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That courage which can make you just
To merit humbled in the dust;
The detestation you express
For vice in all its glittering dress;
That patience under torturing pain,
Where stubborn stoicks would complain:
Mast these like empty shadows pass,
Or forms reflected from a glass?
Or mere chimeras in the mind,
That fly, and leave no marks behind ?
Does not the body thrive and grow
By food of twenty years ago ?
And, had it not been still supplied,
It must a thousand times have died.
Then who with reason can maintain
That no effects of food remain ?
And is not virtue in mankind
The nutriment that feeds the mind;
Upheld by each good action past,
And still continued by the last?
Then, who with reason can pretend
That all effects of virtue end?
· Believe me, Stella, when you show
That true contempt for things below,
Nor prize your life for other ends,
Than merely to oblige your friends;
Your former actions claim their part,
And join to fortify your heart.
For Virtue, in her daily race,
Like Janus, bears a double face;
Looks back with joy where she has gone,
And therefore goes with courage on:
She at your sickly couch will wait,
And guide you to a better state.
O then, whatever Heaven intends,
Take pity on your pitying friends!
Nor let your ills affect your mind,
To fancy they can be unkind.
Me, surely me, you ought to spare,
Who gladly would your suffering share;
Or give my scrap of life to you,
And think it far beneath your due ;
You, to whose care so oft I owe
That I'm alive to tell you so.
HORACE, BOOK I. ODE XIV. PARAPHRASED, AND INSCRIBED TO IRELAND. 1726.'
Poor floating isle, tost on Ill-fortune's waves,
Ordain'd by fate to be the land of slaves;
Shall moving Delos now deep-rooted stand:
Thou, fix'd of old, be now the moving land ?
Although the metaphor be worn and stale,
Betwixt a state, and vessel under sail;
Let me suppose thee for a ship a while,
And thus address thee in the sailor's style.
NHAPPY ship, thou art return'd in vain ;
New waves shall drive thee to the deep again.
Look to thyself, and be no more the sport
Of giddy winds, but make some friendly port.
Lost are thy oars, that us'd thy course to guide,
Like faithful counsellors, on either side,
Thy mast, which like some aged patriot stood
The single pillar for his country's good,
To lead thee, as a staff directs the blind,
Behold it cracks by yon rough eastern wind.
Your cables burst, and you must quickly feel
The waves impetuous enter at your keel.
Thus commonwealths receive a foreign yoke,
When the strong cords of union once are broke.
Torn by a sudden tempest is thy sail,
Expanded to invite a milder gale.
Às when some writer in a publick cause
His pen, to save a sinking nation, draws,
While all is calm, his arguments prevail ;
The people's voice expands his paper sail ;
Till power, discharging all her stormy bags,
Flutters the feeble pamphlet into rags.
The nation scar'd, the anthor doom'd to death,
Who fondly put his trust in popular breath,
A larger sacrifice in vain you vow;
There's not a power above will help you now:
A nation thus, who oft Heaven's call neglects,
In vain from injur'd Heaven relief expects.
'Twill not avail, when thy strong sides are broke,
That thy descent is from the British oak ;
Or, when your name and family you boast,
From fleets triumphant o'er the Gallick coast,
Such was Ierne's claim, as just as thine,
Her sons descended from the British line;
Her matchless sons, whose valour still remains
On French records for twenty long campaigns ;
Yet, from an empress now a captive grown,
She sav'd Britannia's rights, and lost her own.
In ships decay'd no mariner confides, Lurd by the gilded stern and painted sides: Yet at a ball unthinking fools delight In the gay trappings of a birthday night: They on the gold brocades and satins rav'd, And quite forgot their country was enslav'd. Dear vessel, still be to thy steerage just, Nor change thy course with every sudden gust; Like supple patriots of the modern sort, Who turn with every gale that blows from court.
Weary and seasick wben in thee confin'd, Now for thy safety cares distract my mind; As those who long have stood the storms of state, Retire, yet still bemoan their country's fate.
Beware, and when you hear the surges roar,
Avoid the rocks on Britain's
shore. They lie, alas! too easy to be found; For thee alone they lie the island round.
VERSES ON THE SUDDEN DRYING UP OF
ST. PATRICK'S WELL,
TRINITY COLLEGE, DUBLIN, 1726.
By holy zeal inspir'd, and led by fame,
To thee, once favourite isle, with joy I came;
What time the Goth, the Vandal, and the Hun,
Had my own native Italy * o’errun.
Jerne, to the world's remotest parts,
Renown'd for valour, policy, and arts.
Hither from Colchos +, with the fleecy ore,
Jason arriv'd two thousand years before.
Thee, happy island, Pallas call’d her own,
When haughty Britain was a land unknown 1:
From thee, with pride, the Caledonians trace
The glorious founder of their kingly race:
Thy martial sons, whom now they dare despise,
Did once their land subdue and civilize:
* Italy was not properly the native place of St. Patrick, but the place of his education, and where he received his mission; and because he had his new birth there, hence by poetical licence, and by scripture figure, our author calls that country his native Italy. H.
+ Orpheus, or the ancient author of the Greek poem on the Argonautick expedition, whoever he be, says, that Jason, who manned the ship Argos at Thessaly, sailed to Ireland. H.
1. Tacitus, in the life of Julius Agricola, says, that the har. bours of Ireland, on account of their commerce, were bettes known to the world than those of Britain. H.
Their dress, their language, and the Scottish name,
Confess the soil from whence the victors came.
Well may they boast that ancient blood, which runs
Within their veins, who are thy younger sons.
A conquest and a colony from thee,
The mother-kingdom left her children free;
From thee no mark of slavery they felt:
Not so with thee thy base invaders dealt;
Invited here to vengeful Morrough's aid *,
Those whom they could not conquer, they betray’d.
Britain, by thee we fell, ungrateful isle!
Not by thy valour, but superiour guile:
Britain, with shame, confess this land of mine
First taught thee human knowledge and divine ti
My prelates and my students, sent from hence,
Made your sons converts both to God and sense :
Not like the pastors of thy ravenous breed,
Who come to fleece the flocks, and not to feed.
Wretched lerne! with what grief I see
The fatal changes Time has made in thee!
The Christian rites I introduc'd in vain :
Lo! infidelity return'd again!
Freedom and virtue in thy sons I found,
Who now in vice and slavery are drown'd.
By faith and prayer, this crosier in my hand,
I drove the venom'd serpent from thy land:
* In the reign of Henry II, Dermot M‘Morrough, king of Leinster, being deprived of his kingdom by Roderick O'Connor, king of Connaught, he invited the English over as auxiliaries, and promised Richard Strongbow earl of Pembroke, his daughter and all his dominions as a portion. By this assistance, M.Morrough recovered his crown, and Strongbow became possessed of all Leinster. H.
+ St. Patrick arrived in Ireland in the year 431, and completed the conversion of the natives, which had been begun by Palladius and others. And, as bishop Nicholson observes, Ireland soon became the fountain of learning, to which all the Western Christians, as well as the English, had recourse, not only for instructions in the principles of religion, but in all sorts of literature, viz, legendi es scholastice eruditionis gratiâ. H.