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fire;

Then sportive HORACE * caught the gen’rous

375 For SATIRE's bow resign'd the founding lyre : Each arrow polish'd in his hand was seen, And, as it grew more polish'd, grew more keen. His art, conceal'd in study'd negligence, Politely fly, cajold the foes of sense : He seem'd to sport and trifle with the dart, But while he sported, drove it to the heart.

380

In graver strains majestic PÈRSIUS wrote, Big with a ripe exuberance of thought : Greatly sedate, contemn'd a Tyrant's reign, 385 And lash'd Corruption with a calm disdain.

More ardent eloquence, and boundless rage, , Inflame bold JUVENAL's exalted page, His mighty numbers aw'd corrupted Rome, And swept audacious Greatness to its doom; 390 The headlong torrent thund'ring from on high, Rent the proud rock that lately brav'd the sky.

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* Omne vafer vitium ridenti Flaccus amico
Tangit, et admissus circum præcordia ludit,
Callidus excuffo populum suspendere naso.

PERS. S.í.

But lo! the fatal Victor of Mankind! Swoln Luxury!---pale Ruin stalks behind! As countless Insects from the north-east pour, 395 To blast the Spring, and ravage ev'ry flow'r: So barb'rous Millions spread contagious death: The sick’ning Laurel wither'd at their breath. Deep Superstition's night the skies o’erhung, Beneath whose baleful dews the Poppy sprung. No longer Genius woo'd the Nine to love, 401 But Dulness nodded in the Muse's

grove : Wit, Spirit, Freedom, were the sole offence, Nor aught was held fo dangerous as Sense.

At length, again fair Science shot her

ray, 405 Dawn'd in the skies, and spoke returning day. Now, SATIRE, triumph o'er thy flying foe, Now load thy quiver, string thy slacken'd bow ! 'Tis done!--See, great ERASMUS breaks the spell, And wounds triumphant Folly in her cell! 410 (In vain the solemn Cowl surrounds her face, Vain all her bigot cant, her sour grimace) With shame compell’d her leaden throne to quit, And own the force of Reason urg'd by Wit. 414

'Twas then plain Donne in honest vengeance

rose,
His Wit harmonious, tho’his Rhyme was profe:
He ʼmidst an age of Puns and Pedants wrote
With genuine fense, and Román strength of

thought.

Yet scarce had SATIRE well relum'd her flame, (With grief the Muse records her Country's Thame)

420
Ere Britain saw the foul revolt commence,
And treach'rous Wit began her war with Sense.
Then rose a shameless mercenary train,
Whom latest Time shall view with just disdain :
A race fantastic, in whose gaudy line 425
Untutor'd thought, and tinsel beauty shine;
Wit's shatter'd Mirror lies in fragments bright,
Reflects not Nature, but confounds the fight.
Dry Morals the Court-Poet blush'd to sing :
'Twas all his praise to say, the oddest thing."
Proud for a jest obscene, a Patron's nod,
To martyr Virtue, or blaspheme his God.

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431

Ill-fated Dryden! who unmov'd can see Th’extreměs of wit and meanness join'd in Thee!

Flames that could mount, and gain their kindred skies,

435
Low creeping in the putrid fink of vice;
A Muse whom Wisdom woo’d, but woo'd in vain,
The Pimp of Pow'r, the Prostitute to Gain :
Wreaths that should deck fair Virtue's form alone,
To Strumpets, Traitors, Tyrants vilely thrown:
Unrival'd

parts,
the scorn of honest fame;

441 And Genius rise, a Monument of shame!

More happy France: immortal Boileau there! Supported Genius with a Sage's care : Him with her love propitious Satire blest, 445 And breath'd her airs divine into his breast: Fancy and Sense to form his line conspire, And faultless Judgment guides the purest Fire.

But see at length the British Genius smile, And show'r her bounties o'er her favour'dIne:

450 Behold for Pope she twines the laurel crown, And centers ev'ry Poet's pow'r in one : Each Roman's force adorns his various page, Gay smiles, corrected strength, and manly rage. Despairing Guilt and Dulness loath the sight, 455 As Spectres vanish at approaching light:

460

In this clear Mirror with delight we view
Each image justly fine, and boldly true :
Here Vice, dragg’d forth by Truth's supreme

decree,
Beholds and hates her own deformity :
While self-seen Virtue in the faithful line
With modest joy surveys her form divine.
But oh, what thoughts, what numbers shall I

find, But faintly to express the Poet's mind! Who yonder Star's effulgence can display, 465 Unless he dip his pencil in the ray? Who paint a God, unless the God inspire? What catch the Lightning, but the speed of fire? So, mighty Pope, to make thy Genius known, All pow'risweak, all numbers---but thyown. 470 Each Muse for thee with kind contention strove, For thee the Graces left th’IDALIAN grove; With watchful fondness o'er thy cradle hung, Attun'd thy voice, and form'd thy infant-tongue. Next, to her Bard majestic Wisdom came; 475 The Bard enraptur'd caught the heav'nly flame : With taste superior scorn’d the venal tribe, Whom fear can sway, or guilty Greatness bribe;

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