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ON DRYDEN'S RELIGIO LAICI.
BY THE EARL OF ROSCOMMON.
BE gone, you faves, you idle vermin go,
Fly from the fcourges, and your master know;
Let free, impartial mer, from Dryden learn
Mysterious fecrets, of a high concern,
And weighty truths, folid convincing sense,
Explain'd by unaffected eloquence.
What can you (Reverend Levi) here take ill?
Men ftill had faults, and men will have them ftill;
He that hath none, and lives as angels do,
Must be an angel, but what's that to you?
While mighty Lewis finds the pope too great,
And dreads the yoke of his impofing seat,
Our fects a more tyrannic power affume,
And would for fcorpiors change the rods of Rome;|
That church deta.n'd the legacy divine;
Fanatics caft the pear's of heaven to swine:
What then have thinking honeft men to do,
But chufe a mear between th' ufurping two?
Nor can th' Ægyptian patriarch blame thy muse,
Which for his firmness does his heat excuse;
Whatever councils have approv'd his creed,
The preface fure was his own act and deed.
Our church will have that preface read, you'll say:"
'Tis true: but fo the will th' Apocrypha;
And fuch as can believe them, freely may.
But did that God (fo little underflood)
Whofe darling attribute is being good,
From the dark womb of the rude chaos bring
Such various creatures and make man their king,
Yet leave his favourite man, his chiefest care,
More wretched than the vileft infects are?
O! how much happier and more fafe are they?
If helpless millions must be doom'd a prey
To yelling furies, and for ever burn
In that fad place from whence is no return,
For unbelief in one they never knew,
Or for not doing what they could not do!
The very fiends know for what crime they fell,
And fo do all their followers that rebel :
If then a blind, well-meaning, Indian stray,
Shall the great gulph be fhew'd him for the way ?
For better ends our kind Redeemer dy'd
Or the faln angels room will be but ill fupply'd.
That Chrift, who at the great deciding day,
Will damn the goats for their ill-natur'd faults,
(For he declares what he refoives to fay)
And fave the fheep for actions, not for thoughts,
Hath too much mercy to fend men to hell,
For humble charity, and hoping well.
To what stupidity are zealots grown,
In damning crowds of fouls, may damn their own.
Whofe inhumanity profufely shown
I'll err at least on the securer fide,
A convert free from malice and from pride.
TO MY FRIEND, MR. JOHN DRYDEN,
ON HIS SEVERAL EXCELLENT TRANSLATIONS
OF THE ANCIENT POETS.
BY G. GRANVILLE, LORD LANSDOWNE.
S flowers tranfplanted from a fouthern sky,
Miffing their native fur, at beft retain
But a faint odour, and survive with pain:
Thus ancient wit, in modern numbers taught,
Wanting the warmth with which its author wrote,
Is a dead image, and a fenfelefs draught.
While we transfufe, the nimble spirit flies,
Efcapes unfeen, evaporates, and dies.
Who then to copy Roman wit defire,
Muft imitate with Roman force and fire,
In elegance of ftyle and phrafe the fame,
And in the fparkling genius, and the flame.
Whence we conclude from thy translated song,
So juft, fo fmooth, fo foft, and yet so strong,
Coeleftial poet! foul of harmory!
That every genius was reviv'd in thee.
Thy trumpet founds, the dead are rais'd to light,
Never to die, and take to heaven their flight;