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She, power resistless, rules the wise and great; Bends ev'n reluctant hermits at her feet: Haunts the proud city, and the lowly shade, And sways alike the scepter and the spade.
Thus heav'n in pity wakes the friendly flame, To urge mankind on deeds that merit fame: But man, vain man, in folly only wise, Rejects the manna sent him from the skies: With rapture hears corrupted passion's call, Still proudly prone to mingle with the stall. As each deceitful shadow tempts his view, He for the imag'd substance quits the true : Eager to catch the visionary prize, In quest of glory plunges deep in vice; Till madly zealous, impotently vain, He forfeits every praise he pants to gain.
Thus still imperious Nature plies her part; And still her dictates work in every heart. Each pow'r that sovʼreign Nature bids enjoy, Man may corrupt, but man can ne'er destroy. Like mighty rivers, with resistless force The passion's rage, obstructed in their course; Swell to new heights, forbidden paths explore, And drown those virtues which they fed before.
And sure, the deadliest foe to virtue's flame, Our worst of evils, is perverted shame.
JOHN BELL, British Library, STRAND, Bookseller to His Royal Highness the PRINCE of WALES.
M DCC LXXXIX.