From mental mists to purge a nation's eyes;
To animate the weak, unite the wise;
To trace the deep infection, that prevades
The crowded town, and taints the rural shades;
To mark how wide extends the mighty waste
O'er the fair realms of Science, Learning, Taste;
To drive and scatter all the brood of lies,
And chase the varying falsehood as it flies;
The long arrears of ridicule to pay,
To drag reluctant Dulness back to day;
Much yet remains.--To you these themes belong,
Ye favor'd sons of virtue and of song!
Say, is the field too narrow? Are the times
Barren of folly, and devoid of crimes?

Yet, venial vices, in a milder age,
Could rouse the warmth of Pope's satiric rage;
The doting miser, and the lavish heir,
The follies, and the foibles of the fair,
Sir Job, Sir Balaam, and old Euclio's thrift,
And Sappho's diamonds, with her dirty shift,
Blunt, Charteris, Hopkins;--meaner subjects fired
The keen-eyed Poet;--while the Muse inspired
Her ardent child--entwining as he sate,
His laurell'd chaplet with the thorns of hate.

But say,--indignant does the Muse retire,
Her shrine deserted, and extinct its fire?
No pious hand to feed the sacred flame,
No raptured soul a Poet's charge to claim.

Bethink thee (Gifford); when some future age
Shall trace the promise of thy playful page;--
"[1]The hand which brush'd a swarm of fools away,
"Should rouse to grasp a more reluctant prey!"--
Think then, will pleaded indolence excuse
The tame secession of thy languid Muse?

Ah! where is now that promise? Why so long
Sleep the keen shafts of satire and of song?
Oh! come with Taste and Virtue at thy side,
With ardent zeal inflamed, and patriot pride;
With keen poetic glance direct the blow,
And empty all thy quiver on the foe:
No pause--no rest--till weltering on the ground
The poisonous hydra lies, and pierced with many a wound.

Thou too!--the nameless Bard[2],--whose honest zeal
For law, for morals, for the public weal,
Pours down impetuous on thy country's foes
The stream of verse, and many-languaged prose;
Thou too!--though oft thy ill-advised dislike
The guiltless head with random censure strike,--
Though quaint allusions, vague and undefined,
Play faintly round the ear, but mock the mind;
Through the mix'd mass yet taste and learning shine,
And manly vigour stamps the nervous line;
And patriot warmth the generous rage inspires;
And wakes and points the desultory fires!

Yet more remain unknown: for who can tell
What bashful genius, in some rural cell,
As year to year, and day succeeds to day,
In joyless leisure wastes his life away?
In him the flame of early fancy shone;
His genuine worth his old companions own;
In childhood and in youth their chief confess'd,
His master's pride, his pattern to the rest.
Now far aloof retiring from the strife
Of busy talents and of active life,
As from the loop-holes of retreat, he views
Our stage, verse, pamphlets, politics, and news,
He loathes the world,--or, with reflection sad,
Concludes it irrecoverably mad;
Of taste, of learning, morals, all bereft,
No hope, no prospect to redeem it, left.

Awake! for shame! or ere thy nobler sense
Sink in the oblivious pool of indolence!
Must wit be found alone on falsehood's side,
Unknown to truth, to virtue unallied?
Arise! nor scorn thy country's just alarms;
Wield in her cause thy long neglected arms;
Of lofty satire pour the indignant strain,
Leagued with her friends, and ardent to maintain
'Gainst Learning's, Virtue's, Truth's, Religion's foes,
A kingdom's safety, and the world's repose.

If Vice appal thee,--if thou view with awe
Insults that brave, and crimes that 'scape the law;--
Yet may the specious bastard brood, which claim
A spurious homage under Virtue's name,
Sprung from that parent of ten thousand crimes,
The new Philosophy of modern times,--
Yet, these may rouse thee!--With unsparing hand,
Oh, lash the vile impostors from the land!

First, stern Philanthropy:--not she, who dries
The orphan's tears, and wipes the widow's eyes;
Not she, who sainted Charity her guide,
Of British bounty pours the annual tide:--
But French Philanthropy;--whose boundless mind
Glows with the general love of all mankind;--
Philanthropy,--beneath whose baneful sway
Each patriot passion sinks, and dies away.

Taught in her school t'imbibe thy mawkish strain
Condorcet filter'd through the dregs of Paine,
Each pert adept disowns a Briton's part,
And plucks the name of England from his heart.

What, shall, a name, a word, a sound controul
The aspiring thought, and cramp the expansive soul?
Shall one half-peopled Island's rocky round
A love, that glows for all Creation, bound?
And social charities contract the plan
Framed for thy Freedom, universal man?
--No--through the extended globe his feelings run
As broad and general as the unbounded sun!
No narrow bigot he;--his reason'd view
Thy interests, England, rank with thine, Peru!
France at our doors, he sees no danger nigh,
But heaves for Turkey's woes the impartial sigh;
A steady Patriot of the World alone,
The Friend of every Country--but his own.

Next comes a gentler Virtue.--Ah! beware
Lest the harsh verse her shrinking softness scare,
Visit her not too roughly;--the warm sigh
Breathes on her lips;--the tear-drop gems her eye.
Sweet Sensibility, who dwells enshrined
In the fine foldings of the feeling mind;
With delicate Mimosa's sense endued,
Who shrinks instinctive from a hand too rude;
Or, like the Anagallis, prescient flower,
Shuts her soft petals at the approaching shower.
Sweet child of sickly Fancy!--her of yore
From her loved France Rousseau to exile bore;
And while midst lakes and mountains wild he ran,
Full of himself, and shunn'd the haunts of man,
Taught her o'er each lone vale and alpine steep
To lisp the story of his wrongs, and weep;
Taught her to cherish still in either eye,
Of tender tears a plentiful supply,
And pour them in her brooks that babbled by;--
--Taught by nice scale to meet her feelings strong,
False by degrees, and exquisitely wrong;--
--For the crush'd beetle first,--the widow'd dove,
And all the warbled sorrows of the grove;--
Next for poor suffering guilt;--and last of all,
For Parents, Friends, a king and Country's fall.

Mark her fair votaries, prodigal of grief,
With cureless pangs, and woes that mock relief,
Droop in soft sorrow[3] o'er a faded flower
O'er a dead jack-ass pour the pearly shower;--
But hear, unmoved, of Loire's ensanguined flood,
Choked up with slain;--of Lyons drench'd in blood;
Of crimes that blot the age, the world with shame,
Foul crimes, but sicklied o'er with Freedom's name;
Altars and thrones subverted, social life
Trampled to earth,--the husband from the wife,
Parent from child, with ruthless fury torn;--
Of talents, honour, virtue, wit, forlorn,
In friendless exile,--of the wise and good
Staining the daily scaffold with their blood.--
Of savage cruelties, that scare the mind,
The rage of madness with hell's lust combin'd--
Of hearts torn reeking from the mangled breast,--
They hear--and hope, that all is for the best.

Fond hope!--but Justice sanctifies the prayer--
Justice!--here, Satire, strike! 'twere sin to spare!
Not she in British Courts that takes her stand,
The dawdling balance dangling in her hand,
Adjusting punishments to fraud and vice,
With srupulous quirks, and disquisition nice--
But firm, erect, with keen reverted glance,
The avenging angel of regenerate France,
Who visits ancient sins on modern times,
And punishes the Pope for C├Žsar's crimes.[4]

Such is the liberal Justice which presides
In these our days, and modern patriot's guides;
Justice, whose blood-stain'd book one sole decree,
One statute fills--"The People shall be free."
Free by what means?--by folly, madness, guilt,
By bounteous rapines, blood in oceans spilt;
By confiscation, in whose sweeping toil