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Poetical Works by Charles Churchill

Part 9 out of 9

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And hush to peace the tempest of my soul; 90
His judgment teach me, from the critic school,
How not to err, and how to err by rule;
Instruct me, mingle profit with delight,
Where Pope was wrong, where Shakspeare was not right;
Where they are justly praised, and where, through whim,
How little's due to them, how much to him.
Raised 'bove the slavery of common rules,
Of common-sense, of modern, ancient schools,
Those feelings banish'd which mislead us all,
Fools as we are, and which we Nature call, 100
He by his great example might impart
A better something, and baptize it Art;
He, all the feelings of my youth forgot,
Might show me what is taste by what is not;
By him supported, with a proper pride,
I might hold all mankind as fools beside;
He (should a world, perverse and peevish grown,
Explode his maxims and assert their own)
Might teach me, like himself, to be content,
And let their folly be their punishment; 110
Might, like himself, teach his adopted son,
'Gainst all the world, to quote a Warburton.
Fool that I was! could I so much deceive
My soul with lying hopes? could I believe
That he, the servant of his Maker sworn,
The servant of his Saviour, would be torn
From their embrace, and leave that dear employ,
The cure of souls, his duty and his joy,
For toys like mine, and waste his precious time,
On which so much depended, for a rhyme? 120
Should he forsake the task he undertook,
Desert his flock, and break his pastoral crook?
Should he (forbid it, Heaven!) so high in place,
So rich in knowledge, quit the work of grace,
And, idly wandering o'er the Muses' hill,
Let the salvation of mankind stand still?
Far, far be that from thee--yes, far from thee
Be such revolt from grace, and far from me
The will to think it--guilt is in the thought--
Not so, not so, hath Warburton been taught, 130
Not so learn'd Christ. Recall that day, well known,
When (to maintain God's honour, and his own)
He call'd blasphemers forth; methinks I now
See stern Rebuke enthroned on his brow,
And arm'd with tenfold terrors--from his tongue,
Where fiery zeal and Christian fury hung,
Methinks I hear the deep-toned thunders roll,
And chill with horror every sinner's soul,
In vain they strive to fly--flight cannot save.
And Potter trembles even in his grave-- 140
With all the conscious pride of innocence,
Methinks I hear him, in his own defence,
Bear witness to himself, whilst all men knew,
By gospel rules his witness to be true.
O glorious man! thy zeal I must commend,
Though it deprived me of my dearest friend;
The real motives of thy anger known,
Wilkes must the justice of that anger own;
And, could thy bosom have been bared to view,
Pitied himself, in turn had pitied you. 150
Bred to the law, you wisely took the gown,
Which I, like Demas, foolishly laid down;
Hence double strength our Holy Mother drew,
Me she got rid of, and made prize of you.
I, like an idle truant fond of play,
Doting on toys, and throwing gems away,
Grasping at shadows, let the substance slip;
But you, my lord, renounced attorneyship
With better purpose, and more noble aim,
And wisely played a more substantial game: 160
Nor did Law mourn, bless'd in her younger son,
For Mansfield does what Glo'ster would have done.
Doctor! Dean! Bishop! Glo'ster! and My Lord!
If haply these high titles may accord
With thy meek spirit; if the barren sound
Of pride delights thee, to the topmost round
Of Fortune's ladder got, despise not one
For want of smooth hypocrisy undone,
Who, far below, turns up his wondering eye,
And, without envy, sees thee placed so high: 170
Let not thy brain (as brains less potent might)
Dizzy, confounded, giddy with the height,
Turn round, and lose distinction, lose her skill
And wonted powers of knowing good from ill,
Of sifting truth from falsehood, friends from foes;
Let Glo'ster well remember how he rose,
Nor turn his back on men who made him great;
Let him not, gorged with power, and drunk with state,
Forget what once he was, though now so high,
How low, how mean, and full as poor as I. 180

* * * * *

_Caetera desunt_.

* * * * *

LINES WRITTEN IN WINDSOR PARK.

These verses appeared with Churchill's name to them in the London
Magazine for 1763, and there is no reason to doubt their being
genuine.

When Pope to Satire gave its lawful way,
And made the Nimrods of Mankind his prey;
When haughty Windsor heard through every wood
Their shame, who durst be great, yet not be good;
Who, drunk with power, and with ambition blind,
Slaves to themselves, and monsters to mankind,
Sinking the man, to magnify the prince,
Were heretofore, what Stuarts have been since:
Could he have look'd into the womb of Time,
How might his spirit in prophetic rhyme, 10
Inspired by virtue, and for freedom bold,
Matters of different import have foretold!
How might his Muse, if any Muse's tongue
Could equal such an argument, have sung
One William,[337] who makes all mankind his care,
And shines the saviour of his country there!
One William, who to every heart gives law;
The son of George, the image of Nassau!

* * * * *

Footnotes:

[337] 'William:' Duke of Cumberland--the Whig hero.

* * * * *

THE END.

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