A POEM, In Imitation of the Third SATIRE of JUVENAL.
a JUV. Sat. III.THO' grief and fondness in my breast rebel,
Quamvis digressu veteris confusus amici;
Laudo, tamen, vacuis quod sedem figere Cumis
Destinet, atque unum civem donare Sibyllae.
2 When injur'd THALES bids the town farewel,
3 Yet still my calmer thoughts his choice commend,
4 I praise the hermit, but regret the friend;
5 Who now resolves, from vice and LONDON far,
6 To breathe in distant fields a purer air,
7 And, fix'd on Cambria's solitary shore,
8 Give to St. David one true Briton more.
bFor who wou'd leave, unbrib'd, Hibernia's land,
— Ego vel Prochytam praepono Suburrae.
Nam quid tam miserum, tam solum vidimus, ut non
Deterius credas horrere incendia, lapsus
Tectorum assiduos, et mille pericula saevae
Urbis, & Augusto recitantes mense poetas?
10 Or change the rocks of Scotland for the Strand?
11 There none are swept by sudden fate away,
12 But all whom hunger spares, with age decay:
13 Here malice, rapine, accident, conspire,
14 And now a rabble rages, now a fire;
15 Their ambush here relentless ruffians lay,
16 And here the fell attorney prowls for prey;
17 Here falling houses thunder on your head,
18 And here a female atheist talks you dead.
cWhile THALES waits the wherry that contains
Sed, dum tota domus rhedâ componitur unâ,
Substitit ad veteres arcus. —
20 Of dissipated wealth the small remains,
21 On Thames's bank in silent thought we stood,
22 Where Greenwich smiles upon the silver flood.
23 Struck with the seat that gave*
* Queen Elizabeth born at Greenwich.Eliza birth,
24 We kneel, and kiss the consecrated earth;
25 In pleasing dreams the blissful age renew,
26 And call Britannia's glories back to view;
27 Behold her cross triumphant on the main,
28 The guard of commerce, and the dread of Spain.[Page 188]
29 Ere masquerades debauch'd, excise oppress'd,
30 Or English honour grew a standing jest.
31 A transient calm the happy scenes bestow,
32 And for a moment lull the sense of woe.
33 At length awaking with contemptuous frown,
34 Indignant THALES eyes the neighb'ring town.
dSince worth, he cries, in these degen'rate days
Hic tunc Umbricius: Quando artibus, inquit, honestis
Nullus in urbe locus, nulla emolumenta laborum,
Res hodie minor est, heri quam fuit, atque eadem cras
Deteret exiguis aliquid: proponimus illuc
Ire, fatigatas ubi Daedalus exuit alas;
Dum nova canities —
36 Wants ev'n the cheap reward of empty praise;
37 In those curs'd walls, devote to vice and gain,
38 Since unrewarded science toils in vain;
39 Since hope but sooths to double my distress,
40 And ev'ry moment leaves my little less;
41 While yet my steddy steps noe
— et pedibus me
Porto meis, nullo dextram subeunte bacillo.
42 And life still vig'rous revels in my veins;
43 Grant me, kind heaven, to find some happier place,
44 Where honesty and sense are no disgrace;
45 Some pleasing bank where verdant offers play,
46 Some peaceful vale with nature's painting gay;
47 Where once the harrass'd Briton found repose,
48 And safe in poverty defy'd his foes;[Page 189]
49 Some secret cell, ye pow'rs, indulgent give:
fLet — live here, for — has learn'd to live.
Cedamus patriâ: vivant Arturius istic
Et Catulus: maneant qui nigrum in candida vertunt.
51 Here let those reign, whom pensions can incite
52 To vote a patriot black, a courtier white;
53 Explain their country's dear-bought rights away,
54 And plead for pirates in the face of day;
55 With slavish tenets taint our poison'd youth,
56 And lend a lye the confidence of truth.
gLet such raise palaces, and manors buy,
Queis facile est aedem conducere, flumina, portus,
Siccandam eluviem, portandum ad busta cadaver. —
Munera nunc edunt.
58 Collect a tax, or farm a lottery,
59 With warbling eunuchs fill a licens'd stage,
60 And lull to servitude a thoughtless age.
61 Heroes, proceed! what bounds your pride shall hold?
62 What check restrain your thirst of pow'r and gold?
63 Behold rebellious virtue quite o'erthrown,
64 Behold our fame, our wealth, our lives your own.
65 To such, a groaning nation's spoils are giv'n,
66 When publick crimes inflame the wrath of heav'n:
hBut what, my friend, what hope remains for me,
Quid Romae faciam? mentiri nescio: librum,
Si malus est, nequeo laudare & poscere. —
68 Who start at theft, and blush at perjury?[Page 190]
69 Who scarce forbear, tho' BRITAIN'S court he sing,
70 To pluck a titled poet's borrow'd wing;
71 A statesman's logick unconvinc'd can hear,
72 And dare to slumber o'er the Gazetteer;
73 Despise a fool in half his pension dress'd,
74 And strive in vain to laugh at H—Y'S jest.
iOthers with softer smiles, and subtler art,
— Fere ad nuptas, quae mittit adulter,
Quae mandat, norint alii: me nemo ministro
Fur erit, atque ideo nulli comes exeo.
76 Can sap the principles, or taint the heart;
77 With more address a lover's note convey,
78 Or bribe a virgin's innocence away.
79 Well may they rise, while I, whose rustick tongue
80 Ne'er knew to puzzle right, or varnish wrong,
81 Spurn'd as a beggar, dreaded as a spy,
82 Live unregarded, unlamented die,
kFor what but social guilt the friend endears?
Quis nunc diligitur, nisi conscius?
Carus erit Verri, qui Verrem tempore, quo vult,
Accusare potest. —
84 Who shares Orgilio's crimes, his fortune shares:
lBut thou, should tempting villainy present,
— Tanti tibi non sit opaci
Omnis arena Tagi, quodque in mare volvitur aurum,
Ut somno careas. —
86 All Marlb'rough hoarded, or all Villiers spent,
87 Turn from the glitt'ring bribe thy scornful eye,
88 Nor sell for gold, what gold could never buy,[Page 191]
89 The peaceful slumber, self-approving day,
90 Unsullied fame, and conscience ever gay.
mThe cheated nation's happy fav'rites see;
Quae nunc divitibus gens acceptissima nostris,
Et quos praecipue fugiam, properabo fateri.
92 Mark whom the great caress, who frown on me.
93 LONDON! the needy villain's gen'ral home,
94 The common sewer of Paris and of Rome,
95 With eager thirst, by folly or by fate,
96 Sucks in the dregs of each corrupted state.
97 Forgive my transports on a theme like this,
nI cannot bear a French metropolis.
— Non possum ferre, Quirites,
Graecam urbem. —
oIllustrious EDWARD! from the realms of day,
Rusticus ille tuus sumit trechedipna, Quirine,
Et ceromatico fert niceteria collo.
100 The land of heroes and of saints survey;
101 Nor hope the British lineaments to trace,
102 The rustick grandeur, or the surly grace,
103 But lost in thoughtless ease, and empty show,
104 Behold the warrior dwindled to a beau;
105 Sense, freedom, piety, refin'd away,
106 Of France the mimick, and of Spain the prey.
107 All that at home no more can beg or steal,
108 Or like a gibbet better than a wheel;
109 Hiss'd from the stage, or hooted from the court,
110 Their air, their dress, their politicks import;[Page 192]
pObsequious, artful, voluble and gay,
Ingenium velox, audacia perdita, sermo
112 On Britain's fond credulity they prey.
113 No gainful trade their industry can 'scape,
qThey sing, they dance, clean shoes, or cure a clap;
Augur, schoenobates, medicus magnus: omnia novit,
Graeculus esuriens, in coelum, jusseris, ibit.
115 All sciences a fasting Monsieur knows,
116 And bid him go to hell, to hell he goes.
rAh! what avails it, that, from slav'ry far,
Usque adeo nihil est, quod nostra infantia coelum
118 I drew the breath of life in English air;
119 Was early taught a Briton's right to prize,
120 And lisp the tales of HENRY'S victories;
121 If the gull'd conqueror receives the chain,
122 And flattery subdues when arms are vain?
sStudious to please, and ready to submit,
Quid quod adulandi gens prudentissima, laudat
Sermonem indocti, faciem deformis amici?
124 The supple Gaul was born a parasite:
125 Still to his int'rest true, where-e'er he goes,
126 Wit, bravery, worth, his lavish tongue bestows;
127 In ev'ry face a thousand graces shine,
128 From ev'ry tongue flows harmony divine.[Page 193]
tThese arts in vain our rugged natives try,
Haec eadem licet & nobis laudare: sed illis
130 Strain out with fault'ring diffidence a lye,
131 And gain a kick for aukward flattery.
132 Besides, with justice this discerning age
133 Admires their wond'rous talents for the stage:
uWell may they venture on the mimick's art,
Natio commoedia est. Rides? majore cachinno
135 Who play from morn to night a borrow'd part;
136 Practis'd their master's notions to embrace,
137 Repeat his maxims, and reflect his face;
138 With ev'ry wild absurdity comply,
139 And view each object with another's eye;
140 To shake with laughter ere the jest they hear,
141 To pour at will the counterfeited tear,
142 And as their patron hints the cold or heat,
143 To shake in dog-days, in December sweat.
xHow, when competitors like these contend,
Non sumus ergo pares: melior, qui semper & omni
Nocte dieque potest alienum sumere vultum:
A facie jactare manus: laudare paratus,
Si bene ructavit, si rectum minxit amicus.
145 Can surly virtue hope to fix a friend?
146 Slaves that with serious impudence beguile,
147 And lye without a blush, without a smile;[Page 194]
148 Exalt each trifle, ev'ry vice adore,
149 Your taste in snuff, your judgment in a whore;
150 Can Balbo's eloquence applaud, and swear
151 He gropes his breeches with a monarch's air.
152 For arts like these prefer'd, admir'd, caress'd,
153 They first invade your table, then your breast;
y Scire volunt secreta domûs, atque inde timeri.Explore your secrets with insidious art,
155 Watch the weak hour, and ransack all the heart;
156 Then soon your ill-plac'd confidence repay,
157 Commence your lords, and govern or betray.
zBy numbers here from shame or censure free,
— Materiem praebet causasque jocorum
Omnibus hic idem? si foeda & scissa lacerna, &c.
159 All crimes are safe, but hated poverty.
160 This, only this, the rigid law pursues,
161 This, only this, provokes the snarling Muse.
162 The sober trader at a tatter'd cloak,
163 Wakes from his dream, and labours for a joke;
164 With brisker air the silken courtiers gaze,
165 And turn the varied taunt a thousand ways.
aOf all the grief that harrass the distress'd;
Nil habet infelix paupertas durius in se,
Quam quod ridiculos homines facit.
167 Sure the most bitter is a scornful jest;
168 Fate never wounds more deep the gen'rous heart,
169 Than when a blockhead's insult points the dart.
bHas heaven reserv'd, in pity to the poor,
— Agmine facto
Debuerant olim tenues migrasse Quirites.
171 No pathless waste or undiscover'd shore?
172 No secret island in the boundless main?
173 No peaceful desart yet unclaim'd by SPAIN?
174 Quick let us rise, the happy seats explore,
175 And bear oppression's insolence no more.
176 This mournful truth is ev'ry where confess'd,
cSLOW RISES WORTH, BY POVERTY DEPRESS'D:
Haud facile emergunt, quorum virtutibus obstat
Res angusta domi; sed Romae durior illis
— Omnia Romae
Cum pretio —
Cogimur, & cultis augere peculia servis.
178 But here more slow, where all are slaves to gold,
179 Where looks are merchandise, and smiles are sold;
180 Where won by bribes, by flatteries implor'd,
181 The groom retails the favours of his lord.
182 But hark! th' affrighted crowd's tumultuous cries
183 Roll through the streets and thunder to the skies:
184 Rais'd from some pleasing dream of wealth and power,
185 Some pompous palace or some blissful bow'r,
186 Aghast you start, and scarce with aking sight
187 Sustain th' approaching fire's tremendous light;
188 Swift from pursuing horrors take your way,
189 And leave your little ALL to flames a prey;[Page 196]
dThen thro' the world a wretched vagrant roam,
— Ultimus autem,
Aerumnae cumulus, quod nudum, & frustra rogantem
Nemo cibo, nemo hospitio, tectoque juvabit.
191 For where can starving merit find a home?
192 In vain your mournful narrative disclose,
193 While all neglect, and most insult your woes.
eShould heaven's just bolts Orgilio's wealth confound,
Si magna Asturici cecidit domus, horrida mater,
Pullati proceres. —
195 And spread his flaming palace on the ground,
196 Swift o'er the land the dismal rumour flies,
197 And publick mournings pacify the skies;
198 The laureat tribe in servile verse relate,
199 How virtue wars with persecuting fate;
fWith well-feign'd gratitude the pension'd band
Jam accurrit, qui marmora donet,
Conferat impensas: hic, &c.
Hic modum argenti. —
201 Refund the plunder of the beggar'd land.
202 See! while he builds, the gaudy vassals come,
203 And crowd with sudden wealth the rising dome;
204 The price of boroughs and of souls restore;
205 And raise his treasures higher than before.
206 Now bless'd with all the baubles of the great,
207 The polish'd marble, and the shining plate,
gOrgilio sees the golden pile aspire,
Meliora, ac plura reponit
Persicus orborum lautissimus. —
209 And hopes from angry heav'n another fire.
hCould'st thou resign the park and play content,
Si potes a velli Circensibus, optima Sorae,
Aut Fabrateriae domus, aut Frusinone paratur,
Quanti nunc tenebras unum conducis in annum.
Hortulus hic —
Vive bidentis amans, & culti villicus horti,
Unde epulum possis centum dare Pythagoraeis.
211 For the fair banks of Severn or of Trent;
212 There might'st thou find some elegant retreat,
213 Some hireling senator's deserted seat;
214 And stretch thy prospects o'er the smiling land,
215 For less than rent the dungeons of the Strand;
216 There prune thy walks, support thy drooping flow'rs,
217 Direct thy rivulets, and twine thy bow'rs;
218 And, while thy beds a cheap repast afford,
219 Despise the dainties of a venal lord.
220 There ev'ry bush with nature's musick rings,
221 There ev'ry breeze bears health upon its wings;
222 On all thy hours security shall smile,
223 And bless thy evening walk and morning toil.
iPrepare for death, if here at night you roam,
— Possis ignavus haberi,
Et subiti casus improvidus, ad coenam si
225 And sign your will before you sup from home.
kSome fiery fop, with new commission vain,
Ebrius et petulans, qui nullum forte cecidit,
Dat paenas, noctem patitur lugentis amicum
227 Who sleeps on brambles till he kills his man;[Page 198]
228 Some frolick drunkard, reeling from a feast,
229 Provokes a broil, and stabs you for a jest
lYet ev'n these heroes, mischievously gay,
— Sed, quamvis improbus annis,
Atque mero fervens, cavet hunc, quem coccina laena
Vitari jubet, et comitum longissimus ordo,
Multum praeterea flammarum, atque aenea lampas.
231 Lords of the street, and terrors of the way;
232 Flush'd as they are with folly, youth and wine,
233 Their prudent insults to the poor confine;
234 Afar they mark the flambeau's bright approach,
235 And shun the shining train, and golden coach.
mIn vain these dangers past, your doors you close,
Nec tamen hoc tantum metuas: nam qui spoliet te
Non deerit: clausis domibus, &c.
237 And hope the balmy blessings of repose:
238 Cruel with guilt and daring with despair,
239 The midnight murd'rer bursts the faithless bar;
240 Invades the sacred hour of silent rest,
241 And plants, unseen, a dagger in your breast.
nScarce can our fields, such crowds at Tyburn die,
Maximus in vinclis ferri modus: ut timeas ne
Vomer deficiat, ne marrae et sarcula desint.
243 With hemp the gallows and the fleet supply.
244 Propose your schemes, ye senatorian band,
245 Whose ways and means support the sinking land;
246 Lest ropes be wanting in the tempting spring,
247 To rig another convoy for the k—g.
oA single jail, in ALFRED'S golden reign,
Felices proavorum atavos, felicia dicas
Secula, quae quondam sub regibus atque tribunis
Viderunt uno contentam carcere Romam.
249 Could half the nation's criminals contain;
250 Fair Justice then, without constraint ador'd,
251 Held high the steady scale, but deep'd the sword;
252 No spies were paid, no special juries known,
253 Blest age! but ah! how diff'rent from our own!
pMuch could I add, but see the boat at hand,
His alias poteram, & plures subnectere causas:
Sed jumenta vocant. —
255 The tide retiring calls me from the land:
qFarewel! — When youth, and health, and fortune spent,
— Ergo vale nostri memor: & quoties te
Roma tuo refici properantem reddet Aquino,
Me quoque ad Eleusinam Cererem, vestramque Dianam
Convelle a Cumis: satirarum ergo, ni pudet illas,
Adjutor gelidos veniam caligatus in agros.
257 Thou fly'st for refuge to the wilds of Kent;
258 And tir'd like me with follies and with crimes,
259 In angry numbers warn'st succeeding times;
260 Then shall thy friend, nor thou refuse his aid,
261 Still foe to vice, forsake his Cambrian shade;
262 In virtue's cause once more exert his rage,
263 Thy satire point, and animate thy page.
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About this text
Title (in Source Edition): LONDON: A POEM, In Imitation of the Third SATIRE of JUVENAL.
Author: Samuel Johnson
Themes: corruption; politics; places; glories of past ages
Genres: heroic couplet; satire; imitation; translation; paraphrase
References: DMI 21899
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The text has been typographically modernized, but without any silent modernization of spelling, capitalization, or punctuation. The source of the text is given and all editorial interventions have been recorded in textual notes. Based on the electronic text originally produced by the ECCO-TCP project, this ECPA text has been edited to conform to the recommendations found in Level 5 of the Best Practices for TEI in Libraries version 3.0.
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