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Each art he prompts, each charm he can create,
He look’d, and saw a sable sorc'rer rise, Swift to whose hand a winged volume flies : All sudden, gorgons hiss, and dragons glare, And ten-horn'd fiends and giants rush to war. 230 Hell rises, heav'n descends, and dance on earth, Gods, imps, and monsters, music, rage, and mirth, A fire, a jigg, a battle, and a ball, Till one wide confiagration swallows all.
Thence a new world to nature's laws unknown, Breaks out refulgent, with a heav'n its own.
236 Another Cynthia her new journey runs, And other planets circle other suns: The forests dance, the rivers upward rise, Whales sport in woods, and dolphins in the skies ; And last, to give the whole creation grace, 241 Lo! one vast egg produces human race. Joy fills his soul, joy innocent of thought : What pow'r, he cries, what pow'r these wonders wrought
Son! what thou seek'st is in thee. Look, and find Each monster meets his likeness in thy mind. 246 Yet would'st thou more? In yonder cloud behold, Whose sarcenet skirts are edg'd with flamy gold, A matchless youth! his nod these worlds controuls, Wings the red lightning, and the thunder rolls. 250 Angel of Dulness, sent to scatter round Her magic charms o'er all unclassic ground: Yon stars, yon suns, he rears at pleasure higher, Illumes their light, and sets their flames on fire. Immortal Rich ! how calm he sits at ease
255 Mid snows of
and fierce hail of pease ; And proud his mistress' orders to perform, Rides in the whirlwind, and directs the storm.
But lo! to dark encounter in mid air New wizards rise: here Booth, and Cibber there : 260 Booth in his cloudy tabernacle shrin'd, On grinning dragons Gibber mounts the wind : Dire is the conflict, dismal is the din, Here shouts all Drury, there all Lincoln's Inn ; Contending theatres our empire raise,
265 Alike their labours, and alike their praise.
And are these wonders, Son, to thee unknown? Unknown to thee? These wonders are thy own. For works like these let deathless journals tell, “ None but thyself can be thy parallel.” 270 These, fate reserv'd to grace thy reign divine, Foreseen by me, but ah! withheld from mine,
In Lud's old walls tho' long I rul'd renown'd,
275 To me committing their eternal praise, Their full-fed heroes, their pacific may'rs, Their annual trophies, and their monthly wars: 'Tho' long my party built on me their hopes,
For writing pamphlets, and for roasting Popes; 280
295 And licks up every blockhead in the way. Thy dragons magistrates and peers shall taste, And from each show rise duller than the last ! Till rais'd from booths to theatre, to court, Her seat imperial, Dulness shall transport. 300
Already opera prepares the way,
310 In flames, like Semele's, be brought to bed, While opening hell spouts wild-fire at your head. Now Bavius take the
from thy brow, And place it here ! here all ye heroes bow! This, this is he, foretold by ancient rhymes :
315 Th' Augustus, born to bring Saturnian times : Beneath his reign, shall Eusden wear the bays, Cibber preside, Lord Chancellor of plays. Benson sole judge of architecture fit, And Ambrose Philips be preferr'd for wit ! 326 While naked mourns the dormitory wall, While Jones and Boyle's united labours fall, While Wren with sorrow to the grave descends, Gay dies unpension'd with a hundred friends, Hibernian politicks, O Swift, thy fate,
325 And Pope's whole years to comment and translate.
Proceed great days ! till learning fly the shore, Till Birch shall blush with noble blood no more,
Till Thames see Eton's sons for ever play,
Signs following signs lead on the mighty year;
re-appear. She comes ! the cloud-compelling pow'r behold! 335 With Night primæval, and with Chaos old. Lo! the great Anarch's ancient reign restor'd; Light dies before her uncreating word. As one by one, at dread Medea's strain, The sick’ning stars fade off th' æthereal plain ; 340 As Argus' eyes, by Hermes' wand opprest, Clos'd one by one to everlasting rest; Thus at her felt approach, and secret might, Art after art goes out, and all is night. See sculking Truth in her old cavern lye,
345 Secur'd by mountains of heap'd casuistry: Philosophy, that touch'd the heav'ns before, Shrinks to her hidden cause, and is no more: See Physic beg the Stagyrite's defence ! See Metaphysic call for aid on sense !
350 See Mystery to Mathematics fly; In vain! they gaze, turn giddy, rave, and die. Thy hand, great Dulness ! lets the curtain fall, And universal darkness buries all.
Enough! enough! the raptur'd Monarch cries; And thro’ the ivory gate the vision fies.