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SL AND ER

A VISION, BY DR. COTTON,

Infcribed to Miss

My lovely girl, I write for you;
And pray believe my visions true ;
They'll form your mind to every grace;
They'll add new beauties to your face :
And when old age impairs your prime,
You'll triumph o'er the spoils of time.

Childhood and youth engage my pen,
'Tis labour loft to talk to men.
Youth may, perhaps, reform, when wrong,
Age will not listen to my song.
He who at fifty is a fool,
Is far too stubborn grown for school.

What is that vice which still prevails,
When almost every passion fails ;
Which with our very dawn begun,
Nor ends, but with our setting fun;
Which, like a noxious weed, can spoil
The faireft flow'rs, and choak the soil?
"Tis Slander,--and, with shame I own,
The vice of human-kind alone.

Be

Be Slander then my leading dream,
Tho' you're a stranger to the theme;
Thy fofter breast, and honest heart,
Scorn the defamatory art;
Thy foul afferts her native skies,
Nor asks detraction's wings to rise ;
In foreign spoils let others shine,
Intrinsic excellence is thine.
The bird, in peacock's plumes who shone,
Could plead no merit of her own :
The filly theft betray'd her pride,
And spoke her poverty beside.

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Th' infidious fland'ring thief is wo
Than the poor rogue who steals your purse.
Say, he purloins your glitt'ring store ;
• Who takes your gold, takes trash'-no more ;
Perhaps he pilfers to be fed
Ah! guiltless wretch, who steals for bread !
But the dark villain, who fall aim
To blast, my fair, thy spotless name,
He'd steal a precious gem away,
Steal what both Indies can't repay!
Here the strong pleas of want are vain,
Or the more impious pleas of gain.
No finking family to save!
No gold to glut th' insatiate knave!

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Improve the hint of Shakespeare's tongue, »Twas thus immortal * Shakespeare sung.

And

# Othello.

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 fight,
But hemlock, and cold aconite ;
Two very pois'nous plants, 'tis true,
But not so bad as vice to you.

The dreary prospect spread around !
Deep snow had whiten'd all the ground!
A black and barren mountain nigh,
Expos'd to ev'ry friendless sky!
Here foul-mouth'd Slander lay reclin'd,
Her snaky treffes hiss'd behind:
66. A bloated toad-ftool rais'd her head,
The plumes of ravens were her bed :-*
She fed upon the viper's brood,
And flak'd her impious thirst with blood.

The riGng fun and western

ray
Were witness to her. diftant sway.
The tyrant claim'd a mightier hoft
Than the proud Perfian e'er could boast.
No conquest grac'd Darius' Son ti

By his own numbers half undone ! * Garth's Dispensary.

+ Xerxes, King of Persia and son of Darius. He invadedi Greece with an army consisting of more than a million of men (some say more than two millions), who, together with their catole, perished in great measure through thu inability of the countries to supply such a vaf hoft with provision.

Success attended Slander's pow'r,
She reap'd fresh laurels ev'ry hour.
Her troops a deeper scarlet wore
Than ever armies knew before.

No plea diverts the fury's rage,
The fury spares nor sex nor age.
Ev'n merit, with destructive charms,
Provokes the vengeance of her arms.

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.
He stalks with vast gigantic ftride,
And scatters fear and ruin wide.
So th' impetuous torrents sweep
At once whole nations to the deep.

Revenge, that base * Hefperian, known
A chief support of Slander's throne,
Amidit the bloody crowd is feen,
And Treach'ry brooding in his Mien ;
The monster often chang'd his gait,
But march'd resolv'd, and fix'd his fate.
Thus the fell kite, whom hunger stings,
Now slowly moves his outstretch'd wings ;

Now

* Hesperia includes Italy as well as Spain, and the inhabitants of both are remarkable for their revengeful disposition,

Now fwift as lightning bears away,
And darts upon his trembling prey.

Envy commands a secret band,
With sword and poison in her hand.
Around her haggard eye-balls roll ;
A thousand fiends poffefs her soul.
The artful, unsuspected spright
With fatal aim attacks by night.
Her troops advance with filent tread,
And ftab the hero in his bed;
Or shoot the wing'd malignant lie,
And female honours pine and die.
So prowling wolves, when darkness reigns,
Intent on murder scour the plains;
Approach the folds where lambs repose,
Whose guileless breasts suspect no fues;
The savage gluts his fierce defires,
And bleating innocence expires.

Slander smild horribly, to view
How wide her daily conquests grew:
Around the crowded levees wait,
Like oriental slaves of state :
Of either sex whole armies press'd,
But chiefly of the fair and belt.

Is it a breach of friendship's law To say what female friends I saw i Slander assumes the idol's part, And claims the tribute of the heart.

The

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