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Sceptre of Ease !—whose calm dominion spreads
Through the chill Chronian, or whose lagging weeds
Fan to repose the southern realms! whose throne
More slaves obey than swarm around the courts
Pelim or Agra-universal queen!
ME haply dozing through a summer's day,
Thy meanest subject, thou hast often deign'd
Even here to visit.-If thy poppy then
Was ever shed upon my careless quill;
If e'er the nodding Muse was bless’d with power
To lull the reader with her opiate verse;
Come, goddess; but be gentle, not as when
On studious heads attendant, thou art seen
At the night's twinkling lamp, with poring eye
Immersed in meditation, Slumber's foe:
Where the bewilder'd casuist unwinds
Perplexities, or Halley from his tower,
Explores the world of stars.—In other guise
Thee 1 invoke; serene and mild approach,
With forehead smooth and sauntering gait-put on
Smiles of no meaning, or in sober mood
Fix the dull visage, and the leaden eye
Lethargic, when it stares, and seems to think-
Reserve, by thee directed, keeps at home,
Intent upon his volume, or applies
The needle's reparation to his hose,
Or scissars to the paper. Taught by thee,
Dullman takes snuff; but ever and anon
Turns o'er the page unread.-Others, more sage,
Place, year, and printer, ably noted, well
Examine the whole frontispiece; or, if
Yet stricter their inspection, venture in
From leaf to leaf, and, curious, there select
Italicks, or consult the margin; pleased
With hero, or with anecdote ;--all else,
The observation, maxim, inference,
Disturb him into thought.-It sure were long
To name thy several votaries, power supreme,
Or all thy varied realms. Why should I speak
Of news and coffee, or where eunuchs play,
And where the buskin'd Roscius. These and
Flock to thy temple, where thou sitt'st enshrined
In apathies profound, and waste of time
The sacrifice.—About thee dice and cards
Lie scatter'd, and a thousand vassal beaux
Officiate in thy worship.-Not from shade
Of solitude withhold thy gentle sphere:
There, unattended, thou canst ever shroud
Thy beauties, and thy attributes with me,
By vale or brook to loiter, not unpleased,
And listen to the current, or the bee
That hums her fairy tunes in Flora's praise,
Or to loud rooks, on aged elm or oak,
Where perch'd aloft, the legislature sits
Debating in full senate points of state.
My bower, my walks, and studies, all are thine;
For thee my shade of yew extends, my lawn
Spreads the soft lap, and waters whisper sleep.
Here thou mayst reign secure; nor hostile thought,
Nor argument, nor logic's dread array,
Make inroad on thy kingdoms. What though oft
Malicious tongues accuse me, and report
That I am false to thee; for that I hold
Forbidden commerce with Parnassian maids,
With Phoebus, and thy foes; or, more severe,
Impeach me as a lurking satirist;
Known is my innocence to thee. 'Tis true
That I can scribble, but the pen is thine :
Accept in proof, O goddess, this my verse.
DR. SNEYD DAVIES.
TEASE me no more, nor think I care
Though monarchs bow at Kitty's shrine, Or powder'd coxcombs woo the fair,
Since Kitty is no longer mine. Indifferent 'tis alike to me,
If my favourite dove be stole, Whether its dainty feathers be
Pluck'd by the eagle or the owl. If not for me its blushing lips
The rosebud opens, what care I Who the odorous liquid sips,
The king of bees or butterfly ? Like me, the Indians of Peru,
Rich in mines of golden ore, Dejected see the merchant's crew
Transport it to a foreign shore.
Seeks the slave despoiled to know,
Whether his gold, in shape of lace,
Shine on the coat of birth-day beau,
Or wear the stamp of George's face?
THE CONTRARIETIES OF PUBLIC VIRTUE.
SOCIETY, like thong of leather,
Fast binds in clusters men together;
And though it cannot be forgotten
That some are ripe, and some are rotten,
Yet,-let it still be understood,
They all promote the general good.
For this the Patriot's fire arises,
That glows at every trying crisis ;
With each inferior strife, and stir too,
Whence spring they? but from public virtue.
Though different plans, like streams, 'tis true,
By different rills their course pursue;
Though oft they seem, to mortals blind,
Repugnant to the end design'd,
Appearing, as by error led,
To flow through many a mazy bed ;
Yet still at length we see them glide,
Meandering to the common tide.
Smile on, ye grave, in deep derision,
I shrink not from my proposition,
But still aver all Britons merit
The praise of Patriotic Spirit;
As far as e'er their power can stretch,
From N descending down to Ketch.
That statesmen guard the public weal,
We all must own, for all must feel :
'Tis theirs to watch with ardour keen,
And careful drive the grand machine ;
To charm the passengers from fretting,
And keep the whole from oversetting.
But still inferior hands may bring
Some little help,-may oil a spring,
May point, -There, round that corner turn ye,'
And wish the folks a pleasant journey.
All have their use,—there's nothing plainer,
From this each traveller's a gainer;
And, though the merits be but few,
Let's give to every imp his due.
This social fire though all possess,
In some there's nothing blazes less;
So many a close attempt is made
O'er the bright flame to hold a shade,
To keep their worth from being known,
While conscience hugs itself alone:
As some of alms will never boast,
And look least pleased when giving most,
But, Cynics, spare the odd behaviour,
If well you walk, ne'er blame the paviour.
Should you, when wandering in the night,
Some scoundrel urge to set you right,
Now, though he blasts you with a curse,
You'll take the better from the worse,
Nor think the greeting ill bestow'd,
If while he damns he shows the road;
But straight jog home, no more affrighted
Than if an honest watchman lighted.
Learn then the best to cull from evil,
As saints take warning by the devil.
And, if the Muse, whose judgment nice is,
Shows public good in private vices,
The holiest tongue must cease to stir,
But instant own without demur,