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The next, with dirges due, in sad array,
Slow thro’ the church-yard path we saw him borne : Approach and read (for thou canst read) the lay, Gravid on the stone beneath yon aged thorn.”
THE EPITAPH. Here rests his head upon the lap of earth,
A youth to Fortune and to Fame unknown ; Fair Science frown'd not on his humble birth,
And Melancholy mark'd him for her own. Large was his bounty, and his soul sincere,
Heav'n did a recompense as largely send; He'gave to Mis’ry all he had, a tear;
He gain'd from Heav'n ('twas all he wish’d) a friend No farther seek his merits to disclose,
Or draw his frailties from their dread abode, (There they alike in trembling hope repose.)
The bosom of his Father and his God.- GRAY.
Ode to Wisdom.
And quits the time-shook tow'r,
Beneath his ivy bow'r.
And sighing gales repeat:
At Wisdom's awful seat.
Beneath the lunar ray :
As in the glare of day.
Blest source of purer joys;
In ev'ry form of beauty bright,
With pleasure and surprize;
That breathes do wild desires :
To nobler views aspires.
Be objects of my prayer : -
The dull rewards of care.
By studious thought refin'd:
An empire o'er my mind.
And wither in the tomb,
In undecaying bloom. By thee protected, I defy - The coxcomb's sneer, the stupid lie
Of ignorance and spite ;
Of undiscerning wit..
In thy retreat I rest ;
In all thy graces drest.
Of perfect fair, and good :
In awful silence stood.
Reclaim'd, her wild licentious youth
And felt its just control :
O'er all their senses stole,
The hero's gen'rous strife :
Of still, domestic life. .
My thoughts direct their flight:
Of intellectual light!
Thro’ life's perplexing road ;
To happiness and good!
Of Folly's painted show.)
That all but Virtue's solid joys
The Rake and the Herait.
A YOUTH, a pupil of the town,
Hunger the first attention claims; Upon the coals a rasher flames. Dry crusts, and liquor something stale, Were added to make up a meal ; At which our trav'ller as he sat, By intervals began to chat.'Tis odd, quoth he, to think what strains Of folly govern some folks' brains : What makes you choose this wild abode ? You'll say, 'Tis to converse with God. Alas, I fear, 'tis all a whim ; You never saw or spoke with him. They talk of providence's pow'r, And say, it rules us ev'ry hour : . To me all nature seems confusion, And such weak fancies mere delusion. Say, if it rul'd and govern'd right, Could there be such a thing as night; Which, when the sun has left the skies, Puts all things in a deep disguise? If then a trav’ller chance to stray . The least step from the public way, He's soon in endless mazes lost, As I have found it to my cost. . Besides, the gloom which nature wears Assists imaginary fears, Of ghosts and goblins from the waves in Of sulpb'rous lakes and yawning graves ; . An sprung from superstitious seed, Like other maxims of the creed. For my part, I reject the tales Which faith suggests when reason fails; And reason nothing understands, Unwarranted by eyes and hands. These subtile essences, like wind, Which some have dreamt of, and call mind, It ne'er admits ; nor joins the lie, ..' Which says men rot, but never die. It holds all future things in doubt, And therefore wisely leaves them out: Suggesting what is worth our care, To take things present as they are, Our wisest course : the rest is folly, The fruit of spleen and melancholy.
Sir, quoth the Hermit, I agree . That Reason still our guide should be ; And will admit her as the test Of what is true, and what is best ; But Reason sure would blush for shame At what you mention in her name ; Her dictates are sublime and boly; Impiety's the child of Folly. Reason, with measur'd steps and slow, To things above from things below Ascends, and guides us through her sphere With caution, vigilance, and care. Faith in the utmost frontier stands, And Reason puts us in her hands ; But not till her commission giv'n Is found authentic, and from Heav'n. 'Tis strange that man, a reas'ning creature, Should miss a God in viewing nature ; Whose high perfections are display'd In ev'ry thing his hands have made. Ev'n when we think their traces lost, When found again, we see them most : The night itself, which you would blame As something wrong in nature's frame, Is but a curtain to iprest Her weary children when at rest : Like that which motbers draw to keep The light off from a child asleep. Beside, the fears which darkness breeds (At least augments) in vulgar heads, Are far from useless, when the mind , Is narrow, and to earth confin'd: They make the worldling think with pain On frauds, and oaths, and ill got gain; Force from the ruffian's hand the knife Just rais'd against his neighbour's life ; And in defence of virtue's cause, Assist each sanction of the laws. But souls serene, where wisdom dwells, And superstitious dread expels, The silent majesty of night Excites to take a nobler, fight; With saints and angels to explore The wonders of creating pow'r;