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An Heroic Epistle to the Right Honourable the Lord Craven (3rd Ed.)

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Too long have Britain’s sons with proud disdainSurvey’d the gay Patrician’s titled train,Their various merit scann’d with eye severe,Nor learn’d to know the peasant from the peer:At length the Gothic ignorance is o’er,And vulgar brows shall scowl on LORDS no more;Commons shall shrink at each ennobled nod,And ev’ry lordling shine a demigod:By CRAVEN taught, the humbler herd shall know,How high the Peerage, and themselves how low.Illustrious Chief, your eloquence divineShall raise the whole right honourable line;All shall with joy your bright example view,And love the tribe that boasts a son like you;While Liberty shall lead you to her throneWith jocund hand, and claim you for her own. When warm in youth, on Isis’ learned shore,You early listen’d to her sacred lore;Abhorr’d the dull confinement of the schools,Contemn’d their statutes, and despis’d their rules.Ev’n when to burst their bonds your ardor fail’d,And law, tyrannic law, at last prevail’d,Tho’ forc’d a while to bend beneath the yoke,Its weight your dauntless spirit never broke,Still rankled in your breast the fatal wound,Tho’ years had o’er it roll’d their circling round,On SCROPE, tho’ late, you rear’d your threat’ning arm,And shew’d the will without the pow’r to harm. With Freedom’s warmth, tho’ thus your bosom glow’d,From no licentious heat the ardour flow’dWhen peaceful leaders rul’d with gentle sway,Still were you first their mandates to obey;Tho’ Proctors, arm’d with all th’ insulting prideOf legal pow’r, your daring soul defy’d,Yet to the ruler of the festive bandYou bow’d, nor scorn’d the toast-master’s command;Obedient drank each penal draft of wine,And only fear’d a salt and water fine. So burn’d your youthful heart with Freedom’s flame,Such the fair dawning of your future fame;But when by time matur’d, the Peerage spreadIts dazzling lustre round your honor’d head,The sacred fire that warm’d before your breast,Blaz’d boldly forth to all mankind confess’d,Immortal Liberty with blooming charms,Woo’d you so strongly to her heavenly arms,So fierce your passion, that you could not bearAnother vot’ry should her favors share;For still your heart Othello’s plan approves,Nor keeps a corner in the thing it lovesFor others uses; those who madly braveAttack the rights you have, or think you have,Shall weep their rashness, that in luckless hour,Oppos’d th’ omnipotence of lordly pow’r.When SEYMOUR insolently dar’d invade,Manors by your possession sacred made,From feasts you deign’d to grace, you wip’d his name,And gave him o’er to infamy and shame:And when, tho’ late, he made a bold appealTo arms, from frowning Peers and fawning zeal,And dar’d attempt with sacrilegious sword,To offer equal combat to a LORD,Sudden your noble limbs your coursers bore,From Berkshire’s hills to Avon’s distant shore:And eager to preserve from foul disgrace,Th’ unsullied honors of a noble race,Rather than have it said you meanly stoodTo stain your faulchion with Plebeian blood,You yielded bravely to a harsher fate,And made submissions to the man you hate....