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Pastime and business both it should exclude,
And bar the door the moment they intrude :
Nobly distinguish'd above all the six
By deeds, in which the world must never mix,
Hear him again. He calls it a delight,
A day of luxury observ'd aright,
When the glad soulis made Heaven's welcome guest,
Sits banqueting, and God provides the feast.
But triflers are engag'd, and cannot come;
Their answer to the call is-Not at home.
Who judg'd the pharisee? What odious cause
Expos'd him to the vengeance of the laws ?
Had he seduc'd a virgin, wrong'd a friend,
Or stabb'd a man to serve some private end?
Was blasphemy his sin ? Or did he stray
From the strict duties of the sacred day?
No—the man's morals were exact; what then?
"Twas his ambition to be seen of men ;
His virtues were his pride; and that one vice
Made all his virtues gewgaws of no price;
He wore them as fine trappings for a show,
A praying, synagogue-frequenting, beau.
The self-applauding bird, the peacock, see
Mark what a sumptuous pharisee is he!
Meridian sun-beams tempt him to unfold
His radiant glories, azure green and gold :
He treads as if, some solemn music near,.
His measur'd step were govern'd by his ear;
And seems to say- Ye meaner fowl, give place,
I am all splendour, dignity, and grace!
Not so the pheasant on his charms presumes, Though he too has a glory in his plumes. He, christian-like, retreats with modest mien To the close copse, or far sequester'd green, And shines without desiring to be seen.
THE SANCTIMONIOUS PRUDE. Yon ancient prude, whose wither'd features show She might be young some forty years ago, Her elbows pinion'd, close upon her hips, Her head erect, her fan upon her lips, Her eyebrows arch'd, her eyes both gone astray To watch yon am'rous couple in their play, With bony and unkerchief'd neck defies The rude inclemency of wintry skies, And sails with lappet-head and mincing airs Duly at chink of bell to morning pray'rs. To thrift and parsimony much inclin'd, She yet allows herself that boy behind; The shiv'ring urchin, bending as he goes, With slipshod heels, and dewdrop at his nose; His predecessor's coat advanc'd to wear, Which future pages yet are doom'd to share, Carries her Bible tuck'd beneath his arm, And hides his hands to keep his fingers warm,
She, half an angel in her own account, Doubts not hereafter with the saints to mount, Though not a grace appears on strictest search, But that she fasts, and item, goes to church. Conscious of age she recollects her youth, And te!, not always with an eye-to truth,
Who spann'd her waist, and who, where'er he came,
Scrawid upon glass Miss Bridget's lovely name;
Who stole her slipper, fill'd it with tokay,
And drank the little bumper ev'ry day.
Of temper as envenom'd as an asp,
Censorious, and her ev'ry word a wasp :
In faithful mem'ry she records the crimes,
Or real, or fictitious, of the times;
Laughs at the reputations she has torn,
And holds them dangling at arms length in scorns
Such are the fruits of sanctimonious pride,
Of malice fed while flesh is mortified :
Take, madam, the reward of all your pray’rs,
Where hermits and where bramins meet with theirs;
Your portion is with them.-Nay, never frown,
But, if you please, some fathoms lower down.
SOME angel guide my pencil, while I draw,
What nothing less than angel can exceed,
A man on Earth devoted to the skies.
With aspect mild, and elevated eye,
Behold him seated on a mount serene,
Above the fogs of sense, and passion's storm :
All the black cares and tumults of this life,
Like harmless thunders, breaking at his feet,
Excite his pity, not impair his peace.
Earth's genuine sons, the sceptred and the glave.
A mingled mob; a wandering herd he sees,
Bewilder'd in the vale; in all unlike !
His full reverse in all ! what higher praise ?
What stronger demonstration of the right?
The present all their care, the future his.
When public welfare calls, or private want,
They give to Fame; his bounty he conceals.
Their virtues varnish Nature, his exalt.
Mankind's esteem they court, and he his own.
Theirs the wild chase of false felicities;
His the compos'd possession of the true.
Alike throughout is his consistent peace,
All of one colour, and an even thread;
While party-colour'd shreds of happiness,
With hideous gasps between, patch up for them
A madman's robe; each puff of Fortune blows
The tatters by, and shows their nakedness.
He sees with other eyes than theirs: where they
Behold a sun, he spies a Deity.
What makes them only smile, makes him adore.
Where they see mountains, he but atoms sees.
An empire, in his balance, weighs a grain.
They things terrestrial worship as divine;
His hopes, immortal, blow them by as dust
That dims his sight, and shortens his survey,
Which longs, in infinite, to lose all bound.
Titles and honours (if they prove his fate)
He lays aside to find his dignity;
No dignity they find in aught besides.
They triumph in externals, (which conceal
Man's real glory) proud of an eclipse :
Himself too much he prizes to be proud,
And nothing thinks so great in man as man..
Too dear he holds his interest to neglect
Another's welfare, or his right invade i
Their interest, like a lion, lives on prey. They kindle at the shadow of a wrong; Wrong he sustains with temper, looks on Heav'n, Nor stoops to think his injurer his foe. [peace, Nought but what wounds his virtue wounds his A cover'd heart their character defends ; A cover'd heart denies him half his praise. With nakedness his innocence agrees, While their broad foliage testifies their fall. Their no-joys end where his full feast begins ; His joys create, theirs murder, future bliss. To triumph in existence his alone ; And his alone triumphantly to think His true existence is not yet begun. His glorious course was, yesterday, complete; Death then was welcome; yet life still is sweet.
A PARAPHRASE ON THE LATTER PART OF THE
SIXTH CHAPTER OF ST. MATTHEW. When my breast labours with oppressive care; 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 further shall this feeble life sustain, And what shall clothe these shiv'ring limbs again,