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And scorn the censures of the envious
throng; Prove to the world, in these new-dawning
skies, What genius kindles and what arts arise ; What fav’ring Muses lent their willing
aid, As gay through Pindus' flowery paths
you stray'd; While in your strains the purest morals
flow'd, Rules to the great, and lessons to the
good. All Virtue's friends are yours. Disclose
the lays; Your country's heroes claim the debt of
praise; Fame shall assent, and future years ad
mire Barlow's strong flight, and Dwight's Homeric fire.
The cloud of Critics on your Muse de
scends! From every side, with deadly force, shall The fierce Review, the censuring Gazet
teer, Like Magazines, that pointless jests supply, And quick Gazettes, that coin the cur
rent lie. Each coffee-house shall catch the loud
alarms, The Temple swarm, and Grub-street
wake to arms. As vultures, sailing through the dark
en'd air, Whet their keen talons, and their beaks
prepare, O'er warring armies wait th' approaching
fray, And state their wishes on the future prey; Each cens'rer thus the tempting lure pur
sues, And hangs o'er battles of your Epic muse, The pamper'd critic feeds on slaughter'd
names, And each new bard a welcome feast pro
claims, Such men to charm, could Homer's muse
avail, Who read to cavil, and who write to rail; When ardent genius pours the bold sub
lime, Carp at the style, or nibble at the rhyme; Misstate your thoughts, misconstrue your
design, And cite, as samples, every feebler line? To praise your muse be your admirer's
care; Her faults alone the critics make their
share. Where you succeed, beyond their sphere
you've flown, But where you fail, the realm is all their
own. By right they claim whatever faults are
found, For nonsense trespasses on critic ground; By right they claim the blunders of your
lays, As lords of manors seize on waifs and
strays. Yet heed not these, but join the sons
THE LIBERTY POLE 1 Now warm with ministerial ire, Fierce sallied forth our loyal ’Squire, And on his striding steps attends His desperate clan of Tory friends. When sudden met his wrathful eye A pole ascending through the sky, Which numerous throngs of whiggish race Were raising in the market-place. Not higher school-boy's kites aspire, Or royal mast, or country spire; Like spears at Brobdignagian tilting, Or Satan's walking-staff in Milton. And on its top, the flag unfurl'd Waved triumph o'er the gazing world, Inscribed with inconsistent types Of Liberty and thirteen stripes.? Beneath, the crowd without delay The dedication-rites essay, And gladly pay, in antient fashion, The ceremonies of libation;
1 The first two cantos, originally published as one in 1776, tell of the debate between Honorius, the Whig, and M'Fingal, the Loyalist.
The fourth, published with the third in 1782, con. cluded the story with the forced flight of M'Fingal. 2 The American flag. It would doubtless be
to imagine that the stripes bear any allusion to the slave trade. (This and the other notes to the poem were supplied by the author in the edition of 1820.)
sal ignorance and stupidity. The present writers in the Quarterly Review have made it the vehicle of insult and slander upon our genius and manners. Whether they will be more successful with the pen, than with the sword, in prostrat. ing America at their feet, Time, the ancient arbiter, will determine in due season.
While briskly to each patriot lip
By this, M'Fingal with his train
sion, To raise this May-pole of sedition? Like Babel, rear'd by bawling throngs, With like confusion too of tongues, To point at heaven and summon down The thunders of the British crown? Say, will this paltry Pole secure Your forfeit heads from Gage's power? Attack'd by heroes brave and crafty, Is this to stand your ark of safety ; Or driven by Scottish laird and laddie, Think ye to rest beneath its shadow ? When bombs, like fiery serpents, fly, And balls rush hissing through the sky, Will this vile Pole, devote to freedom, Save like the Jewish pole in Edom; Or like the brazen snake of Moses, Cure your crackt skulls and batter'd noses?
"Ye dupes to every factious rogue And tavern-prating demagogue, Whose tongue but rings, with sound more
full, On th' empty drumhead of his scull; Behold you not what noisy fools Use you, worse simpletons, for tools? For Liberty, in your own by-sense, Is but for crimes a patent license, To break of law th' Egyptian yoke, And throw the world in common stock; Reduce all grievances and ills To Magna Charta of your wills;
Flip, a liquor composed of beer, rum, and sugar; the common treat at that time in the country towns of New England.
Establish cheats and frauds and nonsense,
? Alluding to the depreciation of the Continental paper money. Congress finally ascertained the course of its declension at different periods, by what was called, A Scale of Depreciation.
3 On the commencement of the war, the courts of justice were,
where shut up. instances, the judges were forced to retire, by the people, who assembled in multitudes, armed with white staves.
The tinker quits his moulds and doxies,
upSide down, and got yourself at top,
150 While all the great ones of your state Are crush'd beneath the popular weight; Nor can you boast, this present hour, The shadow of the form of power. For what's your Congress 2 or its end? A power, t' advise and recommend; To call forth troops, adjust your quotasAnd yet no soul is bound to notice; To pawn your faith to th' utmost limit, But cannot bind you to redeem it;
160 And when in want no more in them lies, Than begging from your States-Assem
1 Arnold's perjuries at the time of his pre. tended bankruptcy, which was the first rise of his fortune; and his curious lawsuit against a brother skipper, who had charged him with hav. ing caught the above-mentioned disease, by his connection with a certain African princess in the West Indies, were among the early promises of his future greatness, and honors.
? The author here, in a true strain of patriotic censure, pointed out the principal defects in the first federal constitution of the United States; all which have been since removed in the new Constitution, established in the year 1789. So that the prophecy below, You'll ne'er have sense enough to mend it, must be ranked among the other sage blunders of his second-sighted hero. Lond. Edit.
As tho' you chose supreme dictators,
done 's : While reason fails to check your course, And Loyalty's kick'd out of doors, 3 This political plan of Trinculo in the "Tem.
may be found in the old folio edition of Shakespeare. It has since been expunged by some of his wise commentators.
And Folly, like inviting landlord,
"Have you not roused your mobs to join, And make Mandamus-men resign, 238 Call'd forth each duffil-drest curmudgeon, With dirty trowsers and white bludgeon, Forced all our Councils through the land, To yield their necks at your command; While paleness marks their late disgraces, Through all their rueful length of faces ?
"Have you not caused as woeful work In our good city of New York, When all the rabble, well cockaded, In triumph through the streets paraded, And mobb'd the Tories, scared their
spouses, And ransack'd all the custom-houses ;4 250
Made such a tumult, bluster, jarring,
bled, With rusty gun,s and leathern doublet; Turn'd all stone-walls and groves and
bushes, To batteries arm'd with blunderbusses; And with deep wounds, that fate por
1 The cargo of tea sent to Boston, after being guarded for twenty nights, by voluntary, parties of the Whigs, to prevent its being clandestinely brought ashore, was thrown into the sea, by a party of about two hundred young men, dressed, armed and painted like Indians; but many a ruffled shirt and laced vest appeared under their blankets.
Primed, i.e., painted. 3 When the leading Whigs in Boston found it impossible to procure the Tea to be sent back, they secretly resolved on its destruction and prepared all the necessary means. To cover the design, a meeting of the people of the whole Country was convened on the day appointed, and spent their time in grave consultation on the question, what should be done to prevent its being landed and sold. The arrival of the Indians put an end to the debate, at the moment, when one of the foremost of the whig-orators was declaiming against all violent measures. Hutchinson was alarmed at the meeting, and retired privately in the morn. ing, to his country seat at Milton. Whether from mistake or design, information was sent to him, that the mob was coming to pull down his house. He escaped in the utmost haste across the fields. The story of the day was, that the alarm was given, at the time, when he sate half-shaved under the hands of his barber.
• The custom-house was broken open at New York, and all public monies seized.
5 William Smith, an eminent Lawyer in New York. He at first opposed the claims of Britain, but after wavering some time, at last joined our enemy. He has since been Chief Justice in Canada.
* Tryon was Governor of New York and a British General during the war. He had the glory of destroying the towns of Fairfield and Norwalk. Burnings in effigy were frequently the amusements of the mob at that period, and in imitation of the former custom of the Eng. lish in burning annually the Pope, the Devil, and the Pretender, Beelzebub, with his usual figure and accoutrements, was always joined in the conflagration with the other obnoxious char. acters.
" Galloway hegan by being a flaming patriot; but being disgusted at his own want of influence. and the greater popularity of others, he turned Tory, wrote against the measures of Congress, and absconded. Just before his escape, a trunk was put on board a vessel in the Delaware, to be delivered to Joseph Galloway; Esquire. On opening it, he found it contained only, as Shakespeare says, “A halter gratis, and leave to hang himself,
8 At the battle of Lexington.
Were not these deeds enough betimes,
This said, our 'Squire, yet undismay'd, Call'd forth the Constable to aid, And bade him read, in nearer station, The Riot-act and Proclamation. He swift, advancing to the ring, Began, “Our Sovereign Lord, the King"When thousand clam'rous tongues he
hears, And clubs and stones assail his ears. To fly was vain; to fight was idle; By foes encompass'd in the middle, His hope, in stratagems, he found, And fell right craftily to ground; Then crept to seek an hiding place, 'Twas all he could, beneath a brace; Where soon the conqu’ring crew espied him, And where he lurk’d, they caught and tied him.
310 At once with resolution fatal, Both Whigs and Tories rush'd to battle. Instead of weapons, either band Seized on such arms as came to hand. And as famed Ovid 2 paints th' adventures Of wrangling Lapithæ and Centaurs, Who at their feast, by Bacchus led, Threw bottles at each other's head; And these arms failing in their scuffles, Attack'd with andirons, tongs and shovels : So clubs and billets, staves and stones 321 Met fierce, encountering every sconce, And cover'd o'er with knobs and pains. Each void receptacle for brains; Their clamours rend the skies around, The hills rebellow to the sound; And many a groan increas'd the din From batter'd nose and broken shin. M'Fingal, rising at the word, Drew forth his old militia-sword; Thrice cried “King George," as erst in
distress, Knights of romance invoked a mistress;
1 The Tory clergy always stiled the King, the Lord's Anointed. The language of Cromwell's and Charles' ays was yet
in New England.
* See Ovid's Metamorphoses, book 12th.
And brandishing the blade in air,
ground, By huge trainbands encircled round; And on the bench, with blade right loyal, Had won the day at many a trial,5
The learned reader will readily observe the allusions in this scene, to the single combats of Paris and Menelaus in Homer, Eneas and the Turnus in Virgil, and Michael and Satan in Milton. * Jupiter ipse duas æquato examine lances Sustinet & fata imponit diversa duorum, Quem damnet labor, &c.--Anid, 12. 5 It was the fashion in New England at that time, for judges to wear swords on the bench.