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The shiftless beggar bears of ills the worst,
In all attempts, but for their Country, bold, Britain, thy Conscript Counsellors behold; (For some, perhaps, by Fortune favor'd yet, May gain a borough from a lucky bet) Smit with the love of the laconic boot, The cap, and wig succinct, the silken suit, Meer modern Phaetons, usurp the rein, And scour in rival race the tempting plain. 110 See, side by side, his Jockey and Sir John Discuss th' important point-of six to one. For O! the boasted privilege how dear, How great the pride, to gain a Jockey's ear! See, like a routed host, with headlong pace, Thy Members pour amid the mingling race! All ask, what crowds the tumult could produceIs Bedlam, or the Commons all broke loose ? Their way nor reason guides nor caution checks, Proud on a high-bred thing to risque their necks./20 Thy sages hear, amid th' admiring crowd Adjudge the stakes, most eloquently loud: With critic skill, o'er dubious bets preside, The low dispute, or kindle, or decide: All empty wisdom, and judicious prate, Of distanc'd horses gravely fix the fate,
And with paternal care unwearied watch
O'er the nice conduct of a daring match.
Mean time no more the mimic patriots rise, To guard Britannia's honor, warm and wise:_30 No more in senates dare assert her laws, Nor pour the bold debate in Freedom's cause: Neglect the counsels of a sinking land,
And know no rostrum but Newmarket's stand.
Is this the band of Civil Chiefs design'd
O say, when least their sapient schemes are crost,
Theirs are the memoirs of th' equestrian state;
Go on, brave youths, till, in some future age, Whips shall become the senatorial badge; Till England see her thronging senators Meet all at Westminster, in boots and spurs;
See the whole House, with mutual frenzy mad,
And guide, with equal reins, a steed or state.
How would a virtuous Houyhnhnm neigh disdain,
Yet O! what rage would touch his generous mind,
A kind, with each exalted virtue blest,
That meanest spawn of man's half-monkey race;
How are the Therons of these modern days
Chang'd from those chiefs who toil'd for Grecian
Who, fir'd with genuine glory's sacred lust,
Whirl'd the swift axle through the Pythian dust!
And more an Hiero's palm, a Pindar's ode,
Greece! how I kindle at thy magic name, Feel all thy warmth, and catch the kindred flame. Thy scenes sublime and awful visions rise, In ancient pride before my musing eyes. Here Sparta's sons in mute attention hang, While just Lycurgus pours the mild harangue ; There Xerxes' hosts, all pale with deadly fear, Shrink at her fated Hero's flashing spear. Here, hung with many a lyre of silver string, The laureate alleys of Ilissus spring:
And lo! where, rapt in beauty's heavenly dream, Hoar Plato walks his oliv'd Academe.
Yet ah! no more the Land of arts and arms Delights with wisdom, or with virtue warms. Lo! the stern Turk, with more than Vandal rage, Has blasted all the wreaths of ancient age: No more her groves by Fancy's feet are trod, Each Attic Grace has left the lov'd abode. Fall'n is fair Greece! by Luxry's pleasing bane Seduc'd, she drags a barbarous foreign chain. 200
Britannia, watch! O trim thy withering bays, Remember thou hast rival'd Graecia's praise, Great Nurse of works divine! yet oh! beware Lest thou the fate of Greece, my Country, share.