Appendix A


 

The 2nd Satyre of Juvenal Imitated May 1801

 

This is the first attempt I ever made in Poetry. Transcribed August 8th.

Since fools the road to sacred wisdom teach
And dare to mimick arts they cannot reach
Consume their lives in drunkenness and lust
Yet gravely cry, be honest wise and just
I wish to fly beyond the Caspian waves                                        5
Where simple nature dire corruption braves
Should one of these great Toland’s works explore
Examine Hobbe or read Sir Thomas More
Compose a dogg’rel song in praise of stews
Or with envenom’d tongue the church abuse                              10
A man of knowledge this above belief
His brother blockheads hail him as their chief
     No confidence is due to outward show
For Bolingbroke tho’ wise was virtue’s foe
In ev’ry street with scourges in their hands                                 15
With madness rage Philosophers in bands
They lash, they pity this vile sinful age
But secretly in all its crimes engage
     None but the good should wickedness chastise
Vice stands abash’d before the good and wise                           20
E’n Villains hear when Addison reproves
His pious life with all his precepts moves
But when brisk Stanhope talks of honor pure
In faith cries Rose this Stanhope keeps a whore
John Bull derides the negroes sable skin                                     25
For what? because his own is white and thin
But where’s the merit God both colours gave
Merit, says John, this ugly dog’s a slave
Did petty thieves rapacious Hastings grieve
Or murderers provoke the cruel Clive                                        30
Did Rochester adulterers accuse
Or silly Halley cowardice abuse
Did Cromwel’s friends his haughty edicts blame
Or bland Sir Robert curse corruption’s name
All might exclaim that ocean earth and sky                                 35
Asunder torn in wild confusion fly
Shall such the puny guilt of others spurn
Yet still with lust and proud ambition burn
Shall such the sword of awful justice draw
But still contemn divine and human law                                       40
     The censor grave with melancholy face
To Covent garden walks with measur’d pace
You scorn he says our holy chaste decree
It sleeps and thus impurity goes free
The hostess answers with a cunning leer                                     45
O happy happy times beyond compeer
Vice now must fail and virtue stand erect
Since Cato’s come our manners to correct
But Prithee Friend! what’s this perfumes the air?
What! unguents sweet and powder in your hair                          50
And clothes of silk embroider’d o’er with lace
Where bought you these? don’t blush but tell the place
So you came here with that censorial frown
More softly dress’d than any girl in town
Still if you wish to put the laws in force                                       55
Be wise in time and take another course
Turn to the men their actions scrutinize
Condemn their crimes and mark each mean disguise
With eager haze you run our faults to scan
But slip the greater crimes of perjur’d man                                 60
They closely join from all attack secure
And fenc’d by numbers mock your humble pow’r
Do we ambition’s cursed claims defend
Or seizing arms as cannibals contend
Do we spread death and ruin through the land                            65
Cities raze or arm the assassin’s hand
Do we presume to falsify the laws
Or forge base lies to gain an impious cause
Do we purloin the Orphan’s scanty dow’r
Lone Widows cheat or grind the wretched poor                         70
But men by softness lur’d our tasks invade
And lost to shame the lives of women lead
For torn smocks with awkwardness they patch
And carefully their fine complexions watch
Each hindrance from the raven you remove                                75
And fix your talons on the harmless dove
     Thus keenly press’d our censor trembling flies
For lewd Laronia scorns to publish lies
What shall the Rabble do when such presume
To mount the pulpit cover’d with perfume                                  80
And you’re a sage with that effeminate dress
That broken voice and that red drunken face?
Hold cries the censor this is sultry june
I burn, I burn so wear a lighter gown
Were you insane Sir naked you might run                                   85
With less disgrace all can a madman shun
Yet to the wond’ring people you dare preach
Against the very sins your actions teach
"My dearest friends beware of treach’rous wine
"Contented be nor at your lot repine                                          90
"The Gods revere and with contrition pray
"Their blessing to protect you night and day
"True virtue prize your neighbours failings hide
"Contract your wants and fly from haughty pride
Th’ admiring rabble with attention hear                                       95
Till one replies what sloth and softness here
The faults of others you severely blame
What of your own. Of them you think no shame
To us you say be neither mean nor vain
And let your dress be decent neat and plain                             100
But when a censor walks in splendid clothes
Drinks, games and cheats or laughs at breaking oaths.
At him you wink. Who shall a censor chide?
The vile alone can holy saints deride
With many words for virtue you contend                                  105
But whose so base as censors honest friend
When one poor sheep th’ infectious rot invades
Through all the flock the dire contagion spreads
     From good to ill we step by step advance
For none supremely wicked are at once.                                  110
When first we tell a lie to varnish wrong
We blushing stand it trembles on our tongue
When first our conscience says from vice refrain
We start repent resolve and sin again,
Till lur’d at last our conscience falls asleep                                115
Low sink our souls and guardian angels weep
Truth now we mock, the laws of honor brave
And proudly strut, tho sunk beneath the slave
Pleas’d with our progress candidates for fame
To know the holy mys’tries next we claim                                120
The Devil’s sons with joy admittance give
From thence (say they) you shall begin to live
Friends let us be the pinnacles of vice
Crowds shall adore and bless your manly choice
The sons of darkness always hate the light                                125
Hence all the charms begin at dead of night
High sits Sir George a Goblet in his hand
Drink blood he cries. Catyllo gives command
The mighty cup he fills up to the brim
With pride deceit vile wantonness and whim                             130
The vot’ries drink then kiss the gloomy shrine
And mark their foreheads with the Devil’s sign
Discourse if chaste our brilliant circles flies
And ev’ry table temperance decries
Ev’n Priests indulge in Gluttony and wine                                 135
Love lewd discourse and basely in it join
For see that hoary priest with cough oppress’d
Vociferates with glee the smutty jest
     What horrid wonders shall excite our hate
If not the crimes the wicked perpetrate                                    140
Riches and pleasure young and old inflame
To further these is glory never shame
     This basness whence O Glorious Alfred say
Disclose the source of virtues strange decay
The great neglect when young their nerves to brace                  145
With hardy toil it spoils their hand and face
If such you ask to join in marshal sport
Your pardon Sir I’m hast’ning to the court
Or business calls tomorrow near the Mall
What business Sir? Dear Taro or a ball                                    150
Pray do not ask its honest Jack’s design
A wife to marry after which we dine
His bosom friends he calls with front to swear
That his estate’s 6 thousand pounds a year
’Tis long since spent tho’ wisely kept in view                            155
And you might add his constitution too
Pah what of that, her portion is immense
We all go sneaks the oath’s a mere pretence
     Our noble youth their worthy sires disgrace
And fly the house to Jockey at a race                                       160
That puny Lord so spruce and gaily drest
Riches and honor from his birth possessed
Of equal rank with Sidney Pit or Hood
But lost to honor insolent and proud
What would brave Sidney say of such a son                             165
To spoil the brilliant laurels he had won
Of wealth he cries I have a damn’d good store
Why should I labour then to purchase more
But Glory Sir your Sires great honor got
Be silent fool they were not worth a groat                                170
Be glory other’s aim but pleasure mine
To drink to whore to gamble and to dine
When’er I wish to celebrate my name
I’ll make the rabble talk for that’s the same
This to fulfill needs very little care                                             175
For on the stage I’ll brake some earthen ware
     It’s virtue now of villainy to boast
And why? because our principles are lost
There is no future state the young declare
The old assent with hesitating fear                                            180
Let priests alone for heaven and hell contend
Here we begin our lives and here they end
All virtue’s false the hypocrite’s disguise,
A Silly phantom scorned by the wise
What did Newton think and Pious Lock                                  185
Immortal Ralaigh fearless at the block
What Glorious Wolfe on field of battle won
And equal to them all great Addison.
These men believ’d tho’ wiser far than you
The Devil himself believes and trembles too                              190
Consider fools your reason exercise
Nor let your minds these sacred truths despise
     Stern war we wage Asia’s farther shore
The Carribees we stain with reeking gore
But where’s the nation whether foe or friend                            195
That in corruption can with us contend
Our youth quite lost to dignity and shame
Have nothing manly but the empty name

Editor’s Note: Only this poem (in its original unpunctuated form) has been included from the section of Strachan’s Note Book entitled "Translations and Humble Imitations." Translations of odes by the Greek lyric poet Anacreon (563-478 BC) appear with a note indicating they were sent to a Miss Stuart on April 6, 1802. Strachan writes: "If the perusal of these give Miss Stuart any satisfaction he can only claim the merit of giving them an English dress."


 

Appendix B

To Mr. J. Strachan by Mr. Cl. Bayley

1

O thou around whose social hearth
Of hospitable ease,
I late enjoyed the friendly glow,
That emulates to please.

2

How vainly would my youthful muse,   5
Her utmost pow’rs combine,
And sing responsive to the strain
That emanates from thine!

3

Yet still, regardless of the forms
That guide the hand of art,                 10
True gratitude, like nature, bursts,
Unlabour’d from the heart.

4

Accept then every generous wish
For happiness below,
That thy contented soul can hope,      15
Or bounteous Heaven bestow.

5

Still mayst thou keep thy Saviour’s flocks,
Reclaim the lambs that stray,
Point to the realms beyond the tomb,
"And lead thyself the way."                20

6

Still may thy dawn of learning break
On thy Canadian charge,
Their infant faults, with love, correct,
Their embryo worth enlarge.

7

May Science still, beneath thy roof,    25
Her ample page enroll,
And myriads of the "mighty dead"
Hold converse with thy soul.

For ev’n retirement to the wise
Admits of social joys,                        30
Nor can that man be e’er alone,
Whom Nature’s God employs.

9

Yet oh! may one, one more delight
Around thy comforts rise,
Which beyond every earthly bliss,      35
Experience bids me prize;

10

May some "Corinna" soon be found
To cheer thy pensive hour,
Enhancing even life itself,
With love’s resistless power.             40

11

From charities like hers may each
Domestic rapture spring,
Till she and thou again shall soar
On one celestial wing.

CB hopes Mr. Strachan will excuse imperfections as the above was composed on board the batteaux this morning and obliged to be written with a pencil. Sunday June 22nd 1806.


Editor’s Note: This poem appears in the final pages of Strachan’s manuscript notebook, and is written in another hand, presumably that of Cornwall Bayley. Bayley returned to England in October 1806, but he had clearly enjoyed Strachan’s hospitality in Cornwall in June of that year. The copy of Bayley’s long poem Canada in the Library of Parliment in Ottawa is inscribed to the "Rev. J. Strachan—with the Author’s respects" and contains, on the back of the title page, a poem to Bayley by Strachan, dated May 21, 1806, three days after Bayley’s marriage to Helen Eliza Jones, the daughter of a prominent Montreal doctor (Bentley Canada xlii). According to tradition, the Greek poet Pindar (518-432 BC) was given literary advice by a woman named Corinna who was a popular poet of the day. As Bentley points out, these poems indicate the presence of an "intimate community of writers and readers of poetry in the Canadas in the early years of the nineteenth century," a community that was "proud of its poetic achievements and geographic distinctiveness" (Canada xliii), and of which Strachan was a central and influential member.

                  To the Author
How sweet to view th’opning rose
While round its virgin odour flows
Bur sweeter far to mark the force
Of Genius in its youthful course.
Bright youth proceed the fav’ring nine
To thee no common pow’r assign
And lest thy glowing thoughts o’erleap
The bounds that Taste and Nature keep
A sweet Corinna guides thy light
Like her who chasten’d Pindar’s flight.