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Custom, the world's great idol, we adore;
what 's worse, we know not what we err; And knowing this, we seek to know no more. What mark does truth, what bright distinction bear? What education did at first receive,
How do we know that what we know is true? Our ripen'd age confirms us to believe.
How thall we falsehood fly, and truth pursue? The careful nurse, and priest, are all we need, Let none then here his certain knowlodge boast; 'To learn opinions, and our country's creed;
'T is all but probability tit most; The parent's precepts early are instilld,
This is the casy purchase of the mind;
But truth lies hid, and ere we can explore
The glittering gem, our fleeting life is o'er.
DIES NO VISSIMA:
LAST EPIPHAN Y.
A Pindaric Ode, on Christ's second Appearance, to Our unexamin'd principles may pass !
Judge ike World.
DIEU, ye toyish reeds, that once could please
Be gone; I 'll waste no more vain hours with you; For now, who truth from falsehood would discern,
And, smiling Sylvia too, adieu. Must first disrobe the mind, and all unlearn.
A brighter power invokes my Muse, Errors, contracted in unmindful youth,
And loftier thoughts and raptures does infuse. When once remov'd, will smooth the way to truth: See, beckoning from yon cloud, he stands, To dispossess the child, the mortal lives;
And promises allistance with his hands : But death approaches ere the man arrives.
I feel the heavy-rolling God, Those who would learning's glorious kingdom find, Incumbent, revel in his frail abode. The dear-bought purchase of the trading mind,
How my breast heaves, and pulses beat!
I fink, I link, beneath the furious heat;
The weighty bliss o'erwhelms my breast,
And over-fowing joys profusely waste.
Some nobler bard, O sacred Power, inspire,
Or soul more large, th' elapses to receive:
And, brighter yet, to catch the fire,
And each gay following charm from death to save! Does not that foolish deference we pay
In vain the suit the God inflames my breast; To men that liv'd long lince, our passage stay?
I rave, with extasies opprest:
And now I mix, unsing'd, with elemental fire !
The leading deity I have in view; Worship old urns, and monuments adore !
Nor mortal knows, as yet, what wonders will ensue. The reverend sage, with vast esteem, we prize: He liv'd long since, and must be wondrous wise !
We pass’d through regions of unsullied light; Thus are we debtors to the famous dead,
I gaz'd, and ficken’d at the blissful sight; For all those errors which their fancy bred;
A shudderies paleness seiz'd my look: Errors indeed! for real knowledge stay'd
At last the pelt flew off, and thus I spoke: With those first times, not farther was convey'd; “ Say, Sacred Guide, shall this bright clime While light opinions are much lower brought,
“ Survive the fatal test of time, For on the waves of ignorance they float:
“ Or perish, with our mortal globe below, But solid truth scarce ever gains the shore,
“ When yon sun no longer thines?" So roon it finks, and ne'er emerges more.
Straight I finishidveiling low; Suppose those many dreadful dangers past;
The vision iry power rejoins:
“'T is not for you to ask, nor mine to say, Will knowledge dawn, and bless the mind, at last;
" The niccties of that tremendous day. Ah! no, 't is now environ'd from our eyes,
“ Know, when o’er-jaded Time his round has run, Hides all its charms, and undiscover'd lies!
" And finish'd are the radiant journeys of the sun, Truth, like a single point, escapes the fight,
" The great decisive morn shall rise, And claims attention to perceive it right!
“ And Heaven's bright Judge appear in opening skies! But what resembles truth is foon desery'd,
“ Eternal grace and justice he 'll bestow Spreads like a surface, and expanded wide! The first man rarely, very rarely finds
« On all the trembling world below.". The tedious search of long enquiring minds;
He said. I mus'd; and thus return'd:
Stripp'd of his dazzling robes of fire; « What enrigns, courtequs stranger, tell,
Which dangling, once, shed round a lavish food of Leti! " Shall the brooding day reveal ?"
No frail eclipse, but all essential thade, He answer'd mild
Not yielding to primæral gloom, “ Already, stupid with their crimes,
Whilst day was yet an embryo in the womb; “ Blind mortals proftrate to their idols lie:
Nor glimmering in its source, with filver fremme “ Such were the boding times,
play'd, " Ere ruin blasted from the Cuicy fry;
A jetty mixture of the darkness spread “ Diffolv'd they lay in fulsome ease,
O'er murmuring Ægypt's head; 66 And revel'd in luxuriant peace;
And that which angels drew « In bacchanals they did their hours consume, O’er Nature's face, when Jesus died; « And bacchanals led on their swift advancing doom." | Which fleeping ghosts for this mistook,
And, rising, off their hanging funerals thook, Adulterate Chrifts already rise,
And fieeting pass'd expos'd their bloodless breaff to And dare taliuage the angry skies;
view, Erratic throngs their Saviour's blood deny,
Yet find it not so dark, and to their dormitories gids: And from the Cross, alas! he does neglected figh;
Now bolder fires appear,
So long the gore through poison'd veins has flow'd, Yet mark'd with fate, as when he fled the sheria
court, Yet specious artifice, and fuir disguise,
And plung'd into the opening gulph of night; The monster's Mape, and curft design, belies:
A sabre of immortal flame I bore, A fiend's black venom, in an angel's mien,
And, with this arm, his flouritking pleme I time, He quaffs, and featters, the contagious spleen And straight the fiend retreated from the fight. Straight, when he finishes his lawless reign, Nature shall paint the thining scene,
Mean time the lambient prodigies on high Quick as the lightning which inspires the train.
Take gamesome measures in the ky;
Joy'd with his future feast, the thunder roars Forward confusion shall provoke the fray,
In chorus to th' enormous harmony; And nature from her ancient order stray;
And halloo's to his offspring from sulphureous fore: Black tempetts gathering from the seas around,
Applauding how they tilt, and how they fly, In horrid ranges shall advance ;
And their each nimble turn, and radiant embaffy
The moon turns pale at the fight,
The lightning with its livid tail,
A train of glittering terrors draws behind, Th' encumber'd region of the air fhall choke;
Which o'er the trembling world prevail; The noisy main thall lash the suffering ihorc,
Wing'd and blown on by storms of wind, And from the rocks the breaking billows roar! They show the hideous leaps on either hand, Black thunder bursts, blue lightning burns,
Of Night, that spreads her ebon curtains round, And melting worlds to heaps of ashes turns!
And there erects her royal ftand, The forests shall beneath the tempeft bend,
In seven-fold winding jet her conscious temples bour', And rugged winds the nodding cedars rend.
The stars, next starting from their spheres, Reverse all Nature's web shall run,
In giddy revolutions leap and bound;
Whilst this with doubtful fury glares,
And wheels in sportive gyres around,
Its neighbour shall advance to fight; (The wand with which, ere time begun,
And while each offers to enlarge its right, His wandering Nives he did command,
The general ruin ihull increase, And made them (camper right, and in rude ranges run) And banith all the votaries of pexe. The hoftile harmony shall chace;
No more the stars, with paler beams, And as the nymph resigns her place,
Shall tremble o'er the midnight streams, And panting to the neighbouring refuge flies,
But travel downward to behold The formless ruffian Naughters with his eyes,
What mimics them so twinkling there: And following storms the pearching dame’s retreat, And, like Narcissus, as they gain more new, Adding the terror of his threat;
For che lov'd image straight expire,
And agonize in warm desure,
Whilft the world burns, and all the orbs below
In thcir viperous ruins glow,
They fink, and unsupported leave the skies,
We shall attend, and save, or deal the blow, Which fall abrupt, and tell their torment in the As he admits to joy, or bids to pain.
noise. Then see th' Almighty Judge, sedate and bright,
The welcome news Cloath'd in imperial robes of light !
Through every Angel's breast fresh rapture shall diffuse. His wings the wind, rough storms the chariot bear,
The day is come, And nimble harbingers before him fly,
When Satan with his powers hall fink to endless doom. And with officious rudeness brush the air ;
No more shall we his hoftile troops pursue Halt as he halts, then doubling in their flight, From cloud to cloud, nor the long fight renew. In borrid sport with one another vie,
Then Raphael, big with lifc, the trump shall sound, And leave behind quick-winding tracts of light; From falling spheres the joyful music íhall rebound, Then urging, to their ranks they close,
And seas and thores thall catch and propagate it round: And shivering, left they start, a failing caravan compose. Louder he 'll blow, and it shall speak more shrill,
Than when from Sinai's hill
Th’ Almighty spoke,
We 'll shout around with martial joy,
fhouts reply. divine.
Then first th' Archangel's voice, aloud, Strong beams of majesty around his temples play, Shall chearfully salute the day and throng, And the transcendent gaiety of his face allay :
And Hallelujah fill the croud ; His Father's reverend characters he 'll wear,
And I, perhaps, shall close the song. And both o'erwhelm with light, and over-awe with fear.
From its long Neep all human race shall rise, Myriads of angels shall be there,
And see the morn and Judge advancing in the skies: And I, perhaps, close the tremendous rear;
To their old tenements the fouls return, Angels, the first and faired fons of day,
Whilft down the steep of Heaven as swift the Judge Clad with eternal youth, and as their vestments gay.
These look illustrious bright, no more to mourn: Nor for magnificence alone,
Whilft, see, distracted looks yon stalking shades attend. To brighten and enlarge the pageant scene, The faints no more shall conflict on the deep, Shall we encircle his more dazzling throne,
Nor rugged waves insult the labouring ship; And swell the luftre of his pompous train;
But from the wreck in triumph they arise, The nimble ministers of bliss or woe
And borne to bliss shall tread empyreal skies.
TO MR. EDWARD HOWARD, | Does all this mighty stock of dulness spring?
Is it thy own, or haft it from Snow-hill,
Aflifted by some ballad-making quill?
I'd swear they were translated out of Dutch.
Fain would I know what diet thou doft keep,
Sure hasty-pudding is thy chiefest dish, "Twill do as well; throw not away your jests
With bullock's liver, or some stinking fick: On folid nonsense that abides all tests.
Garbage, ox- cheeks, and tripes, do tesit thy bris, Wit, like tierce-claret, when 't begins to pall,
Which nobly pays this tribute back again. Neglected lies, and 's of no use at all,
With daisy-roots thy dwarfith Mufe is fed, Bui, in its full perfection of decay,
A giant's body with a pigmy's head. Turns vinegar, and comes again in play.
Canit thou not find, among thy numerous race Thou hast a brain, such as it is indeed;
Of kindred, one to tell thee that thy plays On what else should thy worm of fancy feed ?
Are laught at by the pit, box, galleries, nay, ftage'
Think on Yet in a filbert I have often known
a while, and thou wilt quickly find Maggots survive, when all the kemel's gone. Thy body made for labour, not thy mind. This fimile shall stand in thy defence,
No other use of paper thou shouldst make 'Gainst those dull rogues who now and then write fenfe. Than carrying loads and reams upon thy back. Thy style 's the same, whatever be thy theme,
Carry valt burdens till thy shoulders fhrink, As some digestions turn all meat to phlegm :
But curft be he that gives thee pea and ink: They lye, dear Ned, who say thy brain is barren, Such dangerous weapops should be kept from fools, Where deep conceits, like maggots, breed in carrion. As ourses from their children keep edgid tools : Thy stumbling founder'd jade can trot as high For thy dull fancy a muckinder is fit As any other Pegasus can fy:
To wipe the Nabberings of thy snotty wit: So the dull eel moves nimbler in the mud,
And though 'tis late if justice could be found, Than all the swift-finn'd racers of the flood.
Thy plays like blind-born puppies should be dromad,
For were it not that we respect afford As skilful divers to the bottom fall
Unto the son of an heroic lord, Sooner than those who cannot swim at all;
Thine in the ducking-stool should take her feat, So in this way of writing, without thinking,
Drelt like herself in a great chair of state ; Thou hast a strange alacrity In Rnking.
Where like a Muse of quality the 'd die, Thou writ'it below ev’n thy own natural parts,
And thou thyself fhalt make her elegy,
In the same strain thou writ'it thy comedy.
TO SIR THOMAS ST. SERFE,
On the Printing
*ARUGO gave us wonder and delight,
When he oblig'd the world by candle-light: On his Plays.
But now he's ventur’d on the face of day,
T'oblige and serve his friends a nobler way; THOU damn'd Antipodes to common-sense, Make all our old men wits, katesmen, the young:
Thou foil to Flecknoe, pr’ythee tell from whence I And teach ey’n Englishmen the English tongue.
James, on whose reign all peaceful stars did smile, EPILOGUE,
OF BEN JONSON'S PLAY,
EVERY MAN IN To scorn that union, by which we may
HIS HUMOUR." Boast 'twas his countryman that writ this play?
NTREATY shall not serve, nor violence, Phæbus himself, indulgent to my Muse,
To make me speak in such a play's defence;
A play, where wit and humour do agree
The scene (what more abfurd!) in England lies,
No gods descend, nor dancing devils rite ; But I'll make up in light what wants in heat ; No captive prince from unknown country brought, On thee I will bestow my longest days,
No battle, nay, there 's scarce a duel fought :
And something yet more sharply might be said,
now for our own, Let warmer climes my fading favours boast,
Why,-faith, in my opinion, we need none.
The parts were fitted well ; but some will say,
To all our writing friends, in town, we sent,
Have patience but till Easter-term, and then,
You Mall have Jigg and hobby-horse again.
Here's Mr. Matthew, our domestic wit *,
Does promise one o'th'ten plays he has writ:
Put fince great bribes weigh nothing with the just,
Know, we have merits, and to them we trust. Once, and but once, a poet got the day,
When any fasts, or holidays, defer And vanquish'd Busy in a puppet-play ;
The public labours of the theatre, And Busy, rallying, arm'd with zeal and rage,
We ride not forth, although the day be fair, Poffess'd the pulpit, and pull'd down the stage.
On ambling tit, to take the suburb air; To laugh at English knaves is dangerous then,
But with our authors mect, and spend that time While English fools will think them honeft men:
To make up quarrels between sense and rhyme. But sure no zealous brother can deny us
Wednesdays and Fridays constantly we fate, Free leave with this our Monfieur Ananias :
Till after many a long and free debate, A man may say, without being call’d an Atheist,
For diverse weighty reasons 't was thought fit, There are damn'd rogues among the French and Papift, Unruly sense hould till to rhyme submit : That fix falvation to short band and hair,
This, the most wholesome law we ever made, That belch and snuffle to prolong a prayer ;
So strictly in his epilogue obey'd, That use " enjoy the Creature,” to express
Sure no man here will ever dare to breakPlain whoring, gluttony, and drunkenness;
[Enter Jonson's Ghost.] And, in a decent way, perform them too
Hold, and give way, for I myself will speak;
Can As well, nay better far, perhaps, than you.
you encourage so much infolence, Whose fleshly failings are but fornication,
And add new faults still to the great offence, We godly phrase it « gospel-propagation,"
Your ancestors so rashly did commit, Just as rebellion was call'd reformation.
Against the mighty powers of art and wit? Zeal stands but sentry at the gate of lin,
When they condemn'd those noble works of mine, Whilst all that have the word pass freely in :
Sejanus, and my best-lov'd Catiline. Silent, and in the dark, for fear of spies,
Repent, or on your guilty heads fhall fall We march, and take Damnation by surprize.
The curse of many a rhyming paftoral, There's not a roaring blade in all this town
The three bold Beauchamps shall revive again, Can go so far tow'ards hell for half a crown
And with the London 'prentice conquer Spain, As I for fix-pence, for I know the way;
All the dull follies of the former age For want of guides, men are too apt to stray :
Shall find applause on this corrupted stage, Therefore give ear to what I shall advise,
But if you pay the great arrears of praise, Let every marry'd man that 's grave and wise
So long since due to my much-injur'd plays, Take a Tartuffe of known ability,
From all part crimes I first will set you free,
And then inspire some one to write like me.
* Matthew Mcdburn, an eminent autor.