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These are the giants, who the gods defy,
And mountains heap on mountains to the sky.
Sees this th' Almighty Judge, or seeing spares,
And deems the crimes of nan bencath his cares?
He sees; and will at last rewards bestow,
And punishments, not less affur'd for being flow.
Nor doubt I, tho' this state confus'd appears,
That ev'n in this God sometimes interferes :
Sometimes, lest man should quite his pow'r disown,
He makes that pow'r to trembling nations known:
But rarely this; not for each vulgar end,
As Superstition's idle tales pretend,
Who thinks all foes to God, who are her own,
Directs his thunder, and usurps his throne.
Nor know I not, how much a conscious mind Avails to punih, or reward mankind; Ev’n in this life thou, impious wretch, must feel The Fury's scourges, and th' infernal wheel ; From man's tribunal, tho' thou hop'st to run, * Thyself thou can'ft not, nor thy conscience shun: What must thou suffer, when each dire disease, The progeny of Vice, thy fabric seize? Consumption, fever, and the racking pain Of spasms, and gout, and stone, a frightful train! When life new tortures can alone supply, Life thy fole hope thou'lt hate, yet dread to die.
Shou'd such a wretch to num'rous years arrive, It can be little worth his while to live ;
No honors, no regards his age attend,
Companions fly: he ne'er cou'd have a friend:
His flatterers leave him, and with wild affright
He looks within, and shudders at the sight:
When threatning Death uplifts his pointed dart,
With what impatience he applies to art,
Life to prolong amidit disease and pains !
Why this, if after it no sense remains ?
Why shou'd he chuse these miseries to endure,
If Death cou'd grant an everlasting cure ?
'Tis plain there's something whispers in his ear,
(Tho' fain he'd hide it) he has much to fear.
See the reverse! how happy those we find,
Who know by merit to engage
Prais'd by each tongue, by ev'ry heart belov’d,
For Virtues practis'd, and for Arts improv'd :
Their easy aspects shine with smiles serene,
And all is peace, and happiness within:
Their sleep is ne'er disturb’d by fears, or strife,
Nor luft, nor wine, impair the springs of life.
Him Fortune can not fink, nor much elate,
Whose views extend beyond this mortal state ;
By age when summon’d to resign his breath,
Calm, and ferene, he sees approaching death,
As the safe port, the peaceful filent shore,
Where he may rest, life's tedious
o'er : He, and he only, is of death afraid, Whom his own conscience has a coward made;
Whilst he, who Virtue's radiant course has run,
Descends like a serenely-setting fun:
His thoughts triumphant Heav'n alone employs,
And hope anticipates his future joys.
So good, so bleft th' illuftrious Hough we find,
Whose image dwells with pleasure on my mind;
The Mitre's glory, Freedom's constant friend,
In times which alk'd a champion to defend ;
Who after near a hundred virtuous years,
His senses perfect, free from pains and fears,
Replete with life, with honors, and with
Like an applauded actor left the stage ;
Or like some victor in th’ Olympic games,
Who having run his course, the crown of Glory claims.
From this just contrast plainly it appears,
How Conscience can inspire both hopes and fears ;
But whence proceed these hopes, or whence this dread,
If nothing really can affect the dead?
See all things join to promise, and presage
The sure arrival of a future age!
Whate'er their lot is here, the good and wise,
Nor doat on life, nor peevishly despise.
An honest man, when Fortune's storms begin,
Has Consolation always sure within,
And, if she fends a more propitious gale,
He's pleas'd, but not forgetful it may fail.
Nor fear that he, who fits so loose to life,
Shou'd too much fhun its labors, and its strife ;
Bishop of Worcester.
And scorning wealth, contented to be mean,
Shrink from the duties of this bustling scene;
Or, when his country's safety claims his aid,
Avoid the fight inglorious, and afraid :
Who fcorns life moft muft furely be moft brave,
And he, who pow'r contemns, be least a slave :
Virtue will lead him to Ambition's ends,
And prompt him to defend his country, and his friends.
But still his merit you can not regard,
Who thus pursues a posthumous reward ;
His soul, you cry, is uncorrupt and great,
Who quite uninfluenc'd by a future state,
Embraces Virtue from a nobler sense
Of her abftracted, native excellence,
From the felf-conscious joy her essence brings,
The beauty, fitness, harmony of things.
It may be fo : yet he deserves applause,
Who follows where instructive Nature draws;
Aims at rewards by her indulgence giv'n,
And foars triumphant on her wings to heav'n.
Say what this venal virtuous man pursues,
No mean rewards, no mercenary views;
Not wealth usurious, or a num'rous train,
Not fame by fraud acquir’d, or title vain !
He follows but where Nature points the road,
Rifing in Virtue's school, till he ascends to God.
But we th'inglorious common herd of man,
Sail without compass, toil without a plan;
In Fortune's varying storms for ever tost,
Shadows pursue, that in pursuit are loft ;
Mere infants all, till life's extremeft day,
Scrambling for toys, then toffing them away.
Who refts of Immortality assur'd
Is safe, whatever ills are here endur'd:
He hopes not vainly in a world like this,
To meet with pure uninterrupted bliss ;
For good and ill, in this imperfect state,
Are ever mix'd by the decrees of Fate.
With Wisdom's richest harveft Folly grows,
And baleful hemlock mingles with the rose;
All things are blended, changeable, and vain,
No hope, no wish we perfectly obtain;
God may perhaps (might human Reason's line
Pretend to fathom infinite defign)
Have thus ordain'd things, that the restless mind
No happiness compleat on earth may find;
And, by this friendly chastisement made wife,
To heav'n her fafest, best retreat may
Come then, since now in safety we have past
Thro’ Error's rocks, and see the port at last,
Let us review, and recollect the whole.
Thus ftands my argument. -The thinking soul
Cannot terrestrial, or material be,
But claims by Nature Immortality :
God, who created it, can make it end,
We question not, but cannot apprehend