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A. 'Twould thin the ranks of the poetic tribe, To dalh the pen through all that
you proscribe. B. No matter—we could shift when they were not, And should no doubt if they were all forgot.
THE PROGRESS OF ERROR.
Si quid loquar audiendum.
Hor. LIB. 4. OD. 2.
a May find a muse to grace it with a song) By what unseen and unsuspected arts The serpent error twines round human hearts, Tell where she lurks, beneath what flow'ry shades, That not a glimpse of genuine light pervades, The pois’nous, black, insinuating worm, Successfully conceals her loathsome form.
Take, if ye can, ye careless and supine ! Counsel and caution from a voice like mine Truths that the theorist could never reach, And obfervation taught me, I would teach.
Not all whose eloquence the fancy fills, Musical as the chime of tinkling rills, Weak to perform, though mighty to pretend, Can trace her mazy windings to their end, Discern the fraud beneath the specious lure, Prevent the danger, or prescribe the cure. The clear harangue, and cold as it is clear, Falls soporific on the liftless ear, Like quicksilver, the rhet'ric they display, Shines as it runs, but grasp'd at Nips away.
Plac'd for his trial on this bustling stage, From thoughtless youth to ruminating age, Free in his will to chuse or to refuse, Man may improve the crisis, or abuse, Else, on the fatalists unrighteous plan, Say, to what bar amenable were man?
With nought in charge, he could betray no trust,
These open on the spot their honey'd store,
pomp, and splendor, and the thirst of praise; There beauty woos him with expanded arms, E'en Bacchanalian madness has its charms,
Nor these alone, whose pleasures less refin’d,
Hark! how it foats upon the dewy air,