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From hence, my Lord, Wit took a tour about, Residing in few countries on his rout,

Appear'd in places, but ne'er took his seat in

One spot of earth, except Greece, France, and Britain. The rest a single trophy only bear,

And just enough to show he had been there.

As Nature's ideot never fails to hit,

Once in his life, on some sheer strokes of Wit;

Then stoops ten thousand fathoms down behind,
Plump in his own vacuity of mind,

A like excursion never to repeat

To the warm regions of aetherial heat.

Yet when we look at home, my Lord, at best,
We find but little that will stand the test;

But then the boasted days of Charles the Second,
Unless Debauchery for Wit is reckon'd,
Most that they had appears, by looking back,
A fungus growing on their butt of sack.
E'en my good cousin Rochester's but barren,
From wholesome meat if you deduct the carrion.

In the next reigns how could it flourish much?
Bigotry, Revolution, and the Dutch,
Damp'd, like wet blankets, its aspiring flame,
And if not quite extinguish'd, kept it tame,
Till orient Anna lighted all its fires,

And the glad stars responsive tun'd their choirs;
Pity she e'er left any in the lurch,

To follow those who lighted her to church.

Then Halifax, my Lord, as you do yet, Stood forth the friend of Poetry and Wit; Sought silent Merit in its secret cell,

And Heav'n, nay even man repaid him well. Man, in the praise of every grateful quill, And Heav'n in him, who bears his title still; Who, on a kingdom to his virtues won, Reflects the glories of our British Sun.







THESE various strains, where every talent charms,
Where humor pleases, or where passion warms :
(Strains, where the tender and sublime conspire,
A Sappho's sweetness, and a Homer's fire)
Attend their doom, and wait, with glad surprise,
Th' impartial justice of Cleora's eyes.

'Tis hard to say what mysteries of fate,
What turns of fortune, on good writers wait,
The party slave will wound them as he can,
And damns the merit, if he hates the man.
Nay, ev'n the Bards with wit and laurels crown'd,
Bless'd in each strain, in every art renown'd:

Misled by pride, and taught to sin by power,
Still search around for those they may devour;
Like savage monarchs on a guilty throne,

Who crush all might that can invade their own.


Epist. VI.


Others who hate, yet want the soul to dare,
So ruin bards-as beaux deceive the fair:
On the pleas'd ear their soft deceits employ;
Smiling they wound, and praise but to destroy.
These are th' unhappy crimes of modern days,
And can the best of poets hope for praise?

How small a part of human blessings share
The wise, the good, the noble, and the fair!
Short is the date unhappy Wit can boast,
A blaze of glory in a moment lost.

Fortune, still envious of the great man's praise,
Curses the coxcomb with a length of days.
So (Hector dead) amid the female choir,
Unmanly Paris tun'd the silver lyre.

Attend, ye Britons, in so just a cause,
'Tis sure a scandal to with-hold applause;
Nor let posterity reviling say,

Thus unregarded Fenton pass'd away!
Yet if the Muse may faith and merit claim
(A Muse too just to bribe with venal fame),
Soon shalt thou shine "in majesty avow'd;
"As thy own goddess breaking through a cloud."
Fame, like a nation-debt, though long delay'd,
With mighty interest must at last be paid.

Like Vinci's strokes, thy verses we behold,
Correctly graceful, and with labor bold.
At Sappho's woes we breathe a tender sigh,


And the soft sorrow steals from every eye.
Here Spenser's thoughts in solemn numbers roll,
Here lofty Milton seems to lift the soul.

There sprightly Chaucer charms our hours away
With stories quaint, and gentle roundelay.

Muse at that name each thought of pride recall, Ah, think how soon the wise and glorious fall ; What though the Sisters every grace impart, To smooth thy verse, and captivate the heart: What though your charms, my fair Cleora, shine Bright as your eyes, and as your sex divine: Yet shall the verses and the charms decay, The boast of youth, the blessing of a day! Not Chaucer's beauties could survive the rage Of wasting Envy, and devouring Age: One mingled heap of ruin now we see ;

Thus Chaucer is, and Fenton thus shall be !

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