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The joy the danger and the toil o'erpays—
'Tis exercise, and health, and length of days.
Again impetuous to the field he flies;
Leaps ev'ry fence but one, there falls and dies;
Like a slain deer, the tumbrel brings him home,
Unmiss'd but by his dogs and by his groom.
Ye clergy; while your orbit is your place,
Lights of the world, and stars of human race;
But, if eccentric ye forsake your sphere,
Prodigies ominous, and view'd with fear.
The comet's baneful influence is a dreajn;
Your's real, and pernicious in th' extreme.
What then !—are appetites and lusts laid down,
With the fame ease that man puts on his gown?
Will av'rice and concupiscence give place,
Charm'd by the sounds—Your Rev'rence, or Your
No. But his own engagement binds him fast;
Or, if it does not, brands him to the last,
What atheists call him—a designing knave,
A mere church juggler, hypocrite, and slave.
Oh, laugh or mourn with me the rueful jest,
A cassock'd huntsman and a fiddling priest!
He from Italian songsters takes his cue:
Set Paul to music, he shall quote him too.
He takes the field. The master of the pack
Cries—Well done, faint! and claps him on the back.
Is this the path of sanctity? Is this
To stand a way-mark in the road to bliss?
Himself a wand'rer from the narrow way,
His silly sheep, what wonder if they stray?
Go, cast. your orders at your bishop's feet,
Send your dishonour'd gown to Monmouth-street!
The sacred function in your hands is made-
Sad sacrilege!—no function, but a trade!
Occiduus is a pastor of renown,
When he has pray'd and preach'd the sabbath down,
With wire and catgut he concludes the day,
Quav'fing and femiquav'ring care away.
The full concerto swells upon your ear;
All elbows (hake. Look in, and you would swear
The Babylonian tyrant with a nod
Had summon'd them to serve his golden god.
So well that thought th' employment seems to suit,
Psalt'ry and fackbut, dulcimer, and flute.
Oh fie! 'tis evangelical and pure:
Observe each face, how sober and demure J
Ecstasy sets her stamp on ev'ry mien;
Chins fall'n, and not an eye-ball to be seen.
Still I insist, though music heretofore
Has charm'd me much, (not e'en Occiduus more)
Love, joy, and peace, make harmony more meet
For sabbath ev'nings, and perhaps as sweet.
Will not the sickliest sheep of ev'ry flock
Resort to this example as a rock;
There stand, and justify the foul abuse
Of sabbath hours with plausible excuse?
If apostolic gravity be free
To play the fool on Sundays, why not we?
If he the tinkling harpsichord regards
As inoffensive, what offence in cards?
Strike up the fiddles, let us all be gay!
Laymen have leave to dance, if parsons play.
Oh Italy!—thy sabbaths will be soon
Our sabbaths, clos'd with mumm'ry and buffoon.
Preaching and pranks will share the motley scene;
Our's parcell'd out, as thine have ever been,
God's worship and the mountebank between.
"What fays the prophet? Let that day be blest
With holiness and consecrated rest.
Pastime and bus'ness both it mould exclude,
And bar the door the moment they intrude 3
Nobly distinguished above all the six*
By deeds. in which the world must never mix.
Hear him again. He calls it a delight,
A day of luxury, observ'd aright,
When the glad foul is made heav'n's welcome guest,
Sits banqueting, and God provides the feast.
But triflers are engag'd and cannot come;
Their answer. to the call is—Not at home.
Oh the dear pleasures of the velvet plain, The painted tablets, dealt and dealt again.
Vol. 1. E
Cards, with what rapture, and the polish'd die,
The yawning chasm of indolence supply!
Then to the dance, and make the sober moon
Witness of joys that shun the sight of noon.
Blame, cynic, if you can, quadrille or ball,
The snug close party, or the splendid hall,
*Where night, down-stooping from her. ebon throne,
Views constellations brighter than her own.
'Tis innocent, and harmless, and refin'd;
The balm of care, elysium of the mind.
Innocent! Oh, if venerable time
Slain at the foot of pleasure be no crime,
Then, with his silver beard and magic wand,
Let Comus rife archbishop of the land;
Let him your rubric and your feasts prescribe,
Grand metropolitan of all the tribe.
Of manners rough, and coarse athletic cast,
The rank debauch suits Clodio's filthy taste.
Rufillus, exquisitely form'd by rule,
Not of the moral, but the dancing school,