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ADIEU, Vinosa cries, ere yet he sips
The purple bumper, trembling at his lips,
Adieu to all morality--if grace
Make works a vain ingredient in the case!
The Christian hope ism-Waiter, draw the cork
If I mistake not-Blockhead! with a fork ! -
Without good works, whatever some may boast,
Mere folly and delusion-Sir, your toast!
My firm persuasion is, at least sometimes,
That heav'n will weigh man's virtues and his crimes.
With nice attention, in a righteous scale,
And save or damn as these or those prevail.
I plant my foot upon this ground of trust,
And silence every fear with God is just.
But if perchance, on some dull drizzling day,
A thought intrude that says, or seems to say,
If thus th' important cause is to be tried,
Suppose the beam should dip on the wrong side;
I soon recover from these needless frights,
And, God is merciful-sets all to rights.
Thus, between justice, as my prime support,
And mercy, fed to as the last resort,
I glide and steal along with hear’n in view,
And-pardon me--the bottle stands with you.
THERE is prurience in the speech of some, Wrath stays him, or else God would strike him
dumb: His wise forbearance has their end in view; They fill their measure, and receive their due. The heathen law-givers of ancient days, Names almost worthy of a Christian's praise, Would drive them forth from the resort of men, And shut up ev'ry satyr in his den. Oh, come not ye near innocence and truth, Ye worms that eat into the bud of youth! Infectious as impure, your blighting pow'r Taints in its rudiments the promis'd Row'r; Its odour perish'd and its charming hue, Thenceforth ’tis hateful, for it smells of you. Not ev’n the vigorous and headlong rage Of adolescence, or a firmer age,
Affords a plea allowable or just
For making speech the pamperer of lust;
But, when the breath of age commits the fault,
'Tis nauseous as the vapour of a vault.
So wither'd stumps disgrace the sylvan scene,
No longer fruitful, and no longer green;
The sapless wood, divested of the bark,
Grows fungous, and takes fire at ev'ry spark,
YE pow’rs who rule the tongue, if such there are,
And make colloquial happiness your care,
Preserve me from the thing I dread and hate-
A duel in the form of a debate.
The clash of arguments and jar of words,
Worse than the mortal brunt of rival swords,
Decide no question with their tedious length,
(For opposition gives opinion strength)
Divert the champions, prodigal of breath,
And put the peaceably-disposed to death.
Oh, thwart me not, Sir Soph, at ev'ry turn,
Nor carp at ev'ry flaw you may discern;
Though syllogisms hang not on my tongue,
I am not surely always in the wrong !
'Tis hard if all is false that I advance
A fool must now and then be right, by chance.
Not that all freedom of dissent I blame;
No-there I grant the privilege I claim.