John Aikin.

The works of the British poets, selected and chronologically arranged from Ben Jonson to Beattie, with biographical and critical notices (Volume 1) online

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Online LibraryJohn AikinThe works of the British poets, selected and chronologically arranged from Ben Jonson to Beattie, with biographical and critical notices (Volume 1) → online text (page 1 of 185)
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346 <fc 348 BROADWAY.


V, \



To William Camden

From Cynthia's Revels

From the Silent Woman


Epitaph on the Countess of Pembroke, Sister
to Sir Philip Sidney

On Lucy Countess of Bedford

Song to Celia

To the same

From the Shepherd's Holiday

Love, a little Boy. From the Masque on
Lord Haddington's Marriage

Epitaph on Elizabeth L. H


The Motto. Tentanda via est, SfC ........

Honor ................................

Of Myself ............................

The Chronicle. A Ballad ................

Anacreontics ; or some Copies of Verses, trans-
lated paraphrastically out of Anacreon.
I. Love .........................

II. Drinking .....................

III. Beauty .......................

V. Age .........................

VII. Gold .........................

VIII. The Epicure ..................

IX. Another ......................

X. The Grasshopper ..............

XI. The Swallow ..................

Elegy upon Anacreon ; who was choked by
a Grape-stone. Spoken by the God of
Love ...............................

Ode, from Catullus. Acme and Septimius
The Complaint .........................

Hymn to Light ........................

Against Hope ..........................

For Hope .............................

Claudian's Old Man of Verona ...........

The Wish., ..........................

From the Davideis ....................


L' Allegro
II Penseroso

Paradise Lost In Twelve BOOKS.

Book 1 29

II 35

III 43

IV 49

V. 57

VI 64

VII 70


IX 80

X. . , 89

XI 97

XII 10

Paradise Regained. In Four Books.

Book 1 109

II. 113

III 117

IV. 120

Samson Agonistes ; a Dramatic Poem 126

Christmas Hymn 140


To Amoret 143

To the Same ib.

Of Love ib

Of the Marriage of the Dwarfs 144

A Panegyric to my Lord Protector, of the
Present Greatness, and Joint Interest, of

his Highness and this Nation ib.

Of English Verse 146

The Story of Phoebus and Daphne applied . . ib.

Song ib.

To Phyllis ib.

On a Girdle 147

To Zelinda ib.

To a Lady ib.


Annus Mirabilis : the Year of Wonders, 1666 149
Alexander's Feast : or, the Power of Music.

An Ode in honor of St. Cecilia's Day 160

Palamon and Arcite : or, the Knight's Talc.
In Three Books.

Book 1 162

II 166

III 171

The Wife of Bath, her Tale 179

The Character of a Good Parson 183

Theodore and Honoria 184

Religio Laici. An Epistle 187



To Sir Godfrey Kneller, principal Painter to
His Majesty 191


The Cock and the Fox ; or, the Tale of the
Nun's Priest 192

The Flower and the Leaf: or, the Lady in
the Arbor 198

Rural Sports. A Georgic. In Two Cantoes.
Canto 1 284

Cymon and Iphigenia 203

The> 5nlfnHirI Shilling 20R

II 2fc6
Trivia : or the Art of walking the Streets of
London. In Three Books.
Book I. Of the Implements for Walking
the Streets, and Signs of the
Weather 287

Cider : a Poem, in two Books.
Book I 209

II. Of Walking the Streets by Day 289
III. Of Walking the Streets by Night 294

II 215

Sweet William's Farewell to Black-eyed Susan 29 7


A Ballad, from the What-d'ye-call-it ib.
Fable. The Goat without a Beard 298
Fable The Universal Apparition ib

Fable The Jugglers 299

A Night-Piece on Death 223

The Shepherd's Week. In Six Pastorals ... 300

The Hermit 224

Monday ; or, the Squabble 301

Tuesday ; or the Ditty . 302

An Allegory on Man 227

Wednesday ; or, the Dumps 303

Thursday ; or, the Spell 305

Friday ; or, the Dirge 306

Saturday or the Flights 308


Fable. The Farmer's Wife and the Raven . 309
Fable The Turkey and the Ant ib.

Colin's Complaint A Song 230

The Contented Shepherd. To Mrs. A
D afterwards his Wife 231


A Song. Ah ! Willow. To the same in her

The Spleen. An Epistle to Mr. Cuthbcrt
Jackson 310


On Barclay's Apology for the Quakers 317
The Seeker ib

. A Letter from Italy to the Right Hon. Charles
' Lord Halifax, in the year 1701 232

The Grotto. Written by Mr. Green, under
the name of Peter Drake, a fisherman of
Brentford 313

To Sir Godfrey Kneller, on his Picture of the
King 237

The Sparrow and Diamond. A Song 320

Paraphrase on Psalm XXIII 238


Colin and Lucy. A Ballad -. 321

To the Earl of Warwick, on the Death of Mr.
Addison 322

of the Nut-Brown Maid 240

An Imitation of the Prophecy of Nereus.

From Horace Book II. Ode XV 323

Three Cantoes.
Canto I 246

An Epistle from a Lady in England to a

II 249

An Ode, inscribed to the Earl ofi Sunderland

III 253

at Windsor 325

Solomon on the Vanity of the World. A Poem,
in Three Books.
Book I. Knowledge 258


II. Pleasure . . . 264

III. Power 272

Eleffv 326

The Thief and the Cordelier. A Ballad. . . 279
Song ib

The Garland 280

An English Padlock ib


A Song 281

The Female Phaeton ib

__ p. TV P^rvlr

The Despairing Shepherd '. . . . ib.

Book I . . 328

An Ode ib

II 331

The Lady's Looking-Glass. In imitation of

HI , 335

a Groek Idyllium 282

IV. .. . . 34ft



The Rape of the Lock. An Heroi-Comical
Poem. In Five Cantoes


Canto 1.






Prologue to Mr. Addison's Tragedy of Cato 352

Eloisa to Abelard ib.

The Temple of Fame 355

The Fable of Dryope. From Ovid's Meta-

Vertumnus and Pomona. From the sarm

Book IV .360

An Essay on Man. In Four Epistles.
Epistle I. Of the Nature and State of Man

with respect to the Universe 361

II. Of the Nature and State of Man

with respect to Himself, as

an Individual 36*

III. Of the Nature and State of Man

with respect to Society 366

IV. Of the Nature and State of Man

with respect to Happiness . . . 368
Moral Essays. In Five Epistles to several

Epistle I. Of the Knowledge and Char-

' acters of Men 372

II. Of the Characters of Women

III. On the Use of Riches 376

IV. Of the Use of Riches. ...... 379

V. To Mr. Addison, occasioned

by his Dialogues on Medals 381
Epistle to Dr. Arbuthnot, being the Prologue

to the Satires 382

Messiah, a Sacred Eclogue, in imitation of

Virgil's Pollio 385

Elegy to the Memory of an Unfortunate Lady 386

Satire "

Epistle to Robert Earl of Oxford and Earl

Mortimer 388


Cadenus and Vanessa 390

Stella's Birth-Day 397

The Journal of a Modern Lady, in a Letter

to a Person of Quality ib.

On the Death of Dr. Swift 399

Baucis and Philemon. On the ever-lamented
loss of the two Yew-trees in the Parish of
Chilthorne, Somerset. Imitated from the

Eighth Book of Ovid 403

A Description of the Morning 405

The Grand Question Debated : Whether Ham-
ilton's Bawn should be turned into a Bar-
rack or a Malt-house ib.

On Poetry : a Rhapsody 406

A Description of a City-Shower, in imitation

of Virgil's Georgics 410

Horace, Book III. Ode II. To the Earl of
Oxford, late Lord Treasurer. Sent to him

when in the Tower 411

Mrs. Harris's Petition ib.

To the Earl of Petcrborow, who commanded

the British Forces in Spain 412

The Progress of Poetry ib.



The Seasons :

Spring 415

Summer 424

Autumn 437

Winter 447

The Castle of Indolence: an Allegorical Poem.
In Two Cantoes.

Canto 1 457

II 463

Ancient and Modern Italy compared : being
the First Foit of "Liberty," a Poem 469

morphoses, Book IX 359- Greece : being the Second Part of" Liberty," 472

Rome: beinj- the Third Part of " Liberty," 477
Britain: bc:rir the Fourth Part of " Liberty," 482
The Prospect: being the Fifth Part of

" Liberty," 492

Ode 498

The Happy Man ib.

Song ib.

Song 499

Ode ib.

Hymn on Solitude ib.

To the Rev. Mr. Murdoch, Rector of Strad-

dishall, in Suffolk ib.


To the Earl of Dorset 500

A Hymn to Venus, from the Greek of Sappho 501
A Fragment of Sappho ib.


Ode to Pity 502

Ode to Fear 503

Ode, written in the year 1746 ib.

Ode to a Lady, on the Death of Col. Charles

Ross, in the Action at Fontenoy 504

Ode to Evening ib.

Ode to Liberty 505

The Passions, an Ode for Music 506

Dirge in Cymbeline 507

An Ode on the popular Superstitions of the
Highlands of Scotland ; considered as the

Subject of Poetry ib.

Ode on the Death of Mr.'' Thomson 509


Srongar Hill 511

The Ruins of Rome 512


The School-Mistress. In Imitation of Spenser 517
Elegy, describing the sorrow of an ingenuous
mind, on the melancholy event of a licen-
tious amour 520

A Pastoral Ballad. In Four Parts.

Part I. Absence 521

II. Hope ib.

III. Solicitude 522

IV. Disappointment ib.

The Dying Kid 523




The Rosciad 524


A Paraphrase on Part of the Book of Job. . . 533
The Complaint : or, Night-Thoughts.

Night the First: on Life, Death, and Im-
mortality 537

Night the Second: on Time, Death, and

Friendship 540

Night the Third : Narcissa 545

Night the Fourth : the Christian Triumph 549

Night the Fifth : the Relapse 555

Night the Sixth : the Infidel Reclaimed. In

Two Parts. Part 1 563

Night the Seventh : the Infidel Reclaimed.

Part II 570

Night the Eighth : Virtue's Apology ; or,

the Man of the World answered 582

Night the Ninth and Last: the Consola-
tion 592

Love of Fame, the Universal Passion. In
Seven Characteristical Satires.

Satire I * 610

II * 612

III. . . 614







The Pleasures of Imagination. A Poem, in
Three Books.

Book 1 631

II 635

III 641

Ode to the Right Honorable Francis Earl of

Huntingdon 646

Hymn to the Naiads 648

Ode to the Right Rev. Benjamin, Lord Bishop
of Winchester 650


Hymn to Adversity , 653

Elegy written in a Country Church Yard. . . ib.

The Progress of Poesy. A Pindaric Ode .. 654

Ode on the Spring 655

Ode for Music 656

Ode on the Death of a favorite Cat, drowned

in a Tub of Gold Fishes 65'

Ode on a distant Prospect of Eton College . . ib.

The Bard. A Pindaric Ode 658

The Fatal Sisters. An Ode 660

The Descent of Odin. An Ode 661

The Triumphs of Owen. A Fragment. ... ib,


The Tears of Scotland 663

Ode to Leven-Water ib.

Ode to Independence 664



The Progress of Love. In Four Eclogues.

Eclogue I. Uncertainty 666

II. Hope 667

III. Jealousy 668

IV. Possession 669

To the Rev. Dr. Ayscough, at Oxford ib.





Memory of the first Lady Littelton.
A Monody ib.


The Traveller : or, a Prospect of Society . . 675

The Deserted Village 678

The Hermit A Ballad 681

Retaliation. A Poem 682

Stanzas on Woman. From the Vicar of Wake-
field 684

Song ib


London : a Poem. In imitation of the Third
Satire of Juvenal 686

The Vanity of Human Wishes, in imitation
of the Tenth Satire of Juvenal 688

Prologue, spoken by Mr. Garrick, at the open-
ing of the Theatre-Royal, Drury-lane, 1747, 691

On the Death of Mr. Robert Levet, a Practiser
in Physic ib.


The Art of preserving Health. In four Books.

Book I. Air 693

II. Diet 696

III. Exercise 700

IV. The Passions 704


Ode to Fancy 710

Verses, written at Montauban in France. ... 71J


Ode to the First of April 713

Ode. The Crusade ib.

The Progress of Discontent 714

Inscription in a Hermitage, at Ansley Hall,

in Warwickshire 715

Ode. The Hamlet 711

Ode sent to a Friend, on his leaving a favorite

Village in Hampshire ib

The Pleasures of Melancholy 717


Ode to Memory 720

Ode to Independency 721

Elegy on the Death of a Lady 722

Epitaph on Mrs. Mason, in the Cathedral of
Bristol. . . . . . ib




Boadicea. An Ode 724

Heroism ib.

On the Receipt of my Mother's Picture out of
Norfolk, the Gift of my Cousin Ann Bod-

ham 725

Friendship 726

Retirement 727

The Task. In Six Books.

Book I. The Sofa 733

II. The Time-Piece 739

' II. The Garden 746

IV. The Winter Evening 752

V. The Winter-Morning Walk 758

VI. The Winter Walk at Noon 764

Tirocinium : or, a Review of Schools 772


Table-Talk 779

Conversation 784

Verses supposed to be written by Alexander
Selkirk, during his solitary Abode in the

Island of Juan Fernandez. 791

John Gilpin 792

An Epistle to Joseph Hill, Esq 794

Yardley Oak ib.

The Cast-away 796


The Minstrel : or, The Progress of Gemus.
In Two Books.

Book 1 798

II 802

fist 0f tju (ffingrsirings



ZELINDA, - 147



SAPPHO, - 501



LEVEN WATER, -. - - 663


THE MINSTREL, - - - - - - 798


BENJAMIN JOXSON, (or Johnson,) a poet, who, I gives a particular examination of his " Silent Wo
during life, attained a distinguished character, was I man," as a model of perfection. He afterwards

the posthumous son of a clergyman in Westmins
where he was born in 1574, about a month after his
father's decease. His family was originally from
Scotland, whence his grandfather removed to Car-
lisle, in the reign of Henry VIII.

Benjamin received his education under the learned
Camden, at Westminster school ; and had made
extraordinary progress in his studies, when his mo-
ther, who had married a bricklayer for her second
husband, took him away to work under his step-
father. From this humble employment he escaped,
by enlisting as a soldier in the army, then serving in
the Netherlands against the Spaniards. An exploit
which he here performed, of killing an enemy in
single combat, gave him room to boast ever after of
n degree of courage which has not often been found
in alliance with poetical distinction.

On his return, Jonson entered himself at St.
John's College, Cambridge, which he was shortly
obliged to quit from the scanty state of his finan

He then turned his thoughts
applied for employment at the

the stage, and
theatres; but his

talents, as an actor, could only procure for him
admission at an obscure playhouse in the suburbs.
Here he had the misfortune to kill a fellow-actor
in a duel, for which he was thrown into prison.
The state of mind to which he was here brought,
gave the advantage to a Popish priest in converting
him to the Catholic faith, under which religion he
continued for twelve years.

After his liberation from prison, he married, and
applied in earnest to writing for the stage, in which
he appears to have already made several attempts.
His comedy of "Every Man in his Humor," the
first of his acknowledged pieces, was performed with
applause in 1596; and henceforth he continued to
furnish a play yearly, till his time was occupied by
the composition of the masques and other enter-
tainments, by which the accession of James was
celebrated. Dryden, in his Essay on Dramatic
Poetry, speaks of him as the " most learned and
judicious writer which any theatre ever had." and

however, seems to make large deductions from this
commendation. "You seldom (says Dryden) find
him making love in any of his scenes, or endeavor-
ng to move the passions ; his genius was too sullen
and saturnine to do it gracefully. Humor was his
proper sphere ; and in that he delighted most to
represent mechanics." Besides his comedies, Jonson
composed two tragedies, Sejanus and Catiline, bcth
formed upon ancient models, and full of trans-
lations ; and neither of them successful. His dra-
matic compositions, however, do not come within
the scope of the present publication.

In 1616, he published a folio volume of his works,
which procured for him a grant from his majesty of
the salary of poet-laureate for life, though he did not
take possession of the post till three years after.
With high intellectual endowments, he had many
unamiable traits in his character, having a high de-
gree of pride and self-conceit, with a disposition to
abuse and disparage every one who incurred his
jealousy or displeasure. Jonson was reduced
to necessitous circumstances in the latter part of
his life, though he obtained from Charles I an ad-
vance of his salary as laureate. He died in 1637 a*
the age of 63, being at that time considered as at the
head of English poetry. He was interred in West-
minster Abbey, where an inscription was placed over
his grave, familiarly expressive of the reputation
he had acquired among his countrymen: it was,
"O rare Ben Jonson." Six months after his death,
a collection of poems to his honor, by a number
of the most eminent writers and scholars in the na-
tion, was published, with the title of "Jonsonius
Virbius ; or the memory of Ben Jonson, revived by
the Friends of the Muses."

Although, as a general poet, Jonson for the mosl
part merits the character of harsh, frigid, and tedious;
there are, however, some strains in which he appears
with singular elegance, and may be placed in com-
petition with some of the most favored writers of
that class.



CAMDEN, most reverend head, to whom I owe
All that I am in arts, all that I know
(How nothing's that!) to vhom my country owes
The great renown, and name wherewith she goes.
Than thee the age sees not that thing more grave,
More high, more holy, that she more would crave.
What name, what skill, what faith hast thou in


What sight in searching the most antique springs !
What weight, and what authority in thy speech !
Man scarce can make that doubt, but thou canst


Pardon free truth, and let thy modesty,
Which conquers all, be once o'ercome by thee.
Many of thine this better could, than I,
But for their powers, accept my piety.


QUEEN and huntress, chaste and fair,
Now the sun is laid to sleep ;

Seated in thy silver chair,

State in wonted manner keep :

Hesperus intreats thy light,

Goddess excellently bright.

Earth, let not thy envious shade

Care itself to interpose ;
Cynthia's shining orb was made

Heaven to clear, when day did close ;
Bless us then with wished sight,
Goddess excellently bright.

Lay thy bow of pearl apart,
And thy crystal-shining quiver ;

Give unto the flying heart

Space to breathe, how short soever :

Thou that mak'st a day of night,

Goddess excellently bright.


STILL to be neat, still to be drest,

As you were going to a feast ;

Still to be powder'd, still perfum'd :

Lady, it to be presum'd,

Though art's hid causes are not found,

All is not sweet, all is not sound.

Give me a look, give me a face,

That makes simplicity a grace ;

Robes loosely flowing, hair as free :

Such sweet neglect more taketh me,

Than all th' adulteries of art ;

They strike mine eyes, but not my heart.

1. I HAVE been, all day, looking after

A raven, feeding upon a quarter ;

And, soon as she turn'd her beak to the south,

I snatch'd this morsel out of her mouth.

2. I have been gathering wolves' hairs,
The mad-dogs' foam, and the adders' ears ;
The spurgings of a dead-man's eyes,

And all since the evening-star did rise.

3. I, last night, lay all alone

O' the ground, to hear the mandrake groan ;
And pluck'd him up, though he grew full low ;
And, as I had done, the cock did crow.

4. And I ha' been choosing out this skull,
From charnel-houses, that were full ;
From private grots, and public pits,

And frighted a sexton out of his wits.

5. Under a cradle I did creep,

By day ; and, when the child was asleep,
At night, I suck'd the breath ; and rose,
And pluck'd the nodding nurse by the nose.

7. A murderer, yonder, was hung in chains,
The sun and the wind had shrunk his veins ;
I bit off" a sinew, I clipp'd his hair,

I brought off his rags, that danc'd i' the air.

8. The screech-owl's eggs, and the feathers black
The blood of the frog, and the bone in his back
I have been getting ; and made of his skin

A purset, to keep Sir Cranion in.

9. And I ha' been plucking (plants among)
Hemlock, henbane, adder's tongue,
Night-shade, moon-wort, libbard's bane;
And twice by the dogs was like to be ta'en.

10. I, from the jaws of a gardener's bitch,

Did snatch these bones, and then leap'd the ditch
Yet went I back to the house again,
Kill'd the black cat, and here's the brain.

11. I went to the toad breeds under the wall
I charm'd him out, and he came at my call ;

I scratch'd out the eyes of the owl before,

I tore the bat's wing : what would you have more I

Yes, I have brought (to help our vows)
Horned poppy, cypress boughs,
The fig-tree wild, that grows on tombs,
And juice, that from the larch-tree comes,
The Sasilisk's blood, and the viper's skin:
And, now, our orgies let's begin.



UNDERNEATH this marble herse
Lies the subject of all verse,
Sidney's sister, Pembroke's mother;
Death, ere thou hast slain another
Learn'd, and fair, and good as she,
Time shall throw his dart at thee.



THIS morning, timely rapt with holy fire,

I thought to form unto my zealous Muse,
What kind of creature I could most desire,

To honor, serve, and love ; as poets use.
I meant to make her fair, and free, and wise,

Of greatest blood, and yet more good than great;
1 meant the day-star should not brighter rise,

Nor lend like influence from his lucent seat
i meant she should be courteous, facile, sweet,

Hating that solemn vice of greatness, pride ;
I meant each softest virtue there should meet.

Fit in that softer bosom to reside.
Only a learned, and a manly soul

I purpos'd her ; that should, with even pow'rs,
The rock, the spindle, and the shears control

Of Destiny, and spin her own free hours.
Such when I meant to feign, and wish'd to see,

My Muse bade, Bedford write, and that was she.



Kiss me, sweet : the wary lover

Can your favors keep, and cover.

When the common courting jay

All your bounties will betray.

Kiss again : no creature comes.

Kiss, and score up wealthy sums

On my lips, thus hardly sund'red,

While you breathe. First give a hundred,

Then a thousand, then another

Hundred, then unto the tother

Add a thousand, and so more :

Till you equal with the store,

All the grass that Romney yields,

Or the sands in Chelsea fields,

Or the drops in- silver Thames,

Or the stars, that gild his streams,

In the silent summer nights,

When youths ply their stol'n delights

That the curious may not know

How to tell 'em as they flow,

And the envious, when they find

What their number is, be pin'd.


DRINK to me only with thine eyes,

And I will pledge with mine ;
Or leave a kiss but in the cup,

And I'll not look for wine.
The thirst, that from the sou. d >th rise,

Doth ask a drink divine :
But might I of Jove's nectar sup,

I would not change for thine.

1 sent thee, late, a rosy wreath,

Not so much honoring thee,
As giving it a hope, that there

It could not wither'd be.
But thou thereon did'st only breathe,

And sent'st it back to me :
Since when, it grows, and smells, I swear

Not of itself, but thee.


THUS, thus, begin : the yearly rites
Are due to Pan on these bright nights ;
His morn now riseth, and invites
To sports, to dances, and delights :
All envious and profane, away,
This is the shepherd's holiday.

Strew, strew, the glad and smiling ground,
With every flower, yet not confound
The primrose drop, the spring's own spouse
Bright daisies, and the lips of cows,
The garden-star, the queen of May,
The rose, to crown the holiday.

Drop, drop, you violets, change your hues,
Now red, now pale, as lovers use,
And in your death go out as well
As when you lived unto the smell :
That from your odor all may say
This is the shepherd's holiday





BEAUTIES, have ye seen this toy,
Called Love, a little boy,
Almost naked, wanton, blind,
Cruel now ; and then as kind ?

Online LibraryJohn AikinThe works of the British poets, selected and chronologically arranged from Ben Jonson to Beattie, with biographical and critical notices (Volume 1) → online text (page 1 of 185)