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For little souls on little shifts rely,

And cowards arts of mean expedients try;

The noble mind will dare do any thing but lie.
False friends, his deadliest foes, could find no way,
But shows of honest bluntness to betray;
That unsuspected plainness he believ'd;
He look'd into himself and was deceiv'd.
Some lucky planet, sure, attends his birth,
Or Heaven would make a miracle on earth;
For prosperous honesty is seldom seen
To bear so dead a weight, and yet to win.
It looks as Fate with Nature's law would strive,
To show plain dealing once an age may thrive;
And, when so tough a fame she could not bend,
Exceeded her commission to befriend.

"This grateful man, as Heaven increas'd his Gave God again, and daily fed his poor: His house with all convenience was purvey'd;


The rest he found, but rais'd the fabric where he

pray'd* ;

And in that sacred place his beauteons wife
Employ'd her happiest hours of holy life.

"Nor did their alms extend to those alone
Whom common faith more strictly made their own;
A sort of Dovest were hous'd too near their hall.
Who cross the proverb, and abound with gall.
Though some, 'tis true, are passively inclin❜d,
The greater part degenerate from their kind;
Voracious birds, that hotly bill and breed,
And largely drink, because on salt they feed.

*The Catholic chapel in Whitehall.

+ The London clergy of the Church of England.

Small gain from them their bounteous owner draws;

Yet bound by promise he supports their cause,
As corporations privileg'd by laws.

"That house which harbour to their kind affords, Was built long since, God knows for better birds; But, fluttering there, they nestle near the throne, And lodge in habitations not their own,

By their high crops and corny gizzards known.
Like harpies they could scent a plenteous board;
Then, to be sure, they never fail'd their lord:
The rest was form, and bare attendance paid;
They drunk, and eat, and grudgingly obey'd:
The more they fed, they raven'd still for more;
They drain'd from Dan, and left Beersheba poor.
All this they had by law, and none repin'd; /
The preference was but due to Levi's kind;
But when some lay-preferment fell by chance,
The Gourmands made it their inheritance.
When once possess'd, they never quit their claim,
For then 'tis sanctified to Heaven's high name;
And, hallow'd thus, they cannot give consent
The gifts should be profan'd by worldlymanagement.
"Their flesh was never to the table serv'd,
Though 'tis not thence inferr'd the birds were starv'd;
But that their master did not like the food,
As rank, and breeding melancholy blood:
Nor did it with his gracious nature suit,

E'en though they were not Doves, to persecute :
Yet he refus'd (nor could they take offence)
Their glutton-kind should teach him abstinence:
Nor consecrated grain their wheat he thought,
Which, new from treading, in their bills they

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But left his hinds each in his private power,

That those who like the bran might leave the flour.
He for himself, and not for others, chose,

Nor would he be impos'd on, nor impose;
But in their faces his devotion paid,

And sacrifice with solemn rights was made,
And sacred incense on his altars laid.
Besides these jolly birds, whose crops impure
Repaid their commons with their salt-manure,
Another farm he had behind his house,
Not overstock'd, but barely for his use;
Wherein his poor domestic poultry fed,*
And from his pious hands receiv'd their bread.
Our pamper'd Pigeons, with malignant eyes,
Beheld these inmates and their nurseries:
Though hard their fare, at evening and at morn,
(A cruise of water, and an ear of corn,)
Yet still they grudg'd that modicum, and thought
A sheaf in every single grain was brought.
Fain would they filch that little food away,
While unrestrain'd those happy gluttons prey;
And much they griev'd to see so nigh their hall
The bird that warn'd St. Peter of his fall;
That he should raise his mitred crest on high,
And clap his wings, and call his family
To sacred rites, and vex the' ethereal powers,
With midnight matins at uncivil hours;
Nay more, his quiet neighbours should molest,
Just in the sweetness of their morning rest:
Beast of a bird, supinely when he might
Lie snug and sleep, to rise before the light!
What if his dull forefathers us'd that cry,
Could he not let a bad example die?

* The Catholic clergy, supported by King James II.

The world was fallen into an easier way;

This age knew better than to fast and pray:
Good sense in sacred worship would appear
So to begin, as they might end the year:
Such feats in former times had wrought the falls
Of crowing Chanticleers in cloister'd walls.
Expell'd for this, and for their lands they fled;
And sister Partlet, with her hooded head,*
Was hooted hence, because she would not pray

The way to win the restiff world to God,
Was to lay by the disciplining rod,

Unnatural fasts, and foreign forms of prayer;
Religion frights us with a mien severe.
'Tis prudence to reform her into ease,
And put her in undress, to make her please :
A lively faith will bear aloft the mind,

And leave the luggage of good works behind.
"Such doctrines in the Pigeon-house were taught;
You need not ask how wondrously they wrought;
But sure the common cry was all for these,
Whose life and precepts both encourag'd ease:
Yet fearing those alluring baits might fail,
And holy deeds o'er all their arts prevail,
(For Vice, though frontless, and of harden'd face,
Is daunted at the sight of awful grace)
An hideous figure of their foes they drew,
Nor lines, nor looks, nor shades, nor colours true;
And this grotesque design expos'd to public view.
One would have thought it some Egyptian piece,
With garden-gods, and barking deities,
More thick than Ptolemy has stuck the skies.
All so perverse a draught, so far unlike,
It was no libel where it meant to strike:

* Nuns.

Yet still the daubing pleas'd, and great and small
To view the monster crowded Pigeon-hall:
There Chanticleer was drawn upon his knees,
Adoring shrines, and stocks of sainted trees;
And by him, a mis-shapen, ugly race;

The curse of God was seen on every face:
No Holland emblem could that malice mend,
But still the worse they look, the fitter for a fiend.
"The master of the farm, displeas'd to find
So much of rancour in so mild a kind,
Inquir'd into the cause, and came to know

The passive church had struck the foremost blow;
With groundless fears, and jealousies possest,
As if this troublesome intruding guest

Would drive the birds of Venus* from their nest;
A deed his in-born equity abhorr❜d,

[his word.
But Interest will not trust, though God should plight
"A law, the source of many future harms,
Had banish'd all the poultry from the farms,
With loss of life, if any should be found
To crow or peck on this forbidden ground.
That bloody statutet chiefly was design'd
For Chanticleer the white, of clergy kind;
But after-malice did not long forget
The lay that wore the robe and coronet.+
For them, for their inferiors and allies,
Their foes a deadly Shibboleth devise;
By which unrighteously it was decreed,
That none to trust or profit should succeed,
Who would not swallow first a poisonous wicked(

*The Doves.

+ Of high treason, against priests saying mass in England. The Roman Catholic nobility.

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