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For though, ere yet the shaft is on the wing,
Or when it first forsakes the elastic string,
It err but little from the intended line,
It falls at last far wide of his design;
So he, who seeks a mansion in the sky,
Must watch his purpose with a stedfast eye;
That prize belongs to none but the sincere,
The least obliquity is fatal here.

With caution taste the sweet Circean cup:
He that sips often at last drinks it up.
Habits are soon assumed; but when we strive
To strip them off, 'tis being fayed alive.
Called to the temple of impure delight,
He that abstains, and he alone, does right.
If a wish wander that way, call it home;
He cannot long be safe whose wishes roam.
But if you pass the threshold, you are caught;
Die then, if power Almighty save you not.
There hardening by degrees, till double steeled,
Take leave of nature's God, and God revealed;
Then laugh at all you trembled at before;
And, joining the free-thinkers' brutal roar,

Swallow the two grand nostrums they dispense-
That scripture lies, and blasphemy is sense.
If clemency revolted by abuse
Be damnable, then damned without excuse.
Some dream that they can silence when they

will
The storm of passion, and say, Peace, be still;
But “ Thus far, and no farther,” when addressed
To the wild wave, or wilder human breast,
Implies authority that never can,
That never ought to be the lot of man.

But muse forbear; long flights forebode a fall; Strike on the deep-toned chord the sum of all.

Hear the just law—the judgment of the skies! He that hates truth shall be the dupe of lies: And he that will be cheated to the last, Delusions strong as hell shall bind him fast. But if the wanderer his mistake discern, Judge his own ways, and sigh for a return, Bewildered once, inust he bewail his loss For ever and for ever? No-the cross !

There and there only (though the deist rave,
And atheist, if earth bear so base a slave);
There and there only is the power to save.
There no delusive hope invites despair;
No mockery meets you, no deception there.
The spells and charms, that blinded you before,
All vanish there, and fascinate no more.

I am no preacher, let this suffice-
The cross once seen is death to every vice:
Else he that hung there suffered all his pain,
Bled, groaned, and agonized, and died, in vain.

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T R U T H.

Pensantur trutinâ. Hor. Lib. II. Epist. I.

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