Abbildungen der Seite

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 fpread contagious death : The fick’ning Laurel wither'd at their breath. Deep Superstition's night the skies o'erhung, Beneath whose baleful. dews the Poppy sprung. 400 No longer Genius woo'd the Nine to love, But Dulness nodded in the Muse's grove:: Wit, Spirit, Freedom, were the fole offence, Nor aught was held so dangerous as Sense.

At length, again fair Science shot her


405 Dawn'd in the skies, and spoke returning day. Now, SATIRE, triumph o'er thy flying foe, Now load thy quiver, string thy flackend 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 four grimace) With shame compelld 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 prose:

He ʼmidst an Age of Puns and Pedants wrote
With genuine sense, and Roman strength of thought.

¿ Yet scarce had SATIRE well resum'd her flame,
(With grief the Muse records her Country's shame)
Ere Britain faw the foul revolt commence, 425
And treach'rous Wit began her war with Sense.
Then rose a shameless mercenary train,
Whom latest Time fhall view with just disdain:
A race fantastick, 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 bluth'd to sing :
'Twas all his praise to say, “ the oddest thing.430
Proud for a jest obscene, a Patron's nod,
To martyr Virtue, or blafpheme his God.

Ill-fated DRYDEN! who unmoy'd can see Th'extremes of wit and meannefs join'd in Thee. Flames that could mount, and gain their kindred skies, Low-creeping in the putrid sink of vice:

436 A Mufe whom Wisdom woo'd, but woo'd in vain, The Pimp of Pow'r, the Proftitute to Gain: Wreaths, that should deck fair Virtue's form alone, To Strumpets, Traitors, Tyrants, vilely thrown: 440

Unrival'd Parts, the scorn of honeft fame;
And Genius rise, a Monument of shame!

[ocr errors]

More happy France : immortal BOILĖ AU there? Supported Genius with a Sage's care : Him with her love propitious SATIRE bleft, 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 . . ,

When But see, at length, the British Genius smile, And show'r her bounties o'er her favour'd Isle: 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, collected ftrengthy and manly rage. Despairing Guilt and Dulness loath the fight, ; 455 As Spectres vanish at approaching light: In this clear Mirror with delight we view Each image justly fine, and boldly true: Here Vicę, dragg'd forth by Truth's supreme decree, Beholds and hates her own deformity : 460 While self-feen 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'r is weak, all numbers -- but thy own. 470
Each Mufe for thee with kind contention ftrove,
For thee the Gracés 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 majeftic Wisdom came; 475
The Bard enraptur'd caught the heav'nly Aame:
With Taste superior scorn'd the venal tribe,
Whom fear can fway, or guilty Greatness bribe;
At Fancy's call who rear the wanton fail,
Sport with the stream, and trifle in the gale: 488
Sublimer views thy daring Spirit bound;
Thy mighty Voyage was Creation's round;
Intent new Worlds of Wisdom to explore,
And bless Mankind with Virtue's facred store;
A nobler joy than Wit can give, impart ; 485
And pour a moral transport o'er the heart.
Fantastic Wit shoots momentary fires,
And, like a Meteor, while we gaze, expires :
Wit kindled by the fulph'rous breath of Vice,
Like the blue lightning, while it shines, destroys:

But Genius, fir'd by Truth's eternal ray, 491
Burns clear and constant, like the fource of day:
Like this, its beam prolifick and refin'd
Feeds, warms, infpirits, and exalts the mind;
Mildly dispels each wint'ry Paffion's gloom, 495
And opens all the Virtues into bloom.
This Praise, immortal Pope, to thee be giv'n:
Thy Genius was indeed a Gift from Heav'n.
Hail, Bard unequal'd, in whose deathless line
Reason and Wit with strength collected shine;' 500
Where matchless Wit but wins the second praise,
Loft, nobly loft, in Truth's superior blaze.
Did FRIENDSHIP e'er mislead thy wand'ring Muse?
That Friendship sure may plead the great excuse:
That facred Friendship which inspir'd thy Song, 505
Fair in defect, and amiably wrong.
Error like this ev'n Truth can scarce reprove ;
'Tis almoft Virtue when it flows from Love.

Ye deathless Names, ye Sons of endless praise, By Virtue crown'd with never-fading bays ! 510 Say, shall an artless Muse, if you inspire, Light her pale lamp at your immortal fire ? Or if, O WARBURTON, inspir'd by You, The daring Muse a nobler path pursue,

« ZurückWeiter »