Page images
PDF
EPUB

But if he play the glutton and exceed;
His benefactress blushes at the deed.
For nature, nice, as lib’ral to dispense,
Made nothing but a brute the save of fenfe..
Daniel ate pulse by choice, example rare !
Heav'n bless’d the youth, and made him fresh and fair.
Gorgonius fits, abdominous and wan,
Like a fat fquab upon a Chinese fan :
He snuffs far off th' anticipated joy,
Turtle and ven’son all his thoughts employ,
Prepares for meals, as jockies take a sweat,
Oh nauseous! an emetic for a whet-
Will Providence o’erlook the wasted good ?
Temperance were no virtue if he could.

That pleasures, therefore, or what such we call,
Are hurtful, is a truth confess’d by all.
And some, that seem to threaten virtue less,
Still hurtful, in th' abuse, or by th' excess.

Is man then only for his torment plac'd,
The centre of delights he may not taste ?

[merged small][ocr errors][merged small][merged small][merged small][ocr errors][merged small]

Like fabled Tantalus condemn’d to hear.
The precious stream still purling in his ear,
Lip-deep in what he longs for, and yet curft
With prohibition and perpetual thiist?
No, wrangler-destitute of shame and sense, 1
The precept that enjoins him abstinence,
Forbids him none but the licentious joy,
Whose fruit, though fair, tempts only to destroy.
Remorse, the fatal egg by pleasure. laid
In every bosom where her nest is made,
Hatch'd by the beams of truth denies him rest,
And proves a raging scorpion in his breast.
No pleasure ? Are domestic comforts dead ?
Are all the nameless sweets of friendship fed ?
Has time worn out, or fashion put to thame
Good sense, good health, good conscience, and good fame?
All these belong to virtue, and all prove
That virtue has a title to your love. :
Have you no touch of pity, that the poor
Stand stary'd at your inhospitable door? .

E3

run

Or if yourself too fcantily fupplied
Need help, let honest industry provide.
Earn, if you want; if you abound, impart,
These both are pleasures to the feeling heart,
No pleasure ? Has some fickly eastern waste
Sent us a wind to parch us at a blast ?
Can British paradise no scenes afford
To please her fated and indif ’rent lord ?
Are sweet philofophy's enjoyments run
Quite to the lees? And has religion none ?
Brutes capable, would tell you ’tis a lie,
And judge you from the kennel and the stye.
Delights like these, ye sensual and profane,
Ye are bid, begg’d, besought to entertain ;
Call’d to these chrystal streams, do ye turn off
Obscene, to swill and swallow at a trough?
Envy the beast then, on whom heav'n bestows
Your pleasures, with no curses in the close.

Pleasure admitted in undue degree,
EnNaves the will, nor leaves the judgment free.

[ocr errors]
[ocr errors]

'Tis not alone the grape's enticing juice,
Unnerves the moral pow'rs and mars their use ;
Ambition, av'rice, and the lust of fame,
And woman, lovely woman, does the fame.
The heart, surrender'd to the ruling pow'r
Of some ungovern’d passion ev'ry hour,
Finds by degrees, the truths that once bore sway,
And all their deep impression wear away.
So coin grows smooth, in traffic current pass’d,
Till Cæsar's image is effac’d at last.

The breach, though small at first, foon op'ning wide,
In rushes folly with a full-moon tide.
Then welcome errors of whatever size,
To justify it by a thousand lies.
As creeping ivy clings to wood or stone,
And hides the ruin that it feeds upon,
So sophistry, cleaves close to, and protects
Sin's rotten trunk, concealing its defects.
Mortals whose pleasures are their only care,
First wish to be impos'd on, and then are.

es a

And left the fulsome artifice should fail,
Themselves will hide its coarseness with a veil.
Not more industrious are the just and true
To give to virtue what is virtue's due,
The praise of wisdom, comeliness and worth,
And call her charms to public notice forth,
Than vice's mean and disingenuous race,
To hide the shocking features of her face, :
Her form with drefs and lotion they repair,
Then kiss their idol and pronounce her fair.

The facred implement I now employ
Might prove a mischief or at beft a toy,
A trife if it move but to amuse,
But if to wrong the judgment and abuse,
Worse than a poignard in the baseft hand,
It stabs at once the morals of a land.

Ye writers of what none with safety reads,

Footing it in the dance that fancy leads :
Ye novelists who mar what ye would mend,
Sniv’ling and driv’ling folly without end,

Whose

« PreviousContinue »