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Infect his happiest moments, he forebodes
Ages of hopeless misery. Future death,
And death still future. Not a hasty stroke,
Like that which sends him to the dusty grave;
But unrepealable enduring death.
Scripture is still a trumpet to his fears;
What none can prove a forgery may be true;
What none but bad men wish exploded must.
That scruple checks him. Riot is not loud
Nor drunk enough, to drown it. In the midst
Of laughter his compunctions are sincere ;
And he abhors the jest by which he shines.
Remorse begets reform. His master lust
Falls first before his resolute rebuke,
And seems dethroned and vanquished. Peace ensues,
But spurious and short-lived; the puny child
Of self-congratulating Pride, begot
On fancied Innocence. Again he falls,
And fights again ; but finds his best essay
A presage ominous, portending still
Its own dishonour by a worse relapse,
Till Nature, unavailing Nature, foiled
So oft, and wearied in the vain attempt,
Scoffs at her own performance. Reason now
Takes part with appetite, and pleads the cause
Perversely, which of late she so condemned ;
With shallow shifts and old devices, worn
And tattered in the service of debauch,
Covering his shame from his offended sight.
Hath God indeed given appetites to man,
And stored the earth so plenteously with means,
To gratify the hunger of his wish;
« And doth he reprobate, and will he damn
The use of his own bounty ? making first
So frail a kind, and then enacting laws
So strict, that less than perfect must despair ?
Falsehood! which whoso but suspects of truth
Dishonours God, and makes a slave of man.
Do they themselves, who undertake for hire
The teacher's office, and dispense at large
Their weekly dole of edifying strains,
Attend to their own music? have they faith
In what with such solemnity of tone
And gesture they propound to our belief?
Nay-conduct hath the loudest tongue. The voice is
Is but an instrument, on which the priest
May play what tune he pleases. In the deed,
The unequivocal, authentic deed,
We find sound argument, we read the heart.”'
Such reasonings (if that name must needs belong
T' excuses in which reason has no part)
Serve to compose a spirit well inclined,
To live on terms of amity with vice,
And sin without disturbance. Often urged,
(As often as libidinous discourse
Exhausted, he resorts to solemn themes
Of theological and grave import)
They gain at last his unreserved assent;
Till, hardened his heart's temper in the forge
Of lust, and on the anvil of despair,
He slights the strokes of conscience. Nothing moves,
Or nothing much, his constancy in ill;
Vain tampering has but fostered his disease ;
'Tis desperate, and he sleeps the sleep of death.
Haste now, philosopher, and set him free.
Charm the deaf serpent wisely. Make him hear
Of rectitude and fitness, moral truth
How lovely, and the moral sense how sure,
Consulted and obeyed, to guide his steps
Directly to the first and only fair.
Spare not in such a cause. Spend all the powers
Of rant and rhapsody in virtue's praise :
Be most sublimely good, verbosely grand,
And with poetic trappings grace thy prose,
Till it outmantle all the pride of verse.
Ah, tinkling cymbal, and high-sounding brass,
Smitten in vain ! such music cannot charm
The eclipse, that intercepts truth's heavenly beam,
And chills and darkens a wide-wandering soul.
The still small voice is wanted. He must speak,
Whose word leaps forth at once to its effect;
Who calls for things that are not, and they come.
Grace makes the slave a freeman. 'Tis a change,
That turns to ridicule the turgid speech
And stately tone of moralists, who boast,
As if, like him of fabulous renown,
They had indeed ability to smooth
The shag of savage nature, and were each !
An Orpheus, and omnipotent in song:
But transformation of apostate man
From fool to wise, from earthly to divine,
Is work for him that made him. He alone
And he by means in philosophic eyes
Trivial and worthy of disdain, achieves
The wonder; humanizing what is brute
In the lost kind, extracting from the lips.'
Of asps their venom, overpowering strength
By weakness, and hostility by love.
Patriots have toiled, and in their country's cause
Bled nobly; and their deeds, as they deserve,
Receive proud recompense. We give in charge
Their names to the sweet lyre. Th’ historic muse
Proud of the treasure, marches with it down
To latest times; and Sculpture, in her turn,
Gives bond in stone and ever-during brass
To guard them, and t’immortalize her trust;
But fairer wreaths are due, though never paid,
To those, who, posted at the shrine of Truth,
Have fallen in her defence. A patriot's blood,
Well spent in such a strife, may earn indeed,
And for a time ensure, to his loved land
The sweets of liberty and equal laws;
But'martyrs struggle for a brighter prize,
And win it with more pain. Their blood is shed
In confirmation of the roblest claim,
Our claim to feed upon immortal truth,
To walk with God, to be divinely free,
To soar, and to anticipate the skies.
Yet few remember them. They lived unknown,
Till Persecution dragged them into fame,
And chased them up to Heaven. Their ashes flew
--No marble tells us whither. With their names
No bard embalms and sanctifies his song:
And history, so warın on meaner themes, i
Is cold on this. She execrates indeed
The tyranny that doomed them to the fire,
But gives the glorious sufferers little praise.*
He is the freeman whom the truth makes free.
And all are slaves besides. There's not a chain,
That hellish foes, confederate for his harm,
Can wind around him, but he casts it off,
With as much ease as Samson his green withes.
He looks abroad into the varied field
Of nature, and though poor perhaps, compared
With those whose mansions glitter in his sight,
Calls the delightful scenery all his own.
His are the mountains, and the valleys his,
And the resplendent rivers, his t' enjoy
With a propriety that none can feel,
But who with filial confidence inspired,
Can list to heaven an unpresumptuous eye,
And smiling say—“My father made them all!"
Are they not his by a peculiar right,
And by an emphasis of interest his,
Whose eye they fill with tears of holy joy,
Whose heart with praise, and whose exalted mind
With worthy thoughts of that unwearied love,
That planned, and built, and still upholds, a world
So clothed with beauty for rebellious man?
Yes-ye may fill your garners, ye that reap
The loaded soil, and ye may waste much good
la senseless riot; but ye will not ind
In feast, or in the chase, in song or dance,
A liberty like his, who unimpeached