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Vain pomp! bestow'd by oftentatious pride,
But thus the BARD. Are these the gifts of state?
295 And deem their worth, but as they priz'd my song ? Did I footh vice, or venal strokes betray, In the low-purpos’d, loud polemic fray? Did e'er my verse immode It warmth contain, Or, once-licentious, heavenly truths profane ? 300 Never.-And yet when envy íunk my name, Who callid my Madow'd merit into fame? When, undeserv’d, a prison's grate I saw, What hand redeein'd me from the wrested law ? Who cloath'd me naked, or when hungry fed ? 305 Why crush'd the living? Why extoll'ż the dead :But foreign languages adopt my lays, And distant nations thame you into praise. Why should onrelifh'd wit thefe honours cause? Custom, not knowledge, dictates your applause: 310 Or think you thus a self-renown to raise, And mingle your vain-glories with my bays ? Be your's the mouldering tomb! Be mine the lay Immortal!—Thus he scoffs the pomp away. Though words like these unletter'd pride impeach, 315 To the meek heart he turns with milder speech.
Though now a seraph, oft he deigns to wear
330 Oft, as when man in mortal state depress'd, His lays taught virtue, which his life confess'd, He now forms visionary scenes below, Inspiring patience in the heart of woe; Patience, that softens every sad extreme,
335 That cafts through dungeon-glooms a chearful gleam, Disarms disease of pain, mocks flander's sting, And strips of terrors the terrific king, 'Gainst Want, a sourer foe, its succour lends, And smiling sees th’ingratitude of friends.
340 Nor are these talks to him alone consign'd. Millions invisible befriend mankind. When watery structures, seen cross heaven t'ascend, Arch above arch in radiant order bend, Fancy beholds, adown each glittering fide, 345 Myriads of missionary seraphs glide;
She sees good angels genial showers bestow
Each mind a void, as when first born to earth,
Thus he, who once knew want without relief,
the broad ætherial plain Shoots the bright bow !—The seraph Aits away; The Muse, the Graces from our view decay.
Behind yon western hill the globe of light 395 Drops sudden; fast-pursued by Mades of night.
Yon graves from winter-scenes to mind recall Rebellion's council, and rebellion's fall. What fiends in sulphurous, car-like clouds up-flew! What midnight treason glar'd beneath their view! 400 And now the traitors rear their Babel-schemes, Big, and more big, stupendous mischief seems; But Justice, rouz'd, fuperior strength employs, Their scheme wide Matters, and their hope destroys. Discord the wills; the missile ruin fies;
405 Sudden, unnatural debates arise,
Doubt, mutual jealousy, and dumb disgust,
Of these were three by different motives fired,
425 Durst with bold treasons judgment's rod provoke. His ftrength of mind, by luxury half diflolv’d, Ill brooks the woe, where deep he stands involv’d. He weeps, itamps wild, and to and fio now flies; Now wrings his hands, and sends unmanly cries, 430 Arraigns his judge, affirms unjust he bleeds, And now recants, and now for mercy pleads; Now blames afiociates, raves with inward strife, Upbraids himself; then thinks alone on life. He rolls red swelling, tearful eyes around,
435 Sore imites his breast, and finks upon the ground.