« AnteriorContinuar »
This does Profusion, and the accursed cause With belted waist and pointers at their heels,
If aught was learned in childhood, is forgot; When learning, virtue, piety and truth,
And such expense, as pinches parents blue, Were precious, and inculcated with care, And mortifies the liberal hand of love, There dwelt a sage called Discipline. His head, Is squandered in pursuit of idle sports Not yet by time completely silvered o'er,
And vicious pleasure; buys the boy a name, Bespoke him past the bounds of freakish youth, That sits a stigma on his father's house, But strong for service still, and unimpaired. And cleaves through life inseparably close His eye was meek and gentle, and a smile To him that wears it. What can after-games Played on his lips; and in his speech was heard Of riper joys, and commerce with the world, Paternal sweetness, dignity and love.
The lewd vain world, that must receive him soon, The occupation dearest to his heart
Add to such erudition, thus acquired, Was to encourage goodness. He would stroke Where science and where virtue are professed ? The head of modest and ingenuous worth, They may confirm his habits, rivet fast That blushed at its own "praise; and press the His folly, but to spoil him is a task, youth
That bids defiance to th' united powers Close to his side, that pleased him. Learning Of fashion, dissipation, taverns, stews. grew
Now blame we most the nursling or the nurse? Beneath his care a thriving vigorous plant; The children crooked, twisted, and deformed, The mind was well informed, the passions held Through want of care; or her, whose winking eye, Subordinate, and diligence was choice.
And slumbering oscitancy mars the brood ? If e'er it chanced, as sometimes chance it must, The nurse no doubt. Regardless of her charge, That one among so many overleaped
She needs herself correction; needs to learn, The limits of control, his gentle eye
That it is dangerous sporting with the world, Grew stern, and darted a severe rebuke:
With things so sacred as the nation's trust, His frown was full of terror, and his voice The nurture of her youth, her dearest pledge. Shook the delinquent with such fits of awe, An are not such. I had a brother once As left him not, till penitence had won
Peace to the memory of a man of worth, Lost favour back again, and closed the breach. A man of letters, and of manners too! But Discipline, a faithful servant long;
Of manners sweet as Virtue always wears, Declined at length into the vale of years: When gay Good-nature dresses her in smiles. A palsy struck his arm; his sparkling eye He graced a college, * in which order yet Was quenched in rheums of age; his voice un- Was sacred; and was honoured, loved, and wept, strung,
By more than one, themselves conspicuous there. Grew tremulous, and drew derision more Some minds are tempered happily, and mixed Than reverence in perverse, rebellious youth. With such ingredients of good sense, and taste So colleges and halls neglected much
Of what is excellent in man, they thirst Their good old friend; and Discipline at length, With such a zeal to be what they approve,' O'erlooked and unemployed, fell sick and died. That no restraints can circumscribe them more Then Study languished, Emulation slept, Than they themselves by choice, for wisdom's sake. And Virtue fied. The schools became a scene Nor can example hurt them: what they see Of solemn farce, where Ignorance in stilts, Of vice in others but enhancing more His cap well lined with logic not his own, The charms of virtue in their just esteem. With parrot tongue performed the scholar's part, If such escape contagion, and emerge Proceeding soon a graduated dunce.
Pure from so foul a pool to shine abroad, Then compromise had place, and scrutiny And give the world their talents and themselves, Became stone blind; precedence went in truck; Small thanks to those whose negligence or sloth And he was competent whose purse was so, Exposed their inexperience to the snare, A dissolution of all bonds ensued;
And left them to an undirected choice. The curbs invented for the mulish mouth,
See then the quiver broken and decayed, Of headstrong youth were broken; bars and bolts In which are kept our arrows! Rusting there Grew rusty by disuse; and massy gates
In wild disorder, and unfit for use,
Till gowns at length are found mere masquerade, They shame their shooters with a random flight,
• Bene't Coll. Cambridge.
With such artillery armed. Vice parries wide Of that calamitous mischief has been found: Th' undreaded volley with a sword of straw, Found too where most offensive, in the skirts And stands an impudent and fearless mark. Of the robed pedagogue! Else let th' arraigned
Stand up unconscious, and refute the charge. Have we not tracked the felon home, and found So when the Jewish leader stretched his arm, His birth-place and his dam? The country mourns, And waved his rod divine, a race obscene, Mourns because every plague, that can infest Spawned in the muddy beds of Nile, came forth, Society, and that saps and worms the base Polluting Egypt: gardens, fields, and plains, Of th' edifice, that Policy has raised,
Were covered with the pest; the streets were filled; Swarms in all quarters meets the eye, the ear, The croaking nuisance lurked in every nook; And suffocates the breath at every turn,
Nor palaces, nor even chambers, 'scaped; Profusion breeds them; and the cause itself And the land stank—so numerous was the fry.
ARGUMENT. Self-recollection and reproof.-Address to domestic happiness. Some account of mysell.— The vanity of many of their pursuits who are reputed wise.- Justification of my censures.--- Divine illumination necessary to the most expert philoso pher - The question, What is truth?' answered by other questions. ---Domestic happiness addressed again. - Few lovers of the country. My tame hare. -Occupations of a retired gentleman in his garden-Pruning.–Framing. --Green-house. Sowing of flower-Seeds - The country preferable to the town even in winter.- Reasons why it is deseried at that season. Ruinous effects of gaming, and of expensive improvement. —- Book concludes with an apostrophe to the metropolis.
As one, who long in thickets and in brakes Or, when rough winter rages, on the soft
My partners in retreat. Disgust concealed
Domestic happiness, thou only bliss
Of Paradise, that has survived the fall!
Or too incautious to preserve thy sweets
Thou art the nurse of Virtue, in thine arms
Heaven-born, and destined to the skies again. Since pulpits fail, and sounding boards reflect Thou art not known where Pleasure is adored, Most part an empty, ineffectual sound,
That reeling goddess with the zoneless waist
Till prostitution elbows us aside
Convened for purposes of empire less,
My former partners of the peopled scene; Than to release the adulteress from her bond. With few associates, and not wishing more. Th' adulteress! what a theme for angry verse! Here much I ruminate, as much I may, What provocation to the indignant heart, With other views of men and manners now That feels for injured love! but I disdain Than once, and others of a life to come. The nauseous task to paint her as she is, I see that all are wanderers, gone astray Cruel, abandoned, glorying in her shame! Each in his own delusions; they are lost No: let her pass, and, charioted along
In chase of fancied happiness, still wooed In guilty splendour, shake the public ways; And never won. Dream after dream ensues; The frequency of crimes has washed them white. And still they dream that they shall still succeed, And verse of mine shall never brand the wretch And still are disappointed. Rings the world Whom matrons now, of character unsmirched, With the vain stir. I sum up half mankind, And chaste themselves, are not ashamed to own. And add two thirds of the remaining half, Virtue and vice had boundaries in old time, And find the total of their hopes and fears Not to be passed: and she, that had renounced Dreams, empty dreams. The million flit as gay Her ser's honour, was renounced herself As if created only like the fly, By all that prized it; not for prudery's sake, That spreads his motley wings in th' eye of noon, But dignity's, resentful of the wrong.
To sport their season, and be seen no more. 'Twas hard perhaps on here and there a waif, The rest are sober dreamers, grave and wise, Desirous to return, and not received;
And pregnant with discoveries new and rare. But 'twas a wholesome rigour in the main, Some write a narrative of wars, and feats And taught th' unblemished to preserve with care of heroes little known; and call the rant That purity, whose loss was loss of all.
A history: describe the man of whom Men too were nice in honour in those days, His own coevals took but little note, And judged offenders well. Then he that sharped, And paint his person, character, and views, And pocketed a prize by fraud obtained, As they had known him from his mother's womb. Was marked and shunned as odious. He that They disentangle from the puzzled skein, sold
In which obscurity has wrapped them up His country, or was slack when she required The threads of politic and shrewd design, His every nerve in action and at stretch, That ran through all his purposes, and, charge Paid with the blood that he had basely spared, His mind with meanings that he never had, The price of his default. But now-yes, now Or, having, kept concealed. Some drill and bore We are become so candid and so fair,
The solid earth, and from the strata there So liberal in construction, and so rich
Extract a register, by which we learn, In Christian charity, (good natured age !) That he who made it, and revealed its date That they are safe, sinners of either sex, To Moses, was mistaken in its age. Transgress what laws they may. Well dressed, Some, more acute, and more industrious still, well bred,
Contrive creation; travel nature up Well equipaged, is ticket good enough
To the sharp peak of her sublimest height, To pass as readily through every door.
And tell us whence the stars; why some are fixed Hypocrisy, detest her as we may,
And planetary some; what gave them first (And no man's hatred ever wronged her yet) Rotation, from what fountain flowed their light, May claim this merit still—that she adınits Great contest follows, and much learned dust The worth of what she mimics with such care Involves the combatants; each claiming truth, And thus gives virtue indirect applause; And truth disclaiming both. And thus they spend But she has burnt her mask, not needed here, The little wick of life's poor shallow lamp Where rice has such allowance, that her shifts In playing tricks with nature, giving laws And specious semblances have lost their use. To distant worlds, and trifling in their own.
I was a stricken deer, that left the herd Is't not a pity now that tickling rheums Long since. With many an arrow deep infixed Should ever tease the lungs, and blear the sight My panting side was charged, when I withdrew Of oracles like these? Great pity too, To seek a tranquil death in distant shades, That having wielded the elements, and built There was I found by one who had himself A thousand systems, each in his own way, Been hurt by th’archers. In his side he bore, They should go out in fume, and be forgot ? And in his hands and feet the cruel scars. Ah! what is life thus spent ? and what are they With gentle force soliciting the darts,
But frantic, who thus spend it ? all for smokeHe drew them forth, and healed, and bade me live. Eternity for bubbles proves at last Since then, with few associates, in remote A senseless bargain. When I see such games And silent woods I wander, far from those Played by the creatures of a Power, who swears
That he will judge the earth and call the fool Our wayward intellect, the more we learn
Conclusions retrograde, and mad mistake.
But if his word once teach us, shoot a ray Dissolve in pity, and account the learned, Through all the heart's dark chambers, and reveal If this be learning, most of all deceived.
Truths undiscerned but by that holy light, Great crimes alarm the conscience, but it sleeps, Then all is plain. Philosophy, baptized While thoughtful man is plausibly amused, In the pure fountain of eternal love, Defend me therefore, common sense, say I, Has eyes indeeds and viewing all she sees From reveries so airy, from the toil
As meant to indicate a God to man, Of dropping buckets into empty wells,
Gives him his praise, and forfeits not her own. And growing old in drawing nothing up! Learning has borne such fruit in other days
"Twere well, says one sage erudite, profound, On all her branches; piety has found Terribly arched, and aquiline his nose,
Friends in the friends of science, and true prayer And overbuilt with most impending brows," Has flowed from lips wet with Castalian dews. 'Twere well, could you permit the world to live Such was thy wisdom, Newton, child-like sage! As the world pleases; what's the world to you? Sagacious reader of the works of God, Much. I was born of woman, and drew milk And in this word sagacious. Such too thine, As sweet as charity from human breasts. Milton, whose genius had angelic wings, I think, articulate, I laugh and weep,
And fed on manna! And such thine, in whom And exercise all functions of a man.
Our British Themis gloried with just cause, How then should I and any man that lives Immortal Hale! for deep discernment praised, Be strangers to each other? Pierce my vein, And sound integrity, not more than famed Take of the crimson stream meandering there, For sanctity of manners undefiled. And catechise it well; apply the glass,
All flesh is grass, and all its glory fade Search it, and prove now if it be not blood Like the fair flower dishevelled in the wind; Congenial with thine own, and, if it be, Riches have wings, and grandeur is a dream What edge of subtlety canst thou suppose The man we celebrate must find a tomb, Keen enough, wise and skilful as thou art, And we that worship him ignoble graves. To cut the link of brotherhood, by which Nothing is proof against the general curse One common Maker bound me to the kind ? Of vanity, that seizes all below. True; I am no proficient, I confess,
The only amaranthine flower on earth In arts like yours. I can not call the swift Is virtue; th' only lasting treasure, truth. And perilous lightnings from the angry.clouds, But what is truth? 'Twas Pilate's question put And bid them hide themselves in earth beneath, To truth itself, that deigned him no reply. I can not analyse the air, nor catch
And wherefore ? will not God impart his light The parallax of yonder luminous point, To them that ask it ?-Freely—'tis his joy, That seems half quenched in the immense abyss: His glory, and his nature, to impart. Such powers I boast not--neither can I rest But to the proud, uncandid, insincere, A silent witness of the headlong rage,
Or negligent inquirer, not a spark. Or heedless folly, by which thousands die, What's that, which brings contempt upon a book, Bone of my bone, and kindred souls to mine. And him who writes it, though the style be neat, God never meant that man should scale the hea- The method clear, and argument exact? .
That makes a minister in holy things By stride of human wisdom, in his works, The joy of many, and the dread of more," Though wondrous: he commands us in his word His name a theme for praise and for reproach ?To seek him rather where his mercy shines. That, while it gives us worth in God's account, The mind, indeed, enlightened from above, Depreciates and undoes us in our own? Views him in all; ascribes to the grand cause What pearl is it that rich men can not buy, The grand effect; acknowledges with joy That learning is too proud to gather up; His manner, and with rapture tastes his style ; But which the poor, and the despised of all, But never yet did philosophic tube,
Seek and obtain, and often find unsought? That brings the planets home into the eye Tell me--and I will tell thee what is truth. Of observation, and discovers, else
O friendly to the best pursuits of man, Not visible, his family of worlds,
Friendly to thought, to virtue, and to peace, Discover him that rules them; such a veil Domestic life in rural pleasure passed ! Hangs over mortal eyes, blind from the birth, Few know thy value, and few taste thy sweets; And dark in things divine. Full often too Though many boast thy favours, and affect
To understand and choose thee for their own. Esteems that busy world an idler too!
Delightful industry enjoyed at home,
Can he want occupation, who has these?
Me therefore studious of laborious. ease, By every pleasing image they present,
Not slothful, happy to decoive the time, Reflections such as meliorate the heart,
Not waste it, and aware that human life Compose the passions, and exalt the mind; Is but a loan to be repaid with use, Scenes such as these 'tis his supreme delight
When He shall call his debtors to account, To fill with riot and defile with blood.
From whom are all our blessings, business finds Should some contagion, kind to the poor brutes E'en here: while sedulous I seek t' improve, We persecute, annihilate the tribes
At least neglect not, or leave unemployed, That draw the sportsman over hill and dale The mind be gave me; driving it, though slack Fearless, and wrapt away from all his cares; Too oft, and much impeded in its work Should never game-fowl hatch her eggs again, By causes not to be divulged in vain, Nor baited hook deceive the fish's eye; - To its just point—the service of mankind. Could pageantry and dance, and feast and song, He, that attends to his interior self, Be quelled in all our summer-months' retreats; That has a heart and keeps it; has a mind How many self-deluded nymphs and swains, That hungers, and supplies it: and who seeks Who dream they have a taste for fields and groves, A social, not a dissipated life, Would find them hideous nurseries of the spleen, Has business; feels himself engaged t' achieve And crowd the roads, impatient for the town! No unimportant, though a silent, task. They love the country, and none else, who seek A life all turbulence and noise may seem For their own sake its silence, and its shade. To him that leads it wise, and to be praised; Delights which who would leave, that has a heart But wisdom is a pearl with most success Susceptible of pity, or a mind
Sought in still water, and beneath clear skies. Cultured and capable of sober thought,
He that is ever occupied in storms,
The morning finds the self-sequcstered man
Ilis warm but simple home, where he enjoys, Of silent tears and heart-distending sighs ? With her, who shares his pleasures and his heart, Vain tears, alas, and sighs that never find Sweet converse, sipping calm the fragrant lymph, A corresponding tone in jovial souls !
Which neatly she prepares; then to his book Well-one at least is safe. One sheltered hare Well chosen, and not sullenly perused • Has never heard the sanguinary yell
In selfish silence, but imparted oft, Of cruel man, exulting in her woes.
As aught occurs, that she may smile to hear, Innocent partner of my peaceful home,
Or turn to nourishment, digested well, Whom ten long years' experience of my care Or if the garden with its many cares, Has made at last familiar; she has lost
All well repaid, demand him, he attends Much of her vigilant instinctive dread,
The welcome call, conscious how much the hand Not needful here, beneath a roof like mine. Of lubbard labour needs his watchful eye, Yes-thou mayest eat thy bread, and lick the hand |Oit loitering lazily, if not o'erseen, That feeds thee; thou mayest frolic on the floor Or misapplying his unskilful strength. At evening, and at night retire secure
Nor does he govern only or direct, To thy straw couch, and slumber unalarmed; But much performs himself. No works, indeed for I have gained thy confidence, have pledged That ask robust, tough sinews, bred to toil, All that is human in me, to protect
Servile employ: but such as may amuse, Thine unsuspecting gratitude and love.
Not tire, demanding rather skill than force. If I survive thee, I will dig thy grave;
Proud of his well-spread walls, he views his trees And, when I place thee in it, sighing say, That meet, no barren interval between, I knew at least one hare that had a friend. With pleasure more than e'en their fruits affords;
How various his employments, whom the world which, save himself who trains them, none can Calls idle; and who justly in return