Page images
PDF
EPUB

Hears unftain'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 ftep this dang'rous ground,
Beset with faithlefs precipices round:
330
Truth be your guide: disdain Ambition's call;
And if you fall with Truth, you greatly fall.
'Tis Virtue's native luftre that must shine;
The Poet can but fet it in his line:
And who unmov'd with laughter can behold
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 moft diftinguish'd art
But makes us grieve you want an honeft heart. 340

335

Nor think the Mufe 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:

[ocr errors]

Her daring thought effays a higher plan;
Her hand delineates Paffion, pictures Man.
And great the toil, the latent foul to trace,
To paint the heart, and catch internal grace ;
By turns bid Vice or Virtue ftrike our eyes,
Now bid a Wolfey or a Cromwell rife;
Now with a touch more facred 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

345

350

[ocr errors]

PART

THE

III.

"HRO' Ages thus has SATIRE keenly fhin'd, The Friend to Truth, to Virtue, and Mankind:

360

Yet the bright flame from Virtue ne'er had sprung,
And Man was guilty e'er the Poet fung.
This Mufe in filence joy'd each better Age,
Till glowing crimes had wak'd her into rage.
Truth faw her honeft fpleen with new delight,
And bade her wing her fhafts, and urge their flight.
First on the Sons of Greece fhe prov'd her art, 365
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 caufe engag'd,
And confcious Villains trembled as he rag'd. 379

b

NOTES.

Archilochum proprio rabies armavit Iambo.
Enfe velut ftriclo quoties Lucilius ardens
Infremuit, rubet auditor cui frigida mens eft
Criminibus, tacita fudant præcordia culpa.

HOR.

Juv. S. i.

Then sportive HORACE caught the gen'rous fire; For SATIRE's bow refign'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, conceal'd in study'd negligence, 375 Politely fly, cajol'd the foes of fense: He feem'd to sport and trifle with the dart, But while he fported, drove it to the heart.

In graver ftrains majestic PERSIUS wrote, Big with a ripe exuberance of thought: Greatly fedate, contemn'd a Tyrant's reign, And lash'd corruption with a calm disdain.

380

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.

< Omne vafer vitium ridenti Flaccus amico
Tangit, et admiffus circum præcordia ludit,
Callidus excuffo populum fufpendere nafo.

B 4

PERS. S.i.

But lo! the fatal Victor of Mankind, Swoln Luxury!-pale Ruin ftalks behind! -390 As countless Infects 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 Superftition's night the skies o'erhung, 395 Beneath whose baleful dews the Poppy fprung. No longer Genius woo'd the Nine to love, But Dulness nodded in the Mufe's grove: Wit, Spirit, Freedom, were the fole offence, Nor aught was held fo dangerous as Senfe.

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, ftring thy flacken'd bow! 'Tis done-See great ERASMUS breaks the spell, And wounds triumphant Folly in her Cell! 406 (In vain the folemn Cowl furrounds her face, Vain all her bigot cant, her four grimace) With fhame compell'd her leaden throne to quit, And own the force of Reafon urg'd by Wit. 410

« PreviousContinue »