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Whether thou sing'st with equal ease, and grief,

The fall of empires or a yellow leaf;
Whether thy muse most lamentably tells
What merry sounds proceed from Oxford
bells,

Or, still in bells delighting, finds a friend
In every chime that jingled from Ostend;
Ah! how much juster were thy muse's hap,
If to thy bells thou wouldst but add a cap!
Delightful Bowles! still blessing and still
blest,

341

All love thy strain, but children like it best. "T is thine, with gentle Little's moral song, To soothe the mania of the amorous throng! With thee our nursery damsels shed their tears,

Ere miss as yet completes her infant years: But in her teens thy whining powers are vain;

She quits poor Bowles for Little's purer strain.

Now to soft themes thou scornest to confine

The lofty numbers of a harp like thine; 350 'Awake a louder and a lofter strain,' Such as none heard before, or will again! Where all Discoveries jumbled from the flood,

Since first the leaky ark reposed in mud,
By more or less, are sung in every book,
From Captain Noah down to Captain Cook.
Nor this alone; but, pausing on the road,
The bard sighs forth a gentle episode;
And gravely tells attend, each beauteous

miss!

When first Madeira trembled to a kiss. 360 Bowles in thy memory let this precept dwell,

Stick to thy sonnets, man!—at least they sell.

But if some new-born whim, or larger bribe, Prompt thy crude brain, and claim thee for a scribe;

If chance some bard, though once by dunces fear'd,

Now, prone in dust, can only be revered; If Pope, whose fame and genius from the first Have foil'd the best of critics, needs the worst,

370

Do thou essay: each fault, each failing scan;
The first of poets was, alas! but man.
Rake from each ancient dunghill ev'ry pearl,
Consult Lord Fanny, and confide in Curll;

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490

But Caledonia's goddess hover'd o'er
The field, and saved him from the wrath of
Moore;

From either pistol snatch'd the vengeful lead,

And straight restored it to her favourite's head;

That head, with greater than magnetic pow'r,

Caught it, as Danaë caught the golden show'r,

And, though the thickening dross will scarce refine,

Augments its ore, and is itself a mine. 'My son,' she cried, 'ne'er thirst for gore again,

500

Resign the pistol and resume the pen;
O'er politics and poesy preside,
Boast of thy country and Britannia's guide!
For long as Albion's heedless sons submit,
Or Scottish taste decides on English wit,
So long shall last thine unmolested reign,
Nor any dare to take thy name in vain.
Behold, a chosen band shall aid thy plan,
And own thee chieftain of the critic clan.
First in the oat-fed phalanx shall be seen
The travell'd thane, Athenian Aberdeen.
Herbert shall wield Thor's hammer, and
sometimes,

510

In gratitude, thou 'lt praise his rugged rhymes.

Smug Sydney too thy bitter page shall seek, And classic Hallam, much renown'd for Greek;

Scott may perchance his name and influence lend,

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548

See honest Hallam lay aside his fork, Resume his pen, review his Lordship's work, And, grateful for the dainties on his plate, Declare his landlord can at least translate! Dunedin! view thy children with delight, They write for food-and feed because they write.

And lest, when heated with the unusual grape, Some glowing thoughts should to the press escape, with red the female reader's cheek, My lady skims the cream of each critique; Breathes o'er the page her purity of soul, Reforms each error, and refines the whole.

And

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Renown'd alike; whose genius ne'er confines

600

Her flight to garnish Greenwood's gay designs;

Nor sleeps with Sleeping Beauties, but anon
In five facetious acts comes thundering on,
While poor John Bull, bewilder'd with the

scene,

Stares, wondering what the devil it can

mean;

But as some hands applaud, a venal few!
Rather than sleep, why John applauds it

too.

Such are we now. Ah! wherefore should we turn

608

To what our fathers were, unless to mourn?
Degenerate Britons! are ye dead to shame,
Or, kind to dulness, do you fear to blame?
Well may the nobles of our present race
Watch each distortion of a Naldi's face;
Well may they smile on Italy's buffoons,
And worship Catalani's pantaloons,
Since their own drama yields no fairer trace
Of wit than puns, of humour than grimace.

620

Then let Ausonia, skill'd in every art
To soften manners, but corrupt the heart,
Pour her exotic follies o'er the town,
To sanction Vice, and hunt Decorum down.
Let wedded strumpets languish o'er De-
shayes,

And bless the promise which his form dis-
plays;

While Gayton bounds before th' enraptured

looks

Of hoary marquises and stripling dukes.
Let high-born lechers eye the lively Prêsle
Twirl her light limbs, that spurn the need-
less veil;

Or hail at once the patron and the pile Of vice and folly, Greville and Argyle! Where yon proud palace, Fashion's hallow'd fane,

Reforming saints! too delicately nice!
By whose decrees, our sinful souls to save,
No Sunday tankards foam, no barbers
shave;

And beer undrawn, and beards unmown,
display

Your holy reverence for the Sabbath-day.

640

Spreads wide her portals for the motley
train,

Behold the new Petronius of the day,
Our arbiter of pleasure and of play!
There the hired eunuch, the Hesperian

choir,

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sweep,
Now in loose waltz the thin-clad daughters
leap;

The first in lengthen'd line majestic swim,
The last display the free unfetter'd limb!
Those for Hibernia's lusty sons repair
With art the charms which nature could not
spare;

Let Angiolini bare her breast of snow,

These after husbands wing their eager flight,

Wave the white arm, and point the pliant | Nor leave much mystery for the nuptial toe;

night.

630

Collini trill her love-inspiring song,
Strain her fair neck, and charm the listen-
ing throng!

Whet not your scythe, suppressors of our
vice!

floor;

Now round the room the circling dow'gers

660

Oh! blest retreats of infamy and ease, Where, all forgotten but the power to please,

670

Each maid may give a loose to genial
thought,
Each swain may teach new systems, or be
taught.

There the blithe youngster, just return'd
from Spain,

Cuts the light pack, or calls the rattling

main;

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