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And must no Egg in Japhet's face be thrown,
Because the Deed he forg'd was not my own? 190
Must never Patriot then declaim at Gin,
Unless, good man! he has been fairly in?
No zealous Paftor blame a failing Spouse,
Without a staring Reason on his brows ?
And each Blafphemer quite escape the rod, 195
Because the insult's not on Man, but God?
Alk you what Provocation I have had ?
The frong Antipathy of Good to Bad.
When Truth or Virtue an Affront endures,
Th' Affront is mine, my friend, and should be yours.
Mine, as a Foe profess'd to false Pretence,
Who think a Coxcomb's Honour like his Senfe ;
Mine, as a Friend to every worthy mind;
And mine as Man, who feel for all mankind.
F. You 're strangely proud.
P. So proud, I am no Slave :
So impudent, I own myself no Knave :
So odd, my Country's Ruin makes me grave.
Yes, I am proud; I must be proud to see
Men not afraid of God, afraid of me:
Safe from the Bar, the Pulpit, and the Throne,
Yet touch'd and sham'd by Ridicule alone.
O sacred weapon ! left for Truth's defence,
Sole Dread of Folly, Vice, and Infolence !
To all but Heaven-directed hands deny'd,
The Muse may give thee, but the Gods must guide:
Reverent I touch thee! but with honest zeal;
To rouze the Watchmen of the public Weal,
To Virtue's work provoke the tardy Hall,
And goad the Prelate slumbering in his Stall.
Ye tinsel Insects ! whom a Court maintains,
That counts your Beauties only by your Stains,
Cobwebs o'er the Eye of Day!
"The Muse's wing shall brush you away :
All his Grace preaches, all his Lordship sings,
All that makes Saints of Queens, and Gods of Kings.
All, all but Truth, drops dead-born from the Press,
Like the last Gazette, or the last Address.
When black Ambition stains a public Cause,
A Monarch's Sword when mad Vain-glory draws,
Not Waller's Wreath can hide the Nation's Scar,
230 Not Boileau turn the Feather to a Star.
Not so, when, diadem'd with rays divine, Touch'd with the Flame that breaks from Virtue's Shrine, Her Priestess Muse forbids the Good to die, And opes the Temple of Eternity.
235 There, other Trophies deck the truly brave, Than such as Anstis casts into the Grave;
After ver. 227, in the MS.
Where's now the Star that lighted Charles to rise?
-With that which follow'd Julius to the skies.
Angels, that watch'd the Royal Oak fo well,
How chanc'd ye nod, when luckless Sorel fell?
Hence, lying miracles ! reduc'd so low
As to the regal-touch and papal-toe ;
Hence haughty Edgar's title to the Main,
Britain's to France, and thine to India, Spain !
Far other Stars than * and * *
And may descend to Mordington from Stair;
(Such as on Hough's unfully'd Mitre shine,
Or beam, good Digby, from a heart like thine)
Let Envy howl, while Heaven's whole Chorus sings,
And bark at Honour not conferr'd by Kings;
Let Flattery lickening see the Incense rise,
Sweet to the World, and grateful to the Skies :
Truth guards the Poet, sanctifies the line,
And makes immortal, Verse as mean as mine.
Yes, the last Pen for Freedom let me draw,
When Truth stands trembling on the edge of Law;
Here, last of Britons ! let your Names be read;
Are none, none living ? let me praise the Dead,
And for that Cause which made your Fathers Mhine,
Fall by the Votes of their degenerate Line.
F. Alas; alas ! pray end what you began,
And write next winter more Ellays on Man.