And all events muft happen as they do ?

Can you no proof of your affertion find ?

Produce no reafon to convince the mind,

That nature this determin'd way muft go I

Are till things thus, bccaufe they muft be fo ?

We grant with eafe, there is neceflity,

The fource of things fhould felf-exiftent be.

But then he's not a nccefiary caufe ;

He freely acts by arbitrary laws :

He gave to beings motive energy,

And active 'things topaflive did apply;

In fuch wife order all things did difpofe,

That of events neceflity arofe :

Without his aid, fay, how will you maintain

Your fatal link of caufes ? Hence 'tis plain,

While the word fate you thus affect to ufe,

You coin a fenfelefs term, th' unwary to amufe.

You, who affert the world did ne'er commence,
Prepare againft this reafoning your defence.
If folar beams, which through th' expanfion dart,
Corporeal are, as learned fchools aflert ;
Since ftill they flow, and no fupply repays
The lavifh fun his diifipated rays;
Grant, that his radiant orb did ne'er begin,
And that his motions have eternal been ;
Then, by eternal, infinite expence,
By unrecruited wafte, and fpoils immerfe,
By certain fate to flow deftruction doom'd,
His glorious flock long fince had been confum'd ;
Of light unthrifty, and profufe of day,
The ruin'd globe had fpent his lateft ray,
Difpers'd in beams eternally difplay'd,
Had loft in xther roam'd, and loofe in atoms ftray'd.
Grant, fhat a grain of matter would out weigh ^
The light the fun difpenfes in a day
Through all the ftages of his heavenly way ; 3
That in a year the golden torrents, fent
From the bright fource, its loffes fcarce augment :
Yet without end if you the wafte repeat,
Th' eternal lofs grows infinitely great.
Then, fhould the fun of finite bulk fuftaiii"
In every age the lof but of a grain ;
If we fuppofe thole ages infinite,
Could there remain one particle of light ?

Reflect, that motion muft abate its force,
As more or lefs obfiructed in its courfe;
That all the heavenly orbs, while turning round,"
Have forne from (he medium found :
Be that refiftance ne'er fo faint and weak,
M *tw eternal, 'twill ail motion break >

If in each age you grant the lead decreafe,
By infinite fucceflion it muft ceafe.
Hence, if the orbs have ftill refifted been
By air, or light, or aether, ne'er fo thin ;
Long Cnce their motion muft have been fuppreft.T
The ftars had flood, the fun had lain at reft ; /
So vain, fo wild a fcheme, you fatalifts havef
drefcM. J

Let BS the wife pofition* now furvey
Of Ariftotle's fchool, who's pleas' d to fay
Nothing can move itfelf, no inward power
To any being motion can procure.
Whate'er is mov'd, its motion muft derive
From fomething elfe, which muft an impulfegive :
And yet no being motion could begin ;
Elfe motion might not have eternal been.
That matter never did begin to move,
But in th' immenfe from endlefs ages ftrove,
The Stagyrite thus undertakes to prove-.
He fays, of motion time the meafure is ;
Then that's eternal too, a's well as this.
Motion through ages without limit flows,
Since time, its meafure, no beginning knows.
This feeble bafe upholds our author's hopes,
And all his mrghty fuperftructure props.
On this he all his towering fabric rears,
Sequel on feq-uel heaps to reach the fpheres.
But if this definition you deny > "J

Of time, on which his building does rely,
You bring his lofty Babel from the Iky : J

A thoufand fine deductions you confound, *y

Scatter hi wafte philofophy around,
And level all his ftructure with the ground. jr

We then this definition thus defeat :
Time is no meafure, which can motion meet ;
For men of reafoning faculties will fee,
That time can nothing but duration be
Of beings; and duration can fuggeft
Nothing or of their motion, or their reft;
Only prolong'd exiftence it implies,
Whether the thing is mov'd, or quiet lies.
This fingle blow will all the pile fubvert,
So proudly rais'd, but with fo little art.

But, fince the Author has fuch fame acquir'd,
And as a God of fcience been a'dmir'd,
A fl ricter view we'll of his fyftem take,
And of the parts a fhort examen make.
Let us obferve, what light his fcheme affords,
His undigefted heap of doubtful words.
Great Stagyrite, the loft inquirer fliow
The fpring whence motion did for ever flow ;
Since nothing of itfelf e'er moves or ftrives,
Tell what begins, what the firft impulfe gives.

Hear how the man, who all in fame furmount^,
For motion's fpring and principle accounts.
To his fuprenie, unmov'd, unactive God,
He the firft fphere appoints, a Licit abode;
Who fits fupinely on his azure throne,
I"n contemplation of himfeli alone;
Is wholly mindlefs of the world, and void
Of providential care, and unemploy'd,
To all the fpheres inferior are affign'd
Gods fubaltern, and of inferior kind :
On thefe he felf-exiftence does confer,
Who, as the Gd Aipreme> eternal are 5


"With admiration mov'd, and ardent love,
They all their fphcres around in order move ;
And frum thefe heavenly revolutions flow
All motions, which are found in things below.

If you demand by what impulfive force
The under-gods begin their circling courfe :
He fays, as things defirable excite
Defire, and objects move the appetite ;
So his firft God, by kindling ardent love,
Does all the gods in feats inferior move :
Thus mov'd, they move around their mighty


With their refulgent equipage of flars ;
From fphere to fphere communicate the dance,
"Whence all in heavenly harmony advance ;
And from this motion propagated rife
AH motion^ in the earth, and air, and Ikies.

And thus by learned Anftotle'd mind
All things were form'd, yet nothing was defign'd,
He owns no choice, no arbitrary will,
NO artift's hand, and no exerted (kill ;
All motion flows from neceflary fate,
WM-h nothing does rcfift, or can abate ;
Things fink and rife, a being lofe or gain ">

In a coherent, undiffolving chain [tain.

Of caufc-s and rfiects, which Nature's eourfe fuf- j
Th* umnoveaMe Supreme the reft does move,
A- propt r objects raife dt-fire and love ;
They, mov'd without their choice, without confent
Move all thtir fpheres around without intent;
Whate'er he calls his moving caufe, to choofc
He givss that caufe no power, or to refufe.
And thus from fate all artful order fprings,
This rear'd the woild, this is th<" rife of things.

Now give us leave to aflc, great Stagyrirc,
How the firft God th* inferior does excite ?
Of his own fubftance does he parts convey,
Whofe motive force the under-gods obey ?
If fo, he may be chang'd, he may decay.
But if by lleadfaft gazing they are mov'dj
And admiration of the object lov'd ;
If thofe below their motive force acquire
from the ftrong impulfe of divine defire ;
Tell us, what good your Ged Supreme can grant,
Which thofe beneath, to make them happy, want
If admiration of the God Supreme,
And heavenly raptures fhould their breads inflame
Is that of motion a refiltlefs caufe,
Of motion conftam to eternal laws ?
Might not each fecond god inactive lie
On his blue fphere, and fix his ravifti'd eye
- On the Supreme Unmoveable, and ne'er
Be forc'd to roll around his folid fphere ?
Say, how could wonder drive them from their *>
place ? /

How in a circle make them run thtir race? (
How keep them fteady in one certain pace ? J

He this a fundamental maxim lay?,
That Nature wifely acts in all her ways;
That fhe purfues the things which molt conduce
To order, beauty, decency, and ufe.
Who can to reafon this affront endure ?
Should it derifion caufe, or anger more,
To hear a deep phiiofopher aflert
Th&t nature, no; cndu'd with (kill or art,

Of liberty of choke, of reafon void,

Still wifely acts, wherever (he's employ'd ?

Can actions be denominated wife,

Which from a brute neceility arife,

Which the blind agent never did intend,

The means unchofcn, and unknown the end ?

On this be laid the ftrefs of this debate;
What wifely acts can never act by fate.
The means and end mufl firft be underftood;
The means, as proper ; and the end, as good j
The act muft be exerted with intent
By ufing means to gain the wifh'd event.
But can a fcnfelefs and unconfcious caufe,
By foreign impulfe mov'd, and fatal laws,
This thing as good, and that as fit, refpedt,
Defign the end, and then the means elect?
Nature, you grant, can no event intend,
Yet that Ihe acts with prudence you pretend :
So nature wifely acts, yet acts without an end i

Yet while this prince offcience does declare.
That means or ends were never nature's care;
That things which fecm with perfect art contriv'dj
By the reliftlefs force of fate arriv'd;
This cautious mafter, to fecure his fame,
And 'fcape the atheift's ignominious name,
Did to his guds of all degrees allow
Counfel, defign, and power to choofe and know.'
Yet, fince he's pleas'd fo plainly to affert,
His gods no act of reafoning power exert,
No mark of choice, or arbitrary will,
Employ'd no prudence, and cxprcfs'd no (kill,
In making or directing Nature's frame,
Which from his fate inevitable came ;
Thefe gods muft, as to us, be brute and blind,
And as unufeful, as if void of mind :
Acting without intent, or care, or aim,
Can they our prayer regard, or praifes claim ?
Of all the irreligious in debate,
This fhameful error is the common fate ;
That though they cannot but diftinctly fee
In Nature's works, and whole oeconomy,
Defign and judgment in a high degree ;
This judgment, this defign, they ne'er allow
Do from a caufe endued with reafon flow.
The art they grant, th' artificer reject,
The ftructure own, and not the architect ;
That unwife nature all things wifely makes,
And prudent meafures without prudence takes.

Grant that their admiration and their love
Of the firft G;>d may all th' inferior move;
Grant, too, though no neceflity appears, [fpheres:
That, with their rapture mov'd, they move their
Thefe queftions let the Stagyrite refolve,
Why they at all, why in this way revolve ?
Declare by whar ndceflity controi'd,
In one determin'd manner they arc roll'd ?
Why is their fwift rotation weft and eaft,
Rather than north and fouth, or eaft and weft
Why do not all th' inferior fpheres obey
The higheft fphere's inevitable fway ?
Tell us, if all celeftial motions rife
Fmm revolutions of the ftarry fkies,
Whence of the orbs the various motions come ?
Why feme the general road purfue ; and fonie
In aether 'ft ray, and difobedient roarn ?
Rr ij


{ ymira the fource of motion is, dechre,
"Why this isfix'd, and that a wandering fbr?
Tell by whut fate, by what refiftlefs force,
This orb has one, and that another courfe ?
How does the learned Greek the caufe unfold
With equal fwiftnefs why the fun is roll'd
Still eaft and weft, to mark the night and day ?
To form the year, why through th' ecliptic way ?
What magic, what ncceflity, confines
The fohr'r orb between the tropic lines ?
What charms in thofe enchaftted circles dwell^
That with controlling power the fun repel ?
Thr Stagyrite to this no ahfwer makes;
Of the vaft glebe fo little thought he takes,
That he to folve thefe queftions never drives,
No caufe or of its place or motion gives.

But farther yet, applauded Greek* fuppofe
Celeflial motions from your fpring arofe ;
That motion down to all the worlds below
From the firft fphere may propagated flow :
Since ybu of things to fhow th efficient fourcfe
Have always to neceffity recouffe ;
Froth what neceffity do fpheres proceed
With fuch a meaiur'd, fuch a certain fpeed ?
We fain would this mylterious caufe explore*
Why motion was not either lefs or more,
But in this juft proportion and degree,
As fuits with nature's juft oeconomy.
This is a caufe, a right one too, we grant,
But 'tis the final, we th' efficient want;
With greater fwiftnefs if the fphfcres were whirPd,
The motion given to this inferior world
Too violent had been for nature's ufe,
Of too great force mix'd bodies to produce;
The elements, air, water, earth, and fire,
Which now to make compounded things con-


By their rude {hocks could never have combin'd,
Or had been difengag'd as foon as join'd :
But then had motion in a lefs degree
Been given, than that which we in nature fee ;
Of greater vigour we had flood in need,
To mix and blend the elemental feed,
To temper, work, incorporate, and bind
Thofe principles, that thence of every kind
The various compound beings might arile,
Which fill the earth and fea, and {lore the Ikies.
Say, -what neceffity, what fatal laws,
Did in fuch due proportion motion caufe,
Nor more or lefs, but juft fo much as tends
To frame the world, and ferve all nature's ends?

Afk why the higheft of the rolling fpheres,
Deck'd to profufion with refulgent ftars,
And all with bright excrefcences emboft,
Has the whole beauty of the heavens engroft ;
When of the others, to difpel the night,
Each ow*h a fingle, folitary light ;
Only one planet in a fphere is found,
Marching in air his melancholy round :
Mature, he teils us, took this prudent care,
That the fublimeft and the nobleft fphere
Should be with nobler decoration bleft,
And in magnificence outfhine the reft ;
That fo its greater ornament and ftate
bhould bear proportion with its greater height.


It fecms then nature does not ori!y fina
Means to be good, beneficent, arid kuad,
But has for beauty and for order car'd,
Does rank, and ftate, and decency, regard.

Now, fhould he not confidering men icrglvej
If, fway'd by this affertion, they believe
That nature, which does decency refpecl,
Is fomething which can reafon, choofe, refled ?
Or that fome wife director muft prefide
O'er nature's works, and all her motions guide ?
You here fhould that neceffity declare,
Why all the liars adorn the higheft fphere ;
Say, how is this th' effect of fatal laws,
Without reflecting on a final caufe ?
One fphere has all the ftars; we afk you, why ?
When you to beauty and to order fly,
You plain a(fert the tr uth which you deny ;
That is, that Nature has wife ends in view,
With forefight works, and does defigns purfue.

Thus all the mighty wits '.hat have effay'd
To explicate the means how things are made
By nature's power, without the Hand Divine,
The final caufes of effeds a%ri.
They fay, that this or that is fo or fo,
That fuch events in fuch fucceffion flow ;
Becaufe convenience, decency, and ufe,
Require that nature things fhould thus produce.
They in their demonftrations always vaunt
Efficient caufes, which they always want.
But thus they yield the queflion in debate,
And grant the impotence of chance and fate;
For, till they fhbw by what neceffity
Things have the difpofition which we fee,
Whether it be deriv'd from fate or chance,
Not the leaft ftep in fcience they advance,

Grant Nature furnifh'd, at her vaft expence^
One room of ftate with fuch magnificence,
That it might fhine above the others bright,
Adorn'd with numerous burnifh'd balls of light ;
Does fhe on one by decent rules difpenfe
Of conftellations fuch a wealth immenfe,
While the next fphere in amplitude and height
Rolls on with one erratic lonely light ?
But be it fo, the queftion's ftill the fame,
Tell us, from what neceffity it came ?

Let us the great philofopher attend*
While to the worlds below his thoughts defcend :
His elements, earth, water, air, and fire,
He fays, to make all compound things confpire ;
He in the midft leaves the dull earth at reft,
In the foft bofom of the air carefs'd ;
The red-wing'd fire muft to the moon atife,
Hover in air, and lick contiguous fkies ;
No charms, no force, can make the fire defccndj
Nor can the earth to feats fuperior tend ;
Both unmolefted peace for ever own,
This in the middle, that beneath the moon :
Water arid air not fo ; for they, by fate
Afiign'd to conttant duty, always wait ;
Ready by turns to rife or to defcend,
Nature againft a vacant to defend ;
For fhould a void her monarchy invade,
Should in her works the fmalleft breach be made,
That breach the mighty fabric would difiblv,
And in immediate ruin all involve.

C R E A T'l O N.

A confcquence fo difmal to prevent,
Water and air are ftill (as faid) intent
To mount or fall, this way or that to fly,
Seek fubterranean vaults, or climb the fky ;
While thefe with fo much duty are oppreft,
The earth and fire are privileg'd with reft.
Thefe elements, 'tis clear, have not difceru'd
The intereft of the whole, nor are concern'd
J-eft they, when once an interpofing void
Has nature's frame o'erturn'd, ihould be deftroy't

Tell, why thefe fimple elements are four ?
Why juft fo many ? why not lefs or more ?
Does this from pure ned.'ffuy proceed ?
Or lay, does nature juft that number need?
If this, you mock us, and decline the tafk ;
You give, the final caufe, vyhen we th' efEcien


Jf that, how often fhall we call in vain,
That you would this necefliry explain ?

But here forgive me, fumous Stagyrite,
If I efteem it idle to r.ecire
The reafons (fo you call them) which you give,
To make us this necefiity believe ;
R^afons fq trifling, fo abfurd, and dry,
That thofe fhould blufh, who make a grave reply

Your elements we grant : but now declare,
How you to form compounded thing* prepare,
And mix your fire and water, earth and air?
The fwift rotation of the fpheres above,
You fay, muft all inferior bodies move ;
The elements in fublunaryfpace
Are by this impulfe furc'd to leave their place;
By various agitations they combine
In different forms, by different mixtures jpin ;
Blended and juftly temper'd, they compound
AU things in a.11 th' inferior regions found :
Thus beings from th' incorporated four
Refult, by undefigning Nature's power.
Hence metals, plants, and minerals arife,
T-he clouds anU all the meteors of the ikies!
Hence all the clans that haunt the hill or wood,
That beat the air, or cut the limpid flood!
Ev'n man, their lord, hence into being came, ,
Breath'd the pure a'ir, and felt the vital flame !
Say, is not this a noble fcheme, a piece
Worthy the Stagyrite, and worthy Greece ?

But now, acute philofoyher, declare
How this rotation of the heavenly fphcre
Can mingle fire and water, earth and air *
The fire that dwells beneath Uie lunar ball,
To meet afcending earth, muft downward fall.-
Now turn yourfphere contiguous to the fire,
Will from its feat that element retire ?
The fphcre could never drive its neighbour down,
But give a circling motion, like irsuwn.
So give the air impreflion from above,
It in a whirl vertiginous wou'.d mov ;
And thus the rolling fpheres can ne'er difplace
The fire or air, to make a mingled mafs ;
The elements diftincl might keep their feat,
Elude the ruffle, and your fcheme defeat.

But fince th' applauded author will demand
For complex bodies no director's hand;
Since art without an artift he maintains,
rears wishou; a buii-Jcr'

He comes at length to Epicurus' fcheme,
Plt-as'd by his model compound works to frame*
One all his various atoms does unite
I o form mixt rhino;.* ; the famous Stagyrite,
By his invented elements combin'd,
Compofes beings of each different kind ;
But both agree, w'hile both alike deny
1 he gods did e'er their care or thought apply
To form or rule this univerfal frame,
Which or from fate or.cafual concourfe came.
Whether to raife the world you are inclin'd
By this man's chance, or th,at nian's> fate, atf

blind ;

If ftill mechanic, neceffary laws-
Of moving matter muft all beings caufe;
If artful workh from a brute caufe refult,
Emm fprings unknown, and qualities occulf
With fthem^s alikt abfurd our reafon ii
And now, to finifli this lefs pleafant tafk,
Of our renown. 1 d philofophcr we afk,
How was the earth determin'd to its place ?
Why did it firft the middle point embrace ?
What blandifhment*, what flrong attractive power,
What happy arts adapted to allure,
Were by that finglc point of all the void,
Co captivate and charm the mafs empiay'd ?
Or what machines, what grapples did it caft
On earth, to fix it to the cejntre, faft, ?
But if the earth, by ftrong enchantment caught,
This point of ail the vacant fondly ii>ugh,t,
Since it is unintelligent and blind,
Could it the way, the neareft could it find ?
When at that point arriv'd, how did it know
t was arriv'd, and fhould no farther gp ?
When in a globous form collected there,
What wondrous ccr.jent made the parts cohere ?,
Why did the orb fufpended there remain
"ix'd and unmov'd ? what does its weight fufbin ?
Pell what its fall prevents ; can liquid air
l-hc ponderous pile on its weak columns bear?
'he earth muft, in its gravity 'sdefpight,
Jphold itfelf ; our carelefs Stagyrite
? or its fupport has no provifion made,
vo pillar rear'd, ar.d no foundation laid:
When by occult and unknown gravity
Tis to its ftation brought, it there muft lie
n updifturb'd repofe; in vain we aflc him, why ?
Say, if the world uncaus'd did ne'er begin,
' nature what it is has always been ;
Why do no arms the poet's fong employ^
tfore the .Theban war, or fiege of Troy ?
And elder hiftories relate
'he rife of empires, and the turns of flat e ?
If generation* infinite are gone,
:ll, why fo late were arts and .letters known ?.'
heir rife and progrcfs is of recent date,
n,d ft"l we mourn their young impeife fiate,.
unconfin'd duration we regard^
nd time be \*th eternity compar'd,
Sut yefterday the fage* of the eaft
rftfomc knowledge of the ftars expreft^.
ficred emblems Egypt's fons conceal' d
icir myftic learning, rather than reveal'd.
rcece after this, for fubtlc wit renown'd,
he fcienccs and arts improv'd or found j.
K. r iij


Firft,' caufes fearcn'd, and Nature's fecret ways;
Firft taught the bards to fing immortal lay;, ;
The charms of mufic and of painting rai^'d,
And was for building firft, and firft for fculpture


Man in mecbanic arts did late excel,
That fuccour life, and noxious power repe] ;
Which yield fupplies for neceflary ufe,
Or which to pleafure or to pomp conduce.
How late was found the loadftone's magic force,
That feeks the north, and guides the failor's courfe !
How newly did the printer's curious {kill
Th' enlighten'd world with letter'd volumes fill I
But late the kindled powder did explode
The maffy ball, and the brafs tube unload ;
The tube, to whcfe loud thunder Albion owes
The laurel honeurs that adorn her brows;
Which awful, -during eight renown'd campaigns,
From Belgia's hills, and Gallia's frontier plains,
I}id through th' admiring lealms around proclaim
Marlborough's fwift conquefts, and great Anna's

name !

By this thr leader of the Britifh powers
Shook Menin, Lilla, and high Ganda's towers;
Next his wide engines level'd Tomnay's prrde,
Whofe lofty walls advancing foes defy'<l :
Thoygh nitrous tempefts, and clandeftine death,
Fill'd the deep caves and numerous vaults beneath.
Which, form'd with? art, and wrought with endlefs


Ran through the faithlefs excavated foil.
See, the intrepid Briton delves his way.
And to the caverns lets in war and day ;
Quells fubterranean foes, and rifes crown'd
With fpoils, from martial labour under ground.
Mons, to reward Blarigr.ia's glorious field,
To Marlborough's terrors did fubmiflive yield.

The hero next affail'd proud Doway's head $
And, fpite of confluent inundations ipread
Around, in fpite of works for furc defence
Rais'd with confummate art, and coft immenfe,
With unexampled valour did lucceed :
(Villars, thy hoft beheld the hardy deed!)
Aria, Venantia, Bethune, and Bouchain,
Of his long triumphs clofe th'illuftrious train.
While thus his thunder did his wrath declare,
And artful lightnings flafh'd along the air,
Somona's cafties with th' impetuous roar
Aftonifli'd tremble, but their warriors more;
JLutetia's lofty towers, with terror {truck,
Caught the contagion, and ac diftance fhook.
Tell, Gallic chiefs, for you have often heard
His dreadful cannon, and his fire rever'd,
Tell, how you rag'd, when your pale cohorts run
From Marlborough's fwor d ; the battle fcarce begun.
Tell, Scaldis ! Legia, tell ! how to their head
Your frighted waves in refluent errors fled, [land,
While Marlborough's cannon thus prevails by
Britain's fea-chiefs, by Anna's high command,
Refiftlefs o'er the Tufcan billows ride,
And flrike rebellowing caves on either fide;
Their fulphur tempefts ring from fhore to fhore,
Now make the Ligur ftart, and now the Moor.
Hark how the found difturbs imperious Rome,
Shakes her proud hills, and rolls from dome to

dome !

Her mitred princes hear the echoing noife,
And, Albion, dread thy wrath, and awful voice.
Aided by thee, the Auftrian eagles rife
Sublime, and triumph in Iberian fkies.
What panic fear, what anguifh, what diftrefs,
What con ftc mat ion, Gallia's fons exprefs,
While trembling on the coaft, they from afar
View the wing'd terrors and the floating war !


The Argument, fabulous account of the firft rife of mankind, given by the ardent poets. The opinions of many
of the Greek philofopher." concerning that point not lefs ridiculous. The aflertion of Epicurus and
his followers, that our firft parents were the fpontaneous production of the earth, moft abfurd and
incredible. The true origin of man inquired into. He is proved to be at firft created by an intelli
gent, arbitrary caufe ; from the characters and imprefiions of contrivance, art, and wifdom, which
appear in his formation. The wonderful progrefs of it. The figure, fituation, and connection of
the bone*. The fy :em of the Veins, and that of the arteries. The manner of the circulation of
the blood defcribed. Nutrition, how performed. The fyftem of the nerves. Of the animal fpirits,
how made, and how employed in mufcular motion and fenfation. A wife, intelligent caufe in
ferred from thefe appearances.

THE pagan world, to Canaan's realms unknown, I Unguided, in the dark they flrove to find,
Where knowledge reign'd, and light celeftial fhone, j With fruitless toil, the fource of human kirc\.
i^oft by degrees their parent Adam's name, The heathen bards, who idle fables dre't,

forgot their ftock, and won derM whence they came; | Illufive dreams in my flic yerle


And, foei to natural fcicnce and divine,
In beauteous phrafe made impious notions fhin e >
In drains fublime their different fiiftions futig,
Whence the fird parents of our fpecies fprung.

Prometheus (fo lome elder poets fay)
Temper'd and form'd a pafte of purer clay,
To which, well mingled with the river's iieam,
His artful hand gave human ihape snd frame ;
Then, with warm life his figures to infpire,
The bold projector dole celeiUal fire.

While others tell us how the human brood
Ow'd their production to the fruitful wood ;
How from the laurel and the afli they fprung,
And infants on the oak, like acorns hung :
The crude conceptions preft the bendieg trees,
Till eherhVd by the fun-beams, by degrees,
Ripe children dropp'd on all the foil around,
Peopled the woods, and overfpread the ground.

Great Jupiter (fo fome were pleas' d to fing),
Of fabled gods the father and the king,
The moving prayer of ^Lacus did grant,
And into men and women turn'd the ant.

Some tell, Deucalion and his Pyrrha threw
Obdurate ftones, which o*er their ihoulders iler,
Then fhifting fhape receiv'd a vital flame,
And men and women (wondrous change !) be

And thus the hard and dubborn race of man
From animated rock and flint began.

Now to the learned fchools of Greece repair,
Who chance the author of the. world declare :
Then judge if wife philo&phers excel
Thofe idle taJes, which wanton poets tell.

They fay, at firft to living things the earth
At her formation gave fpontancous birth ;
When youthful heat was through the glebe dif-


Mankind, as well as infers, flic produc'd;
That genial wombs by parent chance were form'd
Adapted to the foil, which, after warm'd
And cherifh'd by the fun's enlivening beam,
With human offsprings did in embryo teem ;
Thefe nourifh'd there a while imprifon'd lay,
Then broke their yielding bands, and forc'd their


The field a crop of creatures crown'd.
And crying infants grovel'd on the ground ;
A milky dore was by the mother earth
Pour'd from her bofom, to fuftain the birth ;
In ftrength and bulk increas'd, the earth-born
race [place,

Could move, and walk, and ready change their
O'er every hill and verdant pafture dray,
Skip o'er the lawns, and by the rivers play,
Could eat the tender plant, and by degrees
Browfe on the fhrubs,and crop the budding trees ;
The fragrant fruit from bending branches (hake,
And with the crydal dream their third at plea-
fure flake.

The "earth by thefe applauded fchools, 'tisfaid,
This fingle crop of men and women bred ;
Who grown adult (fo chance it feems enjoin'd)
Did male and female propagate their kind.

This wife account Lucretian fages give,
Whence our firft parents their defcent derived

Severely on this fubjec*l to difpute,
And tales fo wild, fo fenfelefs, to confute,
Were with inglorious labour to difgrace
The fchools, and reafon's dignity debafe.
But fince, with this of man's original,
The parts remaining of their fcheme muft faH
(Yet farther to purfue the prefent theme),
Behold how vain philofophers may dream.

Grant, Epicurus, that by cafual birth
Men fprung fpontaneous from the fruitful earth*
When on the glebe the naked infants lay,
How were the helplefs creatures fed ? You fay,
The teeming foil did from its breads exude
A foft and milky liquor for their food.
I will not afk what this apt humour made,
Nor by what wondrous channels 'twas convey'd;
For, if we fuch inquiries make, we know
Your fhort reply, It happen'd to be fo ;
Without affigning once a proper caufe,
Or folving qucdions by mechanic laws,
To every doubt ycur anfwer is the fame,
It fo fell out, and fo by chance it came.

How fhall the new-born race their food com

Who cannot change their place, or move a hand J
Grant that the glebe beneath will never drink,
Nor through its pores let the foft humour fink;
Will not the fun with his exhaling ray
Defraud the babe, and draw his food away ?

Since for fo long a fpace the human birth
Mud lie expos'd and naked on the earth ;
Say, could the tender creature, in defpite
Of heat by day, and chilling dews by night,
In fpite of thunder, winds, and hail, and rain,
Andall inclement air, its life maintain ?

In vain, you fay, in earth's primaeval date,
Soft was the air, and mild the cold and heat ;
For did not then the night fucceed the day ?
The fun as now roll through its annual way ?
Th' effec'ls then on the air mud be the fame,
The frods of winter, and the fummer's flame.

In the firft age, you fay, the pregnant ground J
With human kind in embryo did abound, C

And pour'd her offspring on the foil around. j
But tell us, Epicurus, why the field
Did never fince one human harved yield ?
And why we never fee one ripening birth
Heave in the j;lebe, and Itruggle through the
earth ?

You fay, that, when the earth was freflx and


While her prolific energy was drong,
A race of men fhe in her bofom bred,
And all the fields with infant people fpread ;
But that fird birth her drength did io exhauft,
The genial mother fo much vigour lod,
That, waded now by age, in vain we hope
She fhould again bring forth a human crop.

Mean time, die's not with labour fo


But fhe can dill the hills with woods adorn.
See, from her fertile bofom how fhe pours ~
Verdant conceptions.and, refrefh'd with fhowers,
Covers the field with corn, and paints the mead
with flowers.

R r Hi]


See, her talj fons, the cccTar, oak, and pine,
The fragrant myrtle, and the juicy vine,
Tbeir parent's undtcaying-ftrength declare, *)
\Vhich [file://\\;it.h \\;it.h] frefh labour, and unwearied care, S
Supplies new plants, her loffes to repair. N }

Then, the earth retains her fruitful power
To procreate plants, the foreft to rcitpre ;
^ay, why to nobler animals alone
Should '(lie be feeble, arid unfruitful grown ?>
After one birth ihe ceas'4 not to be young,
*The glebe was fucculent, the mould was ftrong.
Could fhe at once fade ip her perfect bloom, -
Wafteali her fpints, and her wealth confume ?v
Grant that her vigour might in pan; decreaie,

like productions muft'fhe ever ceafe ?
To form a race fhe might have flill inclin'd,
Though of a monftrous, or a dwarfifh kind.
Why did fhe never, by one crude cflay,
Imperfect lints and rudiments difplay ?,
In fame fucceeding ages had been found
A leg or rm unfinifh'd in the ground.;
And forrietimes in the fjelds might plow in,g fwairs
Turii up foft bones, and break; unfafhion'ct veins.

l|ut grant the earth was lavifh of her power,
Arjd f} >ent at once her whole prolific (lore^;
"Would not fo long a, reft new vigour give,
And all her firft fertility revive ?
Learn, Epicurus, of th' expe'rienc'd fwain,
When frequent wounds have worn th'.inipoverifh'd

plain : him a while th^e furrow not moleft,
But leave the glebe to heavenly dews and reft ;
)f then, he till and fpw the harrow'd field,
Will not the foil a plenteous harveft yieKl ?

The fun, by you, Lucretius, is afiig^'d
The other parent of all human kind.
But does he ever languifh or decay ? ~\

Does he not equal influence difplay.
And, pierce 'the plains i with the fame active ray ? j
If then the glebe, warm'd with the folar flarrfe,
[Men once produc'd, it ftill fhould be the fame.

You fay, the fun'? prolific beams can form
Th' induftrious ant, the gandy fly, and Worm ;
Can make each plant, and tree, the gardener's care
Beiide their leaves, their proper infeds b,ear :
Then ni\ght the heavens, in fume peculiar $ate,
Or lucky afpe#, beafts and men create.
But late 'inquirers by their glafles find
That every 'infect of each different kind,
In its own egg, cheer'd by the fclar rays,
Organs involv'd and latent life difplays:
This truth, difcover'd by fagacious a,rt,
Does all Lucretian arrogance lubvert.
Proud wits, your frenzy own, and, dvercome
By reafba's force, be now for ever dupab,.

K 1 ,' learned Epicurus, we allovy
Our race to parth primeval being ow'e,
How clid fhe male and female fexts frame ?,
Say, if from fortune this diitinc^ion came ?.
Or did the corilcious parent then forcfec
By one conception fhe fhould barren be,
And therefore, wifel'y provident, defign'd
Prolific pairs to propagate the kind ;
Thar, thus prcferv'd, the godlike race of man
&Gt cxjire e'er ycc it fc^rce began: f.



Since, by thefe various arrnjmen's, s tii clear

he teeming mould did not our parents bear;
Jy more fevere inquiries let us trace
The origin and fource of human race.

I think, I move, I therefore know I am;
Vhile I have been, I ftill have been the fame,
iijaee, from an infant, I a man became.
Jut though I am, few circling years are gone,

ince I in nature's roll was quite unknown.
Then, fince 'tis plain ! have' not always been,

aft, from whence my being could begin ?

did not to myfelfiexiftence give,
SJor from myfelf the fecret power receive,
3y which I reafon, and by which I live. '

4jd not build this frame, ror do I know
The hidden fprings frorn whence my motions flayir.

If I had form'd niyfelf, Ihad defign'd
A ftronger body, and a wifer mind,
I-'rqni'forrovv free, nor liable to pain;
My paffions fhould obey, arid reafon reign.
Nor could my being from my parents flow,
Who neither did the parts or ftru&ure know,
Did not my mind or body underhand,
My fex determine, nor my fhape command?
Had they deTign'd and rai^'d the curious frame,
Infplr'd my branching veins with vital flame, '
Fafliion'd tlie heart, and hollow channels made,
Through which the circling flreams of life are

play'd ; " '

H?d they the organs of my fenfes wrought,
And.tof m'd the wondrous principle of thought ;
Their artful vv'ork they muft have better known,
Explained its fprings, and its contrivance fhown.
lthey could make, they might prefer ve me

Prevent my fean, or diffipato my wo.

When long in ficknefs languifhing I lay,

1 hey with compaifion t6uch'd dul mourn and pray'j

To footh my pain, and mitigate my grief,

They faid kind things, yet brought rne no relief.

But whatlueyer caufe my being gjave,

1'he power that made me csn its creature fave.

If to myfelf 1 did not being give, '
Nor from immediate parents did receive;
It could not from my predeccffors flow,
They, than my parents, could r."bt mote bellow.
bhould we the long depending fcale afcend
Of Ions and fathers, will it never end ?
If 'twill, then muft we through the order run
To feme one man, whofe being ne'er begun :'
If that one man was fempiterrial, why
Pid. he, fince independent, ever die ?
If from himfelf his own exigence came,
The caufe, that could deftroy his being, narpe.

To feck my maker, thufc in vain I trace
The whole fuccefiive chain of human race.
Bewilder'd I my Author cannot find, ^

Till feme Firft Caufe, ft, me Self-exiftent Mind,
Who form'd, and rules all nature, is affign'd, J

When firft the womb did the crude cmbryq

What fhap'd the parts ? what <iid the limbs un-

fold ?

O'er the whole work in fecret did prefide,
Qive quickening vigour, and each motion guide


ipread ;
cs drill, -)

flcill, /
c rect fles f

\y.hat kindjed in the dark the vital fiame,

And, ere the heart was form'd, pufli'J on the

reddening ftream ?

Then for the heart the apteft fibres ft rung ?
And in the breaft th' impulfive engine hung ?
8ay, what the various bones fo wifely wrought ?
How was their frame to fuch perfection brought ?
What did their figures for their ufes fit,
Their number fix, and joints adapted knit;
And made them all in that juft order ftand,
"Which motion, ftrength, and ornament, demand ?
What for the finews fpun fo ftrong a thread,
The curious loom to weave themufclcs fpread ;
IJid the nice firings of tended membranes drill,
And perforate the nerve with fo much
Then with the adtivc ftream, the dark


The purple mazes of the veins difplay'd,
And all th' arterial pipes in order laid,
What gave the bounding current to the blood,
And to and fro convey'd the reftlefs flood?

The living fabric now in pieces take,
f)f every part due ohfcrvation make;
All which fuch art difcover, fo conduce
To beauty, vigour, and each deftin'd ufe ;
"Xhe atheiii, if to learch for truth inclin'd,
May in himftlf his full conviction find,
And from his body teach his erring mind.

When the crude embryo careful nature breeds,
J ee how fbe work*, and how her work proceeds ;
While through the mafs her energy fhe darts,
*To free and iwell the complicated parts,
Which only does unravel and untwiil
Th' invelop'd limbs, that previous there exift.
And aa each vital fpeck, in which remains ~\
Th' entire, but rumpled animal, contains
Organs perplex'd, and clue* of twining veins; j
So eve'ry foe: us bears a facred heard.
With fiecping, unexpended ifTue ftor'd;
Which numerous, but unquicken'd progeny,
.Clafp'd and inwrapt within each other lie :
Engendering heats thefe one by one unbind,
Stretch their {mall tabes, and hamper'd nerves

unwind :

And thus, when time fhall drain each magazine,
Crowded with men unborn, unripe, unfcen,
Nor yet of parts unfolded ; no incrcafe
Can follow, all prolific power rnuft ceafe.

Th' elaftic fpiiit?, which remains at reft
In the ftrait lodgings oi the brain compreft,
While by the ambient womb's enlivening h
Cheer'd and awaken'd, firft themfelves dilate ;
Then quicken'd and expanded every way,
The genial labourers all their force dilplay :
They now begin to work the wondrous frame,,
To fhape the parts, and raife the vital flame j
Por when th' extended fibres of the brain
'.Their adlive guefts no longer can reftrain,
'They backward f>>rii,g, which clue tffort compels
The labouring fpirits to forfake their cells,; ' '
The fpirits thus exploded from their fea{, ~\

Swift from the head to the next parts retreat, C
Torce their admiflion, and their pafTage beat : j
Their tours around th' unopen'd mafs they take,
And by a thoufand ways their inroads make,


fill there refifted they their race iufkcl,
And backward to their fource their way dire&
Thus with a Heady and alternate toil
They iffue from, and to the head recoil ;
By which their plaftic function they difcharge,
Extend their channels, and their traces enlarge ;
For, by thefwift excurfions which they make,
Still tallying from the brain, and leaping back,
They pierce the oervous fibre, bore the vein,
And ftretch th' arterial channels which contain
The various ftrcams of life, that to and fro
Through, dark meanders undire&ed flow;
Th' infpedled egg this gradnal change betrays,
To which the brooding hen expanding heat con


The beating heart, demanded firft for ufe,
Is the firft mufcle nature docs produce ;
By this impulfive engine's conftant aid,
The tepid floods are every way convey'd ;
And did not nature's care at firft provide
The active heart, to pufh the circling tide,
All progrefs to her work would be denied.

The falient point, fo firft is call'd the heart,
Shap'd and fufpcnded with amazing art,
By turns dilated, and by turns comprefs'd,
Expels and entertains the purple gueft;
it fends from out its left contracted fide
Into thl arterial tube its vital pride ;
Which tube, prolong'd but little from its fourc<
Parts its wide trunk, and takes a double courfc,

One channel to the head its way directs,
One to th' inferior limbs its path Snfle&s :
Both fmaller by degrees, and fmaller grow
And on the parts, through which they br


v t )

ranch- f

A thoufand fecrec fubtle pipes beftow;

From which, by numerous convolutions wound,

Wrapt with th' attending nerve, and twitted


The complicated knots and kernels rife,
Of various figures, and of various fize.
Th' arterial duds, when thus involv'd, produce
Unnumber'd glands, and of important ufc ;
But after, as they farther progrefs make,
The appellation of a vein they take ;
For though th' arterial pipes themfelves extend
In /mallett branches, yet they never end;
The fame continued circling channels run
Back to the heart, where firft their couife begun.

The heart, as faid, from its comrative cave
On, the left fide, eje<Sls the bounding wave ;
Exploded thus, as fplitting channels lead,
Upward it fprings, or downward is convey'd ;
The crimlbn jttts with fore*: tlailic thrown
Aiccnd, and climb the mind's imperial throne ;
Arterial ftreams through the fort brain diffuic,
And water all its fields with vital dews :
l'"rom this o'erflowing tide the curious brain
Does through its pores the purer fpirits ftrain ;
Which to its inmoil feats their paffage make,
Whence their dark rife th' extended finews take ;
With all their mouths the nerves thefe fpirits drink
Which through the cells of the line ftrainer fink;
Thefe all the'channel'd fibres every way
For motion and fenfation ftill convey.


The greateft portion of th' arterial blood,
By the clofe ftru&ure of the parts withftood,
Whofe narrqw meihes ftop the groffer flood,
By apt canals and furrows in the brain,
Which here difcharge the office of a vein,
Invert their current, and the heart regain.

The fhooting ftreams, which through another


The beating engine downward did explode,
To all th' inferior parts defcend, and lave
The members with their circulating wave :
To make th' arterial treafure move as flow,
As nature's ends demand, the channels grow
Still mere contracted, as they farther go :
Befides, the glands, which o'er the body fpread
Fine complicated clues of nervous thread,
Involv'd and twifted with th' arterial du,
The rapid motion of the blood obftrucl :
Thefe labyrinths the circling current ftay
JFor noble ends, which after we difplay.

Soon as the blood has pafs'd the winding ways,
And various turnings of the wondrous maze,
JFrom the entangled knot of veflels freed,
It runs its vital race with greater fpeed ;
And from the parts and members mod remote, ~J
By thefe canals the ftreams are backward /
brought, [wrought ; C

Which are of thinner coats and fewer fib.resj
Till all the confluent rills their current join ?
And in the ample Porta vein combine.
This larger channel by a thoufand roads
Enters the liver, and its ftore unloads;
Which from that ftore by proper inlets (trains -^
The yellow dregs, and fends them by the veins >
To the large cittern, which th^ gall contains; j
Then to the vein we Cava name, the blood
Calls in the fcatter'd ftreams, and re-colle<fts the


As when the Thames advances through the plain,
With his frefh. waters to dilute the main ;
He turns and winds amidft the flowery meads,
And now contrails, and now his water fpreads;
Here in a courfe dired he forward tends,
There to his head his waves retorted bends :
See, now the fportive flood in two divides
His filver train, now with uniting tides
He wanton clafps the intercepted foil,
And forms with erring ftreams the reedy ifle ;
At length collecting all his watery hand,
The ocean to augment he leaves the land.
So the red currents in their fecret maze
In various rounds through dark meanders pafs,
Till all, aflembled in the Cava vein,
Bring to the heart's right fide their crimfon train,
Which now compreft with force elaftic drives
The flood, that through the fecret paffes ftrives;
The road that to the lungs this ftore tranfmits
Into unnumber'd narrow channels fplits ;
The venal blood crowds through the winding


And through the tubes the broken tide conveys ;
Thofe numerous ftreams, their rofy beauty gone,
poor by expence, and faint with labour grown,
Are in .he lungs enrich'd, which reinfpire
The languid Hqucrs, and reftore their fire.

The large arterial du&s that thither lead, *)
By which the blood is from the heart convey 'd, (
Through either lobe ten thoufand branches

fpread. .)

Here its bright ftream the bounding current parts 3
And through the various pafles fwiftly darts,
Each fubtle pipe, each winding channel, fills
With fprightly liquors, and with purple rills ;
The pipe, diftinguifh'd by its griftly rings,
To cherifh life aerial pafture brings,
Which the foft breathing lungs with gentle force
Conftant embrace by turns, by turns divorce ;
The fpringy air this nitrous food impels -\

Through all the fpungy parts and bladder'd/

cells, r

And with dilating breath the vital billows fwells ;J
Th 1 admitted nitre agitates the flood,
Revives its fire, and re-ferments the blood.
Behold, the ftreams now change their languid


Regain their glory, and their flame renew;
With fcarlet honours re-adorn'd, the tide
Leaps on, and, bright with more than Tyrian pride,
Advances to the heart, and fills the cave
On the left fide, which the firft motion gave ;
Now through the fame involv'd arterial ways,
Again th' exploded jets th' impulfive engine plays.

No fons of wifdom could this current trace,
Or of th' Ionic, or Italic race :
From thee, Democritus, it lay conceal'd,
Though yielding nature much to thee reveal'd;
Though with the curious knife thou didft invade
Her dark receffes, and haft oft' difplay'd
The crimfon mazes, and the hollow road,
Which to the heart conveys the refluent blood.-
It was to thee, great Stagyrite, unknown,
And thy preceptor of divine renown.
Learning did ne'er this fecret truth impart
To the Greek mafters of the healing art.
'Twas by the Coarj's piercing eye unview'd,
And did attentive Galen's fearch elude.

Thou, wondrous Harvey! whofe immortal fame,
By thee inftru&ed, grateful fchools proclaim;
Thou, Albion's pride, didft firft the winding way,
And circling life's dark labyrinth difplay;
Attentive from the heart thou didft purfue
The ftarting flood, and keep it ftill in view;
Till thou with rapture faw'ii the channels bring
The purple currents back, and form the vital ring.

See, how the human animal is fed,
How nourifhment is wrought, and how convey'd :
The mouth, with proper faculties endued,
Firft entertains, and then divides the food;
Two adverfe rows of teeth the meat prepare,
On which the glands fermenting juice confer ;
Nature has various tender mufcles plac'd,
By which the artful gullet is embrac'd;
Some the long funnels curious mouth extend,
Through which ingefted meats with eafe defcend;
Other confederate pairs for' nature's ufe
Contract the fibres, and the twitch produce,
Which gently pufhes on the grateful fond
To the wide ftomach, by its hollow road :
That this long road may unobftru&ed go,
As it dtfcends, it bores the midriff through.-


The large receiver for concocftion made

Behold amidft the warmeft bowels laid ;

The fpleen to this, and to the adverfe fide

The glowing liver's comfort is apply'd ;

Beneath, the pancreas has its proper feat,

To cheer its neighbour, and augment its heat ;

More to affift it for its deftin'd ufe,

This ample bag is ftor'd with adtive juice,

Which can with eafe fubdue, with eafe unbind,

Admitted meats of every different kind ;

This powerful ferment, mingling with the parts,

The leaven'd mafs to milky chyle converts ;

The ftomach's fibres this concocted food,

By their contraction's gentle force, exclude,

Which by the mo.uth on the right fide defcendg

Through the wide pafs, which from that mouth

depends ;

In its progreffion foon the labour'd chyle
Receives the confluent rills of bitter bile,
Which by the liver fever'd from the blood, ^
And ftriving through the gall-pipe, here Tin- /

load t

Their yellow ftreams, more to refine the flood; J
The complicated glands, in various ranks
Difpos'd along the neighbouring channel's banks,^
By conftant weeping mix their watery (tore
With the chyle's current, and dilute it more;
Th' inteftine roads, inflected and inclin'd,
In various convolutions turn and wind,
That thefe meanders may the progrefs flay, ~)
And the defcending chyle by this delay >

May through the milky vcflels find its way, j
Whofe little mouths in the large channel's fide
Suck in the flood, and drink the cheering tide :
Thele numerous veins (fuch is the curious frame!)
Receive the pure infinuating ftream ;
But no corrupt or dreggy parts admit,
To form the blood, or feed the limbs unfit ;
Th' inteftine fpiral fibres thefe protrude,
And from the winding tubes at length exclude.
Obferve, thefe fmall canals confpire to make
With all their treafure one capacious lake,
Whofe common receptacle entertains
Th' united ftreams of all the la&eal vein*.
Hither the rills of water are convey'd
In curious aquedu&s by nature laid,
To cairy all the limpid humour ftrain'd,
And from the blood divided by the gland ;
Which mingling currents with the milky juice
Makes it more apt to flow, more fit for ufe j
Thefe liquors, which the wide receiver fill,
Prepar'd with labour, and refin'd with (kill,
Another courfe to diiiant parts begin,
Through roads that ftretch along the back within ;
This ufeful channel, lately known, afccnds,
And in the vein near the left fhoulder ends,
Which there unloads its wealth, that with the


Now flows in one incerporated flood ;
Soon by the vein 'tis to the heart convey'd,
And is by that elaftic engine play'd
Into the lungs, whence, as defcrib'd before,
It onward fprings, and makes the wondrous tour.

Now all the banks the branching river laves
With dancing ftream^ and animated wav^s ;

New florid honours and gay youth beflows,
Diffufing vital vigour, where it flows ;
Supplies frefh fpirits to the living frame,
And kindles in the eyes a brighter flame ;
Mufcles impair'd receive new fibrous thread,
And every bone is with rich marrow fed ;
Nature revives, cheer'd with the wealthy tide,
And life rcgal'd difplays its purple pride.

But how the wondrous diftribution's made,
How to each part its proper food convey'd ;
How fibrous firings for nourifhment are wrought,
By what conveyance to the mufcles brought ;
How rang'd for motion, how for beauty mix'd ;
With vital cement how th* extremes arc fix'd;
How they agree in various ways to join
In a tranfverfe, a ftraight, and crooked line;
Here loft in wonder we adoring ftand *)

With rapture own the wife Director's hand, /
Who nature made, and does her works com-^
mand. j

Let us howe'er fhe theme as far purfue,
As learn'd obfervers know, or think they do.
Mix'd with the blood in the fame circling


The rills nutritious through the veflels glide :
Thofe pipes, ftill leflening as they further pafs,
Retard the progref* of the flowing mafs.
The glands, that nature o'er the body fpreads,
All artful knots of various hallow threads,
Which lymphjedu<5b, on artery, nerve, and vein,
Involv'd and clofe together wound, contain,
Make yet the motion of the ftreams more flow,
Which through thofe mazes intricate muft flow :
And hence it comes the interrupted blood
Diftends its channels with its fwclling flood ;
Thofe channels, turgid with th' obftru6tive tide,")
Stretch their fmall holes, and make their mefhes
wide, l"

By Ikilful nature pierc'd on every fide. j|

Mean time, the labour'd chyle pervades the pores
In all th' arterial perforated fhores ;
The liquid food, which through thofe pafles drives,
To every part juft reparation gives;
Through holes of various figures various juice
Infinuates, to ferve for nature's ufe.
See fofter fibres to the flefli are fent,
While the thin membrane finer firings augment j
The tough and ftrong are on the fincws laid,
And to tHe bones the harder are convey'd ;
But what the mafs nutritious does divide,
To different parts the different portions guide,
What makes them aptly to the limbs adhere,
In youth augment them, and in age repair,
The deepeft fearch could never yet declare.
Nor lefs contrivance, nor lefs curious art,
Surprife and pleafe in every other part.
See, how the nerves, with equal wifdom made,
Arifing from the tender brain, pervade,
And fecret pafs in pairs the channel'd bone,
And thence advance through paths and roads un
known ;

Form'd of the fineft complicated thread,
Thefe numerous cords are through the body fpread;
A thcufand branches from each trunk they lend,
Some to the limbs, fome to the bowels tend j



Some in firait lines, fome in tranfverfe, are found,
One forms a crooked figure, one a round;
The entrails chefe embrace in fpiral firings,
Thofe clafp th' arterial tubes in tender rings ;
The tendons fome compacted clofe produce^
And fome thin fibres for the fkin diffufe.

Thefe fubtl,e channels (fuch is every nerve !)
For vital functions, fenfe, and mption ferye ;
Included fpirits through their fecret road
^afs to and fr'p, as through the veins the blood ;
Sorne to th.e heart advancing take their way,
Which move and make the beating mufcle play ;
Part to the fpleen, part to the liver, flows,
Thefe to the lungs, and to the ftomach thofe, ;
They help to labour and concoct, the food,
Refine the chyle, and animate the blood;
Exalt the ferments, and the drainers aid,
That, by a conftant feparation made,
They may a due ceconomy maintain,
Exclude the noxious parts, the good retain.

Yet we thefe wondrous functions ne'er perceive,
Ifun&ions, by which we move, by which we live ;
tJnconfcious we thefe motions nevtr heed,
Whether they err, or by juft laws proceed.

But other fpints, govern'd by the will,
Shoot through their tracks, and diftant mufdes fijl :
This Sovereign by his arbitrary nod
Reflrains, or fends his minifters abroad ;
S.wift and obedient to his high command,
*They ftir a finger, or they lift a hand ;
They tune our voices, or they move our eyes ;
By thefe we walk, or from the ground arife ;
By thefe we turn, by theCe the body bend ;
Contrail a limb at pleafure, or extend.
And though thefe fpirits, which obfequious go,
Know not the paths through which they ready


Nor can our mind inftrudt them in their way,,
Qf all their roads as ignorant as they :

Yet feldom erring they attain their end^
And reach that fingle part, which we intend ;.
Unguided they a juft diftindtioH make,
This mufcle fwell, and leave the other flack ;
And when their force this limb or that infledts,
Our will the meafure of that force directs ;
The fpirits which diftend them, as we pleafe,
Exert their power, or from their duty ceafe.

Thefe out-guards of the mind are fent abroad*
And ftill patrolling beat the neighbouring road;
Or to the parts rempte obedient fly,
Keep pofts adyanc'd, and on the frontier lie.
The watchful centinels at every gate,
A* every paffage to the fenfes wait ;.
Still travel to and fro the nervous way,
And their impreflions to the brain convey^
Where their report the vital envoys make,
And with new order* are, remanded back ;
Quick, as a darted of light, they go,
Through different paths to different organs flovi,
Whence they reflect as fwiftly to the brain,
To give it pleafure, or to give it pain.

Thus has the mufe a daring wing difplay'd,
Through trackjcfs fkies ambitious flight effay'd,
To fing the wonders of the human frame ;
Bur, ph ! bewails her weak, unequal fla,mc.
Ye fkilful matters of Machaon's race,
Who nature's mazy intricacies trace,
And to fublimer fpheres of knowledge riCe^
By manag'd fire, and late-invented eyes ;
Tell, how your fearch has. here eluded been,
HQW oft amaz'd and ravifh', haye feen.
The conduct, prudence, and ftupendous arj.
And mafter-ftrokes in each mechanic part.
Tell, what delightful myfteries remain
Unfung, which my inferior voice difdain.

Who can this field of miracles furvey
And not with Galen all in rapture fay
Behold a God, s*dor him, and obey !


"Tie Argument.

The introduction, in. imiutipn of Iing Solomon's ironical cpncefiions to the libertine. The Creatct
afferted, from the contemplation of animals. Of their fenfe of hearing, tafling, fmelling, and efpe-
cially of feeing. Of, the nobler operations of. animals, commonly called inflinds. The Creator de-
nionftrated farther, from the cont,emplatioij of human underftanding, and the perfections of thq
mind. The vigour and fwiftnefs of thought. Simple perception. Refledi^n. Qf the mind's power
of abftra&iug, uniting, and feparating ideas. Of the faculty. of r(?afoning, or deducing one propo-
iition from two others. The power of human underftanding, in inventing fkilful works, and in
other inftances. The mind's felf-determining power, or, freedom of choice. Her power of ele2ing
an end, and choofing means to attain that end. Of controlling our appetites, rejecting pkafures,
and choofing pain, want, and death itfelf, in hopes of happinefs in a diftant unknown ftate of life,

, The conclusion, being a fhort recapitulaj;i.Qn of the w^ole ; wit^i a h,y m n tp the Creator of the

"\VHILE rofy youth in perfect bloom maintains,
Thoughtlefs of age, and ignorant of pains;
While from the heart rich ftreams with vigour

Jkmnd through their roads, and dance their vital

And fpirits, fwift as fun-beams through the fkies,
Dart through thy nerves, and fparkle in thy


While nature with full ftrength thy finews arms,
Glows in thy cheeks, and triumphs in her


VncMge thy Inftincts, and Intent, on cafe
With ravifliing delight thy fenfes pleafe.

Since no black clouds difhonour now the fky,
No winds, but balmy genial zephyrs, fly,
Eager embark, and to th' inviting gale
Thy pendants loofe, and fpread thy filken fail ;
Sportive advance on pleafure's wanton tide
Through flowery fcenes, diffus'd on either fide.
See how the hours their painted wings dif-


And draw, like harnefs'd doves, the fmiling day !
Shall thii glad fpring, when active ferments climb,
Thefe months, the faireft progeny of time,
The brighteft parts in all duration's train,
Aflt thee to fcize thy blifs, and a(k in vain ?
To their prevailing fmiles thy heart refign,
And wifely make the proffcr'd bleflings thine.
Near fome fair river, on reclining land,
'Midft groves and fountains let thy palace (land ;
Let Parian walls unrivall'd pomp difplay,
And gilded towers repel augmented day ;
Let porphyry pilfers in high row* uphold
The azure roof enrich'd with veins of gold;
And the fair creatures of the fculptor's art
Part grace thy palace, and thy garden part;
Here let the fccntful fpoils of opening flowers
Breathe from thy citron walks, and jalmine bowers;
Hefperian blofloms in thy bofom fmcll;
Let all Arabia in thy garments dwril.

That coftly banquets and delicious feafts
May crown thy table, to regale thy guefts,
Ranfack the hiH, and every park and wood,
The lake unpeople, and defpoil the flood ;
Procure each feather'd luxury, that beats
its native air, or from its clime retreats,
And by alternate tranfmigration flies
O'er interpofing feas, and changes Ikies ;
Let artful cooks to raife their reiifli drive,
With all the fpicy taftcs the Indies give.

While wreaths of rofes round thy temples twine,
Enjoy the fparkling bleflings of the vine ;
Let the warm nectar all thy veins infpire,
Solace thy heart, and raifc the vital fire.

Next let the charms of heavenly mufic cheer
Thy foul with rapture liftening in thy ear;
Let tuneful chiefs exert their (kill, to fliow
Whit artful joys from manag'd found can flow;
Now hear the melting voice and trembling ftring;
Let Pcpufch touch the lyre, and Margarita fing.
While wanton ferments fwell thy glowing veins
To the warm pafllon give the flackcn'd reins ;
Thy gazing eyes with blooming beauty feaft,
Receive its dare, and hug it in thy breaft;
Fiom fair to fair with gay inconftance rove,
Tafte every fweet, and cloy thy foul with love.

But 'midft thy boundlefs joys, unbridled youth,
Remember ftill this fad, but certain truth,
That thou at laft feverely muft account ;
To what will thy congetlcd guilt amount !

Allow a God ; he muft our deeds regard ;
A righteous Judge muft punifh and reward:
Yet that he rears no high tribunal here,
Impartial juftice to difpenfe, is clear.
His iword unpunifh'd criminals defy,
Nor by his thyflder docs the tyrant vdiej

While Heaven's adorer's prcfl with want and pain
Their unrewarded innocence maintain.
See his right hand he unextended keeps, [fleeps.
Though long provok'd, th' unadtive vengeance

Hence we a world fucceeding this infer,
Where he his juftice will aifert ; prepare
To fland arraign'd before his awful bar,
Where wilt thou hide thy igriominous head ?
Shuddering with horror, what haft thou to plead I
Defpairing wretch! he'll frown tKee from h

And by his wrath will make his being known.

Yet more Religion's empire to fupport,
To pufti the foe, and make our laft effort;
Let beings with attention be review'd,
Which, not alone with vital power endued,
Can move themfelves, can organiz'd perceive
The various ttrokes, which various objects give.
By laws mechanic can Lucretius tell
How living creatures fee, or hear, or fmefl ?
How is the image to the fenfe convey'd ?
On thetun'd organ how the impulfe made ?
How, and by which more noble part, the braia
Perceives th' idea, can their fchools explain ?
*l'is clear, in that fuperior feat alone
The judge of objects has her fecrct throne :,
Since, a limb fever'd by the wounding fteel,
We ftill may pain, as in that member, feeL
Mark how the fpirirs watchful in the ear
Seize undulating founds, and catch the vncal air.
Obferve how others, that the tongue poflcf*,
Which falts of various fliape and fize impreft,
From their affected fibres upward dart,
And different uftes by different ftrokes impart.
Remark, how thofe, which in the noftril dwell.
That artful organ deftin'd for the fmell,
By vapours mov'd, their paflage upward take.
And (cents tmpicafant or delightful make,

If in the tongue, the noftril, and the car,
No (kill, no wifdom, no defign, appear;
Lucretians, next, regard the curious eye;
Can you no art, no prudence, there defcryj
By your mechanic principles, in vain
The fenfe of fight you labour to explain.
You fay, from all the objects of the eye
Thin colour'd fliapes uninterrupted fly.
As wandering ghofts (fo ancient poets feign)
Skim through the air, and.fweep th' infernil

plain ;

So thefe light figures roam by day and night,.
But undKcover'd till betray'd by light.

But can corporeal forms with fo much eafc
Meet in their flight a thoufand images,
And yet no conflict, no collifive force,
Break their thin texture, and difturb their cotirfc ?
What fix'd their parts, and made them fo cohere,
That they the picture of the object wear ?
What is the (hape, that from a body flies? ">
What moves, what propagates, what multiplies, v
And paints one image in a thoufand eyes ? 3

When to the eye the crowding figures pafs,
How in a point can all pofiefs a place,
And lie diftinguilVd in iuch narrow fyace ?
Since all perception in the brain is made,
(Though where and how was never yet difplay *d)




And fince fo great a diilance lies between
The eye-ball, and the feat of fenfe within^
While in the eye th' arrefted object ftays,
Tell, what th' idea to the brain conveys ?
You fay, the fpirits in the optic nerve,
ivlov'd by the intercepted image, ferve
To bear th' impreffion to the brain, and give
The ftroke, by which the object we perceive.
How docs the brain, touch'd with a different!

ftrofee, C

The whale diftinguifh from the marble rock ? I
Pronounce this tree a cedar, that an oak ? J

Can fpirits weak or ftronger blows exprefs,
One body greater, and another lefs ?
JIow do they make us fpace and diftance know ?
At once diitinct a thoufand objects fhow?

Lucretians, now proceed; contemplate all
The nobler actions of the animal,
Which inftinct fome, fome lower reafon, call,
Say, what contexture did by chance arrive,
Whicja to brute creatures did that inftirwft give,
Whence they at fight difcern and dread their foe,
Their food diftinguifh, and their phyfic know ?
By which the lion learns to hunt his prey,
And the weak herd to fear and fly away ?
The birds contrive inimitable nefts ?
And dens are haunted by the foreft beafts ?
Whence fome in fubterranean dwellings hide,
Thefe in the rocks, and thofe in woods abide ?
Whence timorous beafts, through hills and lawns

By artful fhifts the ravening foe elude ?

What various wonders may obfervers fee
In a fmall infect, the fagacious bee !
Mark, how the little untaught builders fquafe
Their rooms, and in the dark their lodgings rear!
Nature's mechanics, they unwearied ftrive,
And fill with curious labyrinths the hive.
See, what bright ftrokes of architecture fhine
Through the whole frame, what beauty, what de-

fign !

Each odoriferous cell, and waxen tower,
The yellow pillage of the rifled flower,
Has twice three fides, the only figure fit
To which the labourers may their ftores cotnmit,
Without the lois of matter, or of room,
In 5ll the wondrous ftrudture of the comb.
Next view, fpectator, with admiring eyes,
In what Juft order all th' apartments rife 1
So regular their equal fides cohere,
Th' adapted angles fo each other bear,
That, by mechanic rules refin'd and bold,
They are at once upheld, at once uphold.
Does not this fkiil ev'n vie with reafon's reach ?
Can Euclid more, can more PaHadin, teach ?
Each verdant hill th' induftrious chemifts climb,
Extract the riches of the blooming thyme,
And, provident of winter long before, [ftore ;
They itock their caves, and hoard their flowery
In peace they rule their ftate with prudent care,
Wifely defend, or wage offenfive war.
Maro, thefe wonders ofFer'd to his thought,
Felt his known ardour, and the rapture caught :
Then rais'd his voice, and, in immortal lays,
Did high s heaven the iufect nation raife.

If, Epicurus, this whole artful frahie
Does not a wife Creator's hand proclaim,
To view the intellectual world advance ;
Is this the creature too of fate or chance ?
Turn on itfelf thy godlike reafon's ray,
Thy mind contemplate, and its power furvey.

What high perfections grace the human mindj
In flefh imprifon'd, and to earth confin'd !
What vigour has fhe ! what a piercing fight !
Strong as the winds, and fprightly as the light!
She moves unweary'd as the active fire,
And, like the flame, her flights to heaven afpire :
By day her thoughts in never-ceafing ftreams
Flow clear ; by night they ftrive in troubled


She draws ten thoufand landfcapes in the brain,
Dreffes of airy forms an endlefs train,
Which all her intellectual fcenes prepare,
Enter by turns the ftage, and difappear.
To the remoter regions of the fky
Her fwift-wing'd thought can in a moment fly ;
Climb to the heights of heaven, to be employ 'd
In viewing thence th' interminable void ;
Can look beyond the ftrcam of time, to fee
The ftagnant ocean of eternity.
Thoughts in an inftant through the zodiac run,
A year's long journey for the labouring fun ;
Then down v they moot, as fwift as darting light,
Nor can oppofing clouds retard their flight ;
Through fubterranean vaults with eafe they fweep^
And fearch the hidden wonders of the deep.

When man -with reafon dignify'd is bornj
No images his naked mind adorn ;
No fcicnces or arts enrich his brain,
Nor fancy yet difplaysher pi5lur'd train : >;'^ *
Jie no innate ideas can difcern,
Of knowledge dcftitute, though apt to learn*
Our intelle&ual, like the body's, eye,
Whilft in the womb, no object can defcry-;
Yet is difpos'd to entertain the light,
And judge of things when ofFer'd to the fight.
When objects through the fenfes paffage gain,
And fill with various imagery the brain,
Th' ideas, which the mind does thence perceive,
To think and know the firft occafion give.
Did fhe not ufe the fenfes' miniftry, T|

Nor ever tafte, cr fmell, or hear, or fee,
Could fhe poffeft of power perceptive be ? j

Wretches, who fightlefs into being came,
Of light or Colour no idea frame.
Then grant a man his being did commence,
Deny'd by Nature each external fenfe,
Thefe ports unopcn'd, diffident we guefs,
Th' unconfcious foul no image could poffefsj
Though what in fuch a ftate the reftltfs train
Of fpirits would produce, we afk in vain.
The mind proceeds, end to reflection goes,
Perceives fhe does perceive, and knows ihe knows ;
Reviews her acts, and does from thence con
She is with reafon and with choice endued.

From individuals of diftinguifh'd kind,
By her abflracting faculty, the mind t

Precifely general natures can conceive,
And birth to notions uraverfal give \



The various modes of things dilun<Tcly (hows, p

A pure refpect, a nice relation knows, [flows ; S-

And fees whence each refpect and each relation J

By her abflracting power in pieces takes [makes;

The mix'd and compound whole, which Nature

On objects of the fenfes (he refines,

Beings by Nature feparated joins,

And fevers equalities, which that combines.

The mind, from things repugnant, fome refpects

In which their natures are alike felccts,

And can fome difference and unlikenefs fee

In things which feem entirely to agree :

She does diftinguifh here, and there unite ;

The mark of judgment that, and this of wit.

As (he can reckon, feparate, and compare, ~)
Conceive what order, rude, proportion, are, >
So from one thought (he ftill can more infer ; J)
Maxim from maxim can by force exprcfs,
And make difcover'd truths afibciate truths confefi :
On plain foundations, which our reafon lays,
She can ftupendous frames of fciencc raife ;
Notion on notion built will towering rife,
Till th' intelle&ual fabrics reach the flues ;
The mathematic axioms, which appear
By fcientifk demonftration clear,
The mafter-builders on two pillars rear :
From two plain problems by laborious thought
Is all the wondrous fuperftructure wrought.

The foul, as mention'd, can herfelf infpcct,
By acts, reflex can view her as direct ;,
A talk too hard for fcnfe ; for though the eye
Its own reflected image can defcry,
Yet it ne'er faw the fight by which it fees,
Vifion can (how no cofour'd images.

The mind's tribunal can reports reject
Made by the fenfes, and their faults correct ;
The magnitude. of diftant ftars it knows,
"Which erring fcnfe, as twinkling tapers, (hows :
Crooked the (hape our cheated eye believes,
Which through a double medium it receives ;
Superior mind does a right judgment make,
Declare* its ftraight, and mefltis the eye's miQake

Where dwells this fovereign arbitrary foul, ^
Which does the human ar.imal control, >

Inform each part, and agitate the whole ? * j
O'er minifterial fenfes does prefide, ")

To alLtheir various provinces divide,
Each member move, and every motion guide ? 3
Which, by her fecret uncontefted nod, *)

Her meflengers the fpirits fends abroad,
Through every nervous pafs,andevery vital road, 3
To fetch from every diflant part a train
Of outward objects, to enrich the brain ?
Where fits this bright intelligence enthron'd,
With numberlefs ideas pour'd around*'
Where fciences and arts in order wait,
And truths divine compole her godlike ftate ?
Can the difikcting fteel the brain difplay,
And the anguft apartment open lay,
Where this great queen ftill choofes to refide
In intellectual pomp, and bright ideal pride ?
Or can the eye, afliited by the glafs,
Difcern the ftrait, but hofpitable place,
In which ten thoufand images remain,
Without cunfulion, and their rank maintain ?

How does thi$ wondrous principle of thought
Perceive the object by the fenfes brought ?
What philofophic builder will eflay
By rules mechanic to unfold the way
How a machine mufl be difpos'd to think,'
Ideas how t frame, and how to link ?
Tell us, Lucretius, Epicurus, tell,
And you in wit unrival'd (hall excel ;
How through the outward fenfe the object flier,
How in the foul her images arife ;
What thinking, what perception is, explain ;
What all the airy creatures of the brain ;
How to the mind a thought reflected goes,
And how the confcious engine knows it know*.

The mind a thoufand ikilful works can frame,
Can form deep projects to procure her aim.
Merchants for eaftern pearl and golden ore
To crofs the main, and reach the Indian more,
Prepare the floating (hip, and fpread the fail,
To catch the impulfe of the breathing gale.
Warriors in framing fchemes their wrfdom (how,
To difappoint or circumvent the foe.
Th' ambitious ftatefman labours dark defigns,
Now open force employs, now undermines ;
By paths direct his end he now purfues,
By fide approaches now, and (ranting views.

See, how refiftlcfs orators perfuadc,
Draw out their forces, and the heart invade ;
Touch every fpring and movement of the foul,
This appetite excite, and that controul ;
Their powerful voice can flying troops arreft,
Confirm the weak, and melt th* obdurate brcatt;
Chafe from the fad their melancholy air,
Sooth difcontent, and folace anxious care.
When threatening tides of rage and anger rife,
Ufurp the throne, and reafon's fway dcfpifc,
When in the feats of life this temped reigns,
Beats through the heart, and drives along the veins;
See, eloquence with force perfuafive binds
The reftlcfs waves, and charms the warring winds,
Refifllefs bids tumultuous uproar ceafe,
Recalls the calm, and gives the bdfom peace.

Did not the mind, on heavenly joy intent,
The various kinds of harmony invent ?
She the theorbo, (he the viol found,
And all the moving melody of found ;
She gave to breathing tubes a power unknown,-
To fpeak infpir'd with accents not their own ;
Taught tuneful fons of mufic how to fmg,
How, by vibrations of th* extended firing,
And manag'd impulfe on the fuffering air,
T' extort the rapture, and delight the ear.

See, how celeftial reafon does command
The ready pencil in the painter's hand ;
Whofe flrokes affect with Nature's felf to vie,
And with falfe life amufe the doubtful eye :
Behold the ftrong emotions of the mind
Exerted in the eyes, and in the face defign'd*
Such is the artift's wondrous power, that we
Ev'n pidur'd fouls and colour'd paflions fee,
Where without words (peculiar eloquence)
The bufy figures fpeak their various fenfe.
What living face does more diflrefs or woe,
More finifh'd fhame, confufion, horror, know,
Than what the matters of the pencil (how ?


Mean time the chifcl with the pencil vies;
The fifter arts difpute the doubtful prize.
Are human limbs, ev'n in their vital frate,
More juft and ftrong, more free and delicate,
Than Buonorota's curious tools create ?
tje to the rock can vifal inftindts give, , .
Which, thus transform'd, can rage, rejoice, or

grieve :

His fJcjlful hand doe? marble veins infpire
>lovv with the lover's, now the hero's fire;
So well th' imagin'd actors play their part,
The filent hypocrites iuch power exert,
That paffions, which they feel not, they beftoiw, .
AfFrigh.t us with their fear, and melt us with their

, f ,woe. ...,.,, , ,

There Nlqbe leans weeping on her arm : .

How her fad looks and beauteous forrow charm!
See, here a Venus foft in Parian (tone;
A Pallas there to ancient fables knevyn ;
That from the rock arofe, ; not from the main,
This not from Jove's, .but from the fculptor's brain.

Admire the carver's fertile energy,
With ravifh'd eyes his happy offspring fee..
What beauteous figures by th' unrival'd art
Of Britifh Gibbons from the cedar ftart !
He makes that tree unnative charms affume,
Ufurp gay honours, and another's bloom ;
The various fruits, which different climates bear,
And all the pride the fields and gardens wear ;
While from unjuicy limbs without a root
New buds devis'd, and leafy branches, fhoot.

As human kind can by an act direct,
Perceive and know, then reafon and reflect :
So the felf- moving fpring has power to choofe,
Thefe methods to reject, and thofe to ufej
She can defign and profecute an end,
xert her vigour, or her act fufpend ;
Frqe from the infults of all foreign power,
She does her godlike liberty fecure ;
Her right and high prerogative maintains,
Impatient of the yoke, and fcorns coercive chains;
She can her airy train of forms difband,
And makes new levees at her own command ;
O'er her ideas fovereign (he prefides,
At pleafure thefe unites, and thofe divides.

The ready phantoms at her nod advance,
And form the bufy intellectual dance ;
While her fair fcenes to vary, or fupply,
She fingles out fit images, that lie
In memory's records, which faitbfuV hold
Objects immenfe in fecret marks inroll'd ;
The fleeping forms at her command awakei
And nw return, and now their cells foriake, ,
On active fancy's crowded theatre,
As fhe directs, they rife or difappear. [way,

Objects, which through the fenfes make their
And juft impreflions to the foul convey,
Give her occafion firft herfelf to move,
And to exert her hatred, or her love ;
Ideas, which to fome impulfive feem,
Act not upon the mind, but that on them.
When fhe to foreign objects audience gives,
Their itrokes and motions in the brain perceives ;
As thefe perceptions, we ideas name,
From her own power and u&ive nature came,

So when difcern'/d by intellectual Ugh?, *l

Herfelf her various paffions does excite, C

To ill her hate, to good her appetite ; j

To fhuti the firft, the latter to procure,
She chpofes means by free elective power ;
She can their various habitudes furvey,
Debate their fitnefs, and their merit weigh,
And, while the means fuggefted fhe compare9 s
She .to the rivals this or that prefers.

By her fupenpr power the reafoning foul
Can each reluctant appetite controul ;
Can every paffion rule., and every fenfe,, .
Change Nature's courfe,and with her lawsdifpenfe j
Our breathing to prevent, fhe can arreft
Th' extenfion, or contraction, of the bread;
When pain'd with hunger, we can food refufci
And wholefome abftinence, or famine choofe.
Can the wild beaft his infti.nct difobey,
An4 from his jaws rcleafe the captive prey ?
Or hungry herds on verdant paflures lie,
IVTindleis to eat, and refolute to die ?
With heat expiring,., can the panting hart v
Patient of tKirft from, the cool ftream depart ?
Can, brutes at will imprifon'd breath detain ?
Torment prefer to cafe, and life difdain ?

From all rcftraint, from all compulfion free,
Unforc'd, and unneceffitated, we
Ourfelves determine, and our freedom prove,
When this we fly, and to that object move.
Had not the mind a power to will and choofe,
One object to embrace, and one refufe ; ,
Could ihe not actj or not her act fufpend,
As it obftructed, or advanc'd her end j
Virtue and vice were names without a caufe,
This would not hate deferve, nor that applaufc ;
Juftice in vain has high tribunals rear'd, ,

Whom can her fentqnce punifh, whom reward ?
If impious children fbould their father.kill,
Can they be wicked, when they cannot will ;
When ouly caufes foreign and unfeen , "^

Strike with refiftlefs force the fprings within, /
Whence in jhe engine man all motion mufti"
begin? J

Are vapours guilty which the vintage blaft ?
Are florms prolcrib'd, which lay the foreft wafte ?
Why lies the wretch then tortur'd on the wheel,
If forc'd to treafon, or compell'd to fteal ?
Why does the warrior, by aufpicious fate
With laurels crown'd, and clad in robes of ftate,
In triumph ride amidft the gazing throng,
Deaf with applaufes, and the poet's fong j
If the victorious, but the brute machine
Did only wreaths inevitable win,
And no wife choice or vigilance has fhown j
Mov'd by a fatal impulfe, not hi own ?

Should trains of atoms human fenfe impel,
Though not fo fierce, fo ftrong, fo vilible
As foldiers arm'd, and do not men arreft
With clubs upheld, and daggers at their bread ?
Yet means compulfive are not plainer fhown,
When ruffians drive, or conquerors drag us on ;
As much we're forc'd, when by an atom's fvvay
Control'd, as when a tyrant we obey ;
And, by whatever caufe conflrain'd to act,
We merit nu reward, no guilt contract.


Our mind of rulers feels a confcious awe,
Reveres their juftice, and regards their law :
She rectitude and deviation knows,
That vice from one, from one that virtue flows ;
Of thefe (he feels unlike effe6b within,
From virtue pleafure, and remorfe fiom fin ;
Hopes of a juft reward by that are fed,
By this f wrath vindi&ive. fecret dread.
The mind, which thus can rules of duty learn,
Can right from wrong, and good from ill difcern ;
Which, the fharp ftroke of juftice to p'evenr,
Can fhame exprefs, can grieve, reflect, repent ;
From fate or chance her rile can rever draw,
Thofe caufes know not virtue, vice, or law.

She can a life fucceeding this conceive,
Of blifs or woe an endlefs ftace believe.
Dreading the juft and univerfal doom,
And aw'd by fears of ptinifhment to come,
By hopes excited of a glorious crown,
And certain pleafures in a world unknown :
She can the fond defires of fenfe reftrain,
Renounce delight, and choofe diftrefs and pain ;
Can rufli on danger, can dfftru&ion face,
Joyful rfltnquifh life, nnd death embrace :
She to afflicted virtue can adhere,
And chains apd want to profperous guilt prefer ;
"Unmov'd, thefe wild tempeftuous fteps furvey,
And view ferene this rcftlefs rolling fca.
In vain the monfters, which the coaft infeft,
Spend all their rage to interrupt her reft;
Her charming fong the fyren fings in vain,
She can the tuneful hypocrite difdain ;
Fix*d and unchang'd the faithlefs world behold,
Deaf to its threats, and to its favour cold.
Sages, remark, we labour not to fliow
The will is free, but thrtt the man is fo ;
For what enlighten'd reafoner can declare
What human will and underftanding arc ?
What fciencc from thofe objects can we frame
Of which we little know, befidcs the name ?
The learned, who with anatomic art
DaTe6l the mind, and thinking fubftance part,
And various powers and faculties affert,
Perhaps by fuch abftradlion of the mind,
Divide the things that are in nature join'd.
What matters of the fchnols can make it clear
Thofe faculties, which two to them appear,
Are not redding in the foul the fame,
And not diftindt, but by a different name ?

Thus has the mufe purfu'd her hardy theme,
And fiing the wonders of this artful frame.
Ere yet one fubterranean arch was made,
One cavern vaulted, or one girder laid ;
Ere the high rocks did o'er the {hores arife,
Or fnowy mountains tower'd amidft the ikies ;
Before the wat'ry troops fi I'd off from land,
And lay amidft the rocks entrench'd in fand j
Before the air its bofom did unfold,
Or burnifh'd orbs in blue expanfion roll'd,
She fung how Nature then in embryo lay,
And did the fecreis of her birth difplay.

When after, at th' Almighty's high command,
Obedient waves divided from the land ;
And (hades and lazy mifts were chas'd away,
While rofy light diffus'd the tender day :


When uproar ceas'd, and wild confufion fled,
And new-born Nature rais'd her beauteous head;
She fung the frame of this terreftrial pile,
The hills, the rocks, the rivers, and the foil :
She view'd the fandy frontiers, which reftrain
The noify infults of th' imprifon'd main ;
Rang'd o'er the wide diffulion of the waves,
The moift ccerulean walks, and fearch'd the coral

She then Tnrvey'd the fluid fields of air,
And the crude feeds of meteors fafhion'd there;
Then with continued flight flic fped her way,
Mounted, and bold purfu'd the fource of day ;
With wonder of celeftial motions fung,
How the pois'd orbs are in the vacant hung;
How the bright flukes of aethereal light,
Now (hut, defend the empire of the night ;
And now, drawn up with wife alternate care,
Let floods of glory out, and fpread with day the

then, with a daring wing, (he foar'd fublime,
From realm to realm, from orb to orb did climb :
Swift through the fpacious gulf (he urg'd her way,
At length emerg'd in empyrean day ;
Where far, oh far, beyond what mortals fee,
In the void diftri<5ts of immenfity ;
The mind new funs, new planets, can explore,
And yet beyond can ftill imagine more.

Thus in bold numbers did th' adventurous mufe
To fing the lifelefs parts of Nature choofe ;
And then advanc'd to wonders yet behind,
Survey'dand fung the vegetable kind ;
Did lofty woods, and humble brakes' review,
Along the valley fwcpt, and o'er the mountain


Then left the mufe, the field, and waving grove,
And, unfatigu'd with grateful labour, ftrove
To climb th' amazing heights of fenfe, and fing
The power perceptive, and the inward fpring
Which agitates and guides each living thing.

She next eflay'd the embryo's rife to trace
From an unfathion'd, rude, unchannel'd mafs;
S.uiijf how the fpirits waken'd in the brain,
Exert their force, and genial toil maintain ;
Erecl. the bearing heart, the channels frame,
Unfold entangled limbs, and kindle vital flame :
How the fmali pipes are in meanders laid,
And bounding life is to and fro convey'd ;
How fpirits, which for fenfe and motion ferve,
Unguided find the perforated nerve,
Through every dark reces purfue their flight, ~\
Unconfcious of the road, and void of fight, f
Yet certain of the way, flill guide their motions f
right. J

From thence a nobler flight (he did effay,
The mind's extended empire to furvey.
She fung the godlike principle rf thought, "^

And how, from obje&s by the fenfes brought, s.
The intellectual imagery is wrought ; ^

Mow fhe the modes of beings can diiccrn,
A !i : ce refpecX a mere relation learn ;
Can all the thin abftradk-d notions reach,
Which Grecian wits, <-r, Britain, thine can tcadi

Thus has the mufe ftrove to difplay a part
Of thofc Bnaumber'd miracles of ar\;


Of prudence, condub, and a wife defign,

Which to th' attentive thought confpicuous fhine.

Still, vanquifh'd afheifts ! will you keep the field,
And, hard in error, ftill refufe to yield ?
fiee, all your broken arms lie fpread around,
And ignominious rout deforms the ground ;
Be wife, and, once admonifb'd by a foe,
Where lies your ftrength, and where your weak-

nefs know ;

No more at reafon's folemn bar appear,
Hardy no more fcholaftic weapons bear ;
Difband your feeble forces, and decline
The war; no more in tinfel armour (bine;
Nor fhake your bujrufh fpears, but fwift repair
To your ftrong place of arms, the fcoffer's chair ;
And thence, fupported with a mocking ring,
Sarcaftic darts, and keen inve&ives fling
Againft your foes, and fcornful at your feafts
Religion vanquifh with decifive jefts ;
Arm'd with refiftlefs laughter, heaven affail,
Relinquish reafdn, and let mirth prevail. [fight,

Good Heav'n ! that men, who vaunt difcerning
And arrogant from wifdom's diftant height
JLook down on vulgar mortals, who revere ~)
ACaufe Siipreme,(hould their proud build jng rear C
"Without one prop the ponderous pile toiear ! j
How much the Judge, who does in heaven prefide,
Re-mocks the fcoffer, and contemns his pride !
JBehold, the fad, unfufferable hour
Advances near, which will his error cure ;
When he compell'd (hall drink the wrathful }
And ruin'd feel immortal vengeance roll [bowl, >
Through all his veins, and drench his inmoft foul. }
P'erwhelm'd with horror, funk in deep defpair,
And loft for ever, will the wretch forbear
To curfe his madnefs, and blafpheme the power
Of his juft Sovereign, which he mock'd before ?

Hail, King Supreme ! of Power immenfe Abyfs !
Father of Light ! Exhaftlefs Source of Blifs \ . '
Thou uncreated, Self-exiltent Caufe,
Control' d by no fuperior being's laws,
Ere infant light effay'd to dart the ray,
Smil'd heavenly fweet, an4 try'd tp kindle day :
Ere the wide fields of sether were difplay'd,
Or filver ftars ccerulean fpheres inlaid ;
Ere yet the eldeft child of time was born,
Or verdant pride young nature did adorn;
Thou art ; and didft eternity employ
In unmolefted peace, in plenitude of joy.

In its ideal frame the world, defign'd
From ages pail, lay finifh'd in thy mind.
Conform to this divine imagin'd plan,

With perfect ait th' amazing work began.
Thy glance furvey'd the folitJ

folitary plains,

Where {hspelefs ihade inert and filem reigns;
Then in the dark and undiftinguifh'd fpace,
Unfruitful, unenclos'd, and wild of face,
Thy compafs for the world mark'd out

ftin'd place,

Then d jclft thou thrpugh the fields of barren night
Go forth, collected in Creating Might.
Where Thou almighty, vigour didfl exert,
Which emicant did this and that way dart
Through the black bofom of the empty fpace :
The gulfs confefs th' omnipotent embrace,

~"&^" ,
pace, -)

'" C

the de- f

And, pregnant grown with elemental fee4,
Unfiniftv'd orbs and worlds in embryo breed.
From the crude mafs, Omnifcient Architect,
Thou for each part materials did feledl,
And with a mafter-han.d thy world erect.
Labour'.d by Thee, the globes, vaft lucid buoys,
By Thee uplifted, float in liquid fkies :
By Thy cementing word their parts cohere,
And roll by Thy impuHive nod in air.
Thou in the vacant didft the earth fufpend,
Advance the mountains, and_thc vales extend :
People the plains with flocks, with beads the wood,
And ftore with fcjily colonies the flood.

Next, 1 man arofe at Thy Creating Word,
Of Thy terreftrial realms vicegerent lord.
His foul, more artful labour, more refin'd,
And emulous of bright Seraphic Mind,
Ennobled by Thy image, fpotlefs fhone,
Prais'd Thee her author, and ador'd Thy throne j
Able to know, admire, enjoy her God,
She did her high felicity applaud.

Since Thou didft all the fpacious worlds difplay,
Homage to Thee let all obedient pay.
Let glittering ftars, that cfence their deftin'd ring^
Sublime in iky, with vocal planets fing [King ! >
Confederate praife to Thee, O Great Creator J
Let the thin diftridls of the waving air,
Conveyancers of found, Thy ikill declare.
Let winds, the breathing creatures of the fkies,
Call in each vigorous gale, that roving flies
By land or fea ; then one loud triumph raife,
And all their blafts employ in fongs of praife.

While painted herald-birds Thy deeds proclaim,
And on their fpreading wings convey Thy fame ;
Let eagles, which in heaven's blue concave foar,
Scornful of earth, fuperior feats explore,
And rife with breafts creel againft the fun,
Be minrfters to bear Thy bright renown,
And carry ardent praifcs to Thy throne.

Ye fifh, agume a voice ; with praifes fill
The hollow rock, ajad loud reactive hill.
Let lions with their roar their th'anks exprefs,
With acclamations fhake the wildernefs.
Let thunder clouds, that float from pole to pole ?
With falvos loud falute Thee as they roll.
Ye monfters of the fea, ye noify waves,
Strike with applaufe the repercuffive caves.
Let hail and rain, let meteors form'd of fire.
And lambent flames, in this blefl work confpire.
Let the high cedar and the mountain pine
Lowly to thee, Qreat King, their heads incline.
Let every fpicy odoriferous tree
Prefent its incenfe and its balm to Thee. [low^

And thou, Heaven's viceroy o'er this world be-
In this bleft tafk fuperior ardour fhow :
To' view thyfelf, inflect thy reafon's ray,
Nature's replenifti'd theatre furvey;
Then all on fire the Author's {kill adore,
And in loud fengs extol Creating Power.

Degenerate minds, in mazy error loft,
May combat Heaven, and impious triumphs boa{l ;
But, while my veins feel animating fires,
And vital air this breathing breaft infpires,
Grateful to Heaven, I'll ftretch a pious wing,
And fing His praife, who gave me power to finjr.




BUT that which Arthur with moft pleafure heard,
Were noble ftrains, by Mopus fung, the bard
Who to his harp in lofty verfe began,
And through the fecret maze of Nature ran.
He the great Spirit fung, that all things fill'd,
That the tumultuous waves of Chaos ftill'd;
Whofe nod difpos'd the jarring feeds to peace,
And made the wars of hoftile atoms ceafe.
All beings we in fruitful nature find,
Proceeded from the great Eternal Mind ;
Streams of his unexhaufted fpring of power,
And cherifh'd with his influence, endure.
He fpread the pure cocrulean fields on high,
And arch'd the chambers of the vaulted fky,
Which he, to fuit their glory with their height,
Adorn'd with globes, that reel, as drunk with


His hajid directed alj the tuneful fpheres,
He turn'd their orbs, and polifh'd all the flars.
He fill'd the fun's vaft lamp with golden light,
And bid the filver moon adorn the night. *
He fpread the airy ocean without fhores,
Where birds are wafted with their feathcr'd oars.
Then fung the bard how the light vapours rife
From the warm earth, and cloud the fmiling Ikies.
He fung how fome, chilPd in their airy flight,
Fall fcatter'd down in pearly dew by night.
How iome, rais'd higher, fit in fecret fleams
On the reflected points of bounding beams ;
Till, chill'd with cold, they fhade th' atherial plain,
Then on the thirfly earth defcend in rain.
How fome, whofe parts a flight contexture (how,
Sink hovering through the air, in fleecy fnow.
How part is fpun in filken threads, and clings
Entangled in the grafs in glewy firings.
How others flamp to ftones, with rufhing found
Fall from their cryflal quarries to the ground.
How fome are laid in trains, that kindled fly
In harmlefs fires by night, about the Iky.
HOW fome in winds blow with impetuous force,
And carry ruin where they bend the^r courfe :
While fome confpire to form a gentle breeze,
To fan the air, and play among the trees.

How fome, enrag'd, grow turbulent and loud,

Pent in the bowels of a frowning cloud ;

That cracks, as if the axis of the world

Was broke, and heaven's bright towers were

downwards hurl'd.

He fung how earth's wide ball, at Jove's com

Did in the midft on airy columns {land.
And how the foul of plains, in prifon held,
And bound with fluggifh fetters, lies conceal'd,
Till with t^e fpring's warm beams, alntoft re-


From the dull weight, with which it lay oppreft,
Its vigour fpreads, and makes the teeming earth
Heave up, and labour with the fprouting birth :
The active fpirit freedom feeks in vain,
It only works and twifts a ftronger chain.
Urging its prifon's fides to break away,
It makes that wider, where 'tis forced to ftay :
Till, having form'd its living houfe, it rears
Its head, and in a tender plant appears.
Hence fprings the oak, the beauty of the grove,
Whofe ilately trunk fierce dorms can fcarccly


Hence grows the cedar, hence the f welling vine
Does round the elm its purple clufters twine.
Hence painted flowers the fmiling gardens blefs,
Both with their fragrant fcent and gaudy drefs.
Hence the white lily in full beauty grows,
Hence the blue violet, and blufhing rofe.
He fung how fun beams brood upon the earth,
And in the glebe hatch fuch a numerous birth;
Which way the genial warmth in fummer fkorma
Turns putrid vapours to a bed of worms ;
How rain, transformed by this prolific power,
Falls from the clouds an animated fhower.
He fung the embryo's growth within the womb,
And how the parts their various fhapcs affume.
With what rare art the wondrous ftructure's


From one crude mafs to fuch perfection brought ;
That no part ufelefs none mifplac'd we fee,
None are forgot, and more would monftrous be.


As the heroic poems of Blackmore are now little read, it is thought proper to infert, as a fpe-
:n from Prince Arthur, the above fong, which is mentioned by Molyneux in his letter to Lock .
**'* Works, Vol. iu.f. .568,569, Edit. 1714.]

T R 1






' f

To which is prefixed,


This theme did once your fav'rite bard employ,

Whofe verfe immortaliz'd the fall of Troy :

But time'* oblivious gulf, whofe circle draws

All mortal things by fate's eternal laws,

This fong has fnatch'd. I now refume the ftrain,

Not from proud hope and emulation vain,

By this attempt to merit equal praife

With worth heroic, born in happier days.

But love excites me, and defire to trace

His glorious fteps, though with unequal pace*





Or the pcrfonal hiflory of WILKIE, " the Scottifh Homer," there is no written memorial.
Though his writings are not more diftiuguifhed for learning and genius, than his life was remark
able fer originality of manners, his name is not to be found in any collection of literary biography.

In 1783, a defign was formed of writing his life, to be prefixed to a new edition of his poems,
by the Rev. Dr. William Thomfon, whofe abilities, in other literary provinces, have juftly obtained
him the fan&ion of public applaufe* In the profeciirion of this defign, Dr. Fhomfon was encou
raged, by the approbation of the late Earl of Laudtrdale, and aiMed by information obtained by
Mr. Andrew Dalzel, ProfefTor of Greek in the University of Edinburgh, from his coufin, the Rev.
Robert Lifton, minifter of Abcrdour, the Rev. James Robertfon, minifter of Ratho, and the Rev.
Dr. Thomas Robertfon, minifter of Dalmeny. Afrer having made fofne progrefs in digefting the
materials, the intended edition of his poenas not meeting with fuitable encouragement. Dr.
Thomfon was compelled to defift; and his friends are difappointed in the hope of feeing juftice
done- to his memory, by the fame mafterly pen that has enriched Englifh literature by the
14 Continuation of Watfon'a Hiftory of Philip III." the " Tranflation of Cuningham's Hiftory of
Great JJritain," and other ingenious and elegant performances.

It is with becoming diffidence the prefent writer takes opon him a tafk which has been de
clined by Dr. Thomfon ; but, in collecting the works of this poet^with thofe of other eminent
poets of our natioa, it is incumbent upon him to prefix fome account of his life, which, however
inadequate to his merits, or uiifatisfa#ory to his friends, may not be altogether unwelcome to the
public, who, it has been' often obferved, will always take an intereft in thofe perfons from whofe
labours they have derived profit or delight.

The facts 'ftarcd in the prefent account, are partly taeri from fome detached portions 6f
Dr. Thomfon's unfinifhed narrative, and partly from the original information furnimed by
Mr. Robertfon, Mr. Lifton, and Dr. Rolcrtfon, obligingly communicated to the prefent writer,
fey Dr. Thomfon, through the kindnefs of Profeffor Dalzel, whofe laudable endeavours to vindicate
the fame, and to preferve the memory of this poet, entitle him to the gratitude cf the lovers of
claffical and polite literature.

William Wilkie was born at Echlin, in the p-jrifh of Dalmeny, in the county of Weft-Lothiati,
October 5. 1711. His great-grandfather was a younger fon of the family of Wilkie, of Ratho-
byres, in the pariih of Ratho, one of the oldeft families in Mid-Lothian , and the undoubted chief
of the Wilkies. His grandfather rented the farm of Echlin, and pur chafed a part of the cftate of
Rathobyres, which he franfmitted with the farm to his fon, the poet's father, who was a worthy,
liberal, and intelligent man, never opulent, on the contrary, poor, and rather unfortunate
through life. His mother was a woman of diftinguifhed prudence and uhderftanding, and able, it
is faid, to exprefs her thoughts in the mo ft grammatical manner, and proper words on every fuB-


He received his early education at the parifh fchool of Dalmeny, under the care of Mr. Riddel^'
a very refpcclable and fuccefsful teacher. At fchool, he obtained the reputation of a boy of excel
lent parts, and on many occafions difcovered juui'ks of that peculiarity and fertility of genius that
fo remarkably chara&cr&d his future life*.


He discovered an early propenfity to the ftudy of poetry, and began to write verfes in his tenth
year, as appears by the following description of a Storm, written at that age, and publiftied by Dr.
Hobertfon, in the 9th vol. of " The Statiftical Account of Scotland," which niuft be allowed to be
a very correct and manly performance for a boy of ten.

What penetrating mind can rightly form
A faint idea of a raging ftorm ?
Who can eiprefs of elements the war ;
And noify thunder roaring from afar I
This fubject is fuperior to my (kill ;
Yet I'll begin, to (how I want not will.

A pitchy cloud difplays itfelf on high ;
And with its fable mantle veils the flcy :
Fraught with the magazine of heaven does throw *"
Bolts barb'd with fire upon the world below.
All nature (hakes and the whole heavens fmoke ;
Nor can the grofs black cloud fuftain the (hock :
But op'ning from his magazines doth roll,
Thick fmoke and flames of fire from pole to pole.
Thence hail, fnow, vapour, mix'd with flames of fire<
With conjunct force againft the earth confpire.
Monfters f feaand land do loudly roar,
And make the deep refound from (horc to more.
The fpumy waves come rolling from afar,
And with loud jars declare the wat'ry war.
They upward mount, and raife their crefts on high,
And beat the middle regions of the Iky.
Downwards they fall upon the fwelling deep,
And tofs the rigging of fome low funk (hip :
Upwards they tow'r and falling down again,
They bury men" and cargo in the main.
The boiling deep doth from her low funk cell
Throw out black waves refembling thofe of hell.
They forward roll and hideoufly do roar,
And vent their rage againtt the rocky (hore.

At the age of thirteen, he wasfent to the Univerfity of Edinburgh, where he diftinguiflied him-
felf in the different claffes of languages, philof phy and theology; and formed many of thofe
friendships and connections which afforded him much happinefs through life.

Among the number of his fellow collegians, with whom he lived in habits of the clofeft inti
macy, were Dr. Robertfon, Mr. John Home, Dr. M'Ghie, and Profeffor Cleghorn. Dr. Ro*
bertfon afterwards and Mr. Home figured high in the literary world. Dr. M'Ghie went to Lon
don, obtained the friendfhSp of Dr. Johnfon, and became a member of the Ivy-lane Club. Profeffor
Cleghorn, a man of great premife, died young.

His intellectual faculties of every fort now began to make a rapid progrefs, the caufe of which
may, in a great meafure, be attributed to the converfation of the companions he chanced to- find
in the uuiverfity, and to the focieties which, about that time, Began to be formed among the ftu-
dents for their mutual improvement in literary compofition, philofophical difquifition, and public
fpeaking, in which his talents found ample fcope and encouragement.

His coavejfation with men of tafte and learning, and the excitement which their example would
give to his emulation, would do more towards the improvement of his mind than any lectures he
eould attend, or any mode of ftudy he could puriue. The prefent writer would not, however, have
it thought, that he conceives either of thefe to be without their ufe ; he would only affirm, that
they hold a fecondary place, when compared with the fociety of fnch men as it Was his felicity to
find contemporary ftudents in the univerfity.

It was Hkewife very fortunate for him, that, during the courfe of his education at Edinburgh, he
became known to David Hume and Dr. Fergufon, and, at a later period, to Dr. Smith, by all of
whom he was held in a higher light than a common acquaintance.

In literary focieties, and private converfation, he had an opportunity of being thoroughly ac-
with the capacities, as well as the 'tempers and difpofitions of his contemporaries,


Of all his acquaintance, he regarded Dr. Smith with the greateft admiration, and Dr. Fergufon
with the greateft affedion. He confidered Dr. Smith as a fuperior genius to Mr. Hume. He
poffeffed, in his opinion, equal learning, and greater originality and invention ; for what may appear
ftrange,he by no means confidered Mr. Hume as an original or inventive genius. The fubtlety of his
reafuniog, the extent of his reading, the depth and folidity of hs reflections, he greatly admired,
but ftill he thought that he did not draw ib much as Dr. Smith, or even Lord Kames, from the
(lores of his own mind. He faid that he trod in the footfteps of Bolingbmke, and certain French
philofophers ; that he greedily imbibed their ideas, and was ftudious to glean what they left behind
them ; that he informed himfelf with great induftry of the opinions and views f great men, in
all ages of the world, compared them together, preferred what he thought beft, drew corollaries
from their reafoning, and, on the whole, exhibited a example ef induftry and of judgment.
But he availed himfelf of the ignorance of the world to pafs that as new, which in reality was old ;
and that his ideas were either borrowed from other writers, or deductions and improvements on
conclufions already eftabliihed.

Such was the opinion entertained by Wilkie concerning Mr. Hume. Invention is a power which
mult needs {land high in the admiration of a poet, and Wilkie fpoke like a poet, when he magnified
its praife, as if it had been a divine impulfe, an immediate infpiration, which operated its effedts
inftantaneoufly, and without that leifurely and gradual procefs which takes place in every produc
tion of human genius.

The ideas of men are linked together by a chain of aflbciation. Wilkie, perceiving, or thinking
that he perceived the fteps by which Mr. Hume was led to the doctrines he advanced, but not dif-
cerning, in like manner, the procefs by which Dr. Smith was led to the formation of his theories,
pronounced the former a man of induftry and judgment, and the latter a man of induftry and

It certainly matters not whether a hint be derived from a book, or from converfation, or an ac
cidental occurrence in the material or moral world. Every idea is derivative. What is faid of
genius and invention, in contradiftindtion to memory and judgment, is commonly vague and inde

Wilkie appears to have had a predilection for Dr. Smith, otherwife in the exuberance of his own

, invention, he might have difcovered or conjcdlured that the firft hints of the " Theory of" Moral

Sentiments," a theory fo amiable, fo ufeful in life, and to a certain and important extent, fo juft,

may have been originally fuggefted by fome thoughts in the " De Augmentit Scicntiarum" of Bacon,

or from Dr. Butler's " Sermons on Human Nature."

While he was profecuting his literary ftndies at Edinburgh, his father died, and left him no other
inheritance than the ftock and unexpired Icafe of his farm at the Fiflier's Tryfte, about two miles
weft from that city, and the charge of his three fillers ; having fold his property at Rathobyres, a
fhort time before his death, and applied the purchafe-money to the payment of his debts. ' .

For the occupation of a farmer, which this melancholy event devolved upon him, he was emi
nently qualified, both by his habits of {peculation and experience ; having been accuftomed, as he
grew up, to divide with his father the bufinefs of the farm, which, a is ufual in thofe of fmall ex
tent, was chiefly cultivated by the common labour of the family.

Confiding, however, in the powers of witich he was confcious, he feem not to have trailed for
his future maintenance to his exertions as a farmer; for, while he managed his farm, he profecut-
ed his ftudies in divinity, and commenced preacher of the gofpel.

The narrownefs of his circumftances obliged him to live with great economy, and it was during
this period, owing particularly to the neceflitles of his fituatjon, that he contracted an uncommon
degree of parfimony, which he pradifed more than was neceflary in his future life.

About this time one of his filters was married to Mr. John Cleghorn, farmer at Granton, in
the parifh of Cramond, a man of ftrong parts, very amiable difpofition, and great ability in his prc-
feffion. With him he contracted the moft intimate habits of friendfhip and correfpondence. In
all matters of hufbandr j and common life, be quoted, Mr, Cleghorn's practice and maxims, s the


ftandard of perfection in every conversion. He was his moft confidential friend through life, and
they died about the fame time.

From Mr. Cleghorn he probably derived many of thofe maxims and principles in hufbandry
which he praclifed with amazing fuccefs in the management of his farm. He became eminent in
many branches of fcience ; but in nothing did he excel more than in a thorough and profound
knowledge of the art of hulbandry. He ufed often to fay, that to difcern properly the real qua
lities of different foils, and to apply, with fuccefs, the culture proper for each, required the higheft
exertion of the human underftanding.

Though he was, in many refpeds, the moft fpeculative and fanciful man in the world, yet he
was very careful, in the character of a farmer, to avoid the chemical theories, and to adhere to the
plain, <5ire<5t, and fure road of experience. He wasTully convinced that, to open the earth for
the admiflion of the foflering influences of heaven, and to return into her lap her own produce,
whether in the form of- vegetables or animals, was the great art of promoting her fertility, and
preparing her for the important work of reproduction. Dead horfes, dogs, cats, and animals of
all kinds, he was at pains to pick up, and to convert them into a pabulum for ufeful vegetables.
Every thing that abounded with the principles of vegetation he was eager to add to his dunghill.
He watched his people, often fhared in their labour, and made it a rule to encourage good fer-
vants, both by better wages, and by encomiums and little premiums ; but, on no account, would
fuffer the vicious, or the 'flothful, to live with him on any terms. He feemed to be particularly
fwccefsful in the culture of potatoes, and was often, from this circumflance, denominated the Pta-

In this courfe of life, he had much intercourfe with the country people in the way of making
bargains ; from which he took occafion to ma,ke many curious remarks on human nature. There
was nothing about the lower ranks of men that Ttruck him fo much as their cunning. ' I can
raife crops," he would exclaim, " better than any of my neighbours ; but I am always cheated in
the. market."

In the midfl of all thefe operations of agriculture, he found leifure to cultivate the ftudy of po
lite literature, and afpired to the renown of an epic poet.

There is not a doubt that poets are moved by the divine impulfe of the " heavenly mufe ;** the
* fpirit that infpired on Horeb the chofen fhepherd ;" the "powers of fong;" the " pbiiofophic
power of melancholy;" or by whatever name that invifible caufe is called, which produces that
inward thrilling which feeks to exprefs itfelf in verfe ; yet do local and political circumftances incline
the poet to ftir up the gift that is within him ; and, but for thefe circumftances, Wilkie would
not perhaps have known that he was born a poet. He made ru fcruple of confefling, that he
thought it good policy to roufe his poetical talents, and to liften to the dilates of the *' powers of

When he had quitted the college, and found himfelf deftitute of powerful friends, he be
gan to meditate on the moft probable means of introducing himfelf to the notice of the great.
To compofe a book in philofophy would be doing nothing : It might be read by a few men of
learning, moft of whom had, in all likelihood, fixed their philofophical creed, and imagined, that
whatever was contradictory to their notions was falfe, and whatever paffed the circle of theirknow-
ledge, fuperfluous. He once intended to write a novel ; but that fpecies of writing, though it re
quired the fineft parts, was not likely to lead to any preferment. The world, though well pleafei
to laugh at the fancies of the novelift, would not, he apprehended, think of rewarding him. In
the whole circle of fcience and art, there was not any ftudy that appeared to him at once fo con
genial to his powers, and fo conducive to his intereft, as poetry. He, therefore, determined to write
an epic poem.

Among the various analogies which the active fancy of man delights to trace between po
litical and human bodies, there is none more ftriking than that fimilarity which is remark
ed between their different geniufes in the different ftages of their exiftence. In youth, and
in. manhood, we* look forward to fome object which is to inereafe our happinefs, and to raife ou?


fame. Animated by fuch pleafing hopes, our fpirits are lively, and our ptirfuits are aclive; but,
in more advanced years, men turn back their attention to the more early period of their lives, and
are fond of recollecting and relating the joys and .the achievements of their youth. There is, in
like manner, a time when nations look forward to future glory, when they are emulous to excel in
every honourable enterprife, and are eager to ftrike out new paths in fcience and art. And there
is alfo a time when, either through fatiety or defpair, they are more inclined to remember what
has been, than to anticipate what (hall be ; when hiftory becomes the favourite ftudy, and is deem
ed the mott entertaining fubjed, as well as the moft ufeful abjed of human attention and reafoa.
Such is the genius of 'our nation at the prefent moment. And this turn of the nation, coinciding
with that ardour for literary fame, which, for more than forty years pad has diftinguifhed the
northern part of this ifland, has determined the moft eminent Scottifb writers to try their ftrength
in the arduous attempt of hiftory.

Had Wilkie been born and educated in the prefent reign, it is probable that he would have
courted the hiftoric mufe. But the general tafte for poetry which prevailed when he received the
firft impreflions of education, a fprightly and luxuriant imagination, and the political motive, which
has been already mentioned, confpired to raife his views to Parnaffus. A few years before his
birth, fenators and ftatefmen were proud of writing verfes; and a talent for poetry was confidercd
as a requifite, as it was in reality a ftep to preferment in the offices of government. The princei,
in whofe reign he was born and educated, were not indeed pitrons of the mufes : But poetry con
tinued to be in fafliion. The tranflations of Pope had excited a general admiration of his own
powers, and revived a veneration for thofe of Homer. Criticifms were written on the Epopicea,
and companions made between Homer, Virgil, Lucan, Camocns, Ariofto, Tuflb, Milton, Voltaire,
and Glover.

In fuch circumftances, Wilkie conceived the defign of writing a poem after that great poet, whofe
praifes were re-echoed throughout the world, and for whom he entertained the higheft veneration.
He drew the fubjed of his poem from the fourth book of the " Iliad," where Sthenelus gives A-
gameninon a fhort account of the facking of Thebes. After the fall of thofe heroes colebrated by
Statius, their fons, and, among the reft, Ditmed, undertook the ficge of that city, and were fo fortu
nate as to fucceed in their enterprife, and to revenge, on the Thebans and the tyrant Creon, the
death of their fathers. Thefe young heroes were known to the Greeks under the title of the Epi-
gcni, or the Dependents ; and, for this rcafon, Wilkie gave to his poem the title of the Efigoniad,

There remained a tradition among the Greeks, that Homer had taken this fecond fiege of
Thebes for the fubjed of a fecond poem, which is loft; and Wilkie fcems to have pleafed himfelf
with the thoughts of reviving the work, as well as of treading in the fteps of his favourite author.

The principles upon which, as a CKriftiau and a philofopher, in an age which rejeds ancient
fable as wholly incredible, he engaged in an undertaking, the nature of which was intimately con
nected with ancient mythology, may be collected from the following eulogium on the influence
of poetry, more particularly that fpecies of poetry which fuppofes the truth of heathen fable,
pronounced in converfation with Dr. Thomfon, many years after, in the Earl of Kuanou! 1 ! li
brary at Dupplin-Caftle, which, though long, is too valuable to be withheld.

" There cannot be a more proper amufement for a perfon whole office it 'i to humanife the
mind by inculcating the Chriftian graces and virtues than the poets. All literature has a tendency
to purify the mind from difingenuity and brutality, by habituating it to the contemplation of truth,
in contradiftindion to falfehood and error ; of fitzrefs and propriety, as diftinguifhed from what is
incongruous, monftrous, and abfurd ; and of human nature placed in fituations fitted to excite our
fympathetic feelings, and to exercife our noble and virtuous emotions and paffions. It is in this
laft manner, it is by a conftant appeal to cur moral feelings, that poetry, efpecially the fublimec
kinds of poetry, wears off the antipathies of the barbarian, and difpoies the man of letters and ufte
in the intercourfe of life, to overlook many caufes of animofity and refemment, and to fympathize
with human nature in the midft of a thoufand frailties and follies. By the fublime kinds of poetry
I undcrftand the ode, tragedy, and epopcea: Thefe not only recommend whatever is excellent and



great in human conduct, to the cool and difpaflionate views of reafon, but powerfully imprefs it 01
the heart, and gradually incorporate it with the moral character. In human events and actions
there is a famenefs which cloys, and an imperfection which difpleafes the mind. Heroic or epic
poetry remedies thefe defects, by exhibiting a picture as various as the wanderings of the imagina
tion, and examples of virtue that correfpond to thofe abftracted ideas of excellence that are formed
by the intellect, and which alone come up to the defires of the foul. Although the whole of a
composition of this kind abounds in grave inftructions, yet there is one leflbn which is taught
above all others, one truth which it principally inculcates, and which is called the moral of the
poem. This truth or moral is illuftrated by a ftory or fable ; and as the heroic poet does not moot
directly and rapidly towards the end he has in view, but, on the contrary, keeps long on the wing,
and aims, in his flight, to warm the mind, and to gratify its vaft defires by frequent views of the
grandeur, magnificence, and beauty of nature. This fable, ftory, or plot, various and intricate in
itfelf, is ftill farther diverfified by manifold incidents and digrefiions ; various fcenes are opened,
various actors introduced, various characters and manners, and, correfponding to thefe, various fen-
timents. .The variety and gravity of the diction are fuited to the variety and gravity of the fub-
ject ; and mufical numbers, with beautiful imagery, adorn every part of the complicated production."

'* He illuftrated the truth of thefe fentiments" fays Dr. Thomfon, by whom the converfation is
reported, " from the works of Taflb and of Milton, but chiefly from the " Iliad" of Homer. I
mentioned the incredibility of Homer's fables, and hinted that they were fcarcely proper for the
contemplation of a Chriftian. On this head, I was not myfelf very fcrupulous, being convinced that,
to fuffer the imagination to wander, for a time, over the fields of fancy, is no crime. It is eafy to
call back the wanderer, and to difmifs the illufion : But I wifhed to draw an anfwer from Wilkie.
With refpect to the incredibility of fable, the imagination, he anfwered, can render any thing cre
dible, if it is well defcribed, that is not abfurd or impoffible. As to the unchriftiannefs of attend
ing to heathen fables, he faid that there were many fables in the Bible, introduced for the expref*
purpofe of conveying and inculcating truths, religious and moral. Many of the heathen fables, he
maintained, had, in like manner, a moral tendency : For example, the furious Achilles and Diomed
are about to vent their rage in fome act of cruelty and injuftice. Minerva prefents herfelf in fume
form or other that they refpect, and diverts their purpofe. That is, the voice of reafon reftrains
the impetuofity of paffion."

The differences of time and place had no effect upon Wilkie's genius. While he cultivated, the
ground, his poem cf The Epigoniad was going forward ; and, with the fcythe in his hand, he medi
tated on the times when princes and heroes boafted of their powers and fkill, in cutting hay,
ploughing land, and feeding fwine. The rural fcenes and fimple manners that were ever prefent
in his imagination, accorded well with the tone of a poem, the fubject of which was taken from a
very early period of fociety, and contributed to give a juftnefs and exactnefs to his images, which
are not to be found in the compofitions of city poets, who draw little from nature, and take every
thing at fecond hand.

It was reported, that while he was writing the Epigoniad^ it is faid, he read it in pieces to an old
woman in the neighbourhood, named Margaret Paten, without communicating to an,y other
perfon what he was doing; and what fhe difapproved of, he fcored and altered, till pure nature
was pleafed. A fimilar ftory is told of Moliere, with more probability.

There is a tradition alfo, that, upon fome occafion, he fubmitted his verfes to the correction of
Mr. Hume. Mr. Hume addreffed Wilkie, by telling him, that he had made a great many emen
dations. Wilkie, upon looking flightly at them, replied : " Well, I will be even with you ; for I
will not adopt fo much as one of your corrections."

His manner of life at the Fifher's Tryfte was the moft refpeetable that could be imagined.
He profecuted his literary ftudies, he tilled the ground, employed the poor, provided for his fifter*,
and on Sundays eccafionally preached the gofpel. This, indeed, was no him ; for ib
general was his knowledge, fo lively his imagination, and fo quick his" recollection, that he preached
jaot only without writing his fermons, but fometimes even without longer premeditation than that
of eight or ten miuutes. ' He went one day to bear fennon in the church of Ratho, and, as h<r


Walked along witWf the minifter from the manfe to the church, was clofely prefled by him to
preach for him. He at firft made many excufe-s, but was fo extremely urged, that he at laft con-
fented, provided the minifter would name the text; a condition which was readily complied with.
This anecdote is related by Dr. Thomfon, who was told by a nobleman who was prefent, and who
was a good judge, that the fermon was excellent.

In the rebellion 1745, a generous ftart of loyal fervour had excited the young people about Edin
burgh, many of them Wilkie's companions, to take the field ; but the abfurdity of rifking the flower
of the country made it foon be overruled ; and Wilkie was remarked to have been the only perfoa
who left the ranks : Hence infinuations againft his perfonal courage. Perhaps he faw the foe lifhnei*
of the thing : At ieaft, there are no other evidences of the kind againft him ; and it is certain, that
being once dogged by a foot-pad, in a dark night, on his way to Ratho, he turned upon him, and,
with one blow of his cane acrofs the temples, brought him to the ground. This anecdote is relat
ed upon the authority of Dr. Robertfon.

After the clofe of the rebellion, and the reftoration of the peace of the country, he returned to
his farm, and refumed the quiet occupations of agriculture and literature, in which he fpent feveral
years, little known to the world, and holding little intercourfe with it, excepting with a few litera
ry friends and companions.

The Fifher's Tryfte, lying in the immediate vicinity of Gorgie, the property of Mr. Lind flierifF-
fubftitute of Mid-Lothian, he became acquainted with Wilkie at an early period, and, from their
firft acquaintance, ftrongly attached himfelf to his interefts.

Mr. Lind was very capable of difcerning his merit, gave him a general invitation to his houfc,
introduced him into the company of his numerous acquaintance, and made him known to the
Duke of Argyll, the Earl of Lauderdale, Lord Milton, Lord Kames, Mr. Charles Townfhend,
and many other perfons of rank.

In 175*, Mr. Guthric, minifter of Ratho, being rendered incapable, by age and infirmitiet, of
difcharging the duties of his office, an afiiftant was found neceflary. Mr. Lind recommended Wil
kie to the Earl of Lauderdale, the patron of that parifh, for that office, and obtained his Lordf
ihip's corfent to allow him to preach at Ratho.

When Wilkie was introduced at Hatton, Lord Lauderdale was much pleafed with the origina
lity of his genius and eatenfive knowledge ; and fo much entertained with a thoufand peculiarities
in his manner of thinking and reafoning on every fubje<5t, that he rtfolved immediately to make
him affiftant and fucceflbr to Mr. Guthrie ; and, for this purpofe, he eftablifhed a fund
of 30 1. for his annual fupport, without diminifturg the ftipend during the life of the old man.

Accordingly, on the I7th of May 1753, Wilkie Was ordained, by the Prefbytery of Edinburgh,
afliftant and fucceflbr to the minifter of Ratho. In this fituation, he continued three years and a
half, living all that time on his little farm, about four miles diftant, and faithfully performing the
duties of his office in the parifh. On the death of Mr. Guthrie, Feb. a8th 1756, he came into
poffeffion of the whole living, and fettled, with his fitters, in the manfe of Ratho.

Agriculture had been a peculiar object of his attention from his youth ; and he now gave full
fcope to his genius for improvement, though on a fmall fcale. His glebe, which he found in great
diforder, he immediately onclofed in a judicious manner, and cultivated it with fuch ability, that it
continued to produce the mod abundant crops.

A piece of marftiy ground belonging to the glebe, in the name of pafture-ground, of near five
acres, which, from time immemorial, had been of fo little value, that the highefl rent given for it
was haif-a-guinea yearly, he enclofed with a deep ditch and hedge ; and interfered it with Aich a
variety of drains, moil judicioufly difpofed, that it became matter of aftonifhment to the country
in general, and of ridicule to many ; but the event juftified his ability, for it produced a feries of
mofl beneficial crop*, and ftill continues valuable.

He alfo proje&ed a fociety for the improvement of agriculture and rural economy, .called Tfa
Uujbandry Club, which met at Ratho, and confifted of a great number of the gentlemen and prin
cipal farmers in the neighbourhood. The excellent regulations, eflabli&ed for the government of-


the club, and the great variety of interefting aad judicious queftiorrs, propofed as fub}e<2s of thci
deliberation and difcuflion, in all which he had a principal fhare, will long continue to do honour
to his memory.

This fociety, of which Wilkie may be confidered as the founder, was conducted, for many years,
with great fpirit and fuccefs. Its records, according to the information of Mr. Robertfon, contain
diflertations on many practical fubjects in agriculture, of much merit. The name of the celebrated
Dr Cullen appears in the lift of the members.

While he refided at Rarho, he had much intercourfe with the Landerdale family, snd was, at all
times, a welcome vifitant at Hatton. His noble patron was fond of his converfation, and often en
gaged him in difpuration ; and, perhaps, he never met with an antagonift who afforded him greater
tfcope for the exertion of all his powers. Through life, he retained the ftrongeft attachment to the,
Zarl of Lauderdale, and valued him more for his good underftanding, his great knowledge of men
and manners, and his uncommon humanity, than for his high rank. His fentiments, with rcfpedfc
to the Earl, were well known to all his acquaintances ; for there was nothing more common than
his retailing his Lordfhip's maxims and opinions in every company and converfation.

In 1757, he published at Edinburgh The Epigoniad, a Poem, in Nine Books, lamo, the refult of
fourteen years ftudy and application, and claimed the honours of an epic poet. His claim, how
ever, to this difthiction was not generally allowed. His work was applauded by a few men of
tafte and learning, but was coldly received by the public, and cenfured, with great feverity, by the
writers of periodical criticifm, on account of a few miftakes in exprefiion and profody, excufable
in a Scottifh poet, who had never been out of his own country. The title, it mud be confeffed,
was fomewhat unfortunately chofen; for as the ftory of the Fftgoni was known only to a very
few of the learned, the public were not able to conjecture what could be the fubject of the poem,
and were apt to neglect what it was impoffible to underfland. The Preface contained fome ju
dicious and fpirited remarks OH the beauties and defects of epic poetry, but afforded little infor
mation concerning the fubject of the poem. There was no general plan prefixed to the whole,
r.or argument, as might be expected, at the head of each book. It was inscribed, in the manner
cf Camoens and Taffo, to Archibald Duke of Argyll, a nobleman, who, by patronizing the arts and
Sciences, rivalled the glory of his elder brother Duke John, whofe political and military talents

aaade him to be defervedly efteemed one of the firft ftatefmen and heroes oL his time.


Argyll, the date's whole thunder born to wield,
And fhake alike the fenate and the field.


In 1759, ne publifiied a fccond edition of Tie Epigomad, &e. by William Wilkie, P. D. M. Care-
fully torrefied and imprwtd. To ivbicb is added, a Dream, in the manner of Spcnfir, izmo. In this e~
<sfition, all or moflf of the Scoticifms, and other trivial miftakes in the firft edition, were correct
ed. A paflage alfo in the Preface, containing a rafli cenfure of " the quaintnefs of Mr. Pope's ex-
prefllon,in his tranflation of the " Iliad" and " Odyflfey," as not at all fuitable either to the an
tiquity or majeftic gravity of his author," was very properly omitted. Mr Hume gives the fol
lowing account of its reception in London, in a letter to Dr. Smith, dated April ia. 1759 : " The
Epigoniad, I hope, will do, but' it is fomewhat up-hill work. You will fee in the " Critical Review,"
a letter upon that poem, and I defire you to employ your conjectures in finding out the author."
The letter in the " Critical Review," was written by Mr. Hume, to recommend The Eptgoniad to
the public, " as one of the ornaments of our language." The fuecefs was not anfwerable to his
expectations. Too antique to pleafe the unlettered reader, and too modern for the ftholar, it wa
neglected by both, read by few, and foon forgotten by all.

Soon after his coming to Ratho, he was feized with an unformed ague, from which he was never"
perfectly relieved during the reft of his life. For this complaint, he thought an extraordinary per-
fpiration was necelfary. He flept with an immoderate quantity of bed-clothes, and fweated fo
much, that it was thought to have had an effect in relaxing his constitution. The blankets under
Which he flept became a wonder to the country; ftories are told of twenty- four pair of blankets
being above him : And this may have been the cafewhea he was BO; in hit awn bed; but, in gg*
neral, hit corering was xnuch lighter.


The fuppoied unhealthinefs of the manfe of Ratho gave him the firft Inclination to change his fi-
tuation, and the profefforfhip of Natural Philofophy in the Univerfity of Sr. Andrew's becom
ing vacant in May 1759, by the death of Mr. David Young, he became a candidate for that office.
Several candidates appeared, and Willcie was not then acquainted with one member io the, Univer-
iity. As it happened to be the time of the meeting of the General Affembly, he was introduced
to fuch of them as were then at Edinburgh, and found avenues of applicatiun to them all ; bur Dr,
Watfon was the only member who difcerned his merit, and effectually promoted his intereft; for,
when the day of election came (July 1/59), the other pmfeffors had attached, ia
equal numbers, to two other candidates; and when neither party could, by any influence, alter Dr.
Watfon, one of the parties joined him, and gave the election in favour of Wilkie.

When he left Rarho, he was worth about acol. from the fale of the flock upon his farm, and
livings from his flipend. With this money he purchafed fome acres of land in the neighbourhood
of St. Andrew's. He enclofed and cultivated his little fields' with fuch judgment and fuccefs, as ex
cited the ailonifhment, commanded the imitation, and promoted the improvement of the country
round him, and contributed, in a high degree, to hi* own emolument. H& gradually extended
his purrhafe*, his improvements, and his profits, and is fnppofed to have acquired a property in
land worth 3000!.; and has, in his fo rapid accumulation, Icfc an equally eminent example of
ability and economy.

As a teacher of natural philofophy, bis ufual merit did not forfakc hfm. Natural philofophjr,
he faid himfelf, was his fortt. Though, by an univerfal geuiu, he fhone in this department of
fcience, yet his friends generally imagined that languages, logic, metaphyfics, or moral philofo
phy, would have been more fuitable to his tafte and inclinations.

In 1768, he publifhed his Fables, 8vo. They are fixteen in number, and a frontifpiece, defign-
ed by Wale, is prefixed to each fable. Previous to the publication of his Fabla* the Uuiverfity
of St. Andrew's conferred upon him the degree of Doctor in Divinity

From this time noth'ng of importance occurred in the life of Wilkie. He is LiJ to have broke
off connection with Mr. Hume and Dr. Robertfon, fome time before his death.

After a lingering indifpofition, he died at St. Andrew's, October loth 1773, in the ^iflyear of
his age. His two fifters, to whom he left nis property, are flill living at St. Andrew's. Hjo-
left his MSS to the care of Mr. Lifton, who has not publifhed any of his literary remains.

No edition of his ILpigtniad or Yablts has been called for fince his death. They arc now, reprinted
from the edition 1759 and 1768^ for the firft time, received into collection of claffical Englifb

In 1768, when the prefent writer was at Lanark fchool, his admiration of Wilkie induced him
to tranfcribe from a manufcrij-t in the Ear] of Hyndfoid's library at Curmichael-houfe, a poem,
intituled; " Whitton, a defcriptive poem, with notes, infcribed to the Duke of Argyll, by W. W."
fuppofifd to mean William Wilkit ; but he has not ventured to give it to Wilkie upon fuppofi-

Of hi* character, private habits, domeftic manners, and opinions, curiofity will require more
ample information than is to be found in the following notices, which the diligence of Profeffor
Dalzel has collected, and the zeal and veneration of Mr. Robertfon, Mr. Lifton, Dr. Thomfon,
and Dr. Robertfnn, have fupplied.

" He was always," fays a paper, communicated by an ingenious but not literary friend of Wil-
liie, to Frofeffor Daizel, " fond of being in the company of old men and old women, from the 8th
year of his age ; and they always liked him, as he delighted in their converfation ; and he rapt out
fomething new, whatever was the fubje6t He had read the ancient philofuphers and poets very
early. Hefiod was a favourite poet of his, and he very often quoted him to perfons who knew no
thing about him. His conversation was moft original and ingenious. It had a mixture of know
ledge, acutenefs and fmgularity, which rendered it peculiarly delightful ; and everyperfon who fpent
an hour with him, carried away fomething which he was glad to repeat. He had a firm faith ia
the truth of the Chri&an religion. Jig employed a considerable portion of his time ia reading ;hc


Scriptures, and he kept up the worfhip of God regularly in his family. While he was a parifli mi*
nifter, he was acceptable to his people ; and, in every fituation of his life, he was kind to perfons in
fiftrefs, and very liberal in his private charity. His temper was haity, but void of malice or four-
nefs ; and he was always cheerful. He was fond of agriculture, and remarkable for his knowledge
of the different branches of it. The people in the neighbourhood of St. Andrew's acknowledge t
this day, that they have derived many ufefol leffons from Dr. Wilkie's management of his fartn."
" In his public capacity as a preacher," fays Mr. Robertfon, 4 * he was rather original and inge
nious than eloquent; and, though he never purfued the ordinary a&s of popularity, never failed t
fix the attention of his audience. The peculiarity, variety, and even eccentricity of his lentiments
or reafoning, invariably procured him approbation. In his public character, he obferved a thoufand
oddities and inattentions. He generally preached with his hat on his head, and often forgot to pro
nounce the blefling after public fervice. Once 1 faw him ditpenfe the facrament without confe.
crating the elements. On being told, he made a public apology, confecrated, and ferved the fecpnd
table ; after which, he went to the pulpit to fuperintend the fervice, forgetting to communicate
Jhlmfelf, till informed of the omiflion by his elders. In his drefs, he was uncommonly negligent
and fLvenly, and, in his whole manner of life, totally inattentive to all thofe little formalities on
which the generality of mankind are apt to value themfelves. He was immoderately ^ddidted to
tlie afe of tobacco, particularly chewing, in which he went to fuch extreme excefs, that it was
thought, by all his acquaintance, highly prejudicial to his health, and perhaps a caufe of his prema
ture death. He was fond of medical aid, but always difputed, and often rejected the prefcriptions of
<k>ars : Hence was thought whimfical, both in his compliments, and in his management of them.
He flept with an immoderate quantity of bed-clothes. One day he vifited a, farmer in the neigh
bourhood 1 , a relation of his own ; when prevailed on to ftay all night, he begged he might have
plenty of bed-clothes. His female friends in the family colle&ed and put on his bed 14 pair of
blankets. When aiked, next morning, if he had plenty of bed-clothes, he anfwered, he had juft
enough, and had flept well. He abhorred nothing fo much as clean fheets, and whenever he met
with fuch, he wrapt them up, threw them afide, and flept in the blankets. One evening, at
Katton, being alked by Lady Lauderdale to ftay all night, he expreffed an attachment to his own
bed, but faid, if her ladyfhip would give him a pair of foul fheets, he would flay."

  • Hard circumftances," fays Dr. Robertfon, " oppreffed Wilkie for the greater part of his life,
    and produced that ftrong attention to money-matters, with which he has been reproached by thofe
    wno could not explain it. It proceeded, in fadl, from a Angular love of independence, the paflion of
    9 ftately mind. He fhuddered at the thought of coming under the power of any man, and could
    liardly think of walking the ftreets, left any perfon, to whom he was indebted, (hould meet him.
    When his father died, he had to borrow the money that was to bury him. He went to an uncle for
    jo I. and was refufed. Thefe events could but ill fit upon Bit mind. After he came to better
    days, " I have often heard him fay," fays Mr. Lifton, " 1 have fhaken hands with povertyup to
    the very elbow, and I wifh never to fee her face again." Hence a parfimony to the extreme. Yet,
    n wealth, would we brand him with the love of money for its own fake. Another paffion came
    in : He loved his relations ; and it was his common maxim, that no man {hould ever break with
    bis kindred. He was not long minifter of Ratho, till he apprehended his life would be fhort : He
    bad two fitters that he feared would be left deftitute, immediately upon his death. Apprehenfive
    on their account, he always lived plain, heaped up every penny, and at laft died worth two or
    three thoufand pounds ; not fo much acquired by favings, however, as by a rapid profit from his
    own favourite a& of agriculture, in the perfect {kill of which no man excelled him. At the fame
    time, after the fhort period that he became pofieffed of money, his friends could fee that he could
    part with it. It was his cuftom to pay the bill, even when travelling with feveral of his relations
    that could afford their {hare. After he fettled at St. Andrew's, his private charities were not
    lefs than 20 1. a year. Born for intenfe thought ; for total abfence of mind upon ordinary mat
    ters ; plunged in poverty in early life, without a domeftic about his perfon, and even without the
    means of any elegance whatever, he naturally became floveoly, dirty, and even naufeous. He


chewed tobacco to excefs, and at laft made himfelf believe, that it was good for his health.
It feems, on all hands agreed, that no mortal was equal to him in converfation and argument. His
own explanation of it was, that he took the right fide, while his antagonifts took the wrong, to
difplay their ingenuity and learning. 1 have heard the late Dr. Wallace, author of the " Diflerta-
tion on the Numbers of Mankind," fay, nobody could venture to cope with him. His knowledge,
in almoft all things, was deep, folid, and unanfwerable. His reafoning was plain to a child. In
flirewdncfs, he had no rival. Both his manner and thoughts were mafculine, in a degree peculiar
to himfelf. Dr. Smith fays, it was an obfcrvation of the late Lord Elibank, that wherever
Wilkie's name happened to be mentioned in a company, learned or unlearned, it was not foon
dropped : Every body had much to fay. In ihort, he was a great and an odd man. His chara&er,
I will venture to fay, will never be fuccefsfully written, but by a great hand ; and even, when writ
ten, the theory of the man is above common comprehenfion."

' With regard to Wilkie's faith in Chriftianity," fays Dr. Thomfon, I know, that he faid
prayers in his family every evening, after he had laid afide the character of a divine, and grace at
table, with his eyes (hut, and his hands folded together, in a pofture of fupplication, and with every
mark of the greateft fervour. He would fometimes prolong his graces, at the College-table, be
yond the bounds that the keen appetites of the hungry ftudents would have prefcribed to it. Even
in thefe fhort prayers there was often feme thought not more devout than pleating and ingenious*
For example : " O Lord ! thou art the author of all our wants, and thou fupplieft them, from the
inexhaufted ftores of thy bounty." He appeared to be a firm believer in God. The exiftence of a
deity he confidered as the fimpleft, and, therefore, the moft rational method of folving the phenomena
of the univerfe. This was agreeable to the Newtonian Syftem, which fuppofes a vacuum and liberty of
a&ion ; and that a voluntary^/ of God launched forth the heavenly orbs with that degrree of im-
pulfe or momentum precifely, which cerrefponded with centripetal force, and which would not
carry them beyond their orbits. The moral do&rines of Chriftianity, the divine character of Je-
fus Chrift, he held in the moft profound veneration. That facred perfon he undoubtedly confidered
as an angel fent from God, to enlighten and to blefs the world. Whether he believed in the ae~
cejjity of an attnement (a dodlrine which, as Dr. Smith obferves in his " Theory of Moral Senti
ments," is fo confident with the natural fentiments of mankind), and the other peculiar doctrines of
the Chriftian religion, I cannot, with certainty, affirm. He fometimes lamented, that he doubted.
But whether this doubt fettled into fcepticifm, or that reafon, and an imagination, fenfible in the
higheft degree, to the ravifhing profpedls held out in the gofpel, triumphed over doubt, and con-,
firmed kis wavering mind in the Chriftian faith, I know not. He would often exclaim to his moft
intimate friends : " O ! if I could firmly believe all the doctrines of Chriftianity, how vain and in-
Cpid every enjoyment and every purfuit in thin world would appear !"

" It was remarkable," fays Profeflbr Dalzel, " that Wilkie, with all his learning, could neither read
nor fpell. I myfelf was witnefs to his ignorance of the art of reading. When I was a very young
man, refiding at Hatton, Wilkie came from St. Andrew's, on a vifit to Lord LawJerdale. He ftaid
a few days, and all the perfonal knowledge I had of Wilkie was acquired during that time. " The
Judgment of Paris," a poem by Dr. Beattie, was brought to Hatton one of thofe days, as a ne<>
publication, Wilkie aiked me to retire with him, that we might read and criticife the poem toge
ther. At firft, when he began to read, I imagined he did not wnderftand the verfes at all, as he
furely committed the faddeft havoc, in point of quantity and pronunciation, that can well be ima
gined, and even mifcalled feveral of the words : And yet his criticifms were fo juft, and fo happily
xprcfled, that I was charmed with the elegance of his tafte, and the propriety of his obferva-

As a poet, his compofitions are not lefs diftinguifhed by imagination and judgment, than his
manners were remarkable for eccentricity and originality. In both, we are pleafed to find that
feeling difpofition which chara&erifes the good man, and the ingenious, fublime and moral poet.

His Epigoniad, if he had written nothing elfe, is fufficient to entitle him to an honourable rank
?.mojg the poets of our .nation, with whom he is now aiTociated. It is a legitimate epic poem, of


the fame fpecics of compofition with the " Iliad" and the " .ffincid," which is univerfally allowed to
be, of all poetical works, the moft dignified, and, at the fame time, the mod difficult in execution.

" To contrive a ftory," fays Dr. Blair, in his excellent " Lectures," " which fhall pleafe
and intereft all readers, by .being at once entertaining, important, and inftructive, -to fill it vrith
luitable incidents, to enliven it with a variety of characters and of defcriptions, and, throughout a
long work, to maintain that propriety of fentiment, and that elevation of ftyle, which the epic
character requires, is unqueftionably the higheft effort of poetical genius. 1 '

What talents are neceffery ,to fo arduous an attempt ! What vigour of imagination, extent of
knowledge, folidity of understanding, and powers of language ! In order to judge whether Wilkie
has fucceeded in this exalted fpecies of writing, cr not, an appeal fhould be made, not fo much to
the abftracted rules of criticifm, as to the tafte and feeling of the fynopathetic and judicious reader :
For it is fentiment orily that can judge of fentiment. When the heart of the reader remains cold
and unaffected, the moft elaborate performance is defended, in vain, by all the arc of the mod ex
pert rhetorician ; and, on the contrary, where nature is difplayed in jufl colours, and the imagina
tion aftoniihed by fcenes of terror, or expanded by fuch as are fublime, a fatisfaction is enjoyed,
which is but little marred by a deviation from unity of time, place, or action.

In forming an eftimate of the epic poem of Wilkie, we are to confider what degree of impor
tance there is. in his moral, and what of artifice in his fable ; what kind of manners and character*
he has exhibited, and if his characters are properly fupported by their fentiments and actions.
Are his digreffions natural ? Are his views fublime ? I his imagery beautiful, and his diction
varied with his varying fubject ?

It would extend this narrative to an undue length, to examine the Efigoniad, with refpect t
each of thefe heads, particularly. We fhall, therefore, content ourfelves with briefly running over
the moral, and giving a fhcrt analyfis of the fable, occafionally obferving on other particulars, as we
go along, and collecting a few fpecimens of thofe great beauties in which it abounds.

As the end or moral of the " Paradifc Loft" is to fhow the bitter fruits that fpring from difq-
bedience to the laws of God; and as the end or moral of the " Iliad" is to difplay the fatal efFecta
of furious and deep refentment and difcord, fo the moral of the Epigoniad teaches the dire difafters
that flow from the pafiion of love. This leffon is inculcated by a {lory interwoven with primeval
Manners, and with Grecian mythology. The firft of thefe circumftances is rather an advantage
than a difadvantage, as we are acquainted with the manners defcribed, not only from the
writings of Homer, but alfo from thofe .of Mofes, and as they diffufe over the poem an air of ve
nerable fimplicity : The fecond could not, be avoided, it being an article in the Grecian creed,
that the gods often interpofe vifibly and bodily in human affairs : nor, is the incredibility of my
thology fo great a difadvantage in poetry, as may be imagined : For, firft, as there is a degree
of belief that attends the vivid perception of every object, the beautiful and confiftent tales that
are told by the poets, o the gods and other fuperior beings, gain a temporary credit ; and this is
fufficienfi for the purpofe of tke poet. Secondly, The heathen mythology operates on our minds,
with the more facility that it has been imprefled on our minds in our youth. We are acquainted
with the different characters of the gods and goddeffes; we know, beforehand, what part they are
likely to act on particular occafions, and are pleafed when we find the poet fupporting, with pro
priety, the character of each. A like obfervation may be extended to .the heroes and other famous
perfonages of antiquity. We are acquainted, as it were, with their perfons ; we are fntere fted in
their fortunes, and, therefore, we are infinitely more affeded by fcenes in which they appear a*
aftors,than we would be by fcenes in which a poet fhould introduce perfons and fictions with which
we are wholly unacquainted. Boileau, the grcateft critic of the French nation, was of this opinion i

" La fable offre a 4' efprit mille agrements divers,
La tous les noms heureux femblent nez pour les vers
Ulyffe, Agamemnon, Orefte, Idoraenee,
Kclcae, Menelas, Paris, Hcftcr, Enec."


It is certain, that there is, in that poetic ground, a kind 'of enchantment which allures every
perfon of a tender and lively imagination nor is this impreflion diminifh-^d, but rather much in-
crrafed by our early introduction to the knowledge of it, in our perufal of the Greek and Latin
daffies. The fame great French critic makes the apology of Wiikie in his ufc of the ancient my*

" Ainfi dans cet amas de noble fictions,

Le poete s'egaye en niillc inventions, "

Orne, eleve, embellit, agrandit tontes chofes,

>t trouve s'ons fa main des flours toujours cclofes."

It would feem, indeed, that, if fome fupernatural machinery be not admitted, epic pr>etry, at leaft
all the marvellous part of it, mull be entirely abandoned. " Without *Jmiration" fays Dr Hurd,
in his Letters on Chivalry and Romance" (which cannot be effected but by the marvellous of
celefti I intervention, I mean the agency of fuperior nature* really exifting, or by the illufion
of the fancy taken to be foi, no epic poem can be long-lived. The Chriftian religion, for rmny
reaibns, is unfit for the fabulous ornaments of poetry : The plan of Milton's work being altogether
theological, his fupernatural beings form not the machinery, but are the principal actors in the
poem. The introduction of allegory, after the manner of Voltaire, is liable to many objections ;
and though a mere hiftoncal epic poem like " Leonidas," may have its beauties, it will always be
inferior to the force and pathetic words of tragedy, and muft rcfign to that fpecies of poetry the
pn-cedency which the former competition has always challenged among the productions of human

The fable of the Epigoniad is this t The poet fuppofe*, that CaJJandra, the daughter of Alcander
k;ng f Peiixmum in Italy, was purfued by the love of Echetus, a barbarous tyrant in the neigh
bourhood and a* h r father rej ,-cted his addreffes, he drew on himftlf the refmtment of the ty
rant, who made war upon him, and f -reed him to retire into Etolia, where DiomeJ gave him pro-
teilion. This hero falls himfelf in love with Caffandra and is fo fortunate as to make equal im-
pr-flions on her heart; but. before 'he completion of his marrria^e, he i* called to the fiege of
Thrbes, and leaves, as he fi.ppofes, Caffandra in Etol a with her father. Bat CaJJandra, anxious fof
her lover's fafety. and unwilling to pdrr^from the object of her affections, had lecrerly put on a
man's habit, had attended him in the camp, and had fought by his fide in all his battles. The
poem optus with the a^earance Jthc-ffigom before the u alls of Thebes, refolute to fignalize
thc-ir own names, and to redeem the Argiw vlory, by its reduction. The gods, aflembled on
the l.u-idred heads of high O ympu- view from afar Thebes doomed to peufh by the Argivet, and
principally, by the hand* of > iomed , Juno and Pa'las, favourable to rhe Arg'ves feck the ruin of
Thibet I cnus, in order'to fruOrate the defign of b- th 'Juno and Pallas, deli crates concerning the
proper method of -ailing the fiege The fitteft expedient feems to be the exciting in Diomed a
je .. o.<iy of Chandra and prrfuaHing him, that her affc di. ns wrre <ecretly engagt-d to Echetus, and
that thr tytam tad invaded Et >lia in purluit of his miftrefs. Zelotyfe, a Paphian nymph) fprung
from Cupid and Aiccto, offers her lervices, for this end, to the

G ddefs thefe (hafts (hall compaf* what you aim,
M' m* thrr dipt ^heir points in Stygian flame ?
Whirt'er my fatlirr s d^rts their way have found,
M < f How deep, and coifon all the wound.
B h< fe we lo'-n, with tr.nmph, fhall behold
Pallas deer iv'd and Juno's fclf controll'd.

Hrr perfon _and flight are painted in the moft characteriftic habiliments and fplendid coloufi
that poetry affords.

Firft to her feet the winged (hoes (he binds,
Which tread the air and mount the rapid winds;
Aloft they bear her through th' ethereal plain,
Above the folia earth and liquid main ;


Her arrows next fhe takes, of pointed fteel,
For fight too fmall, but terrible to feel.
A fitrur'd zone, myfterially defign'd,
Around her waift her yellow robe confo'd;
There dark Sufpicion lurk'd, of fable hue,
There hafty Rage, her deadly dagger drew ;
Pale Envy in!y pin'd, and by her fide
Stood Frenzy raging with his arm unty'd.
Affronted Pride, with thirft of vengeance burn'd,
And Love's excefs to deepeft hatred turn'd.
The virgin laft, around her fhoulders flung
The bow and by her fide the quiver hung :
Then, fpringing up, her airy courfe fhe bends
For Thebes ; and lightly o'er the tents defcends.
The fon of Tydeus midft his bands fhe found
In arms complete, repofing on the ground ;
And as he flept. the her" thus addrefs'd ;
Her form to fancy's waking eye exprefs'd.

moved by the inftigations of jealoufy, and eager to defend his mlflrefs and his coun
try, calls an affembly of the confederated kings, and propofes to raife the fiege of Thebes, on ac
count of the difficulty of the enterprife and dangers which furround the army. The king*
debate concerning the propofal ; and here appears a great diverfity of characters and fentiments,
fuitable to each. Tbefeus, the general, breaks out into a pafiipn at the propofal ; but is pacified by
Ncftor. Idomeneus rifes, and reproaches Diomed for his difhonourable counfel ; and, among other to
pics, upbraids him with his degeneracy from his father's bravery. The debate is clofed by
Vlyjjes, who informs the princes,- that the Thebans are preparing to march out in order to attack
th.'m, and that it is vain to deliberate any longer concerning the continuance of the war. The
kings refoive to proferute the war, and Diomed, though ftung with love, and jealoufy of Echetus, yields
to their voice. The nations and tribes that oppofed the Argives, being defcribed in the manner
of Homer, a battle commences before the wall* of Thebes ; and the Theban troops, led on by the
brave Letphron, the fon of Creen the king, repulfe the enemy. Pallas defcendsto the aid of the
jtrgives, in the form of Homo leon, Diomed r s charioteer being flam. Cajfandra, ftill concealed
xmder the arms and drefs of a foldier, prefenting herfelf to Diomed, offers to take that office upon
herfclf. Diomed declines the offer. Pallas herfelf affumes rhe reins, and conduces Diomed in the
fight. He kills Leopbrcn. Every thing gives way to this chief, guided by the wifdom, and forti
fied by the arms of the immortal goddefs of Prudence and Wifdom : But Mercury, at the com-
xr.and of Jupiter, gives order to Pbabtts to lafh his fteeds, and to conclude the day, left the rapid
fuccefs of Diomed fhould precipitate the fall of Thebes before the time fixed by Fate. The darknefs
of the night interrupts the fight, and Diomed is ftripped by Mercury of his divine armpur. This
battle is full of the fpirit of Homer. And now the Theban princes, according to ancient cuftom,
fat in council in the gate ; the, king oppreffed with public cares, and with private grief for the
death of his fon Leophron^ propofes to fue for a truce of feven days, that they might grace the
dead with funeral obfequies. The prieft of Apollo, accompanied by Clytofbon, repairs to the Argive
tents, to aflc a truce ; and here follows a long, but very interefting epifode, that enchants the
reader with the wildnefs of Salvator Rofa, and aftonilhes him with the terrors of Sophocles.
This epifode is intended as an experiment in that kind of fiction which the " Odyf-
fey." The Tteban heralds are conducted, with fafety, to the royal tent, where the Argive princes
receive them with marks of kindnefs. After a fplendid repaft, Clytopbon, with great art, ad-
dreffes the Pylian chief Nejhr, reminds him that he was his gueft (a circumftance which formed
a ftrong band of friendfhip, as it does ftill among barbarous nations) when he fled from the defert
ftores of Trinacria : Having gained the favour and the attention of Nejlor, he relates the wonderful
ftory of his life. Ciytoplon was the youngeft fon of Orfilochus, king of Rhodes.


His yrungeft hope I was, and fcarce had feen
The tenth returning fummer clothe the green,
"When pirates fnatch'd me from my native land, &C.

He relates how he arrived at Trinacria, efcaped from the pirates, and how that lawlefs crew
perifhed by the inhuman hands of a Cyclops. In this defert ifland he remained for ten years.
His folitary life, his terror of the Cydtps, his efcaje from the domain and from the threats of that
monfter, who discovered him in hi>> flight, form a wild and romanric tale, which affords a fatis-
faftinn of a pleafing though melancholy nature. The Argive chiefs, won by the eloquence of Nejlor,
agree to the truce. Diomed alone remonftrates, and retires fuilenly to his tent. The poet, in imi
tation of Homer, defcribes the funeral obfequies and various games in honour of the dead. The
games he has chofen are different from thofe which arc to be found among the ancients, and the
incidents are new and curious. He meditates a defign to attack the unarmed Fhebans, conSdhg
in the truce, and bufied in burying their dead. His friend, and the guardian of his youth,
Deipbobusj diffuades him from fuch enormous injuftice, and expoftulates on this fubj'?<5t, with a free
dom which provokes the fiery temper of D'tomtd to lift his hand againft his friend, and to put
him to death. This incident, which is apt to furprife us, feems to have been copied by the poet
from that circumftance in the life of Alexander, where the heroic conqueror, moved by a fudden
paflion, fbbs Clytus, his ancient friend, by whom hi$ life had been formerly faved in battle. The
repentance of Diomed is equal to that of Alexander. No fooncr had he iliuck the fatal blow than
his eyes are opened ; he is fenfible of his guilt and fhame ; he rcfufes all coniblation ; abftains even
from food, and fhuts himfelf up alone in his tent. Hi* followers, ftruck with horror at the violence
of his paffion, keep at a diftance from him. A tumult enfues, which is quelled by the eloquence of

Ulyffes, While Diomed^ abandoned by all, lay outftretched m n the duft, refigned to melancholy, re-
morfe, and defpair, CaJJandra enters his tent with a potion, which fhc had prepared for him. The
virgin endeavours, by an artful tale, to fhun difcover, , and to conceal her Jove. While (he (lands
before him ah ne, her timidity and paffion betray her frx; and Diomed immediately perceives her

to be Cfjfaidra. As his repentance for the murder of DeipLobus was now the ruling paffion in his

mind, he is not moved by tendernefs for Cajfjndra ; on the contrary, he cofifiders her as the caufe,

however innocent, of the murder of his friend, and of his own guilt.

Thofe eyes I fee, vrhofe foft enchantment dole

My peace, and ftirr'd a temptft in my lotil;

By their mild li^ht, in innocence airay'd,

To guilty madnefs was my heart betray 'd.

Dci^hobus is dead : his mournful ghoft

.Lamenting, wanders on the Stygian coafr ;

And blames my wrath. Oh ! that the fun which gavo

.Light to thy hirth, had fet upon ti.y grave :

Aiid he had liv'd ! now lifeleis'on the plain,

A corfe he Us, and number d. with the fluin.

Overwhelmed with grief at the treatment fhe received, CaJ/anJra repairs to a rural temple, facred
to Ceres, whole prottdtion (he implores, proflrate oo the ground, and bathtd in a flood of tears.
At this mflant. Ztlotyfe delcended fiom fenus, but her counfcls were overthrown b) Pallas, dif-.
guiled in the (hape of Atxyclea, Cajfandraf, mother. Ccjfandras addrela to Amyclea will not
Joie, by a comparison, with the addrefs of Anchifes to ./Eneas in the El j fun fields. She re-,
folvcs to return to her father's houfe, aud had begun to j ut her defign in execution, when fhe
fell into the hands < f the Thebans. The fierce chiefs decree, that (he (hall fall a Cacrifice to the
ghcfts of Leofbron and Andremon. This ftern \ urpofe is- oppoftd by Pbericles, who infilts upcn die
faith of treaties. A dilpute ar.les en the (ubjedt ; Come of the princes, infill on the death of C*JJan-
dra, others declare themfelves ready to proted her life, at the ri(k .<f their own. And this tiifc rd
had raged in civil blood, had not Clytefbon appeafcd the tumult, by propofing to pra&ifc on th


paffions of Dtomcd. by mehns of fo dear a pledge of his love, and to engage him to withdraw his
forces from the walls of Titles. Dlomed, his rage fubfiding into grief, inquires at every leader
for CaJJandra, and is ftung with compu&ion for hi* barbarous ufage of that lovely, affeftionate,
and patient maid. Whilft his mind is tiius ibftened, an herald appear* fr< m the gates of Thebes,
relates the fate of Cajfandra, and delivers the king's meffage, threatening to put her to death if
Diomed would not agree to a feparate truce with Thebes. This propofal raifes in the mind of D'tomed
oppofite contending paflions. Agreeably to the furious character of that chief, the poet fuj pofes
that his predominant paffi >si for revenge is firft excited. He rages and vows vengeance, if the
Thebans fhould dare to violate the captive. An embroidered fcarf, a prefert from CaJJandra,
brings her full into the view of Diomcd, with all her charms. Hi* rage is fufpended, and he
refigns his mind to love, to grief, and tender fear. He propofes a truce of twenty days, which
the Fhebans accept. In the mean time, Dienices returns, who had been fent to the wildernefs of
CEta to recal Hercules for the protection of his native city. He relates the death of Hercules,
and the excruciating pains of the envenomed robe, which had been fent him by the hands of the
jealous Dejanira. He relates alfo the fate of Clean, fon of the king of Thebes, flain by Philoftetet
for an attempt to fteal away the arms of his friend Hercules, now enrolled among the gods This
epifode is an attempt towards heroic tragedy, in the manner f Sophocles, and breathes all the hor
rors, and vehemence and atrocity of that great poet. If the fublimity of his imagination, and the
energy of his ftyle appear any where confpicuous, it is in this epifode, which we fhall not fcruple to
compare with any poetry in the Euglifh language. Nothing can be more pathetic than the cora-
plaints of Hercules, when the poifon of the envenomed robe begins firft to prey upon him,

O cool my boiling blood, ye winds that blow
From mountains loaned with eternal Jnow,
And crack the icy cliffs : in vain ! in vain !
Your rigour cannot quench my raging pain !
For round this heart the furies wave their brands,
And wring my entrails with their burning hand*.

The virtue of Hercules, fuftaining him under the weight of infernal pain, isdefcribed in a manar
not unworthy of the fupreme grandeur < f the ft bject ; and is a fpeclacle, if we may be allowed, with
Wilkie, to adopt the fentiments and the ftyle c>f the ancients, we would fay even the immortal godi
would regard with comp acency and approbation.

The Theban king, enraged by the death of his fons, even to madnefs, defpair, and hatred of the
gods, inftigates his martial powers to attack the Axgi-ves, iecure in the truce, and employed in b*.
rying the dead. The Argiies. encouraged fcy Pallas, in the form of Mentor, rally their forces and
refift the Thebans with travery, but without fuccefs. The . rgive hands give way, and would
have peri (bed by the hands of an enraged victorious enemy, had not f atlas diipatched Ulyjfes to fo-
licit the aid of Darned. The fpeech of Uk/ss, in which the character of the fpeaker is well fup-
ported, had its full influence - n the mind of a generous warrior, ambitious of glory, and quickly
fenfible to the ftings of reproach. He confcffes his p^ilion for the captive Cajfandra ; whom he de-
fcribes with all the exaggeration? of love. Ul^/tt, having now learned the cauie of Diomed's inacti
vity, addreffcs himfelf to him with fuccefs He fhows, that no fai'h was to be expfded from the
ptrfidiou- Theban*, and that the fafety of Cajftndra might be obtained by force, but was not to
be hoped for from a regard to juftice. M"ved by this reafoning, Diomed takes the field. The
Tbebans are forced to retreat, and the ruthlefs Creon difpatches an affaffin to murder Caandra.
Here opens a fctne truly afFeding. The queen of Thebes and her maids fat lamenting with the
fair captive, talking to her in the language .f complacency and tendernefs, aiTuring her that her
innocence, her fex, would protect her, and that nine fhort days would reftore her freedom : Bat
Ca/undra, prepared to meet her fate, by a dream, arms her f elf with magnanimous refolution, and 9
when the murderer approached, with the fword bared ior CXWJUtionj in he micift of fad
attendants; (he aiuie sppuarsd erect $nd


For the blow prepar*d,

With b th her hands her (hininy neck (he bar'd,
And round her head a purp'e garment roll'd,
With leaves of filver mark'd, and flowing gold.
Ra^'d for the ftroke, the glittering faulchron hung,
And Iwift defcenrling, hore the head along.
A tide of gore, diffus'd in purple ftreams,
Dafhes the wall, and o'er the pavt-menr Uvims.
Prone to the ground, the hfadlefs trunk reclines,
And life, in long convulfive throbs, rcfigns.

In the mean time, Dumed advifes the Argive chiefs to take Thebes by affault. Idamtneus oppofcs
fo rafh a defign ; ard in the midft of this difputr, Creoa difplays on the point of a fpear. the head
of CaJJandra. Diomed leads on his powers to the affdU'.t of "Thebes, while the other sirgive bands,
in favour of his attempt, diftradt the foe by n ock approaches. The city is taken. The queen,
made captive, implores the mercy of Diomed. Uiyjfcs advifes him to offer her up a vi&irn to the
manes of Ca/anJra. The generous hero rejects the barbarous counfcli and the poem concludes
with the dfath of Green.

It is a man i fell advantage in the Epigon!ad y that the fcenes it defcribes lie witKin a very narrow
fpace of time ; that events follow events in rapid fucctffion ; and that, on the whole, it maintains
the clofeft and moft per fed unity of time, place, and adtion. The moral is no other than what is
the moral of many tragedies, the fatal effcds of love. But the poet has found means artfully to
extend the moral to paltion in general : For Diomed iu a kind of peroration to the whcle of what
had puffed, deplores the predominancy of paffion, ever deaf to reafon and cool reflection.

  • While I, unhappy, by its dictates fway'd,
    My guardian murder 'd, and the holt betray'd.

The fable is evidently ingenioufly artificial; but the execution is better than the defign, the poe
try fupeiior to the table, and the colouring of the particular parts more excellent than the general
plan of the whole. Of the four great epic poems which have been the admiration of mankind, the
" Iliad," " JEr>c d," ** Jerufalem," and * Paradife i.oft." the " Jerufalem" alone would make a to
lerable nc.vtl, if reduced to prole, and related without that fplendour of verfification and imagery
by which it is fupporud ; yet, in the opinion of many great judges, the " Jerufalem" is the leaft
per ft A of thcfe productions, chiefly becaufe it has leaft nature and (implicit y in the fcntiments, and
is m ft liable to the orjt&ion of affectation and conceit. The ftory of a poem, whatever may be
imagined, is the leal> iffmtial part of it , the force of the verfificatu-n, the vivacity of the images,
the juftncfs of the defcriptions. the natural play of the paffions,are the chief circumftances which di-
ilingU'fh the j-reat poet from the profaic novelift ; and we will venture to affirm, that all thefe ad
vantages, efpecial'y the three former are to be found in an eminent degree in the E^igoniad. WiU
kie, infpircd with the true genius of Greece, and fmir with the moft p-ofonnd veneration for Ho
mer, difdains all frivolous ornaments ; and,rel)irg entirely on his fublime imagination and his ner
vous and harmonious exprefilon, has ventured to prefent to his reader the naked beauties of nature,
and challenges, for his partizans, all the admirers of genuine antiquity.

There is one circumftance in which Wilkie has carried his boldncfs of copying antiquity beyond
the practice of many, even judicious moderns. 1-e has drawn his perfonages, not only with all the
fimplicity of the Grecian heroes, but alfo with fome degree of their roughnefs, and evea of their fe
rocity. This is a circumftance which a mere modern is apt to find fault with in Homer, and which,
perhaps, he will not eafily excufe in his imitator. It is certain that the ideas of manners are much
changed fince the age of Homer, and though the " Iliad" was ilways, among the ancients, conceiv
ed to be a panegyric on the Greeks, yet the reader is now almoft always on the fide of the Trojans,
and is much more imerefted for the hurrane and foft manners of Pi iam, He<ftor, Andromache, Sarpe-
Glaucus.nay, even of Faris and Helen, than for the ievere and cruel bravery of AchiHe*,


Agamemnon, and the other Grecian heroes. Senfible of this inconvenience, Fenelen, in his " Tc-
lemaque," has foftened extremely the harfh manners of the heroic ages, and has contented himfelf
with retaining that amiable fimplicity by which thefe ages were diftinguiflied. If the reader be
difplealed that the Britifh poet has not followed the example of the French writer, he muft at leaft
allow, that he has drawn a more exail and faithful copy of antiquity, and has made fewer facrifices
of truth to ornament.

The characters of the Epigoniad are moftly the fame with thnfe of the " Iliad." Diome.I, Agamemnon,
JMenelaus, Cf/yjfes, Nefior , Idomeneus^ Merlon^ and even Therjite*, all appear in different parts of the poem,
and, in general, act parts fuitable to the characters drawn of them by Homer. The epifodes are art-
fully inferted, interefting and natural The language is fimple and artlefs in narration ; but in de-
fcription, often bf Id, figurative and fublime. The imago are taken from rural life, or the great
and beautiful objects of nature. There is a littlenefs in the moft ingenious arts. Nature only cor-
refponds to the elevated tone of the epic poet. The fimiles are perhaps too frequent. This fre
quency Wilkie would dcubtlefs have dtfended by the example of Homer; but Homer himfelf
feems to offend in this particular. The numbers are elaborately correct, delicately polifhed, and
exquifitely harmonious. Pope feeras to have been his model for verfifitation, and he has borrow
ed many lines and expreffions from him. But he is not a fervile imitator. He has judicioufly
diverfified the uniformity of Pope, by adopting the variety of paufe, accent, cadence, and di&ion, fo
eminently confpicuous in Drydtn, and fo abfolutely efilntial to the harmony of true poetry.

An ingenious foreigner, whofe rt:i< d feems far fuptrior to bigotry and national prejudice, in his

" Eflay on the Revolutions of Literature," has mentioned the Eplgonidd in terms of high refpe<Sr.,

and accounted for the fewnefs of its readers, not from any fault in the poem, but from the circnm-

fiance that the Englifh are acquainted with Homer, not only in the original, but by means of the

celebrated translation of Pope.

" The Epjgonlad (.{ Wi!kie>" fays Profeffor Denina, " would have been a moft admirable poem,
had it been written aeco years ago But as Homer is now fo well known in England, we cannot
be furprifed that Wilkie has not a greater number of readers. We Italians, at prefent, neglect the
. Avarcblde di Lingi Almannl, which, like the Epigoniad, is too clofe an imitation of the " Iliad."

There are others, no doubt, befides Pn fcffur Denina, who, while they will not hefitate to allow
no fmall fhare of merit to this poet, will yet be ready to cor-fider his poem as too dole an imitation
of Homer, and think that he has been unfortunate in the choice of his fubjecSt.

Wilkie, aware of thefe objections, has endeavoured to obviate them in his Preface^ which has
been univerfally admired, and than which there has not appeared a piece of jufter or more manly
criticifm fmce the times of Ariftotle and Horace. He juftifies himfelf, at great length, in having
formed his poem vpon hiftorical circumftances already known, anel introduced characters with
which the reader is before acquainted, and alfo fhows the nectfiity he was under of taking many of
the hiftorical circumftances from the ancient poets ; for tradition, the proper foundation of epic
poetry, is only to be found in their writings, and, therefore, muft be ufed like a common flock, and
not confidered as the property of individuals.

" Tradition," fays the fteface, " is the heft ground on which a fable can be built, not only be-
caufe it gives the appearance of reality to things that are merely fiitious, but likewife becaufe it
; fupplies a poet with the moft proper materials for his invention, to work upon."

We might have expected, from this remark, that he had not only taken tradition as the ground
of his fable, but employed it alfo to guide him through the narration : But we find that he has not
only forfook, but contradi&ed it on ieveral cccafions.

Euftathius, in his Commentary upon the fourth book of the " Iliad," gives us a lift of the nine
warriors who were called the pigoni, moft of whom Wilkie never mentions in the Epigoniad, bat
inftead of them, introduces, not the defendants of thofc unfortunate heroes who fell before Thebes
in a former expedition, but feveral of their contemporaries; as Thefeus and Neflor, who had no
motives of revenge tp prpmpt th.eir undertaking. Tktfeusi in particular, was no$ there, for v


find in the " Suppliants" of Euripides, that T&efeus went upon a former expedition to ^bebes^
to procure funeral honours for the feven fathers of the Epigoni, who lay unburied before the walls
of that city; and, at the end of the fame tragedy, we are told, that the capture of the city was
referved for the Epigonl alone. Wilkie alfo gives Tbefeus the conducl of the war, in contradiction
to Diodorus biculus, who affirms, that by che advice of the oracle of Apollo, Alcmaeon was confti-
tuted generaliflimo : He likewife makes Creon king of Thebes, but Creon had been dead four years
before; and Euilathius pofitively fays, that Laodamas was, at chat time, their king. Contrary to all
order of time, Agamemnon and Menelaus are introduced as principal characters, an anachronifin
which he endeavours to excufe, ,by alleging that it was a fadr. of little confequencc, and that he
did not therefore choofe to deprive himfelf of two illuftrious names. In (lead of St&endus, who
is faid to have accompanied Diomedm this expedition, he has fubftituted 4f Ulyjfcs, a firlt-rate hero, in
the place of a fecond-rate one, and a name which every body is acquainted with, in the place of one
little known."

But though Wilkie's difagreement with Homer in point of facl, is not more remarkable than
his difregard of the traditions of the ancients, we muft acknowledge, that, in giving up the con-
dud of his poem to an invention fruitful of incidents, he has given u a regular heroic ftory,
well connected in its parts, adorned with characters which ftrongly attach the reader, and make
him take part in the dangers they encounter, embclliftied by mythological fictions, whicli gra:ify
and fill the imagination, and abounding in interefting fituations, which awaken the feelings of hu
manity. He is fome times awful and auguft ; often tender and pathetic ; and intermingles valiant
achievements with the gentle and pleafing fcenes of love, friendfliip, and affedlion.

There is nothing more wonderful, in rhis admirable poem, than the intimate acquaintance it dif-
plays, not only with human nature, but with the turn and manner of thinking of the ancients, their
hiftory, opinions, manners, and cuftoms. There are few books that contain more ancient learning
than the Epigonlad. To the reader, acquainted with remote antiquity, it yields high entertainment;
and we are Co far from think'ng, thac an acquaintance with Homer hinders men from reading this
poem, that we are of opinion it is chiefly by fuch as are converfant in the writings of that poet,
that the Epigeniad i, or will be read. And as the manners therein defcribed are not founded on any
circumftances that are temporary and fugacious, but arife from the original frame and conftitution
of human nature, and are confequently the fame in all nations and periods of the world ; it is pro
bable, if the Englifh language fhall not undergo very material and fudden changes, that the epic
poem of Wilkie will be read and admired, when others, that are in greater vogue in the prefcnt
day, fhall be overlooked and forgotten.

In the Epiooniad, Wilkie has, in general, followed fuccefsfully the footfteps of Homer. In the
Dream annexed to that poem, he has chofen Spenfer for his model, and ventured to engage in a
rivalfhip with the great father of allegorical poetry. In this fmall poem, in which the manner of
Spenfer is finely imitated, the poet fuppofes himfelf to be introduced to Homer, who cerfures
his poem in fome particulars, and excufes it in others'. It is, indeed, a fpecie* of apology for the
Ep'.goniad, written in a very lively and elegant manner. It may be compared to a well- poliflied
gem of the purell water, and cut into the mod beautiful form. He apologifes for fo clofely imi
tating, and even b'-rrowirg from Homer. He alleges, that Plato and Virgil did fo before him. His
pmife f Hfad and 'Theocritus is fuch as might be expected from an agriculturift and a poet. Thofe
who would judge of Wilkie's talents for poetry, without perufing his larger work, may fatisfy their
turiofity by running over this (hnrt poem They will fee the fame force of imagination and har
mony of numbers, \vhich diftinguifh his longer performance, and may thence, with fmall applica
tion, receive a favourable impreffion < f his genius.

His Fable$ difcover an ingenious and acute turn of mind, and a thorough acquaintance with the
nature and ways of men ; but they are not recommended by any great degree of poignancy or poe
tical ipiric. Simplicity is, indeed, the greateft excellence of fable ; But, in, the Fablet of Wilkie,


there is fuch an excefs of Cmplicity, that they do not fufficiently command attention. They do not
fufficiently roufe and exercife the mind ; and this defedl is the more inexcufable, that to roufe at
tention is the very end of fable : For the leffons that' fable teaches are fufficiently obvious, and what
fhe pretends to is only to incline men, by a fpecies of furprife, to attend to them. If Wilkie cannot
boaft the eafe of Gay, the elegance of Moore, or the humour and poignancy of Smart, yet he is,
by no means, a contemptible fabulift. His Fables have the merit of at) artlefs and eafy verification,
of juft observation, and even, occafionally, of deep reafoning, and abnund in ftrokes of a pathetic
duplicity. The fable of the Rake end the Hermit poffeffes the two Jail mentioned qualities in an
eminent degree.



A s there is no clafs of writers more freely cen-
lured than poets, and that by judges of all forts,
competent and incompetent : I fhall attempt to
anfwer fome objections that may be made to tr> .
following- performance, by perfons not Efficiently
acquainted with epic poetry, and the rules upon
which it ought to be formed.

The beauties of the piece, if it has any, fhall
be left to be difcovered by the reader for himfelf.
'i'his is his undoubted privilege ; and I have no in-
. tention to break in upon it: neither would it be of
any advantage to do fo ; for poetical beauties, if
they are real, will make themfelves obftrved, and
have their full effect without a comment.

Some will object to the choice of the fubject
that it is taken from the hiftory of an age and na
tion, the particular manners of which are not now
\vell known, and therefore incapable of being juftly
reprefented by any modern author. This objection
will appear to be of little confequence, when we
confider that the fact upon which it proceeds is fo
far from being ftrictly true, that there are none
who have any tolerable fhare of claffical learning,
that are not better acquainted with, the manners
and cuftoms of the heroic ages, than with thole. of
their own country, at the diftance of a few cen
turies. Neither is this knowledge of ancient man-
rers confined to the learned ; the vulgar them-
felves, from the books of Mofes, and other ac
counts of the firft periods of the Jewifh (lute, are
fufficientlyinftnicted in the cuftonis of the earlitft
times, to be able to relifh any work where thcfe
are juftly reprefented. With what favour, for in-
ibnce, has Mr. Pope's tranflation of the Iliad
been received by perfons of all conditions ? and
how much is it commonly preferred to the Faery
Queen, a poem formed upon manners of a much
>i7iore modern caffc. But fuppofing the fiict upon
' which the objection proceeds, to be true, and that
the cuftoms, ar.<Ufcnanners peculiar to the. times
irom which the fuhject of the poem is taken, are
.not now well undcrftood, I do not apprehend,
. that, even with this conf eflion, the objection a-
f- mounts to any thing confiderable; for manners
.Ure to be diflinguifhe* into two kinds, uaiverfal
.and particular. Univerfal manners, are thofe
:. \vhich arife from the original form and coitftitu-
^tion of the human nature, and which confequcnt-
ly are the fame in all nations and periods of the
ivorld. Particular manners, on th,e other hand.

confift of fuch cuftoms and modes of behaviour, as
proceed from the influence of partial caufes. and
that ftift and vary as ihofe caufes ^o upon jJliich
they depend. To make nr/fclf underftoodHay an
example ; it i? a^r-.vable to common or univerfai
manners, to be angry and relent an injury ; but
particular manners, in ordinary cafes, determine
the methods of revenge. For great offences, an
Italian poifons his enemy; a Spaniard ftabs him.
- over the fhoulder ; and a Frenchman leeks fatif-
faction in duel. From this example, it will be
eafy to fee that particular manners ought to ap
pear but very little, either in epic poetry, ttagc-
dy, or any other of the higher kinds of poetical
compofition ; for they are vulgar, and depend up
on cuftom ; but great paflions and high charac
ters reject ordinary forms; and therefore muft,
upon every occafion, break through all the com
mon modes both of fpeech and behaviour. Though
ancient manners, therefore, were not fo pfecifely
known as they are, I fliould imagine, that a flory
taken from the accounts which we have of thfc
heroic ages, might very well ferve for the fubjeA
of an epic poem, and have ail the ne-
ceflary in refpect of that fpecies of compofition.

It may likewife be alleged, that I have done
wrong in choofing for mjt fubjcct a piece of hifto
ry which has no connection with prefent affairs ;
and that, if I had done otherwife my work would
have been more interefling and ufeful.

This objection, fcemingly a very material one,
admits, notwithflanding, of an eafy anfwer, viz.
that fubjects for epic poetry ought always to be
taken from p riods too early to fall within the
reach of true hiftory. And, if this rule is down-
to be effential, which. 1 fhall attempt to do in what
follows, it will be found to be irnpoffibk that any
fubject proper for that kind of writing fliould have
a connection with prefent affairs. The proper
bufincfs of epic poetry, is to extend our ideas of
human perfection, or, as the critic* exprefs it, to
excite admiration, In order to do this in any to
lerable decree, characters mufl be magnified, and
fcccomme'dated rather to oar notions of heroic
greatnefs, than to the real flate of human nzinrc,
There appears a certain fittlenefs in all mea when
tmry known, which checks admiration, and con
fines it to very narrow limits; heroes, themfelves^
though pofiefled of the greateft qualities, are,
moft circunjftaaces oT their cbnoitioB, &mach rpv


on a level with the ordinary run of mankind, that
fuch as have an opportunity of being intimately
acquainted with them, do not admire them at the
fame rate that others do, who view them only at
a diftance. 1 he common conditions of humanity
leffen every man ; and there are many little cir-
cumftances infeparably connected with our ftate
of being, which we cannot eafily reconcile with
cur idea of Epaminondas, Plato, Scipio, or Caefar.
From all this it plajnly appears, that admiration
cliims for its object fomething fuperior to mere
humanity ; and therefore fuch poems as have it
for their end to excite admiration, ought to cele
brate thofe perfons only that never have been
treated of by regular hiftcrians.- For hiftory gives
to all things their juft and natural, dimenfions ;
and, if it fhould interfere with poetical fiction,
would effectually confute thole beautiful legends
which are invented to .raife our ideas of character
and action, above the ftandard at which experi
ence has fixed them.

Let it be obferved, as a further confirmation of
the maxim which I am eftablifliing., that there is
in our minds a principle which leads us to admire
palt times, efpecially thofe which are moft remote
from our own. 1 his prejudice is ftrong in us ;
and, without being directed or afliitecl by art,
forms in the mere vulgar of all coitnlries, the moft
extravagant notions of the ftature, ftrength, and
other heroic qualities of their remote anceftors.
This prejudice, fo favourable to poetical fiction,
true hiuory effectually deftroys : and therefore
poets, that they may have the advantage of it,
ought to celebrate thofe perfons and events only
that are of fo great antiquity, as not to be remem
bered with any degree of certainty and exactnefs.

But, inttead of a thoufand arguments to this
purpole, let us only conlider the machinery which
jmift be employed in an epic poem : how heaven
and hell mult both be put in motion, and brought
into the action ; how events altogether out of the
common road of human affairs, and no ways coun
tenanced either by reaion or by experience, muft
be offered to mens imaginations, fo as to be ad
mitted for true. Let Os confider all this, and it
will appear, that there is nothing which poets
ought more carefully to avoid, than interfering
with fuch regular, and well-vouched accounts of
things as would effectually confute their fable,
and make the meaneft reader reject it with con
tempt. This is a point of prudence which no poet
has yet neglected with impunity. Lucan, accord
ing to his ufual rafhnefs, has taken, for the fub-
ject of an epic poem, one of the beft known events
which he could have pitched upon in the whole
feries of human affairs ; and, in order to diftin-
guilh himfrlt. from a mere hiftorian, is often under
"the neceffity of Parting from his fubject, and em-
ploying the whole force of a very lively and fruit
ful invention in unneceffary defcriptions and trif
ling digreflions. This, befides other inconvenien-
cies of greater jmportance,*gives fuch an appear
ance of labour and {training to his whole perform
ance, as takes much from the merit of it, with all
who have any notion of eafe, majefty, and fimpli-
citj of writing. He, and all other poets who have
fallen into the fame error, find always this diiad-

vantage attending it, that the true and fictitious j
parts of their work refufe to unite, and Handing as [
it were at a diftance, upon terms of mutual aver-
fion, reproach each other with their peculiar de
fects. Fiction accufes truth of narrownefs and want
of dignity ; and this again reprefents the other as *
vain and extravagant. Spenfer, who, in his Faery
CKteen, not only treats of matters within the fphere
of regular hiftory, but defcribes even the tranfac-
tions of his own time, in order to avoid the incon-
veniencies which he knew to be almoft infepa-
rable from fuch an attempt, covers his flory with
a veil of allegory, that few of his readers are able
to penetrate. This ftratagem leaves him at full li
berty in the exercife of his invention; but he
pays, in my opinion, too dear for that privilege,
by facrificing to it all the weight and authority
which a mixture of received tradition and real
geography would have given to his fable. Milton
takes the fubjects of both his great poems from
true hiilory, yet does not fucceed the worfe upon
that account. But it is to be remembered, that
his chief actors are not men, but divine and ange
lic beings ; and that it is the human nature only
which fuffers by a juft reprefentation, and lofes in
point of dignity, when truly known. Befides, the
hiftorical circumftances upon which he builds are
fo few, and of fo extraordinary a nature, that they
arc eafily accommodated to poetical fiction ; and,
therefore, inftead of limiting him, and fctting
bounds to his invention, they ferve only to coun
tenance, and give a degree of credibility to what
ever he pleafes to feign- Shakfpeare may like-
wife be quoted as an exception to the general rule,
who takes the fubjects of many of his pieces from
periods of the Englifh hiftory not very remote, and,
notwithftanding, fucceeds remarkably in exciting
the heroic paflion. That Shakipeare makes us ad
mire his heroes, is undeniable; and no man of com
mon fenfe will ever pretend to affert, that real
characters of great men, touched up and heighten-
ed-by a poetical fancy, will not very naturally ex
cite admiration. But there are different degrees
of this paflion, as well as of all others ; and it js
evident that the degree of it which Shakfpeare in
tends to raife, is not equal tp that which Homer
aims at, and the other writers of the epic tribe.
We admire no character in Shakfpeare's works
more than that of Henry V., but the idea which .
Homer gives us of Achilles, is ftill more noble and
auguft. The tragedian mixes fo much of the or
dinary man in the character of his hero, that we
become too familiar with him to admire him in a
high degree : for in thofe very pieces in which he
is reprefented as performing his moft remarkable
exploits, he is often found at his leifure hours
amufing himfelf with a knot ol humourifts, pick
pockets, and buffoons. I do not pretend to cen-
fure Shakfpeare for this conduct ; becaufe it is
not the bufinefs of a tragedian to make us admire,
but to intereft our other affections : and, to make
his heroes very much objects of admiration, would
poffibly be one of the greateft errors that an au
thor of that kind could fall into: for the princi
ple of cempaffion, to which tragedy is peculiarly
addreffed, is incompatable with high admiration;
and a man, in order either to be loved or pitied,


mutt appear with evident fymptoms of the weak-
neffes common to the reft of the human kind. It
is our own image in difcrefs which afflicts us ; and
we never pity one under calamities, who is not
weak enough to be moved by them. Homer upon
this account, never attempts to excite pity, but
from fuch private and domeitic diltreffl's as (how
his heroes in the light of ordinary men. Sopho
cles like wife, from a jufl apprehenfion that the he
roic paflion interferes with the proper fpirit of
tragedy, 1 ffcns on purpofe the great characters
which he introduces, and itripsthem of more than
half their dignity. Though therefore Shakfpearc
makes us admire his heroes as much as a tragedian
ought to do, and even more in fome inflances
than the rules of art would juitify ; yet as the
degree of admiration which he excites is lefs by
far than that which epic poetry aims at, it may
well be raifed from fubjects that are itrictiy hilto-
rical, though the higher degrees of that paifion
cannot. Were my judgmeut of Sufficient authori
ty in matters of criticifm, I would have it under-
ftood as a rule, that the fubjects of epic poetry
fhould be taken from tradition only : that trage
dy fhould keep within the limits of true hiftory ;
and that comedy, without meddling at all with
hittorrcal fa<fls, fhould expofe vice and folly in re
cent inflances, and from living examples. That
part of the rule which regards epic poetry, is fuf-
frciently ju-ftijled from what has been already faid;
and concerning tragedy, I have likev/ifcobfcrvcd,
that it ought not to exalt its greatefl characters
above the Standard of real life. From this it will
follow that it may be itrictiy historical without
lofing any real advantage, and attain its full per
fection without the affiltance cf fable. I believe
it will be eafily allowed, that where truth and fic
tion are equally fuhfervient to the purposes of poe
try, the firit ought always to be preferred ; for
true hiitory carries a weight and authority with
it, which Seldom attend Stories that arc merely
fictitious, and has many othtr advantages for in-
terefling our affections above the legends of re
mote antiquity. But as tragedy fhould never go
fo far back as the fabutous ages, neither fliould it,
in my opinion, approach too near to prcfent times;
for though it does not aim ut railing and gratify
ing the paflion cf admiration, yet it has a degree
of dignity to maintain, which it would endanger
by treating of event! too recent, and characters
too particularly remembered. Comedy, on the
other hand, and indeed tjvery fpecies of fatire
whatfoever, ought to attack living characters
only, and the vices and folly of prefent times.
That imperfection which appears in every thing
when viewed near, a circumitance fo unfavour
able to the genius of epic poetry and tragedy falls
in precisely with that of comedy, a kind of [file://\\riting \\riting]
which has no dignity to fupport, points always at
\vhat is ridiculous, and marks its objects with cha
racters of littlcnefs and contempt. We naturally
admire paft times, and reverence the dead; and
consequently are not fo much difpofed to laugh at
fools who have already finished their parts, and
retired, as at fools who are yet upon the flagc.
The ancient comedy cf the Greeks, which pio-
. Deeded upon this maxim, was certainly, upcn that

account, the moft perfect fpecies of fatire that
ever was invented. Homer, as he exceeds all other
poets in merit, has iikewifj the advantage of them*
in point of good fortune ; the condition of the age
in which he wrote gave him an opportunity of ce
lebrating in his poems, events, which though hey
were in his days of no great antiquity, and confe-
qucntly the more interesting, yet had fallen,
through the want of authentic records, -into fo
happy a degree of obfcuriry, that he was at full
liberty to feign concerning them what he pleafed,
without any danger of confutation. This is an
advantage which Succeeding poets could not boaft
of; and therefore have found themfelves under a
neceffity, either of taking their fubjects from re
mote antiquity, as 1 hive done, or (which in, my
opinion is worfe) of attempting to mix fable with
hiftory, which never can be done with fuccefs.

The mythology in the follow ing poem will pro
bably give offence to fome readers, who will think
it indecent for a Chrillian to write in fuch a man
ner as to fuppofe the truth of a heathen religion.
They will be of opinion, that it would have been
better, either to have introduced no religious fyf-
tem at all, or to have chofai fucli afubject a* would
have admitted of the true fyltem. I fli'aJl endea
vour to anfwer this objection, by cllablifhiag two
maxims direct ly'oppofrte to what is prcpofed in
the preceding alternative, and fhow not only that
divine beings are ncceffary characters in an epic
poem, but likewise that it is highly improper to,
introduce the true God into a wo;k of tlut nature.
If thefe two points are fully made out, the.
force of the objection vvili be taken away. As to
the firit of them, let us again confider the end
which epic poetry propofes to itfelf : it aims ut
exciting admiration, by letting before us imago*
of whatever is great and noble in the human cha
racter : it is neccffrry for this purpofe a poet
Ihould give his hero.-s, not only ail thof^ intiiufic
qualities which make m^n admired, but that he'
mould magnify them like wife by a fkilful
management of outward circumftances. We do
not form our notions either of perfons or things
from their real qualities only ; circumitaiices of a
foreign nature, and nicRly acccfiory, have "as
great an influence as thefe in determining our
approbation und diilikc. This obfcrvation Shows
the importance of mythology to epic poetry ; fo?
nothing can render a pcrfon of greater cohfc-
qucnce in the eye of the world, than an opinion
that the gods regard him with a peculiar d. gree
of attention, and are much interefted in ail that
relates to him. If people are once confidcred as
the favourites of heaven, or inflrumenis chofcii
for the accomplifhment of iis important purpofes;
poets ma/, tell of them wh-t j^reat things they
pleafe, without fecoiirvj to exaggerate, or fa/

, ,

any thing thar exceeds the bounds of probability,
Homer was certainly of tlus opinion, [file://\\hcn \\hcn] 1,^
afcribed to his heroes, valour and other great
qualities in fo immoderate a dt grce : for, had th:
gods never interpofed in any of the eveius which
he celebrates ; had his chief actors been novviij
conneclc J with them, either in point of favour or
confanguinity, and reprefentei', at the fame tim, ,
uj pcri'u.iiur": the high exploi l.e a,ci-l)oj



to them inftead of being applauded as the firft -of I
poets, he would have been cenfured as the moft
lalfe and moft credulous pf hiftorians. This ar
gument in favour of poetical mythology, with an
other which might he taken from the advantage
it is of in point of ornament, and a third fiom its
life in allegory, has determined almoft all the
writers who have followed the epic or heroic ftyle,
to allow it a place in their compofitions ; fuch of
them as have taken their fubjcct from Greek or
Roman ftory, have adopted the mythology of
Homer ; and the reft, in celebrating more modern
heroes, have, inftead of that, made ule, of the
true religion, corrupted by an unnatural mixture
of northern fuperftition and Grecian fable. From
a practice therefore fo universal, we may juftly
infer, that poets have looked upon mythology as
a thing of great ufe in their compofitions, and al-
inoft effentral to the art.

It may be alleged, after all that has been faid,
that, to bring gods ijito epic poetry, is inconvenient
on many accounts; that it prevents a proper dii-
play of character in the human actors, turning
them ail into fo many machines, to be moved and
guided by the immediate impulfes of deity : that
it breaks in tipon the order of natural caufes, and
Tenders all art, either in plan or conduct of a
work, fupcrfluous and unnecefTary. If what this
objection fuppofes were true, and that the mix
ing of gods with men in the action of an epic po-
t'rn, neceffarily turned the whole into miracle ;
if it were an unavoidable confequence of this me-
1,hod, that the human actors ihould be governed
in all they do by divine impulfe determining them,
without regard to their natural characters, and
the probable motives which ought to influence
them ; in fhort, if mythology could have no place
in a poem, but at the expence of manners, order,
connection, and every other thing that can render
a work either beautiful or inftructive, it would be
an argument againft it of fuch weight, as nothing
alleged in its favour would be 'able to counter
balance. But the objection is.^jy no means well
founded ; for, thougpthere may be an indifcreet
application of mythoB;ijjr, productive of all thofe
ill effects which have oeen mentioned ; yet it is
obvious, both from reafon and experience, that
Miythology may be managed in fuch a manner as
to be attended with none of them. And this will
appear from a very obvious example : the greateft
part of mankind, in every age, have believed that
gods and fuperior beings govern and direct the
course of human affairs. Many individuals, and
<ven who^e nations, have thought that all the
actions and events of our lives are predetermined
l>y an overruling power, and that we fuffer the
controul of an irreftible neceffity in all we do; yet
this opinion never changes the moral feelings of
fuch as entertain it, and their judgment of cha
racters and actions ; they love and hate, approve,
and difapprove, admire and defpife, in the fame
manner as others do, who believe that men are ab-
folutely free, and that their final determinations
proceed only from themfelves. But when it is
rmderftood, that people act without cenfcioufnefs,
f>T that the organs of. their bodies are not under
the dominion of their own' wills, but actuated by


fome other being without their eanfent : in
when mere phyfical neceffity is fubftituted hi
place of moral, all idea of character, all fcnie o?
approbation and difapprobation immediately ceaf-
es. From this fact, the' truth of which nobody
will difpute, it is eafy to judge in what .cafes the
interpofition of gods in the action of a poem will
prevent a proper difplay of the human characters;
and when not. Volition, as appears by the ex
ample now given, is that -upon which our moral
ideas are founded : fo long then as volition is ex
erted, there is a character, and, when that ceafcs,
the character is loft. If therefore the deities in a
poem are employed in animating and deterring
the heroes, only by fuggefting fuch motives as are
proper to influence their wills ; fuch interpofition
by no means interferes with the difplay of charac
ter, but rather favours it ; for the quality of every
mind may be known from the motives by which
it is determined; and Minerva's prevailing with
Pindarus to be guilty of a piece of treachery, by
fuggefting that Paris would reward him for it,
discovered the venality of his temper 33 much as
if he had done the fame action from a like motive"
occuring to himfelf.

Poets often make the gods infufe an uncommon
degree of vigour into their heroes, for anfwering
fome great occafion, and add to the grace and
dignity of their figure. Sometimes they make a
fecond rate heroe the firft; in a particular action,
and, with their affiftance, he diftinguifhes himfelf
above fuch as are at other times more remarkable
lor valour and fuccefs : all this is fo agreeable
to what happens naturally, and from mere me
chanical caufes, that we forget the gods, and
interpret what happens as if they had not incer-
pofed at all. For every body knows, that when
people are roufed to any remarkable exertion of
force, they become ftronger than they are at other
times; and that, when in this manner .the fpirits
rife to an uncommon height, the whole body ac
quires new graces. Valour is not a fixed and
permanent quality, nor is it found in any one al
ways in the fame degree. Plutarch obferves that
of ail the virtues it exerts itfelf moft irregularly,
and rifes by fits like a divine infpiratioli. The
fenfe which every man }>.as of thefe things, makes
him look upon the interpofition of g^ods in fuch
cafes as a mythological way of txprefiing what is^
merely natural, and allow fuch ag perform the
great actions in a poem to poffefs the whole merit
of them. It never leffens our opinkJn of Hector's
valour, for inftance, that Apoilo often affifts him ;
nor do we think tJlyffes lei's prudent, becaufe he
is guided by the influence of Minerva. We have
.as clear impreflions of thofe, and the other Hom
eric characters as we have of any characters what-
foever, and difcern their limits and diftinguifhing;
niarks ad clearly as if they had acted altogether
of themfelves. That fuperior beings fhould be
employed in governing the events of things, and
interpofing by thunder, earthquakes, inundations,
peftilences, and the like, can never be thought
unnatural in poetry, by any one who believes
that Providence actually manages the affairs of;
the vVtorld by fuch means. It belongs to men to
defigl and a<Sl, but to Heaven alone to d^termina*


fcvents. Though a poet, therefore fliould repre-
icnt an army weaker and worfe conducted, pre
vailing, in confequence of that kind of interpofition
which has been mentioned, over another, evi
dently better and {Wronger, there \vould be no
thing unnatural in fuch an account, or contrary
to what is often experienced in real affairs.

After all that has been faid, it muft be owned,
that if gods are brought in upon flight occaiioris,
and for trifling purposes; if they are put upon
working miracles in order to cover blunders, either
in the plan or execution of a poem, and employ
ed in cutting fuch knots as the author himfelf has
not the, (kill or patience to untie; it mult be own
ed, I fay, that this is a very wrong application of'
mythology, and attended with all the difadvah-
tages which the objection mentions. It is a ftra-
tagem, which, if often practifed, would teach the
reader at laft to difregard all appearances, and,
when the molt important p' riods of affairs were
approaching, to remain quite fecure and unin-
terefted-, trufting that a god would always be at
hand, in time of need, to manage every thing as
the poet would have it, and put all to rights by
the fhorteft and moft effectual methods. I have
confidered this objection at greater length, becaufe
at firft view it appears very plaufihle ; and lhall
proceed to what remains, after I have taken no
tice of another, which has likewife fome appear
ance of force. It will be thought inconvenient,
as it is the defign of epic poetry to raife and dig
nify human characters, that gods fhould appear
with men in the fame fcencs of action. It will
be alleged, that in this cafe the divine perfons
will neceffarily overftiadow the human, leflen them
by a comparifon, and consequently produce an
effect directly oppofite to what is intended, This
abjection, however plaufible, does not feem to be
fupported by experience ; at leaft I never found
in any inftance, that the fplendour of divine cha
racters in a poem, eclipfed the human. Befidcs,
this is what cannot eafily happen ; for, let us fup-
pofe two parties of boys engaged in fome trial,
cither of force or Ikill, and that .a few men take
part in the debate, dividing themfelves between
the oppofite fides, and afiifting them againft each
other, would the exploits of the full-grown men,
however remarkable, leflen thofe of the boys ? by
no means ; for things that arc confefledly unequal,
never come into competition, and therefore can
not be either leflened or magnified by appearing
together. Are we lefs difpofed to admire the va
lour of Achilles, becaufe it is underflood he was
not a match for Jupiter ? Or the fagacity of Ulyf-
fes, becaufe his penetration was not equal to that
of Minerva ? But there is one circumftance which
Tenders it abfolutely impoffible for the gods in epic
poetry to eclipfe the men in point of heroifm ;
and it is this, that the gods are immortal, and
confequently cannot exert that in which heroifm
chiefly confifts, viz. the contempt of death. Ho
mer, in order to give his deities as much of that
quality as poflible, has made them vulnerable and
fufceptible of pain ; a freedom which has (hocked
fon;j of the critics, who did not attend to the
reafon of his doing fo. But Homer was too good
4 judge of propriety, not te be fenfible that no

A C E. $

perfon could appear with advantage in military
actions who ventured nothing in point of perfonal
fafety ; and that ftature, force, magnificent ar
mour, and even the higheil achievements, will
never conftitute the heioic character, where pa
tience and contempt of danger have no opportu
nity of appearing. It i this circumftance which
gives the mortals in epic poetry a niHnifeft ad
vantage over the immortals; and Mars when
ulhercd into the field with all the pomp and mag
nificence of Homeric dcfcription, is an object lefs
to be admired than Diomed, Ajax, and many o-
thers who combat bravely, though confcious of
mortality. Homer, who has managed his great
characters with the trueft judgment and ftridte(t
attention to circumftnnces, takes care to have A-
chillcs early informed that he was to perifh at
Troy, elfe he might feem too confcious of fafety.
from his matchlefs valour and the armour which
he wore, to be great in that which is to be admir
ed, the contempt of death, when the danger of it
is imminent. It muft he arl: lowledged, that in
Milton's Paradife Loft, the perfons in the machin
ery overflladowtd the human characters, and that
the heroes of the poem are'all of them immortals i
but then it is to be remembered, that Paradife
I. oft is a work altogether irregular ; that the fub-
ject of it is not epic, but tragic; and that Adam
and Eve are not defigned to be obje6ts of admira
tion, but of pity : it is tragic in its plot, and epic
in its drefs and machinery : as a tragedy, it does
not fall under the prefent qucftion ; and, as an
epic poem, it evades it like wife, by a circumitance
very uncommon, viz. that in the part of it which
is properly epic, there are no human perfons at


I have in this manner endeavoured to prove
that mythology is necefiary to an epic poem, and
that the chief objections to the ufe of it are of
little confequence. I proceed to eftablifh the
other proportion which I mentioned, and (how,
that the true God ought not to be brought into a
work of that nature. And if this proportion can
be made out, it will eafily appear from it, and the
preceding- one taken togclker, that poets are un
der a neceflity of having ffcourfe to a falie theo
logy, and that they are not to be blamed for do
ing what the nature of epic poetry on the one
hand, and refpect to the true religion on tho
other, render neccffary and unavoidable. For
proving the point in queftion, I need only ob-
ferve, th.t no perfon can appear with advantage
in poetry, vvho is not reprefented according to the
form and condition of a man. This art addrefle*
itfelf chiefly to the" imagination, a faculty which
apprehends nothing in the way of character that
is not human, and according to the analogy of
that nature, of which we ourfclves are confcious.
But it would be equally impious and abfurd to
reprefent the Deity in this manner, and to con
trive for him a particular character and method
of acting, agreeable to the prejudices of weak
and ignorant mortals. In the early ages of the
church, he thought fit to accommodate himfelf,
by fuch a piece of condefcenfion, to the notion*
and apprthenfions of his creatures : but it would
be indecent in any man to ufe the fame frcedon)


and do that for God, which he emly has a
right to do for himfelf. The author of Paradife
Loft has offended notorioufly in this refpect ; and,
though no encomiums are too great for him as a
poet, he is juftly chargeable with impiety, for
prefuming to reprefent the Divine Nature, and
the myfteries of religion, according to the nar-
rownefs of human prejudice: his dialogues be
tween the Father and the Son ; his employing a
Being of infinite wifdom in difcufling the iubtle-
ties of fchool divinity ; the fenfual views which he
gives of the happinefs of heaven, admitting into
it, as a part, not only real eating and drinking,
but another kind of animal pleafure, too, by no
means more refined : thefe, and fuch like circum-
Jlances, though perfectly poetical and agreeable
to the genius of an art which adapts every thing
to the human model, are, at the fame time, fo
incohfiftenfr with truth, and the exalted ideas
which we ought to entertain of divine things,
that they rnuft be highly ofFenfive to all fuch as
have juft impreflions of religion and would not
thoofe to fee a fyflem of doctrine reveajed from
heaven, reduced to a flate of conformity with
heathen fuperflition. True theology ought Hot
to be ufed in an epic poem, for another reafon, ol
no lefs weight than that which has been mention
ed, viz. That the human churacters which it re-
prcfents fhould never be formed upon a perfect
moral plan, bat have their piety (for inftance)
tinctured with fuperflition, and their general be
haviour influenced by affection, paflion, and preju
dice. This will be thought a violent paradox, by
fuch as do not know that imperfect characters in-
terefl us wore than perfect ones, and that we are
doubly inftructed, when we fee, in one and the
fame example, both w r hat we ought to follow, and
what we ought to avoid. Accordingly, Horace,
in his epiflle to Lollius, where he beflows the
liighefk encomiums upon the Iliad, as a work
which delineated vice and virtue better than the
writings of the mofl celebrated philofophers, fays
cf it, notwithstanding, That it is taken up in de-
fcnbing the animofities of foolifh kings and infa
tuated nations. To go to the bottom of this mat
ter, it will be proper to obferve, that men are ca
pable of two forts of character, which may be
eitingu-Ched by the names of natural and arti
ficial. The ratural char-acter implies all thofe
feelings, riamons, defires, and opinions which nun
have from nature and common experience, inde
pendent of fpeculation and moral refirrt?n>ent. A
perfon of this character looks upon cnt\vard pro-
fperity as a real good, and confiders^the calamities
cf life as real evils; loves his friends, hates his
enemies,, admires his fuperiors, is aiTuming with
refpect to his inferiors, and ftands upon terms of
rivalfhip with his equals; in fhort, it> governed by
all thofe paffions Lhd opinions that poffefs the
hearts, and determine the actions of ordinary
men. The force and magnitude of this character
is in proportion to the ftrength of thefe ratural
difpo'fitions ; and its virtue comlils in having the
generous and beneficent ones- predominant. As
to that fort cf character, again, v\ hich I cliftin-
;ui{hed by the name of artificial : it confifts in
R habit cf mind formed by difcipline, uccording

to the cool and difpaiTionate dictates of reafeft,-
This character is highly moral, but, in my opi
nion, far fefs poetical than the other, by being
lefs fit for interefting our affections, which are
formed by the wife author of cur nature for emr
bracing fuch beings which are of the fume tem
per and complexion with ourfelves, and are mark
ed with the common infirmities of human nature.
Perfons of the high philofophic character, are too
firm and unmoved, amidft the calamities they
meet with, to excite much fympathy, and are too
much fuperior to the fallies of paflion and partial
affection, the popular marks of generofity and
greatnefs of mind, ever to be much admired by
the bulk of mankind. If the moll accomplished
poet in the world fhould take a rigid philofopher
for the chief character either of an epic poem or
a tragedy, it is eafy to conjecture what would be
th- fuccefs of fuch an attempt; the work would
aflu'me the character of its hero, and be cold, dif-
paflionatc, and uninterefting. There is, however,
a fpecies of panegyric proper for fuch fort of per
fection, and it may be rcprefented to advantage,
either in hillory or profc dialogue, but it will ne
ver ilrike the bulk of mankind. Plato, in his
apology of Socrates, deceives us: as Mr Addifon
likewife does in his tragedy of Cato : for both of
them attempt to perfuade us, that we are affected
with the contemplation of omfiiaken fortitude,
while we are only fympathifing with fuffering in
nocence. The tendernefs of humanity appearing
through the hardnefs of the philofophie character,
is that which affects us in both ittftances, and not
that unconquered greatnefs of mind, \vhich occa-
fions rather wonder and aflonifhment than genuine

From what has been faid, it is eafy to infer,
that the great characters, both in epic poetry and
tiagcdy, ought not to be formed upon a perfect
moral plan ; and therefore heroes themfelves mufl
often be rc*prefented as acting from fuch motives,
and governed by fuch affections as impartial reafon
cannot .approve of: but it would be highly inde
cent to make a being, whom religion teaches us to
confider as perfect, enter into the views of fuch
per fans, and exert himfelf in order to promote
their extravagant enterprifes. This would be to
bring down the infinite wifdom of God to the le
vel of human folly, and to make him altogether
fuch an one as ourfelves.

A falfe theology, therefore, ought rather to be
employed in poetical compofitions than the true;
for, as the fuperior beings which are introduced,
maft of neceffity be reprefented as affuming the
pafiions and opinions of thofe whom they favour,
it is furely much fairer to employ a fet of imagi
nary beings for this purpofe, than God himfelf,
and the bleffed angels, who ought always to be
objects of our reverence.

The fume rcufoning which leads to this con-
clufionjwill like\vife make us fenfible, that among
falfe religions, thefe ought to be preferred which
are leaft connected with the true ; for the fuper-
fiitions which priefts and poets have built i.yon
the Chriflian faith, dishonour it, and therefore
fhoukl, if poflible, be buried in oblivion. The an
cient Creek theology icons upon all accounts the


fitteft. It has no connection with the true fyftem,
and therefore may be treated with the greateft
freedom, without indecency or ground of of
fence : It confifts of a number of beautiful fables,
fuited to the tafte of the moft lively and ingeni
ous people that ever exifted, and fo much calcu
lated to ravifh and tranfport a warm imagination,
that many poets in modern times, who proceeded
upon a different theology, have, notwithstanding,
been fo bewitched with its charms, as 'to admit'
it into their works, though it clalhed violently
with the fyftem which they had adopted. Mil-
ton is remarkable in this refpect; and the more
fo, as his poem is altogether of a religious nature,
and the fubiect of it taken from holy writ.

Some may poffibly imagine, that the following
woik would have had greater merit, if it had of
fered to the world a let of characters entirely
new, and a ftory nowife connected with any
thing that is already known. I am not of this
opinion ; but perfuaded, on the contrary, that, to
invent a ftory quite new, with a catalogue of
names never before heard of, would be an attempt
of fuch a nature, as could not be made with tole
rable fuccefs ; for every man mult be fenfible, that
the wonders which epic poetry relates, will fhock
even the ignorant vulgar, and appear altogether
ridiculous, if they are not founded upon fomething
which has already gained a degree of credit. Our
(irft ideas are taken trom expr rience ; and though we
may be brought to receive notions, not only very
different from thofe which experience fuggefts, but
even directly contrary to them, yet this is not to
be done fuddenly and at one attempt : fuch, there
fore, as would have their fictions favourably re
ceived, muft lay it down as a rule, to accommo
date what they feign to eftabliflied prejudices,
and build upon ftories which are already in fome
meafure believed. With this precaution, they
may go great lengths without appearing abfurd,
but will foon "fliock the meaneft understandings,
if they neglect it. Had there been no fabulous
accounts concerning the Trojan expedition cur
rent in Greece and Afia, at the time when Ho
mer wrote, the ftories which he tells, though the
moft beautiful that ever were invented, would
have appeared to his cotemporaries altogether ri
diculous and never been admired, till antiquity
had procured them credit, or a tradition been
formed afterwards to vouch for them to the
world j for, in matters of an extraordinary kind,
not only reafon, but even imagination, requires
more than a fingle teftimony to ground its alfent
upon ; and therefore, though I fliould have invent
ed a fet of characters entirely new, and framed a
ftory for the fubject of my poem nowife connect
ed with any thing that has yet been heard of,
and been fo happy in this attempt as to produce
what might equal, in point of perfection, any of
the moft beautiful fables of antiquity ; it would
have wanted, notwithstanding, what is abfolute-
Jy neceflary in order to fuccefs, viz. that credit
which new invented fictions derive trom their
connection with fuch as are already become fami
liar to mens imaginations.

Tradition is the belt ground upon which fable
&an be built, not only becaufe it gives the i

pearance of reality to Things that are merely fic-
:itious, but likewife becaufe it fupplies a poet
with the moft proper materials for his invention
to work upon. There are fome fabulous ftories
that pleafe more univerfally than others ; and of
this kind are the wonders which tradition re-.
potts ; for they are accommodated to the affec
tions and paflions of the bulk of mankind, in the
fame manner as national proverbs are to their un-
derftandings. The ftrict accommodation in both
inttances proceeds from the fame caufr, viz. that
nothing of either fort is the work of one man, or
of one age, but of many. Traditions are not
perfected by their firft inventors, nor proverbs
eftablifhed upon a fingle authority. Proverbs
derive their credit from the general confent of
mankind j and tradition is gradually corrected and
improved in the hands of fuch as tranfmit it to
each other through a fuccefllon of ages. In its
firft periods, it is a narrow thing, but extends It-
ft If afterwards, and, with the advantage of time,
and experiments often repeated, adapts itfelf fo
piecifely to the affections, paflions, and prejudices,
natural to the human fpecies, that it becomes at
lait perfectly agreeable to the fentiments of every
heart. No one man, therefore, can pretend to
invent fables that will pleafe fo univerfally, as
thole which are formed by the progrefs of popular
tradition. The faculties of any individual rauft be
too narrow for that purpofe, and have too much
of a peculiar caft to be capable of producing what
will be fo ftrictly adapted to the common feel
ings and fentiments of all. It is this fort of. per
fection which pleafes us i archaeology, or the tra
ditional accounts which we have of the origins of
nations j for we are often more agreeably enter
tained with ftories of that kind, though we know
them to be abfolutely falfe, than with the juft-
eft reprefentations of real events. Bat as tra
dition, while it continues in the hands of the
people, mult be rude and difagie^able in refpedt
of its form, and have many things low and ab
furd in it, neceflVy to be palliated or fuppref-
fed, it does not arrive at that perfection of which
it is capable, till it comes under the management
of the potts, and from them receives its lalt im
provement. By means of this progrefs, tales, that
in the mouths of their firft inventors, were the
moft abfurd that can be imagined, the effects of
mere luperftition, ignorance, and national preju
dice, rile up at laft to aftonifh the world, and
draw the admiration of all age?, in the form of an
Iliad or Odyfley. It is not the bufinefs of a poet,
then, to make fable, but to form, coirect, and
improve tradition : and it is to his following this
method, that Homer undoubtedly owes his fuc
cefs : .for it is obvious to any one who confidtrs
his works with attention, that he only collected
the various traditions that were current -in his
clays, and reduced them to a fyitem. That infi.
nite variety of independent ftories which occur in,
his works, is a proof of this thefe are told with
fo minute, and often fo unnecetiary a detail of
circmnftances, that it is eafy to f-e that he fol
lowed accounts already current, and did not in
vent what he has recorded. I could as eafiiy be*
Uev that Prometheus made a man of clay, and

A iiij


put life into him, of aflcnt to any other of the
moft abfurd fictions of antiquity ; 1 could even as
loon be perfuaded that all that Homer has written
is itrict matter of fact, as believe that any one
mortal man was capable of inventing that infinite
variety of hiftorical circumftances 'which occur in
the works ot that celebrated poet ; for invention
is by no means an eafy thing; and to contrive a
tale that will pleafe univerfally is certainly one of
the moft difficult undertakings that can be ima
gined. Poets, therefore, have found themfelves
under a neceffiry of trufting to fomething more
powerful than their own invention in this impor
tant article, viz. the joint endeavours of many,
regulated and directed by the cenfure of ages.

What has been faid, is not only lufHcient to
juftify me in forming my poem upon hiftoricai
circumftances already known, and introducing
characters which the reader is before acquainted
with; but ftiows the neceffity likewile of taking
mai y of the hillorical circumftances from the an
cient poets. For tradition, the proper foundation
of epic poetry, is now to be found only in their
wrrt!'"!; r ; and therefore muft be uied like a com
mon flock, and not confidered as the property of

For the immoderate! length of the two epifodes,
viz. thole in the fourth and feventh books, all that
I can fay, is, that they are both brought in for
very important purpofes, and therefore may be
permitted to take up more room than is ordinarily
allowed to things of that fort. Befides, the firft
of thf m is intended as an experiment in that kind
of fiction which diftinguifhes Homer's Odyfley,
and the other as an attempt to heroic tragedy,
after the manner of Sophocles.

The language is fimple and artlefs. This I take
to be an advantage, rather than a defect ; for it
gives an air of antiquity to the work, and makes
the ftyle more fuitable to the fubject.

My learned readers will be furprifed to find A-
gamemnon and Menelaus at the fiege of Thebes,
when, according to Homer, they were not there :
and, at the fame time, no notice taken of Sthene-
lus, the friend and companion of Diomed, whom
the fame author mentions as prefent in that expe

With refpect to the firft circumtfance, I did
not choofe, fer the fake of a fact of fo little confe-
quence, ar,d that too depending only upon poeti
cal authority, to deprive myfelf of two illuftnous
names very proper for adorning my catalogue of
heroes. And as to the fecond ; it will be eafily
allowed, that I could not have made Sthenelus ap
pear, without afiiguing him that place in Diomed's
friendfhip, and confequently in the action of the
poem, which Ulyfles now poflefles; and which is
the only part in the whole fuited to his peculiar
character. I muft have put a fecond-rate hero in
the place of a firft-rate one; and a name little
known, in the place of one which every body is
acquainted with. Befides, I muft have transfer
red, to Sthenelus, the valour, firmnefs, and ad-
drels of Ulyfles; becaufe the part he was to act
would have required thefe, and muft, at the fame
time, have funk Ulyfles into the character of Sthe
nelus, for want of a proper opportunity of difplay-
ing him in his own. Thefe are inconveniencies
too great to be incurred for the fake of a fcrupu-
lous agreement with Homer in point of fact ; and
are therefore, in my opinion, better avoided.

I have explained myfelf upon the foregoing par
ticulars, for the fake of the learned part of my rea
ders only : and fliall now drop a hint for fuch of
them as do not fall under that denomination.

The following poem is called the Epigoniad,
becaufe the heroes, whofe actions it celebrates,
have got the name of the Epigoni (or Defcend-
ants), being the fons of thofe who attempted the
conqueft of Thebes in a former expedition.

Thus far I have endeavoured to apologife for
the following performance. It may be cenfured,
no doubt, upon many accounts befides thofe that
have been mentioned : but I am perfuaded, that
what has been faid will determine every candid
reader, hot to be peremptory in condemning what
at firil view he may diflike ; for the fpecimen of
criticifm which has been given, will convince him
that the real faults of epic poetry are not eafily
ascertained, and diftinguifhed from thefe inconve
niences that muft be allowed to take place, in or
der to prevent greater faults, and produce, upoa,
the whole, a higher degree of perfection.



IE pow'rs of fong! with whofe immortal fire
"Your bard enraptur'd fung Pclides' ire,
To Greece fo fatal, when in evil hour,
He brav'd, in ftern debate, the fov'reign pow'r,
By like example, teach me now to Ihow
From love, no lefs, what dire difaflers flow.
For when the youth of Greece, by Thefus led,
Return'd to conquer where their fathers bled,
And punifh guilty Thebes, by Heav'n ordain'd
For perfidy to fall, and oaths profan'd ;
Venus, ftill partial to the Theban arms,
Tydeus' fen, feduc'd by female charms ;
"Who, from his plighted faith by paflion fway'd,
The chiefs, the army, and hfmfelf betray'd.

This theme did once your fav'rite bard employ,
Whofe verfe immortaliz'd the fall of Troy :
But time s oblivious gulf, whofe circle draws
All mortal things by fate's eternal laws,
In whofe wide vortex worlds themfelves are toft,
And rounding fwift fucceflively are loft,
This fong hath fnatch'd. I now refume the {train,
Not from proud hope and emulation vain,
By this attempt to merit equal praife
With worth heroic, born in happier days.
Sooner the weed, that with the fpring appears,
And in the fummer's heat its bloflbm bears,
But, fhriv'ling at the touch of winter hoar,
Sinks to its native earth, and is no more ;
Might match the lofty oak, which long hath ftood,
From age to age, the monarch of the wood.
But love excites me, and defire to trace
His glorious fteps, though with unequal pace.
Before me ftill I fee his awful (hade,
With garlands crown'd, of leaves which never fade;
He points the path to fame, and bids me fcale"
Parnaflus' flipp'ry height, where thousands fail:
I follow trembling ; for the cliffs are high,
And hov'ring round them watchful harpies fly,
To match the poets wreath with envious claws,
And hifs contempt for merited applaufe.
But if great Campbel, whofe aufpicious fmile
Bids genius yet revive to blefs our ifle,
Who, from the toils of ftate and public cares,
Oft with the mufes to the fhade repairs,
My numbers fhall approve, I rife to fame ;
For what he praifes, envy dares not blame.

Where high Olympus' hundred heads arife,
Divide the clouds, and mingle with the flcies,
The gods aflembled met; and view'd, from far,
Thebes and the various combats of the war.
From all apart the Paphian goddefs fat,
And pity'd in her heart her fav'rite ftate,
Decreed to perifh, by the Argive bands,
Pallas's art, Tydides' mighty hands :
'Penfive flie fat, and ev'ry art explor'd
* hartn the vi&or, and refhain his fword;

But veil'd her ptirpofe from the piercing ray
Of Pallas, ever jealous of her fway :
Unfcen the goddefs, from th' Olympian height
To fhady Cyprus bent her rapid flight,
Down the fteep air, as, from the fetting fkies,
At ev'n's approach, a ftreaming meteor flies.
Where lofty fhores the tempeft's rage reftrain,
And fieeps, in peace diflblv'd, the hoary main ;
In love's fam'd ifle a <leep recefs is found,
Which woods embrace, and precipices bound,
To Venus facred ; there her temple ftands,
Where azure billows wafti the golden fands,
A hollow cave ; and lift* its rocky head,
With native myrtle crown'd, a lofty fhade :
Whither refort the Naiads of the flood,
AffemM'd with the nymphs from ev'ry wood
Her heifers there they tend, and fleecy ftore,
Along the windings of the defert fhorc.
Thither the goddefs, from th' Olympian height
Defcending fwift, precipitates her flight ;
Confpicuous, on the yellow fand, fhc ftood,
Above the margin of the azure flood.
From ev'ry grove and dream the nymphs attend,
And to their queen in cheerful homage bend.
Some hallcning to the facred grot repair,
And deck its rocky walls with garlands fair ;
Others produce the gift which Autumn brings,
And fparkling nectar quench'd with mountain


And now the queen, impatient to explain
Her fecret griefs, addrefs'd her lift'ning train :

Ye rural goddefies, immortal fair !
Who all my triumphs, all my forrows (hare ;
I come, afflicted, from th' ethereal tow'rs,
Where Thebes is doom'd to fall by partial


Nor can entreaty fave my fav'rite ftate,
Avert or change the rigour of her fate ;
Though, breathing incenfe, there my altar ftands,
With daily gifts fupply'd from virgins hands.
Juno now rules the fenate of the fkies,
And with her dictates ev'ry pow'r complies ;
Her jealous hate the guiltlefs town condemns
To wafteful havock, and the rage of flames ;
Since, thither tempted by a ftranger's charms,
The mighty thunderer forfook her arms.
Jove's warlike daughter too promotes her aim,
Who, for Tydides, feeks immortal fame ;
For him employs a mother's watchful cares,
And the firft honours of the war prepares :
To fruftrate both, a monument would raife
Of lafting triumph, and immortal praife,
To draw the fon of Tydeus from the field,
To whofe victorious hands the town muft yield j
For, by the all-decreeing will of fate,
He only can o'crthrow the Theban ftate.


A way which promifes fuccefs I'll name :
The valiant youth adores a lovely dame,
Alcander's daughter, whom the graces join'd
With gifts adorn, above the human kind :
She with her fire forfook th' Hefperian ftrand,
By hoftile arms expell'd their native land :
For Echetus who rules, with tyrant force,
Where Aufidus directs his downward courfe,
And high Garganus th' Apulian plain,
Is mark'd by failors, from the diftant main ;
Oft from her fire had claim'd the lovely maid,
Who, ftill averfe, to grant his fuit delay'd :
For, barb'rous in extreme, the tyrant feeds
With mangl'd limbs of men his hungry fteeds :
Impatient of his love, by hoftile arms
And force declar'd, he claim'd luer matchlefs


Pelignium raz'd the hero's royal fea't,
Who fought in foreign climes a fafe retreat;
His flight ^Etolia's friendly fhore receives,
Her gen'rous lord protects him and relieves ;
Three cities to poffefs the chief obtains,
With -hills for pafture fit, aad fruitful plains.
Caflandra for his bride Tydides claim'd ;
For hymeneal rites the hour was nam'd,
When call'd to arms againft the Theban tow'rs
The chief reluctant led his martial pjow'rs.
Hence jealoufy and fear his breaft divide,
Fear for the fafety of an abfent bride ;
Left, by his paffion rous'd, the tyrant rife,
And unoppos'd ufurp the lovely prize.
He knows not, that, in martial arms conceal'd,
With him file braves the terrors of the field ;
True to his fide, noon's fultry toil endures,
And the cold damps that chili the midnight hours.
If dreams, or figns, could jealoufy impart,
And whet the cares that fling the here's heart,
Impatient of his pain he'd foon prepare,
With all his native bands, to quit the war.

The goddefs thus : a Paphian nymph reply'd,
And drew the lift'ning crowd on ev'ry fide,
Zelotype, whom fell Aleclo bore,
With Cupid mixing on th' infernal fhore.
Goddefs ! thefe fhafts fhall compafs what you


My mother dipt their points in Stygian flame ;
Where'er my father's darts their wuy have found,
Mine follow deep and poifon all the wound.
By thefe we foon with triumph fhall behold
Pallas deceiv'd, and Juno's felf controul'd.

They all approve ; and to the rural fane,
Around their fov'reign, moves the joyful train ;
/The goddefs plac'dr in order each fucceeds,
With fong and dance the genial feaft proceeds;
While'to the fprightly harp the voice explains
The loves of all the gods in wanton ftrains :
But when arriv'd the filent hour, which brings
The {hades of ev'ning on its dewy wings,
Zelotype, impatient to purfue
Her journey, haft'ning to her cave, withdrew;
Firft to her feet the winged fhoes fhe binds,
Which tread the air, and mount the rapid winds ;
Aloft they bear her through th' ethereal plain,
Above the folid earth and liquid main :
Her arrows next (he takes of pointed fteel,
For fight too fmall, but terrible to feel ;
Rous'd by their fmart, the favage lion roars,
And caad \Q combat rufh the tuiky boars,

Of wounds fecure ; for where their venom


What feels their power all other torment flights.
A figur'd zone, myfterioufly defign'd,
Around her waift her yellow robe confin'd :
There dark fufpicion lurk'd, of fable hue ;
There hafty rage his deadly dagger drew ;
Pale envy inly pin'd ; and by her fide
Stood phrenzy, raging with his chains unty'd;
Affronted pride with third of vengeance burn'd.
And love's excefs to deepeft hatred turn'd.
All thefe the artift's curious hand exprefs'd,
The work divine his matchlefs ikill eonfefs'd.
The virgin laft, around her fhoulders flung
The bow ; and by her fide the quiver hung :
Then, fpringing up, her airy courfe fhe bends
For Thebes ; and lightly o'er the tents defcends.
The fon of Tydeus, 'midft his bands, fhe found
In arms complete, repofing on the ground;
And, as he fiept, the hero thus addrefs'd,
Her form to fancy's waking eye exprefs'd.

Thrice happy youth ! whole glory 'tis to fiiare
The Paphian goddefs's peculiar care;
But happy only, as you now improve
The warning lent, an earneft of her love.
Her meffbnger I am : if in your heart
The fair Hefperian virgin claims a part ;
If, with regret, you'd fee her matchlefs charms
Deftin'd to blefs a happier rival's arms ;
Your cbafts defencelefs, and unguarded tow'rs
Confum'd and ravag'd by the Latian pow'rs ;
Withdraw your warriors from the Argive
And fave whate'er you value, ere 'tis loft.
For Echetus, who rules with tyrant force,
Where Aufidus directs his downward courfe;
And high Garganus, on th' Aptjlian ftrand,
Marks to the mariner the diftant land,
Prepares, by fwift invafion, to remove
Your virgin bride, and difappoint your love.
Before, excited by her matchlefs charms,
He claim'd her from her fire by hoftile armsf
Pelignium raz'd, the hero's royal feat,
When in your land he fought a fafe retreat.
Caffandra follow'd with relu&ant mind,
To love the tyrant fecretly inclin'd ;
Though fierce and barb'rous in extreme, he


With mangl'd limbs of men, his hungry fteeds.
And now at anchor on the Latian tide,
With all their train on board, his galleys ride :
Prepar'd, when favour'd by the weftern breeze
With courfe direct to crofs the narrow feas.
This to your ear the Paphian goddefs fends;
The reft upon your timely care depends.

She faid ; and, turning, fix'd upon the bow
A venom'd fhaft, the caufe of future woe :
Then, with reverted aim. the fubtilc dart
Difmifs'd, and fix'd it in the hero's heart.
Amaz'd he wak'd ; and, on his arm reclin'd,
With fighs thus fpoke the anguifh of his mind :

What dire difafters all my ways befet !
How clofe around me pitch'd the fatal net'!
Here if -I ftay, nor quit the Argive hoft,
^lolia's ravag'd, and Caffkndra's loft :
For fure the pow'rs immortal ne'er in vain
To mortals thus the fecret fates explain,
"If I retire, the princes muft upbraid
-My plighted, faith infring'd, the hoft betray'd ;


And, to ftrcceeaing times, the voice of fame,
With cowardice and floth, will blot my name.
Between thefe fad alternatives I find
No cliftant hopes to footh my anxious mind ;
Unlefs I could perfuade the Argive pow'rs
To quit at once thefe long-contefted tow'rs:
Nor want I reafons fpccious in debate
To move the boldeft warriors to retreat.
Divided thus, the fhame would lighter fall ;
Reproach is fcarce reproach which touches all.

Thus pond'ring in his mind the hero lay,
Till darknefs fled before the morning ray :
Then rofe ; and, grafping in his mighty hand
The regal ftaff, the fign of high command,
Penfive and fad forfook his lofty tent,
And fought the fon of Dares as he went ;
Talthybius he fought, nor fought in vain ;
He found the hero 'midft his native train ;
And charg'd him to convene, from tent to tent,
The kings to Eteon's lofty monument.

Obedient to the charge, he took his way,
Where Theleus 'midft the. bold Athenians lay,
The king of men; in whofe fuperior hand,
Consenting princes plac'd the chief command.
Adraftus next he call'd, whofe hoary hairs
By age were whiten'd and a length of cares ;
Who f;rft to Thebes the Argive warriors led :
In vain for Polynices' right they bled,
By fate decreed to fall , he now infpircs
The fons to^conquer, and avenge their fires.
Uiyfles heard, who led his martial train,
In twenty ftiips, acrofs the founding main :
The youth, in Ithaca, Zacynthus, bred,
And Cephalenia crownM with lofty fliade.
The Spartan monarch, with his brother, heard
The herald's call ; and at the call appear'd :
Yet 'young in arms, but deftin'd to command
All 'Greece, afiembled on the Trojan ftrand, .
The Cretan chief appear'd ; and he whofe fway
Mefienia and the Pylian realms obey.
Oileus next he call'd, whofe martial pow'rs
From Befla move and Scarphc's lofty tow'rs.
Elpenortoo, who from the Chalcian ftrand
And fair Erctria led his martial b'and,
Appear'd : and all who merited renown
In ten years war before the Trojan town.
Achilles only, yet unfit to wield
The Pelian jav'lin, and the pond'rous fliieH,
In Phthia ftaid ; to Chiron's care refign'd,
Whole wife inftruclions form'd his mighty mind.
The chiefs were plac'd. Superior to the reft
The monarch fat, and thus the peers addrefs'd :

Princes ! let fydeus' valiant fon declare
What caufe convenes the fenate of the war.
If of himfelf, or from advice he knows
Some fecref mifchief plotted by our foes,
Which prudence may prevent, or force refift,
We come prepar'd to counfel and affi-,1 :
The monarch thus. Tydides thus reply'd,
And drew attention deep on ev'ry fide.

Princes ! I have not now the holt convened,
For fecrets by intelligence obtained ;
But openly my judgment to exprefs
Of mifchiefs feen, which prudence muft redrefs :
By war's devouring rage, our martial pow'rs
trow thin and \rafte before thefe hoftile tow'rs;

While Thebes, fecure, our vain attempts with-


By daily aid fuftain'd from cliftant lands.
Shall we proceed to urge this dire debate,
Andprefs, with hoftile arms, the Theban ftate ?
Or, by experience taught the wor'ft to fear,
Confult the public fafety, and forbear ?
Had our great fires, by happier counfels fway'd,
As prudence taught, neceflity obey'd ;
Renounc'd in time this fatal ftrife, which bring*
Alike to nations mifchief, and to kings ;
Thofe heroes had not, with their martial train,
Diftinguifli'd by their fall a foreign plain.
The gods themfelves in vengeance for our crimes.
With fuch difafters lafli the guilty times ;
Jn judgment juft, they fow'd the feeds of ftrife,
To fweep tranfgrefiurs from the feats of life.
Let him, who obftinately will, proceed,
And wait the vengeance hov'ringo'er his head;
Since Thebes grows ftronger and the Argive pow'r*
Decreafe, as famine or the fword devours,
Co-morrow I withdraw my martial train;

to pefifh, like my fire, in vain,
hus as the hero fpoke, the kings divide,
\nd mingled murmurs round tlV aflembly glide,
Heard like the found which warn the careful


Of fudden winds or thick defcending rain ;
Vhen mountain echoes catch the fallen roat
Or' billows burfting on the fandy fliore,
Vnd hurl it round in airy circles tofs'd,
Pill in the diftatit clouds the voice is loft.
The king of men to fudden rage refign'd
\t once, the empire of his mighty mind,
Vith (harp reproaches haft'ning to reply ;
But, more fedate, the Pylian monarch nigh,
') act to rife, the angry chief confin'd : [clin'di
\nd, whifp'ring, thus addrefs'd with head dc-.
It ill becomes the prince, whofe fov'reign hand
S.vays the dread fceptre offopreme command,
To be the fir(Vin difcord ; and obey
Vs headlong pnflion blindly leads the way.
or when the kings in ram debate engage,
' Tis yours to check and moderate their rage ;
"Since, of the various ills that can diftrefs
Confed'rate councils and prevent fuccefs,
Difcord is chief; where'er the fury fways,
The parts Ihe fevers, and the whole betrays.

The hero thus. The -king of men remain'd
By found advice perfuaded, and reftrain'd.
Crete's valiant monarch role ; and to the reft,
Thu< fp ;ke the dictates of his gen'rous breaft i

Confed'rate kings, when any leader here
The war difiTuades, and wants you to forbear,
I might approve ; for, fafe beyond the lea,
Creon and Thebes can never injure me.
And when the barb'rous tyrant, unwithftood,
His hot revenge mail quench in Grecian blood;
When Thrace and Macedon, by his command,
Shall ravage Argos and the Pylian ftrand;
Secure and guarded by ihr ocean's ftream,
Crete's hundred towns fhall know it but by fame.
Yet would not I, though many fuch were found,
For open war, advife a peace unfound,
Let Macedon to Thebes her fuccours fend, [fcend .
And Thrace, with all her barb'rous tribes, de,.


By foreign aids the more our foes increafe,

The greater glory waits us from fuccefs.

You all remember, on the Ifthmean ftrand

Where neighb'ring feasbefiege the ftrait'ned land,

When Greece enleagu'd a full alterably held,

By public jutlice to the war compell'd ;

That blood of flaughter'd victims drerich'd the


While oaths divine the willing nations bound,
Ne'er to return, till our victorious pow'rs,
Had levell'd with the duft the Theban tow'rs-
Jove heard, and bid applauding thunders roll,
Loud on the right ; they (hook the irarry pale :
For Jove himfelf is witnefs of our vows,
And him, who violates, his wrath purfues.
Our joyful fliouts the earth, the ocean beard ;
We claim'd the omen, and the god rever'd ;
In confidence of full fuccefs we came,
To conquer Thebes, and win immortal fame.
But if the gods and fate our fears diftruft,
To public juftice and ourfelves unjuft ;
Difhonour'd to our native feats we go,
And yield a lading triumph to the foe. [ghoft
Should now, from hence arriv'd, fome warrior's
Greet valiant Tydeus on the Stygian coaft,
And tell, when danger of dillrefs is near,
ThatDiomed purfues the reft to fear;
He'd fhun the fynod of the mighty dead,
And hide his anguifli in the deepeft fhade :
Nature in all an equal courle maintains ;
The lion's whelp fucceeds to awe the plains;
Pards gender pards; from tygers tygers fpring ;
No doves are hatch'd beneath a vulture's wing :
Each parent's image in his offspring lives ;
But nought of Tydeus in his ion furvives.

He faid ; and by his (harp reproaches (lung,
And wav'ring in fuipenfe the hero hung,
In words now prone to vent his kindl'd ire.
Or fix'd in fullen filence to retire.
As when a current, from the ocean wide,
Rolls, through the Cyclades, its angry tide;
Now here, now there, in circling eddies tufsM,
The certain tenor of its courfe is loft,
Each wary pilot for his fafety fears
In mute fuipenfe, and trembles as he fteers :
Such feem'd the tumult of the hero's breaft,
And fuch amazement long reftrain'd the reft.
Laertes' fon at laft the filence broke,
And, rifing, thus with prudent purpofe fpoke :

Princes 1 I counfel war ;' but will not blame
The chief difienting, whofe illuftrious name
We all muft honour : yet, with patience, hear
What now I offer to the public ear.
I freely own the unnumber'd ills that wait
On 'ft rife prolonged, and war's difaftrous ftate.
With war lean famine and difeafes dwell,
And difcord fierce, efcap'd the bounds of hell.
Where'er on earth her courfe the fury bends
A crowd of mifchiefs ftill her fteps attends;
Fear flies before her fwifter than the wind,
And defolation marks her path behind.
Yet her, attended thus, the gods ordain
Stern arbitrefs of right to mortal men ;
To awe injuftice with her lifted fpear,
And teach the tyrants of the earth to fear.
If Thebes is perjur'd, and exerts her might
For ufurpaVon jfl contempt of right j

(If oaths defpisM, and all the ties which bind
The great fociety of human kind)
For Eteocles in the war fhe flood,
And drench'd her thirfty fields with Grecian
blood; [vain

The gods themfelves have err'd, and plac'd in
1 he fcepter'd kings injuftice to reftrain ; , '
Elfe (he deferves the laft extremes to fe^l
Of waiteful fire and keen devouring rteel.
Though prudence urg'd arid equity approv'd,
Joining to fecond what Tydides mov'd,
Wo could not hope the war fot peace to change,
Thebes thinks not now of fafety but revenge.
Laft night, difguis'd, I mingled with the foe,
Their fecret hopes and purpofes to know ;
And found that Creon, with his martial train,
This day intends to brave us on the plain, [claim'd,
Greece too, I heard, by barb'rous fovereigns
Some Athens, Argos, fome Mjczene nam'd;
Sparta and Pylos, with the various towns
Which grace, in profpect fair,th' Arcadian downs :
Others yEtolia challeng'd for their lot j
Nor was ev'n Ithaca itfelf forgot.
From fuch vain hopes to boafting they proceed >
Each promifes to win fome hero's head.
Leophron too, diftinguifh'd from the reft,
Superior pride and infolence exprefs'd ;
In form a god he 'midft th' affembly ftood,
By all ador'd the idol of the crowd ;
And promised, if he chanc'd in fight to meet
Th' JEtolian chief, to ftretch him at his feet ;
Unlefs fome god oppos'd, or daftard fear,
By fuddeu flight, fiiould fnatch him from his


Can we then hope by peace to end our toils,
When foes lecure already fhare our fpoils ?
Peace to expecl: from flight itfelf were vain ;
And flight, I know, your gen'rous fouls difdain.

He faid. The chiefs with indignation burn'd j
And Diomed fubmitting thus return'd :
Princes ! I need not for myfelf profefs,
What all have witnefs'd, all muft fure confefs;
That' in the front of battle ftill engag'd,
I never fhunn'd to mingle where it rag'd.
Nor now does fear perfuade me to retire,
Falfe Greon fafe, and guilty Thebes entire ;
But war and famine thin our martial pow'rs,
Whilft adverfe fates protect the Theban tow'rs.
And as the careful fhepherd turns his flock
Back from the dangers of the flipp'ry rock,
And from the haunts where foxes mark the


Or rapid rivers flow with banks unfound ;
So kings fliould warn the people to forbear
Attempts, when fymptoms mark deftruclion near.
But fince the leaders, with confenting voice,
For war already fix the public choice ;
I freely yield, nor ever will divide,
Where ail deliberate, and all decide.

The hero thus, and ceasM. And thus the reft.
From his high feat, the king of men addrefs'd :
Since war is now decreed, 'tis next our care
That all Ihould fpeedily for fight prepare.
Creon, this day, intends with all his train
To try our valour on the equal plain ;
And will, with diligence, improve an hour.
Which finds us inattentive and fecure.


Tit ft let each leader with his hands in hafte
Snatch, as the time allows, a fhort repait ;
Then arm for fight, and to the field proceed,^
The phalanx following as the chariots lead.
Who arms the firft, and firft to combat goes,
Though weaker, feems fuperior to his foes;

But fuch as lag are more than half overthrown,
Lefs in the eyes of others and their own.

The monarch thus. The princes all aflent.
Straight from the council through the hoft they
To arm their bands with diligence and care ; [went,
They all obey, and all for fight prepare.


ASSEMBLED on the plain, the Theban pow'rs
Jn order'd ranks appear before the tow'rs;
Creon their leader, whofe fuperior fway
The partial fons of facred Thebes obey.
The chiefs obedient to his high command,
Raid the whole war, and marfliall'd every band.
His valiant fon the firft, his country's boaft,
Her nobleft hope, the bulwark of her hoft,
Leophron, to the field the warriors led,
Whom Thebes herfelf within her ramparts bred:
Peneleus, who from Medeon led his pow'rs,
CEchalia low, and Arne's lofty tow'rs :
Leitus from Theipia, where the verdant (hades
'Of Helicon invite the tuneful maids : ,
Porthenus rich, whole wide poflellions lay
Where fam'd Alfopus winds his wat'ry way;
Beneath Cytheron's height, the lofty mound
Which parts Boeotian plains from hoftile ground :
Phericles, who the valiant warriors led
In Mycaleffus, Harma, Aulis, bred :
Andremon, leader of his native band,
From lofty Schcenus on th' Ifmenian ftrand :
And Anthedon, where fwift Eunpus pent
Divides Euboea from the continent.:
Thefe rul'd the Theban- pow'is, beneath the care
Of Creon, chief and fov'reign of the war.

The aids from Macedon the next were plac'd ;
Their (hining cafques with waving plumage

grac'd; ' f

A wolf's gray hide, around their fhoulders flung,
Wi^h martial grace above their armour hung :
From high Dodona's facred (hades they came ;
Cafl'ander led them to the fields of fame.
The Thracians next, a formidable band ;
Nations and tribes diftinc'l, in order ftand:
Byzantines fierce, whole crooked keels divide
The Pontic gulf, and (tern the downward tide :
In Grecian arms the hardy warriors move,
With pond'rous fhields and glitt'ring (pears above.
The Thynians next were marmall'd on the field ;
Each with a faulchion arm'd, and lunar (hield,
Whofe bending horns a verge of filver bound ;
And figures fierce their brazen helmets crown'd :
With thefe the Daci came, a martial race ;
Fierce as their clime, they rear the pond'rous

mace ;

In giant ftrength fecure, they fcorn the fpear.
And crufh, with weighty blows, the ranks of war;
From Ifter's icy ftreams, a barb'rous crowd,
In (haggy furs, a herd promifcuous flood ;
Swift as their favage game : for wide they roam
Jn tribes and nations, ignorant of home ;
Excelling all who boaft fuperior (kill
^Jo fend the winged arrow fwift to kill :

Thefe Rhoefus rul'd, of various tribes compos'd!.
By various leaders on the, field dilpos'd.

To fight the Argives mov'd in clofe array :
Bright (hone their arms, and flam'd redoubled day;
Refolv'd, and (till as filent night, they go ; >
Nor with infulting fhouts provoke the foe.
Thick from their fteps, in du(ky volumes, rife
The parched fields, and darken all the flues.
Beneath the (hade, the ardent warriors clofe ;
Their fliields and helmets ring with founding

Firrf Menelaus ftruck a Theban lord ;
His armed breaft the weighty lance explor'd;
Burft the clofe mail ; the mining breaftplate tore;
And from life's fountain drew a ftream of gore.
Supine he fell amidft his native bands,
And wrench'd the fixed dart with dying bands.
To fpoil the (lain tije ion of Atreus flies ;
The Thebans interpofe with hoitile cries;
And Creon's valiant fon his buckler fpread,
An orb of triple brafs to guard the dead :
As Jove's imperial bird her wings extends,
And from the (hepherds* rage her young defends f
So (tern Leophron bore his ample (hield ;
Like Mars, he flood the terror of the field.
With dread unufual check'd, the Spartan band
Recoil'd ; Atrides only dar'd to ftand.
He thus began. Prefumptuous youth I forbear
To tempt the fury of my flying fpear.
That warrior there was by my javelin flain,
His fpoils to guard you interpofe in vain.
Atrides thus ; and Creon's fon replies :
Thy lance I dread not, and thy threats defpifr.
This hand hath many a chief of high renown,
And braver warriors oft in fight o'erthrownt
Like theirs, thy fall (hall dignify my fpear,
And future boafters thence be taught to fear-.
Thus as he fpoke, his weighty lance he threw
At Atreus' fon ; which riling as it flew
Upon the hero's creft with furious fway,
Gianc'd as it pafs'd, and fhav'd the plumes away.
Hiding amidft the Spartan ranks it came,
And (truck a youth of undiftinguifh'd name :
Cold, through his breaft, the fteel and polifhVl

A paifage forc'd, and drew a flream of blood.

His lance Atrides next prepares to throw;
Poifes it long, and meditates the blow.
Then, from his hand difmifs'd with happier aim,
Thund'ring againft the Theban (hield it came ;
Where wreath'd around a mimic lerpent twin'd,
With plates of pohfh'd filver lightly join'd.
Thence turn'd with courfe oblique it drove along,
And fpent its fnry on the vulgar throng.


Xeophron (Iraight his flaming faulchion drew,
x\nd at his foe with eager fury flew :
As (looping from above, an eagle fprings
To fnatch his prey, and (hoots upon his wings.
The Spartan warrior dreads impending fate;
And, turning, meditates a quick retreat
As when a (hepherd fwain, in defert (hades,
The blood-nurs'd offspring of the wolf invades ;
If, from the opening of fome thicket near,
With rage inflam'd, the angry dam appear,
With darts at firft, and threat'ning fliouts he tries
To awe the guardian, and aflert the prize :
But, when (he tarings, the clofe encounter dreads,
And, trembling, from the angry foe recedes.
So Menelaus fled. His native train,
In wild diforder, fcatters o'er the plain.

His valiant brother heard upon the right,
Where in his lofty car he rul'd the fight ;
And to his 'fquire Nicomachus. With (peed,
Turn to the left, and urge the flying deed :
For, if thefe founds deceive not, Sparta fails;
And, with a tide of conqueft, Thebes prevails.
Qnick as the word, the filver reins he drew,
And through the fight the bounding chariot flew.
Like fome fwift veifel, when a prolp'rous gale
Favours her courfe, and ftretches ev'ry fail ;
Above the parting waves (he lightly flies,
And fmooth behind a track of ocean lies :
So r T rnidft the combat, rufh'd the lofty car,
Pierc'd the thick tumult, and disjoin'd the war.
Bnt Clytodemon's fon a jav*lin threw ;
With force impell'd, it lighten'd as it flew,
And (truck the right-hand courfer to the ground,
Eihon, for ivviftnefs in the race renown'd.
Behind his ear the deadly weapon ftcod.
Lcos'd his high neck, and drew a (tre m of blood.
Clroaning he funk ; and ipread his flowing mane,
A fhining circle on the dufty plain.
Entangled deep the royal chariot (tood,
"With hoftile fpears befet, an iron wood.

From his high feat the Spartan hero fprung
Amid the foe ; his clanging armour rung,
JBefore the king, the armed bands retire ;
As fhepherd fwain s avoid a lion's ire,
When fierce from famine on their darts he turns,
And rage indignant in his eyeballs burns.
Amid the fight, diftinguiih'd like th (tar
Of eVm<> - ,(hone hisfilver arms afar ;
Which, o'er the hills, its fetting li^ht difplays;
And marks the ruddy wen: with filver rays*
J J ale and amaz'd his- brother chief he found,
An armed circle of his friends around.
Alas, my brother, have I li<v'd to fee
Thy life redeem'd with deathlefs infamy!
(The hero cry'd), far better that a ghoft
You now had wander'd on the Sfygian coaft,
And by a glorious fall preferv'd your name
Safe and unblafted by the breath of fame ;
"Which foon dial! tell the world, amaz'd to hear,
That Menelaus taught the hoft to fear.

By confcious guilt fubdu'd.the youth appear'J j
Without reply, die juft reproach he heard :
Confounded, to the ground he turn'd his eyes ;
Indignant thus the great Atrides cries :
IVIyceneans ! Spartans ! taught to feek renown
From dangers greatly brav'd, and battles won ;
Ah warriors ! wiirye fly, when clofe behind
Piflionour follows fvviftcr than the wind ?

Return to glory : whether Jove ordains,
With wreaths of conqueft, to reward your pain%
Or dooms your fall ; he merits equal praife,
With him who conquers, he who bravely dies.
The hero thus; and, like fwift light'ning driv'n
Through fcatter'd clouds along the vault of heav'n
By Jove's dread arm, his martial voice infpir'd
The fainting hod, and ev'ry bofom fir'd.
Again upon the conqu'ring foe they turn'd:
The war again in all its fury burn'd.
As when the deep, which ebbing from the land
Along the coaft difplays a wade of land,
Returns ; and, blown by angry terapefts, roars
A (tormy deluge v> gainft the rocky fliores :
So, nidiing to the fight, the warriors came ;
Ardent to conquer, and retrieve their fame.

Before his hoft the fon of Creon ftood,
With laboured duft obfcure, and hoftile blood ;
He thus exciaim'd : And (hall this daftard train.
( Warriors of Thebes) ! difpute the field again ?
Their better chief, I know him, leads the band ;
But fate (hall foon fubdue him by my hand.
He (aid; and at the king his jav'Hn threw;
Which, aim'd amifs, with erring fury flew.
Acrofs the armed ranks it fwiftly drove,
The warriors (looping as it rufti'd above.
The Spartan hero aim't! his weighty fpear ;
And thus to Jove adclrefs'd an ar.lent prayer : '
Hear me, great fire of gods I whofe boundlefs (way
The fates of men and mortal things obey ;
Whofe fov'reign hand, with unrefiired might,
Depreftes or exalts the fcales of fight :
Now grant fuccefs to iny avenging hand,
And (tretch this dire dettroyer on the fand.
Jove, grant me now to reach his hated life,
And fave my warriors in this doubtful ftrife.
The hero thus ; and Cent 1m weighty fpear,
With fpeed it flew, and pierc'd the yielding air;
Swift as a faulcon to her quarry fprings,
When down the wind Die ftretches on her wingi.
Leophron, (looping, fbunn'd the deadly ftroke,
Which on the (liield of Hegifander broke.
Vain now his lute ; in vain his melting drains,
Soft as Apollo's on the Lyciaii plains:
His foul excluded, feeks the dark abodes
By Styx embrac'd, the terror of the gods;
Where furly Charon, with his lifted oar,
Drives the light ghofts, and rules the dreary fliorcv

With grief Leophron faw the warrior (lain.
He fnatch'd a pond'rous mace from off the plain.
Cut in the Thracian woods, with (nags around
Of pointed fteel, with iron circles bound.
Heav'd with gigantic force the club to throw,
He fwung it thrice, and hurPd it at his foe.
Thund'ring upon his armed head it fell ;
The brazen helmet rang with (tunning knell.
As when a rock by forceful engines thrown,
Where hoftile armsinveft a frontier town,
Threat'ning dellructign, rolls along the (kies;
And war itfelf (lands wond'ring as it flies:
Falls on fume turret's top, the ftructure bends
Beneath the tempeft, and at once deicends
With hideous craih ; thus, (looping to the ground,,
Atridc-s funk ; his filver arms refound.
But Pallas, mixing in the dire debate,
A life to refcue yet not due to fate,
Had o'er his head her cloudy buckler heI3;
AaJ half the fury of the blow repeii'd.


The fon of Creon rufh'd to feize his prize,
The hero's ipoils ; and thus exulting cries :
Warriors of The'nes ! your labours foon fliall ceafe,
And final victory reftoie your peace ;
For ^reat Atrides, by my valour flain,
A iit'eleis corfe, lies ftretch'd upon the plain.
Only be men ! and make the Argive bands-
Dread in fucceeding times your mighty hands ;
That foes no more, when mad ambition calls,
With dire alarms may fliake your peaceful walls.
Exulting thus, the hero rufh'd along ;
And kindled, with his fliouts, the vulgar throng.
Refolv'd and firm the Spartan warriors ftand
Around their king, a formidable band.
Their fpears, protended thick, the foe reftrain'd ;
Their bucklers join'd, the weighty war fultain'd.
But as a mountain wolf, from famine bold,
On prey intent, furveys the midnight' fold ;
Where, in the flielter of fome arching rock,
At ev'n the careful mepherd pens his flock :
On fpoil and ravage bent, he ftalks around,
And meditates to Ipring the lofty mound :
Impatient thus the Fheban chief furvey'd
The clofe-compacted ranks on ev'ry fide ;
To fiiul where leaft the ferred orb could, bear
The ftrong impreffion of a pointed war.
Him Menelaus faw, with anguilh ftung;
And, from amidft his armed warriors, fprung
With wrath rnflam'd ; as darting from a brake,
Againft fome trav'ller, darts a crefted faake.
His rage in vain the Theban ranks withftand ;
The braved warriors fink beneath his hand.
Clytatuler, Iphitus, Paiemon, faro'd
For chariots rul'd and fiery courfers tam'd ;
And Iphialtes, like the god of light,
Whofe pointed arrows thinn'd the lines of fight :
Thefe the firrt tranfports of his fury feel.
Againft Leophron now he lifts his fteel,
And fpeeds to vengeance ; but, in full career,
He (tood arrelted by a vulgar fpear.
Fix'din his. thigh the barbed weapon hung,
Relax'd the mufcles, and the nerves unftrung.
The Spartan warriors to his fuccour flew ;
Againlt the darts their ample fliields they threw,
Which ftorm'd around ; and, from the rage of war,
Convey'd the wounded hero to his car.

With fierce impatience Creon's fon beheld
The Spartan,warriors {till difpute the field.
Before their leader fall'n, the hero ftocd ;
Their fpears erected, like the facred wood
"Which round fome altar riles on the plain,
The myftic rites to hide from eyes profane.
Thither his native bands the hero turn'd ;
Drawn to a wedge, again the combat burn'd.
Through all the air a ftorm of jav'lins fung ;
With (bunding blows each hollow buckler rung.
Firft J^opjeus felt a deadly wound,
Who in Amycle till'd the fruitful ground ;
To great Andremon's fpear he yields his breath,
And darts and quivers in the gralp of death.
Next Hegefippus prefs'd th' infanguin'd plain ;
Leophron's jav'lin mix'd him with the flain.
On Malea's cliffs he fed his fleecy (tore,
Along the windings of the craggy fliore.
He vow'd to Phoebus, for a fafe return,
An hundred victims on his hearth to burn.
In vain! the god, in juftice, had decreed,
His gifts contemn'd, the offerer to bleed j

For violence augmented ftill his ftore ;
And, unreliev'd, the ftranger left his door.
Prone on the bloody ground the warrior fell;
His foul indignant fought the {hades of hell.

Next Areas, Cleon, valiant Chromius, dy'd ;
With Dares, to the Spartan chiefs ally'd.
And Phoemius, whom the gods in early youth
Had form'd for virtue and the love of truth ;
His gen'rous foul to noble deeds they turn'd,
And love to mankind in his bofom burn'd :
Cold through his throat the hiffing weapon glides,,
And on his neck the waving locks divides.
His fate the graces mourrr'd. The gods above,
Who fit around the ftarry throne of Jove,
On high Olympus bending from the Ikies,
His fate beheld with forrow-ftreaming eyes.
Pallas alone, unalter'd and ferene,
With fecret triumph faw the mournful fcene :
Not hard of heart ; for none of all the pow'rs,
In earth or ocean, or th' Olympian tow'rs,
Holds equal fympathy with human grief,
Or with a freer hand beftows relief }
But confcious that a mind by virtue fteel'd,
To no impreffion of diftrefs will yield ;
That, ftill unconquer'd, in its awful hour
O'er death it triumphs with immortal pow'r.

Now, Thebes prevailing, Sparta's hoft retreats;
As falls fome rampart where the ocean beats :
Unable to refift its ftormy way,
Mounds heap'd on mounds, and bars of rock give


With inundation wide the deluge reigns,
Drowns the deep valleys, and o'eripreads the


Thus o'er the field, by great Leophron led,
Their foes repuls'd, the Theban Squadrons ipread.
The hero, (looping where Atrides lay,
Rent from his head the golden cafque away ;
His mail unlock'd ; and loos'd the golden chains.
The zone which by his fide the fword fuftains.
The monarch now amid the vulgar dead,
For wheels to crufli and armed hoofs to tread,
Defencelefs lay. But ftern Leophron's hate
Retriev'd him, thus expos'd, from certain fate.
In femblance dead, he purpos'd to convey
The body naked to fome public way ;
Where dogs obfcene, and all the rav'nous race,
With wounds unfightly, might his limbs difgracej
Straight he commands; and to a neighb'ring grove.
His warriors, charg'd, the Spartan chief remove.
On their broad Ihields they bore him from the plaia.
To fenfe a corfe, and number'd with the flain.
His fixed eyes in hov'ring fliades were drown'd j
, His mighty limbs in death-like fetters bound.
VThe fliouts tumultuous, and the din of war,
His ear receiv'd like murmurs from afar ;
Or as fome peafant hears, fecurely laid
Beneath a vaulted cliflfor woodland-fhade,
When o'er his head unnumber'd infects fin^
In airy rounds, the children or the fpring.
Adraftus' valiant fon, with grief, beheld
The Spartans to inglorious flight compell'd;
Their valiant chief refign'd to hoftile hands.
He thus aloud addrefs'd the featuring bands s
What fliame, ye warriors ! if ye thus expofe
Your leader to the injuries of foes !
Though all fliould quit him, honour bids you bring
His relicj back, or perifli with your king*


Leophrpn fure injurioufly ordains,
"With infults, to deface his dear remains ;
Spurn'd by the feet of men, expos'd and bare,
For dogs obfcene, and rav'nous birds to fhare.
Exclaiming thus, through all the field he flew j
.And call'd the hoft the conflict to renew.
They flop, they charge ; again the combat burns :
They bleed, they conquer, and retreat by turns.
Hegialus excites the dire debate j
And, by example, leads the work of fate :
' For now he fees Atrides borne afar,
By hoftile hands, beyond the lines of war.
With indignation fierce his bofom glows;
He rufhes fearlefs 'midft a hoft of foes ;
And now had merited a deathlefs name,
And with a deed immortal crown'd his fame,
Atrides liv'd ; but fate's fupreme command
That honour deftin'd for a mightier hand.

Leophron vex'd, that twice conftrain'd to yield,
The Spartan warriors re-affum'd the field,
His powers addrefs'd : For ever loft our fame,
Difhonour foul will blot the Theban name;
If daftard foes, twice routed and purfu'd,
Shall brave the victors, ftill with rage renewed.
Your glory gain'd with vigour now maintain ;
Nor let us conquer thus and bleed in vain.
He faid, and 'gainft the Argive hero turn'd ;
With martial wrath his ardent bofom burn'd j
Who, fearlefs and undaunted, dar'd to wait ;
Nor by ignoble flight declinM his fate.
For at the Theban chief his lance he threw,
Which, aim'd amifs, with erring fury flew :
Beyond the hoftile ranks th^ weapon drove ;
The warrior's ftooping as it kufh'd above.
JNot fo the Theban fpear; witk happier aim,
Full' to the centre of the fhieid. it came;
And, rifing fwiftly from the polifh'd round,
His throat transfixed, and bent him to the ground.
To fpoil the ilain the ardent victor flew :
The Spartan bands the bloody fnock renew ;
Fierce to the charge with tenfold rage return,
And all at once with thirft of vengeance burn.
O'er all the field the raging tumult grows ;
And ev'ry helmet rings with founding blows;
j^ut moft around the Argive hero dead ;
There toil the mightieft, there the braveft bleed.
Jis when outrageous winds the ocean fweep,
And from the bottom ftir the hoary deep ;
CTer.aH the wat*ry plain the tempeft raves,
Mixrng in coRfticl loud the angry waves :
But where fome pointed cliff the furface hides,
Whofe top itnfeen provokes the angry tides,
With tenfold fury there the billows fly,
And mount in fmoke and thunder to the (ky

Adraftus, by unaclive age reftrain'd,
JBehind the army on a mount rerain"d ;
Under an oak the hoary warrior fat,
And lookM and liftenM to the dire debate.
Now>, tam'd by age, his courfersftood unbound ;
His ufelefs arras lay fc atterM on the ground j

Two aged heralds there the chief obey'J ;
The 'fq*uire attending by his mafter ftay'd.
And thus the king : What founds .invade mine


My friends ! what fad difafter muft we hear ?
Some hero's fall ; for with the fliouts, I know
Loud lamentation mixt, and founds of woe.
So were we told, when mighty Tydeus fell,
And Poiynices trod the path to hell ;
So rag'd the combat o'er the hero flain,
And fuch the din and tumult of the plain.
He faid ; and lift'ning (what he greatly fear'd) ]
Hegialus's name at lead he heard
Mix'd with the noife ; and, fick'ning at the founi
By grief fubdu'd, fell profli ate on the ground.
But rage fucceeding, and defpair, he role
Eager to rufh amid the thickeft foes. -
His fpear he grafp'd, impatient for the fight;
And pond'ious fhieid, unequal to the weight.
Him frantic thus, his wife attendants held ;
And to retire with prudent care compell'd,
Impatient of his ftate, by quick returns,
With grief he melts, with indignntion burns^
And thus at laft : Stern ruler of the fky !
Whofe fport is man, and human mifery;
What deed of mine has flirr'd thy bound lefs rage,
And call'd for vengeance on my hdpicfs age ?
Have I, by facrilege, yeur treaiures drain'd ;
Youf altars flighted, or your rites\profan'd ?
Did I forget my holy vows to pay ?
Or bid you witnefs, and my faith betray?
Has lawlefs rapine e'er increas'd my ftote,
Or, unrelievM, the ftranger left my door ?
If not; in juftice, can your ftern decree
With wrath puriue my guiltlefs race and me ?
Here valiant Tydeus^ Polynices fell ;
In one fad hour they trod the path to hell :
For them my daughters mourn, their forrows fltna?
Sti/1 frefli, and all their days are fp'ent in woe.
Hegialus r.emain'd my hopes to raife ;
The only comfort of my joylefs days :'
In whom I faw my vigorous v,autK return,
And all our native virtues brighter burn.
He's now no more ; and to the nether fkies>
Banifh'd by fate, a bloodiefs fpeclre flies.
For what, ye, gods ! has unrelenting fate
Curs'd nay misfortunes with fo long a date?>
That thus Hive to fee our ancient race
At once extinguifli'd, and for ever ceafe !
Gods ! grant me ROW, the only boon I crave,
For all my forrows paft, ft peaceful grave :
Now let me perifb, that my fleeting ghoft.
May reflch my fon in Pluto's fhady coaft;
WiKyflPjoinM for ever, kipdred fouls enjoy
AiWrnion fix*d,-which nothing can deftroy.
He faid ; and finking proftrate on the ground,
His furrow'd cheeks with floods of tbrrow

drown'd ;

And, furious in the rage of grief, o r erfpread
With duft ;he reverend honours of his head*



THE Spartan bands, with third of vengeance fir'd,
The fight maintairt'd; nor from their toils refpir'd.
Before the hero fall'n the warriors ftand,
Firm as the chains of rock which guard the ftrand;
Whofe rooted ftrength the angry ocean braves,
And bounds the fury of his burfting waves.
So Sparta flood; their ferred bucklers bar
The Theban phalanx, and exclude the war.
While from the field, upon their fhoulders laid,
His warriors fad the Argive prince convey'd;
Leophron faw, with indignation fir'd,
And with his fhouts the ling'ring war infpir'd.
Again the rigour of the fhock returns ;
The flaughter rages, and the combat burns;
Till, puih'd and yielding to fuperior fway,
In flow retreat the Spartan ranks give way.
As, in fome channel pent, entangled wood
Reluctant ftirs before the angry flood;
Which, on its loaded current, flowly heaves
The fpoils of forefts mix'd with harveft {heaves.

Pallas obferv'd, and from th' Olympian height
Precipitated fwift her downward flight.
Like Cleon's valiant fon, the goddefs came ;
The fame her ftature, and her arms the fame.
Defcending from his chariot to the ground,
The fon of Tydeus, 'midft his bands, ihe found ;
His deeds unrul'd : for, ftretch'd before the wheel,
Lay the bold driver pierc'd with Theban fteel.
On the high car her mighty hand fhe laid,
And thus addrefa'd the valiant Diomed :
The Spartan warriors, prince! renounce the fight,
-O'ermatch'd by numbers and fuperior might :
While adverfe fate their valiant chief reftrains,
Who dead or wounded with the foe remains ;
Hegialus lies lifelefs on the earth,
Brother to her from whom you claim your birth .
The great Atrides, as he prefs'd to fave,
Leophron's jav'lin mark'd for him the grave.
To vengeance hade; and, ere it is too late,
With fpcedy fuccour flop impending fate :
For ftern Leophron, like the rage of flame,
With ruin threatens all the Spartan name.
The goddefs thus : Tydides thus replies :
How partial are the counfels of the flcies !
For vulgar merit oft the gods with care
Honour, and peace, and happinefs prepare ;
While worth, diftinguifh'd by their partial hate,
Submits to all the injuries of fate.
Adraflus thus with juilice may complain
His daughters widow'd, fons in battle flain.
In the devoted line myfelf I fland,
And here muft perifh by fome hoflile hand:
Yet not for this I fhun the works of war,
Nor fkulk inglorious when I ought to dare.
And now I'll meet yon terror of the plain,
To crown his conquefts, or avenge the flain.
But wifh fome valiant youth to rule my car,
And pufh the horfes through the fhock of war,
, Vf rj prefent ; for, extended in his gor,
TV brave Speufippus know* his charge no more,


Thus as the hero fpoke, Caflandra heard,
And prefent, to afTume the charge, appear'd,
By love infpir'd, fhe fought the fields of war;
Her hero's fafety was her only care.
A polifh'd cafque her lovely temples bound,
With flowers of gold and various plumage crown'd;
Confus'dly gay the peacock's changeful train,
With gaudy colours mix'd of ev'ry grain :
The virgin white, the yellow's golden hue,
The regal purple, and the fhiningblue,
With female fkill compos'd. The fhield fhe bore
With flow'rs of gold was mark'd and fpanglcd


Light and of fiend' reft make, fhe held a launce ;
Like fome mock warrior armed fbr the dance,
When fpring's return and mufic's cheerful drain
The youth invite to frolic on the plain.

Illuftrious chief, the armed virgin faid,
To rule your ftecds on me the tafk be laid ;
SkilFd to direct their courffc with fteady rein,
To wake their fiery mettle, or reftrain ;
To flop, to turn, the various arts 1 know ;
To pum them on direct, or fhun the foe.
With ready hand your voice 1 fhall obey,
And urge their fury where you point the way*
The virgin thus : and thus Tydides faid :
Your zeal I honour, but reject your aid.
Fierce are my fleeds ; their fury to reftrain
The ftrongeft hand requires, and ftifieft rein :
For oft, their mettle rous'd, they rufh along;
Nor feel the biting curb, or founding thong.
Oft have I feen you brave the toils of fight,
With dauntlefs courage, but unequal might.
Small is your force; and, from your arm unilrung,
The harmlefs launce is impotently flung.
Yet not for this you fhun the martial ftrife,
Patient of wounds, and prodigal of life.
Where'er I combat, faithful to my fide,
No danger awes you, and no toils divide.
Yet grudge not that your fervice I decline ;
Homocleon's better hand fhall guide the rein i
His manly voice my horfes will obey,
And move fubmiflive to his firmer fway.

Th' ^itolian warrior thus ; and, with a bound^
Rofe to his lofty chariot from the ground.
The goddefs to the driver's feat proceeds,
AfTumes the reins, and winds the willing fteeds.
On their fmooth fides the founding lafh fhe plies,
And through the fight the fmokirig chariot flies.
Th' Athenians foon they pals'd ; and Phocians


Who from fair Crifia led their martial throng.
Th' Arcadians next, from Alpheus' filver flood,
And hardy Eleans, grim with duft and bloody
In order rang'd. As when fome pilot fpies
The rocky cliffs in long fucceflion rife,
When near the land his galley fcours the fliores,
By profp'rous winds impell'd and fpeeding oars;
So, haftening to the fight, the hero flew ;
notv the Spartan h&ft appear* in VICYT ;


By wounds fubduM, their braveft warriors lay;

Others, by. fhameful flight, their fear obey ;

The reft in flow retreat forfake the field,

O'ermatch'd by numbers, and conflrain'd to yield.

Th' ./Etolian hero faw, and raised his voice,

I/oud as the filver trumpet's martial noife,

And rufli'd to fight : through all the field it flew;

The hoft at once the happy fignal knew,

And joy'd, as they who, from the found'ring fhip

Efcap'd, had ftruggled long amid the deep :

Faint from defpair, when hope and vigour fail,

If, hafl'ning to their aid, appears a fail;

With force fenew'd their weary limbs they drain,

And- climb the flipp'ry ridges of the main.

So jqy'd the Spartans foj-epulfe the foe ;

With hope reftor'd their ^en'rousbofoms glow:

While Thebes, fufpended 'midfl her conquefl,

And feels a fudden ch^ck through all her bands.

Leophron only, far before the reft,
Tydides waited with a dauntlefs breafl.
Firm and unaw'd the hardy warrior flood,
Like fome fierce boar amid.his native wood, -
When armed f wains his gloomy haunts invade,
And trace his footfteps through the lonely fhade;'
Refolv'd he hears approach the hoftile found,
Grinds his white teeth, and threat'ning glares

around ;

So flood Leophron, trufling in his might,
And fhook his armour, eager for the fight.
Tydides faw; and, fpringing from his car,
Thus bra,v'd the hero, as he ruih'd to war :
O fon unhappy, of a fire accurfl !
The plague of all, and fated to the worfl \ ,
The injuries of Greece demand thy breath;
See in my hand the inftrument of death.
Hegialus's ghoft fhall lefs deplore
His fate untimely on the Stygian fhore, [come
When banifh'd from the light, your fhade fhall
To mingle with the dark infernal gloom, - '
Tydides thus : and Greon's fon replies :
Your fear in vain by boafting you difguife ;
Such vulgar art a novice oft confounds,
To fcenes of battle new and martial founds^
Though loft on me, who dwell amid alarms,
And never met a greater yet in arms.

Thus as the warrior fpoke, his launce with care
He aim'd, and fent it hifling through the air.
On Diomed's broad fhield the weapon fell;
Loud rung the ftunning brafs with echoing knell :
But the flrong orb, by Vulcan's labour bound
Repell'd, and fent it blunted to the ground. .
Tydides next his pond'rous jav'lin threw :
With force impel!' d, it brighten'd as it flew ;
And pierc'd the border of the Theban fhield,
Where, wreath'd around, a ferpent guards the


.Through the clofe mail an eafy paffage found,
And mark'd his thigh, in paffi^g, with a wound.
Now in clofe fight the angry chiefs engage,
Like two fell griffins rous'd to equal rage ;
Pois'd on their rolling trains they fiercely rife
With blood-befpotted crefts and burning eyes :
With poifon fraught they aim their deadly ftings
Clafp their fharp fangs, and mix their rattling


In combat thus, the ardent warriors clos'd,
With ihicld to Ujicld, and foot to foot

r irft at his foi Leophron alrri'd a ftrokc,
Jut on his polifh'd cafque the faulchion broke :
From the fmooth fteel the fhiver'd weapon fprun,
Aloft in air its ruffing fplinters fung.
Mot fo, Tydides, did thy weapon fail ;
With force impell'd, it pierc'd the filver mail,
Whofe Hiding plates the warrior's neck fnrround:
A tide of gore came rulhing from the wound.
Stagg'ring to earth, he funk with head declin'd,
And life in long convulfive throbs refign'd.
Nor ftoop'd Tydides to defpoil the flain ;
The warrior goddefs led him, crofs the plain,
Towards the grove where great Atrides lay ;
Th' immortal fpear fhe ftretch'd, and mark'd the

Thither amid furrounding foes they hafte,
Who fhunn'd them, ftill retreating as they pafs'd;
And ent' ring found the Spartan hero laid
On the green fward, beneath the bow'ring fhade.
The guard fecure, lay ftretch'd upon the ground ;
Their fhiclds refign'd, their launces pitch'd around :
One only near a winding riv'let flood,
Which turn'd its wand'ring current through the


His helmet fill'd with both his hands he rear'd,
In adl to drink, when in the grove appear'd
Th' ./Etolian prince. His armour's fiery blaze
1 he dark recefs illumin'd with its rays.
Amaz'd the Thebah flood ; and from his hand
The helmet flipp'd, and roll'd upon the fand. -
Not more afraid the wond'ring fwain defcries
'Midft night's thick gloom a flaming meteor rife ;
Sent by the furies, as he deems, to fow
Death and difeafes on the earth below.
Tydides conies ! with fault'ring voice he cry'd,
And ftraight to flight his willing limbs apply'd.
With fudden dread furpris'd the guards retire,
As fhepherd fwains avoid a lion's ire,
Who roams the heights and plains, from famine
The flail to ravage, or aflault the fold. [bold,

Now, lifelefs as he lay, the martial maid
Atrides with a pity ing eye furvey'd ;
And with her fpear revers'd, the hero fhcok :
The touch divine his iron flumber broke ;
As when his drowfy mate the fhepherd fwain
Stirs with his crook, and calls him to the plain;
When in the eaft he fees the morning rife,
And redd'ning o'er his head the colour'd flcies.
When from the ground his head the hero rais'd,
In full divinity the goddefs blaz'd ;
Her left, reveal'd, the dreadful JEgis rears,
Whofe ample field the fnaky Gorgon bears ;
Th' immortal launce flood flaming in the right,
Which fcatters and confounds the ranks of fight.
Speechlefs the chiefs rcmain'd ; amazement ftrong,
In mute fufpenfeand filence, held them long.
And thus the goddefs : Atteus' fon ! arife,
Confefs the partial favour of the flcies.
For thee I leave the thund'rer's lofty feat,
To wake the flumb'ring on the verge of fate :
To you let Diomed his arms refign ;
Unequal were your force to govern mine :
His ftronger arm fhall bear this pond'rous fhield,
His better hand the weighty jav'lin wield.
Arife ! be fudden, for you iocs draw near ;
Affur'd to conquer when the gods appear.

The goddefs hus- and. mixing with the wind*
Left in a heap her fk'aeu&g arms behind


Upon the field ; with loud harmonious peal,
Th' immortal buckler rung, and golden mail.
And thus Atrides, rifmg from the ground :
In this, approv'd is hoar tradition found ;
That oft, defcending from th' ethereal tow'rs,
To mix with mortals, come the heav'nly pow'rs :
But ne'er till now I law a god appear,
Or more than human voice drd ever hear.
Do you, my friend, aflume thefe arms divine ;
The mortal and inferior fhali be mine.'
Atrides thus; and Diomed reply'd :
To heav'n obedience muft not be deny'd ;
Elfe you yourfelf th' immortal arms fhould wield,
And I with thefe attend you on the held.
But of the pow'rs above, whofe fov'reign fway
The fates of men and mortal things obey,
Pallas, withfureft vengeance ftill purfues
Such as obedience to her will refufe.

He fait!, and ftraight hislhining arms unbound,
The caique, the mail, the buckler's weighty round ;
"With fecret joy th' immortal helmet took:
High on its creft the waving plumage (hook.
This whofoever wears, hisiharp'ned eyes
All dangers mock of ambufh and furprife ;
Their ray unquench'd, the midnight fhade divides t
No cunning covers, and no darknefs hides.
The bread-plate next he takes, whofe matchleis
Firm courage fixes in the bounding heart; . [art
The rage of war, unmov'd, the wearer braves,
And rides ferene amid the ftormy waves !
The glitt'ring mail a ftarry baldric bound,
His arm fuftain'd the buckler's weighty round ;
Impenetrably ftrong, its orb can bear
And turn, like fofteft lead, the pointed fpeftr }
Nor yields to aught, in earth or heav'n above,
But the dread thunder of almighty Jove.
Th' immortal fpear the hero laft did wield,
Which fixes conqueft, and decides a field ;
Nor ftrength nor numbers can its rage withftand,
Sent by a mortal or immortal hand.

Thus arm'd to meet the foe Tydides mov'd,
And glory'd, confcious of his might improV'd ;
Like the proud fteed rejoicing in his force,
"When the fhrill trumpet wakes him to the courfe :
Fierce and impatient of reftraint, he (trains
"With ftiffen'd neck againit the galling reins.
Taller he feem'd ; as when the morning, fpread
"With golden luftre, crown* fome mountain's head
In early fpring j when, from the meads below,
A wreath of vapours binds his rocky brow ;
In cloudy volumes fettling as they rife,
They lift the lofty profped to the ikies.
So in immortal arms the chief appear'd,
His ftature broa'd difplay'd, and higher rear'd.

Now from the field approaching to the grove,
Embattel'd thick, the Theban warriors move ;
Slowly they move, as fwains with doubtful fteps
Approach the thicket where a lion fleeps.
Tydides law ; and, rufhing from the fhade,
The Spartan call'd, and to the combat led.
Unaw'd the hero met the ho'ftile band ;
Nor could united force his rage withftand.
They wheel'd aloof; as when a dragon fprings
From his dark den, and rears his pointed wings
Againft approaching fwairj. when fummer burns
And the irefh lakes to parched defert turns;
They fly difpers'd, nor tempt his fatal ire,
His wrath-fwoln neck and eyes of living fire :

o fled the Thebans, nor efcapM by flight.

Amid their fquadrons, like a faulcori light,

The hero fprung; who, flopping from the flues,

The feather'd race difperfes as he flies.

Still from his hand th' immortal weapon flew;

And ev'ry flight an afrm-d warrior flaw.

Andremon firft, beneath his mighty hand,

Of life bereft, lay ftretch'd upon the fand.

Ph'erecydes gigantic prcfsM the phiin ;

And valiant Tereus Link amid the (lain.

Warriors to thofe of vulgar names fucceed ;

And all his path is mark'd with heaps of dead.

As when fome woodman, by inceffant ftrokes,

Beftrews a mountain with its falling oaks;

Fells the thick plains, the hawthorn's flow'f'y

The poplar fair by paffing currents fed;
The laurel with unfading verdure crown'd ;

Heaps roll'd on heaps, the foreft finks around :

So fpFeads the (laughter, as the chief proceeds;

At every Itroke an armed warrior bleeds.

Atrides combats by the hero^fide,

To lliare his glory, and the toil divide :

Unmov'd amid the hoftile ranks they go;
Before them far retreats the rooted foe.

And now the Spartan hoft appear'd in fight,

By toil fubdu'd, and ling'ring in the fight.
Their valiant leader law, and rais'd his voice,
Loud as the filver trumpet's martial noife,
With hopes of victory his bands to cheer;
It fwiftly flew : the diftant Spartans he,ar
With glad furprife. Polypes thus addreft,
And rous'd the languid valour of the reft.
Myceneans ! Spartans 1 taught to feek renown
From dangers greatly brav'd, and battles won;
With forrow and regret I lee you yield,
And Thebes victorious drive you from the field;
Atrides calls us; to his aid reparr :
No foe fubdues you but your own defpair.
He yet furvives, befet with hollile bands,
And, from your valour, prefent aid demands.
He faid. The rigour of the fliock feturns ;
The (laughter rages, and the combat burns*
As when a reaping train their (Tckles wield,
Where yellow harveit loads fome fruitful field;
The 1 matter's heart, with lecret joy, o'crflows ;
He prompts the work, and counts the lengthening


So 'midft the war, the pow'r of battles ftood,
Pieas'd with the carnage and the Itreams of blood.

Elpenor firft lay lifelefs on the plain, ' f -
By ftern Plexippus with a jav'Iin llain,
A grief to Thebes. Euryalus the bold,
Rich in his flocks, and rich in fums of gold,
Beneath the arm of Ariftaeus fell;
Loud rung his filver arm's with echoing knell :
And tike ibme flow'r, whofe painted foliage fait
With fragrant breath perfumes the vernal air,
If the rude fcythe its tender root invades,
It falls dilhonour'd, and its luftre fades.
Thus fell Euryalus; whofe matchlefs grace,
In youth's full bloom,. fufpafs'd the human race;
For Cynthius only could with him compare,
In corriely features, fhape, and flowing hair.

Now o'er the fields the rage of war" is fptfead;
And heaps on heaps afcend the hills of.dead.
Ranks meeting ranks oppofe with equal rage ;
As \vhen the north and ftormy fouth ngaje ;


Beneath their ftrife the troubled ocean roars ;
And rufhing waves o'erwhelm the rocky Chores ;
So rag'd the fight ; when burfting from a crowd
Of thick oppofing foes the princes ftood
Between the holts. And thus th' JEtolian lord :
Spartans ! behold your valiant chief reftor'd ;
Ye owe his fafety to Minerva's care ;
Let hecatombs your gratitude declare.
Soon as from Thebes you reach your native


Where flocks and herds for facrifice abound ;
Now fight and conquer ; let this fignal day
Your tedious toils, with viclory repay;
And, for Hegialus, let thoufands dead
With ample vengeance gratify his fliade.
As-t'hus the hero fpoke, the warriors heard,
And hope rekindling through the hoft appear'd ;
With joyful fhouts they rent the trembling air,
And blefs'd the gods, and own'd Minerva's- care.

Now, tow'ring in the midft, Atrides flood,
And. call'd his warriors to the fight aloud ;
As mariners with joy the fun deicry,
Attending, in his courfe, the eaftern fky ;
Who, all night long, by angry tempefts toft,
Shunn'd with inceflant toil fome faithlefs coaft j
So to his wifliing friends Atrides came ;
Their danger fuch before, their joy the fame.
Again the rigour of the fhock returns ;
The flaughter rages, and the comat burns ;
With thirft of vengeance ev'ry bofom glows.
Tydides leads, and rufhes on his foes ;
Around his head a ray of lightning flione
From the fmooth helmet and the glitt'ring cone ;
Like that by night which ftreams with fiery glare,
When fome red meteor glides along the air,
Sent by the angry gods, with tainted breath,
To fow the feeds of peftilence and death :
From look to look infectious terror fpreads ; '
And ev'ry wretch th' impending vengeance

Before the chief the Theban bands retire,
As fhepherd fwains avoid the lion's ire.
Clytander only, by the fates impell'd,
Opposed him fingle, and difdain'd to yield ;
Lycaon's fon ; deceiv'd by glory's charms,
Superior might be brav'd and matchleis arms.
Nor was his brother prefent by his .fide,
To fhare-the clanger, and the toil divide;
Himfelf a youth, and yet by time unfteel'd,
Single, he met Tydides in the field.
Againft r t:h' immortal fhield his lance he flung,
Whofe hollow orb with deaf 'ning clangour rung :
The tow'rs of Thebes re-echo'd to the found ;
The fpear repuls'd, fell blunted on the ground.
Tydides next th' immortal jav'lm threw ;
With force impell'd, it brighten'd as it flew :
And pierc'd the Theban helmet to the cone ;
Behind his ear the ftarting weapon flione.
Supine the warrior fell, his fpirit fled,
And mix'd with heroes in th' El) flan fliade.
To Ipoil the flam the ardent viclor flew :
Firft from the wound the fixed lance he drew,
The helmet loos'd, the coftly mail unbound,
And fhining fliield with fculptor'd figures crown'd.
Thefe fpoils the hero, in his grateful mind,
A prefent for the gen'rous youth defign'd ;
Who ftill in perilous battle fought his fide,
And jproffer'tt late his warlike fteeds to guide.

Fatal the gift, the caufe of future woe \
But good and ill th' immortals only know,
The armour to a vulgar hand configu'd,
Again the hero, fwifter than the wind,
To combat rufli'd.

But, from his throne above
Declin'd, the all-furveying eye of Jove
His progrefs mark'd. The herald pow'r, wh


His fov'reign mandates on immortal wings,
He thus'addrefs'd : To yonder fphere defcend ;
Bid Phoebus ftraight his ev'ning charge attend :
For, with reverted eye, he views the war,
And checks the progrefs of his downward car.
Let him not linger in th' ethereal way,
But lafh his fteeds. and ftraight conclude the day;
For, if the gods defcend not to her aid,
Or ev'ning interpofe with friendly lhade,
Thebes now mull perifli; and the doom of fate,
Anticipated, have an earlier date
Than fate ordains ; for, like devouring flame,
Tydides threatens all the Theban name ;
Immortal arms his native force improve,
Conferr'J by Pallas, partial in her love..
Thefe to retrieve muft be your next effay ;
Win them by art, and hither ftraight convey :
For man with man an equal war mall wage :
Nor with immortaL,weapons arm his rage.

He laid. And Maia's.fon, with fpeed, addreft
His flight to Phoebus hov'ring in the weft.
Upon a cloud his winged feet he ftay'd ;
And thus the mandates of his fire convey'd.
Ruler of light 1 Jet now thy car defcend,
And filent night her peaceful fliade extend,
Elfe Thebes muft perifli ; and the doom of fate,
Anticipated, have an earlier date
Than fate decrees ; for, like devouring flame,
Tydides. threatens all the Theban name;
Immortal arms his native force improve,
Conferr'd by Pallas, partial in her love.

The fon of Maia thus. The god obey'd ;
The founding lafh upon his fteeds he laid.
Swift to the goal with winged feet they flew ;
The night afcending as the day withdrew.

To Thebes the herald next purfu'd his way;
Shot like a meteor with the fetting ray.
Behind Tydides in the fight he ftay'd ;
And on his head the potent fceptre laid :
Whofe magic pow'r on waking fenfe prevails;
Or, in profoundeft fleep. the eye unfeals;
The ftruggling ghoit unbinds from mortal clay.
And drives it down the dark Tartarean way.
Subdu'd the hero ftood by pow'rful charms,
Till Hermes ftript him of th' immortal arms;
And, mounting to the ftarry roofs above,
Difpos'd them in the armory of Jove.
And, recollected, thus Tydides fpoke :
Whate'er they give, th' immortals may revoke.
I own their favour ; that, of mortal line
The firft, I wore a panoply divine/
But if the day were lengthenM to my will,
With light to point my jav'lin where to kill,
Thebes now fliould periili ; but the morning ray
Shall finifli what the ev'ning fliades delay.

And now the night began her filent reign ;
Afcending, from the deep, th' ethereal plain,
O'er both the hofts (he ftretch'd her ample Ihade,
Their conflict to fufpend : the hofts obey'd.


The field no more a noify fcene appears,

"With fteeds and chariots throng'd and glitt'ring

fpears ;

But ftill, and filent : like the hoary deep,
When, in their caves, the angry tempefts fleep,

Peaceful and fmooth it fpreads from fhore to


Where ftorms had rag'd and billows fwell'd before :
Such feem'd the field; the martial clangors ceafej
And war tumultuous lulls itfelf to peace.


AND now the princes of the Theban ftate
In council fat aflembled in the gate,
Where rows of marble piliars bound the fpace,
To judgment facred in the days of peace.
And Creon thus, with public care opprefs'd
And private griefs the fenators addrefs'd :

Princes of Thebes, and valiant aids from far,
Our firm aflbciates in the works of war,
Heroes, attend ! I fliall not now propofe
To fupplicate for peace, our haughty foes :
No peace can grow, no friendfhip e'er be found,
When mutual hate has torn fo wide a wound.
Yet for a truce of feven days fpace I plead,
And fun'ral obfequies to grace the dead.
Nor were it iuft, that they, who greatly fall
Prom rage of foes to guard their native wall,
Should want the honours which their merits claim,
Sepulchral rites deny'd and fun'ral flame.

Thus as he fpoke, parental grief fuppreft
His voice, and fwell'd within his lab'ring breaft.
Silent amid the aflembled peers he ftands ;
And wipes his falling taars with trembling hands;
For great Leophron, once his country's boaft,
The glory and the bulwark of her hoft,
Pierc'd by a foe and lifelefs on the plain,
JLay drench'd in gore and mix'd with vulgar flain:
Silent he flood; the Theban lords around
His grief partake, in ftreams of lorrow drown'd ;
Till (age Palantes rofe, and to the reft.
The monarch fecanding, his words addreft.

Princes ! reriown'd tor wifdom and for might,
Rever'd in council, and approv'd in fight ;
What Creon moves the laws themfelves require,
With obfequie* to grace, and funeral fire,
Each warrior, who in battle bravely falls
From rage of foes to guard his native walls.
If all approve, and none will fure withftand
What Creon counfels and the laws command,
Charg'd with the truce, Apollo's prieft (hall go
To offer and conclude it with the foe.
His filver hairs a mild refpecl; may claim,
And great Apollo's ever honour'd name.
The reft aflent. The venerable man,
Slow from his feat aiifing, thus began: [hand
Princes of Thebes! and thou, whofe fov'reign
Sways the dread fceptre of fuprerae command ;
Though well I might this perilous ta(k refuie,
And j,lead my feeble age a juft excufe ;
Yet nothing (hall reftrain me, for I go,
Pleab'd uith the pious charge, to meet the foe.
Willing I go; our bleeding warriors claim
Sepu Ichral honours and the fun'ral flame.
If all approve, let Clytophon attend ;
With jail fuccefs our labours thus fliall end \

For fure no Theban boafts an equal (kill.
With pleafing words to bend the fixed will.

Sooth'd with the friendly praife, the hero faid,
No felf- regard mail hold me or difluade ;
The pious charge my inmoft thoughts approve,
He faid ; and flow through yielding crowds they

move ;

While Thebes on every fide aflembled (lands.
And fupplicates the gods with lifted hands :
O grant that wrathful enemies may fpare
Thefe rev'rend heads, nor wrong the filverhair!

And now they pafs'd the lofty gates, and came
Where flow Ifmenus winds his gentle ftream ;
Amphion's grove they pafs'd, whofe umbrage
His' rural tomb'defends on every fide! [wide

The fcene of fight they reuch'd, and fpacious fields
With mangled daughter heap'd, and fpears and


Under theii feet the hollow bucklers found ;
And fplinter'd faulchionsglitter'd on the ground.
And now the ftations of the amp appear,
Far as a (haft cart wound the flying deer.
Thither, amid the wrecks of war, they go
Witji Client fteps, and 'fcape the watchful foe.
Now full in view before the gmrds they (rand ;
The prieft displays hisenfigns in his hand,
The laurel wreath, the gold-befpangled rod
With ftars adorn'd the fymbols of his god.

He thus began : ye Argive warriors ! hear:
A peaceful meflage to your tents we bear :
A Juice is afk'd, till the revolving fun,
Seven times from eaft to weft his journey run,
Again afcends ; and, from the ocean's ftreams,
Crowns the green mountains with his golden beams:
Tnat mutually fecure, with pious cara,
Both hofts funereal honours may prepare
For every hero, whom the raging fight
Has fwept to darknefs and the (hores of night.

Thus as he fpoke, the lilt'ning warriors heard
With approbation, and the prieft rever'd,
The chief of Salamis, their leader, went
Hfmfelf to guide them to the royal tent ; [n.'ght
Which (hone confpicuous ; through the ihades of
Its fpacious portal pour'd a ftreacn of light.
Thither conducted by the chief they found
The king of men with all his peers around.
On thrones with purple fpread each royal gjieft
In order fat, and ihar'd the genial feaft.
Silent they enter'd. From his chair of ftate,
Full in the mid.i oppofed to the -ate.
The monarch faw; and rifm^ thus exprefl
The gen'rous dictates of his r y;<' h:eair.

My g.jefts, ar.-proach ! no ciu-
Thisroof protects you, ftrai^!--
B nj


pv'n though from yon devoted walls you come,
For vengeance mark'd by fate's eternal doom;
Here in my tent, with fafety you fliall reft,
And with the princes fhare the genial feaft.
You freely then your meffage may propofe,
When round -the board the cheering vintage flows,
"Which foothes impatience, and the open'd ear,
With favour and attention bends to hear.

The hero thus. Apollo's prieft replies :
Humane thy manners, and thy words are wife ;
With'thee the nobleft gifts the godsJiave plac'd,
And pow'r fupreme with equal wifdom grac'd :
Though oft, b.y parts, for others they ordain,
The arts of fway, the privilege to reign ;
In thee their partial favour has combin'd
The higheft fortune with the greateft mind.

As thus the fage reply'd, the princely band
By turns prefented each his friendly hand,
The fign of peace. iFor each a fplendid throne,
Where fring'dwith gold the purple covering' ilione,
The ready waiters, by command, prepar'fi ; .
There fat the envoys and the banquet fhar'd.
On ev'ry fide the fparkling vintage flows,
The momentary cure of human woes.
The rage of thirft and hunger thus fuppreft,
To Neftor turning, Clytophon addrefs'd,

Illuftrious chief! an honour now I'll claim,
Which not to publifli, fure, would merit blame.
Your father's gueft I was ; by fortune led,
When from Trinacria's defert mores I fled
With ills befet : but in his friendly land,
His gen'rous heart I prov'd and lib'ral hand.
'A grateful mind excites me to reveal
His fov'reign bounty, and attempt a tale
Of dear remembrance. But the fond deflgn
Prudence diflenting, warns me to decline :
For when to public cares your thoughts you bend
A private ftory mingled muft offend.

The artful Theban thus. The chief reply'd,
"Whofe fov'reign mandates all the hoft qbey'd :
My honour'd gueft ! proceed, nor aught conceal
Which gratitude enjoins you to reveal:
For gen'rous deeds, improperly fuppreft,
Lie unapplauded in the grateful breaft ;
And now the feaft, fhort inierval of care^, '",' "
To vocal fymphony uubends the ear ;
Or fweet difcourfe, which to the foul conveys
Sublimer joys than mufic's tuneful lays.
The monarch thus. The prudent fage fupprefs'd,
His inward joy, and thus the peers addrefs'd : '
Each chief he ftrove to gain, but Neftor moft,
Whofe wifdom fway'd the councils of the hoft.

Confed 'rate kings! and thouwhofe fov'reign hand
Sways the dread fceptre of fupreme command,
Attend and hearken ! fince you feek to know
The fad beginnings of a life of \voe.
In Rhodes my father once dominion claim'd,
Orfilochus, for deeds of valour fam'd,
The Sporades his fov'reign fceptre own'd,
And Carpa rhus x^rth waving forefts crown'd.
His youngeft hope I was, and fcarce had feen
The* tenth returning (urhmer clothe the green,
When pirates fnatch me from my native land:
While with nry iiifaftt equals on the ftrand
J play'd, of harm fecure, and from the deep
With' pleafurefa\v approach the fat;il fliip ;
Eleas'd with the whitenefs of the fails we^ftood, -
And the red ftreamess fluning on the flood :

And fearlefs faw the hoftile galley land,
Where from the hills a current feeks the ftraml.
They climb'd the rocky beach, and far around,
Intent on fpoil and rapine, view'd the ground ;
If any herd were near, or fleecy ftore,
Or lonely manfion on the winding fliore.
My young companions ftraight their fear obey.
I, bold and unfufpecling, dar'd to ftay.
Me ftraight they feiz'd : and doom'd to fervile toi
A wretched captive in a foreign foil.
Struggling in vain, they bore me down the bay.
Where, anehor'd near the beach, their veflel lay
And plac'd me on the deck. With bitter cries,
To fpeeding gales I faw the canvafs rife :
The boundiefs ocean far before me fpread ;
And from my reach the fliores at diftance fled.
All day I wept ; but when the fetting light
Retir'd, and yielded to the fhades of night,
Sleep ftole upon my grief with foft furprife,
Which care 'ne'er banifh'd long from infant eyes.

Nine days we fail'd ; the tenth returning ray
Shovv'd us Trinacria rifing in our way,
Far in the 1 weft ; where, with hisev'ning beams,
The fun defcending gilds the ocean's ftreams.
Thither the failors ply, and blindly run
On hidden datigers which they ought to fliun ;
For whom the gods diftinguiih'd by their hate,
They firft confound, and then refign to fate.
Ajl day we fail'd ; and with the evening hour,
Which calls the mepherd to his rural bow'r,
Approach'd the fhore. The forefts on the land
We mark'd, and rivers op'ning from the ftrand.
Then gladnefs touch'd my heart ; the firft I knew
Since fate had mix'd me with that lawlefs crew :
With joy I faw the rifing fliores appear,
And hop'd to find fome kind deliverer near;
Some gen'rous lord, to whom I might relate,
Low bending on my knees, my wretched fate.
Vain was the hope ; the Cyclopes ne'er know
Compafiion, not to- melt at human woe.

Near on the left, and where the parted tides
A promontory's rocky height divides,
A bay they found ; and on the fatal ftrand
Defcending, fiVd their veflel to the land.
They valleys ftraight and mountains they explore,
And the long windings of the defert fhore ;
And find, of flieep and goats, a mingled flock,
Under the flicker of a cavern'd rock.
The largeft and the beft the pirate band
Seiz'd, and prepar'd a bancmet on the ftrand.
With joy they feafted ; while the goblet, crown'd
With Mhhymnean vintage, flow'd around.
Of harm fecure they fat ; and void of fear
To mirth reiign'd ; nor knew deftruclion near.

Amid them there I meditating fat ;
Some god ijifpir'd me, or the power of fate,
To '(cape their hated hands: and foon I Tound
The wifh'd occafion ; when along the ground,
Each where he fat, the ruffian* lay fuuine,
With fk j ep opprefs'd, and fenfe-fubduing wine ;
Softly I rofe, and to a lofty grove,
Which (haded all the mountain tops above,
Aft-ending, in a rocky Cavorn lay,
Till darknas fle-d becbre the morning ray.
Then from above I faw the pirate band,
In parties, roaming o'er the drlart ftrand ;
The mountain-goat"; t icy drove, and fleecy ftor*,
From all the paftures, crowded to the ftiore.


Me too by name they call'd ; and oft, in vain,
Explor'd each grove and thicket on the plain ;
While from above I faw, with carelefs eye,
Them fearching round and lift'ning for reply.
Some to the fliip the bleating fpoil convey'd ;
While others to prepare a banquet ftay'd,
And call'd their mates : to (hare the full repaft
With mirth they came, nor knew it was their laft.

Then from the rocky fummit where I lay,
A flock appeared defcending to the bay j
Which through a narrow valley ruuVd along f
Oxen and fheep, an undiltinguifh'd throng.
With thefe the floping hills were cover'd o'er,
And the long windings of the fandy fliore.
Behind a Cyclops came ; and, by degrees,
Rofe to my view, and tower'd above the trees.
His giant ftature, like a lofty rock,
Appear'd : and in his hand a knotted oak
Of talleft growth ; around his flioulder flung
His bag enormous, by a cable hung.
Panting I lay ; as when a lurking deer.
From fome clofe thicket, fees the hunter near.
By dread fubdu'd, confounded and amaz'd,
My fixed eye-balls darken'd as I gaz'd.
Soon from above my wretched mates he knew,
As on the level fliore in open view,
They fat fecure, with flow'ry garlands crovvn'd ;
The figns of fpoil and ravage fcatter'd round'.
With indignation, for his wafted flock,
Inflarri'd he thus like diftant thunder fpoke.
Whoe'er thefe are, who from their native foil
To foreign climates thus, in queft of fpoil,
Licentious roam ; they foon fliall feel my hand,
And rue that e'er they touch'd Trin'acria's ftrand.
As mutt'ring thus, along the craggy road
He came, the mountain trembled as he trod.
The wretches faw with honor and affright ;
Each limb enfeebled loit the power of flight.
Their cries in vain the monfter mov'd to fpare ;
His club he rear'd and fwung it thrice in air,
Then hurld it crofs the bay : it fwit'tly drove
O'et the fmooth deep, and raz'd the beach above.
Threat'ning it rufh'd along ; but, bending low.
Each, where he fat, efcap'd the weighty blow.
Beyond them pitch'd upon the land,
Tore the green fvvard, and heav'd a mount of fand.
Now itarting from the ground they ft'rove to tly,
Prefs'd by defpair and Itfong neceffity ;
The woody fummits of the cliffs to gain,
With fault'ring halte they fled aero ft the plain.
But the impending mountains barr'd their flight,
High and projecting from their airy height,
Back from the flipp'ry arch, in heaps, they fall ;
Arid with imploring cries for mercy call,
In vain. The montter with gigantic (hides,
At twenty fteps, the fpacious bay divides ;
Around his knees the whit'ning billows roar,
And his rude voice like thunder fliakes the fliore.

There thrrty youths he flew ; againft the (tones
And ragged cliffs he dafli'd their crackling bones.
Twenty his feet and heavy hands purfue,
As to the ocean in defpair they flew ;
Striving the fummit of the beach to gain,
With headlong courfe to rum into the main:
For there they hop'd a milder fate to have,
And lefs abhorr'd, beneath the whelming wave.
Thefe too he reach'd ; and, with his weighty hand,
Their flight opprefs'd, and'mix'd them with theland.

Two yet furviv'd ; who fupplicating
With humble fuit, his barb'rous foul to move.
With trembling knees t lie fandy beach they prefi'd ;
And, as he came, the monfter thus addrefs'd :

O thou ! with whom no mortal can compare
For ftrength refiftlefs, pity now and fpare.
O let the blood, already flied, atone,
For our provoking guilt, and trefpafs done !
O fpare and pity ! iure, the gods above,
Who fit around the ftarry throne of Jove,
Are won by pray'r; and he whofe matchlefsjiught
The folid earth fuftains and ftarry height,
Oft fparcs the guilty ; for his foul approves
Compaflion, and the works of mercy lovef.
Let ibv'reign pity touch thy mighty breaft ;
And him revere, the greateft and the beft :
Who pardons oft, but meafures grief and pain
To fuch as hear the wretched plead in vain.

As thus to touch his iron heart they try'd,
The Cyclops fmiling, fcornful thus reply'd :
The praife of mercy well your words proclaim ;
And vengeance mark, though merited, with blame.
Well have youfpoken ; therefore, from my hand,
More favour hope than any of your band j.
They, on the defert fliore expos'd and bare,
The wolves fliall feaft and ev'ry bird of air ;
But ye, prefer'd above the reft, (hall have
This body for your monument and grave. '.,'.

He faid, and feizing lifts them both on high,
With hands and feet extended in the fky ;
Then dafli'd them thrice againft the rocky fliore ;
Gnaw'd their warm fleih, and drank their dream
ing gore. . ^
Oft have I feen the havoc of the plain,
The rage of tempefts and the ftormy main
But fate, in fuch a form, ne'er meet my eyes,
And, while I fpeak, afrefli its horrors rife
To chill my veins j nor can the vary'd ftate
Of fprightly youth, and middle age fedate,
Or life's laft ftage with all its griefs oppreft,
Banifli the dire impreflion from my breaft.
For (till I fee the monfter, as he flood,
His hairy vifage dy'd in human blood:
As the grim lion leaves the waftecl plains,
Red from the ravage of the flocks and fwains.

With vengeance pleas'd he view'd the fliores

around ;

And, riding near the beech, our veflel found :
Her by the mall he feiz'd ; and to the land,
With all her anchors, dragged along the ftrand.
Exploring, next the folid deck he tore,
And found, conceal'd below, his fleecy (lore.
With fcornful fmiles he faw the theft bewray'd ;
And iidelong on the beach the galley laid ;
And call'd his flock : to open light they (train,
Through the wide beach, and crowd upon the plain :
Still, as they pafs'd, his weighty hand he laid
On their (oft backs, and, Itroaking gently, faid :
Go now, my flock ! enjoy the verdant hills,
The rivers cool, the fweet refrefliipg rills,
The meads and fhady forefts, fafe from harm ;
Your foes lie crufli'd beneath your mafter's arm.
The giant thus ; and next the hold explored :
Four jars he found with Lelbian vintage ftor'd.
Thefe firft he drain'd ; then to his lips apply 'i
His flute, which like a quiver by, his iide,
Of fize enormous, hung. Ifs hollow found
The woods repeated and the caves around,


Its mufic fuch, as when a ftormy gale

Koars through a hollow cliff with hideous peal,

Rebounding deep, along the level Ihore :

tie ply'd, and drove his paft'ring (Jock before.

Horror an,d grief at once my heart affaii'd ;
Prefaces fad o'er ev'ry hope prevail'd.
My d;ftant country rufh'd upon my mind;
My friends, my weeping parents, left behind.
Now loft to hope, and furious from despair.
With both my hands I rent my rooted hair ;
And in an agony of forrow preft,
With ftrokes repeated oft, my heaving bread.
All day I mourn'd ; but when the fetting ray
Jletir'd, and ev'ning lhades expell'd the day ;
Encourag'd by the night, I fought the plain ;
And, wand'ring anxious 'midft the mangled flam
Oft call'd, to know' if any of the band
JDid yet furvive, efcap'd the monfter's hand ;
But none reply'd. Along the defert fhore
All night I wander'd, 'midft the fullen roar
Of burfting billows ; till the morning ray
Appear'd. to light my folitary way.
'Twas then I reach'd a mountain's height, o'er-


With thickets ciofe, and dark impending fliade,
Hung o'er the valley, where a river leads
His wand'ring current through a grove of reeds.

Thuher'I went ; and, op'ning tb the deep,
A Cavern found beneath the rocky fteep ;
The haunt of mountain goats,, when wint'ry rains
Have chased them from the hills and naHed plains.
Gladly I enter'd ; for, deceiv'd by fear,
I always thought the barb'rous Cyclops near ;
His form defcry'd in ev'ry tree behind,
And heard his voice approaching in the wind.
Of honey there a fweet repali I found,
Jn clufters hanging from the cliffs around,
My hunger foon appeas'd, the gentle pow'r.
Of fleep fubdu'd the till the ev'ning hour.
'Twas then I wak'd ; and to the deep below, [flow ;
Through thickets, 'creep' d with careful fteps and
And gaz'd around if any hut wer there,
Or folitary wretch my grief to fliare :
But none appear'd. I climbM a mountain's head
Where, wide before me, lay the ocean fpread, ; "
And there no objedl met my wifhing eyes,
But billows bounded by the fetting fkies.
Yet ftill Igaz'd, till'night's prevailing fway
Extinguish 'd, in the weft, the evening ray.
Hopelefs and fad, defcending from my ftahd,
1 wander'd on the folitary ftrand,
Through the thick gloom ; and 'heard the fullen

Of billows burfting on the defert fhore,

Thus ten long years I liv'd, conceal' d by day,
Under a rock on wither'd leaves I lay ;
. At dawn and twilight on the mountains flood,
Exploring with my eyes the pathlefs flood;'
Impatient till forne friendly fail fhould come,
To waft me to m> fire and native home ;
But r.dne appear'd "' The pilqts fhun the fhores
"Where ^tna'fiames and dire Charibdis roars ;
And where the curs'd Cyclopean brothers reign,
The lonely tyrants of the defert plain.
Prefs'd by defpair, at laft I dar'd to b'rave,
Ev'n in a'fkiff, the terror* of the wave j
Contemning all the perils in my way,
For worfe it feem'd than death itfelf to ftay,

Of oziers foft the bending hull I wave;
And ply'd the (kins of mountain goats above.
A (lender fir, ten cubit lengths, I found
Fall'n from a mouldering bank, and ftript it round.
This for the maft, with bulrafh ropes I ty'd;
A pole to fteer the rudder's ufe fupply'd :
Four goat-fkins jqin'd I fitted for the fail,
And fpread it with a pole to catch the gale.
Each chink with gum againft the brine, I clos'd:
And the whole work beneath a ihade difposM,
Where, from, the hills defcending to the main,
A winding current cuts the fandy plain.
Nuts and dry'd figs in balkets next I lhar'd ;
And liquid llores in bags of Jkin prepar'<l :
And waited anxious till the fouthern gale,
From the dire coaft, mould bear my flying fail.
Nine days I ftay'd ; and ftill the northern breeze,
From great Hefperia, fwept the whit'ning feas:
But on the tenth it chang'd ; and, when the hour
Of twilight call'd the giant to his bow'r,
Down from my grotto to the ihore I came,
And call'd the God who rules the ocean's (\ream;
Oblations vow'd, if, by his mighty hand
Conducle4 fafe, I found my native land.
A.nd> turning where conceaPd my veflel lay,
The rope I loos'd, and pufh'd her to the bay ;
The fail unfurl'd, and, fleering from the
Behind me left with joy the hated land.

All night, by breezes fped, the prow divides
The deep and o'er the billows lightly glides.
But when the dawn, prevailing o'er the night,
Had ting'd the glowing eaft with purple light>
The air was hufh'd : deferted by the gale,
Loofe^to the maft defcends the empty fail.
And full againft my courfe a current came,
Which hurl'd me backwards, floating on its ftreanj.
Towards the land. 1 faw the fliores draw near ;
And the long billows on the beach appear.
The cruel Cyclops ,fpy'd me as he drove
His paft'ring flock along the hills above ;
And winding through the groves hisfecret way,
ConceaPd behind a promontory lay ;
Prepar'd to fnatch me, when his arm could reach
My fkiff, which drove ungovern'd to the beach.
I mark'd his purpofe ; furious from defpair,
With both my hands I rent my rooted hair ;
And on the poop with defp'rate purpofe flood,
Prepar'd to plunge into the whelming flood.
But Neptune fav'd me in that perilous hour j
The headlong current felt his prefent pow'r :
Back from the fhore it turn'd, at his command.
And bore me joyful from the fatal ftrand.
The Cyclops vex'd 5 as when fome fowler fpies,.
Safe from his coyer'd fnares the quarry rife :
His feat forfook, arid, leaning o'ef the fteep,
Strove with foft words to lure me, from the deep.
Stranger, approach ! nor fly this friendly ftrand j
Share the free blefllngs of a happy land :
Here, from each cliff, a ftream of honey flows ;
And ev'ry hill with purple vintage glows.
Approach ; your fear forget ; my bounty fliare ;
My kindnefs prove and hofpitable care.
As to allure me thus the inontter try'd,
His fraud I knew ; and rafhly thus reply'd :
Talk not of friendfhip ; well I know the doom
Of fitch as to your dire dominions come.
Thefe eyes beheld when, with a ruthlefs hand,
My wretched mates you njnvder'd on the ftran4


Two fu'd for mercy ; but their limbs you tore
With brutal rage, and drank their ftreaming gore.
If heavVs dread Sovereign to my vengeful hand
His wafting flames would yield, and forked brand,
Scorch'd on the cliffs, your giant limbs mould feed
The mountain wolves, and all the rav'nous breed.

I faid ; and from the fouth a rifing breeze
Brufli'd the thick woods, andfwept the curling feas.
Above the waves my veiTel lightly flew ;
The ocean widen'd, and the fhores withdrew.
Enrag'd the Cyclops, rufhing down the fteep,
Eager to fnatch me, plung'd into the deep :
My flight he followed with gigantic ftrides,
And ftem'd with both his knees the rufliing- tides.
Soon had I perifh'd, but efcap'd again,
Protected by the god who rules the main.
He fent a fpectre from his wat'ry caves ;
Like mift it rofe, and hover'd o'er the waves.
A Ikiff like mine, by art divine, it grew ;
And to the left acrofs the ocean flew.
With courfe divided, where the pilot fpies
Amid the deep two defert iflands rife,
In fhape like altars, fo by failors nam'd,
A mark fot pilots, elfe for nothing fam'd ;
The angry giant doubting flood, nor knew
Which to forfake, the fhadow or the true :
For both feem'd equal. By the fates mifled,
Jfe thas'd the airy image as it fled :
Nor reach'd it : for it led him through the main,
As the bright rainbow mocks fome fimple fwain ;
Who ftill intent to catch it where it ftands,
And grafp the fhming meteor with his hands,
Along the dewy meadows holds his way ;
But Itill before him flies the coloured ray.
The Cyclops fo, along the wat'ry plain,
The fljadowy phantom chas'd, and chas'd in vain ;
The billows burfted on his hairy fides,
And far behind him rufh'd the parted tides.
Diflblv'd at latt, its airy ftrudlure broke,
And vanifh'd hov'ring like a cloud of fmoke.
His error then, and my elcape he knew ;
For, favonr'd by the breeze, my vefTel flew
Far to the deep : yet plunging in the \vaves,
Torn from its bed a pond'rous rock he heaves,
Craggy and black, with dangling fea-weed hung ;
Pulh'd from his hand the weighty mafs he flung,
To cruih my flight : along the ethereal plain
It roll'd, and thund'nng downwards ihook the


Behind it fell ; and farther from the fliore,
Hurl'd on the mounting waves, my veflel bore
Towards the deep. The giant faw with pain,
His fraud detected, force eflay'd in vain.
He curs'd the partial pow'rs, and lafli'd on high,
With both his hands, the ocean to the fky.

Now fafe beyond his reach, a profp'rous gale
Blew frefli behind, and ftretch'd my flying fail :
The ftiores retir'd ; but, from the diftant main,
J faw him towering on the watery plain,
Like a tail fliip ; and moving to the fliore.
Sullen and fad, to tend his fleecy (tore.
Seven days I fail'd ; the eighth returning light
The Pylian fhores prefented to my fight,
Far in the eaft ; and where the fun difplays,
Along the glitt'ring waves, his early rays.
Thither I fteer'd, and where a point divides
xteuded in the deep, the parted tides,

A fane I mark'd ; whofe tow'ring fuittrmt, reat'd
High in the air, with gilded fpires appear'o%
Te Neptune facred on the beach it ftands,
Confprcuous from the fea and diftant lands.
Aflembled on the fliore the people ftood,
On ev'ry fide extended, like a wood :
And in the midtt 1 faw a pillar rife,
Of facred fmoke, afcending to the fkies.
'Twas there I reach'd the hofpitable ftrand,
And, joyful, fiVd my veflel to the land.

There, with his peers, your royal fire I found ;
And fell before him proltrate on the ground,
Imploring aid ; my lineage I reveal'd,
Nor aught of all my tedious toils conceaPd.
Attentive, as I fpoke, the hero heard,
Nor credulous nor diffident appear'd ;
For prudence taught him, neither to receive
With eafy faith, or rafhly disbelieve.

O fon of Neleus ! though you juftly claim,
For eloquence and Ikill, fuperior fame ;
Yet to an equal glory ne'er afpire :
Vain were the hope to emulate your fire.
Eight days we feafted : ftill the flowing bowl
Return'd, and fweet difcourfe, to glad the foul,
With pleafure heard ; as comes the found of raid.
In fummer's drought, to cheer the careful fwain.
And when the ninth returning morn arofe,
Sixty bold mariners the hero chofe,
SkilFd, through the deep, the flying keel to guide,
And fweep, with equal oars, the hoary tide :
They trimm'd a velfel, by their lord's cOmmar.d,
To waft me to my fire and native land.
With gifts enrich'd of robes and precious ore,
He fent me joyful from the Pylian more.
Such Neleus was ! and fuch his matchlefs praife
For hofpitable deeds in former days ;
The friend, the patron, deftin'd to redrefs
The wrongs of fate, and comfort my diftrefs.

Hut what is man ! a reptile of the earth ;
To toils fuccefllve fated from his birth ;
Few are our joys } in long fucceftlon flow
Our griefs ; we number all our days in woe.
Misfortune enter'd with my infant years ;
My feeble age a load of forrow bears.
Driv'n from my country by donveftic foes,
Thebes but receiv'd me to partake her woes.
The fword I've feen, and wide devouring fire,
Againft her twice in fatal league confpire.
The public griefs, which ev'ry heart mufl (hare,
By nature taught to feel another's care,
Augment my own : our matrons weeping (land;
Our rev'rend elders mourn a ruin'd land :
Their furrow 'd cheeks with ftireams of forrow flow;
And wailing orphans fwell the gen'ral woe ;
They mourn their deareft hopes, in battle flain,
Whofe limbs, unbury'd, load their native plain;
And now by us entreat that war may ceafe,
And, for feven days fuccefllve, yield to peace :
That mutually fecure, with -pious care,
Both holts funereal honours joiay prepare
For ev'ry warrior, whom the rage of fight
Has fwept to darknefs and the coafts of night.
To ratify the truce, if ye approve,
We come alike commiffion'd, as to move.

Thus Clytophon ; and he, whofe fov'reign

The warriors of the Pylian nice obey,


Neftor, his partial favour thus exprefs'd ;
And to the Theban c^iief himfelf addrefs'd :
The truth you fpeak, nor do your words appear
Prepar'd with art, or dictated by fear ;
For what you tell, my memory recals,
When young I faw you at my native walls,
Yourfelf a youth: though now a length of years,
Imprinted deep, in all your form appears ;
Yet ftill, with fure remembrance, can I trace
Your voice the fame and lineaments of face.
An infant then upon your knees 1 hung,
And catch'd the pleafing wonders from your

tongue :

Your woes I pity'd, as I pity ftill ;
And, were the chiefs determin'd by my will,
The truce mould ftand : for piety confpires
With juftice, to demand what Thebes requires.

The hero thus ; the king of men replies :
Princes, in fight approv'd, in council wife !
What Thebes propounds, 'tis yours alone te choofe,
Whether ye will accept" it, or refufe :
For though your votes confentifig, in my hand
Have plac'd the fceptre of fupreme command ;
Yet ftill my pow'r, obedient to my choice,
Shall with its fanction join the public voice.

The monarch thus ; and thus the chief reply'd,
Whom fair ^Etolia's martial fons obey'd :
Princes, attend ! and thou, whofe fov'reign hand
Sways the dread fceptre of fupreme command 1
What Thebes requires, I do not now oppofe,
Becaufe, infenfible te human woes,
The widow's tears I fcorn, the mother's fighs,
The groans of lifters, or the orphan's cries,
Whofe deareft hopes, in rage of battle flain,
With wounds defac'd, lie fcatter'd on the plain :
Compaffion for the hoft, which fruitiefs toil
So long has wafted in a foreign foil,
What Thebes propounds, impels me to difluade,
And for the Irving, difregard the dead.
How long has war and famine thinn'd our pow'rs,
Inactive camp'd around the Theban tow'rs ?
And peftilence, whofe dire infection flies,
Blown by the furies through the tainted flues ?
Many now wander on the Stygian ihore,
Whom fires and conforts fliall behold no more :
And many ftill, who yet enjoy the day,
]Muft follow down the dark Tartarean way,
If, blinded by the fates, our counfels bar
The courfe of conqueft, and protract the war.
Since equity and public right demands
That Thebes (hould fall by our avenging hands,
Now let us combat, till the gods above,
Who fit around the ftarry throne of Jove,
The judges of the nations, crown our toil,
So long endur'd, with victory and fpoil ;
Or deftine us to fall in glorious fight,
Elate and dauntlefs in the caufe of right.
Shall we delay till dire infection fpreads
Her raven wings o'er our devoted heads ?
Till gen'rous wrath, by flow difeaie fuppreft,
Expires inactive in the warrior's breaft,
And life, the price of glory, paid in vain,
Who die forgotten on a foreign plain.

Tydides thus ; and he, whofe fovereign fway
The warriors of the Pylian race obey,
Neftor reply'd, for eloquence approv'd,
JJy Pallas and the tuneful filters lov'd ;

Confed'rate kings ! and thou, whofe fov'reigm


Sways the dread fceptre of fupreme command,
With patience hear the reafons which I plead
For funeral rites, the honours of the dead.
Well have you heard the various ills that wait
On ftrife prolong'd, and war's difaftrous ftate $
And they who choofe to dwell amid alarms,
The rage of (laughter and the din of arms,
Know litlk of the joys, when combats ceafe,
That crown with milder blifs the hours of peace.
Though gladly would I fee, in vengeance juft,
The Theban tow'rs confounded with the duft ;
That from the war releas'd, we might again
Each (hare the pleafures of his native reign :
Yet let us not prefumptuoufly withftand
What piety alike and right command,
The honours of the dead : nor tempt the gods
To curfe our labours, from their bright abodes
Far in the heav'ns, above this mortal fcene,
In botindlefs light, the thund'rer (its ferene ;
He views the works of men : the good he knows.
And on their juft attempts fuccefs beftows;
But Wafts impiety, and mocks its aim,
With difappointment fure, and lafting fharae.

Attend, ye princes 1 and I fliall untold
What fage Harmodius taught my-fire of old.
The Locri fummon'd all their martial pow'rs.
And fought around the Orchomenian tow'rs.
From oxen feiz'd began the dire debate ;
And wide and waftelul was the work of fate.
The Orchomenians oft a truce propos'd
For fun'ral rites; the Locrian chiefs oppos'd.
Nine days expir'd, the bleeding warriors lay ;
Their wounds hot dreaming to the folar ray.
From Styx's fable fhore their ghofts implor'd,
With fuppliant cries, hell's dread avenging lord*
He heard, and from the gloomy deep below
Of Erebus profound, the houfe of woe,
A fury fent, the fierceft of the crew,
Whofe iron fcourges human crimes purfue:
Difcord her name ; among th' infernal gods
She dwells, excluded from the bleft abodes;
Though oft on earth (he rears her baleful hea'd,
To kindle ftrife, and make the nations bleed.
The fury came ; and, hov'ring o'er the plain
Devoted with her eyes the Locrian train.
In form a raven, to a tow'r (he flew,
Which rofe upon a precipice in view,
And on the airy fummit took her feat,
With potent charms, to kindle dire debate.
The howling dogs her prefence firft declare ;
The war horfe trembling fnorts aloft in air;
On man at laft the dire infection fell,
The awful vengeance of the pow'rs of hell.
Confufion ftraight through all the camp is found ^
The wand'ring centinel deferts his ground,
Fatally gay and crown 'd with every weed,
Which weeping matrons fcatter o'er the dead;
Of dire portent : but when the filent reign
Of night pofleis'd the mountains and the plain,
Above the camp her torch the fury rear'd,
Red, in the air, its baleful flame appear'd.
Kindling debate : outrageous it rife arofe,
Loud as the ocean when a tempeft blows,
O'er all the plain, and (tun'd the ear of night
With Ihouts tumultuous and the din of fighu


Down from her airy.ftand the goddefs came,
Shet like a meteor, with a ftream of flame,
To kindle fiercer ftrife with ftronger charms,
To fwell the tumult and the rage of arms.
The combat burn'd ; the Orchomenians heard
With horror, nor beyond their wails appear 'd,
By awe divine reftrain'd : but when the light
Return'd fucceflive on the fteps of night,
From ev'ry tow'r they faw the fpacious plain
With havoc heap'd, and mountains of the flain.
The fecret caufe the augurs firft declar'd ;
The juftice of the gods they own'd and fear'd.
No fun'ral rite the Orchomenian ftate
On them beftow'd, the vulgar or the great ;
In one deep pit, whofe mouth extended wide
Four hundred cubit length from fide to fide,
They whelm'd them all ; their bucklers and their


The ftecds, the chariots, and the charioteers,
.One ruin mix'd; for fo the will of Jove
The priefts declar'd : and heap'd a mount above :
Such was the fate, by heav'nand hell decreed,
Topunifh bold contemners of the dead.
And let not us their fatal wrath provoke,
Nor merit by our guilt an equal ftroke ;
But feal the truce, and pioufly beftow
What to the reliqucs of the dead we owe.

He faid ; the peers their joint aflent declare,
The dead to honour, and the gods revere.
The king of men commands a herald ftraight
The priefts to call, and haften ev'ry rite.
While thus the fov'reign mandate they obey'd,
Th' ./Ktolian leader rofe, and frowning faid:

O blind to truth ! and fated to fuftain
A length of woes, and tedious toils in vain !
By founds deceiv'd, as to her fatal den
Some vocal forc'refs lures the ftcps of men ;
O eloquence ! thou fatal charm ! how few,
Guided by thee, their real good purfue !
By thee, our maids, with magic fetters bound,
* In all decifions, true and falfe confound.

Not the unnumber'd wrecks, which lie along
The Syrens' coaft the trophies of their fong,
Nor there where Circe from the neighb'ring


With ftrong inchantments, draws the paffing fhip,
Can match thy fpoils : O let me ne'er obey,
And follow blindly, as you point the way !
Confed'rate kin?s ! Cnce nothing can oppofe
The truce you purpofe with our treach'rous foes,
With mifchief pregnant ; I alone am free,
Nor thqfe my eyes the fatal rite fhall fee ;
Left it be faid, when milchief fhall fucceed,
Tydides faw it, and approv'd the deed.

egan : nce now e puc coce
approves, with one confenting voice ;
ly, with fuperior pride,
ungeft, ftill the readieft to decide,

Speaking he grafp'd his fpear and pond'rous
fliield; [field,

And mov'd like Mars, when, 'midft th' embattell'd
ublime he ftalks to kindle fierce alarms,
To fwell the tumult and the rage of arms.
uch feem'd the chief: the princes with furprife
Turn'd on the king of men, at once their eyes.

He thus began : Since now the public choice
The truce a
"ydides onl
Though youngeft,

Qur gen'ral fenfe condemns ; his haughty foul
Muft not the counfels of the hoft controul,
Brave though he is : the altars ready ftand ;
In order waits the confecrated band ;
traight let us feal the truce with blood and wine,
And, to atteft it, call the pow'rs divine.

The monarch thus ; Tydides to his tent,
Through the ftill hoft, in fullen forrow went.
Fix'd in his mind the fatal vifion ftay'd,
Snatch'd by invading force his lovely maid;
The fraud of Cytherea ; ftill his heart
Incefiant anguifh felt, and lafting fmart;
And, as a lion, when his fide retains
A barbed {haft, the caufe of bitter pains,
Growls in fome lonely fhade ; his friends declinM,
He breath'd in groans the anguifh of his mind.
Now round the flaming hearth th' aflemblr


And Thefeus thus invokes with lifted hands:
Hear me, ye pow'rs, that rule the realms of light!
And ye dread fov' reigns of the (hades of night !
If, till the eighth fucceeding fun difplays,
Above the eaftern hills his early rays,
Any bold warrior of the Argive bands,
Againft a Theban lifts his hoftile hands
By us approv'd ; let ev'ry curfe fucceed
On me, and all, for perjury decreed.
And as by blood our mutual oath we feal,
The blood of victims drawn by deathful fteel;
So let their blood be fhed, who, fcorning right,
Profanely fhall prcfume its ties to flight.
Apollo's prieft, for Thebes refum'd the vow,
The gods above, invoking, and below,
Their vengeance to inflidt, if force, or art,
The truce fhould violate on either part.

The rites concluded thus, the king commands
Two younger warriors of his native bands
A chariot to prepare ; the driver's place
Sophronimus aflum'd ; with tardy pace,
Afcend the fage ambafladors ; before
A lighted torch Afteropaus bore,
And led tjie way; the tents, the fields of war,
They pafs'd, and at the gate difmifs'd the car.


SOON as the fun difplay'd his orient ray,
And crown'd the mountain tops with early day ;
Through ev'ry gate the Theban waniors flow,
Unarm 'd, and fearlefs of th' invading foe .
As when, in early fpring, the ihepheid fees
Rulh from fome hollow rock a flrcarn of bees,

Long in the cliffs, from winter's rage conceal' d,
New to the light, and ftrangers to the field ;
In compafs wide their mazy flight they fleer,
Which wings of balmy zephyrs lightly bear
Along the meads, where fome foft river flows,
Of forefts, where the flow'ry hawthorn blows ;

tff THE

To tafte tire early fpring tfceir courfe they bend,
And lightly with the genial breeze defcend :
So o'er the heights and plains the Thebansfpread;
Some, 'midft the heaps of flaughter, fought their


Others wiijh axes to the woods repair'd,
Feil'd the thick forefts, and the mountains bar'd.

With like intent the Argive warriors mov'd,
By Thefeus led, whom virgin Pallas lov'd.
Ten thoufand oxen drew the harnefs'd wains,
In droves collected from the neighb'ring plains;
Slo'w up the mountains move the heavy wheels,
The fteep afcent each groaning axle feels :
In ev'ry grove the temper'd axes found ;
The thick trees crackle, and the caves refound.
Now to the plain the moving woods defcend,
Under their weight a thoufand axles bend :
And round the camp, and round the Theban

Heaps roll'd on heaps, the mingled foreft falls.

Ot this the Spartan chief, his native bands,
With fpeed to rear a lofty pile, commands;
Which for Hegialus, with grateful mind,
Adraftus' valiant fon, the chief defign'd ;
Who to his aid,, when ev'ry warrior fled,
&epair'd, and for his refcue greatly bled :
His native bands the hero thus addrefs'd,
"While fighs inceffant labour'd from his breaft.
The chief of Argos, warriors ! firft demands
Funereal honours from our grateful hands ;
For him this lofty ftructure is decreed,
Arid eVry rite in order ihall fucceed :
His dear remains in my pavilion reft ;
Nor can Adraftus at the rites affift;
Who to defpair and frenzy has refign'd,
J3y age and grief fubdu'd, his generous mind :
The other princes of the army wait
The obfequies to grace, with mournful ftate.
He faid ; and to his tent the warriors led,
Where flood already deck'd the fun'ral bed :
With Syrian oil bedew'd, the corfe they found
Frefli from the bath, and breathing fragrance

round :

For Menelaus, with divided care,
Each rite domeftic haften'd to prepare.
Twelve princes to the pile the corfe fuftain'd :
The head on Agamemnon's hand reclin'd ;
\Vith %riournfuf pomp the flow proteffion mov'd ;
For all the hero honour' d and approv'd.

Firft dri the top the fun'ral bed they place;
And next, the fad folemnity to grace,
And gratify the manes of the flain,
The blood of fteeds and bullocks drcnch'd the


The four fair fteeds which drew the rapid car,
That bore the hero through the ranks of war,
Their lofty necks the pointed faulchion tore,
With force impell'd, and drew a of gore :
Three groaning fell ; but, fiercer from the


The filver reins the fourth with fury broke,
And fled around the field : his fnowy cheft,
Was dafh'd with ftreaming blood, and lofty creft.
In circles ftill he wheel' d ! at ev'ry round,
Still nearer to the pile himfelf he found ;
Till drain *d of life, by blood alone fupply'd,
Jcft where he felt the blow, he funk, and dy'd.


By awe divine fubdu'd, the warriors fland ;
And filent wonder fixes ev'ry band :
Till thus Atrides : Sure th' immortal gods,
The glorious fynod of the bleft abodes,
Approve our rites; the good their favour mare,
In death and life the objects of their care-

Atrides thus : and, further to augment
The mournful pomp, the martial goddefs went
Through all the camp, in Merion's form e-


And thus aloud the public ear addrefs'd :
Warriors and friends ! on yonder lofty pyre,
Hegialus expects the fun'ral fire .
For fuch high merit, publiq tears mould flow ;
And Greece aflembled pour a flood of woe.
Now let us all his obfequies attend ;
And, with the mournful rites, our forrows blend.
Proclaiming thus aloud the goddefs went ;
The army heard ; and each forfakes his tent ;
Her voice had touch'd their hearts ; they mov'd


Nations and tribes, an undiftinguifh'd throng.
Around the pile\the wid'ning circle grows ;
As fpreadinjr in fome vale, a deluge flows,
By mountain torrents fed, which ftretches wide,
And floats the l^vel lands on ev'ry fide.
Diftinguifh'd in the midft the princes fland,
With fceptres grac'd, the enfigns of command.
Atrides, with fuperior grief opprefs'd,
Thus to the fire of gods his pray'r addrefs'd.

Bread fov'reign, hear ! whofe unrefifted fway
The fates of men and mortal things obey :
From thee the virtue of the hero fprings ;
Thine is the glory and the pow'r of kings.
If e'er by thee, and virgin Pallas, led,
To noble deeds this gen'rous youth was bred :
If love to men, or piety, poffefs'd,
With higheft purpofe, his undaunted breaft ;
Command the winds in bolder gufts to rife,
Arid bear the flames I kindle to the Ikies.

The hero thus ; and with the fun'ral brand
The ftructure touch'd ; afcending from his hand,
Spreads the quick blaze : the ruler of the fky
Commands ; at once the willing tempefts fly :
Rufhing in ftreams invifible, they came,
Drove the light fmoke, and rais'd the fheeted


The favour of the gods the nations own,
And, with their joint applaufe, the hero crown.
From morn till noon the roaring flames afpire,
And fat of victims added feeds the fire ;
Then fall their lofty fpires, and, finking low,
O'er the pale afhes tremuloufly glow.
With wine, the fmoke, and burning; embers lay'd;
The bones they glean'd, and to a tomb convey'd
Under an oak, which, near the public way,
Invites the fwains to ihun the noontide ray.

Now twenty warriors of Atrides' tra..n,
Loaded with treafure, brought a harnefs'd wain j
Vafes and tripods in bright order plac'd,
And fplendid arms with fair devices grac'd :
Thefe for the games the Spartan chief decreed,
The fun'ral games in honour of the dead.
Amid the princes firft a pohfn'd yew,
Unbent upon the ground the hero threw,
Of work divine ; which Cynthius claim'd before^
And Chiron next upon the mountains bore j


WU fire the third receiv'd it : now it lies,
For him who fartheft fhoots, the deftin'd prize.

Heroes, approach ! Atrides thus aloud,
Stand forth, diftinguifh'd from the circling crowd,
Ye, who, by ikill or manly force, may claim
Your rivals to furpafs, and merit fame.
This bow, worth twenty oxen, is decreed
For him who fartheft fends the winged reed :
This bowl, worth eight, lhall be referv'd to grace
The man whofe merit holds the fecond place.
He fpoke His words the bold Ajaces nr'd ;
Crete's valiant monarch to the prize afpir'd ;
Teucer for mooting fam'd ; and Merion ftrong,
Whofe force enormous dragg'd a bull along ;
Prompt to contend, and rais'd with hope, they


Eaertes' fon the laft forfook the crowd.
Tydides too had join'd them, and obtain'd
Whatever could by (kill or force be gain'd ;
But in his tent, indulging fad defpair,
He fat, fubdu'd by heart-confuming care.

Straight in a caique the equal lots were thrown ;
Each hero with his name had mark'd his own :
Thefe, mix'd with care, the chief of Sparta drew ;
Idomeneus the firft he knew :
Teucer, with hope infpir'd, the fecond claim'd;
The third Oileus, much for (hooting fam'd :
Next claim'd the wearer of the fcven-fold fhield,
Though young in arms, diftinguifh'd in the field :
Ulyffes ! then came next, and, laft of all,
Bold Merion with a fmile recciv'd his ball.

Prefs'd with incumbent force, the Cretan lord
Strain'd the ftiffbow, and bent it to the cord;
Then from the full ftor'd quiver, clofe with art,
Wing'd for the aerial flight a pointed dart.
Thefeus commands the warriors to divide,
Who crowded thick and preis'd on ev'ry fide ;
Straight they retire ; as, at the word of Jove,
From day's bright face the fcatt'ring clouds re

And through the hoft appear' d a fpacious way,
Where woods and fields in diftant profpect lay.
With force immenfe, the Cretan monarch drew,
Strctch'd the tough cord, and ftrain'd the circling


From his firm gripe the ftarting arrow fprun^,
The ftiffbow crack'd,thc twanging cordage lung.
Up the light air the hilling weapon flies,
Pierces the winds, and ftreams along the fkies :
Far to the dirtant plain it fwiftly drove :
The hoft ftood wond'ring as it rufh'd above :
Defcending there upon a mount it ftood :
A depth of foil receiv'd the trembling wood.
Applaufe from all, tumultuous fhouts declare,
By echoes wafted through the trembling air.
Such joy the hero feels, as praife infpires,
And co the circle of the kings retires.

The valiant Teucer next receiv'd the bow,
And to ..polio thus addrefs'd a vow :
Hear me, dread king ! whofe unrefifted fway
Controuls the fun, and rules the courfe of day ;
Great patron of the bow ! this fhaft impell ;
And hecatombs my gratitude lhall tell ;
Soon as to Salamis our martial pow'rs
Return victorious, from the Theban tow'rs.
He faid, and bid the winged arrow fly
It pierc'd the winds, and iSvept a length of fky ;

In compafs, like the coloured arch, which {nines
fcxalted as the fetting fun declines ;
From north to fouth it marks th' ethereal fpacc,
And woods and mountains fill its wide embrace.
Beyond the Cretan fhaft, it reach'd the pkin ;
As far before, as now a fhepherd fwain,
Hurl'd from a fling, the founding flint can throw,
from his young charge, to drive the deadly CJTONV.

Oilean Ajax next the weapon claim'd,
For {kill above the reft, and practice fam'd ;
But Phoebus, chief and patron of the art,
Retarded in its flight the winged dart :
For, nor by prayers, nor holy vows, he ftrovci
Of grateful facrifice, the god to move.
Downwards he turn'u it, where a cedar fair
Had mot its fpiring top aloft in air ;
Caught in a bough the quiv'ring weapon flood,
Nor forc'd a pafiage through the clofing wood.

Ajax the next appear'd upon the plain,
With ftrength untaught, and emulous in vain ;
With finewy arms the folid yew he bends ;
Near and more near approach the doubling ends :
,The arrow fprung ; but erring took its way,
Far to the left, where oozy marfhes lay,
And groves of reeds; where flow Jfmenus ftrays,
And. winds, through thickets green, his wat'rjr


Abafh'd the youth, with painful fteps, retires;
And now Ulyfles to the prize alpires.

In filence thus the prudent warrior pray'd,
And, in his heart, addrefled the martial maid :
Great queen of arts ! on thee my hopes depend :
With favour to thy fuppliant's fuit, attend !
By thee my infant arms were taught to throw
The dart with certain aim, and bend the bow :
Oft on my little hands, immortal maid I
To guide the lhaft, thy mighty hands were laid :
Now, goddefs, aid me, while I ftrive for fame ;
Wing the fwift weapon, and aflert my claim.
He pray'd : the goddefs, at his fuit, defcends ;
And prefcnt from th' Olympian courts attends.
With force divine his manly limbs Jhe ftrung,
The bow he ftrain'd r the llarting arrow fung ;
As when the fire of gods, with wrathful hand,
Drives the fwift lightning and the forked brand,
To wafte the labours of die careful fwains,
Confume the mountain flocks, or fcorch the plains;
With fudden glare appears the fiery ray ;
No thought can trace it through til' ethereal

way :

So fwift thy winged fhaft, Ulyfles ! flew,
Nor could the following eye its fpeed purfue.
The flight of Teucer's arrow far lurpafs'd,
Upon a rural heath it pitch'd at laft,
To Ceres built ; where fwains, in early fpring-,
With joy were wont their annual gifts to bring;
When firft to view, above the funow'd plain,
With pleafing verdure, rofe the fpringiug grain.
Through all the hoft applauding fhouts refound ;
The hifsr:peat them, and the woods around.

The leaded bow bold Merion next afiumes,
A fhaft ieiects, and fmooths its purple plumes :
He plac'd it on the firing, and bending low,
With ail his force collected, ftrain'd the bow.
Up the light air the ftarting arrow fprung ;
The tougn bow crack'd ; the twanging cordage


Beyond the reach of fight the weapon drove,
And towVd amid th' ethereal fpace above :
But as it rofe, a heron crofs'd before,
Fr6m inland marfhes fleering to the fhore;
Under the wing it reach'd her with a wound ;
Screaming, fhe wheel'd, then tumbled to the


And thus the youth : Illuflrious chiefs ! I claim,
If not the prize, at leaft fuperior fame :
Ungovern d ftrength alone the arrow fends :
To hit the mark, the {hooter's art commends.
In mirthful mood the hero thus addrefs'd ;
And all their favour and applaufe exprefs'd.

Ulyffes ! take the bow, Atrides cries,
The filver bowl, brave Teucer ! be thy prize.
In ev'ry art, my friends ! you all excel ;
And each deferves a prize for {hooting well :
For though the firft rewards the victor's claim,
Glory ye merit all, and lading fame.
He faid ; and pond'ring in his grateful mind,
Diftinguifh'd honours for the dead defign'd.

Warriors of Greece*, and valiant aids from far,
Our firm affociates in the works of war !
Here from a rock the Theban ftream defcends,
And to a lake its filver current fends ;
Whofe furface fmooth, unruffled by the breeze,
The hills inverted fliows and downward trees :
Ye daring youths ! whofe manly limbs divide
The mountain furge, and brave the rufhing tide ;
All ye, whom hopes of victory infpire,
Stand forth diftinguifh'd ; let the crowd retire.
This coflly armour {hall the youth obtain,
Who comes victorious from the wat'ry plain ;
That ifland compafs'd, where the poplar grows,
And in the lake its wav'ring image {hows,
Who meafuring back the liquid fpace, before
Kis rivals, {hall regain the flow'ry fhore.
This golden bowl is fix'd the fecond prize,
Eftcem'd alike for fafhion and /or fize.

The hero thus : with thirfl of glory fir'd,
Crete's valiant monarch to the prize afpir'd ;
With Sparta's younger chief ; Ulyfles came ;
And brave Clearchus emulous of fame,
A wealthy warrior from the Samian fliore,
In cattle rich, and heaps of precious ore :
Diftinguifh'd in the midft the heroes ftood,
Eager to plunge into the fhining flood.

His brother's ardour purpos'd to reftrain,
Atrides flrove, and counfell'd thus in vain :
Defift, my brother ! fhun th' unequal ftrife ;
For late you ftood upon the verge of life :
No mortal man his vigour can retain,
When flowing wounds have empty'd ev'ry vein.
If now you perrfh in the wat'ry way,
Grief upon grief fhall cloud this mournful day :
Defift, refpect my counfel, and be wife ;
Some other Spartan in your place will rife.
To change his brother's purpofe, thus he try'd;
But nothing mov'd : the gen'rous youth reply'd :
Brother ! in vain you urge me to forbear,
From love and fond affection prompt to fear ;
For firm, as e'er before, my limbs remain,
To dafh the fliu'd waves, or fcour the plain.

He faid, and went before. The heroes move
To the dark covert of a neighb'ring grove ;
Which to the bank its fhady walk extends,
WUere mixing with the lake a riv'let ends.

Prompt to contend, their purple robes they loofc?
Their figur'd vcfts and gold embroider 'd fhoes ;
And through the grove defcending to the ftrand,
Along the flow'ry bank in order Sand.
As when, in fome fair temple's facred fhrine,
A. ftatue ftands, exprefs'd by fkill divine,
Apollo's or the herald powr's, who brings
[ove's mighty mandates on his airy wings ;
The form majeftic awes the bending crowd :
in port and ftature fuch, the heroes ftood.

Starting at once, with equal flrokes, they fweep
The fmooth expanfe, and {hoot into the deep ;
The Cretan chief, exerting all his force,
His rivals far furpafs'd, and led the courfe ;
Behind Atrides, emulous of fame ;
Clearchus next, and laft Ulyfles came.
And now they meafur'd back the wat'ry fpace,
And faw from far the limits of the race.
Ulyfles then with thirft of glory fir'd,
The Samian left, and to the prize afpir'd ;
Who, emulous, and dreading to be iatt,
With equal fpeed the Spartan hero pafs'd.
Alarm'd, the Cretan monarch ftrove, with pain,
His doubtful hopes of conqueft to maintain ;
Exerting ev'ry nerve,, his limbs he ply'd,
And wifhing, from afar the fhore defcry'd:
For near and nearer ftill Ulyfles preft ;
The waves he felt rebounding from his breafl.
With equal zeal for victory they ftrove ;
When, glidding fudden from the roofs of Jove,
Pallas approach d ; behind a cloud conceai'd,
Ulyfles only faw her form revcal'd.
Majeftic by the hero's fide fhe ftood ;
Her fhining fandals prefs'd the trembling flood.
She whifper'd foft, as when the weftern breeze
Stirs the thick reeds, or {hakes the ruftling trees :
Still fhall thy foul, with endlefs thirft of fame,
Afpire to victory, in ev'ry game.
The honours, which from bones and finews rife,
Are lightly valu'd by the good and wife :
To envy ftill they roufe the human kind ;
And oft, than courted, better far declin'd.
To brave Idomeneus yield the race ;
Contented to obtain the fecond place.
The gcddefs thus : while ftretchine to the land,
With joy the Cretan chief approach'd the ftrand ;
Ulyfles next arriv'd ; and, fpent with toil,
The weary Samian grafp'd the welcome foil.
But far behind the Spartan warrior lay,

Fatigu'd, and fainting, in the wat'ry way.
Thrice ftruggling, from the lake, his h

head he

rear a ;

And thrice, imploring aid, his voice was heard.

The Cretan monarch haftes the youth to fave,

And Ithacus again divides the wave ;

With force renew'd their manly limbs they ply ;

And from their breaft* the whit'ning billows fly.

Full in the midft a rocky ifle divides

The liquid fpace, anc parts the filver tides ;

Once cultivated, now with thickets green

O'erfpread, two hillocks, and a vale between.

Here dwelt an aged fwain ; his cottage ftood

Under the cliffs, encompafs'd by a wood.

From poverty fecure, he heard afar,

In peace profound, the tumults of the war.

Mending a net before his rural gate,

From other toils repos'd the peafant fat ;


When firft the voice of Menelaus came,
By ev'ning breezes wafted from the firearm
Haft'niiig, his IkifF he loos'd, and fpread the fail ;
Some prefent god fupply'd a profp'rous gale :
For as the Spartan chief, with toil fubdu'd,
Hopclefs of life, was finking in the flood ;
The fwain approach'd, and in his barge receiv'd
Him fafe from danger imminent retriev'd.

Upon a willow's trunk Therfites fat,
Contempt and laughter fated to create,
Where, bending from a hollow bank it hung,
And rooted to the mould'ring furface clung;
He faw Atrid'-s fafe : and thus aloud,
With leer malign, addrefs'd the lifl'ning crowd.
Here on the flow'ry turf a hearth thall ftand ;
A hecatomb the fav'ring gods demand,
Who fav'd Atrides in this dire debate,
And fnatch'd the hero from the jaws of fate :
Without his aid we all might quit the field ;
Ulyfles, Ajax, and Tydides, yield :
His mighty arm alone the hoft defends,
But dire difafter ftill the chief attends:
Laft fun beheld him vanquim'd on the plain ;
Then warriors fav'd him, now a fhepherd fwain.
Defend him ftill from perfecuting fate !
Protect the hero who protects the ftate ;
In martial conflicts watch with prudent fear,
And, when he fwims, let help be always near !
He faid ; and, fcorn and laughter to excite,
His features foul he writh'd, with envious fpite,
Smiling contempt ; and pleas'd his ranc'rous


With aiming thus oblique a venom'd dart.
But ioy'd not long; for foon the faithlefs wood,
Strain'd from the root, refign'd him to the flood.
Plunging and fputt'ring as his arms he fpread,
A load of foil came thund'ring on his head,
Slipt from the bank: along the winding fliore,
With laughter loud he heard the echoes roar,
When from the lake his crooked form he rcar'cl,
With horror pale, with blotting clay befmear'd;
Then clamb'ring by the trunk, in fad difmay,
Which half immers'd with all its branches lay,
Confounded, to the tents he flculk'd along,
Amid the fhouts and infults of the throng.

Now cloth'd in public view the heroes {land,
With fceptres grac'd the enfigns of command*
The Cretan monarch, as his prize, aflumes
The polifh'd helmet, crown'd with waving plumes,
The iilver mail, the buckler's weighty round,
Th' embroider'd belt, with golden buckles bound.
The fecond prize Laertes' fon receiv'd,
With lefs applaufe from multitudes deceiv'd;
The firft he could have purchas'd ; but declin'd,
And yielded, to the martial maid refign'd.

Thus they. The Thebans, near the eaftern


Around their pyres in filent forrow wait :
Hopelefs and fad they mourn'd their heroes flain,
The beft and braved on their native plain.
The king himfelf, in deeper forrow, mourn'd ;
With rage and mingled grief his bofom burn'd.
Like the grim lion, when his offspring flain
He fees, and round him drawn the hunter's train ;
Couch' d in the (hade with fell intent he lies,
And glares upon the foes with burning eyes :
Such Creon feem'd : hot indignation drain'd
Grief* wat'ry fources, and their flow reftrain'd.

Upon a turret o'er the gate he flood,
And faw the Argives, like a fhady wood,
Extended wide; and dreading fraud defign'd,
Still to the plain his watchful eyes confin d,
Sufpicious from his hatred, and the pow'r
Of rcftlefs paffions, which his heart devour :
And when at ev'n's approach the hoft retir'd,
And from the labours of the day refpir'd,
Within the walls he drew his martial pow'rs,
And kept with ftricteft watch the gates and


Soon as the night pofTeft th' ethereal plain,
And o'er the nations flretch'd her filent reiga,
The guards were plac'd, and to the gentle fway
Of fleep fubdu'd, the weary warriors lay.
Tydides only wak'd, by anxious care
Diftracted, ftill he mourn'd his abfent fair,
Deeming her loft ; his flighted counfel mov'd
Lafting refentment, and the truce approv'd;
Contending paffions fhook his mighty frame ;
As warring winds impel the ocean's ftream,
When fouth and eaft with mingled rage con

And in a tempeft on the deep defcend :
Now, ftretch'd upon the couch, fupinc he lay ;
Then, riling anxious, wifli'd the morning ray.
Impatient thus, at laft, his turbid mind,
By various counfels varioufly inclin'd,
The chief addreft : Or {hall I now recal
Th' ^Etolian warriors from the Theban wall ;
Obey the warning by a goddcfs giv'n,
Nor flight her counfel dictated from heav'n ?
Or ftiall I try, by one deciding blow,
The war at once to end, and crufh the foe ?
This pleafes mod ; nor fhall the voice of fame
The daring deed, in after ages, blame.
No truce 1 fvvore, but fhunn'd it, and rcmov'd,
Alone diffenting while the reft approv'd.
Soon as the morn, with early light reveal' d,
Has call'd the Theban warriors to the field ;
Againft the town I'll lead my martial pow'rs,
And fire with flaming brands her hated tow'rs :
The bane of Greece, whence dire debate arofe
To bid the peaceful nations firft be foes;
Where Tydeus fell, and many heroes more,
Banifh'd untimely to the Stygian fhore.
The public voice of Greece for vengeance calls;
And fhall applaud the ftroke by which flic falls.
He purpos'd : but the gods, who honour right,
Deny'd to treafon what is due to might.

When from the eaft appear'd the morning fair,
The Theban warriors to the woods repair,
Fearlefs, unarm'd ; with many a harnefs'd wain,
The woody heights were crowded and the plain.
Tydides faw ; and, iffuing from his tent,
In arms complete, to call his warriors, went.
Their leader's martial voice the foldiers heard
F.ach in his tent, and at the call appear'd
In fhining arms. Deiphobus began,
For virtue fam'd, a venerable man.
Him Tydeus lov'd ; and in his faithful hand
Had plac'd the fccptre of fupreme command,
To rule the ftate ; when, from his native tow'rs,
To Thebes the hero led his martial pow'rs ;
His fon, an infant, to his care refign'd,
With fage advice to form his tender mind.
The hero thus : Illuftrious chief ! declare
What you intend, and whithsr point the war.


The truce commenc'd, you cannot, and be juft,
The Thebans now afiault, who freely truft
To public faith engag'd : unarm'd they go
Far through the woods and plains, nor fear a foe.

His leader's purpofe thus the warrior try'd ;
And, inly vex'd, Tydides thus reply'd :
Father ! thy words from ignorance proceed ;
The truce I fwore not, nor appro v'd the deed.
The reft are bound, and therefore muft remain
JLing'ring inactive on this hoftile plain :
The works of war abandon'd, let them fhed
Their unavailing forrows o'er the dead :
Or aim the dart, or hurl the difk in air ;
Some paltry prefents fhall the victor fhare.
Warriors we came, in nebler ftrifes to dare;
To fight and conquer in the lifts of war ;
To conquer Thebes : and Jove himfelf ordains,
Wuh wreaths of triumph, to reward our pains.
Wide to receive us ftand the Theban gates;
A fpacious entry, open'd by the fates,
To take deftru&ion in ; their turrets ftand
Defencelefs, and expedb the flaming brand.
Now let us match thi' occafion while we may,
Years wafte in vain, and perifti by delay,
That Thebes o'erthrown, our tedious toils may

And we behold our native walls in peace.

Tydides thus : the ancient warrior burns
With indignation juft, and thus returns :
O fon ! unworthy of th' illuftrious li$e
From which you fpring : your fire's reproach and

mine !

Did I e'er teach you juftice to difclaim ;
And fteal> by treachery, diihoneft fame ?
The truce fubiifts with all the reft ; are we
Alone excepted, unengag'd and free ?
Why, warriors ! do not then thefe hoftile tow'rs,
Againil us fend at once their martial pow'rs ?
And are we fafe but that the treaty ftands,
And from unequal force protects our bands ?
In this our foes confide ; the dead they burn,
And mix with tears their afhes in the urn.
Their tow'rs defencelefs, and their gates un-


Shall we with wrongs their confidence reward ?
No ; though each warrior of this num'rous band
Should yield to execute what you command ;
Yet would not I, obedient to thy will,
Blot my long labours with a deed fo ill.
Whatever hard or dang'rous you propofe,
Though old and weak, I fliun not, nor oppofe :
But 'what the gods command us to forbear,
The prudent will avoid, the braveft fear.
He faid ; and to the ground his buckler flung ;
On the hard foil the brazen orbit rung :
The reft approving, dropc upon the field
His pond'rous jav'lin, each, and mining fhield.

The warlike Ton of Tydeus ftraight refign'd,
To dire diforder, all his mighty mind,
And fudden wrath ; as when the troubled air,
From kindled lightning fhines with fiery glare :
With fury fo inflam'd, the hero burn'd,
And frowning to Deiphobus return'd :
I know thee, wretch! and mark thy conftant


To teach the hoft their leader thus to blame.
JLong have I borne your pride, your reverend age,
A guardian's name, fupprefs'd my kindling rage :

But to protect your infolence, no more
Shall thefe avail, and fcreen it as before.

He faid ; and more his fury to provoke,
Replying thus, the aged warrior fpoke :
Vain youth ! unmov'd thy angry threats I hear ;
When tyrants threaten, flaves alone fliould fear :
To me is ev'ry fervile part unknown,
To glory in a fmile, or fear a frown.
Your mighty fire 1 kn& v by counfel rul'd ;
His fierccft tranfports fooer reafon cool'd.
But wild and lawlefs, like the ftormy wind,
The fport of paffion, impotent and blind,
The defp'rate paths of folly you purfue,
And fcorn inftruction with a lofty brow :
Yet know, proud prince ! my purpofe I retain,
And fee thy thi eat'ning eye-balls roll in vain :
Never, obfequious to thy mad command,
Againft the foe I lift a hoftile hand ;
Till, righteouily fulfill'd, the truce expires
Which heav'n has witnefs'd and the facred fires.

He faid ; and, by his fharp reproaches ftung,
With fudden hand, his lance the hero flung :
Too fure the aim ; his faithful friend it found,
And open'd in his fide a deadly wound :
Stagg'ring he fell ; and, on the verge of death,
In words like thefe refign'd his parting breath : '
O Diomed, my fon ! for thee I fear :
Sure heav'n is angry, and its vengeance near:
For whoni the gods diftinguifh by their hate,
Thermal ves are made the minifters of fate ;
For from their fide, the deftin'd victims drive
Their friends intent to fuccour and retrieve.
Ere yet their vengeance falls, the pow'rs invoke,'
While uainflided hangs the fatal ftroke ;
And rule the tranfports of your wrath, left fear
Make found advice a ftranger. to your ear.
Speaking he dy'd ; his gen'rous fpirit fled
To mix with heroes in th' Elyfian made.

Amaz'd, at firft, th' ./Etolian warriors flood ;
No voice, no adlion, through the wond'ring


Silent they flood, like rows of foreft trees,
When Jove's dread thunder quells the fummer

breeze :

But foon on ev'ry fide a tumult rofe,
Loud as the ocean when a tempeft blows :
Diforder wild the mingling ranks confounds,
The voice of forrow mix'd with angry founds.
On ev'ry fide againft the chief appears
A brazen bulwark, rais'd of fhields and fpears,
Fail clofing round. But from his thigh he drew
His fhining blade, and on the phalanx flew ;
With gefture fierce the threat'ning fteel he wav'd j
But check'd its fury, and the people fav'd :
As the good fhepherd fpares his tender flock,
And lightens, when he ftrikes, the falling crook.
The crowd dividing, ihunn'd the hero's ire ;
As from a lion's rage the fwains retire,
When dreadful o'er the mangled prey he ftands,
By brandifti'd darts unaw'd and flaming brands.

And now the flame of fudden rage fuppreft,
Remorfe and forrow ftung the hero's brcaft.
Diilra&ed through the fcattering crowd he went,
And fought the dark receffes of his tent ;
H? enter'd ; but the menial fervants, bred
To wait his coming, ftraight with horror fled.
A unil the ground he daiVd his bloody dart;
Aid uttsr'd thus the fvvtllings of his hsart ;


Why fly my warriors ? why the menial train,
Who joy'd before to meet me from the plain,
"Why fhun they now their lord's approach, nor


To wafh my bloody hands, the cleanfmg fpring ?
Too well, alas ! my fatal rage they know,
To them more dreadful now than to the foe ;
No enemy, alas ! this fpear has flain'd,
With hoftile gore in glorious battle drain'd :
My guardian's blood it ihows, whofe hoary hairs
Still watch'd my welfare with a father's cares.
Thou Pow'r fupreme ! whofe unrefifled fw'ay
The fates of men and mortal things obey !
If wife and good, why did thy hand impart
So fierce an impulfe to this bounding heart ?
By fury rul'd, and impotent of mind,
No awe reflrains me, and no tie can bind :
Hence, by the madnefs of my rage o'erthrown,
My father's friend lies murder'd, and my own.
He faid ; and, yielding to his fierce delpair,
"With both his hands he rent his rooted hair;
And r where his locks in fhining ringlets grew,
A load of aihes from the hearth he threw,
Rolling in duft : but ndw around the {lain
His warriors flood, affembled on the plain;
For total infurreelion ripe they flood ;
Their angry murmurs rofe to tumult loud.

Ulyfies foon the dire diforder heard,
And prefent to explore the caufe appear'd :
The hero came, and, 'midft the warriors, found
Deiphobus extended on the ground.
A flood of forrow flartcd to his eyes,
But foon he check'd each fymptom of furprife
W ith prudent care, while preiiing round the chief
Each ftrove to fpeak the univerfai grief:

! Their mingled fpears in wild diforder fhook,
Like the fharp reeds along fome winding brook,
When through the leaflefs woods the north wind


Parent of ice and thick defcending fnows :
Now fell revenge had bath'd in flreams of blood,
And pow'r in vain her defp'rate courfe with-

ftood :

But Ithacus, well fkill'd in ev'ry art
To fix or change each purpofe of the heart,
Their ftern decrees by foft perfuafion broke,
And anfw'ring, thus with prudent purpofe fpoke :
Warriors! your gen'rous rage approve I muft;
Dire was the deed, the purpos'd vengeance juft :
But, when the kings in full aflembly fit,
To, them the crime and punifnment commit :
For rafh procedure wrongs the faireft caufe,
And private juftice flill iufulu the laws.
Now to your tents your fhields and lances bear:
Theieus expects us, and the hour is near :
The altars flame, the priefts in order fland,
With facrifice, to hallow ev'ry band :
But to the covert of .a tent convey,
Sav'd from the fcorching winds and folar ray,
Thefe dear remains ; till Thefeus has decreed
Diftinguifh'd obfequies to grace the dead.'
The hero thus ; and from his fhoulders threw
The regal cloak of gold, and fhining blue,
Which o'er the flain with prudent care he fprcad }
His ghaflly features from the crowd to {hade.
Thrice to his eyes a flood of forrow came ;
Thrice on the brink he check'd the gufhing

ft ream

In act to flow ; his rifing fighs fupprefl ;
Patient of grief, he lock'd it in his breaft.


To fad defpair th' JEtolian chief refign'd,
,And dire remorfe, which flung his tortur'd mind,
From early dawn in duft extended lay,
By all abandon'd till the fetting ray.
*Twas then Caffandra came ; and, at the door.
Thrice call'd her lord : he ftarted from the floor:
In fullen majefly his chair' of flate,
Full in the mkift oppofed to the gate,
The hero prefs'd : the anxious maid drew near,
By love excited, and reftrainVt by fear :
Trembling before the chief fhe flood, and held
A bowl of wine with temp'ring mixtures queil'd;
fcThe fragrant juice which iam'd Thefprotia yields,
.The vintage of her cliffs and funny fields.
And thus : Dread lord! reject not with difdaia
A prefent ofFer'd by 2 humble fwain.
This bowl receive, of gentle lorce to charm
Diftrels, and of its rigour grief difarm.
How vain to grjleve for ever for the paft !
No hour recals the actions of the lafl ;
Nor grsans, nor fighs, nor flreams of forrow fhed,
From their long {lumber can awake the dead.
When death's ilern pow'r his iron fceptre lays
On the cold lips, the vital fpirit flrays
< VOL. XI.

To worlds unknown : nor can the dead perceive
The tears of friends or lovers when they grieve.

To footh his paffion, thus the virgin trjrd ;
With wonder thus th' ^Etolian chief reply'd :
Say who you are, who thus approach my feat,
Unaw'd by good Deiphobus' s fate ?
When all avoid my prefence, nor appear,
By indignation banifh'd, or by fean
What is thy name ? what deed of mine could bind
To frjfndfhip fo unchang'd thy conftant mind;
Still to furvive the horror of a crime,
Whofe colour blots the regiflers of time ?

The hero thus : Caffandra thus replies :
Iphicles is my name ; my country lies
Where Antirrihum's rocky fhores divide,
Extended in die deep th' Ionian tide.
The-e dwells my fire, poffefl of ample flore,
Ip flocks and herds, and gold's refulgent oro.
Oeneus his name : his velTels on the main,
From lich. Heiperia watt him yearly gain,
And that fam'd land, whofe promontories run
Far to the weft, beneath the letting fun ;
Where ev'ry cliff with veins of filver gleams,
Andfaads of gold lie glitt'ring in th ftreams.

THE W R K S O F W I L K t E.

In Hymen's Taered ties two fons he bred,
Me, and my valiant brother Lycomed.
The youngeft I, was charg'd his flocks to keep t
My brother rui'd his galleys on the deep.
Once as ha left Iberia's wealthy fliore,
With Boetic fleeces fraught and precious ore ;
Phoenician pirates waited on the ftrand,
Where high Pachynus ftf etches from the land ;
Jn that fam'd ifle where _<Etna lifts his fpires,
With fmoke obfcure, and blows his fulph'rous


Behind the cliffs conceaFd, the treach'rous band
Waited the Greeks, defcending on the ftrand :
My brother there with twenty youths they flew ;
Their fudden arrows from an ambufn flew.
l)ire was the deed : and ftill my forrows fhream,
"Whenever that argument of woe I name,
And grief prevails ; but in your prefence moft ;
You ftill recal the brother whom I loft :
jFor fuch he was in lineaments of face,
In martial ftature, and majeftic grace ;
Though lefs in all ; in form inferior far;
And ftill, though valiant, lefs in works of war.
Hence, deeply rooted in my conftant heart,
You challenge, as your own, a brother's part
And I alone, of all the hoft, remain
To fhare your grief and fuffer in your pain.

Thus by an artful tale, the virgin ftrove
To fhun difcov'ry, arid conceal her love.
"Yet ftill her looks, her geftures, all exprefs'd
The maid ; her love in blufhes flood confefs'd.
"Tydides faw;; and xjuicMy, to his thought,
Bach circumftance the fair Caffandra brought.
Silent Ire fat ; and fix'd in deep furprife,
Her flufhittg featur-ee -mark'd and downcaft eyes.
He thus reply 'd : The native truth reveal,
And, what I afk you, hope not to conceal.
Or (kali I credit what you, now have faid,
Oeneus your fire, your brother Lycomed ?
i3r art thoa fhe, whofe beauty firft did move,
Within my peaceful breaft, the rage of love ?
With look and voice fevere the hero fpolce.
Aw'd and abafh'd, the confcious virgin fhook;
She dropt the filver goblet on the ground ;
The fragrant liquor drench'd the pavement round.
And thus Tydides with a frown acldreiVd-:
Thy art is ufelefs, and the truth confefs'd ;
Nor can that fair difguife of martial arms,
And male attire, conceal thy fatal charms.
Thofe eyes I fee, whofs foft enchantment ftole
My pence, and ffirr'd a tempeft in my foul :
l$y their mild fight, in innocertce array'd,
Te gailty madne'fs was my heart betray'd.
Deiphobus is dead ; his mournful ghoft,
Lamenting, _ Wanders on the Stygian coaft,
And blames my wrath. Oli ! that the fun whicl


JLight to thy birth, had fet upon thy grave ;
And he had hVd ! now lifelefs on the plain
A corfe he lies, and number M with the flain.

The hero ended thui ; with melting eye,
The virgin turn'd, unable to reply.
In forrow graceful, as the queen of love
Who mourn'd Adonis in the Syrian grove,
Confounded and abafh'd, fhe left the tent,
And through the hoft in filent anguilh went,
Far to the left ; where, in a lonely wood,
To Cere* built, a rural temple ftood;

Jy fwains frequented once, but now the plac?
" nfightly fhrubs o'erfpread and weeds difgracc*
fhither Caffandra went ; and at the fhrine,
Vith fuppliant voice addrefs'd the pow'r divine ;
iear me, dread genius of this facred grove ! my complaints thy fov'reign pity move ;
To feek the friendly fhelter of thy dome,
iVith heart unftain'd, and guiltlefs hands, I come :
-,ove is my crime ; and, in thy rural feat,
: ? rom infamy I feek a fafe retreat.
3y blame unmerited, and cold ncgledl,
3anifh'd 1 come ; receive me, and protect !
She pray'd ; and, ent'ring, 'gainft a pillar ftaid
rler lance, and on the floor her armour laid.
Then falling proftrate pour'd a flood of tears,
With prefent ills opprefs'd, and future fears.

'Twas then the herald of the queen of love,
Zelotype, defcended in the grove,
By Venus fent ; but ftill her counfels fail'd ;
And Pallas with fuperior fway prevail'd :
The phantom enter'd, and affum'd a form,
Pale as the moon appearing through a ftorm ;
In Amyclea's fhape difguis'd fhe came;
The fame her afpe6t, and her voice the fame.
Caflandra faw ; a fudden horror froze
Her veins ; erecft her parted locks arofe,
Stirr'd from the root : impatient thus the maid,
With trembling lips, in fault'ring accents, faid :
My lov'd, my honour'd parent ! have my groans,
From death's deep flumber, rous'd thy facie4

bones :

I hop'd that nothing could your peace moleft,
Nor mortal cares difturb eternal reft ;
That, fafe for ever on th' Elyfian fhore, . uq A
You heard of human mifery no more. .

Caffandra thus : and thus the Paphian maid :
Your gen'rous love, my child, is ill repaid;
Your griefs I feel, and bear a parent's part*
Though blood no more returns to warm my

heart ;

And that, which firft your mortal being bred,
To duft lids mould'ring, in its earthy bed.
To Calydon, my child, with fpeed return ;
Your father grieves, your gay companions mournj
He deems you loft, and defp'rate of hisftate,
By grief fubdif d, invokes his ling'ring fate :
Incefiant tears bedew his wrinkled face,
And foul his hoary locks difgrace.
Return, return ! nor let misjudging pride,
With further errors ftrive the paft to hide.
Return, once more to blefs his aged eyes,
Or, by your guilty fiay a parent dies.

She ended thus. Her arms Caffandra fpread
To fold, in clofe embrace, the parting lhade ;
In vain ; for, flatting from her grafp, it flew,
And, gliding through the fhady walks, with*


The virgin now awaits the rifing morn,
With purpofe fix'd impatient to return :
And when, through broken clouds, a glimm'rinjj


Of early dawn foretold approaching day ;
The fpear fhe grafp'd, and on her temples plac'd
The golden caique, with various plumage grac'd;
Tydides' gift ; when in the ranks of fight
The brave Clytander funk beneath his might.
The gods fhe cali'd ; and, bending to the ground,
Their aid invok'd with reverence profound.


Then left the dome ; and where Ifmenus ftrays,
Winding through thickeft woods his wat'ry maze,
Her way purfu'd ; a hoftile band drew near ;
Their tread {he heard, and law their armour clear,
Chief of the Theban youth; the herds they drove,
And flocks collected from the hills above.
For thus the Faphian goddefs had betray'd,
To hands of cruel foes, the guiltlefs maid.

By fudden terror check'd, at firft me ftood ;
Then turn'd, and fought the covert of the wood ;
Nor fo efcap'd : her glitt'ring armour {hone,
The ftarry helmet, and the lofty cone,
Full to the glowing eaft; its golden rays
Her winding flight betray'd through all its maze.
The Thebans faw ; and, rulhing 'midft the {hade
With {houts of triumph, feiz'd the trembling


Amaz'd and pale, before the hoftile band,
She ftood; anddropp'd the jav'lin from her hand:

fpare my life ! {he cry'd, nor wealth, nor fains
To purchafe in the works of war, I came.

No hate to you I bear, or Creon's fway,
Whofe fpv'reign will the. fons of Thebes obey :
Me, haplefs friendihip hither led, to {hare.
With Diomed, the dangers of the war.

1 now return and quit the martial ftrife,
My fire to fuccour on the verge of life ;
Who crufti'd beneath a load of forrow bends,
And to the grave, with painful fteps, dcfcends.
But if the plea of pity you reject,

The ftronger ties of equity refpect :

A truce we fwore; Jove witnefies the deed;

On him who breaks it, vengeance will fucceed.

Thus as the virgin fpoke, Phericles ey'd
The arms {he wore ; and fternly thus reply'd :
Jll-fated wretch! that panoply to wear :
The fame my brother once in fight did bear;
Whom fierce Tydides, with fuperior might,
O'erthrew and vanquifh'd in the ranks of fight.
If with his foe my brother's fpoils you ftiar'd,
A mark of love, or merited reward ;
Prepare to yield them and refign thy breath ;
To vengeance due : Clytander claims thy death.

Frowning he fpoke, and drew his {Lining

blade ;

Beneath the lifted ftecl, th* unhappy maid
Confounded ftoop'd : Menoctius caught the ftroke
On his broad fliield ; and, interpofing, fpoke :
Brave youth ! refpeft my counfel, and fufpend
The fudden vengeance which you now intend.
The chiefs of Thebes, the rulers of the ftate,
In full aflembly, at the Cadmean gate,
A monument for great Leophron rear ;
His name, atchievements, and defcent to bear.
Thither let this devoted youth be led,
An off'ring grateful to the hero's {hade :
Nor {hall Clytander lefs the deed approve ;
Or friendry zeal applaud, and feel our love ;
When fame {hall tell, in Pluto's gloomy reign,
How ftern Tydides mourns this warrior {lain.
Thus ignorantly they; nor knew the peace
Of happy patriots, when their labours ceafe ;
That tell revenge and life confuming hate
Find no admittance to moleft their ftate.

And now they led th captive crofs the plain ;
Scarce could her trembling knees their load fuf-

Thrice had her fault* ring tongue her fer rcveal'd,
But corifcious ihame opposed it and conceal'd.
Their monarch at the Cadmean gate they found,
In mournful ftate, with all his peers around.
Oblations to Leophron's mighty {hade,
In honey, milk, and fragrant wines they paid*
And thus Lycaon's fon addrefs'd the king :
A grateful off 'ring to your rites we bring.
This youth, the friend of Diomed, we found
Clad in the armour which Clytander own'd ;
My brother's fpoils, by Diomed poflefs'd.
When his keen jav'lin pierc'd tke hero's breaft.
Soon had my rage the hoftile deed repaid,
With vengeance grateful to his kindred made }
But public griefs the firft atonements claim,
And heroes of a more diftinguifti'd name.
Leophron, once his country's pride and boaft ;
Andremon too, the bulwark of the hoft,
His blood demands; for when their fouls {hall


The fweet revenge, in Pluto's {hades below^
Pleased with our zeal, will each illuftrious ghofl,
With lighter footfteps, prefb th' Elyfian coaft.

He fp"oke ; the princes all at once incline ;
The reft, with {bouts, applaud the dire defign.
An altar fooo of flow'ry turf they raife :
On ev'ry fide the facred torches blaze :
The bowls, in {hining order, plac'd around ;
The fatal knife was whetted fr the wound.
Decreed to perifli, ftood the helplefs fair ;
Like fome foft fawn, when, in the hunter's fnare
Involv'd, {he fees him from his feat arife,
Hii brandifh'd truncheon dreads, and heart hit

cries ;

Silent flic ftands, to barb'rous force refign' d,
In anguifti foft, diflblv'd her Under mind.
The pr lefts in order ev'ry rite prepar'd ;
Her neck and bofom, for the blow, they bar'dj
The helmet loos'd, the buckled mail unbound,
Whofe {hining circles fenc'd her neck around.
Down funk the fair dilguife"; and full to figh;
The virgin ftood, with charms divinely brighj.
The comely ringlets of her flowing hair,
fcuch. as the wood-nymphs wear, and naiad*


Hung loofe ; her middle by a zone embrac'd,
Which fix'd the floating garment round her waift.
Venus herfelf divine eftulgence filed
O'er all her ftattfre, and her lovely head ;
Such as in fpring the colour'd bloflbms {how,
When on their op'ning leaves the zephyrs blow ;
Amazement feiz'd the chicfi ; and all around,
With murmurs naix'd the wond'ring ^crowds re-
found. ( J "viif

Moft vote to fpare ; the angry monarch criea ;
Ye minifters, proceed ! the captive dies. { 70 j
Shall any here, by weak compaflion mor'd,
A captfve fpare by ftern Tydides lov'd ?
The fcourge of Thebes, whofe wide r deftroying

. hand

Has thinn'd our armies in their native land,
And flain my fon : by all the gods I fwear,
Whpfe names, to cite in vain, the nations fear,
That none he loves, {hall ever 'icapc my rage:
The vulgar plea 1 fcorn, of lex, or age.
Ev'n {he, who now appears with ev'ry grace
Adonf d, each charm of ftature and of face $


Ev'n though from Venus fhe could claim the prize
Her life to vengeance forfeited, fhe dies.

Sternly the monarch ended. All were flill,
With mute fubmiffion to the fov'reign will :
!Lycaon's valiant fon except ; alone
His gen'rous ardour thus oppos'd the throne :
Dread fov'reign ! liflen with a patient ear,
And what I now fhall offer, deign to hear.
When firit by force we feiz'd this captive maid,
The truce was vi'lated, our faith betray'd ;
And juflice, which, in war and peace, prevails
Alike, and weighs their deeds with equal fcales,
Her freedom claims, with prefents to atone
For what our rage perfidioufly has done :
."Let us not, now, to further wrongs proceed ;
But fear the curfe for perjury decreed.

Phericles thus: and, with a flern regard,
His indignation thus the king declar'd :
Vain giddy youth ! forbear, -with factious breath
To roufe my juflice to pronounce thy death :
3Ui oppofition, firfl of all you move,
While others hear in filence, and approve.
Your bold prefumption check, and learn to dread
iMy vengeance thunder'd on your wretched head

Frowning he ended thus : his threats defy'd,
With gen'rous heat Fhericles thus reply'd :
Princes ! attend, and truft my words fincere ;
The king I honour, and his will revere,
When truth gives fandlion to his juft commands
Nor common right in oppofition ftands :
"Vet gen'rous minds a principle retain,
Which promifes and threats attempt in vain,
Which claims dominion, by the gods imprefl,
The love of juflice in the human breafl :
By this infpir'd, againft fuperior might,
I rife undaunted in the caufe of right.
And now, by all th' avenging gods I fwear,
Whofe names, to cite in vain, the nations fear;
That no bold warrior of the Theban bands,
This maid fhall violate with hoftile hands ;
While thefe my arms have force the lance to


And lift in her defence this pond'roUs fhield,
Not ev'n the king himfelf, whofe fov'reign fway
The martial fons of facred Thebes obey.

He faid : and, by his bold example fir'd,
; Twelve warriors rofe, with equal zeal infpir'd.
With fhining fleel the altar they furround,
The fire now flaming, and the vi6lim crown'd.
On ev'ry fide in wild diforder move
The thick compacted crowds ; as when a grove,
Rock'd by a fudden whirlwind, b'endsand ftrains,
From right to left, along the woodland plains :
Fell difcord foon had rag'd, in civil blood,
With wide deftru&ion notto be withftood;
For from his feat the- aiigry monarch fprung,
And lifted, for the blow, the fceptre hung :. ;
But 'midft the tumult, Clytophon appear'd,
Approved for wifdom, and with rev'rence heard.
Straight, by the robe, the furious chief he feiz'd,
And thus,- with fage advice, his wrath appeas'd :
Hear, mighty prince \" refpedl the words of age,
And calm 1 the wafteful tempeft of thy rage;
The public welfare to revenge prefer,
For nations fufFer when their fov 'reigns err.
It ill becomes us-'now, when hoftile pow'rs
Witfe ftri&eft fiege iiivcft our ftraiten'd tow'rs ;


It ill becomes us thus, thus with civil arms,
To wound the flatle, and aggravate our harms.
Hear, all ye princes ! what to me appears
A prudent counfel, worthy of your ears:
Let us inquire, if in our hands we hold
A life efleem'd by Diomed the bold:
If, in his breafl, thofe tender pafiiona reign,
Which charms like thefe mufl kindle and main

Our mandates freely to his tent we fend,
For to our will his haughty foul mufl bend :
Nor dares he, while the Theban walls enclofc
A pledge fo dear, invade us or oppofe ;
But mufl fubmit, whenever we require,
Or with his pow'rs to aid us, or retire.

He'faid ; the monarch painfully fupprefs'd
His burning rage, and lock'd it in his breafl.
He thus reply'd : Thy prudent words infpire
Pacific counfels, and fubdue mine ire :
But if in peace I rul'd the Theban flate,
Nor hoftile armies thunder'd at my gate;
They had not dar'd, with infolence and fpite,
My purpofe to oppofe and fcorn my might.
He faid, and to his feat again retir'd ;
While fuden tranfport ev'ry breafl infpir'd ;
As fwains rejoice, when, from the troubled feies,
By breezes fwept, a gather'd tempeft flies ;
With wifh'd return the fun exerts his beams,
To cheer the woods and gild the fhining flreams.
Meanwhile, the fon of Tydeus, through the


With wifhing eyes, Caflandra fought in vain ;
At ev'ry leader of the bands inquir'd;
Then, fad and hopelefs, to his tent retir'd.
'Twas then his grief the bounds of filence broke,
And thus in fecret to himfelf he fpoke :
Me fure, of all mens fons, the gods have curs'd
With their chief plagues, the greateft and the

worft ;

Doom'd to difaflers, from my earlieft hour ;
Not wife to fhun, nor patient to endure.
From me the fource, unnumber'd ills proceed
To all my friends ; FJeiphobus is dead !
His foul excluded, feeks the nether fkies,
And wrong'd Caflandra from my prefence flies.
Me furely, at my birth, the gods defign'd
Their rod of wrath, to fcourge the human kind ;
For flaughter form'd, with brutal fury brave,
Prompt to deflroy, but impotent to fave. .^
How could my madnefs blame thee, gen'rous

maid! : ,*j;V';i
And, with my crime, thy innocence upbraid !
Deiphobus is fall'n ! but not by thee ;
FKy only fault, alas ! was love to me :
For this, in plated fleel thy limbs were drefs'd,

weighty fhield thy tender arm opprefs'd :
For this thou didfl to hoflile fields repair,
And court luch objects as diftracl: the fair ;
'atient above thy fex ! an ill reward,
Slame and unjufl reproach, was all you fhar'd.
Jy my unkindnefs banifh'd, now you roam,
And feek, through paths unknown, your diflant

home :

o mountain wolves expos'd, a helplefs prey,
nd men unjufl, more terrible than they,
ave her, ye gods ! and let me fland the aim
f Jove's all-dreaded bolt, and fcorching fiaine,



hus plain'd the hero till the fetting ray
W hdrew, and ev'ning (hades expell'd the day ;
Th n in his tent, before his lofty feat,
Appear'd a herald from the Theban ftate ;
The hero's knees, with trembling hands, he


And with his meffage thus the chief addrefs'd :
Hear, mighty prince ! the tidings which I bring,
From Thebes affembled, and the Theban king.
An armed warrior of your native train,
At early dawn, was feiz'd upon the plain.
What others did, forgive, if I relate ;
Creon commands me and the Theban (late.
A fairer youth, in martial arms, ne'er came
To court bright honour in the fields of fame.
A cafque of polifli'd fteel his temples prefs'd,
The golden cone with various plumage drefs'd;
A filver mail embrac'd his body round,
And greaves of brafs his (lender ancles bound :
To Thebes well-known the panoply he wore,
The fame, which once, renown'd Clytander bore.
Our warriors dragg'd him to the Cadmean gate,
Where Creon, with the rulers of the ftate,
Afifembled fat ; the trembling captive flood,
With arms furrounded, and th' infulting crowd.

fpare my life ! he cry'd, nor wealth nor fame
To purchate in the works of war, I came.

No hate to you, I bear, or Creon's fway,
Whole fov'rcign will the fons of Thebes obey.
Me lucklefs friendfhip hither led, to (hare,
With Diomed, the dangers of the war.

1 now return, and quit the martial ftrife,
My (ire to fuccour on the verge of life ;
Whofe feeble age the prefent aid demands,
And kind alfiitauce of my filial hands.

His words inclin'd the wifeft and the beft,
And tome their gen'rous fympathy exprefs'd :
But others, nothing mov'd, his guiitlefs head
With threats demanded, to avenge the dead :
And thus the king : My countrymen, attend !
In this, let all your loud contention end :
If Diomed, to fave this valu'd life,
The field abandons and the martial ftrife ;
The captive fafe, with prelents, I'll reftore,
Of brafs, and fteel, and gold's refulgent ore :
But if thefe terms the haughty chief iliall flight,
And for the Argives ftill exert his might;
Before our heroes' tombs, this youth fliall bleed,
To pleafe the living, and avenge the dead.
His fentence all approv'd ; and to your ear,
As public herald, I the meflage bear ;
And mud your anfwer crave, without delay;
Creon and Thebes already blame my (lay.

Thus as he (poke, contending paffions (trove,
With force oppos'd, the hero's foul to move ;
As drifting winds impel the ocean's tide,
And fway the reeling waves from fide to fide :
Rage dictated revenge ; but tender fear,
From love and pity, warn'd him to forbear :
Till, like a lion, fiercer from his pain,
Thefe wordsbroke forth in wrath and highdifdain:
Go, tell your tyrant, that he tempts a foul,
Which prefents caimot win, nor threats controul :
Not form'd, like his, to mock at ev'ry tie ;
With perjury to fport, and heav'n defy.
A common league the Argive warriors fwore,
And feal'd the facred tie with wine ard gore :

My faith was plighted then, and ne'er fliall fail,
Nor Creon's arts, to change me, aught avail.
But tell him loud, that all the holt may hear,
And Thebes through all her warriors learn to fear;
If any, from him (elf, or by command,
The captive violates with hoftile hand ;
That all (hall quickly rue the guilty deed,
When, to requite it, multitudes fliall bleed.

Sternly the hero ended, and refign'd.
To fierce diforder, all his mighty mind.
Already in his thoughts, with vengeful hands,
He dealt deftruclion 'midft the Theban bands,
In fancy faw the tott'ring turrets fall,
And led his warriors o'er the levell'd wall.
Rous'd with the thought, from his high feat he

fprung :

And grafp'd the fword, which on a column hung ;
The mining blade he balanc'd thrice in air j
His lances next he view'd and armour fair.
When, hanging 'midft the coftly panoply,
A fcarf embroider'd met the hero's eye,
Which fair C-dTandra's (kilful hands had wrought ;
A prefent for her lord, in fecret brought,
That day, when firft he led his martial train
In arms to combat on the Theban plain.
As fome ftrong charm, which magic founds com*


Sufpendsa downward torrent as it flows;
Checks in the precipice its hadlong courfe,
And calls it trembling upwards to its fource :
Such feem'd the robe, which, to the hero's eyes,
Made the fair artift in her charms to rife.
His rage, fufpended in its full career,
To love refigns, to grief and tender fear.
Glad would he now his former words revoke,
And change the purpofe which in wrath he

fpoke ;

From holtile hands his captive fair to gain,
From fate to fave her, or the fervile chain :
But pride, and (hame, the fond delign fuppreft ;
Silent he ftood, and lock'd it in his breall.
Yet had the wary Theban well dtvin'd,
By lymptoms fare, each motion of his mind:
With joy he faw the. heat of rage fupprels'd ;
And thus again his artful words addrefs'd :
Illuftrious prince ! with patience bend thine ear,
And what I now fliall offer, deign to hear.
Of all the griefs, diftrefsful mortals prove,
The woes of friendfhip mod my pity move.
You much I pity, and the youth regret,
Whom you too rigidly refign to fate ;
Expos'd, alone, no hope of comfort near,
The fcorn and cruelty of foes to bear.
O that my timely comifel might avail,
For love, and fympathy, to turn the fcale !
That Thebes releas'd from thy devouring fword,
The captive honour'd, and with gifts reftor'd,
We yet might hope for peace, and you again
Enjoy the bleffings of your native reign.

Intinuating thus, the herald try'd
His aim to compais ; and the chief reply'd :
In vain you drive to fway my conftant mind ;
I'll not de-part while Thefeus days behind :
Me nothing e'er, to change my faith, (hall move,
By men attefted, and th gods above :
But fince your lawlefs tyrant has detaiuM
A valu'd hoftage, treacheroufly gain'd ;
C iij


And dire injuftice chly will reftore
\Vhcn force compels, or prcffer'd gifts implore :
A truce I grant, till the revolving fun,
Twice ten full circuits of his journey run,
Fiom the red ocean, points the morning ny,
And on the ftepsof darknefs pours the day j
Till then, From fight and council I abftain,
Nor lead my pow'rs to combat on the plain :
For this, your monarch to my tent fhalifend
The captive, and fiom injuries defend.
This proffer is my lalt ; in vain will prove
All your attempts my fixed mind to move :
If Thebes accepts it, let a fign declare,
A flaming torch, difplay'd aloft in air,
From that high tow'r, \vhofe airy top is known
.By travellers from afar,, and. marks the town ;
The fane of Jove : but if they fhall reject
The terms I fend, nor equity refpecr.,
They foon fhall feel the fury of mine ire,
In wafteful havoc, and the rage of fire.

The hero thus ; and round his fhoulders flung
A fhaggy cloak, with vulgar trappings hung ;
And on his head a leathern helmet plac'd,
A boar's rough front with grifly terrors grac'd ;
A fpear he next aflum'd, and pond'rous fliield,
And led the Theban, iffuing to the field.
Amid furrounding guards they pafs'd unfeen.
For night had ftretch'd her friendly (hade between ;
Till nearer, through the gloom, the gate they

knew ;

The herald enter'd, and the chief withdrew :
But turning oft to Thebes his eager eyes,
The fignal on the tow'r at laft he fpies ;
A flaming torch upon the top expos'd,
Its ray at once his troubled mind compos'd :
Such joy he felt, as when a watch-tow Vs lightt
Seen through the gloom of feme tempeituous


Glads the wet mariner, a ftar to guide
His lab'ring veflel, through the ftormy tide.


ISTow filent night the middle fpace pofleft,
Oi heaven, or iourney'd dowi>w<uds to the v eft :
Eut Creon. ftill with third of vengeance fir'd,
Repote declined, nor from his toils refpir-Mj
Bat held his peers in council to debate
Pians for revenge fuggefled by his hate,
istfpre the king Dienices aypear'd ;
To {peak his tidings fad the hero fear'd ;
Return'd from Oeta, thither lent to call,
Alcides to protect his native wall.

And Creon thus : Dienices i explain
Your forrow ; are our hopes of aiJ in vain ?
Does Hercules neglect h;s native foil;
"While ftrangcw reap the harveft of his toil ?
We from your filence cannot hope iuccefs j
Bat further ills your falling tears confefs ;
Cleon my fon is dead ; his fate you mourn ;
3 muft not hope to fee his fate return.
Sure if he liv'd, he had not come the laft ;
But found his father with a filial hafte.
His fate, at onCe, declare, you need not fear,,
"With any tale of grief to woui.d mine ear,
Proof to misfortune: for the cnan who knows
The whole variety of human woes
Can (land unmov'd though loads of forrow prefs;
Practis'd to bear, familiar with diftrefs.

The monarch quetiion'd thus, and thus the

youth :

Too well thy boding fear has found the truth.
Cleon is dead ; the hero's,^fbes lie
Wheie Pclion's lofty head afcends the fky.
Yor as, on Oeta's top, he vainly ftrove
To win the arrows of the fon of Jove ;
Compelling ?hiloctetes, to refign,
The friend of Hercules, his arms divine j
The infult to repel, n arrow ftevv,
And from his heart the vital current drew :
Proftrate he funk ; and welling trora the wound,
A Hood of gote injpurpied all ;he ground.

Thus fpoke Dienices. The king fuppreft
His big diftrefs, and locked it in his breaft :
Sighing he thus reply'd : The Caufe declare,
Which holds the great Alcides from the war;
And why another now, the bow commands
And arrows facred, frbm his mighty hands.
Nor fear my valiant fon's untimely fate,
With all its weight of forrow, to relate :
All I can bear. Againft my naked head,
1 fee the vengeance of the gods decreed ;
With hoftile arms befet my tott'ring reign ;
The people wafted, and my children flain.
Attempts prove fruitlefs; ev'ry hope deceives;
Succefs in profpect difappointment gires;
With fwift approach, I lee deftruction come ;
But with a mind unmov'd, I'll meet my doom ;
Nor ftain th\s war-worn vifage with a tear,
Since all that Heav'n has purpos'd, I can bear.
The monarch thus his riling grief fupprefs'd ;
And thus the peers Dienices addrefs'd :
- Princes of Thebes I and thou, wh.ofe fov'reigt


Sways the dread fceptre of fupreme command !
To what I offer, lend an equal ear;
The truth I'll fpeak, and judge me when you heat.
If Cleon, by my fault, no more returns,
For whom, her fecond hope, his country mourns;
No doom I deprecate, no torture fly,
Which juftice can denounce, or rage fupply :
But if my innocence appears, I claim
Your cenfure to efcape, and public blame.

From Marathon by night our courfe we
And pafs'd Geraftus when the day appeared ;
Andros we faw, with promontories fteep,
Afcend ; and Delos level with the deep.
A circuit wide ; for where Euripus roars
Between Eubcea and the Theban fhores,
The Argives had difpo^d their naval train ;
And prudence taught; to fliun the hpflile plain..


Four day3 we fUii'd; the fifth our voyage ends,

Where Ucta, floping to the fea, defcends.

The vales I iearch'd, and woody h ights above,

Guided by fame, to find the fon of Jove,

With Cleon onjy ; for we charg'd the band

To ftay, and guard our veffel on the ftrand.

In vain we fearch'd : but when the lamp of day

Approach'd the ocean with its letting ray,

A cave appear'd, which from a mountain ileep,

Through a low valley, look'd into the deep.

Thither we turn'd our weary fteps, and found

The cavern hung with favage Ipoils around;

The wolf ' gray fur, the wild boar's ihaggy hide,

The lion's niane, the panther's Ipcckled pnde :

Thefe figns we mark'd ; and knew the rocky feat,

Somefolitary hunter's wild retreat.

Farther invited by a glimm'ring ray,

Which through the darknefs fhed uncertain day,

In tke receffes of the cave we found

The club of Hercules; and wiapt around,

Which, feen before, we knew, the lion's fpoils,

The mantle which he wore in all his toils.

Amaz'd we flood ; in filence, each his mind

To fear and hope alternately refign'd :

With joy we hop'd to find the hero near;

The club and mantle found, difpos'd to fear.

His force invincible in fight we knew,

Which nought of mortal kind could e'er fubdue.

But fear'd Apollo's might, or his who heaves

The folid earth, and rules the ftormy waves.

Pond'ring we flood, when on the roof above,
The tread of feet descending through the grove
Which crown'd the hollow cliff, amaz'd we heard ;
And itraight before the cave a youth appear'd.
A bleeding buck acrofs his fhoulders flung,
Ty'd with a rope of twifted rufhes hung.
He dropt his burden in the gate, and piac'd
Againft the pillar'd cliff his bow unbrac'd.
'1 was then oar footltcps in the cave he heard,
And through the gloom our fliiiiing arms appear'd.
His bow he bent ; and backwards trom the rock
Retir'd, and, of our purpofe quell'ning, Ipoke :
Say who you are, who feck this wild abode,
Through defert paths, by mortals rarely trod ?
If juil, and with a fair intent you come,
Friendlhip expect, and fafety in my dome :
But if for violence, your danger learn,
And truft my admonition when 1 warn:
Certain as fate, where'er this arrow flies,
The haplels wretch who meets its fury dies :
No buckler to refill its point avails,
The hammer'd cuirais yields, the breafl-plate fails;
And where it once has drawn ihe purple gore,
No charm can cure, no med'citte health rcliorc.

With threats he queftion'd thus ; and Uleoii faid
We come to call Alcides to oui aid ;
33y us the fenators of Thebes entreat
The hero to protect his native ft ate :
For hoftilc arms invefl theTheban tow'rs;
Famine within, without the fword devours.
If you have learn'd where Hercuies remains,
In mountain caves, or hamlets on the plains,
Our way direct ; for, led by gen'ral fame,
To find him in thefe defert wilds we came.

He fpoke ; and PhiloiSetes thus again :
May Jove for Thebes fome other aid ordain j
For Hercules no more exerts his might
Againft op prefiive force, for iiijur'd right :

Retir'd, among the gods, he fits fcrene,

And views, beneath him far, this mortal fccnc :

But enter now this grotto, and partake

What 1 can offer for the hero's fake :

With you from facrcd Thebes he claim'd his birth,

For godlike virtue fam'd through all the earth ;

Thebes therefore and her people flill lhall be

Like fair Tra&nncs and her ions to me.

Enter, for now the doubtful twilight fails,

And o'er the fiient earth the night prevails :

From the moift valleys noxious togs arife,

To wrap the rocky heights, and fhade the Ikleb.

The cave we enter'd, and his bounty fhar'd;
A rural banquet by himfelf prepar'd.
But foon the rage of thirfl and hunger flaid,
My mind flill doubtful, to the youth 1 faid :
Muii haplefs Thebes, defpairing and undent,
Want the afliftance of her braveft fon ?
The hero's fate explain, nor grudge mine ear
The fad affurance of our lofs to hear.
I queftion'd thus. The youth with horror pale
Attempted to recite an awful talc ;
Above the fabled woes which bards rchearfc,
When fad Melpomene iufpires the verfc.

The wife of Jove (Poeonides reply'd)
All arts in v-in to crufti the hero try'd;
For brighter from her hate his virtue burn'd;
And dilappointcd ftill, the goddefs mourn'd,.
His ruin to efiedl at laft fhe ftrove
By jcaiouly, the rage of injur'd love.
The bane to Dciamra's breaft convey'd,
Who, as a rival, L-ar'd th' Oechalian maid.
The goddefs knew, that jealous of her lord, .
A robe fhe kept with latent poifon^ ftor'd ;
The Centaur's gift, bequeath'd her, to reclaim
The hero's love, and light his dying flame; /
If e'er, devoted to a ilranger's charms,
He ftray'd inconltant from her widow'd armj
But giv'n with treacherous intent to prove
The death of nature, not the life of love.
Mad from her jealoufy, the charm Ihe try'd ;
His love to change, the deadly robe apply'd :
And guikkfs oi the prclenc which he bore, \

Lychas convey'd it to Ccnoe urn's fhore :
Where to the pow'r$ immortal for their aid,
A grateful hecatomb the heio paid:
Whn favour'd from above, his arm o'erthrew
The proud Jiurytus, acd his warriors Hew.
The venom'd rokethe hero took, nor fear'd
A gift by conjugal relpecls *ndear'd:
And llraight rciign'd the lion's fcuggy fpoils,
'i !._ mantle which he wore in ail lua toils.
l\o iign oi harm the fatal prefcnt ib,ow'd,
Till rous'd by heut its iccrct venom glow'd;
Straight on the flefh it feiz'd like ftifltil glue,
And icor clung deep to ev'ry member grew.
Then tearing with his hands th' infernal fnarc,
Hi.^ ikin he rent, and laid the naulclcs bare, >,-,
Wliile flreams of blood deicendmg from the woun<J,
Alix'd with the gore of victims oil the ground.
The guiltlefs JLychas, in his furious mood,
Hefdz'd, as trembling by his fide he flood :
Him by the flender ancle ihatch'd, he iwung,
And 'gainft a rocky promontory flurg :
Which, from the dire event, S^is name retains;
Through his white locks impurpl'd ruih the braine*
Aw'd by the deed, his defp'rate rage to fhun,
Our bold companions from his prci'cnce rnn.%


I too, conceal'd behind a rock, remain'd;
My love and 1 ympathy by fear reftrain'd :
For furious 'midtl the facred. fires he flew ;
The viclims fcatter'd, apd the hearths o'erthrew.
Then unking proftrate, where a tide of gore
From oxen flain had blacken'd all the fhore,
His form 4'vine he roll'd in duft and blood ;
His groans the hills re-echo'd and the flood.
Then rifmg furious, to the ocean's ftreams
He rufh'd, in hope to quench his raging flames;
But burning ftill the unextinguifh'd pain,
The fhore he left, and ftretch'd into the main.
A galley anchor'd near the beach we found ;
Her curled canvafs to the breeze unbound ;
And trac'd his defp'rate courfe, till far before
We faw him land on Oeta's defert fhore.
Towards the fkies his furious hands he rear'd,
And thus, acrofs the deep his voice we heard:
Sov'reign of heav'ri and earth 1 whofe bound-

lefs fway

The fates of men and mortal things obey !
If e'er delighted from the courts above,
In human form, you fought Alcmena's love ;
If fame's unchanging voice to all the earth,
With truth, proclaims you author of my birth ;
Whence a courfe of fpotlefs glory run,
Succefiful toils and wreaths of triumph won,
Am I- thus wretched ? better, that before
Some monfter fierce had drunk my ftreaming


Or crufh'd by Cacus, foe to gods and men,
My batter'd brains had ftrevv'd his rocky den :
Than from my glorious toils and triumphs paft,
To fall fubdu'd by female arts at laft.
O cool my boiling blood, ye winds, that blow
From mountains loaded with etr rnal ihow,
And crack the icy cliffs ; in vain ! in vain !
Your rigour cannot quench my raging pain !
For round this heart the furies wave their brands,
And wring my entrails with their burning hands.
Now bending from the fkies, O wife of Jove !
Enjoy the vengeance of thy injur'd love :
For fate, by me, the thund'rer's guilt atones ;
Arid, punifh'd in her fon, Alcmcna groans :
The object of your hate fhall foon expire ;
Fix'd on my moulders preys a net of fire :
Whom nor the toils nor dangers could fubdue,
By falfe Euryftheus dictated from you ;
Nor tyrants lawlefs, nor the monftrous brood,
Which haunts the defert or infefts the flood,
Nor Greece, nor all the barb'rous climes that lie
Where Phoebus ever points his golden eye ;
A woman hath o'erthrown ! ye gods ! I yield
To female arts, unconquer'd in the field.
My arm& <ilas ! are thefe the fame that bow'd
Anteus, and his giant force fubdu'd ?
That dragg'd Nemea's monfter from his den;
And flew the dragon in his native fen ?
Alas, alas ! their mighty mufcles fail,
While pains infernal ev'ry nerve aflail :
Alas, alas ! I feel in ftrearns of woe
Thefe eyes diiTolv'd, before untaught to flow.
Awake my virtue, oft in dangers try'd,
Patient in toils, 'in deaths unterrify'd,
Roufe to my aid ; nor let my labours part,
With fame.atchiev'd, be blotted by the laft ;
Firm and unmov'd, the prefent fliock endure j
Once -triumph, and for ever reft fecure.

The hero thus ; and grafp'd a pointed rock
With both his arms, which flraight in pieces broke,
Crufh'd in his agony ; then on his breaft
Dcfcending proftrate, further plaint fuppreft.
And now the clouds, in dufky volumes fpread,
Had darken'd all the mountains with their {hade:
The winds withhold their breath ; the billows reft ;
The fky's dark image on the deep impreft.
A bay for fhelter op'ning in the ftrand,
We law, and fteer'd our vcflel to the land.
Then mounting on the rocky beach above,
Through the thick gloom defcry'd the fon of Jove.
His head, declin'd between his hands, he lean'd ;
His elbows on his bended knees fuftain'd.
Above him ftill a hov'ring vapour flew,
Which, from his boiling veins, the garment drew.
Through the thick woof we faw the fumes afpirc ;
Like fmoke of victims from the facred fire.
Companion's keeneft touch my bofom thrill'd ;
My eyes, a flood of melting forrow filPd : .
Doubtful 1 flood : and, pond'ring in my mind,
By fear and pity varioufly inclin'd,
Whether to fhun the hero, or effay,
With friendly words, his torment to allay :
When burfting from above with hideous glare,
A flood of lightning kindled all the air.
From Oeta's top it rufh'd in fudden ftreams;
The ocean redden'd at its fiery beams.
Then, bellowing deep, the thunder's awful found,
Shook the firm mountains and the fhores around.
Far to the eaft it roll'd, a length of fky ;
We heard Eubcea's rattling cliffs reply,
As at his mafter's voice a fwain appears,
When wak'd from fletp his early call he hears,
The hero rofe ; and to the mountain turn'd,
Whofe cloud-involved top with lightning burn'd :
And thus his fire addrefs'd : With patient mind,
Thy call I hear, obedient and refign'd ;
Faithful and true the oracle ! which fpoke,
In high Dodona, from the facred oak;
" That twenty years of painful labours paft,
" On Oeta's top I fhould repofe at laft :"
Before, involv'd, the meaning lay cenceal'd;
But now I find it in my fate reveal'd.
Thy fov'reign will I blame not, which denies,
With length of days to crown my victories :
Though ftill with danger and diftrefs engag'd,
For injur'd right eternal war I wag'd ;
A life of pain, in barb'rous climates led,
The heav'ns my canopy, a rock my bed :
More joy I've felt than delicacy knows,
Or all the pride of regal pomp beftows.
Dread fire ! thy will I honour md revere,
And own thy love with gratitude fincere, [boaft
Which watch'd me in my toils, jthat none could
To raife a trophy from my glory loft :
And though at laft, by female arts, o'ercome,
And unfufpected fraud, I find my doom;
There to have fail'd, my honour ne'er can fhake,
Where vice is only ftrong and virtue weak.

Ho faid : and turning to the cloudy height,
The feat of thunder, wrapt in fable night,
Firm and undaunted trod the fteep afcent ;
An earthquake rock'd the mountain as he went.
Back from the fhaking fhores retir'd the flood j
In horror loft, my bold companions flood,
To fpeech or motion ; but the prefent pow'v
Of love infjpir'd me., in that awful hour 5


With trembling; fteps I trac'd the fon of Jove ;
And law him darkly on the flcep above, [noife
Through the thick gloom, the thunler's awful
Ceas'd ; and 1 ca'.l'u Imn thus with feeble voice ;
O Ion of mighty Jove ! thy friend await;
"Who comes to comfort thee, or iharc thy fate:
In ev'ry uanger and diftreis before,
His part your faithful Philocletes bore.
O let me ftili attend you, and receive
The comfort which a prefent friend can give,
Who come obiequious for your lalt commands,
And tenders to your need his willing hands.

My voice he heard ; and from the mountain
Saw me afcending on the fteep below. [brow

To favour my approach his fteps he ftay'd ;
And pleus'd, amidft his anguifh fmiling, faid :
Approach, my Philocletes ! Oft I've known
Your friendly zeal in former labours mown :
The prefent, more than all, your love proclaims.
Which braves the thunderer's bolts and volley 'd

flames ;

With daring ftep the rocking earthquake treads,
While the firm mountains make their trembling


As my lalt gift, thefe arrows with the bow,
Accejn the greateft which I can beftow;
My glory, all my wealth ; of pow'r to raife
Your name to honour and immortal praife ;
If for wrong'd innocence your fhafts fhall fly^
As Jove" by figns directs them from the Iky.

Straight from his mighty ihoulders, as he fpoke,
He loos'd and lodg'd them in a cavern'd rock ;
To lie untouch'd, till future care had drain'd
Their poifon from the venom'd robe retain'd.
And thus again : the only aid 1 need,
For all my favours pall, the only meed,
Is, that, with vengeful hand, you fix a dart
In cruel Deianira's faithlefs heart : ,>;.*.
Her treach'rous mefienger already dead,
Let her, the author of his crime, fucceed.
This awful fcene forfake without delay ;
In vain to mingle with my fate you ftay :
No kind afliflance can my {late retrieve,
Nor any friend attend me, and furvive.
The hero thus his tender care expreft,
And fpread his arms to clafp me to his bread ;
But foon withdrew them, leafl his tainted vein*
Infection had convey'd and mortal pains :
Silent I ftood in dreams of forrow drown'd,
Till from my heart thefe words a paffage found :

bid me not forfake thee, nor impofe
What wretched Philoctetes muft refufe.

By him I fwear, whofe prefence now proclaim
The thunders awful voice and forked flame,
Beneath whofe fteps the trembling defert quakes,
And earth affrighted to her centre fhakes ;

1 never will fortehe thee, but remain

While ftruggling life thefe rnin'd limbs retain :
No form of fate mail drive me from thy fide,
Nor death with all its terrors e'er divide ;
Tho' the fame ftrokeour mortal lives {hould end,
One flafli confume us, and our afhes blend.

I fpoke j and to the cloudy fteep we turn'd i
Along its brow the kindled foreft burn'd.
The favage brood, defcending to the plains,
The fcatter'd flocks, and dread diftraded f wains,
P-ufli'd from the {baking cliffc : we faw them come,
In wild difordcr mingled, through the gloom. ;

And now appear'd the defert's lofty head,

A narrow rock with forefts thinly fpread.

His mighty hands difplay'd aloft in air,

To Jove the hero thus addrefs'd a pray'r : [ikies,

Hear me, dread pow'r ! whofe nod controls the

At whofe command the winged lightning flies:

Almighty fire; if yet you deign to own

Alcmena's wretched offspring as your fon ;

Some comfort in my agony impait,

And bid thy forked thunder rend this heart:

Round my devoted head it idly plays;

And aids the fire, which wattes me with its rays:

By heat inflam'd, this robe exerts its pow'r,

My fcorched limbs to ihrivel and devour ;

Upon my moulders, like a dragon, clings,

And fixes in my fiefh a thoufand ftings.

Great fire / in pity to my fuit attend,

And with afudden ftrokerny being end.

As thus the hero pray'd, the lightning ceas'd,
And thicker darknefs all the hill tmbrac'd.
He faw his fuit deny'd : in fierce defpair,
The rooted pines he tore, and cedars fair ;
And from the crannies of the rifted rocks,
Twifted with force immenfe the ftubborn oaks.
Of thefe upon the cliff a heap he laid,
And thus addrefs'd me, as I ftood difmay'd :
Behold, my friend ! the ruler of the ikies,
In agony invok'd, my fuit denies ;
But fure the oracle infpir'd from heaven,
Which in Dodona's facrcd grove wa given,
The truth declar'd ; " that pow my toils (hall ccafc,
" And all my painful labours end in peace :
Peace, death can only bring : the raging fmart,
Wrapt with my vitals, mocks each healing art.
Not all the plants that clothe the verdant field,
Not all the health a thoufand mountains yieloV
Which on their tops the fage phyfician finds,
Or digging from the veins of flint unbinds,
This fire can quench. And therefore, to obey
My laft commands, prepare without delay.
Wh^en on this pile you fee my limbs composed,
Shrink not, but bear What muft not be oppos'd ;
Approach, and, with an unrelenting hand,
Fix in the boughs Beneath, a flaming brand.
1 muft not longer truft this madding pain,
Left fome rafh deed {hould all my glory {tain.
Lychas I flew upon the Ccenian more,
Who knew not, fure, the fatal gift he bore :
His guilt had taught him elfe to fly, nor wait,
Till from my rage he found a fudden fate.
I will not Deianira's action blame ;
Let heav'n decide which only knows her aim :
Whether from hate with treacherous intent,
This fatal garment to her lord fhe fent ;
Or, by the cunning of a foe betray'd,
His vengeance thus imprudently convey'd.
If this, or that, I urge not my command,
Nor claim her fate from thy avenging hand:
To lodge my lifelefs bones is all I crave,
Safe and uninjur'd in the peaceful grave.

This with a hollow voice and alter'd look,
[n agony extreme, the hero fpoke.
[ pour'd a flood of forrow, and withdrew,
Amid the kindled groves, to pluck a bough;
With which the ftru&ure at the bafe I fir'd :
3n ev'ry fide the pointed flames afpir'd.
But ere involving fmoke the pile enclos'd,
I law the hero on the top repos'd j


Serene as on- who, near the fountain laid,
At noon enjoys the cool refrefhing {hade.
The venom'd garment hifs'd ; its touch the fires
Avoiding, flop'd oblique their pointed fpires :
On ev ry fide die pointed fl me withdrew,
And levell'd, round the burning ftructure flew.
At laft victorious to the top they role ;
Firm and unmov'd the hero faw them clofe.
His foul unfetter 'd, fought the bleft abodes,
By virtue rais'd to mingle with the gods.
His bones in earth, with pious hands, I laid ;
Ths place ta publifh nothing fhall perfuade ;
Left tyrants now unaw'd, and men unjuft,
With infults, fhould profane his facred duft.
E'er fince, I haunt this folitary den,
Retir'd from all the bufy paths of men ;
For thefe wild mountains only fuit my ft ate,
And footh with kindred gloom my deep regret.
Ht ended thus ; amazement long fupprefs'd
My voice ; but Cleon anfw'ring thus addrefs'd :
Brave youth \ you offer to our wond'ring ears,
Events more awful than tradition bears.
Fix'd in my mind the hero's fate remains,
I fee his agonies, and feel his pains.
Yet fuffer, that for haplefs Thebes I mourn,
"Whole faireft hopes the envious fates o'erturn.
If great Alcides liv'd, her tow'rs mould ftand
Sate and protected by his mighty hand ;
On you, brave youth! our fecond hopes depend;
To you the arms, of Hercules defcend ;
He did not, fure, thofe glorious gifts beftow,
The faafts invincible, the mighty bow ;
From which thie innocent protection claim,
To dye the hills with blood of favage game.
Such toils as thefe your glory ne'er can raife,
Nor crown your merit -with immortal praife ;
And with the great Alckies place your name,
To ftand diftinguilh'd in the rolls of fame.
The hero thus : The ion of Poean faid :
Myfelf, my arms, I offer for your aid ;
If fav'ring from the fkies, the figns of Jove
Confirm what thus I purpofe and approve.
For when Alcides, with his laft commands,
His bow and fhafts committed to my hands ;
In all attempts he charg'd me to proceed
As Jove by fign* afcd auguries fhould lead.
-Eut thefe the rifing fun will befl difclofe ;
The feafon now invites to foft repolc.

He faid ; and from the hearth a flaming bough,
To light us through the fhady cavern drew.
Far in the deep recefs, a rocky bed
"We found, with {kins of mountain r.ionftersfpi ead.
There we cornttos'd our weary limbs, and lay,
Till darknefs fled before the morning ray.
Then rofe and climb'd a promontory fteep,
Whofe rocky brow, impending o'er the deep,
Shoots high into the air, and lifts the eye,
In boVttvdlefs ftretch, to take a length of iky.
"With hands extended to th' ethereal height,
The pow'r we cali'd who rules the realms of light;
That fymbols lure his purpofe might explain,
Whether the youth fhould aid us, or refrain :
We pray'd ; and on the left along the vales,
With pinions broad difpiay'd, an eagle fails.
As near the ground his level flight he drew,
He ftoop'd, and brufh'd the thickets as he iLw,
When ftarting from the centre of a brake,
Wich horrid Hifs appeas'd a, crcfteti fna'.-r ;


Hkr young to guard, her vtnsm'd fangs fhe rcar'd j
Above the fhrubs her wavy length appear'd ;
Again ft his fwift approaches, as he flew,
On ev'ry fide her forked tongue fhe through,
And armed jaws ; but wheeling from the fnare
The fwift affailant llill efcap'd in air ;
But ftooping from his pitch, at laft he tore
Her purple creft, and drew a ftream of gore.
She wrcath'd ; and, in the fiercenefs of her pain,
Shook the. long thickets with her twifted train :
Rclax'd at laft, its fpires forgot to roll,
And, in a hifs, fhe breath'dher fiery foul :
In hafte to gorge his prey, the bird of Jove
Down to the bottom of the thicket drove ;
The young defencelefs from the covert drew ;
Devour'd them ftraight, and to the mountains flew.
This omen feen, another worfe we hear;
The fubterraneous thunder greets our ear:
The worft of all the figns which augurs know ;
A dire prognoftic of impending woe.

Amaz'd we flood, till Philodetes broke
Our long dejected filence thus, and fpoke ;
Warriors of Thebes \ the auguries diffuade
My purpofe, and withhold me from your aid ;
Though pity moves me, and ambition draws,
To {hare your labours, and affert your caufe ;.
In fight the arms of Hercules to fhow, ^
And from his native ramparts drive the foe.
But vain it is againft the gods to ftrive ;
Whofe counfels ruin nations or retrieve ;
Without their favour, valour nought avails,
And human prudence felf-fub verted fails ;
For irrefiftibly their pow'r prefides
In all events, and good and ill divides.
Let Thebes affembled at the altars waif,
And long proceffions crowd each facred gate :
With facrifice appeas'd, and humble pray'r,
Their omens fiultrated, the gods may ipare.
To-day, my guefts, repofe ; to-morrow fail,
If heav'n propitious fends a profp'rous gale :
For, fhifting to the fouth, the weflerri breeze
Forbids you now to truft the faithlefs feas.
. The hero thus ; in filence fad we mourn'd ;
And to the iblitary cave return'd,
Defpairing of iucccfs; our grief he fbar'd,
And for relief a cheering bowl prepar'd ;
i he vintage which the grape fpontaneous yields,
By art untutor'd, on the woodland fields,
He fought with care, and mingled in the bowl,
A plant, of pow'r to calm the troubled foul;
Its name Jripenthe ; fwains, on defert ground,
Do often glean it, elfe but rarely found ;
i'his in the bowl he mix'd ; and foon we found,
in foft oblivion, all our forrows drown'd :
We felt no more the agonies of care,
And hope, iucceeding, dawn'd upondefpair.
From morn we feafled, till the .Dotting ray
Retir'd, and ev'ning fhades expelTd the day ;
Then in the dark receffes of the cave,
To flumber foft, our willing limbs we gave :
But ere the morning, from the eaft, appear'd,
And fooner than the early lark is heard, ,

Cleon awak'd, my carelefs flumber broke,
And bending to my ear, in -.vhifpers fpoke :
Dien-ices \ while (lumbering thus fecure,
We think not what our citizens endure. [pears
1 he woril the figns have threatcn'd, nought ap~
With happier afpeft to difpel our fears ;


Alcides lives not, and his friend in vain
To arms \ve call, while auguries refirain:
Returning thus, we bring the Theban ftate
But hopes dcceiv'd, and omens of her fate:
Better luecefs our labours fhall attend,
Nor all our aims in difappointment end ;
If you approve my purpofe, nor diffuade
What now I counfel for your country's aid.
Soon as the fun difplays his early beam,
The arms of great Alcides let us claim ;
Then for Bceotia's fhores direct our fails ;
And force muft fecond if perfuafion fails :
Againft reproach neceffity fhall plead ;
Cenfurc confute, and juflify the deed.

The hero thus, and ceas'd : with pity mov'd,
And zeal for Thebes, I rafhly thus approv'd.
You counfel well ; but prudence would advife
To work by cunning rather, and furprife,
Than force declar'd ; his venom'd fhaftsyou know,
Which fly refiftlefs from th' Herculean bow ;
A fafe occafion now the filent hour
Of midnight yields ; when, by the gentle pow'r
Of carelefs flumber bound, the hero lies,
Our neceffary fraud will 'fcape his eyes ;
Without the aid of force fhall reach its aim, .
With danger lefs incurr'd, and lefs of blame.

I counfell'd thus ; and Cleon ftraight approv'd.
Tn filence from the dark recefs we mov'd ;
Towards the hearth, with wary fteps, we came,
The afhes ftirr'd, and rous'd the flumb'ring flame.
On every fide in vain we turn'd our eyes,
lv!or, as our hopes had promis'd, found the prize :
Till to the couch where Philo6letes lay,
The quiver led us by its filver ray ;
For in a panther's fur together ty'd,
His bow and fhafta, the pillow's place fupply'd ;
Thither I went with careful ftcps and flow ;
And by degrees obtain'd th* Herculean bow :
The quiver next to difcngage eflay'd ;
It iluck entangled, but at laft obey'd.
The prize obtain'd, we haften to the ftrad,
And roufe the mariners and ftraight command
The canvafs to unfurl : a gentle gale
Favour'd our con vie, and tiil'd the fwelling fail :
The fhores retii'd ; and when the morning ray
Afcended, from the deep, th' ethereal way ;
Upon the right Cenaeum's beach appear'd.
And Pelion on the left his fummit rear'd.


Like mountains rifing on the wat'ry plain,
The clouds colle&ed on the billows flood,
And, with incumbent fhade, obfcur'd the flood.
Thither a current bore us ; foon we found
A night of vapour clofing faft around.
Loofe hung the empty fail -. we ply'd our oars,
And ftrove to reach Eubcea's friendly fhores ;
But ftrove in vain : for erring from the courfe,
In mazes wide, the rower fpent his force.
i> ven days and nights we try'd fome port to gain,
Where Greek or barb'rous fhores exclude the

main ;

But knew not, whether backwards or before,
Or on the right or left to feek the fhore :
Till, rifing on the eighth, a gentle breeze
Prove the light fog, and brulh'd the curling feas.

Our canvafs to its gentle pow'r we fpread,
And fix'd our oars, and follow'd as it led.
Before us foon, impending from above,
Through parting clouds, we faw a lofty grove,
Alarift'd, the fail we flacken, and explore
The deeps and fhallows of the unknown fhoro.
Near on the right a winding creek appear'd,
1 hither, direcTed by the pole, we fteer'd ;
And landed on the beach, by fate mifled,
Nor knew again the port from which we fled.
The gods themfelves deceiv'd us : to our eyea
New caverns open, airy cliffs arife ;
That Philo&etes might again poflefs
His arms, and heav'n our injury redrefs.

The unknown region purpos'd to explore,
Cleon, with me alone, forfakes the Ihore ;
Back to the cave we left by angry fate
Implicitely conducted, at the gate
The injur'd youth we found ; a thick difguife
His native form conceai'd, and mock'd our eyes;
For the black locks in waving ringlets fpread,
A wreath of hoary white involv'd his head,
Beneath a load of years, he feem'd to bend,
His breaft to fink, his fhoulders to afcend.
He faw us ftraight, and, rifing from his feat,
tegan with fharp reproaches to repeat
Our crime; but could not thus fufpicion give;
So ftrong is error, when the gods deceive !
We queftion'd of the country as we came,
By whom inhabited, und what its name ;
How far from Thebes: that thither we were

bound ;

And thus the wary youth our error found.
Smooth'd to deceive, his accent ftraight he turn'd,
While in his breaft the thirft of vengeance burn'd:
And thinking now his bow and fhaits regain'd,
Rcply'd with hofpitable kindneis feign'd ;
On Ida's facred height, my guefts! you Hand ;
Here Priam rules, in peace, a happy land.
Twelve cities own him> on the Phrygian plain,
Their lord, and twelve fair iflands on the main.
From hence to Thebes in feven days fpace you'll fail,
If Jove propitious fends a profp'reus gale.
But now accept a homely meal, and deign
To fhare what heav'n affords a humble fvvain.

He faid; and brought a bowl with Tintage


From berries wild, and mountain grapes diftill'd,
Of largeft fize ; and plac'i it on a rock,
Under the covert of a fpreading oak ;
Around it autumn's mellow ftores he laid,
Which the fun ripens in the woodland fhade.
Our thirft and hunger thus at once allay 'd,
To Cleon turning, Philo&etes faid :
The bow you wear, of fuch unufual fize,
With wonder ftill I view, and curious eyes ;
For length, for thicknefs, and the workman's art,
Surpafline all I've feen in ev'ry part.

Diffembling, thus inquir'd the wary youth,
And thus your valiant fon declar'd the truth :
Father ! the weapon which you thus commend,
1 he force of great Alcides once did bend ; [du'd,
Thefe fhafts the fame which monfters fierce fub-
And law lefs men with vengeance juft purfu'd.

The hero thus ; and Poean's fon again :
What now I afk, refufe not to explain :
Whether the hero ftill exerts his might,
For innocence opprefs'd, and injur'd right }


Or yields to fate ; and with the mighty dead,
From toil repofes in the Elyfian fhade !
Sure, if he liv'd, he would not thus forgo
His (hafts invincible and mighty bow,
By which, he oft immortal honour gain'd
For-wrongs redrefs'd and lawlefs force reftrain'd.

The rage fupprefs'd which in hisbofom burn'd,
He queftion'd thus ; and Cleon thus return'd :
What we have heard of Hercules, I'll fliow
What by report we learn'd, and what we know.
From Thebes to Oeta's wildernefswe went,
With fupplications, to the hero, fent
From all our princes ; that he would exert
His matchlefs valour on his country's part,
Agatuft whofe ftate united foes conipire,
And waile her wide domain with fword and fire.
There on the cliffs which bound the neighb'ring


We found the manfion of a lonely fwain ;
Much like to this, but that its rocky mouth
The cooling north refpecls, as this the fouth ;
And, in a corner of the cave conceal'd,
The club which great Alcides us'd to wield.
Wrapt in his fhaggy robe, the lion's fpoils,
The mantle whkh he wore in all his toils.
At ev'n a hunter in the cave appear'd ;
From whom the fate of Hercules we heard.
He told us that he faw the chief expire,
That he himfelf did light his fun'ral fire ;
And boafted, that the hero had refign'd
To him, this bow and quiver, as his friend :
Oft feen before, thefe deadly fhafts we know,
And tip'd with ftars of gold th' Herculean bow :
But of the hero's fate, the tale he told,
Whether 'tis true I cannot now unfold.

He fpoke. The youth with indignation burn'd,
Yet calm in outward femblance, thus return'd :
I muft admire the man who could refign
To you thefe arms fo precious and divine,
Which, to the love of fuch a friend, he ow'd,
Great was the gift if willingly beftow'd :
By force they could not eafily be gain'd,
And fraud, 1 know, your gen'rous fouls difdain'd.

Severely fmiling, thus the hero fpoke ;
With confcious fhame we heard, nor filence broke :
And thus again : The only boon I claim,
Which, to your hoft deny'd, would merit blame ;
Is, that my hands that weapon may embrace,
And on the flaxen cord an arrow place ;
An honour which I covet; though we mourn'd,
By great Alcides, once our ftate o'erturn'd :
When proud Laomedon the hero brav'd,
Nor paid the ranfom for his daughter fav'd.

Diffembling thus, did Philodtetes ftrive
His inftruments of vengeance to retrieve :
And, by the fates deceiv'd, in evil hour,
The bow and fhafts we yielded to his pow'r,
In mirthful mood, provoking him to try
Whether the weapon would his force obey ;
For weak he feem'd, like thofe whofe nerves have
loft, [boaft.

Through age, the vigour which in youth they
The belt around his fhoulders firft he flung,
And glitt'ring by his fide the quiver hung :
Comprefs'd with all his force the flubborn yew
He bent, and from the cafe an arrow drew ;
And yielding to his rage, in furious mood,
With aim. dire<St agaiplt us full he ftogd,

For vengeance arm'd ; and now the thick difguife,

Which veil'd his form before, and mock'd our eyes,

Vanifh'd in air ; our error then appear'd;

I faw the vengeance of the gods, and fear'd.

Before him to the ground my knees I bow'd,

And, with extended hands, for mercy fu'd.

But Cleon, fierce and fcorning to entreat,

His weapon drew, and rufh'd upon his fate :

For as he came, the fatal arrow flew,

And from his heart the vital current drew ;

Supine he fell ; and, welling from the wound,

A tide of gore impurpled all the ground.

The fon Poean {looping drew the dart,

Yet warm with (laughter, from the hero's heart ;

And turn'd it full on me : with humble pray'r

And lifted hands, I mov'd him flill to fpare.

At laft he yielded, from his purpofe fway'd,

And anfw'ring thus in milder accents, faid:

No favour fure you merit ; and the caufe,

Of right infring'd and hofpitable laws,

Would juftify revenge ; but as you claim,

With Hercules, your native foil the fame ;

I now (hall pardon for the hero's fake,

Nor, though the gods approve it, vengeance take.

But ftraight avoid my prefence ; and unbind,

With fpeed, your flying canvafs to the wind :

For if again to meet thofe eyes you come,

No pray'rs {hall change, or mitigate your doom.

With frowning afpedl thus the hero faid,
His threats I fear'd, and willingly obey'd.
Straight in his purple robe the dead I bound,
Then to my fhoulders rais'd him from the ground ;
And from the hills defcending to the bay,
Where anchor'd near the beach our galley lay,
The reft conven'd, with forrow to relate
This anger of the gods and Cleon's fate :
The hero's fate his bold companions mourn'd,
And ev'ry bread with keen refentment burn'd.
They in their heady tranfports ftraight decreed,
His fall with vengeance to requite or bleed.
1 fear'd the angry gods ; and gave command,
With fail and oar, to fly the fatal ftrand ;
Enrag'd and fad, the mariners obey'd,
Unfurl'd the canvafs, and the anchor weigh'd.
Our courfe, behind, the weftern breezes fped,
And from the coaft with heavy hearts we fled.
All day they favour'd, but with evening ceas'd;
And ftraight a tempeft, from the ftormy eaft,
In oppofition full, began to blow,
And rear in ridges high the deep below.
Againft its boift rous fway in vain we ftrove;
Obliquely to the Thracian coaft we drove ;
Where Pelion lifts his head aloft in air,
With painted cliffs and precipices bare ;
Thither our courfe we fteer'd, and on the ftrand
Defcending, fix'd our cable to the land.
There twenty days we ftay'd, and wifh'd in vain
A favourable breeze, to crofs the main ;
For with unceafing rage the tempeft rav'd,
And o'er the rocky beach the ocean heav'd.
At laft with care the hero's limbs we burn'd,
And, water'd with our tears, his bones inurn'd.
There, where a promontory's height divides,
Extended in the deep, the parted tides,
His tomb is feen, which, from its airy ftand,
Marks to the mariner the diftant land.

This, princes ! is the truth ; and though the will
Of heav'n, the ftv'reign caufe of good and ill.



Has dafhM our hope?, and, for the good in view,
"With griefs afflicts us and difafters new :
Yet, innocent of all, I juftly claim
To ftand exempt from punifliment or blame.
That zeal for Thebes 'gainft hofpitable laws
Prevailed, and ardour in my country's caufe,
I freely have confefs'd ; but fure if wrong
Was e'er permitted to inducement ftrong,
This claims to be excus'd : our country's need,
With all who hear it will for favour plead.

He ended thus. Unable to fubdue [drew :
His grief: the monarch from the throne with
in filent wonder fix'd, the reft remain'd ;
Till Clytophon the gen'ral fenfe explain'd ;

Your juft defence, we mean not to refufe ;
Your prudence cenfure, or your zeal accufe :
To heav'n we owe the valiant Cleon's fate,
With each difafter which afflidls the ftate.
Soon as the fun forfakes the eaftern main,
At ev'ry altar let a bull be (lain ;
And Thebes aflembled, move the pow'rs to fpare,
With vows of facrifice and humble pray'r :
But now the night invites to fof: repofe,
The momentary cure of human woes;
The ftars defcend ; and foon the morning ray-
Shall route us to the labours of the day.
The hero thus. In filence all approv'd,
And rifing, various, from th* aflernbly mov'd.


BEHIND the palicc, where a ftream defcends,

Its lonely walks a fhady grove extends;

Once facred, now for common ufe ordain'd,

By war's wide licence and the axe profan'd:

Thither the monarch from th' aflernbly went

Alone, his fury and defpair to vent,

And thus to Heav'n : Dread pow'r ! whofe fove-

reign fway ,

The fates of men and mortal things obey !
From me expect not fuch applaufe to hear,
As fawning vot'ries to thine altars bear ;
But truth levere. Although the forked brand,
Which for deftrixflion arms thy mighty hand,
Were levell'd at my head ; a mind I hold,
By prefent ills, or future, uncontrouPd.
Beneath thy fway the race of mortals groan $
Felicity fincere is felt by none :
Delufive hope th' unpra&is'd mind aflails,
And, by ten thoufand treach'rous arts prevails :
Through all the earth the fair deceiver ftrays,
And wretched man to mifery betrays.
Our crimes you punifli, never teach to fhun,
When, blind to folly, on our fate we run :
Hence fighs and groans thy tyrant reign confefs,
With ev'ry rueful Cymptom of diftrefs.
Here war unchain'd exerts his wafteful pow'r;
Here famine pines ; difeafes there devour,
And lead a train of all the ills that know
To fliorten life, or lengthen it in woe.
All men are curft ; but I, above the reft,
With tenfold vengeance for my crimes opprefs'd :
With hoftile pow'rs befet my tott'ring reign,
The people wafted, and my children flain ;
In fwfft appreach, I lee deftrudlion come,
But, with, a mind unmov'd, I meet my doom ;
For know, ftern pow'r ! whofe vengeance has


That Creon, after all his fons, fhould bleed ;
As from the fummit of fome defert rock,
The fport of tempefts, falls the leaflefs oak,
Of all his honours ftript, thou ne'er flialt find,
Weakly Yubmtfs, or ftupidly refign'd
This dauntlefs heart ; but purpos'd to debate
Thy ftern decrees, aud burft the chains of fate.

He faid ; and turning where the heralds ftand
All night by turns, and wait their lord's command;
Meneftheus there and Hegefander found)
And Phaemius fage, for valour once renown'd,
He charg'd them thus: Beyond the eaftern tow'rs,
Summon to meet in arms our martial pow'rs.
In filence let them move ; let figns command,
And mute obedience reign through ev'ry band ;
For when the eatt with early twilight glows,
We rufli, from cover'd ambufh, on our foes
Secure and unprepar'd : the truce we fwore,
Our plighted faith, the feal of wine and gore,
No ties I hold ; all piety difclaim :
Adverfe to me the gods, and I to them.
The angry Tnonarch thus his will declar'd;
His rage the heralds fear'd, and ftraight repaired
To roufe the warriors. Now the morning light
Begins to mingle with the (hades of night :
In ev'ry ftreet a glitt'ring ftream appears,
Of polifh'd helmets mix'd with fluning fpears :
Towards the eaftern gate they drive along,
Nations and tribes, an undiftinguilh'd throng ?
Creon himfelf fuperior, in his car,
Receiv'd them coming, and difpos'd the war.

And now the Argives from their tents proceed,
With rites fepulchral to entomb the dead.
The king of men, amid the fun'ral fires,
The chiefs afiembles, and the work infpires.
And thus the Pelian fage, in council wife :
Princes ! I view, with wonder and furprife,
Yon field abandon'd, where the foe purfu'd
Their fun'ral rites before, with toil renew'd :
Nor half their dead interr'd, they now abftain,
And fiience reigns through all the fmoky plain,
Thence jealoufy and fear poflefs my mind
Of faith infring'd, and treachery deGgn'd :
Behind thofe woody heights, behind thofe tow'rs,
I dread, in ambuflilaid, the Theban pow'rs;
With purpofe to affault us, when they know
That we, confiding, leaft expect a foe :
Let half the warriors arm, and ftand prepar'd,
For fudden violence, the hoft to guard ;
While, in the mournful rites, the reft proceed,
Due to the honour'd relics of the dead.


Thus as he fpoke ; approaching from afar,
The hoftile pow'rs, embattled for the war,
Appeajr'd ; and ftreaming from their polifh'd


A blaze of fplendour brlghten'd all the fields.
And thus the king of men, with lifted eyes,
And both his hands extended to the fkies :
Ye pow'rs fupreme 1 whofe unrefifted fway
The fate of men and mortal things obey I
Let all the plagues, which perjury attend,
At once, and hidden, on our foes defcend :
Let not the facred feal of wine and gore,
The hands we plighted, and the oaths we fwore,
Be now in vain ; but from your bright abodes,
Confound the bold defpifers of the gods.

He pray'd ; and nearer came the hoftile train,
With fwift approach advancing on the plain ;
Embattled thick, as when, at fall of night,
A fliepherd, from fome promontory's height,
Approaching from the deep, a fog defcries,
Which hov'ring lightly o'er the billows flies;
By breezes borne, the folid foon it gains,
Climbs the fteep hills, and darkens all the

plains i

Silent and fwift the Theban pow'rs drew near;
The chariots led, a phalanx clos'd the rear.

Confufion ftraight through ail the hoft arofe,
Stirr'd like the ocean when a tempeft blows.
Some arm for fight ; the reft to terror yield,
Inactive ftand, or trembling quit the field.
On ev'ry fide, affaults the deafen'd ear
The difcordloud of tumult, rage, and fear.
Superior in his car, with ardent eyes,
The king of men through all the army flies :
The rafli reftrains, the cold with courage fires,
And all with hope and confidence infpires ;
As when the deep, in liquid mountains hurl'd,
AfiauUs the rocky limits of the world :
When tempefts with unlicenc'd fury rave,
And fweep from Ihore to more the flying wave :
If he, to whom each pow'r of ocean bends,
To quell fuch uproar, from the deep afcends,
Serene, amid ft the wat'ry war, he rides,
And fixes, with his voice, the moving tides :
Such fcem'd the monarch. From th' Olympian


The martial maid precipitates her flight ;
To aid her fav'rite hoft the goddefs came,
Mentor fhe feem'd, her radiant arms the fame ;
Who with Ulyffes brought a chofen band
Of warriors from the Cephalenian ftrand ;
Already arm'd, the valiant youth (he found,
And arming for the fight his warriors round.
And thus began : Brave prince ! our foes appear
For battle order'd, and the fight is near.
Dauntlefs they come fuperior and elate,
W T hile fear unmans us, and refigns to fate.
Would fome immortal from th' Olympian height
Dfecend, and for a moment ftQp the fight ;
From fad dejection rous'd, and cold delpair,
We yet might arm us, and for war prepare ;
But if on human aid we muft depend,
Nor hope to fee the fav'ring gods defcend,
Great were the hero's praife, who now could boaft
From ruin imminent to fave the, hoft !
The danger near fome prompt eKpedient claims,
And prudence triumphs oft in vvorfl extremes.

Thus, in a form aflum'd, the martial re aid 3
The. generous warrior, thus replying, faid :
In youth, I cannot hope to win the praife,
With which experience crowns a length of


Weak are the hopes that on my court felt ftand,
To combats, nor practis'd in command :
But as the gods, to fave a finking ftate,
Or fnatch an army from the jaws of fate,
When prudence ftandi confounded, oft fug jeft
A prompt expedient to fome vulgar breaft ;
To your discerning ear I fhall expofe
What now my mind excites me todifclofe.
Sav'd from th' unfinuVd honours of the flain.
The mingled fpoils of forefts load the plain :
In heaps contiguous round the camp th;y lie,
A fence too weak to ftop the enemy :
But if we mix them with the feeds of fire,
Which unextinguiuYd glow in ev'ry pyre,
Againft the foe a fudden wall ftiall rife,
Of flame and fmoke afcending to the fkies :
The fteed difmay'd fliail backward hurl the car ;
Mix with the phalanx, and confound the war.

He faid. The goddefs, in her confcious breaft,
A mother's triumph for a fon poITefs'd,
Who emulates his fire, in glorious deeds,
And, with his virtue, to his fame fucceeds :
Graceful the goddefs turn'd, and with a voice,
Bold, and fuperior to the vulgar noice,
O'er all the iield commands the woods to fire j
Straight to obey a thoufands hands confpire.
On ev'ry fide the fprtading flame extends,
And, roU'd in cloudy wreaths, the fmoke afcendi.

Creon beheld, enrag'd to be withftood :
Lik? fome fierce lion when he meets a flood
Or trench defenfive, which his rage reftrains
For flocks unguarded, left by carelefs fwains;
O'er all the field he fends his eyes afar,
To mark fit entrance for a pointed war:
Near on the right a narrow fpace he found,
Where fun'ral aihes fmok'd upon the ground*
Thither the warriors of the Theban hoft,
Whofe martial (kill he priz'd and valour moft,
The monarch fent, Chalcidamus the ftrong,
Who from fair Thefpia led his martial throng,
Where Helicon erects his verdant head,
And crowns the champaign with a lofty fliade :
Oechalia's chief was added to the band,
For valour fam'd and ilcilful in command ;
Eritheus, with him, his brother came,
Of worth unequal, and unequal fame.
Rhefus, with thefe, the Thracian leader, went.
To merit fame, by high atchievements, bent;
Of ftature tall, he fcorns the pointed fpear,
And crufhes with his mace the ranks of war :
With him twelve leaders of his native train,
In combats, taught the bounding fteed to rein,
By none furpaiYd who boaft fuperior fkill
To fend the winged arrow fwift to kill,
Mov'd to the fight. The retl of vulgar name,
Though brave in combat, were unknown to fame.

Their bold invafion dauntlefs to oppofe,
Full in the raid ft the bulk of Ajax role ;
Unarm'd he ftood ; but, in his mighty hand,
Brandim'tl, with getlure fierce, a burning brand,
Snatch'd from the afhes of a fun'ral fire ;
An olive s trunk, fi/s cubit lengths entire.


Arm^d for the fight, the Cretan monarch Hood j
And Merion, thinling ftiil with hofhile blood ;
The prince of Ithaca, with him wko led
The youth, in Sicyon, and Pellene, bred.
But ere they clos'd, the Thracian leader prefs'd,
With eager courage, far before the reft ;
Him Ajax met, inflam'd with equal rage :
Between the wond'ring hofts the chiets engage:
Their weighty weapons round their heads they


And fwift, and heavy falls each thund'ring blow ;
As when in ^EtnVs caves the giant brood,
The one-ey'd fervants of the Lemnian god,
In order round the burning anvil Itand,
And forge, with weighty ftrokes, the forked brand:
The ih;'.king hills their fervid toil confefs,
And echoes rattling through each dark recefs :
SB rag'd the fight; their mighty limbs they

ftrain ;

And oft their pond'rous maces fall in vain:
For neither chief was deftin'd yet to bleed ;
But fate at laft the victory decreed.
The Salaminian hero aim'd a (troke,
Which thund'ring on the Thracian helmet broke !
Stunn'd- by the boiil'rous Ihock, the warrior


With giddy poife, then funk upon the field.
Their leader to defend, his native train
With fpeed advance, and guard him on the plain.
Againft his foe, their threat'ning lances rife,
And aim'd at once, a ftorm of arrows flies;
Around the chief on ev'ry tide they ling ;
One in his flioulder fix'd its barbed fting.
Amaz'd he flood, nor could the fight renew:
But flow and Cullen from the foe withdrew.
Straight to the charge Idoraeneus proceeds,
With hardy Merion try'd in martial deeds,
Laertes' valiant fon, and he who led
The youth in Sicyon, and Pellene, bred ;
With force united, thefe the foe fuftain,
And wafteful havoc loads the purple plain:
In doubtful poife the fcales of combat fvvay'J,
And various fates alternately obey'd. [foe,

But now the flames, which barr'd th 1 invading
Sunk to the wafted wood, in aflies glow :
Thebes rufties to the fight ; their polim'd fhields
Glam through the fruoke, and brightens all the

fields ;

Thick fly the embers, where the courfers tread,
And cloudy volumes all the welkin Ihnde.
The king of men, to meet the tempeft, fires
His wav'ring bands, and valour thus infpire*.
Gods ! (hall one fatal hour deface the praile
Of all our (leeplefs nights, and bloody days ?
Shall no jiift meed for all our toils remain ?
Our labours, blood, and victories in vain ?
Shall Creon triumph, and his impious brow
Claim the fair wreath, to truth and valour due?
No, warriors ! by the heav'nly pow'rs, is weigh'd
Juftice with wrong, in evjual balance laid :
From Juve's high roof depend th' eternal icales,
Wrong mounts defeated (till, and right prevails.
Fear theu no odds; on heav'n itfelf depend,
Which falfehood will confound, an 1 tnuh defend

He faid ; and fudden in the (hock theyclofe,
Their fliields and helmets ring with inutua

)iforder dire the mingling ranks confounds,
And fliouts of triumph mix with dying founds;
As fire, with wafteful conflagration fpreads,
And kindles, in its courfe, the woodland (hades,
When, fliooting fudden from the clouds above,
On fome thick foreft fall the flames of Jove ;
The lofty oaks, the pines and cedars burn,
Their verdant honours all to aflies turn ;
l.oud roars the temped ; and the trembling fwains
See the wide havoc of the wafted plains:
Such feem'd the conflict ; fuch the dire alarms,
From fhouts of battle inix'd with din of arms. \ I
/'hericles firft, Lycaon's valiant fon.
The fage whofe counfels propp'd the Thcba


Rofe in the fight, fuperior to the reft, / i,O

And brave Democleon's fall his might confed'd*
The chief and leader of a valiant band, ;s. J "J
From fair Eione and th' Afinian ftrand.
Next Afius, Iphitus, and Crates fell ;
Terynthian Podius trodethe path of hell :
And Schedius, from Mazeta's fruitful plain,
Met there his fate, and perifh'd with the fliin.
Aw'd by. their fall, the Argrve bands give way ;
As yields fome rampart to the ocean's (way,
When rous'd to rage, it fcorns oppofing mounds,
And fweeps victorious through forbidden ground*.

But Pallas, anxious for her rav'ritc hoft,
Their beft already wounded, many loft,
UlxfToi fought : me found him, in the rear,
Wounded and faint, and loaning x>ri his fpear.
And thus in Mentor's form: Brave prince ! I dread
Our hopes defeated, and our fall decreed :
For conqu'ring on the right the foe prevails,
And all defence againft their fury fails,;
While here, in doubtful poife, the battle fways,
And various fates alternately obeys ;
In great Tydides, who beholds from far
Our danger imminent, yet (huns the war,
Held by refcntment, or forae caufe unknjwn,
Regardlefs of our fafety and his own,
Would rile to aid us; yet we might refpirc,
And Creon, fruftrated, again retire.
Great were his praife, who could the chief, per^


In peril fo extreme, the hoft, to aid.
The fitted you, who boaft the happy (kill,
With pleating words, to move the fixed will*
Though Neftor juftly merits equal fame,
A friend the fooneft will a friend reclaim.
And thus Ulyfies to the martial maid :
I cannot hope the hero to perfuade :
The fource unknown from which his rag pro*


Reafon in vain from loofe conjecture pleads ;
The fatal truce, with faithlefs Creon made, ;v>
Provokes him not, nor holds him from our aid ;
He eaiily refign'd whate'er he mov'd,
Till now approving as the reft approvM,
Some dire difafter, fome d'fgrace nnfeen,
Confounds his fteady temper, elfe ferene :
But with my utmoft fearch,.I'U ftrive to find
The fecret griefs which wound his gen'rous mfnd;
If drain'.i of blooJ, and fpent with toils of war,
My w, ary limbs can bear their load fo far.

rie fpoke ; his words the martial maid admir'd ;
) With energy divioe his breait iuipir'd j


Lightly the hero mov'd, and took his way
Where broad encamp'd th' ^Etdian warriors lay
Already arm'd he found the daring band,
Fierce and impatient of their lord's command ;
Some, murm'ririg, round the king's pavilio


While others, more remote, complain'd aloud :
With pleafing words he footh'd them as he wen
And fought their valiant leader in his tent :
Him pond'ring deep in his diftradled mind,
He found, and fitting fad, with head declin'd.
He thus addrefs'tl him : Will the news I bring,
Afflict, or gratify, th' JEtolian king ?
" That wav'ring on the brink of foul defeat,
Without the hopes of fuccefs or retreat,
Our valiant bands th' unequal fight maintain ;
Their beft already wounded, many flain.'*
If treach'rous Thebes has brib'd you with he
ftorie, [fwore

And bought the venal faith which once you
Has promisjd precious-ore, or lovely dames,
And pays toluft the price which treafon claims :
Name but the proffers of the perjur'd king,
And more, and better, from your friends I'l

bring ;

Vaft fums of precious ore, and greater far
Than Thebes, in peace, had treafur'd for the war ;
Or, though, to gratify thy boundlefs mind,
Her private wealth and public were combin'd.
If beauty's pow'ryour am'rous heart inflames,
UnrivalPd are Achaia's lovely dames ;
Her faireft dames Adraftus fhall beftow,
And purchafe thus the aid you freely owe.
Gods ! that our armies e'er fliould need to fear
Deftruclion, and the fon of Tydeus near !

Ulyfles thus j and Tydeus' ion again :
Your falfe reproaches aggravate my pain
Too great already : in my heart I feel
Its venom'd fting, more fharp than pointed fleel
No bribe perfuades, or promife from the foe,
My oath to vi'late, and the war forego :
In vain for this were all the precious (tore,
Which trading Zidon wafts from more to fliore ;
With all that rich Iberia yet contains,
Safe and unrifled in her golden veins.
The fource from which my miferies arife,
The caufe, which to the hoft my aid denies,
With truth I fball relate ; and hope to claim
Your friendly fympathy, for groundlefs blame.
In yonder walls a captive maid remains,
To me more dear than all the world contains ;
Fairer me is than nymph was ever fair;
Pallas in Mature, and majeftic air;
As Venus foft, with Cynthia's fprightly grace,
When on Tatgetus fhe leads the chafe,
Or Erymanthus ; while in fix'd amaze,
At awful diftance heard, the fatyrs gaze.
With oaths divine our plighted faith we bound ;
Hymen had foon our mutual wifhes crown'd ;
When, call'd to arms, againit the Theban tow'rs,
From Calydon lied my martial pow'rs.
Her female form in martial arms conceal'd,
With me (he brav'd the terrors of the field :
Unknown and unrewarded, from my fide
No toil could drive her, and no fhock divide.
But now proud Theb: s injunoufly detains*
The lovely virgin, luck'd in hoftile chains ;


Doom'd, and referv'd to perifh, for my fakey
If of your counfels, I, or works, partake ;
Till twenty mornings in the eaft fhall rife,
And twenty ev'nings gild the weftern Odes.
See then the caufe which holds me, and confines
My arm, to aid you, though my heart inclines ;
Love mix'd with pity, whofe reftraints I feel
Than adamant more ftrong, and links of fteeL.

The hero thus. Laertes' fon reply 'd :
Oft have I heard what now is verify'd ;
That ftill when paffion reigns without controul,
Its fway confounds and darkens all the foul.
If Thebes, by perjury, the gods provok'd,
The vengeance flighted, by themlelves invok'd;
Aflaulted us, fecure, with hoftile arms,
And mix'd our* pious rites with dire alarms :
With better faith, by faithlefs Creon fway'd,
Will they at laft relrore the captive maid ?
When, from their battlements and lofty fpires,
They fee their champaign fhine with hoftile fires ;
And, pitch'd around them, hofts of armed foes,
With ftricl embrace, their ftraiten'd walls enclofe:
The gods they fcorn as impotent and vain :
What will they do, when you alone remain ?
Our princes fall'n, the vulgar warriors fled,
Shall to your tent the captive fair be led ?
Or rather muft you fee her matchlefs charms
R.eferv'd to blefs foaae haplefs rival's arms ;
While rage and jealoufy divide your breaft,
S T o prefent friend to pity, or affift ?
STow rather rife : and, ere it is too late,
lefcue our armies from impending fate.
The captive maid uninjur'd you'll regain ;
r orce oft obtains what juftice afks in vain.
With fuccefs thus your wifhes fhall be crown'd,
Which trufl in Thebes would fruftrate and con

Ulyfles thus : his weighty words inclin'd,
ng tortur'd with fufpenfe, the hero's mind ;
As fettling winds the moving deep controul,
And teach the wav'ring billows how to roll :
traight from his feat th' ^Itolian warrior rofe;
lis mighty limbs the martial greaves enclofe ;
His breaft and thighs in polifh'd fleel he drefs'd ;
A plumed helmet next his temples prefs'd :
"rom the broad baldric, round hi sfhoulders flung,
lis fhining fword and ftarry faulchion hung :
'he fpear he laft aflum'd, and pond'rous fhield,
Vith martial grace, and iflu'd to the field :
To mingle in the fight, with eager hafte
[e rufh'd, nor call'd his warriors as he paft.
lyffes thefe conven'd ; his prudent care
Their ranks difpos'd, and led them to the war*
Afar diilinguifh'd by his armour bright,
/ith fhouts Tydides rous'd the ling'ring fight ;
trough all the hoft his martial voice retbunds.
And ev'ry heart with kindling ardour bounds ;
As when the fun afcends, with gladfome ray,
'o light the weary trav'ller on his way j
r cheer the mariner by tempeft tofs'd
midft the dangers of fome per'lous coaft :
o to his wifhing friends Tydides came ;
'heir danger fuch before, their joy the fame.
Phericles faw ; and, fpringing from the throng,
ll'd the bold Thebans, as he rufh'd along :
r e gen'rous youths ! whom fair Boeotia breeds,
'he nurfe of valour and heroic deeds :

Let not, though oft ronew'd. thefe tedious toils
Your martial ardour quench, and damp your fouls.
Tydides comes ; and leads i" armour bright,
His native bands, impatient for the fight :
Myfelf the firft the hero's arm (hall try,
And teach you how to conquer, or to die.
We ftrive not now, as when, in days of peace,
Some prince's hymeneal rites to grace,
In lifted fields bedew'd with fragrant oil,
In combat feign'd, the mimic warriors toil ;
Alike the victors, and the vanquilh'd fare,
And genial feafts, to both, conclude the war :
We now muft conquer : or it (lands decreed
That Thebes (hall periih, and her people bleed.
No hopes of peace remain ; nor ran we find
New pods to witnefs, or new oaths to bind,
The firft infring'd : and therefore muft prepare
To (tand or perifh by the lot of war :
Then let us all undaunted brave our fate :
To (top is doubtful, oielp'rate to retreat-

The hero thus; and to the battle led :
Like Mars, he feem'd, in radiant armour clad,
Tow'ring fublime : behind his ample (hieid
He mov'd to meet Tydides on the field :
As when at noon, descending to the rills,
Two herds encounter, from the neighbouring hills :
Before the reft, the rival bulls prepare,
With aw nil preiude, for th' approaching war ;
With defp'rate horns they plough the fmoking

ground ;

Their hideous roar the hollow caves refound ;
Heav'd o'er their backs the (treamingfand afcends;
Their ftern encounter both the herds fufpcnds:
So met the chiefs ; and inch amazement quell'd
The reft, and in fufpenfe the combat held.
Tydides firft his weighty weapon threw,
Wide of the mark with erring force it flew.
Phericles ! thine fucceeds with happier aim,
Full to the centre of the fhield it came : D
But (lightly join'd, unequal to the ftroke,
Short from the fteel, the liaffin (plinters broke.
With grief Tydides faw his aim deceiv'd ;
From off the field a pond'rous rock he heav'd';
With figures rude of antique fculpture grac'd,
It mark'd the rcliques of a man deceas'd ;
Pufti'd at his foe the weighty mafs he flung; ,
Thund'ring it fell; the Theban helmet rung':
Deep with the brain the dinted fteel it mix'd,
And lifelefs, on the ground, the warrior fix'd \

Aw'd by his fall, the Theban bands retire ;
As flocks defencelefs fhun a lion's ire ;
At once they yield, unable to withltand
The wide deftruclion of Tydides' haril.
Diforder foon, the form of war confounds,
And fhouts of triumph mix with dying ft u:ids.
Creon perceiv'd, where ruling on the right
In equal poife he held the fcales of fight, .
Blafpheming heav'n, he impioufiy refign'd,
To ftern difpair, his unfubmitting mind :
Yet, vers'd in all the various turns of fate,
The bride afiault to rule, or fafe retreat,


He drew his firm battalions from the foe,

In martial order, regularly flow.

The Argive leaders, thnnd'ring in the rear,

Still forwards on the yielding (quadrons bear :

The (trife with unabated fury burns,

They ftop, they combat, and retreat by turns;

As the grim lion fourly leaves the plains,

By dogs compeil'd, and bands of armed fvvains j

Indignant to his woody haunts he goes,

And with retorted glare reftrafns his foes.

Meanwhile Tydides, near the Cadmean gate,
Urg'd with inccrFaut toil the work of fate;
Towards the walls, an undiftinguilh'd throng,
The viclors and the vanquiflrd, rufti'd along.
Accefs to bo'.h the guarded wall denies ;
From ev'ry tow'r, a ftorm of jav'lins flies j
Thick as the hail defcends, when Boreas flings
The rattling te-npelt from his airy wings:
So thick the jav'hr.s fell, arid pointed fpears;
behind them clofe, another hoft appears,
In order'd columns. rang'd, by Creon led :
U! y^es faw ; and thus to Diomed :
Boid as you are, avoid thefe guarded tow'fs !
From loofe purfuit recal your fcatter'd pow'rs :
See Creon comes ; his thick embattled train,
In phalanx join'd, approaches from the plain.
Mere if -we it ay th' unequal fight to prove,
The tow'rs and ramparts threaten from above
With darts and fton<s ; while to th' invading foe,
In order loofe, our fcatter'd ranks we (how ;
Nor by .your ma.tchlefs valour hope, in vain,
Such o3cls to conquer, and the fight maintain j
Againft an army (ingle force mult lofe ;
Immod'rate courage (till like folly mows.
See where into the field yon turret calls,
Drawn to a point the long-extended walls:
There force your way, and fpeedily regain
The fpace, and fafety of the open plain.

Ulyfles thus ; and by his prudence fway'd,
The martial Ion of Tydeus ftrait obey'd.
Thrice to the height the hero rais'd his voice.
Loud as the lilver trumpet's martial noife,
The fignal of retreat ; his warriors heard,
And round their chief in order'd ranks appear'd,
Drawn from the mingled tumult of the plain;
As, fever'd on the flour, the golden grain
Swells to a heap ; while, whirling through the


The dufty chaff in thick diforder flies ;
Tydides leads ; .between the guarded tow'rs
And noftile ranks, he draws his martial pow'rs
Towards the plain; as mariners, wuh oar
And fail, avoid fome promontory's fhore ;
When caught between the ocean and the land,
A fudden tempcft bears them on the ftrand;
The ftem oppofing to its boift'rous fway,
They mun the cape and ft retch into the bay :
So 'fcap'd Tydides. Cover'd by their tow'rs/
In fafety ft'ood retir'd the Theban poxv'rs,
For from above an iron temped rain'd,
And the incurfions of the foe reftrain'd.



Arfu now the king of men liis 4rmy calls,
Back from the danger of th* impending walls;
They quit the combat, and in order long
The field poflefs, a phalanx deep and ftrong.
Rank following rank, the Theban fquadrons tntfVe
Still to the rampart, and the tow'rs above:
Creon himfelf, unwilling-, quits the field,
Enrag'd, defeated, and conftrain'd to yield,
^Jainft all his foes his indignation burns,
IBut firft on Diomed its fury turns.
He call'd a vulgar warrior from the crowd,
A villain dark, and try'd in works of blood,
Erembus nam'd, of huge gigantic fize,
"With cloudy features mark d, and downcaft eyes ;
Cold and inactive (till in combat found,
Nor wont to kindle at the trumpet's found ;
33ut bold in villany when pow'r commands;
A weapon fitted for a tyrant's hands.
And thus the wrathful monarch : take this fword,
A fign, to all my fervants, from their lord ;
And hither bring the fair ^Etolian's head ;
I, who command you, will reward the deed :
IBut let not pity or remorfe prevail ;
Your own fhall anfwer, if in aught you fail.
He faid ; the murd'rer, practis'd to obey,
The royal fword reCeiv'd, and took his way
Straight to the palace, \vhere the captive fair,
Of hope bereft, and yielding to defpair,
Lamenting fat. Their mutual griefs to blend,
The queen and all the royal maids attend.
And thus the queen : fair ftranger I ihall your


All hopes rejeft of comfort and relief?
Your woes I've meafor'd, all your forrows known;
And find them light when balanc'd with my own.
In one fad day my valiant fire I mourn'd ;
My brothers fl?.in ; my native walls o'erturu'd ;
Myfelf a captive deftin'd to fulfil,
In fervile drudgery, a mafter's will ;
Yet to a fall fo low, the gods decreed
Thisenvy'd height of greatnefs to fuccced.
The pow'rs above, for purpofes unknown,
Oft raife the fall'n, and bring the 'lofty down ;
Elude the vigilance of all our care:
Our fureft hopes deceive, 'and motk defpair.
l^et no defponding thoughts your mind poflefs,
To banilh hope, the med'cine of diftrefs :
For nine fhort days your freedom willreftore^
And break the bondage which you thus deplore.
But I, alas ! unhappy ftill, muft mourn,
Joys once poffefs'd, which never can return ;
Four valiant fons, who perifh'd on the plain
In this dire ftrife, a fifth on Oeta (lain:
Thefe fliail return to blefs my eyes no morej
The grave's dark rrranfion knoxvs not to reftore^
For time, which bids fo oft the folar ray
Repeat, with light renew'd, th' ethereal way,
And from the foil, by heat and varnal winds,
IV fecond life the latent plant unbinds,

Again to flourifli, nurs'd by wholefome dews,
Never to mortal man his life renews.
Thefe griefs are fure ; but others ftill I fear ;
A royal hufband loft, and bondage near ;
Myfelf, my daughters, dragg'd by hoftile hands;
Our dignity exchang'd for fervile bands:
All this the gods may pijrpofe and fulfil ;
And we with patience muft endure their will.

As thus Laodice her forrow try'd
With fympathy to footh ; the maid reply'd :
Great queen 1 on whom the fov'reign pow'rs


A gen'rous heart to feel another's woe ;
Let ftill untouch'd through life your honours laft,
With happier days to come for forrows paft 1
Yet ftrive not thus a hopelefs wretch to cheer,
Whom fure conjecture leads the worft to fear.
Shall Diomed a public caufe forego,
His faithful friends betray, and truft a foe ?
By treachery behold the hoft o'erthrown,
Renounce the public intereft and his own ?
Shall kings and armies, in the balance laid,
Avail not to outweigh a fingle maid ?
One, whom his fury falfely did reprove
For crimes unknown, whofe only crime was love:
No, fure ere this he triumphs in the field;
Your armies to his matchlefs valour yield :
And foon fubmitting to the fatal blow, '
This head muft gratify a vanquifh'd foe.
If fymbols e'er the fecret fates explain,'
If vifions do not always warn in vain,
If dreams do ever true prognostics prove,
And dreams, the fages fay, defcend from Jove,
My fate approaches : late at dead of night :
My veins yet freeze with horror and affright !
I thought that, all forfaken and alone,
Penfive I wander'd far through ways unknown,
A gloomy twilight, neither night nor day
Frowri'd on my fteps, and fadden'd all the way :
Long dreary vales I faw on ev'ry fide,
And ca-verns finking deep, with entrance wide ;
On ragged cliffs the blafted forefts hung ;
Her baleful note the boding fcreech-owl fung.
At laft, with many a weary ftep, I found
This melancholy country's outmoft bound,
An ocean vail : upon a cliff I flood,
And faw, beneath me far, the fable flood ;
No iflands rofe the dull espanfe to grace,
And nottght was feen through all the boundlefs

But low-brow'd clouds, which on the billows


And, in a night of (hade, the profpecl drown'd.
The winds-, which f'eem'd around the cliffs to blow,
With doleful cadence, utter'd founds of woe,
Wafting, from ev'ry cave and dreary den,
The wail of infants mix'd with groans of 'men :
Amaz'd, on ev'ry fide my eyes I turn,
And fee depending from the craggy bourn

Wretches unnumber'd ; fome


Some grafp'd the flipp'ry rock, with fruitlefs toil ;
Some hung fufpended by the roots, which pafs
Through crannies of the cliffs, or wither'd grafs.
Still from the fteep they plung'd into the main ;
As from the eyes defcends the trickling rain.
Amaz'd I turn'd, and ftrove in vain to fly ;
Thickets oppos'd, and precipices high
To flop my flight : and, from the airy fteep,
A temped fnatch'd, and hurl'd me to the deep.
The fudden violence my (lumber broke ;
The waves I feem'd to touch, and ftraight awoke.
With fleep the vifion fled ; but, in my mind
Imprinted deep, its image left behind.
For had the frightful fcene which fancy drew,
And what I feem'd to fuffer, all been true ;
Had fate appear'd, in blackeft colours. drefs'd,
No deeper had its horrors been imprefs'd.
When thus the gods by certain fymbols warn>
And fure, from dreams, their purpofes we learn,
No blame I merit, that to fear relign'd,
Fate's dread approach fits heavy on my mind.

Caffandra thus ; Laodice again :
Futurity, in dreams, we feek in vain ;
For oft, from thoughts difturb'd, fuch phantoms


As fogs from marfhes climb, to blot the (kies :
With a dark veil, the cheerful face of day
They fadden, and eclipfe the folar ray ;
But foon in dews and foft-defcending rains,
Fall to refrefti the mountains and the plains.
For Diomed's offence you ne'er can bleed ;
Favour^ your fex and innocence will plead,
Ev'n, with the worft ; nor will a gen'rous foe
His rage, in cruelty *od bafeneis (how.
Now to the tow'rs I hade, to view from far
The danger, or fuccels of this day's war.
Let Clymene with me the wa^ls aicend ;
The reft at home domeftic carts attend.

She ended thus ; and from her feat arofe ;
The royal maid attends her, as (he goes
Towards the wcftern gate ; where full to view
Expos'd, the armies and the camp fhe knew.
And now appear'd within the lofty gate,
By Creon lent, the meflenger of fate.
His (Lining blade, for execution bar'd,
And afpect dark, his purpole ftraight declared.
Alarm'd, at once the royal virgins rife,
And, fcatt'ring, fill the dome with female cries :
But, bolder from defpair, Caflandra ftaid,
And to th' a (fa flirt thus, undaunted, faid :
Approach ! divide this neck with deathful fteel,
A tyrant's vafial no removfe mould feel.

Diomed ! let this example prove,

In man, that ftubborn honour conquers love :
With weight fuperior, great ambition draws
The fcale for glory, and a public caufe.

1 blame thee not for this ; nor will impeach
A great example, which I could not reach :
For had whole armies, in the balance laid,

And kings and mighty Hates with thee been


And I the judge appointed to decree,
They all had periflied to ranfom thee.
Caffandra thus*; and for the blow prepar'd,
With both, her hands her ihining neck (lie bar'd,


the mould'ring , And round her head a purple garment roll'd,

I With leaves of filver mark'd, and flow'rs of gold.
Rais'd for the ftroke, the glitteringfaulchion hung,
And iwift defcending, bore the head along.
A tide of gore, diffus'd in purple dreams,
Daflies the wall, and o'er the pavemest fwims.
Prbne to the ground the headlefs trunk reclines,
And life, in long convulfive throbs, refigns.

Now on the open plain before the walls,
The king of men the chiefs to council calls.
And Diomed, with fecret griefs opprefs'd,
Impatient, thus the public ear addrefs'd :
Confed'rate kings ! and thou, whofe fov' reign hand
Sways the dread fceptre of fupreme command !
What holds us, and retrains our martial pow'rs ;
While haughty Thebes infults us from her

tow'rs ?

In vain we conquer thus, and bleed in vain,
If victory but yields the empty plain.
Behind his walls, perfidious Creon lies,
And fafely meditates a new furprife :
When on the urn our pious tears we pour;
Or mirth difarmsus, and the genial hour;
Ne ; let us rather, now when fortune calls,
With bold aflault, attempt to mount the walls;
Myfelf the firft a chofen band fliall lead,
Whe re yon low rampart finks into the mead :
There will I gain the battlements, and lay,
For others to fucceed, an open way,
If bars of fteel have force their works to tear,
Or, from their hinges heav'd the gates, can bear :

Tydides thus. His counfel to oppofe,
The leader of the Cretan warriors rofe :
Confed'rate kings ! and thou, whofe fov'reign hand
Sways the dread fceptre of fupreme command 1
Let not Tydides now, with martial rage,
In meatures hot and ra(h, the holt engage ;
To fober reafon (lill let paflion yield,
Nor here admit the ardour of the field :
If Thebes could thus with one aflault be won,
Her armies vanqutfli'd, and her walls o'erthrown!
Could this one (ingle day reward our toil,
So long endur'd, with victory and fpoil :
No foldier in the ranks, no leader here,
Would fliun the fight, or counfel to forbear.
But if for victory, a foul defeat,
With all the fliame and danger of retreat,
Should be the iflue, which the wife mult dread,
To ftop is better, fure, than to proceed.
On yonder walls, and lofty turrets ftand,
Not fav'd from (hameful flight, a heartlefeband,
Who, defp'rate 'of their ftate> would foon forego
Their laft defences, and admit a. foe ;
But who, from fight recall'd, without difmay,
A fafe retreat maintain'd, in firm array.'
Secure they combat from protecting walls;
Thrown from above each, weapon heavier falls;
A;ainft fuch odds, can we the right maintain,
And with a foe found equal on the plain ?
Though we defift, no leader will bppofe
That thus the fruits of victory we lofe ;
When, pent within their battlements and tcw'rs,
In narrow fpace, we hold the Theban pow'rs : f
For oftner, than by arms, arc hods o'erthrowa
By dearth and fkknefs, in a ftraiten'd town.
He who can only wield the fword and fpear,
Knows left than half the inftrumeuu of war,


Heart-gnawing hunger, enemy to life,
Wide-wafting peftilence, and civil ftrife,
By want inflam'd, to all our weapons claim
Superior force, and ftrike with furer aim :
With thefe, whoever arm'd to combat goes,
Inftructed how to turn them on his* foes,
Shall fee them foon laid proftrate on the ground,
His aims accomplilh'd, and his wifhes crown'd.
Our warriors, therefore, let us ftraight recal,
Nor, by aifault, attempt to force the wall;
JBut with a rampart, to the gates oppos'd,
Befiege, in narrow fpace, our foes enclos'd.

The hero thus ; and, eager to reply,
Tydides rofe : when on a turret high
Creon appeared : Cafifandra's head, difplay'd
Upon a lance's point, he held, and faid :
Ye Argive warriors ! view the fign ; and know,
That Creon never fails to quit a foe.
This bloody trophy mark'd ; and if it brings
Grief and defpair to any of the kings,
Let him revenge it on the man who broke
His faith, and dar'd my fury to provoke.

He ended thus. Tydides, as he heard,
With rage diftracted, and defpair, appear'd.
Long on the tow'r he fix'd his burning eyes ;
The reft were mute with wonder and furprife ;
But, to the council turning, thus at laft ;
If any favour claim my merits paft ;
If, by a prefent benefit, ye'd bind
To future fervices a grateful mind ;
Let what I urge, in council, now prevail,
With hoftile arms yon rampart to afl'ail :
Elfe, with my native bands, alone I'll try
The combat, fix'd to conquer or to die.

The hero thus. Ulyfles thus exprefs'd
The prudent dictates of his generous breaft :
Princes ', mall dire contention ftill prefide
In all bur councils, and the kings divide ?
Sii^se, of the various ills that can diftrefs
United armies, and prevent fuccefs,
TJifcord is chief: where'er the fury drays,
The parts fhe fevers, and the whole betrays.
Now let Tydides lead his native pow'rs
To combat, and affault the Theban tow'rs ;
The reft, on various parts their forces fhow,
By mock approaches to diftract the foe.
If he prevails, to victory he leads ;
And iafe behind him all the hoft fucceeds :
If Jove forbids and all-decreeing fate,
The field is open, and a fafe retreat.

Ulyfles thus. The princes all aflent ;
Straight from the council through the hoft they


Review'd its order, and in front difpos'd
The {lingers, and the rear with bowmen clos'd ;
Arming the reft with all that could avail,
The tow'rs and battlements to fap or fcale.
Tydides firft his martial fquadrons leads;
Ulyfles, with his native band, fucceeds.
Upon them, as they came, the Thebans pour
A ftorm of jav'lins, (hot from ev'ry tow'r;
As from the naked heights the feather'd kind,
By bitter fhow'rs compell'd, and wint'ry wind,
In clouds aflembled, from fome mountain's head,
To flicker crowd, and dive into the (hade ;
Such and fo thick the winged weapons flew,
And many warriors wounded, many flew.

Now on their ranks, by forceful engines thrown,
Springs, from the twifted rope, the pond'rous ftone,
With wide deftruction through the hoft to roll,
To mix diforder and confound the whole.

Intrepid ftill th' ^Etolian chief proceeds;
And ftill Ulyfles follows as he leads.
They reach'd the wall. Tydides, with a bound,
Twice Urove in vain to mount it from the


Twice fled the foe; as, to the boift'rous fway
Of fome proud billow, mariners give way ;
Which, rous'd by tempefts, 'gainft a veffel bends
Its force, and, mounting o'er the deck, afcends :
Again he rofe : the third attempt prevail'd ;
But, crumbling in his grafp, the rarnpart fail'd :
For thunder there its fury had imprcfs'd,
And loos'd a fhatter'd fragment from the reft. .
Supine upon the earth the hero falls,
Mix'd with the fmoke and ruin of the walls..
By difappointment chaff 'd> and fierce from pain,
Unable, now the rampart to regain,
lie tmn'd, and faw his native bands afar,
By tear reftrain'd,*and ling'ring in the war.
From Creon Untight and Thebes, his anger turns,
And 'g-ainlt his mends, with equal fury, burns;
As when, from fnows dilfolvM, or fudden rains>
A torrent twells and roars along the plains;
If, rifing to oppole its angry tide,
In full career, it meets a mountain's fide ;
In foaming eddies, backwards to its fource,
It wheels, and rages with inverted courfe ;
So turn'd at once, the fury, in his breaft,
Againft Ulyfles, thus itfelf exprefs'd :
Author accurs'd, and fource of all my woes!
Friend more -pernicious than the worft of foes I
By thy fuggeftions from my purpofe fway'd,
I flew Gaffandra, and myfelf betray M ;
Hence, lodg'd within this tortur'd breaft, remain*
A fury, to inflict: eternal pains.
I need not follow, with vindictive fpear,
A traitor abfent, while a worfe is near ;
Creon bat acted what you well foreknew,
When me unwilling to the fight you drew.
To you the firft my vengeance fhall proceed^
And then on Creon and myfelf fucceed :
Such facrifice Cafiandra's ghoft demands,
And fuch I'll offer with determin'd hands.

Thus as he fpoke, Ulyfles pond'ring ftood,
Whether by art to footh his furious mood,
Or, with a fudden hand, his lance to throw,
Preventing, ere it fell, the threaten'd blow.
But, gliding from above, the martial maid
Between them ftood, in majefty difplay'd ;
Her radiant eyes with indignation burn'd,
On Diomed their piercing light fhe turn'd :
And frowning thus : Thy frantic rage reftrain ;
Elfe by dread Styx I fwear, nor fvvear in vain, ;
That proof fliall teach you whether mortal might
This arm invincible can match in fight.
Is't not enough that he, whofe hoary hairs
Still watch'd your welfare with a father's cares,
Who dar'd, with zeal and courage, to withftand
Your fatal phrenzy, perifh'd by your hand ?
That, flighting ev'ry tie which princes know,
You leagu'd in fecret with a public foe ?
And, from your faith by fond affection fway'd,
The kings, the army, and yourfelf betray'd ?


Yet, ftill unaw'd, from fuch atrocious deeds,
To more and worfe ydur defp'rate rage proceeds,
And dooms to perifh, by a mad decree,
The chief who fav'd alike the hoft and thee.
Had Thebes prevail'd, and one decifive hour
The victory had fix'd beyond thy pow'r ;
Thefe limbs, ere now, had captive fetters worn,
To infamy condemn'd, and hoftile fcorn ;
While fair Caffandra, with her virgin charms,
A prize decreed, had bleft fome rival's arms.
Did not the worth of mighty Tydeus plead,
Approv'd when living, and rever'd when dead,
For favour to his guilty fon, and ftand
A rampart to oppofe my vengeful hand ;
You foon had found how mad it is to wage
War with the gods, and tempt immortal rage.
This Thebes fhall know, ere to the ocean's


The fun again withdraws his fetting beams ;
For now the gods content, in vengeance juft,
For all her crimes, to mix her with the duft.
The goddefs thus ; and turning to the field,
Her deity in Mentor's form conceal'd :
With courage new each warrior's heart infpires,
And wakes again, in all their martial fires.

Confcious of wrong, and fpeechlefs from fur-


Tydides ftood, nor dar'd to lift his eyes,
Of fate regardlefs; though from ev'ry tow'r,
Stones, darts, and arrows fell, a mingled fhow'r :
For awe divine fubdu'd him, and the fhame
Which virtue fufFers frm the touch of blame.
But to Ulyfies turning, thus at laft :
Prince! can thy gen'rous love forget the paft ;
And all remembrance banifh from thy mind,
Of what my fury and defpair defign'd ?
If you forgive me, ftraight our pow'rs recal
Who fhun the fight, while I attempt the wall.
Some prefent god infpires me ; for I feel
My heart exulting knock the plated fteel :
In brifker rounds the vital fpirit flies,
And ev'ry limb with double force fupplies.

Tydides thus. Ulyffes thus again
Shall heav'n forgive offences, man retain;
Though' born to err, by jarring paffions tofs'd ?
The beft, in good, no fteadinefs can boaft :
No malice, therefore, in my heart fhall live ;
To fin is human; human to forgive.
But do not now your fingle force oppofe
To lofty ramparts and an hoft of foes ;
Let me at leaft, attending at your fide,
Partake the danger, and the toil divide :
For fee our pow'rs advancing to the flotm !
Pallas excites them in a mortal form.
Let us, to mount the rampart, ftraight proceed;
They of themfelves will fpllow as we lead.

Ulyfles thus ; and, fpringing from the ground,
Both chiefs at once afcend the lofty mound.
Before him each his {hilling buckler bears
'Gainft flying darts, arid thick portended fpears.
Now, on the bulwark's level top they ttand,
And charge on ev'ry fide the hoftile band:
There many warriors in clofe fight they flew,
And many headlong from the rampart threw..
Pallas her fav'rite champions ftill infpires,
Their nerves confirms, and wakes their martial

With courfe divided, on the foe they fall,

And bare between them leave a length of wall;

As fire, when kindled on fome mountain's head,

Where runs, in long extent, the woodland Ihade,

Confumes the middle foreft, and extends

Its parted progrefs to the diftant ends :

So fought the leaders, while their fcatter'd


In phalanx join'd, approach'd the Theban tow'rs ;
With hands and heads againft the rampart


The firft, upon their fhields, the reft fuftain'd :
Rank above rank, the living ftructure grows,
As fettling bees the pendent heap compofe,
Which to fome cavern's roof >united clings,
Woven thick with complicated feet and wings :
Thus mutually fuftain'd, the warriors bend ;
While o'er their heads the order'd ranks afcend.

And now the martial goddefs with delight,
Plac'd on a turret's top, furvey'd the fight.
Thrice to the height (he rais'd her awful voice ;
The tow'rs and bulwarks trembled at the noife :
Both warring hofts alike the iignal hear ;
To this the caufe of hope, to that, of fear.
And Thefeus thus addrefs'd his martial train :
Here (hall we wage a diftant war in vain,
When now, Tydides, from the conquer'd tow'rs
Dcfcending, on the town his warriors pours ?
Your glory, if ye would afiert, nor yield
At once the praife of many a well-fought field;
Afcend thefe lofty battlements, and claim
With thofe who conquer, now an equal fame.
The monarch thus; and to the combat leads ;
With emulation fir'd, the hoft proceeds ;
Under a fhow'r of falling darts they go,
Climb the fteep ramparts, and alTault the foe ;
As winds outrageous, from the ocean wide,
Againft fome mole impel the ftormy tide,
\Vhofe rocky arms, oppofed to the deep,
FYoni tempefts fafe the anchoring veflcl keep ;
Wave heap'd on wave, the ftormy deluge tow'rs,
And o'er it, with rcfiftlefs fury, pours :
Such feem'd the fight, the Theban hoft o'cr-

The wall deferts, and mingles with the town.

Creon in vain the defp'rate rout withftands,
With Iharp reproaches and vindictive hands ;
His rage they (him not, nor his threat'nings hear,
From ftunning clamours deaf, and blind from fear.
And thus the monarch with uplifted eyes,
And both his hands extended to the fkies :
Ye pow'rs fupreme, whofe unrefifted fway
The fates of men and mortal things obey !
Againft your counfels, vain it is to ftrive,
Which only ruin nations or retrieve.
Here in your fight, with patience, I refign
That envy'd royalty which once was mine;
Renounce the cures that wait upon a crown,
And make my laft attention all my own.
Seven virgin daughters in my houfe remain,
Who muft not live to fwell a victor's train ;
Nor fhall my wretched queen, in triumph borne,
Be lifted to the eye of public fcorn :
One common fate our miferies fhall end,
And, with the duft of Thebes, our afhes blend.

His fix'd decree the monarch thus exprefVd
One half the fates confirm'd, deny'd the reft :
> iij


For now furrounded by the hoftile crowd

His captive queen an humble fuppliant flood.

Tydides found her as ihe left the walls;

Before the hero to the ground (he falls ; [prefs'd,

With trembling hands, his mighty knees Ihc

And, fupplicating, thus with tears addrefs'd :

Illuftrious chief ! for fure your gallant mien

No lefs proclaims you, fpare'a wretched queen ;

One whom the gods with endlefs hate purfue,

To griefs already iumlefs adding new ;

O fpare a helplefs wretch, who humbly bends,

And for protection on thy might depends !

As fupplicating thus her fuit ihe prefs'd,

Ulyffes heard, and thus the chief addrefs'd :

See how th' immortals, by a juft decree,

Caffandra's fall avenge, and honour thee \

See, at thy feet, .the wife of Ceron laid,

A victim offer'd for the hijur'd maid.


Let her the firfl your juft refentmcnt feel 5
By heav'n prefented to your vengeful fteel.

Ulyfles thus. With fighs the hero faid :
Enough is ofFer'd to Cafiandra's fhade ;
With wide deftruction, wafting fword and fire,
To plague the authors of her fall, confpire.
Ye all in vain. No facrifice recalls
The parted ghoft from Pluto's gloomy walls.
Too long, alas ! has lawlefs fury rul'd,
To reafon deaf, by no reflection cool'd :
While I unhappy, by its dictates fway'd,
My guardian murder'd, and the hoft betray'd,
No victim, therefore, tp my rage I'll pay ;
Nor ever follow as it points the way.

The fon of Tydeus thus ; and to his tent,
From infults fafe, the royal matron fent.
Himfelf again the courfe of cpnque.ft led
Till Thebes was overthrown, and Creon bled.



ONE ev'ning as by pleafant Forth I flray'd,

In penfive mood, and meditated ftill
On poets' learned toil, with fcorn repaid

By envy's bitter fpite, and want of ikill ;

A cave I found, which open'd in a hill.
The floor was land, with various fhells yblended,

Through which, in flow meanders,' crept a rill ;
The roof, by nature's cunning fl ight iuipended :
Thither my fteps I turn d, and there my journey

Upon the ground my liftlefs limbs I laid,

Lull'd by the murmur of the pafiing ftream :
Then ileep, foft ftealing, did my eyes invade ; '

And waking thought, foon ended in a dream.

Tranfported to a region I did feem,
Which with Theflalian Tempe might compare ;

Of verdant fhade compos'd, and wat'ry gleam :
Not even Valdarna, thought fo pafllng fair,
Might match this pleafant land, in all perfections

One, like a hoary palmer, near a brook,

Under an arbour, feated did appear ;
A fhepherd fwain, attending, held a book,

And feem'd to read therein that he mote hear.

From curiofity I ftepped near ;
But ere I reach'cLthe place where they did fit,

The -vvhifp'ring breezes wafted to my ear
The found of rhymes which I myfelf had writ :
Rhymes much, alas, too mean, for fuch a judge


For him he feera'd who fung Achilles' rage,

In lofty numbers that mail never, die, "'*;&"
And, wife Ulyfles' tedious pilgrimage,
' So long the fport of {harp adverfity :
The praifes of his merit, fame on high,

With her fhrill trump, for ever loud doth found*

With'him no bard for excellence can vie,
Of all that late or ancient e'er were found ;
So much he doth furpafs ev'n bards the moil re-

The fhepherd fwain invited me to come

Up to the arbour where they feated were ;
For Homer call'd me: much I fear'd the doom

Which fuch a judge feem'd ready to declare.

As I approach'd, with miekle dread and care,
He thus addrefs'd me : Sir, the caufe explain

Why all your ftory here is told fo bare ?
Few circxnnftances mix'd of various grain ;
Such, furely, much enrich and raife a poet's

Ccrtes, quoth I, the critics are the caufe

Of tijis, and many other mifch'iefs more ;
Who tie the Milfes to fuch rigid laws,

That all their fongs are frivolous and poor.

They cannot now, as oft they did before,'
Ere pow'rful prejudice had dipt their wings,

Nature's domain with boundlefs flight explore,
And traffic freely in her precious things :
Each bard now fears the rod, and trembles while
he fmgs.


Though Shakfpeare, ftill difdaining narrow

His bofom fill'd with Nature's facred fire,
Broke all the cobweb limits fix'd by fools,

And left the world to blame him and admire.

Yet his reward few mortals would defire ;
For, of his learned toil, the only meed

That ever I could find he did acquire,
Is that our dull, degenerate, age of lead,
Says that he wrote by chance, and that he fcarce
could read.


I ween, quoth he, that poets are to blame

When they fubmit to critics' tyranny :
For learned wights there is no greater fhame,

That blindly with their dictates to comply.

Who ever taught the eagle how to fly,
Whofe wit did e'er his airy tract define,

When with free wing he claims his native flcy,
Say, will he fleer his courfe by rule and line ?
Certes, he'd fcorn the bounds that would his flight


Not that the Mufes' art is void of rules :

Many there are, I wot, and ftricter far,
Than thofe which pedants dictate from the fchools,

Who wage with wit and tafte eternal war :

For foggy ignorance their fight doth mar ;
Nor can their low conception ever reach

To what dame Nature, crown'd with many a


Explains to fuch as know her learned fpeech ;
But few can comprehend the lefibns flie doth

As many as the ftars that gild the flcy,

As many as the flow'rs that paint the ground,
In number like the infect tribes that fly,

The various forms of beauty flill are foimd ;

That with ftrict limits no man may them bound,
And fay that this, and this alone, is right :

Experience foon fuch rafhnefs would confound,
And make its folly obvious to the light ;
For fuch prefumption fure becomes not mortal


Therefore each bard fhould freely entertain
The hints which pleafing fancy gives at will ;

Nor curb he^fallies with too flrict a rein,
Nature fubjecting to her hand-maid (kill :
And you yourfeli in this have done but ill ;

"With many more, who have not comprehended
' That genius, crampt, will rarely mount the hill,

Whofe forked fummit with the clouds is blended :

Therefore, when next you write, let this delect
be mended.


But, like a friend, who candidly reproves

For faults and errors which he doth efpy,
Each vice he freely marks ; yet always loves

To mingle favour with feverity.

Certes, quoth he, I cannot well deny,
That you in many things may hope to pleafe :

You force a barbarous northern tongue to ply,
And bend it to your purpofes with eafe;
Though rough as Albion's rocks, and hoarfer than
her feas.


Nor are your tales, I wot, fo loofely yok'd,

As thoVe which Colin Clout * did tell before ;
Nor with defcription crowded fp, and chok'd,

Which, thinly fpread, will always pleafe the

Colin, I wot, was riqh in Nature's (lore ;
More rich than you, had more than he could ufe :

But mad Orlando f taught him had his lore ;

  • Spenfer.

f Arioso, fo called from his biro.

Whofe flights, at random, oft mifled his mufe ;
To follow fuch a 1 guide, few prudent men would

Me you have follow'd : Nature was my guide;

To this the merit of your verfe is owing:
And know for certain, let it check your pride,
That all you boafl of is of my beftowing.
The flow'rs I fee, through all your garden

Are mine ; molt part, at leafl : I might demand,

Might claim them, as a crop of my own fowing,
And leave but few, thin fcatter'd o'er the land:
A claim fo'jufl, I wot, you could not well with*

Certes, quoth I, that juftice were full hard,

Which me alone would fentence to reflore;
When many a learned fage, and many a bard,
Are equally your debtors, or much more.
Let Tityrus * himfelf produce his flore,
Take what is thine, but liule will remain:

Little, I wot, and that indebted fore
To Alcra's bardf, and Arethufa's fwaini;
And others too befide ; who lent him many a

Nor could the modern bards afford to pay,

Whofe fong$ exalt the champions of the

Crofs ;

Take from each hoard thy flerling gold away,
And little will remain but worthlefs drofs.
Not bards alone could ill fupport the lofs ;
But fages too, whofc theft fufpicion fhunn'd :
Ev'n that fly Greek, , who fleals and hides fo


Were half a bankrupt, if he fhould refund,
While thefc are all forborn, fhall I alone be

He fmil'd ; and from his wrath, which well could

Such boon, the wreath with which his locks

were clad,

Pluck'd a few leaves to hide my temples bare;
The prefent I receiv'd with heart full glad.
Henceforth, quoth I, I never will be fad;
For now I fhall obtain my fhare of fame :

Nor will licentious wit, or envy bad,
With hitter taunts, my verfes dare to blame :
This garland fhall protect theni, and exalt my

xvu i.
But dreams are fhort ; for as I thought to lay

My limbs, at eafe, upon the flow'ry ground,
And drink, with greedy ear, what he might fay,
As murm'ring waters fweet, or mufic's found,
My flecp departed ; and I, waking, found
Myfelf again by Fortha'e plcafant ftream.

Homewards I flepp'd, in meditation drown'd,
Reflecting on the meaning of my dream ;
Which let each wight interpret ^s him befl doth

  • Virgil. f HefioJ. J Theocritus,
    Plato, reckoned by Longinus one of tie greatefc
    imitators of Homer.

P iii-



IT is undoubtedly an uneafy fituation to lie under
great obligations, without being able to make fuit-
able returns : all that can be done in this cafe, is,
to acknowledge the debt, which (though it' does
not entitle to an acquittance) is looked upon as
a kind of compenfation, being all that gratitude
has in its power.

This is in a peculiar manner my fituation with
aefpecT: to your Lordfhip. What you have done
tfbr me with the moft uncommon favour and con-
defcenfion is what I fhall never be able to repay ;
and, therefore, have ufed the freedom to recom
mend the following performance to your protec
tion, that I might have an opportunity of acknow
ledging my obligations in the moft public manner.

It is evident, that the world will hardly allow
my gratitude upon this occafion to be diiinterefted.
Your diftinguifhed rank, 'the additional honours
derived from the luftre of your anceftors, your

own uncommon abilities, equally adapted to the
fervice of your country in peace and in war, are
circumftances fufficient to make any author am
bitious of your Lordfhip's patronage. But I muft
do myfelf the juftice to infift, it is upon the ac
count of diftinctions lefs fplendid, though far more
interefting (thofe, I mean, by which you are di-*
ftinguifhed as the friend of human nature, the
guide and patron of unexperienced youth, and the
father of the poor), that I am zealous of fubicrib-
ing myfelf,

My Lord,

Your Lordfhip's

Moft humble, and

Moft devoted Servant,



YE deep philosophers who can
Explain that various creature, man,
Say, is there any point fo nice,
As that of offering an advice ?
To bid your friend his errors mend,
Is almoft certain to offend :
Though you in fofteft terms advife,
Confefs him good ; admit him wife ;
Jn vain you fweeten the difcourfe,
He thinks you call him fool, or worfe ;
You paint his character, arid try
If he will own it, and apply.
"Without a name reprove and warn :
Here none are hurt, and all may learn;
This, too, muft fail, the picture fhown,
No man will take it for his own.
In moral lectures treat the cafe,
Say this is hoheft, that is bafe ;
In converfation none will bear it ;
And for the pulpit, few come near it.
And is there then no other way
^ moral lefTon to convey ?

Muft all that {hall attempt to teach,
Adrnonifh, fatirize, or preach ?
Yes, there is one, an ancient art,
By fages found to reach the heart,
Ere fcience with diftinctions nice,
Had fix'd what virtue is and vice,
Inventing all the various names
On which the moralift declaims :
They would by limple tales advife,
Which took the hearer by furprife ;
Alarm'd his confcience, unprepared,
Ere pride had put it on its guard ;
And made him from himfelf receive
The leflbns which they meant to give.
That this device will oft prevail,
And gain its end when others fail,
If any fhall pretend to doubt,
The tale which follows it makes out. '

There was a little ftubborn dame
Whom no authority could tame,
Reftive by long indulgence grown,
No will ihe minded but her own t


At trifles oft fhe'd fcold and fret,
Then in a corner take a feat,
And fourly moping all the day
Difdain alike to work or play.
Papa all fofter arts had try'd,
And fharper remedies apply'd;
But both were vain, for every courfe
He took ftill made her worfe and worfe.
'Tis ftrange to think how female wit,
So oft fhould make a lucky hit,
When man with all his high pretence
To deeper judgment, founder fenfe,
Will err, and meafures falfe purfue
'Tis very ftrange I own, but true
Mama oblerv'd the rifing lafs,
By ftealth retiring to the glafs,
To pradtife little airs unfeen,
In the true genius of thirteen :
On this a deep defign fhe laid
To tame the humour of the maid;
Contriving like a prudent mother
To make one folly cure another.
Upon the wall againft the feat
Which Jeffy us'd for her retreat,
Whene'er by accident offended,
A looking-glafs was ftraight fufpended,
That it might mow her how deform'd
She look'd, and frightful when fhe ftorm'd ;
And warn her as fhe priz'd her beauty,
To bend her humour to her duty.
All this the looking-glafs atchiev'd,
Its threats were minded and believ'd.

The maid who fpurn'd at all advice,
Grew tame and gentle in a trice ;
So when all other means had fail'd
The filent monitor prevail'd.

Thus, fabie to the human kind
Prefents an image of the mind,
It is a mirror where we fpy
At large our own deformity,
And learn of courfe thofe faults to mend
Which but to mention would offend.



You fay 'tis vain in verfe or profe

To teli what ev'ry body knows,

And ft retch invention to exprefs

Plain truths which all men will confefs :

Go on the argument to mend,

Prove that to know is to attend,

And that we ever keep in fight

What reafon tells us once is right ;

Till this is done you muft excufe

The 'zeal and freedom of my mufe

In hinting to the human-kind,

What few deny but fewer mind :

There is a folly which we blame,

5 Tis ftrange that it fhould want a name,

For fure no other finds a place

So often in the human race

I mean the tendency to fpy

Our neighbour's faults with fharpen'd eye,

And make his l-ghteft failings known,

^Vithout attending to our own.

The prude in daily ufe to vex
With groundlefs cenfure half the {ex,
Of rigid virtue honour nice,
And much a foe to every vice,
Tells lies without remorfe and fhame,
Yet never thinks herfelf to blame.
A fcriv'ner, though afraid to kill,
Yet fcruples not to forge a will ;
Abhors the foldier's bloody feats,
While he as freely damns all cheats :
The reafon's plain, 'tis not his way
To lie, to cozen and betray.
But tell me if to take by force,
Is not as bad at leaft, or worfe.
The pimp who owns it as his trade
To potch for letchere, and be paid,
Thinks himfelf honeft in his ftation,
But rails at rogues that fell the nation
Nor would he (loop in any cafe,
And ftain his honour for a place.
To mark this error of mankind
The tale which follows is defign 'd.

A flight of rooks one harveft morn
Had ftopt upon a field of corn,
Juft when a kite as authors fay,
Was pafllng on the wing that way :
His honeft heart was fill'd with pain,
To fee the farmer lofe his grain,
So lighting gently on a fhock
He thus the foragers befpoke :
" Believe me, Sirs, your much to blame,
'Tis ftrange that neither fear nor fhame
Can keep you from your ufual way
Of ftealth, and pilf'ring every day.
No fooner has the induftrious fwain
His field turn'd up and fow'd the grain,
But ye come flocking on the wing,
Prepar'd to fnatch it ere it faring:
And after all his toil and care
Leave every furrow fpoil'4 and bare :
If ought tfcapes your greedy bills,
Which nurs'd by iummcr grows and fills,
'Tis ftill your prey : and though ye know
No rook did ever till or fow,
Yc boldly reap, without regard
To juftice, induftry's reward,
And ufe it freely as your own,
Though men and cattle fhou'd get none.
I never did in any cafe
Defcend to practices fo bafe.
Though flung with hunger's fharpeft pain
I ftill have fcorn'd to touch a grain,
Ev'n when I had it in my pow'r
To do't with fafety every hour :
For, truft me, nought that can be gain'd
is worth a character unftain'd." -

Thus with a face aufterely grave
Harangu'd the hypocrite and knave;
And anfwering from amidft the flock
A rook with indignation fpoke.

" What has been faid is ftridlly true,
Yet comes not decently from you ;
For fure it indicates a mind
From felfifh paffions more than blind,
To mifs your greater crimes, and quote
Our lighter failings thus by rote.


I muft confefs we wrong the fwain
Too oft by pilf 'ring of his grain i
But is our guilt like yours, I pray,
"Who rob and murder every day ?
No harmlefs bird can mount the fkiea
But you attack him as he flies ;
And when at eve he lights to reft,
You ftoop and match him from his neft.
The hufbandman who feems to fhare
So large a portion from your care,
Say, is he ever off his guard,
While you are hov'ring o'er the yard?
He knows too well your ufual tricks
Your ancient fpite to tender chicks,
And that yon like a felon watch,
For fomething to furprife and fnatch."

At this rebuke fo juft, the kite
Surpris'd, abafh'd, and filenc'd quite,
And prov'd a villain to his face,
Straight foar'd aloft and left the place.



3LET every bard who feeks applaulfe
Be true to virtue and her caufe,
Nor ever try to raife his fame
By praifing that which merits blame ;
The vain attempt he needs muft rue,
For difappointment will enfue.
Virtue with her fuperior charms
Exalts the poet's foul and warms,
His tafte refines, his genius fires,
JLike Phoebus and the nine infpires ;
"While vice though feemingly approv'd
Is coldly flattered, never lov'd.

Palemon once a ftory told,
Which by conjecture muft be old :
I have a kind of half conviction
That at the beft 'tis but afidlion ;
But taken right and underftood.
The moral certainly is good.

A fhepherd fwain was wont to fing
The infant beauties of the fpring,
The bloom of fummer, winter hoar,
The autumn rich in various ftore ;
And prais'd in numbers ftrong and clear
The Ruler of the changeful year.
To human themes he'd next defcend,
The fhepherd' s harmlefs life commend,
And prove him happier than the great
"With all their pageantry and ftate ;
Who oft for pkafure and for wealth,
Exchange their .innocence and health ;
The Mufes liften'd to his lays ;
And crown'd him as he fung with bays.
Euterpe, goddefs of the lyre,
A harp beftpw'd with golden wire :
And oft wou'd teach him how to fing,
Or touch with art the trembling firing.
His fame o'er all the mountains flew,
And to his cot the fhepherds drew ;
They heard his mufic with delight,
Whole fummer days from morn to night ;


Nor did they ever think him long,

Such was the magic of his fong :

Some rural prefent each prepared,

His Ikill to honour and reward ;

A flute, a fheep-hook or a lamb,

Or kidling folio w'd by its dam :

For bards it feems in earlier days^

Got fomething more than empty praife.

All this continued for a while,

But foon our fongfter chang'd his ftyle,

Infected with the common itch,

His gains to double and grow rich :

Or fondly feeking new applaufe,

Or this or t'other was the caufe;

One thing is certain that his rhimes

Grew more obfequious to the times,

Lefs fliff and formal, alter'd quite

To what a courtier calls polite.

Whoe'er grew rich, by right or wrong,,

Became the hero of a fong :

No nymph or fhepherdefs could wed,

But he muft fing the nuptial bed,

And ftill was ready to recite

The fecret tranfports of the night,

In flrains too lufcious for the^ar

Of fober chaftity to bear.

Aftonifh'd at a change fo great,

No more the fhepherds fought his feat,

But in their place a horned crowd

Of fatyrs flock'd from every wood,

Drawn by the magic of his lay,

To dance, to frolic, fport, and play.

The goddefs of the lyre difdain'd

To fee her facrcd gift profan'd,

And gliding fwiftly to the place,

With indignation in her face,

The trembling fhepherd thus addrefs'd,

In awful majefty confefs'd.

" Thou wretched fool, that harp refign,
For know it is no longer thine ;
It was not given you to infpire
A herd like this with loofe defire,
Nor to affift that venal praife
Which vice may purchafe, if it pays;,
Such offices my lyre difgrace ;
Here take this bagpipe in its place.
'Tis fitter far, believe it true,
Both for thefe mifcreants and you."

The fwain difmay'd, without a wordj
Submitted, and the harp reftor'd.



WHEN ignorance poffefs'dthe fchocls,
And reign'd by Ariftotle's rules,
Ere Verulam, like dawning light,
Rofe to difpel the Gothic night :
A man was taught to fhut his eyes,
And grow abftraAed to be wife.
Nature's broad volume fairly fpread,
Where all true fcience might be read,
The wifdom of th' Eternal Mind,
Declar'd and publifh'd to mankind.,


Was quite neglected, for the whims
Of mortals and their airy dreams :
By narrow principles and few,
By hafty maxims, oft untrue,
By words and phrafes ill-defin'd,
Evafive truth they hop'd to bind ;
Which ftill efcap'd them, and the elves
At laft caught nothing but themfelves.
Nor is this folly modern quite,
'Tis ancient too ; the Stagyrite
Improv'd at firft, and taught his fchool
By rules of art to play the fool.
Ev'n Plato, from example bad,
Would oft turn fophift, and run mad :
Makes Socrates hlmfelf difcourfe
Like Clarke and Leibnitz, oft-times worfe.;
'Bout quirks and fubtilties contending,
Beyond all human comprehending.
From fome ftrange bias men purfue
Falfe knowledge ftill in place of true,
Build airy fyftcms of their own,
This moment rais'd, the next pull'd down ;
While few attempt to catch thofe rays
\Of truth which nature ftill difplays
Throughout the univerfal plan,
From mofs and mufhrooms up to man.
This fure were better, but we hate
To borrow when we can create ;
And therefore ftupidly prefer
Our own conceits, by whicK we err,
To all the wifdom to be gain'd
From nature and her laws explain'd.

One ev'ning, when the fun was fer,
A grafhopper and glowworm met
Ppon a hillock in a dale,
As Mab the fairy tells the tale.
Vain and conceited of his fpark,
Which brighten'd as the night grew dark,
The fhining reptile fwell'd with pride
To fee his rays on every fide,
Mark'd by a circle on the ground
Qf livid light, fome inches round.

Quoth he, if glowworms never fhone,
To light the earth when day is gone,
In fpite of all the ftars that burn,
Primeval darknefs would return :
They're lefs and dimmer, one may fee,
Befides much farther off than we ;
And therefore through a long defcent
Their light is fcatter'd quite and fpent :
While ours, comparer and at hand,
Keeps night and darknefs at a Hand,
Diffus'd around in many a ray,
Whofe brightnefs emulates the day.

This pafs'd and more without difpute,
The patient grafhopper was mute :
But foon the eaft began to glow
With light appearing from below,
And level from the ocean's ftreams
The moon emerging fhot her beams,
To gild the mountains and the woods,
And fhake and glitter on the floods.
The glowworm, when he found his light
prow pale, and faint, and vanifh quite,
Before the moon's prevailing ray,
Jicgau his envy to difplay.

That globe, quoth he, which feems fo fair,
Which brightens all the earth and air,
And fends its beams fo far abrflad,
Is nought, believe me, but a clod ;
A 'thing, which, if the fun were gone,
Has no more light in't than a ftone,
Subfifting merely by fuppliea
From Phcebus in the nether fkies ;
My light, indeed, I mufl confefs,
On fome occafions will be lefs ;
But fpite itfelf will hardly fay
I'm debtor for a fmgle ray;
'Tis all my own, and on the fcore
Of merit mounts to ten times more
Than any planet can demand
For light difpens'd at fecond hand.

To hear the paltry infect boaft.
The grafhopper all patience loft.

Quoth he, my friend, it may be fo,
The moon with borrow'd light may glow;
That your faint glimm'ring is your own,
I think is queftion'd yet by none :
But fure the office to collect
The folar brightnefs and reflect,
To catch thofe rays that would be fpent
Quite ufelefs in the firmament,
And turn them downwards on the fhade
Which abfence of the fun has made,
Amounts to more, in point of merit,
Than all your tribe did e'er inherit :
Oft*by that planet's friendly ray
The midnight traveller finds his way;
Safe by the favour of his beams
'Mulft precipices, lakes ; and ftreams;
While you miflead him, and your light,
Seen like a cottage lamp by night,
With hopes to find a fafe retreat,
Allures and tempts him to his fate :
As this is fo, I needs muft call
The merit of your light but fmall :
You need not boaft on't though your own;
'Tis light, indeed, but worfe than none ;
Unlike to what the moon fupplies,
Which you call borrow'd, and defpife.



1 HOLD it rafh at any time

To deal with fools difpos'd to rhime ;

DifTuafive arguments provoke

Their utmoft rage as foon as fpoke ;

Encourage them, and for a day

Or two you're fafe, by giving way :

But when they find themfelves betray'd,

On you at laft the blame is laid.

They hate and fcoru you as a traitor,

The common lot of thofe who flatter :

But can a fcribbler, Sir, be fhunn'd ?

What will you do when teaz'd and dunn'd ?

When watch'd, and caught, and clofely prefs'd,

When complimented and addrefs'd :

When Bavius greets you with a bow,

" Sir, pleafe to read a line or two."

If you approve, and fay they're clever,

" You make me happy, Sir, for ever."


What can be done ? the cafe is plain,
No methods of efcape remain :
You're fairly noos'd, and muft confent
To bear, what nothing can prevent,
A coxcomb's, anger ; and your fate
Will be to fuffer foon or late.

An ape, that was the fole delight
Of an old woman day and night,
Indulg'd at table and in bed,
Attended like a child, and fed :
Who knew each trick, and twenty more
Than ever monkey play'd before,
Ac laft grew frantic, and would try,
Jn fpite of nature's laws, to fly.
Oft from the window would he view
The pafling fwallows as they flew,
Obferve them fluttering round the walls,
Or gliding o'er the fmooth canals :
He too muft fly, and cope with thefe ;
For thkand nothing elfe would pleafe :
Oft thinking from the window's height,
Three flories down to take his flight :
He ftill was fomething loth to venture,
As tending ftrongly to the centre :
And knowing that the leaft miftake
Might coft a limb, perhaps his neck: ^
The cafe you'll own was fomething nice ;
He thought it beft to aik advice ;
And to the parrot ftraight applying,
Allow'd to be a judge of flying,
He thus began : " You'll think me rude,
Forgive me it" I do intrude,
For you alone my doubts can clear
In fomething that concerns me near :
Do you imagine, if I try,
That I fhall e'er attain to fly ?
The project's whimfical no doubt,
But, ere you cenfure, hear me out:
That liberty's our greateft blefTnig
You'll grant me without farther preffing ;
To live confin'd, 'tis plain and clear
Is fomething very hard to bear :
This you muft know, who for an age
Have been kept pris'ner in a cage,
Deny'd the privilege to foar
With boundlefs freedom as before.
1 have, 'tis true, much greater fcope
Than you, my friend, can ever hope ;
I traverfe all the houfe, and play
My tricks and gambols every day:
Oft with my miftrefs in a chair
I ride abroad to take the air :
Make vifits with her, walk at large,
A maid or footman's conftant charge.
Yet this is nothing, for I find
TVIyfelf ftill hamper'd and confin'd ;
A grov'ling thing : I fain would rife
Above the earth, and mount the Ikies :
The meaneft birds, and infects too,
This feat with greateft eafe can do.
To that gay creature turn about
That's beating on the pane without !
Ten days ago, perhaps but five,
A worm, it fcarcely feem'd alive:
By threads fufpended, tough and fmall,
dufty cobwebs on a wall ;

Now drefs'd in all the diff'rent dye*

That vary in the ev'ning fkies,

He foars at large, and on the wing

Enjoys with freedom all the fpring ;

Skims the frefh lakes, and rifmg fees

Beneath him far the loftiefl trees :

And when he refts, he makes his bow V

The cup of fome delicious flow'r.

Shall creatures fo obfcurely bred,

On mere corruption nurs'd and fed,

A glorious privilege obtain,

Which I can never hope to gain ?

Shall I, like man's imperial race

In manners, cuftoms, fhape, and face,

Expert in ail ingenious tricks,

To tumble, dance, and leap- o'er flicks;

Who know to footh and coax my betters,

And match a beau, at leaft in letters;

Shall 1 defpair, and never try

(What meaneft infects can) to fly ?

Say, mayn't I without 'dread or care

At once commit me to the air,

And not fall down and break my bones

Upon thofe hard and flinty ftones ?

Say, if to ftir my limbs before

Will make me glide along or foar ?

All things they fay are learn'd by trying:

No doubt it is the fame with flying.

I wait your judgment with refpect,

And fhall proceed as you direct.

Poor poll, with gen'rous pity mov'd,
The ape's fond rafhnefs thus reprov'd;
For, though inftructed by mankind,
Her tongue to candour ftill inclin'd.

My friend, the privilege to rife
Above the earth, and mount the fkies,
Is glorious fure, and 'tis my fate
To feel the want on't with regret ;
A pris'ner to a cage confin'd,
Though wing'd and of the flying kind.
With you the cafe is not the fame,
You're quite terreftrial by your frame,
And fhould be perfectly content
With your peculiar element :
You l^ave no wings, 1 pray reflect,
To lift you and your courfe direct ;
Thofe arms of yours will never do,
Not twenty in the place of two ;
They ne'er can lift you from the ground,
For broad and long, they're thick and round,
And therefore if you choofe the way,
To leap the window, as you fay,
'Tis certain that you'll be the jeft
Of every infect, bird, and beaft ;
When you lie batter'd by your fall
Juft at the bottom of the wall.
Be prudent: then, improve the pow'rs
Which nature gives in place of ours.
You'll find them readly conduce
At once to pleafure and to ufe.
But airy whims and crotchets lead
To certain lofs, and ne'er fucceed ;
As folks, though inly vex'd and teaz'd,
Will oft feem iatisfy'd and pleas'd.

The ape approv'd of every word
At this time utter'd by the bird :


But nothing in opinion changM,
Thought only how to he rever.g'd.
It happened when the day was fair,
Thai Poll was let to take the air,
Juft where the Monkey oft fat poring
About experiments in '"oaring :
Diflembling his contempt and rage,
He ftept up foftly to the cage,
And with a fly malicious grin,
Accofted thus the bird within.

You fay, I am not forra'd for flight ;
In this you certainly are right:
*Tis very plain upon reflection,
But to yourfelf there's no objection,
Since flying is the very trade
For which the winged race is made; ,
And therefore for our mutual Iport,
I'll make you fly, you can't be hurt.
With that he flyly dipt the ftring
Which held the cage up by the ring.
In vain the Parrot begg'd and pray'd,
No word was minded that llie faid :
Down went the cage, and on the ground
Bruis'd and half-dead poor Poll was found.
Pug who for fome time had attended
To that alone which now was ended,
Again had leifure to purfue
The project he had firft in view.

Quoth he, a perfon, if he's wife
Will only with his friends advife,
They know his temper and his parts,
And have his intereft near their hearts.
In matters which he fliould forbear,
They'll hold him back with prudent care,
But never from an ewvious fpirit
Forbid him to difplay his merit ;
Or judging wrong from fpleen and hate
His talents flight or underrate ;
I acted fure with fmall reflection
In afking counfel and direction
From a fly minion whom I know
To be my rival and my foe :
One who will conftantly endeavour
To hurt me in our lady's favour,
And watch and plot to keep me down,
From obvious interefts of her own :
But on the top of that old tow'r
An honeft Daw has made his bow'r ;
A faithfulfriend whom one may truft,
My debtor too for raany a cruft ;
Which in the window oft I lay,
For him to come and take away :
From gratitude no doubt he'll give
Such counfel as I may receive ;
Well back'd with reafons ftrong and plain
To pufli me forward or reftrain.

One morning when the Daw appear'd,
The project was proposed and heard :
And though the bird was much furpris'd
To find friend Pug fo ill advis'd,
He rather chofe that he fliould try
At his own proper rilk to fly,
Than hazard, in a cafe fo nice,
To fliock him by too free advice.

Q^uoth he, I'm certain that you'll find
The project anfwer to your mind ;
Without fufpicion, dread or care,
At once commit you to. the air ;

You'll foar aloft, or, if you pleafe,
Proceed ftraight forwards at your eafe :
The whole depends on refolution.
Which you poflefs from conftitution ;
And if you follow as I lead,
'Tis paft a doubt you muft fucceed.

So faying, from the turret's height,
The Jackdaw (hot with downward flight,
And on the edge of a canal,
Some fifty paces from the wall,
'Lighted, obtequious to attend
The Monkey when he fliould defcead :
But he, although he had believ'd
The flatterer and was deceiv'd,
Felt feme mifgivings at-his heart
In vent'ring on fo new an art :
But yet at laft 'tween hope and fear
Himfelf he trufted to the air,
But far'd like him whom poets mention
With Dedalus'sold invention:
Directly downwards on his head
He fell, and lay an hour for dead.
The various creatures in the place
Had diff'rent thoughts uponnhe cafe,
From fome his fate compaflion drew,
But thole I mult confefs were few :
The reft efteeoi'd him rightly fert'<l>
And in the manner he deferv'd,
For playing tricks beyond his fphere,
Nor thought the punifliment fevere.
They gather'd round him as he lay,
And jecr'd him when he limp'd away.

Pug difappointed thus and hurt,
And grown befides the public fport,
Found all his different palTions change
At once to fury and revenge :
The Daw 'twas ufelefs to purfue,
His helplcfs brood as next in view,
With unrelenting paws he feiz'd,
One's neck he wrung, another fqueez'd,
Till of the number tour or five,
No lingle bird was left alive.

Thus counfellors, in all regards
Though different, meet with like rewards:
The Itory Ihows the certain fate
Of every mortal foon or late,
Whofe evil genius for his crimes
Connects with any fop that rhimes.



DECLARE, ye fages, if ye find
'Mongft animals of ev'ry kind,
Of each condition fort and fize,
From whales and elephants to flies,
A creature that mjftakes his plan,
And errs fo conftantly as man.
Each kind purfues his proper good,
And feeks for pleafure, reit and food,
As nature points, and never errs
In what it choofes and prefers ;
Man only blunders, though poffeft
Of talents far above the reft.

Defcend to inftances and try;
An ox will fcarce attempt to fly,
Or leave his pafture in the wood
With filhes to- explore the flood.


Man only acts of every creature,
In oppofition to his nature.
The happinefs of human-kind
Confifts in rectitude of mind,
A will fubduM to reafoa's fway,
And paflions practis'd to obey ;
An open and a gen'rous heart,
Refin'd from felfifhnefs and art ;
Patience which mocks at fortune's pow'r,
And wifdom never fad nor four:
In thefe confift our proper blifs ;
Elfe Plato reafons much amifs :
But foolilh mortals ftill purfue
Falfe happinefs in place of true ;
Ambition ferves us for a guide,
Or luft, or avarice, or pride ;
While reafon no aflent can gain,
And revelation warns in vain.
Hence through our lives in ev'ry ftage,
From infancy itfelf to age,
A happinefs we toil to find,
Which ftill avoids us like the wind ;
JEv'n when we think the prize our own,
At once 'tis vanifh'd* loft and gone.
You'll afk me why I thus rehearfe,
All Epictetus in my verfe,
And if I fondly hope to pleafe
With dry reflections, fuch as thefe,
So trite, fo hackny'd, and fo ftale ?
I'll take the hint and tell a tale.
One ev'ning as a fimple fwain
His flock attended on the plain,
The mining bow he chanc'd to fpy,
Which warns us when a fliow'r is nigh ;
With brighteft rays it feem'd to glow,
Its diftance eighty yards or fo.
This bumpkin had it feems been told
The ftory of the cup of gold,
Which fame reports is to be found
Juft where the rainbow meets the ground ;
He therefore felt a fudden itch
To feize the goblet and be rich ;
Hoping, yet hopes are oft but vain,
!No more to toil through wind and rain,
But fit indulging by the fire,
'Midft eafe and plenty, like a 'fquire :
He mark'd the very fpot of land
On which the rainbow feem'd to ftand,
And ftepping forwards at his leifure
Expected to have found the treafure.
But as he mov'd, the colour'd ray
Still chang'd its place and flipt away,
As feeming his approach to fhun;
From walking he began to run,
But all in vain, it ftill withdrew
AS nimbly as he could purfue ;
At laft through many a bog and lake,
Rough craggy rock and thorny brake,
It led the eafy fool, till night
Approach'd, then vaniih'd in his fight,
And left him to compute his gains,
With nought but labour for his pains.



As there are Various forts of minds,
So friendfhips are of diff'rent kinds:

Some, conftant when the object's near;

Soon vanifh if it difappear.

Another fort, with equal flame,

In abfence will be ftill the fame :

Some folks a trifle will provoke,

Their weak attachment foon is broke ;

Some great offences only move

To change in friendfhip or in love.

Affection when it has its fource v

In things that Ibift and change ofcourfe,

As thefe diminifti and decay,

Mull likewife fade and melt away.

But when 'tis of a nobler kind, wi,

Infpir'd by rectitude of mind,

Whatever accident arrives,

It lives, and death itfelf furvives ;

Thofe different kinds reduc'd to two,

Falfe friendfhip may be call'd and true.

In Celia's drawing-room of late
Some female friends were met to chat;
Where after much difcourfe had paft,
A portrait grew the theme at laft :
'Twas Celia's you muft underftand,
And by a celebrated hand.
Says one, that picture fure muft ftrike,
In all refpects it is fo like :
Your very features, fhape and air
Exprefs'd, believe me, to a hair :
The price I'm fure could not be fmall
Juft fifty guineas frame and all
That Mirror there is wond'rous fine
I own the bauble coft me nine ;
I'm fairly cheated you may fwear.
For never was a thing fo dear :
Dear quoth the Looking-glafs and fpoke,
Madam, it would a faint provoke :
Muft that fame gaudy thing be own'd
A pennyworth at fifty pound ;
While I at nine am reckon'd dear,
'Tis what I never thought to hear.
Let both our merits now be try'd,
This fair afiembly fhall decide ;
And I will prove it to your face,
That you are partial in the cafe.
I give a likenefs far more true
Than any artift ever drew :
And what is vaftly more, exprefs
Your whole variety of drefs :
From morn to noon, from noon to night,
I watch each change and paint it right ;
Befides I'm nuftrefs of the art,
Which conquers and fecures a heart.
I teach you how to ufe thofe arms,
That vary and afiift you* charms,
And in the triumphs of the fair,
Claim half the merit for my mare :
So when the truth is fairly told,
I'm worth at leaft my weight in gold :
But that vain thing of which you fpeak
Becomes quite ufelefs in a week.
For, though it had no other vice,
'Tis out of fafllion in a trice,
The cap is chang'd, the cloak, the gown ;
It muft no longer ftay in town ?
But goes in courfe to hide a wall
With others in our country-hall.

The Mirror thus: the nymph reply 'd,
Your merit cannot be deny'd ;


The portrait too, 1 rauft confefs,

In fome refpedls has vaftly lefs.

But you yeurfelf will freely grant

That it has virtues which you want.

'Tis certain that you can exprefs

My fliape, my features, and my drefs,

Not juft as well, but better too

Than Kneller once or Ramfay now.

But that fame image in your heart

Which thus excels the painter's art,

The Ihorteft abfence can deface,

And put a monkey's in its place :

That other which the canvafs bears,

Unchang'd and conftant, lafts for years,

Would keep its luftre and its bloom

Though it were here and I at Rome.

When age and ficknefs fhall invade

Thofe youthful charms and make them fade,

You'll foon perceive it, and reveal

What partial friendfhip fhould conceal :

You'll tell me, in your ufual way,

Of furrow'd cheeks and locks grown gray ;

Your gen'rous rival, not fo cold,

Will ne'er fuggeft that I am old ;

Nor mark when time and flow difeafe

Has ftol'n the graces won't pleafe;

But keep my image to be teen

In the full bloflfom of fixteen :

Beftowing freely all the praife

I merited in better days.

You will (when I am turn'd to duff,

For beauties die, as all things muft,

And you remember but by feeing)

Forget that e'er I had a being ;

But in that pidlure I (hall live,

My charms (hall death itfelf furvive,

And figur'd by the pencil there

Tell that your miftrefs once was fair.

Weigh each advantage and defedl,

The portrait merits moft refpecl :

Your qualities would recommend

A fervant rather than a friend ;

But fervice fure in ev'ry cafe,

To friend/nip yields the higher place,



Imitated from Theocritus.

BY all the fages 'tis'confeft
That hope when- moderate is beft :
But when indulg'd beyond due meafure
It yields a vain deceitful pleafure,
Which cheats the fimple, and betrays
To mifchief in a thoufand ways ;
Juft hope affifts in all our toils,
The wheels of induftry it oils ;
In great attempts the bofom fires,
And zeal and conftancy infpires.
Falfe hope, like a deceitful dream,
Refts on fome vifionary fdheme,
And keeps us idle to our lofs,
Enchanted with our hands acrofs.
A tale an ancient bard has told
Of two poor fifhermen of old,
Their names were (left I flieuld forget
And put the reader in a pet,

Left critics too fhould make a pother)

The one Afphelio, Gripus t' other.

The men were very poor, their trade

Could fcarce afford them daily bread :

Though ply'd with induftry and care

Through the whole feafon, foul and fair.

Upon a rock their cottage ftood,

On all fides bounded by the flood :

It was a miferable feat,

Like cold and hunger's worft retreat :

And yet it ferv'd them both for life,

As neither could maintain a wife ;

Two walls were rock, and two were fancf,

Ramm'd up with ftakes and made to ftand.

A roof hung threat'ning o'er their heads

Of boards half-rotten, thatch'd with reeds.

And as no thief e'er touch their ftore,

A hurdle ferv'd them for a door.

Their beds were leaves j againft the wall

A fail hung drying, yard and all.

On one fide lay an old patched wherry,

Like Charon's on the Stygian ferry :

On t' other, balkets and a net,

With fea-weed foul and always wet.

Thefe forry inftruments of trade

Were all the furniture they had :

For they had neither fpit nor pot,

Unlefs my author has forgot.

Once fome few hours ere break of day,
As in their hut our filhers lay,
The one awak'd, and wak'd his neighbour,
That both might ply their daily labour ;
For cold and hunger are confeft
No friends to indolence or reft.

Friend, quoth the drowfy fwain, and fworc,
What you have done has hurt me more
Than all your fervice can repay
For years to come by night and day ;
You've broke the thought on't makes me mad
The fineft dream that e'er I had.

Quoth Gripus : friend your fpeech would prove
You mad indeed, or elfe in love ;
For dreams fliould weigh but light with thofe
Who feel the want of food and clothes :
I guefs, though fimple and untaught,
You dream'd about a lucky draught,
Or money found by chance : they fay
That " hungry foxes dream of prey."

You're wond'rous flirewd, upon my troth,
Afphelio cry'd, and right in both :
My dream had gold in't, as you faid,
And filhing too, our conftant trade ;
And fince your guefs has hit fo near,
In fiiort, the whole on't you fliall hear,

" Upon the more I feem'd to ftand,
My rod and tackle in my hand ;
The baited hook full oft I threw.
But ftill in vain, I nothing drew :
A fifh at laft appear'd to bite,
The cork div'd quickly out of fight,
And foon the dipping rod I found
With fomething weighty bent half round:
Quoth I, good luck has come at laft,
I've furely made a happy caft :
This fifli, when in the market fold,
In place of brafs will fell for gold :
To bring it iafe within my reach,
I drew it foftly to the beach ;


But long ere it had come fo near

The watfer gleam'd with fomething clear ;

Each paffing billow caught the blaze,

And glitt'ring, fhone with golden rays.

Of hope and expectation full

Impatient, yet afraid to pull,

To Ihore I flowly brought my prize,

A golden filh of largeft fize :

'Twas metal all from head to tail,

Quite ftiff and glitt'ring ev'ry fcale.

Thought I, my fortune now is made ;

'Tis time to quit the fifhing trade,

And choofe fome other, where the gains

Are fure, and come for half the pains,

Like creatures of amphibious nature

One hour on land, and three on water ;

We live 'midft danger, toil, and care,

Yet never have a groat to fpare ;

While others not expos'd to harm,

Grow rich though always dry and warm ;

This treafure will fuffice, and more,

To place me handfomely on more,

In fome fnug manor ; now a fwain,

My fleers (hall turn the furrow'd plain,

While on a mountain's grafly fide

My flocks are part'ring far and wide :

Befide all this, I'll have a feat

Convenient, elegant, and neat,

A houfe not over great nor fmall,

Three rooms, a kitchen, and a hall.

The offices contriv'd with care,

And fitted to complete a fquare ;

A garden well laid out ; a wife,

To double all the joys of life ;

With children prattling at my knees,

Such trifles as are fure to pleafe.

Thofe gay defigns, and twenty more,

I in my dream was running o'er,

While you, as if you ow'd me fpite,

Broke in and put them all to flight,'

Biew the whole vifion into air,

And left me waking in defpair.

Of late we have been poorly fed,

Laft night went fupperlefs to bed :

Yet, if I had it in my pow'r

My dream to lengthen for an hour,

The pleafure mounts to fuch a fum,

I'd fail for fifty yet to come.

Therefore to bid me rife is vain,

I'll wink and try to dream again.

If this, quoth Gripus, is the way
You choofe, I've nothing more to fay ;
'Tis plain that dreams of wealth will ferve
A perfon who refolves to ftarve j
But lure to hug a fancy'd cafe,
That never did nor can take place,
And for the pleafures it can give
Neglect the trade by which we live,
Is madnefs in its greateft height,
Or I miftake the matter quite :
Leave fuch vain fancies to the great,
For folly fuits a large eitate :
The rich may fafely deal in dreams,
Romantic hopes and airy fchemes j
But you and I, upon my word,
Such paftime cannot well afford ;
And therefore if you would be wife,
Take my advice, for once, and rife.



WHO fets his heart on things below

But little happinefs fhall know ;

For every object he purfues

Will vex, deceive him, and abufe :

While he on hopes and wifhes rife

To endlefs blifs above the fkies,

A true felicity fhall gain,

With freedom from both care and pain,

He feeks what yields him peace and reft,

Both when in profpect and poffeft.

A fwain whofe flock had gone aftray,
Was wand'ring far out of his way
Through deferts wild, and chanc'd to fee
A ftripling leaning on a tree,
In all things like the human kind,
But that upon his back behind
Two wings were from his fhoulders fpread
Of gold and azure, ting'd with red ;
Their colour like the ev'ning fky r
A golden quiver grac'd his thigh :
His bow unbended in his hand
He held, and wrote with on the fand ;
As one whom anxious cares purfue,
In mufing oft is wont to do.
He ftarted ftill with fudden fear,
As if fome danger had been near,
An<jl turn'd on every fide to view
A flight of birds that round him flew,
Whofe prefence feem'd to make him fad,
For all were ominous and bad ;
The hawk was there, the type of fpite y
The jealous^owl that fhuns the light,
The raven, whofe prophetic bill
Denounces woe and mifchief ftill ;
The vulture hungry to devour,
Though gorg'd and glutted ev'ry hour;
With thefe confus'd an ugly crew
Of harpies, bats, and dragons flew,
With talons arm'd, and teeth, and ftings,
The air was darken'd with their wings.
The fwain, though frighten'd, yet drew near,
Compaffion rofe in place of fear,
He to the winged youth began,
" Say, are you mortal and of man,
Or fomething of celeftial birth,
From heaven defcended to the earth ?
I am not of terreftrial kind,
Quoth Cupid, nor to earth confin'd :
Heav'n is my true and proper fphere,
My reft and happinefs are there :
Through all the boundlefs realms of light
The phoenix waits upon my flight,
With other birds whofe names are knowft
In that delightful place alone.
But when to earth my courfe I bend,
At once they leave me and afcend ;
And for companions in their ftead,
Thofe winged monfters there fucceed,
Who hov'ring round me night and day,
Expect and claim me as their prey.

Sir, quoth the fhepherd, if you'll try,
Your arrows foon will wake them fly j.-
Or if they brave them and refift,
My (ling is ready to affift.


Incapable of wounds and pain,
Reply'd the winged youth again,
Thefe foes our weapons will defy ;
Immortal made, they never die ;
But live to haunt me everywhere,
While I remain within their fphere.

Sir, quoth the fvvain, might I advife,
You ftraight fhould get above the fkies :
It feems indeed your only way,
For nothing here is worth your ftay ;
Befide, when foes like thefe moleft,
You'll find but little peace or reft.



EACH candidate for public fame

Engages in a defp'rate game :

His labour he will find but loft,

Or lefs than half repaid at moil :

To prove this point I fhall not choofe

The arguments which 3toics ufe ;

That human life is but a dream,

And few things in it what they feem ^

That praife is vain and little worth,

An empty bauble, and ib forth.

Til offer one. but of a kind

Not half fo fubtle and refin'd ;

Which, when the reft are out of fight,

May fometimes chance to have its weight.

'The man who fets his merits high,
To glitter in the public eye,
Should have defeds but very fmall,
Or ftrictly fpeaking, none at all : ,
For that fuccefs which fpreads his fame,
Provokes each envious tongue to blame,
And makes his faults and failings known

^Where'er his better parts are fhown.

Upon a time, as poets fing,
The birds all waited on their king,
His hymeneal rites to grace ;
A flow'ry meadow was the place ;
They all were frolickfome and gay
Amidft the pleafures of the day,
And ere the.feftival was clos'd,
A match at finging was propos'd ;
The queen herfelf a wreath prepar'd, -
To be the conqueror's reward ;
With ftore of pinks and daifies in it,

. And many a fongftcr try'd to win it ;
But all the judges foon confeft
The fwan fuperior to the reft ;
He got the garland from the bride,
Wi h honour and applaufe befide :
A Uttling goofe, with envy ftung,
Auhough herfelf fhe ne'er hadfung,
Took this occafion to reveal
What fwans Teem ftudious to conceal,
And, fkilPd in fatire's artful ways,
Jnveftive introduc'd with praife.

The fwan, quoth fhe, upon my word,

Defer ves applaufe from ev'ry bird

By proof his charming voice you know,
His feathers foft and white as fnow ;
And if you faw him when he fwims
Majeftic on the filver ftreams,
He'd feem complete in all refpedls:

. But nothing is without defers ;

i For that is true, which few would think,
His legs and feet are black as ink-
As black as ink if this be true,
To me 'tis wonderful and new,
The fov'reign of the birds reply'd ;
But foon the truth on't fliall be try'd.
Sir, fhow your limbs, and for my fake,
Confute at once this foul miftake,
For I.'il maintain, and I am right,
That, like your feathers, they are white.
Sir, quoth the fwan, it would be vain
For me a falfehood to maintain ;
My legs are blackj,and proof will fhow
Beyond difpute that they are fo :
But if I had not got a prize
Which glitters much in fome folk's eyes,
Not half the biids had ever known
What truth now forces me to own.


To tie Poett.

'Tis not the point in works of art
With care to furnifh every part,
That each to high perfection rais'd,
May draw attention and be prais d,
An object by itfelf remedied,
Though all the others were negledled ;
Not mafters only this can do,
But many a vulgar artift too:
We know diftinguifh'd merit moft,
When in the whole the parts are loft,
When nothing rifes up to mine.
Or draw us from the chief defign,
When one united full effect
Is felt, before we can reflect:
And mark the caufesthat confpire
To charm and force us to admire.
This is indeed a matter's part,
The very fummit of his art;
And, therefore, when ye fhall rehearfe
To friends for trial of your verfe,
Mark their behaviour and their way,
As much, at leaft, as what they fay ;
If they feem'd pleas'd, and yet arc mute,
The poem's good beyond difpute; ,
But when they babble all the while,
Now praife the fenfe, and how the ftyle,
'Tis plain that fomething muft be wrong,
This too weak or that too ftrong.
The art is wanting which conveys
Impreffions in myfterious ways,
And makes us from a whole receive
What no divided parts can give:.
Fine writing, therefore, feems of courfe,
Lefs fit to pleafe at firft than worfe.
A language fitted to the fenfe
Will hardly pafs for eloquence.
. One f els its force, before he fees
The charm which gives it pow'r to pleafe,
And ere inftructed to admire,
Will read and read, and never tire.
But when the ftyle is of a kind
Which foars and leaves the fenfe behind,
'Tis fomethinjg by itfelf, and draws
From vulgar judges dull applaufe ;

E "' *< ',


They'll yavyn, and tell you as you read,
" Thofe lines are mighty fine indeed ;' ?
But never will your works perufe
At any time, if they can choofe.
Tis not the thing which men call wit,
Nor characters, though truly hit,
Nor flowing numbers foft or ftrong,
That bears the raptur'd foul along ;
'Tis fomething of a different kind,
'Tis all thofe flcilfully combin'd, '
To make what critics call a whole,
Which ravifhes and <*harms the foul.

Alexis by fair Celia's fcorn
To grief abandon'd and forlorn,
Had fought in folitude to cover
His anguifh, like i hopelefs lover :
With his fond paffion to debate,
Gay Strephon fought his rural feat,
And found him with the fhepherds plac'd
Jar in a folitary wafte. -

My friend, quoth he, you're much to blame ;
This foolifh foftnefs quit for fhanie ;
Nor fondly doat upon a woman,
Whofe 'charms are nothing more than common.
That Celia's handfomel agree,
But Clara's handfomer than (he :
Euanthe's wit, which all commend,
Does Celia's certainly tranfcend :
Nor can you find the leaft pretence
With Phebe's to compare her fenfe;
With better tafte Belinda dreffes.
With truer ftep the floor fhe preffes j
And for behaviour foft and kind,
Melifia leaves her far behind :
What witchcraft then can fix the chain
Which makes you fuffer her difdain, '*
And not' attempt the "manly part
To fet at liberty your heart f
Make but one ftruggle, and you'll fee
That in a moment you'll be free.

This Strephon argxi, and ten times more,
From topics often touch'd before :
In vain his eloquence he try'd;
Alexis, fighiug, thus reply'd:

If Clara's handfome and a toaft,
'Tis all the merit fhe can boaft :
Some fame Euanthe's wit ha's gain'd,
Beraufe by prudence not reftrain'd.
Phebe I own is wondrous wife,
She never acts but in difguife:
Belinda's merit all confefs
Who know the myftery of drefs :
But poor Meliffa on the fcore
Of mere good-nature pleafes more :
In thofe thtf reigning charm appears
Alone, to draw our eyes and ears,
No other rifes by its fide
And fhines, attention to divide;
Thus feen alone it ftrikes the eye,
As fomething exquifite and high :
But in my Celia you will find
Perfeiftion of another kind ;*
Each charm fo artfully expreft
As ftill to mingle with the reft :
Averfe and fhurming to be known,
An object by itfelf alone, /^ r 4' r .

But thus combin'd they make a fpell
Whofe force no human tongue can tell 3

A pow'rful magic which my hreaft
Will ne'er be able to refift :
For as fhe flights me or complies,
Her conftant lover lives or dies.



A YOUTH, a pupil of the town,
Philofopher an ; d atheift grown,
Benighted on;e upon the road,
Found out a hermit's lone abode,
Whofe hofpitality in need
Reliev'd the traveler and his freed,
For both fufficiently were tir'd,
Well drench'd in ditches and bemir'd.
Hunger the firft attention claims ;
Upon the coals a rafber flames,'
Dry crufts, and liquor fomething ftale,
Were added to make up a meal;
At which our trav'ler as he fat
By intervals began to chat.

'Tis odd, quoth he, to think what {trains
Of folly govern forae folk's brains !
What makes you choofe this wild abode ?
You'll fay, 'tis to converfe with God :
Alas, I fear, 'tis all a whim :
You never faw or fpol f. with him.
They talk of Providence's pow'r,
And fay it rules us every hour ;
To me all nature feems cohfufion,
And fuch weivi fancies mere delufion.
Say, if it rul'd and govern'd right,
Could there be fuch a thing as night ;
Which, when the fun has left the Ikiea,
Puts all things in a deep difguife \
If then a trav'ler chance to ftray
The leuft ftep from the public way,
He's foon in endlefs mazes loft,
As I have found It to my coft.
Befides, the gloom which nature wears
Aflifts imaginary fears
Of ghofts and goblins from the waves
Of iulph'rous lakes, and yawning graves;
All fprung from fuperftitious feed,
Like other maxims of the creed.
For my part, I reject the tales
Which faith fuggefts when reafon fails :
And reafon nothing underftands,
Unwarranted by eyes and hands.
Thefe fubtle eflences, like wind,
Which fome have dreamt 'of, and call mind,,
It ne'er admits; nor joins the lie
Which fays men rot, but never die.
It holds all future things in doubt,
And therefore wifely leaves them out:
Suggefting what is worth our care,
To take things prefent as they are,
Our wifeft courfe : the reft ia folly,
The fruit of fpleen and melancholy.

Sir, quoth the hermit, I agree
That reafon ftill our guide fhould be :
And will admit her as tjie teft,
Of what is true, and what is beft :
But reafon fure would blnfh for fhame
At what you mention in her name ;
Her dictates are fublime and holy ;
Jmpiety's the child of folly ;



Reafon with meafur'd fteps nd flow,

To things above from things below

Afcends, and guides us through her fphere

With caution, vigilance, anC care.

Faith in the utmoft frontier ftands,

And reafon puts her in her hands,

But not till her commiffion giv'n

Is found authentic, and from heav'u.

'Tis ftrange that man, a reas'ning creature,

Should mifs a god in viewing nature :

Whofe high perfections are difplay'd

In ev'ry thing his f hands have made :

Ev'n when we think their traces loft,

When found again, we fee them moft ;

The night itfelf which you would blame

As fomething wrong in nature's frame,

Is but a curtain to invert

Her weary children, when at reft :

Like that which mothers draw to keep

The light off from a child aflcep.

Befide, the fears which darknefs breeds

At leaft augments in vulgar heads,

Are far from ufclefs, when the rniud

Is narrow, and to earth conn'n'd ;

They make the worldling think with pain

On frauds and oaths, and ill-got gain ;

Force from the ruffian's hand the knife

Tuft rais'd againft his neighbours life ;

And in defence of virtue's caufe

Affift each fandlion of the laws.

Bat fouls ferene, where wifdom dwells,

And fuperftitious dread expells,

The filent majefty of night

Excites to take a nobler flight :

'With faints and angels to explore

The wonders of creating pow'r ;

And lifts on contemplation's wings

Above the fphere of mortal things :

Walk forth and tread thofe dewy plains

\Vhere night in awful filence reigns;

The iky's i'erene, the air is ftill,.

The woods ftand lift'ning on each hill,

.^To catch the founds that fink and Aveit

'Wide-floating from the ev'ning bell,

While foxes howl and beetles hum,

Sounds which make filence ftill more dumb;

And try if folly ram and rude

Dares on the facred hour intrude.

Then turn your eyes to heav'n's broad frame,

Attempt to quote thofe lights by name,

Which Ihine fo thick and ipread fo far j

Conceive a fun in every liar,

Round which unnumber'd planets roll,

, While comets flioot athwart the whole.

From fyftem ftill to fyftem ranging,

Their various benefits exchanging,

And fhaking from their flaming hair

The things moft needed every where.

Explore this glorious fcene, and fay

That night difcovers lefs than day ;

That 'tis quite ufelefs, and a iign

That chance difpofes, not defign :

Whoe'er maintains it, 1*11 pronounce

Him either mud or elfe a dunce.

For reafon, though 'tis far from ftrong,

Will foon.find out that nothing's wrong,

From figns and evidences clear,

Of wife contrivance every where.

The hermit ended ; and the youth
Became a convert to the truth ;
At leaft he yielded, and confeft
That all was order'd for the beft.



CANNOT think but more or lefs
['rue merit always gains fuccefs ;
That envy, prejudice, and fpite,
Will never link a genius quite,
experience mows beyond a doubt,
That worth, though clouded, will flune out.
The fecond name for epic fong,
Firft claffic of the Enghfh tongue,

reat Milton, when he firft appear'*!,
Was ill receiv'd and coldly heard :
[n vain did faction damn thofe lays,
Which all pofterity (hall praife :
Is Dryden or his works forgot,
for all that Buckingham has wrote ?
The peer's Iharp fatire, char^'d with fcufr,
Give's pleafure at no one's exper-.ce :
The bard and critic both infpirM
By Phoebus, fhall be ftill admir'd :
'Tis true that cenfure, right or wrong,
May hurt at firft the uobleft fong,
And for a while defeat the claim
Which any writer has to fame :
A mere book-merchant with his tools
Can f\vay with eafe the herd of fools :
Who on a moderate computation
Are ten to one in every nation
Your ftyle is ftiff your periods halt---
In every line appears a fault
The plot and incidents ill-fortcd
No fingle character fuppocted
Your fimiles will fcarce apply;
The whole misfhapen, dark, and dry.
All this will pafs, and gain its end
On the belt poem e'er was pennM ;
But when the firft aflaults are o'er,
When fops and wirlings prate no more,
And when your works are quite forgot
By all who praife or blame by rote :
Without felr-intereft, fpleen, or hate,
The men of fenfe decide your fate :
Their judgment ftands, and what they fay
G<iins greater credit ev'ry day }
Till groundlefs prejudice* pair,
True men; has its due at lalt.
The hackney fcribblersof the town,
Who were the firft to write you down,
Their malice chang'd to admiration,
Promote your growing reputation,
And to excefsof praife proceed ; .
But this fcarce happens till you're dead,
When fame for genius, wit, and fkill^
Can do you neither good nor ill ;
Yet, if you wouW not be forgot,
They'll help to keep your name afloat.

An aged fwain that us'd to feed
His flock upon a mountain's head,
Drew crowds of fliepherds from each bHI,
To hear and profit by his flail-
For ev'ry limple of the rock,
That can qijend or cure a flock^


He us ? d to mavk, and knew its pow'r

In ftem ar^d foliage, root and flow'r.

Befide all'this, he could foretel

Both rain and furjfhine palling well;

By deep fagacity he'd find,

The future (hiftings of the wind ;

And guefs moft flirewdly ev'ry year

Jf mutton would be cheap or dear.

To tell his (kill in ev'ry art,

Qf which he underftood a part,

His fage advice was wrapt in tales,

Which oft perfuade when reafon fails;

To do him juftice every where,

Would take more time than I can fpare,

And therefore now fhall only touch

Upon a fact which authors vouch ;

That Phcebus oft would condefcend

To treat this '(hepherd like a friend :

Oft when the folar chariot paft,

Provided he was not in hafte,

He'd leave his deeds to take freih breath,

And crop the herbage of the heath;

While with the twain a turn or two

He'd take, 'as landlords uie tp do,

When fick of finer folks in town,

They find amufement in a clown.

One morning when the god alighted,

His winged ftee;b look'd wild and frighted;

The whip it feems had not been idle,

One's traces broke, another's bridle:

Aji four were fwitch'd in every part,

Like common jades that draw a cart,

Whofe fides and haunches all along

Show the juft meafure of the thong.

Why, what's the matter, quoth the fwain,
My lord, it gives your fervant pain ;
Sure i'-nne offcnce is in the cafe,
I read it plainly in your face. -

Offence, quoth Phcebus, vex'd and heated;
'Tis one indeed, and oft repeated ;
Since firft I drove through heav'n's high-way,
That's before yefterday, you'll fay,
The envious clouds in league with night
Conipire to intercept my light;
Rank vapours breath'd from putrid lakes,
The ileains of common few'rs and jakes,
Which under ground fliould be conrin'd,
Nor fuffer'd to poi'.ute the \vind;
Efcap'd in air by various ways,
Extinguiffi or divert my rays.
Oft in the morning, when ray fteeds
Above the ocean lift their heads,
And when I hope to fee my beams
Far glittering on the woods and ftrearrs ;
A ridge of lazy clouds that fieep
Vpon the furface of the deep,
Receive at once, and wrap me round
In fogs extinguifh'd half and drown'd.
But rhark m'y purpofe, and by Styx
I'm not foon alter'd when 1 fix ;
If things are fuffer'd at this pafs,
I'll fairly turn my nags to grafs :
Ne more this idle round I'jl dance,
But let all nature take its chance.

If, quoth the fhepherd, it were fit
To argue With the god of wit,
I could a circumftance fuggeft
That would alleviate, things at leaft.

That clouds oppofe your rifiog light

Full oft, and lengthen out the night,

Is plain ; but foon they difappear,

And leave the iky ferene and clear ;

We ne'er expedfc a finer day,

Than when the morning has been gray ;

Btrfides, thofe vapours which confine

You iffuing from your eaftern (hrine,

By heat fublim'd, and thinly fpread,

Streak all the ev'ning (ky with red:

And when your radiant orb in vain

Would glow beneath the weftern main,

And not a ray could reach our eyes,

Unlefs reflected from the fkies,

Thofe wat'ry mirrors fend your light

In ftreams amidft the fhades of night :

Thus length'ning out your reign much more

Than they had fhorten'd it before.

As this is fo, I mull maintain

You've little reafon to complain i

For when the matter's underftood,

The ill fcenes balanced by the good ;

The only diftVence in the cafe

Is that the mifchief firft takes place,

The compenfation when you're gone

Is rather ibmewhat late, I own :

But fince 'tis fo, you'll own 'tis fit

To make the beft on't, and fubmit.



T^AT nation boafts a happy fate,
Whofe prince is good, as well as great ;
Calm peace at home with plenty reigns,
The law its proper courfe obtains;
Abroad the public is refpecled,
And all its int'refts are protected :
But when his genius, weak or ftrong>
Is by ambition pointed wrong,
When private greatnefs has poflefs'd,
In place of public good, hisbreaft,
'Tis certain, and I'll prove it true,
That ev'ry mifchief muft enfue.
On forne pretence a war is made,
The citizen muft change his trade ;
His fteers the hulbandman unyoke*,
The fhepherd too muft quit his flocks,
His harmlefslife andhoneft gain,
To rob, to murder, and be flain :
The fields, once fruitful, yield no more
Their yearly produce as before :
Each ufeful plant neglected dies,
While idle weeds licentious rii'e
Unnumber'd, to ufurp the land
Where yellow harvefts us'd to ftand.
Lean famine foon in conrfe fucceeds;
Difeafes follow as fhe leads.
No infant bands at clofe of day
In ev'ry village fport and play.
The ftreets are throng'd with orphans dying
For want of bread, and widows crying ;
Fierce rapine walks abroad unchain'd,
By civil orde,r not reftrain'd :
Without regard to right and wrong,
The weak are injur'd by th,e ftrong.


The hungry mouth but rarely taftes
The fatt'ning food which riot waftes ;
All ties of conference lofe their force,
Ev'n facred oaths grow words of courfe.
By what ftrange caufe are kings inclin'd
To heap fuch mifchief on mankind ?
What pow'rful arguments controul
The native dictates of the foul ?
The love of glory and a name
.Loud-founded by the trump of fame :
Nor fhall they mifs their end, unlefs
Their guilty projects want fuccefs. ,

Let one poffefs'd of fov'reign fway
Invade, and murder, and betray,
Let war and rapine fierce be hurl'd
Through half the nations of the world ;
And prove fuccefsful in a courfe
Of bad defigns, and actions worfe,
At once a demigod he grows,
And incens'd both in verfe and profe,
Becomes the idol of mankind ;
Though to what's good he's weak and blind;
Approv'd, applauded, and refpected,
While better rulers are neglected.
Where Shott's airy tops divide
Fair Lothian from the vale of Clyde,
A tempeft from the eaft and north
Fraught with the vapours of the Forth,
In palling to the Irifli feas,
Once chanc'd to meet the wcftern breeze.
The tempeft hail'd him with a roar,
" Make hafte and clear the way before ;
No paltry zephyr muft pretend
To fland before me, or contend :
Begone, or in a whirlwind toft
Your weak cxiftence will be loft."

The tempeft thus : The breeze reply'd
44 If both our merits (hould be try'd,
Impartial juftice would decree
1 hat you fhould yield the way to me."

At this the tempeft rav'd and ftorm'd,
Grew black and ten times more deform'd.
What qualities, quoth he, of thine,
Vain fiatt'ring wind, can equal mine ?
Breath'd from fome river, lake or bog,
Your rife at firft is in a fog;
And creeping flowly o'er the meads
Scarce ftir the wifjows or the reeds;
While thofe that feel you hardly know
The certain point from which you blow.
From earth's deep womb, the child of iire,
Fierce, active, vigorous, like my fire,
I rulh to light ; the mountains quake
With dread, and all their forefts fhake .
The globe itfelf convuls'd and torn,
Feels pangs unuiual when I'm born :
Now Free in air with fov'reign fway,
1 rule, and all the clouds obey :
From eaft to weft my pow'r extends,
Where day begins, and where it ends :

And from Bootes downwards far,

| Athwart the track of ev'ry ftar.

v Through me the polar deep difdains

To flcep in winter's frofty chains ;

. But rous'd to rage indignant heaves

Huge rpcks of ice upon its waves :

While dread, tornados lift on high

The broad Atlantic to the fky.

I rule the elemental roar,

And ftrew with ihipwrecks ev'ry fhore t

Nor lefs at land my ppw'r is known

From Zembla to the burning zone.

I bring Tartarian frofts to kill

The bloom of fummer ; when I will

Wide defolation doth appear

To mingle and confound the year :

From cloudy Atlas wrapt in night,

On Barka's fultry plains I light,

And make at once the defert rife

In dufty whirlwinds to the Ikies ;

In vain the traveller turns his ffeed,

And (buns me with his utmoft fpeed ;

I overtake him as he flies,

O'erblown he ftruggles, pants, and dies;

Where fome proud city lifts in air

Its fpires, I make a defart bare ;

And when I choofe, for paftimes fake,

Can with a mountain fhift a lake ;

The Nile himfelf, at my command,

Oft hides his head beneath the fand,

And 'midft dry defarts blown and toft,

For many a fultry league is loft

All this I do with perfect eafe,

And can repeat whene'er I pleafe :

What merit makes you then pretend

With me to argue and contend,

When all you boaft of force or (kill

Is fcarce enough to turn a mill,

Or help the fwain to clear his corn,

The fcrvile talks for which you're born ? .

Sir, quoth the breeze, if force alone
Muft pafs for merit, I have none ;
At leaft I'll readily confefs
That your's is greater, mine is lefs.
But merit rightly underftood
Confifts alone in doing good;
And therefore you yourfelf muft fee
That preference is due to me :
I cannot boaft to rule the flcics
Like you, and make the ocean rife, .
Nor e'er with fhipwrcck's ftrew the fhore,
For wives and orphans to deplore.
Mine is the happier taflc, to pleafe
The mariner, and fmooth the feas,
And waft him fate from foreign harms
To blefs his confort's longing arms.
With you I boaft not to confound
The feafons in their annual round,
And mar that harmony in nature '
That comforts ev'ry living creature.
But oft from warmer climes I bring
Soft airs to introduce the fpring ;
With genial heat unlock the foil,
And urge the ploughman to his toil :
I bid the op'ning blooms unfold
Their ftreaks of purple, blue, a
And waft their fragrance to impart
That new delight to er'ry heart,
Which makes the fhepherd all day long
To carol fweet his vernal fong :
The fummer's fultry heat to cool,
From ev'ry river, lake and pool,
K iij


I fkim frefh airs. The tawny fwain,
Who turns at noon the furrow'd plain,
Refrefli'd and trufting in my aid,
His tafk purfues and icorns the fhade :
And ev'n on Afric's lulti : v coafl,
Where fuch immenfe e:.plf s youboaft,
I blow to cool the panting flocks
'Midft defarts brown and lun-burnt rocks,
And health and vigour oft fupply
To fuch aslanguifh, faint and die:
Thofe humbler offices you nam'd,
To own I'll never be afham'd,
With twenty others that conduce
To public good or private ufe,
The mean eft of them far outweighs
The whole amount of all your praife ;
If to give happinefs and joy,
Excels the talent to deflroy.

The tempeft, that till now had lent
Attention to the argument,
Again began (his patience loft)
To rage, to threaten, huff and boaft :
Since reafons fail'd, refolv'd in courfe
The queftion to decide by force,
And his weak oppofite to brave
The breeze retreated to a cave
To fhelter, till the raging blaft
Had fpent its fury and was paft.


Containing an ufeful lint to tie Critics.

I*r ancient times, tradition fays,

When birds like men would ftrive for praife ;

The bulfinch, nightingale, and thrum,

With all that chant from tree or bum,

Would often meet in fong to vie ;

The kinds that fing not, fitting by.

A knavifh crow, it feems, had got

The nack to criticife by rote :

He underftood each learned phrafe,

As well as critics now-a-days :

Some fay, he learn'd them from an owl,

By lift'ning where he taught a fchool.

'Tis ftrange to tell, this fubtle creature,

Though nothing mufical by nature,

Had learn'd fo well to play his part,

With nonfenfe couch'd in terms of art,

As to be own'd by all at laft

Director of the public tafte.

Then puff'd with infolence and pride,-

And fure of numbers on his fide,

Each fong he freely criticis'd ;

What he approv'd not, was defpis'd:

But onefalfe ftep in evil hour

For ever ftript him of his pow'r.

Once when the birds affembled fat,

All lift'ning to his formal chat ;

By inftinct nice he chanc'd to find

A cloud approaching in the wind,

And ravens hardly can refrain

Vrom croaking when they think of rain ;

His wonted feng he fung : the blunder

Amaa'd and fcar'd them worfe than thunder ;

For no one thought fo harfh a note
Could ever found from any throat :
They all at firft with mute furprife
Each on his neighbour turn'd his eyes:
But- fee m fucceeding focn took place,
And might be read in ev'ry face.
All this the raven faw with pain,
And ftrove his credit to regain.

Quoth he, The folo which ye heard
In public fhould not have appear' d :
The trifle of an idle hour,
To pleafe my miftrefs once when four :
My voice, that's fomewhat rough and flrong ,
Might chance the melody to wrong,
But, try'd by rules, you'll find the grounds
Moft perfect and harmonious founds.
He reafon'd thus ; but to his trouble,
At every word the laugh grew double :
At laft o'ercome with fname and fpite,
He flew away quite out of fight.



THE chief defign of this fable is to give a flrne
fpecimen of the Scotch dialect, where it may
he fuppofed to be moft perfect, Hiamely, in
Mid-Lothian, the feat of the capital. The
ftyle is precifely that of the vulgar Scotch ;
and that the mattter might be fuitable to it,
I'chofe for the fubjedt a little ftary adapted
to the ideas of peafants. It is a tale com
monly told in Scotland among the country
people ; and may be looked upon as of the kind
of thofe Aniles Fabellas, in which Horace ob-
ferves his country neighbours were accuilomed

\ to convey their ruftic philofophy.

A CANNY man () willfcarce provoke

Ae (c) creature livin, for a joke ;

For be they weak or be they ftrang (</)

A jibe (<?) leaves after it a ftang (f)

To mak them think on't ; and a laird (g )

May find a beggar fae prepair'd,

Wi pawks (/&) and wiles, wharpith (/') is wantin,

As foon will mak him rue his tauntin.

Ye hae my moral, if ana able
All fit it nicely wi a fable.

'(a) A crab.

(b) A canny manfignjfies nearly the fame tbing as it
prudent man : but when the Scotch fay that a perfan is
not canny, they mean not that they are imprudent, but
mifciievQus and dangerous, if the term not canny it
applied to perfons without being explained, it charges
them luitbforcery and iintihcraft.

( ) One.

(a 1 } The Sc,otcb always turn o in the fyllable ong,
into a. lit place o/"long, they fay langj/s
tangs; as here ftrang, /o/'ilrong.

(e) Afatiricaljejl.

(/) Sting.

QJ-) A gentleman of an ejlate inland*

(h} Stratagems.

(i). Strength.

A B L E S.

A hare, ae morning, chanc'd to fee
A partan creepin on a lee (^'),
A fifhwife (/) wha was early oot
Had drapt (/) the creature thereaboot.
Mawkin () bumbas'd (o) and frighted fair (p)
To fee a thing but hide and hair (y),
Which 'if it ftur'd not might be ta'en \r)
For naething ither than a ftane (/),
A fquunt-wife (/) wambling (), lair befet
Wi gerfe and raflies (iv} like a net,
Firlt thought to rin (x) for't ; for bi kind
A hare's nae fetcher (y), ye maun mind (*).
But feeing that wi (a) aw its ftrength %

It fcarce coujd creep a tether length (),
The hare grew baulder (c ) and cam near,
Turn'd playfome, and forgat her fear.
Quoth Mawkin, Was there ere in nature
Sae fecklefs (</) and fae poor a creature ?
It fcarcely kens />), or am miflacn
The way to gang (/") or ft and its lane (g).

(/) A piece of ground let run into grafs for pajlure.

(?) A ivoman that fells fijb. It it to be cbfitved,
that the Scotch alivays ufe' the ivo d ivife "where the
ILnglt/b ivonld ufe the ivord ivoman.

(w) Dropt.

() A cant name for a Hare, like that f Reynard
for a Fox, or Grimalkin for a Cat, t3*t.

(/) Sore. I fiall ofiferve, once for all, that the
Scotch avoid the voioels o and u ; and have in in
numerable injlances Jupplied their places ivitb a ' and
e, or diphthongs in ivhicb thefe Utters an predomi

(?) Without hide and hair,

(r) Taken.

(s) Nothing other than aj}6ne.

(/) Obliquely or af/juat.

(u) A feeble motion like that of a ^ivorm or fcr-

(') Grafs and rufbes. The vowel e ivbich comes
in place of a , is by a mctathefis put between the confo-
nants g and r, tofofien the found.

(x) Run.

(y^ Fighter.

( c) Tou mujl remcinler.
' (a\ With all.

(b} The length of a rope tifed to confine tattle when
they pajlure, to a particular f tot.

(c) Bolder.

(d) Feeble. Fcckful and fecklefs fig
weak, Ifuppofefrom the verb to effect.

(e) Knoivs, or I am in a mijlakt.
(/) Go.

(f) Alont, tr tvith#it ajjiftmict.

See how if fteitters () ; ill be bund (/)
To rin a mile of up-hill grund
Before'it gets a rig-braid frae (i)
The place its in, though doon the brae (/).

Mawkin wi this began to friflc,
And thinkin (OT). there was little rifle,
Clapt baith her feet on Parta'ri's back,
And turn'd him awald () irt a crack.
To fee the creature fprawl, her fport
Grew twice as good, yet prov'd but fhort.
For parting wi her fit (o), in play,
Juft whar the partan's nippers lay,
He gript it faft, which made her fqueel,
And think fhc bourded (/>) wi the deil.
She ftrave to rin, and made a fiftle :
The tither catch'd a tough bur thriftle (q) ;
Which held rhem baich, till o'er a dyke
A herd cam (lending (r) wi his tyke (/),
And fell'd poor mawkm, fairly ruein.
Whan forc'd to'driak of her ain brewin (/).

(h ) Walls in a .loedijlumbllng tvay.

(/) / ivil! be bound.

(je) The breadth of a ridge front. In Scotland aSout
four fathoms.

(/) An afent or decent. It is worth obferving*
that the Scotch 'when they mention a r'tnnv ground
ivitb refpcfl to the. whole of it, they call it u knau,
iffmall, and a hill, if gre*it ; but if they reflect only
one fide of either, they call it a brae, ivhich is probably
corruption of the Englifa tvord brow, according to the
analogy I mentioned before.

(>a) Thinking. When polyfyllables terminate in ing,
the Scotch almoft always iiegleft the g, ivhich foflftis the

() -,
() Foot.

(/) To bourd ickb any perfon is to attack bim in
the uvay of jtjl. \

(?) Ybijllc. The Scotch, though they commonly af-
ficl foft fdunds, and throiv out confonantt and take in
voiuels, in ordtir to obtain them, yet in fame cafes, of
ivbich this is an example, they do the very reverfe ; and
bring in fuperjluous confonants to roughen the found,
ivben fucb founds are more agreeable to the rougbnefs of
the thing reprefented.

(r) Leaping.

B reiving. '*' Tf> drink of one's oivn Ireiving"
is a 'proverbial exprejjion, for fuffering the efftcls of^
one's oivn mifcorduft. The Englijb fay t Ai they
t fo let tbem brent"




RE take your papers. Have you loek'd them
3, half a dozen times, I think, or more, ^o'er ?



And will they pafs ? They'll ferve but for a day ;

Few books can now do more : You know the way;

A trifle's puff'd till one edition's fold,

In half a week at moft a book grows old.

The penny turn'd's the only point in view ;

So ev'ry thing will pafs if 'tis but new.-
By what you fay I eafily can guefs

You rank me with the drudges for the prefs ;

Who from their garrets fhow'r Pindarics down,

Or plaintive elegies to lull the town.

You take me wrong : I only meant to fay,

That ev'ry book that's new will have its day ;

The beft no more : for books are feldom read :

The world's grown dull, and publifhing a trade.

Were this not fo, could Oman's deathlefs ftrains,

Of high heroic times the fole remains,

Strains which difplay perfections to our view,

Which polifh'd Greece and Italy ne'er knew,

"With modern epics {hare one common lot,

This day applauded, and the next forgot ?
Enough of this; to put the queftion plain,

Will men of fenfe and tafte approve my ftrain ?

Will my old-fafhicn'd fenfe and comic eafe

With better judges have a chance to pleafe ?
The queftion's plain, but hard to be refolv'd ;

One little lefs important can be folv'd :
The men of fenfe and tafte believe it true,
Will ne'er to living authors give their due.

They're candidates for fame in diff 'rent ways/;
One writes romances, anS another plays,
A third prescribes you rules for writing well,
Yet burfts with envy if you fhould excel.
Through all fame's walks, the college and the


The field of combat and the field of fport ;
The ftage, the pulpit, fenate-houfe and bar,
Merit with merit lives at conftant war.

, All who can judge, affedl not public fame;
Of thofe that do the paths are not the fame :
A grave hiftorian hardly needs to fear
The rival glory of a fonneteer :
The deep philofopher who turns mankind
O^itc infide outwards, and difTecls the mind,
Would look but whimfical and ftrangely out,
To grudge fome quack his treatife on the gout.
Hold, hold, my friend, all this I know, anc

more ;

An ancient bard * has long before ; '
And by examples eafily decided,
That folks of the fame trades are moffc divided.
But folks of different trades that hunt for fame,
Are conftant rivals, and their ends the fame ;

  • Hejtod,

t needs no proof, you'll readily confefs,
That merit envies merit more or lefs :
The paffion rules alike in thofe who fharc
3f public reputation, or defpair.
Varrub has knowledge, humour, tafte and fenfe,
Dould purchafe laurels at a fmall expence ;
3ut wife and learn'd, and eloquent in vain,
:ie deeps at eafe in pleafure's filken chain :
Will Varrus help you to the mufe's crown,
Which, but for indolence might be his own ?
Timon with art and induftry afpires
To fame; the world applauds him, and admires:
rim on has fenfe, and will not blame a line
He knows is good, from envy or defign :
Some general praife he'll carelefsly exprefs,
Which juft amounts to none, and fometimes lefs :
But if his penetrating fenfe fhould fpy
Such beauties as efcape a vulgar eye,
So finely couch'd, their value to enhance,
That all are pleas'd, yet think they're pleas'd by

chance ;

Rather than blab fuch fecrets to the throng,
He'd lofe a finger, or bite off his tongue. "
Narciffus is a beau, but not an afs,
He likes your works, but moft his looking-glafs ;
Will he to ferve you quit his favourite care,
Turn a book-pedant and offend the fair ?
Clelia to tafte and judgment may pretend
She will not blame your verfe, nor dares com
mend :

A modeft virgin always fhuns difpute ;
Soft rftrephon likes you not, and fhe is mute.
Stern Ariftarchus, who txpecls renown
From ancient merit rais'd, and new knock'd down,
For faults in every fyllable will pry,
Whate'er he finds is good' he '11 pafs it by.

Hold, hold, enough! All a<ft from private ends ;
Authors and wits were ever flipp'ry friends :

But fay, will vulgar readers like my lays?
When fuch approve a work, they always praife.

To fpeak my fentiments, your tales I fear
Are but ill fuited to a vulgar ear.
Will city readers, us'-d to better fport,
The politics and icandals of a court,
Well vouch'd from Grub-ftreet, on your pagespore,
For what they ne'er can know, or knew before ?
Many have thought, and I among the reft,
That fables are but ufelefs things at beft :
Plain words without a metaphor may ferve
To tell us that the poor muft work or ftarve.
We need no ftories of a cock and bull
To prove that gracelefs icribblers muft be dull.
That hope deceives ; that never to excel,
'Gainft fpite and envy is the only fpell.
All this, without an emblem, I fuppofe
Might pafs for fterling truth in verie or profe.


Sir, take a feat, my anfwer will be long ;
Yet weigh the reafons and you'll find them ftrong.
At firft * when favage men in queft of food,
Like lions, wolves and tigers, rang'dthe wood,
They had but juft what fimple nature craves,
Their garments (kins of beafts, their houies caves.
When prey abounded, from its bleeding dam
Pity would fpare a kidling or a lamb,
Which, with their children nurs'd and fed at


Soon grew domeftic and forgot to roam :
From fuch beginnings flocks and herds were feen
To fpread and thicken on the woodland green :
With property, injuftice foon began,
And they that prey'd on beafts now prey'd on man.
Communities were fram'd, and laws to bind
In focial intercourfe the human kind.
Thefe things were new, they had not got their


And right and wrong were yet uncommon themes:
The ruftic fenator, untaught to draw
Conclufion in morality or law,
Of every term of art and fcience bare,
Wanted plain words his fentence to declare ;
Much more at length to manage a difpute,
To clear, enforce, illuftrate, and confute ;
Fable was then found out, 'tis worth your heeding,
And anfwer'd all the purpofes of pleading.
It won the head with unfufpefted art,
And touch'd the fecret fprings that move the

heart :

With this premis'd, I add, that men delight
To have their firft condition ftill in light.
Long fince the fires of Brunfwick's line forfook
The hunter's bow, and dropp'd the (hepherd's

crook :

Yet, 'midft the charms of royalty, their race
Still loves the foreft, and frequents the chafe.
The high-born maid, whofe gay apartments fliine
With the rich produce of each Indian mine,
Sighs for the open fields, the paft'ral hook,
To fleep delightful near a warbling bropk ;
And loves to read the ancient tales that tell
How queens themfelves fetch'd water from the


If ^his is true, and all affect the ways
Of patriarchal life in former days,
Fable nruft pleafe the ftupid, the refin'd,
Wifdom's firft drefs to court the op'ning mind.

You reafon well, could nature hold her courfe,
Where vice exerts her tyranny by force :
Are natural pleafures fuited to a tafte,
Where nature's laws are alter'd and defac'd ?
The healthful Twain who treads the dewy mead,
Enjoys the mufic warbl'd o'er his head :
Ftcls gladnefs at his heart while he inhales .
The fragrance wafted in the balmy gales.
Not fo Silenus from his night's debauch,
Fatigu'd and fick, he looks upon his watch
With rheumy eyes and forehead aching fore,
And ftaggers home to bed to belfh and fnore ;

  • The author /peaks oftbofe only, 'who, upon tke
    difperfion of mankind, fell into perftB barbarifm,
    arid emerged from it again in the way which he
    defcribes, and not ofthofe who had laws and arts
    from the beginning by divine tradition.

For fuch a wretch in vain the morning glows,
For him in vain the vernal zephyr blows :
Grofs pleafures are his tafte, his life a chain
Of feverifh joys, of laflStude and pain.
Truft not to nature in fuch times as thefe,
When all is off the hinge, can nature pleafe ?
Difcard all ufelefs fcruples, be not nice ;
Like fome folks laugh at virtue, flatter vice,
Boldly attack the mitre or the crown ;
Religion (hakes already, pufh it down :
Do every thing to pleafe? You (hake your

head :

Why then 'tis certain that you'll ne'er fucceed :
Difmifs your mufe, and take your full repofe ;
What none will read 'tis ufelefs to compofe.

A good advice ! to follow it is hard.
Quote one example, name me but a bard
Who ever hop'd Parnaflus' heights to climb,
That dropp'd his mufe, till fhe deferted him.
A cold is caught, this med'cine can expel,
The dofe is thrice repeated, and you're well.
In man's whole frame there is no crack or flaw
But yields to Bath, to Briftol, or to Spa:
No drug poetic frensfcy can reftrain,
Ev'n hellebore itfelf is try'd in vain :
* Tis quite incurable by human (kill ;
And though it does but little good or ill,
Yet ftill it meets the edge of reformation,
Like the chief vice and nuifance of the nation.
The formal quack, who kills his man each day,
f afles uncenfur'd, and receives his pay.
Old Aulus, nodding 'midft the lawyers ftrife,
Wakes to decide on property and life.
Yet not a foul will blame him, and infift.
That he (hould judge to purpofe, or defift.
At this addrefs how would the courtiers laugh I
My lord, you're always blundering: quit your

ft aft':

You've loft fome reputation, and 'tis beft,
To fhift before you grow a public jeft.
This none will think of, though 'tis more 'a


To mangle (late-affairs, than murder rhyme.
The quack, you'll fay, has reaibn for his killing,
He cannot eat unlefs he earns his (hilling.
The worn-out lawyer clambers to the bench
That he may live at eafe, and keep his wench ;
The courtier-toils for fomething higher far,
And hopes for wealth, new titles and a (tar;
While moon-ftruck poets in a wild-goofe chafe
Purfue contempt, and begg'ry, and difgrace.

Be't fo : I claim'd by precedent and rule
A free-born Briton's right, to play the fool :
My refolution's fix'd, my courfe I'll hold.
In fpite of all your arguments when told :
Whether I'm well and up, or keep my bed,
Am warm and full, or neither cloth'd nor fed,
Whether my fortune's kind, or in, a pet
Am banim'd by the laws, or fled for debt ;
Whether in Newgate, Bedlam, or the Mint,
I'll write as long as publishers will print.

Unhappy lad, who will not fpend your time
To better purpole than in ufelefs rhyme :
Of but one remedy your cafe admits,
The king is gracious, and a friend to wits ;
Pray write for him, nor think your labour loft,
Your verfe may gain a penfion or a poft.


May Heav'n forbid that this aufpicious reign
Should furnifh matter for a poet's llrain ;
The praife of conduct (ready, wife, and good,
In profe is beft expreis'd and understood.
Nor are thofe fov'reigns bleffings to their age
Whofe deeds are fung, whofe a&ions grace the

ft age.

A peaceful river, whofe foft current feeds
The conftant verdure of a thoufand meads,
Whofe fhaded banks afford a fafe retreat
From winter's blafts and fummer's fultry heat,
From whofe pure wave the thirfty peafant drains
Thofe tides of health that flow within his veins,

Pafles unnotic'd ; while the torrent ftrong
Which bears the ihepherds and their flocks along,
Arm'd with the vengeance of the angry ikies,
Is view'd with admiration and furprife ;
Employs the painter's hand, the poet's quill,
And rifes to renown by doing ill.
Verfe form'd for faifehood makes ambition fhine,
Dubs it immortal, and almoft divine ;
But qualities which fi&ion ne'er can raife
It always lellens when it ftrives to praife.

Then take your way, 'tis folly to contend
With thofe who fcnow their faults, but will not








13V. efc. &e.
To which is prefixed,


"! thy mind in various virtue ^wife,
ach fcience claims, and makes each art thy prize ;
With Newton, ioars familiar to the Iky,
Looks nature through, Co .keen thy mental eye ;
Or down descending on the globe below,
Through humble realms of knowledge loves to flow^
Promifcuous beauties dignify thy breaft,
By nature happy, as by ftudy bleft.
Thou wit's Columbus! from the epic throne,
New worlds defcry'd, and made them all our own.
Thou firft through real nature dar'd -explore,
JVnd waft her facred treafures to our Ihore.
Nor Ariofto's fables fill thy page,
Hor Taflb'-s points, but Virgil's fober rage.
How fuft, how ftrong thy varied numbers move,
Or fwell'd to glory, or diflblv'd to lave.
<Corre& with cafe, where all the graces meet,
Kervoufly plain, majeitically fweet :
The Mufes will thy facrifice repay,
Attendant \varbiing in -each heavenly lay.





RICHARD GLOVER was born in St. Martin's Lane, Cannon Street, London, in 1712. He was the
fon of Richard Glover, Efq. an eminent Hamburgh merchant in the city.

He received the whole of his education under the Rev. Daniel Sanxay, at Cheam fchool, a
place which he afterwards delighted to vifit, and fometimes attended the anniverfary, held of late
years in London, where he feemed happy in relating his juvenile adventures.

At this feminary he diftinguimed himfclf by the quicknefs of his progrefs, and early began to
exhibit fpecimens of his poetical powers.

At the age of fixteen, he wrote a poem to the memory of Sir Ifaac Newton, prefixed to the
M View of Sir Ifaac Newton's Phiiofophy," publilhed in 410, 1728, by his intimate friend Dr.
Pemberton. " I have prefented my readers, ' fays Dr. Pemberton in the preface to this work,
" with a copy of verfes on Sir Ifaac Newton, which I have jult received from a young gentleman,
whom I am proud to reckon among the number of my deareft friends. If I had any apprehenfioa
that this piece of poetry ftood in need of an apology; I fliould be defirous the readei might know
that the author is but iixteen years old, and was obliged to finifli the compofition in a very fliort
time, but I fliall only take the liberty_to obferve,' that the boldnefs of the digreffious will be belt
judged of by tiiofe who are acquainted with Pindar.

Confidering this poem as the composition of a fchool-bor, it will excite no fmall degree of fur-
prife, as it pofiefies more claim to applaiife, and requires fewer allowances for faults, than pro
ductions of fu :h an age are always allowed. To Glover may be applied what the prefent Earl of
Orford faid of his friend Gray, " that he never was a boy."

Though pofiefied of talents which were calculated to excel in literature, he was content to de
vote his attention to commerce, and at a proper period commenced a Hamburgh merchant j as ap
pears from the following lines, with which he begins his poem called London.

Ye northern blafts, and Eurus, wont to fweep
With rudeft pinions o'er the furrowed waves ;
A while fufpend your violence, and waft
From fandy Wefer, and the broad-mouth'd Elbe,
My freighted veflels to the deftin'd more
Safe o'er th' unruffled main-;

As a merchant he foon made a confpicuous Sgure ; but his commercial affairs did not occupy his
whole attention. He ftill found leifure to cultivate the ftudy of poetry ; and continued to aflbciate
with thofe who were eminent in literature and fcience ; eipecially among the party in oppofition to
the adminiftration of Walpole.

One of his earlieft friends was Green, the ingenious but obfcure author of that truly original
poem, intituled " The Spleen," xvhich, in 1737, foon after his death, was pubiiihed by Glover.
This excellent performance contains the following prefageof his literary eminence, with an evident
allufion to his Leonidas, which he had begun when very young.

But there's a youth that you can name,
Who needs no leading (tnngs to fame,
"VVhofe quick maturity of brain
, The birth ot Pallas may explain :

Dreaming ot whofe depending fate,
I heard Melpomene dfbate,
This, this is he that war tore told,
Should emulate our Greek* ot old;
Intp-r'd by me with fa* rf d art,
He fing!> and rules ttie varied heart;
If Jove's dread *rgc rehearie,
"We hear the thunder in his verfe ;


If he deicribe love turn'd to rage,

The furies riot on his page ;

If he fair liberty and law,

By ruffian power expiring draw,

The keener paffions then engage

Aright, and fanctify their rage ;

If he attempt difaftrous love,

We hear thofe plaints that wound the grove;

With him the kinder paffions glow,

And tears diftili'd from pity ficrtv.

On the aril of May 1737, he married Mifs Nunn, with whom he received a fortune of .I2,cool
and in the fame month he published his Letnidas, an epic poem in nine bouks^ 4to, which com,-
plctely eftablifhed his poetical reputation.

Leonidas was infcribed to Lord Cobham, and on its fir ft appearance, was rectived by the public
with great approbation ; though it has fince been unaccountably negle<led.

But its favourable reception was not entirely owing to its intrinfic merits. At the time of its
publication, a zeal, or rather rage for liberty, prevailed in England ; a constellation of great men;
diftinguiflied by their virtues as well as their talents, fet themielves in oppolition to the Court ;
every fpecies of competition that bore the facred name of freedom, recommended itfelf to their
protection, and foon obtained poffeffion of the public favour. Hence a poem founded on the
nobleit principles of liberty, and difplaying the molt brilliant examples of patriotifm, foon found
its way into the world-

Lyttleton, then high in the ranks of oppofitipn, in a popular publication called Common Senfe,
under the fignature cf Philo Mi/f&us t No. 10. April (j. 1737, praiftd it in the warmeit terms. Dr.
Pemberton publiflied " Obfervations on Poetry, elpecialiy epic, occafioned by the late poem upon
Leonidas" i2ino, 1738, merely with a view to point out its beauties; and it was praifcd by
Thompfon, of Queen's College, and other poets. It paffed through three editions in 1737, and (738 ;
but it afterwards experienced the fate of thofe literary pt eductions, which owe a temporary celebrity
to the influence of party-principles, without deferving it.

The imprudent zeal of his friends had encouraged fuch extravagant ideas of it, that though it
was found to have very great beauties, yet the ardour of the lovers of poetry foon funk into a kind,
of cold forgetfulntfs with regard to it ; becauie it did not poflefs more than the narrow limits of
the defign would admit of, or indeed, than it was in the power of human genius to execute. It
vyas fevertly animadverted upon, in a fcries of letters addreffed " to the author of Leonidas," in
thp " Weekly Miiccllany," for May 1738, under the fignature of Mifo-Mnfceus.

In 1739, he pubiiilied his London, or the Progrefs oj~ Commerce, 410; and foon after his ballad
intituled Holers Cbojt ; both thefe pieces feem to hare been written with a view to incite the
nation to refent the depredations of the Spaniards ; and the latter had a very confiderable effect.

His connection with Cobham, Lyttleton, Pitt, and other leaders of the oppofition, introduced him
to the notice of Frederick Prince of Wales, then flruggling for popularity, and profeffing himfelf the
patron of wit ; who diftinguiftied him by his countenance and patronage ; and once, it is faid, pre-
fented him with a complete fet of the claflics, elegantly bound.

The political diflentions at this period, raged with great violence, and more efpecially in the
metropolis. In 1739, Sir George Champion, whp was next in rotation for the mayoralty, had of
fended a majority of his conftituents, by voting with the Court party in the bufmefs of tiie Spanifh
convention. This determined thera to fet him afide, and choofe the next to him in feniority ; ac
cordingly Sir John Salter was chofen on Michaelmas day ; and on this occafion Glover took a very
active part; as appears from " A Narrative of what pa fled ip the Common Hall of the City of
London, affernbled for the election of a. Lord Mayor, on Saturday, the 2pth of September, on Mon
day the ift arid Tuefday the ad of October; together with a defence of thefe proceedings, both as
reasonable and agreeable to the practice of former times, 8vo, 1739, wrjten by Benjamin Robins,
tbp fuppofed author of " Lord Anfon's Voyage."

In 1740, the fame refolution of thq majority continuing, Glover prefided at Vintner's Hall,
September 95th, at a meeting of the Livery, te confider of two proper p^rfcms to be recommended


to the Court of Aldermen ; when it was refolved to fupport the nomination of Sir Robert Godfchall,
and George Heathcote, Efq. who being returned to the Court of Aldermen, the latter gentleman
was chofen ; but he declining the office, another meeting of the Livery was held at Vintner's Hall,
October 1 3th, when Glover again was called to the chair, and the meeting refolved to return
Humphry Parfons, Efq. and Sir Robert Godlchall, to the Court of Aldermen, who made choice of
the former to fill the office.

On the ipth of November, another meeting was held at Vintner's Hall, when Glover pronoun
ced an eulogium on Sir John Barnard, and advifed the Livery to choofe him one of their reprefen-
tatives in Parliament, notwithftanding his intention to reiign.

On all thefe occafions, Glover acquitted himfeif in a very able manner. His fpeeches, printed in
the" London Magazine," 1740, and the ' Annals of Europe," 1743, p. 283, are elegant, fpirited,
and adapted.

His talents for public fpeaking, his knowledge of political affairs, and his information concern
ing trade and commerce, foon after pointed him out to the merchants of London, as a proper peribn
to conduct their application to Parliament, on the fubject of the neglect of their trade. He ac
cepted the office, and in fumming up the evidence, gave very ftriking proofs of his oratorical powers.

This remarkable fpeech was pronounced at the bar of the Houfe of Commons, January 27. 1743,
and foon afterwards publifhed under the title of Ajtort account of the late application to Parlia
ment, made by the merchants of London, upon the ncgleEt of their trade, with the fubjlance there
upon asfumrned up by Mr. Glover, Svo, 1742.

By his appearance in behalf of the merchants of London, he acquired, and with great juftice,
the character of an able and fteady patriot ; and, indeed, on every occafion, he fliowed a moll per
fect knowledge of, joined to the molt ardent zeal for, the commt rcial interefts of the nation, and
inviolable attachment to the welfare of his countrymen in general, and that of the city of London
in particular.

In 1744, died Sarah Duchefs of Marlborough, and by her will left to Glover and Mallet, 500!.
each, to write the hiftory of the Duke of Marlborough. Of Glover, her grace fays, " that flie
believes him to be a very honell man, who wiflied, as (he did, all the good that could happen to
prefer ve the liberties and laws of England."

This bequeft never took place. It is luppofcd that Glover very early renounced his fliare ; and
Mallet, though he continued to talk of performing the talk, almolt as long as he lived, is now
known never to have made the lead progrefs in it.

About this period, having in confequence of unavoidable lofles in trade, and perhaps, in fome
meafure, of his zealous warmth for the public interefts, to the neglect of his own private emolu
ments, fomewhat reduced his fortunes, he withdrew a good deal from public notice, and preferred,
with a very laudable delicacy, an obi'cure retreat to popular observation, until his affuirs fhould pat
on a more profperous appearance.

While he lived in obfcurity, known only to his friends, and declining to take any active part iri
public affairs, the Prince of Wales, it is faid, lent him, on account of the embarraliment of his cir-
cumftances, 500!.

The Prince died in March 1751, and in May following, Glover was once more drawn from hi*
retreat by the importunity of his friends, and condefcended to ftand candidate for the place of
Chamberlain of the City of London, in oppofition to Thomas Harrifon, Efq.

It unfortunately happened, that he did not declare himfeif till moft of the Livery had engaged
their votes. After a few days, finding that his antagonift gained ground upon the poll, he gave up
the conteft on the 6th of May. Mr. Deputy Harrifon was declared duly elected, May 7th, and oil
this occafion, Glover made the following fpeech to the Livery, which exhibits the feelings of a,
manly, refigned, philofophical mind, in unprofperous circumstances.

" Heretofore, I have frequently had occafion of addrerting the Livery of London in public ; but
at this time I find myfelf at an unufual lofs, being under all the difficulties which a want of matter
deferving your notice, can create. Had I now your rights and privileges to vindicate, had I the
caufe of your fuffering trade to defend, or were I now called forth to recommend and enforce the
jparliaaieaUry fervice of the jnoft virtuous and illuftrious citizen, my tongue would, Ije free from


- conftraint, and expatiating at large, would endeavour to merit your attention ; which now muft be
confined to fo narrow a fubject as myfelf. On thofe occafions, the importance of the matter, and
my known zeal to ferve you, however ineffectual my attempt might prove, were always fufficient
to promiie me the honour of a kind reception, and unmerited regard. Your countenance firft drew
me from the retirement of a ftudious life ; your repeated marks of diftinction firft pointed me out
to that great body, the merchants of London, who, purfuing your example, condefcended to intruft
me, unequal and unworthy as I was, with the rnoft important caufe ; a caufe where your intereft
was as nearly concerned as theirs. In confequence of that deference which has been paid to the
lentiments and choice of the citizens and traders of London, it was iropoffible but fome faint
luilre muft have glanced on me, whom, weak as he was, they were pleafed to appoint the in-
ihument on their behalf; and if from thefe tranfactions I accidentally acquired the fmalleft mare
of reputation, it was to you, that my gratitude afcribes it ; and I joyfully embrace this public op
portunity of declaring, that whatever part of a public character I may prefume to claim, I owe
primarily to you. To this I might add the favour, the twenty years countenance and "patronage of
one, whom a fupreme degree of refpect lhall prevent me from naming ; and thongh under the
temptation of ufmg that name as a certain means of obviating fome mifconftructions, I fliall, how
ever, avoid to dwell on the memory of a lofs fo recent, fo juftly, and fo univerfally lamented.

" Permit me now to remind you, that when placed by thefe means in a light not altogether un
favourable, no lucrative reward was then the object of my purfuit ; nor ever did the promifes or
offers of private emolument induce me to quit my independence or vary from the leaft of my for
mer profefiions, which always were and remain ftill founded on the principles of univerfal liberty ;
principles which I aflame the glory to have eftabliflied on your records. Your fenfe, and the fenfe
of your great corporation, fo repeatedly recommended to your repreientativcs in Parliament, were
my fenfe, and the principal boaft of all my compofitions, containing matter imbibed in my earlieft
education, to which I have always adhered, by which I ftiil abide, and which I will endeavour to
bear down with me to the grave; and even at that gloomy period, when deferted by my good
fortune, and under the fevered trials ; even then, by the fame confiltency of opinions, and unifor
mity of conduct, I Kill preferved that part of reputation which I originally derived from your fa
vour, whatever I might pretend to call a public character, unlhaken and unblemi/hed ; nor, once in
the hour of affliction, did I banilh from my thoughts, the motf fincere and confcientious intention
of acquitting every private obligation, as foon as my good fortune ihould pleafe to return ; a diitant
appearance of which feemed to invite me, and awakened fome flattering expectations on the ru
mour of the vacancy of the Chamberlain's office ; but always apprehending the imputation of pre-
fumption, and that a higher degree of delicacy and caution would be requifite in me than in any
other candidate, I forborej till late, to prefent myfelf once more to your notice, and then, for the
firft time, abftracted from a public confideration, folicited your favour for my own private advan
tage. My want of fuccefs fliall not prevent my cheerfully congratulating this gentleman on his
election, and you on your choice of fo worthy a magiftrate; and if I may indulge a hope of depart
ing this place with a {hare of your approbation and efteem, I folemnly from my heart declare, that
I fliall not bear away with me the leaft trace of difappointment."

In his retirement, he finifhed the tragedy of Boadicea, which he had beguri many years before,
and in 1753, it was brought on the ftage at Drury-Lane, and acted nine nights, with great fuccefs.
From the following lines in the prologue, it appears to have been patronifed by his friends in the city.

Befide his native Thames, our poet long
*t t. Hath hung his filent harp, and hufli'd his tongue ;
At length his mufe from exile he recals,
Urg'd by his patrons in Augufta's walls,
Thofe generous traders, who alike fuftain

Thole generous traders, who anke fuftain ~)
Their ration's glory on th' obedient main, ->
And bounteous raife affliction's drooping train; J
They who, benignant to his toils, afford
Their flickering favour, have his mufe reftor'd>
They in her future fame will juftly fhare,
But her diigrace, herfelf muft fingly bear j
Calm hours of learned leilure they have given,
And could no more, for genius is from, heav'n


Though there is- rat her a deficiency, both as to incident and characters in this play, yet the lan
guage is veiy poetical, and the defcriptions beautiful. It is fuch a production as might be expected
from the author of Leo?:idas ; but it feems better adapted to give pleafure in the clofet than the
theatre. " To the moft material objections," fays Archbifliop Herring, writing to a friend, of this
play, " the author would fay (a Shakefpeare muft in fome inftances) that he did not make, but
told it as he found it. The firft page of the play fhocked me, and the Hidden and heated anfver of
the Queen to the Roman arnbafiador's gentle addrefs, is, arrant madnefs; it is, indeed, unnatural.
It is another objection in my opinion, that Boadicea is really not the object of crime and puuifli-
ment, fo much as pity ; and notwithstanding the flrong paintings of her favagenefs, I cannot help
wifliing flie had got the better. She had been mofl unjuftly and cutrageoufly injured by thofe uni-
verfal tyrants, who ought never to be mentioned without horror. However, I admire the play in
many paflages, and think the two laft acts admirable. In the fifth, particularly, I hardly
ver found myfelf fo ftrongly touched." Dr. Pemberton publiflied " Some Reflections on the
Tragedy of Boadicea," Svo, 1753, to recommend this play, upon the principle, that dramatic dia
logue without incidents, and poetry without defcription, metaphor, or umiles, approach neareft t
perfection, becaufe they approach neareft to nature. From tragedies written on this principle,
verfe fhould alfo be rejected, as nothing can be a more evident or perpetual deviation from nature,
than dialogue in verfe. Mr. Crifp Mills addrefied " A Letter to Mr. Glover, on occafion of his
tragedy of Boadicea, Svo, 1753, in which he applauds him for the regularity of his piece, but
cenfures him for omitting to introduce into it zplot or intrigue; without which, he thinks, afet of
conne&cd dialogues can never be a play. A pamphlet intituled " Female Revenge, or the Britifli
Amazon, exemplified in the life of Boadicea; with obfcrvations on the diction, fentiments, and
conduct of the play," Svo, 1753* and other anonymous remarks, criticfms, and reflections, appear
ed about this time, relating to this play.

In 1761, he published his Medea, a tragedy, 4to, taken from the dramas of Euripides, and Se
neca, and conftructed profefiedly upon the ancient plap, each act terminating with a chorus.
It was not acted till 1767, when it was brought on the ftage at Drury-Lane, for Mrs. Yates's be
nefit, and has fince been often performed with fuccefs. Heinfms and Scaliger have called the
" Medea" of Seneca, the Alta Medea; but that title more properly belongs to the work of
Clover, which is fuperior both to the " Medea" of Seneca, and even that of Euripides. In Eu
ripides, Medea tells us that flic murders her children becaufe flie would rather have them fall by her
own hand, than by the hands of the Corinthians, which, as flie had effected the death of Creufa,
flie might expect. This produces very little that is interefting or affecting. Indeed, when Jafon is
informed of the murder of his children, he gives a loofe to parental forrow, but the altercations be
tween him and Medea on that occafion, are very low and trifling. Seneca, with a greater appear*,
ance of probability, imputes her murder to revenge. When Medea difcovcrs Jaforfs fond affection
for his children, flie immediately meditates their deftruction. But when he defcribes her as deli
berating upon this cruel deed, though very ingenious in his diftinctions, he is certainly too minute.
Medea's motive to the murder, imputed, as it is by Glover, to the rage of madnefs, is much- more
natural, and produces more affecting fcenes than could follow from the motives to which either the
Greek or Latin poets have afcribed it, She appears in the work of our countryman, that wild, in
furiate, fun-born Medea, which the ancient mythology reprefents her. Her indignation on the thought
of Jafon"s deferting her for Creufa, is forcibly exprcfled. The pathetic manner of Euripides is hap.
pily imitated in the tender conversation between Medea and her children in the fecond fcene of the
third act. When flie is told by Jafon that he is married tg Crevfa, her fudden madnefs is well
conceived, and exprefled in a grand and affecting manner. But when, ftill raving and diftracted,
flie comes upon the ftage, her hands dropping with the blood of her children, her words and wild
appearance perfectly harrow up the foul.

It is begun.

Now, to complete my vengeance, will I mount
The burning chariot of my bright forefather j
The rapid fteeds o'er Corinth will I drive,
And with the fcatter'd lightnings from their manes
Confume its walls, its battlements, and towers ;
Then, as the embrace the purple clouds,

17* TH E LIFE OF GLOVER. - ^"^

And the proud city crumbles from its bale, u : ;: *

The demon of my rage and indignation "

All grim, and wrapt in terror, ihall beflride
The mountainous embers ; and denounce abroad
To gods and men, my wrongs and rny revenge.

When her returning reafon difcovers to her what (he had done, her horror and anguiflt ate dread
ful, even beyotfd imagination. The tragedy ends, like that of Seneca, by reprefenting Medea.
fhatched up into the air in a chariot drawn by dragons. The unities are preferved throughout, the
diction in general is harmonious, poetical, and picturefque, animated in proportion to the fcenes it
xeprefents, and riling or falling with the paffions. But the thoughts are fometimcs fpun too fine ;
fome of the epithets, though not pedantic, are too ftiff, and the blank odes introduced t>y way of
chorus, .though not inharmonious, mull be very difagrceable to ears long a-ccuftomed to rhyme i
jyric compo&tions.

At length, having furmounted the difficulties of his fituation, he again relinquifhed the plea-
fures of retirement ; and in the parliament which met at the acceffion .of his prefent Majefty, 1761,
he was elected for Wejmouth. About this time, he interefted himfelf about India affairs, at one
of Mr. Sullivan's flections, and in a fpeech introduced the fable of the " Man, Horfe, and Boar,'*
and drew this conclufion, that whenever merchants made ufe of .armed forces to maintain their
trade, it would end in their definition.

In 1770, he published 2. new edition (the fifth) oLeonidas, in 2 vols. izm'o, corrected through
out, and extended from nine books to twelve. It had alfo feveral new characters added, befides
placing the old ones in new fituations. The improvments made in it were very considerable ; but
ihe public curiofity was not lurEciently alive to recommence the pains bellowed on this once po
pular performance.

On the failure of the bank of Douglas, Heron, and Company, at Ayr, in June 1772, he took a
very active part in the fettling thofe complicated concerns, and in flopping the diflrefs then fo uni-
verfally felt. In February 1774, he called the annuitants of that banking-houfe together at the
king's Arms Tavern, London, and laid propofals before them, for the fecurity of their demands,
with which they were fully fatisfied.

He alfo undertook to manage the interefts of the merchants and traders of London, concerned!
in the trade to -Germany and Holland, and of the dealers in foreign linens, in their application to
Parliament in May 1774. Both the fpeeches made on thefe occafions were publifhed in a pamphlet
in. that year.

In 1775, he engaged on behalf .of .the Weft India merchants, in their application to Parliament,
ard examined the witnefles, and Cum-med up the evidence, in the fame mafterly manner he hadj
done on former occafions. For the affiftance he afforded the merchants in this bufinefs he was com-
j>limented by them with a fervice of plate of the value of 300!. The fpeech which he delivered in
the Houfe was printed in that year. This was the lafl: opportunity he had of difplaying his orato
rical talents rn public.

Having now arrived at a period of life which demanded a recefs from bufinefs, he retired to cafe
and independence, ^nd wore out the remainder of his life with dignity and- with honour, in the
xcercife of the virtues of private and domeftic life, and in his attention to his mufe. He died at
his houfe in Albemarle-Street, November 25. 1785,. in the 7jd year of his age.

No edition of his I<onidas has been called for Cnce 1770. His Loncton was reprinted in the fecond
volume of " Fearch's Colleclion of Poems," 1774. The Athenaid, a fequel to Leonidas, which
he bequeathed, with bis other manufcripts, to his daughter Mrs. Halfey, was prefented to the world,
as it came from his hands, with the exception of a few corrections from the pen of a friend, in 3 vols.
lamo, 1788. He has alfo written a fequel to his Medea , 1>ut as it requires Fcenery of the moft expenfive
Kind, it has never been exhibited. It is faid, indeed, that it was approved by Mrs. Yates, the magic
of whofe voice and action in the firft part, produced as powerful effects as any imputed by Greek or
Roman poets, to the character ihe reprefented. He has left fome other dramatic pieces, which, it
is hoped, will be prefented to the world. His Leonidas, reprinted from the edition 1770, Poem on.
Sir Jfaac Nenuton t London, and Hojret't Gboft, are now a for the firft tirne, received into a collec*
Clascal Ersjjlilh poejry,


Tn folio-wing character of Glover, drawn up immediately after his death, by his friend Dr-
Brocklefby, and printed in the Gentleman's Magazine for 1785, is adopted without exception, asr
it contains an accurate and elegant eftimate of his virtue, his learning, his eloquence, his patriotism,,
and his poetry.

" Through the whole of his life, Mr. Glover was by ail good men revered, by the wife efteem-
ed, by the great fometimes carefled and even flattered, and now his death is fincerely lamented bj
all who had the happinefs to contemplate the integrity of his character. Mr. Glover, for upward?
of 50 years paft, through every viciflhude of fortune, exhibited the moft exemplary fimplicity of
manners ; having early attained that perfect equanimity, which philofophy often recommends in:
the clofet, but which in experience is too feldom exercifed by other men in the teft of trial. la
Mr. Glover were united a wide compafo of accurate information in all mercantile concerns, with
high intellectual powers of mind, joined to a copious flow of eloquence as an orator in the Houfe
of Commons. Since Milton, he was fecond 1 to none of our Englifti poets, in his difcriminating ju
dicious acquaintance with all ancient as well as. modern literature ; witnefs his Leonidat, Medea t
Eoadicea, and London ; for, having formed his own character upon the belt models of the Greek
writers, he lived as if he had be*n bred a difciple of Socrates, or companion of Ariftides. Hence
his political turn of mind 1 , hence his unwarped affection and active zeal for the liberties of his

country hence his heartfelt exultation whenever he had to paint the impious defigns of tyrants,

in ancient times fruftrated, or in modern defeated, defeated in their nefarious purpofes to extirpate
liberty, or to trample on the uaalienaWe rights of man, however remote irr time or fpace from his
immediate prefence. In a few words, for the extent of his various erudition, for his unalloyed pa-
triotifm, and for his daily exercife and conftant practice of Xenophon's phiFofophy, in his private as
well asm public life, Mr. Glover has left none his equal in the city, and fome time, it is feared,
may elapfe, before fuch another citizen fhall arife, with eloquence, with character, and with
poetry, like his, to affert their rights, or to vindicate with equal powers, the juft claims of free-
born men. Suffice this teftimony at prefent, as the Well-earned meed of this truly virtuous man>
whofe. conduct was carefully marked, and narrowly watched by the writer of the foregoing hafty
fketch, for his extraordinary qualities during the leng period in human life of upwards of 40 years;
and now it is fpontaneoufly offered as a voluntary tribute, unfolicited and unpvwchafed ; but as it
appears joftly due to the memory of fo excellent a poet, ftatefman, and true phjJofopher, in life and
death the fame.'*

This account of his private and public character, by one who knew him well, is fo ample and fatif-
factory, that it leaves little to be added. In tha domeftic relations of hufband and parent, his
manners were as amiable as his abilities were refpectable. In the character of a merchant he
diftinguifhed himfelf by the moft exemplary integrity ; yet in fortune he made no advances toward*
affluence. He was a patriot of the moft independent caft, and fcorning to bind himfelf about any
one political party, was by all alike neglected. But there is a fame, not refulting from fo ptrifliable
a means as the contention of parties, and alike out of their power to confer or take away, which
will long flourim round the name of Glover.

As a poet his abilities are already well knoxvn. His Leonidas, though net m the higheft clafs of
epic poems, had, at its firft publication, many admirers, and is ftill penifed with pleafure. The fub-
ject of the poem is the gallant actions of Leonidas t and his heroic defence of, and fall at the pafs
of Thermopylae. It is characterized by t bold fpirit of liberty, and generous, tender, and noble
fentiments ; but it leans towards the tender rather than the fublime. The author every where ap
pears to be a virtuous man, and a good citizen; he exprefles manly and patriotic fentiments;
though many of them are taken from the orations of Lyfias and Ifocrates. The ftyle pofTefies many-
poetical graces ; but it is often familiar and profaic, and is generally deficient in that awful fimpli
city, and unadorned fubliraity which are the characteriftics of the epic mufe. It abounds in the
affecting, the tender, and the beautiful, more than in the heroic and fublime. Some of the cha
racters are well-drawn, and fupported with proper dignity and elevation. The epifode of Teribafus
and Ariana, is poetical and pleafing. la its machinery and incident it has been thought defective ;
but on no principle or reafon whatever, unlefs a fuperftitious reverence for the practice of Homer and
Virgil. Thefe poets very properly embelUOied their ftory by the traditional tales and popular le-


gends of rhelf own country ; but does it thence follow, that in other countries, and in other agej,
epic poetry muft be wholly confined to antiquated fictions and fairy tales? Lucan has compofed a
very fpirited poem, certainly of the epic kind, where neither gods nor fupernatural beings are at all
employed. Davcnant has made an attempt of the fame kind, not without fuccefs ; and undoubted
ly a poetical recital of great adventures^ though the agents be every one of them human, may be
made productive of the marvellous, without forfaking the probable, and fulfil *he chief requifites of
epic competition. Leonidas is not exactly founded upon the model of the Iliad of Honier, the
./Eneid of Virgil, or the Jerufalem of Taflb, the three moft regular and complete epic works that
ever were compofed. But it affords a fufficient proof, that, however the ufe of machinery may
heighten the effect, it is not eflential to the exiftence, or to the fuccefs of epic poetry. It has a
juft title to be clafied with Milton's Paradife Loft, Lucan's Pharfalia, Statius's Thebaid, Camoen's
Lufiad, Voltaire's Henriade, and Wilkie's Epigoniad. The diction, the characters, and the narration
of the poet are diftinguifhed by the general flrain and fpirit of epic compofition. But it is not
without defects. It is too abrupt and laconic in the itructure of its periods to fuit the melody of
verfe, and is deficient in that poetical enthufiafm which is chiefly raifed and nourished by an inti
mate acquaintance with the wild and fublime fcenes of nature, and that creative and vigorous ima
gination, which presenting a' higher order of things than is to be found in human life, produces the
marvellous, and raifes that admiration which mould be the predominant paffion in heroic poetry.
Hence Thomfon, who was a poet truly infpired, when he heard that a citizen of London had paid
his addrefles to the epic mufe, exclaimed, " He write an epic poem, who never faw a rnomn-
tain !"

The excellencies of Leonidas have received every poffible recommendation and illuftration from
the elegant critique of Lyttleton, and the learned " Observations" of Dr. Pemberton ; to which
Mr. Murphy alludes in the following lines inferted in the lail edition of his " Epiftle to Dr. John-
fon," 1786.

For freedom when Leonidas expires,
Though Pitt and Cobham feel their poet's fires,
Unmov'd, lo! Glover hears the world commend,
And thinks even Pemberton too much his friend. .

" Since I have read Leonidas^ fays Lyttleton, Common Senfe, No. 10. " I have been fo full of
all the beauties I met with in it, that to give fome vent, I found it neceffary to write to you, and;
invite my countrymen to take part with me in the pleafure of admiring what fojuftly deferves
their admiration. And in doing this I have yet a farther view ; I defire to do them good as well as
jjJeafe them ; for never yet was an epic poem wrote with fo noble and fo ufeful a defign ; the whole
plan and pnrpofe of it being to fliow the fuperiority of freedom over flavery ; and how much vir*
tue, public fpirit, and the love of liberty, are preferable both in their nature and effects, to riches,
luxury, and the infolence of power.

" This great and inflructive moral is fet forth by an action the moft proper to illuftrate it of all
that ancient or modern hiftory can afford, enforced by the rooft fublime fpirit of poetry, and adorned
by all the charms of an active and warm imagination, under the reftraint of a cool and fober

" And it has another fpecial claim tb protection; for I will venture to fay, there never was an
epic poem which bad fo near a relation as this to Common Senfe ; the author of it not having
allowed himfelf the liberty fo largely taken by his predecerTors, of making excursions beyond
the bounds, and cut of fight of it, into the airy regions of poetical mythology. There are neither
fighting gods, nor fcolding goddefles, neither miracles nor enchantments, neither monfters nor
giants, in his work; but whatfoever human nature can afford that is raoft aftonifhing, marvellous,
and fublime,

" And it has this particular merit to recommend it, that, though it has quite the air of an
ancient epic poem, there is not fo much as a fingle fimile in it, that is borrowed from any of
the ancients, and yet, I believe, there is hardly any poem that has fuch a variety of beautiful
ccmparifcns j fojuft a confidence had the author in the extent, and rich abundance of his own ima


  • The artful conduct of the principal defign ; the (kill in connecting and adapting every epifode
    to the carrying on and ferving that defign ; the variety of characters, the great care to keep therrs.
    and diftinguifli each from the other by a propriety of fentiment and thought ; all thefe are excel-
    Jencie* which the beft judges of poetry will be particularly pleafed with in Leonidas.

11 Upon the whole, I look upon this poem as one of thofe few of diftinguifhed worth and ex
cellence, which will be Banded down with refpect to all pofterity, and which, in the long revolution-
of part centuries, but two or three countries have been able to produce. And I cannot help congra
tulating my own, that after having in the laft age brought forth a Milton, flie has in this produced
twp more fuch poets, as we have the happinefs to fee flourilh now together, I mean Mr. Pope, and
Mr. Glover."

Dr. Pemberton's obfervations on the principal characters in Leooidas, under the head " Senti
ment and Character," are fubjoined ; as "tjthis is the part of poetry," as he expreffes it, " in which
the divine invention is moft eminently diftinguiflied."

" Xerxes is an example of a little mind inflated with abfolute power. He is not only proud, im
patient of contradiction, and precipitate, the natural effects of the adoration and blind fubmiflion,
which had always been paid him; but we fee in him likewife many perfonal weakneffes. He is
poffefled of fo mean a vanity, as to conclude his great and cxtenfive dominion a proof of his being fo.
fingular a favourite of heaven, that no bounds could be fet to his good fortune : he had perfuadecf
himfelf, that the Greeks muft have the fame abject veneration for him, as his own flaves ; and will
fcarce believe, that his ambaffadors had made a true report, who bring him an anfwer contrary to
what his foolifh pride had imagined ; and it is with extreme difficulty, that his brothers difluade
him from proceeding againft them upon that fuppofition : nay, at laft he gives order for attacking
the Greeks with the air of being ftill confident they muft fubmit to his will without refiftance. We
foon after find this haughty and infolent monarch indued with a temper fo weak and fickle, that upon
a little ill fuccefs all his vain prefumption and confidence abandon him, and he condsfcends to the
propofing conditions, which, before, his pride could not have fuffered him to think of without the
utmoft indignation.

" In his brother Hyperanthes we fee a good character, but confined to the virtues, which
can have place under arbitrary government. He is valiant, fo far unprejudiced, as to be duly
fenfible of the fuperior virtue in his enemies; but had no reluctance to commit any kind of
injuftice towards them, when his brother had pitched upon them for a conqueft. Other-
wife he has great good nature, and a juft efteem for real merit. This appears in his behaviour
towards Demaratus, the Spartan exile, and much more in his fingular affection for his friend

" Teribqfus pofiefles a very worthy mind, improved by the ftudy of philofophy, but opprefled
by the violence of a foft paffion ; a weaknefs, which the luxury, and the indulgence for pleafure in
an Afiatic court muft have greatly increafed. But Teribqfus behaves not under this paffion like
the whining lovers of romance, who excite our contempt ; but in fo manly and reafonable a man
ner, that makes him an objeft of juft compaffion, and ftill worthy the efteem of every one, that
has any feeling for human weakness.

But unreveal'd and filent was his pain :
Nor yet in folitary (hades he roam'd,
Nor (hun'd refort ; but o'er his forrows caft
A fickly dawn of gladnefs, and in fmiles
Conceal'd his anguifli j B. v. ver. 5*,

.though ftill

the fecret flame
Rag'd in his bofom, and its peace confum'd.

Ibid. ver. 54.

<* Ar'uma. is ftill a lefs exceptionable fubject of pity., as we do not fo much require in that fer
Srmnels of temper to refift thefe foft impreffions. Her defpair and violent rcfolution in confequerice
f it arc the cS$&* of an excels of paffion very natural t the ferious and thoughtful turn f her


" This epifode is a fhinlng ornament in the poem, as fuch a tender fcene Is a judicious relief to tne
feverity, whrch is the general cafl of the work, and is founded upon a kind of diflrefs, which
Ariftotle exprefsly prefers, fuch as arifes from fome error in a pcrfon of great and confpicuous
worth. Too frequent a reprefentation of calamities abfolutely unavoidable, ferve only to dejedl the
fpirits, and create a difrelifh for life ; but fuch as are grounded upon pardonable errors, whether
excefs of any paffion, or defect of judgment, inftruct, while they excite commiferation.

" PdlyJorus, the attendant upon Ariana, is an example of an heroic fpirit fo oppreffed by the
flower of his age being wafted in flavery, as to have loft all tafte of life. In lefs elevated characters,
long continued calamity debafes the mind, and confines its wiflies to mean gratifications; but in the
generous breaft of Polydorus it ends in unfurmountable grief. The only pleafure, to which we find
him feniible, is revenge.

" In Demaratus t the exiled king of Sparta, we have another example of unmerited diftrefs, but
of a more delicate kind. He, cherifhed in a luxurious court, with all the ordinary means of enjoy
ment in his power, pines away at the fenfe of being out of a condition to aft worthy of himfelf.
In his interview with Polydurus he even fufpects and laments a diminution of his virtue. In his
converfation with Xerxes, though at firft he endeavours to fpeak of his countrymen with as much
referve as poffible ; yet we foon fee his admiration of their virtues carry him out with great freedom
in their praifes, and he cannot refrain drawing the parallel between the military force of Greece
and of Afia, in terms very difagreeable to the monarch, whofe protection he was forced to accept i
and in the end breaks into a flood of tears.


His head he turn'd, and wept in copious ftreams, &c.

" We ought not to pafs over another obfervation upon this dialogue ; the great diftinctnefs with
which the argument is here explained. The poet has been able to give every proof its due place and
force unreftrained by the numbers of his verfe.

" If .we are prefented in the Perfian army with patterns of ill fortune, on which we muft reflect
xvith regret ; when we turn o.ur eyes to the Grecian camp, we find a very different fcene. There
magnanimity is matched againft the greateft difficulty human nature can have to contend with, the
certain expectation of death : but the fortitude and vigour of mind, by which thefe heroes are fupport-
*d, place them quite out of the fight of pity ; not a fingle circumftance fuggefts a thought of their be
ing unhappy : on the contrary, they are continually tfre objects of our admiration, almoft of our
envy. This ardent fpirit {nines out moft eminently in Leonia'as, their chief; but from him diffufes it-
felf through them all : though there is not a fingle leader of eminence among them, which the poet
has not marked with a character peculiarly his own.

" The active vigour of Atybeus is very diflinct from the deliberate valour of Dieneces.

" The ambition of Megljlias is confined to merit the effceem of the people, by whom he is enter
tained. Upon this principle he animates his fon in the fourth book, and the fame is his motive for
(baring their laft fate.

" The filence with which Menalippus obeys the command of his agc'd father to provide for his owh
fafety, is, I think, very judicioufly imagined. For though it is not neceffary, that every gallant
man fhould have the refolution to make a voluntary facrifice of his life ; yet the want of the fame
high fpirit, by which the reft are animated, muft imprefs on him that confcioufnefs of hie inferi
ority, and create that degree of confufion, which of neceffity muft clofe his lips.

" The gentle and polite character ofAgis renders him in particular worthy the intimate friend-
fhip of the great Leonldas ; in whom humanity and a genteel turn of mind diftinguifh themfelves
among his more fublime virtues.

" The fiercenefs of Dlomedon makes indignation and high contempt of an effeminate enemy,
Whom he had formerly feen to fly before him, a ruling motive in his conduct.

" In Demophilus we fee a fpecuktive temper, where cool reflection fupports an aged mind, and
fupplies the fire of youth, This draws from him thofe inftructive fentiments, which he utters over
the body of Pbraortes. There is the fame air in the fhort addreis at his firft interview with Leonldas.
And the fame appears again, when he makes his choice for himfelf and all hit troops to accompany


f,e*niJas in his laft fate. The fublimity of this character diflinguifhably appearr'upon this- oCcafiou
towards his kinfman Ditbyrambus.

" The aged Megiftias will not permit his font to finifh his life with himfelf. But though Dem**
pbilus bears the affection of a parent to his, the fuperior turn of his mind makes him fonder of the
lory than of the life of Ditbyrambut.

" Ditbyrambus poficffes, in an eminent degree, the amiable character of high merit accompanied
Vvith equal modefly. His ambition is ever to dcferve praife rather than receive it. He choofes Di
medon for his conftant companion in action, his wifli being to equal the greatefl. And at the fame
time he is an admirer of all virtue but his own.

" This moderation, and delicacy of mind, create that reluctance, with which he engages Terl*
tafus, whofe virtues, though in an enemy, he held in high efteem. In this fcene the poet ha*
brought together feveral characters, and fupported each with great fuccefs. The gloomy cafl of
mind, which ever accompanied Ttribafus, here appears without breaking his fpirit. The impa
tience with which Hyperantles advances forward, when he hopes to fee his friend victorious, the
cagernefs, with which he flies to revenge upon his difappointment, and the fudden fufpenfe of that
fefolution to aflift his dying friend, with the return of his indignation, as foon as his friend expires,
are ftrong effects of that warmth of heart becoming a firm amity.

" The refpective characters of thefe two heroes are alfo well preferved in the manner, wherein
each takes his refolution to fliare the glory with Leonidas in his fatal cataftrophe. The fierce intre
pidity of Diomedon prompts him to appear the foremoft of all in this high-fpirited refolution ; and
Dilbyramlns with the modefly peculiar to his character, is felicitous to throw an humble fhade
ver his own glory.

" For brevity I pafs over the leffer characters of the poem ; though they alfo are diftinctly mark
ed. The favage fiercenefs of Pbraortes, the vain arrogance of Tigranes y the diffidence and hypo-
crify of Anaxander, and the confidence in villany of Efiialtes, are very manifefl.

" The character of Leonidas is the moft diflinctly exhibited of any, being placed in a greater va
riety of lights. We fee him in council, in the army, in his family, and 'm his retirements. His
firft appearance in the Spartan council fhows us the ruling principle of his mind. The general
principle, upon which valiant and heroic actions are founded,' is, that there are occafions, which"
make it reafonable to put life in hazard. And we daily fee this principle exerted in very different
degrees in proportion to the meafure of courage and fpirit of different men. But Leonidas extends
this principle fo far, and has formed fo exalted a conception of virtue, as to think it neceffary for a
great man to place the defire of life wkolly out of the queftion.

    • It is upon this foot, that notvvithftanding the character of Leonidas is raifcd fo far above that of
      other men, yet it appears abfolutely natural ; becaufe his motives are not of a different nature from
      thofe of others, but only improved in degree.

' When Leonidas is retired, and the warmth of heart excited by the public prefence is fo far abated,
that he is Jcft without reftf aim to his cool reflections, the poet has taken care not to outrage his cha
racter by diverting him of human nature ; but we fee thofe ftruggles, which mud rieceffarily pafs
through the mind of the greateft man upon fo extraordinary an occafion. Here he is not without
natural fears; but has a fpirit in his moft deliberate moments to overcome them. His principal mo
tive is the public good ; though he is alfo not infenfible to the fame which muft accompany fo me*
ritorious an action.

" Cold men have confidered this fublime degree of that defire of praife, which is implanted in
ur nature, as a weaknefs ; but it is certainly a part of LeoniJas's character to hold it in high efteem;
for as he has recourfe to it for the fuppoft of nis own mind, fo in his firft fpeech to his follower*
on their arrival at Thermopylae, he excites them to act with their utmofl vigour upon the lame

" In his family another part of his churacteV appears. He la there tender and affectionate, but
ftill able to fupprefs the fe cret motions of his own heart, when it was neceffary for infpiring his
queen with fpirit to fupport a calamity unavoidable. And accordingly, he does in part raife and
calm her mind. But when the fudden warning for his d^ parture has renewe^ her grief, that fhe
faints in bis arms, and he is left, us it were, alnc tt himtclf 5 he breaks out into a degree af tender*

VOL, XI,' J* k


nefs, that fhows all his foregoing refolution to be the effect ef true firmnefs of mind, mot of in-*

" We next fee him before the general council of Greece, And here he a<5ls a new part. In the
Spartan council he exerts a fpirit and vigour, that commands all who hear him ; but now he gives
his advice with the moderation of one more difpofed to be directed than authoritatively to influ*
cnce an afiembly, to whofe prudence the general ftates of the country had intrufted the conduct of
their affairs.

" He is next brought into the field, and fhown in the midft of thofe dangers, to which, for the
public fervice, he had fo freely offered himfelf. And here the fame refolution fupports him to per
form with the greateft coolnefs all the offices of a Ikilful and prudent commander, to contemn in his
laft hours every peril, and to meet his fate with no lefs firmnefs than that, wherewith he firfl ac
cepted of it, at a diftance in the council of Sparta.

" Thus I think our author in his principal Grecian heroes, and moft eminently in Leonidas their
leader, has reprefented with fingular ftrcngth, and truth, virtuous characters of high fpirit fuperior
to the greateft misfortunes 1 ; which is an achievement Plato thought the moil difficult of all poetical

The author of the " Remarks on Leonidas, in the " Weekly Mifcellany," No. 234. after taking
jhotice of feveral faults and improprieties, concludes thus : " I ought in juilice to confefs to thole
readers who may chance not to have read Leonidas , that though there are faults fufficient to juftify
the oppofition I made to it, yet there are beauties more than fufficient to repay them the trouble- in
reading it over."

In the Athenaid, which is a poetical hiflory of the wars between the Greeks and Perfians, in
thirty books, he propofes revenge for the death of Ltonidas, as the great fubjec-l of his* poem. The
following is the exordium :

The Perfians vanquifli'd, Greece from bondage fav'd,
The death of great Leonidas WrjfV,
By Attic virtue celebrate O mufe !

The conclusion is in the fame ftrain,

-Night drops her fbad

On thirty millions flaughter'd. Thus thy death

Leonidas of Sparta 'was avcng d ;

Greece thus by Attic virtue was preferv'd.

It is indeed fo much a counterpart to Leonidas, though flill more profile, as to fuperfede the necef-
fity of a particular critique. Events that are the fubjccl of authentic record, are ill adapted to epic
foetry. At the fame time, the hiftorical tranfadions of every age, are capable of poetical arrange
ment, and poetical cmbellifhment. But the narrow and limited view which he has taken of his
fubject, removes its grandeft and moft dignified afpedt, and renders the epic mufe inferior to the
hiftorical. Many of the epifodes, however, are affecting and pathetic ; and fome of tne characters
are well drawn, particularly thofe of Themi/iodes and Arijlides. But the importance and dignity of
the events recorded are much diminiflied by the poetical mode of narration, and ftrike us lefs than in
the original hiftorian.

His London requires no diftinct examination. The fubjccl:, which is the origin and progrefs of com
merce, is peculiarly interefting to- Britons ; and the compofition difcovers a vigour of invention, a force
ef defcription, a dignity of fentiment, and a facility of expreffion, not unworthy of the author of Leo-
nidas t His Hoficrs Ghoft is one of the moft pathetic and beautiful ballads in the Englifh language.




iaei'Of, fyot parser, <*



To illuftratc the following poem, to vindicate the
fubje& from the cnfure of improbability, aud to
fhow, by the concurring evidence of the bell hif-
torians, that inch difmtercfted public virtue did
once exift, I have thought it would not be impro
per to prefix the fubfequcnt narration.

While Darius, the facher of Xerxes, was yet on
the throne of Perfia, Cleomenes and Demaratus
were kings in Lacedemon, both defcended from
Hercules. Demaratus was unfortunately expofed
by an uncertain rumour, which rendered his legi
timacy fufpected, to the malice and treachery of
his colleague, who had conceived a perfonal re-
ientment againft him ; for Cleomenes, taking ad
vantage of this report, perfuaded the Spartans to
examine into the birth of Demaratus, and refer
the difficulty to the oracle of Delphi ; aud was af-
iifted ia his perfidious defigns by a near relation
of Demaratns, named .Leutychicies, who afpircd
to fucceed him in his dignity. Cleomenes found
means to corrupt the prieitefs of Delphi, who de
clared Demaratus not legitimate. Thus, by the
bafe practices of his colleague Cleoments, and of
his kinfman JLeutychides, Demaratus was expelled
from his regal office in the commonwealth, a JLa-
rcdcmonian, diftinguiflisd in adlion and counfel,
and the only king of Sparta, who, by obtaining
the Olympic prize in the chariot-race, had increai-
exl the luifcre of his country. He went into volun
tary banifhtnent ; and, retiring to Afia, was there
protected by Darius, while Lcutychides fucceeded
to the regal authority in Sparta. Upon the death
of Cleomenes, Leonidas became king, who ruled in
conjunction with this Leutychides, when Xerxes,
the fon of Darius, invaded Greece. The number
ci land and naval forces which accdropajiied tkat

monarch, together with the fervarits, women, and
other ufual attendants on the army of an eaileru
prince, amounted to upwards of five millions, as
reported by Herodotus, who wrote within a few
years after the event, and pabiicly recited his hif-
tory at the Olympic games. In this general af-
fembly, not only from Greece itfelf, but from
every part of the world, wherever a colony of
Grecians was planted, had he greatly exceeded
the truth, he muft certainly have been detected,
and cenfured by fome among ib great a multi
tude ; and fuch a voluntary faliehood mult have
entirely deftroyed that merit and authority, which
have procured to Herodotus the veneration of all
posterity, with the appellation of the Father of Hif-
tory. On tlie iirft news of this attempt on their
liberty, a convention, com poled of deputies from
the feveral ttaces of Greece, was immediately held
at the iithmus of Corinth, to confuk on proper
meal'ures for the public &fety. The opartans aifo
lent meiTengers to inquire of the oracle at Jjeipht
into the event of the war, who returned with an
aafwer from the prieftefs of Apollo that either a
king, descended from Hercules, rnuft die, or La-
cedemoa would be entirely detlfoyed. Leonidas
immediately offered to lacriftce his life for the pre-
fervation of Laccderaon ; and, marching to Ther
mopylae, pofleffed himleif U' that uaportant pafa
with three hundred of his countrymen; who, with
the forces of Ibme other cities in the Peloponnelus,
together with che Thebans, Thefpians, and the
troops of thofe ftates, which, adjoined to Thermo-,
pyla;, compofed an army of ncaf ight thoufand
Hie a.

Xerxes was now advanced as far as Thefialia;
when, hearing that a fmall bodv of Grecians wss


1* R E tf A C- E.

aflembled at ThcrftapylaJ, With fome Lacedemo
nians at their head, and among the reft Leonidas,
dependent of Hercules, he difpatched a fingle
horfeman before to obferve their numbers, and
difcover their defigns. When this horfeman ap
proached, he could not take a view of the whole
camp, which lay concealed behind a rampart, for
merly raifed by the Phocians at the entrance of
Thermopylae on the fide of Greece; fo that his
whole attention was engaged by thofe who were
on guard before the wall, and who at that inftant
chanced to be the Lacedemonians. Their manner
and geftures greatly aftonifhed the Perfian. Some
were amufing themfelves in gymnaftic exerciies ;
others were combing their hair ; and all difcover-
ed a total difregard of him, whom they fuffered to
depart, and report to Xerxes what he had feen ;
which appearing to that prince quite ridiculous,
jhe fent for Demaratus, who was with him in the
camp, and required him to explain this ftrange
behaviour of his countrymen. Demaratus inform
ed him, that it was a cuftom among the Spartans
to comb down and adjufl their hair, when they
were determined to fight till the laft extremity.
Xerxes, notwithftanding, in the confidence of his
power, fent ambafladors to the Grecians to de
mand their arms, to bid them difperfe,- and be
come his friends and allies ; which propofals be
ing received with difdain, he commanded the
Medes and Ciflians to feize on the Grecians, and
bring them alive into his prefence. Thefe nations
immediately attacked the Grecians, and were foon
Tepulfed with great flaughter; frefh troops ftill
fucceeded, but with no better fortune than the
jfrrft, being oppofed to an enemy not only fuperior
in valour and refolution, but who had the advan
tage of difcipline, and were furnilhed with better
arms, both ofFenii ve and defenfive.

Plutarch, in his Laconic Apothegms, reports, that
the Perfian king offered to invert Leonidas with
the fovereignty of Greece, provided he would join
his arms to thofe of Perfia. This offer was too
confiderable a condefcenfion to have been made
before a trial of their force, and muft therefore
liave been propefed by Xerxes after fuch a fenes
of ill fuccefs, as might probably have depreffed
the infolence of his temper ; and it may be eafily
admitted, that the virtue of Leonidas was proof
stgainft any temptations of that nature. Whether
tliis be a fa& or not, thus much is certain, that
Xerxes was reduced to extrejne difficulties by this
refolute defence of Thermopylae, till he was extri
cated from his diftrefs by a Malian, named Epial-
. tes, who conducted twenty thoufand of the Per-
iian army into Greece through a pafs, which lay
higher tip the country among the mountains 6
Oeta ;" wherea* the paffage at Thermopylae was,
iituated on the feaihore between thofe mountains
and the Malian bay. The defence of the upper
pafs had been committed to a thoufand Phociaus
who, upon the firft fight of the enemy, inconfider-
ately abandoned their {ration, and put themfelves
in array upon a neighbouring eminence ; but the
iPerfians wifely avoided an engagement, and with
the utmoft expedition marched to Thermopylae.

Leonidas no fooner received information that the
Barbarians had paffed the mountains, and wouh
ion be. i a fiuatwn to taour.d bjjn, than he

commanded the allies t retreat, referving; tfie
hree hundred Spartans, and four hundred The-
>ans, whom, as they followed him with reluc-
ance at firft, he now compelled to flay. But the
Thefpians, whofe number amounted to feven hun
dred, would not be perfuaded by Leonidas to for-*
Take him. Their commander was Demophilus;
and the moft eminent amongft them for his va
lour was Dithyrambus, the fon of Harmatides.
Among the Lacedemonians, the moft confpicuou*-
next to Leonidas was Dieneces, who being told
that the multitude . of Perfian arrows would ob-
fcure the fun, replied, the battle would then be in
the made. Two brothers, named Alpheus and
Maron, are alfo recorded for their valour, and
were Lacedemonians. Megiftias, a prieft, by birtk
an Acarnanian, and held in high honour at Spar
ta, refufed to defert Leonidas, though entreated by
him to confult his fafety, but fent away his only
fon, and remained himfel behind to die with the

Herodotus relates, that Leonidas drew up hi
men in the broadeft part of Thermopylae, where,
being encompaffed by the Perfians, they fell with
great numbers of their enemies; but Plutarch,
Diodorus Siculus, and others, affirm, that the Gre
cians attacked the very camp of Xerxes in the
night. Both th',-fe difpofitions are reconciieable
to probability. He might have made an attack
on the Perfian camp in the night, and in the
morning withdrawn his forces back to Thermo
pylae, where they would be enabled to make the.
moft obftmate rt fiftance, and fell their lives upo
the dearcft terms. The aclion is thus defcribed
by Diodorus : " The Grecians, having now re-
" jected all thoughts of fafety, preferring glory to-
" life, unanimouHy called on their general to lead
" them againft the Perfians, before 'they could be
" app