תמונות בעמוד
PDF
ePub

Love makes the music of the bless'd above,
Heaven's harmony is universal love;
And earthly sounds, though sweet and well com-
And lenient as soft opiates to the mind, [bined,
Leave vice and folly unsubdued behind.

Gray dawn appears; the sportsman and his train
Speckle the bosom of the distant plain;
'Tis he, the Nimrod of the neighbouring lairs;
Save that his scent is less acute than theirs,
For persevering chase, and headlong leaps,
True beagle as the stanchest hound he keeps.
Charged 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-
'Tis exercise, and health, and length of days.
Again impetuous to the field he flies;
Leaps every fence but one, there falls and dies;
Like a slain deer, the tumbril brings him home,
Unmiss'd but by his dogs and by his groom.

Ye clergy, while your orbit is your place,
Lights of the world and stars of human race:
But if, eccentric, ye forsake your sphere,
Prodigies ominous, and view'd with fear;
The comet's baneful influence is a dream;
Yours real and pernicious in the extreme.
What then!—are appetites and lusts laid down
With the same ease that man puts on his gown?
Will avarice and concupiscence give place,
Charm'd by the sounds-Your Reverence, or.

Your Grace?
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.

Send your

Oh, laugh or mourn with me the rueful jest,
A cassock'd huntsman, and a fiddling priest;
He from Italian songsters takes his cue:
Set Paul to music, he shall quote him too.
He takes the field, the master of the pack
Cries—Well done, saint! and claps him on the
Is this the path of sanctity? Is this [back.
To stand a waymark 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,

dishonour'd gown to Monmouth street?
The sacred function in your hands is made
Sad sacrilege! no function, but a trade!
Occiduus is a pastor of renown,

[down, When he has pray'd and preach'd the sabbath With wire and catgut he concludes the day, Quavering and semiquavering care away. The full concerto swells upon your ear; All elbows shake. Look in, and

you

would swear The Babylonian tyrant with a nod Had summon’d them to serve his golden god. So well that thought the employment seems to Psaltery and sackbut, dulcimer and flute. (suit, 0, fie! 'tis evangelical and pure: Observe each face, how sober and demure! Ecstasy sets her stamp on every mien; Chins fallen, and not an eyeball to be seen. Still I insist, though music heretofore Has charm'd me much (not e'en Occiduus more), Love, joy, and peace make harmony more meet For sabbath evenings, and perhaps as sweet. Will not the sickliest sheep of every

Alock Resort to this example as a rock;

There stand, and justify the foul abuse
Of sabbath hours with plausible excuse;
If apostolic 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; Laymen have leave to dance, if parsons play.

Oh Italy !--thy sabbaths will be soon
Our sabbaths, closed with mummery and buffoon.
Preaching and pranks will share the motley scene,
Ours parcel'd out, as thine have ever been,
God's worship and the mountebank between.
What says the prophet? Let that day be bless'd
With holiness and consecrated rest.
Pastime and business both it should exclude,
And bar the door the moment they intrude;
Nobly distinguish'd above all the six
By deeds in which the world must never mix.
Hear bim again. He calls it a delight,
A day of luxury, observed aright,
When the glad soul is made Heaven's welcome

guest,
Sits banqueting, and God provides the feast.
But triflers are engaged, and cannot come,
Their answer to the call is-Not at home.

O the dear pleasures of the velvet plain,
The painted tablets, dealt and dealt again!
Cards, with what rapture, and the polish'd die,
The yawning chasm of indolence supply!
Then to the dance, and make the sober moon
Witness of joys, that shun the sight of noon.
Blame, cynic, if you can, quadrille or ball,
The snug close party, or the splendid hall,

Where Night, down-stooping from her ebon

throne, Views constellations brighter than her own. 'Tis innocent, and harmless, and refined, The balm of care, Elysium of the mind. Innocent! Oh, if venerable Time Slain at the foot of Pleasure be no crime, Then, with his silver beard and magic wand, Let Comus rise archbishop of the land; Let him your rubric and your feasts prescribe, Grand metropolitan of all the tribe.

Of manners rough, and course athletic cast, The rank debauch suits Clodio's filthy taste. Rufillus, exquisitely form’d by rule, Not of the moral, but the dancing school, 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, And has the ladies' etiquette by heart. Go, fool; and, arm in arm with Clodio, plead Your cause before bar

you

little dread; But know, the law, that bids the drunkard die, Is far too just, to pass the trifler by. Both baby-featured, and of infant size, View'd from a distance, and with heedless eyes, Folly and Innocence are so alike, The difference, though essential, fails to strike. Yet Folly ever has a vacant stare, A simpering countenance, and a trifling air; But Innocence, sedate, serene, erect, Delights us, by engaging our respect. Man, Nature's guest by invitation sweet, Receives from her both appetite and treat;

a

But, if he play the glutton, and exceed,
His benefactress blushes at the deed;
For Nature, nice, as liberal to dispense,
Made nothing but a brute the slave of sense.
Daniel ate pulse by choice-example rare!
Heaven bless'd the youth, and made him fresh and
Gorgonius sits, abdominous and wan, [fair.
Like a fat squab upon a Chinese fan:
He snuffs far off the anticipated joy;
Turtle and venison all his thoughts employ;
Prepares for meals as jockeys take a sweat,
Oh, nauseous ! an emetic 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,
Are hurtful, is a truth confess’d by all.
And some that seem to threaten virtue less,
Still hurtful in the abuse, or by the excess.

Is man then only for his torment placed The centre of delights he may not taste? Like fabled Tantalus, condemn’d to hear The precious stream still purling in his ear, Lip-deep in what he longs for, and yet cursed With prohibition, and perpetual thirst? No, wrangler destitute of shame and sense, 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, Hatch'd by the beams of truth, denies him rest, And proves a raging scorpion in his breast. No pleasure? Are domestic comforts dead? Are all the nameless sweets of friendship fled?

« הקודםהמשך »