Fops to Folly, Rakes to Sin

In Vain my Methodist, brave Herbert, cried,
And whin’d, and wrote, pretended, pray’d, and lied,
In vain my Shaftsbury, to his master true,
Dread Humble bee! o’er burrs and thistles flew;
Incupped, and ravished with the fussful noise,
To praise the wondrous flowers, he rais’d his voice,
Of nature, beauty, dream’d and humm’d amain,
And sung himself, and buzz’d at truth, in vain.
Ah Bolingbroke, how well thy tatter’d robe,
Poor, Bedlam king of learning’s little globe!
Amus’d thy fancy? He, with glory fir’d,
Myself in miniature! to heaven aspir’d
For fame, his heaven, thro’ falshood’s realms he ran,
And wish’d, and watch’d, and toil’d, and hop’d, in vain,
Misread, miswrote, misquoted, misapplied,
Yet fail’d of fame, and miss’d the skies, beside.
In views, in pride, in fate, conjoin’d with me,
Even Satan’s self shall drop a tear for thee.
My leaders these; yet Satan boasts his subs,
His Tolands, Tindals, Collinses, and Chubbs,
Morgans and Woolstons, names of lighter worth,
That stand, on falshood’s list, for &c.
That sworn to me, to vice and folly given,
At truth and virtue growl’d, and bark’d at heaven.
Not men, ’tis true, yet manlings oft they won,
Against their God help’d blockheads oft to fun,
Help’d fops to folly, and help’d rakes to sin,
And marr’d all sway, by mocking sway divine.
My list of authors too they help’d to count,
As cyphers eke the decimal amount.
As writers too they profer’d useful aid
Believ’d unseen, and reverenc’d though unread.
Against their foe no proof my sons desire,
No reasoning canvass and no sense require.

Timothy Dwight: The Triumph of Infidelity (1788)

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