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And once in seven years I'm seen
At Bath or Tunbridge, to careen.
Though pleas’d to see the dolphins play,
I mind my compass and my way,
With store sufficient for relief,
And wisely still prepar'd to reef,
Nor wanting the dispersive bowl
Of cloudy weather in the soul,
I make, (may Heav'n propitious send
Such wind and weather to the end)
Neither becalm'd, nor over-blown,
Life's voyage to the world unknown.
ON BARCLAY'S APOLOGY FOR THE
THESE sheets primeval doctrines yield,
Where revelation is reveal'd;
* This celebrated book was written by its author, both in Latin and English, and was afterwards translated into High Dutch, Low Dutch, French, and Spanish, and probably into other languages. It has always been esteemed a very ingenious defence of the principles of Quakerism, even by those who deny the doctrines which it endeavours to establish. The author was born at Edinburgh in 1648, and received part of his education at the Scots College in Paris, where his uncle was principal. His father became one of the earliest converts to the new sect, and from his example, the son seems to have been induced to tread in his steps. He died on the 3d of October, 1690, in the 42d year of his age.
Soul-phlegm from literal feeding bred,
Systems lethargic to the head
They purge, and yield a diet thin,
That turns to gospel-chyle within.
Truth sublimate may here be seen
Extracted from the parts terrene.
In these is shown, how men obtain
What of Prometheus poets feign :
To scripture plainness dress is brought,
And speech, apparel to the thought.
They hiss from instinct at red coats,
And war, whose work is cutting throats,
Forbid, and press the law of love :
Breathing the spirit of the dove.
Lucrative doctrines they detest,
As manufactur'd by the priest ;
And throw down turnpikes, where we pay
For stuff, which never mends the way;
And tythes, a Jewish tax, reduce,
And frank the gospel for our use.
They sable standing armies break;
But the militia useful make :
Since all unhir'd may preach and pray,
Taught by these rules as well as they ;
Rules, which, when truths themselves reveal,
Bid us to follow what we feel.
The world can't hear the small still voice,
Such is its bustle and its noise;
Reason the proclamation reads,
But not one riot passion heeds,
Wealth, honour, power the graces are,
Whích here below our homage share :
They, if one votary they find
To mistress more divine inclin'd,
In truth's pursuit, to cause delay,
Throw golden apples in his way,
Place me, O Heav'n, in some retreat ;
There let the serious death-watch beat,
There let me self in silence shun,
To feel thy will, which should be done.
Then comes the Spirit to our hut,
When fast the senses' doors are shut;
For so divine and pure a guest
The emptiest rooms are furnish'd best.
O Contemplation ! air serene!
From damps of sense, and fogs of spleen!
Pure mount of thought ! thrice holy ground,
Where grace, when waited for, is found.
Here 'tis the soul feels sudden youth,
And meets exulting, virgin Truth ;
Here, like a breeze of gentlest kind,
Impulses rustle through the mind;
Here shines that light with glowing face,
The fuse divine, that kindles grace ;
Which, if we trim our lamps, will last,
'Till darkness be by dying past.
And then goes out at end of night,
Extinguish'd by superior light.
Ah me! the heats and colds of life,
Pleasure's and pain's eternal strife,
Breed stormy passions, which confin'd,
Shake, like th' Æolian cave, the mind.
And raise despair ; my lamp can last,
Plac'd where they drive the furious blast
False eloquence ! big empty sound! Like showers that rush upon the ground ! Little beneath the surface goes, All streams along, and muddy flows. This sinks, and swells the buried grain, And fructifies like southern rain.
His art, well hid in mild discourse, Exerts persuasion's winning force, And nervates so the good design, That king Agrippa's case is mine.
Well-natur’d, happy shade forgive ! Like you I think, but cannot live. Thy scheme requires the world's contempt, That from dependence life exempt; And constitution fram’d so strong, This world's worst climate cannot wrong, Not such my lot, not Fortune's brat, I live by pulling off the hat ; Compell’d by station every hour To bow to images of power; And in life's busy scenes immers'd, See better things, and do the worst.
Eloquent Want, whose reasons sway, And make ten thousand truths give way, While I your scheme with pleasure trace, Draws near, and stares me in the face. “ Consider well your state," she cries, " Like others kneel, that you may rise; Hold doctrines, by no scruples vex’d, To which preferment is annex'd; Nor madly prove, where all depends, Idolatry upon your friends.
See, how you like my rueful face,
Such you must wear, if out of place.
Crack'd is your brain to turn recluse
Without one farthing out at use.
They, who have lands, and safe bank-stock,
With faith so founded on a rock,
May give a rich invention ease,
And construe scripture how they please.
“ The honour'd prophet that of old,
Us’d Heav'n's high counsels to unfold,
Did, more than courier angels, greet
The crows, that brought him bread and meat.”
When I first came to London, I rambled about,
From sermon to sermon, took a slice and went out.
Then on me, in divinity bachelor, try'd
Many priests to obtrude a Levitical bride ;
And urging their various opinions, intended
To make me wed systems, which they recom-
mended. Said a lech'rous old fri'r skulking near Lincoln's
inn, (Whose trade's to absolve, but whose pastime's to
Who, spider-like, seizes weak protestant flies,
Which hung in his sophistry cobweb he spies ;)