Page images

He shakes the dust against the ungrateful race,
And leaves the stench of ordures in the place.
Oft has he flattered and blasphemed the same;
For in his rage he spares no sovereign's name :
The hero and the tyrant change their style,
By the same measure that they frown or smile. *
When well received by hospitable foes,
The kindness he returns, is to expose ;
For courtesies, though undeserved and great,
No gratitude in felon-minds beget;
As tribute to his wit, the churl receives the treat.
His praise of foes is venomously nice ;
So touched, it turns a virtue to a vice; †
“ A Greek, and bountiful, forewarns us twice.” I
Seven sacraments he wisely does disown,
Because he knows confession stands for one;
Where sins to sacred silence are conveyed,
And not for fear, or love, to be betrayed :
But he, uncalled, his patron to controul,
Divulged the secret whispers of his soul;
Stood forth the accusing Satan of his crimes,
And offered to the Moloch of the times. $
Prompt to assail, and careless of defence,
Invulnerable in his impudence,
He dares the world ; and, eager of a name,
He thrusts about, and jostles into fame.
Frontless, and satire-proof, he scowers the streets,
And runs an Indian-muck at all he meets. ||
So fond of loud report, that, not to miss
Of being known, (his last and utmost bliss,)
He rather would be known for what he is.

* Note XXIX.

+ Note XXX. 1

timeo Danaos et dona ferentes. Æneid, II. lib. ŷ Note XXXI.

|| Note XXXII.

Such was, and is, the Captain of the Test, * Though half his virtues are not here expressed ; The modesty of fame conceals the rest. The spleenful Pigeons never could create A prince more proper to revenge their hate; Indeed, more proper to revenge, than save; A king, whom in his wrath the Almighty gave : For all the grace the landlord had allowed, But made the Buzzard and the Pigeons proud ; Gave time to fix their friends, and to seduce the

crowd. They long their fellow-subjects to inthral, Their patron's promise into question call, t And vainly think he meant to make them lords

of all. False fears their leaders failed not to suggest, As if the Doves were to be dispossessed ; Nor sighs, nor groans, nor goggling eyes did want, For now the Pigeons too had learned to cant. The house of prayer is stocked with large increase ; Nor doors, nor windows, can contain the press, For birds of every feather fill the abode; E'en atheists out of envy own a God, And, reeking from the stews, adulterers come, Like Goths and Vandals to demolish Rome. That conscience, which to all their crimes was mute, Now calls aloud, and cries to persecute: No rigour of the laws to be released, And much the less, because it was their Lord's re


* Note XXXIII.

+ The promise to maintain the church of England, made in James's first proclamation after his accession ; and which the church party alleged he had now broken. Note XXXIV.


They thought it great their sovereign to controul, And named their pride, nobility of soul.

"Tis true, the Pigeons, and their prince elect, Were short of power, their purpose to effect; But with their quills did all the hurt they could, And cufid the tender Chickens from their food : And much the Buzzard in their cause did stir, Though naming not the patron, to infer, With all respect, he was a gross idolater. *

But when the imperial owner did espy, That thus they turned his grace to villainy, Not suffering wrath to discompose his mind, He strove a temper for the extremes to find, So to be just, as he might still be kind; Then, all maturely weighed, pronounced a doom Of sacred strength for every age to come. t By this the Doves their wealth and state possess, No rights infringed, but license to oppress: Such power have they as factious lawyers long To crowns ascribed, that kings can do no wrong. But since his own domestic birds have tried The dire effects of their destructive pride, He deems that proof a measure to the rest, Concluding well within his kingly breast, His fowls of nature too unjustly were opprest. He therefore makes all birds of every sect Free of his farm, with promise to respect Their several kinds alike, and equally protect. His gracious edict the same franchise yields To all the wild increase of woods and fields, And who in rocks aloof, and who in steeples builds :

* See note XXXIII.
+ Declaration of indulgence. Note XXXV..


To Crows the like impartial grace affords,
And Choughs and Daws, and such republic birds;
Secured with ample privilege to feed,
Each has his district, and his bounds decreed ;
Combined in common interest with his own,
But not to pass the Pigeons' Rubicon.

Here ends the reign of this pretended Dove;
All prophecies accomplished from above,
For Shiloh comes the sceptre to remove.
Reduced from her imperial high abode,
Like Dionysius to a private rod, *
The passive church, that with pretended grace
Did her distinctive mark in duty place,
Now touched, reviles her Maker to his face.

What after happened is not hard to guess;
The small beginnings had a large increase,
And arts and wealth succeed the secret spoils of

'Tis said, the Doves repented, though too late,
Become the smiths of their own foolish fate: t
Nor did their owner hasten their ill hour,
But, sunk in credit, they decreased in power;
Like snow's in warmth that mildly pass away,
Dissolving in the silence of decay.

The Buzzard, not content with equal place,
Invites the feathered Nimrods of his race,
To hide the thinness of their flock from sight,
And all together make a seeming goodly flight:
But each have separate interests of their own;
Two Czars are one too many for a throne.

* The tyrant of Syracuse, who, after being dethroned, taught a school at Corinth.

Quisque suæ fortunæ faber. SALLUST. I Note XXXVII.

[ocr errors]

Nor can the usurper long abstain from food;
Already he has tasted Pigeon's blood,
And may be tempted to his former fare, *
When this indulgent lord shall late to heaven repair.
Bare benting times, and moulting months may come,
When, lagging late, they cannot reach their home;
Or rent in schism, (for so their fate decrees,)
Like the tumultuous college of the bees,
They fight their quarrel, by themselves opprest,
The tyrant smiles below, and waits the falling feast.-

Thus did the gentle Hind her fable end, Nor would the Panther blame it, nor commend; But, with affected yawnings at the close, Seemed to require her natural repose; For now the streaky light began to peep, And setting stars admonished both to sleep. The Dame withdrew, and, wishing to her guest The

peace of heaven, betook herself to rest : Ten thousand angels on her slumbers wait, With glorious visions of her future state.


« PreviousContinue »