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But thousands die, without or this or that,
Perhaps you think the poor might have their part; Bond damns the poor, and hates them from his
heart: The grave Sir Gilbert holds it for a rule That every man in want is knave or fool : “ God cannot love” (says Blunt, with tearless eyes) “ The wretch he starves” — and piously denies : But the good bishop, with a meeker air, Admits, and leaves them, Providence's care.
Yet to be just to these poor men of pelf, Each does but hate his neighbour as himself: Damn'd to the mines, an equal fate betides The slave that digs it, and the slave that hides.
B. Who suffer thus, mere charity should own, Must act on motives powerful, though unknown.
P. Some war, some plague, or famine, they foresee,
Wise Peter sees the world's respect for gold,
The crown of Poland, venal twice an age,
Much-injur'd Blunt! why bears he Britain's hate?
“ All this is madness,” cries a sober sage:
Hear then the truth: “T'is Heaven each passion
sends, And different men directs to different ends. Extremes in Nature equal good produce, Extremes in man concur to general use. Ask we what makes one keep, and one bestow? That Power who bids the ocean ebb and flow, Bids seed-time, harvest, equal course maintain, Through reconcil'd extremes of drought and rain, Builds life on death, on change duration founds, And gives th' eternal wheels to know their rounds,
Riches, like insects, when conceal'd they lie, Wait but for wings, and in their season fly. Who sees pale Mammon pine amidst his store, Sees but a backward steward for the poor ; This year, a reservoir, to keep and spare ; The next, a fountain, spouting through his heir, In lavish streams to quench a country's thirst, And men and dogs shall drink him till they burst.
Old Cotta sham'd his fortune and his birth, Yet was not Cotta void of wit or worth : What though (the use of barbarous spits forgot) His kitchen vied in coolness with his grot? His court with nettles, moats with cresses stor'd, With soups unbought and sallads bless'd his board ? If Cotta liv'd on pulse, it was no more Than Bramins, saints, and sages
did before : To cram the rich, was prodigal expense, And who would take the poor from Providence ? Like some lone Chartreux stands the good old Hall, Silence without, and fasts within the wall; No rafter'd roofs with dance and tabor sound, No noontide bell invites the country round:
Tenants with sighs the smokeless towers survey,
Not so his son : he mark'd this oversight,
of qualities deserving praise, More go to ruin fortunes, than to raise. What slaughter'd hecatombs, what floods of wine, Fill the capacious 'squire, and deep divine ! Yet no mean motives this profusion draws, His oxen perish in his country's cause ; 'Tis George and Liberty that crowns the cup, And zeal for that great house which eats him up. The woods recede around the naked seat, The Sylvans groan
no matter for the fleet :
The sense to value riches, with the art
To balance fortune by a just expense,
P. Who starves by nobles, or with nobles eats ? The wretch that trusts them, and the rogue that
cheats. Is there a lord, who knows a cheerful noon Without a fiddler, flatterer, or buffoon ? Whose table, Wit, or modest Merit share, Un-elbow'd by a gamester, pimp, or player ? Who copies yours, or Oxford's better part, To ease th’ oppress'd, and raise the sinking heart ? Where'er he shines, oh Fortune, gild the scene, And angels guard him in the golden mean! There, English Bounty yet a while may stand, And Honour linger ere it leaves the land.
But all our praises why should lords engross? Rise, honest Muse! and sing the Man of Ross : Pleas'd Vaga echoes through her winding bounds, And rapid Severn hoarse applause resounds.