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(This Epistle was originally written in the year 1715, wher Mr. Addison intended to publish his book of Medals; it was some time before he was Secretary of State; but not published till Mri Tickel's edition of his works : at which time the verses on Mr. Craggs, which conclude the poem, vere added, viz. in 1720.)
SEE the wild waste of all-devouring years !
How Rome her own sad sepulchre appears ! With nodding arches, broken temples spread ; The very tombs now vanish'd like their dead ! Imperial wonders rais’d on nations spoil'd, 5 Where, mix'd with slaves, the groaning martyr toild: Huge theatres, that now unpeopled woods, Now drain’d a distant country of her floods : Fanes, which admiring Gods with pride survey, Statues of men, scarce less alive than they ! Some felt the silent stroke of mould'ring age, Some hostile fury, some religious rage. Barbarian blindness, Christian zeal conspire, And Papal piety, and Gothic fire. Perhaps, by its own ruins sav'd from flame,
15 Some bury'd marble half préserves a name ; That name the learn'd with fierce disputes pursue, And give to Titus old Vespasian's due.
Ambition sigh'd : She found it vain to trust The faithless column, and the crumbling bust : Huge moles, whose shadow stretch'd from shore to
shore, Their ruins perish'd, and their place no more!
Convinc'd, she now contracts her vast design,
The medal, faithful to its charge of fame,
40 Poor Vadius, long with learned spleen devour'd, Can taste no pleasure since his shield was scour'd: And Curio, restless by the fair one's side, Sighs for an Otho, and neglects his bride.
Theirs is the vanity, the learning thine : 45 Touch'd by thy hand, again Rome's glories shine ; Her gods, and godlike heroes rise to view, And all her faded garlands bloom a-new.
VER. 41. Poor Vadius,] Vadius was Dr. Woodward.
Nor blush, these studies thy regard engage;
50 The verse and sculpture bore an equal part, And art reflected images to art.
Oh when shall Britain, conscious of her claim,
60 Or in fair series laurell’d bards be shown, A Virgil there, and here an Addison. Then shall thy CRAGGS (and let me call him mine) On the cast ore, another Pollio, shine; With aspect open, shall erect his head, And round the orb in lasting notes be read, “ Statesman, yet friend to truth! of soul sincere, “ In action faithful, and in honour clear ; « Who broke no promise, serv'd no private end, “ Who gain'd no title, and who lost no friend ; 70 « Ennobled by himself, by all approv'd, “ And prais'd unenvy'd, by the Muse he lov'd."