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ESSAY ON SATIRE,
OCCASIONED BY THE DEATH OF MR. POPE.
(Late Bishop of Gloucester.)
O while along the stream of Time thy Name
PARTI. Fate gave
the word; the cruel arrow sped; And Pope lies number'd with the mighty dead ! Resign'd he fell; superior to the dart, That quench'd its rage in Your's and Britain's
heart : You mourn : But BRITAIN, lull'd in rest profound, (Unconscious Britain !) slumbers o'er her wound. Exulting Dulness ey'd the setting light, And flapp'd her wing, impatient for the night:
Rous'd at the signal, Guilt collects her train,
But You, O WARBURTON! whose eye refin'd Can see the greatness of an honest mind; Can see each virtue and each grace unite, And taste the raptures of a pure delight; You visit ofi' his awful page with care, And view that bright assemblage treasur'd there; You trace the chain that links his deep design, And pour new lustre on the glowing line. Yet áeign to hear the efforts of a Muse, Whose eye, not wing, his ardent flight pursues ; Intent from this great archetype to draw SATIRE's bright form, and fix her equal law ; Pleas’d if from hence th' unlearn'd may comprehend, And rey’rence His and Satire's generous end.
In every breast there burns an active flame,
She, power resistless, rules the wise and great; Bends ev'n reluctant hermits at her feet : Haunts the proud city, and the lowly shade, And sways alike the scepter and the spade.
Thus heav’n in pity wakes the friendly fame, To urge mankind on deeds that merit fame : But man, vain man, in folly only wise, Rejects the manna sent him from the skies : With rapture hears corrupted passion's call, Still proudly prone to mingle with the stall. As each deceitful shadow tempts his view, He for the imag'd substance quits the true : Eager to catch the visionary prize, In quest of glory plunges deep in vice ; Till madly zealous, impotently vain, He forfeits every praise he pants to gain.
Thus still imperious Nature plies her part; And still her dictates work in every heart. Each pow'r that sov’reign Nature bids enjoy, Man may corrupt, but man can ne'er destroy. Like mighty rivers, with resistless force The passion's rage, obstructed in their course; Swell to new heights, forbidden paths explore, And drown those virtues which they fed before.
And sure, the deadliest foe to virtue's flame, Our worst of evils, is perverted shame.
Beneath this load what abject numbers groan,
Th’entangled slaves to folly not their own!
Behold, yon wretch, by impious fashion driv’n,
Faith, Justice, Heav'n itself now quit their hold,