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Till finding, what he might have found before, 475
485 And wound the grace I mean to recommend, (Though vice, derided with a just design Implies no trespass against love divine,) Once more I would adopt the graver style, A teacher should be sparing of his smile,
490 Unless a love of virtue light the flame, Satire is, more than those he brands, to blame; He hides behind a magisterial air His own offences, and strips others' bare : Affects indeed most humane concern,
495 That men, if gently tutor'd, will not learn ; The mulish Folly, not to be reclaim'd By softer methods, must be made asham'd; But, (I might instance in St. Patrick's dean,) Too often rails to gratify his spleen.
500 Most sat’rists are indeed a publick scourge : Their mildest physick is a farrier's purge ; Their acid temper turns, as soon as stirr'd, The milk of their good purpose all to curd. Their zeal begotten, as their works rehearse, 505 By lean despair upon an empty purse, The wild assassins start into the street, Prepar'd to poniard whomsoe'er they meet. No skill in swordmanship, however just, Can be secure against a madman's thrust; 510 And even Virtue, so unfairly match'd, Although immortal, may be prick'd or scratch'd.
When Scandal has new-minted an old lie,
All zeal for a reform, that gives offence
Guns, halberts, swords, and pistols, great and small,
No works shall find acceptance in that day,
570 Such virtues had need prove their own reward, The judge of all men owes them no regard. True Charity, a plant divinely nurs’d, Fed by the love from which it rose at first, Thrives against hope, and in the rudest scene,
575 Storms but enliven its unfading green ; Exub'rant is the shadow it supplies, Its fruit on earth, its growth above the skies, To look at him who form'd us and redeem'd, So glorious now, though once so disesteem'd, 580 To see a God stretch forth his human hand, T' uphold the boundless scenes of his command; To recollect that in a form like ours, He bruis'd beneath his feet th' infernal pow'rs, Captivity led captive, rose to claim
585 The wreath he won so dearly in our name ; That, thron'd above all height, he condescends To call the few inat trust in him his friends ; Vol. I.
That in the heav'n of heav'ns, that space he deems
595 Spreads wide her arms of universal love : And, still enlarg’d as she receives the grace, Includes creation in her close embrace. Behold a christian !-and without the fires The founder of that name alone inspires,
600 Though all accomplishment, all knowledge meet To make the shining prodigy complete, Whoever boasts that name-behold a cheat! Were love, in these the world's last doting years As frequent as the want of it appears,
605 The churches warm’d, they would no longer hold Such frozen figures, stiff as they are cold; Relenting forms would lose their pow'r, or cease ; And e'en the dipp'd and sprinkled live in peace : Each heart would quit its prison in the breast, 610 And flow in free communion with the rest. The statesman, skill'd in projects dark and deep, Might burn his useless Machiavel, and sleep ; His budget often fill’d, yet always poor, Might swing at ease behind his study door, 615 No longer prey upon our annual rents, Or scare the nation with its big contents : Disbanded legions freely might depart, And slaying man would cease to be an art. No learned disputants would take the field, 620 Sure not to conquer, and sure not to yield; Both sides deceiv’d, if rightly understood, Pelting each other for the publick good. Did charity prevail, the press would prove A vehicle of virtue, truth, and love ;
And I might spare myself the pains to show