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Which with our very dawn begun,
The fairest flow'rs, and choke the soil ?-'Tis Slander-and, with shame I own, The vice of human kind alone.
Be Slander, then, my leading dream,
Th’ insidious sland'ring thief is worse Than the poor rogue who steals your purse. "
Say, he purloins your glittring store ;
Improve the hint of Shakespeare's tongue; 'Twas thus immortal Shakespeare sung: And trust the bard's unerring rule, For nature was that poet's school.
As I was nodding in my chair, I saw a rueful wild appear :
No verdure met my aching sight,
The dreary prospect spread around; Deep snow had whiten’d all the ground: A bleak and barren mountain nigh, Expos’d to ev'ry friendless sky! Here foul-mouth'd Slander lay reclin'd, Her snaky tresses hiss'd behind; • A bloated toad-stool rais’d her head, • The plumes of ravens were her hed;"* She fed upon the viper's brood, And slak'd her impious thirst with blood.
The rising sun, and western ray, Were witness to her distant sway. The tyrant claim'd a mightier host Than the proud Persian e'er could boast.
* Garth's Dispensatory,
No conquest grac'd Darius' son, *
No plea diverts the fury's rage,
Whene'er the tyrant sounds to war, Her canker'd trump is heard afar. Pride, with a heart unknown to yield, : Commands in chief, and guides the field ;
* Xerxes, King of Persia, and son of Darius. He invaded Greece with an army consisting of more than a million of men (some say more than two millions); who, together with their cattle, perished, in a great measure through the inability of the countries to supply such a vast host with provision.
He stalks with vast gigantic stride,
Revenge, that base Hesperian,* known
Envy commands a sacred band, With sword and poison in her hand.
* Hesperia includes Italy as well as Spain; and the inhabitants of both are remarkable for their revengeful dispositions,