« AnteriorContinuar »
A just deportment, manners graced with ease, The wriggling fry soon fill the creeks around,
Scorned by the nobler tenants of the flood,
And own his crab-computing powers o'ercome.
Fresh confidence the speculatist takes
From every hair-brained proselyte he makes;
And therefore prints. Himself but half deceived,
Hence comment after comment, spun as fine
Hence the same word, that bids our lusts obey,
Is misapplied to sanctify their sway. If Tom be sober, and the wheels well greased;
If stubborn Greek refuse to be his friend, But if the rogue have gone a cup too far,
Hebrew or Syriac shall be forced to bend:
If languages and copies all cry, No-
Somebody proved it centuries ago.
Darts to the mud, and finds his safety there. Has filled with all its fumes a critic's brain,
Women, whom custom has forbid to fly, The text, that sorts not with his darling whim,
The scholar's pitch (the scholar best knows why,) Though plain to others, is obscure to him.
With all the simple and unlettered poor, The will made subject to a lawless force,
Admire his learning, and almost adore. All is irregular and out of course;
Whoever errs, the priest can ne'er be wrong, And Judgment drunk, and bribed to lose his way, with such fine words familiar to his tongue. Winks hard, and talks of darkness at noonday.
Ye ladies! (for indifferent in your cause, A critic on the sacred book should be
I should deserve to forfeit all applause,) Candid and learned, dispassionate and free:
Whatever shocks or gives the least offence Free from the wayward bias bigots feel,
To virtue, delicacy, truth, or sense,
Try the criterion, 'tis a faithful guide,)
Nor has, nor can have, Scripture on its side.
None but an author knows an author's cares,
Or Fancy's fondness for the child she bears.
The baby seems to smile with added charms.
Like something precious ventured far from shore,
So one, whose story serves at least to show
No wild enthusiast ever yet could rest, Wooed an unfeeling statue for his wife, Till half mankind were like himself possessed. Nor rested till the gods had given it life. Philosophers, who darken and put out
If some mere driveller suck the sugared fib,
One that still needs his leading-string and bib,
Patient of contradiction as a child,
Such was Sir Isaac, and such Boyle and Locke: Habits are soon assumed; but when we strive
To strip them off, 'tis being flayed alive.
He that abstains, and he alone, does right.
And, joining the free-thinker's brutal roar, His still refuted quirks he still repeats;
Swallow the two grand nostrums they dispenseNew raised objections with new quibbles meets; That Scripture lies, and blasphemy is sense: Till sinking in the quicksand he defends, If clemency revolted by abuse He dies disputing, and the contest ends- Be damnable, then damned without excuse. But not the mischiefs; they, still left behind, Some dream that they can silence, when they Like thistle-seeds, are sown by every wind.
will, Thus men go wrong with an ingenious skill; The storm of passion, and say, Peace, be still; Bend the straight rule to their own crooked will; But “ Thus far and no further," when addressed And with a clear and shining lamp supplied, To the wild wave, or wilder human breast, First put it out, then take it for a guide.
Implies authority that never can, Halting on crutches of unequal size,
That never ought to be the lot of man. One leg by truth supported, one by lies;
But, muse forbear; long flights forbode a fall; They sidle to the goal with awkward pace, Strike on the deep-toned chord the sum of all. Secure of nothing—but to loose the race.
Hear the just law—the judgment of the skies!
And he that will be cheated to the last,
Judge his own ways, and sigh for a return,
Bewildered once, must he bewail his loss None sends his arrow to the mark in view, For ever and for ever? No-the cross! Whose hand is feeble, or his aim untrue. There and there only (though the deist rave, For though ere yet, the shaft is on the wing, And atheist, if earth bear so base a slave;) Or when it first forsakes th' elastic string, There and there only is the power to save. It err but little from the intended line,
There no delusive hope invites despair; It falls at last far wide of his design:
No mockery meets you, no deception there. So he who seeks a mansion in the sky,
The spells and charms, that blinded you before, * Most watch his purpose with a steadfast eye; All vanish there, and fascinate no more. That prize belongs to none but the sincere ; I am no preacher, let this hint sufficeThe least obliquity is fatal here.
The cross once seen is death to every vice: With cautious taste the sweet Circean cup: Else he that hung there suffered all his pain, He that sips often, at last drinks it up.
| Bled, groaned, and agonized, and died, in vain.
- Hor. Lib. ii. Epist. 1.
MAN, on the dubious waves of error tossed,
Deceitful views of future bliss farewell! -
Hard lot of man-to toil for the reward
Grace leads the right way; if you choose the wrong, Not more affronted by avowed neglect,
What—but a sordid bargain for the skies?
His dwelling a recess in some rude rock, No clustering ornaments to clog the pile;
Book, beads, and maple dish, his meagre stock; From ostentation as from weakness free,
In shirt of hair, and weeds of canvass, dressed, It stands like the cerulean arch we see,
Girt with a bell-rope that the pope has blessed; Majestic in its own simplicity.
Adust with stripes told out for every crime, Inscribed above the portal, from afar
And sore tormented long before his time; Conspicuous as the brightness of a star,
His prayer preferred to saints that can not aid; Legible only by the light they give,
His praise postponed, and never to be paid;
Wearing out life in his religious whim,
Till his religious whimsy wears out him. Heaven on such terins! (they cry with proud dis- His works, his abstinence, his zeal allowed, ". dain,)
You think him humble—God accounts him proud, Incredible, impossible, and vain !
High in demand, though lowly in pretence, Rebel, because 'tis easy to obey;
Of all his conduct this the genuine sense And scorn, for its own sake, the gracious way.
My penitential stripes, my streaming blood, These are the sober, in whose cooler brains
Have purchased Heaven and prove my title good Some thought of immortality remains ;
Turn Eastward now, and Fancy shall apply The rest, too busy or too gay to wait On the sad theme, their everlasting state,
To your weak sight her telescopic eye.
The bråmin kindles on his own bare head
The sacred fire, self-torturing his trade;
His voluntary pains, severe and long,
Would give a barbarous air to British song;
No grand inquisitor could worse invent,
Than he contrives to suffer, well content. • Or stabbed a man to serve some private end? Was blasphemy his sin? Or did he stray
Which is the saintlier worthy of the two? From the strict duties of the sacred day?
Past all dispute, yon anchorite say you. Sit long and late at the carousing board ?
Your sentence and mine differ. What's a name (Such were the sins with which he charged his I say the bramin has the fairer claim. Lord.)
If sufferings, Scripture no where recommends, No-the man's morals were exact, what then ?
Devised by self to answer selfish ends, 'Twas his ambition to be seen of men;
Give saintship, then all Europe must agree His virtues were his pride ; and that one vice
Ten starveling hermits suffer less than he. * Made all his virtues gewgaws of no price;
The truth is (if the truth may, suit your car, He wore them as fine trappings for a show,
And prejudice have left a passage clear,) A praying, synagogue-frequenting benu. Pride has attained its most luxuriant growth,
The self-applauding bird, the peacock see- And poisoned every virtue in them both. Mark what a sumptuous pharisee is he! Pride may be pampered while the flesh grows lean; Meridian sun-beams tempt him to unfold Humility may clothe an English dean; His radiant glories, azure, green, and gold:
That grace was Cowper's—his, confessed by allHe treads as if, some solemn music near,
Though placed in golden Durham's second stall, His measured step were governed by his ear:
Not all the plenty of a bishop's board, And seems to say-Ye meaner fowl, give place,
His palace, and his lackeys, and" My Lord,” I am all splendour, dignity, and grace !
More nourish pride, that condescending vice, Not so the pheasant on his charms presumes,
Than abstinence, and beggary, and lice; Though he too has a glory in his plumes.
It thrives in misery, and abundant grows: He, Christian like, retreats with modest mien,
In misery fools upon themselves impose. To the close copse, or far-sequestered green, But why before us protestants produce And shines without desiring to be seen.
An Indian mystic, or a French recluse? The plea of works, as arrogant and vain, Their sin is plain ; but what have we to fear, Heaven turns from with abhorrence and disdain ; Reformed and well instructed ? You shall hear.
Yon ancient prude, whose withered features show The freeborn Christian has no chains to prove,
What fear he feels, his gratitude inspires.
Prompt every movement of his heart and mind: And sails with lappet-head and mincing airs Thought, word, and deed his liberty evince, Duly at clink of bell to mórning prayers.
His freedom is the freedom of a prince. To thrift and parsimony much inclined,
Man's obligations infinite, of course She yet allows herself that boy behind; His life should prove that he perceives their force; The shivering urchin, bending as he goes, His utmost he can render is but smallWith slipshod heels, and dewdrop at his nose; The principle and motive all in all. His predecessor's coat advanced to wear, You have two servants—Tom, an arch, sly rogue Which future pages yet are doomed to share, From top to toe the Getá now in vogue, Cames her Bible tucked beneath his arm, Genteel in figure, easy in address, And hides his hands to keep his fingers warm.
Moves without noise, and swift as an express, She, half an angel in her own account,
Reports a message with a pleasing grace, Draubts not hereafter with the saints to mount,
Expert in all the duties of his place; Though not a grace appears on strictest search,
Say, on what hinge does his obedience move? But that she fasts, and item, goes to church.
Has he a world of gratitude and love? Conscious of age, she recollects her youth,
No, not a spark—'tis all, mere sharper's play; And tells, not always with an eye to truth,
He likes your house, your housemaid and your Who spanned her waist, and who, where'er he pay;
Reduce his wages or get rid of her, came, Scrawled upon glass Miss Bridget's lovely name;
Tom quits you, with——Your most obedient, Sir. Who stole her slipper, filled it with tokay,
The dinner served, Charles takes his usual stand, And drank the little bumper every day.
Watches your eye, anticipates command; Of temper as envenomed as an asp,
Sighs if perhaps your appetite should fail; Censorious, and her every word a wasp;
And, if he but suspects a frown, turns pale; In faithful memory she records the crimes,
Consults all day your interest and your ease, Or real or fictitious, of the times;
Richly rewarded if he can but please; Laughs at the reputations she has torn,
And, proud to make his firm attachment known, And holds them dangling at arm's length in scorn.
To save your life would nobly risk his own. Such are the fruits of sanctimonious pride,
Now which stands highest in your serious thought? Of malice fed while flesh is mortified:
Charles, without doubt, say you--and so he ought; Také, Madam, the reward of all your prayers,
One act, that from a thankful heart proceeds, Where hermits and where bramins meet with Excels ten thousand mercenary deeds. theirs;
Thus Heayen approves, as honest and sincere, Your portion is with them.-Nay, never frown,
The work of generous love and filial fear; But, if you please, some fathoms lower down.
But with averted eyes th' omniscient Judge
Scorns the base hireling, and the slavish drudge. Artist attend- your brushes and your paint
Where dwell these matchless saints ?-old Curio Produce them-take a chair-now draw a saint.
cries. Oh sorrowful and sad! the streaming tears E'en at your side, Sir, and before your eyes, Channel her cheeks-a Niobe appears!.
The favoured few-th' enthusiasts you despise. Is this a saint? Throw tints and all away- And pleased at heart, because on holy ground True piety is cheerful as the day,
Sometimes a canting hypocrite is found, Will weep indeed and heave a pitying groan
Reproach a people with his single fall, For others' woes, but smiles upon her own.
And cast his filthy garment at them all.'. What purpose has the King of saints in view? Attend an apt similitude shall snow, Why falls the Gospel like a gracious dew? Whence springs the conduct that offends you so. To call up plenty from the teeming earth,
See where it smokes along the sounding plain, Or curse the desert with a tenfold dearth ? Blown all aslant, a driving, dashing rain, Is it that Adam's offspring may be saved Péal upon peal redoubling all around, From servile fear, or be the more enslaved ? Shakes it again and faster to the ground; To loose the links that galled mankind before, Now flashing wide, now glancing as in play, Or bind them faster on, and add still more ? Swist beyond thought the lightnings dart away,
Ere yet it came the traveller urged his steed," The Frenchman, first in literary fame,
Bon mots to gall
’ the Christian and the Jew; Some mansion, neat and elegantly dressed, An infidel in health, but what when sick ? By some kind hospitable heart possessed, Oh-then a text would touch him at the quick: Offer him warmth, security, and rest ;
View him at Paris in his last career, Think with what pleasure, safe and at his ease, Surrounding throngs the demi-god revere; He hears the tempest howling in the trees; Exalted on his pedestal of pride, What'glowing thanks his lips and heart employ, And fumed frankincense on every side, While danger past is turned to present joy. He begs their flattery with his latest breath, So fares it with the sinner, when he feels And smothered in 't at last, is praised to death. A growing dread of vengeance at his heels; Yon cottager, who weaves at her own door, His conscience, like a glassy lake before,
Pillow and bobbins all her little store; Lashed into foaming waves, begins to roar; . Content though mean, and cheerful if not gay, The law grown clamorous, though silent long, Shuffling her threads about the livelong day, Arraigns hím-charges him with every wrong- Just earns a scanty pittance, and at night, Asserts the rights of his offended Lord, Lies down secure, her heart and pocket light; And death or restitution is the word:
She, for her humble sphere by nature fit, The last impossible, he fears the first,
(Has little understanding, and no wit, And, having well deserved, expects the worst, Receives no praise; but, though her lot be such, Then welcome refuge, and a peaceful home; Toilsome and indigent) she renders much; Oh for a shelter from the wrath to come! Just knows, and knows no more, her Bible true Crush me, ye rocks! ye falling mountains hide, A truth the brilliant Frenchman never knew; Or bury me in ocean's angry tide.
And in that charter reads with sparkling eyes The scrutiny of those all seeing eyes
Her title to a treasure in the skies.
His the mere tinsel, hers the rich reward;
Some lead a life umblameable and just, One pleasure lost, lose Heaven without regret; Their own dear virtue their unshaken trust; Regret would rouse them, and give birth to prayer; They never sin-or if (as all offend)
Prayer would add faith, and faith would fix them Some trivial slips their daily walk attend,
there. The poor are near at hand, the charge is small, Not that the Former of us all, in this, A slight gratuity atones for all
Or aught he does, is governed by caprice;
Not so—the silver trumpet's heavenly call
No slaves on earth more welcome were than they: The future shall obliterate the past,
But royalty, nobility, and state,
Come then--a still, small whisper in your ear– That endless bliss (how strange soe'er it seem)
In counterpoise, flies up and kicks the beam. And he that never doubted of his state,
'Tis open, and ye can not enter—why? He may perhaps-perhaps he may--too late. Because ye will not, Conyers would reply
The path to bliss abounds with many a snare; And he says much that many may dispute, Learning is one, and wit, however rare. | And cavil at with ease, but none refute.