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The tædium that the lazy rich endure,
Which now and then sweet poetry may cure ;
Or, if to see the name of idle self,
Stamped on the well-bound quarto, grace the Melf,
To float a bubble on the breath of fame,
Prompt his endeavour and engage his aim,
Debased to servile purposes of pride,
How are the powers of genius misapplied !
The gift, whose office is the Giver's praise,
To trace him in his word, his works, his ways!
Then spread the rich discovery, and invite
Mankind to share in the divine delight.
Distorted from its use and juft design,
To make the pitiful poffeffor thine,
To purchase, at the fool-frequented fair
Of vanity, a wreath for self to wear,
Is profanation of the baseft kind
Proof of a trifling and a worthless mind.
A. Hail Sternhold, then; and Hopkins, hail!--B. Amen.
If flatt'ry, folly, luft, employ the pen;
If acrimony, sander, and abuse,
Give it a charge to blacken and traduce ;
Though Butler's wit, Pope's numbers, Prior's ease,
With all that fancy can invent to please,
Adorn the polished periods as they fall,
One madrigal of their's is worth them all.
A. 'Twould thin the ranks of the poetic tribe, To dash the pen through all that you proferibe.
B. No matter – we could shift when they were not ; And should, no doubt, if they were all forgot.
Si quid loquar audiendum. Hor. Lib. 4. Od. 2.
Sing, muse (if such a theme, so dark, so long,
May find a mufe to grace it with a song)
By what unseen and unsuspected arts
The serpent error twines round human hearts;
Tell where she lurks, beneath what fowery shades,
That not a glimpse of genuine light pervades,
The poisonous, black, insinuating worm
Successfully conceals her loathsome form.
Take, if ye can, ye careless and fupine,
Counsel and caution from a voice like mine!
Truths, that the theorit could never reach,
And obfervation taught me, I would teach.
Not all, whose eloquence the fancy fills,
Musical as the chime of ţinkling rills,
Weak to perform, though mighty to pretend,
Can trace her mazy windings to their end;
Discern the fraud beneath the specious lure,
Prevent the danger, or prescribe the cure.
The clear harangue, and cold as it is clear,
Falls soporific on the listless ear ;
Like quicksilver, the rhetoric they display
Shines as it runs, but grasped at Nips away,
Placed for his trial on dais bustling stage..
From thoughtless youth to ruminating age,
Free in his will to choose or to refuse,
Man may improve the crisis, or abute ;
Else, on the fatalists unrighteous plan,
Say to what bar amenable were man ?
With nought in charge he could betray no trust;
And, if he fell, would fall because he must ;
If love reward him, or if vengeance strike,
His recompense in both unjust alike.
Divine authority within his breast
Brings every thought, word, action, to the teft;
Warns him or prompts, approves him or restrains,
As reason, or as passion, takes the reins.
Heaven from above, and conscience from within,
Cries in his startled ear – Abftain from fin!
The world around solicits his defire,
And kindles in his soul a treacherous fire;
While, all his purposes and steps to guard,
Peace follows virtue as its sure reward ;
And pleasure brings us surely in her train
Remorse, and sorrow, and vindi&tive pain.
Man, thus endued with an elective voice,
Must be supplied with objects of his choice,
Wherever he turns, enjoyment and delight,
Or present, or in prospect, meet his fight;
Those open on the spot their honeyed store;
These call him loudly to pursuit of more.
His unexhaufted mine the sordid vice
Avarice shows, and virtue is the price.
Her various motives his ambition raise-
Power, pomp, and splendour, and the thirst of praise ;
There beauty wooes him with expanded arms ;
Even Bacchanalian madness has its charms
Nor these alone, whose pleasures less rehned
Might well alarm the moft unguarded mind,
Seek to supplant his inexperienced youth,
Or lead him devious from the path of fruth;
Hourly allurements on his passions press,
Safe in themselves, but dangerous in the excess.
Hark! how it floats upon the dewy air !
O what a dying, dying close was there !
'Tis harmony from yon fequeftered bower,
Sweet harmony, that sooths the midnight hour !