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The regal palace, the luxurious board,
The liv’ried army, and the menial lord.
With age, with cares, with maladies oppress’d,
He seeks the refuge of monastick rest.
Grief aids disease, remember'd folly stings,
And his last fighs reproach the faith of kings.
Speak thou, whose thoughts at humble peace repine,
Shall Wolsey's wealth, with Wolsey's end, be thine?
Or liv'st thou now, with safer pride content,
The wisest justice on the banks of Trent?
For why did Wolfey near the steeps of Fate,
On weak foundations raise th’ enormous weight?
Why, but to sink beneath Misfortune's blow,
With louder ruin to the gulphs below?
What gave great Villiers to th' assassin's knife,
And fix'd disease on Harley's closing life?
What murder'd Wentworth, and what exil'd Hyde,
By kings protected, and to kings ally'd ?
What, but their with indulg'd in courts to shine,
And pow'r too great to keep, or to resign?
When first the college rolls receive his name,
The young enthusiast quits his ease for fame;
Thro' all his veins the fever of renown
Spreads from the strong contagion of the gown ;
O'er Bodley's dome his future labours spread,
And Bacon's mansion trembles o’er his head*.
Are these thy views ? proceed, illustrious youth,
And Virtue guard thee to the throne of Truth!
should thy soul indulge the gen'rous heat,
Till captive Science yields her last retreat ;
Should Reason guide thee with her brightest ray,
And pour on misty Doubt refiftless day;
* There is a tradition, that the study of Friar Bacon, built on an arch over the bridge, will fall, when a man greater than Bacon shall pass under it.
Should no false Kindness lure to loose delight,
Nor Praise relax, nor Difficulty fright;
Should tempting Novelty thy cell refrain,
And Sloth effuse her opiate fumes in vain ;
Should Beauty blunt on fops her fatal dart,
Nor claim the triumph of a letter'd heart;
Should no Difeafe thy torpid veins invade,
Nor Melancholy's phantoms haunt thy shade;
Yet hope not life from grief or danger free,
Nor think the doom of man revers'd for thee :
Deign on the passing world to turn thine eyes,
And pause awhile from letters, to be wise ;
There mark what ills the scholar's life assail,
Toil, envy, want, the patron, and the jail.
See nations flowly wise, and meanly just,
To buried merit raise the tardy buft.
If dreams yet flatter, once again attend,
Here Lydiat's life, and Galileo's end.
Nor deem, when Learning her laft prize bestows,
The glitt'ring eminence exempt from woes;
See, when the vulgar 'fcape, defpis'd or aw'd,
Rebellion's vengeful talons feize on Laud.
From meaner minds, tho' fmaller fines content,
The plunder'd palace or fequefter'd rent;
Mark'd out by dangerous parts he meets the shock,
And fatal Learning leads him to the block :
Around his tomb let Art and Genius weep,
But hear his death, ye blockheads-hear, and sleep"
The festal blazes, the triumphal show,
The ravish'd standard, and the captive foe,
The fenate's thanks, the Gazette's pompous tale,
With force refiftless o'er the brave prevail.
Such bribes the rapid Greek o'er Asia whirl'd,
For such the steady Romans shook the world ;
For such in diftant lands the Britons Thine,
And stain with blood the Danube or the Rhine :
This pow'r has praise, that Virtue scarce can warm,
Till Fame fupplies the universal charm.
Yet Reafon frowns on War's unequal game,
Where waited nations raise a single name,
And morgag'd states their grandfires wreaths regret,
From age to age in everlasting debt;
Wreaths which at last the dear-bought right convey
To rust on medals, or on stones decay.
On what foundation stands the warrior's pride,
How just his hopes let Swedish Charles decide.
A frame of adamant, a soul of fire,
No dangers fright him, and no labours tire;
O'er love, o'er fear, extends his wide domain,
Unconquer'd lord of pleasure and of pain :
No joys to him pacifick sceptres yield,
War sounds the trump, he rushes to the field.
Behold surrounding kings their pow'r combine,
And one capitulate, and one resign;
Peace courts his hand, but spreads her charms in vain ;
Think nothing gain’d,' he cries, ' till nought remain,
« On Moscow's walls till Gothick standards fly,
· And all be mine beneath the polar sky.'
The march begins in military state,
And nations on his eye suspended wait ;
Stern Famine guards the folitary coast,
And Winter barricades the realm of Frost,
He comes ; not want and cold his course delay-
Hide, blushing Glory; hide Pultowa's day :
The vanquish'd hero leaves his broken bands,
And Mews his miseries in diftant lands; ,
Condemn’d a needy supplicant to wait,
While ladies interpose, and llaves debate.
But did not Chance at length her error mend?
Did no subverted empire mark his end?
Did rival monarchs give the fatal wound,
Or hostile millions press him to the ground?
His fall was deftin'd to a barren strand,
A petty fortress, and a dubious hand;
He left the name, at which the world grew pale,
To point a moral, or adorn a tale.
All times their scenes of pompous woes afford,
From Persia's tyrant to Bavaria's lord.
In gay hostility, and barb'rous pride,
With half mankind embattled at his fide,
Great Xerxes comes to seize the certain prey,
And ftarves exhausted regions in his
Attendant Flátt'ry counts his myriads o'er,
Till counted myriad's foothe his pride no more ;
Fresh praise is try'd, till madness firés his mind,
The waves he lashes, and enchains the wind;
New pow'rs are claim'd, new pow'rs are still bestow'd,
Till rude refiftance lops the spreading god.
The daring Greeks deride the martial show,
And heap their vallies with the gaudy foe :
Th’ infulted sea with humbler thoughts he gains,
A fingle skiff to speed his flight remains ;
Th’incumber'd oar scarce leaves the dreaded coaft,
Thro' purple billows, and a floating hoft.
The bold Bavarian, in a luckless hour,
Tries the dread summits of Cesarean pow'r;
With unexpected legions bursts away,
And sees defenceless realms receive his fway.
Short sway! fair Austria spreads her mournful charms,
The queen, the beauty, fèts the world in arms;
From hill to hill the beacons rouzing blaže
Spreads wide the hope of plunder and of praise.
The fierce Croatian, and the wild Hussar,
And all the sons of ravage croud the war ;
The baffled prince, in honour's flatt’ring bloom,
Of hasty greatness finds the fatal doom,
His foes derifion, and his subjects blame,
And steals to death, from anguish and from shame.
Enlarge my life with multitude of days!'
In health, in sickness, thus the suppliant prays;
Hides from himself his state, and shuns to know,
That life protracted, is protracted woe.
Time hovers o'er, impatient to destroy,
And futs up all the passages of joy:
In vain their gifts the bounteous seasons pour,
The fruit autumnal, and the vernal flow'r ;
With lifless eyes the dotard views the store,
He views, and wonders that they please no more.
Now.pall the tasteless meats, and joyless wines,
And Luxury with fighs her slave resigns.
Approach, ye minstrels, try the foothing strain,
And yield the tuneful lenitives of pain :
No founds, alas! would touch th' impervious ear,
Tho' dancing mountains witness Orpheus near ;
Nor lute nor lyre his feeble pow'rs attend,
Nor sweeter musick of a virtuous friend;
But everlasting dictates croud his tongue,
Perversely grave, or positively wrong.
The ftill-returning tale, and ling'ring jest,
Perplex the fawning niece and pamper'd guest,
While growing hopes scarce awe the gath’ring sneer,
And scarce a legacy can bribe to hear :
The watchful guests ftill hint the last offence,
The daughter's petulance, the son's expence ;
Improve his heady rage with treach'rous skill,
And mould his passions till they make his will.
Unnumber'd maladies his joints invade,
Lay fiege to life, and press the dire blockade;
But unextinguish'd Av'rice still remains,
And dreaded losses aggravate his pains :
He turns, with anxious heart and crippled hands,
His bonds of debt, and mortgages of lands ;
Or views his coffers with suspicious eyes,
Unlocks his gold, and counts it-till he dies.