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Both gifts destructive to the givers prove;
And humble glories of the youthful
There in bright drops the crystal Fountains
play, By Laurels shielded from the piercing day : Where Daphne, now a tree as once a maid, Still from Apollo vindicates her shade, Still turns her Beauties from th' invading beam,
25 Nor seeks in vain for succour to the Stream. The stream at once preserves her virgin leaves, At once a shelter from her boughs receives, Where Summer's beauty midst of Winter stays, And Winter's Coolness spite of Summer's rays.
Proud Grief sits swelling in her eyes;
Thus from the Ocean first did rise :
Foretell the fervour of the day :
And blasting lightnings burst away.
So like a Phaëthon appears, That Heav'n, the threaten’d World to spare, 15
Thought fit to drown him in her tears ; Else might th' ambitious Nymph aspire To set, like him, Heav'n too on fire.
ANEXILENCE! coeval with Eternity, bet Thou wert, ere Nature's-self began
to be, 'Twas one vast Nothing, all, and all
slept fast in thee.
II. Thine was the sway, ere heav'n was form’d,
or earth, Ere fruitful Thought conceiv'd creation's
birth, Or midwife Word gave aid, and spoke the
Then various elements against thee join'd,
In one more various animal combin'd, And fram’d the clam'rous race of busy Human
The tongue mov'd gently first, and speech
was low, 'Till wrangling Science taught it noise and
show, And wicked Wit arose, thy most abusive foe.
But rebel Wit deserts thee oft' in vain; Lost in the maze of words he turns again, And seeks a surer state, and courts thy gentle reign.
Afflicted Sense thou kindly dost set free,
Oppress’d with argumental tyranny,
And in thy bosom lurks in Thought's disguise; Thou varnisher of Fools, and cheat of all the
Yet thy indulgence is by both confest;
Folly by thee lies sleeping in the breast, And ’tis in thee at last that Wisdom seeks for
Silence! the knave's repute, the whore’s good name,
25 The only honour of the wishing dame; Thy very want of tongue makes thee a kind of
But could'st thou seize some tongues that now
are free, How Church and State should be oblig'd to
thee ! At Senate, and at Bar, how welcome would'st thou be!
30 XI. Yet speech ev'n there, submissively with
draws From rights of subjects, and the poor man's
cause : Then pompous Silence reigns, and stills the
XII. Past services of friends, good deeds of foes, What Fay’rites gain, and what the Nation owes,
35 Fly the forgetful world, and in thy arms repose.
The country wit, religion of the town,
The courtier's learning, policy o' th’ gown, Are best by thee express’d; and shine in thee
Lord's quibble, critic's jest ; all end in thee, All rest in peace at last, and sleep eternally.
And wear a cleaner smock.
Are oddly join'd by fate :
That lies and stinks in state.