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In mirth be temp'rate, temp'rate in her spleen;
Dart not on Folly an indignant eye:
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 soar among the skies. 280 Thus when a modish 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 285 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 gaily graceful sport along the line ; 290
Bid courtly fashion quit her thin pretence,
Not so when Virtue by her Guards betray’d,
305 On 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 eye. 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
Buttread with cautious step this dangerous ground,
Nor think the Muse by SATIRE's Law confin’d: She yields description of the noblest kind. 346 Inferior art the Landscape may design, And paint the purple ev’ning in the line : Her daring thought essays a higher plan; . Her hand delineates Passion, pictures Man. 350 And great the toil, the latent soul to trace, To paint the heart, and catch internal grace; By turns bid Vice or Virtue strike our eyes, Now bid a Wolsey, or a Cromwell rise ;
Now with a touch more sacred and refin’d, 355
THROUGH Ages thus has SATIRE keenly shin'd, The Friend to Truth, to Virtue, and Mankind : Yet the bright flame from Virtue ne'er had sprung, And Man was guilty ere the Poet sung. This Muse in silence joy'd each better Age, 365 Till glowing crimes had wak'd her into rage. Truth saw her honest spleen with new delight, And bade her wing her shafts, and urge their flight. First on the Sons of Greece she prov'd her art, And Sparta felt the fierce IAMBIC dart. 370 To LATIUM next, avenging SATIRE flew : The flaming faulchion rough LUCILIUso drew; With dauntless warmth in Virtue's cause engag'd, And conscious Villains trembled as he rag'd.
Then sportive HORACE caught the gen'rous fire ; For SATÍRE’s bow resign’d the sounding lyre: 376 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 sly, cajold the foes of sense : 380
NOTES. 1 “ Archilochum proprio rabies armavit Iambo. Hor. * “Ense velut stricto quoties Lucilius ardens Infremuit, rubet auditor, cui frigida mens est Criminibus, tacita sudant præcordia culpa.” Juv. S. i. 3 « Omne vafer vitium ridenti Flaccus amico Tangit, et admissus circum præcordia ludit, Callidus excusso populum suspendere naso."-Pers. S. i.