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To the Right Honourable
Robert, Earl of Oxford, and Earl Mortimer.
UCH were the notes, thy once-lov'd Poet sung,
'Till death untimely stop'd his tuneful tongue.
Oh just beheld, and loft! admir'd, and mourn'd
With softeft manners, gentlest arts, adorn'd!
Bleft in each science, bleft in ev'ry strain!
Dear to the Muse, to Harley dear in vain !
For him thou oft haft bid the world attend,
Fond to forget the ftatesman in the friend;
For Swift and him, despis’d the farce of ftate,
The fober follies of the wise and great;
Dextrous, the craving, fawning crowd to quit,
And pleas'd to 'fcape from flattery to wit.
Absent or dead, still let a friend be dear,
(A figh the absent claims, the dead a tear)
Recall those nights that clos’d thy toilsom days,
Still hear thy Parnell in his living lays:
Who careless, now, of int'reft, fame, or fate,
Perhaps forgets that Oxford e'er was great;
Or deeming meanest what we greatest call,
Beholds thee glorious only in thy fall.
And fure if ought-below the seats divine
Can touch immortals 'tis a soul like thine.
A soul supreme in each hard instance try'd,
Above all pain, all anger, and all pride,
The rage of pow'r, the blaft of publick breath,
The luft of lucre, and the dread of death.
In vain to defarts thy retreat is made;
The muse attends thee to the filent shade :
'Tis hers, the brave man's latest steps to trace,
Rejudge his acts, and dignify disgrace.
When int'rest calls off all her sneaking train,
When all th' oblig'd defert, and all the vain;
She waits, or to the scaffold, or the cell,
When the last ling’ring friend has bid farewel.
Ev'n now, she shades thy evening walk with bays,
(No hireling the, no prostitute to praise)
Ev'n now obfervant of the parting ray,
Eyes the calm sun-set of thy various day,
Thro' fortune's cloud one truly great can see,
Nor fears to tell, that Mortimer is he.
E shades, where facred truth is fought;
Groves, where immortal fages taught;
Where heav'nly visions Plato fir'a,
And godlike Zeno lay inspir'd!
In vain your guiltless laurels stood,
Unspotted long with human blood.
War, horrid war, your thoughtful walks invades,
And steel now glitters in the muses shades.
Oh heav'n-born fifters ! source of art!
Who charm the sense, or mend the heart;
Whọ lead fair virtue's train along,
Moral truth, and mystic song!
To what new clime, what distant sky,
Forsaken, friendless, fhall ye fly?
Say, will ye bless the bleak Atlantic shore,
Or bid the furious Gaul be rude no more?
When Athens finks by- fates-unjuft,
When wild Barbarians fpurn her duft;
Perhaps ev'n Britain's utmost shore
Shall cease to blush with ftranger's gore,
See arts her savage fons controul,
An Athens rising near the pole!
Till some new tyrant lifts his purple hand,
And civil madness tears them from the land.
Ye Gods! what justice rules the ball?
Freedom and arts together fall;