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FROM H. M., AT BRISTOL,
MR. GARRICK'S HOUSE-DOG AT HAMPTON.
[First published in 1777.]
Dragon! since lyrics are the mode,
And reason good I plead :
From those who cannot read ?
O could I, like that nameless wight,*
The mollia tempora fandi !
In strains which never can die.
Father of lyrics, tuneful Horace!
To mend the British lyre ?
* See the admirable epistle to Sir William Chambers.
[The poetical satire here mentioned for many years excited almost as much speculation, respecting its origin, as the far-famed Letters of Junius. It is now, however, settled beyond all doubt, that Mason was the author of the “ Heroic Epistle."--Ed.]
Our luckless bards have broke the strings,
That watched the fruits Hesperian!
And I will give thee mine;
How blest my lot and thine !
Then shalt thou scent the rich regale
Nay, share the savory bit;
A feast devoid of wit.
So fresh thou'lt long to tear it;
Because their friends should share it.
How useless bolt and latch!
* A profusion of Odes had appeared about this time, which strikingly violated all the rules of lyrical composition.
t Hor. lib. ii. Sat. 2.
How vain were locks, and bars how vain, To shield from harm the household train
Whom I, from love, would watch !
Brought me my daily pickings;
Of turkeys and of chickens?
More flowers than Burke produces; And though he's skilled more roots to find, Than ever stocked an Hebrew's mind,
And knows their various uses.
Nor tear the tattered sinner;
And give them all a dinner.
One warrior, one coquet;
Which she so high has set.
How would I haste to greet 'em!
* The gardener and poultry woman at Hampton.
Nor ever feel I wore a chain,
His choicest hours are spent; Yet I shall hear some witling cry, (Such witling from my presence fly!)
“Garrick will soon repent :
XV. “Again you'll see him, never fear; Some half a dozen times a year
He still will charm the age; Accustomed long to be admired, Of shades and streams he'll soon be tired,
And languish for the stage.”
He bears a nation's praise :
And set before his time,
And call the deed sublime.
XVIII. How wise ! long pampered with applause, To make a voluntary pause
And lay his laurels down! Boldly repelling each strong claim, To dare assert to wealth and fame,
" Enough of both I've known.”