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There shallow draughts intoxicate the brain
And drinking largely sobers us again.
Fir'd at first sight with what the muse imparts,
In fearless youth, we tempt the heights of arts;
While, from the bounded level of our mind,
Short views we take, nor see the lengths behind;
But more advanc'd, behold, with strange surprise,
New distant scenes of endless science rise!
So, picas'd at first the tow'ring Alps we try,
Mount o'er the vales, and seem to tread the sky;
Th' eternal snows appear already past,
And the first clouds and mountains seem the last;
But, those attain'd, we tremble to survey
The growing labours of the lengthen'd way;
Th' increasing prospect tires our wand'ring eyes;
Hills peep o'er hills, and Alps on Alps arise.-POPE.
Cruelty to brutes censured.
WOULD not enter on my list of friends,
(Though grac'd with polish'd manners and fine sense,
Yet wanting sensibility,) the man
Who needlessly sets foot upon a worm.
An inadvertent step may crush the snail,
That cravis at evening in the public path;
But he that has humanity, forewarn'd,
Will tread aside, and let the reptile live.
The creeping vermin, loathsome to the sight,
And charg'd perhaps with venom, that intrudes
A visitor unwelcome into scenes
Sacred to neatness and repose, th' alcove,
The chamber, or refectory, may die.
A necessary act incurs no blame.
Not so, when held within their proper bounds,
And guiltless of offence they range the air,
Or take their pastime in the spacious field.
There they are privileg'd. And he that hunts
Or harms them there, is guilty of a wrong;
Disturbs th' economy of nature's realm,
Who, when she form'd, design'd them an abode.
3 The sum is this: if man's convenience, health,
Or safety interfere, his rights and claims
Are paramount, and must extinguish theirs.
Else they are all-the meanest things that are,
As free to live and to enjoy that life,
As God was free to form them at the first,
Who, in his sovereign wisdom, made them all.
4 Ye, therefore, who love mercy, teach your sons
To love it too. The spring time of our years
Is soon dishonour'd and defil'd, in most,
By budding ills, that ask a prudent hand
To check them. But, alas! none sooner shoots,
If unrestrain'd, into luxuriant growth,
Than cruelty, most dev'lish of them all.
5 Mercy to him that shows it, is the rule
And righteous limitation of its act,
By which heav'n moves in pard'ning guilty man;
And he that shows none, being ripe in years,
And conscious of the outrage he commits,
Shall seek it, and not find it in his turn.-coWPER.
4 paraphrase on the latter part of the 6th chapter of St. Matthew.
breast labours with
And o'er my cheek descends the falling tear;
While all my warring passions are at strife,
Oh! let me listen to the words of life!
Raptures deep-felt his doctrine did impart,
And thus he rais'd from earth the drooping heart.
"Think not, when all your scanty stores afford,
Is spread at once upon the sparing board;
Think not, when worn the homely robe appears,
While on the roof the howling tempest bears;
What farther shall this feeble life sustain,
And what shall clothe these shiv'ring limbs again.
3 Say, does not life its nourishment exceed?
And the fair body, its investing weed?
Behold! and look away your low despair-
See the light tenants of the barren air:
To them, nor stores nor granaries, belong;
Nought, but the woodland, and the pleasing song;
Yet, your kind heav'nly Father bends his eye
On the least wing that flits along the sky.
4 To him they sing when spring renews the plain;
To him they cry, in winter's pinching reign;
Nor is their music, nor their plaint in vain :
He hears the gay, and the distressful call;
And with unsparing bounty, fills them all.”
5 Observe the rising lily's snowy grace;
Observe the various vegetable race
They neither tail, nor spin, but careless grow; Yet see how warm they blush! how bright they glow! What regal vestments can with them compare! What king so shining! or what queen so fair!" 6 "If ceaseless, thus, the fowls of heav'n he feeds; If o'er the fields such lucid robes he spreads; Will he not care for you, ye faithless, say? Is he unwise? or, are ye less than they?"-THOMSON.
The death of a good man a strong incentive to virtue. HE chamber where the good man meets his fate, Is privileg'd beyond the common walk Of virtuous life, quite in the verge of heav'n. Fly, ye profane! if not, draw near with awe, Receive the blessing, and adore the chance, That threw in this Bethesda your disease: If unrestor❜d by this, despair your cure. 2 For, here, resistless demonstration dwells; A death-bed's a detector of the heart. Here tir'd dissimulation drops her mask, Thro' life's grimace, that mistress of the scene! Here real, and apparent, are the same. You see the man; you see his hold on heav'n, If sound his virtue, as Philander's sound.
3 Heav'n waits not the last moment; owns her friends
On this side death, and points them out to men ;
A lecture, silent, but of sov'reign pow'r ;
To vice, confusion: and to virtue, peace.
Whatever farce the boastful hero plays,
Virtue alone has majesty in death;
And greater still, the more the tyrant frowns.-YOUNG
Reflections on a future state, from a review of winter. his latest
And reigns tremendous o'er the conquer'd year.
How dead the vegetable kingdom lies!
How dumb the tuneful! Horror wide extends
His desolate domain. Behold, fond man!
See here thy pictur'd life: pass some few years,
Thy flow'ring spring, thy summer's ardent strength,
Thy sober autumn fading into age,
And pale concluding winter comes at last,
And shuts the scene.
Ah! whither now are fled
Those dreams of greatness? those unsolid hopes Of happiness? those longings after fame? Those restless cares? those busy bustling days? Those gay-spent, festive nights? those veering thoughts, Lost between good and ill, that shar'd thy life? All now are vanish'd! Virtue sole survives, Immortal, never-failing friend of man, His guide to happiness on high. And see! "Tis come, the glorious morn! the second birth Of heav'n and earth! awak'ning nature hears The new-creating word, and starts to life, In ev'ry heighten'd form, from pain and death For ever free. The great eternal scheme, Involving all, and in a perfect whole Uniting as the prospect wider spreads, To reason's eye refin'd clears up apace. 4 Ye vainly wise! Ye blind presumptuous! Confounded in the dust, adore that Power, And Wisdom, oft arraign'd: see now the cause Why unassuming worth in secret liv'd, And died neglected: why the good man's share In life was gall, and bitterness of soul: Why the lone widow and her orphans, pin'd In starving solitude; while luxury, In palaces lay straining her low thought, To form unreal wants: why heav'n-born truth, And moderation fair, wore the red marks Of superstition's scourge: why licens'd pain, That cruel spoiler, that embosom'd foe, Imbitter'd all our bliss.
Ye good distress'd!
Ye noble few! who here unbending stand
Beneath life's pressure, yet bear up awhile,
And what your bounded view which only saw
A little part, deem'd evil, is no more:
The storms of wint'ry time will quickly pass,
And one unbounded spring encircle all.- THOMSON.
Adam's advice to Eve, to avoid temptation.
"WOMAN, best are all things as the will
Of God ordain'd them; his creating hand
Nothing imperfect or deficient left
Of all that he created, much less man,
Or aught that might his happy state secure,
Secure from outward force. Within himself
The danger lies, yet lies within his pow'r:
Against his will he can receive no harm.
2 But God left free the will; for what obeys
Reason, is free, and reason he made right;
But bid her well beware, and still erect,
Lest, by some fair appearing good surpris'd,
She dictate false, and misinform the will
To do what God expressly hath forbid.
Not then mistrust, but tender love, enjoins
That I should mind thee oft: and mind thou m
3 Firm we subsist, yet possible to swerve,
Since reason not impossibly may meet
Some specious object by the foe suborn'd,
And fall into deception unaware,
Not keeping strictest watch, as she was warn'a.
Seek not temptation then, which to avoid
Were better, and most likely if from me
Thou sever not; trial will come unsought.
4 Wouldst thou approve thy constancy? approve
First thy obedience; th' other who can know,
Not seeing thee attempted, who attest?
But if thou think, trial unsought may find
Us both securer than thus warn'd thou seem'st,
Go; for thy stay, not free, absents thee more:
Go in thy native innocence; rely
On what thou hast of virtue, summon all;
For God towards thee hath done his part; do thine.">
Next day the fatal precedent will plead;
'tis madness to defer:
Thus on, till wisdom is push'd out of life.
Procrastination is the thief of time.
Year after year it steals, till all are fled;
And, to the mercies of a moment leaves
The vast concerns of an eternal scene.
Of man's miraculous mistakes, this bears
The palm, "That all men are about to live:"
For ever on the brink of being born.
All pay themselves the compliment to think,
They one day, shall not drivel; and their pride
On this reversion, takes up ready praise;
At least their own; their future selves applauds