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Where no fair science ever shows her face, | Yet more her volumes teach,-on these we
Few sparks of genius and no spark of grace;
There sceptics rest, a still-increasing throng,
And stretch their widening wings ten thou-
sand strong:

Some in close fight their dubious claims maintain;

Some skirmish lightly, fly and fight again;
Coldly profane, and impiously gay,
Their end the same, though various in their


When first Religion came to bless the land, Her friends were then a firm believing band; To doubt was, then, to plunge in guilt


And all was gospel that a monk could dream;
Insulted Reason fled the grov'ling soul,
For Fear to guide and visions to control:
But now, when Reason has assumed her

She, in her turn, demands to reign alone;
Rejecting all that lies beyond her view,
And, being judge, will be a witness too:
Insulted Faith then leaves the doubtful mind,
To seek for truth, without a power to find:
Ah! when will both in friendly beams unite,
And pour on erring man resistless light?

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How Fancy loves around the world to stray,
While Judgment slowly picks his sober way;
The stores of memory, and the flights

Of genius, bound by neither space nor time;-
All these divine Philosophy explores,
Till, lost in awe, she wonders and adores.
From these, descending to the earth, she

And matter, in its various form, discerns; She parts the beamy light with skill profound,

Metes the thin air, and weighs the flying

sound; Tis hers, the lightning from the clouds to call, And teach the fiery mischief where to fall.

As abstracts drawn from Nature's larger book:

Here, first described, the torpid carth appears,

And next, the vegetable robe it wears; Where flow'ry tribes, in valleys, fields and


Nurse the still flame, and feed the silent loves;

Loves, where no grief, nor joy, nor bliss, nor pain,

Warm the glad heart or vex the labouring brain;

But as the green blood moves along the blade,

The bed of Flora on the branch is made; Where, without passion, love instinctive lives,

And gives new life, unconscious that it gives. Advancing still in Nature's maze, we trace, In dens and burning plains, her savage race; With those tame tribes who on their lord attend,

And find, in man, a master and a friend : Man crowns the scene, a world of wonders

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And all its cares, and all its comforts, tell:
Here we behold how inexperience buys,
At little price, the wisdom of the wise;
Without the troubles of an active state,
Without the cares and dangers of the great,
Without the miseries of the poor, we know
What wisdom, wealth, and poverty bestow;
We see how reason calms the raging mind,
And how contending passions urge mankind:
Some, won by virtue, glow with sacred fire;
Some, lured by vice, indulge the low desire;
Whilst others, won by either, now pursue
The guilty chase, now keep the good in view;
For ever wretched, with themselves at strife,
They lead a puzzled, vex'd, uncertain life;
For transient vice bequeaths a lingering

Which transient virtue seeks to cure in vain.

Whilst thus engaged, high views enlarge

the soul, New interests draw, new principles control: Nor thus the soul alone resigns her grief, But here the tortured body finds relief; For see where yonder sage Arachne shapes Her subtile gin, that not a fly escapes! There PHYSIC fills the space, and far around, Pile above pile, her learned works abound:

Glorious their aim

to ease the labouring | Ye first seducers of my easy heart, heart; Who promised knowledge ye could not To war with death, and stop his flying dart; impart ; To trace the source whence the fierce contest grew,

And life's short lease on easier terms renew;
To calm the frenzy of the burning brain;
To heal the tortures of imploring pain;
Or, when more powerful ills all efforts brave,
To ease the victim no device can save,
And smooth the stormy passage to the grave.
But man, who knows no good unmix'd and

Oft finds a poison where he sought a cure;
For grave deceivers lodge their labours here,
And cloud the science they pretend to clear:
Scourges for sin, the solemn tribe are sent;
Like fire and storms, they call us to repent;
But storms subside, and fires forget to rage,
These are eternal scourges of the age:
'Tis not enough that each terrific hand
Spreads desolation round a guilty land;
But, train'd to ill, and harden'd by its crimes,
Their pen relentless kills through future

Say ye, who search these records of the dead, Who read huge works, to boast what ye have read;

Can all the real knowledge ye possess, Or those (if such there are) who more than guess,

Atone for each impostor's wild mistakes,
And mend the blunders pride or folly makes?
What thought so wild, what airy dream so

That will not prompt a theorist to write?
What art so prevalent, what proof so strong,
That will convince him his attempt is wrong?
One in the solids finds each lurking ill,
Nor grants the passive fluids power to kill;
A learned friend some subtler reason brings,
Absolves the channels, but condemns their

The subtile nerves, that shun the doctor's


Escape no more his subtler theory; The vital heat, that warms the labouring heart,

Lends a fair system to these sons of art; The vital air, a pure and subtile stream, Serves a foundation for an airy scheme, Assists the doctor, and supports his dream. Some have their favourite ills, and each disease

Is but a younger branch that kills from these:

One to the gout contracts all human pain,
He views it raging in the frantic brain;
Finds it in fevers all his efforts mar,
And sees it lurking in the cold catarrh:
Bilions by some, by others nervous seen,
Rage the fantastic demons of the spleen;
And every symptom of the strange disease
With every system of the sage agrees.
Ye frigid tribe, on whom I wasted long
The tedious hours, and ne'er indulged in song;

Ye dull deluders, truth's destructive foes;
Ye sons of fiction, clad in stupid prose;
Ye treacherous leaders, who, yourselves in

Light up false fires, and send us far about ;-
Still may yon spider round your pages spin,
Subtile and slow, her emblematic gin!
Buried in dust and lost in silence, dwell,
Most potent, grave, and reverend friends-

Near these, and where the setting sun displays,

Through the dim window, his departing rays,
And gilds yon columns, there, on either side,
The huge abridgments of the Law abide;
Fruitful as vice the dread correctors stand,
And spread their guardian terrors round
the land;

Yet, as the best that human care can do,
Is mix'd with error, oft with evil too,
Skill'd in deceit, and practised to evade,
Knaves stand secure, for whom these laws
were made;

And justice vainly each expedient tries,
While art eludes it, or while power defies.
Ah! happy age, the youthful poet sings,
When the free nations knew not laws nor

When all were blest to share a common


And none were proud of wealth, for none were poor;

No wars, nor tumults vex'd each still domain,
No thirst of empire, no desire of gain;
No proud great man, nor one who would be

Drove modest merit from its proper state;
Nor into distant climes would avarice roam,
To fetch delights for luxury at home:
Bound by no ties which kept the soul in awe,
They dwelt at liberty, and love was law!-
Mistaken youth! each nation first was rude,
Each man a cheerless son of solitude,
To whom no joys of social life were known,
None felt a care that was not all his own;
Or in some languid clime his abject soul
Bow'd to a little tyrant's stern control;
A slave, with slaves his monarch's throne
he raised,

And in rude song his ruder idol praised ;
The meaner cares of life were all he knew;
Bounded his pleasures, and his wishes few:
But when by slow degrees the Arts arose,
And Science waken'd from her long repose;
When Commerce, rising from the bed of ease,
Ran round the land, and pointed to the seas;
When Emulation, born with jealous eye,
And Avarice, lent their spurs to industry;
Then one by one the numerous laws were

Those to control, and these to succour trade;

To curb the insolence of rude command,
To snatch the victim from the usurer's hand;
Toawe the bold, to yield the wrong'd redress,
And feed the poor with Luxury's excess.
Like some vast flood, unbounded, fierce, and

His nature leads ungovern'd man along;
Like mighty bulwarks, made to stem that

The laws are form'd and placed on ev'ry side:
Whene'er it breaks the bounds by these

New statutes rise, and stronger laws succeed;
More and more gentle grows the dying

More and more strong the rising bulwarks


Till, like a miner working sure and slow,
Luxury creeps on, and ruins all below;
The basis sinks, the ample piles decay;
The stately fabric shakes and falls away;
Primeval want and ignorance come on,
But freedom, that exalts the savage state,

is gone.

|Pity with weeping eye surveys her bowl,
Her anger swells, her terror chills the soul;
She makes the vile to virtue yield applause,
And own her sceptre while they break her

For vice in others is abhorr'd of all,
And villains triumph when the worthless fall.

Not thus her sister COMEDY prevails,
Who shoots at folly, for her arrow fails;
Folly, by dulness arm'd, eludes the wound,
And harmless sees the feather'd shafts

Unhurt she stands,applauds the archer's skill,
Laughs at her malice, and is folly still.
Yet well the Muse portrays in fancied scenes,
What pride will stoop to, what profession

How formal fools the farce of state applaud;
How caution watches at the lips of fraud;
The wordy variance of domestic life;
The tyrant husband, the retorting wife;
The snares for innocence, the lie of trade,
And the smooth tongue's habitual mas-

Next, HISTORY ranks;—there full in front With her the virtues too obtain a place,

she lies,

And every nation her dread tale supplies;
Yet History has her doubts, and every age
With sceptic queries marks the passing page;
Records of old nor later date are clear,
Too distant those, and these are placed too

There time conceals the objects from our

Here our own passions and a writer's too:
Yet, in these volumes, see how states arose!
Guarded by virtue from surrounding foes;
Their virtue lost, and of their triumphs vain,
Lo! how they sunk to slavery again!
Satiate with power, of fame and wealth

A nation grows too glorious to be blest;
Conspicuous made, she stands the mark of all,
And foes join foes to triumph in her fall.
Thus speaks the page that paints ambition's


The monarch's pride, his glory, his disgrace;
The headlong course that madd'ning heroes


How soon triumphant and how soon undone; How slaves, turn'd tyrants, offer crowns to sale,

And each fall'n nation's melancholy tale.

Lo! where of late the Book of Martyrs stood,

Old pious tracts, and Bibles bound in wood;
There, such the taste of our degenerate age,
Stand the profane delusions of the STAGE:
Yet virtue owns the TRAGIC MUSE a friend,
Fable her means, morality her end;

For this she rules all passions in their turns,
And now the bosom bleeds, and now it burns;

Each gentle passion, each becoming grace;
The social joy in life's securer road,
Its easy pleasure, its substantial good;
The happy thought that conscious virtue

And all that ought to live, and all that lives.

But who are these? Methinks a noble


And awful grandeur in their form are seen, Now in disgrace: what though by time is spread

Polluting dust o'er every reverend head;
What though beneath yon gilded tribe they

And dull observers pass insulting by:
Forbid it shame, forbid it decent awe,
What seems so grave, should no attention

Come, let us then with reverend step advance,
And greet-the ancient worthies of ROMANCE.
Hence, ye profane! I feel a former dread,
A thousand visions float around my head:
Hark! hollow blasts through empty courts

And shadowy forms with staring eyes stalk

See! moats and bridges, walls and castles
Ghosts, fairies, demons, dance before our


Lo' magic verse inscribed on golden gate,
And bloody hand that beckons on to fate:-
And who art thou, thou little page, unfold?
Say, doth thy lord my Claribel withhold?
Go tell him straight, Sir Knight, thou must

The captive queen ;—for Claribel is mine.

Away he flies; and now for bloody deeds,
Black suits of armour, masks, and foaming

The giant falls; his recreant throat I seize,
And from his corslet take the massy keys:-
Dukes, lords, and knights in long procession



Foes to our race! if ever ye have known
A father's fears for offspring of your own;—
If ever, smiling o'er a lucky line,
Ye thought the sudden sentiment divine,
Then paused and doubted, and then, tired
of doubt,

With rage as sudden dash'd the stanza out ;— Released from bondage with my virgin-If, after fearing much and pausing long, Ye ventured on the world your labour'd song, And from the crusty critics of those days Implored the feeble tribute of their praise: | Remember now the fears that moved you then,

She comes! she comes! in all the charms of

Unequall'd love and unsuspected truth!
Ah! happy he who thus, in magic themes,
O'er worlds bewitch'd, in early rapture

Where wild Enchantment waves her potent

And Fancy's beauties fill her fairy-land;
Where doubtful objects strange desires

And Fear and Ignorance afford delight.
But lost, for ever lost, to me these joys,
Which Reason scatters, and which Time

Too dearly bought: maturer judgment calls
My busied mind from tales and madrigals;
My doughty giants all are slain or fled,
And all my knights, blue, green, and yellow,

No more the midnight fairy-tribe I view,
All in the merry moonshine tippling dew;
E'en the last lingering fiction of the brain,
The church-yard-ghost, is now at rest again;
And all these wayward wanderings of my

Fly Reason's power and shun the light of

With fiction then does real joy reside,
And is our reason the delusive guide?
Is it then right to dream the syrens sing?
Or mount enraptured on the dragon's wing?
No, 'tis the infant mind, to care unknown,
That makes th' imagined paradise its own;
Soon as reflections in the bosom rise,
Light slumbers vanish from the clouded


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And, spite of truth, let mercy guide your pen. What vent'rous race are ours! what mighty foes

Lie waiting all around them to oppose! What treacherous friends betray them to the fight!

What dangers threaten them!—yet still they

A hapless tribe! to every evil born,
Whom villains hate, and fools affect to scorn:
Strangers they come, amid a world of wo,
And taste the largest portion ere they go.

Pensive I spoke, and cast mine eyes around;

The roof, methought, return'd a solemn sound;

Each column seem'd to shake, and clouds,
like smoke,

From dusty piles and ancient volumes broke;
Gathering above, like mists condensed they


Exhaled in summer from the rushy stream;
Like flowing robes they now appear,and twine
Round the large members of a form divine;
His silver beard, that swept his aged breast,
His piercing eye, that inward light express'd,
Were seen, but clouds and darkness veil'd
the rest.

Fear chill'd my heart: to one of mortal race,
How awful seem'd the Genius of the place!
So in Cimmerian shores Ulysses saw
His parent-shade, and shrunk in pious awe ;
Like him I stood, and wrapt in thought

Enchantment bows to Wisdom's serious plan, And Pain and Prudence make and mar the When from the pitying power broke forth a solemn sound :—


While thus, of power and fancied empire vain, With various thoughts my mind I entertain; While books, my slaves, with tyrant hand I seize, Pleased with the pride that will not let them please; Sudden I find terrific thoughts arise, And sympathetic sorrow fills my eyes; For, lo! while yet my heart admits the wound,

I see the CRITIc army ranged around.

Care lives with all; no rules, no precepts


The wise from wo, no fortitude the brave;
Grief is to man as certain as the grave:
Tempests and storms in life's whole progress

And hope shines dimly through o'erclouded

Some drops of comfort on the favour'd fall,
But showers of sorrow are the lot of all
Partial to talents, then, shall Heav'n withdraw
'Th' afflicting rod, or break the general law ?

Shall he who soars, inspired by loftier

Life's little cares and little pains refuse?
Shall he not rather feel a double share
Of mortal wo, when doubly arm'd to bear?
Hard is his fate who builds his peace of mind
On the precarious mercy of mankind;
Who hopes for wild and visionary things,
And mounts o'er unknown seas with vent'rous

But as, of various evils that befal
The human race, some portion goes to all;
To him perhaps the milder lot's assign'd,
Who feels his consolation in his mind;
And, lock'd within his bosom, bears about
A mental charm for every care without.
Een in the pangs of each domestic grief,
Or health or vigorous hope affords relief;
And every wound the tortured bosom feels,
Or virtue bears, or some preserver heals;
Some generous friend, of ample power

Some feeling heart, that bleeds for the distress'd; Some breast that glows with virtues all divine; Some noble RUTLAND, Misery's friend and thine.

Nor say, the Muse's song, the Poet's pen,
Merit the scorn they meet from little men.
With cautious freedom if the numbers flow,
Not wildly high, nor pitifully low;
If vice alone their honest aims oppose,
Why so ashamed their friends, so loud their

Happy for men in every age and clime,
If all the sons of vision dealt in rhyme.
Go on then, Son of Vision! still pursue
Thy airy dreams; the world is dreaming too.
Ambition's lofty views, the pomp of state,
The pride of wealth, the splendour of the

Stripp'd of their mask, their cares and
troubles known,
Are visions far less happy than thy own:
Go on! and, while the sons of care complain,
Be wisely gay and innocently vain;
While serious souls are by their fears

Blow sportive bladders in the beamy sun, And call them worlds! and bid the greatest


More radiant colours in their worlds below: Then, as they break, the slaves of care reprove,

And tell them: Such are all the toys they love.


E quibus, hi vacuas implent sermonibus aures, Hi narrata ferunt alio: Mensuraque ficti Crescit, et auditis aliquid novus adjicit auctor: Ilie Credulitas, illic temerarius Error, Vanaque Lætitia est, consternatique Timores, Seditioque recens, dubioque auctore Susurri. ÖVID. Metamorph. x11.

A TIME like this, a busy, bustling time, Suits ill with writers, very ill with rhyme: Unheard we sing, when party-rage runs strong,

And mightier madness checks the flowing song:

Or, should we force the peaceful Muse to wield

Her feeble arms amid the furious field, Where party-pens a wordy war maintain, Poor is her anger, and her friendship vain; And oft the foes, who feel her sting, combine, Till serious vengeance pays an idle line; For party-poets are like wasps, who dart Death to themselves, and to their foes but


Hard then our fate: if general themes we choose,

Neglect awaits the song, and chills the Muse;

Or should we sing the subject of the day, To-morrow's wonder puff's our praise away. More blest the bards of that poetic time, When all found readers who could find a rhyme;

Green grew the bays on every teeming head,
And Cibber was enthroned, and Settle read.
Sing, drooping Muse, the cause of thy decline;
Why reign no more the once-triumphant

Alas! new charms the wavering many gain,
And rival sheets the reader's eye detain;
A daily swarm, that banish every Muse,
Come flying forth, and mortals call them

For these, unread, the noblest volumes lie;
For these, in sheets unsoil'd, the Muses die;
Unbought, unblest, the virgin copies wait
In vain for fame, and sink, unseen, to fate.
Since, then, the town forsakes us for our foes,
The smoothest numbers for the harshest


Let with generous scorn, the taste deride,
And sing our rivals with a rival's pride.
Ye gentle poets, who so oft complain
That foul neglect is all your labours gain;

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