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The hoary prince in majesty appear’d,
High on a throne of his own labours rear'd:
At his right hand our young Ascanius sate,
Rome's other hope, and pillar of the state:
His brows thick fogs, instead of glories, grace,
And lambent Dulness play'd around his face.
As Hannibal did to the altars come,
Swore by his sire a mortal fge to Rome;
So Shadwell swore, nor should liis vow be vain,
That he till death trưe Dulness would maintain;
And, in his father's right, and realm's defence,
Ne'er to have peace with wit, nor truce with sense.
The king himself the sacred unction made,
As king by office, and as priest by trade.
In his sinister hand, instead of ball,
He plac'd a mighty mug of potent ale;
Love's kingdom to his right he did convey,
At once his sceptre, and his rule of sway;
Whose righteous lore the Prince had actis'd young,
And from whose loins recorded Psyche sprung.
His temples, last, with poppies were o'erspread,
That nodding seem'd to consecrate his head.
Just at the point of time, if Fame not lie,
On his left hand twelve rev'rend owls did fly.
So Romulus, 't is sung, by Tiber's brook, 139
Presage of sway from twice six vultures took:
Th’admiring throng loud acclamations make,
And omen's of his future empire take.
The sire then shook the honours of his head,
And from his brows damps of oblivion shed,
Full on the filial Dulness: long he stood,
Repelling from his breast the raging god;
At length burst out in the prophetic mood.
Heav'ns bless my son, from Ireland let him reign
To fair Barbadoes on the western main;
Of his dominion may no end be known,
And greater than his father's be his throne;
Beyond Love's kingdoin let hin stretch his pen!
He paus'd, and all the people cry'd, Amen.
Then thus continu'd he: My son, advance
Still in new impudence, new ignorance.
Success let others teach, learn thou from me
Pangs without birth, and fruitless industry.
Let virtuosos in five years be writ;
Yet not one thought accuse thy toil of wit. 150
Let gentle George in triumph tread the stage,
Make Dorimant betray, and Loveit rage;
Let Cully, Cockwood, Fopling, charm the pit,
And in their folly shew the writer's wit:
Yet still thy fools shall stand in thy defence,
And justify their author's want of sense.
Let them be all by thy own model made
Of dullness, and desire no foreign aid,
That they to future ages may be known,
Not copies drawn, but issue of thy own.
Nay, let thy men of wit, too, be the same,
All full of thee, and diff'ring but in name;
But let no alien Sedley interpose,
To lard with wit thy hungry Epsom prose:
And when false flowers of rhet'ric thou wouldst cull,
Trust Nature, do not labour to be dull;
But, write thy best, and top; and, in each line,
Sir Formal's oratory will be thine :
Sir Formal, though unsought, attends thy quill,
And does thy northern dedications fill.
Nor let false friend seduce thy mind to fame,
By arrogating Johnson's hostile name.
Let father Flecnoe fire thy mind with praise,
And uncle Ogleby thy envy raise.
Thou art my blood, wliere Johnson has no part;
What share have we in nature or in art?
Where did his wit on learning fix a brand,
And rail at arts he did not understand ?
Where made he love in Prince Nicander's vein,
Or swept the dust in Psyche's humble strain?
Where sold he bargains, Whip-stitch, Kiss my arse,
Promis’d a play, and dwindled to a farce ?
When did his muse from Fletcher scenes purloin,
As thou old Eth'rege dost transfuse to thine?
But so transfus'd as oil and waters flow,
His always floats above, thine sinks below.
This is thy province, this thy wondrous way,
New humours to invent for each new play:
This is that boasted bias of thy mind,
By which, one way, to dulness 'tis inclin'd:
Which makes thy writings lean on one side still,
And, in all changes, that way bends thy will.
Nor let thy mountain-belly make pretence
Of likeness; thine's a tympany of sense.
A tun of man in thy large bulk is writ,
But sure thou'rt but a kilderkin of wit.
Like mine, thy gentle numbers feebly creep ;
Thy Tragic Muse gives smiles, thy Comic sleep.
With whale'er gall thou sett'st thyself to write,
Thy inoffensive satires never bite.
In thy felonious heart though venom lies,
It does but louch thy Irish pen, and dies.
Thy genius calls thee not to purchase fame
In keen lambics, but mild Anagram.
Leave writing Plays, and chuse for thy command
Some peaceful province in Acrostic land:
There thou may’st wings display, and altars raise,
And torture one poor word ten thousand ways:
Or if thou would'st thy diff'rent talents suit,
Set thy own songs, and sing them to thy lute.
He said; but his last words were scarcely heard;
For Bruce and Longvil had a trap prepar’d,
And down they sent the yet-declaiming bard.
Sinking, he left his drugget robe behind,
Borne upwards by a subterranean wind:
The mantle fell to the young prophet's part,
Wiih double portion of his father's art.
A SATIRE AGAINST SEDITION
Per Graium populos mediaeque per Elidris urbem,
Ibat ovans, Divumque sibi poscebat honorem.
Of all our antic sights and pageantry,
Which English idiots run in crowds to see,
The Polish Medal bears the prize alone,
A monster, more the fav’rite of the Town
Than either fairs or theatres yet have shown.
Never did Art so well with Nature strive,
Nor ever idol seem so much alive;
So like the man, so golden to the sight,
So base within, so counterfeit and light;
One side is fill'd with title and with face,
And, lest the King should want a regal place,
On the reverse a tow'r the town surveys,
O’er which our mounting sun his beams displays.
The word, pronounc'd aloud by shrieval voice,
Lætamur, which, in Polish, Rejoice.
The day, month, year, to the great act are join'd,
And a new canting holiday design'd.
Five days he sat, for every cast and look,
Four more than God to finish Adam took:
But who can tell what essence angels are.
Or how long Heav'n was making Lucifer?