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LOGICIANS have but ill defin'd
As rational the human mind;
Reason, they say, belongs to man,
But let them prove it if they can.
Wise Aristotle and Smiglesius,
By ratiocinations specious,
Have strove to prove with great precision,
With definition and division,
Homo est ratione preditum ;
But for my soul I cannot credit 'em ;
And must in spite of them maintain,
That man and all his ways are vain ;
And that this boasted lord of nature
Is both a weak and erring creature.
That instinct is a surer guide,
Than reason, boasting mortals' pride;
And that brute beasts are far before 'em,
Deus est anima brutorum.
Who ever knew an honest brute
At law his neighbour prosecute,
Bring action for assault and battery,
Or friend beguile with lies and flattery?
O'er plains they ramble unconfin'd,
No politics disturb their mind;
They eat their meals, and take their sport,
Nor know who's in or out at court;
They never to the levee go
To treat as dearest friend, a foe;
They never importune his Grace,
Nor ever cringe to men in place;
Nor undertake a dirty job,
Nor draw the quill to write for Bob:
Fraught with invective they ne'er go
To folks at Pater-Noster Row:
No judges, fiddlers, dancing-masters,
No pickpockets or poetasters,
Are known to honest quadrupeds,
No single brute his fellows leads.
Brutes never meet in bloody fray,
Nor cut each others' throats for
Of beasts, it is confess’d, the ape
Comes nearest us in human shape,
Like man he imitates each fashion,
And malice is his ruling passion;
But both in malice and grimaces,
A courtier any ape surpasses.
Behold him humbly cringing wait
Upon the minister of state ;
View him soon after to inferiors
Aping the conduct of superiors :
He promises with equal air,
And to perform takes equal care.
He in his turn finds imitators,
At court, the porters, lacqueys, waiters,
Their master's manners still contract,
And footmen, lords, and dukes can act.
Thus at the court, both great and small
Behave alike, for all
Amidst the clamour of exulting joys,
Which triumph forces from the patriot heart, Grief dares to mingle her soul-piercing voice,
And quells the raptures which from pleasure start.
O Wolfe, to thee a streaming flood of woe,
Sighing we pay, and think e'en conquest dear ; Quebec in vain shall teach our breast to glow,
Whilst thy sad fate extorts the heart-wrung tear.
Alive, the foe thy dreadful vigour fled,
And saw thee fall with joy-pronouncing eyes: Yet they shall know thou conquerest, though dead!
Since from thy tomb a thousand heroes rise.
SURE 'twas by Providence design'd,
Rather in pity, than in hate, That he should be, like Cupid, blind,
To save him from Narcissus' fate.
WEEPING, murmuring, complaining,
Lost to every gay delight; Myra, too sincere for feigning,
Fears th' approaching bridal night. Yet why impair thy bright perfection ?
Or dim thy beauty with a tear? Had Myra follow'd my direction,
She long had wanted cause of fear.