Bedlam

— Major parcas Insane minori.

Where proud Augusta , blest with long Repose,
Her ancient Wall and ruin'd Bulwark shows;
Close by a verdant Plain, with graceful Height
A stately Fabric rises to the Sight.
Yet, though its Parts all elegantly shine,
And sweet Proportion crowns the whole Design;
Though Art, in strong expressive Sculpture shown,
Consummate Art informs the breathing Stone;
Far other Views than these Within appear,
And Woe and Horror dwell for ever Here.
For ever from the echoing Roofs rebounds
A dreadful Din of heterogeneous Sounds;
From This, from That, from ev'ry Quarter rise
Loud Shouts, and sullen Groans, and doleful Cries;
Heart-soft'ning Plaints demand the pitying Tear,
And Peals of hideous Laughter shock the Ear.
Thus, when in some fair Human Form we find
The Lusts all rampant, and the Reason blind,
Griev'd we behold such Beauty given in vain,
And Nature's fairest Work survey with Pain.
Within the Chambers which this Dome contains,
In all her frantic Forms Distraction reigns.
For when the Sense from various Objects brings,
Through Organs craz'd, the Images of Things;
Ideas, all extravagant and vain,
In endless Swarms croud in upon the Brain:
The cheated Reason True and False consounds,
And forms her Nations from fantastic Grounds.
Then, if the Blood impetuous swells the Veins,
And Choler in the Constitution reigns,
Outrageous Fury straight inflames the Soul,
Quick beats the Pulse, and fierce the Eyeballs roll;
Rattling his Chains the Wretch all raving lies,
And roars, and foams; and Earth and Heav'n defies.
Not so, when gloomy the black Bile prevails,
And lumpish Phlegm the thick'ned Mass congeals:
All lifeless then is the poor Patient found,
And sits for ever moping on the Ground;
His active Pow'rs their Uses all forgo,
Nor Senses, Tongue, nor Limbs their Functions know.
In Melancholy lost, the vital Flame
Informs, and just informs the listless Frame.
If brisk the circulating Tides advance,
And nimble Spirits through the Fibres dance,
Then all the Images delightful rise,
The tickled Fancy sparkles through the Eyes;
The Mortal, all to Mirth and Joy resign'd,
In ev'ry Gesture shews his freakish Mind;
Frolic and free, he laughs at Fortune's Pow'r,
And plays ten thousand Gambols in an Hour.
Now ent'ring in, my Muse, thy Theme pursue,
And all the Dome, and each Apartment view.
Within This lonely Lodge, in solemn Port,
A shiv'ring Monarch keeps his awful Court,
And far and wide, as boundless Thought can stray,
Extends a vast imaginary Sway.
Utopian Princes bow before his Throne,
Lands unexisting his Dominion own,
And airy Realms, and Regions in the Moon.
The Pride of Dignity, the Pomp of State,
The dazling Glories of the envy'd Great,
Rise to his View, and in his Fancy swell,
And Guards and Courtiers croud his empty Cell.
See how he walks majestic through the Throng!
(Behind he trails his tatter'd Robes along)
And cheaply blest, and innocently vain,
Enjoys the dear Delusion of his Brain,
In this small Spot expatiates unconfin'd,
Supreme of Monarchs, First of Human Kind.
Such joyful Ecstasy as this possest
On some triumphal Day great Caesar 's Breast;
Great Caesar , scarce beneath the Gods ador'd,
The World's proud Victor, Rome 's Imperial Lord,
With all his Glories in their utmost Height,
And all his Pow'r display'd before his Sight.
Unnumber'd Trophies grace the pompous Train,
And captive Kings indignant drag their Chain.
With laurell'd Ensigns glitt'ring from afar,
His Legions, glorious Part'ners of the War,
His conqu'ring Legions march behind the golden Car:
Whilst Shouts on Shouts from gather'd Nations rise,
And endless Acclamations rend the Skies.
For This to vex Mankind with dire Alarms,
Urging with rapid Speed his restless Arms,
From Clime to Clime the mighty Madman flew,
Nor tasted Quiet, nor Contentment knew,
But spread wild Ravage all the World abroad,
The Plague of Nations, and the Scourge of God.
Poor Cloe — whom Yon little Cell contains,
Of broken Vows and faithless Man complains:
Her heaving Bosom speaks her inward Woe;
Her Tears in melancholy Silence flow.
Yet still her fond Desires tumultuous rise,
Melt her sad Soul, and languish in her Eyes,
And form her wild Ideas as they rove,
To all the tender Images of Love;
And still she sooths and feeds the flatt'ring Pain,
False as he is, still, still she loves her Swain,
To hopeless Passion yields her Heart a Prey,
And sighs and sings the livelong Hours away.
So mourns th'imprison'd Lark his hapless Fate,
In Love's soft Season ravish'd from his Mate,
Fondly fatigues his unavailing Rage,
And hops and flutters round and round his Cage,
And moans and droops, with pining Grief opprest,
Whilst sweet Complainings warble from his Breast.
Lo! Here a Wretch to Avarice resign'd,
'Midst gather'd Scraps, and Shreds, and Rags confin'd;
His Riches these — for these he rakes and spares,
These rack his Bosom, these engross his Cares;
O'er these he broods, for ever void of Rest,
And hugs the sneaking Passion of his Breast.
See, from Himself the sordid Niggard steals,
Reserves large Scantlings from his slender Meals;
Scarce to his Bowels half their Due affords,
And starves his Carcase to increase his Hoards,
'Till to huge Heaps the treasur'd Offals swell,
And stink in ev'ry Corner of his Cell.
And thus with wondrous Wisdom he purveys
Against contingent Want, and rainy Days,
And scorns the Fools that dread not to be poor,
But eat their Morsel, and enjoy their Store.
Behold a Sage! immers'd in Thought profound:
For Science He, for various Skill renown'd.
At no mean Ends his Speculations aim,
(Vile Pelf he scorns, nor covets empty Fame)
The Public Good, the Welfare of Mankind
Employ the generous Labour of his Mind.
For this his rich Imagination teems
With rare Inventions and important Schemes;
All Day his close Attention he applies,
Nor gives he midnight Slumbers to his Eyes;
Content if this his toilsom Studies crown,
And for the World's Repose neglects his own.
All Nature's secret Causes he explores,
The Laws of Motion, and mechanic Pow'rs:
Hence ev'n the Elements his Art obey,
O'er Earth, o'er Fire, he spreads his wondrous Sway,
And through the liquid Sky, and o'er the wat'ry Way.
Hence, ever pregnant with some vast Design,
He drains the Moor-land, or he sinks the Mine,
Or levels lofty Mountains to the Plain,
Or stops the roaring Torrents of the Main;
Forc'd up by Fire he bids the Water rise,
And points its Course reverted to the Skies.
His ready Fancy still supplies the Means,
Forges his Tools, and fixes his Machines,
Erects his Sluices, and his Mounds sustains,
And whirls perpetual Windmills in his Brains.
All Problems has his lively Thought subdu'd,
Measur'd the Stars, and found the Longitude,
And squar'd the Circle, and the Tides explain'd:
The grand Arcanum once he had attain'd,
Had quite attain'd, but that a Pipkin broke,
And all his golden Hopes expir'd in Smoke.
And once, his Soul inflam'd with Patriot Zeal,
A Scheme he finish'd for his Country's Weal:
This in a private Conference made known,
A Statesman stole, and us'd it for his own,
And then, O Baseness! the Deceit to blind,
Our poor Projector in this Jayl confin'd.
The Muse forbears to visit ev'ry Cell,
Each Form, each Object of Distress to tell;
To shew the Fopling curious in his Dress,
Gayly trick'd out in gaudy Raggedness:
The Poet, ever wrapt in glorious Dreams
Of Pagan Gods, and Heliconian Streams:
The wild Enthusiast, that despairing sees
Predestin'd Wrath, and Heav'n's severe Decrees;
Thro' these, thro' more sad Scenes she grieves to go,
And paint the whole Variety of Woe.
Mean time, on These reflect with kind Concern,
And hence this just, this useful Lesson learn:
If strong Desires thy reasoning Pow'rs control;
If arbitrary Passions sway thy Soul;
If Pride, if Envy, if the Lust of Gain,
If wild Ambition in thy Bosom reign,
Alas! thou vaunt'st thy sober Sense in vain.
In these poor Bedlamites thy Self survey,
Thy Self, less innocently mad than They.
0
No votes yet

Reviews

No reviews yet.