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He 'midst an Age of Puns and Pedants wrote
With genuine fenfe, and Roman ftrength of thought.

Yet scarce had Satire well relum'd her flame,
(With grief the Muse records her Country's shame) 420
Ere Britain saw the foul revolt commence,
And treacherous Wit began her war with Sense.
Then rose a shameless mercenary train,
Whom latest ime shall view with just disdain :
A race fantastic, in whose gaudy line

425 Untutor'd thought and tinsel beauty shine: Wit's shatter'd Mirror lies in fragments bright, Reflects not Nature, but confounds the fight. Dry Morals the Court-Poet blush'd to fing; 'Twas all his praise to say “ the oddest thing." 430 Proud for a jest obscene, a Patron's nod, To martyr Virtue, or blaspheme his God,

Ill-fated Dryden! who unmov'd can see
Th' extremes of wit and meanness join'd in Thee!
Flames that could mount, and gain their kindred skies,
Low creeping in the putrid link of vice :
A Muse whom Wisdom woo’d, but woo'd in vain,
The Pimp of Power, the Prostitute to Gain :
Wreaths, that should deck fair Virtue's form alone,
To Strumpets, Traitors, Tyrants, vilely thrown: 440
Unrival'd Parts, the scorn of honest fame;
And Genius rise, a Monument of shame!

More happy France: immortal Boileau there
Supported Genius with a Sage's care:
Him with her love propitious Satire blest,

445 And breath'd her airs divine into his breast :

Fancy

Fancy and Sense to form his line conspire,
And faultless Judgment guides the purest Fire.

But see, at length, the British Genius finile,
And shower her bounties o'er her favour'd Ide:

450 Behold for Pope she twines the laurel crown, And centers every

Poet's power in one : Each Roman's force adorns his various page; Gay smiles, collected ftrength, and manly rage. Despairing Guilt and Dulness loath the fight, 455 As Spectres vanish at approaching light: In this clear Mirror with delight we view Each Image justly fine, and boldly true : Here Vice, dragg'd forth by Truth's supremne decree, Beholds and hates her own deformity;

460 While self-feen Virtue in the faithful line With modest joys surveys her form divine. But oh, what thoughts, what numbers Thall I find, But faintly to express the Poet's mind! Who yonder Stars effulgence can display, 465 Unless he dip his pencil in the ray? Who paint a God, unless the God inspire ? What catch the lightning, but the speed of fire ? So, mighty Pope, to make thy Genius known, All power is weak, all numbers--- but thy own. 470 Each Muse for thee with kind contention ftrove, For thee the Graces left th’ Idalian grove; With watchful fondness o'er thy cradle hung, Attun'd thy voice, and form’d thy infant tongue. Next, to her Bard majestic Wisdom came; 47 S The bard enraptur’d caught the heavenly flame : C2

With 480

With taste superior scorn’d the venal tribe,
Whom fear can sway, or guilty greatness bribe;
At Fancy's call who rear the wanton fail,
Sport with the stream, and trifle in the gale :
Sublimer views thy daring Spirit bound;
Thy mighty Voyage was Creation's round;
Intent new Worlds of Wisdom to explore,
And bless Mankind with Virtue's sacred store ;
A nobler joy than Wit can give, impart : 485
And pour a moral transport o'er the heart.
Fantastic Wit shoots momentary fires,
And, like a meteor, while we gaze, expires :
Wit kindled by the sulphurous breath of Vice,
Like the blue lightning, while it fhines, destroys :

490
But Genius, fir’d by Truth's eternal ray,
Burns clear and constant, like the source of day :
Like this its beam, prolific and refin'd,
Feeds, warms, infpirits, and exalts the mind;
Mildly dispels each wintery Paffion's gloom,

495 And opens all the Virtues into bloom. This praise, immortal Pope, to thee be given. Thy Genius was indeed a Gift from Heaven. Hail, Bard unequal’d, in whose deathless line Reason and wit with strength collected shine;

500 Where matchless Wit but wins the second praise, Lost, nobly lost, in Truth's superior blaze. Did Friendship e’er mislead thy wandering Muse? That Friendship sure may plead the great excuse : That sacred Friendship which inspir’d thy Song, 505 Fair in defect, and amiably wrong.

Error

510

Error like this ev’n Truth can scarce reprove;
'Tis almost Virtue when it flows from Love.

Ye deathless Names, ye Sons of endless praise,
By Virtue crown'd with never-fading bays !
Say, shall an artless Muse, if you inspire,
Light her pale lamp at your immortal fire ?
Or if, o Warburton, inspir’d by You,
The daring Muse a nobler path pursue,
By You inspir’d, on trembling pinions foar,

515
The sacred founts of social bliss explore,
In her bold numbers chain the Tyrant's rage,
And bid her Country's glory fire her page :
If such her fate, do thou, fair Truth, descend,
And watchful guard her in an honest end :

520 Kindly severe, instruct her equal line To court no Friend, nor own a Foe but thine. But if her giddy eye should vainly quit Thy sacred paths, to run the maze of wit; If her apostate heart should e'er incline

525 To offer incense at Corruption's shrine ; Urge, urge thy power, the black attempt confound, And dash the smoaking Censer to the ground. Thus aw'd to fear, instructed Bards may see That guilt is doom'd to sink in Infamy.

530

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