Page images
PDF
EPUB

'Tis kırmony from yon sequester’d bow'r,

65 Sweet harmony, that soothes the midnight hour! Lung ere the charioteer of day had run His morning course, th' enchantment was begun And he shall gild yon mountain's height again, Ere yet the pleasing toil becomes a pain.

70 Is this the rugged path, the steep ascent, * That Virtue points to ? Can a life thus spent l.ead to the bliss she promises the wise, Detach the soul from earth, and speed her to the skive' Ye devotees to your ador’d employ,

75 Enthusiasts, drunk with an unreal joy, Love makes the musick of the blest above, Heav'n's harmony is universal love; And earthly sounds, tho' sweet and well combin'd, And lenient as soft opiates to the mind,

80 Leave Vice and Folly unsubdu'd behind.

Gray dawn appears ; the sportsman and his train
Speckle the bosom of the distant plain ;
'Tis he, the Nimrod of the neighb’ring lairs;
Save that liis scent is less acute than theirs,

85
For persevering chase, and headlong leaps,
True beagle as the stanchest 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-

90 "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.

95 Yo clergy, while your orbit is your place, lights of the world, and stars of human race; But if eccentrick ye forsake your sphere, Prodigies ominous, and vicw'd with fear; The comet's bancful influence is a dream;

100 Yours real and pernicious in th' extreinc. What then are appetites and lusts laid down With the same ease that man puts on his goin?

Will Av'rice and Concupiscence give place,
Charm'd by the sounds--Your Rev'rence, or Your
Grace ?

105
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, 110
A cassock'd huntsman, and a fiddling priest'
He from Italian songsters takes his cue :
Set Paul to musick, he shall quote him too.
He takes the field, the master of the pack
Cries-- Well done, saint ! and claps him on the back. 115
Is this the path of sanctity ? Is this
To stand a way-mark in the road to bliss ?
Himself a wanderer from the narrow way,
His silly sheep what wonder if they stray ?
Go, cast your orders at your Bishop's feet,

120 Send your dishonour'd gown to Monmouth-street! The sacred function in your hands is madeSad 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, 126 Quav'ring and semniquav’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,

130 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

135 Ecstasy sets her stamp on every micn; Chins fallin and not an eyeball to be seen. Still I insist, though musick heretoforo Has charın'd me much, (not e'n Occiduus more,) Love, joy, and peace, make harmony more meet 110 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 ?

14€
If apostolick 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,

150 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,

155
God's worship and the mountebank between.
What says the prophet? Let that day be blest
With holincss and consecrated rest.
Pastime and business both it should exclude,
And bar the door the moment they intrudo;

160 Nobly distinguish'd above all the six By deeds, in which the world must never mix. Hcar him again. He calls it a delight, A day of luxury observ'd aright, When the glad soul is made Heav'ns welcome guest, Sits banqueting, and God provides the feast. 166 But triflers are engag'd and cannot coine; Thoir answer to the call is-Not at home.

O the dear pleasures of the velvet plain, The paintod ta'slets, dealt and dealt again!

170 Cards with what rapture, and the polish'd dio, The yawning chasm of indolonce supply! Then to the dance, and mako the suber moon Witness of joys that shun the sight of noon Blame, cynick, if you can, quadrille or ball,

175 The saug close party, or the splendid hall, Where night, down-stooping from her ebon throno Views constellations brighter than her own.

A

'Tis innocent, and harmless, and refinil, "The balm of care, Elysium of the mind.

18?
Innocent! Oh, if venerable 'Time
Slain at the foot of pleasure be no crime,
Then, with his silver beard and magick wand,
Let Comus rise archbishop of the land ;
Let him your rubrick and your feasts prescribe, {
Grand metropolitan of all the tribe.

Of manners rough, and coarse athletick cast,
The rank debauch suits Clodio's filthy tasto.
Rusillus, exquisitely form’d by rule,
Not of the moral, but the dancing school,

190
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,

193 And has the ladies' etiquette by heart. Go, fool; and, arm in arm with Clodio, plead Your cause before a bar you little dread: 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,

205 A simp’ring count’nance, and a trifling air : But Innocence, sedate, sorene, erect, Delights us, by engaging our respect. Man, Nature's guest by invitation sweet, Receives from her both appetite and treat;

210 But if ho play the glutlon, and exceed, His benefaciress blushes at the deed ; For Naturc, nice, as lib'ral to (ispense, Made nothing but a brute the slave of sense. Daniel ate pulse by choice-orample raro

21:4 Heaven bless'd tho youth, and made liim fresh and fair. VOL. I.

if

200

Gorgonius sits, abdominous and wan,
Like a fat squab upon a Chinese fan :
He snuffs far off the anticipated joy ;
Turtle and ven’son all his thoughts employ,

220
Prepares for meals as jockies take a sweat,
Oh. nauseous an emetick 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, 225 Are hurtful, is a truth confess'd by all. And some, that seem'd to threaten virtue less, Still hurtful in th' abuse, or by the excess.

Is man then only for his torment plac'd The centre of delights he may not taste ?

2:30 Like fabled Tantalus condemn'd to hear The precious stream still purling in his ear, Lip deep in what he longs for, and yet curs’d With prohibition, and perpetual thirst ? No, wrangler,--destitute of shame and sense, 235 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 every bosom where her nest is made,

210 Hatch'd by the beams of trut'ı, denies lim rest, And proves a raging scorpion in his breast. No pleasure ? Are domestick comforts dead? Are all the nameless sweets of friendship fled ? 2.14 Has time worn out, or fashion put to shame,

[farne? Good sense, good health, good conscience, and good deel 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?

20 Or if yourself, too scantily supplied, Necd help, let honest industry provide. Earn, if you want; if you abound, impart, Theso both are pleasures to the feeling heart.

« PreviousContinue »