— Eridanus supreme of Floods
Rush’d thro’ the Forests, tore the lofty Woods,
And rolling onward with a sweepy Sway,
Bore Houses, Herds, and lab’ring Hinds away.–
Thus rapid Floods descending on the Plains,
Sweep o’er the yellow Ear, destroy the Pains
Of lab’ring Oxen, and the Peasant’s Gains:
Unroot the Forest Oaks, and bear away
Flocks, Folds, and Trees, an undistinguish’d Prey.
The Shepherd climbs the Cliff, and hears from far
The wasteful Ravage of the watry War.–
–With less rapid Force
A foamy River, when th’ opposing Dams
Are broken down, rolls rushing o’er the Plain,
And sweeping whirls the Cattle with their Folds.–
–As headlong Rivers flow,
Swoln big with falling Show’rs, or melting Snow:
And Shrubs and Trees o’erturn, and mighty Beams,
And whirl their conquer’d Prey in rapid Streams.
No Bridge can check, no Force the Flood controul,
It grows more wild, and fierce, and beats the Mole:
Ruin and Noise attend where–e’er it flows,
It rolls great Stones, and breaks what dares oppose.–
Where Western Skies the utmost Ocean bound,
The watry Treasures heap the Welkin round:
Thither they croud, and scanted in the Space,
Scarce between Heav’n and Earth can find a Place.
Condens’d at length the spouting Torrents pour,
Earth smokes, and rattles with the gushing Show’r.
Then first the cov’ring Snows began to flow
From off the Pyrenean’s hoary Brow:
Huge Hills of Frost, a thousand Ages old,
O’er which the Summer Suns had vainly roll’d,
Now melting, rush from every Side amain,
Swell every Brook, and deluge all the Plain.
No Rock, no rising Mountain rears its Head,
No single River winds along the Mead,
But one vast Lake o’er all the Land is spread.
No lofty Grove, no Forest Haunt is found,
But in his Den deep lies the Savage drown’d:
With headlong Rage, resistless in its Course,
The rapid Torrent whirls the snorting Horse:
High o’er the Sea the foamy Tresses ride,
While backward Tethys turns her yielding Tide.–
See Courtship. Love.
Oh! Had I Wings to glide along the Air,
To his dear Tent I’d fly, and settle there:
There tell my Quality, confess my Flame,
And grant him any Dow’ry that he’d name.
All, all I’d give: only my native Land,
My dearest Country should excepted stand;
For, perish Love, and all expected Joys,
E’er with so base a Thought, my Soul complies.–
By Charms like thine, which all my Soul have won,
Who might not–Ah!–who wou’d not be undone?
Pride of thy Age, and Glory of thy Race!
Come to these Arms, and melt in this Embrace!
The Vows thou never wilt return, receive:
And take at least the Love thou wilt not give.–
Brown as I am, an Ethiopian Dame
Inspir’d young Perseus with a gen’rous Flame.
Turtles and Doves of diff’ring Hues unite,
And glossy Jet is pair’d with shining White.
If to no Charms Thou wilt thy Heart resign,
But such as merit, such as equal thine,
By none, alas! by none thou canst be mov’d,
Thyself alone must by Thyself be lov’d.–
Great Jove! who dost in Heav’n supremely reign,
These direful Omens why dost Thou ordain,
And give us Prescience to increase our Pain?
Doubly we bear thy dread–inflicting Doom,
And feel our Miseries before they come.
Whether the great creating Parent Soul,
When first from Chaos rude he form’d the Whole,
Dispos’d Futurity with certain Hand,
And bad the necessary Causes stand:
Made One Decree for ever to remain,
And bound himself in Fate’s eternal Chain:
Or whether fickle Fortune leads the Dance,
Nothing is fix’d, but all Things come by Chance:
Whate’er Thou shalt ordain, Eternal Pow’r!
Unknown, and sudden, be the dreadful Hour.
Let Mortals to their future Fate be blind,
And Hope relieve the miserable Mind.–
‘Tis ill: attempt not to foresee
What End’s ordain’d for You and Me:
Never to Fortune–Tellers run,
To learn the Fate you cannot shun:
Whether more Winters you may taste,
Or this Year’s Snow descends your last:
Ask not the God’s Decrees to know,
But wisely use what they bestow.
From lengthen’d Cares, from fruitless Strife,
O snatch this little Blaze of Life!
Our Age is posting on to Death,
And wastes with ev’ry wasting Breath:
Arrest To–day, for Time’s a Thief,
And lend the Morrow no Belief.–
Mortals, in vain’s your Curiosity,
To learn the Hour, and Way that you must dye:
‘Twere better Fate should strike a sudden Blow,
Than that you long should what you dread foreknow.–
Th’ Eternal Being has, in Shades of Night,
Conceal’d Futurity from human Sight:
And laughs, when he beholds a tim’rous Ass,
Tremble at what shall never come to pass!–
Then, on his winged Courser born away,
Great Pompey quits the Fight, and yields the Day.
Fearless of Danger, still secure and great,
His daring Soul supports his lost Estate.
Nor groans thy Breast, brave Chief! nor flow thy Tears,
But still the same majestic Form appears.
An awful Grief sits decent in thy Face,
Such as becomes thy Loss, and Rome’s Disgrace.
Thy Mind, unbroken, keeps her constant Frame,
In Greatness and Misfortune still the same.
And Fortune, who thy Triumphs once beheld,
Sees Thee unchanging leave Pharsalia’s Field.–
Blind Fortune o’er the World’s Affairs presides,
And all by Accident, not Council, guides:
At random, here or there, her Gifts bestows,
And often on the Worst her choicest Favours throws.–
All human Things are under Fortune’s Pow’r:
There’s no Dependance on the present Hour.
Be not secure, tho’ high thy Pleasures flow,
One Moment more may change them all to Woe.–
For, as she pleases, Fortune gives and takes:
Beggars of Kings, or Kings of Beggars makes.–
Uncertain whither, Fortune rambles on,
Stays in no Place, but hurries to be gone.
Now pleas’d, now angry, without Cause is She,
And only constant to Inconstancy.–
Fortune revere, and her capricious Pow’r,
Who often ruins those she rais’d before.–
‘Tis Fortune flings the Dice, and as she flings,
Of Kings makes Pedants, and of Pedants Kings.–
–How goes the Mob?–
They follow Fortune, and the common Cry,
Is still against the Rogue condemn’d to die.–
Rare is that Virtue Fortune cannot sway,
Which remains fixt, tho’ she be fled away.–
Good unexpected, Evils unforeseen,
Appear by Turns, as Fortune shifts the Scene:
Some rais’d aloft, come tumbling down a–main;
Then fall so hard, they bound and rise again.–
Some Fortune raises to an high Degree,
To make their Fall the greater.–Most secure
An humble Station is, most likely to endure.–
From Place to Place swift Fortune wings away,
And always changing, no where makes a Stay:
Monarchs, sometimes, she tumbles Headlong down.
And sometimes places Beggars on the Throne.–
Fortune with malicious Joy,
Her Pow’r does wantonly employ:
From some she takes, to others flings
Honours those uncertain Things:
Now on me the Gipsy smiles,
Now some other she beguiles.
I like her Presence, but if she won’t stay,
Whate’er she gave e’en let her take away:
Wrapt up in my own Virtue, I’m secure,
And Honesty espouse; altho’ in Rags and poor.
Fortune, made up of Toys and Impudence,
That common Jade that has not common Sense:
But fond of Business, insolently dares
Pretend to rule, and spoils the World’s Affairs.
She, shuffling up and down, her Favours throws
On the next met, not minding what she does,
Nor why, nor whom she helps or injures, knows.
Sometimes she smiles, then like a Fury raves,
And seldom truly loves, but Fools or Knaves.
Let her love whom she please, I scorn to wooe her:
While she stays with me I’ll be civil to her:
But if she offers once to move her Wings,
I’ll fling her back all her vain gew–gaw Things,
And arm’d with Virtue, will more glorious stand,
Then if the Bitch still bow’d at my Command:
I’ll marry Honesty, tho’ e’er so poor,
Rather than follow such a dull blind Whore.
I liv’d the darling Theme of ev’ry Tongue,
The golden Idol of th’ adoring Throng:
Guarded with Friends, while Fortune’s balmy Gales
Wanton’d auspicious in my swelling Sails.–
In one continued Stream no Fortune flows,
Bad chequers Good, and Joys are mixt with Woes:
Inconstancy in every Part appears,
Which Wisdom never trusts, and Folly Fears.
Thus Years from Years, and (as they roll the Round)
Thus Months from Months, and Days from Days are found
To differ: no returning Hours restore
That sort of Fortune which they brought before.–
–Since Fortune all o’erpow’rs,
Her let Us follow, and where–e’er she calls,
Direct our Course.–
This Goddess Fortune can baffle an hundred of your learned Men with all their Wisdom: and thus I prove it:– every body is suppos’d to excel, according as Fortune favours him; that’s the Standard by which we calculate his Understanding. Now, if his Undertakings succeed well, we cry him up for a shrewd clever Fellow: but if they turn out unluckily, we say, the Man’s a Fool.
A gypsy Jewess whispers in your Ear,
And begs an Alms: an High–Priest’s Daughter She,
Vers’d in their Talmud, and Divinity;
And prophesies beneath a shady Tree.
Farthings, and some small Matters, are her Fees:
Yet she interprets all your Dreams for these.
Foretells th’ Estate, when the rich Unkle dies,
And Sweet–hearts in a Pigeon’s Intrails spies.–
Full Credit to th’ Astrologer is given:
What he foretells is deem’d the Voice of Heav’n.
From him your Wife enquires the Planet’s Will,
When the Black Jaundice shall her Mother kill:
Her Sister’s and her Unkle’s End would know:
But, first, consults his Art, when You shall go:
And, what’s the greatest Gift that Heav’n can give,
If, after her, th’ Adulterer shall live.–
But above all, beware how Her You meet,
Who in these Studies is herself compleat:
By whom a greasy Almanack is born,
With often handling, like fat Amber worn:
Not now consulting, but consulted, she
Of the Twelve Houses, and their Lords, is free.
She, if the Scheme a fatal Journey show,
Stays safe at Home, but let’s her Husband go.
If but a Mile she travel out of Town,
The Planetary Hour must first be known,
And lucky Moment: If her Eye but akes,
Or itches, it’s Decumbiture she takes.
No Nourishment receives in her Disease,
But what the Stars, and Ptolemy shall please.–
The poorer Sort who have not much to spare,
To Chiromancers’ cheaper Art repair,
Who clap the pretty Palm to make the Lines more fair.
But the rich Matrons who have more to give,
Their Answers from the Brachman will receive.
Skill’d in the Globe and Sphere, he gravely stands,
Points forth the Stars, and measures out the Lands.–
I value not a Rush your Marsian Augurs:
Your Village, Market–hunting Fortune–Tellers;
Astrologers, divining Priests of Isis,
Or Dream Expounders: for they are not Men
Inspir’d by Heav’n, or of superior Knowledge:
But superstitious, impudent Pretenders,
Vile, lazy Slaves, Madmen, or needy Varlets,
Whose counterfeit Predictions spring from Want:
And while for Guides to Others they set up,
Know not the Way themselves: A Groat they beg
Of those to whom they promise Heaps of Gold:
One single Groat of all your future Wealth
Will them content, the rest they leave to You.–
A spring there was, whose silver Waters show,
As Chrystal clear, the Bottom fair below:
Which neither Man, nor tame, nor savage Beast,
Nor wandring Fowls, nor falling Leaves molest.
Grown round with Grass by it’s kind Moisture fed,
And lofty Trees, which yield a constant Shade:
So thick, the Sun can never penetrate,
Or warm the Waters with it’s fiercest Heat.–
A Fountain here he found, so lovely bright,
It shew’d the Bottom in a fairer Light,
Nor kept a Sand conceal’d from human Sight.
The Stream produc’d nor shiny Ooze, nor Weeds,
Nor miry Rushes, nor the spiky Reeds;
But dealt enriching Moisture all around,
The fruitful Sides with chearful Verdure crown’d,
And kept the Spring eternal on the Ground.–
Not far from hence a spreading Lake there lay,
And on the shaded Margin tow’ring stood
The leafy Shelter of a verdant Wood.
The limpid Pool, transparent to the Sight,
Did to the Bottom ev’ry Eye admit,
And thro’ the pure and chrystal Water show
The shining Pebbles, and the Sand below.–
A Spring there is, whose silver Waters show,
Clear as a Glass, the shining Sands below:
A flow’ry Lotos spread it’s Arms above,
Shades all the Banks, and seems itself a Grove.
Eternal Greens the mossy Margin grace,
Watch’d by the Sylvan Genius of the Place.–
Near Enna’s Walls a spacious Lake is spread,
Fam’d for the sweetly singing Swans it bred:
Pergusa is it’s Name: And, never more
Were heard, or sweeter, on Cayster’s Shore.
Woods crown the Lake: and Phoebus ne’er invades
The tufted Fences, or offends the Shades.
Fresh fragant Breezes fan the verdant Bow’rs,
And the moist Ground smiles with enamel’d Flow’rs:
Which always in their Beauty’s Prime appear,
For the mild Spring continues all the Year.–
I, walking on, a silent Current found,
Which gently glided o’er the Gravel–Ground.
The chrystal Water was so smooth and clear,
That to the Eye each Pebble did appear:
So soft it’s Motion, one could scarce perceive
The running Stream, or that it ran believe.
The hoary Willow, and the Poplar made
Along it’s shelving Bank a grateful Shade.-
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Based on Keywords: interprets, excepted, enna, pedants, pompey, calculate, ethiopian, high-priest, consulted, wooe, erturn