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Perhaps some courser who disdains the road,
the wind and Aings himself abroad.
Contemporaries all surpass d, see one,
Short his career, indeed, but ably run.
Churchill, himself unconscious of his pow'rs,
penury consum'd his idle hours,
And like a scatter'd feed at random sown,
Was left to spring by vigor of his own.
Lifted at length by dignity of thought,
And dint of genius to an affluent lot,
He laid his head in luxury's soft lap,
And took too often there his eafy nap.
If brighter beams than all he threw not forth,
'Twas negligence in him, not want of worth.
Surly and Novenly and bold and coarse,
Too proud for art, and trusting in mere force,
Spendthrift alike of money and of wit,
Always at speed and never drawing bit,
He struck the lyre in such a careless mood,
And la disdain'd the rules he understood,
The laurel feemd to wait on his command,
He snatch'd it rudely from the muses hand.
Nature exerting an unwearied pow'r,
Forms, opens and gives scent to ev'ry flow'r,
Spreads the fresh verdure of the field, and leads
The dancing Naiads through the dewy meads,
She fills profuse ten thousand little throats
With music, modulating all their notes,
And charms the woodland scenes and wilds unknown,
With artless airs and concerts of her own;
But seldom (as if fearful of expence)
Vouchsafes to man a poet's just pretence.
Fervency, freedom, Auency of thought,
Harmony, strength, words exquisitely fought,
Fancy that from the bow that spans the sky,
Brings colours dipt in heav’n that never die,
A soul exalted above earth, a mind
Skill'd in the characters that form mankind,
And as the sun in rising beauty dress’d,
Looks to the westward from the dappl'd caft,
And marks, whatever clouds may interpose,
E’er yet his race begins, its glorious close,
An eye like his to catch the distant goal,
Or e'er the wheels of verse begin to roll,
Like his to shed illuminating rays
On ev'ry scene and subject it surveys,
Thus grac'd the man alferts a poet's name,
And the world chearfully admits the claim.
Pity! Religion has so seldom found
A skilful guide into poetic ground,
The Aow'rs would spring where'er she deign’d to stray,
And ev'ry muse attend her in her way.
Virtue indeed meets many a rhiming friend,
And many a compliment politely pennid,
But unattir'd in that becoming vest
Religion weaves for her, and half undressid,
Stands in the desart shiv’ring and forlorn,
A wintr'y figure, like a wither'd thorn.
The shelves are full, all other themes are sped,
Hackney'd and worn to the last Aimsy thread,
Satyr has long since done his best, and curst
And loathsome ribaldry has done his worst,
Fancy has sported all her pow'rs away
In tales, in trifles, and in children's play,
And 'tis the fad complaint, and almost true,
Whate'er we write, we bring forth nothing new.
[were new indeed, to see a bard all fire,
Touchd with a coal from heav'n afsunie the lyre,
And tell the world, still kindling as he sung,
With more than mortal music on his tongue,
That he who died below, and reigns above
Inspires the song, and that his name is love.
For after all, if merely to beguile
By flowing numbers and a flow'ry ftile,
The tædium that the lazy rich endure,
Which now and then sweet poetry may cure,
Or if to see the name of idol felf
Stamp'd on the well-bound quarto, grace the shelf,
To float a bubble on the breath of fame,
Prompt his endeavour, and engage his aim,
Debas'd to servile purposes of pride,
How are the powers of genius misapplied ?
The gift whose office is the giver's praise,
To trace him in his word, his works, his ways,
Then spread the rich discov'ry, and invite
Mankind to share in the divine delight,
Distorted from its use and just design,
To make the pitiful poffeffor shine,
To purchase at the fool-frequented fair
Of vanity, a wreath for self to wear,
Is profanation of the basest kind,
Proof of a trifling and a worthless mind.
A. Hail Sternhold then and Hopkins hail ! B. Amen.
If Alatt'ry, folly, lust employ the pen,
If acrimony, Nander and abuse,
Give it a charge to blacken and traduce;
Though Butler's wit, Pope's numbers, Prior's ease,
With all that fancy can invent to please,
Adorn the polish'd periods as they fall,
One Madrigal of their's is worth them all.