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That he will judge the earth, and call the foolo
To a sharp reckoning that has lived in vain ;
And when I weigh this seeming wisdom well 180
And
prove

it in the infallible result So hollow and so false, I feel

my

heart Dissolve in pity, and account the learn'd, If this be learning, most of all deceived. Great crimes alarm the conscience, but she sleeps 185 While thoughtful man is plausibly amused. Defend me therefore common sense, say I, From reveries so airy, from the toil Of dropping buckets into empty wells 10, And growing old in drawing nothing up! ! 190

'Twere well, says one sage erudite, profound, Terribly arch'd and aquiline his nose, And overbuilt with most impending brows, 'Twere well could you permit the world to live As the world pleases. What's the world to you? Much. I was born of woman, and drew milk As sweet as charity from human breasts. I think, articulate, I laugh and weep And exercise all functions of a man. How then should I and any man that lives 200 Be strangers to each other'l? Pierce my vein, Take of the crimson stream meandering there

196

9 Go, teach eternal Wisdom how to rule, Then drop into thyself, and be a fool.

Pope. Essay on Man, ii. 29. 10 Nor vainly buys what Gildon sells, Poetic buckets for dry wells.

Spleen. 11 Homo sum, humani nihil a me alienum puto.

Ter. Heaut.

And catechise it well. Apply your glass,
Search it, and prove now if it be not blood
Congenial with thine own. And if it be,

205
What edge of subtlety canst thou suppose
Keen enough, wise and skilful as thou art,
To cut the link of brotherhood, by which
One common Maker bound me to the kind ?
True; I am no proficient, I confess,

210 In arts like yours. I cannot call the swift And perilous lightnings from the angry clouds, And bid them hide themselves in the earth beneath; I cannot analyse the air, nor catch The parallax of yonder luminous point

215 That seems half quench'd in the immense abyss : Such

powers I boast not;neither can I rest A silent witness of the headlong rage Or heedless folly by which thousands die, Bone of my bone, and kindred souls to mine. 220 ! God never meant that man should scale the heavens By strides of human wisdom. In his works Though wonderous, He commands us in his word To seek him rather, where his mercy

shines. The mind indeed enlighten’d from above

225 Views him in all; ascribes to the grand cause The grand effect; acknowledges with joy His manner, and with rapture tastes his style. But never yet did philosophic tube That brings the planets home into the eye

230 Of observation, and discovers, else Not visible, his family of worlds, Discover Him that rules them; such a veil Hangs over mortal eyes, blind from the birth

And dark in things divine. Full often too 235
Our wayward intellect, the more we learn
Of nature, overlooks her Author more,
From instrumental causes proud to draw
Conclusions retrograde and mad mistake.
But if his word once teach us, shoot a ray

210 Through all the heart's dark chambers, and reveal Truths undiscern'd but by that. holy light, Then all is plain. Philosophy baptized In the pure fountain of eternal love Has eyes indeed; and viewing all she sees

245 As meant to indicate a God to man, Gives Him his praise, and forfeits not her own. Learning has borne such fruit in other days On all her branches. " Piety has found Friends in the friends of science, and true prayer 250 Has flow'd from lips wet with Castalian dews. Such was thy wisdom, Newton, child-like sage! Sagacious reader of the works of God, And in his word sagacious. Such too thine, Milton, whose genius had angelic wings,

255
And fed on manna. And such thine in whom
Our British Themis gloried with just cause,
Immortal Hale! for deep discernment praised
And sound integrity not more, than famed
For sanctity of manners undefiled.

All flesh is grass'?, and all its glory fades
Like the fair flower disheveld in the wind;
Riches have wings "3, and grandeur is a dream;
The man we celebrate must find a tomb,
And we that worship him, ignoble graves.

265 12 Isaiali, xl. 6.

13 Prov. xxiii, 5.

260

Nothing is proof against the general curse
Of vanity, that seizes all below.
The only amaranthine flower on earth
Is virtue, the only lasting treasure, truth.
But what is truth? 'twas Pilate's question put 270
To Truth itself, that deign'd him no reply.
And wherefore ? will not God impart his light
To them that ask it?-Freely ;-'tis his joy,
His glory, and his nature to impart:
But to the proud, uncandid, insincere

275
Or negligent enquirer, not a spark.
What's that which brings contempt upon a book
And him that writes it, though the style be neat,
The method clear, and argument exact ?
That makes a minister in holy things

280 The joy of many and the dread of more, His name a theme for praise and for reproach? That while it gives us worth in God's account, Depreciates and undoes us in our own? What pearl is it that rich men cannot buy, That learning is too proud to gather up, But which the poor and the despised of all Seek and obtain, and often find unsought ? Tell me, and I will tell thee, what is truth. It

Oh friendly to the best pursuits of man, 290 Friendly to thought, to virtue, and to peace, Domestic life in rural leisure pass'd 15 ! Few know thy value, and few taste thy sweets,

14 Bacon otherwise-"What is truth ? said jesting Pilate, and would not stay for an answer.”—Essay i. 15 O knew he but his happiness, of men

The happiest he! who far from public rage

285

295

300

Though many boast thy favours, and affect
To understand and chuse thee for their own.
But foolish man foregoes his proper bliss
Even as his first progenitor, and quits,
Though placed in paradise, (for earth has still
Some traces of her youthful beauty left,)
Substantial happiness for transient joy.
Scenes form'd for contemplation, and to nurse
The growing seeds of wisdom; that suggest
By every pleasing image they present
Reflections such as meliorate the heart,
Compose the passions and exalt the mind,
Scenes such as these, 'tis his supreme delight
To fill with riot and defile with blood.
Should some contagion kind to the poor

brutes
We persecute, annihilate the tribes
That draw the sportsman over hill and dale
Fearless, and rapt away from all his cares
Should never game-fowl hatch her eggs again,

305

310

Deep in the vale with a choice few retired,
Drinks the pure pleasures of the rural life.

Thomson. Autumn, 1389.
O sacred solitude ! divine retreat!
Choice of the prudent, envy of the great,
By thy pure stream, or in thy waving shade
We court fair wisdom, that celestial maid;
The genuine offspring of her loved embrace,
Strangers on earth! are innocence and peace.
There from the ways of men laid safe ashore,
We smile to hear the distant tempest roar;
There bless'd with health, with business unperplex’d,
This life we relish, and ensure the next.

Young. Satire v.

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