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Gracious to others, thy desires suppress’d,
Diffus'd thy virtues, first of men, be best.
Thy fum of duty let two words contain ;
O may they graven in thy heart remain !
Be humble, and be just, the angel faid:
With upward speed his agile wings he spread;
Whilft on the holy ground I prostrate lay,
By various doubts impell’d, or to obey,
Or to object : at length (my mournful look
Heav'n-ward erect) determin'd, thus I spoke:
Supreme, All Wife, Eternal Potentate!
Sole Author, fole Disposer of our fate!
Enthron'd in light, and immortality,
Whom no man fully sees, and none can see !
Original of beings ! Pow'r Divine !
Since that I live, and that I think, is thine ;
Benign Creator, let thy plastic hand
Dispose its own effect. Let thy command
Restore, great Father, thy instructed fon;
And in my act may thy great will be done.
[Mr PRIOR, after the publication of the folio edition of his works
from which this is taken, printed, angly, the four Poems which follow,]
T always has been thought discreet,
To know the company you meet ;
And sure there may be secret danger,
In talking much before a stranger.
Agreed: What then ? then drink your ale,
I'll pledge you, and repeat my tale,
No matter where the scene is fixt :.
The perfons were but odly mixt;
When sober Damon thus began :
(And Damon is a clever man.)
I now grow old; but still, from youth,
Hare held for modesty and truth.
The men who by these sea-marks steers
In life's great voyage never err:
Upon this point I dare defy
The world i I pause for a reply.
Sir, either is a good afiftant :
Said one who sat a little distant:
Truth decks our speeches and our books ;
And modefty adorns our looks :
But farther progress we must take,
Not only born to look and speak:
The man muft a£t. The Stagyrite
Says thus, and says extremely right:
Strict justice is the fov'reign guide,
That o'er our actions should preside :
This queen of virtues is confeft,
To regulate and bind the rest.
Thrice happy, if you can but find
Her equal balance poize your mind :
All diff'rent graces. soon will enter,
Like lines concurrent to their center,
'Twas thus, in short, these two went on, With yea and nay, and pro and con, Through many points divinely dark, And Waterland assaulted Clarke ; 'Till, in theology half lost, Damon took up the Evening-Post; Confounded Spain, compos’d the North, And deep in politics held forth,
Methinks we're in the like condition, As at the Treaty of Partition : That stroke, for all King William's care, Begat another tedious war. Matthew, who knew the whole Intrigue, Ne'er much approv'd that Myftic League :
In the vile Utrecht Treaty too,
Poor man, he found enough to do.
Sometimes to me he did apply;
But downright dunstable was I,
And told him, where they were mistaken,,
And counsellid him to save his bacon :
But (pafs his politics and profe)
I never herded with his foes;
Nay, in his verses, as a friend,
I still found something to commend :
Sir, I excus'd his Nut-brown Maid;
Whate'er feverer critic said :
Too far I own, the girl was try'd :
The women all were on my side.
For Alma I return'd him thanks :
I lik'd her with her little pranks :
Indeed, poor Solomon in rhime,
Was much too grave to be sublime.
Pindar and Damon scorn transition : So on he ran a new Division; 'Till out of breath he turn'd to spit : (Chance often helps us more than wit) T'other that lucky moment took, Just nick'd the time, broke in, and spoke.
Of all the gists the gods afford, (If we may take old Tully's word) The greatest is a friend; whose love Knows how to praise, and when reprove : From such a treasure never part, But hang the jewel on your heart:
And; pray, Gr (it delights me) tell ;
You know this author mighty well-
“Know him ! d'ye question it? Ods fish :
" Sir, does a beggar know his dish ?
“ I lov'd him, as I told you, I
“ Advis'd him-Here a stander-by
Twitch'd Damon gently by the cloke,
And thus, un willing, filence broke;
“ Damon, 'tis time we should retire :
" The man you talk with is Mat. Prior."
Patron thro’ life, and from thy birth my friend Dorset, to thee, this fable let me fend : With Damon's lightness weigh thy folid worth";; The foil is known to set the diamond forth : . Let the feign'd tale this real moral give, How many Damons, how few. Dorsets live.