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Point back to minds ingenuous, actions fair, 245
her Grace a The Muse's charms resistless then assail When wrapp'd in Irony's transparent veil: Her beauties half-conceal'd, the more surprise, 265 And keener lustre sparkles in her eyes. Then be your line with sharp encomiums grac'd; Style Clodius honourable, Bufa chaste.
Dart not on folly an indignant eye: Whoe'er discharg'd artillery on a fly?
Deride not Vice; absurd the thought and vain
275 When Folly feels her smile, and Vice her frown.
Know next what measures to each theme belong, And suit your thoughts and nu bers to your song: On wing proportion'd to your quarry rise, And stoop to earth, or soar among the skies. 280 Thus when a modish folly you rehearse, Free the expression, simple be the verse: In artless numbers paint th' ambitious peer That mounts the box, and shines a charioteer: In strains familiar sing the midnight toil 285 Of camps and senates disciplin'd by Hoyle; Patriots and chiefs, whose deep design invades And carries off the captive king....of Spades ! Let Satire here in milder vigour shine, And gaily graceful sport along the line; 290 Bid courtly Fashion quit her thin pretence, And smile each affectation into sense.
Not so when Virtue, by her guards betray'd, Spurn'd from her throne, implores the Muses' aid; When crimes, which erst in kindred darkness lay, Rise frontless, and insult the eye of day; 296
Indignant Hymen veils his hallow'd fires,
310 Then keener indignation fires her eye; Then flash her lightnings and her thunders fly: Wide and more wide her flaming bolts are hurld, Till all her wrath involves the guilty world.
Yet Satire oft assumes a gentler mien, 315 And beams on Virtue's friends a smile serene : She wounds reluctant, pours her balm with joy, Glad to commend where worth attracts her eye: But chief when virtue, learning, arts, decline, She joys to see unconquer'd Merit shine; 320 Where bursting glorious with departing ray, True genius gilds the close of Britain's day:
With joy she sees the stream of Roman art
330 To Hagley's honour'd shade directs her view, And culls each flower to form a wreath for you.
But tread with cautious step this dang’rous grouud, Beset with faithless precipices round: Truth be your guide; disdain Ambition's call; 335 And if you fall with Truth you greatly fall. 'Tis Virtue's native lustre that must shine; The poet can but set it in his line: And who, unmov'd with laughter, can behold A sordid pebble meanly grac'd with gold?
340 Let real merit then adorn.your lays, For shame attends on prostituted praise ; And all your wit, your most distinguish'd art, But makes us grieve you want an honest heart.
Nor think the Muse by Satire's law confin'd; 345 She yields description of the noblest kind. Inferior art the landscape may design, And paint the purple ev'ning in the line :
Her daring thought essays a higher plan;