Obrázky na stránke
PDF
ePub

That they are safe ; sinners of either sex Transgress what laws they may. Well dress'd,

well bred, Well equipag‘d, is ticket good enough, To pass as readily through ey'ry door. Hypocrisy, detest her as we may, (And no man's hatrid ever wrong'd her yet,) May claim this merit still-that she admits The worth of what she mimics, with such care, And thus gives virtue indirect applause; But she has burnt her mask, not needed here, Where vice has such allowance, that her shifts And specious semblances have lost their use.

I was a stricken deer, that left the herd
Long since. With many an arrow deep ipfix'd
My panting side was charg'd, when I withdrew
To seek a tranquil death in distant shades.
There was I found by one who had himself
Been hurt by 'th' archers. In his side he bore,
And in his hands and feet, the cruel scars.
With gentle force soliciting the darts,
He drew them forth, and heal'd, and bade me

live.
Since then, with few associates, in remote
And silent woods I wander, far from those
My former partners of the peopled scene;
With few associates, and not wishing more.
Here much I ruminate, as much I may,
With other views of men and manners now
Than once, and others of a life to come
I see that all are wand'rers, gone astray
Each in his own delusions; they are lost

In chase of fancied happiness, still woo'd
And never won. Dream after dream ensues ;
And still they dream that they shall still succeed,
And still are disappointed. Rings the world
With the vain stir. I sum up half mankind
And add two thirds of the remaining half,
And find the total of their hopes and fears
Dreams, empty dreams. The 'million fit as

gay,
As if created only like the fly,
That spreads his motly wings in th' eye of noon,
To sport their season, and be seen no more.
The rest are sober dreamers, grave and wise,
And pregnant with discoveries new and rare,
Some write a narrative of wars, and feats
Of heroes little known; and call the rant
A history: describe the man, of whom
His own coevals took but ittle note
And paint his person, character, and views,
As they had known him from his mother's

womb...
They disentangle from the puzzled skein,
In which obscurity has wrapp'd them up,
The threads of politic and shrewd design,
That ran through all his purposes, and charge
His mind with meanings that he never had,
Or, having, kept conceal’d. Some drill and

bore
The solid earth, and from the strata there
Extract a register, by which we learn,
That he who made it and reveal'd its date
To Moses, was mistaken in its age.

[ocr errors]

Some, more acute, and more industrious still;=
Contrive creation; travel nature up
To the sharp peak of her sublimist height,
And tell us whence the stars: why some are

fix'd,
And planetary some;

what
gave

them first Rotation, from what fountain flow'd their light. Great contest follows, and much learned dust, Involves the combatants; each claiming truth, And truth disclaiming both. And thus they

spend The little wick of life's poor shallow lamp In playing tricks with nature, giving laws To distant worlds, and trifling in their own. Is't not a pity now, that tickling rheuins Should ever tease the lungs, and blear the sight Of oracles like these ? Great pity, too, That having wielded th' elements, and built A thousand systems, each in his own way, They should go out in fume, and be forgot.Ah! what is life thus spent? and what are they But frantic, who thus spend it ? all for smokeEternity for bubbles, proves at last A senseless bargain. When I see such games Play'd by the creatures of a pow'r who swears That he will judge the Earth, and call the fool To a sharp reck’ning, that has liv'd in vain; And when I weigh this seeming wisdom well, And prove it in th' infallible result So hollow and so false--I feel my heart Dissolve in pity, and account the learn'd,

his be learning, most of all deceiv'd.

Great crimes alarm the conscience, but it sleeps,
While thoughtful man is plausibly amused.
Defend me, therefore, common sense, say I,
From reveries so airy, from the toil
Of dropping buckets into empty wells,
And growing old in drawing nothing up!
"Twere well, says one, sage, erudite, pro-

found, Terribly arch'd and aquiline his nose, And overbuilt with most impending brows, 'Twere well, eould you permit the World to

live As the World pleases: what's the World to

you? Much. I was born of woman, and drew milk As sweet as charity from human breasts. I think, articulate-I laugh and weep, And exercise all functions of a man. How then should I and any man that lives Be strangers to each other ? Pierce my vein, Take of the crimson stream meand'ring there, And catechise it well : apply thy glass, Search it, and prove now if it be not blood Congenial with thine own: and, if it be, What edge of subtlety canst thou suppose Keen enough, wise and skilful as thou art, To cut the link of brotherhood, by which One common Maker bound me to the kind ? True; I am no proficient, I confess, In arts like yours. I cannot call the swift And perilous lightnings from the angry clouds, And bid them hide themselves in earth beneath

I cannot analyze the air, nor catch
The parallax of yonder luminous point,
That seems half quench'd in the immense

abyss :
Such powers I boast not-neither can 1 rest
A silent witness of the headlong rage,
Or heedless folly, by which thousands die,
Bone of my bone, and kindred souls to mine.
God never meant that man should scale the

Heav'ns By strides of human wisdom. In his works, Though wondrous, he commands us in his word To seek him rather where his mércy shines. The mind, indeed, enlighten'd from above, Views him in all; ascribes to the grand cause The grand effect; acknowledges with joy His manner, and with rapture tastes his style. But never yet did philosophic tube, That brings the planets home into the eye Ofobservation, and discovers, else Not visible, his family of worlds. Discover him that rules them; such a veil Hangs over mortal eyes, blind from the birth, And dark in things divine. Full often too, Our wayward intellect, the more we learn Of nature, overlooks her author more; From instrumental causes proud to draw Conclusions retrograde, and mad mistake, But if his word once teach us-shoot a ray Through all the heart's dark chambers, and

reveal Truths undiscern'd but by that holy light ;

« PredošláPokračovať »