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His team think just as much as he
Of Nature's vast variety

In animal and flower."

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As thus I sung, a solemn sound
Accosts mine ear; I look'd around,

And, lo, an antient Sage,
Hard by an ivied oak, stood near,
That fenc'd the cave, where many a year

Had been his hermitage.


His mantle grey flow'd loose behind,
His snowy beard wav'd to the wind,

And added solemn grace :
His broad bald front give dignity,
Attention mark'd his lively eye,

smil'd in his face.

He beckon'd with his wrinkled hand,
My ear was all at his command;

And thus the Sage began :
« Godlike it is to know, I own,
But, oh, how little can be known

By poor short-sighted man!

« Go mark the Schools, where letter'd Pride, And star-crown'd Science, boastful guide,

Display their fairest light:

There led by some pale meteor's ray,
That leaves them oft, the Sages stray,

And grope in endless night.

« Of Wisdom proud, yon Sage exclaims,
Virtue and Vice are merely names,

And changing every hour;
Ashley, how loud in Virtue's praise !
Yet Ashley with a kiss betrays

And strips her of her dower.

“ Hark, Bolingbroke his God arraigns ; Hobbes smiles on vice, Descartes maintains :

A godless passive cause ;
See, Bayle, oft slily shifting round,
Would fondly fix on sceptic ground,

And wrest th' eternal laws.

And what the joy this lore bestows?
Alas, no joy, no hope it knows
Above what Brutes may

claim : To quench our noblest native fire, That bids to nobler worlds aspire,

Is all its hope, its aim.

" Not Afric's wilds, nor Babel's waste, Where Ignorance her tents hath plac'd,

More dismal scene display:

A scene, where Virtue sickening dies,
Where Vice to dark extinction flies,

And scorns the future day.

“ Wisdom you boast to you is given :
At night then mark the fires of heaven,

And let thy mind explore ;
Swift as the lightning let it fly
From star to star, from sky to sky,

Still, still are millions more.

“ Th' immense ideas strike the soul With pleasing horror, and controul

Thy Wisdom's empty boast. What are they? Thou canst never say : Then silent adoration pay,

And be in wonder lost.

“ Say, how the self-same roots produce The wholesome food, and poisonous juice,

And adders balsams yields :
How fierce the lurking tyger glares,
How mild the heifer with thee shares

The labours of the field?

" Why growling to his den retires The sullen pard, while joy inspires

Yon happy sportive lambs ?

Now scatter'd o'er the hill they stray,
Now weary of their gambling play,

All single out their dams.

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" Instinct directs- -But what is That ?
Fond man, thou never canst say What:

Far short thy searches fall.
By stumbling chance, and slow degrees,
The useful arts of men increase,

But this at once is all.

“ A trunk first floats along the deep, Long ages still improve the ship,

Till she commands the shore : But never bird improv'd her nest, Each all at once of powers possest,

Which ne'er can rise to more.

“ That down the steep the waters flow,
That weight descends we see, and know;

But why, can ne'er explain.
Then humbly weighing Nature's laws,
To God's high will ascribe the cause,

And own thy wisdom vain.

« For still the more thou knowest, the more
Shalt thou the vanity deplore

Of all thy soul can find :

This life a sickly woeful dream,
A burial of the soul will seem,

A palsy of the mind.

“ Tho' Knowledge scorns the peasant's fear, Alas, it points the secret spear

Of many a nameless woe :
Thy delicacy dips the dart
In rankling gall, and gives a smart

Beyond what he can know.

“ How happy then the simple mind
Of yon unknowing labouring hind,

Where all is smiling peace!
No thoughts of more exalted joy
His present bliss one hour destroy,

Nor rob one moment's ease.

“ The stings, neglected Merit feels,

the virtuous soul conceals,
When crush'd by wayward fate;
These are not found below his roof,
Against them all securely proof,

Heaven guards his humble state.

“ Knowledge or wealth to few are given; But, mark how just the ways of heaven!

True joy to all is free:

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