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Which now and then sweet poetry may cure ;
A. 'Twould thin the ranks of the poetic tribe, To dash the pen through all that you proscribe. B. No matter—we could shift when they were
not ; And should, no doubt, if they were all forgot.
THE PROGRESS OF ERROR
Si quid loquar audiendum.
HOR. LIB. IV. OD. 2.
Bing, muse (if such a theme, so dark, so long,
Not all, whose eloquence the fancy fills,
Placed for his trial on this bustling stage, From thoughtless youth to ruminating ago, Free in his will to choose or to refuse, Man ay improve the crisis, or abuse; Else, on the fatalist's unrighteous plan, Say to what bar amenable were man? With nought in charge he could betray no trust; And, if he fell, would fall because he must; If love reward him, or if vengeance strike, His recompense in both unjust alike. Divine authority within his breast Brings every thought, word, action, to the test; Warns him or prompts, approves him or restrains As reason, or as passion, takes the reins Heaven from above, and conscience from within, Cries in his startled ear-Abstain from sin!' The world around solicits his desire, And kindles in his soul a treacherous fire; While, all his purposes and steps to guard, Peace follows virtue as its sure reward; And pleasure brings as surely in her train Remorse, and sorrow, and vindictive pain.
Man, thus endued with an elective voice, Must be supplied with objects of his choice. Where'er he turns, enjoyment and delight, Or present, or in prospect, meet his sight: These open on the spot their honey'd store; Those call him loudly to pursuit of more. His unexhausted mine the sordid vice Avarice shows, and virtue is the price.
Here various motives his ambition raise- (praise; Power, pomp, and splendour, and the thirst of There beauty woos him with expanded arms; E'en bacchanalian madness has its charms.
Nor these alone, whose pleasures less refined Might well alarm the most unguarded mind, Seek to supplant his inexperienced youth, Or lead him devious from the path of truth ; Hourly allurements on his passions press, Safe in themselves, but dangerous in the excess.
Hark! how it floats upon the dewy air ! O what a dying, dying close was there ! 'Tis harmony from yon sequester'd bower, Sweet harmony, that soothes the midnight hour! Long ere the charioteer of day had run His morning course the enchantment was begun; And he shall gild yon mountain's height again, Ere yet the pleasing toil becomes a pain.
Is this the rugged path, the steep ascent, That virtue points to ? Can a life thus spent Lead to the bliss she promises the wise, Detach the soul from earth, and speed her to the Ye devotees to your adored employ, [skies ? Enthusiasts, drunk with an unreal joy, Love makes the music of the blest above, Heaven's harmony is universal love; And earthly sounds, though sweet and well comAnd lenient as soft opiates to the mind, [bined, Leave vice and folly unsubdued behind.
Gray dawn appears ; the sportsman and his Speckle the bosom of the distant plain ; [train
'Tis he, the Nimrod of the neighbouring lairs ;
Ye clergy, while your orbit is your place,
your Grace ?
No. But his own engagement binds him fast;