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Its own dishonour by a worse relapse.
Till Nature, unavailing Nature, foil'd
So oft, and wearied in the vain attempt,
Scoffs at her own performance. Reason now
Takes part with Appetite, and pleads the cause
Perversely, which of late she so condemn'd;
With shallow shifts and old devices, worn
And tatter'd in the service of debauch,
Covering his shame from his offended sight.
“ Hath God indeed given appetites to man,
And stored the earth so plenteously with means
To gratify the hunger of his wish;
And doth he reprobate, and will he damn
The use of his own bounty ? making first
So frail a kind, and then enacting laws
So strict, that less than perfect must despair ?
Falsehood! which whoso but suspects of truth
Dishonours God, and makes a slave of man.
Do they themselves, who undertake for hire
The teacher's office, and dispense at large
Their weekly dole of edifying strains,
Attend to their own music? have they faith
In what, with such solemnity of tone
And gesture, they propound to our belief?
Nay—conduct hath the loudest tongue. The voice 650
Is but an instrument, on which the priest
May play what tune he pleases. In the deed,
The unequivocal, authentic deed,
We find sound argument, we read the heart."
Such reasonings (if that name must needs belong
To excuses in which Reason has no part)
Serve to compose a spirit well inclined
To live on terms of amity with Vice,
And sin without disturbance. Often urged
(As often as libidinous discourse
Exhausted, he resorts to solemn themes
Of theological and grave import),
They gain at last his unreserved assent;
Till, harden'd his heart's temper in the forge
Of lust, and on the anvil of despair,
He slights the strokes of conscience. Nothing moves,
Or nothing much, his constancy in ill ;
Vain tampering has but foster'd his disease ;
'Tis desperate, and he sleeps the sleep of death.
Haste now, philosopher, and set him free!
Charm the deaf serpent wisely! Make him hear
Of rectitude and fitness, moral truth
How lovely, and the moral sense how sure,
Consulted and obey'd, to guide his steps
Directly, to the FIRST AND ONLY FAIR.
Spare not in such a cause. Spend all the powers
Of rant and rhapsody in Virtue's praise :
Be most sublimely good, verbosely grand,
And with poetic trappings grace thy prose,
Till it outmantle all the pride of verse.-
Ah, tinkling cymbal and high-sounding brass,
Smitten in vain ! such music cannot charm
The eclipse that intercepts truth's heavenly beam,
And chills and darkens a wide wandering soul.
The STILL SMALL VOICE is wanted. He must speak,
Whose word leaps forth at once to its effect;
Who calls for things that are not, and they come.
Grace makes the slave a freeman. 'Tis a change
That turns to ridicule the turgid speech
And stately tone of moralists, who boast,
As if, like him of fabulous renown,
They had indeed ability to smooth
The shag of savage nature, and were each
An Orpheus, and omnipotent in song,
But transformation of apostate man
From fool to wise, from earthly to divine,
Is work for Him that made him. He alone,
And He by means in philosophic eyes
Trivial and worthy of disdain, achieves
The wonder ; humanizing what is brute
In the lost kind; extracting from the lips
Of asps their venom, overpowering strength
By weakness, and hostility by love.
Patriots have toild, and in their country's cause Bled nobly; and their deeds, as they deserve, Receive proud recompence.
We give in charge Their names to the sweet lyre. The historic Mus Proud of the treasure, marches with it down To latest times; and Sculpture, in her turn, Gives bond in stone and ever-during brass To guard them, and to immortalize her trust. But fairer wreaths are due, though never paid, To those who, posted at the shrine of Truth, Have fallen in her defence. A patriot's blood, Well spent in such a strife, may earn indeed, And for a time insure, to his loved land, The sweets of liberty and equal laws ; But martyrs struggle for a brighter prize, And win it with more pain. Their blood is shed In confirmation of the noblest alaimOur claim to feed upon immortal truth, To walk with God, to be divinely free, To soar, and to anticipate the skies. Yet few remember them. They lived unknown Till Persecution dragg’d them into fame, And chased them up to Heaven. Their ashes fle -No marble tells us whither. With their names
No bard embalms and sanctifies his
And History, so warm on meaner themes,
Is cold on this. She execrates indeed
The tyranny that doom'd them to the fire,
But gives the glorious sufferers little praise.1
He is the freeman whom the truth makes free,
And all are slaves beside. There's not a chain
That hellish foes, confederate for his harm,
Can wind around him, but he casts it off
With as much ease as Samson his green withes.
He looks abroad into the varied field
Of Nature, and though poor perhaps, compared
With those whose mansions glitter in his sight,
Calls the delightful scenery all his own.
His are the mountains, and the valleys his,
And the resplendent rivers : his to enjoy
With a propriety that none can feel,
But who, with filial confidence inspired,
Can lift to Heaven an unpresumptuous eye,
And smiling say—“My Father made them all!”
Are they not his by a peculiar right,
And by an emphasis of interest bis,
Whose eye they fill with tears of holy joy,
Whose heart with praise, and whose exalted mind
With worthy thoughts of that unwearied love
That plann'd, and built, and still upholds, a world
So clothed with beauty, for rebellious man?
your garners, ye
The loaded soil, and ye may waste much good
In senseless riot; but ye will not find
In feast, or in the chase, in song or dance,
A liberty like his, who, unimpeach'd
Of usurpation, and to no man's wrong,
1. Little praise : ' see Hume. VOL. I.
Appropriates nature as his Father's work,
And has a richer use of yours than you.
He is indeed a freeman : free by birth
Of no mean city ; plann'd or e'er the hills
Were built, the fountains open'd, or the sea
With all his roaring multitude of waves.
His freedom is the same in every state;
And no condition of this changeful life,
So manifold in cares, whose every day
Brings its own evil with it, makes it less :
For he has wings, that neither sickness, pain,
Nor penury, can cripple or confine.
No nook so narrow but he spreads them there
With ease, and is at large. The oppressor holds
His body bound, but knows not what a range
His spirit takes, unconscious of a chain ;
And that to bind him is a vain attempt,
Whom God delights in, and in whom he dwells.
Acquaint thyself with God, if thou wouldst ta
His works. Admitted once to his embrace,
Thou shalt perceive that thou wast blind before
Thine eye shall be instructed ; and thine heart,
Made pure, shall relish, with divine delight
Till then unfelt, what hands divine have wrough
Brutes graze the mountain-top, with faces prone
upon the scanty herb It yields them; or, recumbent on its brow, Ruminate heedless of the scene outspread Beneath, beyond, and stretching far away From inland regions to the distant main. Man views it, and admires, but rests content With what he views. The landscape has his pi But not its Author. Unconcern'd who form'd The Paradise he sees, he finds it such,