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Till, hours elapsing ere the Book be won,
It proves at last—an old Decameron!
Then Roxburgh's musty tomes and scurvy trials,
with all the N ewgate scraps from Seven Dials,
Can fetch their hundreds, as a set complete
Of ballad prints, that swarm in ev'ry street.
Yet these but serve, in easier flow, to guide
Thro' varied channels Fortune's endless tide, 890
In wooden types, the idly learned Sage
May trace the follies of a greener age;
CIbe prou#ptable Bohe for (the heir to the Duke of Roxburgh and) oane's $ouie, called the Tjagtpginge of 500t's Toisuren, is sold for £140. I. B.
We should not greatly admire that well-known sacrifice made by the early converts to Christianity, if the books they committed to the flames had not more intrinsic value than such contemptible trash:-if they Were not more truly worth 50,000 pieces of
And feudal Systems in their zenith see,
Degrading Law, to honor Chivalry.
Not for such themes the modern Bard may claim
Praise from the living, from the future—fame!
Majestic Spenser's once enchanting lays
Yield to the measures of our lighter days;
And Dryden's fame had scarce suffic'd to save
His promis'd “Arthur” from an early grave: 900
Tho' still one Minstrel moulds the antique rhyme
Tor Elfin prowess in the “ olden time;”
Apes Border doggrel, scorns poetic laws,
And courts the bubble of misplaced applause.
But that applause must ebb as well as rise, 905
The impulse ceases and the bubble flies.
Like Spenser's soon may be the fate of Scott,
Prais'd by one age, and by the next—forgot!
Tor what but dark Oblivion can await
Those idle fictions of romantic state, 910
Where savage Priests, from horrid compact bred,
Offspring at once of living and of dead,
Duergar's, Da'inshi’s, and Felon Sows,
And Pigmies, trembling 'neath a Wizard's blows,
Are rais'd on ev'ry wretched, weak pretence, 915
To shock the reason and confound the sense.
But if to please and to instruct were one,
If num’rous beauties might for faults atone,
Who can portray with juster, bolder pen,
The rock, the stream, the mountain, and the glen,
And all the wonders of that northern clime,
Where Nature reigns, unbounded and sublime :
Who can so well conflicting passions trace,
As changing forms upon a mirror's face;
Bid Truth and Feeling in his strains combine, 925
And thrilling Horror “live along the line?”
Then, Scott! so often warn'd, let judgment plead,
Nqr Monkish Bards thy truer taste mislead;
Leave Lindesay and the Rhymer, by themselves
To rot forgotten on the mouldering shelves; 930
Fly from the circle, which a wizard age
Has trac'd around thy now neglected page;
Exert that Genius which would paint, at best,
The rude commotions in a robber's breast,
A nobler path of Fancy to design, 935
And make our Reason as our Passions- thine!
Forgot the errors” of his earlier days,
His prurient page and Aristippian lays,
Moore, too, again may wake the pow'rs divine
That form'd his soft, but too licentious line: 940
His Country's Poet, to a blameless theme
Restrict the wand'rings of his fervid dream;
* Sera nunquam estad bonos mores via,
Quem paenitet peccasse, paene est innocens.