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See SIDNEY bleeds amid the martial ftrife!
Was this their Virtue, or Contempt of Life?
Say, was it Virtue, more tho' Heav'n ne'er gave,
Lamented DIGBY! sunk thee to the grave?
Tell me, if Virtue made the Son expire, 105
Why, full of days and honour, lives the Sire?
Why drew Marseille's good bishop purer breath,
When Nature ficken'd, and each gale was death!
Or why so long (in life if long can be)
Lent Heav'n a parent to the poor and me? 110
What makes all physical or moral ill ?
There deviates Nature, and here wanders Will.
God sends not ill; if rightly understood,
Or partial Ill is universal Good,
Or Change admits, or Nature lets it fall; IIS
Short, and but rare, till Man improv'd it all.
After g 116. in the MS.
Of ev'ry evil, since the world began,
The real source is not in God, but man.
self the command of armies, of that famous campaign in seems to have been the Pre- which he lost his life. servation of Mankind. In Ver. 110. Lent Heav'n this god-like care he was
a parent, &c.] This last distinguishably employed instance of the poet's illuthroughout the whole course | ftration of the ways of Pro
We just as wisely might of Heav'n complain
That righteous Abel was destroy'd by Cain,
As that the virtuous son is ill at ease
When his lewd father gave the dire disease. 1 20
Think we, like some weak Prince, th'Eternal Cause,
Prone for his fav’rites to reverse his laws ?
Shall burning Ætna, if a sage requires,
Forget to thunder, and recall her fires ?
On air or sea new motions be impreft, 125
Oh blameless Bethel ! to relieve thy breast ?
When the loose mountain trembles from on high,
Shall gravitation cease, if you go by?
vidence, the reader sèes, has | Providence of Heaven, nè. a peculiar elegance; where
ver represents miracles as a tribute of piety to a pa- wrought for the sake of him rent is paid in a return of who is the object of them, thanks to, and made fub- but in order to give credit fervient of, his vindication to some of God's extraof, the Great Giver and Fa- ordinary dispensations to ther of all things. The Mo- Mankind. ther of the author, a per
Ver. 123. Shall burning son of great piety and cha- Ætna, &c.] Alluding to rity, died the year this poem the fate of those two great was finished, viz. 1733. Naturalists, Empedocles and
VER. 121. Think we, Pliny, who both perished like fome weak Prince, &c.] by too near an approach to Agreeably hereunto, holy | Ætna and Vesuvius, while Scripture, in its account of they were exploring the things under the common cause of their eruptions.
Or some old temple, nodding to its fall,
For Chartres' head reserve the hanging wall ? 130
But still this world (so fitted for the knave)
Contents us not. A better shall we have?
A kingdom of the Just then let it be:
But first consider how those Just agree.
The good must merit God's peculiar care; 135
But who, but God, can tell us who they are?
One thinks on Calvin Heav'n's own spirit fell
Another deems him instrument of hell ;
If Calvin feel Heav'n's bleffing, or its rod,
This cries there is, and that, there is no God. 140
What shocks one part will edify the rest,
Nor with one system can they all be blest.
The very best will variously incline,
And what rewards your Virtue, punish mine.
WHATEVER IS, IS RIGHT.-This world, 'tis true,
Was made for Cæfar—but for Titus too: 146
And which more blest? who chain'd his country, say,
Or he whose Virtue figh'd to lose a day?
“ But sometimes Virtue ftarves, while Vice is fed." What then? Is the reward of Virtue bread?
150 VARIATIONS. After Ver. 142. in some Editions,
Give each a System, all must be at strife ;
What different Systems for a Man and Wife ?
That, Vice may merit, 'tis the price of toil;
The knave deserves it, when he tills the soil,
The knave deserves it, when he tempts the main,
Where Folly fights for kings, or dives for gain.
The good man may be weak, be indolent; 155
Nor is his claim to plenty, but content.
But grant him Riches, your demand is o'er?
“ No-shall the good want Health, the good want
Add Health, and Pow'r, and ev'ry earthly thing,
“ Why bounded Pow'r? why private? why no king?"
Nay, why external for internal giv'n?
161 Why is not Man a God, and Earth a Heav'n? Who ask and reason thus, will scarce conceive God gives enough, while he has more to give : Immense the pow'r immense were the demand ; 165 Say, at what part of nature will they stand?
What nothing earthly gives, or can destroy, The soul's calm sun-line, and the heart-felt joy, Is Virtue's prize: A better would you
fix? Then give Humility a coach and fix,
170 Justice a Conq'r's sword, or Truth a gown, Or Public Spirit its great cure, a Crown.
After x 172. in the MS.
Say, what rewards this idle world imparts,
Or fit for fearching heads or honest hearts.
Weak, foolish man! will Heav'n reward us there
With the same trash mad mortals wish for here?
The Boy and Man an individual makes, 175
Yet figh'st thou now for apples and for cakes?
Go, like the Indian, in another life,
Expect thy dog, thy bottle, and thy wife:
As well az dream such trifles are affign'd,
As toys and empires, for a god-like mind. 180
Rewards, that either would to Virtue bring
No joy, or be destructive of the thing :
How oft by these at fixty are undone
The virtues of a faint at twenty-one !
To whom can Riches give Repute, or Trust, 185
Content, or Pleasure, but the Good and Just?
Judges and Senates have been bought for gold,
Esteem and Love were never to be sold.
Oh fool! to think God hates the worthy mind,
The lover and the love of human-kind, 190
Ver. 177. Go, like the ! tional hopes of future hapIndian, &c ] Alluding to piness, but only to reprove the example of the Indian in the folly of separating them Epist i x 99. and shewing, them from charity : as that that example was not when given to discredit any ra- i
Zeal, not Charity, became the guide,
And bell was built on spite, and heav'n on pride.