« PreviousContinue »
Or for fome Idol of thy Fancy draw,
Some loose-gown'd dame; O courage made of ftraw!
Thus, defp'rate Coward! would'ft thou bold appear,
Yet when thy God has plac'd thee Centry here,
To thy own foes, to bis, ignobly yield,
And leave, for wars forbid, th' appointed field?
Know thy own foes; th' Apoftate Angel, he
You ftrive to please, the foremost of the Three;
He makes the pleasures of his realm the bait,
But can be give for Love, that acts in Hate?
The World's thy fecond Love, thy fecond Foe,
The World, whose beauties perifh as they blow,
They fly, fhe fades herself, and at the best
You grasp a wither'd strumpet to your breast.
The Flesh is next, which in fruition wastes,
High flufh'd with all the fenfual joys it tastes,
While men the fair, the goodly Soul destroy,
From whence the flesh has pow'r to taste a joy.
Seekft thou Religion, primitively found -
Well, gentle friend, but where may she be found?
By Faith Implicite blind Ignaro led,
Thinks the bright Seraph from his Country fled,
And feeks her feat at Rome, because we know
She there was feen a thousand years ago;
And loves her Relick rags, as men obey
The foot-cloth where the Prince fat yesterday.
These pageant Forms are whining Obed's fcorn,
Who feeks Religion at Geneva born,
A fullen thing, whofe coarseness fuits the crowd,
Tho' young, unhandsome; tho' unhandfome, proud:
Thus, with the wanton, fome perversely judge 65
All girls unhealthy but the Country drudge.
No foreign schemes make eafy Cæpio roam,
The man contented takes his Church at home;
Nay should fome Preachers, fervile bawds of gain,
Should fome new Laws, which like new-fafhions reign,
Command his faith to count Salvation ty'd
To vifit his, and visit none befide,
He grants Salvation centers in his own,
And grants it centers but in his alone:
From youth to age he grafps the proffer'd dame,
And they confer his Faith, who give his Name:
So from the Guardian's hands, the Wards who live
Enthrall'd to Guardians, take the wives they give.
From all profeffions careless Airy flies,
For, all profeffions can't be good, he cries,
And here a fault, and there another views,
And lives unfix'd for want of heart to chufe:
So men, who know what fome loofe girls have done,
For fear of marrying fuck, will marry none.
The Charms of all obfequious Courtly strike;
On each he doats, on each attends alike;
And thinks, as diff'rent countries deck the dame,
The dreffes altering, and the fex the fame
So fares Religion, chang'd in outward fhow,
But 'tis Religion ftill, where'er we go:
This blindness springs from an excefs of light,
And men embrace the wrong to chufe the right.
But thou of force muft one Religion own,
And only one, and that the Right alone.
To find that Right one, ask thy Rev'rend Sire;
Let him of his, and him of his enquire;
Tho' Truth and Falfhood feem as twins ally'd,
There's Eldership on Truth's delightful fide,
Her feek with heed-who feeks the foundest First
Is not of No Religion, nor the worst.
T'adore, or fcorn an Image, or proteft,
May all be bad: doubt wifely for the best;
'Twere wrong to fleep, or headlong run aftray;
It is not wand'ring, to inquire the way.
On a large mountain, at the Bafis wide,
Steep to the top, and craggy at the fide,
Sits facred Truth enthron'd; and he who means
To reach the fummit, mounts with weary pains,
Winds round and round, and ev'ry turn essays
Where fudden breaks refift the shorter ways.
Yet labour fo, that, ere faint age arrive,
Thy searching foul poffefs her Reft alive;
To work by twilight were to work too late,
And Age is twilight to the night of fate.
To will alone, is but to mean delay;
To work at present is the ufe of day,
For man's employ much thought and deed remain,
High Thoughts the Soul, hard deeds the body ftrain:
And Myft'ries afk believing, which to View
Like the fair Sun, are plain, but dazzling too.
Be Truth, fo found, with facred heed poffeft,
Not Kings have pow'r to tear it from thy breaft,
By no blank Charters harm they where they hate,
Nor are they Vicars, but the Hands of Fate.
Ah! fool and wretch, who let'ft thy foul be ty'd 125
To buman Laws! Or muft it fo be try'd?
Or will it boot thee, at the latest day,
When Judgment fits, and Juftice asks thy plea,
That Philip that, or Greg'ry taught thee this,
Or John or Martin? All may teach amifs:
For, ev'ry contrary in each extream
This holds alike, and each may plead the fame.
Would't thou to Pow'r a proper duty fhew?
'Tis thy firft tafk the bounds of pow'r to know;
The bounds once paft, it holds the name no more, 135
Its nature alters, which it own'd before,
Nor were fubmiffion Humblenefs expreft,
But all a low Idolatry at beft.
Pow'r, from above fubordinately spread,
Streams like a fountain from th' eternal head;
There, calm and pure the living waters flow,
But roar a Torrent or a Flood below;
Each flow'r, ordain'd the Margins to adorn,
Each native Beauty from its roots is torn,
And left on Deferts, Rocks, and Sands, or toft
All the long travel, and in Ocean loft:
So fares the foul, which more that Pow'r reveres
Man claims from God, than what in God inheres.
This noble Similitude, with which the Satire concludes, Dr. Parnell did not seem to understand, and fo was not able to exprefs, in its original force. Dr. Donne fays,
"As ftreams are, Pow'r is; those bleft flow'rs that dwell "At the rough Streams calm head, thrive, and do well; "But having left their roots, and themselves given "To the Streams tyrannous rage, alas, are driven
Through mills, rocks, and woods, and at laft, almoft "Confum'd in going, in the Sea are loft.
"So perifh Souls, etc.
Dr. Donne compares Power or Authority to Streams; and Souls to Flowers; but not being fo explicite in the latter, Dr. Parnell overlooked that part, and fo has hurt the whole thought, by making the Flowers paffive; whereas the Original fays they leave their roots, and give themselves to the ftream: that is, wilfully prefer human Authority to divine; and this makes them the object of his Satire; which they would not have been, were they irrefiftibly carried away, as the Imitation fuppofes.