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And grant the bad what happiness they wou'd,
Oh blind to truth, and God's whole scheme below,
Ver. 100. See god-like Turenne] This epithet has a peculiar juftness; the great man to whom it is applied not being distinguished, from other generals, for any of his superior qualities so much as for his providential care of those whom he led to war; which was so uncommon, that his chief purpose in taking on himself the command of armies, seems to have been the Preservation of Mankind. In this god-like care he was more diftinguishably employed throughout the whole course of that famous campaign in which he loft his life.
Let sober Moralists correct their speech,
Why drew Marseilles' good bishop purer breath,
What makes all physical or moral ill?
Ver. 110, Lent Heav'n a parent, etc.] This laft inftance of the poet's illustration of the ways of Providence, the reader fees, has a peculiar elegance ; where a tribute of piety to a parent is paid in a return of thanks to, and made subfervient of, his vindication of the Great Giver and Father of all things. The Mother of the Author, a person of great piety and charity, died the year this poem was finished, vizio 3733
After ver. 116. in the MS.
Of ev'ry evil, since the world began,
Shall burning Ætna, if a fage requires, Forget to thunder, and recall her fires ? On air or sea new motions he imprest,
125 Oh blameless Bethel! to relieve thy breaft? When the loose mountain trembles from on high, Shall gravitation cease, if you go by ? Or some old temple, nodding to its fall, For Chartres' head reserve the hanging wall ?
But still this world (so fitted for the knave) Contents us not.
A better shall we have ? A kingdom of the just then let it be: But first consider how those Just agree. The good muft merit God's peculiar care ; But who, but God, can tell us who they are ? One thinks on Calvin Heav'n's own spirit fell ; Another deems him instrument of hell ; If Calvin feel Heav'n's blessing, or its rod, This cries there is, and that, there is no God. 140 What shocks one part will edify the rest, Nor with one system can they all be blest.
VER. 123. Shall burning Ærna, etc.] Alluding to the fata of those two great Naturalifts, Empedocles and Pliny, who both perish'd by too near an approach to Ætna and Vesuvius while they were exploring the cause of their eruptions.
Give each a System, all must be at strife ;
What diff'rent Systems for a Man and Wife ? The joke, though lively, was ill placed, and therefore Iruck out of the text,
The very best will variously incline,
146 And which more blest? who chain'd his country, say, Or he whose Virtue figh'd to lose a day?
“ But sometimes Virtue itarves, while Vice is fed." What then? Is the reward of Virtue bread ?
demand is o'er ? 66 No fhall the good want Health, the good want
What nothing earthly gives, or can destroy,
Is Virtue's prize: A better would you fix?
170 Justice a Cong 'ror's fword, or Truth a gown,
Or Public Spirit its great cure, a Crown.
With the same trash mad mortals wish for here?
180 Rewards, that either would to Virtue bring No joy, or be destructive of the thing: How oft by these at fixty are undone The virtues of a saint at twenty-one! To whom can Riches give Repute, or Trust, 185 Content, or Pleasure, but the Good or Juft?
VER, 177. Go, like tbe Indian, etc.] Alluding to the example of the Indian, in Epist. i. ver. 99. and Thewing, that that example was not given to discredit any rational hopes of future happiness, but only to reprove the folly of separating them from charity : as when
- Zeal, not Charity became the guide,
Say, what rewards this idle world imparts,