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RIGHT HON. HENRY FOX.
Written in August 1745.
Nec magis expressi vultus per ænea signa
Hor. Ep. 2, Lib. ii.
RARE, and more rare, my verses still appear,
To speak and charm in public, friend, is thine :
'Twas your desire (perhaps your flattery too) My verse, my fame, if any, springs from you;
, And here I pay my tribute where 'tis due. Your smiles were all my vanity requir’d, Your nod was all the fame that I desir'd ; All my ambition was, to gain your praise, And all my pleasure, you alone to please. Yet PRUDENCE will be whispering in my ear, (A croaking voice that I detest and hear; Whom anxious thoughts preceding still we find, And plenty with a niggard horn behind.) “Why will you write,” she cries, “ forsake the
Muse, Despise her gifts, her influence refuse; “ To me in all thy life, for once attend, “ Prudence to parts, would prove a useful friend. “ I know your wants, and offer you my aid; “ Which still you shun contemptuous and
** Pleas’d with the praise, some partial few may
give, “ The hate and envy of the rest, you live :
“ Write rashly on, regardless whom you hit, “And yield to Satire, when impell’d by wit.”
“ Cease Goddess, cease,” I cry, "I'll hear no “ I've ever been a rebel to thy power; [more, “ Your caution's right, your arguments are true, “ Th’advice is good, but 'tis unpleasant too. “. Vain are your toils, and fruitless is your aid, “Whene'er you strive to change what nature
made; “ Turn to your altars, on your vot’ries shine, « See Pelham ever kneeling at thy shrine. “ Thro' you at first, by slow degrees he rose, To you the zenith of his
owes; “ You taught him in your middle-way to steer,
Impartial, mod’rate, candid, to appear. “ Fearful of enmity, to friendship cold,
Cautiously frank, and timorously bold; “ And so observant never to offend “ A foe, he quite forgets to fix a friend. “ Long vers'd in politics, but poor in parts, “ The Courtier's tricks, but not the Statesman's “ His smile obedient to his purpose still, “ Some dirty compromise his utmost skill. “ In vain his own penurious soil he tilld, “ In vain he glean’d from Walpole's plenteous
field; “ In vain the exchequer robes around him flow, “ The mantle does not make the prophet now. “ Behind him close, behold Newcastle's* Grace, “ Haste in his step, and absence in his face; “ Who daily suppliant to thy temple goes, “ And courts the Goddess, as he courts his
foes. “ Yet, spite of all thy influence, all thy care, “ His prudence always deviates into fear; “ His natural gifts so low, he strives in vain “ To climb a height, that Dulness can attain ; “ Which Rushout reach'd, with long-opposing
tir'd, “ On which thy fav'rite, Wilmington, expir’d;
* Thomas Holles, Duke of Newcastle, Mr. Pelham's