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Or voice of turtle in your land is heard ;
470 Nor grateful eglantine regales the smell Of those that walk at evening where ye dwell; But Winter, armed with terrors here unknown, Sits absolute on his unshaken throne; Piles up his stores amidst the frozen waste,
475 And bids the mountains he has built, stand fast; Beckons the legions of his storms away From happier scenes, to make your land a prey; Proclaims the soil a conquest he has won, And scorns to share it with the distant sun.
480 -Yet Truth is yours, remote, unenvied isle ! And Peace the genuine offspring of her smile; The pride of lettered ignorance, that binds In chains of error our accomplished minds, That decks, with all the splendour of the true, 485 A false religion, is unknown to you. Nature. indeed vouchsafes for our delight The sweet vicissitudes of day and night, Soft airs and genial moisture feed and cheer Field, fruit, and flower, and every creature here; 490 But brighter beams than his who fires the skies, Have risen at length on your admiring eyes, That shoot into your darkest caves the day, From which our nicer optics turn away.
Here see the encouragement Grace gives to vice, 495 The dire effect of Mercy without price! What were they? What some fools are made by art, They were by nature, atheists, head and heart. The gross idolatry blind heathens teach Was too refined for them, beyond their reach;
500 Not e'en the glorious sun, though men revere The monarch most that seldom will appear, And though his beams, that quicken where they shine, May claim some right to be esteemed divine, Not e'en the sun, desirable as rare,
505 Could bend one knee, engage one votary there; They were, what base credulity believes
True Christians are, dissemblers, drunkards, thieves.
Go now, and with important tone demand
535 Shall answer ;-'Hope, sweet Hope, has set me free, And made all pleasures else mere dross to me.'
These, amidst scenes as waste as if denied The common care that waits on all beside, Wild as if nature there, void of all good,
540 Played only gambols in a frantic mood, (Yet charge not heavenly skill with having planned A plaything world, unworthy of his hand ;) Can see his love, though secret evil lurks In all we touch, stamped plainly on his works; 545
Deem life a blessing with its numerous woes,
Hard task indeed o'er arctic seas to roam !
Leuconomus (beneath well sounding Greek
Now, Truth, perform thine office; waft aside
Like him, crossed cheerfully tempestuous seas,
585 Like him he laboured, and like him content To bear it, suffered shame where'er he went.
Blush, Calumny! and write upon his tomb,
No blinder bigot, I maintain it still, Than he who must have pleasure, come what will : 595 He laughs, whatever weapon Truth may draw, And deems her sharp artillery mere straw. Scripture indeed is plain, but God and he On Scripture ground are sure to disagree; Some wiser rule must teach him how to live,
600 Than this his Maker has seen fit to give, Supple and flexible as Indian cane, To take the bend his appetites ordain, Contrived'to suit frail nature's crazy case, And reconcile his lusts with saving grace. By this, with nice precision of design, He draws upon life's map a zig-zag line, That shows how far 'tis safe to follow sin And where his danger and God's wrath begin. By this he forms, as pleased he along,
Build by whatever plan caprice decrees,
620 And raise a laugh) pass unmolested by;
But if, unblameable in word and thought,
Throughout mankind, the Christian kind at least, There dwells a consciousness in every breast,
635 That folly ends where genuine Hope begins, And he that finds his Heaven must lose his sins. Nature opposes with her utmost force This riving stroke, this ultimate divorce,
640 And, while religion seems to be her view, Hates with a deep sincerity the true: For this, of all that ever influenced man, Since Abel worshipped, or the world began, This only spares no lust, admits no plea, But makes him, if at all, completely free; Sounds forth the signal, as she mounts her car, Of an eternal, universal war; Rejects all treaty, penetrates all wiles, Scorns with the same indifference frowns and smiles, 650 Drives through the realms of Sin, where Riot reels, And grinds his crown beneath her burning wheels ! Hence all that is in man,-pride, passion, art, Powers of the mind, and feelings of the heart, Insensible of Truth's almighty charms,
655 Starts at her first approach, and sounds to arms! While Bigotry, with well dissembled fears, His eyes shut fast, his fingers in his ears, Mighty to parry and push-by God's word