« PreviousContinue »
FIRST AND SECOND PRIEST.
Thrice' happy, who in happy hour
To heaven' their praise bestow,
Before they feel the blow !
70 Too late you seek that power* unsought before, Your wealth, your pride, your kingdom, are no more !
O, Lucifer, thou son of mor,
Heaven, men, and all,
Now press thy fall,
Thy streets forlorn
To wilds shall turn,
Cyrus, our great restorer, is at hand,
Skill'd in every peaceful art;
Only binds the willing heart.
Let praise be given to all eternity;
Let us, and all, begin and end in Thee !1
I Washington Irving (* Life of Goldsmith, chap. xv.) says of this work—"Most of the Oratorio has passed into oblivion; but the following song from it will never die." "He then quotes “ The wretch condemned,” &c. (see pp. 83 and 67).-Ed.
THE CLOWN'S REPLY.
[This piece is traced in print no farther back than 1777, though the date attached shows that it was written while Goldsmith was a medical student in Edinburgh.-Ed.] JOAN TROTT was desir'd by two witty peers To tell them the reason why asses had ears ; “An't please you," quoth John, “ I'm not given to letters, Nor dare I pretend to know more than my betters ; Howe'er, from this time, I shall ne'er see your graces— As I hope to be sav'd !-without thinking on asses."
WRITTEN AND SPOKEN BY THE POET LABERIUS, A ROMAN
KNIGHT, WHOM CÆSAR FORCED UPON THE STAGE.
PRESERVED BY MACROBIUS. [First printed in the chapter on the stage in Goldsmith's 'Enquiry into the Present State of Polite Learning,' 1759. In the second edition of the - Enquiry' (1774), which the author revised just before his death, this poem was amongst the matter omitted. Goldsmith has translated, or rather imitated, only about the fore-half of the Latin original. -Ed.)
WHAT! no way left to shun th' inglorious stage,
What in the name of dotage drives me here?
A time there was, when glory was my guide,
THE LOGICIANS REFUTED.
[IN IMITATION OF DEAN SWIFT.]
[First appeared in the · Busy Body,' No. 5, Oct. 18, 1759, where it is heralded by the statement that it is " an original poem by the late Dean Swift, communicated to the “Busy Body' by a nobleman of distinguished learning and taste.” It seems to have first appeared as the work of Goldsmith in Evans's edition of the Poems, 1780, where it got the sub-heading (which we put in brackets), “In imitation of Dean Swift." Percy and his successors have since included the poem in the • Works, though the doubt of its being by Goldsmith, caused by Faulkner's claiming it for Swift (as mentioned in the note below), has never been set at rest.-ED.]
LOGICIANS have but ill defined
As rational, the human kind : 2 1 This singularly happy imitation was adopted by Mr. Faulkner, the Dublin publisher of Swift, as a genuine poem by that author, and as such it has been reprinted in almost every successive edition of the Dean's works. Even Sir Walter Scott has fallen into the same mistake, and has inserted this piece, without any remark, in his excellent edition of Swift's ‘Works' published in 1814.-B. [It also appears in Scott's second edition, 1824.1-ED.
2 So in · Busy Body'edition. Nearly all the editors have substituted “mind” for “ kind.”_ED..
REASON, they say, belongs to man,
1 Smiglecius, a Polish logician: died 1618.—ED.
Busy Body' edition reads “reason-boasting mortal's pride.”—ED. 3 So in Busy Body. The editors make the word Bob, and annotate it as a reference to Sir Robert Walpole. This no doubt is right, whether the piece was written by Goldsmith or Swift, though Walpole was the contemporary of Swift, and not of Goldsmith.-ED.