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Then be your line with sharp encomiums graced :
Style Clodius honourable, Bufa chaste.

Dart not on Folly an indignant eye:
Who e'er discharged artillery on a fly?
Deride not Vice: absurd the thought and vain,

To bind the tiger in so weak a chain.




Nay, more: when flagrant crimes your laughter move,
The knave exults: to smile is to approve.
The Muse's labour then success shall crown,
When Folly feels her smile, and Vice her frown.
Know next what measures to each theme belong,
And suit your thoughts and numbers to your song:
On wing proportion'd to your quarry rise,
And stoop to earth, or soar among the skies.
Thus when a modish folly you rehearse,
Free the expression, simple be the verse.
In artless numbers paint th' ambitious peer
That mounts the box, and shines a charioteer.
In strains familiar sing the midnight toil
Of camps and senates disciplined by Hoyle;
Patriots and Chiefs, whose deep design invades
And carries off the captive king-of Spades!
Let SATIRE here in milder vigour shine,
And gaily graceful sport along the line;



Bid courtly fashion quit her thin pretence,

And smile each affectation into sense.

Not so when Virtue by her guards betray'd, Spurn'd from her throne, implores the Muse's aid; When crimes, which erst in kindred darkness lay, 295 Rise frontless, and insult the eye of day, Indignant Hymen veils his hallow'd fires, And white-robed Chastity with tears retires; When rank Adultery on the genial bed Hot from Cocytus rears her baleful head; When private faith and public trust are sold, And traitors barter liberty for gold;




When fell Corruption, dark and deep, like fate,
Saps the foundation of a sinking state;
When giant-vice and irreligion rise,

On mountain'd falsehoods to invade the skies:

Then warmer numbers glow thro' SATIRE's page,
And all her smiles are darken'd into rage:


On eagle-wing she gains Parnassus' height,

Not lofty EPIC soars a nobler flight:
Then keener indignation fires her eye;


Then flash her lightnings, and her thunders fly;

Wide and more wide her flaming bolts are hurl'd,
Till all her wrath involves the guilty world.


Yet SATIRE oft assumes a gentler mien,
And beams on virtue's friends a smile serene:
She wounds reluctant, pours her balm with joy,
Glad to commend where worth attracts her eye.
But chief, when virtue, learning, arts decline,
She joys to see unconquer'd merit shine;
Where bursting glorious, with departing ray,
True genius gilds the close of Britain's day.
With joy she sees the stream of Roman art


From MURRAY's tongue flow purer to the heart;
Sees YORKE to fame, ere yet to manhood, known, 325
And just to every virtue but his own;

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;
TO HAGLEY's honour'd shade directs her view,
And culls each flower, to form a wreath for You.
But tread with cautious step this dangerous ground,
Beset with faithless precipices round.

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 unmov'd with laughter can behold

A sordid pebble meanly graced 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 make us grieve you want an honest heart.


Nor think the Muse by SATIRE's law confined: 345 She yields description of the noblest kind. Inferior art the landscape may design, And paint the purple evening in the line: Her daring thought essays a higher plan; 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 Wolsey, or a Cromwell rise; Now with a touch more sacred and refined,


Call forth a CHESTERFIELD's or LONSDALE's mind.
Here sweet or strong may every colour flow;
Here let the pencil warm, the canvas glow;

Of light and shade provoke the noble strife,
And wake each striking feature into life.


THROUGH ages thus has SATIRE keenly shined,
The friend to truth, to virtue, and mankind:
Yet the bright flame from virtue ne'er had sprung,
And man was guilty ere the poet sung.

This Muse in silence joy'd each better age,
Till glowing crimes had wak'd her into rage.

x 2



Truth saw her honest spleen with new delight,
And bade her wing her shafts, and urge their


First on the sons of Greece she proved her art,
And Sparta felt the fierce IAMBIC dart'.
To LATIUM next, avenging SATIRE flew:
The flaming falchion rough LUCILIUS' drew;
With dauntless warmth in virtue's cause engaged,
And conscious villains trembled as he raged.

Then sportive HORACE3 caught the generous fire;
For SATIRE'S bow resign'd the sounding 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 studied negligence,

Politely sly, cajoled the foes of sense:

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 awed corrupted Rome,
And swept audacious Greatness to its doom;
The headlong torrent thundering from on high,
Rent the proud rock that lately braved the sky.







Archilocum proprio rabies armavit iambo.


2 Ense velut stricto quoties Lucilius ardens
Infremuit, rubet auditor cui frigida mens est
Criminibus, tacitâ sudant præcordia culpâ. Juv. S. i.

3 Omne vafer vitium ridenti Flaccus amico

Tangit, et admissus circum præcordia ludit,

Callidus excusso populum suspendere naso. Pers. S. i.

But lo! the fatal victor of mankind!
Swoln Luxury!-pale Ruin stalks behind!
As countless insects from the north-east pour,
To blast the spring, and ravage every flower,
So barbarous millions spread contagious death;
The sickening laurel wither'd at their breath.
Deep Superstition's night the skies o'erhung,
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 sole offence,
Nor aught was held so dangerous as sense.

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!
(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 urged by wit.





"Twas then plain DONNE in honest vengeance rose, His wit harmonious, though his rhyme was prose: 416 He 'midst an age of puns and pedants wrote With genuine sense, and Roman strength of thought.

Yet scarce had SATIRE well relumed her flame,

(With grief the Muse records her country's shame,)
Ere Britain saw the foul revolt commence,
And treacherous 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.



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