1 HAPPY the Bard (tho' few such Bards we find)
2 Who, 'bove controulment, dares to speak his mind,
3 Dares, unabash'd, in ev'ry place appear,
4 And nothing fears, but what he ought to fear.
5 Him Fashion cannot tempt, him abject Need
6 Cannot compel, him Pride cannot mislead
7 To be the slave of greatness, to strike sail,
8 When, sweeping onward with her Peacock's tail,
9 QUALITY, in full plumage, passes by;
10 He views her with a fix'd, contemptuous eye,
11 And mocks the Puppet, keeps his own due state,
12 And is above conversing with the great.
13 Perish those Slaves, those minions of the quill,
14 Who have conspir'd to seize that sacred hill
15 Where the nine Sisters pour a genuine strain,
16 And sunk the mountain level with the plain;
17 Who, with mean, private views, and servile art,
18 No spark of Virtue living in their heart,
19 Have basely turn'd Apostates, have debas'd
20 Their dignity of office, have disgrac'd,
21 Like ELI'S Sons, the altars where they stand,
22 And caus'd their name to stink thro' all the land,
23 Have stoop'd to prostitute their venal pen
24 For the support of great, but guilty men,
25 Have made the Bard, of their own vile accord,
26 Inferior to that thing we call a Lord.
27 What is a Lord? doth that plain, simple word
28 Contain some magic spell? as soon as heard,
29 Like an Alarum Bell on Night's dull ear,
30 Doth It strike louder, and more strong appear
31 Than other Words? whether we will or no,
32 Thro' Reason's Court doth It unquestion'd go
33 E'en on the mention, and of course transmit
34 Notions of something excellent, of Wit[Page 3]
35 Pleasing, tho' keen, of Humour free, tho' chaste,
36 Of sterling Genius with sound Judgment grac'd,
37 Of Virtue far above temptation's Reach,
38 And Honour, which not malice can impeach?
39 Believe it not — 'twas NATURE's first intent,
40 Before their rank became their punishment,
41 They should have pass'd for Men, nor blush'd to prize
42 The blessings she bestow'd — She gave them eyes,
43 And They could see — She gave them ears — they heard —
44 The Instruments of stirring, and they stirr'd —
45 Like Us, they were design'd to eat, to drink,
46 To talk, and (ev'ry now and then) to think.
47 Till They, by Pride corrupted, for the sake
48 Of Singularity, disclaim'd that make,
49 Till They, disdaining Nature's vulgar mode,
50 Flew off, and struck into another road,
51 More fitting Quality, and to our view
52 Came forth a Species altogether new,
53 Something We had not known, and could not know,
54 Like nothing of God's making here below,
55 NATURE exclaim'd with wonder — Lords are Things,
56 Which, never made by Me, were made by Kings.
57 A Lord (nor let the honest, and the brave,
58 The true, Old Noble, with the Fool and Knave
59 Here mix his fame; curs'd be that thought of mine,
60 Which with a B— and F— should GRAFTON join)
61 A Lord (nor here let Censure rashly call
62 My just contempt of some, abuse of all,
63 And, as of late, when SODOM was my theme,
64 Slander my purpose, and my Muse blaspheme,
65 Because she stops not, rapid in her song,
66 To make exceptions as She goes along,
67 Tho' well She hopes to find, another year,
68 A whole MINORITY exceptions here)
69 A mere, mere Lord, with nothing but the name,
70 Wealth all his Worth, and Title all his Fame,
71 Lives on another man, himself a blank,
72 Thankless he lives, or must some Grandsire thank,
73 For smuggled Honours, and ill-gotten pelf;
74 A Bard owes all to Nature, and Himself.
75 Gods, how my Soul is burnt up with disdain,
76 When I see Men, whom PHOEBUS in his Train
77 Might view with pride, lacquey the heels of those
78 Whom Genius ranks amongst her greatest foes! [Page 5]
79 And what's the cause? why these same sons of scorn,
80 No thanks to them, were to a Title born,
81 And could not help it; by Chance hither sent,
82 And only Deities by accident.
83 Had fortune on our getting chanc'd to shine
84 Their birthright honours had been your's, or mine.
85 'Twas a mere random stroke, and should the Throne
86 Eye Thee with favour, proud and lordly grown,
87 Thou, tho' a Bard, might'st be their fellow yet,
88 But FELIX never can be made a Wit.
89 No, in good faith — that's one of those few things
90 Which Fate hath plac'd beyond the reach of Kings.
91 Bards may be Lords, but 'tis not in the cards,
92 Play how we will, to turn Lords into Bards.
93 A Bard — A Lord — Why let them hand in hand
94 Go forth as Friends, and travel thro' the land,
95 Observe which word the People can digest
96 Most readily, which goes to market best,
97 Which gets most credit, Whether Men will trust
98 A Bard because they think he may be just,
99 Or on a Lord will chuse to risque their gains,
100 Tho' Privilege in that point still remains.
101 A Bard — A Lord — let REASON take her Scales,
102 And fairly weigh those Words, see which prevails,
103 Which in the ballance lightly kicks the beam,
104 And which by sinking We the Victor deem.
105 'Tis done, and HERMES, by command of JOVE,
106 Summons a Synod in the sacred grove,
107 Gods throng with Gods to take their chairs on high,
108 And sit in state, the Senate of the Sky,
109 Whilst, in a kind of parliament below,
110 Men stare at those above, and want to know
111 What They're transacting; REASON takes her stand
112 Just in the midst, a ballance in her hand,
113 Which o'er and o'er She tries, and finds it true;
114 From either side, conducted full in view,
115 A Man comes forth, of figure strange and queer;
116 We now and then see something like them here.
117 The First was meager, flimsy, void of strength,
118 But Nature kindly had made up in length,
119 What She in breadth denied; Erect and proud,
120 A head and shoulders taller than the croud,
121 He deem'd them pygmies all; loose hung his skin
122 O'er his bare bones; his Face so very thin,[Page 7]
123 So very narrow, and so much beat out,
124 That Physiognomists have made a doubt,
125 Proportion lost, Expression quite forgot,
126 Whether It could be call'd a face, or not;
127 At end of it howe'er, unbless'd with beard,
128 Some twenty fathom length of chin appear'd;
129 With Legs, which we might well conceive that Fate
130 Meant only to support a spider's weight,
131 Firmly he strove to tread, and with a stride
132 Which shew'd at once his weakness and his pride,
133 Shaking himself to pieces, seem'd to cry,
134 Observe good People, how I shake the sky.
135 In his right hand a Paper did He hold,
136 On which, at large, in characters of gold,
137 Distinct, and plain for those who run to see,
138 Saint ARCHIBALD had wrote L, O, R, D.
139 This, with an air of scorn, He from afar
140 Twirl'd into REASON'S scales, and on that Bar,
141 Which from his soul he hated, yet admir'd,
142 Quick turn'd his back, and as he came retir'd.
143 The Judge to all around his name declar'd;
144 Each Goddess titter'd, each God laugh'd, JOVE star'd,[Page 8]
145 And the whole People cried, with one accord,
146 Good Heaven bless us all, is That a Lord!
147 Such was the First — the Second was a man,
148 Whom Nature built on quite a diff'rent plan;
149 A Bear, whom from the moment he was born,
150 His Dam despis'd, and left unlick'd in scorn;
151 A Babel, which, the pow'r of Art outdone,
152 She could not finish when She had begun;
153 An utter Chaos, out of which no might
154 But that of God could strike one spark of light.
155 Broad were his shoulders, and from blade to blade
156 A H— might at full length have laid;
157 Vast were his Bones, his Muscles twisted strong,
158 His Face was short, but broader than 'twas long,
159 His Features, tho' by Nature they were large,
160 Contentment had contriv'd to overcharge
161 And bury meaning, save that we might spy
162 Sense low'ring on the penthouse of his eye;
163 His Arms were two twin Oaks, his Legs so stout
164 That they might bear a Mansion House about,
165 Nor were They, look but at his body there,
166 Design'd by Fate a much less weight to bear.
167 O'er a brown Cassock, which had once been black,
168 Which hung in tatters on his brawny back,
169 A sight most strange, and aukward to behold
170 He threw a covering of Blue and Gold.
171 Just at that time of life, when Man by rule,
172 The Fop laid down, takes up the graver fool,
173 He started up a Fop, and, fond of show,
174 Look'd like another HERCULES, turn'd Beau.
175 A Subject, met with only now and then,
176 Much fitter for the pencil than the pen;
177 HOGARTH would draw him (Envy must allow)
178 E'en to the life, was HOGARTH living now.
179 With such accoutrements, with such a form,
180 Much like a Porpoise just before a storm,
181 Onward He roll'd; a laugh prevail'd around,
182 E'en JOVE was seen to simper; at the sound
183 (Nor was the cause unknown, for from his Youth
184 Himself he studied by the glass of Truth)
185 He join'd their mirth, nor shall the Gods condemn
186 If, whilst They laugh'd at him, he laugh'd at them.
187 Judge REASON view'd him with an eye of grace,
188 Look'd thro' his soul, and quite forgot his face,[Page 10]
189 And, from his hand receiv'd, with fair regard
190 Plac'd in her other scale the name of Bard.
191 Then (for She did as Judges ought to do,
192 She nothing of the case beforehand knew
193 Nor wish'd to know, She never stretch'd the laws,
194 Nor, basely to anticipate a cause,
195 Compell'd Sollicitors no longer free,
196 To shew those briefs She had no right to see)
197 Then She with equal hand her scales held out,
198 Nor did the Cause one moment hang in doubt,
199 She held her scales out fair to public view;
200 The Lord, as sparks fly upwards, upwards flew,
201 More light than air, deceitful in the weight;
202 The Bard, preponderating, kept his state,
203 REASON approv'd, and with a voice, whose sound
204 Shook earth, shook heaven, on the clearest ground.
205 Pronouncing for the Bards a full decree,
206 Cried — Those must Honour Them, who honour Me,
207 They from this present day, where'er I reign,
208 In their own right, Precedence shall obtain,
209 Merit rules here, Be it enough that Birth
210 Intoxicates, and sways the fools of earth.
211 Nor think that here, in hatred to a Lord,
212 I've forg'd a tale, or alter'd a record;
213 Search when You will (I am not now in sport)
214 You'll find it register'd in REASON's Court.
215 Nor think that Envy here hath strung my lyre,
216 That I depreciate what I most admire,
217 And look on titles with an eye of scorn
218 Because I was not to a title born.
219 By Him that made me, I am much more proud,
220 More inly satisfied, to have a croud
221 Point at me as I pass, and cry, — that's He —
222 A poor, but honest Bard, who dares be free
223 Amidst Corruption, than to have a train
224 Of flick'ring Levee slaves, to make me vain
225 Of things I ought to blush for; to run, fly,
226 And live but in the motion of my eye;
227 When I am less than Man, my faults t'adore,
228 And make me think that I am something more.
229 Recall past times, bring back the days of old,
230 When the great Noble bore his honours bold,
231 And in the face of peril, when He dar'd
232 Things which his legal Bastard, if declar'd,[Page 12]
233 Might well discredit; faithful to his trust,
234 In the extremest points of Justice, Just,
235 Well-knowing All, and lov'd by All he knew,
236 True to his King, and to his Country true,
237 Honest at Court, above the baits of gain,
238 Plain in his dress, and in his manners plain,
239 Mod'rate in wealth, gen'rous but not profuse,
240 Well worthy riches, for he knew their use,
241 Possessing much, and yet deserving more,
242 Deserving those high honours, which he wore
243 With ease to all, and in return gain'd fame,
244 Which all men paid, because he did not claim,
245 When the grim War was plac'd in dread array,
246 Fierce as the Lion roaring for his prey,
247 Or Lioness of royal whelps foredone,
248 In Peace, as mild as the departing Sun,
249 A gen'ral blessing wheresoe'er he turn'd,
250 Patron of learning, nor himself unlearn'd,
251 Ever awake at Pity's tender call,
252 A Father of the Poor, a Friend to All,
253 Recall such times, and from the grave bring back
254 A Worth like this, my heart shall bend, or crack,
255 My stubborn pride give way, my tongue proclaim,
256 And ev'ry Muse conspire to swell his fame,[Page 13]
257 Till Envy shall to him that praise allow,
258 Which She cannot deny to TEMPLE now.
259 This Justice claims, nor shall the Bard forget,
260 Delighted with the task, to pay that debt,
261 To pay it like a Man, and in his lays,
262 Sounding such worth, prove his own right to praise.
263 But let not Pride and Prejudice misdeem,
264 And think that empty Titles are my Theme,
265 Titles, with Me, are vain, and nothing worth,
266 I rev'rence Virtue, but I laugh at Birth.
267 Give me a Lord, that's honest, frank, and brave,
268 I am his friend, but cannot be his slave.
269 Tho' none indeed but Blockheads would pretend
270 To make a slave, where they may make a friend.
271 I love his Virtues, and will make them known,
272 Confess his rank, but can't forget my own.
273 Give me a Lord, who, to a Title born,
274 Boasts nothing else, I'll pay him scorn with scorn.
275 What, shall my Pride (and Pride is Virtue here)
276 Tamely make way, if such a wretch appear?
277 Shall I uncover'd stand, and bend my knee
278 To such a shadow of Nobility,
279 A Shred, a Remnant; he might rot unknown
280 For any real merit of his own,
281 And never had come forth to public note,
282 Had He not worn by chance his Father's coat?
283 To think a M— worth my least regards
284 Is treason to the Majesty of Bards.
285 By NATURE form'd (when for her Honour' sake
286 She something more than common strove to make,
287 When, overlooking each minute defect,
288 And all too eager to be quite correct,
289 In her full heat and vigour, she imprest
290 Her stamp most strongly on the favour'd breast)
291 The Bard (nor think too lightly that I mean
292 Those little, piddling Witlings, who o'erween
293 Of their small parts, the MURPHYS of the stage,
294 The MASONS and the WHITEHEADS of the age,
295 Who all in raptures their own works rehearse,
296 And drawl out measur'd prose, which They call verse)
297 The real Bard, whom native Genius fires,
298 Whom ev'ry Maid of Castaly inspires,
299 Let him consider wherefore he was meant,
300 Let him but answer Nature's great intent,[Page 15]
301 And fairly weigh himself with other men,
302 Would ne'er debase the glories of his pen,
303 Would in full state, like a true Monarch, live,
304 Nor bate one inch of his Prerogative.
305 Methinks I see old WINGATE frowning here,
306 (WINGATE may in the season be a Peer,
307 Tho' now, against his will, of figures sick,
308 He's forc'd to diet on Arithmetic,
309 E'en whilst he envies ev'ry Jew he meets,
310 Who cries old Cloaths to sell about the streets)
311 Methinks (his mind with future honours big,
312 His Tyburn Bob turn'd to a dress'd Bag Wig)
313 I hear him cry — What doth this jargon mean?
314 Was ever such a damn'd dull Blockhead seen?
315 Majesty — Bard — Prerogative — Disdain
316 Hath got into, and turn'd the fellow's brain;
317 To Bethlem with him — give him whips and straw —
318 I'm very sensible he's mad in Law.
319 A saucy Groom who trades in Reason, thus
320 To set himself upon a Par with us;
321 If this here's suffer'd, and if that there fool
322 May when he pleases send us all to school,[Page 16]
323 Why then our only business is outright
324 To take our caps, and bid the World good night.
325 I've kept a Bard myself this twenty years,
326 But nothing of this kind in him appears.
327 He, like a thorough true-bred Spaniel, licks
328 The hand which cuffs him, and the foot which kicks,
329 He fetches, and he carries, blacks my shoes,
330 Nor thinks it a discredit to his Muse,
331 A Creature of the right Camelion hue,
332 He wears my colours, yellow or true Blue,
333 Just as I wear them; 'tis all one to him,
334 Whether I change thro' conscience, or thro' whim.
335 Now this is something like, on such a plan
336 A Bard may find a friend in a great Man;
337 But this proud Coxcomb — Zounds, I thought that All
338 Of this queer tribe had been like my Old PAUL.
339 Injurious Thought! accursed be the tongue
340 On which the vile insinuation hung,
341 The heart where 'twas engender'd, curs'd be those,
342 Those Bards, who not themselves alone expose,
343 But Me, but All, and make the very name
344 By which They're call'd, a standing mark of shame.
345 Talk not of Custom — 'tis the Coward's plea,
346 Current with Fools, but passes not with me;
347 An old stale trick, which guilt hath often tried
348 By numbers to o'erpow'r the better side.
349 Why tell me then that from the birth of Rime,
350 No matter when, down to the present time,
351 As by th' original decree of Fate,
352 Bards have protection sought amongst the Great,
353 Conscious of weakness, have applied to them
354 As Vines to Elms, and twining round their stem,
355 Flourish'd on high; to gain this wish'd support
356 E'en VIRGIL to MAECENAS paid his court.
357 As to the Custom 'tis a point agreed,
358 But 'twas a foolish diffidence, not need,
359 From which it rose; Had Bards but truly known
360 That Strength, which is most properly their own,
361 Without a Lord, unpropp'd, They might have stood,
362 And overtopp'd those Giants of the wood.
363 But why, when present times my care engage,
364 Must I go back to the Augustan age?
365 Why, anxious for the living, am I led
366 Into the mansions of the antient dead? [Page 18]
367 Can They find Patrons no where but at ROME,
368 And must I seek MAECENAS in the tomb?
369 Name but a WINGATE, twenty Fools of note
370 Start up, and from report MAECENAS quote;
371 Under his colours Lords are proud to fight,
372 Forgetting that MAECENAS was a Knight;
373 They mention him as if to use his name
374 Was in some measure to partake his fame,
375 Tho' VIRGIL, was he living, in the street
376 Might rot for them, or perish in the Fleet.
377 See how They redden, and the charge disclaim —
378 Virgil, and in the Fleet — forbid it Shame.
379 Hence, Ye vain Boasters, to the Fleet repair,
380 And ask, with blushes ask, if LLOYD is there.
381 Patrons, in days of yore, were Men of Sense,
382 Were Men of Taste, and had a fair pretence
383 To rule in Letters — Some of Them were heard
384 To read off-hand, and never spell a word;
385 Some of them too, to such a monstrous height
386 Was Learning risen, for themselves could write,
387 And kept their Secretaries, as the Great
388 Do many other foolish things, for State.
389 Our Patrons are of quite a diff'rent strain,
390 With neither sense nor Taste, against the grain,
391 They patronize for fashion sake — no more —
392 And keep a Bard, just as They keep a Whore.
393 M— (on such occasion I am [loath]
394 To name the dead) was a rare proof of both.
395 Some of them would be puzzled e'en to read,
396 Nor could deserve their Clergy by their Creed;
397 Others can write, but such a Pagan hand
398 A WILLES should always at our elbow stand;
399 Many, if begg'd, A Chancellor, of right,
400 Would order into keeping at first sight.
401 Those who stand fairest to the public view
402 Take to themselves the praise to others due,
403 They rob the very Spital, and make free
404 With those alas who've least to spare — We see,
405 — hath not had a word to say,
406 Since Winds and Waves bore SINGLESPEECH away.
407 Patrons in days of yore, like Patrons now,
408 Expected that the Bard should make his bow
409 At coming in, and ev'ry now and then
410 Hint to the world that They were more than men,[Page 20]
411 But, like the Patrons of the present day,
412 They never bilk'd the Poet of his pay.
413 VIRGIL lov'd rural ease, and, far from harm,
414 MAECENAS fix'd him in a neat, snug farm,
415 Where he might, free from trouble, pass his days
416 In his own way, and pay his rent in praise.
417 HORACE lov'd wine, and, thro' his friend at Court,
418 Could buy it off the Key in ev'ry port;
419 HORACE lov'd mirth, MAECENAS lov'd it too,
420 They met, they laugh'd, as GOY and I may do,
421 Nor in those moments paid the least regard
422 To which was Minister, and which was Bard.
423 Not so our Patrons — grave as grave can be,
424 They know themselves, They keep up dignity;
425 Bards are a forward race, nor is it fit
426 That Men of fortune rank with men of Wit;
427 Wit if familiar made, will find her strength —
428 'Tis best to keep her weak, and at arm's length.
429 'Tis well enough for Bards, if Patrons give,
430 From hand to mouth, the scanty means to live.
431 Such is their language, and their practice such,
432 They promise little, and they give not much. [Page 21]
433 Let the weak Bard, with prostituted strain,
434 Praise that proud SCOT, whom all good men disdain;
435 What's his reward? Why, his own fame undone,
436 He may obtain a patent for the run
437 Of his Lord's kitchen, and have ample time,
438 With offal fed, to court the Cook in rime,
439 Or (if he strives true Patriots to disgrace)
440 May at the second Table get a place,
441 With somewhat greater slaves allow'd to dine,
442 And play at CRAMBO o'er his gill of wine.
443 And are there Bards, who on Creation's file
444 Stand rank'd as Men, who breathe in this fair Isle
445 The air of Freedom, with so little gall,
446 So low a Spirit, prostrate thus to fall
447 Before these Idols, and without a groan
448 Bear wrongs might call forth murmurs from a stone?
449 Better, and much more noble, to abjure
450 The sight of men, and in some cave, secure
451 From all the outrages of pride, to feast
452 On Nature's sallads, and be free at least.
453 Better (tho' that, to say the truth, is worse
454 Than almost any other modern curse)[Page 22]
455 Discard all Sense, divorce the thankless Muse,
456 Critics commence, and write in the Reviews,
457 Write without tremor, GRIFFITHS cannot read;
458 No Fool can fail, where LANGHORNE can succeed.
459 But (not to make a brave and honest Pride
460 Try those means first, She must disdain when tried)
461 There are a thousand ways, a thousand arts,
462 By which, and fairly, Men of real parts
463 May gain a living, gain what Nature craves;
464 Let Those, who pine for more, live, and be slaves.
465 Our real wants in a small compass lye,
466 But lawless Appetite with eager eye,
467 Kept in a constant Fever, more requires,
468 And we are burnt up with our own desires.
469 Hence our dependence, hence our slav'ry springs;
470 Bards, if contented, are as great as Kings.
471 Ourselves are to Ourselves the cause of ill;
472 We may be Independent, if we will.
473 The Man who suits his Spirit to his state
474 Stands on an equal footing with the Great,
475 MOGULS themselves are not more rich, and He,
476 Who rules the English nation, not more free. [Page 23]
477 Chains were not forg'd more durable and strong
478 For Bards than others, but They've worne them along,
479 And therefore wear them still, They've quite forgot
480 What Freedom is, and therefore prize her not.
481 Could They, tho' in their sleep, could They but know
482 The blessings which from INDEPENDENCE flow,
483 Could They but have a short and transient gleam
484 Of LIBERTY, tho' 'twas but in a dream,
485 They would no more in bondage bend their knee,
486 But, once made Freemen, would be always free.
487 The Muse if She one moment freedom gains,
488 Can never more submit to sing in chains.
489 Bred in a cage, far from the seather'd throng,
490 The Bird repays his keeper with his song,
491 But, if some playful child sets wide the door,
492 Abroad he flies, and thinks of home no more,
493 With love of Liberty begins to burn,
494 And rather starves than to his cage return.
495 Hail INDEPENDENCE — by true Reason taught,
496 How few have known, and priz'd Thee as They ought.
497 Some give Thee up for riot; Some, like Boys,
498 Resign Thee, in their childish moods, for toys[Page 24]
499 Ambition some, some Avarice misleads,
500 And in both cases INDEPENDENCE bleeds;
501 Abroad, in quest of Thee, how many roam
502 Nor know They had Thee in their reach at home;
503 Some, tho' about their paths, their beds about,
504 Have never had the Sense to find Thee out;
505 Others, who know of what They are possess'd,
506 Like fearful Misers, lock Thee in a chest,
507 Nor have the resolution to produce
508 In these bad times, and bring Thee forth for use.
509 Hail, INDEPENDENCE — tho' thy name's scarce known,
510 Tho' Thou, Alas! art out of fashion grown,
511 Tho' All despise Thee, I will not despise,
512 Nor live one moment longer than I prize
513 Thy presence, and enjoy; by angry Fate
514 Bow'd down, and almost crush'd, Thou cam'st, tho' late,
515 Thou cam'st upon me, like a second birth,
516 And made me know what life was truly worth.
517 Hail, INDEPENDENCE — never may my Cot,
518 Till I forget Thee, be by Thee forgot;
519 Thither, O Thither, oftentimes repair;
520 COTES, whom Thou lovest too, shall meet Thee there;
521 All thoughts, but what arise from joy, give o'er;
522 PEACE dwells within, and LAW shall guard the door.
523 O'erweening Bard! LAW guard thy door, what LAW?
524 The LAW of ENGLAND — To controul, and awe
525 Those saucy hopes, to strike that Spirit dumb,
526 Behold, in State, ADMINISTRATION come.
527 Why let Her come, in all her terrors too;
528 I dare to suffer all She dares to do.
529 I know her malice well, and know her pride,
530 I know her strength, but will not change my side.
531 This melting mass of flesh She may controul
532 With iron ribs, She cannot chain my Soul.
533 No — to the last resolv'd her worst to bear,
534 I'm still at large, and Independent there.
535 Where is this Minister? where is the band
536 Of ready slaves, who at his elbow stand
537 To hear, and to perform his wicked will?
538 Why, for the first time, are they slow to ill?
539 When some grand act 'gainst Law is to be done,
540 Doth — sleep; doth Bloodhound — run
541 To L—, and worry those small deer
542 When He might do more precious mischief here?
543 Doth — turn tail? doth He refuse to draw
544 Illegal warrants, and to call them Law? [Page 26]
545 Doth —, at G—d kick'd, from G—d run,
546 With that cold lump of unbak'd dough, his Son,
547 And, his more honest rival, KETCH to cheat
548 Purchase a burial place where three ways meet?
549 Believe it not; — is — still,
550 And never sleeps, when he should wake to ill;
551 — doth lesser mischiess by the bye,
552 The great Ones till the Term in Petto lie;
553 — lives, and, to the strictest justice true,
554 Scorns to defraud the Hangman of his due.
555 O my poor COUNTRY — weak and overpow'r'd
556 By thine own Sons — eat to the bone — devour'd
557 By Vipers, which, in thine own entrails bred,
558 Prey on thy life, and with thy blood are fed,
559 With unavailing grief thy wrongs I see,
560 And, for myself not feeling, feel for Thee.
561 I grieve, but can't despair — for, Lo, at hand
562 FREEDOM presents a choice, but faithful band
563 Of Loyal PATRIOTS, Men who greatly dare
564 In such a noble cause, Men fit to bear
565 The weight of Empires; Fortune, Rank, and Sense,
566 Virtue and Knowledge, leagu'd with Eloquence,[Page 27]
567 March in their ranks; FREEDOM from file to file
568 Darts her delighted eye, and with a smile
569 Approves her honest Sons, whilst down her cheek,
570 As 'twere by stealth (her heart too full to speak)
571 One Tear in silence creeps, one honest Tear,
572 And seems to say, Why is not GRANBY here.
573 O Ye brave Few, in whom we still may find
574 A Love of Virtue, Freedom, and Mankind,
575 Go forth — in Majesty of Woe array'd,
576 See, at your feet Your COUNTRY kneels for aid,
577 And, (many of her children traitors grown,)
578 Kneels to those Sons She still can call her own,
579 Seeming to breathe her last in ev'ry breath,
580 She kneels for Freedom, or She begs for Death —
581 Fly then, each duteous Son, each English Chief,
582 And to your drooping Parent bring relief.
583 Go forth — nor let the Siren voice of ease
584 Tempt Ye to sleep, whilst tempests swell the seas;
585 Go forth — nor let Hypocrisy, whose tongue
586 With many a fair, false, fatal art is hung,
587 Like Bethel's fawning Prophet, cross your way,
588 When your great Errand brooks not of delay;[Page 28]
589 Nor let vain Fear, who cries to all She meets,
590 Trembling and pale — A Lion in the streets —
591 Damp your free Spirits; let not threats affright,
592 Nor Bribes corrupt, nor Flatteries delight.
593 Be as One Man — CONCORD success ensures —
594 There's not an English heart but what is Your's.
595 Go forth — and VIRTUE, ever in your sight,
596 Shall be your guide by day, your guard by night —
597 Go forth — the Champions of your native land,
598 And may the battle prosper in your hand —
599 It may, it Must — Ye cannot be withstood —
600 Be your Hearts honest, as your Cause is good.