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But how to thee could Heaven's high will be known,
and cares annoy, And where misfortune wounds, and passions move, Not to reward or punish, but to prove.
Think not, of yore, that virtue's secret way Escaped th' unletter'd only, and the gay ; Or that the grave, the studious, and the learn'd By instinct knew it, or by art discern'd. No: these of nature their opinions drew From what they fancied, not from what they knew : And hardly, arguing still for arguing's sake, Could end in truth, beginning in mistake. They who, with sober sense, and honest heart, View'd truth unmangled with the tools of art, Than he far better knew, who could but see Through the wild mist of whirling theory: A medium, which, as differently applied, Will darken, lessen, magnify, or hide, And, still obsequious to the sage's creed, Hide that most, from which most it disagreed. *
* * * * *
* Here follows in the MS. when it was first shewn to the Editor, a comparison of the doctrines of antient philosophy with those of the Gospel; with some keen strictures on modern infidelity and scepticism. But, in this part of the poem, so much is marked for alteration without being altered, that he cannot prevail on liimself to print it in the state in which it was left : especially as there is reason to think, that several pages of this part of the work are lost, to the amount probably of about three hundred lines : the exact amount cannot be known, as the pages of the manuscript were not numbered. The conclusion of the first book is subjoined, as it seems to be more correct, and strongly delineates a predominant feature in the Author's character.
What chance can blast our hope, what force controul,
Mortals, in heedless folly vain, bestow
He, when in thunder speaks the trump of doom, Will not forget his Howard in the tomb.* “ Come good and faithful servant, whose relief “ Gave comfort to Despair, and joy to Grief. “ Didst thou sooth trouble, and alleviate need, “ Didst thou the naked clothe, the hungry feed, “ Visit the sick, and set the prisoner free? “ Know, what thou didst to mine thou didst to me. • Come then, thou blessed of my Father, come, “ And share his joy in thine eternal home.”
Go now, gay fool, whom earth from heaven decoys, On trivial gains intent, and trivial joys; Who reason, honour, virtue, throw'st aside, For unsubstantial pomp, and cringing pride ; Who Ay'st to fear from hope, from ease to care, To wo from joy, from triumph to despair.Go : slink a sot, a ruffian, and a coward, Go : ape duke Villars, and despise John Howard.
But nobler transports may his mind attain, Whose youthful ardour breathes this humble strain; This humble strain which, undisguised by art, Utters no thought that flows not from the heart.
* This was written several years before Mr. Howard's death.
O could this weak, though well-meant, effort throw
Wealth, interest, fashion, power, let others crave,
INCIPE, nympharum Solymæ chorus, incipe carmen.
Cæperat Ille, futura ruens in tempora, Vates :
10 Olli cælestis folia ambit Spiritus, Olli Vertice concedit vis ipsa arcana Columbæ.
* Of this Translation several lines in the MS. were marked for alteration, without being altered. The whole is however so ani. mated, so harmonious, and so true to the original, that the Editor thinks it his duty not to suppress it. It was written long before the Author knew that Dr.Johnson had translated the same poem into Latin verse. The originals of this and some of the following pieces it was not thought necessary to subjoin to the Translations: Pope's poems being well known to every reader.