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Flush'd as they are with folly, youth, and wine,
In vain, these dangers past, your doors you close,
Scarce can our fields, such crowds at Tyburn die, With hemp the gallows and the fleet supply. Propose your schemes, ye senatorian band, Whose ways and means support the sinking land, Lest ropes be wanting in the tempting spring, To rig another convoy for the king.
A single jail, in ALFRED's golden reign, Could half the nation's criminals contain; Fair Justice, then, without constraint ador'd, Held high the steady scale, but sheath'd the sword; No spies were paid, no special juries known, Blest age! but ah! how diff'rent from our own!
Much could I add,- but see the boat at hand, The tide retiring calls me from the land :
(spent, Farewell ! — When youth, and health, and fortune Thou fly'st for refuge to the wilds of Kent; And, tir'd like me with follies and with crimes, In angry numbers warns't succeeding times; Then shall thy friend, nor thou refuse his aid, Still foe to vice, forsake his Cambrian shade; In virtue's cause once more exert his rage, Thy satire point, and animate thy page.
THE VANITY OF HUMAN WISHES,
IN IMITATION OF THE TENTH SATIRE OF JUVENAL
Let observation with extensive view,
But, scarce observ'd, the knowing and the bola Fall in the gen'ral massacre of gold;' Wide wasting pest ! that rages unconfin’d, And crowds with crimes the records of mankind : For gold his sword the hireling ruffian draws, For gold the hireling judge distorts the laws;
Wealth heap'd on wealth, nor truth nor safety buys,
Let hist'ry tell where rival kings command,
The needy traveller, serene and gay,
Yet still one gen’ral cry the skies assails,
caprice, Toul crush'd conceit, and man was of a pece; Where wealth unlov'd without a mourner dy'd ; And scarce a sycophant was fed by pride; Where ne'er was known the form of mock debate, Or seen a new-made inayor's unwieldy state;
Where change of fav’rites made no change of laws,
Such was the scorn that fillid the sage's mind,
Unnumber'd suppliants crowd Preferment's gate, Athirst for wealth, and burning to be great ; Delusive Fortune hears th' incessant call, They mount, they shine, evaporate and fall. On ev'ry stage the foes of peace attend, Hate dogs their flight, and insult mocks their end. Love ends with hope, the sinking statesman's door Pours in the morning worshipper no more; For growing names the weekly scribbler lies, To growing wealth the dedicator flies ; From ev'ry room descends the painted face, That hung the bright palladium of the place ; And, smok'd in kitchens, or in auctions sold, To better features yields the frame of gold; For now no more we trace in ev'ry line Heroic worth, benevolence divine : The form distorted justifies the fall, And detestation rids th' indignant wall.
But will not Britain hear the last appeal,
In full-blown dignity, see Wolsey stand,
sign, Through him the rays of regal bounty shine; Turn'd by his nod the stream of honour flows, His smile alone security bestows : Still to new heights his restless wishes tow'r, Claim leads to claim, and pow'r advances pow'r; Till conquest unresisted ceas'd to please, And rights submitted left him none to seize : At length his sov'reign frowns the train of state Mark the keen glance, and watch the sign to hate. Where'er he turns, he meets a stranger's eye, His suppliants scorn him, and his followers fly; Now drops at once the pride of aweful state, The golden canopy, the glitt'ring plate, The regal palace, the luxurious board, The liv’ried army, and the menial lord. With age, with cares, with maladies oppressid, He seeks the refuge of monastic rest. Grief aids disease, remember'd folly stings, And his last sighs reproach the faith of kings.