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To quell the faction, that affronts the throne, Before whose infant eyes the flatterer bows,
And binds a wreath about their baby brows;
Oh! if Servility, with supple knees,
Whose trade it is to smile, to crouch, to please; With close fidelity and love unfeigned,
If smooth Dissimulation, skilled to grace To keep the matrimonial bond unstained; A devil's purpose with an angel's face; Covetous only of a virtuous praise;
If smiling peeresses, and simpering peers,
Encompassing his throne a few short years;
A. Guard what you say, the patriotic tribe If monarchy consist in such base things,
To be suspected, thwarted, and withstood,
To see a band called patriot for no cause,
Careless of all th' anxiety he feels,
A. Your smooth eulogium to one crown addrest, Most confident when palpably most wrong;
If this be kingly, then farewell for me
But to be rudely censured when they fail;
To doubt the love his favourites may pretend, I grant the sarcasm is too severe,
And in reality to find no friend; And we can readily refute it here;
If he indulge a cultivated taste, While Alfred's name, the father of his age,
His galleries with the works of art well graced,
A. Kings then, at last, have but the lot of all: If these attendants, and if such as these,
Happy the state that has not these to fear.
On situations that they never felt,
Of dreaming study and pedantic rust,
Leave kingly backs to cope with kingly cares;
I pity kings, whom Worship waits upon Could you contrive the payment, and rehearse
ream too late.
s! 2 withstood, ntry's good;
pplause, 5, lic wheels; tongue, ost wrong; Ime - and free! -stairs,
repairs, , fatigue,
ght plans preizi Ungenial blasts attending curl the streams:
erer bows, No bard, howe'er majestic, old or new, Is alwas happy, reign whoever may,
B. Not Brindley nor Bridgewater would essay He drinks his simple beverage with a gust;
Nor would the Nine consent the sacred tide We never feel th’ alacrity and joy
Filled with as much true merriment and glee, face;
The leathern ears of stockjobbers and Jews. As if he heard his king say-Slave, be frec. ng peers, 4. Vouchsafe, at least, to pitch the key of rhyme Thus happiness depends, as Nature shows, short years;
To themes more pertinent, if less sublime. Less on exterior things than most suppose, ered steed, When ministers and ministerial arts;
Vigilant over all that he has made, ains the lead;
Patriots, who love good places at their hearts; Kind Providence attends with gracious aid;
When admirals, extolled for standing still, Bids equity throughout his works prevail, artial pranks Or doing nothing with a deal of skill;
And weighs the nations in an even scale; Cruck to store,
Gen'rals, who will not conquer when they may, He can encourage Slavery to a smile,
Firm friends to peace, to pleasure, and good pay; And fill with discontent a British isle, things,
When Freedom, wounded almost to despair, A. Freeman, and slave then, if the case be such,
His fostering power, and tutelary care,
As dwell at large in Britain's chartered land.
The mind attains beneath her happy reign,
The varied fields of science, ever new,
She ventures onward with a prosperous force,
While no base fear impedes her in her course.
Religion, richest favour of the skies,
Liberty chases all that gloom away:
Learns much; and to a thousand listening minds
Courage in arms, and ever prompt to show
Glorious in war, but for the sake of peace,
Guards well what arts and industry have won,
And Freedom claims him for her first-born son.
Slaves fight for what were better cast away,
The chains that binds them, and a tyrant's sway;
But they that fight for freedom, undertake
The noblest cause mankind can have at stake:
, though sometiines seen and heard; The poet's muse, his passion, and his theme;
Genius is thine, and thou art Fancy's nurse;
Lost without th' ennobling powers of verse;
Heroic song from thy free touch acquires
And I will sing, if Liberty be there;
vell they may,
hey fail; nay pretend
ft well gracet
d waste; these, ? ease;
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And I will sing at Liberty's dear feet,
He stood, as some inimitable hand
Her sacred cause, but trembled when he rose; grant An English poet's privilege to rant;
And every venal stickler for the yoke But is not Freedom--at least is not ours
Felt himself crushed at the first word he spoke. Too apt to play the wanton with her powers,
Such men are raised to station and command, Grow freakish, and, o'erleaping every mound,
When Providence means mercy to a land, Spread anarchy and terror all around?
He speaks, and they appear; to him they owe B. Agreed. But would you sell or slay your Skill to direct, and strength to strike the blow; horse
To manage with address, to seize with power
So Gideon earned a victory not his own;
Poor England! thou art a devoted deer, Gives him Olympic speed, and shoots him to the Beset with every ill but that of fear. goal.
The nations hunt; all mark thee for a prey; Let discipline employ her wholesome arts;
They swarm around thee, and thou stand'st at Let magistrates alert perform their parts;
bay, Not skulk or put on a prudential mask,
Undaunted still, though wearied and perplexed; As if their duty were a desperate task;
Once Chatham saved thee; but who saves thee next? Let active laws apply the needful curb,
Alas! the tide of pleasure sweeps along
All, that should be the boast of British song.
'Tis not the wreath, that once adorned thy brow, Shall raise no feuds for armies to suppress.
The prize of happier times, will
serve When Tumult lately burst his prison-door,
Our ancestry, a gallant, chieftain race, And set plebeian thousands in a roar;
Patterns of every virtue, every grace, When he usurped Authority's just place
Confessed a God; they kneeled before they fought, And dared to look his master in the face
And praised him in the victories he wrought. When the rude rabble's watch-word was-De-Now from the dust of ancient days bring forth
Their sober zeal, integrity, and worth; stroy, And blazing London seemed a second Troy;
Courage, ungraced by these, affronts the skies,
Is but the fire without the sacrifice.
The stream, that feeds the wellspring of the heart Blushed, that effects like these she should pro
Not more invigorates life's noblest part, duce,
Than virtue quickens, with a warmth divine, Worse than the deeds of galley-slaves broke loose. The powers, that Sin has brought to a decline. She loses in such storms her very name,
A. Th' inestimable Estimate of Brown And fierce Licentiousness should bear the blame. Rose like a paper kite, and charmed the town;
But measures, planned and executed well, Incomparable gem! thy worth untold;
Shifted the wind that raised it, and it fell. Cheap though blood-bought, and thrown away He trod the very self-same ground you tread,
when sold; May no foes ravish thee, and no false friend
And victory refuted all he said.
B. And yet his judgment was not framed amiss; Betray thee, while professing to defend! Prize it, ye ministers; ye monarchs, spare;
Its error, if it erred, was merely this Ye Patriots, guard it with a miser's care.
He thought the dying hour already come,
And a complete recovery struck him dumb.
But that effeminacy, folly, lust,
B. Not so—the virtue still adorns our age, Unless sweet Penitence her powers renew;
There is a time, and Justice marks the date, Liberty taught him her Athenian strain;
For long-forbearing Clemency to wait; She clothed him with authority and awe, That hour elapsed, the incurable revolt Spoke from his lips, and in his looks gave law. Is punished, and down comes the thunderbolt. His speech, his form, his action, full of grace, If Mercy then put by the threat’ning blow, And all his country beaming in his face, Must she perform the same kind office now?
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May she! and, if offended Heaven be still To the lascivious pipe and wanton song,
'Tis not, however, insolence and noise, With mad rapidity and unconcern,
Down to the gulf, from which is no return.
They trust in navies, and their navies fail-
They trust in armies, and their courage dies; and. Can call her smiling down, and fix her here. In wisdom, wealth, in fortune, and in lies;
But all they trust in withers, as it must,
When He commands, in whom they place no trust.
Vengeance at last pours down upon their coast
A long despised, but now victorious host;
Tyranny sends the chain that must abridge
The noble sweep of all their privilege;
Gives liberty the last, the mortal shock;
Slips the slave's collar on, and snaps the lock.
A. Such lofty strains embellish what you teach; Two or three millions of the human race,
B. I know the mind, that feels indeed the fire
Acts with a force, and kindles with a zeal,
Whate'er the theme, that others never feel.
If human woes her soft attention claim,
A tender sympathy pervades the frame;
She pours a sensibility divine
Along the nerve of every feeling line.
But if a deed, not tamely to be borne,
Fire indignation and a sense of scorn,
The strings are swept with a power, so loud,
The storm of music shakes the astonished crowd.
So, when remote futurity is brought
Before the keen inquiry of her thought,
A terrible sagacity informs
The poet's heart; he looks to distant storms; Not only Vice disposes and prepares
He hears the thunder ere the tempest lowers; The mind, that slumbers sweetly in her snares,
And, armed with strength surpassing human To stoop to Tyranny's usurped command,
powers, And bend her polished neck beneath his hand,
Seizes events as yet unknown' to man, (A dire effect, by one of Nature's laws,
And darts his soul into the dawning plan. elle Unchangeably connected with its cause;)
Hence, in a Roman mouth, the graceful name
Of prophet and of poet was the same;
Hence British poets too the priesthood shared,
And every hallowed druid was a bard.
But no prophetic fires to me belong;
I play with syllables, and sport in song.
A. At Westminster, where little poets strive
To set a distich upon six and five,
Where discipline helps th' opening buds of sense,
And makes his pupils proud with silver pence,
I was a poet too; but modern taste
Is so refined, and delicate, and chaste,
That verse, whatever fire the fancy warms,
Without a creamy smoothness has no charms.
And thinking I might purchase it too dear,
I judged a man of sense could scarce do worse,
But nothing scares them from the course they love.) Thale caper in the morris-lance of verse.
B. Thus reputation is a spur to wit, Like him unnoticed, I, and such as I,
Or oaken fence, that hens the paddock round.
Language, above all teaching, or, if taught,
Elegant as simplicity, and warm But such mere quarter-strokes are not for me. As ecstacy, unmanacled by forin; From him, who rears a poem lank and long,
Not prompted, as in our degenerate days, To him who strains his all into a song
By low ambition and the thirst of praise;
Was natural as is the flowing stream,
Man lavished all his thoughts on human things-
The feats of heroes, and the wrath of kings; So that the jest is clearly to be seen,
But still, while Virtue kindled his delight, Not in the words—but in the gap between: The song was moral, and so far was right. Manner is all in all, whate'er is writ,
'Twas thus, till Luxury seduced the mind The substitute for genius, sense, and wit.
To joys less innocent, as less refined; To dally much with subjects mean and low
Then genius danced a bacchanal; he crowned Proves that the mind is weak, or makes it so.
The brimming goblet, seized the thyrsus,
bound Neglected talents rust into decay,
His brows with ivy, rushed into the field And every effort ends in pushpin play.
Of wild imagination, and there reeled,
The victim of his own lascivious fires,
And dizzy with delight, profaned the sacred wires. Else, summoning the muse to such a theme,
Anacreon, Horace played in Greece and Rome The fruit of all her labour is whipped cream.
This bedlam part; and others nearer home. As if an eagle flew aloft, and then
When Cromwell fought for power, and while he Stooped from its highest pitch to pounce a wren.
reigned As if the poet, purposing to wed,
The proud protector of the power he gained, Should carve himself a wife in gingerbread.
Religion, harsh, intolerant, austere,
Parent of manners like herself severe,
Drew a rough copy of the Christian face,
Without the smile, the sweetness, or the grace;
The dark and sullen humour of the time
Judged every effort of the muse a crime; And shot a dayspring into distant climes,
Verse, in the finest mould of fancy cast, Ennobling every region that he chose;
Was lumber in an age so void of taste: He sunk in Greece, in Italy he rose :
But when the Second Charles assumed the sway, And tedious years of Gothic darkness past,
And arts revived beneath a softer day; Emerged, all splendour, in our isle at last.
Then, like a bow long forced into a curve, Thus lovely halcyons dive into the main,
The mind, released from too constrained a nerve, Then show far off their shining plumes again.
Flew to its first position with a spring, A. Is genius only found in epic lays ?
That made the vaulted roofs of pleasure ring. Prove this, and forfeit all pretence to praise.
His court, the dissolute and hateful school Make their heroic powers your own at once,
Of Wantonness, where vice was taught by rule, Or candidly confess yourself a dunce.
Swarmed with a scribbling herd, as deep inlaid
With brutal lust as ever Circe made.
Of rank obscenity, debauched their age;
Nor ceased, till, ever anxious to redress A meteor, or a star; in these the sun.
The abuses of her sacred charge, the press, The nightingale may claim the topmost hough, The muse instructed a well-nurtured train While the poor grasshopper must chirp below. Of abler votaries to cleanse the stain,