תמונות בעמוד
PDF
ePub

• The search shall teach thee life to prize,
• And make thee grateful, good, and wise.

Why do you roam to foreign climes,
To ftudy nations, modes, and times;
« A science often dearly bought,
• And often what avails you nought?
• Go, man, and act a wifer part,
Study the science of

your

heart : « This home philofophy, you know, • Was priz'd some thousand years ago *. · Then why abroad a frequent guest ! • Why such a stranger to your breast ! • Why turn so many volumes o'er, « Till Dodsley can supply no more !

Not all the volumes on thy shelf, Are worth that single volume, felf: • For who this sacred book declines, • Howe'er in other arts he shines; « Tho'smit with Pindar's noble rage, • Or vers’d in Tully's manly page ;

Tho' deeply read in Plato's school ; « With all his knowledge is a fool.

• Proclaim the truth-Say, what is man? · His body from the dust began ; • And when a few short years are o'er, • The crumbling fabrick is no more.

• But whence the soul ?-From Heav'n it came! • 0, prize this intellectual flame! « This nobler self with rapture scan; « 'Tis mind alone which makes the man. • Trust me, there's not a joy on earth, • But from the soul derives it's birth. • Ask the young rake, (he'll answer right) " Who treats by day, and drinks by night,

* • Know thyself;' a celebrated saying of Chilo, one of the Seven Wife Men of Greece.

. What

• What makes his entertainments shine,
• What gives the relish to his wine ;
• He'll tell thee, (if he scorns the beast)

That social pleasures form the feast.
« The charms of beauty too shall cloy,
s Unless the soul exalts the joy,
• The mind must animate the face,
• Or cold and tasteless ev'ry grace.

• What! must the soul her pow'rs dispense, • To raise and swell the joys of sense ?

Know, too, the joys of sense controul, « And clog the motions of the soul : • Forbid her pinions to aspire, • Damp and impair her native fire ; • And fure as sense (that tyrant !) reigns, • She holds the empress, Soul, in chains. • Inglorious bondage to the mind, • Heav'n-born, sublime, and unconfin'd! • She's independent, fair, and great, • And justly claims a large estate ; • She asks no borrow'd aids to shine, • She boasts within a golden mine ; "But like the treasures of Peru,

Her wealth lies deep and far from view.

Say, shall the man who knows her worth, • Debase her dignity and birth ; • Or e'er repine at Heaven's decree, • Who kindly gave her leave to be ; < Call'd her from nothing into day, « And built her tenement of clay. • Hear and accept me for your guide, • (Reason shall ne'er desert your · Who listens to my wifer voice, • Can't but applaud his Maker's choice ; * Pleas'd with that first and fov’reign cause,

Pleas'd with unerring Wisdom's laws;

fide :)

• Secure,

• Secure, fince sov'reign Goodness reigns ; • Secure, since sov'reign Pow's obtains.

< With curious eyes review thy frame ; • This science shall direct thy claim. • Dost thou indulge a double view, • A long, long life, and happy too? • Perhaps a farther boon you cravem

To lie down easy in the grave. • Know, then, my dictates must prevail, • Or surely each fond with shall fail.

• Come, then, is Happiness thy aim• Let mental joys be all thy game. • Repeat the search, and mend your pace, The capture shall reward the chace. • Let ev'ry minute, as it springs, • Convey fresh knowledge on it's wings; • Let ev'ry minute, as it flies, • Record the good as well as wise. • While such pursuits your thoughts engage • In a few years you'll live an age. « Who measures life by rolling years ! • Fools measure by revolving spheres. • Go thou, and fetch th' unerring rule • From Virtue's, and from Wisdom's school. • Who well improves life's shortest day, · Will scarce regret it's setting ray ; • Contented with his share of light, « Nor fear nor with th' approach of night : • And when disease assaults the heart, • When fickness triumphs over art, • Reflection on a life well past • Shall prove a cordial to the last ; • This med cine Tall the foul sustain, • And soften or suspend her pain ;

Shall break Death's fell tyrannick pow'r, • And calm the troubled dying hour.'

Blefa'd

[ocr errors]

Bless'd rules of cool prudential age !
I liften'd, and rever'd the fage.
When, lo! a form, divinely bright,
Descends, and bursts upon my fight;
A seraph of illustrious birth!
(Religion was her name on earth :)
Supremely sweet her radiant face,
And blooming with celestial grace!
Three shining cherubs form'd her train,
Wav'd their light wings, and reach'd the plain :
Faith, with fublime and piercing eye,
And pinions flutt'ring for the sky;
Here Hope, that smiling angel, stands,
And golden anchors grace her hands;
There Charity, in robes of white,
Fairest and fav’rite maid of light!

The seraph spake 'Tis Reason's part,

To govern, and to guard the heart; * To lull the wayward foul to rest, " When hopes and fears distract the breast. 5 Reason may

calm this doubtful ftrife, * And steer thy bark thro' various life: • But when the storms of death are nigh, • And midnight darkness veils the sky, * Shall Reason then direct thy fail,

Disperse the clouds, or fink the gale?

Stranger, this skill alone is mine, • Skill! that transcends his scanty line."

That hoary sage has counsell’d right; Be wise, nor scorn his friendly light. • Revere thyself-thou'rt near ally'd • To angels on thy better fide. « How various e'er their ranks or kinds,

Angels are but unbodied minds; • When the partition walls decay, * Men emerge angels from their clay,

[ocr errors]

2 Y

Yes,

[ocr errors]

• Yes, when the frailer body dies,
• The soul asserts her kindred skies.
• But minds, tho' sprung from heav'nly race,

Must first be tutor'd for the place.
(The joys above are understood,
• And relish'd, only by the good.)
• Who shall assume this guardian care !
• Who Mall secure their birthright there?
• Souls are my charge-to me 'tis giv'n
• To train them for their native heav'n.

• Know, then-Who bow the early knee,
• And give the willing heart to me;
• Who wisely, when Temptation waits,
• Elude her frauds, and spurn her baits ;
• Who dare to own my injur'd cause,
· Tho' fools deride my sacred laws;
· Or scorn to deviate to the wrong,
• Tho' Persecution lifts her thong ;
• Tho' all the sons of hell conspire
• To raise the stake, and light the fire:

Know, that for such superior souls,
« There lies a bliss beyond the poles ;
• Where spirits fhine with purer ray,
• And brighten to meridian day;
· Where Love, where boundless Friendship rules,
• (No friends that change, no love that cools!)
• Where rising floods of knowledge roll,
. And
pour,

and

pour upon the soul!'
• But where's the passage to the skies?'-
• The road thro' Death's black valley lies.

Nay, do not shudder at my tale;
• T'ho' dark the lades, yet fafe the vale.
• This path the best of men have trod,
" And who'd decline the road to God?
• Oh! 'tis a glorious boon to die !

This favour can't be priz'd too high.'

« הקודםהמשך »