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Then first our monarchs were acknowledg’dhere,
That they their churches' nursing fathers were.
When Lucifer no longer could advance
His works on the false ground of ignorance, 140
New arts he tries, and new designs he lays,
Then his well-study'd masterpiece he plays;
Loyola, Luther, Calvin, he inspires,
And kindles with infernal flames their fires;
Sends their forerunner (conscious of th' event) 145
Printing, his most pernicious instrument!
Wild controversy then, which long had slept,
Into the press from ruin'd cloisters leapt.
No longer by implicit faith we err,
Whilst ev'ry man's his own interpreter; 150
No more conducted now by Aaron's rod,
Lay-elders from their ends create their god.
But sev'n wise men the ancient world did know,
We scarce know sev'n who think themselves not so
When man learu'd undefil'd religion, 155
We were commanded to be all as one;
Fiery disputes that union have calcin'd;
Almost as many minds as men we find;
And when that fame finds combustible earth,
Thencefatuus fires and meteors take their birth; 160
Legions of sects and insects come in throngs;
To name them all would tire a hundred tongues.
Such were the Centaurs, of Ixion's race,
Who a bright cloud for Jupo did einbrace;
And such the monsters of Chimæra's kind, 165
Lions before, and dragons were behind,
Thon from the clashes between popes and kings,
Debate, like sparks from flints' collision, springs,
As Jove's loud thunderbolts were forg'd by heat,
The like our Cyclops on their anvils beat: 170
All the rich mines of Learning ransack'd are
To furnish ammunition for this war;
Uncharitable zeal our reason whets,
And double edges on our passions sets.
'Tis the most certain sign the world's accurst, 175
That the best things corrupted are the worst.
'Twas the corrupted light of knowledge hurl'd
Sin, death, and ignorance, o'er all the world.
That sun like this (from which our sight we have)
Gazd on too long, resumes the light he gave; 180
And when thick mists of doubts obscure his beams,
Our guide is error and our visions dreams.
'Twas no false heraldry when Madness drew
Her pedigree from those who too much knew,
Who in deep mines for hidden knowledge toils,185
Like guns o'ercharg'd, breaks, misses, or recoils.
When subtle wits have spun their thread too fine,
'Tis weak and fragile, like Arachme's line.
True piety without cessation tost
By theories, the practic part is lost;
And like a ball bandy'd 'twixt pride and wit,
Rather than yield, both sides the prize will quit;
Then whilst his foe each gladiator foils,
The Atheist looking on enjoys the spoils.
Thro' seas of knowledge we our course advance,
Discovering still new worlds of ignorance; 196
And these discov’ries make us all confess
That sublunary science is but guess.
Matters of fact to man are only known,
And what seems nore is mere opinion: 200
The standers-by see clearly this event;
All parties say they're sure, yet all dissent.
With their new light our bold inspectors press,
Like Cham, to show their fathers' nakedness,
By wlạose example after ages may
Discover we more naked are than they.
All human wisdom to divine is folly:
This truth the wisest man made melancholy.
Hope, or belief, or guess, gives some relief,
But to be sure we are deceiv'd brings grief. 210
Who thinks his wife is virtuous, tho' not so,
Is pleas'd and patient till the truth he know.
Our God, when heav'n and earth he did create,
Form’d man, who should of both participate.
If our lives' inotions theirs must imitate, 215
Our knowledge, like our blood, must circulate.
When like a bridegroom from the east the sun
Sets forth, he thither whence he came doth run.
Into earth's spungy veins the ocean sinks,
Those rivers to replenish which he drinks : 220
So Learning, which from reason's fountain springs,
Back to the source some secret channel brings.
'Tis happy when our streams of knowledge flow
To fill their banks, but not to overthrow. 224
"Ut metit Autumnus fruges quas parturit æstas, • Sic ortum Natura, dodit Deus his quoque finem.'
HENRY LORD HASTINGS, 1650. READER, preserve thy peace: those busy eyes Will weep at their own sad discoveries, When ev'ry line they add improves thy loss, Till having view'd the whole they sum across, Such as derides thy passions' best relief, And scorns the succours of thy easy grief: Yet lest thy ignorance betray thy name, Of man and pious, read and mourn: the shame Of an exemption from just sense doth show Irrational, beyond excess of woe. Since reason, then, can privilege a tear, Manhood, uncensurid, pay that tribute here Upon this noble urn. Here, here remains Dust far more precious than in India's veins : Within these cold embraces, ravish'd, lies That which completes the age's tyrannies; Who weak to such another ill appear, For what destroys our hope secures our fear. What sin, unexpiated in this land Of groans, hath guided so severe a land? The late great victim * that your altars knew, Ye angry gods! might have excus'd this new
* King Charles the First,
Oblation, and have spar'd orfe lofty light
Of virtue, to inform our steps aright;
By whose example good, condemned, we
Might have run on to kinder destiny;
But as the leader of the herd fell first
A sacrifice, to quench the raging thirst
Of inflam'd vengeance for past crimes; so none
But this white-fatted youngling could atone,
By his untimely fate, that impious smoke
That sullied earth, and did Heav'n's pity choke.
Let it suffice for us that we have lost
In him more than the widow'd world can boast
In any lump of her remaining clay.
Fair as the gray-ey'd Morn he was; the day,
Youthful, and climbing upwards still, imparts
No haste like that of his increasing parts.
Like the meridian beam, his virtue's light
Was seen as full of comfort, and as bright.
Had his noon been as fix'd as clear---but he,
That only wanted immortality
To make him perfect, now submits to night
In the black bosom of whose sable spite
He leaves a cloud of flesh behind, and flies,
Refin'd, all ray and glory to the skies.
Great Saint! shine there in au eternal sphere, And tell those powers to whom thou now draw'st
near, That by our trembling sense, in Hastings dead, Their anger and our ugly faults are read,