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Let SATIRE then her proper object know,
And ere she strike, be sure she strikes a foe.
Nor fondly deem the real fool confest,.
Because blind Ridicule conceives a jest :
Before whose altar Virtue oft hath bled,
And oft a destin'd victim shall be led : 30
Lo, Shaftsb’ry rears her high on Reason's throne,
And loads the slave with honors not her own:
Big-swoln with folly, as her smiles provoke,
Profaneness spawns, pert dunces nurse the joke!
Come, let us join awhile this tittering crew,
And own the idiot guide for once is true ;
Deride our weak forefathers' musty rule,
Who therefore smil'd, because they saw a fool :
Sublimer logic now adorns our isle,
We therefore see a fool, because we smile.
Truth in her gloomy cave why fondly seek ?
Lo, gay she sits in Laughter's dimpled cheek:
Contemns each surly academic foe,
And courts the spruce free-thinker and the beau,
Daedalian arguments but few can trace,
But all can read the language of grimace.
Hence mighty Ridicule’s all-conqu’ring hand
Shall work Herculean wonders through the land:
Bound in the magic of her cobweb chain,
You, mighty WARBURTON, shall rage in vain, 50
In vain the trackless maze of Truth You scan,
And lend th' informing clue to erring man :
No more shall Reason boast her power divine,
Her base eternal shook by Folly's mine !
Truth's sacred fort th’ exploded laugh shall winį And coxcombs vanquish Berkley by a grin.
But you, more sage, reject th’inverted rule,
That Truth is e’er explor'd by ridicule :
On truth, on falsehood let her colors fall,
She throws a dazzling glare alike on all;
As the gay prism but mocks the flatter'd eye,
And gives to every object every dye.
Beware the mad advent'rer: bold and blind
She hoists her sail, and drives with every
Deaf as the storm to sinking Virtue's groan,
Nor heeds a friend's destruction, or her own.
Let clear-ey'd Reason at the helm preside,
Bear to the wind, or stem the furious tide;
Then mirth may urge, when reason can explore,
This point the way, that waft us glad to shore.
Though distant times may rise in Satire's page, Yet chief 'tis her's to draw the present age : With Wisdom's lustre, Folly's shade contrast, And judge the reigning manners by the past : Bid Britain's Heroes (awful shades!) arise, And ancient honor beam on modern vice: Point back to minds ingenuous, actions fair, Till the sons blush at what their fathers were ; Ere yet 'twas beggary the great to trust; Ere yet 'twas quite a folly to be just;
80 When low-born sharpers only dar'd a lie, Or falsify'd the card, or cogg'd the dye :
Ere lewdness the stain'd garb of honor wore,
Or chastity was carted for the whore;
Vice Alutter'd, in the plumes of freedom drest;
Or public spirit was the public jest.
Be ever in a just expression bold,
Yet ne'er degrade fair Satire to a scold:
Let no unworthy mien her form debase,
But let her smile, and let her frown with grace
In mirth be temp'rate, temp'rate in her spleen;
Nor while she preaches modesty, obscene.
Deep let her wound, not rankle to a sore,
Nor call his Lordship * her Grace a
The Muse's charms resistless then assail,
When rapt in irony's transparent veil :
Her beauties half-conceal’d the more surprize,
And keener lustre sparkles in her eyes.
Then be your line with sharp encomiums grac'd:
Style Clodius honorable, Bufa chaste..
Dart not on Folly an indignant eye : Who e'er discharg'd artillery on a fly? Deride not Vice: absurd the thought and vain, To bind the tiger in so weak a chain. Nay more: when flagrant crimes your laughter move, The knáve exults: to smile is to approve. The Muse's labor then success shall crown, When Folly feels her smile, and Vice her frown,
Know next what measures to each theme belong, And suit your thoughts and numbers to your song :110 On wing proportion'd to your quarry rise, And stoop to earth, or soar among the skies. 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 Of camps and senates disciplin'd by Hoyle. Patriots and chiefs whose deep design invades, And carries off the captive king of-spades! 10 Let Satire here in milder vigor shine, And gayly graceful sport along the line; 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 Muse's aid; When crimes, which erst in kindred darkness lay, Rise frontless, and insult the eye of day; Indignant Hymen veils his hallow'd fires, And white-rob'd Chastity with tears retires ; - 130 When rank Adultery on the genial bed Hot from Cocytus rears her baleful head: When private faith and public trust are sold, And traitors barter liberty for gold; When fell Corruption dark and deep, like Fate, Saps the foundation of a sinking state : When giant-vice and irreligion rise,
On mountain'd falsehoods to invade the skies :
Then warmer numbers glow through SATIRE’s page,
And all her smiles are darken'd into rage : 140
On eagle-wing she gains Parnassus' height,
Not lofty Epic soars a nobler Alight:
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,
And. beams on Virtue's friends a look serene:
She wounds reluctant, pours her balm with joy,
Glad to commend where merit strikes her
But tread with cautious step this dangerous ground,
Beset with faithless precipices round:
Truth be your guide ; disdain Ambition's call;
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 ?
Let real merit then adorn your lays,
For shame attends on prostituted praise : ibo
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: She yields description of the noblest kind.