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Yet grant it true ; new difficulties rise ;
I'm still quite out at sea, nor see the shore.
Whence earth, and these bright orbs ? — Eternal too?
Grant matter was eternal : still these orbs
Would want some other Father — much design
Is seen in all their motions, all their makes.
Design implies intelligence, and art
That can't be from themselves — or man ; that art,
Man scarce can comprehend, could man bestow ?
And nothing greater, yet allowed than man.-
Who motion, foreign to the smallest grain,
Shot through vast masses of enormous weight ?
Who bid brute matter's restive lump assume
Such various forms, and gave it wings to fly?
Has matter innate motion ? Then each atom,
Asserting its indisputable right
To dance, would form a universe of dust.
Has matter none ? Then whence these glorious forms,
And boundless flights, from shapeless and reposed ?
Has matter more than motion ? Has it thought,
Judgment, and genius? Is it deeply learned
In mathematics ? Has it framed such laws,
Which, but to guess, a Newton made immortal ? --
If art, to form; and counsel, to conduct ;
And that with greater far than human skill,
Reside not in each block ;-a GODHEAD reigns ;---
And, if a God there is, that God how great !
THE LOVE OF THE WORLD REPROVED, OR
Thus says the prophet of the Turk,
Good Mussulman, abstain from pork ;
There is a part in every swine
No friend or follower of mine
May taste, whate'er his inclination,
On pain of excommunication.
Such Mahomet's mysterious charge,
And thus he left the point at large.
Had he the sinful part expressed,
They might with safety eat the rest ;
But for one piece they thought it hard
From the whole hog to be debarred ;
And set their wit at work to find
What joint the prophet had in mind.
Much controversy straight arose,
These choose the back, the belly those ;
By some 'tis confidently said
He meant not to forbid the head;
While others at that doctrine rail,
And piously prefer the tail.
Thus, conscience freed from every clog,
Mahometans eat up the bog.
You laugh — 'tis well — The tale applied
May make you laugh on t'other side.
Renounce the world—the preacher cries.
We do - a multitude replies.
While one as innocent regards
A snug and friendly game at cards ;
And one, whatever you may say,
Can see no evil in a play ;
Some love a concert, or a race ;
And others shooting, and the chase.
Reviled and loved, renounced and followed,
Thus, bit by bit, the world is swallowed ;
Each thinks his neighbour makes too free;
Yet likes a slice as well as he :
With sophistry their sauce they sweeten,
Till quite from tail to snout 'tis eaten.
FOLLY OF ATTEMPTING TO PLEASE ALL
ONCE on a time, a son and sire, we're told,
The stripling tender, and the father old,
Purchased a jack-ass at a country fair,
To ease their limbs, and hawk about their ware:
But as the sluggish animal was weak,
They feared, if both should mount, his back would break.
Up gets the boy, the father leads the ass,
And through the gazing crowd attempts to pass.
Forth from the throng the grey-beards hobble out,
And hail the cavalcade with feeble shout,
“ This the respect to reverend age you show.
And this the duty you to parents owe ?
He beats the hoof, and you are set astride!
Sirrah! get down, and let your father ride."
As Grecian lads were seldom void of grace,
The decent, duteous youth resigned his place.
Then a fresh murmur through the rabble ran ;
Boys, girls, wives, widows, all attack the man.
“ Sure never was brute beast so void of nature !
Have you no pity for the pretty creature ?
To your own baby can you be unkind ?
Here — Suke, Bill, Betty-put the child behind."
Old Dapple next the clown's compassion claimed :
6 'Tis wonderment them boobies ben't ashamed !
Two at a time
dumb beast !
They might as well have carried him, at least.”
The pair, still pliant to the partial voice,
Dismount, and bear the ass- - then what a noise !
Huzzas, loud laughs, low gibe, and bitter joke,
From the yet silent sire, these words provoke :-
“ Proceed, my boy, nor heed their farther call :
Vain his attempts who strives to please them all.”
The lawns were dry in Euston park,
(Here truth inspires my tale), The lonely footpath, still and dark,
Led over hill and dale.
Benighted was an ancient dame,
And fearful haste she made To gain the vale of Fakenham,
And hail its willow shade.
Her footsteps knew no idle stops,
But followed faster still :
And echoed to the darksome copse
That whispered on the hill :
Where clamorous rooks, yet scarcely hushed,
Bespoke a peopled shade;
And many a wing the foliage brushed,
And hovering circuits made.
The dappled herd of grazing deer,
That sought the shades by day, Now started from her path with fear,
And gave the stranger way.
Darker it grew, and darker fears
Came o'er her troubled mind
When now, a short quick step she hears
Come patting close behind.
She turned-it stopt-nought could she see
Upon the gloomy plain !
But, as she strove the Sprite to flee,
She heard the same again.
Now terror seized her quaking frame:
For, where the path was bare,
The trotting ghost kept on the same !
She muttered many a prayer.
Yet once again, amidst her fright,
She tried what sight could do ;
When, through the cheating gloom of night,
A monster stood in view.
Regardless of whate'er she felt,
It followed down the plain !
She owned her sins, and down she knelt,
And said her prayers again.
Then on she sped, and hope grew strong,
The white park-gate in view :
Which pushing hard, so long it swung
That Ghost and all passed through.
Loud fell the gate against the post !
Her heart-strings like to crack : For much she feared the grisly ghost
Would leap upon her back.
Still on, pat, pat, the Goblin went,
As it had done before
Her strength and resolution spent,
She fainted at the door.
Out came her husband, much surprised ;
Out came her daughter dear : Good-natured souls ! all unadvised
Of what they had to fear.
The candle's gleam pierced through the night,
Some short space o'er the green: And there the little trotting Sprite
Distinctly might be seen.