Though all accomplishment, all knowledge meet,
To make the shining prodigy complete,
Whoever boasts that name-behold a cheat!
Were love, in these the world's last doting years,
As frequent as the want of it appears,
The churches warmed, they would no longer

Such frozen figures, stiff as they are cold; .
Relenting forms would lose their power, or cease;
And even the dipped and sprinkled live in peace:
Each heart would quit its prison in the breast,
And flow in free communion with the rest.
The statesman, skilled in projects dark and deep,
Might burn his useless Machiavel, and sleep;
His budget often filled, yet always poor,
Might swing at ease behind his study door,
No longer prey upon our annual rents,
Or scare the nation with its big contents: ·
Disbanded legions freely might depart,
And slaying man would cease to be an art.
No learned disputants would take the field,
Sure not to conquer, and sure not to yield;

Both sides deceived, if rightly understood,
Pelting each other for the public good.
Did charity prevail, the press would prove
A vehicle of virtue, truth, and love; .
And I might spare myself the pains to show
What few can learn, and all suppose they know.
Thus have I sought to grace a serious lay
With many a wild indeed but flowery spray,
In hopes to gain, what else I must have lost,
The attention pleasure has so much engrossed.
But if unhappily deceived I dream,
And prove too weak for so divine a theme,
Let Charity forgive me a mistake
That zeal, not vanity, has chanced to make,
And spare the poet for his subject's sake.

[graphic][merged small]


Nam neque me tantum venientis sibilus austri,
Nec percussa juvant fluctû tam litora, nec quæ
Saxosas inter decurrunt flumina valles.

VIRG. Ecl. 5.


[ocr errors]

p. 263.

CONVERSATION. Though nature weigh our talents, and dispense To every man his modicum of sense, And Conversation in its better part May be esteemed a gift and not an art, Yet much depends, as in the tiller's toil, On culture, and the sowing of the soil. Words learned by rote a parrot may rehearse, But talking is not always to converse; Not more distinct from harmony divine, The constant creaking of a country sign.

« ForrigeFortsett »