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Gold, imp'd by thee, can compass hardest things,
Can pocket states; can fetch or carry kings;
A single leaf shall waft an army o'er,
Or ship off senates to some distant shore;
A leaf, like Sibyl's, scatter to and fro,
Our fates and fortunes, as the wind shall blow:
Pregnant with thousands flits the scrap unseen,
And silent sells a king, or buys a queen.
Oh! that such bulky bribes as all might see,
Still, as of old, encumber'd villany!
Could France or Rome divert our brave designs,
With all their brandies, or with all their wines?
What could they more than knights and 'squires
Or water all the quorum ten miles round?
A statesman's slumbers how this speech would spoil!
"Sir, Spain has sent a thousand jars of oil; Huge bales of British cloth blockade the door; A hundred oxen at your levee roar.'
Poor Avarice one torment more would find; Nor could Profusion squander all in kind. Astride his cheese Sir Morgan might we meet; And Worldly crying coals from street to street, Whom, with a wig so wild, and mien so maz'd, Pity mistakes for some poor tradesman craz'd. Had Colepepper's whole wealth been hops and hogs,
Could he himself have sent it to the dogs?
His grace will game: to White's a bull be led,
With spurning heels and with a butting head.
To White's be carried, as to ancient games,
Fair coursers, vases, and alluring dames.
Shall then Uxorio, if the stakes he sweep,
Bear home six whores, and make his lady weep?
Or soft Adonis, so perfum'd and fine,
Drive to St. James's a whole herd of swine?
Oh filthy check on all industrious skill,
To spoil the nation's last great trade, quadrille!
Since then, my lord, on such a world we fall,
What say you? B. Say? Why take it, gold and
P. What riches give us, let us then inquire? Meat, fire, and clothes. B. What more? P. Meat, clothes, and fire.
Is this too little? would you more than live?
Alas! 'tis more than Turner finds they give.
Alas! 'tis more than (all his visions past)
Unhappy Wharton, waking, found at last!
What can they give? to dying Hopkins, heirs;
To Chartres, vigor; Japhet, nose and ears?
Can they, in gems bid pallid Hippia glow,
In Fulvia's buckle ease the throbs below;
Or heal, old Narses, thy obscener ail,
With all th' embroidery plaster'd at thy tail?
They might (were Harpax not too wise to spend)
Give Harpax' self the blessing of a friend;
Or find some doctor that would save the life
Of wretched Shylock, spite of Shylock's wife;
But thousands die, without or this or that,
Die, and endow a college, or a cat.
To some, indeed, Heaven grants the happier fate,
T'enrich a bastard, or a son they hate.
Perhaps you think the poor might have their part; Bond damns the poor, and hates them from his heart: The grave Sir Gilbert holds it for a rule That every man in want is knave or fool: "God cannot love" (says Blunt, with tearless eyes) "The wretch he starves"-and piously denies :
But the good bishop, with a meeker air, Admits, and leaves them, Providence's care.
Yet to be just to these poor men of pelf,
Each does but hate his neighbor as himself:
Damn'd to the mines, an equal fate betides
The slave that digs it, and the slave that hides.
B. Who suffer thus, mere charity should own, Must act on motives powerful, though unknown
P. Some war, some plague, or famine, they foresee, Some revelation hid from you and me. Why Shylock wants a meal, the cause is found; He thinks a loaf will rise to fifty pound. What made directors cheat in South-Sea year? To live on venison when it sold so dear.
Ask you why Phryne the whole auction buys? Phryne foresees a general excise.
Why she and Sappho raise that monstrous sum? Alas! they fear a man will cost a plum.
Wise Peter sees the world's respect for gold, And therefore hopes this nation may be sold: Glorious ambition! Peter, swell thy store, And be what Rome's great Didius was before.
The crown of Poland, venal twice an age, To just three millions stinted modest Gage. But nobler scenes Maria's dreams unfold, Hereditary realms, and worlds of gold. Congenial souls! whose life one avarice joins, And one fate buries in th' Asturian mines.
Much-injur'd Blunt! why bears he Britain's hate? A wizard told him in these words our fate: "At length Corruption, like a general flood, (So long by watchful ministers withstood,) Shall deluge all; and Avarice, creeping on, Spread like a low-born mist, and blot the sun; Statesman and patriot ply alike the stocks, Peeress and butler share alike the box; And judges job, and bishops bite the town, And mighty dukes pack cards for half a crown. See Britain sunk in Lucre's sordid charms, And France reveng'd of Anne's and Edward's arms!"
Whose table, Wit, or modest Merit share,
Un-elbow'd by a gamester, pimp, or player?
Who copies yours, or Oxford's better part,
To ease th' oppress'd, and raise the sinking heart?
Where'er he shines, oh Fortune, gild the scene,
And angels guard him in the golden mean!
There, English Bounty yet awhile may stand,
And Honor linger ere it leaves the land.
But all our praises why should lords engross :
Rise, honest Muse! and sing the MAN of Ross:
Pleas'd Vaga echoes through her winding bounds,
And rapid Severn hoarse applause resounds.
Who hung with woods yon mountain's sultry
This year, a reservoir, to keep and spare;
The next, a fountain, spouting through his heir,
In lavish streams to quench a country's thirst,
And men and dogs shall drink him till they burst.
Old Cotta sham'd his fortune and his birth,
Yet was not Cotta void of wit or worth:
What though (the use of barbarous spits forgot)
His kitchen vied in coolness with his grot?
His court with nettles, moats with cresses stor'd,
With soups unbought and salads bless'd his board?
If Cotta liv'd on pulse, it was no more
Than Bramins, saints, and sages did before:
To cram the rich, was prodigal expense,
And who would take the poor from Providence?
Like some lone Chartreux stands the good old Hall,
Silence without, and fasts within the wall;
No rafter'd roofs with dance and tabor sound,
No noontide bell invites the country round:
Tenants with sighs the smokeless towers survey,
And turn th' unwilling steeds another way:
Benighted wanderers, the forest o'er,
Curs'd the sav'd candle, and unopening door;
While the gaunt mastiff, growling at the gate,
Affrights the beggar whom he longs to eat.
Not so his son: he mark'd this oversight,
And then mistook reverse of wrong for right.
(For what to shun, will no great knowledge need;
But what to follow, is a task indeed.)
Yet sure, of qualities deserving praise,
More go to ruin fortunes, than to raise.
What slaughter'd hecatombs, what floods of wine,
Fill the capacious 'squire, and deep divine!
Yet no mean motives this profusion draws,
His oxen perish in his country's cause;
"Tis George and Liberty that crowns the cup,
And zeal for that great house which eats him up.
The woods recede around the naked seat,
The Sylvans groan-no matter-for the fleet:
Next goes his wool-to clothe our valiant bands:
Last, for his country's love, he sells his lands.
To town he comes, completes the nation's hope,
And heads the bold train-bands, and burns a pope.
And shall not Britain now reward his toils,
Britain that pays her patriots with her spoils?
In vain at court the bankrupt pleads his cause,
His thankless country leaves him to her laws.
The sense to value riches, with the art
T' enjoy them, and the virtue to impart,
Not meanly, nor ambitiously pursued,
Not sunk by sloth, nor rais'd by servitude;
To balance fortune by a just expense,
Join with economy, magnificence;
With splendor, charity; with plenty, health;
Oh teach us, Bathurst! yet unspoil'd by wealth!
That secret rare, between th' extremes to move
Of mad Good-nature, and of mean Self-love.
B. To worth or want well-weigh'd, be bounty given,
And ease, or emulate, the care of Heaven;
(Whose measure full o'erflows on human race)
Mend Fortune's fault, and justify her grace.
Wealth in the gross is death, but life diffus'd;
As poison heals, in just proportion us'd:
In heaps, like ambergris, a stink it lies,
But well dispers'd, is incense to the skies.
P. Who starves by nobles, or with nobles eats? The wretch that trusts them, and the rogue that cheats.
Is there a lord, who knows a cheerful noon
Without a fiddler, flatterer, or buffoon?
From the dry rock who bade the waters flow?
Not to the skies in useless columns tost,
Or in proud falls magnificently lost;
But clear and artless pouring through the plain
Health to the sick, and solace to the swain.
Whose causeway parts the vale with shady rows!
Whose seats the weary traveller repose?
Who taught that heaven-directed spire to rise?
The Man of Ross," each lisping babe replies.
Behold the market-place with poor o'erspread!
The Man of Ross divides the weekly bread:
He feeds yon alms-house, neat, but void of state,
Where Age and Want sit smiling at the gate;
Him portion'd maids, apprentic'd orphans blest,
The young who labor, and the old who rest.
Is any sick? the Man of Ross relieves,
Prescribes, attends, the medicine makes, and gives
Is there a variance? enter but his door,
Balk'd are the courts, and contest is no more.
Despairing quacks with curses fled the place,
And vile attorneys, now an useless race.
B. Thrice happy man! enabled to pursue What all so wish, but want the power to do! Oh say, what sums that generous hand supply? What mines to swell that boundless charity?
P. Of debts and taxes, wife and children clear, This man possest-five hundred pounds a year. Blush, Grandeur, blush! proud courts, withdraw your blaze!
Ye little stars! hide your diminish'd rays.
B. And what? no monument, inscription, stone? His race, his form, his name almost unknown?
P. Who builds a church to God, and not to Fame Will never mark the marble with his name: Go, search it there, where to be born and die, Of rich and poor makes all the history; Enough, that Virtue fill'd the space between ; Prov'd by the ends of being, to have been. When Hopkins dies, a thousand lights attend The wretch, who living sav'd a candle's end; Shouldering God's altar a vile image stands, Belies his features, nay extends his hands; That livelong wig, which Gorgon's self might own, Eternal buckle takes in Parian stone.
Behold what blessings wealth to life can lend !
And see, what comfort it affords our end,
In the worst inn's worst room, with mat half-hung,
The floors of plaster, and the walls of dung,
On once a flock-bed, but repair'd with straw,
With tape-tied curtains, never meant to draw,
The George and Garter dangling from that bed
Where tawdry yellow strove with dirty red,
Great Villiers lies-alas, how chang'd from him,
That life of pleasure, and that soul of whim!
Gallant and gay, in Cliveden's proud alcove,
The bower of wanton Shrewsbury and Love
Or just as gay, at council, in a ring
Of mimick'd statesmen, and their merry king.
No wit to flatter, left of all his store;
No fool to laugh at, which he valued more.
There, victor of his health, of fortune, friends,
And fame, this lord of useless thousands ends.
His grace's fate sage Cutler could foresee,
And well (he thought) advis'd him, "Live like me!"
As well his grace replied, “Like you, Sir John!
That I can do, when all I have is gone."
Resolve me, Reason, which of these are worse,
Want with a full, or with an empty purse?
Thy life more wretched, Cutler, was confess'd:
Arise, and tell me, was thy death more bless'd?
Cutler saw tenants break, and houses fall,
For every want he could not build a wall.
His only daughter in a stranger's power,
For very want; he could not pay a dower.
A few grey hairs his reverend temples crown'd,
"Twas very want that sold them for two pound.
What! ev'n denied a cordial at his end,
Banish'd the doctor, and expell'd the friend?
What but a want, which you perhaps think mad,
Yet numbers feel, the want of what he had!
Cutler and Brutus dying, both exclaim,
"Virtue! and Wealth! what are ye but a name!"
Say, for such worth are other worlds prepar'd?
Or are they both, in this, their own reward?
A knotty point! to which we now proceed.
But you are tir’d—I'll tell a tale.-B. Agreed.
P. Where London's column, pointing at the skies, Like a tall bully, lifts the head, and lies; There dwelt a citizen of sober fame,
A plain good man, and Balaam was his name;
Religious, punctual, frugal, and so forth;
His word would pass for more than he was worth.
One solid dish his week-day meal affords,
And added pudding solemniz'd the Lord's:
Constant at church, and 'Change; his gains were
His givings rare, save farthings to the poor.
The devil was piqu'd such saintship to behold, And long'd to tempt him, like good Job of old; But Satan now is wiser than of yore, And tempts by making rich, not making poor.
Rous'd by the prince of air, the whirlwinds sweep The surge, and plunge his father in the deep; Then full against his Cornish lands they roar, And two rich shipwrecks bless the lucky shore. Sir Balaam now, he lives like other folks. He takes his chirping pint, and cracks his jokes: "Live like yourself," was soon my lady's word; And lo! two puddings smok'd upon the board.
Asleep and naked as an Indian lay, An honest factor stole a gem away: He pledg'd it to the knight, the knight had wit, So kept the diamond, and the rogue was bit. Some scruple rose, but thus he eas'd his thought, "I'll now give sixpence where I gave a groat; Where once I went to church, I'll now go twiceAnd am so clear too of all other vice." The tempter saw his time: the work he plied; Stocks and subscriptions pour on every side, Till all the demon makes his full descent In one abundant shower of cent. per cent., Sinks deep within him, and possesses whole, Then dubs director, and secures his soul. Behold Sir Balaam, now a man of spirit, Ascribes his gettings to his parts and merit;
What late he call'd a blessing, now was wit,
And God's good providence, a lucky hit.
Things change their titles, as our manners turn:
His compting-house employ'd the Sunday morn :
Seldom at church, ('twas such a busy life,)
But duly sent his family and wife.
There (so the devil ordain'd) one Christmas-tide
My good old lady catch'd a cold, and died.
A nymph of quality admires our knight;
He marries, bows at court, and grows polite :
Leaves the dull cits, and joins (to please the fair)
The well-bred cuckolds in St. James's air:
First, for his son a gay commission buys,
Who drinks, whores, fights, and in a duel dies:
His daughter flaunts a viscount's tawdry wife;
She bears a coronet and p-x for life.
In Britain's senate he a seat obtains,
And one more pensioner St. Stephen gains.
My lady falls to play: so bad her chance,
He must repair it; takes a bribe from France:
The house impeach him, Coningsby harangues;
The court forsake him, and Sir Balaam hangs :
Wife, son, and daughter, Satan! are thy own,
His wealth, yet dearer, forfeit to the crown:
The devil and the king divide the prize,
And sad Sir Balaam curses God and dies.
TO RICHARD BOYLE, EARL OF BURLINGTON.
OF THE USE OF RICHES.
The vanity of expense in people of wealth and quality. The abuse of the word taste. That the first principle and foundation in this, as in every thing else, is good sense. The chief proof of it is to follow Nature, even in works of mere luxury and elegance. Instanced in architecture and gardening, where all must be adapted to the genius and use of the place, and the beauties not forced into it, but resulting from it. How men are disappointed in their most expensive undertakings, for want of this true foundation, without which no thing can please long, if at all; and the best examples and rules will be but perverted into something burthensome and ridiculous. A description of the false taste of magnificence; the first grand error of which is, to imagine that greatness consists in the size and dimension, instead of the proportion and harmony of the whole; and the second, either in joining together parts incoherent, or too minutely resembling, or in the repetition of the same too frequently. A word or two of false taste in books, in music, in painting, even in preaching and prayer, and lastly in entertainments. Yet Providence is justified in giving wealth to be squandered in this manner, since it is dispersed to the poor and laborious part of mankind. What are the proper objects of magnificence, and a proper field for the expense of great men; and finally the great and public works which become a prince.
"Tis strange, the miser should his cares employ To gain those riches he can ne'er enjoy;
Is it less strange, the prodigal should waste
His wealth, to purchase what he ne'er can taste?
Not for himself he sees, or hears, or eats;
Artists must choose his pictures, music, meats:
He buys for Topham drawings and designs;
For Pembroke statues, dirty gods, and coins;
Rare monkish manuscripts for Hearne alone,
And books for Mead, and butterflies for Sloane.
Think we all these are for himself? no more
Than his fine wife, alas! or finer whore.
Without it, proud Versailles! thy glory falls;
And Nero's terraces desert their walls:
The vast parterres a thousand hands shall make,
Lo! Cobham comes, and floats them with a lake:
Or cut wide views through mountains to the plain
You'll wish your hill or shelter'd seat again.
Ev'n in an ornament its place remark,
Nor in an hermitage set Dr. Clarke.
Behold Villario's ten years' toil complete;
His quincunx darkens, his espaliers meet;
The wood supports the plain, the parts unite,
And strength of shade contends with strength of
A waving glow the bloomy beds display,
Blushing in bright diversities of day,
With silver-quivering rills meander'd o'er-
Enjoy them, you! Villario can no more;
Tir'd of the scene parterres and fountains yield,
He finds at last he better likes a field.
For what has Virro painted, built, and planted?
Only to show how many tastes he wanted.
What brought Sir Visto's ill-got wealth to waste?
Some demon whisper'd, Visto! have a taste."
Heaven visits with a taste the wealthy fool,
And needs no rod but Ripley with a rule.
See! sportive Fate, to punish awkward pride,
Bids Bubo build, and sends him such a guide:
A standing sermon, at each year's expense,
That never coxcomb reach'd magnificence!
You show us, Rome was glorious, not profuse,
And pompous buildings once were things of use.
Yet shall, my lord, your just, your noble rules
Fill half the land with imitating fools;
Who random drawings from your sheets shall His son's fine taste an opener Vista loves,
And of one beauty many blunders make;
Load some vain church with old theatric state,
Turn arts of triumph to a garden-gate;
Reverse your ornaments, and hang them all
On some patch'd dog-hole ek'd with ends of wall;
Then clap four slices of pilaster on 't,
That, lac'd with bits of rustic, makes a front.
Shall call the winds through long arcades to roar,
Proud to catch cold at a Venetian door;
Conscious they act a true Palladian part,
And if they starve, they starve by rules of art.
Oft have you hinted to your brother peer,
A certain truth, which many buy too dear:
Something there is more needful than expense,
And something previous ev'n to taste-'tis sense:
Good sense, which only is the gift of Heaven,
And, though no science, fairly worth the seven:
A light which in yourself you must perceive;
Jones and Le Nôtre have it not to give.
To build, to plant, whatever you intend,
To rear the column, or the arch to bend,
To swell the terrace, or to sink the grot;
In all, let Nature never be forgot.
But treat the goddess like a modest fair,
Nor over-dress, nor leave her wholly bare;
Let not each beauty everywhere be spied,
Where half the skill is decently to hide.
He gains all points, who pleasingly confounds,
Surprises, varies, and conceals the bounds.
Consult the genius of the place in all;
That tells the waters or to rise, or fall;
Or helps th' ambitious hill the heavens to scale,
Or scoops in circling theatres the vale;
Calls in the country, catches opening glades,
Joins willing woods, and varies shades from shades;
Now breaks, or now directs th' intending lines;
Paints as you plant, and, as you work, designs.
Still follows sense, of every art the soul,
Parts answering parts shall slide into a whole,
Spontaneous beauties all around advance,
Start ev'n from difficulty, strike from chance;
Nature shall join you; Time shall make it grow
A work to wonder at-perhaps a Stow.
Through his young woods how pleas'd Sabinus stray'd,
Or sate delighted in the thickening shade,
With annual joy the reddening shoots to greet,
Or see the stretching branches long to meet!
Foe to the Dryads of his father's groves;
One boundless green, or flourish'd carpet views,
With all the mournful family of yews:
The thriving plants, ignoble broomsticks made,
Now sweep those alleys they were born to shade.
At Timon's villa let us pass a day,
Where all cry out, "What sums are thrown away!"
So proud, so grand; of that stupendous air,
Soft and agreeable come never there.
Greatness, with Timon, dwells in such a draught
As brings all Brobdignag before your thought.
To compass this, his building is a town,
His pond an ocean, his parterre a down:
Who but must laugh, the master when he sees,
A puny insect, shivering at a breeze!
Lo, what huge heaps of littleness around!
The whole a labor'd quarry above ground.
Two Cupids squirt before: a lake behind
Improves the keenness of the northern wind
His gardens next your admiration call,
On every side you look, behold the wall!
No pleasing intricacies intervene,
No artful wildness to perplex the scene;
Grove nods at grove, each alley has a brother,
And half the platform just reflects the other.
The suffering eye inverted Nature sees,
Trees cut to statues, statues thick as trees;
With here a fountain, never to be play'd;
And there a summer-house that knows no shade;
Here Amphitrite sails through myrtle bowers;
There gladiators fight, or die in flowers;
Unwater'd see the drooping sea-horse mourn,
And swallows roost in Nilus' dusty urn.
My lord advances with majestic mien,
Smit with the mighty pleasure to be seen:
But soft-by regular approach-not yet—
First through the length of yon hot terrace sweat;
And when up ten steep slopes you've dragg'd your
Just at his study-door he'll bless your eyes.
His study with what authors is it stor'd?
In books, not authors, curious is my lord;
To all their dated backs he turns you round;
These Aldus printed, those Du Sueil has bound.
Lo, some are vellum, and the rest as good
For all his lordship knows, but they are wood.
For Locke or Milton, 'tis in vain to look,
These shelves admit not any modern book.
And now the chapel's silver bell you hear,
That summons you to all the pride of prayer: **
Light quirks of music, broken and uneven,
Make the soul dance upon a jig to Heaven.
On painted ceilings you devoutly stare,
Where sprawl the saints of Verrio or Laguerre,
Or gilded clouds in fair expansion lie,
And bring all Paradise before your eye.
To rest, the cushion and soft dean invite,
Who never mentions Hell to ears polite.
"Tis use alone that sanctifies expense,
And splendor borrows all her rays from sense.
His father's acres who enjoys in peace,
Or makes his neighbors glad, if he increase:
Whose cheerful tenants bless their yearly toil,
Yet to their lord owe more than to the soil;
Whose ample lawns are not asham'd to feed
The milky heifer and deserving steed;
Whose rising forests, not for pride or show,
But future buildings, future navies, grow:
Let his plantations stretch from down to down,
First shade a country, and then raise a town.
You too proceed! make falling arts your care,
Erect new wonders, and the old repair;
Jones and Palladio to themselves restore,
And be whate'er Vitruvius was before:
Till kings call forth the ideas of your mind,
(Proud to accomplish what such hands design'd,)
Bid harbors open, public ways extend,
Bid temples worthier of the God ascend;
Bid the broad arch the dangerous flood contain,
The mole projected break the roaring main;
Back to his bounds their subject sea command,
And roll obedient rivers through the land;
These honors, Peace to happy Britain brings;
These are imperial works, and worthy kings.
TO MR. ADDISON.
OCCASIONED BY HIS DIALOGUES ON MEDALS.
This was originally written in the year 1715, when
Mr. Addison intended to publish his book of
medals: it was some time before he was secre-
tary of state; but not published till Mr. Tickell's
edition of his works; at which time his verses on
Mr. Craggs, which conclude the poem, were
added, viz. in 1720.
As the third Epistle treated of the extremes of avarice and profusion; and the fourth took up one particular branch of the latter, namely, the vanity of expense in people of wealth and quality, and was, therefore, a corollary to the third; so this treats of one circumstance of that vanity, as it appears in the common collectors of old coins; and is, therefore, a corollary to the fourth.
But hark! the chiming clocks to dinner call;
A hundred footsteps scrape the marble hall:
The rich buffet well-color'd serpents grace,
And gaping Tritons spew to wash your face.
Is this a dinner? this a genial room?
No, 'tis a temple, and a hecatomb.
A solemn sacrifice perform'd in state,
You drink by measure, and to minutes eat.
So quick retires each flying course, you'd swear
Sancho's dread doctor and his wand were there.
Between each act the trembling salvers ring,
From soup to sweet-wine, and God bless the With nodding arches, broken temples spread!
SEE the wild waste of all-devouring years;
How Rome her own sad sepulchre appears,
In plenty starving, tantaliz'd in state,
And complaisantly help'd to all I hate,
Treated, caress'd, and tir'd, I take my leave,
Sick of his civil pride from morn to eve;
I curse such lavish cost, and little skill,
And swear no day was ever pass'd so ill.
The very tombs now vanish'd like their dead!
Imperial wonders rais'd on nations spoil'd, [toil'd:
Where, mix'd with slaves, the groaning martyr
Huge theatres, that now unpeopled woods,
Now drain'd a distant country of her floods :
Fanes, which admiring gods with pride survey;
Statues of men, scarce less alive than they!
Yet hence the poor are cloth'd, the hungry fed; Some felt the silent stroke of mouldering age,
Health to himself, and to his infants bread,
The laborer bears: What his hard heart denies,
His charitable vanity supplies.
Some hostile fury, some religious rage.
Barbarian blindness, christian zeal conspire,
And papal piety, and gothic fire.
Another age shall see the golden ear
Imbrown the slope, and nod on the parterre,
Deep harvest bury all his pride has plann'd,
And laughing Ceres reassume the land.
Perhaps, by its own ruins sav'd from flame,
Some buried marble half preserves a name;
That name the learn'd with fierce disputes pursue,
And give to Titus old Vespasian's due.
Who then shall grace, or who improve the soil?
Who plants like Bathurst, or who builds like
Ambition sigh'd: she found it vain to trust
The faithless column and the crumbling bust:
Huge moles, whose shadows stretch'd from shore to
Their ruins perish'd, and their place no more!
Convinc'd, she now contracts her vast design,
And all her triumphs shrink into a coin.
A narrow orb each crowded conquest keeps,
Beneath her palm here sad Judea weeps;
Now scantier limits the proud arch confine,
And scarce are seen the prostrate Nile or Rhine;
A small Euphrates through the piece is roll'd,
And little eagles wave their wings in gold.
The medal, faithful to its charge of fame,
Through climes and ages bears each form and name
In one short view subjected to our eye
Gods, emperors, heroes, sages, beauties, lie.
With sharpen'd sight pale antiquaries pore,
Th' inscription value, but the rust adore.
This the blue varnish, that the green endears,
The sacred rust of twice ten hundred years!
To gain Pescenius one employs his schemes,.
One grasps a Cecrops in ecstatic dreams.
Poor Vadius, long with learned spleen devour'd,.
Can taste no pleasure since his shield was scour'd':
And Curio, restless by the fair-one's side,.
Sighs for an Otho, and neglects his bride.
Theirs is the vanity, the learning thine
Touch'd by thy hand, again Rome's glories shine: