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النشر الإلكتروني

He stalks, resounding in magnific phrase
The vanity of riches, the contempt
Of pomp and power. Be prudent in your zeal,
Ye grave associates ! let the silent grace
Of her who blushes at the fond regard
Her charms inspire, more eloquent unfold
The praise of spotless honour : let the man
Whose eye regards not his illustrious pomp
And ample store, but as indulgent streams
To cheer the barren soil and spread the fruits
Of joy, let him by juster measures fix
The price of riches and the end of power.

Another tribe succeeds ; deluded long
By Fancy's dazzling optics, these behold
The images of some peculiar things
With brighter hues resplendent, and pourtray'd
With features nobler far than e'er adorn'd
Their genuine objects. Hence the fever'd heart
Pants with delirious hope for tinsel charms;
Hence oft obtrusive on the eye of Scorn,
Untimely Zeal her witless pride betrays!
And serious manhood from the towering aim
Of Wisdom, stoops to emulate the boast
Of childish toil. Behold yon mystic form,
Bedeck'd with feathers, insects, weeds, and shells !
Not with intenser view the Samian sage
Bent his fixt eye on Heaven's intenser fires,
When first the order of that radiant scene
Swell’d his exulting thought, than this surveys
A muckworm's entrails or a spider's fang.
Next him a youth, with flowers and myrtles crown'd,
Attends that virgin form, and blushing kneels,

With fondest gesture and a suppliant's tongue,
To win her coy regard : adieu, for him,
The dull engagements of the bustling world!
Adieu che sick impertinence of praise !
And hope, and action! for with her alone,
By streams and shades, to steal these sighing hours,
Is all he asks, and all that Fate can give !
Thee too, facetious Momion, wandering here,
Thee, dreaded censor, oft have I beheld
Bewilder'd unawares : alas ! too long
Flush'd with thy comic triumphs and the spoils
Of sly Derision! till on every side
Hurling thy random bolts, offended Truth
Assign'd thee here thy station with the slaves
Of Folly. Thy once formidable name
Shall grace her humble records, and be heard
In scoffs and mockery, bandied from the lips
Of all the vengeful brotherhood around,
So oft the patient victims of thy scorn.

But now, ye gay! to whom indulgent Fate,
Of all the Muse's empire, hath assign'd
The fields of folly, hither each advance
Your sickles ; here the teeming soil affords
Its richest growth. A favourite brood appears ;
In whom the demon, with a mother's joy,
Views all her charms reflected, all her cares
At full repay'd. Ye most illustrious band !
Who, scorning Reason's tame, pedantic rules,
And Order's vulgar bondage, never meant
For souls sublime as yours, with

generous zeal Pay Vice the reverence Virtue long usurp'd, And yield Deformity the fond applause

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Which Beauty wont to claim; forgive my song,
That for the blushing diffidence of youth,
It shuns the unequal province of your praise.

Thus far triumphant in the pleasing guile
Of bland Imagination, Folly's train
Have dar'd our search : but now a dastard kind
Advance reluctant, and with faultering feet
Shrink from the gazer's eye; enfeebled hearts
Whom Fancy chills with visionary fears,
Or bends to servile tameness with conceits
Of shame, of evil, or of base defect,
Fantastic and delusive. Here the slave
Who droops abash'd when sullen Pomp surveys
His humbler habit; here the trembling wretch
Unnery'd and struck with Terrour's icy bolts,
Spent in weak wailings, drown’d in shameful tears,
At every dream of danger: here subdued
By frontless Laughter and the hardy scorn
Of old, unfeeling Vice, the abject soul,
Who blushing half resigns the candid praise
Of Temperance and Honour; half disowns
A freeman's hatred of tyrannic pride;
And hears with sickly smiles the venal mouth
With foulest licence mock the patriot's name.

Last of the motley bands on whom the power Of gay Derision bends her hostile aim, Is that where shameful Ignorance presides. Beneath her sordid banners, lo! they march, Like blind and lame. Whate'er their doubtful hands Attempt, Confusion straight appears behind, And troubles all the work. Through many a maze, Perplex’d they struggle, changing every path,



O‘erturning every purpose ; then at last
Sit down dismay'd, and leave the entangled scene
For Scorn to sport with. Such then is the abode
Of Folly in the mind; and such the shapes
In which she governs her obsequious train.

Through every scene of ridicule in things
To lead the tenour of my devious lay ;
Through every swift occasion, which the hand
Of Laughter points at, when the mirthful sting
Distends her sallying nerves and chokes her tongue;
What were it but to count each crystal drop
Which Morning's dewy fingers on the blooms
Of May distil ? Suffice it to have said,
Where'er the power of Ridicule displays
Her quaint-ey'd visage, some incongruous form,
Some stubborn dissonance of things combin'd,
Strikes on the quick observer: whether Pomp,
Or Praise, or Beauty, mix their partial claim
Where sordid fashions, where ignoble deeds,
Where foul deformity, are wont to dwell ;
Or whether these with violation loath'd,
Invade resplendent Pomp's imperious mien,
The charms of Beauty, or the boast of Praise.

Ask we for what fair end, the Almighty Sire
In mortal bosoms wakes this gay contempt,
These grateful stings of laughter, from disgust
Educing pleasure? Wherefore, but to aid
The tardy steps of Reason, and at once
By this prompt impulse urge us to depress
The giddy aims of Folly? Though the light
Of Truth slow dawning on the enquiring mind,
At length unfolds, through many a subtle tie,

How these uncouth disorders end at last
In public evil! yet benignant Heaven,
Conscious how dim the dawn of Truth appears
To thousands ; conscious what a scanty pause
From labours and from care, the wider lot
Of humble life affords for studious thought
To scan the maze of Nature ; therefore stamp'd
The glaring scenes with characters of scorn,
As broad, as obvious, to the passing clown,
As to the letter'd sage's curious eye.

Such are the various aspects of the mind -
Some heavenly genius, whose unclouded thoughts
Attain that secret harmony which blends
The ethereal spirit with its mold of clay ;
0! teach me to reveal the graceful charm
That searchless Nature o'er the sense of man
Diffuses, to behold, in lifeless things,
The inexpressive semblance of himself,
Of thought and passion. Mark the sable woods
That shade sublime yon mountain's nodding brow;
With what religious awe the solemn scene
Commands your steps ! as if the reverend form
Of Minos or of Numa should forsake
The Elysian seats, and down the embowering glade
Move to your pausing eye! Behold the expanse
Of yon gay landscape, where the silver clouds
Flit o'er the heavens before the sprightly breeze :
Now their grey cincture skirts the doubtful Sun;
Now streams of splendour, through their opening veil
Effulgent, sweep from off the gilded lawn
The aërial shadows; on the curling brook,
And on the shady margin’s quivering leaves

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