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To see a God stretch forth his human hand,
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 dipp'd and sprinkled live in peace : Each heart would quit it's 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, No longer prey upon our annual rents, Or scare the nation with it's 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 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
Nam neque me tantum venientis sibilus austri,
VIRG. Ecl. 5.
Though nature weigh our talents, and dispense
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 it's 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 it's 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; 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