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These days! where e'en th' extravagance of poetry

Is at a loss for figures to express Men's folly, whimsies, and inconstancy, And by a faint description makes them less. Then tell us what is Fame, where shall we search

for it? Look where exalted Virtue and Religion sit,

Enthron’d with heavenly Wit!

Look where you see
The greatest scorn of learned vanity !

(And then how much a nothing is mankind ! Whose reason is weighed down by popular air,

Who, by that, vainly talks of baffling death;
And hopes to lengthen life by a transfusion of

Which yet whoe'er examines right will find
To be an art as vain as bottling up of wind !)
And when you find out these, believe true Fame is

there, Far above all reward, yet to which all is due : And this, ye great unknown ! is only known in


The juggling sea-god, when by chance trepann'd
By some instructed querist sleeping on the sand,

Impatient of all answers, straight became
A stealing brook, and strove to creep away

Into his native sea,
Vext at their follies, murmur'd in his stream;
But disappointed of his fond desire,
Would vanish in a pyramid of fire.
This surly slippery God, when he design'd

To furnish his escapes,
Ne'er borrow'd more variety of shapes

you to please and satisfy mankind,

And seem (almost) transform'd to water, fame, and

air, So well you answer all phenomena there : Though madmen and the wits, philosophers, and

fools, With all that factious or enthusiastic dotards dream, And all the incoherent jargon of the schools; Though all the fumes of fear, hope, love, and

shame, Contrive to shock your minds with many a senseless

doubt; Doubts where the Delphic God would grope in

norance and night, The God of learning and of light Would want a God himself to help him out.

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Philosophy, as it before us lies,
Seems to have borrow'd some ungrateful taste
Of doubts, impertinence, and niceties,

From every age through which it pass'd,
But always with a stronger relish of the last.

This beauteous queen, by Heaven design'd

To be the great original For man to dress and polish his uncourtly mind, In what mock habits have they put her since the

fall! More oft in fools and madmen's hands than sages,

She seems a medley of all ages,
With a huge farthingale to swell her fustian stuff,

A new commode, a topknot, and a ruff,
Her face patch'd o'er with modern pedantry,

With a long sweeping train
Of comments and disputes, ridiculous and vain,

All of old cut with a new dye:
How soon have you restor'd her charms,

And rid her of her lumber and her books,
Drest her again genteel and neat,

And rather tight than great!
How fond we are to court her to our arms?

How much of heaven is in her naked looks!

Thus the deluding Muse oft blinds me to her ways,
And ev'n my very thoughts transfers
And chạnges all to beauty and the praise

Of that proud tyrant sex of hers.
The rebel Muse, alas ! takes part,

But with my own rebellious heart,
And you with fatal and immortal wit conspire

To fan th' unhappy fire.
Cruel unknown ! what is it you

intend? Ah ! could you, could you hope a poet for your

friend! Rather forgive what my first transport said: May all the blood, which shall by woman's scorn

be shed, Lie upon you and on your children's head! For

you (ah! did I think I e'er should live to see
The fatal time when that could be !)
Have ev'n increas'd their pride and cruelty.
Woman seems now above all vanity grown,
Still boasting of her great unknown
Platonic champions, gain’d without one female wile,

Or the vast charges of a smile;
Which 'tis a shame to see how much of late

You've taught the covetous wretches to o'errate, And which they've now the consciences to weigh

In the same balance with our tears,
And with such scanty wages pay
The bondage and the slavery of years.

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Let the vain sex dream on; the empire comes from

And had they common generosity,

They would not use thus.
Well—though you've rais'd her to this high

Ourselves are rais'd as well as she ;
And, spite of all that they or you can do,
'Tis pride and happiness enough to me,
Still to be of the same exalted sex with


Alas, how fleeting and how vain,
Is ev'n the nobler man, our learning and our wit!

I sigh whene'er I think of it:
As at the closing of an unhappy scene

Of some great king and conqueror's death,

When the sad melancholy Muse
Stays but to catch his utmost breath.
I grieve, this nobler work most happily begun
So quickly and so wonderfully carry'd on,
May fall at last to interest, folly, and abuse.

There is a noontide in our lives,

Which still the sooner it arrives, Although we boast our winter sun looks bright, And foolishly are glad to see it at its height, Yet so much sooner comes the long and gloomy

night. No conquest ever yet begun, And by one mighty hero carried to its height, E'er flourish'd under a successor or a son; It lost some mighty pieces through all hands it past, And vanish'd to an empty title in the last. For, when the animating mind is fed (Which nature never can retain,

Nor e'er call back again) The body, though gigantic, lies all cold and dead.

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And thus undoubtedly 'twill fare

With what unhappy men shall dare
To be successors to these great unknown,

On Learning's high establish'd throne.

Censure, and Pedantry, and Pride, Numberless nations, stretching far and wide, Shall (I foresee it) soon with Gothic swarms come

forth From Ignorance's universal North, And with blind rage break all this peaceful govern

Yet shall these traces of your wit remain,

Like a just map, to tell the vast extent
Of conquest in your short and happy reign :

And to all future mankind shew

How strange a paradox is true,
That men who liy'd and died without a name
Are the chief heroes in the sacred list of fame.

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