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Then sportive HORACE caught the gen’rous fire; For SATIRE's bow refign'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, 375
Politely fly, cajol'd the foes of fense:
He seem'd to sport and trifle with the dart,
But while he sported, drove it to the heart.

In

graver strains majestick PERSIUS wrote, Big with a ripe exuberance of thought: Greatly fedate, contemn'd a Tyrant's reign, And lafh'd corruption with a calm disdain.

380

385

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 ;
The headlong torrent thund'ring from on high,
Rent the proud rock that lately brav'd the sky.

NOTES.

Omne vafer vitium ridenti Flaccus amico
Tangit, et admiffus circum præcordia ludit,
Callidus excuffo populum fufpendere nafo.

PERS. S.i.

But lo! the fatal Victor of Mankind, Swoln Luxury!-pale Ruin stalks behind! As countless Infects from the north-east pour, To blaft the Spring, and ravage ev'ry flow'r: So barb'rous Millions fpread contagious death: The fick❜ning Laurel wither'd at their breath. Deep Superftition's night the skies o'erhung, 395 Beneath whose baleful dews the Poppy sprung. No longer Genius woo'd the Nine to love, But Dulness nodded in the Mufe's grove: Wit, Spirit, Freedom, were the fole offence, Nor aught was held fo dangerous as Sense.

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At length, again fair Science shot her ray, Dawn'd in the fkies, and fpoke returning day. Now, SATIRE, triumph o'er thy flying foe, Now load thy quiver, string thy flacken'd bow! 'Tis done-See, great ERASMUS breaks the spell, And wounds triumphant Folly in her Cell! 406 (In vain the folemn Cowl furrounds her face, Vain all her bigot cant, her four grimace) With fhame compell'd her leaden throne to quit, And own the force of Reafon urg'd by Wit. 410

"Twas then plain DONNE in honeft vengeance rose, His Wit harmonious, tho' his Rhyme was profe: He 'midst an Age of Puns and Pedants wrote With genuine sense, and Roman ftrength of thought.

Yet scarce had SATIRE well relum'd her flame, (With grief the Muse records her Country's fhame) Ere Britain faw 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 fantastick, in whofe gaudy line Untutor❜d thought, and tinfel 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 fing: 425 'Twas all his praife to fay," the oddest thing." Proud for a jeft obfcene, a Patron's nod, To martyr Virtue, or blaspheme his God.

421

Ill-fated DRYDEN! who unmov'd can fee 429 Th' extremes of wit and meanness join'd in Thee!

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Flames that could mount, and gain their kindred
skies,
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: 434

Wreaths, that should deck fair Virtue's form alone,
To Strumpets, Traitors, Tyrants, vilely thrown:
Unrival'd Parts, the scorn of honest fame;
And Genius rife, a Monument of shame!

440

More happy France: immortal BOILEAU there
Supported Genius with a Sage's care:
Him with her love propitious SATIRE blest,
And breath'd her airs divine into his breast :

Fancy and Senfe to form his line confpire,

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And faultlefs Judgment guides the purest Fire.

But fee, at length, the British Genius fmile, 445
And show'r her bounties o'er her favour'd Ifle:
Behold for POPE fhe twines the laurel crown,
And centers ev'ry Poet's pow'r in one :

Each Roman's force adorns his various page;
Gay fmiles, collected ftrength, and manly rage.

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Despairing Guilt and Dulness loath the fight, 451
As Spectres vanish at approaching light:
In this clear Mirror with delight we view
Each image juftly fine, and boldly true:
Here Vice, drag'd forth by Truth's fupreme decree,
Beholds and hates her own deformity:

456

460

While felf-feen Virtue in the faithful line
With modeft joy furveys 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,
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'r is weak, all numbers—but thy own. 466
Each Mufe 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;
The Bard enraptur'd caught the heav'nly flame :
With Tafte fuperior scorn'd the venal tribe,
Whom fear can fway, or guilty Greatness bribe;

471

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