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Those jarring truths which human art beguile, Thy sacred page thus bids me reconcile.' Offspring of God, no less thy pedigree, What thou once wert, art now, and still may be, Thy God alone can tell, alone decree; Faultless thou dropp’dst from his unerring skill, With the bare pow'r to sin, since free of will: Yet charge not with thy guilt his bounteous love, For who has pow'r to walk has pow'r to rove: Who acts by force, impell’d can nought deserve; And wisdom short of infinite may swerve. Borne on thy new-imp'd wings, thou took'st thy
Left thy Creator, and the realms of light;
Disdain'd his gentle precept to fulfil,
And thought to grow a god by doing ill:
Though by foul guilt thy heav'nly form defac'd,
In nature chang'd, from happy mansions chas'd,
Thou still retain'st some sparks of heav'nly fire,
Too faint to mount, yet restless to aspire;
Angel enough to seck thy bliss again,
· And brute enough to make thy search in vain.
The creatures now withdraw their kindly use,
Some fly thee, some torment, and some seduce;'
Repast ill-suited to such diff'rent guests,
For what thy sense desires, thy soul distastes:
Thy lust, thy curiosity, thy pride,
Curb'd or indulg'd, or balk'd or gratified,
Rage on, and make thee equally unbless'd
In what thou want'st, and what thou hast possessid:
In vain thou hop'st for bliss on this poor clod;
Return and seek thy Father and thy God;
Yet think not to regain thy native sky,
Borne on the wings of vain philosophy!
Mysterious passage! hid from human eyes,
Soaring you'll sink, and sinking you will rise :
Let humble thoughts your wary footsteps guide;
Repair by meekness what you lost by pride.
THE VANÍTY OF HUMAN WISHES. IN IMITATION
OF THE TENTH SATIRE OF JUVENAL. Let observation with extensive view Survey mankind from China to Peru; Remark each anxious toil, each eager strife, And watch the busy scenes of crowded life; Then say how hope and fear, desire and hate, O'erspread with snares the clouded maze of fate, Where wavering man, betray'd by venturous pride, To tread the dreary paths without a guide; As treacherous phantoms in the mist delude, Shuns fancied ills, or chases airy good. How rarely reason guides the stubborn choice, Rules the bold hand, or prompts the suppliant voice; How nations sink, by darling schemes oppress'd, When vengeance listens to the fool's request. Fate wings with every wish th' afflictive dart, Each gift of nature, and each grace of art;
With fatal heat impetuous courage glows, - With fatal sweetness elocution flows;
Impeachment stops the speaker's powerful breath, And restless fire precipitates on death.
But scarce observ'd, the knowing and the bold Fall in the general massacre of gold; Wide-wasting pest! that rages unconfin'd, And crowds with crimes the records of mankind;
For gold his sword the hireling ruffian draws,
For gold the hireling judge distorts the laws;
Wealth heap'd on wealth, nor truth nor safety buys,
The dangers gather as the treasures rise.
Let history tell where rival kings command,
And dubious title shakes the madden'd land,
When statutes glean the refuse of the sword,
How much more safe the vassal than the lord !
Low sculks the hind beneath the rage of pow'r,
And leaves the wealthy traitorin the Tow'r,
Untouch'd his cottage, and his slumbers sound,
Though confiscation's vultures hover round.
The needy traveller, serene and gay, Walks the wild heath, and sings his toil away. Does envy seize thee? crush th’ upbraiding joy, Increase his riches, and his peace destroy ; New fears in dire vicissitude invade, The rustling brake alarms, and quivering shade; Nor light nor darkness bring his pain relief, One shows the plunder, and one hides the thief.
Yet still one general cry the skies assails, And gain and grandeur load the tainted gales; Few know the toiling statesman's fear or care, Th’insidious rival and the gaping heir.
Once more, Democritus, arise on earth, With cheerful wisdom and instructive mirth; See motley life in modern trappings dress'd, And feed with varied fools th' eternal jest : [price, Thou, who couldst laugh where want enchain'd caToil crush'd conceit, and man was of a piece; Where wealth unlov'd without a mourner died, And scarce a sycophant was fed by pride; Where ne'er was known the form of mock debate, Or seen a new-made mayor's unwieldy state;.
Where change of favourites made no change of laws,
And senates heard before they judg'd a cause;
How wouldst thou shake at Britain's modish tribe,
Dart the quick taunt, and edge the piercing gibe ?
Attentive, truth and nature to decry,
And pierce each scene with philosophic eye.
To thee were solemn toys or empty show,
The robes of pleasure and the veils of wo:
All aid the farce, and all thy mirth maintain,
Whose joys are causeless, or whose griefs are vaina
Such was the scorn that fill'd the sage's mind,
Renew'd at every glance on human kind;
How just that scorn, ere yet thy voiee declare,
Search every state, and canvass every pray’r.
Unnumber'd suppliants crowd Preferment's gate,
Athirst for wealth, and burning to be great;
Delusive Fortune hears th' incessant call,
They mount, they shine, evaporate, and fall.
On every stage the foes of peace attend,
Hate dogs their flight, and insult mocks their end.
Love ends with hope, the sinking statesman's door
Pours in the morning-worshipper no more;
For growing names the weekly scribbler lies,
To growing wealth the dedicator flies;
From every room descends the painted face,
That hung the bright Palladium of the place,
And smok'd in kitchens, or in auctions sold,
To better features yields the frame of gold;
For now no more we trace in every line
Heroic worth, benevolence clivine:
The form distorted justifies the fall,
And detestation rids th' indignant wall.
But will not Britain hear the Jast appeal, Sign her foe's doom, or guard her favourite's zeal ?
Through Freedom's sons no more remonstrance
Degrading nobles and controlling kings;
Our supple tribes repress their patriot throats,
And ask no questions but the price of votes ;
With weekly libels and septennial ale,
Their wish is full to riot and to rail.
In full-blown dignity, see Wolsey stand,
Law in his voice, and fortune in his hand :
To him the church, the realm, their pow'rs consign,
Through him the rays of regal bounty shine,
Still to new heights his restless wishes tow'r,
Claim leads to claim, and pow'r advances pow'r;
Till conquest unresisted ceas'd to please,
And rights submitted, left him none to seize.
At length his sovereign frowns the train of state
Marks the keen glance, and watch the sign to hate.
Where'er he turns he meets a stranger's eye,
His suppliants scorn him, and his followers fly;
At once is lost the pride of awful state,
The golden canopy, the glittering plate,
The regal palace, the luxurious board,
The liveried army, and the menial lord.
With age, with cares, with maladies oppress'd,
He seeks the refuge of monastic rest.
Grief aids disease, remember'd folly stings,
And his last sighs reproach the faith of kings.
Speak thou, whose thoughts at humble peace
repine, Shall Wolsey's wealth, with Wolsey's end be thine? Or liv'st thou now, with safer pride content, The wisest justice on the banks of Trent? For why did Wolsey, near the steeps of fate, On weak foundations raise th' enormous weight: