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-“ Nunquam libertas gratior exstat Quam sub Rege pio.”
FIRST PRINTED IN THE YEAR 1811.
Bold is the man who, with satiric rage,
Aims to reform a weak and vicious age;
Who, flush'd with honest anger, dare complain,
And shew he holds its vices in disdain :
For when corruption bears unbridled sway,
When tyrants rule, and willing slaves obey,
Some hireling, black apostate, lost to shame,
Will swear reproof and libel are the same ;
And gravely preach, with other wondrous things,
That sin is no disgrace in Lords and Kings.
Hail useful Satire ! whose inspiring strain Shall lash the world, when parsons preach in vain! When justice sleeps, and sets the villain free, Expiring Virtue calls for aid to thee ! Yet say what crimes, in this regen'rate age, Demand thy censure and provoke thy rage, What need of Satire to reform the times, So great our virtues, and so small our crimes ?
What contemplative mind but now deplores Once favor'd Israel's desolated shores?
Sees Rome's proud empire to destruction hurld,
The seat of arts, the mistress of the world,
Where god-like wisdom flow'd from Cato's tongue,
Where Cæsar triumph’d, and where Virgil sung?
What mind so uninform’d that need be told
How great, how blest was Babylon of old ?
What now remains to meet the curious eye?
domes in scatter'd fragments lie;
In vain the traveller would seek to trace
The artist's breathing form, the sculptor's grace,
The spoiler's hand hath marr’d the beauties there,
Which only faintly tell what once they were.
Did guilt bring wrath on Israel's chosen race,
What claim have we on Heav'n's redeeming grace?
Did Jewish priests blaspheme the Saviour's name?
Hear our blasphemers too! and blush for shame.
Did justice cry aloud, unknown, unheard-
See worth untimely crush'd, and vice preferrd-
Did sin bring Israel's glory to the tomb —
Hear Britain, hear, and tremble for thy doom !
Long hath th' Eternal blest thy favor'd land,
And pour'd down mercies with a lib'ral hand;
Still art thou spar'd, so fallen and deprav'd,
To seek his grace, and if thou wilt, be sav'd !
Grac'd as thou art with Learning's ample store, And justly proud of Greek and Roman lore,
Tho' crown'd with science bright, that lifts her eye
To view the various wonders of the sky,
Thy glories are eclips'd, or vainly shine,
If truth forsake thee with her light divine.
Reflect, if still in wilful error blind,
And let the thought sink deep within thy mind,
Thy stubborn pride contemn the warning voice,
And bid thee vaunt and glory in thy choice;
How doubly lost thy nation shall remain,
Blest with the gospel's sound, but blest in vain-
Perhaps e’en now, to consummate thy woe,
Heav'n meditates the long-suspended blow,
To bury all thy triumphs in the dust,
For God, tho' merciful, will still be just.
Spain! thou hast felt the truth of this decreeNow hath the sword of terror wasted thee; That desolating sword thy sons of yore, To Indian plains in savage triumph bore ! Long hath th' eternal arm withheld the blow, Yet Heav'n, tho’ late, hath lain thine honours low; While Vengeance, prompt at retribution's call, Laughs at thy shame, and glories in thy fall.
Well pleas'd we view what providence ordains, And grateful own the God of justice reigns ! He saw thee act the robber's, murd'rer's part,