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'Tis innocent, and harmiess, and refind, 'The balm of care, Elysium of the mind.
Of manners rough, and coarse athletick cast,
195 And has the ladies' etiquette by heart. Go, fool; and, arm in arm with Clodio, plead Your cause before a bar you little dread: But know, the law, that bids the drunkərd die, Is far too just to pass the trifler by. Both baby featur’d, and of infant size, View'd from a distance, and with heedless eyes Folly and Innocence are so alike, The diff'rence, though essential, fails to strike, Yet Folly ever has a vacant stare,
205 A simp’ring count'nance, and a trifling air : But Innocence, sedate, serene, erect, Delights us, by engaging our respect. Man, Nature's guest by invitation sweet, Receives from her both appetite and treat; 210 But if he play the glutton, and exceed, His benefactress blushes at the deed ; For Nature, nice, as lib'ral to dispense, Made nothing but a brute the slave of sense. Daniel ate pulse by choice-o rample raro' 215 Heaven bless’d the youth, and made himn fresh and fair. Vol. I.
Gorgonius sits, abdominous and wan,
That pleasures, therefore, or what such we call, 225
then only for his torment plac'd The centre of delights he may not taste ?
230 Like fabled Tantalus condemn'd to hear The precious stream still purling in his ear, Lip deep in what he longs for, and yet curs’d With prohibition, and perpetual thirst ? No, wrangler,—destitute of shame and sense, 235 The precept, that enjoins him abstinence, Forbids him none but the licentious joy, Whose fruit, though fair, tempts only to destroy. Remorse, the fatal egg by pleasure laid In every bosom where her nest is made,
240 Hatch'd by the beams of truth, denies him rest, And proves a raging scorpion in his breast. No pleasure ? Are domestick comforts dead? Are all the nameless sweets of friendship fled ? 244 Has time worn out, or fashion put to shame, [fame? Good sense, good health, good conscience, and good meel these belong to virtue, and all prove, That virtue has a title to your love. Have you no touch of pity, that the poor Stand starv'd at your inhospitable door ?
250 Or if yourself, too scantily supplied, Need help, let honest industry provide. Earn, if you want; if you abound, impart , Theso both are pleasures to the feeling heart.
No pleasure ? Has some sickly eastern waste
255 Sent us a wind to parch us at a blast ? Can British Paradise no scenes afford To please her sated and indifferent lord ? Are sweet philosophy's enjoyments run Quite to the lees? And has religion none ? 260 Brutes capable would tell you 'tis a lie, And judge you from the kennel and the sty. Delights like these, ye sensual and profane, Ye are bid, begg’d, besought to entertain ; Call’d to these crystal streams, do ye turn off
265 Obscene to swill and swallow at a trough? Envy the beast then, on whom Heav'n bestows Your pleasures, with no curses in the close.
Pleasure admitted in undue degree Enslaves the will, nor leaves the judgment free. 270 Tis not alone the grape's enticing juice, Unnerves the moral powers, and mars their use : Ambition, av'rice, and the lust of fame, And woman, lovely woman, does the same. The heart surrender'd to the ruling power
275 Of some ungovern'd passion every hour, Finds by degrees the truths, that once bore sway, And all their deep impressions, wear away ; So coin grows smooth, in traffick current pass'd, Till Cæsr's image is effac'd at last.
280 The breach, tho' small at first, soon opening wide, In rushes folly with a full-moon tide, Then welcome errours of whatever size, To justify it by a thousand lies. As creeping ivy clings to wood or stone,
285 And hides the ruin that it feeds
290 And, lest the fulsome artifice should fail, Themselves will hide its coarseness with a veil.
Not more industrious are the just and true,
The sacred implement I now employ
Ye writers of what none with safety reads;
But the muse, eagle pinion 'd, has in view
Petronius! all the muses weep for thee;