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Divine authority within his breast
Brings every thought, word, action, to the test;
Warns him or prompts, approves him or restrains,
As reason, or as passion, takes the reins.
Heaven from above, and conscience from within,
Cries in his startled ear--Abstain from sin!
The world around solicits his desire,
And kindles in his soul a treacherous fire;
While, all his purposes and steps to guard,
Peace follows virtue as its sure reward;
And pleasure brings as surely in her train
Remorse, and sorrow, and vindictive pain.
Man, thus endued with an elective voice,
Must be supplied with objects of his choice,
Wherever he turns, enjoyment and delight,
Or present, or in prospect, meet his sight;
Those open on the spot their honeyed store;
These call him loudly to pursuit of more.
His unexhausted mine the sordid vice
Avarice shows, and virtue is the price.
Here various motives his ambition raise-
Power,pomp,and splendour, and the thirst of praise;
There beauty woos him with expanded arms;... .
Even Bacchanalian madness has its charms........
. Nor these alone, whose pleasures less refined
Might well alarm the most unguarded mind,..
Seek to supplant his inexperienced youth, .
Or lead him devious from the path of truth; ..
Hourly allurements on his passions press,
Safe in themselves, but dangerous in the excess.
Hark! how it floats upon the dewy air!
O what a dying, dying close was there!
'Tis harmony from yon sequestered bower,
Sweet harmony, that sooths the midnight hour! -
Long ere the charioteer of day had run :
His morning course, the enchantment was begun;
And he shall gild yon mountain's height again,
Ere yet the pleasing toil becomes a pain. .. • Is this the rugged path, the steep ascent,
That virtue points to? Can a life thus spent :
Lead to the bliss she promises the wise, .. .
Detach the soul from earth and speed herto the skies?
Ye devotees to your adored employ, con..
Enthusiasts, drunk with an unreal joy, .. ..
Love makes the music of the blest above, :. Heaven's harmony is universal love; . . And earthly sounds, though sweet and well com
bined,. .. And lenient as soft opiates to the mind, Leave vice and folly unsubdued behind.
Gray dawn appears; the sportsman and his train Speckle the bosom of the distant plain; 'Tis he, the Nimrod of the neighbouring lairs, Save that his scent is less acute than theirs; . For persevering chase, and headlong leaps, True beagle as the staunchest hound he keeps. Charged with the folly of his life's mad scene, He takes offence, and wonders what you mean; The joy the danger and the toil overpays'Tis exercise, and health, and length of days. Again impetuous to the field he flies; Leaps every fence but one, there falls and dies; Like a slain deer, the tumbrel brings him home, Unmiss'd but by his dogs and by his groom.
Ye clergy, while your orbit is your place, Lights of the world, and stars of human race;. . .
But, if eccentric ye forsake your sphere, Prodigies ominous, and viewed with fear. The comet's baneful influence is a dream; Your's real and pernicious in the extreme. What then !--are appetites and lusts laid down With the same ease that man puts on his gown? Will avarice and concupiscence give place, Charmed by the sounds Your Reverence or Your ! Grace? No. But his own engagement binds him fast; Or, if it does not, brands him to the last What atheists call him-a designing knave, A mere church juggler, hypocrite, and slave. Oh, laugh or mourn with me the rueful jest, A cassocked huntsman, and a fiddling priest! He from Italian songsters takes his cue: Set Paul to music, he shall quote him too. He takes the field, the master of the pack Cries-Well done saint! and claps him on the
back. Is this the path of sanctity? Is this To stand a way mark in the road to bliss?
Himself a wanderer from the narrow way,
His silly sheep, wbat wonder if they stray?
Go, cast your orders at your Bishop's feet,
Send your dishonoured gown to Monmouth-street!
The sacred function in your hands is made
Sad sacrilege! no function, but a trade !
Occiduus is a pastor of renown;
When he hasprayed and preached thesabbath down,
With wire and catgut he concludes the day,
Quavering and semiquavering care away.
The full concerto swells upon your ear;
All elbows shake. Look in, and you would swear
The Babylonian tyrant with a nod
Had summoned them to serve his golden God.
So well that thought the employment seems to suit,
Psaltery and sackbut, dulcimer and flute.
Oh fie! 'tis evangelical and pure:
Observe each face, how sober and demure!
Ecstasy sets her stamp on every mien;
Chins fallen, and not an eye-ball to be seen.
Still I insist, though music heretofore
Has charmed me much, (not even Occiduus more)