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Thus scruple, spasm of the mind,
Is cured, and certainty I find;
Since optic reason shows me plain,
I dreaded spectres of the brain;
And legendary fears are gone,
Though in tenacious childhood sown.
Thus in opinions I commence
Freeholder in the proper sense,
And neither suit nor service do,
Nor homage to pretenders show,
Who boast themselves by spurious roll
Lords of the manor of the soul;
Preferring sense, from chin that's bare,
To nonsense throned in whiskered hair.
To thee, Creator uncreate, O Entium Ens! divinely great! Hold, Muse, nor melting pinions try, Nor near the blazing glory fly, Nor straining break thy feeble bow, Unfeathered arrows far to throw; Through fields unknown nor madly stray, Where no ideas mark the way. With tender eyes, and colours faint, And trembling hands forbear to paint. Who, features veiled by light, can hit ? Where can, what has no outline, sit? My soul, the vain attempt forego, Thyself, the fitter subject, know. He wisely shuns the bold extreme, Who soon lays by th' unequal theme, Nor runs, with wisdom's Sirens caught, On quicksands swallowing shipwrecked thought; But, conscious of his distance, gives
Mute praise, and humble negatives.
In one, no object of our sight,
Immutable, and infinite,
Who can't be cruel, or unjust,
Calm and resigned, I fix my trust;
To him my past and present state
I owe, and must my future fate.
A stranger into life I’m come,
Dying may be our going home,
Transported here by angry Fate,
The convicts of a prior state.
Hence I no anxious thoughts bestow
On matters I can never know;
Through life's foul way, like vagrant,
He'll grant a settlement at last;
And with sweet ease the wearied crown,
By leave to lay his being down.
If doomed to dance the eternal round
Of life no sooner lost but found,
And dissolution soon to come,
Like sponge, wipes out life's present sum,
But can't our state of
An endless series to receive;
Then, if hard dealt with here by fate,
We balance in another state,
And consciousness must go along,
And sign th' acquittance for the wrong.
He for his creatures must decree
More happiness than misery,
Or be supposed to create,
Curious to try, what 'tis to hate:
And do an act, which rage infers,
'Cause lameness halts, or blindness errs.
Thus, thus I steer my bark, and sail
On even keel with gentle gale;
At helm I make my reason sit,
My crew of passions all submit.
If dark and blustering prove some nights,
Philosophy puts forth her lights;
Experience holds the cautious glass,
To shun the breakers, as I
And frequent throws the wary lead,
To see what dangers may be hid:
And once in seven years I'm seen
At Bath or Tunbridge, to careen.
Though pleased to see the dolphins play,
I mind my compass and my way.
With store sufficient for relief,
And wisely still prepared to reef,
Nor wanting the dispersive bowl
Of cloudy weather in the soul,
I make (may heaven propitious send
Such wind and weather to the end)
Neither becalmed, nor over-blown,
Life's voyage to the world unknown.
ON THE REVEREND MR LAURENCE ECHARD'S, AND
BISHOP GILBERT BURNET'S HISTORIES.
Gil's history appears to me
A case of skeletons well done,
And malefactors every one.
His sharp and strong incision pen
Historically cuts up men,
And does with lucid skill impart
Their inward ails of head and heart.
Laurence proceeds another way,
And well-dressed figures doth display:
His characters are all in flesh,
Their hands are fair, their faces fresh;
And from his sweetening art derive
A better scent than when alive.
He wax-work made to please the sons,
Whose fathers were Gil's skeletons.
1 I LATELY saw, what now I sing,
Fair Lucia's hand displayed;
This finger graced a diamond ring,
On that a sparrow played.
2 The feathered play-thing she caressed,
She stroked its head and wings;
And while it nestled on her breast,
She lisped the dearest things.
3 With chisel'd bill a spark ill-set
He loosened from the rest,
And swallowed down to grind his meat.
The easier to digest.
4 She seized his bill with wild affright,
Her diamond to descry: 'Twas gone! she sickened at the sight,
Moaning her bird would die.
5 The tongue-tied knocker none might use,
The curtains none undraw,
The footmen went without their shoes,
The street was laid with straw.
6 The doctor used his oily art
Of strong emetic kind,
Th' apothecary played his part,
And engineered behind.
7 When physic ceased to spend its store,
To bring away the stone,
Dicky, like people given o’er,
Picks up, when let alone.
8 His eyes dispelled their sickly dews,
He pecked behind his wing;
Lucia recovering at the news,
Relapses for the ring.
9 Meanwhile within her beauteous breast
Two different passions strovo;
When avarice ended the contést,
And triumphed over love.
10 Poor little, pretty, fluttering thing.
Thy pains the sex display,
Who only to repair a ring,
Could take thy life away.
11 Drive avarice from your breasts, ye fair,
Monster of foulest mien:
Ye would not let it harbour there,
Could but its form be seen.