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• Thou beauteous Vision! on my soul impress'd,
But still I fear, unwarm'd with holy flame,
• Indulgent Lord! whose gracious love displays
THE HERO's schooL OF MORALITY.
• Enough, he cried, I'll drudge no more
And feed their boys with notes and rules,
Methinks a mould'ring pyramid
* Lie still, my Plutarch, then, and sleep; And my good Seneca may keep
Your volumes clos'd for ever too;
A DIALOGUE BETWEEN THE WORLD, A PILGRIM,
Pilgrim. What darkness clouds my senses ! Hath the day Forgot his season, and the Sun his way? Doth God withdraw his all-sustaining might, And works no more with his fair creature, Light, While Heav'n and Earth for such a loss complain, And turn to rude unformed heaps again? My paces with entangling briers are bound, And all this forest in deep silence drown'd, Here must my labour and my journey cease, By which in vain I sought for rest and peace, But now perceive that man's unquiet mind In all his ways can only darkness find. Here must I starve and die, unless some light Point out the passage from this dismal night.
World. Distressed pilgrim, let no causeless fear Depress thy hopes, for thou hast comfort near,
Which thy heart with splendour shall inspire,
I am thine end, Felicity my name; The best of wishes, pleasures, riches, fame, Are humble vassals, which my throne attend, And make you mortals happy when I send : In my left hand delicious fruits I hold, To feed them who with mirth and ease grow old: Afraid to lose the fleeting days and nights, They seize on time, and spend it in delights. My right hand with triumphant crowns is stor'd, Which all the kings of former times ador'd: These gifts are thine : then enter where no strife, No grief, no pain, shall interrupt thy life.
Virtue. Stay, hasty wretch! here deadly serpents dwell And thy next step is on the brink of Hell : Would'st thou, poor weary man, thy limbs repose ? Behold my house, where true contentment grows:
Not like the baits which this seducer gives,
Virtue. Canst thou now make, or hast thou ever made, Thy servants happy in those things that fade? Hear this my challenge: one example bring Of such perfection; let him be the king Of all the world, fearing no outward check, And guiding others by his voice and beck: Yet shall this man at ev'ry moment find More gall than honey in his restless mind. Now, monster, since my words have struck thee
dumb, Behold this garland, whence such virtues come, Such glories shine, such piercing beams are thrown, As make thee blind, and turn thee to a stone. And thou, whose wand'ring feet were running
down Th’infernal steepness, look upon this crown: Within these folds lie hidden no deceits, No golden lures, on which perdition waits : But when thine eyes the prickly thorns have paste See in the circle boundless joys at last.