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of the muse are in the lofty mountains, along the margin of the silver rivulet, through silent valleys, in solitary woods, on the sea-shore, in the blue sky, on the sailing cloud. Here she communes with nature, and discourses of loveliness and beauty. It is not willingly, but by compulsion, that she leaves these scenes for the crowded haunts of men, to deal with vice and deformity. The change is almost fatal to her charms. In the narrow streets of the city we hardly recognise the enchantress. Her white wing becomes soiled and drooping ; her brow furrowed with indignation; her lip curled in scorn; a quiver of poisoned arrows is at her back; a whip of scorpions in her hand. The silver music of her voice is gone; her inspired language is exchanged for the vulgar speech of men; her fancy is filled with images of deformity! Who that has been her companion in the lone mountain, by the wild waterfall, and in the trackless wood; when weary, has reposed on beds of wild roses, when thirsty, has kissed the lip of a virgin fountain, that ever before has flowed untouched in its secret bower—who, that has lived and communed with her thus, would wish to see her degraded to the business of a satirist and scourge?
Yet in contemplating M'Fingal, if we cannot admire the poet, we must acknowledge the debt we owe the patriot. It is in the light of history and not by the tests of literary criticism, that we would estimate the value of the work. Let it be tried by the stern question, why was it written, and what has it done ? the answer is a proud one.—It was dictated by patriotism, and served efficiently the cause it was designed to promote. While most satires have originated in personal malice, or feelings nearly allied to it, this was written in an hour of national trial, to serve the cause of justice and humanity. The Dunciad was designed to blast the enemies of Alexander Pope; M’Fingal to confound the enemies of liberty. The higher motives which gave birth to the last, cannot indeed elevate it to the literary rank of the other; yet while critics deny to M'Fingal a place among the English classics, the name of Trumbull is honorably registered in the annals of American Independence.
Now warm with ministerial ire, Fierce sallied forth our loyal 'squire, And on his striding steps attends His desperate clan of tory friends. When sudden met his wrathful eye A pole ascending through the sky, Which numerous throngs of whiggish race Were raising in the market-place. Not higher school-boys' kites aspire, Or royal mast, or country spire; Like spears at Brobdignagian tilting, Or Satan's walking-staff in Milton. And on its top, the flag unfurld Waved triumph o'er the gazing world, Inscribed with inconsistent types Of liberty and thirteen stripes. Beneath, the crowd without delay The dedication-rites essay, And gladly pay, in ancient fashion, The ceremonies of libation; While briskly to each patriot lip Walks eager round the inspiring flip: Delicious draught! whose powers inherit The quintessence of public spirit; Which whoso tastes, perceives his mind To nobler politics refined; Or roused to martial controversy, As from transforming cups of Circe; Or warm’d with Homer's nectar'd liquor, That fill'd the veins of gods with ichor. At hand for new supplies in store, The tavern opes its friendly door, Whence to and fro the waiters run, Like bucket-men at fires in town. Then with three shouts that tore the sky, 'Tis consecrate to liberty. To guard it from the attacks of tories, A grand committee culld of four is; Who foremost on the patriot spot, Had brought the flip, and paid the shot.
By this, M'Fingal with his train Advanced upon the adjacent plain, And full with loyalty possess'd, Pour'd forth the zeal that fired his breast.
"What mad-brain'd rebel gave commission, To raise this May-pole of sedition ? Like Babel, reard by bawling throngs, With like confusion too of tongues, To point at heaven, and summon down The thunders of the British crown? Say, will this paltry pole secure Your forfeit heads from Gage's power ? Attack'd by heroes brave and crafty, Is this to stand your ark of safety; Or driven by Scottish laird and laddie, Think ye to rest beneath its shadow ? When bombs, like fiery serpents, fly, And balls rush hissing through the sky, Will this vile pole, devote to freedom, Save like the Jewish pole in Edom; Or like the brazen snake of Moses, Cure your crack'd sculls and batter'd noses?
“Ye dupes to every factious rogue And tavern-prating demagogue, Whose tongue but rings, with sound more full, On the empty drumhead of his scull; Behold you not what noisy fools Use you, worse simpletons, for tools ? For liberty, in your own by-sense, Is but for crimes a patent license, To break of law the Egyptian yoke, And throw the world in common stock ; Reduce all grievances and ills To Magna Charta of your wills; Establish cheats, and frauds, and nonsense, Framed to the model of your conscience ; Cry justice down, as out of fashion, And fix its scale of depreciation; Defy all creditors to trouble ye, And keep new years of Jewish jubilee; Drive judges out, like Aaron's calves, By jurisdiction of white staves, And make the bar, and bench, and steeple, Submit tour sovereign lord, the people: By plunder rise to power and glory, And brand all property, as tory; Expose all wares to lawful seizures By mobbers or monopolizers; Break heads, and windows, and the peace, For your own interest and increase ;
Dispute, and pray, and fight, and groan,
Grows General of the foremost name. For in this ferment of the stream The dregs have work'd up to the brim, And by the rule of topsy-turvies, The scum stands foaming on the surface. You've caused your pyramid t' ascend, And set it on the little end. Like Hudibras your empire 's made, Whose crupper had o'ertopp'd his head. You've push'd and turn’d the whole world upSide down, and got yourselves at top, While all the great ones of your state Are crush'd beneath the popular weight; Nor can you boast, this present hour, The shadow of the form of power. For what's your Congress or its end ? A power t advise and recommend; To call forth troops, adjust your quotas And yet no soul is bound to notice; To pawn your faith to the utmost limit, But cannot bind you to redeem it; And when in want, no more in them lies, Than begging from your state assemblies; Can utter oracles of dread, Like friar Bacon's brazen head, But when a faction dares dispute 'em, Has ne'er an arm to execute 'em: As though you chose supreme dictators, And put them under conservators. You've but pursued the self-same way With Shakespeare's Trinc'lo in the play; “ You shall be viceroys here, 't is true, But we'll be viceroys over you.” What wild confusion hence must ensue? Though common danger yet cements you: So some wreck’d vessel, all in shatters, Is held up by surrounding waters, But stranded, when the pressure ceases, Falls by its rottenness to pieces. And fall it must! if wars were ended, You 'll ne'er have sense enough to mend it: But creeping on, by low intrigues, Like vermin of a thousand legs, 'T will find as short a life assign’d, As all things else of reptile kind. Your Commonwealth 's a common harlot, The property of every varlet ;