« PreviousContinue »
The great, vain man,who far'd on coftly food, Whofe life was too luxurious to be good; Who made his iv'ry ftands with goblets fhine, And forc'd his guefts to morning draughts of wine,
Has, with the cup, the graceless cuftom loft;
And ftill he welcomes, but with lefs of coft.
The mean, fufpicious wretch, whofe bolted
Ne'er mov'd in duty to the wand'ring poor;
With him I left the cup, to teach his mind
That heav'n can blefs, if mortals will be kind.
Confcious of wanting worth, he views the
And feels compaffion touch his grateful foul.
Thus artifts melt the fullen oar of lead,
With heaping coals of fire upon its head;
In the kind warmth the metal learns to glow,
And loofe from drofs, the filver runs below.
Long, had our pious friend in virtue trod,
But now the child half-wean'd his heart, from
(Child of his age) for him he liv'd in pain,
And meafur'd back his fteps to earth again.
To what exceffes had his dotage run?
But God, to fave the father, took the fon.
To all but thee, in fits he feem'd to go,
(And 'twas my miniftry to deal the blow)
The poor fond parent, humbled in the duft,
Now owns in tears the punishment was juft.
But how had all his fortune felt a wrack,
Had that falfe fervant fped in fafety back?
This night his treafur'd heaps he meant to
And what a fund of charity would fail!
Thus heav'n inftructs thy mind: this trial
Depart in peace, refign, and fin no more.
On founding pinions here the youth with-
The fage ftood wond'ring as the feraph flew.
Thus look'd Elima, when to mount on high,
His mafter took the chariot of the sky;
The fiery pomp afcending left the view;
The prophet gaz'd, and wish'd to follow too.
The bending Hermit here a pray'r begun,
Lord! as in heav'n, on earth thy will be done.
Then gladly turning, fought his antient place,
And pafs'd a life of piety and peace.
Divinity fupreme! all potent Lord!
Author of nature! whofe unbounded fway,
And legislative power all things obey.
Majeftick Jove all hail! to thee belong
The fuppliant prayer, and tributary fong,
To thee from all thy mortal offspring due.
From thee we came, from thee our being
Whatever lives and moves, great Sire! is
Embodied portions of the foul divine.
Therefore to thee will I attune my firing,
And of thy wond'rous power for ever fing.
Cleanther, author of this hymn, was a Stoic-philofopher, a difciple of Zeno.
The wheeling orbs, the wand'ring fires above, That round this earthly sphere inceffant move Through all this boundless world, admit thy
And roll fpontaneous where thou point'ft the
Such is the awe impreft on nature round, When thro' the void thy dreadful thunders found:
Those flaming agents of thy matchlefs power,
Astonish'd worlds hear, tremble, and adore.
Thus paramount to all, by all obey'd,
Ruling that reafon which thro' all convey'd,
Informs this general mafs, thou reign'ft ador'd,,
Supreme, unbounded, univerfal Lord.
For nor in earth, nor earth in circling floods,
Nor yon ætherial pole, the feat of gods,
Is ought perform'd without thy aid divine.
Strength, wifdom, virtue, mighty Jove! are.
Vice is the act of man, by paffions toft,
And in the frorelefs fea of folly loft.
But thou, what vice diforders, canft compose,
And profit by the malice of thy foes:
So blending good with evil, fair with foul,
As thence to model one harmonious whole;
One univerfal law of truth and right:
But wretched mortals fhun the heav'nly light.
And tho' to blifs directing ftill their choice,
Hear not, nor heed not reafon's facred voice,
That common guide-ordained to point the
That leads obedient man to folid good. Thence quitting virtue's lovely paths they rove, As various objects various paffions move.
Some thro' oppofing crowds and threat'ning
Seek power's bright throne, and fame's triumphant car.
Some bent on wealth, purfue with endless pain,
Oppreffive, fordid, and dishonest gain :
While others to foft indolence refign'd,
Drown in corporeal fweets th' immortal mind.
But, O great Father, thunder-ruling God!
Who in thick darknefs mak'ft thy dread a-
Thou, from whofe bounty all good gifts defcend,
Do thou from ignorance mankind defend.
The clouds of vice and folly O controul,
And shed the beams of wisdom on the foul.
Thofe radiant beams, by whofe all piercing
Thy juftice rules this univerfal frame.
That, honour'd with a portion of thy light,
We may effay thy goodness to requite,
With honorary fongs, and grateful lays,
And hymn thy glorious works with ceafelefs.
The proper task of man: and sure to fing
Of nature's laws, and nature's mighty King,
Is blifs fupreme. Let gods with mortals join;
The fubject may tranfport a breaft divine.
Pythagoras's GOLDEN VERSES.
IRST to the gods thy humble homage pay,
Perform thy vows, obferve thy plighted troth,
And let religion bind thee to thy oath.
The heroes next demand thy juft regard, 7.-
Renown'd on earth, and to the ftars pre-
To light and endless life their virtue's fure
Due rites perform and honours to the dead,
To ev'ry wife, to ev'ry pious fhade.
With lowly duty to thy parents bow,
And grace and favour to thy kindred fhow:
For what concerns the rest of human-kind,
Chufe out the man to virtue beft inclin'd:
Him to thy arms receive, him to thy bofom
Possest of such a friend, preferve him ftill;
Nor thwart his counfels with thy ftubborn will;
Pliant to all his admonitions prove,
And yield to all his offices of love:
Him, from thy heart, fo true, fo juftly dear,
Let no rafh word, nor light offences tear.
Bear all thou canft, ftill with his failings ftrive,
And to the utmoft ftill, and ftill forgive;
For ftrong neceffity alone explores,
The fecret vigour of our latent powers,
Roufes and urges on the lazy heart,
Force, to itself unknown before, t'exert.
By use thy ftronger appetites affuage,
Thy gluttony, thy floth, thy luft, thy rage:
From each difhoneft act of fhame forbear:
Of others, and thyfelf, alike beware.
Let rev'rence of thyfelf thy thoughts con-
And guard the facred temple of thy foul.
Let juftice o'er thy word and deed prefide;
And reafon even thy meanest actions guide: