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The sense they murder, and the words transpose,
Lest poetry approach too near to prose.
See tortur'd Reason how they pare and trim,
And, like Procrustes, stretch or lop the limh.
Waller, whose praise succeeding bards rehearse,
Parent of harmony in English verse,
Whose tuneful Muse in sweetest accents flows,
In couplets first taught straggling sense to close.
In polish'd numhers, aml majestic sound,
Where shall thy rival, Pope, be ever found?
But whilst each line with equal beauty flows,
E'en excellence, unvaried, tedious grows.
Nature, through all her works, in great degree,
Borrows a blessing from Variety.
Music itself her needful aid requires
To rouze the soul, and wake our dying fires.
Still in one key, the nightingale would teize:
Still in one key, not Brent would always please.
Here let me bend, great Dryden, at thy shrine,
Thou dearest name to all the tuneful Nine.
What if some dull lines in cold order creep,
And with his theme the poet seems to sleep,
Still, when his subject rises proud to view,
With equal strength the poet rises too.
With strong invention, noblest vigour fraught,
Thought still springs up and rises out of thought;
Numhers ennohling numhers in their course;
In varied sweetness flow, in varied force;
The pow'rs of Genius and of Judgment join,
And the whole art of poetry is thine.
But what are numbers, what are bards to me, Forhid to tread the paths of poesy? "A sacred Muse should consecrate her pen; Priests must not hear nor see like other men; Far higher themes should her ambition claim; Behold where Sternhold points the way to fame."
Whilst with mistaken zeal dull higots hum, Let Reason for a moment take her turn. When coffee-sages hold discourse with kings, And blindly walk in paper leading-strings, What if a man delight to pass his time In spinning reason into harmless rhyme; Or sometimes boldly venture to the play! Say, Where's the crime ?—great man of prudence, say?No two on Earth in all things can agree; All have some darling singularity; Women and men, as well as girls and boys, In gew-gaws take delight, and sigh for toys. Your sceptres, and your crowns, and such like things, Are but a better kind of toys for kings. In things indiff rent Reason bids us choose, Whether the whim's a monkey, or a Muse.
What the grave trillers on this busy scene, When they make use of this word reason, mean, I know not; but, according to my plan, Tis lord chief-justice in the court of man, Equally form'd to rule in age or youth, The friend of Virtue, and the guide to Truth. To her I bow, whose sacred pow'r I feel; To her decision make my last appeal; Condemn'd hy her, applauding worlds in vain Should tempt me to take up the pen again: By her absolv'd, my course I'll still pursue: tf Reason's for me, Gon is for me too.
AN EPISTLE TO ROBERT LLOYD.
Hen foes insult, and prudent friends dispense. In Pity's strains, the worst of insolence, Oft with thee, Ltovn, I steal an hour from grief, And in thy social converse find relief. The mind, of solitude impatient srown, Loves any sorrows rather than her own.
Let slaves to husiness, hodies without soul, Important blanks in Nature's mighty roll, Solemnize nonsense in the day's hroad glare. We Night prefer, which heals or hides our care.
Rogues justified, and by success made hold,
Dull fools and coxcombs sanctified by gold,
Freely may bask in Fortune's partial ray,
And spread their feathers op'ning to the day;
But thread-bare Merit dares not show the head
Till vain Prosperity retires to bed.
Misfortunes, like the owl, avoid the light;
The soas of Care are always sons of Night.
The wretch bred up in Method's drowsy school,
Whose only merit is to err by rule,
Who ne'er through heat of blood was tripping
caught, Nor guilty deem'd of one eccentric thought,
Whose soul directed to no use is seen,
Unless to move the body's dull machine,
Which, clock-work like, with the same equal pace
Still travels on through life's insipid space;
Turns up his eyes to think that there should be
Among God's creatures two such things as tee:
Then for his nightcap calls, and thanks the pow'rs
Which kindly gave him grace to keep good hows.
Good hours—Vme words !—But was it ever seen That all men could agree in what they mean? Florio, who many years a course hath run In downright opposition to the Sun, Expatiates on good hours, their cause defends With as much vigour as our prudent friends. Th' uncertain term no settled notion brings, But still in diff'rent mouths means diffreut things. Each takes the phrase in his own private view, With Prudence it is ten, with Florio two. Go on, ye fools, who talk for talking sake, Without distinguishing distinctions make, Shine forth in native folly, native pride, Make yourselves rules to all the world beside; Reason, collected in herself, disdains The slavish yoke of arbitrary chains; Steady and true, each circumstance she weighs, Nor to bare words inglorious tribute pays. Men of sense live exempt from vulgar awe, And Reason to herself alone is law. That freedom she enjoys with lih'ral mind, Which she as freely grants to all mankind. No idol titled name her rev'rence stirs, No hour she blindly to the rest prefers; All are alike, if they're alike employ'd, And all are good, if virtuously enjoy'd.
Let the sage doctor (think him one we know) With scraps of ancient learning overflow, In all the dignity of trig declare The fatal consequence of midnight air, How damps and vapours, as it were by stealth, Undermine life, and sap the walls of health. For me let Galen moulder on the shelf, I'll live, and be physician to myself.
While soul is join'd to body, whether Fate Allot a longer or a shorter date;I'll make them live, as brother should with brother, And keep them in good-humour with each other. The surest road to health, say what they will,
Is never to suppose we shall be ill.
Most of those evils we poor mortals know,
From doctors and imagination flow.
Hence to old women with your hoasted rules,
Stale traps, and only sacred now to fools;As well may sons of physic hope to find
One med'eine, as one hour, for all mankind. If Rupert after ten is out of bed,
The fool next morning can't hold up his head.
What reason this which me to bed must call,
Whose head (thank Heaven) never aches at all?
In difFrent courses difTrent tempers run,
He hates the Moon, I sicken at the Sun.
Wound up at twelve at noon, his clock goes right,
Mine hetter goes, wound up at twelve at night. Then in Oblivion's grateful cup I drown
The galling sneer, the supercilious frown,
The strange reserve, the proud affected state
Of upstart knaves grown rich, and fools grown great.
No more that abject wretch disturbs my rest,
Who meanly overlooks a friend distrest.
Purblind to poverty the worldling goes,
And scarce sees rags an inch beyond his nose;
But from a crowd can single out his grace,
And cringe and creep to fools who strut in lace.
Whether those classic regions are survey'd
Where we in earliest youth together stray'd,
Where hand in hand we trod the flow'ry shore,
Though now thy happier genius runs before,
When we conspir'd a thankless wretch to raise,
And taught a stump to shoot with pilfer'd praise,
Who once for rev'rend merit famous grown,
Gratefully strove to kick his Maker down;
Or if more gen'ral arguments engage,
The court or camp, the pulpit, bar or stage;
If half-bred surgeons, whom men doctors call,
And lawyers, who were never bred at all,
Those mighty letter'd monsters of the Earth,
Our pity move, or exercise our mirth;
Or if in tittle-tattle, tooth-pick way,
Our rambling thoughts with easy freedom stray;
A gainer still thy friend himself must find,
His grief suspended, and improv'd his mind.
Whilst peaceful slumhers hless the homely bed, Where Virtue, self-approv'd, reclines her head; Whilst Vice beneath imagin'd horrours mourns, And Conscience plants the villain's couch with thorns; Impatient of restraint, the active Mind, No more by servile Prejudice confin'd, Leaps from her seat, as waken'd from a trance, And darts through Nature at a single glance. Then we our friends, our foes, ourselves, survey, And see hy night what fools we are by day.
Stript of her gaudy plumes and vain disguise, Sec where Ambition mean and loathsome lies; Reflection with relentless hand pulls down The tyrant's bloody wreath and ravish'd crown. In vain he tells of hattles hravely won, Of nations conqucr'd, and of worlds undone: Triumphs like these but ill with manhood su't, And sink the conqueror beneath the brute. But if, in searching round the world, we find Some gen'rous youth, the friend of a;l mauki id, Whose anger, like the bolt of Jove, is sped I» terrours only at the guilty head,
Whose mercies, like Heaven's dew, refreshing fall
In gen'ral love and charity to all,
Pleas'd we behold such worth on any throne,
And doubly pleas'd we find it on our own.
Through a false medium things are shown by day,
Pomp, wealth, and titles, judgment lead astray.
How many from appearance borrow state,
Whom Night disdains to number with the great!
Must not we laugh to see yon lordling proud
Snuff up vile incense from a fawning crowd?
Whilst in his beam surrounding clients play,
Like insects in the Sun's enliv'ning ray,
Whilst, Jehu-like, he drives at furious rate,
And seems the only charioteer of state,
Talking himself into a little god,
And ruling empires with a single nod;
Who would not think, to hear him law dispense,
That he had int'rest, and that they had sense?
Injurious thought! Beneath Night's honest shade,
When pomp is buried and false colours fade,
Plainly we see at that impartial hour
Them dupes to pride, and him the tool of pow'r.
God help the man, condemn'd by cruel Fate To court the seeming, or the real great. Much sorrow shall he feel, and suffer more Than any slave who labours at the oar. By slavish methods must he learn to please, By smooth-tongu'd Flatt'ry, that curst court-disease. Supple to ev'ry wayward mood strike sail, And shift with shifting Humour's peevish gale. To Nature dead he must adopt vile Art, And wear a smile, with anguish in his heart. A sense of honour would destroy his schemes, And Conscience ne'er must speak unless in dreams. When he hath tamely borne for many years Cold looks, forbidding frowns, contemptuous sneers; When he at last expects, good easy man, To reap the profits of his lahour'd plan, Some cringing lacquey, or rapacious whore, To favours of the great the surest door, Some catamite, or pimp, in credit grown, Who tempts another's wife, or sells his own, Steps cross his hopes, the promis'd hoon denies, And for some minion's minion claims the prize.
Foe to restraint, unpractis'd in deceit, Too resolute, from Nature's active heat, To brook affronts, and tamely pass them hy; Too proud to flatter, too sincere to lie, Too plain to please, too honest to be great; Give me, kind Heav'n, an humbler, happier state: Far from the place where men with pride deceive, Where rascals promise, and where fools helieve; Far from the walk of folly, vice, and strife, Calm, independent, let me steal through life, Nor one vain wish my steady thoughts heguile To fear his lordship's frown, or court his smile. Unfit for Greatness, I her snares defy, And look on riches with untainted eye. To others let the glitt'ring hawhles fall, Content shall place us far above them all.
Spectators only on this hustling stage, We see what vain designs mankind engage; Vice after vice with ardour they pursue, And one old folly brings forth twenty new. Perplex'd with trifles through the vale of life, Man strives 'gainst man, without a cause for strife; Armies embattled meet, and thousands bleed For some vile spot, where fif.y cannot !eed. Squirrels for nuts contend, and, wrong i r right, For the world's emplie kings amh tious fight;
What odils ?—To us 'tis all the self-same thing, A nut, a world, a squirrel, and a king.
Britons, like Roman spirits fam'd of old, Are cast by Nature in a patriot mould; No private joy, no private grief they know, Their soul's engross'd by public w^al or woe. Inglorious ease, like ours, they greatly scorn: Let care with nobler wreaths their brows adorn. Gladly they toil beneath the statesman's pains, Give them but credit for a statesman's brains. All would be dcem'd, e'en from the cradle, fit To rule in politics as well as wit. The grave, the gay, the fopling, and the dunce, Start up (God bless us!) statesmen all at once.
His mighty charge of souls the priest forgets, The court-bred lord his promises and debts, Soldiers their fame, misers forget their pelf, The rake his mistress, and the fop himself; Whilst thoughts of higher moment claim their care, And their wise heads the weight of kingdoms bear.
Females themselves the glorious ardour feel, And boast an equal, or a greater zeal; From nymph to nymph the state-infection flies, Swells in her breast, and sparkles in her eyes. O'erwhelm'd by politics lie malice, pride, Envy, and twenty other faults beside. No more their little flutt'ring hearts confess A passion for applause, or rage for dress; No more they pant for public raree-shows, Or lose one thought on monkeys or on beaux. Coquettes no more pursue the jilting plan, And lustful prudes forget to rail at man. The darling theme Cecilia's self will choose, Nor thinks of scandal whilst she talks of news.
The Crr, a common-council-man by place, Ten thousand mighty nothings in his face, By situation as by nature great, With nice precision parcels out the state; Proves and disproves, affirms, and then denies, Objects himself, and to himself replies; Wielding aloft the politician rod, Makes Pitt by turns a devil and a god; Maintains, e'en to the very teeth of pow'r, The same thing right and wrong in half an hour. Now all is well, now he suspects a plot, And plainly proves, Whatever Is, Is Not. Fearfully wise, he shakes his empty head, And deals out empires as he deals out thread. His useless scales are in a corner flung, And Europe's balance hangs upon his tongue.
Peace to such triflers; be our happier plan
To pass through life as easy as we can.
Who's in or out, who moves this grand machine,
Nor stirs my curiosity, nor spleen.
Secrets of state no more I wish to know
Than secret movements of a puppet-show;
Let but the puppets move, I've my desire,
Unseen the hand which guides the master-wire.
What is't to us, if taxes rise or fall,
Thanks to our fortune we pay none at all.
Let muckworms, who in dirty acres deal,
Lament those hardships which we cannot feel.
His grace, who smarts, may bellow if he please,
But must I bellow too, who sit at case?
By custom safe, the poet's numbers flow,
Free as the light and air some years ago.
No statesman e'er will find it worth his pains
To tax our labours, and excise our brains.
Burthens like these vile earthly buildings bea-,
No tribute's laid on castles in the air.
Let then the flames of war destructive reign,
And England's terrours awe imperious Span;
I.et ev'ry venal clan and neutral tribe
Learn to receive conditions, not prescribe;
Let each new year call loud for new supplies,
And tax on tax with double burthen rise;
Exempt we sit, by no rude cares opprest,
And, having little, are with little blest.
All real ills in dark oblivion lie,
And joys, by fancy form'd, their place supply.
Night's laughing hours unheeded slip away,
Nor one dull thought foretells th' approach of day. Thus have we liv'd, and whilst the Fates zCord
Plain plenty to supply the frugal board.
Whilst Mirth, with Decency his lovely bride,
And wine's gay god, with Temp'rance by his side,
Their welcome visit pay; whilst Health attends
The narrow circle of our chosen friends,
Whilst frank Good-Humour consecrates the treat,
And woman makes society complete,
Thus will we live, though in our teeth arc hurl'd
Those hackney strumpets, Prudence and the World.
Prudence, of old a sacred term, imply'd
Virtue, with godlike Wisdom for her guide,
But now in general use is known to mean
The stalking-horse of Vice, and Folly's screen.
The sense perverted we retain the name,
Hypocrisy and Prudence are the same.
A tutor once, more read in men than books,
A kind of crafty knowledge in his looks,
Demurely sly, with high preferment blest,
His fav'rite pupil in these words addie^u'd:
"Wonjd'st thou, my son, be wise and virtuous
By all mankind a prodigy esteem'd? [dccin'd,
Be this thy rule; be what men prudent call;
Prudence, almighty Prudence, gives thee all.
Keep up appearances, there lies the test,
The world will give thee credit for the rest.
Outward be fair, however foul within;
Sin if thou wilt, but then in secret sin.
This maxim's into common favour grown,
Vice is no longer vice, unless 'tis known.
Virtue indeed may barofae'd take the field;
But vice is virtue when 'tis well conccal'd.
Should raging passions drive thee to a whure,
Let Prudence lead thee to a postern door;
Stay out all night, but take (special care
That Prudence bring thee back to early prayer.
As one with watching and with study faint,
Reel in a drunkard, and reel out a saint."
With joy the youth this useful lesson heard, And in his mein'ry stor'd each precious word, Successfully pursu'd the plan, and now, "Room for my lord,—Virtue stand by and bow.1*
And is this all—is this the worldling's art, To mask, but not amend a vicious heart? Shall lukewarm caution and demeanour grave For wise and good stamp ev'ry supple knave? Shall wretches, whom no real virtue warms, Gild fair their names and states with empty forms, Whilst Virtue seeks in vain the wish'd-for prize, Because, disdaining ill, she hates disguise; Because she frankly pours forth all her st< re. Seems what she it, and scorns to pass for mere? Well—be it so—let vile dissemblers hold Unenvy'd pow'r, and boast their dear-bought gold, Me neither pow'r shall tempt, nor thirst o pelf, To flatter others or deny myself; Might the whole world be plac'd within mr span, I would not be that Thi:ig, that Prudent Man.
THE PROPHECY OF FAMINE.
"What," cries sir Pliant, "would you thenoppose Yourself, alone, against an host of foes? Let not conceit, and peevish lust to rail, Above all sense of interest prevail. Throw off for shame this petulance of wit, Be wise, ho modest, and for once submit: Too hard the task 'gainst multitudes to fight, ion must be wrong, the World is in the right."
What is this World? A term which men have got To signify, not one in ten knows what; A term, which with no more precision passes To point out herds of men than herds of tuses; In common use no more it means, we find, Than many fools in same opinions join'd.
Can numbers then change Nature's stated laws? Can numbers make the worse the better cause i Vice must be vice, virtue be virtue still, Though thousands rail at good, and practise ill. Wouldst thou defend the Gaul's destructive rage Because vast nations on his part engage? Though to support the rebel Caesar's cause Tumultuous legions arm against the laws, Though Scandal would our patriot's name impeach, And rails at virtues which she cannot reach, What honest man but would with joy submit To bleed with Cato, and retire with Pitt?
Stedfast and true to Virtue's sacred laws, Unmov'd by vulgar censure or applause, Let the World talk, my friend; that World we know Which calls us guilty, cannot make us so. Unaw'd by numbers, follow Nature's plan, Assert the rights, or quit the name of man. Consider well, weigh strictly right and wrong; Resolve not quick, but once resolv'd, be strong. In spite of dullness, and in spite of wit, If to thyself thou canst thyself acquit, Rather stand up assur'd with conscious pride Alone, than err with millions on thy side.
THE PROPHECY OF FAMINE.
A SCOTS PASTORAL.
INSCRIBED TO JOHN WILKES, ESQ.
When Cupid first instructs his darts to fly
From the sly corner of some cook-maid's eye,
The stripling raw, just enter'd in his teens,
Receives the wound, and wonders what it means;
His heart, like dripping, melts, and new desire
Within him stirs, each time she stirs the fire;
Trembling and blushing he the fair-one views,
And fain would speak, but can't—without a Muse.
So to the sacred mount he takes his way,
Prunes his young wings, and tunes his infant lay,
His oaten reed to rural ditties frames,
To flocks and rocks, to hills and rills proclaims,
In simplest notes, and all unpolish'd strains,
The loves of nymphs, and eke the loves of swains.
Clad, as your nymphs were always clad of yore,
In rustic weeds—a cook-maid now no more—Beneath an aged oak Lardclla lies,
Green moss her couch; her canopy the skies.
From aromatic shrubs the roguish gate [vale.
Steals young perfumes, and wafts them through the
The youth, turn'd swain, and skill'd in rustic lays,
Fast by her side his am'rous descant plays.
Herds lowe, flocks bleat, pies chatter, ravens scream,
And the full chorus diet a-down the stream.
The streams, with music freighted, as they pass,
Present the fair Lardella with a glass,
And Zephyr, to complete the love-sick plan,
Waves his light wings, and serves her for a fan.
But, when maturer Judgment takes the lead,
These childish toys on Reason's altar bleed;
Form'd after some great man, whose name breeds awe,
Whose ev'ry sentence Fashion makes a law,
Who on mere credit his vain trophies rears,
And founds his merit on our servile fears;
Then we discard the workings of the heart,
And Nature's banish'd by mechanic Art;
Then, deeply read, our reading must be shown;
Vain is that knowledge which remains unknown.
Then Ostentation marches to our aid,
And letter'd Pride stalks forth in full parade;
Beneath their care behold the work refine,
Pointed each sentence, polish'd every line:
Trifles are dignified, and taught to wear
The robes of ancients with a modern air,
Nonsense with classic ornaments is grae'd,
And passes current with the stamp of Taste.
Then the rude Theocrite is ransack'd o'er.
And courtly Maro call'd from Mincio's shore;
Sicilian Muses on our mountains roam,
Easy and free as if they were at home:
Nymphs, Naiads, Nereids, Dryads, Satyrs, Fauns,
Sport in our floods, and trip it o'er our lawns;
Flow'rs, which once flourish'd fair in Greece and
More fair revive in England's meads to bloom;
Skies without cloud exotic suns adorn;
And roses blush, but blush without a thorn;
Landscapes unknown to dowdy Nature, rise,
And new creations strike our wond'ring eyes.
For bards like these, who neither sing nir sir, ■
Grave without thought, and without feeling gay,
Whose numbers in one even tenour flow,
Attun'd to pleasure, and attun'd to woe,
Who, if plain Common-Sense her visit pays,
And mars one couplet in their happy lays,
As at some ghost affrighted, start and stare,
And ask the meaning of her coming there;
For bards like these a wreath shall Mason bring,
Lin'd with the softest down of Folly's wing;
In Love's pagoda shall they ever doze,
And Gisbal kindly rock them to repose;
My lord—to letters as to faith most true—
At once their patron and example too—
Shall quaintly fashion his love-labour'd dreams,
Sigh with sad winds, and weep with weeping stream*,
Curious in grief, (for real grief, we know,
Is curious to dress up the tale of woe)
From the green umbrage of some Druid's "eat,
Shall his own works in his own way repeat.
Me, whom no Muse of heav'nly birth inspires, No judgment tempers when rash genius fires j Who boast no merit but mere knack of rhyme, Short gleams of sense, and satire out of time, Who cannot follow where trim Fancy leads By prattling streams o'er Jlow'r-empurpled meads; Who, often, but without success, have pray'd For apt Alliteration's artful aid; Who would, but cannot, with a master's skill, Coin fine new epithets, which mean no ill; We, thus uncouth, thus ev'ry way unfit For pacing poesy, and ambling wit, Taste with contempt beholds, nor deigns to place Amongst the lowest of her favour'd race.
Thou, Nature, art my goddess-^to thy law
Myself I dedicate.—Hence slavish awe
Which bends to fashion, and obeys the rules,
Impos'd at first, and since observ'd by fools.
thrice those vile tricks which mar fair Nature's hue,
And bring the sober matron forth to view,
With all that artificial tawdry glare,
Which Virtue scorns, and none but strumpets wear.
Sick of those pomps, those vanities, that waste
Of toil, which critics now mistake for taste,
Of false refinements sick, and labour'd ease,
Which Art, too thinly vcil'd, forbids to please,
By Nature's charms (inglorious truth !) subdu'd,
Hawevcr plain her dress, and 'haviour rude,
To northern climes my happier course I steer,
Climes where the goddess reigns throughouttheyear,
Where, undisturb'd by Art's rebellious plan,-
She rules the loyal laird, and faithful clan.
To that rare soil, where virtues clust'ring grow,
What mighty blessings doth not England owe?
What waggon-loads of courage, wealth, and sense,
Doth each revolving day import from theuce?
To us she gives, disinterested friend,
Faith without fraud, and Stuarts without end.
When we Prosperity's rich trappings wear,
Come not her gen'rous sons and take a share?
And if, by some disastrous turn of Fate,
Change should ensue, and ruin seize the state,
Shall we not find, safe in that hallow'd ground,
Such refuge as the Holy Martyr found?
Nor less our debt in Science, though deny'd
By the weak slaves of prejudice and pride.
Thence came the Ramsays, names of worthy note,
Of whom one paints, as well as t' other wrote;
Thence, Home, disbanded from the sons of pray'r
For loving plays, though no dull dean was there;
Thence issued forth, at great Macpherson's call,
That old, ne-x, epic pastoral, Fingal;
Thence Malloch, friend alike of church and state,
Of Christ and Liberty, by grateful Fate
Rais'd to rewards which, in a pious reign,
All darling infidels should seek in vain;
Thence simple bards, by simple prudence taught,
To this wise town by simple patrons brought,
In simple manner utter simple lays,
And take, with simple pensions, simple praise.
Waft me some Muse to Tweed's inspiring stream,
Where all the little Loves and Graces dream,
Where slowly winding the dull waters creep,
And seem themselves to own the power of sleep.
Where on the surface lead, like feathers, swims,
There let me bathe my yet unhallow'd limbs,
As once a Syrian bath'd in Jordan's flood,
Wash off my native stains, correct that blood
Which mutinies at call of English pride,
And, deaf to prudence, rolls a patriot tide.
From solemn thought which overhangs the brow
Of patriot care, when things are—God knows how;
From nice trim points, where Honour, slave to rule,
In compliment to Folly, plays the fool;
From those gay scenes where Mirth exalts his pow'r,
And easy Humour wings the laughing hour;
From those soft hotter moments, when desire
Beats high, and all the world of man \s on tire,
When mutual ardours of the melting fair
More than repay us for whole years of care,
At Friendship's summons will my Wilkes retreat,
And see, once seen before, that ancient seat,
That ancient seat, where majesty display'd
Her ensigns, long before tht zcorUl sas mudt!
CHURCHILL'S POEMS.Mean narrow maxims, which enslave mankind,
Ne'er from its bias warp thy settled mind.
Not dup'd by party, nor Opinion's slave,
Those faculties which bounteous Nature gave,
Thy honest spirit into practice brings.
Nor courts the smile, nor dreads the frown nf kings.
Let rude licentious Englishmen comply
With tumult's voice, and curse they know not why;
Unwilling to condemn, thy soul disdains
To wear vile Faction's arbitrary chains,
And strictly weighs, in apprehension clear,
Things as they are, and not as they appear.
With thee Good-Humour tempers lively Wit.
Enthron'd with Judgment, Candour loves to sit.
And Nature gave thee, open to distress,
A heart to pity, and a hand to bless.
Oft have I heard thee mourn the wretched lot
Of the poor, mean, despis'd, insulted Scot,
Who, might calm reason credit idle tales,
By rancour forg'd where prejudice prevails,
Or starves at home, or practises through fear
Of starving, arts wh:ch damn all conscience here.
When scribblers, to the charge by int'rest led,
The fierce North Briton foaming at their head,
Pour forth invectives, deaf to Candour's call,
And injur'd by one alien, rail at all;
On Northern Pisgah when they take their stand,
To mark the weakness of that holy land.
With needless truths their libels to adorn,
And hang a nation up to public scorn,
Thy gen'rous soul condemns the frantic rage,
And hates the faithful but ill-natur'd page.
"The Scots are poor," cries surly English pride
True is the charge, nor by themselves deny'd.
Are they not then in strictest reason clear.
Who wisely come to mend their fortunes here?
If by low supple arts successful grown,
They sapp'd our vigour to increase their own,
If, mean in want, and insolent in pow'r,
They only fawn'd more surely to devour,
Rous*d by such wrongs should Reason take ahum.
And e'en the Muse for public safety arm;
But if they own ingenuous Virtue's sway,
And follow where true Honour points the way,
If they revere the hand by which they 're fed,
And bless the donors for their daily bread,
Or by vast debts of higher import bound,
Are always humble, always grateful found,
If they, directed by Paul's holy pen,
Become discreetly all things to all men,
That all men may become all things to them,
Envy may hate, but Justice can't condemn.
"Into our places, states, and beds they creep;"
They 've sense to get, what we want sense to k-ep.
Once, be the hour accurs'd, accurs'd the place,
I ventur'd to blaspheme the chosen race.
Into those traps, which men call'd patriots laid,
By specious arts unwarily betray'd,
Madly I leagu'd against that sacred earth,
Vile parricide I which gave a parent birth.
But shall I meanly Errour's path pursue,
When heavenly Truth presents her friendly clue,
Once plung'd in ill, shall I go further in?
To make the oath was rash; to keep it, sin.
Backward 1 tread the paths I trod before,
And calm reflection hates what passion swore.
Converted, (blessed are the souls which know
Those pleasures which from true conversion flow,
Whether to Reason, who now rules my breast,
Or to pure Faith, like Lytteltou aud West)