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As much as earthy Limbs, and gross Allay
Of mortal Members, fubje&t to Decay,
Blunt nor the Beams of Heav'n, and Edge of Day.
From this coarse Mixture of terrestrial Parts,
Desire and Fear, by Turns, pofless their Hearts;
And Grief and Joy: Nor can the grov'ling Mind,
In the dark Dungeon of the Limbs confin'd,
Assert the native Skies, or own its heav'nly Kind.
Nor Death' itself can wholly wash their Stains ;
But long contracted Filth, ev'n in the Soul, remains.
The Reliques of invet'rate Vice they wear;
And Spots of Sin obscene in ev'ry Face appear.
For this are various Pennances enjoin'd;
And some are hung to bleach upon the Wind;
Some plung’d in Waters, others purg'd in Fires ;
Till all the Dregs are drain'd, and all the Rust expires:
All have their Manes, and those Manes bear
The few, so cleans'd, to blest Abodes repair,
And breath in ample Fields the soft Elysian Air.
Then are they happy, when by Length of Time,
The Scurf is worn away of each committed Crime.
No Speck is left of their habitual Stains ;
But the pure Æther of the Soul remains.
But, when a thousand rouling Years are past,
(So long their Punishments and Pennance last)
Whole Droves of Minds are, by the driving God,
Compelld to drink the deep Lethaan Flood :
In large forgetful Draughts to steep the Cares
Of their past Labours, and their irksom Years;
That unrememb'ring of its former Pain,
The Soul may suffer mortal Flesh again.
He first the Taste of Flesh from Tables drove,
And argu'd well, if Arguments could move.
O Mortals ! from your Fellows Blood abftain,
Nor taint your Bodies with a Food profane:
While Corn and Pulse by Nature are bestow'd,
And planted Orchards bend their willing Load;
While labour'd Gardens wholesom Herbs produce ;
And teeming Vines afford their gen'rous Juice :
Nor tardier Fruits of cruder Kind are lost,
But tam'd with Fire, or mellow'd by the Froft:
While Kine to Pails distended Udders bring,
And Bees their Honey, redolent of Spring:
While Earth not only can your Needs supply,
But lavish of her Store, provides for Luxury ;
A guiltless Feast administers with Ease;
And without Blood is prodigal to please.
Wild Beasts their Maws with their flain Brethren fill;
And yet not all ; for some refuse to kill :
Sheep, Goats, and Oxen, and the nobler Steed
On Browze, and Corn, and flow'ry Meadows feed.
Bears, Tygers, Wolves; the Lions angry Brood,
Whom Heav'n endu'd with Principles of Blood,
He wisely funder'd from the rest, to yell
In Forefts, and in lonely Caves to dwell ;
Where stronger Beasts oppress the weak by Might,
And all in Prey, and purple Feafts delight.
O impious Use! to Nature's Laws oppos'd,
Where Bowels are in other Bowels clos'd :
Where fatten'd by their Fellows Fat they thrive,
Maintain'd by Murther, and by Death they live.
'Tis then for Nought char Mother Earth provides
The Stores of all the thews, and all the hides,
If Men with Aleshy Morsels must be fed,
And chaw with bloody Teech the breathing Bread :
What else is but to devour our Guests,
And barb'rously renew Cyclopean Feasts?
We, by destroying Life our Life sustain,
And gorge th’ungodly Maw with Meats obscene.
Not so the golden Age, who fed on Fruit,
Nor durst with bloody Meals their Mouths pollute.
Then Birds in airy Space might safely move,
And tim'rous Hares on Heaths securely rove:
Nor needed Fish the guileful Hooks to fear,
For all was peaceful; and that Peace sincere.
Whoever was the Wretch, (and curs'd be he)
That envy'd first our Food's Simplicity;
Th’Essay of bloody Feasts on Brutes began,
And after forg'd the Sword to 'murther Man.
Had he the sharpen'd Sreel alone employ'd,
On Beasts of Prey, that other Beasts destroy'd,
Or Man invaded with their Fangs and Paws,
This had been justify'd by Nature's Laws,
And Self-Defence; But who did Feafts begin
Of Flesh, he stretch'd Neceflity to Sin.
To kill Man-Killers, Man has lawful Pow'r;
But not ch'extended Licence to devour.
The Sow, with her broad Snout for rooting up
Th'intrusted Seed, was judg'd to spoil the Crop,
And intercept the sweating Farmer's Hope.
The cov'tous Churl of unforgiving Kind,
Th'Offender to the bloody Prieft relign'd :
Her Hunger was no Plea, for that she dy'd.
The Goat came next in order to be try'd:
The Goat had crop'd the Tendrils of the Vine :
In Vengeance Laity and Clergy join,
Where one had loft his Profit, one his Wine,
Here was at least some Shadow of Offence :
The Sheep was facrific'd on no Pretence;
But meek, and unrefifting Innocence.
A patient, useful Creature, born to bear
The warm and woolly Fleece, that cloath'd her Murderer ;
And daily to give down the Milk she bred,
A Tribute for the Grass on which the fed.
Living, both Food and Raiment lhe supplies;
And is of least Advantage when the dics.
How did the coiling Ox his Death deserve,
A downright simple Drudge, and born to serve ?
O Tyrant! with what Justice canst thou hope
The Promise of the Year, a pleateous Crop,
When thou destroy'd thy lab'ring Steer, who tillid
And plough'd with Pains, thy elfe ungrateful Field?
From his yet recking Neck to draw the Yoke,
That Neck, with which the surly Clods he broke ;
And to the Hatchet yield thy Husbandman,
Who finish'd Autumn, and the Spring began!
From whence, O mortal Man, this Guft of Blood
Have you deriv'd, and interdi&ed Food ?
Be taught by me this dire Delight to fhun,
Warn’d by my Precepts, by my Pra&tice won :
And when you eat the well-deserving Beast,
Think, on the Lab'rer of your Field you feaft.
Besides; whatever lies
In Earth, or flits in Air, or fills the Skies,
All suffer Change ; and we, that are of Soul
And Body mix'd, are Members of the Whole :
Then, when our Sires or Grandfires shall forsake
The Forms of Men, and brutal Figures take;
Thus hous'd, securely let their Spirits rest,
Nor violate thy Father in the Beaft
Thy Friend, thy Brother, any of thy Kin;
If none of those, yet there's a Man within:
O spare to make a Thyestean Meal,
T'inclose his Body, and bis Soul expel.
And let not Piety be put to Flight,
To please the Taste of Glutton-Appetite ;
But suffer Inmate Souls secure to dwell,
Left from your Seats your Parents you expel ;
With rabid Hunger feed upon your Kind,
Or from a Beast dislodge a Brother's Mind.
Nor | Take
For | Kill | This | But hnd
What more Advance can Mortals make in Sin,
So near Perfe&tion, who with Blood begin ?
Deaf to the Calf, that lies beneath the Knife,
Looks up, and from her Buccher begs her Life :
Deaf to the harmless Kid, that e'er he dies,
All Methods to procure thy Mercy tries,
And imitates, in vain, thy Children's Cries.
Where will he stop, who feeds with Houshold Bread,
Then eats the Poultry, which before he fed ?
Let plough thy Sreers ; that when they lose their Breath,
To Nature, not to thee, they may impute their Death.
Let Goats for Food cheir loaded Udders lend,
And Sheep from Winter-Cold thy Sides defend;
But neither Sprindges, Ners, nor Snares employ,
And be no more ingenious to destroy.
Free as in Air, lét Birds on Earth remain,
Nor let insidious Glue their Wings constrain :
Nor op'ning Hounds the trembling Stag affright,
Nor purple Feachers intercept his Flight :
Nor Hooks, conceal'd in Bairs, for Fith prepare,
Nor Lines to heave them twinkling up in Air.
Take not away the Life you cannot give :
For all things have an equal Right to live.
Kill noxious Creatures, where 'tis Sin co lave;
This only just Prerogative we have :
But nourish Life with vegetable Food,
And thun the facrilegious Taste of Blood. Dryd. Ovid.
In Storms when Clouds the Moon do hide,
And no kind Stars the Pilot guide :
Shew me at Sea the boldest therë,
That does not wish for Quiet here.
For Quiet, Friend ! the Soldier fights,
Bears weary Marches, sleepless Nights,
For this feeds hard, and lodgès cold,
Which can't be bought with Hills of Gold.
To their appointed Base the Rival Runners went ;
With beating Hearts th'expected Sign receive,
And starting all at once, the Barrier leave.
Spread out, as on the Wings of Winds, they flew
And fiez'd the distant Goal with greedy View..
Shot from the Crowd, swift Nisus all o’erpass’d,
Nor Storms, nor Thunder equal half his Hafte;
The next, but tho' the next, yet far disjoyn'd,
Came Saliu, and Euryalus behind;
He duly watch'd his Flock by Night and Day ;
And from the prowling Woolf redeem'd the Prey,
The Proud he cam'd, the Penitent he cheard,
Nor to reprove the rich Offender fear'd
His Preaching much, but more his Practice wrought,
(A living Sermon of the Truth he taught)
Thys all might see the Doctrine 'which they heard:
For Priests, he said, are Patterns for the reft,
The Gold of Heav'n, who bear the God impress'd :
If they be foul, on whom the People truft,
Well may the baser Brass contract å Rust:
With what he beg'd, his Brethren he reliev'd,
And gave the Charities himself receiv'd :
Gave, while he taught, and edify'd the more,
Because he shew'd by Proof, 'ewas easy to be poor.
Quoth Ralpbo, you mistake the Matter,
For in all Scruples of this Nature,
No Man includes himself, nor turns
The Point upon his own concerns.
As no Man of his own self catches
The Itch, or amorous French Aches;
So no Man does himself Convince
By his own Doctrine of his Sins.
And 'tis not what we do, but say,
In Love and Preaching, that must sway.
Priesthood that makes a Merchandize of Heav'n:
Priesthood that sells ev'n to their Pray'rs and Blessings,
And forces us to pay for our own Coz’nage.
Nay, cheats Heav'n top with Entrails and with Offals,
Gives it the Garbage of a Sacrifice,
And kecps the best for private Luxury.
Dryd. Troil. do Crep
The Gods are theirs, not ours ; and when we pray
For happy Omens, we their Price must pay :
In vain at Shrines th’ungiving Suppliant stands :
In vain we make our Vows with empty Hands.
Far Off'rings are the Priesthood's only Care :
They take the Money, and Heav'n hears the Pray'r:
Without a Bribe their Oracles are mute, wie
And their instructed Gods refuse the Suit.
The pious Priesthood the fat Goofe receive,
And they once brib'd, the Godhead muft forgive: Dryd. Juv.
For Gain has wonderful Effe&ts,
T'improve the Fa&ory of Seets;
The Role of. Faith in all Profeffions,
And grear Diana of th'Epbefinns.