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12 It made a virgin put on guile,
Truth’s. image break her word,
A Lucia's face forbear to smile,
A Venus kill her bird.
1 WHEN I first came to London, I rambled about From sermon to sermon, took a slice and went
out. Then on me, in divinity bachelor, tried Many priests to obtrude a Levitical bride; And urging their various opinions, intended To make me wed systems, which they recommended.
2 Said a lech’rous old friar skulking near Lincoln's
Inn, (Whose trade's to absolve, but whose pastime's to
Who, spider-like, seizes weak Protestant flies,
Which hung in his sophistry cobweb he spies ;)
'Ah! pity your soul, for without our church pale,
If you happen to die, to be damn'd
can't fail; The Bible you boast, is a wild revelation : Hear a church that can't err if you hope for
3 Said a formal non-con, (whose rich stock of grace
Lies forward exposed in shop-window of face)
• Ah! pity your soul: come, be of our sect:
For then you are safe, and may plead you ’re elect. .
As it stands in the Acts, we can prove ourselves
saints, Being Christ's little flock everywhere spoke against.'
4 Said a jolly church parson, (devoted to ease,
While penal law dragons guard his golden fleece,)
'If you pity your soul, I pray listen to neither;
The first is in error, the last a deceiver:
That ours is the true church, the sense of our tribe is,
And surely in medio tutissimus ibis.'
5 Said a yea and nay friend with a stiff hat and band, (Who while he talked gravely would hold forth his
hand) Dominion and wealth are the aim of all three, Though about ways and means they may all dis
agree; Then pr’ythee be wise, go the quakers' by-way, 'Tis plain, without turnpikes, so nothing to pay.'
ON BARCLAY'S APOLOGY FOR THE
THESE sheets primeval doctrines yield,
Where revelation is revealed;
Soul-phlegm from literal feeding bred,
Systems lethargic to the head
They purge, and yield a diet thin,
That turns to gospel-chyle within.
Truth sublimate may here be seen
Extracted from the parts terrene.
In these is shown, how men obtain
What of Prometheus poets feign:
To scripture-plainness dress is brought,
And speech, apparel to the thought.
They hiss from instinct at red coats,
And war, whose work is cutting throats,
Forbid, and press the law of love:
Breathing the spirit of the dove.
Lucrative doctrines they detest,
As manufactured by the priest;
And throw down turnpikes, where we pay
For stuff, which never mends the way;
And tithes, a Jewish tax, reduce,
And frank the gospel for our use.
They sable standing armies break;
But the militia useful make:
Since all unhired may preach and pray, ,
Taught by these rules as well as they;
Rules, which, when truths themselves
Bid us to follow what we feel.
The world can't hear the small still voice,
Such is its bustle and its noise;
Reason the proclamation reads,
But not one riot passion heeds.
Wealth, honour, power the graces are,
Which here below our homage share:
They, if one votary they find
To mistress more divine inclined,
In truth's pursuit to cause delay
Throw golden apples in his way.
Place me, O Heaven, in some retreat,
There let the serious death-watch beat,
There let me self in silence shun,
To feel thy will, which should be done.
Then comes the Spirit to our hut, When fast the senses' doors are shut;
For so divine and pure a guest
The emptiest rooms are furnished best.
O Contemplation! air serene,
From damps of sense, and fogs of spleen!
Pure mount of thought! thrice holy ground,
when waited for, is found!
Here 'tis the soul feels sudden youth,
And meets exulting, virgin Truth;
Here, like a breeze of gentlest kind,
Impulses rustle through the mind;
Here shines that light with glowing face,
The fuse divine that kindles grace;
Which, if we trim our lamps, will last,
'Till darkness be by dying past,
And then goes out at end of night,
Extinguished by superior light.
Ah me! the heats and colds of life,
Pleasure's and pain's eternal strife,
Breed stormy passions, which confined,
Shake, like th' Æolian cave, the mind,
And raise despair my lamp can last,
Placed where they drive the furious blast.
False eloquence, big empty sound,
Like showers that rush upon the ground,
Little beneath the surface goes,
All streams along and muddy flows.
This sinks, and swells the buried grain,
And fructifies like southern rain.
His art, well hid in mild discourse, Exerts persuasion's winning force,
And nervates 1 so the good design,
That King Agrippa’s case is mine.
Well-natured, happy shade, forgive!
Like you I think, but cannot live.
Thy scheme requires the world's contempt,
That, from dependence life exempt;
And constitution framed so strong,
This world's worst climate cannot wrong.
Not such my lot, not Fortune's brat,
I live by pulling off the hat;
Compelled by station every hour
To bow to images of power;
And in life's busy scenes immers'd
See better things, and do the worst.
Eloquent Want, whose reasons sway,
And make ten thousand truths give way,
scheme with pleasure trace,
Draws near, and stares me in the face.
Consider well your state, she cries,
Like others kneel, that you may rise;
Hold doctrines, by no scruples vexed,
To which preferment is annexed,
Nor madly prove, where all depends,
Idolatry upon your friends.
See, how you like my rueful face,
Such you must wear, if out of place.
Cracked is your brain to turn recluse
Without one farthing out at use.
They who have lands and safe bank-stock,
With faith so founded on a rock,
May give a rich invention ease,
And construe Scripture how they please.