Poetical recreations consisting of original poems, songs, odes, &c. with several new translations : in two parts
Barker, Jane.
Page  67

A SATYR, In Answer to the SATYR against MAN.

WEre I a Sp'rit, to chuse for my own share,
What case of Flesh and Blood I'd please to wear,
I'd be the same that to my joy I am,
One of those brave and glorious Creatures, Man;
Who is from Reason justly nam'd the bright
And perfect Image of the Infinite:
Reason's Mankind's Prerogative, no less
Their Nature's honour, than their happiness:
With which alone, the meanest Creature blest,
Were truly styl'd the Lord of all the rest;
Whence Man makes good his Title to the Throne,
And th' whole Creation his Dominion own.
Whence he o'er others, and himself presides,
As safe from Errour as Ten thousand Guides:
Page  68Through Doubt's distracting Lab'rinths it directs,
And all the subtil Windings there detects.
As safely steers through Life's wide Ocean,
As Skilful Pilates through the boundless Main;
It shews here Scylla, there Charybdi lyes,
And between both securely leads the Wise;
VVho Quick-sands, Rocks & Gulfs supinely braves,
A desp'rate Fool may perish in the Waves;
VVho mad and heedless wou'd his Guide refuse
Can't blame that reason which he cannot use.
He that will close, or leave his Eyes behind,
Shou'd not accuse his Eyes, because they're blind.
If knowingly, vain Man, his Iourney makes
Through Error's fenny Bogs, and thorny Brakes,
And craggy, steep, untrodden Paths he takes;
'Tis down-right Nonsence then to look upon
His Errors (Nature's Imperfection,)
And all Mankind endite with a wrong Bill,
Which reaches not his Nature, but his Will.
Besides, it's better reason to infer,
That is most perfect, which can mostly Err;
The Hound that's fam'd for far more politick Nose,
Than Men in Parliament or Coffee-house;
Page  69Than Country-Iustice, or Old Caesar's Horses,
A Consul's made for's Skill in State-affairs;
Who closest Plots can scent and spoil alone,
With as much ease as he devours a Bone:
Iowler the Wise the plodding Iowler is,
Oft at a fault, and oft his Hare doth miss;
While through unerring-paths a Stone descends,
And still arrives at that tow'rds which it tends.
If therefore those are wisest which attain
By surest means the Ends at which they aim:
The latter, doubtless, will be wiser found,
Though this is but a Stone, th' other a Hound.
So much for Reason, th' next Attempt's for Man,
For him I must defend, and him I can.
Well then: Man is compos'd of Cruelty and Fear,
From these his great, and his best Actions are;
The charge runs high, and deeply Man's arraign'd,
His Blood is poyson'd, and his Nature stain'd.
But I shall make it straight with ease appear,
That the brisk accusation's too severe;
For undertaking to disparage him,
They leave their Text, and make the Beast their Theme.
Page  70And first the Fears that trouble him within,
Proceed not from his Nature, but his Sin;
Which, like pale Ghosts, while they the Murth'rer haunt,
Do cramp his Soul, and all his Courage daunt.
Frame gastly Fantomes in his guilty Mind,
Frightfull above, below, before, behind:
If in the House, alas the House will fall;
If in the Street, each is a tot'ring Wall;
If in the Fields, what if the Poles shou'd crack,
And the vast Orbs come tumbling on his back?
A Bird, a Wasp, a Beetle, and a Fly,
With no small dread approach his trembling Eye;
For lately 'tis evinc'd, all Creatures are
No less than Man, in the wild state of War;
VVhich long ago the wary Emp'rour knew,
VVho hostile flies, with Princely Valour slew.
Is he alone? he startles when he sees
His moving shadow, and his shadow flees.
For who can evidence but that may be
No meer privation, but an Enemy?
So when alone a tim'rous Wretch is scar'd,
And when he's not, he's fearfull of his Guard.
Page  71VVhat shall he do? or whither shall he fly?
VVho durst not live, and yet he durst not dye:
Say you who e'er have felt those painfull stabs;
Say wretched Nero, or more wretched Hobbs.
Guilt is of all, and always is afraid,
From fear to fear successively betray'd;
'Tis guilt alone breeds cow'rdise and distrust,
For all Men wou'd be Valiant if they durst;
Those only can't, who swear, and whore, and cheat,
And sell their Honour at the cheapest rate:
Whom brawling Surfeits, Drunkenness and Claps;
Hurry on head-long to the Grave perhaps:
Such some call Devils, but we think the least,
And therefore kindly head them with the best.
Chuse they themselves whose Case they'll please to wear,
The Case of Dog, the Monkey, or the Bear.
So far, I doubt not, but you'll find it clear,
He's no true Man, who's thus compos'd of Fear:
He o'er whose Actions Reason doth preside,
Who makes the radiant Light his constant Guide;
Vain fear can never o'er his Mind prevail,
Integrity to him's a Coat of Mail;
Page  72Of Vertues and of Honesty possest,
Against all ills h'as trebly arm'd his Breast:
Steel, Bras, and Oak, are but a weak defence,
Compar'd to firm-resolved Innocence.
This makes the Champion, 'midst the Bloody Field,
Bolder than he who ore the sev'n-fold Shield,
To brave the World, and all the dangers there,
Though Heav'n, Air, Sea & Land all constant were.
As unconcern'd as were the Forrest Oak,
He feels the Lightning, and the Thunder-stroak:
He meets the Lyon, and the Ragged Bear,
With a great mind that never stoop'd to fear.
If the Winds blow, they spend their Breath in vain,
Tho' they enrage and swell their boist'rous Main.
Till Waves arise, and foaming Billows rowl,
For calm in spight of Tempest is his Soul;
And Syren-like he sings amongst the Storms:
The brave can dye, but can receive no harms.
But Men are cruel: no, they're never so
While they continue Men, not Monsters grow:
But when degen'rate, they their pow'r employ,
Not to preserve their kind, but to destroy.
Page  73When once unnat'ral, they themselves engage
In Blood and Rapine, Cruelty and Rage.
Then Beasts on Beasts with greater Mercy prey,
The rav'nous Tygers are less fierce than they.
The greatest Good abus'd, turns greatest Evil,
And so fall'n Lucifer became a Devil.
But who'd not therefore Blessed Michael be,
'Cause Devils are Angels too as well as he?
Or else to instance in their proper sphere,
Pale and corrupted Wine turns Vinegar,
Will they beyond it therefore praise small Beer?
While they debauch't, are to each other Fiends,
True Men are good unto themselves and Friends.
Whose kindness, affability and Love,
Make these aboad below, like those above:
Good without self, and without fawning kind,
And own no Greatness but a Vertuous Mind:
Grave, Learned, Noble, Valorous and Wise;
High without pride, and meek without disguise.
Having at large compleated our defence,
We will in short describe the Men of Sence.
And first their Prowess, next their Learning shew;
Lastly their Wit, and then we'll let them go:
Page  74"For that which fools the World, Religion,
"Your pains are sav'd, because the Wise have none
Here Hell's great Agent Hobbs i'th' front appears
Trembling beneath a load of guilt and fears:
The Devil's Apostle sent to preach up Sin,
And so convert the debauch'd World to him;
Whom Pride drew in as Cheats, their Bubbles catch,
And made him venture to be made a Wretch.
Hobbs, Natures pest, unhappy England's shame,
Who damns his Soul to get himself a Name.
The Resolute Villain from a proud desire,
Of being Immortal, leaps into the fire:
Nor can the Caitiff miss his desp'rate aim,
Whose luscious Doctrine Proselytes will gain,
(Though 'tis sufficiently absurd, and vain)
Whilst proud, ill-natur'd, lustfull Men remain.
And that's as long as Heav'n and Earth endure;
This th'Halter once, but nothing now can cure.
Next him his learn'd and wise Disciples view,
Persons of signal parts, and honour too,
As the ensuing Catalogue will shew.
Page  75Huffs, Fops, Gamesters, Highway-Men, and Players,
Bawds, Pimps, Misses, Gallants, Grooms, Lacquies, and Pages;
Such as the Poet justly thought a crime,
To place in Verse, or grace them with a Rhime.
But now methinks I see towards me Iig,
Huge Pantaloons and hufing Periwig;
With Hat and gaudy Feather o'er it spread,
And underneath looks something like a Head.
Bless me! what is this Antick shape? I can
Believe it any thing besides a Man:
But such it is, for I no sooner ask,
But he bears up, and takes me thus to task.
The Devil—straight down drop I,
And my weak under-hearted Friend that's by:
A Fiend broke loose, cry'd he, I fear him worse,
He shou'd a Hobbist be by th'size of's Curse.
Plague—for a peevish snarling Curr;
Mercy, I cry your Mercy, dreadfull Sir;
For a Broad-side these Weapons fitter are,
Three wou'd at least sink a Dutch Man of War.
These are the Sparks, who friends with stabs do greet,
And bravely Murther the next Man they meet;
Page  76With boldness break a sturdy Drawer's pate,
If the Wine's bad, or Reck'ning is too great.
Kill a poor Bell-man, and with his own Bell,
'Tis a rare jest to ring the Rascal's Knell:
Cry, Dam you to a Dog that takes the Wall,
And for th' affront the ill-bred Cur must fall:
Swear at a Coach-man, and his Horses kill,
To send th' uncivil Sons of Whores to Hell.
Upon a rude and justling Sign-post draw,
Though the fam'd Champion George look't down and saw.
Assault Glass-windows, which like Crystal Rock,
Had firmly stood the sharp impetuous shock
Of Twenty Winters, and despis'd their pow'r,
Yet can't withstand their matchless Rage one hour.
From all th' Atchievements of Romantick Knights,
Their bold Encounters and heroick Fights;
One only Parallel to this is brought,
When furious Don the Gyant Windmill fought.
Oh that this Age some Homer wou'd afford!
Who might these deeds in deathless Verse record.
Here wou'd his large Poetick Soul obtain
A subjet worthy his immortal vein;
Page  77Where greater deeds wou'd his great Muse employ,
Than when she sang the tedious Siege of Troy.
Then stout Achilles, Ajax, Diomede,
The future Ages with contempt wou'd read;
Despise their Name, and undeserv'd Renown,
Who Ten years spent to win a paultry Crown;
For War-like boldness, and Advent'rous deeds,
The Camp of Venus that of Mars exceeds.
'Tis an Exploit, no doubt, that's nobler far
T'attempt the Dangers of a Female War;
Where in vast numbers, resolute and bold,
Viragoes fight for Honour, and for Gold;
And with unweary'd Violence oppose
The fiercest Squadrons of assaulting Foes;
With just such weapons, and such courage too,
Did war-like Amazons their Men subdue,
Such venom'd Arrows from their Quiver flew.
Next we'll describe, from a few gen'ral hints,
Their usual Learning, and Accomplishments.
In the starch't Notions of the Hat and Knee,
T' excell them, they defie the bravest He.
How long they cringe, when within doors they greet,
And when y' accoast one in the open Street.
Page  78VVhether a Lady led must have the Wall;
And if there's none, which Hand to lead withall.
Which of the two the House first enters in,
And then which first shou'd the vain prate begin.
VVhen three full hours, without one word of sense,
They'll talk you on genteel impertinence;
And all shall be surprizing Complement,
And each shall have at least five Madams in't;
Besides the Courtish A-la-modish He,
Intriegue Divine, and pleasant Repartee.
Ladies of Pleasure, they from Honour know,
By the Hood-knot, and the loose Gestico:
They'll tell exactly, if her temper Red
Be bounteous Nature's gift, or borrowed.
Descry a Beauty through her Mask and Shroud,
Call her a Sun that's got behind a Cloud.
The vigour of those fopperies I lose
For want of breeding, but you must excuse
For this a Clownish, rude and Cloyster'd Muse.
Nor must we all their Acts of Lust forget,
In Excellence surpassing any yet:
For Lust's more beastly, and more num'rous too,
Than Nero's Pimp, Petronius, ever knew:
Page  79More than Albertus, or the Stagyrite,
Though both profoundly on the Subject write.
Now for their Wit.
They have one waggery the top o'th' rest,
VVhich we'll put first, because it is the best;
To cheat a Link-Boy of three-half pence pay,
By slily stealing through some blind back-way.
But what compleats the Iest, the Boy goes on,
Untill the place appointed he's upon,
Never suspects the cunning Hero's gone.
Having thus chous'd the Boy, and 'scap'd by flight, speed
He scarcely sleeps for laughing all the Night.
Tricks himself up th' next Morn, and hies with
To tell his Miss th' intriegue of what he did;
Who makes reply, 'Twas neatly done indeed.
Then he all Company do's tire and worry
For a whole week with that ridic'lous Story:
Last night I hapned at the Tavern late,
To be where five of these great Wits were sate,
And was so nigh as to o'er-hear their prate:
I dare to swear, that three amongst the five,
Were Woodcock, Ninney, and Sir Loslitive.
Had Shadwell heard them, he had stol'n from thence
A Second part of his Impertinence:
Page  80Prologues and Epilogues they did reherse,
With scraps and ends of stiff untoward Verse;
And strong Almansor Rants cull'd from the Plays
Of Goff and Settle, and great Poet-Bays.
An hour or two being spent in this discourse,
And all their store quite drein'd, they fall to worse;
T' applaud th' invention of a swinging Oath,
And better-humour'd Curse that fills the Mouth.
A Bawdy Iest commands the gen'ral Vogue,
And all admire and hug the witty Rogue.
And if you once but chance to break a Iest,
On the dull phlegmatick and formal Priest:
Or rather vent a Droll on Sacred Writ,
For th' more ingenious still, the better Wit.
If he can wrest a scrap to's present Theme,
And pretty often daringly blaspheme;
Oh, 'tis the Archest Rogue, the wittiest Thing,
He shall e'er long be Iester to the King:
He parallels the Thrice-renown'd Archee,
And he shail write a Book as well as He:
Nay more, Sir, he's an excellent Poet too,
He'll all the City Ballad-men out-doe;
Their formal high-bound Muse waits to expect,
When pensive Mony-wanters will contract
Page  81With Clov'n-foot Satan, or some wanton Maid,
In shape of Sweet-heart is by him betray'd.
Each common trivial humour of the City,
Fills him with Rapture, and creates a Ditty.
The bawlers of Small-coals, Brooms, Pins & Spoons,
Afford him matter to endite Lampoons.
If Sir Knight take a Purge a Tunbridge Waters,
He'll shew in rhime how oft, how far he Squatters.
In forty couples of Heroick Verse,
Express the features, and the springs of's A—.
Had Hopkins burlesqu'd David with design,
These Wits had styl'd his silly rhimes divine:
But since he did it with an honest Heart,
Tom Hopkins Muses are not worth a F—.
Certainly if the Dev'l struck up and sung,
After a pawse so many Ages long;
And play'd the Poet after once again,
Though in that old abominable strain,
He once deliver'd his dark Oracle;
'Twoud pass for Wit, because it came from Hell.
But being of Patience totally beret,
The Room and house in rage and haste I left.
Page  82Now sum up all their Courage, Wit, and then
Tell me if Reason will allow them Men;
Rather a large and handsome sort of Apes,
Whom Nature hath deny'd our Sulphur, giv'n our Shapes.
Such in hot Africk Travellers relate,
Mankind in folly only imitate.
But if a thing s' unlikely shou'd be true,
That they both wear our Shape and Nature too;
I'd live contented under any state,
Rather than prove so vain, absurd, degenerate:
An Owl, a Kite, a Serpent, or a Rat,
If a more hated thing, let me be that.
Let them laugh on, and site the thinking Fools
In Rev'rend Bedlam's Colledges and Schools.
When Men distracted do deride the Wise,
'Tis their concern to pity and despise;
Let me to Chains and Nakedness condemn'd,
My wretched life in frantick Bedlam spend;
There sigh, pick straws, or count my fingers o'er,
Weep, laugh, swagger, huff, quarrel, sing and roar;
Or with Noll's heav'nly Porter preach and pray,
Rather than live but half so mad as they.