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Of wit and jest disturbs the solemn court. *10
See the fantastic minstrelsy advance,
To breathe the song, and animate the dance.
Blest the usurper! happy the surprise !
Her mimic postures catch our eager eyes:
Her jingling bells affect our captive ear;
And in the sights we see, and sounds we hear,
Against our judgment she our sense employs;
The laws of troubled Reason she destroys:
And in their place rejoices to indite 19
Wild schemes of mirth, and plans of loose delight.
ON HIS PRACTICAL DISCOURSE CONCERNING DEATH.
- strains, Y The Saint one moment from his God oSo detains: For sure, whate'er you do, where'er you are, 'Tis all but one good work, one constant prayer: Forgive her; and intreat that God, to whom Thy favour'd vows with kind acceptance come, To raise her notes to that sublime degree, Which suits a song of piety and thee. Wondrous good man l whose labours may repel The force of sin, may stop the rage of hell: 10
Thou, like the Baptist, from thy God wast sent,
The crying voice, to bid the world repent.
Thee Youth shall study, and no more engage
Their flattering wishes for uncertain age;
No more with fruitless care, and cheated strife,
Chase fleeting Pleasure through this maze of life:
Finding the wretched all they here can have,
But present food, and but a future grave:
Each, great as Philip's victor son, shall view
This abject world, and weeping, ask a new. 20
Decrepid Age shall read thee, and confess,
Thy labours can assuage, where medicines cease;
Shall bless thy words, their wounded soul's relief,
The drops that sweeten their last dregs of life;
Shall look to Heaven, and laugh at all beneath;
Own riches gather'd, trouble; fame a breath;
And life an ill, whose only cure is death.
Thy even thoughts with so much plainness flow,
Their sense untutor'd infancy may know :
Yet to such height is all that plainness wrought,
Wit may admire, and letter'd Pride be taught: 31
Easy in words thy style, in sense sublime,
On its blest steps each age and sex may rise;
'Tis like the ladder in the Patriarch's dream,
Its foot on earth, its height above the skies,
Diffus'd its virtue, boundless is its power;
'Tis public health, and universal cure;
Of heavenly manna 'tis a second feast;
A nation's food, and all to every taste. 39
To its last height mad Britain's guilt was rear'd ;
And various death for various crimes she fear'd.
With your kind work her drooping hopes revive;
You bid her read, repent, adore, and live:
You wrest the bolt from Heaven's avenging hand;
Stop ready death, and save a sinking land.
O! save us still ; still bless us with thy stay:
O! want thy Heaven, till we have learnt the way:
Refuse to leave thy destin’d charge too soon :
And for the church's good, defer thy own.
O! live : and let thy works urge our belief; 50
Live to explain thy doctrine by thy life;
Till future infancy, baptiz'd by thee,
Grow ripe in years, and old in piety;
Till Christians, yet unborn, be taught to die.
Then in full age, and hoary holiness,
Retire, great teacher! to thy promis'd bliss:
Untouch'd thy tomb, uninjur’d be thy dust,
As thy own fame among the future just;
Till in last sounds the dreadful trumpet speaks;
Till Judgment calls; and quicken'd Nature wakes:
Till through the utmost earth, and deepest sea, 61
Our scatter'd atoms find their destin'd way,
In haste to clothe their kindred souls again,
Perfect our state, and build immortal man :
Then fearless thou, who well sustaind'st the fight,
To paths of joy, or tracts of endless light,
Lead up all those who heard thee, and believ'd ;
'Midst thy own flock, great shepherd, be receiv'd;
And glad all Heaven with millions thou hast sav'd.
CARMEN SECULARE, FOR THE YEAR MDCC. TO THE KING.
Adspice, venturo laetentur ut omnia saeclo:
O mihi tam longae maneat pars ultima vitae,
Spiritus et, quantum sat erit tua dicere facta!
VIRG. Eclog. 4.
HY elder look, great Janus, cast Into the long records of ages past: Review the years in fairest action dress'd * With noted white, superior to the rest; AEras deriv'd, and chronicles begun, From empires founded, and from battles won : Show all the spoils by valiant kings achiev'd : And groaning nations by their arms reliev'd : The wounds of patriots in their country's cause, And happy power sustain’d by wholesome laws; In comely rank call every merit forth; 11 Imprint on every act its standard worth; The glorious parallels then downward bring To modern wonders, and to Britain's king: With equal justice and historic care, Their laws, their toils, their arms with his compare: Confess the various attributes of fame Collected and complete in William's name: To all the listening world relate, (As thou dost his story read), 20 That nothing went before so great, And nothing greater can succeed.
Thy native Latium was thy darling care,
Prudent in peace, and terrible in war:
The boldest virtues that have govern'd earth
From Latium’s fruitful womb derive their birth.
Then turn to her fair written page;
From dawning childhood to establish'd age,
The glories of her empire trace;
Confront the heroes of thy Roman race; 3C
And let the justest palm the victor's temples grace.
The son of Mars reduc’d the trembling swains,
And spread his empire o'er the distant plains:
But yet the Sabines' violated charms
Obscur'd the glory of his rising arms.
Numa the rights of strict religion knew ;
On every altar laid the incense due;
Unskill'd to dart the pointed spear,
Or lead the forward youth to noble war.
Stern Brutus was with too much horror good, 4c
Holding his fasces stain'd with filial blood.
Fabius was wise, but with excess of care:
He sav'd his country; but prolong'd the war.
While Decius, Paulus, Curius, greatly fought,
And by their strict examples taught,
How wild desires should be controll’d,
And how much brighter virtue was, than gold:
They scarce their swelling thirst of fame could
And boasted poverty with too much pride.
Excess in youth made Scipio less rever'd; 5u
And Cato dying, seem'd to own, he fear'd.
Julius with honour tamed Rome's foreign foes:
But patriots fell, ere the dictator rose.