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Make Saint of Pope, or Saint of Thief,
Believe almost in unbelief;
Yet with thy solemn priestly air,
By book and bell, and candle swear,
That God has made his own elect
But from your stem and favorite fect;
That He who made the world, has blest
One part alone, to damn the rest,
As if th' Allmerciful and Just,
Who form'd us of one common dust,
Had rendered up his own decree,
And lent his attributes to thee.
Thus his own eyes the Bigot blinds,
To shut out light from human minds,
And the clear truth (an emanation
From the great Author of creation,
A beam transmitted from on high,
To bring us nearer to the sky,
While ev'ry path by science trod,
Leads us with wonder up to God)
Is doom’d by Ignorance to make
Atonement at the Martyr's stake;
Tho', like pure gold, th’ illustrious dame,
Comes forth the brighter from the Aame.
No persecution will avail,
No inquisition racks, nor gaol ;
When Learning's more enlight'ned ray
Shall drive these fickly fogs away;
A thankful age shall pay her more,
Than all her troubles hurt before.
See Shame and Scorn await on those
Who poorly dar'd to be her foes,
But will the grateful voice of fame
Sink Truth, and GALILÆO's name?
How wilful, obstinate and blind,
Are the main herd of human kind !
Well said the Wit, who well had tried
That malice which his Parts defied;
When merit's sun begins to break,
The Dunces stretch, and strive to wake,
And amity of Dunce with Dunce,
Fingers out Genius all at once.
As you may find the honey out,
By seeing all the Aies about:
All ugly Women hate a toast;
The goodliest fruit is pick'd the most;
The ivy winds about the oak,
And to the faireft comes the smoke.
Escap'd the dangers of the deep, When GULLIVER fell fast asleep, Stretch'd on the Lilliputian strand, A Giant in a pigmy Land; Watchful against impending harms, All Lilliput cried out, To arms; The trumpets echoed all around, The Captain flept exceeding sound, Tho' crowds of undistinguish'd size Affail'd his body, legs and thighs, While clouds of arrows flew apace, And fell like feathers on his face,
HE praise of Genius will offend
A foe no doubt, sometimes a friend 3
But curse on genius, wit and parts,
The thirst of science, love of arts,
If inconsistent with the plan
Of social good from man to man.
For me, who will, may wear the bays,
I value not such idle praise :
Let wrangling wits abuse, defame,
And quarrel for an empty name,
What's in this shuffling pace of rhyme,
Or grand pas stride of stiff sublime,
That vanity her trump should blow,
And look with scorn on folks below?
Are wit and folly close ally'd,
And match’d, like poverty, with pride ?
When rival bards for fame contend,
The poet often spoils the friend ;
Genius felf-center'd fcels alone
That merit he esteems his own,
And cold, o'er jealous, and severe,
Hates, like a Turk, a brother near;
Malice steps in, good nature flies,
Folly prevails, and friendship dies.
Peace to all such, if peace can dwell
With those who bear about a hell,
Who blast all worth with envy's breath,
By their own feelings ftung to death.
None but a weak and brainless fool,
Undisciplin'd in fortune's school,
Can hope for favours from the wit;
He pleads prescription to forget,
Unnotic'd let him live or rot,
And, as forgetful, be forgot.
Most wags, whose pleasure is to smoke,
Wou'd rather lose their friend, than joke;
A man in rags looks something queer,
And there's vast humour in a sneer ;
That jest, alike all witlings suits,
Which lies no further than the boots.
Give me the man whose
Means facial good to all mankind;
Who when his friend, from fortune's round,
Is toppled headlong to the ground,
Can meet him with a warm embrace,
And wipe the tear from forrow's face,