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She 'll sparkle, puzzle, flutter, raise a dust,
1230 And fly conviction in the dust she raised.
Wit, how delicious to man's dainty taste !. 'Tis precious as the vehicle of sonse, But, as its substitute, a dire disease. Pernicious talent! flatter'd by the world, 1235 By the blind world, which thinks the talent rare. Wisdom is rare, Lorenzo ! wit abounds; Passion can give it; sometimes wine inspires The lucky flash ; and madness rarely fails. Whatever cause the spirit strongly stirs
1240 Confers the bays, and rivals thy renown. For thy renown 'twere well was this the worst; Chance often hits it; and, to pique thee more, See Dulness, blundering on vivacities, Shakes her sage head at the calamity
1245 Which has exposed, and let her down to thee. But Wisdom, awful Wisdom! which inspects, Discerns, compares, weighs, separates, infors, Seizes the right, and holds it to the last, How rare! in senates, synods, sought in vain ;
1250 Or if there found, 'tis sacred to the few; While a lewd prostitute to multitudes, Frequent, as fatal, Wit. In civil life Wit makes an enterpriser, Sense a man. Wit hates authority, commotion loves,
1255 And thinks herself the lightning of the storm. In states 'tis dangerous ; in religion, death. Shall Wit turn Christian when the dull believe ? Sense is our helmet, Wit is but the plume; The plume exposes, 'tis our helmet saves. 1200 Sense is the diamond, weighty, solid, sound; When cut by Wit it casts a brighter beam; Yet Wit apart, it is a diamond still. Wit, widow'd of good sense, is worse than nought; It hoists morc sail to run against a rock.
1365 Thus a half Chesterfield is quite a fool, Whom dull fools scorn und bless their want of wit
How ruinous the rock I warn thee shun, Where sirens sit, to sing thee to thy fate ! A joy in which our reason bears no part,
1270 Is but a sorrow, tickling ere it stings. Let not the cooings of the world allure thee; Which of her lovers over found her true? Happy! of this bad world who little know:And yet, we much must know her, to be safe. 1275 To know the world, not love her, is thy point; She gives but little, nor that little long. There is, I grant, a triumph of the pulse, A dance of spirits, a mere froth of joy, Our thoughtless agitation's idle child,
1280 That mantles high, that sparkles, and expires, Leaving the soul more vapid than before; An animal ovation! such as holds No commerce with our reason, but subsists On juices, through the well toned tubes, well strain'd; A nice machine ! scarce ever tuned aright; - 1286 And when it jars—thy sirens sing no more ; Thy dance is done ; the demi-god is thrown (Short apotheosis !) beneath the man, In coward gloom immersed, or fell despair.
1290 Art thou yet dull enough despair to dread, And startle at destruction ? if thou art, Accept a buckler, take it to the field; (A field of battle is this mortal life !) When danger threatens, lay it on thy heart, 1295 A single sentence proof against the world. • Soul, body, fortune; every good portains To one of these ; but prize not all alike; The goods of fortune to thy body's health, Body to soul, and soul submit to God.'
1300 Wouldst thou build lasting happiness ? do this: T'he' inverted pyramid can never stand.
Is this truth doubtful ? it outshines the Sun; Nay, the Sun shines not but to show us this, The single lesson of mankind on earth:
And yot--yet what? No news! mankind is mad;
They grin, but wherefore ? and how long the laugh?
The clotted hair! gored breast ! blaspheming eye! Its impious fury still alive in death! Shut, shut the shocking scene. But Heaven denies A cover to such guilt, and so should man. Look round, Lorenzo ! see the reeking blade, 1330 The' cnvenom'd phial, and the fatal ball; The strangling cord, and suffocating stream; The loathsome rottenness, and foul decays, From raging riot, (slower suicides !) And pride in these, more execrable still!
1335 How horrid all to thought !--but horrors, these, That vouch the truth, and aid my feeble song:
From vico, seizse, fancy, no man can be bless d.
Will make him more : a bounteous joy! that gives
1355 There, O my Lucia! may I meet thee there, Where not thy presence can improve my bliss !
Affects not this the sages of the world ?
The world-replies not ;-but the world porsist.s, 1375 And puts the cause off to the longest day, Planning ovasions for the day of doom : So far, at that rehearing, from redress, They then turn witnesses against theinselves. Hear that, Lorenzo ! nor be wise to-morrow. 1380 Hasta, haste' a man, by nature, is in haste;
For who shall answer for another hour ?
Ye sons of Earth! (nor willing to be more !) 1383
Are all, then, fools ? Lorenzo cries. Yes, all
Thy wisdom all can do but make thee wise.' 1415