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With ev'ry wild absurdity comply,
And view each object with another's eye ;
To shake with laughter ere the jest they hear,
Το pour, at will, the counterfeited tear,
And, as their patron hints the cold or heat,
To shake in Dog-days, in December sweat.
How, when competitors like these contend,
Can surly virtue hope to fix a friend ?
Slaves, that with serious impudence beguile,
And lye without a blush, without a smile;
Exalt each trifle, ev'ry vice adore,
Your taste in snuff, your judgment in a whore;
Can Balbo’s eloquence applaud, and swear
He gropes his breeches with a monarch's air.
For arts like these preferr'd, admir’d, caress’d,
They firit invade your table, then your breast;
Explore your fecrets with infidious art,
Watch the weak hour, and ransack all the heart ;
Then foon your ill-plac'd confidence repay,
Commence your lords, and govern or betray.
By numbers, here, from shame or censure free, All crimes are safe, but hated poverty. This, only this, the rigid law pursues ; This, only this, provokes the snarling múse. The fober trader, at a tatter'd cloak, Wakes from his dream, and labours for a joke; With brisker air the filken courtiers gaze, And turn the varied taunt a thousand ways. Of all the griefs that harrass the distress'd, Sure the most bitter is a scornful jeft;
Fate never wounds more deep the gen'rous heart,
Than when a blockhead's insult points the dart.
Has Heaven reserv'd, in pity to the poor,
No pathless waste or undiscover'd shore ?
No secret island in the boundless main ?
No peaceful desart yet unclaim'd by Spain ?
Quick let us rise, the happy seats explore,
And bear oppression's insolence no more.
This mournful truth is ev'ry where confess'd,
SLOW RISES WORTH, BY POVERTY Depress’D :
But here more Now, where all are slaves to gold,
Where looks are merchandise, and smiles are sold ;
Where, won by bribes, by flatteries implor'd,
The groom retails the favours of his lord.
But hark, th' affrighted crowd's tumultuous cries
Roll through the streets and thunder to the skies;
Rais’d from some pleasing dream of wealth and power,
Some pompous palace or some blissful bow'r,
Aghaft you start, and scarce with aching fight
Sustain th' approaching fire's tremendous light;
Swift from pursuing horrors take your way,
And leave your little All to flames a prey ;
Then thró' the world a wretched vagrant roam;
For where can starving merit find a home?
In vain your mournful narrative disclose,
While all neglect, and most insult your woes.
Should Heaven's juft bolts Orgilio's wealth confound,
And spread his flaming palace on the ground,
Swift o'er the land the dismal rumour flies,
And public mournings pacify the skies ;
The laureate tribe in servile verfe relate,
How virtue wars with persecuting face ;
With well-feign'd gratitude the penfion'd band
Refund the plunder of the beggar'd land.
See! while he builds, the gaudy vassals come,
And crowd with sudden wealth the rising dome;
The price of boroughs and of fouls. reftore;
And raise his treasures higher than before.
Now bless’d with all the baubles of the great,
The polish'd marble, and the shining plate,
Orgilio fees the golden pile aspire,
And hopes from angry Heav'n another fire.
Could'st thou resign the park and play, content,
For the fair banks of Severn or of Trent;
There might'lt thou find fome elegant retreat,
Some hireling fenator's deferted feat!
And stretch thy prospects o'er the smiling land,
For less than rent the dungeons of the Strand;
There prune thy walks, fupport thy drooping flow'ts,
Direở thy rivulets, and twine thy bow'rs;
And, while thy beds a cheap repaft afford,
Despise the dainties of a venal lord.
There ev'ry bush with nature's mufic rings,
There ev'ry breeze bears health upon its wings;
On all thy hours security fall smile,
And blefs thy evening walk and morning toil.
Prepare for deachi! here at night you roani,
And figa ycur will before you fup from home.
Some fiery fop, with new commission vair; Who leeps on brambles till ke kills his man ;
Some frolic drunkard, reeling from a feast,
Provokes a broil, and stabs you for a jest.
Yet e'en these heroes, mischievously gay,
Lords of the street, and terrors of the way;
Flush'd as they are with folly, youth and wine,
Their prudent insults to the poor confine ;
Afar they mark the flambeau's bright approach,
And shun the shining train, and golden coach.
In vain these dangers paft, your doors you close,
And hope the balmy blessings of repose :
Cruel with guilt, and daring with despair,
The midnighť murd'rer bursts the faithless bar;
Invades the sacred hour of filent rest,
And plants, unseen, a dagger in your breast.
Scarce can our fields, such crowds at Tyburn die, With hemp the gallows and the fleet supply. Propose your schemes, ye senatorian band, Whose
ways and means support the sinking land; Let ropes be wanting in the tempting spring, To rig another convoy for the kg.
A single jail, in Alfred's golden reign, Could half the nation's criminals contain ; Fair justice, then, without constraint ador'd, Helů high the steady scale, but deep'd the sword; No fpies were paid, no special juries known; Blest age! but ah! how diff'rent from our own
! Much could I add, but see the boat at hand, The tide, retiring, calls me from the land : Farewel!-When youth, and health, and fortune
spent, Thou fly'it for refuge to the Wilds of Kent;
And tir'd, like me, with follies and with crimes,
In angry numbers warn'st succeeding times;
Then shall thy friend; nor thou refuse his aid,
Still foe to vice, forsake his Cambrian shade;
In virtue's cause once more exert his rage,
Thy fatire point, and animate thy page.