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In mirth be temp'rate, temp'rate in her spleen;
her Grace a――:
The Muse's charms resistless then assail,
When wrapt in Irony's transparent veil :
Her beauties half conceal'd, the more surprise, 265 And keener lustre sparkles in her eyes.
Then be your line with sharp encomiums grac'd:
Dart not on Folly an indignant eye:
Nay more: when flagrant crimes your laughter move,
When Folly feels her smile, and Vice her frown.
Know next what Measures to each Theme belong, And suit your thoughts and numbers to your song: On wing proportion'd to your quarry rise, And stoop to earth, or soar among the skies, Thus when a modish folly you rehearse, Free the expression, simple be the verse. In artless numbers paint th' ambitious Peer That mounts the box, and shines a Charioteer : In strains familiar sing the midnight toil Of Camps and Senates disciplin'd by Hoyle; Patriots and Chiefs, whose deep design invades And carries off the captive King of Spades! Let SATIRE here in milder vigour shine, And gaily graceful sport along the line;
Bid courtly fashion quit her thin pretence,
Not so when Virtue by her Guards betray'd, Spurn'd from her Throne, implores the Muse's aid : When crimes, which erst in kindred darkness lay, Rise frontless, and insult the eye of day; Indignant Hymen veils his hallow'd fires, And white-rob'd Chastity with tears retires; When rank Adultery on the genial bed Hot from Cocytus rears her baleful head : When private Faith and public Trust are sold, And Traitors barter Liberty for Gold: When fell Corruption dark and deep, like fate, Saps the foundation of a sinking State : When Giant-Vice and Irreligion rise,
On mountain'd falsehoods to invade the skies:
On eagle-wing she gains Parnassus' height,
Then keener indignation fires her eye;
Then flash her lightnings, and her thunders fly;
Yet SATIRE oft assumes a gentler mien,
With joy she sees the stream of Roman art
Truth be your guide: disdain Ambition's call; 335 And if you fall with Truth, you greatly fall. "Tis Virtue's native lustre that must shine;
The Poet can but set it in his line:
And who unmov'd with laughter can behold
A sordid pebble meanly grac'd with gold?
Nor think the Muse by SATIRE's Law confin'd:
She yields description of the noblest kind.
And paint the purple ev'ning in the line:
Now with a touch more sacred and refin'd, 355
And wake each striking feature into life.
THROUGH Ages thus has SATIRE keenly shin'd, The Friend to Truth, to Virtue, and Mankind: Yet the bright flame from Virtue ne'er had sprung, And Man was guilty ere the Poet sung. This Muse in silence joy'd each better Age, Till glowing crimes had wak'd her into rage. Truth saw her honest spleen with new delight, And bade her wing her shafts, and urge their flight. First on the Sons of Greece she prov'd her art, And Sparta felt the fierce IAMBIC dart.' TO LATIUM next, avenging SATIRE flew : The flaming faulchion rough LUCILIUS drew; With dauntless warmth in Virtue's cause engag'd, And conscious Villains trembled as he rag'd.
Then sportive HORACE3 caught the gen'rous fire; For SATIRE's bow resign'd the sounding lyre: 376 Each arrow polish'd in his hand was seen, And, as it grew more polish'd, grew more keen. His art conceal'd in study'd negligence, Politely sly, cajol'd the foes of sense:
1 "Archilochum proprio rabies armavit Iambo." Hor.
"Ense velut stricto quoties Lucilius ardens Infremuit, rubet auditor, cui frigida mens est Criminibus, tacita sudant præcordia culpa." Juv. S. i.
"Omne vafer vitium ridenti Flaccus amico Tangit, et admissus circum præcordia ludit,
Callidus excusso populum suspendere naso."-Pers. S. i.