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He hides behind a magisterial air
Guns, halberts, swords, and pistols, great and His own offences, and strips others bare;
That brass and steel should make so fine a show;
No works shall find acceptance in that day, Most satirists are indeed a public scourge;
When all disguises shall be rent away, Their mildest physic is a farrier's purge; That square not truly with the Scripture plan, Their acrid temper turns, as soon as stirred, Nor spring from love to God, or love to man. The milk of their good purpose all to curd. As he ordains things sordid in their birth Their zeal begotten, as their works rehearse, To be resolved into their parent earth; By lean despair upon an empty purse,
And, though the soul shall seek superior orbs, The wild assassins start into the street,
Whate'er this world produces, it absorbs; Prepared to poniard whomsoe'er they meet. So self starts nothing, but what tends apace No skill in swordmanship, however just, Home to the goal, where it began the race. Can be secure against a madman's thrust; Such as our motive is, our aim must be; And even Virtue, so unfairly matched,
If this be servile, that can ne'er be free: Although immortal, may be pricked or scratched. If self employ us, whatsoe'er is wrought, When scandal has new minted an old lie, We glorify that self, not him we ought: Or taxed invention for a fresh supply,
Such virtues had need prove their own reward, 'Tis called a satire, and the world appears
The Judge of all men owes them no regard. Gathering around it with erected ears:
True Charity, a plant divinely nursed, A thousand names are tossed into the crowd; Fed by the love from which it rose at first, Some whispered softly, and some twanged aloud; Thrives against hope, and, in the rudest scene, Just as the sapience of an author's brain
Storms but enliven its unfading green: Suggests it safe or dangerous to be plain. Exuberant is the shadow it supplies, Strange! how the frequent interjected dash Its fruits on earth, its growth above the skies. Quickens a market and helps off the trash;
To look at Him, who formed us and redeemed, The important letters, that include the rest, So glorious now, though once so disesteemed, Serve as a key to those that are suppressed;
To see a God stretch forth his human hand, Conjecture gripes the victims in his paw,
T' uphold the boundless scenes of his command; The world is charmed, and Scrib escapes the law. To recollect, that, in a form like ours, So, when the cold damp shades of night prevail,
He bruised beneath his feet th'infernal powers, Worms may be caught by either head or tail; Captivity led captive, rose to claim Forcibly drawn from many a close recess,
The wreath he won so dearly in our name; They meet with little pity, no redress;
That, throned above all height, he condescends Plunged in the stream, they lodge upon the mud,
To call the few that trust in him his friends; Food for the famished rovers of the flood.
That, in the Heaven of heavens, that space he
And shines as if impatient to bestow
Though feeble in degree, in kind the same.
The founder of that name alone inspires, The turns are quick, the polished points surprise, Though all accomplishment, all knowledge meet, But shine with cruel and tremendous charms, To make the shining prodigy complete, That, while they please, possess us with alarms; Whoever boasts that name-behold a cheat! So have I seen (and hastened to the sight Were love, in these the world's last doting years, On all the wings of holiday delight,)
As frequent as the want of it appears, Where stands that monument of ancient power, The churches warmed, they would no longer hold Named, with emphatic dignity, the Tower, Such frozen figures, stiff as they are cold;
Relenting forms would lose their power or cease; Both sides deceived, if rightly understood, And e'en the dipped and sprinkled live in Pelting each other for the public good. peace:
Did Charity pre rail, the press would prove Each heart would quit its prison in the breast, A vehicle of virtue, truth, and love; And flow in free communion with the rest. And I might spare myself the pains to show The statesman, skilled in projects dark and deep, What few can learn, and all suppose they know. Might burn his useless Machiavel, and sleep; Thus I have sought to grace a serious lay His budget often filled, yet always poor,
With many a wild, indeed, but flowery spray, Might swing at ease behind his study door, In hopes to gain, what else I must have lost, No longer prey upon our annual rents,
Th’ attention pleasure has so much engrossed. Or scare the nation with its big contents: But if, unhappily deceived, I dream, Disbanded legions freely might depart,
And prove too weak for so divine a theme, And slaying man would cease to be an art. Let Charity forgive me a mistake, No learned disputants would take the field, That zeal, not vanity, has chanced to make, Sure not to conquer, and sure not to yielu; And spare the poet for his subject's sake.
Though Nature weigh our talents, and dispense, The heathen law.givers of ancient days, To every man his modicum of sense,
Names almost worthy of a Christian's praise, And conversation in its better part
Would drive them forth from the resort of men, May be esteemed a gift, and not an art,
And shut up every satyr in his den. Yet much depends, as in the tiller's toil,
O come not ye near innocence and truth, On culture, and the sowing of the soil.
Ye worms that eat into the bud of youth! Words learned by rote a parrot may rehearse, Infectious as impure, your blighting power But talking is not always to converse;
Taints in its rudiments the promised flower, Not more distinct from harmony divine,
Its odour perished and its charming hue, The constant creaking of a country sign.
Thenceforth 'tis hateful, for it smells of you. As alphabets in ivory employ,
Not e'en the vigorous and headlong rage Hour after hour, the yet unlettered boy,
Of adolescence, or a firmer age, Sorting and puzzling with a deal of glee
Affords a plea allowable or just Those seeds of science called his A B C;
For making speech the pamperer of lust; So language in the mouths of the adult,
But when the breath of age commits the fault, Witness its insignificant result,
'Tis nauseous as the vapour of a vault, Too often proves an implement of play,
So withered stumps disgrace the sylvan scene, A toy to sport with, and pass time away.
No longer fruitful, and no longer green; Collect at evening what the day brought forth, The sapless wood, divested of the bark, Compress the sum into its solid worth,
Grows fungous, and takes fire at every spark. And if it weigh th' importance of a fly, The scales are false, or algebra a lie,
Oaths terminate, as Paul observes, all strifeSacred interpreter of human thought,
Some men have surely then a peaceful life;
The feats of Vestris, or the naval force,
Makes contradiction such a hopeless case:
In every tale they tell, or false or true,
There is a prurience in the speech of some, With oaths like rivets forced into the brain; Wrath stays him, or else God would strike them And e’en when sober truth prevails throughout, dumb:
They swear it, till affirmance breeds a doubt. His wise forbearance has their end in view, A Persian, humble servant of the sun, They fill their measure, and receive their due. Who, though devout, yet bigotry had none,
Hearing a lawyer, grave in his address,
For want of prominence and just relief, With abjuration every word impress,
Would hang an honest man, and save a thief. Supposed the man a bishop, or, at least, Through constant dread of giving truth offence, God's name so much upon his lips, a priest; He ties up all his hearers in suspense; Bowed at the close with all his graceful airs, Knows what he knows, as if he knew it not; And begged an interest in his frequent prayers, What he remembers, seems to have forgot;
Go, quit the rank to which ye stood preferred, His sole opinion, whatsoe'er befall, Henceforth associate in one common herd; Centering at last in having none at all. Religion, virtue, reason, common sense, Yet, though he tease and baulk your listening ear, Pronounce your human form a false pretence; He makes one useful point exceeding clear; A mere disguise, in which a devil lurks,
Howe'er ingenious on his darling theme
Ye powers who rule the tongue, if such there are, Reduced to practice, his beloved rule
Fate having placed all truth above his reach,
The positive pronounce without dismay; Divert the champions prodigal of breath; Their want of light and intellect supplied And put the peaceably-disposed to death. By sparks absurdity strikes out of pride. O thwart me not, sir Soph, at every turn, Without the means of knowing right from wrong, Nor carp at every flaw you may discern; They always are decisive, clear, and strong; Though syllogisms hang not on my tongue, Where others toil with philosophic force, I am not surely always in the wrong;
Their nimble nonsense takes a shorter course; 'Tis hard if all is false that I advance,
Flings at your head conviction in the lump, A fool must now and then be right by chance. And gains remote conclusions at a jump: Not that all freedom of dissent I blame; Their own defect, invisible to them, Northere I grant the privilege I claim.
Seen in another, they at once condemn; A disputable point is no man's ground;
And, though self-idolized in every case, Rove where you please, 'tis common all around. Hate their own likeness in a brother's face.
a Discourse may want an animated—No,
The cause is plain, and not to be denied, To brush the surface, and to make it flow; The proud are always most provoked by pride; But still remember, if you mean to please, Few competitions but engender spite; To press your point with modesty and ease. And those the most where neither has a right. The mark, at which my juster aim I take,
The point of honour has been deemed of use, Is contradiction for its own dear sake.
To teach good manners, and to curb abuse; Set your opinion at whatever pitch,
Admit it true, the consequence is clear,
And at the bottom barbarous still and rude,
And savage in its principle appears,
Tried, as it should be, by the fruit it bears. I twirl my thumbs, fall back into my chair, 'Tis hard, indeed, if nothing will defend Fix on the wainscot a distressful stare,
Mankind from quarrels but their fatal end; And, when I hope his blunders are all out, That now and then a hero must decease, Reply discreetly-To be sure—no doubt! That the surviving world may live in peace.
Dubius is such a scrupulous good man- Perhaps at last close scrutiny may show Yes you may catch him tripping if you can. The practice dastardly, and mean, and low; He would not, with a peremptory tone,
That men engage in it compelled by force, Assert the nose upon his face his own;
And fear, not courage, is its proper source; With hesitation admirably slow,
The fear of tyrant custom, and the fear He humbly hopes-presumes—it may be so. Lest fops should censure us, and fools should sneer. His evidence, if he were called by law
At least, to trample on our Maker's laws, To swear to some enormity he saw,
And hazard life for any or no cause,
To rush into a fixed eternal state
Guy Earl of Warwick and fair Eleanore, Out of the very flames of rage and hate,
Or giant-killing Jack, would please me more. Or send another shivering to the bar
The pipe, with solemn interposing puff, With all the guilt of such unnatural war, Makes half a sentence at a time enough; Whatever use may urge, or honour plead, The dozing sages drop the drowsy strain, On reason's verdict is a madman's deed.
Then pause, and puff—and speak, and pause Am I to set my life upon a throw,
again. Because a bear is rude and surly? No- Such often, like the tube they so admire, A moral, sensible and well-bred man
Important triflers: have more smoke than fire. Will not affront me; and no other can.
Pernicious weed! whose scent the fair annoys, Were I empowered to regulate the lists, Unfriendly to society's chief joys, They should encounter with well-loaded fists; Thy worst effect is banishing for hours A Trojan combat would be something new, The sex, whose presence civilizes ours: Let Dares beat Entellus black and blue; Thou art indeed the drug a gardener wants, Then each might show, to his admiring friends, To poison vermin that infest his plants; In honourable bumps his rich amends,
But are we so to wit and beauty blind, And carry in contusions of his skull,
As to despise the glory of our kind, A satisfactory receipt in full.
And show the softest minds and fairest forms
As little mercy, as the grubs and worms?
They dare not wait the riotous abuse,
Thy thirst-creating steams at length produce,
When wine has given indecent language birth, May furnish illustration, well applied;
And forced the flood-gates of licentious mirth; But sedentary weavers of long tales
For sea-born Venus her attachment shows Give me the fidgets, and my patience fails.
Still to that element, from which she rose, 'Tis the most asinine employ on earth,
And with a quiet, which no fumes disturb, 'To hear them tell of parentage and birth, And echo conversations dull and dry,
Sips meek infusions of a milder herb.
Th' emphatic speaker dearly loves t'oppose Embellished with—He said, and So said I.
In contact inconvenient, nose to nose, At every interview their route the same,
As if the gnomon on his neighbour's phiz, The repetition makes attention lame:
Touched with the magnet, had attracted his. We bustle up with unsuccessful speed,
His whispered theme, dilated and at large,
Proves after all a wind-gun's airy charge,
An extract of his diary-no more,
A tasteless journal of the day before.
He walked abroad, o'ertaken in the rain,
Called on a friend, drank tea, stepped home again, The worst that can invade a sickly brain,
Resumed his purpose, had a world of talk Is that, which angles hourly for surprise,
With one he stumbled on, and lost his walk. And baits its hook with prodigies and lies.
I interrupt him with a sudden bow, Credulous infancy, or age as weak,
Adieu, dear sir! lest you should lose it now. Are fittest auditors for such to seek,
I can not talk with civet in the room,
A fine puss-gentleman that's all perfume;
The sight's enough—no need to smell a beau
Who thrusts his nose into a rareeshow?
His odoriferous attempts to please,
Perhaps might prosper with a swarm of bees; Yes, (rather moved) I saw it with these eyes;
But we that make no honey, though we sting, Sir! I believe it on that ground alone;
Poets, are sometimes apt to maul the thing. I could not, had I seen it with my own.
'Tis wrong to bring into a mixed resort,
What makes some sick, and others a la-mort: A tale should be judicious, clear, succinct; An argument of cogence, we may say, The language plain, and incidents well linked; Why such a one should keep himself away. Tell not as new what every body knows,
A graver coxcomb we may sometimes see, And, new or old, still hasten to a close;
Quite as absurd, though not so light as he;
An oracle within an empty cask,
A fool with judges, amongst fools a judge;
He says but little, and that little said
Few Frenchmen of this evil have complained; Owes all its weight, like loaded dice, to lead. It seems as if we Britons were ordained, His wit invites you by his looks to come, By way of wholesome curb upon our pride; But when you knock, it never is at home. To fear each other, fearing none beside. *Tis like a parcel sent you by the stage,
The cause perbaps inquiry may descry,
The vainest corner of our own vain heart;
Sonr men employ their health, an ugly trick, In other eyes our talents rarely shown,
We dare not risk them into public view,
Lest they miscarry of what seems their due.
And only blushes in the proper place;
Where 'tis a shame to be ashamed t appear : Now the distemper, spite of draught or pill, Humility the parent of the first, Victorious seemed, and now the doctor's skill; The last hy vanity produced and nursed. And now-alas for unforeseen mishaps ! The circle formed, we sit in silent state, They put on a damp nightcap and relapse; Like figures drawn upon a dial plate; They thought they must have died, they were so Yes ma'am and no ma'am, uttered softly show bad;
Every five minutes how the minutes go; Their peevish hearers almost wish they had. Each individual suffering a constraint
Some fretful tempers wince at every touch, Poetry may, but colours can not paint;
As if in close committee on the sky,
Of wise reflection, and well timed discourse.
But fear to call a more important cause,
Recovering what we lost we know not how,
The reeking, roaring hero of the chase,
And though the fox he follows may be tamed,
Or if, deserving of a better doom,
Yet e'en the rogue that serves him, though he stand, Like hidden lamps in old sepulchral urns. To take his honour's orders, cap in hand,