John Wilmot |
Well Sir, 'tis granted, I said Dryden's Rhimes,
Were stoln, unequal, nay dull many times:
What foolish Patron, is there found of his,
So blindly partial, to deny me this?
But that his Plays, Embroider'd up and downe,
With Witt, and Learning, justly pleas'd the Towne,
In the same paper, I as freely owne:
Yet haveing this allow'd, the heavy Masse,
That stuffs up his loose Volumes must not passe:
For by that Rule, I might as well admit,
Crownes tedious Scenes, for Poetry, and Witt.
'Tis therefore not enough, when your false Sense
Hits the false Judgment of an Audience
Of Clapping-Fooles, assembling a vast Crowd
'Till the throng'd Play-House, crack with the dull Load;
Tho' ev'n that Tallent, merrits in some sort,
That can divert the Rabble and the Court:
Which blundring Settle, never cou'd attaine,
And puzling Otway, labours at in vaine.
But within due proportions, circumscribe
What e're you write; that with a flowing Tyde,
The Stile, may rise, yet in its rise forbeare,
With uselesse Words, t'oppresse the wearyed Eare:
Here be your Language lofty, there more light,
Your Rethorick, with your Poetry, unite:
For Elegance sake, sometimes alay the force
Of Epethets; 'twill soften the discourse;
A Jeast in Scorne, poynts out, and hits the thing,
More home, than the Morosest Satyrs Sting.
Shakespeare, and Johnson, did herein excell,
And might in this be Immitated well;
Whom refin'd Etheridge, Coppys not at all,
But is himself a Sheere Originall:
Nor that Slow Drudge, in swift Pindarique straines,
Flatman, who Cowley imitates with paines,
And rides a Jaded Muse, whipt with loose Raines.
When Lee, makes temp'rate Scipio, fret and Rave,
And Haniball, a whineing Am'rous Slave;
I laugh, and wish the hot-brain'd Fustian Foole,
In Busbys hands, to be well lasht at Schoole.
Of all our Moderne Witts, none seemes to me,
Once to have toucht upon true Comedy,
But hasty Shadwell, and slow Witcherley.
Shadwells unfinisht workes doe yet impart,
Great proofes of force of Nature, none of Art.
With just bold Stroakes, he dashes here and there,
Shewing great Mastery with little care;
And scornes to varnish his good touches o're,
To make the Fooles, and Women, praise 'em more.
But Witcherley, earnes hard, what e're he gaines,
He wants noe Judgment, nor he spares noe paines;
He frequently excells, and at the least,
Makes fewer faults, than any of the best.
Waller, by Nature for the Bayes design'd,
With force, and fire, and fancy unconfin'd,
In Panigericks does Excell Mankind:
He best can turne, enforce, and soften things,
To praise great Conqu'rours, or to flatter Kings.
For poynted Satyrs, I wou'd Buckhurst choose,
The best good Man, with the worst Natur'd Muse:
For Songs, and Verses, Mannerly Obscene,
That can stirr Nature up, by Springs unseene,
And without forceing blushes, warme the Queene:
Sidley, has that prevailing gentle Art,
That can with a resistlesse Charme impart,
The loosest wishes to the Chastest Heart,
Raise such a Conflict, kindle such a ffire
Betwixt declineing Virtue, and desire,
Till the poor Vanquisht Maid, dissolves away,
In Dreames all Night, in Sighs, and Teares, all Day.
Dryden, in vaine, try'd this nice way of Witt,
For he, to be a tearing Blade thought fit,
But when he wou'd be sharp, he still was blunt,
To friske his frollique fancy, hed cry ****;
Wou'd give the Ladyes, a dry Bawdy bob,
And thus he got the name of Poet Squab:
But to be just, twill to his praise be found,
His Excellencies, more than faults abound.
Nor dare I from his Sacred Temples teare,
That Lawrell, which he best deserves to weare.
But does not Dryden find ev'n Johnson dull?
Fletcher, and Beaumont, uncorrect, and full
Of Lewd lines as he calls em? Shakespeares Stile
Stiffe, and Affected? To his owne the while
Allowing all the justnesse that his Pride,
Soe Arrogantly, had to these denyd?
And may not I, have leave Impartially
To search, and Censure, Drydens workes, and try,
If those grosse faults, his Choyce Pen does Commit
Proceed from want of Judgment, or of Witt.
Of if his lumpish fancy does refuse,
Spirit, and grace to his loose slatterne Muse?
Five Hundred Verses, ev'ry Morning writ,
Proves you noe more a Poet, than a Witt.
Such scribling Authors, have beene seene before,
Mustapha, the English Princesse, Forty more,
Were things perhaps compos'd in Half an Houre.
To write what may securely stand the test
Of being well read over Thrice oat least
Compare each Phrase, examin ev'ry Line,
Weigh ev'ry word, and ev'ry thought refine;
Scorne all Applause the Vile Rout can bestow,
And be content to please those few, who know.
Canst thou be such a vaine mistaken thing
To wish thy Workes might make a Play-house ring,
With the unthinking Laughter, and poor praise
Of Fopps, and Ladys, factious for thy Plays?
Then send a cunning Friend to learne thy doome,
From the shrew'd Judges in the Drawing-Roome.
I've noe Ambition on that idle score,
But say with Betty Morice, heretofore
When a Court-Lady, call'd her Buckleys Whore,
I please one Man of Witt, am proud on't too,
Let all the Coxcombs, dance to bed to you.
Shou'd I be troubled when the Purblind Knight
Who squints more in his Judgment, than his sight,
Picks silly faults, and Censures what I write?
Or when the poor-fed Poets of the Towne
For Scrapps, and Coach roome cry my Verses downe?
I loath the Rabble, 'tis enough for me,
If Sidley, Shadwell, Shepherd, Witcherley,
Godolphin, Buttler, Buckhurst, Buckingham,
And some few more, whom I omit to name
Approve my Sense, I count their Censure Fame.
Eugene Field |
Thar showed up out'n Denver in the spring uv '81
A man who'd worked with Dana on the Noo York Sun.
His name wuz Cantell Whoppers, 'nd he wuz a sight ter view
Ez he walked inter the orfice 'nd inquired fer work ter do.
Thar warn't no places vacant then,--fer be it understood,
That wuz the time when talent flourished at that altitood;
But thar the stranger lingered, tellin' Raymond 'nd the rest
Uv what perdigious wonders he could do when at his best,
Till finally he stated (quite by chance) that he hed done
A heap uv work with Dana on the Noo York Sun.
Wall, that wuz quite another thing; we owned that ary cuss
Who'd worked f'r Mr.
Dana must be good enough fer us!
And so we tuk the stranger's word 'nd nipped him while we could,
For if we didn't take him we knew John Arkins would;
And Cooper, too, wuz mouzin' round fer enterprise 'nd brains,
Whenever them commodities blew in across the plains.
At any rate we nailed him, which made ol' Cooper swear
And Arkins tear out handfuls uv his copious curly hair;
But we set back and cackled, 'nd bed a power uv fun
With our man who'd worked with Dana on the Noo York Sun.
It made our eyes hang on our cheeks 'nd lower jaws ter drop,
Ter hear that feller tellin' how ol' Dana run his shop:
It seems that Dana wuz the biggest man you ever saw,--
He lived on human bein's, 'nd preferred to eat 'em raw!
If he hed Democratic drugs ter take, before he took 'em,
As good old allopathic laws prescribe, he allus shook 'em.
The man that could set down 'nd write like Dany never grew,
And the sum of human knowledge wuzn't half what Dana knew;
The consequence appeared to be that nearly every one
Concurred with Mr.
Dana of the Noo York Sun.
This feller, Cantell Whoppers, never brought an item in,--
He spent his time at Perrin's shakin' poker dice f'r gin.
Whatever the assignment, he wuz allus sure to shirk,
He wuz very long on likker and all-fired short on work!
If any other cuss had played the tricks he dared ter play,
The daisies would be bloomin' over his remains to-day;
But somehow folks respected him and stood him to the last,
Considerin' his superior connections in the past.
So, when he bilked at poker, not a sucker drew a gun
On the man who 'd worked with Dana on the Noo York Sun.
Wall, Dana came ter Denver in the fall uv '83.
A very different party from the man we thought ter see,--
A nice 'nd clean old gentleman, so dignerfied 'nd calm,
You bet yer life he never did no human bein' harm!
A certain hearty manner 'nd a fulness uv the vest
Betokened that his sperrits 'nd his victuals wuz the best;
His face wuz so benevolent, his smile so sweet 'nd kind,
That they seemed to be the reflex uv an honest, healthy mind;
And God had set upon his head a crown uv silver hair
In promise uv the golden crown He meaneth him to wear.
So, uv us boys that met him out'n Denver, there wuz none
But fell in love with Dana uv the Noo York Sun.
But when he came to Denver in that fall uv '83,
His old friend Cantell Whoppers disappeared upon a spree;
The very thought uv seein' Dana worked upon him so
(They hadn't been together fer a year or two, you know),
That he borrered all the stuff he could and started on a bat,
And, strange as it may seem, we didn't see him after that.
So, when ol' Dana hove in sight, we couldn't understand
Why he didn't seem to notice that his crony wa'n't on hand;
No casual allusion, not a question, no, not one,
For the man who'd "worked with Dana on the Noo York Sun!"
We broke it gently to him, but he didn't seem surprised,
Thar wuz no big burst uv passion as we fellers had surmised.
He said that Whoppers wuz a man he 'd never heerd about,
But he mought have carried papers on a Jarsey City route;
And then he recollected hearin' Mr.
That he'd fired a man named Whoppers fur bein' drunk one day,
Which, with more likker underneath than money in his vest,
Had started on a freight-train fur the great 'nd boundin' West,
But further information or statistics he had none
Uv the man who'd "worked with Dana on the Noo York Sun.
We dropped the matter quietly 'nd never made no fuss,--
When we get played for suckers, why, that's a horse on us!--
But every now 'nd then we Denver fellers have to laff
To hear some other paper boast uv havin' on its staff
A man who's "worked with Dana," 'nd then we fellers wink
And pull our hats down on our eyes 'nd set around 'nd think.
It seems like Dana couldn't be as smart as people say,
If he educates so many folks 'nd lets 'em get away;
And, as for us, in future we'll be very apt to shun
The man who "worked with Dana on the Noo York Sun.
But bless ye, Mr.
Dana! may you live a thousan' years,
To sort o' keep things lively in this vale of human tears;
An' may I live a thousan', too,--a thousan' less a day,
For I shouldn't like to be on earth to hear you'd passed away.
And when it comes your time to go you'll need no Latin chaff
Nor biographic data put in your epitaph;
But one straight line of English and of truth will let folks know
The homage 'nd the gratitude 'nd reverence they owe;
You'll need no epitaph but this: "Here sleeps the man who run
That best 'nd brightest paper, the Noo York Sun.
Johann Wolfgang von Goethe |
[The following explanation is necessary, in order
to make this ode in any way intelligible.
The Poet is supposed to
leave his companions, who are proceeding on a hunting expedition
in winter, in order himself to pay a visit to a hypochondriacal
friend, and also to see the mining in the Hartz mountains.
alternately describes, in a very fragmentary and peculiar manner,
the naturally happy disposition of the Poet himself and the unhappiness
of his friend; it pictures the wildness of the road and the dreariness
of the prospect, which is relieved at one spot by the distant sight
of a town, a very vague allusion to which is made in the third strophe;
it recalls the hunting party on which his companions have gone;
and after an address to Love, concludes by a contrast between the
unexplored recesses of the highest peak of the Hartz and the metalliferous
veins of its smaller brethren.
LIKE the vulture
Who on heavy morning clouds
With gentle wing reposing
Looks for his prey,--
Hover, my song!
For a God hath
Unto each prescribed
His destined path,
Which the happy one
Runs o'er swiftly
To his glad goal:
He whose heart cruel
Fate hath contracted,
Struggles but vainly
Against all the barriers
The brazen thread raises,
But which the harsh shears
Must one day sever.
Through gloomy thickets
Presseth the wild deer on,
And with the sparrows
Long have the wealthy
Settled themselves in the marsh.
Easy 'tis following the chariot
That by Fortune is driven,
Like the baggage that moves
Over well-mended highways
After the train of a prince.
But who stands there apart?
In the thicket, lost is his path;
Behind him the bushes
Are closing together,
The grass springs up again,
The desert engulphs him.
Ah, who'll heal his afflictions,
To whom balsam was poison,
Who, from love's fullness,
Drank in misanthropy only?
First despised, and now a despiser,
He, in secret, wasteth
All that he is worth,
In a selfishness vain.
If there be, on thy psaltery,
Father of Love, but one tone
That to his ear may be pleasing,
Oh, then, quicken his heart!
Clear his cloud-enveloped eyes
Over the thousand fountains
Close by the thirsty one
In the desert.
Thou who createst much joy,
For each a measure o'erflowing,
Bless the sons of the chase
When on the track of the prey,
With a wild thirsting for blood,
Youthful and joyous
Avenging late the injustice
Which the peasant resisted
Vainly for years with his staff.
But the lonely one veil
Within thy gold clouds!
Surround with winter-green,
Until the roses bloom again,
The humid locks,
Oh Love, of thy minstrel!
With thy glimmering torch
Lightest thou him
Through the fords when 'tis night,
Over bottomless places
On desert-like plains;
With the thousand colours of morning
Gladd'nest his bosom;
With the fierce-biting storm
Bearest him proudly on high;
Winter torrents rush from the cliffs,--
Blend with his psalms;
An altar of grateful delight
He finds in the much-dreaded mountain's
Which foreboding nations
Crown'd with spirit-dances.
Thou stand'st with breast inscrutable,
High o'er the wondering world,
And look'st from clouds
Upon its realms and its majesty,
Which thou from the veins of thy brethren
Near thee dost water.