Tag Archives: tetrameter couplets

William Hutton, “The Way to Get Married”

WILLIAM HUTTON

 “The Way to Get Married”

 

Small matters on the stage I’ll bring,
A butcher’s boy is all I sing.
He’ll grace my page as much as any
He earn’d a groat, and sav’d a penny;
Then, rising by degrees, alone,                                                                   5
He purchas’d, slaughter’d, sold, his own:
This proves, that man, with little skill,
May rise to fortune, if he will,
“Get much–spend less,” increase his store;
Dame Fortune ne’er can keep him poor.                                                  10
Now stilliards, cleever, knife, must drop,
He swell’d beyond a butcher’s shop;
His talent had a fortune made,
“He’d try it in the silver trade.”
What man would not rejoice, to feel,                                                         15
To silver turn his greasy steel!
The same stroke which a penny got
Some thousands in his new trade brought.
Joseph was fam’d for doing good;
This art he practis’d all he cou’d,                                                                 20
And made each piece of English coin
Tenants at will, his pocket line;
Each one, in watchful silence lies,
For charity of every size;
What object of necessity                                                                              25
Could ‘scape a man so arm’d as he?
If neighbours quarrell’d, small or great,
Friend Joe stepp’d in to set all strait;
And gain’d, by tramping up and down,
Sometimes a thank, sometimes a frown.                                                  30
He ne’er assum’d the hypocrite,
His actions well would bear the light;
With manners plain, not made to charm,
Such as oft grow upon a farm;
Should Envy’s self his conduct scan,                                                          35
An honest bluntness marks the man.
Whenever he walk’d out abroad
His active gait industry show’d,
As if to Indolence he’d say,
“With safety you may march this way;                                                       40
The road is fine–may fortune speed you,
‘Twill never to repentance lead you”
Should right or wrong ways intervene,
Love prompts the heart, behind the scene:
Joseph, this subtle power can’t flee,                                                          45
Was captivated by Miss C.
A smile, a bow without much grace,
A little flushing in the face,
A tongue, attempting–this–and that–
The only time unfit to chat,                                                                          50
Five broken hems!–not uttered free,
Were introductions to Miss C.
Yet, spite of what the tongue can’t say,
Merit will often find its way:
His suit succeeded, all were eas’d,                                                              55
The mother, daughter, lover, pleas’d–
Till Mr. Kimberley stepp’d in,
A last-man, who shoe’d all the kin–
“Your servant, ladies–I heard say
Young Miss would throw herself away;                                                      60
Upon a Presbyterian too!
A dreadful prospect is in view!
From that vile race the Lord defend you!
He’ll sure a better husband send you.”
“He seem’d, by what we e’er could find,”                                            65
Says madam “sober, honest, kind.”
“Two sides a Presbyterian shows,
Both false, as any wind that blows.
Besides, your family has been
Staunch churchmen, for long ages seen.”                                                 70
When Joseph’s evening-visit came,
Then look’d askance the senior dame;
The daughter too, replete with ire,
Took that chair farthest from the fire;
And both, though Joseph waited long,                                                       75
Had lost the use of lips and tongue.
A working bottle, cork’d up fast,
Must gain some vent, or burst at last;
It then appear’d–O dreadful case!
That Joe a Presbyterian was.                                                                        80
“Pity religion,” Joseph cry’d,
“Meant to unite, should e’er divide.”
Our lover understood his trade,
To Kimberley a visit made;
“I find you work for Mrs. C.                                                                           85
I’ll thank you to make shoes for me.”
“O yes sir, none shall me excel,
Depend upon’t, I serve you well.”
The tide, and shoe-maker, now chang’d,
And backwards, through the channel rang’d;                                           90
He told the ladies, “he was glad
To find the swain the best of bad.”
Thus Kimberley began abusing,
Beause a customer was losing,
But chang’d his tone, when brought to view,                                           95
That marriage was securing two.
Could Joseph better luck betide?
A pair of shoes procur’d a bride!

NOTES:

4  groat  “Taken as the type of a very small sum” (OED).

11  stilliards  Possible variation to “steelyard” a lever with unequal arms that moves on a fulcrum (OED).

22  Tenants at will  Those who hold or rent property at the will or pleasure of the land owner.

46  Miss C–  Possibly a reference to Miss Sarah Cock, before she married William Hutton.

51  hems  A suggestive sound similar to a “hum” and “ha” (OED).

57  Mr. Kimberley  Possibly a reference to Mr. Grace, an acquaintance of Hutton who opposed his relationship with Miss Cock until he unexpectedly received money that was owed to him;  their affections angered Mr. Grace who “tried at separation” (The Life of William Hutton, 167). Only when he received money did he “become good-humoured and promoted the match all in his power” to which Hutton responds with the following: “Such are the wonderful effects of money” (167).

58  shoe’d  “Furnished or protected with a shoe or shoes” (OED).

61  Presbyterian In the eighteenth century, a protestant dissenter or non-conformist.  Presbyterianism in England traces its roots back to the sixteenth century and Presbyterians became powerful during the Commonwealth in their attempt to reform existing church hierarchy.  After the Restoration, the Act of Uniformity (1662) severely curtailed Presbyterianism in England, and lead to over a century of persecution.

70  staunch churchmen  That is, long-time Church of England supporters; Anglicans.

72  askance  “To turn away from or oblige a person to avert their gaze” (OED).

72  senior dame  “The eldest and most superior female” (OED).

92  swain  “A young man attending on a knight; hence, a man of low degree” (OED).

97  betide “To happen, befall” (OED).

Source: The Gentleman’s Magazine (July 1799), p. 606.

Edited by Adrianna Villasenor

Matthew Pilkington, “Happiness”

 [MATTHEW PILKINGTON]

  Happiness

Plagu’d with dependance on the great,
To raise me from my humble state;
With paying court to faithless friends,
Who disappointed all my ends;
With wasting all my blooming years,                                             5
In endless toils, and hopes, and fears;
How fondly longs my soul to gain
The calm, uncrowded rural scene!
To fly the man, whose treach’rous art
Deludes the undesigning heart.                                                     10
No calumny, no pale-cheek’d care,
No envy shall attend me there.
There seated near a gliding stream,
Intent on some inspiring theme,
Or wand’ring o’er the flow’ry vale,                                                  15
Imbibing joy from every gale,
I strive that blissful state to gain,
So fondly sought, so sought in vain.

Vain are our fondest hopes of bliss,
From such a faithless world as this.                                               20
Where vice in every form appears,
In wanton’d youth and palsy’d years.
Where villainy exalted shines,
And merit unregarded pines;
Angelic probity’s unpriz’d,                                                                25
And heav’n-descended truth despised:
Where friendship’s name conceals a knave,
Subtle and studious to deceive;
(A Corvus, who with great success,
At once can murder and caress;)                                                   30
Where triumps self-adoring pride,
Where virtue’s scorn’d, and God defy’d.

Too long deceiv’d, I strove to know
Felicity in things below;
But now, O pow’r supreme, I see,                                                  35
True happiness resides with thee.
With thee, whose wisdom guides on high
The worlds of light that gild the sky,
And made this earth, a place of pain,
A mix’d unsatisfying scene.                                                            40

Let wealth have wings, and friends profest
Stab the sincere unguarded breast;
Preferment’s golden show’r be shed
On Clodios undeserving head.
Or Calumny’s envenom’d dart                                                       45
Transfix me in the tend’rest part;
Since no distress in time or place,
Can make eternal goodness cease,
In God alone my raptur’d mind
Unmix’d felicity shall find.                                                               50

NOTES:

11 calumny “False charge, slander” (OED).

 15 vale “A dale or valley” (OED).

 16 gale “A song; merriment” (OED).

22 palsyd “Affected with palsy, trembling, tottering” (OED).

25 probity “Moral integrity, decency” (OED).

29 Corvus Latin for raven. May also refer to a raven in Greek mythology known as a trickster and thief.

44 Clodio Unable to trace.

Source: The Magazine of Magazines, vol. 8 (July, 1754), p. 82. [Google Books]

Edited by Keli Landowski

Matthew Pilkington, “The Lost Muse”

MATTHEW PILKINGTON
“The Lost Muse”

Clio the sweetest Muse of Nine
Who charm the Gods with Lays divine,
Private and unperceiv’d withdrew,
And swift from sacred Pindus flew,
On some exalted Project bent,                                                    5
But told no Creature her Intent.

The God of Numbers heard it said,
His fav’rite, sweet-tongu’d Muse was fled,
And he had oft observ’d, of late
That she was absent from her Seat,                                        10
When all her tuneful Sister-Train
Were forming some immortal Strain.

He us’d to send her, now and then,
With Hints to some peculiar Men,
To Pope, Delany, Gay, or Swift,                                                    15
But now he cou’d not guess her Drift,
And wonders much, that she wou’d venture
To visit Bards, except he sent her;
So, half-provok’d, away he flies,
Takes Hermes with him in Disguise,                                          20
Resolv’d to roam the World around,
’Till Clio’s private Haunt is found.

The Gods, impatient of Delay,
To fam’d Eblana wing their Way,
And prudent, first at Swift’s descend,                                      25
Apollo’s best-regarded Friend,
And whom the God of Verse and Wit,
Inspir’d in ev’ry Line he writ;
There might they hope their Prize to gain
Where ev’ry Muse delights to Reign;                                        30
But she, to execute her Scheme,
Had left him just before they came.

Quick as descending Rays of Light,
To Delville next they take their Flight:
Delville, where all the Wise resort,                                            35
Where oft the Muses keep their Court;
And veil’d from ev’ry mortal Eye
Thro’ all the Doctor’s Rooms they pry,
They search his arbour’d Seats, and Garden,
(Fit Place to find a Muse or Bard in:)                                         40
Then turn’d his Papers o’er with Care,
And plainly found she had been there,
Such Learning, Elegance, and Ease,
Appear in all Delany’s Lays,
Such Beauties in his Numbers shine,                                      45
As prove their Origin divine.

With these their Disappointments vext,
They fly to fair Saphira’s next,
And found her, forming into Rhime
A Thought exalted and Sublime,                                              50
Perceiv’d such Excellence and Wit,
Such Charms in all she spoke and writ,
As soon convinc’d their wond’ring Eyes,
The Muse was with her in Disguise,
And, fond the rising Age to bless,                                            55
Assum’d a mortal Form and Dress.

The God, delighted, calms his Rage,
And crys, there Live, to charm the Age,
Be thou a gay inspiring Guest,
And fill, the soft Delights, her Breast,                                     60
That Breast with all that’s good replete,
But Clio, this will be thy Fate,
Thou shalt contrive the deathless Lays,
But see Saphira win the Praise.

NOTES:

1 Clio “Proper name of the Muse of epic poetry and history” (OED).

4 Pindus A range of mountains in west central Greece, stretching from the border with Albania southwards to the Gulf of Corinth (OED).

7 God of Numbers Apollo, God of poetry (OED).

15 Pope Alexander Pope ( 1688–1744 ), an English poet and a major figure of the Augustan age who is famous for his caustic wit and metrical skill, in particular his use of the heroic couplet (OED); Delany Patrick Delany (?1685–1768) an Irish clergyman and writer, friend of Jonathan Swift (OED); Gay John Gay (1685–1732) an English poet and playwright who is chiefly known for The Beggar’s Opera (1728) (OED); Swift Jonathan Swift (1667–1745) an Irish satirist, poet, and Anglican cleric; known as Dean Swift. He is best known for Gulliver’s Travels (1726) (OED).

18 Bards Poets (OED).

20 Hermes “In Greek mythology, a deity, the son of Zeus and Maia, represented as the messenger of the gods, the god of science, commerce, eloquence, and many of the arts of life” (OED).

24 Eblana Name recorded in Ptolemy’s geography (2nd cent. ad) for the site of what is now Dublin (OED).

26 Apollo The god of the sun, truth, music, poetry, dance and healing. Poets and bards put themselves under his protection (OED).

34 Delville The Delany estate located in Glasnevin, Ireland; a separate village in the eighteenth century, now part of Dublin.

48 Saphira Mary Barber (c. 1685-c.1755), poet and friend of Swift and Delany (Memoirs of Laetitia Pilkington, vol. I, ed. A.C. Elias, Jr, 393).

49 Rhime “Metre, measure” (in verse) (OED).

Source: Poems on Several Occasions (1730), pp. 52-58. [Google Books]

Edited by August Braddock

Anonymous, “The Snail’s Apologist. An Heroi-Comic Ode from the French”

ANONYMOUS

The SNAIL’s APOLOGIST. An Heroi-Comic ODE from the French.”

What seas of blood! what heaps of dead!
What horrid scenes around are spread!
Murder and carnage rush to light,
Tumultuous from the realms of night;
One wide destruction covers all,                                                              5
The virtuous with the vicious fall;
Amidst a throng of guilty ghosts
That crowd the Styx on Pluto’s coasts,
I see (or do my senses fail?)
Untimely slain, the gentle snail.                                                              10
Say whence thy claim, presumptuous man!
To bound their life’s contracted span?
Have they from thee receiv’d their breath?
Hast thou a right to give them death?
I know what vain pretence is made,                                                       15
Thou sayst that rapine is their trade.
What rapine—? is not yonder tree
Their country? falsely claim’d by thee!
What if the foliage fade and fall,
Their own, that fragrant foliage all.                                                        20
Born where yon peach nutrition draws,
The snail is ign’rant of thy laws;
Kind nature’s voice the peach bestows,
Kind nature’s voice alone he knows.
Contented with his humble lot,                                                              25
He plunders none, he riots not;
Cease then an hasty fate to give,
And since he only eats to live,
Indulge him in the green retreat,
And let, ah! let him live to eat.                                                               30
With martial ardour dost thou glow?
Up, seek and charge an equal foe;
Against the gnat the war declare,
And hunt him thro’ the fields of air;
Let hostile wasps provoke thy rage,                                                     35
And, foe to sloth, the drone engage;
The gorgeous moth, the dragon’s dread,
Destroy them, and bestride the dead;
Strike home, nor let thy vengeance fail,
’Tis due to these, but spare the snail.                                                  40
Alcides thus, in days of yore,
Bade monsters vex the world no more;
And by thy valour’s equal deed,
Be later times from monsters freed;
Thro’ dangers press, pursue the fight,                                                 45
The threaten’d wound, inflicted, slight.
As fairest flow’rs of sharpest thorn,
Of baffled danger, glory’s born,
Hence demi-gods and heroes claim
Proud statues in the shrine of Fame.                                                   50

NOTES:

8 Styx on Pluto’s coasts Pluto is another name for Hades, the Greek God of the Underworld. “Pluto’s coasts” refers here to the banks of the river Styx, the river of the Underworld (Oxford Reference).

16 rapine “The act or practice of seizing and taking away by force the property of others; plunder, pillage, robbery” (OED).

36 drone “The male of the honey-bee. It is a non-worker, its function being to impregnante the queen-bee” (OED).

37 dragon’s “A fly so called” [Author’s note].

41 Alcides thus…no more An alternative name for Heracles, a divine hero from Greek mythology known for battling against monsters of the Underworld.

Source: The Gentleman’s Magazine, vol. 18 (August 1748), p. 375.

Edited by Daniel Bresnahan

William Kenrick, “The Beau and Butterfly. A Fable”

[WILLIAM KENRICK]

The BEAU and BUTTERFLY. A FABLE.”

 When summer deckt each sylvan scene,
And sunshine smil’d along the green,
When groves allur’d with noon tide shade,
And purling brooks refesh’d the glade;
An empty form of empty show,                                                  5
A flutt’ring insect, call’d a beau,
In gaudy colours rich and gay,
A mere papilio of the day,
Was seen around the fields to rove,
And haunt by turns, the stream and grove:                            10
A silver zone entwin’d his head,
His belly shone with lively red,
His wings were green, but studded o’er
With gold embroider’d spots before.
Around him various insects came,                                           15
Of diff’rent colour, diff’rent name;
And ting’d with ev’ry gorgeous die,
Among the rest a butterfly;
His wings are spread with wanton pride,
And beauty fades from all beside.                                            20
The beau beholds with envious eyes,
The living radiance as it flies,
“And shall, said he, this worthless thing,
That lives but on a summer’s wing,
This flying worm more gaudy shine?                                        25
And wear a dress more gay than mine?
Is this wise nature’s equal care
To deck a butterfly so fair?
While man her worthiest, greatest part,
Must wear the homely rags of art!”                                          30
Thus reason’d he, as reason beaux,
The subject of their logick cloaths,
And thus the butterfly reply’d,
With deeper tints by anger dy’d,
“Vain, trifling mortal! could’st thou boast,                               35
To prize what nature prizes most
On man bestow’d, thou would’st not see
With envy ought she gives to me.
This painted vestment, all my store,
She gives, and I can claim no more—                                       40
But man, for greater ends design’d,
Shou’d boast the beauties of the mind.
More bright than gold thy wisdom shine,
And virtue’s sacred charms be thine.
To rule the world by reason taught,                                          45
On dress disdain to waste a thought,
For he whom folly bends so low,
Ambitious to be thought a beau,
Is studious only to be gay,
In toilet-arts consumes the day;                                                50
And the long trifling labours o’er,
Takes wing, and bids the world adore,
Looks down with scorn on rival flies,
Himself less splendid and less wise,
With scorn, his scorn return’d again                                         55
Proud insect! impotently vain!
The fool, who thus by self is priz’d,
By others justly is despis’d;”
She said, and flutter’d round on high,
Nor staid to hear the beau’s reply.                                           60

NOTES:

1 sylvan “One who (or something that) inhabits a wood or forest; a being of the woods” (OED).

6 beau “A man who gives particular, or excessive, attention to dress, mein, and social etiquette; an exquisite, a fop, a dandy” (OED).

8 papilio “A butterfly or large moth” (OED).

50 toilet-arts Historical usage of the word toilet, meaning “the action or process of washing, dressing, or arranging the hair” (OED).

Source: The Gentleman’s Magazine, vol. 18 (May 1748), p. 231.

Edited by Sierra Moreno

Richard Gough, “To Mrs. S— on presenting the Author with a Lock of her Hair”

RICHARD GOUGH

 “To Mrs. S— on presenting the Author with a Lock of her Hair”

The Poets, Madam, all aver,
That once the ruthless god of war,
Who, bred amid the din of arms,
Defy’d the pow’r of beauty’s charms;
And long had proudly scorn’d to wear,                                     5
The pleasing fetters of the fair.
Struck with the graceful air and mein,
And roseat bloom of Cyprus’ queen;
His savage fierceness all forbore,
Subdued by Venus, magic lore;                                                10
And soon became her pow’r to prove,
A convert to the force of love.
The wily Goddess, then, ‘tis said,
All with an heavenly tempered brede;
Of net-work circled him around,                                              15
And to her snowy bosom bound:
Secur’d the conquest of her eyes,
And by the rulers of the skies;
From the fierce God of war so tamed,
Thence forth was beauties goddess named.                        20
Thus say the poets, who in fiction,
In figure and in contradiction,
To all the laws of modest nature,
Trick out a strange romantic creature;
Which, after all, they queintly feign,                                       25
No where exists but in the brain.
Might I the genuine truth reveal,
And would you listen to the tale;
Would you, more kindly still supply,
Whate’er I pass in silence by?                                                 30
Whose was the dull, insensate breast,
Which beauty’s pow’r at length confess’d;
Who soon became that power to prove,
A convert to the force of love:
Wou’d you conceive who ‘tis I mean,                                    35
Then would I thus the rest explain:
The heavenly net-work, Venus snare,
Was this — a ringlet of her hair;
And she, to give her all her due,
Some faint resemblance was of–you.                                  40

NOTES:

Title Mrs. S— Unable to identify.

2 god of war In Roman mythology, Mars.

7 mein “Physical strength, force or power” (OED).

8 roseat “Resembling or suggestive of a rose, esp.in colour” (OED); Cyprus’ queen Probably Cleopatra of Egypt, renowned for her beauty, who was given control of the island through her alliance with Marc Antony (Encyclopedia Britannica).

10 Venus In Roman mythology, the goddess of love.

14 brede “Anything plaited, entwined, or interwoven” (OED).

25 queintly An older spelling of quaintly (OED).

31 insensate “Destitute of physical sense or feeling” (OED).

Source: The Gentleman’s Magazine (April 1770), p. 183.

Edited by Matthew Bragg

Anonymous, “[On Tobacco, a translation”]

ANONYMOUS

 [“On Tobacco, a translation”]

Sweet charmer of my solitude,
Brilliant pipe, consuming tube,
Who clear’st the vapours from my brain,
And my mind from anxious pain!
Tobacco! source of my delight,                                      5
When I see thee quit my sight,
And vanish in the purer air,
Like the lightning’s quick career,
I see the image of my life below,
And whither soon my breath must go.                      10
By thee I trace, in colours strong,
That man is nothing but a song,
An animated heap of clay,
The jest and sport of but a day;
That as thy smoke I pass away,                                    15
An emblem of my own decay.

 NOTES:

Title This poem appears without a title in the Gentleman’s Magazine, but includes the following prefatory comment: “Mr. Urban, I send you the following French verses written by a Monk, with the translation. A.P.P.”

2 Consuming tube A reference to the reed stem pipe, which was developed in the eighteenth-century. These pipes were made with a natural reed stem, resembling a tube, which slips into a bowl.

 3-4 In the eighteenth-century, tobacco was used to treat anything from colic to vomit, hernia, rheumatic pains, and various infirmities including anxiety.

 Source: The Gentleman’s Magazine (April, 1785), p. 308.

 Edited by Farnam Adelkhani

Anonymous, “Damon’s Complaint for Amynta’s absence. In the person of a despairing Shepherd”

ANONYMOUS

 “DAMON‘s Complaint for AMYNTA‘s absence. In the person of a despairing Shepherd. By a young Lady”

 

AH, hapless fate, and luckless day,
That call’d my lovely nymph away!
O fairest fav’rite of the plain,
Desir’d by all, desir’d in vain;
O thou, my dear, my darling theme,                               5
My morning tho’t, my midnight dream;
Beneath what poplar, or what pine
Dost thou thy slumb’ring charms recline,
While whisp’ring breezes panting play,
And waft the sultry heats away?                                     10
O nymph, return to Damon‘s call,
See! floods of tears in torrents fall!
By which in silence are exprest
The struggling sorrows of my breast.
But ah! how vainly do I mourn,                                      15
And wish my absent Fair’s return!
Perhaps a more deserving swain
Detains her on a distant plain.
Charmer! was all the world my own,
I’d change that world for thee alone!                              20
Lord of my heart, thy love my crown,
With pity I’d on kings look down.
O, then return, no longer stay,
But haste, my fair one, haste away.
Here ev’ry bird, on ev’ry tree,                                         25
Fills ev’ry twig with harmony:
The primrose paints the bank around,
And vi’lets strew th’ impurpled ground:
The tow’ring larks, enchanting, sing,
And gayly smiles the glad’ning spring:                          30
While flocks compleat the rural scene,
And frisk, and ramble round the green.
Beneath yon oak’s expanding shade,
A lovely arbour I have made:
The woodbine, jes’mine, vine and rose,                         35
In various twines the parts compose;
And this I did, O fair ! for thee
To taste the noontide air with me.
Return, return ! thy charms disclose,
O, mistress of my soul’s repose.                                    40
No longer let they Damon sigh,
But songs of joy for tears supply.
Didst thou, my dear Amynta, know
The tort’ring griefs I undergoe,
Pity wou’d, sure, thy heart incline,                                 45
By sympathy to throb with mine.
O, may the Gods thy breast inspire
With some such sympathetic fire!
And, may’st thou then thy Damon bless
In one completed happiness!                                        50
Then shall our fates so close be ty’d,
That nothing can our joys divide:
Thy kisses shall my senses charm;
Thy bliss my breast with bliss shall warn:
Nor, shall I grieve thy griefs to share,                           55
O, fairest of ten thousands fair!

NOTES:

Title Damon’s Complaint for Amynta’s absence A possible reference to John Dryden’s poem, “The Tears Of Amynta, For the Death of Damon. A Song” (1684).

2 nymph “A young and beautiful woman” (OED).

17 swain “A man, youth. Also, esp. in pastoral poetry, a country gallant or lover, wooer, sweetheart” (OED).

27 primrose “A well-known plant bearing pale yellowish flowers in early spring” (OED).

Source: The Gentleman’s Magazine (February, 1748), p. 87. [Google Books]

Edited by Ben Koh

Stephen Duck, “On Music”

STEPHEN DUCK

 “On MUSIC

 I.

MUSIC the coldest Heart can warm,
The hardest melt, the fiercest charm;
Disarm the Savage of his Rage,
Dispel our Cares, and Pains assuage;
With Joy it can our Souls inspire,                                                  5
And tune our Tempers to the Lyre;
Our Passions, like the Notes, agree,
And stand subdu’d by Harmony.
This found the melancholy King,
When David tun’d the trembling String:                                     10
Sweet Music chas’d the fullen Spleen away,
And made his clouded Soul serenely gay.

II.

WHILE Music breathes in martial Airs,
The Coward dares forget his Fears;
Or, if the Notes to Pity sound,                                                     15
Revenge and Envy cease to wound:
The Pow’r of MUSIC has been known,
To raise or tumble Cities down:
Thus Theban Turrets, Authors say,
Were rais’d by MUSIC’s Magick Lay;                                            20
And antient Jericho’s Heav’n-hated Wall,
To sacred MUSIC, ow’d its destin’d Fall.

III.

NOR Mortals only MUSIC love;
It chears celestial Saints above:
Sweet Hallelujahs Angels sing                                                      25
Around their great Ethereal King;
CeaslessCeasless they sound the FATHER’S Praise,
The FATHER too approves their Lays;
For HE (as all Things) MUSIC made,
And SERAPHIMS before Him play’d:                                            30
When over Horeb’s Mount He came,
Array’d in Majesty and Flame;
After the sounding Trump, sublime, He rode;
The sounding Trump proclaim’d the’ approaching GOD.

IV.

MUSIC had Being, long before                                                     35
The solemn Organ learnt to roar:
When MICHAEL, o’er the heav’nly Plain,
Advanc’d, to fight the rebel Train;
Loud Trumpets did his Wrath declare,
In MUSIC, terrible to hear:                                                             40
And when the Universe was made,
On golden Harps the Angels play’d:
And when it falls, (as fall it must)
MUSIC shall penetrate the Dust;
The Trump shall sound with the Archangel’s Breath;                       45
And, sweetly dreadful! wake the Dead from Death.

NOTES:

6 Lyre “A stringed instrument of the harp kind, used by the Greeks for accompanying song and recitation” (OED).

9 melancholy King An allusion to King Saul in the Bible.

10 David tun’d the trembling String In the first book of Samuel, David would play the lyre to calm Saul when the evil spirit of God was upon him (1 Samuel 16:23).

11 Spleen “Excessive dejection or depression of spirits; gloominess and irritability.” (OED).

19 Theban Turrets A structure or tower belonging to Thebes, ancient capital of Boeotia in Greece.

20 Lay “A short lyric or narrative poem intended to be sung” (OED).

21 Jericho’s Heav’n-hated Wall In the Bible Joshua is instructed to sound trumpets before taking over the city of Jericho (Joshua 6:20).

30 Seraphims Biblical angels.

31 Horeb’s Mount The mountain where Moses received the Ten Commandments from God.

32 Majesty and Flame Allusion to the Burning bush that the Lord appeared as to give Moses the Ten Commandments.

37 MICHAEL, o’er the heav’nly Plain Michael was an archangel who fought the Devil in heaven.

45 The Trump shall sound with the Archangel’s Breath An allusion to the archangel Michael sounding his triumph after defeating the Devil in heaven (Jude 1:9 and Revelation 12:7-9).

Source: Poems on Several Occasions, (3rd Edition) (London, 1753), pp. 49-51. [Google Books]

 Edited by Noelle Gallagher

[Charlotte Lennox], “A Song”

                                 [CHARLOTTE LENNOX]

                                         “A Song”

I.

In Vain I strive with Female Art,
To hide the Motions of my Heart;
My Eyes my secret Flame declare,
And Damon reads his Triumph there.

II.

When from his fond, his ardent Gaze,                             5
With Frowns I turn aside my Face;
My Cheeks with conscious Blushes glow,
And all my Soul’s Disorder show.

III.

Or when with seeming Scorn I hear
The Youth his tender vows prefer;                                    10
From my fond Breast reluctant steals
A sign, and all the Truth reveal.

IV.

Oh, Love, all-powerful  o’er the Mind,
Art thou, to rigid rules confin’d?
And must the heart that owns thy sway,                          15
That Tyrant Customs Laws obey?

V.

Oh! let me break the cruel Chain,
And freely own my tender Pain:
By harsh Restraint no longer sway’d,
Confirm whate’er my Eyes have said.                                 20

NOTES:

 1 Female Art Artifice; “the action of an artificer; the making of something by art or skill (OED).

4 Damon A male figure from Greek mythology that represents a good friend, mate, or cherub (Johnson).

16 Tyrant Customs Laws Laws that are based on traditional, or customary practice; habitual behavior. Often personified by women poets in this period as a “tyrant” because oppressive to women generally.

Source: Poems on Several Occasions (London, 1747), pp. 56-60. [Google Books]

Edited by Larica Fantasia Jacko