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By strides as swift. Eternity is all ;
O give it leave to speak; 'twill speak ere long
TO THE RIGHT HON. THE EARL OF LITCHFIELD
LORENZO! to recriminate is just.
Fondness for fame is avarice of air.'
As just thy second charge. I grant the Maso
10 'Twas given to make a civet of their song Obscene, and sweeten ordure to perfume. Wi:, a true pagan, deifies the bruto, And lifts our swine enjoyments from the mire.
The fact notorious, nor obscure the causo. 16 We wear the chains of pleasure and of prido : These share the man, and these distract hiin too; Draw different ways, and clash in their commands. Pride, like an eagle, builds among the stars ; But Pleasure, larklike, nests upon the ground. 20 Joys, shared by brute creation, Pride resents ; Pleasure embraces; man would both enjoy, And hoth at once : 3 point how hard to gain ! But what can't Wit, when stung by strong desiro ? Wit dares attempt this arduous enterprise.
25 Since joys of Sense can't rise to Reason's taste,
In subtle Sophistry's laborious forge
45 And Infamy stands candidate for praise.
All writ by man in favour of the soul, These sensual ethics far, in bulk, transcend. The flowers of eloquence, profusely pour'd O’er spotted Vice, fill half the letter'd world. 50 Can powers of genius exercise their page, And consecrate enormities with song !
But let not these inexpiable strains Condemn the Muse that knows her dignity, Nor meanly stops at time, but holds the world 55 As 'tis, in Nature's ample field, a point, A point in her esteem; from whence to start, And run the round of universal space, To visit being universal there, And being's Source, that utmost flight of mind 60 Yet spite of this so vast circumference, Well knows but what is moral nought is great. Sing sirens only? do not angels sing? There is in Poesy a decent pride,
Which well becomes her when she speaks to Prose, Hor younger sister, haply not more wise.
60 Think'st thou, Lorenzo, to find pastimes here? No guilty passion blown into a flame, No foible flatter'd, dignity disgraced, No fairy field of fiction, all on flower,
70 No rainbow colours, here, or silken tale ; But solemn counsels, images of awe, Truths, which Eternity lets fall on man, With double weight through these revolving spheres, This death-deep silence, and incumbent shade : 75 Thoughts such as shall revisit your last hour, Visit uncall’d, and live when life expires; And thy dark pencil, Midnight! darker still In melancholy dipp’d, imbrowns the whole.
Yet this, e'en this, my laughter-loving friends' 80 Lorenzo ! and thy brothers of the sinile' It what imports you most can most engagé, Shall steal your ear, and chain you to my song. Or if you fail me, know the wise shall taste The truths I sing ; the truths I sing shall feel ; 85 And, feeling, give assent; and their assent Is ample recompense ; is more than praise. But chiefly thine, O Litchfield !-nor mistake ; Think not unintroduced I force my way: Narcissa, not unknown, not unallied
O thou, bless'd Spirit ! whether the Suprema,
100 Present, though future, prior to themselves; Whose breath can blow it into nought again,
Or from his throne some delegated power,
By them best lighted are the paths of thought ; Nights are their days, their most illumined hours. By day the soul, o'erborne by life's career, 115 Stunn'd by the din, and giddy with the glare, Reels far from reason, jostled by the throng. By day the soul is passive, all her thoughts Imposed, precarious, broken, ere mature. By night, from objects free, froni passion cool, 120 Thoughts uncontrollid and unimpress'd, the births Of pure election, arbitrary range, Not to the limits of one world confined ; But from ethereal travels light on earth, As voyagers drop anchor, for reposo.
125 Let Indians, and the
like Indians, fond
130 There lies our theatre'; there sits our judge. Darkness the curtain drops n'er life's dull scene; 'Tis the kind hand of Providence stretch'd out 'Twixt man and vanity ; 'tis Reason's reign, And Virtue's too; these tutelary shades
133 Are man's asylum from the tainted throng. Night is the good man's friend, and guardian too ; It no less rescues virtue than inspires.
Virtue, for ever frail as fair below, Her tender nature suffers in the crowd,