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For though possess'd of present vogue, they've

made Railing, a rule of wit, and obloquy, a trade; Yet the same want of brains produces each effect. And you, whom Pluto's helm does wisely slıroud

From us, the blind and thoughtless crowd, Like the fam'd hero in his mother's cloud, Who both our follies and impertinences see, Do laugh perhaps at theirs, and pity mine and me.


But censure's to be understood

Th’authentic mark of the elect, The public stamp Heaven sets on all that's great

and good,
Our shallow search and judgment to direct.

The war methinks, has made,
Our wit and learning narrow as our trade;
Instead of boldly sailing far, to buy
A stock of wisdom and philosophy,

We fondly stay at home, in fear

Of every censuring privateer; Forcing a wretched trade by beating down the sale,

And selling basely by retail. The wits, I mean the atheists of the age, Who fain would rule the pulpit, as they do the stage; Wondrous refiners of philosophy,

Of morals and divinity, By the new modish system of reducing all to sense, Against all logic, and concluding laws, Do own th’effects of Providence, And yet deny the cause.

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This hopeful sect, now it begins to see
How little, very little, do prevail

Their first and chiefest force
To censure, to cry down and rail,
Not knowing what, or where, or who you be,

Will quickly take another course:

And, by their never-failing ways

Of solving all appearances they please, Wesoon shall see them to theirancient methods fall, And straight deny you to bemen, or any thing at all.

I laugh at the grave answer they will make, Which they have always ready, general, and cheap: 'Tis but to say, that what we daily meet,

And by a fond mistake
Perhaps imagine to be wondrous wit,
And think, alas ! to be by mortals writ,
Is but a crowd of atoms justling in a heap;

Which from eternal seeds begun,
Justling some thousand yearstill ripen'd by the sun;
They're now, just now, as naturally born,
As from the womb of earth a field of corn.


But as for poor contented me,
Who must my weakness and my ignorance confess,
That I believe in much I ne'er can hope to see;

Methinks I'm satisfy'd to guess,
That this new, noble, and delightful scene,
Is wonderfully mov'd by some exalted men,

Who have well studied in the world's disease, (That epidemic error and depravity,

Or in our judgment or our eye) That what surprises us can only please.


We often search contentedly the whole world

To make some great discovery;

And scorn it when 'tis found.
Just so the mighty Nile has suffer'd in its fame,

De anse 'tis said (and perhaps only said) We've found a little inconsiderable head,

That feeds the huge unequal stream. Consider human folly, and you'll quickly own,

That all the praises it can give, By which some fondly boast they shall for ever live, Won't pay th' impertinence of being known:

Else why should the fam'd Lydian king, (Whom all the charms of an usurped wife and state, With all that power unfelt, courts mankind to be

great, Did with new unexperienc'd glories wait) Still wear, still doat, on his invisible ring?


Were I to form a regular thought of Fame,
Which is perhaps as hard t'imagine right,

As to paint Echo to the sight;
I would not draw th' idea from an empty name;

Because, alas ! when we all die, Careless and ignorant pasterity, Although they praise the learning and the wit,

And though the title seems to shew The name and man by whom the book was writ,

Yet how shall they be brought to know, Whether that very name was he, or you, or I? Less should I daub it o'er with transitory praise,

And water-colours of these days: These days! where e'en th’extravagance of poetry, .

Is at a loss for figures to express
Men's folly, whimsies, and inconstancy,

And by a faint description makes them less. Then tell us what is Fame, where shall we search

for it? Look where exalted Virtue and Religion sit,

Enthron’d with heavenly Wit!

Look where you see
The greatest scorn of learned vanity!

(And then how much a nothing is mankind ! Whose reason is weighed down by popular air,

Who, by that, vainly talks of baffling death; And hopes to lengthen life by a transfusion of

breath, Which yet whoe'er examines right will find To be an art as vain as bottling up of wind !) And when you find out these, believe true Fame is

there, Far above all reward, yet to which all is due: And this, ye great unknown! is only known in



The juggling sea-god, when by chance trepann’d By some instructed querist sleeping on the sand,

Impatient of all answers, straight became
A stealing brook, and strove to creep away

Into his native sea,
Vext at their follies, murmur'd in his stream;
But disappointed of his fond desire,
Would vanish in a pyramid of fire.
This surly slippery God, when he design'd

To furnish his escapes,
Ne'er borrow'd more variety of shapes
you to please and satisfy mankind,


And seem (almost) transform'd to water, flame and

air, So well you answer all phenomena there: Though madmen and the wits, philosophers and

fools, With all that factious or enthusiastic dotards

dream, And all the incoherent jargon of the schools; Though all the fumes of fear, hope, love, and

shame, Contrive to shock your minds with many a senseless

doubt; Doubts where the Delphic God would grope

in ignorance and night, The God of learning and of light Would want a God himself to help him out.

Philosophy, as it before us lies,
Seems to have borrów'd some ungrateful taste
Of doubts, impertinence, and niceties,

From every age through which it pass’d,
But always with a stronger relish of the fast.

This beauteous queen, by Heaven design'd

To be the great orginal For man to dress and polish his uncourtly mind, In what mock habits have they put her since the

fall! More oft in fools and madmen's hands than sages,

She seems a medley of all ages,
With a huge farthingale to swell her fustian stuff,

A new commode, a topknot, and a ruff,
Her face patch'd o'er with modern pedantry,
With a long sweeping train


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