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The truth she loves, a sightless world blaspheme,
'Tis childish dotage, a delirious dream!
The danger they discern not, they deny ;
Laugh at their only remedy, and die.
But still a soul thus touch'd can never cease,
Whoever threatens war, to speak of peace. .
Pure in her aim, and in her temper mild,
Her wisdom seems the weakness of a child
She makes excuses where she might condemn-
Reviled by those that hate her, prays for them :
Suspicion lurks not in her artless breast,
The worst suggested, she believes the best ;
Not soon provoked, however stung and teased,
And if perhaps made angry, soon appeased ;
She rather waives than will dispute her right;
And, injured, makes forgiveness her delight.
Such was the portrait an apostle drew,
The bright original was one he knew;
Heaven held his hand, the likeness must be true.
When one that holds communion with the skies,
Has fill’d his urn where these pure waters rise,
And once more mingles with us meaner things,
'Tis even as if an angel shook his wings;
Immortal fragrance fills the circuit wide,
That tells us whence his treasures are supplied.
So when a ship well freighted with the stores
The sun matures on India's spicy shores,
Has dropp'd her anchor, and her canvas furl’d,
In some safe haven of our western world;
'Twere vain inquiry to what port she went,
The gale informs us, laden with the scent.
Some seek, when queasy conscience has its qualms, To lull the painful malady with alms;
But charity not feign’d, intends alone
Another’s good—theirs centres in their own;
And, too short-lived to reach the realms of peace,
Must cease for ever when the poor shall cease.
Flavia, most tender of her own good name,
Is rather careless of a sister's fame :
Her superfluity the poor supplies,
But if she touch a character, it dies.
The seeming virtue weigh'd against the vice,
She deems all safe, for she has paid the price :
No charity but alms aught values she,
Except in porcelain on her mantel-tree.
How many deeds with which the world has rung,
From Pride, in league with Ignorance, have sprung!
But God o'errules all human follies still,
And bends the tough materials to his will.
A conflagration, or a wintry flood,
Has left some hundreds without home or food :
Extravagance and Avarice shall subscribe,
While fame and self-complacence are the bribe.
The brief proclaim'd, it visits every pew,
But first the squire's, a compliment but due :
With slow deliberation he unties
His glittering purse, that envy of all eyes ;
And, while the clerk just puzzles out the psalm,
Slides guinea behind guinea in his palm ;
Till finding, what he might have found before,
A smaller piece amidst the precious store,
Pinch'd close between his finger and his thumb,
He half exhibits, and then drops the sum.
Gold, to be sure !-throughout the town ’tis told
How the good squire gives never less than gold.
From motives such as his, though not the best,
Springs in due time supply for the distress’d,
Not less effectual than what love bestows,
Except that office clips it as it goes.
But lest I seem to sin against a friend,
And wound the grace I mean to recommend
(Though vice derided with a just design
Implies no trespass against love divine),
Once more I would adopt the graver style ;
A teacher should be sparing of his smile.
Unless a love of virtue light the flame,
Satire is, more than those he brands, to blame ;
He hides behind a magisterial air
His own offences, and strips others' bare ;
Affects, indeed, a most humane concern,
That men, if gently tutor’d, will not learn;
That mulish Folly, not to be reclaim'd
By softer methods, must be made ashamed,
But (I might instance in St Patrick's dean)
Too often rails to gratify his spleen.
Most satirists are indeed a public scourge ;
Their mildest physic is a farrier's purge ;
Their acrid temper turns, as soon as stirr'd,
The milk of their good purpose all to curd.
Their zeal begotten, as their works rehearse,
By lean despair upon an empty purse,
The wild assassins start into the street,
Prepared to poniard whomsoe'er they meet.
No skill in swordsmanship, however just,
Can be secure against a madman's thrust;
And even Virtue, so unfairly match’d,
Although immortal, may be prick'd or scratch’d.
When Scandal has new minted an old lie,
Or tax'd invention for a fresh supply,
'Tis call’d a satire, and the world appears
Gathering around it with erected ears ;
A thousand names are toss'd into the crowd ;
Some whisper'd softly, and some twang’d aloud;
Just as the sapience of an author's brain
Suggests it safe or dangerous to be plain.
Strange! how the frequent interjected dash
Quickens a market, and helps off the trash;
The important letters that include the rest,
Serve as a key to those that are suppress’d;
Conjecture gripes the victims in his paw,
The world is charm’d, and Scrib escapes the law.
So, when the cold damp shades of night prevail,
Worms may be caught by either head or tail ;
Forcibly drawn from many a close recess,
They meet with little pity, no redress;
Plunged in the stream, they lodge upon the mud,
Food for the famish'd rovers of the flood.
All zeal for a reform, that gives offence
Το peace and charity, is mere pretence :
A bold remark,—but which, if well applied,
Would humble many a towering poet's pride.
Perhaps the man was in a sportive fit,
And had no other play-place for his wit ;
Perhaps, enchanted with the love of fame,
He sought the jewel in his neighbour's shame;
Perhaps—whatever end he might pursue,
The cause of virtue could not be his view.
At every stroke wit flashes in our eyes,
The turns are quick, the polish'd points surprise,
But shine with cruel and tremendous charms,
That, while they please, possess us with alarms :
So have I seen (and hasten'd to the sight
On all the wings of holiday delight),
Where stands that monument of ancient power,
Named with emphatic dignity, the Tower,
Guns, halberts, swords, and pistols, great and small, 551
In starry forms disposed upon the wall:
We wonder, as we gazing stand below,
That brass and steel should make so fine a show;
But, though we praise the exact designer's skill,
Account them implements of mischief still.
No works shall find acceptance in that day
When all disguises shall be rent away,
That square not truly with the Scripture plan,
Nor spring from love to God, or love to man.
As he ordains things sordid in their birth
To be resolved into their parent earth ;
And, though the soul shall seek superior orbs,
Whate'er this world produces, it absorbs ;
So self starts nothing but what tends apace
Home to the goal where it began the race.
Such as our motive is, our aim must be ;
If this be servile, that can ne'er be free ;
If self employ us, whatsoe'er is wrought,
We glorify that self, not Him we ought :
Such virtues had need prove their own reward,
The Judge of all men owes them no regard.
True Charity, a plant divinely nursed,
Fed by the love from which it rose at first,
Thrives against hope, and in the rudest scent,
Storms but enliven its unfading green ;
Exuberant is the shadow it supplies,
Its fruit on earth, its growth above the skies.
To look at Him who form'd us and redeem'd,
So glorious now, though once so disesteemid;
To see a God stretch forth his human hand,
To uphold the boundless scenes of his command;
To recollect that, in a form like ours,
He bruised beneath his feet the infernal powers,