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This truth Philosophy, though eagle-eyed
In nature's tendencies, oft overlooks;
And, having found his instrument, forgets,
Or disregards, or, more presumptuous still,
Denies the power that wields it. God proclaims
His hot displeasure against foolish men,
That live an atheist life : involves the Heavens
In tempests; quits his grasp upon the winds,
And gives them all their fury; bids a plague
Kindle a fiery boil upon the skin,
And putrify the breath of blooming Health.
He calls for famine, and the meagre
Blows mildew from between bis shrivel'd lips,
And taints the golden ear. He springs his mines
And desolates a nation at a blast.
Forth steps the spruce philosopher, and tells
Of homogenial and discordant springs
And principles; of causes how they work
By necessary laws their sure effects ;
Of action and reaction: he has found
The source of the disease that nature feels,
And bids the world take heart and banish fear.
Thou fool! will thy discovery of the cause
Suspend the effect, or heal it? Has not God
Still wrought by means since first he made the
And did he not of old employ his means (world?
To drown it? What is his creation less
Than a capacious reservoir of means
Form'd for his use, and ready at his will ?
Go, dress thine eyes with eye-salve; ask of him,
Or ask of whomsoever he has taught;
And learn, though late, the genuine cause of all.
England, with all thy faults, I love thee still-My country! and, while yet a nook is left
Where English minds and manners may be found,
Shall be constrain’d to love thee. Though thy
Be fickle, and thy year most part deform'd
With dripping rains, or wither'd by a frost,
I would not yet exchange thy sullen skies,
And fields without a flower, for warmer France
With all her vines; nor for Ausonia's groves
Of golden fruitage, and her myrtle bowers.
To shake thy senate, and from heights sublime
Of patriot eloquence to flash down fire
Upon thy foes, was never meant my task:
But I can feel thy fortunes, and partake
Thy joys and sorrows, with as true a heart
any thunderer there. And I can feel
Thy follies too; and with a just disdain
Frown at effeminates, whose very looks
Reflect dishonour on the land I love.
How, in the name of soldiership and sense,
Should England prosper, when such things, as
And tender as a girl, all essenced o'er (smooth
With odours, and as profligate as sweet;
Who sell their laurel for a myrtle wreath,
And love when they should fight; when such as
Presume to lay their hand upon the ark [these
Of her magnificent and awful cause?
Time was when it was praise and boast enough
In every clime, and travel where we might,
That we were born her children. Praise enough
To fill the ambition of a private man,
That Chatham's language was his mother tongue,
And Wolfe's great name compatriot with his own.
Farewell those honours, and farewell with them
The hope of such hereafter! They have fallen
Each in his field of glory; one in arms,
And one in council.-Wolfe upon the lap
Of smiling Victory that moment won,
And Chatham heartsick of his country's shame!
They made us many soldiers. Chatham, still
Consulting England's happiness at home,
Secured it by an unforgiving frown,
If any wrong'd her. Wolfe, where'er he fought,
Put so much of his heart into his act
That his example had a magnet's force,
And all were swift to follow whom all loved.
Those suns are set. 0, rise some other such !
Or all that we have left is empty talk
Of old achievements, and despair of new.
Now hoist the sail, and let the streamers float
Upon the wanton breezes. Strew the deck
With lavender, and sprinkle liquid sweets,
That no rude savour maritime invade
The nose of nice nobility! Breathe soft,
Ye clarionets; and softer still, ye flutes;
That winds and waters, lull’d by magic sounds,
May bear us smoothly to the Gallic shore !
True, we have lost an empire-let it pass.
True, we may thank the perfidy of France,
That pick'd the jewel out of England's crown,
With all the cunning of an envious shrew.
And let that pass—'twas but a trick of state -
A brave man knows no malice, but at once
Forgets in peace the injuries of war,
And gives his direst foe a friend's embrace.
And, shamed as we have been, to the very
beard Braved and defied, and in our own sea proved Too weak for those decisive blows that once Ensured us mastery there, we yet retain
Some small preeminence; we justly boast
At least superior jockeyship, and claim
The honours of the turf as all our own!
Go then, well worthy of the praise ye seek,
And show the shame, ye might conceal at home,
In foreign eyes! be grooms, and win the plate
Where once your
nobler fathers won a crown! 'Tis generous to communicate your skill To those that need it. Folly is soon learn’d: And under such preceptors who can fail?
There is a pleasure in poetic pains, Which only poets know. The shifts and turns, The expedients and inventions multiform, To which the mind resorts, in chase of terms Though apt, yet coy, and difficult to win To' arrest the fleeting images, that fill The mirror of the mind, and hold them fast, And force them sit, till he has pencil'd off A faithful likeness of the forms he views; Then to dispose his copies with such art That each may find its most propitious light, And shine by situation, hardly less Than by the labour and the skill it cost; Are occupations of the poet's mind So pleasing, and that steal away the thought With such address from themes of sad import, That, lost in his own musings, happy man! He feels the’ anxieties of life, denied Their wonted entertainment, all retire. Such joys has he that sings. But, ah! not such, Or seldom such the hearers of his song. Fastidious, or else listless, or perhaps Aware of nothing arduous in a task They never undertook, they little note
His dangers or escapes, and haply find
Their least amusement where he found the most.
But is amusement all? studious of song,
And yet ambitious not to sing in vain,
I would not trifle merely, though the world
Be loudest in their praise, who do no more.
Yet what can satire, whether grave or gay?
It may correct a foible, may chastise
The freaks of fashion, regulate the dress,
Retrench a swordblade, or displace a patch;
But where are its sublimer trophies found?
What vice has it subdued? whose heart reclaim'd
By rigour, or whom laugh'd into reform?
Alas! Leviathan is not so tamed:
Laugh’d at, he laughs again; and, stricken hard,
Turns to the stroke his adamantine scales,
That fear no discipline of human hands.
The pulpit, therefore (and I name it fill’d
With solemn awe, that bids me well beware
With what intent I touch that holy thing)—
The pulpit (when the satirist has at last,
Strutting and vapouring in an empty school,
Spent all his force, and made no proselyte)
say the pulpit (in the sober use Of its legitimate, peculiar powers) [stand, Must stand acknowledged, while the world shall The most important and effectual guard, Support, and ornament of Virtue's cause. There stands the messenger of truth: there stands The legate of the skies !-His theme divine, His office sacred, his credentials clear. By him the violated law speaks out Its thunders; and by him, in strains as sweet As angels use, the Gospel wbispers peace.