No longer prey upon our annual rents, Or scare the nation with its big contents: Disbanded legions freely might depart, And Naying 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 rightly 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 fo 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 fake.


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Nam neq; me tantum venientis fibilus austri,
Nec percusa juvant fluctú tam litora, nec que
Saxofas inter decurrunt flumina valles.

VIRG. Ecl. 50

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;

Not more distinct from harmony divine,
The constant creaking of a country fign.
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 fell their glory at a market-price;

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 fome,
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 men,
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;


But, when the breath of age commits the fault,
'Tis nauseous as the vapour of a vault.
So wither'd stumps disgrace the fylvan scene,
No longer fruitful, and no longer green;

The fapless wood, divested of the bark, Grows fungous, and takes fire at ev'ry spark.

Oaths terminate, as Paul observes, all strifeSome men have surely then a peaceful life! Whatever subject occupy discourse, The feats of Vestris, or the naval force, Affeveration, bluft’ring in your face, Makes contradiction such an hopeless case : In ev'ry tale they tell, or false or true, Well known, or such as no man ever knew, They fix attention, heedless of your pain, With oaths, like rivets, forc'd into the brain; And ev’n when sober truth prevails throughout, They swear it, 'till affirmance breeds a doubt. A Persian, humble servant of the sun, Who, though devout, yet bigotry had none,

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