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Or pow'rsul Orators, or Thofe by whom
Fair Science, long with Dust and Filth obseur'd,
And hating Day, was introduc'd to Sight?
Bacon, above the rest, as Mid-day Sun
Refulgent, fhew'd the Way to ev'ry Art.
He first from vain Hypothesis recall'd
Philofophy; and where, thro' Path secure,
Experience, faithful Guide, directs the Steps,
Of Newton great Forerunner, He at once
Points out the Paflage, and presents the Lamp.
Illustrious Souls! If ought below concerns
Th' Inhabitants of Heav'n; if to your Care
The BritiJJj Nation still has any Claim;
Propitious hear, and at my Pray r renew
Our antient Spirit; that, no longer funk
In drowzy Sloth, we may at Length aspire
To high Exploits, still bearing in our Mind
True Merit, and our great Forefathers Praise.
Gifts excellent as Theirs, I truly think,
Could not without the Deity arise;
But God in ev'ry Age, has here and there
Scatter'd, like Stats, some brighter Souls; that siYd
By their Example, a degenerate World
Might learn t'exert itself, and recognize
Of Human Mind the Origin sublime.
That we an Interest have beyond the Grave,
Men's inward Apprehensions further shew;
Within, within us lies sufficient Proof.
Learned Antiquity this Truth attests \. .:
The Public Voice confirms it; nor is known
Nation so barbarous, as not to look
Beyond the Grave, and future Prospect claim.
Hence the flow-growing Oak is sown, the Gain
And posthumous Reward of Sons of Sons r
Hence the tall Pyramid's huge Pile is rais'd,
To stand and baffle all the Force of Time.
Hence that Solicitude the Bounds of Life
To lengthen out by a surviving Name;
Hence held so dear is Honour after Death,
That neither Danger fears, nor Toils declines
A Man of generous Spirit, to Himself
Of following Ages so he can but claim
The Admiration, and his Fame transmit
To late Posterity. See we not how,
To his last hour, the Criminal convict
Persists with Falsehood to deny his Guilt;;
His Reputation to preserve intire?
These'Indications of a future State,
And Notices obscure, has Nature sown
Within; hence so solicitous the Mind
About th' Opinion of posterity;
But what's to Us the Voice of After Times,
If we are Dust and Shadow, Nothing more?
Fame comes too late that follows to the Tomb,
Nor can affect the Ames now at Rest.
What mean the Funeral-Rites? The anxious Care
For the Defunct, and labour'd Monument?
For some to Earth commit the lifeless Corpse,
Hang Garlands o'er the Grave, and annual Rites
Perform to the deceas'd, as if the Ghosts
In Shades below such Obsequies requir'd:
Some on a Funeral-Pile the Body burn;
Collect, and in the faithful Urn repose
The Allies; that the Reliques thus preserved
May Time out-last. What need I mention Those,
Whofe Fields the Nile o'erflows with his rich Wave?
With these the Custom, nor to burn with Fire,
Nor bury in the Ground; embowell'd first
And wasli'd, into the Bodies Pitch they pour
And purest Frankincense, then fill them up
With tough Bitumen: this perform'd, the Whole
With Wreaths of Filleting they clofely bind,
To make the Parts cohere; to finish all,
The Image of the Person when alive
Compleats with borrow'd Grace the outward Form.
So natural to Man the pleasing Hope,
So firm th' Assurance, that, this earthly. Frame
By Death dissolv'd, his better Part remains,
Which nor the Pow'r of Fate can e'er destroy' Nor latest Time's devouring Teeth deface. I
See where the Ganges laves the Indian Shore; There Men, of Life impatient, headlong leap Into the Flames, or Life spontaneous yield Before the Altars of their Gods; impell'd . With blind Desire hence thither to remove, Where peaceful Seats of Bliss the Fates have flx'd, Where endless Spring, and Suns without a Cloudi; ,
Nor are the Eastern Wives less known to Fame: They nor with Tears nor womanish Lament The Husband's Fate deplore; but (strange to tell!) They mount his Fun'ral Pile, and are confum'd In the fame Flame: under this fond Belief, That so behaving they shall Leave obtain, To go Companions with their former Mates, And bridal Rites renew in Shades below.
View the unconquer'd Nations of the North, The Climes where Boreas breaths eternal Frost: An equal Ardor animates 'them all; The fame Contempt of Life still drives them on, In untam'd Valour fierce, thro' Fire and Sword. * What stimulates this Rage? What plies these Spurs? What, but the Prospect of an endless Life, Promis'd to Thofe who for their Country bleed?
ii O F OTH£ 1W M O B TA XIT Y OF T H £ * O U L;
Add what is taW\of the I%iian Fields, » • '.'-/
The Stygian Lake, and Phlegetboris black Wave.'.c..
Th' Inventions these of Priest-craft. Be it so, ,
What is it to the Point? No Room for Fraud,
Were not some previous, tho' imperfect Marks
Of Future on the Mind: whatever is false
For its Foundation presuppofes Truth. .
But of unbodied Mind, because 'tis hard
Conception just to frame, and from gross Sense
To separate the Soul, the lower Class
Corporeal Forms attribute to the Mind,
And Looks, and Limbs, and Places of Abode,
Resembling those of Body. Hence again
Others, who think these Fancies wild and vain,
Nor certain, in what Manner, after Death,
The Soul from Body separate exists, . *
Think Both extinguisti'd in one common Grave i
Ox, that they cannot bear the Pains to learn,
Or count it Shame to own their Ignorance.
For 'tis no easy Task to separate
The Truth from Falsehood. Wherefore make off Sloth,
Nor Truth reject for Fables, which or Craft,
Or Wantonness of Poets introduc'd..