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Let clear-ey'd Reason at the helm preside, 235
Bear to the wind, or stem the furious tide;
Then Mirth may urge, when Reason can explore,
This point the way, that waft us glad to shore.
Tho' distant Times
rise in SATIRE's page,
Yet chief 'tis Her's to draw the present Age: 240
With Wisdom's lustre, Folly's shade contrast,
And judge the reigning Manners by the past:
Bid Britain's Heroes (awful Shades !) arise,
And ancient Honour beam on modern Vice:
Point back to minds ingenuous, actions fair, 245
Till the Sons blush at what their Fathers were:
yet ’twas beggary the great to trust;
Ere yet 'twas quite a folly to be just;
When low-born Sharpers only dar'd a lie,
Or falsify'd the card, or cogg’d the dye; 250
Ere Lewdness the stain'd garb of Honour wore,
Or Chastity was carted for the Whore;
Vice flutter'd, in the plumes of Freedom dress'd;
Or public Spirit was the public jest.
Be ever, in a just expression, bold,
Yet ne'er degrade fair SATIRE to a Scold :
Let no unworthy mien her form debase,
But let her smile, and let her frown with grace:
In mirth be temp’rate, temp’rate in her spleen;
Nor, while she preaches modesty, obscene. 260
Deep let her wound, not rankle to a sore,
Nor call his Lordship-
her Grace a :
The Muse's charms resistless then assail,
When wrapt in Irony's transparent veil :
Her beauties half-conceal'd the more surprize, 265
And keener lustre sparkles in her eyes.
your line with sharp encomiums grac’d: Style Clodius honourable, Bufa chaste.
Dart not on Folly an indignant eye: Who e'er discharg’d Artillery on a Fly? 270 Deride not Vice: Absurd the thought and vain, To bind the Tyger in fo weak a chain. Nay more: when flagrant crimes your laughter
move, The Knave exults: to smile is to approve. The Muse's labour then success shall crown, 275 When Folly feels her smile, and Vice her frown.
Know next what Measures to each Theme belong, And suit your thoughts and numbers to your song:
On wing proportion’d to your quarry rise,
And stoop to earth, or foar among the skies. 280
Thus when a modith folly you rehearse,
Free the expression, simple be the verse.
In artless numbers paint th' ambitious Peer
That mounts the box, and shines a Charioteer :
In strains familiar sing the midnight toil
Of Camps and Senates disciplin’d by Hoyle ;
Patriots and Chiefs, whose deep design invades
And carries off the captive King—of Spades !
Let Satire here in milder vigour shine,
And gayly graceful sport along the line ; 290
Bid courtly Fashion quit her thin pretence,
And smile each Affectation into fense.
Not so when Virtue by her Guards betray'd, Spurn’d from her Throne, implores the Muse's aid: When crimes, which erst in kindred darkness lay, Rise frontless, and insult the
296 Indignant Hymen veils his hallow'd fires, And white-rob'd Chastity with tears retires; When rank Adultery on the genial bed Hot from Cocytus rears her baleful head :
300 When private Faith and publick Trust are sold, And Traitors barter Liberty for gold;
When fell Corruption dark and deep, like fate,
Saps the foundation of a sinking State:
When Giant-Vice and Irreligion rise, 305
Ón mountain'd falsehoods to invade the Skies :
Then warmer numbers glow thro' Satire's page,
And all her smiles are darken'd into rage :
On eagle-wing she gains Parnassus' height,
Not lofty Epic soars a nobler flight: 310
Then keener indignation fires her eye;
Then flash her lightnings, and her thunders fly ;
Wide and more wide her flaming bolts are hurld,
Till all her wrath involves the guilty World.
Yet SATIRE oft assumes a gentler mien, 315
And beams on Virtue's friends a smile serene :
She wounds reluctant ; pours her balm with joy ;
Glad to commend where Worth attracts her
But chief, when Virtue, Learning, Arts decline,
She joys to see unconquer'd Merit shine ; 320
Where bursting glorious, with departing ray,
True Genius gilds the close of Britain's Day :
With joy she sees the stream of Roman art
From MURRAY's tongue
purer to the heart :
Sees YORKE to Fame, e'er yet to Manhood known,
And just to ev'ry virtue, but his own :
Hears unstain'd CAM with generous pride proclaim
A SAGE's, Critic's, and a Poet's name :
E holds, where WIDCOMBE's happy hills ascend, Each orphan'd Art and Virtue find a friend: 326 To HAGLEY's honour'd Shade directs her view; And culls each fow'r, to form a Wreath for You.
But tread with cautious step this dang’rous ground, Beset with faithless precipices round: 330 Truth be your guide : disdain Ambition's call ; And if you fall with Truth, you greatly fall. 'Tis Virtue's native lustre that must fine ; The Poet can but set it in his line : And who unmov’d with laughter can behold 335 A fordid pebble meanly grac'd with gold? Let real Merit then adorn For Shame attends on prostituted praise : And all your wit, your most distinguish'd art 339 But makes us grieve you want an honest heart.
Nor think the Mufe by SATIRE's Law confin'd: She yields description of the noblest kind, Inferior art the Landskip may design, And paint the purple ev’ning in the line : Her daring thought essays a higher plan ; 345 Her hand delineates Passion, pictures Man,