Page images
PDF
EPUB

Oppresses else with surfeit, and soon turns
Wisdom to folly, as nourishment to wind.

What will not ambition and revenge
Descend to! Who aspires, must down as low
As high he soar'd, obnoxious first or last
To basest things. Revenge, at first though sweet,
Bitter ere long, back on itself recoils.
Nor love thy life, nor hate; but what thou liv'st,
Live well; how long or short permit to Heav'n.
Reason in man, obscur'd or not obey'd,
Immediately inordinate desires
And upstart passions catch the government
From reason, and to servitude reduce
Man 'till then free.

,

O goodness infinite, goodness immense !
That all this good of evil shall produce,
And evil turn to good; more wonderful
Than that which by creation first brought forth
Light out.of darkness !

[ocr errors]

PARADISE REGAINED,

This is true glory and renown, when God
Looking on th' earth, with approbation marks
The just man, and divulges him through heav'ni
To all his angels, who with true applause
Recount his praises.

So much bounty is in GOD, such grace,
That who advance His glory, not their own,
Them He Himself to glory will advance.

Who best
Can suffer, best can do; best reign, who first
Well hath obey'd

J

26. I can

COMUS. O welcome, pure-eyed Faith, white-handed Hope, Thou hov'ring angel girt with golden wings, And thou unblemished form of Chastity; I see ye visibly, and now believe That He, the Supreme Good, t' whom all things ill Are but a's slavish officers of vengeance, Would send a glist'ring guardian, if need were, To keep my life and honour unassail'd.

Against the threats Of malice or of sorcery, or that pow'r Which erring men call chance; this I hold firm : Virtue may be assail'd, but never hurt; Surpris'd by unjust force, but not inthrall'd; Yea, even that which mischief meant most harm, Shall in the happy trial prove most glory. Mortals that would follow me, Love Virtue, she alone is free; She can teach you how to climb Higher than the sphery chime; Or, if Virtue feeble were, Heaven itself would stoop to her.

Little knows
Any, but God alone, to value right
The good before him, but perverts best things
To worst abuse, or to their meanest use.

FROM POPE.
Know then thyself, présumé not God to scan;
The proper study of mankind is man.

All reason's pleasures, all the joys of sense,
Lie in these words : health, peace, and competence,
But health consists with temperance alone,
And peace, fair Virtue ! peace is all thy own;

The gifts of fortune good or bad may gain,
But these less taste them, as they worse obtain,

What nothing earthly gives or can destroy,
The soul's calm sun-shine, and the heart-felt joy,
Is Virtue's prize.

Self-love but serves the virtuous mind to wake,
As the small pebble stirs the peaceful lake;
The centre mov'd, a circle strait succeeds,
Another still, and still another spreads;
Friend, parent, neighbour, first it will embrace,
His country next, and next all human race;

Absent or dead, still let a friend be dear,
A sigh the absent claims, the dead a tear.

Me, let the tender office long engage,
To rock the cradle of reposing age,
With lenient arts extend a Mother's breath,
Make languor smile, and smoothe the bed of death;
Explore the thought, explain the asking eye,
And keep a while one parent from the sky!

Like leaves of trees the race of man is found,
Now green in youth, now withering on the ground;
Another race the following Spring supplies,
They fall successive, and successive rise ;
So generations in their course decay,
So Hourish these, when those are past away.

Be thou the first true merit to befriend;
His praise is lost, who stays till all commend.

Good-nature and good sense should ever join;
To err is human,-to forgive, divine.

Unblemished let me live, or die unknown ;
O grant an honest fame, or grant me none !

[ocr errors]

Of all the causes which conspire to blind
Man's erring judgment, and misguide the mind,
What the weak head with strongest bias rules,
Is Pride, the never-failing vice of fools.

Trust not yourself; but your defects to know,
Make use of every friend--of every foe.

Avoid extremes ; and shun the fault of such,
Who still are pleased too little or too much.
At every trifle scorn to take offence,
That always shews great pride or little sense.
As things seem large which we through mists descry,
Dulness is ever apt to magnify.

Some valuing those of their own side or mind,
Still make themselves the measure of mankind :
Fondly we think we honour merit then,
When we but praise ourselves in other men.

Be silent always when you doubt your sense;
And speak, though sure, with seeming diffidence :
Some positive persisting fops we know,
That, if once wrong, will needs be always so;
But you, with pleasure own your errors past,
And make each day a critic on the last.

'Tis not enough your counsel still be true;
Blunt truths more mischief than nice falsehoods do
Men must be taught as if you taught them not,
And things unknown proposed as things forgot.
Without good breeding truth is disapprov'd,
That only makes superior sense belov'd.

Immodest words admit of no defence,
For want of decency is want of sense.

GAY.

TO MY NATIVE COUNTRY. Hail, happy land, whose fertile grounds The liquid fence of Neptune bounds; By bounteous nature set apart, The seat of industry and art. Whenever neighb'ring states contend, 'Tis thine to be the gen’ral friend.

Who's born for sloth ? To some we find
The ploughshare's annual toil assigned ;
Some at the sounding anvil glow;
Some the swift-sliding shuttle throw;
Some, studious of the wind and tide,
From pole to pole our commerce guide ;
While some of genius more refined,
With head and tongue assist mankind :

In ev'ry rank, or great or small, < 'Tis industry supports us all.

Begin, my friend, in early youth
To suffer, nay, encourage truth;
The tree's distinguish'd by the fruit;
Be virtue then your first pursuit:
Set your great ancestors in view,
Like them deserve a title too ;
Like them ignoble actions scorn :
Let virtue prove you greatly born...
By birth the name alone descends;
Your honour on yourself depends.
If you degenerate from your

race, Their merits heighten your disgrace.

Time, when truly understood,
Is the most precious earthly good.

« PreviousContinue »