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Prefers his fellow-grooms with much good sense, That he who dares, when she forbids, be grave,
Oh folly worthy of the nurse's lap,
Is it incredible, or can it seem
That man should love his Maker, and that fire, Till none but beasts acknowledge him a man. Warming his heart, should at his lips transpire!
Man's heart had been impenetrably sealed, Know then, and modestly let fall your eyes,
a soul, and bade him understand; You need his pardon, and provoke his rod:
The time is short, and there are souls on earth, What uses of his boon the Giver would.
Though future pain may serve for present mirth, The Mind, despatched upon her busy toil, Acquainted with the woes, that fear or shame, Should range where Providence has blessed the By fashion taught forbade them once to name, soil;
And, having felt the pangs you deem a jest, Visiting every flower with labour meet,
Have proved them truths too big to be expressed
It happened on a solemn eventide,
The scene of all those sorrows left behind,
Sought their own village, busied as they went Starts not aside from her Creator's plan; In musings worthy of the great event: The melody, that was at first designed
They spake of him they loved, of him whose life, To cheer the rude forefathers of mankind, Though blameless, had incurred perpetual strife, Is note for note delivered in our ears,
Whose deeds had left, in spite of hostile arts, In the last scene of her six thousand years. A deep memorial graven on their hearts. Yet Fashion, leader of a chattering train, The recollection, like a vein of ore, Whom man, for his own hurt, permits to reign, The farther traced, enriched them still the more; Who shifts and changes all things but his shape, They thought him, and they justly thought him, And would degrade her votary to an ape, The fruitful parent of abuse and wrong, Sent to do more than he appeared t' have done; Holds a usurped dominion o'er his tongue; T'exalt a people, and to place them high There sits and prompts him with his own disgrace, Above all else, and wondered he should die. Prescribes the theme, the tone, and the grimace, Ere yet they brought their journey to an end, And when accomplished in her wayward school,' A stranger joined them, courteous as a friend, Calls gentleman whom she has made a fool. And asked them with a kind, engaging air, 'Tis an unalterable fixed decree,
What their affliction was, and begged to share. That none could frame or ratify but she, Informed, he gathered up the broken thread, That heaven and hell, and righteousness and sin, And, truth and wisdom gracing all he said, Snares in his path, and foes that lurk within, Explained, illustrated, and searched so well God and his attributes (a field of day
The tender theme on which they chose to dwell, Where 'tis an angel's happiness to stray,) That, reaching home, The night, they said, is Fruits of his love and wonders of his might,
near, Be never named in ears esteemed polite.
We must not now be parted, sojourn here
The new acquaintance soon became a guest, Is sparkling wit the world's exclusive right?
Now theirs was converse, such as it behoves Religion curbs indeed its wanton play,
Well-what are ages and the lapse of time, Oh I have seen (nor hope perhaps in vain, Matched against truths, as lasting as sublime ? Ere life go down, to see such sights again) Can length of years on God himself exact ? A veteran warrior in the Chistian field, Or make that fiction, which was once a fact ? Who never saw the sword he could not wield; No-marble and recording brass decay, Grave without dullness, learned without pride, And, like the graver's memory, pass away; Exact, yet not precise, though meek, keen-eyed; The works of man inherit, as is just,
A man that would have foiled at their own play Their author's frailty, and return to dust: A dozen would-be’s of the modern day; But truth divine for ever stands secure,
Who, when occasion justitied its use, Its head is guarded, and its base is sure.
Had wit as bright as ready to produce, Fixed in the rolling flood of endless years,
Could fetch from records of an earlier age,
Or from philosophy's enlightened page,
There he was copious as old Greece or Rome, Whose wisdom, drawn from the deep well of life, His happy eloquence seemed there at home, Tastes of its healthful origin, and flows
Ambition not to shine or to excel, A Jordan for th' ablution of our woes,
But to treat justly what he loved so well. O days of heaven and nights of equal praise, It moves me more perhaps than folly ought, Serene and peaceful as those heavenly days, When some green heads, as void of wit as thought, When souls drawn upwards in communion sweet, Suppose themselves monopolists of sense, Enjoy the stillness of some close retreat,
And wiser men's ability pretence. Discourse, as if released and safe at home, Though time will wear us and we must grow old Of dangers past, and wonders yet to come, Such men are not forgot as soon as cold; And spread the sacred treasures of the breast Their fragrant memory will outlast their tomb, Upon the lap of covenanted Rest.
Embalmed for ever in its own perfume. What, always dreaming over heavenly things, And to say truth, though in its early prime, Like angel-heads in stone with pigeon-wings? And when unstained with any grosser crime, Canting and whining out all day the word, Youth has a sprightliness and fire to boast, And half the night? Fanatic and absurd! That in the valley of decline are lost, Mine be the friend less frequent in his prayers,
And Virtue with peculiar charms appears, Who makes no bustle with his soul's affairs, Crowned with the garland of life's blooming years; Whose wit can brighten up a wintry day, Yet Age, by long experience well informed, And chase the splenetic dull hours away; Well read, well tempered, with religion warmed, Content on earth in earthly things to shine, That fire abated, which impels rash youth, Who waits for heaven ere he becomes divine Proud of his speed, to overshoot the truth, Leave saints t' enjoy those altitudes they teach, As time improves the grape's authentic juice, And plucks the fruit placed more within his reach, Mellows and makes the speech more fit for use,
Well spoken, advocate of sin and shame, And claims a reverence in its shortening day, Known by thy bleating, Ignorance thy name, That 'tis an honour and a joy to pay.
The fruits of age, less fair, are yet more sound, Should flow, like waters after summer showers,
What is fanatic frenzy, scorned so much, When all his glowing language issued forth
Or seem to boast a fire he does not feel. To tremble (as the creature of an hour
The song of Zion is a tasteless thing, Ought at the view of an almighty power) Unless, when rising on a joyful wing, Before his presence, at whose awful throne The soul can mix with the celestial bands, All tremble in all worlds, except our own, And give the strain the compass it demands. To supplicate his mercy, love his ways, And prize them above pleasure, wealth, or praise, Strange tidings these to tell a world, who treat Though common sense, allowed a casting voice, All but their own experience as deceit ! And free from bias, must approve the choice, Will they believe, though credulous enough Convicts a man fanatic in th' extreme,
To swallow much upon much weaker proof, And wild as madness in the world's esteem. That there are blest inhabitants on earth, But that disease, when soberly defined,
Partakers of a new ethereal birth, Is the false fire of an o'erheated mind;
Their hopes, desires, and purposes estranged It views the truth with a distorted eye,
From things terrestrial, and divinely changed, And either warps or lays it useless by;
Their very language, of a kind, that speaks 'Tis narrow, selfish, arrogant, and draws The soul's sure interest in the good she seeks, Its sordid nourishment from man's applause; Who deal with Scripture, its importance felt, And while at heart sin unrelinquished lies, As Tully with philosophy once dealt, Presumes itself chief favourite of the skies. And in the silent watches of the night, 'Tis such a light as putrefaction breeds
And through the scenes of toil-renewing light, In fiy-blown flesh, whereon the maggot feeds, The social walk, or solitary ride, Shines in the dark, but, ushered into day, Keep still the dear companion at their side! The stench remains, the lustre dies away.
No-shame upon a self-disgracing age,
With such a jest, as filled with hellish glee
Save from the subjects of that work alone.
Claps spectacles on her sagacious nose, A dark confederacy against the laws
Peruses closely the true Christian's face, Of virtue, and religion's glorious cause:
And finds it a mere mask of sly grimace: They build each other up with dreadful skill, Usurps God's office, lays his bosom bare, As bastions set point blank against God's will; And finds hypocrisy close lurking there; Enlarge and fortify the dread redoubt,
And, serving God herself through mere constraint, Deeply resolved to shut a Saviour out;
Concludes his unfeigned love of him a feint. Call legions up from hell to back the deed; And yet, God knows, look human nature through, And, cursed with conquest, finally succeed. (And in due time the world shall know it 100) But souls, that carry on a blest exchange That since the flowers of Eden felt the blast, Of joys, they meet within their heavenly range, That after man's defection laid all waste, And with a fearless confidence make known Sincerity towards the heart-searching God The sorrows sympathy esteems its own,
Has made the new-born creature her abode,
Nor shall be found in unregenerate souls,
And gives him all his just demands require.
That great defect would cost him not alone Are bringing into vogue their heathen train,
The praise of names for ages obsolete:
Of revelation's ineffectual beam, That sick she trembles, knowing she must die, To bring the passions under sober sway, Her hope presumption, and her faith a lie; And give the mortal springs their proper play, That while she dotes, and dreams that she believes, They mean to try what may at last be done, She mocks her Maker, and herself deceives, By stout substantial gods of wood and stone, Her utmost reach, historical assent,
And whether Roman rites may not produce The doctrines warped to what they never meant; The virtues of old Rome for English use. That truth itself is in her head as dull
May such success attend the pious plan, And useless as a candle in a scull,
May Mercury once more embellish man, And all her love of God a groundless claim, Grace him again with long forgotten arts, A trick upon the canvass, painted flame. Reclaim his taste, and brighten up his parts, Tell her again, the sneer upon her face,
Make him athletic, as in days of old, And all her censures of the work of grace, Learned at the bar, in the palæstra bold, Are insincere, meant only to conceal
Divest the rougher sex of female airs, A dread she would not, yet is forced to feel: And teach the softer not to copy theirs: That in her heart the Christian she reveres, The change shall please, nor shall it matter aught And while she seems to scorn him, only fears. Who works the wonder, if it be but wrought.
A poet does not work by square or line, 'Tis time, however, if the case stand thus, As smiths and joiners perfect a design;
For us plain folks, and all who side with us, At least we moderns, our attention less, To build our altar, confident and bolu, Beyond th' example of our sires digress,
And say as stern Elijah said of old, And claim a right to scamper and run wide, The strife now stands upon a fair award, Wherever chance, caprice, or fancy guide. If Israel's Lord be God, then serve the Lord: The world and I fortuitously met ;
If he be silent, faith is all a whim, I owed a trifle, and have paid the debt;
Then Baal is the God, and worship him. She did me wrong, I recompensed the deed, Disgression is so much in modern use, And, having struck the balance, now proceed. Thought is so rare, and fancy so profuse, Perhaps, however, as some years have passed, Some never seem so wide of their intent, Since she and I conversed together last,
As when returning to the theme they meant; And I have lived recluse in rural shades,
As mendicants, whose business is to roam, Which seldom a distinct report pervades, Make every parish but their own their home. Great changes and new manners have occurred, Though such continual zigzags in a book, And blest reforms, that I have never heard, Such drunken reelings have an awkward look, And she may now be as discreet and wise, And I had rather creep to what is true, As once absurd in all discerning eyes.
Than rove and stagger with no mark in view; Sobriety perhaps may now be found,
Yet to consult a little, seemed no crime, Where once Intoxication pressed the ground;
The freakish humour of the present time; The subtle and injurious may be just,
But now to gather up what seems dispersed, And he grown chaste, that was the slave of lust; And touch the subject I designed at first, Arts once esteemed may be with shame dismissed; May prove, though much beside the rules of art, Charity may relax the miser's fist;
Best for the public, and my wisest part.
To clothe in sable every social scene,
As if they met around a father's bier;
And laughter all their work, is life mispent, And gods and goddesses, discarded long,
Their wisdom bursts into the sage reply, Like useless lumber, or a stroller's song,
Then mirth is sin, and we should always cry.
To find the medium asks some share of wit, While all the happy man possessed before,
The gift of nature, or the classic store,
Once take the shell beneath his just command,
Till tuned at length to some immortal song,
along Sprightly and fresh, enriches every theme,
HACKNEYED in business, wearied at the oar Souls, that have long despised their heavenly birth,
For threescore years employed with ceaseless care
Inveterate habits choke th' unfruitful heart,
Their fibres penetrate its tenderest part, Amid the charms of a sequestered spot,
And, draining its nutritious powers to feed Or recollected only to gild o'er,
Their noxious growth, starve every better seed. And add a smile to what was sweet before,
Happy, if full of days—but happier far, He may possess the joys he thinks he sees, If, ere we yet discern life's evening star, Lay his old age upon the lap of Ease,
Sick of the service of a world, that feeds Improve the remnant of his wasted span, Its patient drudges with dry chaff and weeds, And, having lived a trifler, die a man.
We can escape from custom's idiot sway,
(Infinite skill) in all that he has made!
The shapely limb and lubricated joint,
To wonder at a thousand insect forms,
Once prone on earth, now buoyant upon air,
and size, And grace his action ere the curtain fall.
More bideous foes than fancy can devise;