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When noble and ignoble herd
Are govern'd by a single word ;
Tho', like the royal German dames,
bears an hundred Chriftian names
Ąs Genius, Fancy, Judgment, Goût,
Whim, Caprice, Je ne sçai quoi, Virtù :
Which appellations all describe
TASTE, and the modern tasteful tribe.
Now bricklay'rs, carpenters, and joiners,
With Chinese artists and designers,
Produce their schemes of alteration,
To work this wond'rous reformation,
The useful dome, which fecret stood,
Embofom'd in the yew-tree's wood,
The travoller with amazement fees
A temple Gothick or Chinese,
With many a bell and tawdry rag on,
And crested with a sprawling dragon;
A wooden arch is bent astride
A ditch of water, four feet wide,
With angles, curves, and zigzag lines,
From Halfpenny's exact designs :
In front, a level lawn is seen,
Without a shrub upon the green ;
Where Taste would want it's first great law,
But for the fulking, fly ha-ha;
By whose miraculous affiftance
You gain a prospect two fields distance.
And now from Hyde-Park-Corner come
The gods of Athens and of Rome.
Here squabby Cupids take their places,
With Venus, and the clumsy Graces ;
Apollo there, with aim fo clever,
Stretches his leaden bow for ever ;
And there, without the pow'r to fly,
Stando fix'd a tip-toe Mercury.
The villa thus compleatly grac'd;
All own, that Thrifty has a taste;
And Madam's female friends and cousins,
With common-council-men, by dozens;
Flock ev'ry Sunday to the seat;
To ftare about them; and to eati
THE HOUSE OF SUPERSTITION:
HEN.Sleep's all-soothing hand, with fetters foft,
Ties down each sense, and lulls to balmy reft,
Th’internal pow'r, creative Fancy, oft
Broods o'er her treasures in the formful breast
Thus, when no longer daily cares engage,
The busy mind pursues the darling theme;
Hence angels whisper'd to the flumb'ring fage,
And gods of old inspir’d the hero's dream :
Hence, as I slept, these images arose
To Fancy's eye ; and join'd, this fairy scene composé.
As, when fair morning dries her pearly tears,
The mountain lifts o'er mifts it's lofty head;
Thus, new to fight, a Gothick dome appears
With the grey ruft of rolling years o'erspread.
Here Superftition holds her dreary reign,
And her lip-labour'd orisons the plies
In tongue unknown, when morn bedews the plain;
Or ev'ning skirts with gold the western fkies ;
To the dumb stock she bends, or sculptur'd wall,
And many a cross the makes, and many a bead lets fall:
Near to the dome a magick pair reside,
Prompt to deceive, and practis'd to confound;
Here hoodwink'd Ignorance is seen to bide,
Stretching in darksome cave along the ground.
No object e’er awakes his stupid eyes,
Nor voice articulate arrests his ears,
Save when beneath the moon pale fpectres rise,
And haunt his soul with visionary fears ;
Or when hoarse winds incavern’d murmur round,
And babbling echo wakes, and iterates the found.
Where boughs entwining form an artful shade,
And in faint glimm'rings just admit the light, There Error fits in borrow'd white array'd,
And in Truth's form deceives the transient fight. A thousand glories wait her op’ning day,
Her beaining lustre when fair Truth imparts :
Thus Error would pour forth a spurious ray,
And cheat the unpractis'd mind with mimick arts;
She cleaves with magick wand the līquid skies,
Eids airy forms appear, and scenes fantastick rise.
A porter deaf, decrepid, old, and blind,
Sits at the gate, and lifts a lib’ral bowl
With wine of wondrous pow'r to lull the mind,
And check each vig'rous effort of the soul :
Who'er un'wares shall ply his thirsty lip,
And drink in gulps the luscious liquor down,
Shall hapless from the cup delusion fip,
And objects see in features not their own.
Each way-worn traveller that hither came,
He lav'd with copious draughts, and Prejudice his name.
Within a various race are seen to wonne,
Props of her age, and pillars of her state,
Which erst were nurtur'd by the wither'd crone,
And born to Tyranny, her grisly mate :
The first appear'd in pomp of purple pride,
With triple crown erect, and throned high ;
Two golden keys hang dangling by his side,
To lock or ope the portals of the sky;
Crouching and proftrate there (ah ! fight unmeet!)
The crowned head would bow, and lick his dusty feet.
With bended arm he on a book reclin'd,
Fast lock'd with iron clasps from vulgar eyes ;
Heav'n's gracious gift to light the wand'ring mind,
To lift fall’n man, and guide him to the skies !
A man no more, a god he would be thought,
Aud’mazed mortals blindly must obey;
With slight of hand he lying wonders wrought,
And near him loathsome heaps of reliques lay:
Strange legends would he read, and figments dire
Of Limbus' prison'd shades, and purgatory fire.
There meagre Penance fate, in sackcloth clad,
And to his breast close hugg'd the viper, Sin ;
Yet oft, with brandish'd whip would gaul, as mad,
With voluntary stripes his shrivell’d skin.
Counting large heaps of o'er-abounding good
Of faints that dy'd within the church's pale,
With gentler aspect there Indulgence stood,
And to the needy culprit would retail ;
There too, strange merchandize! he pardons fold,
And treason would abfolve, and murder purge with gold!
With shaven crown, in a sequeker'd cell,
A lazy lubbard there was seen to lay ;
No work bad he, fave some few beads to tell,
And indolently snore the hours away.
The nameless joys that bless the nuptial bed,
The mystick rites of Hymen's hallow'd tye,
Impure he deems, and from them starts with dread,
As crimes of foulest stain, the deepest dye:
No social hopes hath he, no social fears,
But spends in lethargy devout the ling'ring years.
Gnashing his teeth in mood of furious-ire,
Fierce Persecution fate, and with strong breath
Wakes into living flame large heaps of fire,
And feasts on murders, massacres, and death.
Near him was plac'd Procraftes' iron bed
To stretch or mangle to a certain fize :
To see their writhing pains each heart must bleed,
To hear their doleful shrieks and piercing cries ;
Yet he beholds them with unmoiften's eye,
Their writhing pains his sport, their moans his melody,
A gradual light diffusing o'er the gloom,
And now approaching with majestick pace,
A lovely maid appears in beauty's bloom,
With native charms and unaffected grace : Her hand a clear reflecting mirrour shows,
In which all objects their true features wear;
And on her cheek a bluth indignant glows
To see the horrid forc'ries practis'd there :
She snatch'd the volume from the tyrant's rage,
Unlock'd it's iron clasps, and op'd the heav'nly page.