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But hark, the voice of battle shouts from far,
The Jews and Maccaronies are at war:
The Jews prevail, and, thund'ring from the stocks,
They seize, they bind, and circumcise Charles Fox.
Fair Schwellenbergen smiles the sport to see,
And all the Maids of Honor cry Te! He!
Be these the rural pastimes that attend
Great Brunswick's leisure: these shall best unbend
His royal mind, whene'er from state withdrawn,
He treads the velvet of his Richmond lawn;
These shall prolong his Asiatic dream,
Tho' Europe's balance trembles on its beam.
And thou, Sir William! while thy plastic hand
Creates each wonder, which thy Bard has plann'd,
While, as thy art commands, obsequious rise
Whate'er can please, or frighten, or surprize,
O let the Bard his Knight's protection claim,
And share, like faithful Sancho, Quixote's fame.
Occasioned by their favorable Reception of a late Heroic Epistle to
SIR W. CHAMBERS, KNT. &c.
BY THE AUTHOR OF THAT EPISTLE.
I THAT of late, Sir William's Bard, and Squire,
March'd with his helm and buckler on my lyre,
(What time the Knight prick'd forth in ill-starr'd
Comptroller-General of the works of taste),
Now to the public tune my grateful lays,
Warm'd with the sun-shine of the Public praise:
Warm'd too with mem'ry of that golden time,
When Almon gave me reason for my rhyme;
glittering orbs, and, what endear'd them more,
Each glittering orb the sacred features bore 10
Of George the good, the gracious, and the great,
Unfil'd, unsweated, all of sterling weight;
Or, were they not, they pass'd with current ease,
Good seemings then were good realities:
No Senate had convey'd, by smuggling art,
Pow'r to the mob to play Cadogan's part ;
Now, thro' the land, that impious pow'r prevails,
All weigh their Sovʼreign in their private scales,
And find him wanting, all save me alone,
For, sad to say! my glittering orbs are gone.
But ill beseems a Poet to repent,
Lightly they came, and full as lightly went.
Peace to their manes! may they never feel
Some keen Scotch banker's unrelenting steel ;
While I again the Musc's sickle bring
To cut down Dunces, wheresoe'er they spring,
Bind in poetic sheaves the plenteous crop,
And stack my full ear'd load in Almon's shop.
For now, my Muse, thy fame is fixt as fate,
Tremble, ye Fools I scorn, ye Knaves I hate; 30
I know the vigor of thy eagle wings,
I know thy strains can pierce the ear of Kings.
Did China's monarch here in Britain doze,
And was, like western Kings, a King of Prose,
Thy song could cure his Asiatic spleen,
And make him wish to see and to be seen;
That solemn vein of irony so fine,
Which, e'en Reviewers own, adorns thy line,
Would make him soon against his greatness sin,
Desert his sofa, mount his palanquin, 40
And post where'er the Goddess led the way,
Perchance to proud Spithead's imperial bay;
There should he see, as other folks have scen,
That ships have anchors, and that seas are green,
Should own the tackling trim, the streamers fine,
With Sandwich prattle, and with Bradshaw dine,
And then sail back, amid the cannon's roar,
As safe, as sage, as when he left the shore.
Such is thy pow'r, O Goddess of the song,
Come then and guide my careless pen along ; 50
Yet keep it in the bounds of sense and verse,
Nor, like Mac-Homer, make me gabble Erse.
No, let the flow of these spontaneous rhymes
So truly touch the temper of the times,
That he who runs may read ; while well he knows
I write in metre, what he thinks in prose;
So shall my song, undisciplin'd by art,
Find a sure patron in each English heart.
If this its fate, let all the frippery things
Be-plac'd, be-pension'd, and be-starr'd by Kings,
Frown on the page, and with fastidious eye,
Like old young Fannius, call it blasphemy.
Let these prefer a levee's harmless talk,
Be ask'd how often, and how far they walk,
Proud of a single word, nor hope for more,
Tho' Jenkinson is blest with many a score;
For other ears my honest number sound,
With other praise those numbers shall be crown'd,
Praise that shall spread, no pow'r can make it less,
While Britain boasts the bulwark of her press. Y
Yes, sons of Freedom! yes, to whom I pay,
Warm from the heart, this tributary lay;
That lay shall live, tho' Court and Grub-street sigh,
Your young Marcellus was not born to die.
The Muse shall nurse him up to man's estate,
And break the black asperity of fate
Admit him then your candidate for fame,
Pleas'd if in your Review he read his name.
Tho' not with Mason and with Goldsmith put,
Yet cheek by jowl with Garrick, Colman, Foote,_80
But if with higher Bards that name you range,
His modesty must think your judgment strange-
So when o'er Crane-Court's philosophic Gods,
The Jove-like majesty of Pringle nods,
If e'er he chance to wake on Newton's chair,
wonders how the devil he came there."
Whate'er his fame or fate, on this depend-
He is, and means to be, his Country's friend.
'Tis but to try his strength that now he sports
With Chinese gardens, and with Chinese courts:
But if that country claim a graver strain,
If real danger threat fair Freedom's reign,
If hireling Peers, in prostitution bold,
Sell her as cheaply as themselves they sold;
Or they, who honor'd by the People's choice,
Against that People lift their rebel voice,
And basely crouching for their paltry pay,
Vote the best birthright of her sons away,
Permit a Nation's in-born wealth to fly
In mean, unkingly prodigality;
Nor, e'er they give, ask how the sums were spent, So quickly squander'd, tho' so lately lent