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To touch the sword with conscientious awe,
Nor draw it but when duty bids him draw;
To sheath it in the peace-restoring close
With joy beyond what victory bestows;
Blest country, where these kingly glories shine ;
Blest England, if this happiness be thine!
A. Guard what you say; the patriotic tribe Will sneer and charge you with a bribe.-B. A
bribe? The worth of his three kingdoms I defy, To lure me to the baseness of a lie. And; of all lies, (be that one poet's boast) The lie that flatters I abhor the most. Those arts be their’s, who hate his gentle reign, But he that loves him has no need to feign.
4. Your smooth eulogium to one crown addressed, Seems to imply a censure on the rest.
B. Quevedo, as he tells his sober tale, Alked, when in hell, to see the royal jail; Approved their method in all other things; But where, good sir, do you confine your kings? There-said his guide-the group is full in view, Iudeed ?-replied the Don-there are but few. His black interpreter the charge disdained Few, fellow ?- There are all that ever reigned. Wit, undistinguishing, is apt to strike The guilty and not guilty both alike. I grant the sarcasm is too severe, And we can readily refute it here; While Alfred's name, the father of his age, And the Sixth Edward's grace the historic page.
1. Kings then at last have but the lot of all, By their own conduct they must stand or fall.
B.True. Whilethey live, the courtly laureat pays His quit-rent ode, his pepper-corn of praise; And many à dunce whose fingers itch to write, Adds, as he can, his tributary mite; A subject's faults a subject may proclaim, A monarch’s errors are forbidden game! Thus free from censure, over-awed by fear, And praised for virtues, that they scorn to wear, The fleeting forms of majesty engage Respect, while stalking over life's narrow stage; Then leave their crimes for history to scan, And ask with busy scorn, Was this the man?
I pity kings, whom worship waits upon Obsequious from the cradle to the throne; Before whose infant eyes the flatterer bows, And binds a wreath about their baby brows; Whom education stiffens into state, And death awakens from that dream too late. Oh! if servility with supple knees, Whose trade it is to smile, to crouch, to please; If smooth dişsimulation, skilled to grace A devil's purpose with an angel's face; If smiling peeresses, and simpering peers, Encompassing his throne a few short years; If the gilt carriage and the pampered steed, That wants no driving, and disdains the lead; If guards, mechanically formed in ranks, Playing, at beat of drum, their martial pranks,
Shouldering and standing as if stuck to stone,
While condescending majesty looks on;
If monarchy consist in such base things,
Sighing, I say again, I pity kings!
To be suspected, thwarted, and withstood,
Even when he labours for his country's good;
To see a band, called patriot for no cause,
But that they catch at popular applause,
Careless of all the anxiety he feels,
Hook disappointment on the public wheels;
With all their flippant fluency of tongue,
Most confident, when palpably most wrong;
If this be kingly, then farewell for me
All kingship; and may I be poor and free!
To be the Table Talk of clubs up stairs,
*To which the unwashed artificer repairs,
To indulge bis genius after long fatigue,
By diving into cabinet intrigue;
(For what kings deem a toil, as well they may,
To him is relaxation and mere play)
To win no praise when well-wrought plans preva.),
But to be rudely censured when they fail;
To doubt the love his favourites may pretend,
And in reality to find no friend;
If he indulge a cultivated taste,
His galleries: with the works of art well graced;
To hear it called extravagance and waste;
If these attendants, and if such as these,
Must follow royalty, then welcome ease;
However humble and confined the sphere,
Happy the state, that has not these to fear,
A.Thus men, whose thoughts contemplative have
On situations, that they never felt, [dwelt
Start up sagacious, covered with the dust
Of dreaming study and pedantic rust,
And prate and preach about what others prove,
As if the world and they were hand and glove.
Leave kingly backs to cope with kingly cares;
They have their weight to carry, subjects their's;
Poets, of all men, ever least regret
Increasing taxes and the nation's debt.
Could you contrive the payment, and rehearse
The mighty plan, oracular, in
verse, No bard, however majestic, old or new, Should claim my fixt attention more than you.
B. Not Brindley nor Bridgewater would essay To turn the course of Helicon that
Nor would the Nine copsent the sacred tide
Should purl amidst the traffic of Cheapside,
Or tinkle in Change Alley, to amuse
The leathern ears of stock-jobbers and jews.
A.Vouchsafe, at least, to pitch the key of rhyme
To themes more pertinent, if less sublime.
When ministers and ministerial arts;
Patriots, who love good places at their hearts;
When admirals, extolled for standing still,
Or doing nothing with a deal of skill;
Generals, who will not conquer when they may,
Firm friends to peace, to pleasure, and good pay;
When freedom, wounded almost to despair,
Though discontent alone can fmd out where;
When themes like these employ the poet's tongue,
I hear as mute as if a syren 'sung.
Or tell me, if
A Briton's scorn of arbitrary chains?
That were a theme might animate the dead,
And move the lips of poets cast in lead.
B. The cause, though worth the search, may
Conjecture and remark, however shrewd.
They take perhaps a well-directed aiın,
Who seek it in his climate and his frame.
Liberal in all things else, yet nature here
With stern severity deals out the year.
Winter invades the spring, and often pours
A chilling flood on summer's drooping flowers;
Unwelcome vapours quench autumnal beams,
Ungenial blasts attending curl the streams;
The peasants urge their harvest, ply the fork
With double toil, and shiver at their work;
Thus with a rigour, for his good designed,
She rears her favourite man of all mankind.
His form robust and of elastic tone,
Proportioned well, half muscle and half bone,
Supplies with warm activity and force
A mind well-lodged, and masculine of course.
Hence liberty, sweet liberty inspires,
And keeps alive his fierce but noble fires.
Patient of conititutional controu),
He bears it with meek manliness of soul;