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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 gown?
Will Av'rice and Concupiscence give place,
Charm'd by the sounds---Your Rev'rence, 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 jes“,
A cassock'd huntsman, and a fiddling priest !
He from Italian songsters takes his cue:
Set Paul to music, he shall quote him tor.
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 wand'rer 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, Quav'ring and semiquav’ring care away. The full concerto swells upon your ear; All elbows sbake. Look in, and
would swear The Babylonian tyrant with a nod Had summon’d them to serve his golden god. So well that thought th’ employment seems to suit, Psalt'ry and sackbut, dulcimer and flute. Oh, fie! 'tis evangelical and pure: Observe each face, how sober and demure !
Ecstacy sets her stamp on ev'ry mien;
Chins fall’n, 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 ev’nings, and perhaps as sweet.
Will not the sickliest sheep of ev'ry 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?
the fiddles, let us all be gay, Laymen have leave to dance, if parsons play.
Oh, Italy !-thy Sabbaths will be soon Our Sabbaths, clos'd with mumm’ry and buffoon. Preaching and pranks will share the motley scene, Our's parcell'd out, as thine have ever been, God's worship and the mountebank between. What says the prophet? Let that day be blest 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 observ'd aright, When the glad soul is made Heav'n's welcome guest, Sits banquetting, and God provides the feast. But triflers are engag'd and cannot come; Their answer to the call is-Not at home.
0, 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 moon
Witness of joys that shun the sight of noon.
Blame, Cynic, if you can, quadrille or ball,
The snug 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 refin'd,
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 own.
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 trifler by.
Both baby-featur’d, and of infant size,
View'd from a distance, and with heedless eyes,
Folly and Innocence are so alike,
The diff'rence, though essential, fails to strike.
Yet Folly ever has a vacant stare,
A simp’ring count'nance, 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 lib’ral to dispense,
Made nothing but a brute the slave of sense.
Daniel ate pulse by choice-example rare !
Heav'n bless’d the youth, and made him fresh and fair.
Gorgonius sits, abdominous and wan,
Like a fat squab upon a Chinese fan:
He snuffs far off th' anticipated joy;
Turtle and ven’son 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 call,
Are hurtful, is a truth confess'd by all.
some, that seem to threaten virtue less, Still hurtful in th' abuse, or by th' excess.
Is man, then, only for his torment plac'd The centre of delights he may not taste ? Like fabl’d Tantalus, condemn’d to hear The precious stream still purling in his ear, Lip-deep in what he longs for, and yet curst With prohibition and perpetual thirst? No, wrangler--destitute of shame and sense, The precept that enjoins him abstinence, Forbids hím none but the licentious joy, Whose fruit, though fair, tempts only to destroy. Remorse, the fatal egg by pleasure laid In ev'ry bosom where her nest is made, Hatch'd by the beams of Truth, denies him rest, And proves a raging scorpion in his breast. No pleasure ? Åre 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 [fame? That virtue has a title to your love.