And thorns ennobled now to bear a plumb.
And fpreading plane-trees, where fapinely laid
He now enjoys the cool, and quaffs beneath the Ihade.
But thefe for want of room I muft omit.
And leave for future poets to recite.
Now I '11 proceed their natures to declare.
Which Jove himfelf did on the bees confer ;
Becaufe, invited by the timbrel's found, T
Lodg'd in a cave th' almighty babe they found, r
And the young god nurft kindly under-ground. ^
Of all the wing'd inhabitants of air,
Thefe only make their young the public care ;
In well-difpos'd focieties they live.
And laws and ftatutes regulate their hive ;
Nor flray, like others, unconfin'd abroad.
But know fet ftations, and a fix'd abode.
Each provident of cold in fummer flies
Through fields, and woods, to feek for new fupplles
And in the common flock unlades his thighs.
Some watch the food, fome in the meadows ply,
Tafte every bud, and fuck each bloffom dry ;
Whilft others, labouring in their cells at home.
Temper NarcifTus' clammy tears with gum.
For the firfl ground-work of the golden comb ;
On this they found their waxen works, and raife
The yellow fabric on its glevvy bafe.
Some educate the young, or hatch the feed
With vital v/armth, and future nations breed;
24 A D D I S O N's P O E M S.
Whilft others thicken all the flimy dews.
And into pureft honey work the juice ;
Then fill the hollows of the comb, and fwell
With lufcious neftar every flowing cell.
By turns they watch, by turns with curious eyes
Survey the heavens, and fearch the clouded Ikies
To find out breeding ilorms, and tell what tempells rife
By turns they eafe the loaden fwarms, or drive
The drone, a lazy infe6l, from their hive.
The work is warmly ply'd through all the cells.
And ftrong with thyme the nev/-made honey fmells.
So in their caves the brawny Cyclops fweat.
When with huge lirokes the ftubborn wedge they beat
And all th' unihapen thunder-bolt compleat ;
Alternately their hammers rife and fall ;
Whilft griping tongs turn round the glowing ball.
With puffing bellows fome the flames increafe.
And fome in waters dip the hiffing mafs ;
Their beaten anvils dreadfully refound.
And ^tna fliakes all o'er, and thunders under ground.
Thus, if great things we may with fmall compare.
The bufy fwarms their diiterent labours fliare.
Defire of profit urges all degrees ;
The aged infedls, by experience wife.
Attend the comb, and fafliion every part.
And fhape the v/axen fret-work out with art :
The young at night, returning from their toils.
Bring home their thighs clog'd with the meadows fpoils.
On lavender and faffron-buds they feed.
On binding oners, and the balmy reed :
V I R G I L, G E O R G. IV. 25
From purple violets and the telle they bring
Their gather'd fweets, and rifle all the fpring.
All work together, all together reft.
The morning ftill renews their labours paft ;
Then all rufh out, their different talks purfue.
Sit on the bloom, and fuck the ripening dew ;
Again when evening warns them to their home.
With weary wings, and heavy thighs they come,
And crowd about the chink, and mix a drowfy hum.
Into their cells at length they gently creep.
There all the night their peaceful ftation keep,
Wrapt up in filence, and diffolv'd in fleep.
None range abroad when winds and ftorms are nigh.
Nor truft their bodies to a faithlefs fky.
But make fmall journeys, v/ith a careful wing.
And fly to water at a neighbouring fpring ;
And, left their airy bodies fliould be caft
In reftlefs whirls, the fport of every blaft.
They carry ftones to poife them in their flight.
As ballaft keeps th' unfteady velfel right.
But of all cuftoms that the bees can boaft,
'T is this may challenge admiration moft ;
That none will Hymen's fofter joys approve.
Nor wafte their fpirlts in luxurious love.
But all a long virginity maintain.
And bring forth young without a mother's pain.
From herbs and flowers they pick each tender bee.
And cull from plants a buzzing progeny ;
From thefe they choofe out fubjefts, and create
A little monarch of the rifmg ftate ;
»6 A D D I S N's P O E M 5.
Then build wax kingdoms for the infant prince.
And form a palace for his refidence.
But often in their journeys, as they fly.
On flints they tear their filken wings, or lie
Groveling beneath their flowery load, and die.
Thus love of honey can an infed fire.
And in a fly fuch generous thoughts infpire.
Yet by repeopling their decaying flate.
Though feven fhort fprings conclude their vital date.
Their ancient flocks eternally remain.
And in an endlefs race their children's children reign.
No proftrate vaflTal of the Eafl: can more
With flavifti fear his mighty Prince adore ;
His life unites them all ; but when he dies.
All in loud tumults and diftradlions rife ;
They wafte their honey, and their combs deface.
And wild confufion reigns in every place.
Him all admire, all the great guardian own.
And crowd about his courts, and buzz about his throne.
Oft on their backs their weary prince they bear, j
Oft in his caufe embattled in the air, >
Purfue a glorious death, in wounds and war. J
Some from fuch inftances as thefe have taught,
** The bees extradl is heavenly ; for they thought
** The univerfe alive ; and that a foul,
" Diffused throughout the matter of the whole,
" To all the vaft unbounded frame was given,
" And ran through earth, and air, and fea, and all
** the deep of heaven ;
" That this fir ft kindled life in man and beaft,
** Life that again flows into this at lafl.
VIRGIL, GEORG. IV. 27
** That no compounded animal could die,
*' But when diflblv'd, the fpirit mounted high>
*' Dwelt in a ftar, and fettled in the fky."
Whenever their balmy fweets you mean to feize.
And take the liquid labours of the bees.
Spurt draughts of water from your mouth, and drive
A loathfome cloud of fmoke amidft their hive.
Twice in the year their flowery toils begin.
And twice they fetch their dewy harveft in ;
Once when the lovely Pleiades arife.
And add freih luftre to the fummer ikies :
And once when haftening from the watery fign
They quit their ftation, and forbear to fliine.
The bees are prone to rage, and often found
To perifli for revenge, and die upon the wound ;
Their venom'd fling produces aking pains.
And fwells the flefti, and fhoots among the veins.
When firil a cold hard winter's ftorms arrive.
And threaten death or famine to their hive.
If now their fmking ftate and low affairs
Can move your pity, and provoke your cares,
Frelh burning thyme before their cells convey.
And cut their dry and huiky wax away ;
For often lizards feize the lufcious fpoils.
Or drones that riot on another's toils :
Oft broods of moths infeft the hungry fwarms, ^
And oft the furious wafp their hive alarms, >
With louder hums, and with unequal arms ; J
Or elfe the fpider at the entrance fets
Her fnares, and fpins her bowels into nets.
28 A D D I S O N's P O E M S.
When ficknefs reigns (for they as well as we
Feel all th' effeds of frail mortality)
By certain marks the new difeafe is feen.
Their colour changes, and their looks are thin.
Their funeral rites are form'd, and every bee
With grief attends the fad folemnity ;
The few difeas'd furvivors hang before
Their (ickly cells, and droop about the door.
Or flowly in their hives their limbs unfold.
Shrunk up with hunger, and benumb'd with cold 5
In drawling hums the feeble infeds grieve.
And doleful buzzes echo through the hive.
Like winds that foftly murmur through the trees.
Like flames pent up, or like retiring feas.
Now lay frefh honey near their empty rooms.
In troughs of hollow reeds, whilft frying gums
Caft round a fragrant mill of fpicy fumes.
Thus kindly tempt the famifh'd fwarm to eat.
And gently reconcile them to their meat.
Mix juice of galls, and wine, that grow in time
Condens'd by fire, and thicken to a flime ;
To thefe dry'd rofes, thyme, and centaury join.
And raifms ripen'd on the Pfythian vine.
Befides there grows a flower in marfhy ground.
Its name Amellus, eafy to be found;
A mighty fpring works in its root, and cleaves
The fprouting ftalk, and fliews itfelf in leaves ;
The flower itfelf is of a golden hue,
T'iie leaves inclining to a darker blue ;
V I R G I L, G E O R G. ly. 29
The leaves ihoot thick about the flower, and grow
Into a bufh, and fhade the turf below :
The plant in holy garlands often twines
The altars' polls, and beautifies the ihrines ;
Its tafte is (harp, in vales new-fhorn it grows.
Where Mella's ilream in watry mazes flows.
Take plenty of its roots, and boil them well
In wine, and heap them up before the cell.
But if the v/hole flock fail, and none furvive;
To raife new people, and recruit the hive,
I '11 here the great experiment declare.
That fpread th' Arcadian fliepherd's name fo far.
How bees from blood of flaughter'd bulls have fled.
And fwarms amidfl the red corruption bred.
For where th' Egyptians yearly fee their bounds
Refrefli'd with floods, and fail about their grounds.
Where Perfia borders, and the rolling Nile
Drives fwiftly down the fwarthy Indians' foil.
Till into feven it multiplies its ftream.
And fattens Egypt with a fruitful flime :
In this lafl: practice all their hope remains.
And long experience juftifies their pains.
Firft then a clofe contrafted fpace of ground.
With ftraiten'd walls and low-built roof they found ;
A narrow flielving light is next aflign'd
To all the quarters, one to every wind ;
Through thefe the glancing rays obliquely pierce :
Hither they lead a bull that 's young and fierce.
When two-years growth' of horn he proudly fliows ;
And fliakes the comely terrors of his brows ;
39 A D D I S O N's P O E M S.
His nofe and mouth, the avenues of breath.
They muzzle up, and beat his limbs to death.
With violence to life and ftifling pain
He flings and fpurns, and tries to fnort in vain.
Loud heavy mows fall thick on every fide,
'Till his bruis'd bowels burft within the hide.
When dead, they leave him rotting on the ground.
With branches, thyme, and caflia, ftrow'd around.
All this is done when firft the weftern breeze
Becalms the year, and fmooths the troubled feas ;
Before the chattering fwallow builds her neft.
Or fields in fpring's embroidery are dreft.
Mean while the tainted juice ferments within.
And quickens as it works : and now are feen
A wondrous fwarm, that o'er the carcafe crawls.
Of Ihapelefs, rude, unfinifti'd animals :
No legs at firH the infeft's weight fuftain.
At length it moves its new-made limbs with pain j
Now ftrikes the air with quivering wings, and tries
To lift its body up, and learns to rife ;
Now bending thighs and gilded wings it wears
Full grown, and all the bee at length appears ;
From every fide the fruitful carcafe pours
Its fwarming brood, as thick as fummer fhowers.
Or flights of arrows from the Parthian bows.
When twanging ftrings firft fhoot them on the foes.
Thus have I fung the nature of the bee ;
While Caefar, towering to divinity.
The frighted Indians with his thunder aw'd.
And claim'd their hom.age, and commenced a god ;
V I R G I L, G E O R G. IV. 31
I flourifh'd all the while in arts of peace.
Retired and Ihelter'd in inglorious eafe :
I who before the fongs of Ihepherds made.
When gay and young my rural lays I play'd.
And fet my Tityrus beneath his fliade.
FOR ST. Cecilia's DAY, at oxford,
/CECILIA, whofe exalted hymns
With joy and wonder fill the blell.
In choirs of warbling feraphims
Known and djilinguilh'd from the reft;
Attend, harmonious faint, and fee
Thy vocal fons of harmony ;
Attend, harmonious faint, and hear our prayers ;
Enliven all our earthly airs.
And, as thou iing'll thy God, teach us to fmg of thee ;
Tune every firing and every tongue.
Be thou the Mufe and fubjed of our fong.
Let all Cecilia's praife proclaim.
Employ the echo in her name.
Hark how the flutes and trumpets raife.
At bright Cecilia's name, their lays ;
The organ labours in her praife.
3* A D D I S O N's POEMS.
Cecilia's name does all our numbers grace.
From every voice the tuneful accents fly.
In foaring trebles now it rifes high.
And now it fmks, and dwells upon the bafe.
Cecilia's name through all the notes we fing.
The work of every Ikilfjl tongue.
The found of every trembling firing.
The found and triumph of our fong.
For ever confecrate the day.
To Mufic and Cecilia ;
Mufic, the greateft good that mortals know.
And all of heaven we have below.
Mufic can noble hints impart.
Engender fury, kindle love ;
With unfufpeded eloquence can move.
And manage all the man with fecret art.
When Orpheus ftrikes the trembling lyre.
The ftreams Hand ftill, the ftones admire ;
The lillening favages advance.
The wolf and lamb around him trip.
The bears in aakward meafures leap,
And tigers mingle in the dance.
The moving woods attended as he play'd.
And Rhodope was left without a ftiade.
Mufic religious heats infpires.
It wakes the foul, and lifts it high.
And wings it with fublime defires.
And fits it to befpeak the Deity.
A S O N G. j3
Th' Almighty liftens to a tuneful tongue.
And feems well -pleas 'd and courted with a fong.
Soft moving founds and heavenly airs
Give force to every word, and recommend our prayers.
When time itfelf ihall be no more.
And all things in confufion hurl'd,
Mufic Ihall then exert its power.
And found furvive the ruins of the world :
Then faints and angels fhall agree
In one eternal jubilee :
All heaven fhall echo with their hymns divine.
And God himfelf with pleafure fee
The whole creation in a chorus join,
Confecrate the place and day
To mufic and Cecilia,
Let no rough v/inds approach, nor dare
Invade the hallow'd bounds.
Nor rudely fhake the tuneful air.
Nor fpoil the fleeting founds.
Nor mournful figh nor groan be heard.
But gladnefs dwell on every tongue ;
Whim all, with voice and ftrings prepar'd.
Keep up the loud harmonious fong.
And imitate the bleft above.
In joy, and harmony, and love,
34 A D D I S N's POEMS.
GREATEST ENGLISH POETS.
MR. HENRY SACHEVERELL,
APRIL 3, 1694.
CiNCE, dearell Harry, you will needs requeil
A fliort account of all the Mufe-pofTefl,
That, down from Chaucer's days to Dryden's times.
Have fpent their noble rage in Britiih rhymes ;
Without more preface, writ in formal length.
To fpeak the undertaker's want of ftrength,
1 '11 try to make their feveral beauties known.
And Ihow their verfes worth, though not my own»
Long had our dull forefathers flept fupine.
Nor felt the raptures of the tuneful Nine ;
Till Chaucer firft, a merry bard, arofe.
And many a ftory told in rhyme and profe.
But age has rufled what the Poet writ.
Worn out his language, and obfcur'd his wit ;
In vain he jells in his unpolifh'd ftrain.
And tries to make his readers laugh in vain.
Old Spenfer next, vvarm'd with poetic rage.
In ancient tales amus'd a barbarous age ;
6N the ENGLISH POETS. 35
An age that yet uncultivate and rude,
Where-e'er the poet's fancy led, purfued
Through pathlefs fields, and unfrequented floods.
To dens of dragons, and enchanted woods.
But now the myftic tale, that pleas'd of yore.
Can charm an underflanding age no more ;
The long-fpun allegories fulfome grow.
While the dull moral lies too plain below.
We view well-pleas 'd at diftance all the fights, ■* '
Of arms and palfries, battles, fields, and fights, v
And damfels in diftrefs, and courteous knights. j
But when we look too near, the fhades decay.
And all the pleafing landfkip fades away.
Great Cowley then (a mighty genius) wrote,
O'er-run with wit, and laviih of his thought :
His turns too clofely on the reader prefs :
He more had pleas'd us, had he pleas'd us lefs.
One glittering thought no fooner ftrikes our eyes
With filent wonder, but new wonders rife.
As in the milky-way a Ihining white
O'erHows the heavens with one continued light;
That not a fmgle ftar can fhew his rays,
Whilft jointly all promote the common blaze.
Pardon, great Poet, that I dare to name
Th' unnumber'd beauties of thy verfe with blame;
Thy fault is only wit in its excefs :
But wit like thine in any fhape will pleafe.
What Mufe but thine can equal hints infpire.
And fit the deep-mouth 'd Pindar to thy lyre ;
36 A D D I S O N's P O E M S,
Pindar, whom others in a labour'd ftrain.
And forc'd expreffion, imitate in vain ?
Well-pleas'd in thee he foars with new delight, [flight.
And plays in more unbounded verfe, and takes a nobler
Bleft man ! whofe fpotlefs life and charming lays
Employ'd the tuneful prelate in thy praife;
Bleft man ! who now fhall be for ever known.
In Sprat's fuccefsful labours and thy own.
But Milton next, with high and haughty ftalks,
Unfetter'd in majeflic numbers walks :
No vulgar hero can his Mufe engage ;
Nor earth's wide fcene confine his hallow'd rage.
See ! fee ! he upwards fprings, and towering high
Spurns the dull province of mortality.
Shakes heaven's eternal throne with dire alarms.
And fets th' Almighty thunderer in arms.
Whate'er his pen defcribes I more than fee,
Whilfl every verfe, array'd in majelly.
Bold and fublime, my whole attention draws.
And feems above the critics nicer laws.
How are you ftruck with terror and delight.
When angel with arch-angel copes in fight !
When great Meifiah's out-fpread banner fhines.
How does the chariot rattle in his lines !
What found of brazen wheels, what thunder, fcare.
And ftun the reader with the din of war!
With fear my fpirits and my blood retire.
To fee the feraphs funk in clouds of fire ;
But when, with eager fteps, from hence I rifcj,
And view the firll gay fcenes of Paradife ;
ON THE ENGLISH POETS. 37
What tongue, what words of rapture can exprefs
A vifion fo profufe of pleafantnefs !
Oh had the Poet ne'er profan'd his pen.
To varniih o'er the guilt of faithlefs men ;
His other works might have deferv'd applaufe !
But now the language can't fupport the caufe;
While the clean current, though ferene and bright.
Betrays a bottom odious to the fight*
But now, my Mufe, a fofter ftrain rehearfe,
^urn every line with art, and fmooth thy verfe ;
The courtly Waller next commands thy lays :
Mufe, tune thy verfe, with art, to AValler's praife*
While tender airs and lovely dames infpire
Soft melting thoughts, and propagate defire :
So long iliall Waller's ftrains our paffion move>
And SaccharifTa's beauty kindle love.
Thy verfe, harmonious bard, and flattering fong.
Can make the vanquifh'd great, the coward flrong*
Thy verfe can ihow ev'n Cromwell's innocence.
And compliment the ftorm that bore him hence.
Oh had thy Mufe not come an age too foon.
But feen great Naffau on the Britifh throne !
How had his triumphs glitter 'd in thy page.
And warm'd thee to a more exalted rage 1
What fcenes of death and horror had we view'd.
And how had Boyne's wide current reek'd in blood I
Or if Maria's charms thou wouldd rehearfe.
In fmoother numbers and a fofter verfe ;
Thy pen had well defcrib'd her graceful air.
And Gloriana would have fcem'd more fair.
38 AD D I S N's P E M S.
Nor mull Rofcommon pafs neglefted by.
That makes ev'n rules a noble poetry :
Rules vvhofe deep fenfe and heavenly numbers ihow
The bell of critics, and of poets too.
Nor, Denham, mull we e'er forget thy llralns.
While Cooper's Hill commands the neighbouring plains .
But fee where artful Dryden next appears.
Grown old in rhyme, but charming ev'n in years.
Great Dryden next, whofe tuneful Mufe affords
The fweetell numbers, and the fittell words.
Whether in comic founds or tragic airs
She forms her voice, Ihe moves our fmiles or tears.
If fatire or heroic llrains Ihe writes.
Her hero pleafes, and her fatire bites.
From her no harlh unartful numbers fall.
She wears all drelfes, and Ihe charms in all.
How might we fear our Englilh poetry.
That long has flourilli'd, Ihould decay with thee ;
Did not the Mufes' other hope appear.
Harmonious Congreve, and forbid our fear :
Congreve ! whofe fancy's unexhauiled llore
Has given already much, and promised more.
Congreve Ihall Hill preferve thy fame alive.
And Dryden's Mufe Ihall in his friend furvive.
I'm tir'd with rhyming, and would fain give o'er.
But juHice ftill demands one labour more ;
The noble Montague remains unnam'd.
For wit, for humour, and for judgment fam'd ;
To Dorfet he diredls his artful Aiufe,
In numbers fuch as Dorfet's felf might ufe.
ON THE ENGLISH POETS. .39
How negligently graceful he unreins
His verfe, and writes in loofe familiar ftrains ;
How Naflau's godlike afts adorn his lines.
And all the hero in full glory fhines !
We fee his army fet in jull array.
And Boyne's dy'd waves run purple to the fea.
Nor Simois chok'd with men, and arms, and blood ;
Nor rapid Xanthus' celebrated flood.
Shall longer be the Poet's highell themes.
Though gods and heroes fought promifcuous in their
But now, to NafTau's fecret councils rais'd.
He aids the hero, whom before he prais'd.
I 've done at length ; and now, dear friend, receive
The laft poor prefent that my Mufe can give.
I leave the arts of poetry and verfe
To them that praftife them with more fuccefs.
Of greater truths I '11 now prepare to tell.
And fo at once, dear friend and Mufe, farewel*
40 ADDISON 's POEMS.
A LETTER FROM ITALY,
RIGHT HON. CHARLES LORD HALIFAX,
IN THE YEAR MDCCI.
*' Salve magna parens frugum Saturnia tellus,