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As, when the rapid Rhine o'er swelling tides,
old Ocean's coaft, in triumph rides,
Though rich in fource, he drains a thousand springs,
Nor scorns the tribute each small riv'let brings :
So thou shalt hence abforb each feeble ray,
Each dawn of meaning in thy brighter day;
Shalt like, or where thou canft not like, excuse,
Since no mean interest shall prophane the Muse;
No malice wrapt in truth's disguise offend,
No flattery taint the freedom of a friend.
When first a generous mind furveys the great, And views the crowds that on their fortune wait, Pleas'd with the few, (though little understood,) He only seeks the pow'r, to do the good : Thinks, till he tries, 'tis godlike to difpofe, And gratitude still springs, when bounty flows; That every grant fincere affection wins, And where our wants have end, our love begins. But they who long the paths of fate have trod, Learn from the clamours of the murm'ring crowd, Which cramm'd, yet craving, still their gates befiege, 'Tis easier far to give, than to oblige. This of thy conduct feems the niceft part, The chief perfection of the statesinan's art,
To give to fair afsent a fairer face,
Or foften a refusal into grace.
But few there are, that can be freely kind,
Or know to fix the favours on the mind;
Hence fome whene'er they would oblige, offend,
And while they make the fortune, lose the friend :
Still give unthankd; ftill fquander, not beftow;
For great men want not what to give, but how.
The race of men that follow courts, 'tis true,
Think all they get, and more than all, their due ;
Still ask, but ne'er consult their own deserts,
And measure by their intereft, not their parts.
From this mistake so many men we see
But ill become the thing they wish to be:
Hence discontent and fresh demands arise,
More power, more favour in the
eyes: All feel a want, though none the cause fufpects, But hate their patron for their own defects. Such none can pleafe, but who reforms their hearts, And when he gives them places, gives them parts, As thefe o'erprize their worth, fo fure the great May sell their favours at too dear a rate. When merit pines. while clamour is preferid, And long attachment waits among the herd;
When no diftinction, where distinction's due,
Marks from the many the superior few;
When strong cabal constrains them to be just,
And makes them give at last, because they must;
What hopes that men of real worth should prize
What neither friendship gives, nor merit buys.
The man who justly o’er the whole presides,
His well-weigh'd choice with wise affection guides :
Knows when to stop with grace, and when advance,
Nor gives from importunity, or chance;
But thinks how little gratitude is ow'd,
When favours are extorted, not bestow'd.
When safe on shore ourselves, we see the crowd
Surround the great, importunate and loud,
Through such a tumult 'tis no easy task,
To drive the man of real worth to ask;
Surrounded thus, and giddy with the shew,
'Tis hard for great men rightly to bestow;
From hence so few are skill'd in either case,
To ask with dignity, or give with grace.
Sometimes the great, seduc'd by love of parts,
Consult our genius, but neglect our hearts ;
Pleas’d with the glittering sparks that genius fings,
They lift us tow'ring on the eagle's wings:
Mark out the flights by which themselves begun,
And teach our dazzled eyes to bear the sun,
'Till we forget the hand that made us great,
And grow to envy, not to emulate.
To emulate a generous warmth implies,
To reach the virtues that make great men rise ;
But envy wears a mean malignant face,
And aims not at their virtues, but their place.
Such to oblige, how vain is the pretence !
favour is a fresh offence,
By which superior power is still imply'd,
And while it helps the fortune, hurts the pride.
Slight is the hate neglect or hardships breed,
But those who hate from envy, hate indeed.
Since so perplex'd the choice, whom shall we trust?
Methinks, I hear thee cry, the brave, the just;
The man by no mean fears or hopes contrould,
Who serves thee from affection, not for gold !
We love the honest, and esteem the brave,
Despise the coxcomb, but detest the knave.
No shew of parts the truly wise seduce,
To think that knaves can be of real use.
The man who contradicts the public voice,
And strives to dignify a worthless choice,
Attempts a talk that on the choice reflects,
And lends us light to point out new defécts.
One worthless man that gains what he pretends,
Disgusts a thousand unpretending friends;
And since no art can make a counter pafs,
Or add the weight of gold to mimic brafs,
When 'princes to bad ore their image join,
They more debase the stamp than raise the coins ,
Be thine that care, true merit to reward,
And gain that good; nor will the tafk be bard.
Souls found alike fo quick by nature blend,
An honest man is more than half thy friendi
Him no mere views, no haste to rise, fall fway,
Thy choice. to fully, or thy truft betray.
Ambition here shall at due distance stand,
Nor is wit dangerous in an honeft hand:
Besides, if failings at the bottom lie,
He views thofe failings with a lover's eye.
Though small his genius, let him do his beft;
Our wishes and belief supply the neft :
Let others barter fervile faith for gold,
His friendship is not to be: bought or folds
Fierce oppofition he unmov'd shall face,
Modest in favour, daring in difgrace ;