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'Tis harmony from yon sequester'd bower,
Sweet harmony, that soothes the midnight hour !
Long ere the charioteer of day had run
His morning course, the enchantment was begun;
And he shall gild yon mountain's height again,
Ere yet the pleasing toil becomes a pain.
Is this the rugged path, the steep ascent,
That Virtue points to? Can a life thus spent
Lead to the bliss she promises the wise,
Detach the soul from earth, and speed her to the
skies? Ye devotees to your adored employ, Enthusiasts, drunk with an unreal joy, Love makes the music of the bless'd abore, Heaven's harmony is universal love ; And earthly sounds, though sweet and well combined, And lenient as soft opiates to the mind, Leave Vice and Folly unsubdued behind.
Gray dawn appears; the sportsman and his train Speckle the bosom of the distant plain; Tis he, the Nimrod of the neighbouring lairs; Save that his scent is less acute than theirs, For persevering chase, and headlong leaps, True beagle as the staunchest hound he keeps. Charged with the folly of his life's mad scene, He takes offence, and wonders what you mean; The joy the danger and the toil o'erpays'Tis exercise, and health, and length of days. Again impetuous to the field he flies; Leaps every fence but one, there falls and dies ; Like a slain deer, the tumbrel brings him home, Unmiss'd but by his dogs and by his groom,
Ye clergy, while your orbit is your place, Lights of the world, and stars of human race; But if eccentric ye forsake your sphere, Prodigies ominous, and view'd with fear; The comet's baneful influence is a dream; Yours, real and pernicious in the extreme. What then!—are appetites and lusts laid down, With the same ease that man puts on his gow.n?
Will Avarice and Concupiscence give place,
Charm'd by the sounds-Your Reverence, or Your
No. But his own engagement binds him fast;
Or, if it does not, brands him to the last,
What atheists call him-a designing knave,
A mere church juggler, hypocrite, and slave.
Oh, laugh or mourn with me the rueful jest,
A cassock'd huntsman, and a fiddling priest!
He from Italian songsters takes his cue :
Set Paul to music, he shall quote him too.
He takes the field, the master of the pack
Cries-Well done, saint! and claps him on the
back. Is this the path of sanctity? Is this To stand a waymark in the road to bliss ? Himself a wanderer from the narrow way, His silly sheep, what wonder if they stray? Go, cast your orders at your bishop's feet, Send your dishonour'd gown to Monmouth-street! The sacred function in your hands is made Sad sacrilege! no function, but a trade!
Occiduus is a pastor of renown, When he has pray'd and preach'd the sabbath down, With wire and catgut he concludes the day, Quavering and semiquavering care away. The full concerto swells upon your ear; All elbows shake. Look in, and you would swear The Babylonian tyrant with a pod Had summop'd them to serve his golden god. So well that thought the employment seems to suit, Psaltery and sackbut, dulcimer and flute. O fie! 'tis evangelical and pure: Observe each face, how sober and demure! Ecstasy sets her stamp on every mien; Chins fallen, and not an eye-ball to be seen. Still I insist, though music heretofore Has charm'd me much, (not e'en Occiduus more) Love, joy, and peace, make harmony more meet For sabbath evenings, and perhaps as sweet,
Will not the sickliest sheep of every flock
Resort to this example as a rock;
There stand, and justify the foul abuse
Of sabbath-hours with plausible excuse?
If apostolic gravity be free
To play the fool on Sundays, why not we?
If he the tinkling harpsichord regards
As inoffensive, what offence in cards?
Strike up the fiddles, let us all be gay;
Laymes have leave to dance, if parsons play.
Oh Italy !--Thy sabbaths will be soon
Our sabbaths, closed with mummery and buffoon.
Preachiug and pranks wi are the motley scene,
Ours parcell'd out, as thine have ever been,
God's worship and the mountebank between.
What says the prophet? Let that day be bless'd
With holiness and consecrated rest.
Pastime and business both it should exclude,
And bar the door the moment they intrude:
Nobly distinguish'd above all the six
By deeds, in which the world must never mix.
Hear him again. He calls it a delight,
A day of luxury observed aright,
When the glad soul is made Heaven's welcome
Sits banquetting, and God provides the feast.
But triflers are engaged, and cannot come;
Their answer to the call is-Not at home.
O the dear pleasures of the velvet plain,
The painted tablets, dealt and dealt again!
Cards with what rapture, and the polish'd die,
The yawning chasm of indolence supply!
Then to the dance, and make the sober moou
Witness of joys that shun the sight of noon.
Blame, cynic, if you can, quadrille or ball,
The soug close party, or the splendid hall,
Where Night, down-stooping from her ebon throne,
Views constellations brighter than her own.
'Tis innocent, and harmless, and refined,
The balm of care, Elysium of the mind.
Innocent! Oh if venerable Time
Slain at the foot of Pleasure be no crime,
Then, with his silver beard and magic wand,
Let Comus rise archbishop of the land;
Let him your rubric and your feasts prescribe,
Grand metropolitan of all the tribe.
Of manners rough, and coarse athletic cast,
The rank debauch suits Clodio's filthy taste.
Rufillus, exquisitely form'd by rule,
Not of the moral but the dancing school,
Wonders at Clodio's follies, in a tone
As tragical, as others at his owo.
He cannot drink five bottles, bilk the score,
Then kill a constable, and drink five more;
But he can draw a pattern, make a tart,
And has the ladies' etiquette by heart.
Go, fool; and, arm in arm with Clodio, plead
Your cause before a bar you little dread;
But know, the law, that bids the drunkard die,
Is far too just to pass the trifier by.
Both baby-featured, and of infant size,
View'd from a distance, and with heedless eyes,
Folly and Innocence are so alike,
The difference, though essential, fails to strike.
Yet Folly ever has a vacant stare,
A simpering countenance, and a trifling air;
But Innocence, sedate, serene, erect,
Delights us, by engaging our respect.
Man, Nature's guest by invitation sweet,
Receives from her both appetite and treat;
But if he play the glutton and exceed,
His benefactress blushes at the deed;
For Nature, nice, as liberal to dispense,
Made nothing but a brute the slave of sense.
Daniel ate pulse by choice-example rare! [fair.
Heaven bless'd the youth, and made him fresh and
Gorgonius sits, abdominous and wan,
Like a fat squab upon a Chinese fan:
He snuffs far off the anticipated joy ;
Turtle and venison all his thoughts employ;
Prepares for meals as jockeys take a sweat,
Oh, nauseous!-an emetic for a whet!
Will Providence o'erlook the wasted good?
Temperance were no virtue if he could.
That pleasures, therefore, or what such we
Are hurtful, is a truth confess'd by all;
And some, that seem to threaten virtue less,
Still hurtful in the abuse, or by the excess.
Is man then only for his torment placed
The centre of delights be may not taste?
Like fabled Tantalus, condemn’d to hear
The precious stream still purling in his ear,
Lip-deep in what he longs for, and yet cursed
With prohibition, and perpetual thirst?
No, wrangler-destitute of shame and sense,
The precept, that enjoins him abstinence,
Forbids him none but the licentious joy,
Whose fruit, though fair, tempts only to destroy.
Remorse, the fatal egg by Pleasure laid
In every bosom where her nest is made,
Hatch'd by the beams of Truth, denies him rest,
And proves a ragiog scorpion in his breast.
No pleasure? Are domestic comforts dead ?
Are all the nameless sweets of friendship fled ?
Has time worn out, or fashion put to shame
Good sense, good health, good conscience, and good
All these belong to virtue, and all prove,
That virtue has a title to your love.
Have you no touch of pity, that the poor
Stand starved at your iphospitable door?
Or if yourself too scantily supplied
Need help, let honest industry provide.
Earn, if you want; if you abound, impart:
These both are pleasures to the feeling heart.
No pleasure? Has some sickly eastern waste
Sent us a wind to parch us at a blast?
Can British Paradise no scenes afford
To please lier sated and indifferent lord?