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Penfantur trutina.

HOR. Lib. II. Epist. 1.

MAN, on the dubious waves of error tofs'd,
His fhip half founder'd, and his compass loft,
Sees, far as human optics may command,
A fleeping fog, and fancies it dry land:
Spreads all his canvass, ev'ry finew plies;
Pants for't, aims at it, enters it, and dies!
Then farewell all felf-fatisfying schemes,
His well-built fyftems, philofophic dreams;
Deceitful views of future blifs, farewell!
He reads his fentence at the flames of hell.
Hard lot of man-to toil for the reward
Of virtue, and yet lofe it! Wherefore hard?-
He that would win the race muft guide his horfe
Obedient to the customs of the courfe;


Elfe, though unequall'd to the goal he flies,
A meaner than himself shall gain the prize.
Grace leads the right way: if you choose the wrong,
Take it, and perish; but reftrain your tongue.
Charge not, with light fufficient, and left free,
Your wilful fuicide on God's decree.

Oh how unlike the complex works of man,
Heav'n's easy, artlefs, unincumber'd, plan!
No meretricious graces to beguile,

No cluft'ring ornaments to clog the pile;
From oftentation, as from weaknefs, free,
It ftands like the cerulean arch we see,
Majestic in its own fimplicity.
Infcrib'd above the portal, from afar
Confpicuous as the brightness of a star,
Legible only by the light they give,

Stand the foul-quick'ning words-BELIEVE, AND

Too many,fhock'd at what should charm them moft, Defpife the plain direction, and are loft.

Heav'n on fuch terms! (they cry, with proud difdain) Incredible, impoffible, and vain!

Rebel, because 'tis eafy to obey;

And scorn, for its own fake, the gracious way.

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These are the fober, in whofe cooler brains
Some thought of immortality remains;
The reft, too busy, or too gay, to wait
On the fad theme, their everlasting state,
Sport for a day, and perish in a night;
The foam upon the waters not fo light.
Who judg'd the pharifee? What odious caufe
Expos'd him to the vengeance of the laws?
Had he feduc'd a virgin, wrong'd a friend,
Or ftabb'd a man to ferve fome private end?
Was blafphemy his fin? Or did he stray
From the ftrict duties of the facred day?

Sit long and late at the caroufing board?
(Such were the fins with which he charg'd his Lord.)
No-the man's morals were exact. What then?
"Twas his ambition to be feen of men;

His virtues were his pride; and that one vice
Made all his virtues gewgaws of no price;
He wore them, as fine trappings, for a fhow;
A praying, fynagogue-frequenting, beau.
The felf-applauding bird, the peacock, fee-
Mark what a fumptuous pharifee is he!
Meridian fun-beams tempt him to unfold
His radiant glories; azure, green, and gold:

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He treads as if, fome folemn mufic near,

His meafur'd step were govern'd by his ear;
And feems to fay-Ye meaner fowl, give place;
I am all fplendour, dignity, and grace!

Not fo the pheasant on his charms prefumes;
Though he, too, has a glory in his plumes.
He, chriftian like, retreats with modeft mien
To the close copfe, or far-fequefter'd green,
And fhines, without defiring to be feen.
The plea of works, as arrogant and vain,
Heav'n turns from with abhorrence and difdain:
Not more affronted by avow'd neglect,
Than by the mere diffembler's feign'd respect.
What is all righteousness that men devife?
What-but a fordid bargain for the skies?
But Chrift as foon would abdicate his own,
As stoop from heav'n to fell the proud a throne.
His dwelling a recefs in fome rude rock;
Book, beads, and maple difh, his meagre ftock;
In fhirt of hair and weeds of canvass dress'd,
Girt with a bell rope that the pope has blefs'd;
Aduft with ftripes, told out for ev'ry crime,
And fore tormented, long before his time;
His pray'r preferr'd to faints that cannot aid;
His praise poftpon'd, and never to be paid;

See the fage hermit, by mankind admir'd,
With all that bigotry adopts infpir'd,
Wearing out life in his religious whim,
Till his religious whimfy wears out him.
His works, his abftinence, his zeal, allow'd,
You think him humble-God accounts him proud.
High in demand, though lowly in pretence,
Of all his conduct this the genuine sense-
My penitential ftripes, my ftreaming blood,
Have purchas'd heav'n, and prove my title good.
Turn eastward now, and fancy fhall apply
To your weak fight her telescopic eye.

The bramin kindles on his own bare head
The facred fire-felf-torturing his trade!
His voluntary pains, fevere and long,
Would give a barb'rous air to British song;
No grand inquifitor could worse invent,
Than he contrives, to fuffer, well content.

Which is the faintlier worthy of the two?

Paft all difpute, yon anchorite fay you.

Your fentence and mine differ. What's a name?

I fay the bramin has the fairer claim.

If fuff'rings, fcripture no where recommends,
Devis'd by felf, to anfwer felfifh ends,

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