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He seem'd to sport and trifle with the dart,
But while he sported, drove it to the heart.

In graver strains majestic PERSIUS wrote,
Big with a ripe exuberance of thought:
Greatly sedate, contemn'd a Tyrant's reign,
And lash'd Corruption with a calm disdain.
More ardent eloquence, and boundless rage,
Inflame bold JUVENAL'S exalted page,
His mighty numbers aw'd corrupted Rome,
And swept audacious Greatness to its doom;
The headlong torrent thund'ring from on high,
Rent the proud rock that lately brav'd the sky.
But lo! the fatal Victor of Mankind!
Swoln Luxury!-pale Ruin stalks behind!



As countless Insects from the north-east pour, 395
To blast the Spring, and ravage ev'ry flow'r :
So barb'rous Millions spread contagious death:
The sick ning Laurel wither'd at their breath.
Deep Superstition's night the skies o'erhung,
Beneath whose baleful dews the Poppy sprung. 400
No longer Genius woo'd the Nine to love,
But Dulness nodded in the Muse's grove:
Wit, Spirit, Freedom, were the sole offence,
Nor aught was held so dangerous as Sense.

At length, again fair Science shot her ray, 405
Dawn'd in the skies, and spoke returning day.
Now, SATIRE, triumph o'er thy flying foe,
Now, load thy quiver, string thy slacken'd bow!
'Tis done!--See, great ERASMUS breaks the spell,
And wounds triumphant Folly in her cell!
(In vain the solemn Cowl surrounds her face,
Vain all her bigot cant, her sour grimace,)


With shame compell'd her leaden throne to quit, And own the force of Reason urg'd by Wit.



"Twas then plain DONNE in honest vengeance rose, His Wit harmonious, tho' his Rhyme was prose : He 'midst an age of Puns and Pedants wrote With genuine sense, and Roman strength of thought. Yet scarce had SATIRE well resum'd her flame, (With grief the Muse records her Country's shame,) Ere Britain saw the foul revolt commence, And treach'rous Wit began her war with Sense. Then rose a shameless mercenary train, Whom latest Time shall view with just disdain : A race fantastic, in whose gaudy line Untutor'd thought, and tinsel beauty shine; Wit's shatter'd Mirror lies in fragments bright, Reflects not Nature, but confounds the sight. Dry Morals the Court-Poet blush'd to sing: 'Twas all his praise to say, "the oddest thing.” Proud for a jest obscene, a Patron's nod, To martyr Virtue, or blaspheme his God.

Ill-fated DRYDEN! who unmov'd can see



Th' extremes of wit and meanness join'd in Thee! Flames that could mount, and gain their kindred skies, Low creeping in the putrid sink of vice;


A Muse whom Wisdom woo'd, but woo'd in vain,
The Pimp of Pow`r, the Prostitute to Gain :
Wreaths that should deck fair Virtue's form alone,
To Strumpets, Traitors, Tyrants vilely thrown:
Unrivall'd parts, the scorn of honest fame;
And Genius rise, a Monument of shame!


More happy France: immortal BOILEAU there

Supported Genius with a Sage's care:

Him with her love propitious SATIRE blest,
And breath'd her airs divine into his breast:
Fancy and Sense to form his line conspire,
And faultless Judgment guides the purest Fire.
But see at length the British Genius smile,


And show'r her bounties o'er her favour'd Isle : 450
Behold for POPE she twines the laurel crown,
And centres ev'ry Poet's power in one :

Each Roman's force adorns his various page,
Gay smiles, corrected strength, and manly rage.
Despairing Guilt and Dulness loathe the sight, 455
As Spectres vanish at approaching light:
In this clear Mirror with delight we view
Each image justly fine, and boldly true:
Here Vice, dragg'd forth by Truth's supreme decree,
Beholds and hates her own deformity:
While self-seen Virtue in the faithful line
With modest joy surveys her form divine.
But oh, what thoughts, what numbers shall I find,
But faintly to express the Poet's mind!
Who yonder Star's effulgence can display,
Unless he dip his pencil in the ray?



Who paint a God, unless the God inspire?
What catch the Lightning, but the speed of fire?
So, mighty POPE, to make thy Genius known,
All pow'r is weak, all numbers-but thy own. 470
Each Muse for thee with kind contention strove,
For thee the Graces left th' IDALIAN grove;
With watchful fondness o'er thy cradle hung,
Attun'd thy voice, and form'd thy infant tongue.
Next, to her Bard majestic Wisdom came;
The Bard enraptur'd caught the heav'nly flame:


With taste superior scorn'd the venal tribe,
Whom fear can sway, or guilty Greatness bribe;
At Fancy's call, who rear the wanton sail,
Sport with the stream, and trifle in the gale:
Sublimer views thy daring Spirit bound;
Thy mighty Voyage was Creation's round;
Intent new Worlds of Wisdom to explore,
And bless Mankind with Virtue's sacred store:
A nobler joy than Wit can give, impart;
And pour a moral transport o'er the heart.
Fantastic Wit shoots momentary fires,




And, like a Meteor, while we gaze, expires:
Wit kindled by the sulph'rous breath of Vice,
Like the blue Lightning, while it shines, destroys:
But Genius, fir'd by Truth's eternal ray,
Burns clear and constant, like the source of day:
Like this, its beam prolific and refin'd,
Feeds, warms, inspirits, and exalts the mind;
Mildly dispels each wintry Passion's gloom,
And opens all the Virtues into bloom.
This Praise, immortal POPE, to thee be giv'n:
Thy Genius was indeed a Gift from Heav'n.
Hail, Bard unequall'd, in whose deathless line
Reason and Wit, with strength collected shine; 500
Where matchless Wit but wins the second praise,
Lost, nobly lost, in Truth's superior blaze.
Did FRIENDSHIP e'er mislead thy wand'ring Muse?
That Friendship sure may plead the great excuse:
That sacred Friendship which inspir'd thy Song,
Fair in defect, and amiably wrong.

Error like this ev'n Truth can scarce reprove;
"Tis almost Virtue when it flows from Love.


Ye deathless Names, ye Sons of endless praise,

By Virtue crown'd with never-fading bays!


Say, shall an artless Muse, if you inspire,
Light her pale lamp at your immortal fire?
Or if, O WARBURTON, inspir'd by You,
The daring Muse a nobler path pursue,
By you inspir'd, on trembling pinion soar,
The sacred founts of social bliss explore,
In her bold numbers chain the Tyrant's rage,
And bid her Country's Glory fire her page:
If such her fate, do thou, fair Truth, descend,
And watchful guard her in an honest end:
Kindly severe, instruct her equal line

To court no Friend, nor own a Foe but thine.
But if her giddy eye should vainly quit

Thy sacred paths, to run the maze of wit;

If her apostate heart should e'er incline
To offer incense at Corruption's shrine;




Urge, urge thy pow'r, the black attempt confound, And dash the smoking Censer to the ground. Thus aw'd to fear instructed Bards may see,

That Guilt is doom'd to sink in Infamy.


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