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And fade not. There is paradise that fears
No forfeiture, and of its fruits He sends
Large prelibation oft to saints below.
Of these the first in order, and the pledge
And confident assurance of the rest,
Is liberty; a flight into His arms,
Ere yet mortality's fine threads give way,
A clear escape from tyrannizing lust,
And full immunity from penal woe.

Chains are the portion of revolted man,
Stripes, and a dungeon; and his body serves
The triple purpose. In that sickly, foul,
Opprobrious residence, he finds them all.
Propense his heart to idols, he is held
In silly dotage on created things,
Careless of their Creator. And that low
And sordid gravitation of his powers
To a vile clod, so draws him, with such force
Resistless, from the centre he should seek,
That he at last forgets it. All his hopes
Tend downward; his ambition is to sink,
To reach a depth profounder still, and still
Profounder, in the fathomless abyss
Of folly; plunging in pursuit of death.
But ere he gain the comfortless repose
He seeks, and acquiescence of his soul
In Heaven-renouncing exile, he endures -
What does he not, from lusts opposed in vain,
And self-reproaching conscience? He foresees



600 606


The fatal issue to his health, fame, peace,
Fortune, and dignity; the loss of all
That can ennoble man, and make frail life,
Short as it is, supportable. Still worse,
Far worse than all the plagues with which his sins
Infect his happiest moments, he forebodes
Ages of hopeless misery: future death,
And death still future. Not a hasty stroke,
Like that which sends him to the dusty grave,
But unrepealable enduring death.
Scripture is still a trumpet to his fears:
What none can prove a forgery, may be true;
What none but bad men wish exploded, must.
That scruple checks him. Riot is not loud
Nor drunk enough to drown it. In the midst
Of laughter his compunctions are sincere,
And he abhors the jest by which he shines.
Remorse begets reform. His master-lust
Falls first before his resolute rebuke,
And seems dethroned and vanquished. Peace ensues,
But spurious and short lived, the puny child
Of self-congratulating Pride, begot
On fancied Innocence. Again he falls,
And fights again; but finds, his best essay
A presage ominous, portending still
Its own dishonor by a worse relapse,
Till Nature, unavailing Nature, foiled
So oft, and wearied in the vain attempt,
Scoffs at her own performance. Reason now






Takes part with Appetite, and pleads the cause
Perversely, which of late she so condemned;
With shallow shifts and old devices, worn
And tattered in the service of debauch,
Covering his shame from his offended sight.

“Hath God indeed given appetites to man,
And stored the earth so plenteously with means
To gratify the hunger of his wish,
And doth He reprobate, and will He damn
The use of His own bounty? making first
So frail a kind, and then enacting laws

So strict, that less than perfect must despair ?
Falsehood! which whoso but suspects of truth,
Dishonors God, and makes a slave of man.
Do they themselves, who undertake for hire
The teacher's office, and dispense at large
Their weekly dole of edifying strains,
Attend to their own music? Have they faith
In what, with such solemnity of tone
And gesture, they propound to our belief ?
Nay, - Conduct hath the loudest tongue. The voice
Is but an instrument, on which the priest
May play what tune he pleases. In the deed,
The unequivocal, authentic deed,
We find sound argument, we read the heart.”

Such reasonings (if that name must needs belong To excuses in which reason has no part)

656 Serve to compose a spirit well inclined To live on terms of amity with vice,


651 660



And sin without disturbance. Often urged,

. (As often as, libidinous discourse Exhausted, he resorts to solemn themes Of theological and grave import,) They gain at last his unreserved assent; Till, hardened his heart's temper in the forge Of lust, and on the anvil of despair, He slights the strokes of conscience. Nothing moves, Or nothing much, his constancy in ill; Vain tampering has but fostered his disease; 'Tis desperate, and he sleeps the sleep of death. Haste, now, philosopher, and set him free. Charm the deaf serpent wisely. Make him hear Of rectitude and fitness, moral truth How lovely, and the moral sense how sure, Consulted and obeyed, to guide his steps Directly to the first and only fair.

675 Spare not in such a cause. Spend all the powers Of rant and rhapsody in virtue's praise; Be most sublimely good, verbosely grand, And with poetic trappings grace thy prose, Till it out-mantle all the pride of verse. Ah, tinkling cymbal, and high sounding brass, Smitten in vain ! such music cannot charm The eclipse, that intercepts truth's heavenly beam And chills and darkens a wide wandering soul. The still small voice is wanted. He must speak, 685 Whose word leaps forth at once to its effect, Who calls for things that are not, and they come.



Grace makes the slave a freeman. 'Tis a change That turns to ridicule the turgid speech And stately tone of moralists, who boast,

690 As if, like him of fabulous renown, They had indeed ability to smooth The shag of savage nature, and were each An Orpheus, and omnipotent in song. But tranformation of apostate man

695 From fool to wise, from earthly to divine, Is work for Him that made him. He alone, And He by means in philosophic eyes Trivial and worthy of disdain, achieves The wonder; humanizing what is brute In the lost kind, extracting from the lips Of asps their venom, overpowering strength By weakness, and hostility by love.

Patriots have toiled, and in their country's cause Bled nobly; and their deeds, as they deserve, 705 Receive proud recompense. We give in charge Their names to the sweet lyre. The historic Muse, o Proud of the treasure, marches with it down To latest times; and Sculpture, in her turn, Gives bond in stone and ever-during brass To guard them, and to immortalize her trust. But fairer wreaths are due, though never paid, To those who, posted at the shrine of Truth, Have fallen in her defence. A patriot's blood, Well spent in such a strife, may earn indeed, And, for a time, ensure to his loved land,

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