« AnteriorContinua »
Nor oft can the receiver know,
Or, but a creature of the brain,
THOUGH I, alas! a pris'ner be,
Here lie depofited the spoils
This gulph infatiable imbibes The lawyer's fees, the ftatefman's bribes. Here, in their proper shape and mien, Fraud, perjury, and guilt are seen.
Neceffity, the tyrant's law, All human race muft hither draw; All prompted by the fame defire, The vig'rous youth, and aged fire. Behold, the coward and the brave, The haughty prince, the humble flave, Phyfician, lawyer, and divine, All make oblations at this fhrine. Some enter boldly, fome by stealth, And leave behind their fruitless wealth. For while the bashful fylvan maid, As half afham'd, and half afraid, Approaching finds it hard to part With that which dwelt fo near her heart;
The courtly dame, unmov'd by fear,
A treasure here of learning lurks, Huge heaps of never-dying works; Labours of many an antient fage, And millions of the prefent age.
In at this gulph all off'rings pafs,
Sad charnel-houfe! a difmal dome, For which all mortals leave their home; The young, the beautiful, and brave, Here bury'd in one common grave; Where each fupply of dead renews Unwholefome damps, offer five dews : And lo! the writing on the walls Points out where each new victim falls; The food of worms, and beafts obfcene, Who round the vault luxuriant reign. VOL. VII.
See where those mangled corpfes lie,
And here fix virgins in a tomb, All-beauteous offspring of one womb, Oft in the train of Venus feen, As fair and lovely as their queen : In royal garments each was dreft, Each with a gold and purple veft; I faw them of their garments ftript, Their throats were cut, their bellies ript, Twice were they bury'd, twice were born, Twice from their fepulchres were torn; But now difmember'd here are caft, And find a refting-place at last.
Here oft the curious trav'ler finds The combat of oppofing winds: And feeks to learn the fecret cause, Which alien feems from nature's laws; Why at this cave's tremendous mouth, He feels at once both North and South:
Whether the winds, in caverns pent,
Yet, from this mingled mass of things, In time a new creation fprings. Thefe crude materials once fhall rife To fill the earth, and air, and skies: In various forms appear again, Of vegetables, brutes, and men. So Jove pronounc'd among the gods, Olympus trembling as he nods.
LOUISA to STREPHON.
Tranflated in the Year 1724.