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Or dealt by chance to shield a lucky knave, Or throw a cruel sun-shine on a Iixii.
But for one end, one much-negleeied use,
Are riches worth your care; (for Nature's wants Are few, and without opulence supplied;) This noble end is, to produce the soul;To show the virtues in their fairest light;To make humanity the minister Of bounteous Providence; and teach the breast That generous luxury the gods enjoy." Thus, in his graver vein, the friendly sage
Sometimes declaim'd. Of right and wrong he taught
Truths as refin'd as ever Athens heard;And (strange to tell!) he practis'd what he preach'd.
Skill'd in the passions, how to check their sway,
He knew, as far as reason can control
The lawless powers. But other cares arc mine:Form'd in the school of l'mon, I relate
What passions hurt the body, what improve:Avoid them, or invite them as you may. Know then, whatever cheerful and serene
Supports the mind, supports the body too.
Hence, the most vital movement mortals feel
Is hope: the balm and life-blood of the soul.
It pleases, and it lasts. Indulgent Heaven
Sent down the kind delusion, through the paths
Of rugged life to lead us patient on;And make our happiest state no tedious thing.
Our greatest good, and what we least An spare,
Is hope: the last of all our evils, fear.
But there are passions grateful to the breast,
And yet no friends to life: perhaps they please
Or to excess, and dissipate the soul;Or while they please, torment, The stubborn clown,
The ill-tam'd ruffian, and pale usurer,
(If Love's omnipotence such hearts can mould,)
May safely mellow into love; and grow
Refln'd, humane, and generous, if they can.
Love in such bosoms never to a fault
Or pains or pleases. But ye finer souls,
Form'd to soft luxury, and prompt to thrill
With all the tumults, all the joys and pains,
That beauty gives; with caution and reserve
Indulge the sweet destroyer of repose,
Nor court too much the queen of charming cares.
For, while the cherish'd poison in your breast
Ferments and maddens; sick with jealousy,
Absence, distrust, or even with anxious joy.
The wholesome appetites and powers of life
Dissolve in languor. The coy stomach lothes
The genial board: your cheerful days are gone;
The generous bloom that flush'd you- cheeks is fled.
To sighs devoted and to tender pains,
Pensive you sit, or solitary stray.
And waste your youth in musing. Musing first
Toy'd into care your unsuspecting heart:
It found a liking there, a sportful fire,
And that fomented into serious love;
Which musing daily strengthens and improves
Through all the heights of fondness and romance:
And you're undone, the fatal shaft has sped,
If once you doubt whether you love or no.
The body wastes away; th' infected mind,
Dissolv'd in female tenderness, forgets
Each manly virtue, and grows dead to fame.
Sweet Heaven, from such intoxicating charms
Defend all worthy breasts! not that I deem
Love always dangerous, always to be shunn'd.
Love well repaid, and not too weakly sunk
In wanton and unmanly tenderness,
Adds bloom to health; o'er ev'ry virtue sheds
A gay, humane, a sweet, and generous grace,
And brightens all the ornaments of man.
But fruitless, hopeless, disappointed, rack'd
With jealousy, fatigu'd with hope and fear,
Too serious, or too languishingly fond,
Unnerves the body and unmans the soul.
And some have died for love; and some run mad;
And some with desperate hands themselves have
Some to extinguish, others to prevent,
A mad devotion to one dangerous fair,
Court all they meet; in hopes to dissipate
The cares of love amongst an hundred brides.
Th' event is doubtful; for there are who find
A cure in this; there are who find it not,
Tis no relief, alas! it rather galls
The wound, to those who are sincerely sick.
For while from feverish and tumultuous joys
The nerves grow languid, and the soul subsides,
The tender fancy smarts with every sting,
And what was love before is madness now.
Is health your care, or luxury your aim?
Be temperate still: when Nature bids, obey;
Her wild impatient sallies bear no curb:
But when the prurient habit of delight,
Or loose imagination, spurs you on
To deeds above your strength, impute it not
To Nature: Nature all compulsion hates.
Ah! let not luxury nor vain renown
Urge you to feats you well might sleep without;
To make what should be rapture a fatigue,
A tedious task; nor in the wanton arms
Of twining Lais melt your manhood down.
For from the colliquation of soft joys
How chang'd you rise! the ghost of what you was
Languid, and melancholy, and gaunt, and wan;
Your veins exhausted, and your nerves unstrung.
Spoil'd of its balm and sprightly zest, the blood
Grows vapid phlegm; along the tender nerves
(To each slight impulse tremblingly awake)
A subtle fiend that mimies all the plagues,
Rapid and restless springs from part to part,
The blooming honors of your youth are fallen;
Your vigor pines; your vital powers decay;
Diseases haunt you; and untimely age
Creeps on; unsocial, impotent, and lewd
Infatuate, impious epicure! to waste
The stores of pleasure, cheerfulness, and health!
Infatuate all who make delight their trade,
And coy perdition every hour pursue.
Who pines with love, or in lascivious flames Consumes, is with his own consent undone; He chooses to be wretched, to be mad; And wam'd, proceeds, and wilful to his fate. But there's a passion, whose tempestuous sway Tears up each virtue planted in his breast, And shakes to ruins proud philosophy. For pale and trembling anger rushes in, With falt'ring speech, and eyes that wildly stare; Fierce as the tiger, madder than the seas, Desperate, and arm'd with more than human strength How soon the calm, humane, and polish'd man Forgets compunction, and starts up a fiend! Who pines in love, or wastes with silent cares, Envy, or ignominy, or tender grief. Slowly descends and ling'ring, to the shades: But he whom anger stings, drops, if he dies, At once, and rushes apoplectic down;
Or a fierce fever hurries him to Hell.
For, as the body through unnumber'd strings
Reverberates each vibration of the soul;
As is the passion, such is still the pain
The body feels: or chronic, or acute.
And oft a sudden storm at once o'erpowers
The life, or gives your reason to the winds.
Such fates attend the rash alarm of fear,
And sudden grief, and rage, and sudden joy.
There are, meantime, to whom the boist'rous fit
Is health, and only fills the sails of life.
For where the mind a torpid winter leads,
Wrapt in a body corpulent and cold,
And each clogg'd function lazily moves on;
A generous sally spurns th' incumbent load,
Unlocks the breast, and gives a cordial glow.
But if your wrathful blood is apt to boil,
Or are your nerves too irritably strung,
Waive all dispute; be cautious, if you joke;
Keep Lent for ever, and forswear the bowl.
For one rash moment sends you to the shades,
Or shatters ev'ry hopeful scheme of life,
And gives to horror all your days to come.
Fate, arm'd with thunder, fire, and ev'ry plague,
That ruins, tortures, or distracts mankind,
And makes the happy wretched in an hour,
O'erwhelms you not with woes so horrible
As your own wrath, nor gives more sudden blows.
While choler works, good friend,you may be wrong. Distrust yourself, and sleep before you fight . Tis not too late to-morrow to be brave; If honor bids, to-morrow kill or die. But calm advice against a raging fit Avails too little; and it braves the power Of all that ever taught in prose or song, To tame the fiend, that sleeps a gentle lamb, And wakes a lion. Unprovok'd and calm, You reason well; see as you ought to see, And wonder at the madness of mankind: Seiz'd with the common rage, you soon forget The speculations of your wiser hours. Beset with furies of all deadly shapes, Fierce and insidious, violent and slow: With all that urge or lure us on to fate: What refuge shall we seek? what arms prepare?
Where reason proves too weak, or void of wiles
To cope with subtle or impetuous powers,
I would invoke new passions to your aid:
With indignation would extinguish fear;
With fear, or generous pity, vanquish rage;
And love with pride; and force to force oppose.
There is a charm, a power, that sways the breast
Bids every passion revel or be still;
Inspires with rage, or all your cares dissolves;
Can soothe distraction, and almost despair.
That power is music: far beyond the stretch
Of those unmeaning warblers on our stage;
Those clumsy heroes, those fat-headed gods,
Who move no passion justly but contempt:
Who, like our dancers (light indeed and strong!)
Do wondrous feats, but never heard of grace.
The fault is ours; we bear those monstrous arts;
Good Heaven! we praise them: we, with loudest peals
Applaud the fool that highest lifts his heels;
And with insipid show of rapture, die
Of idiot notes impertinently long.
But he the Muse's laurel justly shares,
A poet he, and touch'd with Heaven's own fire,
Who, with bold rage or solemn pomp of sound.
Inflames, exalts, and ravishes the soul;
Now tender, plaintive, sweet almost to pain,
In love dissolves you; now in sprightly strains
Breathes a gay rapture through your thrilling breasts
Or melts the hearts with airs divinely sad;
Or wakes to horror the tremendous strings.
Such was the bard, whose heavenly strains of old
Appeas'd the fiend of melancholy Saul.
Such was, if old and heathen fame say true.
The man who bade the Theban domes ascend,
And tam'd the savage nations with his song;
And such the Thracian, whose melodious lyre,
Tun'd to soft woe, made all the mountains weep;
Sooth'd even th' inexorable powers of Hell,
And half-redeem'd his lost Eurydice.
Music exalts each joy, allays each grief,
Expels diseases, softens every pain,
Subdues the rage of poison and of plague;
And hence the wise of ancient days ador'd
One power of physic melody, and song
Joseph Warton, D. D., born in 1722, was the eldest son of the Rev. Thomas Warton, poctry-profcssor at Oxford, and Vicar of Basingstoke. He received his early education under his father, and at the age of fourteen was admitted on the foundation at Winchester school. He was afterwards entered of Oriel College, Oxford, where he assiduously cultivated his literary taste, and composed some pieces of poetry, which were afterwards printed. Having taken the degree of B. D., ho became curate to his father at Basingstoke; and in 1746 removed to a similar employment at Chelsea. In 1748 he was presented by the Duke of Bolton to the rectory of VVinslade, soon after which he married. He accompanied his patron in 1751 on a tour to the south of France; and after his return he completed an edition of Virgil, in Latin and English; of which the Eclogues and Georgics were his own composition, the Eneid was the version of Pitt. Warton also contributed notes on the whole, and added three preliminary essays, on pastoral, didactic, and epic poetry. When the Adventurer was undertaken by Dr. Hawkesworth, Warton, through the medium of Dr. Johnson, was invited to become a contributor, and his compliance with this request proauced twenty-four papers, of which the greater part were essays on critical topics.
In 1755 he was elected second master of Winchester school, with the accompanying advantage of a boarding-house. In the following year there appeared, but without his name, the first volume, 8vo., of his "Essay on the Writings and Genius of
Pope." Scarcely any work of the kind has afforded more entertainment, from the vivacity of its remarks, the taste displayed in its criticisms, and the various anecdotes of which it became the vehicle; though some of the last were of a freer cast than perfectly became his character. This reason, perhaps, caused the second volume to be kept back till twenty-six years after. In 1766 he was advanced to the post of head-moster of Winchester school, on which occasion he visited Oxford, and took the degrees of bachelor and doctor of divinity.
The remainder of his life was chiefly occupied by schemes of publications, and by new preferments, of the last of which he obtained a good share, though of moderate rank. In 1793 he closed his long labors at Winchester by a resignation of the mastership, upon which he retired to his rectory of Wickham. Still fond of literary employment, he accepted a proposal of the booksellers to superintend an edition of Pope's works, which was completed, in 1797, in nine vols. 8vo. Other engagements still pursued him, till his death, in his 78lh year, February, 1800. The Wiccamists attested their regard to his memory, by erecting an elegant monument over his tomb in Winchester cathedral.
The poems of Dr. Warton consist of miscellaneous and occasional pieces, displaying a cultivated taste, and an exercised imagination, but without any claim to originality. His "Ode to Fancy," first published in Dodsley's collection, is perhaps that which has been the most admired.