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Some small pre-eminence; we justly boast And, arm'd himself in panoply complete
Of heav'nly terper, furnishes with arms
Bright as his own, and trains, by ev'ry rule Go then, well worthy of the praise ye seek, of holy discipline, to glorious war And show the shame, ye might conceal at home, The sacramental host of God's elect! In foreign eyes —be grooms, and win the plate, Are all such teachers ?-Would to Heaven all were! Where once your nobler fathers won a crown But hark-the doctor's voice! fast wedg'd between "Tis gen'rous to communicate your skill
Two empirics be stands, and with swoln cheeks To those that need it. Folly is soon learn'd: Inspires the news, his trumpet. Keener far And under such preceptors who can fail ?
Than all invective is his bold harangue, There is a pleasure in poetic pains,
While through that public organ of report Which only poets know. The shifts and turns, He hails the clergy; and, defying shame, Th' expedients and inventions multiform,
Announces to the world his own and theirs !
And emphasis in score, and gives to pray's
To zigzag manuscript, and cheats the eyes
Are there who purchase of the doctor's ware ! Than by the labor and the skill it cost;
O name it not in Gath it cannot be, Are occupations of the poet's mind
That grave and learned clerks should need such aid So pleasing, and that steal away the thought He doubtless is in sport, and does but droll, With such address from themes of sad import, Assuming thus a rank unknown beforeThat lost in his own musings, happy man! Grand caterer and dry-nurse of the church! He feels th' anxieties of life, denied
I venerate the man, whose heart is warm, Their wonted entertainment, all retire.
Whose hands are pure, whose doctrine and whose life Such joys has he that sings. But ah! not such, Coincident, exhibit lucid proof, Or seldom such, the hearers of his song.
That he is honest in the sacred cause. Fastidious, or else listless, or perhaps
To such I render more than mere respect, Aware of nothing arduous in a task
Whose actions say, that they respect themselves. They never undertook, they little note
But loose in morals, and in manners vain,
In conversation frivolous, in dress
Frequent in park, with lady at his side,
Ambling and pratiling scandal as he goes ; I would not trifle merely, though the world But rare at home, and never at his books, Be loudest in their praise, who do no more. Or with his pen, save when he scrawls a card; Yet what can satire, whether grave or gay?
Constant at routs, familiar with a round It may correct a foible, may chastise
Of ladyships, a stranger to the poor;
Ambitious of preferment for its gold,
To his own pleasures and his patron's pride.
From such apostles, Oye mitred heads, Laugh'd at, he laughs again; and, stricken hard Preserve the church! and lay not careless hands Turns to the stroke his adamantine scales,
On skulls, that cannot teach, and will not learn. That fear no discipline of human hands.
Would I describe a preacher, such as Paul, The pulpit, therefore, (and I name it fill'd Were he on Earth, would hear, approve, and own, With solemn awe, that bids me well beware Paul should himself direct me. I would trace With what intent I touch that holy thing,) - His master-strokes, and draw from his design. The pulpit, (when the sat’rist has at last,
I would express him simple, grave, sincere; Strutting and vap'ring in an empty school, In doctrine uncorrupt; in language plain, Spent all his force, and made no proselyte,
And plain in manner; decent, solemn, chaste, the pulpit (in the sober use
And natural in gesture; much impress'd Of its legitimate, peculiar pow'rs,)
Himself, as conscious of his awful charge, Must stand acknowledg’d, while the world shall stand, And anxious mainly that the flock he feeds The most important and effectual guard,
May feel it too; affectionate in look, Support, and ornament, of virtue's cause.
And tender in address, as well becomes There stands the messenger of truth : there stands A messenger of grace to guilty men. The legate of the skies !-His theme divine, Behold the picture !- Is it like ?-Like whom? His office sacred, his credentials clear.
The things that mount the rostrum with a skip, By him the violated law speaks out
And then skip down again ; pronounce a text; Its thunders, and by him, in strains as sweet Cry—Hem; and reading what they never wrote As angels use, the Gospel whispers peace.
Just fifteen minutes, huddle up their work, He 'stablishes the strong, restores the weak, And with a well-bred whisper close the scene! Reclaims the wand'rer, binds the broken heart, In man or woman, but far most in man,
And most of all in man that ministers
But swell'd into a gust—who then, alas! And serves the altar, in my soul I lothe
With all his canvass set, and inexpert, All affectation. 'Tis my perfect scorn!
And therefore heedless, can withstand thy pow'r?
Praise from the rivel'd lips of toothless bald
And craving Poverty, and in the bow
Respectful of the smutch'd artificer, And pretty face, in presence of his God?
Is oft too welcome, and may much disturb Or will he seek to dazzle me with tropes,
The bias of the purpose. How much more, As with the diamond on his lily hand,
Pourd forth by beauty splendid and polite,
Ah, spare your idol! think him human still.
Dote not too much, nor spoil what ye admire.
All truth is from the sempiternial source Therefore avaunt all attitude, and stare,
or light divine. But Egypi, Greece, and Rome, And start theatric, practis'd at the glass !
Drew from the stream below. More favor'd we
Drink, when we choose it, at the fountain-head.
But falsely. Sages after sages strove
In vain to filter off a crystal draught
Pure from the lees, which often more enhanc'd
And spring-time of the world; ask'd, Whence is man?
Where must he find his Maker? with what rites
Or does the tomb take all ? If he survive
His ashes, where? and in what weal or woe?
And all at random, fabulous and dark,
Defective and unsanction’d, prov'd too weak
Blind Nature to a God not yet reveal’d.
Explains all mysteries, except her own,
And so illuminates the path of life, But how a body so fantastie, trim,
That fools discover it, and stray no more. And quaint, in its deportinent and attire,
Now tell me, dignified and sapient sir, Can louge a heav'nly mind-demands a doubt. My man of morals, nurtur'd in the shades
He, that negotiates between God and man, Of Academus-is this false or true?
Is Christ the abler teacher, or the schools ?
To Athens or to Rome, for wisdom short
How oft, when Paul has serv'd us with a text,
Has Epictetus, Plato, Tully, preach'd ! When sent with God's commission to the heart! Men that, if now alive, would sit content So did not Paul. Direct me to a quip
And humble learners of a Savior's worth, Or merry turn in all he ever wrote,
Preach it who might. Such was their love of truth And I consent you take it for your text,
Their thirst of knowledge, and their candor 100! Your only one, till sides and benches fail.
And thus it is--The pastor, either vain
By nature, or by flatt'ry made so, taught
Or unenlighten'd, and too proud to learn ;
O Popular Applause! what heart of man Perverting often by the stress of lewd
Exposes, and holds up to broad disgrace,
The noblest function, and discredits much
The brightest truths, that man has ever seen You think, perhaps, so delicate his dress,
His daily fare as delicate. Alas!
He picks clean teeth, and, busy as he seems
The rout is Folly's circle, which she draws
With magic wand. So potent is the spell,
Unless by Heaven's peculiar grace, escape.
There we grow early grey, but never wise ; The pulpit to the level of the stage;
There form connexions, but acquire no friend; Drops from the lips a disregarded thing.
Solicit plensure, hopeless of success; The weak perhaps are mov’d, but are not taught, Waste youth in occupations only fit While prejudice in men of stronger minds For second childhood, and devote old age Takes deeper root, confirm'd by what they see. To sports, which only childhood could excuse. A relaxation of religion's hold
There they are happiest, who dissemble best Upon the roving and untutor’d heart
Their weariness; and they the most polite, Soon follows, and, the curb of conscience snapp'd, Who squander time and treasure with a smile, The laity run wild.—But do they now?
Though at their own destruction. She that asks Note their extravagance, and be convinc'd. Her dear five hundred friends, contemns them all, As nations, ignorant of God, contrive
And hates their coming. They (what can they less A wooden one ; so we, no longer taught
Make just reprisals; and with cringe and shrug, By monitors, that mother-church supplies,
And bow obsequious, hide their hate of her. Now make our own. Posterity will ask
All catch the frenzy, downward from her Grace, (If e'er posterity see verse of mine)
Whose flambeaux flash against the morning skies, Some fifty or a hundred lustrums hence,
And gild our chamber-ceiling as they pass, What was a monitor in George's days ?
To her, who, frugal only that her thrifi My very gentle reader, yet unborn,
May feed excesses she can ill afford, Of whom I needs must augur better things, Is hackney'd home unlackey'd ; who, in haste Since Heav'n would sure grow weary of a world Alighting, turns the key in her own door, Productive only of a race like ours,
And, at the watchman's lantern borrowing light, A monitor is wood-plank shaven thin.
Finds a cold bed her only comfort left. We wear it at our backs. There, closely brac'd Wives beggar husbands, husbands starve their wives, And neatly filted, it compresses hard
On Fortune's velvet altar off'ring up The prominent and most unsightly bones, Their last poor pittance-Fortune, most severe And binds the shoulders flat. We prove its use Of goddesses yet known, and costlier far Sov'reign and most effectual to secure
Than all that held their routs in Juno's Heav'n.A form, not now gymnastic as of yore,
So fare we in this prison-house the World; From rickets and distortion, else our lot.
And 'lis a fearful spectacle to see But thus admonish'd, we can walk erect
So many maniacs dancing in their chains. One proof at least of manhood! while the friend They gaze upon the links that hold them fast, Sticks close, a Mentor worthy of his charge. With eyes of anguish execrate their lot, Our habits, costlier than Lucullus wore,
Then shake them in despair, and dance again! And by caprice as multiplied as bis,
Now basket up the family of plagues, Just please us while the fashion is at full,
That wasle our vitals; peculation, sale But change with ev'ry moon. The sycophant, Of honor, perjury, corruption, frauds Who waits to dress us, arbitrates their date; By forgery, by subterfuge of law, Surveys his fair reversion with keen eye;
By tricks and lies as num'rous and as keen Finds one ill-made, another obsolete;
As the necessities their authors feel ; This fits not nicely, that is ill-conceiv'd;
Then cast them, closely bundled, ev'ry brat And, making prize of all that he condemns, At the right door. Profusion is the sire. With our expenditure defrays his own.
Profusion, unrestrain'd with all that's base Variety's the very spice of life,
In character, has litter'd all the land, That gives it all its flavor. We have run
And bred, within the memn'ry of no few, Through ev'ry change, that Fancy, at the loom A priesthood, such as Baal's was of old, Exhausted, has had genius to supply ;
A people, such as never was till now. And, studious of mutation still, discard
It is a hungry vice : it eats up all A real elegance, a little us'd,
That gives society its beauty, strength, For monstrous novelty and strange disguise. Convenience, and security, and use : We sacrifice to dress, till household joys
Makes men mere vermin, worthy to be trapp'd And comforts cease. Dress drains our cellar dry, And gibbeted, as fast as catchpole claws And keeps our larder lean; puts out our fires; Can seize the slipp'ry prey: unties the knot And introduces hunger, frost, and woe,
Of union, and converts the sacred band Where peace and hospitality might reign.
That holds mankind together, 10 a scourge. What man that lives, and that knows how to live, Profusion, deluging a state with lusts Would fail t'exhibit at the public shows
Of grossest nature and of worst effects, A form as spendid as the proudest there,
Prepares it for its ruin : hardens, blinds, Though appetite raise outcries at the cost ? And warps, the consciences of public men, A man o' the town dines late, but soon enough, Till they can laugh at Virtue, mock the fools With reasonable forecast and dispatch,
That trust them; and in th' end disclose a face T' insure a side-box station at half-price.
That would have shock'd Credulity herself,
Unmask'd, vouchsafing this their sole excuse Add to such erudition, thus acquir’d,
Where science and where virtue are profess’d?
That bids defiance to th' united pow'rs When learning, virtue, piety, and truth,
Of fashion, dissipation, taverns, stews. Were precious, and inculcated with care,
Now blame we most the nurslings or the nurse? There dwelt a sage callid Discipline. His head, The children crook'd, and twisted, and deformid, Not yet by Time completely silver'd o'er, Through want of care ; or her, whose winking eye Bespoke him past the bounds of freakish youth, And slumb'ring oscitancy mars the brood ? But strong for service still, and unimpair’d. The nurse, no doubt. Regardless of her charge, His eye was meek and gentle, and a smile She needs herself correction; needs to learn, Play'd on his lips; and in his speech was heard That it is dang'rous sporting with the world, Paternal sweetness, dignity, and love.
With things so sacred as a nation's trust, The occupation dearest to his heart
The nurture of her youth, her dearest pledge. Was to encourage goodness. He would stroke All are not such. I had a brother onceThe head of modest and ingenuous worth, Peace to the mem'ry of a man of worih, That blush'd at its own praise ; and press the youth A man of letters, and of manners too! Close to his side, that pleas'd him. Learning grew Of manners sweet as Virtue always wears, Beneath his care a thriving vig'rous plant; When gay Good-nature dresses her in smiles. The mind was well-inforın'd, the passions held He grac'd a college,* in which order yet Subordinate, and diligence was choice.
Was sacred ; and was honor'd, lov'd, and wept, If e'er it chanc'd, as sometimes chance it must, By more than one, themselves conspicuous there. That one among so many overleap'd
Some minds are temper'd happily, and mix’d The limits of control, his gentle eye
With such ingredients of good sense, and taste Grew stern, and darted a severe rebuke :
Of what is excellent in man, they thirst His frown was full of terror, and his voice With such a zeal to be what they approve, Shook the delinquent with such fits of awe, That no restraints can circumscribe them more As left him not, till penitence had won
Than they themselves by choice, for wisdom's sake. Lost favor back again, and clos'd the breach. Nor can example hurt them: what they see But discipline, a faithful servant long,
Of vice in others but enhancing more Declin'd at length into the vale of years :
The charms of virtue in their just esteem. A palsy struck his arm; his sparkling eye If such escape contagion, and emerge Was quench'd in rheums of age; his voice, unstrung, Pure from so foul a pool to shine abroad, Grew tremulous, and mov'd derision more
And give the world their talents and themselves, Than rev'rence in perverse rebellious youth. Small thanks to those, whose negligence or sloth So colleges and halls neglected much
Expos’d their inexperience to the snare, Their good old friend ; and Discipline at length, And left them to an undirected choice. O'erlook'd and unemploy'd, fell sick and died. See then the quiver broken and decay'd, Then Study languish'd, Emulation slept,
In which are kept our arrows! Rusting there And Virtue fled. The schools became a scene In wild disorder, and unfit for use, Of solemn farce, where Ignorance in stilts, What wonder, if, discharg’d into the world, His cap well lin'd with logic not his own, They shame their shooters with a random flight, With parrot tongue perform’d the scholar's part, Their points obtuse, and feathers drunk with wine! Proceeding soon a graduated dunce.
Well may the church wage unsuccessful war, Then Compromise had place, and Scrutiny With such artill’ry arm’d. Vice parries wide Became stone blind ; Precedence went in truck, Th' undreaded volley with a sword of straw, And he was competent whose purse was so. And stands an impudent and fearless mark. A dissolution of all bonds ensued ;
Have we not track'd the felon home, and found The curbs invented for the mulish mouth
His birth-place and his dam ? The country mourns, Of headstrong youth were broken; bars and bolts Mourns because ev'ry plague, that can infest Grew rusty hy disuse ; and massy gates
Society, and that saps and worms the base Forgot their oflice, op'ning with a touch ;
Of th' edifice, that policy has rais'd, Till gowns at length are found mere masquerade; Swarms in all quarters : meets the eye, the ear, The tasseld cap and the spruce band a jest, And suffocates the breath at ev'ry turn. A mock'ry of the world! What need of these Profusion breeds them; and the cause itself For gamesters, jockeys, brothellers impure, Of that calamitous mischief has been found: Spendthrisis, and booled sportsmen, oft'ner seen Found too where most offensive, in the skirts With belted waist and pointers at their heels, of the rob'd pedagogue! Else let th' arraign'd Than in the bounds of duty ? What was learn'd, Stand up unconcious, and refute the charge. If aught was learn'd in childhood, is forgot; So when the Jewish leader stretch'd his arm, And such expense, as pinches parents blue,
And wav'd his rod divine, a race obscene, And mortifies the lib'ral hand of love,
Spawn'd in the muddy beds of Nile, came forth, Is squander'd in pursuit of idle sports
Polluting Egypt: gardens, fields, and plains, And vicious pleasures; buys the boy a name, Were cover'd with the pest; the streets were fillid; That sits a stigma on his father's house,
The croaking nuisance lurk'd in every nook ; And cleaves through life inseparably close Nor palaces, nor even chambers, 'scap'd; To him that wears it. What can after-games And the land stank—50 num'rous was the fry. of riper joys, and commerce with the world, The lewd vain world, that must receive him soon,
* Bene't College, Cambridge.
Thou art the nurse of Virtue, in thine arms Book III
She smiles, appearing, as in truth she is,
Heaven-born, and destin'd to the skies again. THE GARDEN.
Thou art not known where Pleasure is ador'd, Argument.
That reeling goddess with the zoneless waist
And wand'ring eyes, still leaning on the arm Self-recollection and reproof. Address to do- of Novelty, her fickle, frail support ;
mestic happiness. Some account of myself. For thou art meek and constant, hating change, The vanity of many of their pursuits, who are And finding in the calm of truth-tried love reputed wise.
Justification of my censires. Joys, that her stormy raptures never yield. Divine illumination necessary to the most expert Forsaking thee, what shipwreck have we made philosopher. The question, What is truth? an- Of honor, dignity, and fair renown! swered by other questions. Domestic happiness Till prostitution elbows us aside addressed again. Few lovers of the country. In all our crowded streets; and senates seem My tame hare. Occupations of a retired gen-Conven'd for purposes of empire less, tleman in his garden. Pruning. Framing. Than to release th' adult'ress from her bond. Green-house. Sowing of flower-seeds. The Th’adult'ress! what a theme for angry verse! country preferable to the town even in the win- What provocation to th' indignant heart, ter. Reasons why it is deserted at that sen- That feels for injur'd love! but I disdain
Ruinous effects of gaming, and of expen- The nauseous task, to paint her as she is, sive improvement. Book , concludes with an Cruel, abandon’d, glorying in her shame! apostrophe to the metropolis.
No :-let her pass, and charioted along
In guilty splendor, shake the public ways; As one, who long in thickets and in brakes The frequency, of crimes has wash'd them white, Entangled winds now this way and now that And verse of mine shall never brand the wretch, His devious course uncertain, seeking home; Whom matrons now of character unsmirch'd Or, having long in miry ways been foild
And chaste themselves, are not asham'd to own. And sore discomfited, from slough to slough Virtue and vice had bound'ries in old time, Plunging and half-despairing of escape;
Not to be pass'd: and she, that had renounc'd If chance at length he find a green-sward smooth Her sex's honor, was renounc'd herself And faithful to the fuot, his spirits rise,
By all that priz'd it; not for prudery's sake, He cherups brisk his ear-erecting steed,
But dignity's, resentful of the wrong. And winds his way with pleasure and with ease; 'Twas hard perhaps on here and there a waif, So I, designing other themes, and call'd
Desirous to return, and not receiv'd : T'' adorn the Sofa with eulogium due,
But was a wholesome rigor in the main, To tell its slumbers, and to paint its dreams, And taught th' unblemish'd to preserve with care Have rambled wide. In country, city, seat That purity, whose loss was loss of all. Of academic fame (howe'er deserv'd),
Men too were nice in honor in those days, Long held, and scarcely disengag'd at last. And judg’d offenders well. Then he that sharp'd. But now with pleasant pace a cleanlier road And pocketed a prize by fraud obtain'd, I mean to tread. I feel myself at large,
Was mark'd and shunn'd as odious. He that sold Courageous, and refresh'd for future toil,
His country, or was slack when she requir'd If toil await me, or if dangers new.
His ev'ry nerve in action and at stretch, Since pulpits fail, and sounding-boards reflect Paid with the blood, that he had basely spard, Most part an empty ineffectual sound,
The price of his default. But now-yes, now
Hypocrisy, detest her as we may,
(And no man's hatred ever wrong'd her yet.) Feeds a blue flame, and makes a cheerful hearth ; May claim this merit still—that she admits There, undisturb'd by folly, and appriz'd
The worth of what she mimics with such care, How great the danger of disturbing her,
And thus gives virtue indirect applause ; To muse in silence, or at least confine
But she has burnt her mask not needed here, Remarks that gall so many, to the few
Where vire has such allowance, that her shifts My partners in retreat. Disgust conceal'd
And specious semblances have lost their use. is oft-times proof of wisdom. when the fault
I was a stricken deer, that left the herd Is obstinale, and cure beyond our reach.
Long since. With many an arrow deep infix'd Domestic Happiness, thou only bliss
My panting side was charg‘d, when I withdrew, Of Paradise, that hast surviv'd the fall!
To seek a tranquil death in distant shades. Though few now taste thee unimpair'd and pure, There was I found by one, who had himself Or tasting long enjoy thee! too infirm,
Been hurt by th' archers. In his side he bore, Or too incantious, to preserve thy sweets
And in his hands and feet, the cruel scars.
He drew them forth, and heald, and bade me live.