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To charm to sleep the threat'ning of the skies,
And hide past foily from all-seeing eyes?
The fast that wins deliv'rance, and suspends
The stroke that a vindictive God intends,
Is to renounce hypocrisy; to draw
Thy life upon the pattern of the law;
To war with pleasure, idoliz'd before;
To vanquish lust, and wear its yoke no more.
All fasting else, whate'er be the pretence,
Is wooing mercy by renew'd offence.

Hast thou within thee sin, that in old time
Brought fire from heav'n, the sex-abusing crime,
Whose horrid perpetration stamps disgrace
Baboons are free from upon human race?
Think on the fruitful and well water'd spot
That fed the flocks and herds of wealthy Lot,
Where Paradise seem'd still vouchsaf'd on earth,
Burning and scorch'd into perpetual dearth,
Or, in his words who damn'd the base desire,
Suff'ring the vengeance of eternal fire:

Then nature, injur'd, scandaliz'd, defil'd,
Unveil'd her blushing cheek, look'd on, and smil'd;
Beheld with joy the lovely scene defac'd,

And prais'd the wrath that laid her beauties waste.

Far be the thought from any verse of mine,
And farther still the form'd and fix'd design,
To thrust the charge of deeds that I detest
Against an innocent unconscious breast:
The man that dares traduce, because he can
With safety to himself, is not a man:
An individual is a sacred mark,

Not to be pierc'd in play, or in the dark;
But public censure speaks a public foe,
Unless a zeal for virtue guides the blow.

The priestly brotherhood, devout, sincere,
From mean self-int'rest and ambition clear,
Their hope in Heav'n, servility their scorn,
Prompt to persuade, expostulate, and warn,
Their wisdom pure, and giv'n them from above,
Their usefulness ensur'd by zeal and love,
As meek as the man Moses, and withal
As bold as in Agrippa's presence Paul,
Should fly the world's contaminating touch,
Holy and unpolluted:-are thine such?
Except a few with Eli's spirit blest,
Hophni and Phineas may describe the rest.

Where shall a teacher look, in days like these, For ears and hearts that he can hope to please?

Look to the poor-the simple and the plain
Will hear, perhaps, thy salutary strain:
Humility is gentle, apt to learn,

Speak but the word, will listen and return.
Alas, not so! the poorest of the flock
Are proud, and set their faces as a rock;
Denied that earthly opulence they choose,
God's better gift they scoff at, and refuse.
The rich, the produce of a nobler stem,
Are more intelligent, at least-try them.
Oh, vain inquiry! they, without remorse,
Are altogether gone a devious course;

Where beck'ning pleasure leads them, wildly stray;
Have burst the bands, and cast the yoke away.
How shall a verse impress thee? by what name
Shall I adjure thee not to court thy shame?
By their's whose bright example, unimpeach'd,
Directs thee to that eminence they reach'd-
Heroes and worthies of days past, thy sires?
Or his, who touch'd their hearts with hallow'd fires?
Their names, alas! in vain reproach an age,
Whom all the vanities they Scorn'd engage;
And his, that seraphs tremble at, is hung
Disgracefully on ev'ry trifler's tongue,

Or serves the champion in forensic war
To flourish and parade with at the bar.

A world is up in arms, and thou, a spot
Not quickly found if negligently sought,
Thy soul as ample as thy bounds are small,
Endur'st the brunt, and dar'st defy them ail:
And wilt thou join to this bold enterprize
A bolder still, a contest with the skies?
Remember, if he guard thee and secure,
Whoc'er assails thee, thy success is sure;
But, if he leave thee, though the skill and pow'r
Of nations, sworn to spoil thee and devour,
Were all collected in thy single arm,

And thou couldst laugh away the fear of harm, That strength would fail, oppos'd against the push And feeble onset af a pigmy rush.

Say not (and, if the thought of such defence Should spring within thy bosom, drive it thence) What nation amongst all my foes is free From crimes as base as any charg'd on me;

Their measure fill'd, they too shall pay the debt Which God, though long forborn, will not forget. But know that wrath divine, when most severe, Makes justice still the guide of his career,

And will not punish, in one mingled crowd,
Them without light, and thee without a cloud.
Muse, hang this harp upon yon aged beech,
Still murm'ring with the solemn truths I teach;
And, while, at intervals, a cold blast sings
Through the dry leaves, and pants upon the strings,
My soul shall sigh in secret, and lament
A nation scourg'd, yet tardy to repent.
I know the warning song is sung in vain;
That few will hear, and fewer heed the strain;
But, if a sweeter voice, and one design'd

A blessing to my country and mankind,
Reclaim the wand'ring thousands, and bring home
A flock, so scatter'd and so wont to roam,
Then place it once again between my knees;
The sound of truth will then be sure to please:
And truth alone, where'er my life be cast,

In scenes of plenty or the pining waste,
Shall be


chosen theme, my glory to the last.

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