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Ill-fated Dryden! who unmov'd can fee

Th' extremes of wit and meanness join'd in thee! Flames that could mount, and gain their kindred skies, Low creeping in the putrid fink of Vice;

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A Mufe whom Wisdom woo'd, but woo'd in vain
The pimp of Pow'r, the proftitute to Gain:
Wreaths that fhould deck fair Virtue's form alone,
To ftrumpets, traitors, tyrants, vilely thrown: 440
Unrivall'd parts, the fcorn of honeft fame,

And genius rife a monument of shame!

More happy France: immortal Boileau there
Supported Genius with a fage's care;
Him with her love propitious Satire bleft,
And breath'd her airs divine into his breast:
Fancy and fenfe to form his line confpire,
And faultlefs judgment guides the purest fire.

But fee, at length, the British Genius fmile,
And fhow'r her bounties o'er her favour'd ifle:
Behold, for Pope fhe twines the laurel crown,
And centres ev'ry poet's pow'r in one!
Each Roman's force adorns his various page,
Gay fmiles, collected ftrength, and manly rage.
Defpairing Guilt and Dulness loath the fight,
As fpectres vanish at approaching light:
In this clear mirror with delight we view
Each image justly fine and boldly true:

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Here Vice, dragg'd forth by Truth's fupreme decree,

Beholds and hates her own deformity:

While felf-feen Virtue in the faithful line

With modeft joy furveys her form divine.

But faintly to exprefs the poet's mind?

Who yonder ftar's effulgence can display,

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But, oh! what thoughts, what numbers, fhall I find

Unless he dip his pencil in the ray?
Who paint a god unless the god infpire?
What catch the lightning but the speed of fire ?
So, mighty Pope! to make thy genius known,
All pow'r is weak, all numbers-but thy own.
Each Mufe for thee with kind contention ftrove,
For thee the Graces left thIdalian grove,

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With watchful fondnefs o'er thy cradle hung,
Attun'd thy voice, and form'd thy infant tongue.
Next to her bard majeftic Wisdom came;
The bard enraptur'd caught the heav'nly flame;
With tafte fuperior scorn'd the venal tribe,
Whom fear can fway, or guilty greatnefs bribe;
At Fancy's call who rear the wanton fail,
Sport with the ftream, and trifle in the gale:
Sublimer views thy daring fpirit bound;
Thy mighty voyage was creation's round;
Intent new worlds of wifdom to explore,
And bless mankind with Virtue's faced store;

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A nobler joy than wit can give, impart,

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And pour a moral tranfport o'er the heart.
Fantastic wit fhoots momentary fires,

And, like a meteor, while we gaze expires:
Wit kindled by the fulph'rous breath of Vice,
Like the blue lightning, while it fhines destroys;
But Genius, fir'd by Truth's eternal ray,
Burns clear and conftant, like the fource of day:
Like this its beam prolific and refin'd,
Feeds, warms, infpirits, and exalts the mind;
Mildly difpels each wintry paffion's gloom,
And opens all the virtues into bloom.

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This praife, immortal Pope! to thee be giv❜n;
Thy genius was indeed a gift from Heav'n.
Hail, Bard unequall'd! in whofe deathless line
Reafon and wit with ftrength collected fhine;
Where matchlefs wit but wins the fecond praife,
Loft, nobly loft, in truth's fuperior blaze.
Did friendship e'er mislead thy wand'ring Muse?
That friendship fure may plead the great excufe;
That facred friendship which infpir'd thy song,
Fair in defect, and amiably wrong.

Error like this ev'n truth can scarce reprove;
'Tis almoft virtue when it flows from love.

Ye deathlefs names! ye fons of endless praise!
By Virtue crown'd with never-fading bays!
Say, fhall an artlefs Mufe, if you infpire,
Light her pale lamp at your inimortal fire?

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Or if, O Warburton! infpir'd by you,
The daring Mufe a nobler path purfue,
By you infpir'd on trembling pinions foar,
The facred founts of focial blifs explore,
In her bold numbers chain the tyrant's rage,
And bid her country's glory fire her page:
If fuch her fate, do thou, fair Truth! defcend,
And watchful guard her in an honest end:
Kindly severe, inftruct her equal line

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To court no friend, nor own a foe, but thine.

But if her giddy eye fhould vainly quit

Thy facred paths, to run the maze of wit;
If her apoftate heart fhould e'er incline
To offer incenfe at Corruption's fhrine;

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Urge, urge thy pow'r, the black attempt confound,
And dafh the fmoking cenfer to the ground.
Thus aw'd to fear, inftructed bards may fee
That guilt is doom'd to fink in infamy.

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