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Judging, in charity, no doubt, the town
250 Pious enough, and having need of none. Kind souls ! to teach their tenantry to prize What they themselves, without remorse despise : Nor hope have they, nor fear of aught to come, As well for them had prophecy been dumb;
255 They could have held the conduct they pursue, Had Paal of Tarsus liv'd and died a Jew; And truth, propos'd to reas'ners wise as they, Is a pearl cast-completely cast away. They die—Death lends them, pleas'd, and as in sport,
260 All the grim honours of his ghastly court. Far other paintings grace the chamber now, Where late we saw the mimick landscape glow : The busy heralds rang the sable sceno With mournful scutcheons, and dim lamps between ; Proclaim their titles to the crowd around,
266 But they that wore them move not at the sound; The coronet plac'd highly at their head, Adds nothing now to the degraded dead ; And e'en the star, that glitters on the bier, 270 Can only say–Nobility lies here. Peace to all such--twere pity to offend, By useless censure, whom we cannot mend; Life without hope can close but in despair, 'Twas there we found them, and must leave them there.
275 As when two pilgrims in a forest stray, Both may be lost, yet each in his own way ; So fares it with the multitudes beguild In vain Opinion's waste and dang'rous wild ; Ten thousand rove the brakes and thorns among, 280 Some eastward, and some westward, and all wrong. But here, alas! the fatal diff'rence lies, Each man's belief is right in his own eyes; And he that blames what they have blindly chose, Incurs resentment for the love he shows.
Say, botanist, within whose province fall
300 (Oh cast them from thee!) are weeds, arrant weeds.
Ethelred's house, the centre of six ways, Diverging each from each, like equal rays, Himself as bountiful as April rains, Lord paramount of the surrounding plains, 305 Would give relief of bed and board to none, But guests that sought it in th' appointed One ; And they might enter at his open door, E'en till his spacious hall would hold no more. He sent a servant forth, by ev'ry road,
310 To sound his horn, and publish it abroad. That all migiit mark-knight, menial, high, and low, An ord'nance it concern'd then much to know. If after all some headstrong hardy lout Would disobey, though sure to be shut out, 315 Could he with reason murmur at his case, Hiinself sole author of his own disgrace? Nn the decree was just and without flaw; And lie that made, had right to make the law; His sov'reign power, and plcasure unrestrain'd, 320 The wrong was his wlio wrongfully complain'd.
Yet half mankind maintains a churlislı strife With Ilim, the Donor of eternal life,
Because the deed, by which his love confirms
350 Where mould'ring abbey walls o'erhang the glado, And oaks coeval spread a mournful shade, The screaming nations, hov'ring in mid air, Loudly resent the stranger's freedom there, And seem to warn him never to repeat
355 His bold intrusion on their dark retreat.
Adieu, Vinosa cries, ere yet he sivs
The Christian hcpo is—Waiter, draw the cork-
I never will believe, the colonel cries,
330 Then Heav'n enjoins the fallible and frail A hopeless task, and damns them if they fail. My creed, (whatever soine creed-makers mean By Athanasian nonsense, or Nicene,) My creed is, he is safe, that does his best,
395 And death's a doom sufficient for the rest.
Right, says an ensign; and for aught I see Your faith and mine substantially agree ;
Tho best of ev'ry man's performance here
405 With nothing here that wants to be conceal'd. Manly duportment, gallant, easy, gay ; A hand as lib'ral as the light of day. The soldier thus endow'd who never shrinks, Nor closets up his thoughts, whate'er he thinks, 410 Who scorns to do an injury by stealth. Must go to Heav'n-and I must drink his health. Sir Smug, he cries, (for lowest at the board, Just made fifth chaplain of his patron lord, His shoulders witnessing by many a chrug 415 How much his feelings suffer'd, sat Sir Smug,) Your office is to winnow false from true ; Come, Prophet, drink, and tell us, What think you?
Sighing and smiling as he takes his glass, Which they that woo preferment rarely pass,
420 Fallible man, the church-bred youth replies, Is still found fallible, however wise ; And diff'ring judgments serve but to declare, That truth lies somewhere, if we knew but where. Of all it ever was my lot to read,
425 Of criticks now alive, or long since dead, The book of all the world that charm d me most Was-well-a-day-the title page was lost; The writer well renarks, a heart that knows To take with gratitude what Heav'n bestows, 430 With prudence always ready at our call, To guide our use of it, is all in all. Doubtless it is To which, of my own store, I superadd a few essentials more ; But these, excuse the liberty I take,
435 I wave just now, for conversation's sake.