Poetry Explorer- Classic Contemporary Poetry, EPILOGUE TO THE SATIRES: DIALOGUE 1, by ALEXANDER POPE



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EPILOGUE TO THE SATIRES: DIALOGUE 1, by             Poet's Biography
First Line: Not twice a twelvemonth you appear in print
Last Line: Show there was one who held it in disdain.
Subject(s): Poetry & Poets


Fr. Not twice a twelvemonth you appear in Print,
And when it comes, the Court see nothing in't.
You grow correct that once with Rapture writ,
And are, besides, too Moral for a Wit.
Decay of Parts, alas! we all must feel --
Why now, this moment, don't I see you steal?
'Tis all from Horace: Horace long before ye
Said, 'Tories call'd him Whig, and Whigs a Tory.'
And taught his Romans, in much better metre,
'To laugh at Fools who put their trust in Peter.'
But Horace, Sir, was delicate, was nice;
Bubo observes, he lash'd no sort of Vice:
Horace would say, Sir Billy serv'd the Crown,
Blunt could do Bus'ness, H--ggins knew the Town,
In Sappho touch the Failing of the Sex,
In rev'rend Bishops note some small Neglects,
And own, the Spaniard did a waggish thing,
Who cropt our Ears, and sent them to the King.
His sly, polite, insinuating stile
Could please at Court, and make AUGUSTUS smile:

An artful Manager, that crept between
His Friend and Shame, and was a kind of Screen.
But 'faith your very Friends will soon be sore;
Patriots there are, who wish you'd jest no more --
And where's the Glory? 'twill be only thought
The Great man never offer'd you a Groat.
Go see Sir ROBERT --
P. See Sir ROBERT! -- hum --
And never laugh -- for all my life to come?
Seen him I have, but in his happier hour
Of Social Pleasure, ill-exchang'd for Pow'r;
Seen him, uncumber'd with the Venal tribe,
Smile without Art, and win without a Bribe.
Would he oblige me? let me only find,
He does not think me what he thinks mankind.
Come, come, at all I laugh He laughs, no doubt,
The only diff'rence is, I dare laugh out.

F. Why yes: with Scripture still you may be free;
A Horse-laugh, if you please, at Honesty;
A Joke on JEKYL, or some odd Old Whig,
Who never chang'd his Principle, or Wig:

A Patriot is a Fool in ev'ry age,
Whom all Lord Chamberlains allow the Stage:
These nothing hurts; they keep their Fashion still,
And wear their strange old Virtue as they will.

If any ask you, 'Who's the Man, so near
His Prince, that writes in Verse, and has his Ear?'
Why answer LYTTELTON, and I'll engage
The worthy Youth shall ne'er be in a rage:
But were his Verses vile, his Whisper base,
You'd quickly find him in Lord Fanny's case.
Sejanus, Wolsey, hurt not honest FLEURY,
But well may put some Statesmen in a fury.

Laugh then at any, but at Fools or Foes;
These you but anger, and you mend not those:
Laugh at your Friends, and if your Friends are sore,
So much the better, you may laugh the more.
To Vice and Folly to confine the jest,
Sets half the World, God knows, against the rest;
Did not the Sneer of more impartial men
At Sense and Virtue, balance all agen.
Judicious Wits spread wide the Ridicule,
And charitably comfort Knave and Fool.

P. Dear Sir, forgive the Prejudice of Youth:
Adieu Distinction, Satire, Warmth, and Truth!
Come harmless Characters that no one hit,
Come Henley's Oratory, Osborn's Wit!
The Honey dropping from Favonio's tongue,
The Flow'rs of Bubo, and the Flow of Y--ng!

The gracious Dew of Pulpit Eloquence;
And all the well-whipt Cream of Courtly Sense,
That first was H--vy's, F--'s next, and then
The S--te's, and then H--vy's once agen.
O come, that easy Ciceronian stile,
So Latin, yet so English all the while,
As, tho' the Pride of Middleton and Bland,
All Boys may read, and Girls may understand!
Then might I sing without the least Offence,
And all I sung should be the Nation's Sense:
Or teach the melancholy Muse to mourn,
Hang the sad Verse on CAROLINA's Urn,
And hail her passage to the Realms of Rest,
All Parts perform'd, and all her Children blest!
So -- Satire is no more -- I feel it die --
No Gazeteer more innocent than I!
And let, a God's-name, ev'ry Fool and Knave
Be grac'd thro' Life, and flatter'd in his Grave.

F. Why so? if Satire know its Time and Place,
You still may lash the Greatest -- in Disgrace:
For Merit will by turns forsake them all;
Would you know when? exactly when they fall.
But let all Satire in all Changes spare
Immortal S--k, and grave De--re!

Silent and soft, as Saints remove to Heav'n,
All Tyes dissolv'd, and ev'ry Sin forgiv'n,
These, may some gentle, ministerial Wing
Receive, and place for ever near a King!
There, where no Passion, Pride, or Shame transport,
Lull'd with the sweet Nepenthe of a Court;
There, where no Father's Brother's, Friend's Disgrace
Once break their Rest, or stir them from their Place;
But past the Sense of human Miseries,
All Tears are wip'd for ever from all Eyes;
No Cheek is known to blush, no Heart to throb,
Save when they lose a Question, or a Job.

P. Good Heav'n forbid, that I shou'd blast their Glory,
Who know how like Whig-Ministers to Tory,
And when three Sov'reigns dy'd, could scarce be vext,
Consid'ring what a Gracious Prince was next.
Have I in silent wonder seen such things
As Pride in Slaves, and Avarice in Kings,
And at a Peer, or Peeress shall I fret,
Who starves a Sister, or forswears a Debt?
Virtue, I grant you, is an empty boast;
But shall the Dignity of Vice be lost?
Ye Gods! shall Cibber's Son, without rebuke
Swear like a Lord? or a Rich out-whore a Duke?
A Fav'rite's Porter with his Master vie,
Be brib'd as often, and as often lie?
Shall Ward draw Contracts with a Statesman's skill?
Or Japhet pocket, like his Grace, a Will?
Is it for Bond or Peter (paltry Things!)
To pay their Debts or keep their Faith like Kings?
If Blount dispatch'd himself, he play'd the man,
And so may'st Thou, Illustrious Passeran!
But shall a Printer, weary of his life,
Learn from their Books to hang himself and Wife?
This, this, my friend, I cannot, must not bear;
Vice thus abus'd, demands a Nation's care;
This calls the Church to deprecate our Sin,
And hurls the Thunder of the Laws on Gin.

Let modest Foster, if he will, excell
Ten Metropolitans in preaching well;
A simple Quaker, or a Quaker's Wife,
Out-do Landaffe, in Doctrine -- yea, in Life;
Let humble ALLEN, with an aukward Shame,
Do good by stealth, and blush to find it Fame.
Virtue may chuse the high or low Degree,
'Tis just alike to Virtue, and to me;
Dwell in a Monk, or light upon a King,
She's still the same, belov'd, contented thing.
Vice is undone, if she forgets her Birth,
And stoops from Angels to the Dregs of Earth:
But 'tis the Fall degrades her to a Whore;
Let Greatness own her, and she's mean no more:
Her Birth, her Beauty, Crowds and Courts confess,
Chaste Matrons praise her, and grave Bishops bless:
In golden Chains the willing World she draws,
And hers the Gospel is, and hers the Laws:
Mounts the Tribunal, lifts her scarlet head,
And sees pale Virtue carted in her stead!
Lo! at the Wheels of her Triumphal Car,
Old England's Genius, rough with many a Scar,
Dragg'd in the Dust! his Arms hang idly round,
His Flag inverted trails along the ground!
Our Youth, all liv'ry'd o'er with foreign Gold,
Before her dance; behind her crawl the Old!
See thronging Millions to the Pagod run,
And offer Country, Parent, Wife, or Son!
Hear her black Trumpet thro' the Land proclaim,
That 'Not to be corrupted is the Shame.'
In Soldier, Churchman, Patriot, Man in Pow'r,
'Tis Av'rice all, Ambition is no more!
See, all our Nobles begging to be Slaves!
See, all our Fools aspiring to be Knaves!
The Wit of Cheats, the Courage of a Whore,
Are what ten thousand envy and adore.
All, all look up, with reverential Awe,
On Crimes that scape, or triumph o'er the Law:
While Truth, Worth, Wisdom, daily they decry --
'Nothing is Sacred now but Villany.'

Yet may this Verse (if such a Verse remain)
Show there was one who held it in disdain.





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