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And playing wanton in the hall,
BORN 1709.--DIED 1788.
ROBERT CRAGGs was descended from the Nugents of Carlanstown, in the county of Westmeath, and was a younger son of Michael Nugent, by the daughter of Robert Lord Trimleston. In the year 1741, he was elected member of parliament for St. Mawes, in Cornwall; and, becoming attached to the party of the Prince of Wales, was appointed in 1747) comptroller of his Royal Highness's household. On the death of the Prince he made his peace with the court, and was named successively a lord of the treasury, one of the vice-treasurers of Ireland, and a lord of trade. In 1767 he was created Viscount Nugent and Baron Clare. He was twice married. His second wife, with whom he acquired a large fortune, was sister and heiress to Secretary Craggs, the friend of Addison.
His political character was neither independent nor eminent, except for such honours as the court could bestow; but we are told, that in some instances he stood forth as an advocate for the interests of Ireland. His zeal for the manufactures of his native island induced him, on one occasion, to present the Queen with a new-year's gift of Irish grogram, accompanied with a copy of verses; and it was wickedly alleged, that her Majesty had returned her thanks to the noble author for both his pieces of stuff
A volume of his poems was published, anonymously, by Dodsley in 1739. Lord Orford remarks, that “ he was one of those men of parts, whose dawn 6 was the brightest moment of a long life.” He was first known by a very spirited ode on his conversion from popery; yet he relapsed to the faith which he had abjured. On the circumstance of his re-conversion it is uncharitable to lay much stress against his memory. There have been instances of it in men, whom either church would have been proud to appropriate. But it cannot be denied, that his poem on Faith formed, at a late period of his life, an anti-climax to the first promise of his literary talents; and though he possessed abilities, and turned them to his private account, he rose to no public confidence as a statesman.
ODE TO WILLIAM PULTENEY, ESQ.
REMOTE from liberty and truth,
Drank error's poison'd springs, Taught by dark creeds and mystic law, Wrapt up in reverential awe,
I bow'd to priests and kings.
Soon reason dawn'd, with troubled sight
Afflicted and afraid,
Along the dubious shade.
Restless I roam’d, when from afar
Sends forth a steady ray.
Locke spreads the realms of day.
Now warm'd with noble Sidney's page,
Now wrapt in Plato's dream,
And trace the flatt'ring scheme.
But soon the beauteous vision flies;
Corruption's direful train:
And senates slaves to gain.
On some immortal plan;
Of empire and of man.
What though the good, the brave, the wise,
To break th' eternal doom !
Yet perish'd fated Rome,
To swell some future tyrant's pride,
On Gallia's smiling shores;
While rapine wastes her stores.
Yet glorious is the great design,
To prop a nation's frame.
If crush'd beneath the sacred weight,
Shall tell the patriot's name.
ODE TO MANKIND.
Is there, or do the schoolmen dream?
The delegate of heav'n,
every realm o'er sea and land,
Then say, what signs this god proclaim?
A throne his hallow'd shrine ?
Strange proofs of pow'r divine !
If service due from human kind,
Can form a sov'reign's claim :
Ye ideots, blind and lame!
Superior virtue, wisdom, might,
So reason must conclude: