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Let laurels, drench'd in pure Parnassian dews,
Reward his mem'ry, dear to ev'ry mufe,
Who, with a courage of unshaken root,
In honour's field advancing his firm foot,
Plants it upon the line that justice draws,
And will prevail or perish in her cause.
'Tis to the virtues of such men, man owes
His portion in the good that heav'n bestows,
And when recording history displays
Feats of renown, though wrought in antient days,
Tells of a few stout hearts that fought and dy'd
Where duty plac'd them, at their country's fide ;
*The man that is not mov'd with what he reads,
That takes not fire at their heroic deeds,
Unworthy of the blessings of the brave,
Is base in kind and born to be a slave.
But let eternal infamy pursue
The wretch to nought but his ambition true,
Who, for the sake of filling with one blast
The post-horns of all Europe, lays her waste.
Think yourself station’d on a tow'ring rock,
To see a people scatter'd like a flock,
Some royal mastiff panting at their heels,
With all the favage thirst a tyger feels;
Then view him self-proclaim'd in a gazette,
Chief monster that has plagu’d the nations yet;
The globe and sceptre in such hands misplac'd,
Those ensigns of dominion, how disgrac'd !
The glass that bids man mark the fleeting hour,
And death's own scythe would better speak his pow'r;
Then grace the boney phantom in their stead
With the king's shoulder-knot and gay cockade;
Cloath the twin brethren in each other's dress,
The same their occupation and success.
A. 'Tis your belief the world was made for man, Kings do but reason on the self-fame plan; Maintaining your's you cannot their's condemn, Who think, or seem to think, man made for them.
B. Seldom, alas! the power of logic reigns
With much fufficiency in royal brains.
Such reas’ning falls like an inverted cone,
Wanting its proper base to stand upon.
Man made for kings ! those optics are but dim
That tell you fo-lay rather, they for him.
That were indeed a king-ennobling thought,
Could they, or would they, reason as they ouglıt.
The diadem with mighty projects lin’d,
To catch renown by ruining mankind,
Is worth, with all its gold and glitt'ring store,
just what the toy will fell for, and no more.
Oh! bright occasions of dispensing good,
How feldom used, ho 7 little understood !
pour in virtue’s lap her just reward,
Keep vice restrain'd behind a double guard,
To quell the faction that affronts the throne,
By silent magnanimity alone;
To nurse with tender care the thriving arts,
Watch every beam philofophy imparts ;
To give religion her unbridld scope,
Nor judge by statute a believer's hope;
With close fidelity and love unfeign'd,
To keep the matrimonial bond unstain'd;
Covetous only of a virtuous praise,
His life'a lesson to the land he sways;
To touch the sword with confcientious awe,
Nor draw it but when duty bids him draw,
To fheath 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 that hate this gentle reign,
But he that loves him has no need to feign. .
A. Your smooth eulogium to one crown address’d, Seems to imply a censure on the rest.
B. Quevedo, as he tells his sober tale,
Akd, when in hell, to see the royal jail,
Approv'd their method in all other things,
But where, good Sir, do you confine your kings?
There--fajd his guide, the groupe is full in view.
Indeed ? Replied the Don-there are but few.
His black interpreter the charge disdain'd-
Few, fellow? There are all that ever reign'd.
Wit undistinguishing is apt to strike
The guilty and not guilty, both alike.
I grant the farcasm 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 th' historic page.
A. Kings then at last have but the lot of all, By their own conduct they must stand or fall,
B. True. While they live, the courtly laureat pays His quit-rent ode, his pepper-corn of praise, And many a 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-aw'd by fear, And prais'd for virtues that they scorn to wear, B 3
The fleeting forms of majesty engage
Respect, while stalking o'er life's narrow stage,
'Chen 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 flatt'rer bows,
And binds a wreath about their baby brows.
Whom education stiffens into state,
And death awakens from that dream too late.
Oh! if fervility with supple knees,
Whose trade it is to smile, to crouch, to pleafe;
I fmooth diffimulation, skill'd to grace
A devil's purpose with an angel's face;
If smiling peereffes-and simp’ring peers,
Incompaffirg bis throne a few short years ;
If the gilt carriage and the pamper'd steed,
'That wants no driving and disdains the lead;
If guards, mechanically form'd in ranks,
Playing, at beat of drum, their martial pranks;
Should’ring and standing as if struck to stone,
While condescending majesty looks on;
If monarchy consists in such base things,
Sighing, I say again, I pity kings!
To be suspected, thwarted, and withstood,
Ev'n when he labours for his country's good;