Page images
PDF
EPUB

Remorse begets reform. His master-lust
Falls first before his resolute rebuke,
And seems dethron'd and vanquish’d. Peace ensues,"
But spurious and short-liv'd, the puny child ::
Of self-congratulating pride, begoti "...
On fancied Innocence. Again he falls,
And fights again; but finds his best essay
A presage ominous, portending still
Its own dishonor by a worse relapse.
Till Nature, unavailing Nature, foild
So oft, and wearied in the vain attempt,
Scoffs at her own performance. Reason now .
Takes part with appetite, and pleads the cause,
Perversely, which of late the so condemn'd;
With shallow shifts and old devices, worn
And tatter'd in the service of debauch,
Cov'ring his shame from his offended light.

“ Hath God indeed giv'n appetites to man, “ And stor’d the earth so plenteoully with means P 3

• To

“ To gratify the hunger of his wish, “ And doth he reprobate and will he damn “ The use of his own bounty ? making first “ So frail a kind, and then enacting laws “ So strict, that less than perfect must despair ? “ Falsehood! which whoso but suspects of truth, “ Dishonors God, and makes a Nave of man. « Do they themselves, who undertake for hire “ The teacher's office, and dispense at large “ Their weekly dole of edifying strains, “Attend to their own music? have they faith « In what with such solemnity of tone “ And gesture they propound to our belief? « Nay-conduct hath the loudest tongue. The voice “ Is but an instrument on which the priest “May play what tune he pleases. In the deed, “ The unequivocal authentic deed, “ We find sound argument, we read the heart,"

in

m

[ocr errors]

Such reas’nings (if that name must needs belong T'excuses in which reason has no part)

Serve

Serve to compose a fpirit well inclin'd
To live on terms of amity with vice,
And sin without disturbance. Often urg'd
(As often as libidinous discourse
Exhausted, he resorts to solemn themes
Of theological and grave import)
They gain at last his unreserv'd affent.
Till harden'd his heart's temper in the forge
Of luft, and on the anvil of despair,
He Nights the strokes of conscience. Nothing moves,
Or nothing much, his constancy in ill,
Vain tamp'ring has but foster'd his disease,
'Tis desp’rate, and he neeps the seep of death.
Hafte now, philosopher, and set him free.
Charm the deaf serpent wisely. Make him hear
Of rectitude and fitness ; moral truth
How lovely, and the moral-sense how sure,
Consulted and obey'd, to guide his steps
Directly, to the FIRST AND ONLY FAIR.
Spare not in such a cause. Spend all the pow'rs

Of rant and rhapsody in virtue's praise :
Be most sublimely good, verbosely grand,
And with poetic trappings grace thy prose,
Till it out-mantle all the pride of verse.-
Ah, tinkling cymbal and high-founding brass,
Smitten in vain ! such music cannot charm
Th’ eclipfe that intercepts truth's heav'nly beam,
And chills and darkens a wide-wand'ring soul.
The still small voice is wanted. He must fpeak,
Whose word leaps forth at once to its effect,
Who calls for things that are not, and they come.

Grace makes the slave a freeman. 'Tis a change That turns to ridicule the turgid speech And stately tone of moralists, who boast, As if like him, of fabulous renown, They had indeed ability to smooth The shag of favage nature, and were each An Orpheus, and cmnipotent in song. But transformation of apostate man

From

From fool to wife, from earthly to divine,
Is work for Him that made him. He alone,
And he by means in philofophic eyes
Trivial and worthy of disdain, atchieves
The wonder ; humanizing what is brute
In the loft kind, extracting from the lips
Of asps their venom, overpow'ring strength
By weakness, and hostility by love.

[ocr errors]

nam

1C

[ocr errors]

Patriots have toild, and in their country's cause Bled nobly, and their deeds, as they deserve, Receive proud recompence. We give in charge Their names to the sweet lyre. Th' historic muse, Proud of the treasure, marches with it down To latest times; and sculpture, in her turn, Gives bond in stone and ever-during brass To guard them, and t’immortalize her trust. But fairer wreaths are due, though never paid, To those who, posted at the shrine of truth, Have falln in her defence. A patriot's blood,

Well

« PreviousContinue »