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Tis he, the Nimrod of the neighb'ring lairs;
Save that his scent is less acute than theirs;
For persevering chase, and headlong leaps,
True beagle as the staunchest hound he keeps.
Charg'd with the folly of his life's mad scene,
He takes offence, and wonders what you mean;
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 eVry 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 dream;
Your's real and pernicious in the extreme.
What then!—are appetites and lusts laid down
With the same ease that man puts on his gown?
Will Av'rice and Concupiscence give place,
Charm'd by the sounds—Your Reverence, 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 saint! and claps him on the
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, QuaVring and semiquav'ring care away.
The full concerto swells upon your ear;
All elbows shake. 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 sackbut, dulcimer and flute.
O fie! 'tis evangelical and pure:
Observe each face, how sober and demure!
Ecstasy sets her stamp on ev'ry mien;
Chins fall'n, and not an eyeball to be seen.
Still I insist, though music heretofore
Has charm'd me much, (not ev'n Occiduus more)
Love, joy, and peace make harmony more meet
For sabbath eVnings, 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,
Ours parcell'd out, as thine have ever been,
God's worship and the mountebank between.
What says the prophet? Let that day be blest
With holiness and consecrated rest.
Pastime and business both it should exclude,
And bar the door the moment they intrude;
Nobly distinguish'd 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 observed aright,
When the glad soul is made Heav'n's welcome guest,
Sits banquetting, and God provides the feast.
But triflers are engag'd and cannot come;
Their answer to the call is—Not at home.
O the dear pleasures of the velvet plain,
The painted tablets, dealt and dealt again!
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-sto oping 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 rise 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.
Rurillus, exquisitely form'd by rule,
Not of the moral but the dancing school,
Wonders at Clodio's follies, in a tone
As tragical, as others at his own.
He cannot drink five bottles, bilk the score,
Then kill a constable, and drink five more;
But he can draw a pattern, make a tart,
And has the ladies' etiquette by heart.
Go, fool; and, arm in arm with Clodio, plead
Your cause before a bar you little dread;