« ForrigeFortsett »
But know, the law, that bids the drunkard die,
Is far too just to pass the trifler by.
Both baby-featur'd, and of infant size,
View'd from a distance, and with heedless eyes,
Folly and Innocence are so alike,
The diff'rence, though essential, fails to strike.
Yet Folly ever has a vacant stare,
A simp'ring count'nance, and a trifling air;
But Innocence, sedate, serene, erect,
Delights us, by engaging our respect.
Man, Nature's guest by invitation sweet,
Receives from her both appetite and treat;
But, if he play the glutton and exceed,
His benefactress blushes at the deed,
For Nature, nice, as lib'ral to dispense,
Made nothing but a brute the slave of sense.
Daniel ate pulse by choice—example rare!
Heav'n bless'd the youth, and made him fresh and
Gorgonius sits, abdominous and wan,
Like a fat squab upon a Chinese fan:
He snuffs far off th' anticipated joy;
Turtle and ven'son all his thoughts employ
Prepares for meals as jockies take a sweat,
Oh, nauseous!—an emetic for a whet!
Will Providence o'erlook the wasted good?
Temperance were no virtue if he could.
That pleasures, therefore, or what such we call.
Are hurtful, is a truth confess'd by all.
And some, that seem to threaten virtue less,
Still hurtful in th' abuse, or by th' excess.
Is man then only for his torment plac'd The centre of delights he may not taste? Like fabled Tantalus, condemn'd to hear The precious stream still purling in his ear, Lip-deep in what he longs for, and yet curst With prohibition, and perpetual thirst? No, wrangler—destitute of shame and sense. The precept that enjoins him abstinence, Forbids him none but the licentious joy, Whose fruit, though fair, tempts only to destroy. Remorse, the fatal egg by Pleasure laid In ev'ry bosom where her nest is made, Hatch'd by the beams of truth, denies him rest, And proves a raging scorpion in his breast. No pleasure? Are domestic comforts dead? Are all the nameless sweets of friendship fled 1
Has time worn out, or fashion put to shame,
Good sense, good health, good conscience and
All these belong to virtue, and all prove.
That virtue has a title to your love.
Have you no touch of pity, that the poor
Stand starv'd at your inhospitable door?
Or if yourself too scantily supplied
Need help, let honest industry provide.
Earn, if you want; if you abound, impart:
These both are pleasures to the feeling heart.
No pleasure? has some sickly eastern waste
Sent us a wind to parch us at a blast?
Can British Paradise no scenes afford
To please her sated and indifFrent lord?
Are sweet philosophy's enjoyments run
Quite to the lees? And has religion none?
Brutes capable would tell you 'tis a lie,
And judge you from the kennel and the stye.
Delights like these, ye sensual and profane,
Ye are bid, begg'd, besought to entertain;
CalPd to these crystal streams, do ye turn off
Obscene to swill and swallow at a trough?
Envy the beast then, on whom Heav'n bestows
Your pleasures, with no curses in the close.
Pleasure admitted in undue degree
Enslaves the will, nor leaves the judgment free.
Tis not alone the grape's enticing juice,
Unnerves the moral pow'rs, and mars their use;
Ambition, av'rice, and the lust of fame,
And woman, lovely woman, does the same.
The heart, surrender'd to the ruling pow'r
Of some ungovern'd passion ev'ry hour,
Finds by degrees the truths, that once bore sway,
And all their deep impressions, wear away;
So coin grows smooth, in traffic current pass'd,
Till Caesar's image is effae'd at last.
The breach, tho' small at first, soon opining wide, In rushes folly with a full-moon tide, Then welcome errours of whatever size, To justify it by a thousand lies. A creeping ivy clings to wood or stone, And hides the ruin that it feeds upon; So sophistry cleaves close to and protects Sin's rotten trunk, concealing it's defects.
Mortals, whose pleasures are their only care,
First wish to be impos'd on, and then are.
And, lest the fulsome artifice should fail,
Themselves will hide it's coarseness with a veil.
Not more industrious are the just and true,
To give to Virtue what is Virtue's due—
The praise of wisdom, comeliness, and worth.
And call her charms to public notice forth—
Than Vice's mean and disingenuous race,
To hide the shocking features of her face.
Her form with dress and lotion they repair;
Then kiss their idol, and pronounce her fair.
The sacred implement I now employ
Might prove a mischief, or at best a toy;
A trifle, if it move but to amuse;
But, if to wrong the judgment and abuse,
Worse than a poniard in the basest hand,
It stabs at once the morals of a land.
Ye writers of what none with safety reads;
Footing it in the dance that Fancy leads;
Ye novelists, who mar what ye would mend,
Sniviling and driv'lling folly without end;
Whose corresponding misses fill the ream
With sentimental frippery and dream,