Fresh confidence the specularist takes
From every hair brained proselyte he makes;
And therefore prints. Himself but half deceived,
Till others have the soothing tale believed,,
Hence comment after comment, spun as fine
As bloated spiders draw the flimsy line:
Hence the same word, that bids our lusts obey,
Is misapplied to sanctify their sway.

If stubborn Greek refuse to be his friend,
Hebrew or Syriac shall be forced to bend:
If languages and copies all cry, No-
Somebody proved it centuries ago.
Like trout pursued, the critic in despair
Darts to the mud, and finds his safety there.
Women, whom custom has forbid to fly

The scholar's pitch, (the scholar best knows why)
With all the simple and unlettered poor,
Admire his learning, and almost adore.
Whoever errs, the priest can never be wrong,
With such fine words familiar to his tongue.
Ye ladies! for indifferent in your cause,
I should deserve to forfeit all applause)
Whatever shocks, or gives the least offence
To virtue, delicacy, truth, or sense,
(Try the criterion, 'tis a faithful guide)
Nor has, nor can have, scripture on its side,
None but an author knows an author's cares,
Or fancy's fondness for the child she bears.
Committed once into the public arins,
The baby seems to smile with added charms.

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Like something precious ventured far from shore,
'Tis valued for the danger's sake the more.
He views it with complacency supreme,
Solicits kind attention to his dream;

And daily more enamoured of the cheat,
Kneels, and asks heaven to bless the dear deceit.
So one whose story serves at least to show
Men loved their own productions long ago,
Wooed an unfeeling statue for his wife,
Nor rested till the gods had given it life.
If some mere driveller suck the sugared fib,
One that still needs his leading string and bib,
And praise his genius, he is soon repaid
In praise applied to the same part-his head.
For 'tis a rule, that holds for ever true,
Grant me discernment, and I grant it you.
Patient of contradiction as a child,
Affable, humble, diffident, and mild;

Such was sir Isaac, and such Boyle and Locke:
Your blunderer is as sturdy as a rock.
The creature is so sure to kick and bite,
A muleteer's the man to set him right.
First appetite enlists him truth's sworn foe,
Then obstinate self-will confirms him so.
Tell him he wanders; that his error leads

To fatal ills; that, though the path he treads

Be flowery, and he see no cause of fear,

Death and the pains of hell attend him there;
In vain; the slave of arrogance and pride,
He has no hearing on the prudent side.

His still refuted quirks he still repeats;
New raised objections with new quibbles meets;
Till, sinking in the quicksand he defends,
He dies disputing, and the contest ends-
But not the mischiefs; they, still left behind
Like thistle-seeds, are sown by every wind.

Thus men go wrong with an ingenious skill;
Bend the straight rule to their own crooked will;
And with a clear and shining lamp supplied,
First put it out, then take it for a guide.
Halting on crutches of unequal size,
One leg by truth supported, one by lies;
They sidle to the goal with awkward pace,
Secure of nothing but to lose the race.

Faults in the life breed errors in the brain:
And these reciprocally those again.
The mind and conduct mutually imprint
And stamp their image in each other's mint:
Each, sire and dam, of an infernal race;
Begetting and conceiving all that's base.

None sends his arrow to the mark in view,
Whose hand is feeble, or his aim untrue.
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 steadfast 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 flayed 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 forbode 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, must he bewail his loss
For ever and for ever? No-the cross!
There and there only (though the deist rave,
And atheist, if ea: th 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 hint 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.



Pensantur trutinâ.

-HOR. Lib. ii. Epist. 1.

MAN, on the dubious waves of error tossed,
His ship half foundered, and his compass lost,
Sees, far as human optics may command,

A sleeping fog, and fancies it dry land:

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