Page images
PDF
EPUB

Hears unstain’d CAM with generous pride proclaim A SAGE's, Critic's, and a Poet's name : Beholds, where WIDCOMBE's happy hills ascend, Each orphan’d Art and Virtue find a friend: 326 To Hagley's honour'd Shade directs her view ; And culls each flow'r, to form a Wreath for You.

But tread with cautious step this dang’rous ground, Beset with faithless precipices round: 330 Truth be your guide : disdain Ambition's call ; 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 unmoy'd with laughter can behold 335 A fordid pebble meanly grac'd with gold ? Let real Merit then adorn your lays, For Shame attends on prostituted praise : And all your wit, your most distinguish'd art But makes us grieve you want an honest heart. 340

Nor think the Muse by SATIRE's Law confin'd: She yields description of the noblest kind. Inferior art the Landskip may design, And paint the purple ev’ning in the line :

Her daring thought efsays a higher plan; 345
Her hand delineates Passion, pictures Man.
And great the toil, the latent soul to trace,
To paint the heart, and catch internal grace ;
By turns bid Vice or Virtue strike our eyes,
Now bid a Wolfey or a Cromwell rise ; 350
Now with a touch more sacred and refin'd,
Call forth a CHESTERFIELD's or LONSDALE's mind.
Here sweet or strong may ev'ry Colour flow :
Here let the pencil warm, the canvass glow :
Of light and shade provoke the noble strife, 355
And wake each striking feature into life.

B3

PART III.

TH

HRO’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 e'er the Poet sung. 360
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, 365 And Sparta felt the fierce IAMBIC dart a. 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. 379

[ocr errors]

NOTES.
• Archilochum proprio rabies armavit lambo.
Ense velut stricto quoties Lucilius ardens
Infremuit, rubet auditor cui frigida mens eft
Criminibus, tacita sudant præcordia culpa.

Juv. S. i.

Then sportive HorAce caught the gen'rous fire; For SATIRE's bow resign'd the founding lyre : Each arrow polish'd in his hand was seen, And, as it grew more polish'd, grew more keen. His art, conceald in ftudy'd negligence, 375 Politely fly, cajold the foes of sense : He seem'd to sport and trifle with the dart, But while he sported, drove it to the heart.

380

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, 385 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.

NOTES.
cOmne vafer vitium ridenti Flaccus amico

Tangit, et admillus circum præcordia ludit,
Callidus excuflo populum fufpendere nalo.

B 4

PERS. S. i.

But lo! the fatal Victor of Mankind, Swoln Luxury !--pale Ruin stalks behind! 390 As countless Insects from the north-east pour, To blast the Spring, and ravage ev'ry flow'r: So barb'rous Millions spread contagious death: The fick’ning Laurel wither'd at their breath. Deep Superstition's night the skies o’erhung, 395 Beneath whose baleful dews the Poppy sprung. No longer Genius woo'd the Nine to love, But Dulness nodded in the Muse's

grove : Wit, Spirit, Freedom, were the fole offence, Nor aught was held so dangerous as Sense. 400

At length, again fair Science shot her ray, 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! 406 (In vain the folemn Cowl surrounds her face, Vain all her bigot cant, her four grimace) With shame compelld her leaden throne to quit, And own the force of Reason urg'd by Wit. 410

« PreviousContinue »