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Love, joy, and peace inake harmony more meet
For sabbath evenings, and perhaps as sweet.
Will not the sickliest sheep of every flock
Resort to this example as a rock;
There stand, and justify the foul abuse
Of sabbath hours with plausible excuse;
If apostolic gravity be free
To play the fool on Sundays, why not we?
If he the tinkling harpsichord regards
As inoffensive, what offence in cards?
the fiddles, let us all be gay, Laymen have leave to dance, if parsons play.
Oh Italy!—Thy sabbaths will be soon Our sabbaths, closed with mummery and buf
foon. Preaching and pranks will share the motley scene, Our's parcelled out, as thine have ever been, God's worship and the mountebank between. What says the prophet? Let that day be blest With holiness and consecrated rest. Pastime and business both it should exclude, And bar the door the moment they intrude;
Nobly distinguished above all the six
By deeds, in which the world must never mix.
Hear him again. He calls it a delight,
A day of luxury, observed aright,
When the glad soul is made heaven's welcome guest,
Sits banqueting, and God provides the feast.
But triflers are engaged and cannot come;
Their answer to the call is - Not at home.
Oh the dear pleasures of the velvet plain,
The painted tablets, dealt and dealt again.
Cards with what rapture, and the polished die,
The yawning chasm of indolence supply!
Then to the dance, and make the sober moon
Witness of joys, that shun the sight of noon.
Blame, cynic, if you can, quadrille or ball,
The snug close party, or the splendid hall,
Where night, down-stooping from her ebon throne,
Views constellations brighter than her own.
'Tis innocent, and harmless, and refined,
The balm of care, elysium of the mind.
Innocent! Oh if venerable time
Slain at the foot of pleasure be no crime,
Then, with his silver beard and magic wand,
Let Comus rise archbishop of the land;
Let him your rubric and your feasts prescribe,
Grand Metropolitan of all the tribe.
Of manners rough, and coarse athletic cast,
The rank debauch suits Clodio's filthy taste.
Rufillus exquisitely formed by rule,"
Not of the moral, but the dancing school,
Wonders at Clodio's follies, in a tone
As tragical, as others at his own.
He cannot drink five bottles, bilk the score,
Then kill a constable, and drink five more;
But he can draw a pattern, make a tart,
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 drunkard die,
Is far too just to pass the trifler by.
Both baby-featured, and of infant size,
Viewed from a distance, and with heedless eyes,
Folly and innocence are so alike,
The difference, though essential, fails to strike.
Yet folly ever has a vacant stare,
A simpering countenance, 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;
But, if he play the glutton and exceed,
His benefactress blushes at the deed,
For nature, nice, as liberal to dispense,
Made nothing but a brute the slave of sense.
Daniel ate pulse by choice-example rare!
Heaven blessed the youth, and made him fresh and
Gorgonius sits, abdominous and wan,
Like a fat squab upon a Chinese fan:
He snuffs far off the anticipated joy;
Turtle and venison all his thoughts employ;
Prepares for meals as jockies take a sweat,
Oh, nauseous !-an emetic for a whet!
Will Providence overlook the wasted good?
Temperance were no virtue if he could.
That pleasures, therefore, or what such we call, Are hurtful, is a truth confessed by all, And some, that seem to threaten virtue less, Still hurtful, in the abuse, or by the excess.
Is man then only for his torment placed The centre of delights he may not taste? Like fabled Tantalus condemned to hear The precious stream still purling in his ear, Lip-deep in what he longs for, and yet curst With prohibition, and perpetual thirst? No, wrangler-destitute of shame and sense, The precept, that enjoins him abstinence, Forbids him none but the licentious joy, Whose fruit, though fair, tempts only to de
stroy Remorse, the fatal egg by pleasure laid In every bosom where her nest is made, Hatched by the beams of truth, denies him rest, And
proves a raging scorpion in his breast. No pleasure? Are domestic comforts dead? Are all the nameless sweets of friendship fled ?