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You too proceed! make falling Arts your care,
MORAL ESSAY S.
TO MR. ADDISON,
Occafioned by his Dialogues on MEDALS.
THIS was originally written in the year 1715, when Mr. Addison intended to publish his book of Medals; it was fome time before he was Secretary of State; but not published till Mr. Tickell's Edition of his works; at which time the verses on Mr. Craggs, which conclude the poem, were added, viz. in 1720.
As the third Epiftle treated of the extremes of Avarice and Profufion; and the fourth took up one particular branch of the latter, namely, the Vanity of Expence in people of wealth and quality, and was therefore a corollary to the third; fo this treats of one circumstance of that Vanity, as it appears in the common collectors of old coins: and is, therefore, a corollary to the fourth.
EE the wild Waste of all-devouring years!
How Rome her own fad fepulchre appears, With nodding arches broken temples spread! The very Tombs now vanish'd like their dead; Imperial wonders rais'd on Nations spoil'd, Where mix'd with Slaves the groaning Martyr toil'd: Huge Theatres, that now unpeopled Woods, Now drain'd a distant country of her Floods:
Fanes, which admiring Gods with pride furvey,
Perhaps, by its own ruins fav'd from flame.
Ambition figh'd: fhe found it vain to trust The faithlefs Column and the crumbling Buft: Huge moles, whofe fhadow ftretch'd from fhore to fhore, Their ruins perish'd, and their place no more! Convinc'd, the now contracts her vast design, And all her Triumphs fhrink into a Coin. A narrow orb each crouded conqueft keeps, Beneath her Palm here fad Judea weeps. Now fcantier limits the proud Arch confine, And fcarce are feen the proftrate Nile or Rhine; A fmall Euphrates through the piece is roll'd, And little Eagles wave their wings in gold.
The Medal, faithful to its charge of fame,
Through climes and ages bears each form and name: In one fhort view fubjected to our eye
Gods, Emperors, Heroes, Sages, Beauties, lie.
With fharpen'd fight pale Antiquaries pore,
Th' infcription value, but the ruft adore.
To gain Pefcennius one employs his Schemes,
Poor Vadius, long with learned spleen devour'd,
Can tafte no pleasure fince his Shield was fcour'd:
Sighs for an Otho, and neglects his bride.
Their's is the Vanity, the Learning thine:
Oh, when fhall Britain, confcious of her claim,
How Plato's, Bacon's, Newton's looks agree;
A Virgil there, and here an Addison.
Then fhall thy Craggs (and let me call him mine)
With afpect open shall erect his head,