1765 ENGLISH POETRY 1579-1830: SPENSER AND THE TRADITION

Rev. Charles Churchill

Edward Cooper, in The Elbow-Chair (1765) 26-27.



I take my pipe now at the stated time,
And THOUGHT (mean while the curls of smoke arise
Around my head) delights to take its fill.
These sports of childhood innocent appear,
And him, whose life no fouler stains disgrace,
I will absolve: when silver'd o'er with age,
Then peevish discontent too oft attends
The step of years: yet cheerful may I steer
My future life, with Churchill's fortune blest:
And tho' so small a pittance, shall I sin
With vile repinings at the hand of God?
Curst be the thought! — Unhappy Charles, thou wast:
And yet a blessing to Britannia's isle.
Thy thoughts were noble; but thy ill spent life,
Ruin'd the fabric of thy fair-built fame.
Farewel thou meteor that alarm'd the globe,
Thy blaze was dreadful, but thy time was short.
Adieu once more! I bid a long adieu;
And cast at Freedom's shrine a pensive eye.
The age is wicked, and the back of vice
Deserves those lashes, that thy pen could give.
Was this the real cause, my honour then
Acquits thee of the charge: but if the thirst
Of dire ambition, haughtiness, and pride,
Th' eccentric mind push'd on to seek its bane;
Then thy cold ashes will I oft reproach;
And Freedom shall not own thee for thy son.
Some future bard its history shall tell
Impartial, how it was: for sober thought
Scarce credits once the mobile's mad'ning roar.