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ODE TO RAE WILSON, ESQUIRE.

“Close, close your eyes with holy dread,

And weave a circle round him thrice;
For he on honey-dew hath fed,
And drunk the milk of Paradise !"

COLERIDGE.
“It's very hard them kind of men
Won't let a body be.”

Old BALLAD.

A WANDERER, Wilson, from my native land,
Remote, O Rae, from godliness and thee,
Where rolls between us the eternal sea,
Besides some furlongs of a foreign sand, -
Beyond the broadest Scotch of London Wall;
Beyond the loudest Saint that has a call ;
Across the wavy waste between us stretch'd,
A friendly missive warns me of a stricture,
Wherein my likeness you have darkly etch’d,
And tho' I have not seen the shadow sketch'd,
Thus I remark prophetic on the picture.

I guess the features :-in a line to paint
Their moral ugliness, I'm not a saint.
Not one of those self-constituted saints,
Quacks—not physicians—in the cure of souls,
Censors who sniff out moral taints,
And call the devil over his own coals-
Thoše pseudo Privy Councillors of God,
Who write down judgments with a pen hard-

nibb’d;

Ushers of Beelzebub's Black Rod, Commending sinners, not to ice thick-ribb’d, But endless flames, to scorch them like flax,Yet sure of heav'n themselves, as if they'd cribb’d Th'impression of St. Peter's keys in wax!

Of such a character no single trace
Exists, I know, in my fictitious face;
There wants a certain cast about the eye ;
A certain lifting of the nose's tip :
A certain curling of the nether lip,
In scorn of all that is, beneath the sky;
In brief it is an aspect deleterious,
A face decidedly not serious,
A face profane, that would not do at all
To make a face at Exeter Hall,-
That Hall where bigots rant, and cant, and pray,
And laud each other face to face,
Till ev'ry farthing candle ray
Conceives itself a great gas-light of grace !

Well !—be the graceless lineaments confest!
I do enjoy this bounteous beauteous earth ;

And dote upon a jest .
6 Within the limits of becoming mirth ;”—

.

No solemn sanctimonious face I pull,
Nor think I'm pious when I'm only bilious-
Nor study in my sanctum supercilious
To frame a Sabbath Bill or forge a Bull.
I pray for grace—repent each sinful act-
Peruse, but underneath the rose, my Bible ;
And love my neighbour, far too well, in fact,
To call and twit him with a godly tract
That 's turn’d by application to a libel.
My heart ferments not with the bigot's leaven,
All creeds I view with toleration thorough,
And have a horror of regarding heaven

As anybody's rotten borough.

What else ? no part I take in party fray,
With tropes from Billingsgate's slang-whanging

tartars,
I fear no Pope—and let great Ernest play
At Fox and Goose with Fox's Martyrs !
I own I laugh at over-righteous men,
I own I shake my sides at ranters,
And treat sham Abr’am saints with wicked ban-

ters, I even own, that there are times—but then It's when I've got my wine—I say d- can

ters!

I've no ambition to enact the spy On fellow souls, a Spiritual Pry— 'Tis said that people ought to guard their noses

Who thrust them into matters none of theirs :
And, tho' no delicacy discomposes
Your Saint, yet I consider faith and pray’rs
Amongst the privatest of men's affairs.

I do not hash the Gospel in my books,
And thus upon the public mind intrude it,
As if I thought, like Otaheitan cooks,
No food was fit to eat till I bad chew'd it.

On Bible stilts I don't affect to stalk ;
Nor lard with Scripture my familiar talk,-

For man may pious texts repeat,
And yet religion have no inward seat;
'Tis not so plain as the old Hill of Howth,
A man has got his belly full of meat
Because he talks with victuals in his mouth !

Mere verbiage,—it is not worth a carrot ! Why Socrates or Plato—where is the odds ?-Once taught a jay to supplicate the Gods, And made a Polly-theist of a Parrot !

A mere professor, spite of all his cant, is

Not a whit better than a Mantis, An insect, of what clime I can't determine, That lifts its paws most parson-like, and thence, -By simple savages—thro’ sheer pretenceIs reckon'd quite a saint amongst the vermin. But where's the reverence, or where the nous,

To ride on one's religion thro' the lobby,

Whether as stalking-horse or hobby, To show its pious paces to “ the House ?”

I honestly confess that I would hinder
The Scottish member's legislative rigs,

That spiritual Pinder,

That must be lash'd by law, wherever found,
And driv’n to church as to the parish pound.
I do confess, without reserve or wheedle,
I view that grovelling idea as one
Worthy some parish clerk's ambitious son,
A charity-boy who longs to be a beadle.
On such a vital topic sure 'tis odd
How much a man can differ from his neighbour :
One wishes worship freely giv'n to God,
Another wants to make it statute-labour-
The broad distinction in a line to draw,
As means to lead us to the skies above,
You say—Sir Andrew and his love of law,
And I—the Saviour with his law of love.

Spontaneously to God should tend the soul,
Like the magnetic needle to the Pole;
But what were that intrinsic virtue worth,
Suppose some fellow, with more zeal than know-

ledge,

Fresh from St. Andrew's College,
Should nail the conscious needle to the north?

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