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ODE TO DR. WILLIAM SANCROFT,
ARCHBISHOP OF CANTERBURY.
Written in May, 1689, at the desire of the lord bishop of Ely.
Sancroft, primate of England, at the Revolution joined with his brethren in ro.
sisting the encroachments of James upon liberty and religion.
Truth is eternal, and the son of heaven,
Bright effluence of th' immortal ray,
First of God's darling attributes,
Thou daily seest him face to face,
Of time or place,
How shall we find thee then in dark disputes ?
Or a weak argument by force maintain'd ?
[swords), (For swords are madmen's tongues, and tongues are madmen's
Contrived to tire all patience out,
For of the person much I
Which all the mimic forms express,
So when Cartesian artists try
In its reception to the eye,
The figures all inverted show,
And colors of a faded hue;
There whole herds suspended lie,
Or images that sink in streams;
Say, Muse, for thou, if any, know'st,
If a mind fix'd to combat fate
Sounds truly good or truly great;
In the divin'ty of retreat,
Of heav'n-born Truth below;
In his own balance, false and light,
That vagrant leader of the mind,
Rapt through the wide expanse of thought,
And oft in contradiction's vortex caught,
Who, like hard masters, taught the sun
Through many a heedless sphere to run, Many an eccentric and unthrifty motion make, And thousand incoherent journeys take,
Whilst all th' advantage by it got,
Was but to light earth's inconsiderable spot. The experiment of the dark chamber, to demonstrate light to be by reception