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SATIRICAL AND PRECEPTIVE.
ESSAY ON SATIRE,
OCCASIONED BY THE DEATH OF MR. POPE.
THE REV. MR. WARBURTON,
BY JOHN BROWN, D.D.
O while along the stream of Time thy Name
FATE gave the word; the cruel arrow sped;
That quench'd its rage in YOUR's and BRITAIN'S
You mourn: But BRITAIN, lull'd in rest profound,
Rous'd at the signal, Guilt collects her train,
And counts the triumphs of her growing reign: //
And snake-hung Envy hisses o'er his urn:
To blast the laurel that surrounds his tomb.
But You, O WARBURTON! whose eye refin'd
And view that bright assemblage treasur'd there; 20
Yet deign to hear the efforts of a Muse,
In every breast there burns an active flame, The love of glory, or the dread of shame : The passion ONE, though various it appear, As brighten'd into hope, or dimm'd by fear. The lisping infant, and the hoary sire,
And youth and manhood feel the heart-born fire;
She, power resistless, rules the wise and great;
Thus heav'n in pity wakes the friendly flame,
Rejects the manna sent him from the skies:
Thus still imperious Nature plies her part; And still her dictates work in every heart. Each pow'r that sovʼreign Nature bids enjoy, Man may corrupt, but man can ne'er destroy. Like mighty rivers, with resistless force
The passion's rage, obstructed in their course;
And sure, the deadliest foe to virtue's flame, Our worst of evils, is perverted shame.
Beneath this load what abject numbers groan,
We seek our virtues in each other's breast;
Behold, yon wretch, by impious fashion driv'n, Believes and trembles while he scoffs at heav'n. By weakness strong, and bold through fear alone, He dreads the sneer by shallow coxcombs thrown; Dauntless pursues the path Spinoza trod ;
To man a coward, and a brave to God.
Faith, Justice, Heav'n itself now quit their hold, When to False Fame the captiv'd heart is sold: Hence blind to truth, relentles Cato dy'd : Nought could subdue his virtue, but his pride. Hence chaste Lucretia's innocence betray'd Fell by that honor which was meant its aid. Thus Virtue sinks beneath unnumber'd woes, When passions born her friends, revolt, her foes.
Hence SATIRE's pow'r : 'tis her corrective part To calm the wild disorders of the heart.
She points the arduous height where glory lies,
In the dark bosom wakes the fair desire,
Nor boasts the Muse a vain imagin'd pow'r, Though oft she mourns those ills she cannot cure. 100 The worthy court her, and the worthless fear;
Who shun her piercing eye, that eye revere.
Her awful voice the vain and vile obey,
And every foe to wisdom feels her sway.
And dulness wonders while she drops her quill.
Too deep for policy, for pow'r too strong.