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Athens, the eye of Greece, mother of arts
And eloquence, native to famous wits
Or hospitable, in her sweet recess,
City or suburban, studious walks and shades.
See there the olive grove of Academe,
Plato's retirement; where the Attick bird
Trills her thick-warbled notes the summer long;
There flowery hill Hymettus, with the sound
Of bees' industrious murmur, oft invites
To studious musing; there Ilissus rolls
His whispering stream : within the waļls, then view
The schools of ancient sages; his, who bred
Great Alexander to subdue the world,
Lyceum there, and painted Stoa next:
There shalt thou hear and learn the secret power .
Of harmony, in tones and numbers hit
By voice or hand; and various-measur’d verse,
Æolian charms and Dorian lyrick odes,
And his who gave them breath, but higher sung,
Blind Melesigenes, thence Homer call’d,
Whose poem Phæbus challeng’d for his own:
Thence what the lofty grave tragedians taught
In Chorus or ļambick, teachers best
Of moral prudence, with delight receiv'd
In brief sententious precepts, while they treat
Of fate, and chance, and change in human life,
High actions and high passions best describing :
Thence to the famous orators repair,

Those ancient, whose resistless eloquence Wielded at will that fierce democratic, Shook the arsenal, and fulmin'd over Greece To Macedon and Artaxerxes' throne : To sage Philosophy next lend thine ear, From Heaven descended to the low-roof'd house Of Socrates; see there his tenement, Whom well inspir’d the oracle pronounc'd Wisest of men; from whose mouth issued forth Melliflous streams, that water'd all the schools Of Academicks old and new, with those Surnam’d Peripateticks, and the sect Epicurean and the Stoick severe; These here revolve, or, as thou lik’st, at home, Till time mature thee to a kingdom's weight; These rules will render thee a king complete Within thyself, much more with empire join'd.

To whom our Saviour sagely thus replied. Think not but that I know these things, or think I know them not; not therefore am I short Of knowing what I ought : he who receives Light from above, from the fountain of light, No other doctrine needs, though granted true; But these are false, or little else but dreams, Conjectures, fancies, built on nothing firm. The first and wisest of them all profess'd To know this only, that he nothing knew; The next to fabling fell, and smooth conceits;

A third sort doubted all things, though plain sense;
Others in virtue plac'd felicity,
But virtue join’d with riches and long life;
In corporal pleasure he, and careless ease;
The Stoick last in philosophick pride,
By him call’d virtue; and his virtuous man,
Wise, perfect in himself, and all possessing
Equal to God, oft shames not to prefer,
As fearing God nor man, contemning all
Wealth, pleasure, pain or torment, death and life,
Which, when he lists, he leaves, or boasts he can,
For all his tedious talk is but vain boast,
Or subtle shifts conviction to evade.
Alas! what can they teach, and not mislead,
Ignorant of themselves, of God much more,
And how the world began, and how man fell
Degraded by himself, on grace depending;
Much of the soul they talk, but all awry,
And in themselves seek virtue, and to themselves
All glory arrogate, to God give none;
Rather accuse him under usual names,
Fortune and Fate, as one regardless quite
Of mortal things. Who therefore seeks in these
True wisdom, finds her not;ʻor by delusion,
Far worse, her false resemblance only meets,
An empty cloud. However, many books,
Wise men have said, are wearisome; who reads.
Incessantly, and to his reading brings not

A spirit and judgment equal or superiour, .
(And what he brings what needs he elsewhere seek?)
Uncertain and unsettled still remains,
Deep vers’d in books, and shallow in himself,
Crude or intoxicate, collecting toys
And trifles for choice matters, worth a sponge;
As childeren gathering pebbles on the shore.
Or, if I would delight my private hours
With musick or with poem, where, so soon
As in our native language, can I find
That solace ? All our law and story strew'd
With hymns, our psalms with artful terms inscrib’d,
Our Hebrew songs and harps, in Babylon
That pleas’d so well our vịctors' ear, declare
That rather Greece from us these arts deriv’d;
Ill imitated, while they loudest sing
The vices of their Deities, and their own,
In fable, hymn, or song, so personating
Their Gods ridiculous, and themselves past shame.
Remove their swelling epithets, thick laid
As varnish on a harlot's cheek, the rest,
Thin sown with aught of profit or delight,
Will far be found unworthy to compare
With Sion's songs, to all true tastes excelling,
Where God is prais'd aright, and God-like men,
The Holiest of Holies, and his Saints,
(Such are from God inspir’d, not such from thee,)
Unless where moral virtue is express’d

By light of Nature, not in all quite lost.
Their orators thou then extoll’st, as those
The top of eloquence; statists indeed,
And lovers of their country, as may seem;
But herein to our prophets far beneath,
As men divinely taught, and better teaching
The solid rules of civil government,
In their majestic unaffected style,
Than all the oratory of Greece and Rome.
In them is plainest taught, and easiest learnt,
What makes a nation happy, and keeps it so,
What ruins kingdoms, and lays cities flat;
These only with our law best form a king.

So spake the Son of God; but Satan, now
Quite at a loss, (for all his darts were spent,)
Thus to our Saviour with stern brow replied.

Since neither wealth, nor honour, arms nor arts, Kingdom nor empire pleases thee, nor aught By me propos’d in life contemplative Or active, tended on by glory or fame, What dost thou in this world? The wilderness For thee is fittest place ; I found thee there, And thither will return thee; yet remember What I foretel thee, soon thou shalt have cause To wish thou never hadst rejected thus Nicely or cautiously, my offer'd aid, Which would have set thee in short time with ease On David's throne, or throne of all the world,

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