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ROBERT Earl of OXFORD, and Earl of MORTIMER.
UCH were the notes thy once-lov'd Poet
'Till Death untimely stop'd his tuneful tongue.
Oh just beheld, and loft! admir'd and mourn'd!
With softest manners, gentleft arts adorn'd!
Bleft in each science, bleft in ev'ry strain!
Dear to the Mufe! to HARLEY dear-in vain!
For him, thou oft has bid the World attend,
Fond to forget the Statesman in the friend;
For SWIFT and him, despis'd the farce of state,
The fober follies of the wife and great;
Dextrous, the craving, fawning croud to quit,
And pleas'd to 'scape from Flattery to Wit.
Epifle to Robert Earl of Oxford.] This Epiftle was fent to the Earl of Oxford with Dr. Parnelle's Poems published by our Author, after the faid Earl's Imprisonment in the Tower, and Retreat into the Country, in the Year 1721. P.
Abfent or dead, ftill let a friend be dear,
(A figh the absent claims, the dead a tear)
Recall those nights that clos'd thy toilfome days, 15
Still hear thy Parnelle in his living lays,
Who, careless now of Int'reft, Fame, or Fate,
Perhaps forgets that OXFORD e'er was great;
Or deeming meanest what we greatest call,
Beholds thee glorious only in thy Fall.
And fure, if aught below the feats divine
Can touch Immortals, 'tis a Soul like thine:
A Soul fupreme, in each hard instance try'd,
Above all Pain, all Paffion, and all Pride,
The rage of Pow'r, the blaft of public breath, 25
The luft of Lucre, and the dread of Death.
In vain to Deserts thy retreat is made; The Mufe attends thee to thy filent shade : "Tis hers, the brave man's latest steps to trace, Rejudge his acts, and dignify difgrace. 30 When Int'reft calls off all her fneaking train, And all th' oblig'd defert, and all the vain ; She waits, or to the scaffold, or the cell, When the last ling'ring friend has bid farewell.
Ev'n now, she shades thy Ev'ning-walk with bays,
(No hireling the, no prostitute to praise)
Ev'n now, obfervant of the parting ray,
Eyes the calm Sun-set of thy various Day,
Thro' Fortune's cloud one truly great can see,
Nor fears to tell, that MORTIMER is he.
TO JAMES CRAGGS, Efq. SECRETARY of STATE.
Soul as full of Worth, as void of Pride, Which nothing feeks to fhew, or needs to hide,
Which nor to Guilt nor Fear, its Caution owes,
And boafts a Warmth that from no Paffion flows.
A Face untaught to feign; a judging Eye, 5
That darts fevere upon a rifing Lye,
And ftrikes a blush thro' frontless Flattery.
All this thou wert; and being this before,
Know, Kings and Fortune cannot make thee more.
Then scorn to gain a Friend by servile
Nor wish to lose a Foe thefe Virtues raise;
But candid, free, fincere, as you began,
Proceed—a Minister, but ftill a Man.
Be not (exalted to whate'er degree)
Afham'd of any Friend, not ev'n of Me:
The Patriot's plain, but untrod, path pursue;
If not, 'tis I must be afham'd of You.
Secretary of State] In the Year 1720. P.