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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
(And then how much a nothing is mankind ! Whose reason is weighed down by popular air,
Who, by that, vainly talks of baffling death;
there, Far above all reward, yet to which all is due : And this, ye great unknown ! is only known in
Impatient of all answers, straight became
Into his native sea,
To furnish his escapes,
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.
From every age through which it pass'd,
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,
A new commode, a topknot, and a ruff,
With a long sweeping train
All of old cut with a new dye:
And rid her of her lumber and her books,
And rather tight than great!
How much of heaven is in her naked looks!
Of that proud tyrant sex of hers.
But with my own rebellious heart,
To fan th' unhappy fire.
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
Or the vast charges of a smile;
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,
Let the vain sex dream on; the empire comes from
They would not use thus.
I sigh whene'er I think of it:
Of some great king and conqueror's death,
When the sad melancholy Muse
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.
With what unhappy men shall dare
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
Like a just map, to tell the vast extent
And to all future mankind shew
How strange a paradox is true,