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Who danc'd with whom, and who are like to wed,
And who is bang'd, and who is brought to bed :
But fear to call a more important cause,
As if 'twere treason against English laws.
The visit paid, with ecstacy we come,
As from a sev'n years transportation, home,
And there resume an unembarrass'd brow,
Recov’ring what we lost we know not how,
The faculties, that seem'd reduc'd to nought,
Expression, and the privilege of thought.
The reeking, roaring hero of the chase,
I give him over as a desp’rate case.
Physicians write in hopes to work a cure,
Never, if honest ones, when death is sure ;
And though the fox he follows may be tam’d,
A mere fox-foll’wer never is reclaim’d.
Some farrier should prescribe his proper course,
Whose only fit companion is his horse,
Or if, deserving of a better doom,
The noble beast judge otherwise his groom.
Yet ev’n the rogue that serves him, though he stand,
To take his honour's orders, cap in hand,
Prefers his fellow grooms with much good sense,
Their skill a truth, his master's a pretence,
If neither horse nor groom affect the squire,
Where can at last his jockeyship retire ?
O to the club, the scene of savage joys,
The school of coarse good fellowship and noise ;
There, in the sweet society of those,
Whose friendship from his boyish years he chose,
Let him improve his talent if he can,
Till none but beasts acknowledge him a man,
Man's heart had been impenetrably seald, Like theirs that cleave the flood or graze the field,
Had not his Maker's all-bestowing hand
Giv'n him a soul, and bade him understand ;
The reas'ning pow'r vouchsaf'd of course inferr'd
The pow'r to clothe that reason with his word;
For all is perfect, that God works on Earth,
And he, that gives conception, aids the birth.
If this be plain, 'tis plainly understood,
What uses of his boon the giver would.
The Mind, despatch'd upon her busy toil,
Should range where Providence has bless'd the soil ;
Visiting ev'ry flow'r with labour meet,
And gath’ring all her treasures sweet by sweet,
She should imbue the tongue with what she sips,
And shed the balmy blessing on the lips,
That good diffus'd may more abundant grow,
And speech may praise the pow'r that bids it flow.
With the sweet warbler of the livelong night.
That fills the list ning lover with delight,
Forget his harmony, with rapture heard,
To learn the twittring of a meaner bird ?
Or make the parrot's mimicry his choice,
That odious libel on a human voice?
No-Nature, unsophisticate by man,
Starts not aside from her Creator's plan;
The melody, that was at first design'd
To cheer the rude forefathers of mankind,
Is note for note deliver'd in our ears,
In the last scene of her six thousand years.
Yet Fashion, leader of a chatt'ring train,
Whom man for his own hurt permits to reign,
Who shifts and changes all things but his shape,
And would degrade her vot’ry to an ape,
The fruitful parent of abuse and wrong,
Holds a usurp'd dominion o'er his tongue;
There sits and prompts him with his own disgrace, Prescribes the theme, the tone, and the grimace, And, when accomplish'd in her wayward school, Calls gentleman whom she has made a fool. 'Tis an unalterable fix'd decree, That none could frame or ratify but she, That Heav'n and Hell, and righteousness and sin, Snares in his path, and foes that lurk within, God and his attributes (a field of day Where 'tis an angel's happiness to stray), Fruits of his love and wonders of his might, Be never nam'd in ears esteem'd polite. That he who dares, when she forbids, be grave, Shall stand proscrib'd, a madman or a knave, A close designer not to be believ'd, Or, if excus'd that charge, at least deceiv'd. Oh folly worthy of the nurse's lap, Give it the breast, or stop its mouth with pap! Is it incredible, or can it seem A dream to any, except those that dream, That man should love his Maker, and that fire, Warming his heart, should at his lips transpire ? Know then, and modestly let fall your eyes, And veil your daring crest that braves the skies; That air of insolence affronts your God, You need his pardon, and provoke his rod: Now, in a posture that becomes you more Than that heroic strut assum'd before, Know, your arrears with ev'ry hour accrue For mercy shown, while wrath is justly due. The time is short, and there are souls on Earth, Though future pain may serve for present mirth, Acquainted with the woes, that fear or shame, By Fashion taught, forbade them once to name,
And, having felt the pangs you deem a jest,
Have prov'd them truths too big to be express'd.
Go seek on revelation's hallow'd ground,
Sure to succeed, the remedy they found;
Touch'd by that pow'r that you have dar'd to mock,
That makes seas stable, and dissolves the rock,
Your heart shall yield a life-renewing stream,
That fools, as you have done, shall call a dream.
It happen'd on a solemn eventide,
Soon after He that was our Surety died,
Two bosom friends, each pensively inclin'd,
The scene of all those sorrows left behind,
Sought their own village, busied as they went
In musings worthy of the great event:
They spake of him they lov’d, of him whose life,
Though blameless, had incurr'd perpetual strife,
Whose deeds had left, in spite of hostile arts,
A deep memorial graven on their hearts.
The recollection, like a vein of ore,
The farther trac'd, enrich'd them still the more;
They thought him, and they justly thought him, one
Sent to do more than he appear'd to have done;
To' exalt a people, and to place them high
Above all else, and wonderd he should die.
Ere yet they brought their journey to an end,
A stranger join'd them, courteous as a friend,
And ask'd them with a kind engaging air
What their affliction was, and begg'd a share.
Inform’d, he gather'd up the broken thread,
And, truth and wisdom gracing all he said,
Explain’d, illustrated, and search'd so well
The tender theme, on which they chose to dwell,
That reaching home, the night, they said, is near,
We must not now be parted, sojourn here-
The new acquaintance soon became a guest,
And, made so welcome at their simple feast,
He bless'd the bread, but vanish'd at the word,
And left them both exclaiming, 'Twas the Lord !
Did not our hearts feel all he deign’d to say,
Did they not burn within us by the way?
Now theirs was converse, such as it behoves
Man to maintain, and such as God approves :
Their views indeed were indistinct and dim,
But yet successful, being aim'd at him.
Christ and his character their only scope,
Their object, and their subject, and their hope,
They felt what it became them much to feel,
And, wanting him to loose the sacred seal,
Found him as prompt, as their desire was true,
To spread the new-born glories in their view.
Well-what are ages and the lapse of time
Match'd against truths, as lasting as sublime ?
Can length of years on God himself exact ?
Or make that fiction, which was once a fact?
No-marble and recording brass decay,
And like the graver's mem’ry pass away ;
The works of man inherit, as is just,
Their author's frailty, and return to dust :
But truth divine for ever stands secure,
Its head is guarded as its base is sure ;
Fix'd in the rolling flood of endless years,
The pillar of the eternal plan appears,
The raving storm and dashing wave defies,
Built by that architect, who built the skies.
Hearts may be found, that harbour at this hour
That love of Christ, and all its quick’ning pow'r ;
And lips unstaind by folly or by strife,
Whose wisdom, drawn from the deep well of life,