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And catechise it well; apply your glass,
Search it, and prove now if it be not blood
Congenial with thine own : and if it be,
What edge of subtlety canst thou suppose
Keen enough, wise and skilful as thou art,
To cut the link of brotherhood, by which
One common Maker bound me to the kind.
True ; I am no proficient, I confess,
In arts like yours. I cannot call the swift
And perilous lightnings from the angry clouds,
And bid them hide themselves in earth beneath;
I cannot analyse the air, nor catch
The parallax of yonder luminous point
That seems half quench'd in the immense abyfs ;
Such pow'rs I boast not-neither can I rest
A filent witness of the headlong rage
Or heedless folly by which thousands die,
Bone of my bone, and kindred fouls to mine.
God never meant that man should scale the
By strides of human wisdom. In his works,
Though wond'rous, he commands us in his word
To seek bim rather, where his mercy shines.
The mind indeed, enlighten’d from above,
Views him in all : ascribes to the grand cause
The grand effect : acknowledges with joy
His manner, and with rapture tastes his style.
But never yet did philofophic tube,
That brings the planets home into the eye
Of observation, and discovers, else
Not visible, his family of worlds,
Discover him that rules them ; such a veil
Hangs over mortal eyes, blind from the birth,
And dark in things divine. Full often too
Our wayward intellect, the more we learn
Of nature, overlooks her author more,
From instrumental causes proud to draw
Conclusions retrograde, and mad mistake.
But if his word once teach us, shoot a ray
Through all the heart's dark chambers, and reveal
Truths undiscern'd, but by that holy light,
Then all is plain. Philofophy baptiz’d
In the pure fountain of eternal love
Has eyes indeed ; and viewing all the fees,
As meant to indicate a God to man,
Gives him his praise, and forfeits not her own.
Learning has borne such fruit in other days
On all her branches : piety has found
Friends in the friends of science, and true pray'r
Has flow'd from lips wet with Castalian dews.
Such was thy wisdom, Newton, childlike sage!
Sagacious reader of the works of God,
And in his word sagacious. Such too thine,
Milton, whose genius had angelic wings,
And fed on manna. And such thine, in whom
Our British Themis gloried with just cause,
Immortal Hale! for deep discernment prais'd,
And found integrity not more, than fam'd
For sanctity of manners undefild.
All flesh is grass, and all its glory fades
Like the fair flow'r dishevell’d in the wind;
Riches have wings, and grandeur is a dream;
The man we celebrate must find a tomb,
And we that worship him, ignoble graves.
Nothing is proof against the gen'ral curse
Of vanity, that seizes all below.
The only amaranthine flower on earth
Is virtue ; th' only lasting treasure, truth.
But what is truth? 'twas Pilate's question put
To Truth himself, that deign'd him no reply.
And wherefore ? will not God impart his light
To them that ask it ?-Freely—'tis his joy,
His glory, and his nature to impart.
But to the proud, uncandid, insincere,
Or negligent enquirer, not a spark.
What's that which brings contempt upon a book,
And him who writes it, though the style be neat,
The method clear, and argument exact ?
That makes a minister in holy things
The joy of many, and the dread of more,
His name a theme for praise and for reproach ?--
That while it gives us worth in God's account,
Depreciates and undoes us in our own?
What pearl is it that rich men cannot buy,
That learning is too proud to gather up,
But which the poor, and the despis'd of all,
Seek and obtain, and often find unfought ?
Tell me, and I will tell thee, what is truth.
O friendly to the best pursuits of man,
Friendly to thought, to virtue, and to peace,
Domestic life in rural leisure pafs'd !
Few know thy value, and few taste thy sweets,
Though many boast thy favours, and affect
To understand and chuse thee for their own.
But foolish man foregoes his
Ev'n as his first progenitor, and quits,
Though placed in paradise (for earth has still
Some traces of her youthful beauty left)
Substantial happiness for transient joy.
Scenes form’d for contemplation, and to nurse
The growing seeds of wisdom; that suggest,
By ev'ry pleasing image they present,
Reflections fuch as meliorate the heart,
Compose the passions, and exalt the mind
Scenes fuch as these, 'tis his fupreme delight
To fill with riot, and defile with blood.
Should fòme contagion, kind to the poor brutes
We perfecute, annihilate the tribes
That draw the sportsman over hill and dale
Fearless, and rapt away from all his cares ;
Should never game-fowl hatch her eggs again,
Norbaited hook deceive the fishes eye;
Could pageantry and dance, and feaft and song,
Be quell'd in all our summer-months retreat ; How many self-deluded nymphs and swains, Who dream they have a taste for fields and
groves, Would find them hideous nurs'ries of the spleen, And crowd the roads, impatient for the town ; They love the country, and none eise, who seek For their own sake its filence and its shade. Delights which who would leave, that has a heart Susceptible of pity, or a mind Cultur'd and capable of fober thought, For all the favage din of the swift pack, And clamours of the field ? detested sporty; That owes its pleasures to another's pain, That feeds upon the fobs and dying shrieks Of harmless nature, dumb, but yet endu'd With eloquence that agonies inspire Of filent tears and heart distending fighs! Vain tears, alas! and fighs that never find A corresponding tone in jovial souls. Well—one at least is safe. One shelter'd hare: Has never heard the fanguinary yell Of cruel man, exulting in her woes. Innocent partner of my peaceful home, Whom ten long years experience of my cáre : Has made at lart familiar ; fhe has lost Much of her vigilant instinctive dread, Not needful here, beneath a roof like mine. ES