Page images
[ocr errors][merged small]
[ocr errors]

oo long hath Love ingrofs'd Britannia's fiage,

And funk to foftness all our tragic rage ;
By that alone did empires fall or rife,
And fate depended on a fair one's cyes ;
The sweet infection, mixt with dangerous art,
Debas'd our manhood, while it footh'd the heart.
You scorn to raise a grief thyself must blame,
Nor from our weakness Heal a vulgar fame ::
A Patriot's fall may juftly melt the mind,
And tears flow nobly, feed for all mankind.

How do our fouls with gen'rous pleafure glow!
Our hearts exulting, while our eyes o'erflow,
When thy firm Hero fiands beneath the weight
Of all his sufferings venerably great ;
Rome's poor remains fill felt'ring by bis fide,
With conscious virtue, and becoming pride.

The aged Oak thus rears bis head in air,
His fap exhausted, and bis branches bare ;
'Midf forms and earthquakes he maintains bis fate,
Fixt deep in earth, and faften'd by his weight.
His naked boughs Aill lend the shepherds aid,
And his old trunk projects an awful fade.

[merged small][ocr errors]

Amid the joys triumphant peace beftorus,
Our Patriots fadden at his glorious woes,
Awhile they let the world's great bus'ness wait,
Anxious for Rome, and high for Cato's fato.
Here taught how ancient Heroes rose to fame,
Our Britons crowd, and catch the Roman flame.
Where flates and fenates well might lend an ear,
And Kings and Priests without a blush appear.

France boasts no more, but, fearful to engage,
Now first pays homage to her rival's flage,
Haftes to learn thee, and learning shall submit
Alike to British arms, and British wit:
No more she'll wonder, (forc'd to do us right)
Who think like Romans, cou'd like Romans fight.

Thy Oxford Smiles this glorious work to fee,
And fondly triumphs in a fon like thee.
The fenates, confuls, and the gods of Rome,
Like old acquaintance at their native home,
In thee we find: each deed, each word exprefl,
And every thought that swelld a Roman breafl.
We trace each bint that could thy foul inspire
Wish Virgil's judgment, and with Lucan's fire;
We know thy worth, and, give us leave to boasta
We moji admire, because we know thee moft.

[merged small][merged small][ocr errors]



your generous labour firft I view'd,
And Cato's hands in his own blood imbru'd ;
That scene of death fo terrible appears,
My soul could only thank you with her tears.
Yet with such wondrous art your skilful hand
Does all the palkons of the foul command,
That even my grief to praise and wonder turn'd,
And pavy'd the great death which forft I mourn'd.

What pen but yours could draw the doubtful Arife,
Of honour fruggling with the love of life?
Describe the Patriot, obflinately good,
As hovering o'er eternity be food:
The wide, th' unbounded ocean lay before
His piercing fight, and Heav’n the distant foore.
Secure of endless bliss, with fearless eyes,
He grasps the dagger, and its point defies,
And rufes out of Life, to snatch the glorious prize.
How would old Rome rejoice, to bear you

tell How just her Patriot liv'd, how great he fell! Recount his wondrous probity and truth,

And form new Juba's in the British youth.
Their generous fouls, when he resigns his breath,
Are pleas'd with ruin and in love with death.
And when her conquering sword Britannia draws,
Resolves to perish, or defend her cause,



Now first on Albion's theatre we fee,
A perfeit image of what man fhould be ;
The glorious chara&ter is now expreft,
Of virtue dwelling in a human breaft.
Drawn at full length by your immortal Lines,
In Cato's foul, as in ber Hear'n fhe fines.
All Souls College,


Left with the Printer by an unknown hand, NOW

OW we may speak, fince Cato speaks no more ;

'Tis praise at length, 'twas rapturé all before;
When crowded theatres with lös rung
Sent to the skies, from whence tby genius yprung:
Even civil


awhile in thine was loft ; And factions

firove but to applaud thee moft: Nor could enjoyment pall our longing tafte ; But

every night was dearer than the laft.
As when old Rome in a malignant hour
Depriv'd of some returning conqueror,
Her debt of triumph to the dead discharg'd,
For fame, for treasure, and her bounds enlarg'a:
And, while his god-like figure mov'd along,
Alternate pasions fir'd tho adoring throng ;

[tongue. Tears flow'd from every eye, and fhouts from every So in thy pompous line has Cato fard, Grac'd with an ample, tho' a late reward : A greater vietor we in him revere ; 4 nobler triumph crowns his image berei


With wonder, as with pleasure, we survey
A theme so scanty wrought into a play ;
So vajt a pile on such foundations plac'd;
Like Ammon's temple rear'd on Libya's wajte:
Bebold its glowing paint! its easy weight !
Its nice proportions! and Aupendous height!
How chaste the conduét, how divine the rage!
A Roman Worthy on a Grecian ftage!


But where fall Cato's praise begin or end;
Inclin'd to melt, and yet untaught to bend,
The formeft Patriot, and the gentleft Friend!
How great his genius when the traiter crowd
Ready to Arike the blow their fury vard;
Quelld by his look, and liftning to his lore,
Learn, like his passions, to rebel no more!
When, lavish of his boiling blood, to prove
The cure of flavish life, and sighted love,
Brave Marcus new in early death appears
While Cato counts bis wounds, and not his years;
Who, checking private grief, the public mourns,
Commands the pity be so greatly fcorns.

But when he frikes ( to crown bis generous part)
That honeft, fianch, impraticable hart ;
No tears, no fobs pursue his parting breath;
The dying Roman fhames the pomp of death.

O sacred Freedom, which the powers beflow To seafor bleffings, and to soften wor ;


« PreviousContinue »