Графични страници
PDF файл


Nor fondly deem the real fool confeft,

Because blind Ridicule conceives a jest;
Before whose altar Virtue oft' liath bled,
And oft' a destin'd victim shall be led :
Lo! Shaftsb’ry rear's her high on Reason's throne,
And loads the slave with honours not her own ; 200
Big swoln with folly, as her smiles provoke,
Profaneness spawns, pert dunces nurse the joke!
Come, let us join a while this titt'ring crew,
And own the idiot guide for once is true;
Deride our weak foreíathers' musty rule,

Who therefore smil'd because they saw a fool;
Sublimer logic now adorns our ille,
We therefore see a fool because we smile.
Truth in her gloomy cave why fondly seek?

gay the fits in Laughter's dimpled cheek;
Contemns each surly academic foe,
And courts the spruce freethinker and the beau.
Dædalian arguments but few can trace,
But all can read the language of grimace.
Hence mighty Ridicule's all-conq'ring hand 215
Shall work Herculean wonders thro’the land :
Bound in the magic of her cobweb chain,
You, mighty Warhurton! shall rage in vain;
In vain the trackless maze of truth you scan,
And lend th' informing clue to erring man.
No more shall Reason boast her pow'r divine,
Her base eternal shook by Folly's mine!
Truth's sacred fort the exploded laugh fhall win,
And coxcombs vanquish Berkley by a grin.

But you, more sage, reject th’inverted ruie, 225
That truth is e'er explor'd by ridicule :
On truth, on falsehood, let her colours fall,
She throws a dazzling glare alike on all;
As the gay prifm but mocks the flatter'd eye,
And gives to ev'ry object ev'ry dye.

Beware the mad advent'rer: bold and blind
She hoists her fail, and drives with ev'ry wind;
Deaf as the storm to sinking Virtue's groan,
Nor heeds a friend's destruction or her own.



[ocr errors]


Let clear-ey'd Reason at the helm preside, 235
Bear to the wind, or stem the furious tide;
Then mirth may urge when reason can explore;
This point the way, that waft us glad to fhore.

Tho' distant times may rise in Satire's page,
Yet chief 'tis her's to draw the present age: 240
With Wisdom's lustre Folly's Made contrast,
And judge the reigning manners by the past;
Bid Britain's heroes (awful thades !) arise,
And ancient honour beam on modern vice;
Point back, to minds ingenuous, actions fair, 245
Till the fons blush at what their fathers were:
Ere yet 'twas beggary the great to trust,
Ere yet 'twas quite a folly to be just;
When low-born sharpers only dar'd a lie,
Or falsify'd the card, or cogg'd the die;

250 Ere Lewdness the stain'd garb of Honour wore, Or Chaitity was carted for the whore ; Vice flutter'd, in the plumes of Freedom drest, Or public spirit was the public jest. Be ever in a just expression bold,

255 Yet ne'er degrade fair Satire to a scold : Let no unworthy mien her form debase, But let her smile and let her frown with grace; In mirth be temp’rate, temp'rate in her spleen, Nor, while she preaches modesty, obscene. 260 Deep let her wound, not rankle to a fore, Nor call his Lordship

her Grace a The Muse's charms refiftless then affail When wrapp'd in Irony's transparent veil : Her beauties half.conceal'd the more surprise, 265 And keener lustre sparkles in her eyes. Then be your line with sharp encomiums grac'd; Style Clodius Honourable, Bufa Chaste.

Dart not on Folly an indignant eye: Whoe'er discharg'd artillery on a fly?

270 Deride not Vice; absurd the thought and vain To bind the tiger in so weak a chain. Nay more; when flagrant crimes your laughter move, The knave exults: to smile is to approve.



The Muse's labour then success shall crown 275
When Folly feels her smile, and Vice her frown,

Know next what measures to each theme belong,
And suit your thoughts and numbers to your song:
On wing proportiond to your quarry rise,
And ftoop to earth, or foar among the skies. 280
Thus when a modifh folly you rehearse,
Free the expression, simple be the verse :
In artless numbers paint th' ambitious peer
That mounts the box, and shines a charioteer:
In strains familiar sing the midnight toil
Of camps and fenates disciplin'd by Hoyle;
Patriots and chiefs, whose deep design invades
And carries off the captive king of Spades !
Let Satire here in milder vigour shine,
And gaily graceful sport along the line ;

Eid courtly Fashion quit her thin pretence,
And smile each affectation into sense.

Not so when Virtue, by her guards betray'd,
Spurn'd from her throne, implores the Muses' aid;
When crimes, which erst in kindred darkness lay, 295
Rise frontless, and insult the eye of day;
Indignant Hymen veils his hallow'd fires,
And white-rob’d Chastity with tears retires:
When rank Adult'ry on the genial bed,
Hot from Cocytus, rears her baleful head;

When private faith and public trust are sold,
And traitors barter liberty for gold;
When fell Corruption dark and deep, like Fate,
Saps the foundation of a finking itate;
When giant Vice and Irreligion rise

On mountain'd faisehoods to invade the skies;
Then warmer numbers glow thro' Satire's page,
And all her Imiles are darken’d into rage ;
On eagle wings she gains Parnafius' height,
Hot lofty Epic loai's a nobler fight :
Then keener indignation fires her eye;
Tlien flash her lightnings, and her thunders fly :
Wide and more wide ber flaming bolts are hurld,
Till all her wrath involves the guilty world.




Yet Satire oft'allumes a gentler mien,

315 And beams on Virtue's friends a smile serene: She wounds reluctant, pours her balm with joy, Glad to commend where worth attracts her eye: But chief when virtue, learning, arts, decline, She joys to lee unconquer’d Merit shine;

320 Where, bursting glorious with departing ray, True genius gilds the close of Britain's day: With joy she fees the stream of Roman art From Murray's tongue flow purer to the heart; Sees Yorke to fame e'er yet to manhood known, 325 And just to ev'ry virtue but his own ; Hears unstain'd Cam with gen'rous pride proclaim A fage's, critic's, and a poet's name; Beholds where Widcombe's happy hills ascend, Each orphan'd art and virtue find a friend;

330 To Hagley's honour'd shade directs her view, And culls cach flower to form a wreath for you.

But tread with cautious step this dang’rous ground, Beset with faithless precipices round: Truth be your guide; disdain Ambition's call; 335 And if


fall with Truth you greatly fall. 'Tis Virtue's native lustre that must shine; The poet can but set it in his line : And who, unmov'd with laughter, can behold A fordid pebble meanly grac'd with gold ? 340 Let real merit then adorn your lays, For thame attends on prostituted praise ; And all your wit, your molt diftinguish'd art, But makes us grieve you want an honest heart.

Nor think the Muse by Satire's law confin'd; 345 She yields description of the noblest kind. Inferior art the landscape may design, And pa

the ple ev'ning in the line : Her daring thought essays a higher plan; Her hand delineates passion, pictures man. 350 And great the toil the latent foul to trace, To paint the heart, and catch internal grace; By turns bid Vice or Virtuę strike our eyes, Now bid a Wolsey or a Cromwell rise;


Now, with a touch more sacred and refin'd,

355 Call forth a Cheite,ficdj's or Lonidale's mind. Here tweet or strong may ev'ry colour How, Here let the pencil warm, the canvas glow; Of light and shade provoke the noble itrife, And wake each striking feature into life. 360

PART III. TERO' ages thus has Satire keenly ihin'd, The friend to truth, to virtue, and mankind: Yet the bright flame from virtue ne'er had sprung, Aud man was guilty ere the poet fung. This Muse in silence joy'd each better age, 365 Till glowing crimes had wak'd her into rage: Truth saw ber honest ipleen with new delight, And bade her wing her ihafts and urge their flight. First on the sons of Greece the prov'd her art, And Sparta felt the fierce lambic dart :

370 To Latium next arenging Satire flew; The farning falchion rough Lucilius drew, Wi:h dauntlets warmth in Virtue's cause engagéd, And conscious villains trembled as he rag'd.

Then sportive Horace caught the gen'rous fire, For Satire's bow relign’d the founding lyre ; Each arrow poliih'd in his hand was seen, And as it grew more polish'd grew more keen. His ait, conceal'd in study'd negligence, Politely lly, cajoll'd the fors of sense: He teen'd to sport and trifle with the dart, But while he Ipcrted drove it to the heart. In graver Itrains majeltic Persius wrote, Big with a ripe exuberance of thought; Greatly ledare, contemn’d a tyrant's reign, 385 And lah'd Corruption with a calm dildain.

More ardent eloquence and boundless rage Infilame boid juvenal's exalted page; His mighty numbers aw'd corru; ted Rome, And swept audacious Greatness to its duom: 390 The heudlong torrent, tiund'ring from on high, Rent the proud rock that lately brav'd the sky:




« ПредишнаНапред »