And were the Churches warmed by Charity,

Like him, the soul, thus kindled from above,
Spreads wide her arms of universal love;
And, still enlarg'd as she receives the grace,
Includes creation in her close embrace.
Behold a Christian!-and, without the fires
The founder of that name alone inspires,
Though all accomplishment, all knowledge meet,
To make the shining prodigy complete,
Whoever boasts that name-behold a cheat!
Were love, in these the world's last doting years,
As frequent as the want of it appears,

The churches warm'd, they would no longer hold
Such frozen figures, stiff as they are cold;
Relenting forms would lose their pow'r, or cease;
And ev❜n the dipt and sprinkled live in peace:
Each heart would quit its prison in the breast,
And flow in free communion with the rest,
The statesman skill'd in projects dark and deep,
Might burn his useless Machiavel, and sleep;
His budget, often fill'd, yet always poor,
Might swing at ease behind his study door,

[ocr errors]

Virtue, Truth, and Love, would be more prevalent.

No longer prey upon our annual rents,
Or scare the nation with its big contents:
Disbanded legions freely might depart,
And slaying man would cease to be an art.
No learned disputants would take the field,
Sure not to conquer, and sure not to yield;
Both sides deceiv'd, if rigtly understood,
Pelting each other for the public good.
Did charity prevail, the press would prove
A vehicle of virtue, truth, and love;

And I might spare myself the pains to show
What few can learn, and all suppose they know.
Thus have I sought to grace a serious lay
With many a wild, indeed, but flow'ry spray,
In hopes to gain, what else I must have lost,
Th' attention pleasure has so much engross❜d.
But if, unhappily deceiv'd, I dream,

And prove too weak for so divine a theme,
Let Charity forgive me a mistake

That zeal, not vanity, has chanc'd to make,
And spare the poet for his subject's sake.


Nam neq; me tantum venientis sibilus austri, Nec percussa juvant fluctú tam litora, nec quæ Saxosas inter decurrunt flumina valles.

VIRG. Ecl. 5.

THOUGH nature weigh our talents, and dispense To ev'ry man his modicum of sense, And Conversation, in its better part, May be esteem'd a gift and not an art, Yet much depends, as in the tiller's toil, On culture, and the sowing of the soil. Words learn'd by rote a parrot may rehearse, But talking is not always to converse;

Trifling in Conversation.

Not more distinct from harmony divine,
The constant creaking of a country sign.
As alphabets in ivory employ,

Hour after hour, the yet unletter'd boy,
Sorting and puzzling with a deal of glee
Those seeds of science call'd his A B C;
So language in the mouths of the adult,
Witness its insignificant result,
Too often proves an implement of play,
A toy to sport with and pass time away.
Collect at ev'ning what the day brought forth,
Compress the sum into its solid worth,

And, if it weigh th' importance of a fly,
The scales are false, or Algebra a lie.
Sacred interpreter of human thought,
How few respect or use thee as they ought!
But all shall give account of ev'ry wrong,
Who dare dishonour or defile the tongue;
Who prostitute it in the cause of vice,
Or sell their glory at a market-price:


The blighting power of indecent Conversation,

Who vote for hire, or point it with lampoon


The dear-bought placeman, and the cheap buffoon.
There is a prurience in the speech of some,
Wrath stays him, or else God would strike them dumb:
His wise forbearance has their end in view;
They fill their measure, and receive their due.
The heathen law-givers of ancient days,
Names almost worthy of a Christian's praise,
Would drive them forth from the resort of
And shut up ev'ry satyr in his den.
Oh, come not ye near innocence and truth,
Ye worms that eat into the bud of youth!
Infectious as impure, your blighting pow'r
Taints in its rudiments the promis'd flow'r ;
Its odour perish'd and its charming hue,
Thenceforth 'tis hateful, for it smells of you.
Not ev'n the vigorous and headlong rage
Of adolescence, or a firmer age,
Affords a plea allowable or just;
For making speech the pamperer


of lust;

« ForrigeFortsett »