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Attended to the chase by all the flow'r
Of youth, whose hopes a noble prey devour:
Pleasure, with praise and danger, they would buy,
And wish a foe that would not only fly.
The Stag, now conscious of his fatal growth,
At once indulgent to his fear and sloth,
To some dark covert his retreat had made,
Where no man's eye, nor Heaven's should invade
His soft repose; when th' unexpected sound
Of dogs and men his wakeful ear does wound:
Rouz'd with the noise, he scarce believes his ear,
Willing to think th' illusions of his fear
Had giv'n this false alarm, but straight his view
Confirms, that more than all he fears is true.
Betray'd in all his strengths, the wood beset,
All instruments, all arts of ruin met;
He calls to mind his strength, and then his speed,
His winged heels, and then his armed head;
With these t'avoid, with that his fate to meet:
But fear prevails, and bids him trust his feet.
So fast he flies, that his reviewing eye
Has lost the chasers, and his ear the cry;
Exulting, till he finds their nobler sense
Their disproportion'd speed does recompence;
Then curses his conspiring feet, whose scent
Betrays that safety which their swiftness lent.
Then tries his friends among the baser herd,
Where he so lately was obey'd and fear'd,
His safety seeks: the herd, unkindly wise,
Or chases him from thence, or from him flies;
Like a declining statesman, left forlorn,
To his friends' pity, and pursuers scorn,
With shame remembers, while himself was one
Of the same herd, himself the same had done.
Thence to the coverts, and the conscious groves,
The scenes of his past triumphs and his loves;
Sadly surveying where he rang d alone,
Prince of the soil and all the herd his own;
And, like a bold knight-errant, did proclaim
Combat to all, and bore away the dame;
And taught the woods to echo to the stream
His dreadful challenge, and his clashing beam:
Yet faintly now declines the fatal strife:
So much his love was dearer than his life.
Now ev'ry leaf, and ev'ry moving breath,.
Presents a foe, and ev'ry foe a death.
Weary'd, forsaken, and pursu'd, at last,
All safety in despair of safety plac'd;
Courage he thence resumes, resolv'd to bear
All their assaults, since 'tis in vain to fear.
And now, too late, he wishes, for the fight,
That strength he wasted in ignoble flight:
But, when he sees the eager chase renew'd,
Himself by dogs, the dogs by men pursu'd,
He strait revokes his bold resolve, and more
Repents his courage than his fear before;
Finds that uncertain ways unsafest are,
And doubt a greater mischief than despair.
Then to the stream, when neither friends, nor force,
Nor speed, nor art avail, he shapes his course;
Thinks not their rage so desp'rate, to essay
An element more merciless than they.
But, fearless, they pursue, nor can the flood
Quench their dire thirst; alas! they thirst for blood,
So tow'rds a ship the oar-finn'd gallies ply,
Which wanting sea to ride, or wind to fly,
Stands but to fall reveng'd on those that dare
Tempt the last fury of extreme despair.
So fares the stag among th' enraged hounds,
Repels their force, and wounds returns for wounds,
And as a hero, whom his baser foes
In troops surround, now these assails, now those,
Though prodigal of life, disdains to die
By common hands; but, if he can descry
Some nobler foe approach, to him he calls,
And begs his fate, and then contented falls.
So when the king a mortal shaft lets fly
From his unerring hand, then, glad to die,
Proud of the wound, to it resigns his blood,
And stains the crystal with a purple flood.
This a more innocent and happy chase
Than when of old, but in the self-same place,
Fair Liberty, pursu'd, and meant a prey
To lawless power, * here turn'd, and stood at bay,
When in that remedy all hope was plac'd,
Which was, or should have been at least, the last.
Here was that charter seal'd wherein the crown
All marks of arbitrary pow'r lays down:
* Runnimede; where the great charter was first sealed.
Tyrant and slave, those names of hate and fear,
The happier stile of king and subject bear:
Happy, when both to the same centre move,
When kings give liberty, and subjects love.
Therefore not long in force this charter stood,
Wanting that seal, it must be seal'd in blood.
The subjects arm'd, the more their princes gave,
Th' advantage only took the more to crave:
Till kings, by giving, give themselves away,
And ev'n that pow'r, that should deny, betray.
"Who gives constrain'd, but his own fear reviles,
"Not thank'd, but scorn'd; nor are they gifts, but spoils."
Thus kings, by grasping more than they could hold,
First made their subjects, by oppression, bold:
And popular sway, by forcing kings to give
More than was fit for subjects to receive,
Ran to the same extremes; and one excess
Made both, by striving to be greater, less.
When a calm river, rais'd with sudden rains,
Or snews dissolv'd, o'erflows th' adjoining plains,
The husbandmen with high-rais'd banks secure
Their greedy hopes, and this he can endure.
But if with bays and dams they strive to force
His channel to a new, or narrow, course;
No longer, then, within his banks he dwells,
First to a torrent, then a deluge, swells:
Stronger and fiercer by restraint he roars,
And knows no bound, but makes his pow'r his shores.
INTERVIEW between HEALTH and Dr. HERVEY, in the INFERNAL REGIONS.
THEY hasten now to that delightful plain,
Where the glad manes of the bless'd remain:
Where Hervey gathers simples, to bestow
Immortal youth on heroes' shades below.
Soon as the bright Hygeia was in view,
The venerable sage her presence knew:
Hail, blooming goddess! thou propitious pow'r,
Whose blessings mortals more than life inplore,
With so much. lustre your bright looks endear,
That cottages are courts where those appear.
Mankind, as you vouchsafe to smile or frown,
Find ease in chains, or anguish in a crown.
With just resentment and contempt you see
The foul dissensions of the Faculty;
How your sad sick'ning art now hangs her head;
And, once a science, is become a trade.
Her sons ne'er rifle her mysterious store,
But study nature less, and lucre more.
Not so, when Rome to th' Epidaurian rais'd
A temple, where devoted incense blaz'd.
Oft father Tyber views the lofty fire,
As the learn'd son is worshipp'd like the sire;
The sage with Romulus like honours claim;
The gift of life and laws were then the same.
I show'd, of old, how vital currents glide,
And the meanders of their refluent tide.
Then, Willis, why spontaneous actions here,
And whence involuntary motions there:
And how the spirits, by mechanic laws,
In wild careers tumultuous riots cause.
Nor would our Wharton, Bates, and Glisson lie
In the abyss of blind Obscurity.
But, now, such wond'rous searches are forborne,
And Pæan's art is by divisions torn.
Then let your charge attend, and I'll explain
How her lost health your science may regain.
Haste, and the matchless Atticus address;
From Heav'n and great Nassau he has the mace.
Th' oppress'd to his asylum still repair;
Arts he supports, and Learning is his care.
He softens the harsh rigour of the laws,
Blunts their keen edge, and grinds their harpy claws; And, graciously, he casts a pitying eye
On the sad state of virtuous poverty.
Whene'er he speaks, Heav'ns! how the list'ning throng Dwells on the melting music of his tongue!
His arguments are emblems of his mien,
Mild, but not faint; and forcing, though serene;
And, when the pow'r of eloquence he'd try,
Here, lightning strikes you; there, soft breezes sigh.
To him you must your sickly state refer;
Your charter claims him as your Visiter.
Your wounds he'll close, and sov'reignly restore
Your science to the height it had before.
Then Nassau's health shall be your glorious aim,
His life should be as lasting as his fame.
Some princes' claims from devastations spring,
He condescends, in pity, to be king:
And when, amidst his olives plac'd, he stands
And governs more by candour than commands,
Ev'n then not less a hero he appears,
Than when a Laurel diadem he wears.
Would Phoebus, or his G-le, but inspire
Their sacred veh'mence of poetic fire,
To celebrate in song that godlike pow'r,
Which did the lab'ring universe restore:
Fair Albion's cliffs would echo to the strain,
And praise the arm that conquer'd, to regain
The earth's repose, and empire o'er the main.
Still may th' immortal man his cares repeat,
To make his blessings endless as they're great;.
Whilst malice and ingratitude confess
They've strove for ruin long, without success.
When, late, Jove's eagle from the pyle shall rise,
To bear the victor to the boundless skies,
Awhile the God puts off paternal care,
Neglects the earth to give the heav'ns a star.
Near thee, Alcides, shall the hero shine;
His rays resembling, as his labours, thine.
Had some fam'd patriot, of the Latin blood,
Like Julius great, and like Octavius good,
But thus preserv'd the Latin liberties,
Aspiring columns soon had reach'd the skies:
Loud Io's the proud capitol had shook,
And all the statues of the gods had spoke.
No more the sage his raptures could pursue:
He paus'd, and Celsus, with his guide, withdrew.
RULES for WRITING WELL.
(DUKE OF BUCKINGHAM'S ESSAY ON POETRY)
Of all those arts in which the wise excel,
Nature's chief master-piece is writing well:
No writing lifts exalted man so high,
As sacred and soul-moving poesy:
No kind of work requires so nice a touch;
And, if well finish'd, nothing shines so much.