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Fathers sometimes their children's faults regard
With pleasure, and their crimes with gifts reward.
Ill painters, when they draw, and poets write, 45
Virgil and Titian (selt-admiring) slight;
Then all they do, like gold and pearl appears,
And others' actions are bnt dirt to theirs.
They that so highly think themselves above
All other men, themselves can only love.
Reason and virtue, all that men can boast
O'er other creatures, in those brutes are lost.
Observe (it' thee this fatal error touch,
Thou to thyself contributing too much)
Those who are geu'rous, humble, just, and wise,
Who nor their gold nor themselves idolize;
To form thy self by their example learn,
(For many eyes cau more than one discern.)
But yet beware of councils when too full,
Number makes long disputes, and graveness dull:
Tho' their advice be good, their counsel wise, 61°
Yet length still loses opportunities.
Debate destroys dispatch, as fruits we see
Rot when they hang too long upon the tree.
In vain that husbandman his seed doth sow, 65
If he his crop not in due season mow.
A gen’ral sets bis army in array
In vain, unless he fight and win the day.
Tis virtuous action that inust praise bring forth,
Without which slow advice is little worth. 70
Yet they who give good counsel praise deserve,
Tho' in the active part they cannot serve.
In action, learned consellors their age,
Profession, or disease, förbids t'engage.
Nor to philosopliers is praise deny'd,
Whose wise instructious atter-ares guide;
Yet vainly most their age in study spend;
No end of writing books, and to no end;
Beating their brains for strange and hidden things
Whose knowledge nor delight nor profit brings;
Themselves with doubts both day and night perplex,
Nor gentle reader please, or teach, but vex.
Books should tv one of these four ends conduce,
Por wisdom, piety, delight, or use.
What need we gaze upon the spangled sky; 85
Or into inatter's hidden causes pry,
To describe ev'ry city, stream, or bill
l'th' world, our fancy with vain arts to filloi
What is't to hear a sophister that pleads,
Who by the ears the deceiv'd audience leads? 90
If we were-wise these things we should not mind,
But more delight in easy matters find.
Learn to live well, that thou may'st die so too;
To live and die is all we have to do:
The way (if no digression's pade) is even,
And free access, it' we but ask, is given.
Then seek to know those things which makeusbleste
And having found them lock them in thy breast :
Inquiring then the way, go on, nor slack,
But mend thy pace, nor think of going back. 100
Some their whole age in these inquiries waste,
And die like tools before one step they 'axe pasta
'Tis strange to know the way and not t' advance ; That knowledge is far worse than ignorance, The learned teach, but what they teach, not do; 105 And, standing still themselves, make others go. In vain on study time away we throw, When we forbear to act the things we know. The soldier that philosopher well blam'd Who long and loudly in the schools declaim'd; 110 • Tell,' said the soldier,' venerable Sir! • Why all these words, this clamour, and this stir? Why du disputes in wrangling spend the day,
Whilst one says only yea, and t’ other day?' "Ok,' said the Doctor,' we for wisdom toil'd, 115 *Forwhich none toilstoomuch.' The soldiersmild;
You're grey and old, and to some pious use “This mass of treasure you should now reduce : . But you your store have hoarded in some bank, . For which th' infernal spirits shall you
thank.' Let what thou learnest be by practice shown; 121 *T is said that Wisdom's children make lier known, What's good doth open to th' inquirer stand, And itself offers to th' accepting hand: All things by order and true measures done, 125 Wisdoin will end as well as she begun. Let early care thy main concerns secure, Things of less moment may delays endure. Den do not for their servants first prepare, And of their wives and children quit the care; 130 Yet when we're sick, the doctor's fetch'd in haster Leaving our great concernment to the last.
When we are well, our hearts are only set
(Which way we care not) to be rich or great.
What shall become of all that we have got? 135
We only know that us it follows not;
And what a trifle is a moment's breath
Laid in the scale of everlasting death?
What's tinie when on eternity we think?
A thousand ages in that sea must sink. 140
Time's nothing but a word; a million
Is full as far from infirite as one.
To whom thou much dost owe, thou much must pay;
Think on the debt against th' accompting-day.
God, who to thee reason and knowledge lent, 145
Will ask how these two talents have been spent.
Let not low pleasures thy high reason blind;
He's mad that seeks what no man e'er could find.
Why should we fondly please our sense, wherein
Beasts us exceed, nor feel the stings of sin? 150
What thoughts man's reason better can become
Than th' expectation of his welcome home?
Lords of the world have but for life their lease,
And that too (if the lessor please) must cease.
Death cancels Nature's bonds, but for our deeds 155
(That debt first paid) a strict account succeeds.
If here not clear’d, no suretyship can bail
Condemned debtors from th' eternal jail.
Christ's biood's our balsam ; if that cure us here,
Him, when our Judge, we shall not find severe;
Ilis yoke is easy when by us embrac'il, 161
But loads and galls, if on our necks 'tis cast.
Be just in all thy actions; and if join'd
With those that are not, never change thy mind.
If aught obstruct thy course, yet stand not still, 165
But wind about till you have topp'd the hill.
To the same end men sev'ral paths unay tread,
many doors into one temple lead;
And the same hand into a fist may close,
Wbich instantly a palm expanded shows, 170
Justice and faith never forsake the wise,
occasion him in disguise; Not turning like the wind, but if the state Of things must change, he is not obstinate : Things past and future with the present weighs, Nor credulous of what vain rumour says. 176 Few things by wisdom are at first believ'd; An easy ear deceives, and is deceiv'd : For many truths have often pass'd for lies, And lies as often put on truth's disguise : 180 As flattery, too oft, like friendship shows, So them who speak plain truth we think our foes, No quick reply to dubious questions inake; Suspense and caution still prevent mistake, When any great design thou dost intend, 135 Think on the means, the manner, and the end: All great concernments must delays endure; Rashness and haste make all things unsecure; And if uncertain thy pretensions be, Stay till fit time wear out uncertainty: 190 But if to unjust things thou dost pretend, Ere they begin let thy pretensions end.