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FATE gave the word; the cruel arrow sped; And POPE lies number'd with the mighty dead! Resign'd he fell; superior to the dart,
That quench'd its rage in YOURS and BRITAIN'S heart:
You mourn; but BRITAIN, lull'd in rest profound, (Unconscious BRITAIN !) slumbers o'er her wound. Exulting Dulness eyed the setting light,
And flapp'd her wing, impatient for the night;
Roused at the signal, Guilt collects her train,
And counts the triumphs of her growing reign; 10
With inextinguishable rage they burn,
And snake-hung ENVY hisses o'er his urn;
Th' envenom'd monsters spit their deadly foam,
To blast the laurel that surrounds his tomb.
But you, O WARBURTON! whose eye refined 15
Can see the greatness of an honest mind;
Can see each virtue and each grace unite,
And taste the raptures of a pure delight;
You visit oft his awful page with care,
And view that bright assemblage treasured there
You trace the chain that links his deep design,
And pour new lustre on the glowing line.
Yet deign to hear the efforts of a Muse,
Whose eye, not wing, his ardent flight pursues:
Intent from this great archetype to draw
SATIRE'S bright form, and fix her equal law; Pleased if from hence th' unlearn'd may compre
And reverence HIS and SATIRE's generous end.
In every breast there burns an active flame, The love of glory, or the dread of shame : 30 The passion ONE, though various it appear, As brighten'd into hope, or dimm'd by fear. The lisping infant, and the hoary sire,
And youth and manhood feel the heart-born fire: The charms of praise the coy, the modest, woo, 35 And only fly that glory may pursue :
She, power resistless, rules the wise and great; Bends even reluctant hermits at her feet; Haunts the proud city, and the lowly shade, And sways alike the sceptre and the spade.
Thus Heaven in pity wakes the friendly flame,
To urge mankind on deeds that merit fame :
But man, vain man, in folly only wise,
Rejects the manna sent him from the skies;
With rapture hears corrupted Passion's call,
Still proudly prone to mingle with the stall.
As each deceitful shadow tempts his view,
He for the imaged substance quits the true;
Eager to catch the visionary prize,
In quest of glory, plunges deep in vice;
Till madly zealous, impotently vain,
He forfeits every praise he pants to gain.
Thus still imperious NATURE plies her part,
And still her dictates work in every heart.
Each power that sovereign Nature bids enjoy, 55
may corrupt, but man can ne'er destroy.
Like mighty rivers, with resistless force
The passions rage, obstructed in their course;
Swell to new heights, forbidden paths explore,
And drown those virtues which they fed before. 60
And sure, the deadliest foe to virtue's flame,
Our worst of evils is perverted shame.
Beneath this load what abject numbers groan,
Th' entangled slaves to folly not their own!
Meanly by fashionable fear oppress'd
We seek our virtues in each other's breast;
Blind to ourselves, adopt each foreign vice,
Another's weakness, interest, or caprice.
Each fool to low ambition, poorly great,
That pines in splendid wretchedness of state; 70
Tired in the treacherous chase, would nobly yield,
And, but for shame, like SYLLA, quit the field :
The demon Shame paints strong the ridicule,
And whispers close," The world will call you fool."
Ver. 80. To man a coward, &c.]
Vois tu ce Libertin en public intrépide,
Qui prêche contre un Dieu que dans son ame il croit?
Il iroit embrasser la vérité qu'il voit;
Behold yon wretch, by impious fashion driven, 75 Believes and trembles while he scoffs at Heaven. By weakness strong, and bold through fear alone, He dreads the sneer by shallow coxcombs thrown; Dauntless pursues the path Spinoza trod; To man a coward, and a brave to God.
Faith, Justice, Heaven itself now quit their
When to false fame the captived heart is sold:
Hence, blind to truth, relentless Cato died;
Nought could subdue his virtue, but his pride.
Hence chaste Lucretia's innocence betray'd
Fell by that honour which was meant its aid.
Thus Virtue sinks beneath unnumber'd woes,
When Passions, born her friends, revolt her foes.
Hence SATIRE's power: 'tis her corrective part,
To calm the wild disorders of the heart.
She points the arduous height where Glory lies,
And teaches mad Ambition to be wise;
In the dark bosom wakes the fair desire,
Draws good from ill, a brighter flame from fire;
Strips black Oppression of her gay disguise,
And bids the hag in native horror rise;
Strikes towering Pride, and lawless Rapine dead,
And plants the wreath on Virtue's awful head.
Nor boasts the Muse a vain imagined power, Tho' oft she mourn those ills she cannot cure. 100 The worthy court her, and the worthless fear; Who shun her piercing eye, that eye revere. Her awful voice the vain and vile obey, And every foe to wisdom feels her sway.
Smarts, pedants, as she smiles, no more are vain ; Desponding fops resign the clouded cane:
Mais de ses faux amis il craint la raillerie,
Et ne brave ainsi Dieu que par poltronnerie.
Hush'd at her voice, pert Folly's self is still,
And Dulness wonders while she drops her quill.
Like the arm'd BEE, with art most subtly true,
From poisonous vice she draws a healing dew. 110
Weak are the ties that civil arts can find,
To quell the ferment of the tainted mind:
Cunning evades, securely wrapp'd in wiles;
And Force, strong sinew'd, rends th' unequal toils:
The stream of vice impetuous drives along, 115
Too deep for policy, for power too strong.
Even fair Religion, native of the skies,
Scorn'd by the crowd, seeks refuge with the wise;
The crowd with laughter spurns her awful train,
And Mercy courts, and Justice frowns in vain. 120
But SATIRE'S shaft can pierce the harden'd breast:
She plays a ruling passion on the rest;
Undaunted storms the battery of his pride,
And awes the Brave that earth and heaven defied.
When fell Corruption by her vassals crown'd, 125
Derides fall'n Justice prostrate on the ground,
Swift to redress an injured people's groan,
Bold SATIRE shakes the tyrant on her throne;
Powerful as Death, defies the sordid train,
And slaves and sycophants surround in vain. 130
Ver. 110. From poisonous vice, &c.] Alluding to these lines of Mr. Pope:
In the nice bee what art so subtly true
From poisonous herbs extracts a healing dew?