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Your happy frame at once controls
This great triumvirate of souls.


Let not old Rome boast Fabius's fate;

He sav'd his country by delays,

But you by peace.

You bought it at a cheaper rate; Nor has it left the usual bloody scar,

To show it cost its price in war;
War that mad game the world so loves to play,

And for it does so dearly pay;
For, though with loss, or victory, a while

Fortune the gainesters does beguile,
Yet at the last the box sweeps all away.


Only the laurel got by peace

No thunder e'er can blast:
Th’ artillery of the skies

Shoots to the earth and dies :
And ever green and flourishing 'twill last,
Nordipt in blood, nor widow's tears, nor orphan's,

About the head crown'd with these bays

Like lanbent fire, the lightning plays;
Nor, its triumphal cavalcade to grace,


its solemn train with death; It melts thesword of war, yet keeps it in the sheath.


The wily shifts of state, those juggler's tricks,
Which we call deep designs and politicks,

(As the scene,

(As in a theatre the ignorant fry,

Because the cords escape their eye,

Wonder to see the motions fly)
Methinks, when you expose

Down the ill organ'd engines fall;
Off fly the vizards, and discover all:

How plain I see through the deceit !

How shallow, and how gross, the cheat !
Look where the pully’s tied above !
Great God! (said 1) what have I seen!

On what poor engines move
The thoughts of monarchs, and designs of states;

What petty motives rule their fates ! How the mouse makes the mighty mountain shake! The mighty mountain labours with its birth,

Away the frighten'd peasants fly,

Scard at th' unheard-of prodigy,
Expect some great gigantic son of earth;

Lo! it appears !
See how they tremble ! how they quake!
Out starts the little mouse, and mocks their idle



Then tell, dear favourite Muse!
What serpent's that which still resorts,
Still lurks in palaces and courts ?

Take thy unwonted flight,
And on the terrace light.

See where she lies !
See how she rears her head,
· And rolls about her dreadful eyes,
To drive all virtue out, or look it dead !




'Twas sure this basilisk sent Temple thence, And though as some ('tis said) for their defence

Have worn a casement o'er their skin,

So he wore his within, Made up of virtue and transparent innocence;

And though he oft renew'd the fight, And almost got priority of sight,

He ne'er could overcome her quite, In pieces cut, the viper still did reunite;

Till, at last, tir'd with less of time and ease, Resolu'd to give himself, as well as country, peace.


Sing, belov’d Muse! the pleasures of retreat,
And in some untouch'd virgin strain,
Show the delights thy sister Nature yields;
Sing of thy vales, sing of thy woods, sing of thy


Go, publish o'er the plain
How mighty a proselyte you gain !
How noble a reprisal on the great !

How is the Muse luxuriant grown!

Whene'er she takes this flight,

She soars clear out of sight. These are the paradises of her own:

Thy Pegasus, like an unruly horse,

Though ne'er so gently led, so the lov'd pasture where he us’d to feed, Runs violent o’er his usual course.

Wake from thy wanton dreams,

Come froin thy dear-lov'd streams,
The crooked paths of wandering. Thames !
Fain the fair nymph would stay,



Oft she looks back in vain,
Oft ’gainst her fountain does complain,

And softly steals in many windings down,

As loth to see the hated court and town, And murmurs as she glides away.

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In this new happy scene
Are nobler subjects for your learned pen;

Here we expect from you
More than your predecessor Adam knew;
Whatever moves our wonder, or our sport,
Whatever serves forinnocent emblems of the court;

How that which we a kernel see, (Whose well.compacted forms escape the light, Unpierc'd by the blunt rays of sight)

Shall ere long grow into a tree; Whence takes it its increase, and whence its birth, Or from the sun, or from the air, or from the earth,

Where all the fruitful atoms lie;

How some go downward to the root, , Some more ambitiously upward fly, And form the leaves, the branches, and the fruit. You strove to cultivate a barren court in vain, Your garden's better worth your noble pain, Here mankind fell, and hence must rise again.


Shall I believe a spirit so divine

Was cast in the same mould with mine? Why then does Nature so unjustly share Among her elder sons the whole estate, And all her jewels and her plate?



Poor we! cadets of Heaven, not worth her care,
Take up at best with lumber and the leavings of

a fare:
Some she binds 'prentice to the spade,

Some to the drudgery of a trade;
Some she does to Egyptian bondage draw,
Bids us make bricks, yet sends us to look out for


Some she condemns for life to try
To dig the leaden mines of deep philosophy:
Me she has to the Muse's gallies tied,
In vain I strive to cross the spacious main,

In vain I tug and pull the oar,

And when I almost reach the shore, Straight the Muse turns the helm, and I launch out

again :

And yet, to feed my pride, Whene’er I mourn, stops my complaining breath, With promise of a mad reversion after death.


Then, Sir, accept this worthless verse,

The tribute of an humble Muse, 'Tis all the portion of my niggard stars ; Nature the hidden spark did at my birth infuse, And kindled first with indolence and ease;

And since too oft debauch’d by praise,
'Tis now grown an incurable disease :
In vain to quench this foolish fire I try

In wisdom and philosophy :
In vain all wholesome herbs I sow,

Where nought but weeds will grow :
Whate'er I plant (like corn on barren earth)

By an equivocal birth
Seeds, and runs up to poetry.


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