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What is this World ? a term which men have got
To fignify, not one in ten knows what;
A term, which with no more precision passes
To point out herds of men than herds of asses;
In common use no more it means, we find,
Than many fools in same opinions join'd.
Can numbers then change Nature's stated laws ?
Can numbers make the worse the better cause?
Vice must be * vice, virtue be virtue ftill,
Tho' thousands rail at good, and practise ill.
Wouldst thou defend the Gaul's destructive rage
Because vast nations on his part engage ?
Tho' to support the rebel Cæsar's cause,
Tumultuous legions arm against the laws 3
Tho' Scandal would our Patriot's name impeach,
And rails at virtues which she cannot reach,
What honest man but would with joy submit
To bleed with Cato, and retire with Pitt?
Stedfast and true to Virtue's sacred laws,
Unmov'd by vulgar censure or applause,
Let the world talk, my friend; that world, we know,
Which calls us guilty, cannot make us so.
Unaw'd by numbers, follow Nature's plan,
Assert the rights, or quit the name of Man.
Consider well, weigh strictly right and wrong;
Resolve not quick, but once resolv'd be strong.
In spite of dulness, and in spite of wit,
If to thyself thou canst thyself acquit,
* We may change the names, but shall never be able to alter the nature of virtue or vice, call them by what names we will,
Rather stand up assur’d with conscious pride
Alone, than err with millions on thy side.
ON THE HAPPINESS OF AN ACTIVE LITI.
HAPPY! ye fons of busy life,
Who, equal to the bustling ftrife,
No other view regard!
Ev'n when the wished end's deny'd,
Yet while the busy means are ply'd
They bring their own reward:
Whilft I, a hope-abandon’d wight,
Unfitted with an aim,
Meet ev'ry fad returning night
And joyless morn the same.
You, bustling and juftling,
Forget each grief and pain :
1, listless, yet restless,
Find ev'ry prospect vain.
AN INSCRIPTION UPON THOMSON'S MONUMENT; AND
ANOTHER UNDER THE MONUMENTS OF MILTON
AND GRAY, IN WESTMINSTER-ARBEY.
TUTOR’D by thee, sweet Poetry exalts
Her voice to ages; and informs the page With music, image, sentiment, and thought Never to die!
NO more the Grecian Muse unrival'd reigns,
To Briton let the nations homage pay;
She finds a Homer's fire in Milton's itrains,
A Pindar's rapture in the lyre of Gray.
AN ADDRESS TO THE DEITY, IN THE VIEW OF
OTHOU unknown, Almighty Cause
Of all iny hope and fear!
In whose dread presence, ere an hour,
Perhaps I must appear!
If I have wander'd in those paths
Of life I ought to shun;
As fomething, loudly, in my breast
Remonstrates I have done;
Thou know'ft that Thou haft formed me
With passions wild and strong; And lift'ning to their witching voice
Has often ked me wrong:
Where human weakness has come short,
Or frailty stept aside,
Do Thou, All-Good! for such Thou art,
In shades of darkness hide.
Where with intention I have err'd,
No other plea I have,
But Thou art good; and Goodness still
Delighteth to forgive.
ON THE INFLUENCE OF GLOOMY AND STORMY WEA.
THER ON THE AUTHOR'S MIND.
HE sweeping blaft, the sky o'ercaft,
The joyless winter day
Let others fear, to me more dear
Than all the pride of May.
The tempest's howl, it soothes my soul,
My griefs it seems to join;
The leafless trees my fancy please,
Their fate resembles mine.
Thou Pow'r Supreme, whose mighty sehemc
These woes of mine fulfil,
Here firm I rest : they must be best,
Because they are thy will.
Then all I want (Oh, do Thou grant
This one request of mine)
Since to enjoy Thou doft deny,
Aflift me to rehgn.
BESCRIPTION OF A SCHOOL-BOY, PASSING THROUGX
OFT in the lone church-yard at night I've seen
By glimpse of moon-shine, chequ’ring thro' the
The school-boy, with his fatchel in his hand,
Whistling aloud to bear his courage up,
And lightly tripping o'er the long flat stones
(With nettles skirted, and with moss o'ergrown)
That tell in homely phrase who lie below.
Sudden he starts ! and hears, or thinks he hears,
The sound of something purring at his heel :
Full fast he flies, and dares not look behind him,
Till out of breath he overtakes his fellows;
Who gather round, and wonder at the tale
Of horrid apparition, tall and ghastly,
That walks at dead of night, or takes his stand
O'er fome new-open'd grave; and, strange to tell!
Evanishes at crowing of the cock.