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A mind well skilled to find or forge a fault,
A turn for punning, call it Attic salt; i
To Jeffrey go, be silent and discreet,
His pay. is just ten sterling pounds per sheet:
Fear not to lie, 'twill seem a lucky hit,

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Shrink not from blasphemy, 'twill pass for wit;

Care not for feeling-pass your proper jest,
And stand a Critic hated yet caressed.

And shall we own such judgment ? no-as soon
Seek roses in December, ice in June ;
Hope constancy in wind, or corn in chaff,
Believe a woman, or an epitaph,
Or any other thing that's false, before
You trust in Critics who themselves are sore;
Or yield one single thought to be misled
By Jeffrey's heart, or Lamb's Bæotian head*.

80

* Messrs. JEFFREY and LAMB are the Alpha and Omega, the first and last of the Edinburgh Review ; the others are mentioned hereafter.

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To these young tyrants*, by themselves misplaced, Combined usurpers on the Throne of Taste;

To these when Authors bend in humble awe
And hail their voice as Truth, their word as Law;'
While these are Censors, 'twould be sin to spare ;
While such are Critics, why should I forbear?

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But yet so near all modern worthies run,
'Tis doubtful whom to seek, or whom to shun;
Nor know we when to spare, or where to strike,
Our Bards and Censors are so much alike.

+ Then should you ask me, why I venture o'er The path, which Pope and Gifford trod before ?

* “ Stulta est Clementia, cum tot ubique
occurras perituræ parcere chartæ.

Juvenal, Sat. 1.
+ IMITATION.
“ Cur tamen hoc libeat potius decurrere campo
Per quem magnus equos Auruncæ flexit alumnus :
« Si vacat, et placidi rationem admittitis, edam.”

Juvenal, s.l.

If not yet sickened, you can still proceed;
Go on; my rhyme will tell you as you read.

Time was, ere yet in these degenerate days Ignoble themes obtained mistaken praise, When Sense and Wit with Poesy allied, No fabled Graces, flourished side by side, 100 From the same fount their inspiration drew, And, reared by Taste, bloomed fairer as they grew. Then, in this happy Isle, a Pope's pure strain Sought the rapt soul to charın, nor sought in vain ; A polished nation's praise aspired to claim, And rais'd the people's, as the poet's fame. Like him great DRYDEN poured the tide of song, In stream less smooth, indeed, yet doubly strong. Then CONGREVE's scenes could cheer, or OTWAY'S

melt; For Nature then an English audience felt- 110

But why these names, or greater still, retrace,
When all to feebler Bards resign their place ?
Yet to such times our lingering looks are cast,

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When taste and reason with those times are past.

Now look around, and turn each trifling page,
Survey the precious works that please the age;
This truth at least let Satire's self allow,
No dearth of Bards can be complained of now:
The loaded Press beneath her labour groans,
And Printers' devils shake their weary bones,

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While Southey's Epics cram the creaking shelves, And Little's Lyrics shine in hot-pressed twelves.

Thus saith the Preacher*; “nought beneath the

sun

Is new,” yet still from change to change we run,
What varied wonders tempt us as they pass !
The Cow-pox, Tractors, Galvanism, and Gas

. . Ecclesiastes, Cap. I.

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In turns appear to make the vulgar stare
Till the swoln bubble bursts and all is air !

Nor less new schools of poetry arise,
Where dull pretenders grapple for the prize : 130
O'er Taste awhile these Pseudo-bards prevail;
Each country Book-club bows the knee to Baal,
And, hurling lawful Genius from the throne,
Erects a shrine and idol of its own;
Some leaden calf—but whom it matters not,
From soaring Southey down to groveling Stott*.

* STUTT, better known in the “Morning Post” by the name of Hafiz. This personage is at present the most profound explorer of the Bathos. I remember, when the reigning family left Portugal, a special ode of Master Stort's beginning thus :

(Stott loquitur quoad Hibernia.) “ Princely offspring of Braganza

“ Erin greets thee with a Stanza,” &c. &c. Also a sonnet to Rats, well worthy of the subject, and a most thundering ode, commencing as follows :

“ Oh! for a Lay! loud as the surge

“ That lashes Lapland's sounding shore." Lord have mercy on us ! the “ Lay of the last Minstrel” was nothing to this,

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