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Which with our very dawn begun,
Be Slander, then, my leading dream,
Th' insidious sland'ring thief is worse Than the poor rogue who steals your purse. Say, he purloins your glitt'ring store;
Who takes your gold, takes trash—no more;
Perhaps he pilfers—to be fed—
Ah! guiltless wretch, who steak for bread!
But the dark villain who shall aim
To blast, my fair, thy spotless name,
He'd steal a precious gem away,
Steal what both Indies can't repay!
Here the strong pleas of want are vain,
Or the more impious pleas of gain.
No sinking family to save!
No gold to glut th' insatiate knave!
Improve the hint of Shakespeare's tongue; 'Twas thus immortal Shakespeare sung:* And trust the bard's unerring rule, For nature was that poet's school.
As I was nodding in my chair, I saw a rueful wild appear:
No verdure met ray aching sight,
The dreary prospect spread around;
The rising sun, and western ray, Were witness to her distant sway. The tyrant claim'd a mightier host Than the proud Persian e'er could boast.
* Garth's Dispensatory.
No conquest grac'd Darius' son,*
No plea diverts the fury's rage,
Whene'er the tyrant sounds to war,
• Xerxes, King of Persia, and son of Darius. He inTaded Greece with an army consisting of more than a million of men (some say more than two millions); who, together with their cattle, perished, in a great measure through the inability of the countries to supply such a vast host with provision.
He stalks with vast gigantic stride,
Revenge, that base Hesperian,* known
Envy commands a sacred band,
* Hesperia includes Italy as well as Spain; and the inhabitants of both are remarkable for their revengeful dispositions.