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The brightest truths, that man has ever seen. You think, perhaps, so delicate bis dress,
His daily fare as delicate. Alas!
He picks clean teeth, and, busy as he seems With show of love, at least with hopeful proof With an old tavern quill
, is hungry yet! Of some sincerity on the giver's part;
The rout is Folly's circle, which she draws
With magic wand. So potent is the spell,
Unless by Heav'n's peculiar grace, escape.
There we grow early gray, but never wise; The pulpit to the level of the stage ;
There form connections, but acquire no friend; Drops from the lips a disregarded thing.
Solicit pleasure, hopeless of success; The weak perhaps are mov'd, but are not taught, Waste youth in occupations only fit While prejudice in men of stronger minds For second childhood, and devote old age Takes deeper root, confirm'd by what they see. To sports, which only childhood could excuse. A relaxation of religion's hold
There they are bappiest, who dissemble best Upon the roving and untutor’d heart
Their weariness; and they the most polite, Soon follows, and, the curb of conscience snapp'd, Who squander time and treasure with a smile, The laity run wild. But do they now?
Though at their own destruction. She that asks Note their extravagance, and be convinc'd.
Her dear five hundred friends, contemns them all, As nations, ignorant of God, contrive
And hates their coming. They (what can they lesa?) A wooden one ; so we, no longer taught
Make just reprisals; and with cringe and shrug, By monitors, that mother-church supplies, . And bow obsequious, hide their hate of her. Now make our own. Posterity will ask
All catch the phrenzy, downward from her grace, (If e'er posterity see verse of mine)
Whose Alambeaux flash against the morning skie, Some fifty or a hundred lustrums hence,
And gild our chamber ceilings as they pass, What was a monitor in George's days?
To her, who, frugal only that her thrift My very gentle reader, yet unborn,
May feed excesses she can ill afford, of whom I needs must augur better things, Is hackney'd home unlackey'd; who, in haste Since Heav'n would sure grow weary of a world Alighting, turns the key in her own door, Productive only of a race like ours,
And, at the watchınan's lantern borr'wing light, A monitor is wood - plank shaven thin,
Finds a cold bed her only comfort left. We wear it at our backs. There, closely brac'd Wives beggar husbands, husbands starve their wires And neatly fitted, it compresses hard
On Fortune's velvet altar off 'ring up The prominent and most unsightly bones,
Their last poor pittance - Fortune, most severe And binds the shoulders flat. We prove it's use Of goddesses yet known, and costlier far Sov'reign and most effectual to secure
Than all, that held their routs in Juno's Hear'n. A form, not now gymnastic as of yore,
So fare we in this prison-house the World; From rickets and distortion, else our lot.
And 't is a fearful spectacle to see But thus admonish'd, we can walk erect
So many maniacs dancing in their chains. One proof at least of manhood! while the friend They gaze upon the links, that hold them fast, Sticks close, a Mentor worthy of his charge. With eyes of anguish, execrate their lot, Our habits, costlier than Lucullus wore,
Then shake them in despair, and dance again! And by caprice as multiplied as his,
Now basket up the family of plagues, Just please us while the fashion is at full,
That waste our vitals; peculation, sale But change with ev'ry moon. The sycophant, Of honour, perjury, corruption, frauds Who waits to dress us, arbitrates their date; By forgery, by subterfuge of law, Surveys his fair reversion with keen eye;
By tricks and lies as num'rous and as keen Finds one ill made, another obsolete ;
As the necessities their authors feel; This fits not nicely, that is ill-conceiv'd;
Then cast them, closely bundled, ev'ry brat And, making prize of all that he condemns, At the right door. Profusion is the sire. With our expenditure defrays his own.
Profusion, unrestrain'd with all that 's base Variety 's the very spice of life,
In character, has litter'd all the land, That gives it all it's flavour. We have run
And bred, within the mem'ry of no few, Through ev'ry change, that Fancy, at the loom A priesthood, such as Baal's was of old, Exhausted, has had genius to supply;
A people, such as never was till now. And, studious of mutation still, discard
It is a hungry vice: it eats up all, A real elegance, a little us'd,
That gives society it's beauty, strength, For monstrous novelty and strange disguise. Convenience, and security, and use : We sacrifice to dress, till household joys
Makes men mere vermin, worthy to be trapp'd And comforts cease. Dress drains our cellar dry, And gibbeted, as fast as catchpole claws And keeps our larder lean ; puts out our fires; Can seize the slipp'ry preg: unties the knot And introduces hunger, frost, and woe,
Of union, and converts the sacred band, Where peace and hospitality might reign.
That holds mankind together, to a scourge. What man that lives, and that knows how to live, Profusion, deluging a state with lusts Would fail t' exhibit at the public shows
Of grossest nature and of worst effects, A form as splendid as the proudest there,
Prepares it for its ruin : hardens, blinds, Though appetite raise outeries at the cost ? And warps, the consciences of public inen, A man o' the town dines late, but soon enough, Till they can laugh at Virtue; mock the fools, With reasonable forecast and dispatch,
That trust them; and in th' end disclose a face, T' ensure a side-box station at half-price.
That would have shock'd Credulity herself,
Unmask'd, vouchsafing this their sole excuse - Add to such erudition, thus acquir'd,
Where science and where virtue are profess'd ?
His folly; but to spoil him is a task, In colleges and halls in ancient days,
That bids defiance to th' united pow'rs When learning, virtue, piety, and truth,
Of fashion, dissipation, taverns, stews. Were precious, and inculcated with care,
Now blame we most the nurslings or the nurse ? There dwelt a sage call's Discipline. His head, The children crook'd, and twisted, and deform'd, Not yet by time completely silver'd o'er,
Through want of care; or her, whose winking eye Bespoke him past the bounds of freakish youth, And slumb'ring oscitancy mars the brood ? But strong for service still, and unimpair'd. The nurse, no doubt. Regardless of her charge, His eye was meek and gentle, and a smile She needs herself correction ; needs to learn, Play'd on his lips ; and in his speech was heard That it is dang'rous sporting with the world, Paternal sweetness, dignity, and love.
With things so sacred as a nation's trust, The occupation dearest to his heart
The nurture of her youth, her dearest pledge. Was to encourage goodness. He would stroke All are not such. I had a brother once The head of modest and ingenuous worth,
Peace to the mem'ry of a man of worth, That blush'd at it's own praise ; and press the youth A man of letters, and of manners too ! Close to his side, that pleas'd him. Learning grew Of manners sweet as Virtue always wears, Beneath his care a thriving vig'rous plant ; When gay Good-nature dresses her in smiles. The mind was well inform'd, the passions held He grac'd a college, in which order yet Subordinate, and diligence was choice.
Was sacred; and was honour'd, lov'd, and wept, If e'er it chanc'd, as sometimes chance it must, By more than one, themselves conspicuous there. That one among so many overleap'd
Some minds are temper'd happily, and mix'd The limits of controul, his gentle eye
With such ingredients of good sense, and taste Grew stern, and darted a severe rebuke:
Of what is excellent in man, they thirst His frown was full of terrour, and his voice With such a zeal to be what they approve, Shook the delinquent with such fits of awe, That no restraints can circumscribe them more As left him not, till penitence had won
Than they themselves by choice, for wisdom's sake. Lost favour back again, and clos'd the breach. Nor can example hurt them : what they see But Discipline, a faithful servant long,
Of vice in others but enhancing more Declin'd at length into the vale of years:
The charms of virtue in their just esteem. A palsy struck his arm ; his sparkling eye If such escape contagion, and emerge Was quench’din rheums of age; his voice, unstrung, Pure from so foul a pool to shine abroad, Grew tremulous, and mov'd derision more And give the world their talents and themselves, Than rev’rence in perverse rebellious youth. Small thanks to those, whose negligence or sloth So colleges and halls neglected much
Expos'd their inexperience to the snare, Their good old friend ; and Discipline at length, And left them to an undirected choice. O'erlook'd and unemploy'd, fell sick and died. See then the quiver broken and decay'd, Then Study languish’d, Emulation slept,
In which are kept our arrows ! Rusting there And Virtue fled. The schools became a scene In wild disorder, and unfit for use, Of solemn farce, where Ignorance in stilts, What wonder, if, discharg'd into the world, His cap well lin'd with logic not his own,
They shame their shooters with a random flight, With parrot tongue perform'd the scholar's part, Their points obtuse, and feathers drunk with wine ! Proceeding soon a graduated dunce.
Well may the church wage unsuccessful war Then Compromise had place, and Scrutiny With such artill'ry arm’d. Vice parries wide Became stone blind ; Precedence went in truck, Th' undreaded volley with a sword of straw, And he was competent whose purse was so. And stands an impudent and fearless mark. A dissolution of all bonds ensued ;
Have we not track'd the felon home, and found The curbs invented for the mulish mouth
His birth-place and his dam? The country mourns, Of headstrong youth were broken ; bars and bolts Mourns because ev'ry plague, that can infest Grew rusty by disuse ; and massy gates
Society, and that saps and worms the base Forgot their office, op'ning with a touch ;
Of th edifice, that policy has rais'd, Till
gowns at length are found mere masquerade ; Swarms in all quarters : meets the eye, the ear, The tassel'd cap and the spruce band a jest, And suffocates the breath at ev'ry turn. A mock'ry of the world! What need of these Profusion breeds them; and the cause itself For gamesters, jockeys, brothellers impure, Of that calamitous mischief has been found : Spendthrifts, and booted sportsmen, oft'ner seen Found too where most offensive, in the skirts With belted waist and pointers at their heels, Of the rob'd pedagogue! Else let th' arraign'd Than in the bounds of duty ? What was learn'd, Stand up unconscious, and refute the charge. If aught was learn'd in childhood, is forgot ; So when the Jewish leader stretch'd his arm, And such expense, as pinches parents blue, And wav'd his rod divine, a race obscene, And mortifies the lib'ral hand of love,
Spawn'd in the muddy beds of Nile, came forth, Is squander'd in pursuit of idle sports
Polluting Egypt: gardens, fields, and plains, And vicious pleasures ; buys the boy a name, Were cover'd with the pest ; the streets were fillid; That sits a stigma on his father's house,
The croaking nuisance lurk'd in every nook ; And cleaves through life inseparably close
Nor palaces, nor even chambers, 'scap'd; To him that wears it. What can after-gamos And the land stank - so num'rous was the fry. Of riper joys, and commerce with the world, The lewd vain world, that must receive him soon,
Bene't College, Cambridge.
Or temper sheds into thy crystal cup;
Thou art the nurse of Virtue, in thine arms
She smiles, appearing, as in truth she is,
Heav'n-born, and destin'd to the skies again. THE GARDEN.
Thou art not known where Pleasure is ador'd,
That reeling goddess with the zoneless waist
And wand'ring eyes, still leaning on the arm Self-recollection and reproof. Address to do Of Novelty, her fickle, frail support;
mestic happiness. Some account of myself. For thou art meek and constant, hating change, The vanity of many of their pursuits, who are re- | And finding in the calm of truth-tried love put wise. Justification of my censures. | Joys, that her stormy raptures never yield. Divine illumination necessary to the most expert Forsaking thce, what shipwreck have we made philosopher. The question, What is truth? 'an- of honour, dignity, and fair renown! swered by other questions. Domestic happiness | Till prostitution elbows us aside addressed again. Few lovers of the country. In all our crowded streets; and senates seem My tame hare. Occupations of a retired gen- Conven'd for purposes of empire less, tleman in his garden. Pruning. Framing. Than to release th' adul'tress from her bond. Green-house. Sowing of flower seeds. The Th' adul'tress! what a theme for angry verse! country preferable to the town even in the win- What provocation to th' indignant heart,
Reasons why it is deserted at that sca-) That feels for injur'd love ! but I disdain
Ruinous effects of gaming, and of expen- The nauseous task, to paint her as she is, sive improvement. Book concludes with an Cruel, abandon'd, glorying in her shame! apostrophe to the metropolis.
No: - let her pass, and, chariotied along
In guilty splendour, shake the public ways; As one, who long in thickets and in brakes The frequency of crimes has wash'd them white, Entangled winds now this way and now that And verse of mine shall never brand the wretch, His devious course uncertain, seeking home; Whom matrons now of character unsmirch'd, Or, having long in miry ways been foil'd
And chaste themselves, are not asham'd to own. And sore discomfited, from slough to slough Virtue and vice had bound'ries in old time, Plunging and half-despairing of escape;
Not to be pass'd : and she, that had renounc'd If chance at length he find a green sward smooth Her sex's honour, was renounc'd herself And faithful to the foot, liis spirits rise,
By all that priz'd it; not for prud'ry's sake, He cherups brisk his ear-erecting steed,
But dignity's, resentful of the wrong. And winds his way with pleasure and with ease; ’T was hard perhaps on here and there a waif, So I, designing other themes, and call'd
Desirous to return, and not receiv'd : T adorn the Sofa with eulogium due,
But was a wholesome rigour in the main, To tell it's slumbers, and to paint it's dreams, And taught th' unblemish'd to preserve with care Have rambled wide. In country, city, seat That purity, whose loss was loss of all. Of academic fame (howe'er deserv’d),
Men too were nice in honour in those days, Long held, and scarcely disengag'd at last. And judg'd offenders well. Then he that sharp de But now with pleasant pace a cleanlier road And pocketted a prize by fraud obtain'd, I mean to tread. I feel myself at large,
Was mark'd and shunn'd as odious. He that sold Courageous, and refresh'd for future toil,
His country, or was slack when she requir'd If coil await me, or if dangers new.
His ev'ry nerve in action and at stretch, Since pulpits fail, and sounding boards reflect Paid with the blood, that he had basely spar'd, Most part an empty ineffectual sound,
The price of his default. But now - yes, now What chance that I, to fame so little known, We are become so candid and so fair, Nor conversant with men or manners much, So lib'ral in construction, and so rich Should speak to purpose, or with better hope In Christian charity, (good-natur'd age!) Crack the satiric thong ? 'T were wiser far That they are safe, sinners of either sex, (bred, For me, enamour'd of sequester'd scenes,
Transgress what laws they may. Well-dressid, wellAnd charm'd with rural beauty, to repose,
Well-equipag'd, is ticket good enough,
(And no man's hatred ever wrong'd her yet) And shelter'd Sofa, while the nitrous air
May claim this merit still - that she admits Feeds a blue flame, and makes a cheerful hearth; The worth of what she mimics with such care, There, undisturb’d by folly, and appris'd
And thus gives virtue indirect applause ; How great the danger of disturbing her,
But she has burnt her mask not needed here, To muse in silence, or at least confine
Where vice has such allowance, that her shifts Remarks, that gall so many, to the few
And specious semblances have lost their use. My partners in retreat. Disgust conceal'd
I was a stricken deer, that left the herd Is oft-times proof of wisdom, when the fault Long since. With many an arrow deep infir'd Is obstinate, and cure beyond our reach.
My panting side was charg'd, when I withdrew, Domestic Happiness, thou only bliss
To seek a tranquil death in distant shades. Of Paradise, that hast surviv'd the fall!
There was I found by one, who had himself Though few now taste thee unimpair'd and pure, Been hurt by th’ archers. In his side be bore, Or tasting long enjoy thee! too intirm,
And in his hands and feet, the cruel scars. Or too incautious, to preserve thy sweets
With gentle force soliciting the darts, Uninix'd with drops of bitter, which noglect He drew them forth, and heal'd, and bade me live.
Since then, with few associates, in remote
Defend me therefore,common sense, say I,
Of dropping buckets into empty wells,
“ 'T were well," says one
sage erudite, profound, With other views of men and manners now Terribly arch'd, and aquiline his nose, Than once, and others of a life to come.
And overbuilt with most impending brows, I see that all are wand'rers, gone astray
“ 'T were well, could you permit the World to live Each in his own delusions; they are lost
As the World pleases : what 's the World to you!" In chase of fancied happiness, still woo'd
Much. I was born of woman, and drew milk And never won. Dream after dream ensues ; As sweet as charity from human breasts. And still they dream, that they shall still succeed, I think, articulate, I laugh and weep, And still are disappointed. Rings the world And exercise all functions of a man. With the vain stir. I sum up half mankind, How then should I and any man that live And add two-thirds of the remaining half,
Be strangers to each other ? Pierce my vein, And find the total of their hopes and fears
Take of the crimson stream meand'ring there, Dreams, empty dreams. The million flit as gay, And catechise it well : apply thy glass, As if created only like the fly,
Search it, and prove now if it be not blood That spreads his motley wings in th' eye of noon, Congenial with thine own; and, if it be, To sport their season, and be seen no more. What edge of subtlety canst thou suppose The rest are sober dreamers, grave and wise, Keen enough, wise and skilful as thou art, And pregnant with discov’ries new and rare. To cut the link of brotherhood, by which Some write a narrative of wars, and feats
One common Maker bound me to the kind ? Of heroes little known; and call the rant
True, I am no proficient, I confess, A history: describe the man, of whom
In arts like yours. I cannot call the swift His own coëvals took but little note,
And perilous lightnings from the angry clouds, And paint his person, character, and views, And bid them hide themselves in earth beneath ; As they had known him from his mother's womb. I cannot analyse the air, nor catch They disentangle from the puzzled skein,
The parallax of yonder lum'nous point, In which obscurity has wrapp'd them up,
That seems half quench'd in the immense abyss : The threads of politic and shrewd design,
Such pow'rs I boast not - neither can I rest
God never meant, that man should scale the Extract a register, by which we learn,
Heav'ns Tbat he who made it, and reveal'd it's date
By strides of human wisdom, in his works, To Moses, was mistaken in it's age.
Though wondrous : he commands us in his word Some, more acute, and more industrious still, To seek him rather, where his mercy shines. Contrive creation; travel nature up
The inind, indeed, enlighten'd from above,
Views him in all; ascribes to the grand cause
Discover him, that rules them ; such a veil
Hangs over mortal eyes, blind from the birth,
Our wayward intellect, the more we learn
From instrumental causes proud to draw
But if his word once teach us, shoot a ray
In the pure fountain of eternal love,
Friends in the friends of science, and true pray'r So hollow and so false — I feel my heart
Has flow'd from lips wet with Castalian dews. Dissolve in pity, and account the learn'd,
Such was thy wisdom, Newton, childlike sage!
Sagacious reader of the works of God,
And fed on manna! And such thine, in whom And clamours of the field ? - Detested sport,
With eloqaence, that agonies inspire,
Well - one at least is safe. One shelter'd hare And we that worship him ignoble graves.
Has never heard the sanguinary yell Nothing is proof against the gen’ral curse
Of cruel man, exulting in her woes. Of vanity, that seizes all below.
Innocent partner of my peaceful home, The only amaranthine flow'r on Earth
Whom ten long years' experience of my care Is virtue; th' only lasting treasure, truth.
Has made at last familiar; she has lost But what is truth? 'T was Pilate's question put Much of her vigilant instinctive dread, To Truth itself, that deign’d him no reply. Not needful here, beneath a roof like inine. And wherefore ? will not God impart his light Yes - thou may'st eat thy bread, and lick the hand To them that ask it ?- Freely- 't is his joy, That feeds thee; thou may'st frolic on the floor His glory, and his nature to impart.
At ev'ning, and at night retire secure But to the proud, uncandid, insincere,
To thy straw couch, and slumber unalarmid; Or negligent inquirer, not a spark.
For I have gain'd thy confidence, have pledg'a What 's that, which brings contempt upon a book, All that is human in me, to protect And him who writes it, though the style be neat, Thine unsuspecting gratitude and love. The method clear, and argument exact ?
If I survive thee, I will dig thy grave; That makes a minister in holy things
And, when I place thee in it, sighing say, The joy of many, and the dread of more ;
I knew at least one hare that had a friend. His name a theme for praise and for reproach ?- How various his employments, whom the world That, while it gives us worth in God's account, Calls idle ; and who justly in return Depreciates and undoes us in our own?
Esteems that busy world an idler too!
Delightful industry enjoy'd at home,
Will he be idle, who has much t' enjoy ?
Not slothful, happy to deceive the time,
From whom are all our blessings, business finds Ev'n as his first progenitor, and quits,
Ev’n here ! while sedulous I seek timprure, Though plac'd in Paradise, (for Earth has still At least neglect not, or leave unemploy'd, Some traces of her youthful beauty left,)
The mind he gave me; driving it, though slack Substantial happiness for transient joy.
Too oft, and much impeded in its work
He, that attends to his interior self,
That has a heart, and keeps it; has a mind Compose the passions, and exalt the mind; That hungers, and supplies it; and who seeks Scenes such as these, 't is his supreme delight A social, not a dissipated life, To fill with riot, and defile with blood.
Has business ; feels himself engag'd t'achieve Should some contagion, kind to the poor brutes No unimportant, though a silent, task. We persecute, annihilate the tribes,
A life all turbulence and noise may seem, That draw the sportsman over hill and dale To him that leads it, wise, and to be prais'd; Fearless and rapt away from all his cares;
But wisdom is a pearl with most success Should never game-fowl hatch her eggs again, Sought in still water, and beneath clear skies: Nor baited hook deceive the fish's eye;
He that is ever occupied in storms Could pageantry and dance, and feast and song, Or dives not for it, or brings up instead, Be quell'a in all our summer-months' retreats; Vainly industrious, a disgraceful prize. How many self-deluded nymphs and swains, The morning finds the self-sequester'd man Who dream they have a taste for fields and groves, Fresh for his task, intend what task he may. Would find them hideous nurs’ries of the spleen, Whether inclement seasons recommend And crowd the roads, impatient for the town! His warm but simple home, where he enjoys They love the country, and none else, who seek With her, who shares his pleasures and his heart, For their own sake it's silence, and it's shade, Sweet converse, sipping calm the fragrant lymph, Delights which who would leave, that has a heart Which neatly she prepares; then to his book Susceptible of pity, or a mind
Well chosen, and not sullenly perus'd Cultur'd and capable of sober thought,
In selfish silence, but imparted oft, For all the savage din of the swift pack,
As aught occurs, that she may smile to hear,