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Ambition this shall tempt to rise,
Then whirl the wretch from high, To bitter Scorn a sacrifice,
And grinning Infamy :
The stings of Falsehood those shall try,
And hard Unkindness' alter'd eye,
That mocks the tear it forc'd to flow;
And keen Remorse, with blood defil'd,
And moody Madness laughing wild
Amidst severest wo.
Lo, in the Vale of Years beneath
A grisly troop are seen,
The painful family of Death,
More hideous than their queen!
This racks the joints, this fires the veins,
That every labouring sinew strains,
Those in the deeper vitals rage:
Lo, Poverty, to fill the band,
That numbs the soul with icy hand,
And slow-consuming Age.
To each his sufferings: all are men,
Condemn'd alike to groan;
The tender for another's pain,
Th' unfeeling for his own.
Yet, ah! why should they know their fate,
Since sorrow never comes too late,
And happiness too swiftly flies?
Thought would destroy their paradise.
No more-where ignorance is bliss,
'Tis folly to be wise.
WHEN now on Britain's sea-girt shore,
Resounds the threat'ning voice of war;
Bursts the loud cannon's frequent roar;
And glares the ensign from afar;
The Muse, who shuns the harsh alarms
That wake the madding world to arms,
And scorns to share the factious rage
That prompts to deeds of blood the age;
Turns joyful to those happier seats
Where sacred Science loves to rest,
And Genius, 'midst the calm retreats,
Pours all his influence o'er the breast:
Not more rever'd, the hallow'd bow'rs,
Where truth distill'd from Plato's honey'd tongue;
Nor those fair scenes, where Tully's happier hours
In philosophic leisure fled along.
There Education, power divine !
Her favourite temple long has plann'd;
And calls around her sacred shrine,
To guard her laws, a chosen band.
Where yon fair dome its front uprears,
Her venerable form appears;
To the young view one hand displays
The wreath of honourable Praise;
With stronger grasp her left sustains
The harsher emblems of Control,
That check wild Folly's headlong reins,
And bend the rude and stubborn soul:
In dreadful state, behind her glide
Her handmaids, Fear, and Jealousy, and Shame; By whom she knows the youthful step to guide, To peace, to virtue, excellence, and fame.
Mark, how th' attentive votaries throng
Where she her genuine lore imparts!
And catch from her inspiring tongue
The thirst of praise, the love of arts.
As she unveils the brighter day,
The shades of error melt away;
And sacred Truth, of simple mien,
In all her native charms is seen:
-Not she who o'er her shadowy coast
Long led th' inquiring mind astray,
In dull scholastic reasonings lost;
Whilst Aristotle led the way:
But she who Bacon's vows approv'd,
And o'er his hours of meditation stole ;
Who at one glance (each lingering doubt remov'd)
With charms congenial strikes the human soul.
What joy! whilst youth its aid supplies,
To trace the years that long have fled;
And bid th' illustrious forms arise,
Of sages, and of warriors dead:
In soft attention catch the sound
That Virgil's genius pours around,
Sweet, as when first the matchless song
Spontaneous echo'd from his tongue;
With sprightly Horace smile at care,
And every fleeting hour improve;
With exil'd Ovid drop the tear;
And with Tibullus melt in love;
Or when, by Cicero taught to flow,
Strong and unfetter'd rolls the nervous line,
To feel his passions, catch the genuine glow,
His conquering warmth, and energy divine.
But whilst elate the youthful bands
Each beauty of past ages share,
Her wonted victims life demands,
And points to more substantial care;
Severer studies then engage
The seasons of maturer age,
To fill with honour and with ease,
The several stations Heav'n decrees.
-Yon sprightly train, who erst were joy'd
To trace each herb of varied hue,
That decks the mountain's vernal side;
And Nature's bashful steps pursue;
Ere long improv'd by studious toil,
Shall sooth the frame by fell disease oppress'd, Bid brightening Health diffuse her wonted smile, And give to Friendship's vow the kindred breast.
Yon few-as yet unknown to strife-
Whom Tully's liberal spirit charms,
-Foes to the silent paths of life,
The thirst of elocution warms;
Theirs be the task, to mark with awe
The mighty edifice of law;
And having caught the general view,
Trace every varied chamber through:
And may they scorn the vulgar tribe,
Who sense for formal gingle slight;
Superior to the guilty bribe,
With learning grave, with wit polite:
By Blackstone's bright example taught,
Watch o'er each private right with generous fear; And with th' unconquer'd love of freedom fraught, Preserve those claims to every Briton dear.
Yet nobler paths for some remain,-
By hallow'd footsteps only trod;
And these shall seek the sacred fane,
And give their studious hours to God.
Hark! while th' inspiring diction flows,
Each breast with holy rapture glows;
See trembling Guilt betrays his fears,
See sad Repentance pours her tears,
Till from her starry mansions charm'd,
The smiling cherub Peace descends,
And o'er the soul with doubts aların'd,
Her guardian wings unseen extends.
Whilst those, attentive to the cause
Of Britain, shall to her devote their days;
In the full senate meet unbought applause,
And place their glory in their country's praise.
Exulting Science now disdains
The ties of Custom's proud controul,
And breaks the rude and barbarous chains
That fetter'd down the freeborn soul;
Extinguish'd now her vengeful fires,
Lo! Superstition slow retires;
Or from some cloister's mouldering fane,
Pours out her mutter'd curse in vain :
Whilst the warm breast, with generous joy,
Embraces all of human kind;
And scorns each mean and narrower tie,
To climate and to sect confin'd: