Poetry Explorer- Classic Contemporary Poetry, AN EPISTLE TO ROBERT NUGENT WITH PICTURE OF DR. SWIFT, SELECTION, by WILLIAM DUNKIN



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Classic and Contemporary Poetry

AN EPISTLE TO ROBERT NUGENT WITH PICTURE OF DR. SWIFT, SELECTION, by            
First Line: Hibernia's helicon is dry, / invention, wit and humour die
Last Line: Is but a shell without the gem.
Subject(s): Old Age; Portraits; Swift, Jonathan (1667-1745)


HIBERNIA'S Helicon is dry,
Invention, wit and humour die,
And what remains against the storm
Of malice, but an empty form?
The nodding ruins of a pile
That stood the bulwark of this isle;
In which the sisterhood was fixed
Of candid honour, truth unmixed,
Imperial reason, thought profound,
And charity, diffusing round
In cheerful rivulets the flow
Of fortune to the sons of woe.
Such once, my N[u]g[en]t, was thy Swift,
Endued with each exalted gift.
But, lo! the pure ethereal flame
Is darkened by a misty steam:
The balm exhausted breathes no smell,
The rose is withered ere it fell.
That godlike supplement of law,
That held the wicked world in awe,
And could the tide of faction stem,
Is but a shell without the gem.





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