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Which with our very dawn begun,
Nor ends but with our setting sun;
Which, like a noxious weed, can spoil

The fairest flow'rs, and choke the soil ?-'Tis Slander-and, with shame I own, The vice of human kind alone.

Be Slander, then, my leading dream,
Though you're a stranger to the theme;
Thy softer breast, and honest heart,
Scorn the defamatory art;
Thy soul asserts her native skies,
Nor asks detraction's wings to rise :
In foreign spoils let others shine,
Intrinsic excellence is thine.
The bird in peacock’s plumes who shone
Could plead no merit of her own;
The silly theft betray'd her pride,
And spoke her poverty beside.

Th’ insidious sland'ring thief is worse Than the poor rogue who steals your purse. "

Say, he purloins your glittring store ;
Who takes your gold, takes trash-no more;
Perhaps he pįlfers—to be fed
Ah! guiltless wretch, who steals 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 :

* Othello.

No verdure met my aching sight,
But hemlock and cold aconite;
Two very pois’nous plants, 'tis true,
But not so bad as vice to you.

The dreary prospect spread around; Deep snow had whiten’d all the ground: A bleak and barren mountain nigh, Expos’d to ev'ry friendless sky! Here foul-mouth'd Slander lay reclin'd, Her snaky tresses hiss'd behind; • A bloated toad-stool rais’d her head, • The plumes of ravens were her hed;"* She fed upon the viper's brood, And slak'd her impious thirst with blood.

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, *
By his own numbers half undone :
Success attended Slander's pow'r ;
She reap'd fresh laurels ev'ry hour.
Her troops a deeper scarlet wore
Than ever armies knew before.

No plea diverts the fury's rage,
The fury spares nor sex nor age.
E'en Merit, with destructive charms,
Provokes the vengeance of her arms.

Whene'er the tyrant sounds to war, Her canker'd trump is heard afar. Pride, with a heart unknown to yield, : Commands in chief, and guides the field ;

* Xerxes, King of Persia, and son of Darius. He invaded 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,
And scatters fear and ruin wide :
So the impetuous torrents sweep
At once whole nations to the deep.

Revenge, that base Hesperian,* known
And chief support of Slander's throne,
Amidst the bloody crowd is seen,
And treach'ry brooding in his mien;
The monster often chang'd his gait,
But march'd resolv’d and fix'd as fate.
Thus the fell kite, whom hunger stings,
Now slowly moves his out-stretch'd wings;
Now swift as lightning bears away,
And darts upon his trembling prey.

Envy commands a sacred band, With sword and poison in her hand.

* Hesperia includes Italy as well as Spain; and the inhabitants of both are remarkable for their revengeful dispositions,

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