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Thus he the church at once protects, and spoils :
But princes' swords are sharper than their styles. '
And thus to th' ages past he makes amends,
Their charity destroys, their faith defends.
Then did religion in a lazy cell,
In empty, airy contemplations dwell;
And like the block, unmoved lay: but ours,
As much too active, like the stork devours.
Is there no temperate region can be known,
Betwixt their frigid, and our torrid zone ?
Could we not wake from that lethargic dream,
But to be restless in a worse extreme ?
And for that lethargy was there no cure,
But to be cast into a calenture ?
Can knowledge have no bound, but must advance
So far, to make us wish for ignorance ;
And rather in the dark to grope our way,
Than led by a false guide to err by day?
Who fees these dismal heaps, but would demand
What barbarous invader fack'd the land ?
But when he hears, no Goth, no Turk did bring
This desolation, but a Christian king;
When nothing, but the name of zeal, appears
'Twixt our best actions and the worst of theirs ;
What does he think our facrilege would spare,
When such th'effects of our devotions are ?
Parting from thence 'twixt anger, shame, and fear,
Those for what's past, and this for what's too near,
My eye descending from the hill, surveys
Where Thames among the wanton vallies strays.
Thames, the most lov’d of all the Ocean's fons
By his old fire, to his embraces runs ;
Hasting to pay his tribute to the sea,
Like mortal life to meet eternity.
Though with those streams he no resemblance hold,
Whose foam is amber, and their gravel gold;
His genuine and less guilty wealth t’explore,
Search not his bottom, but survey his shore ;
O'er which he kindly spreads his spacious wing,
And hatches plenty for th’ ensuing spring.
Nor then destroys it with too fond a stay,
Like mothers which their infants overlay.
Nor with a sudden and impetuous wave,
Like profuse kings, resumes the wealth he gave.
No unexpected inundations spoil
The mower's hopes, nor mock the plowman's toil:
But god-like his unweary'd bounty Aows;
First loves to do, then loves the good he does.
Nor are his blessings to his banks confin'd,
But free, and common, as the sea or wind;
When he, to boast or to disperse his stores
Full of the tributes of his grateful shores,
Visits the world, and in his flying towers
Brings home to us, and makes both Indies ours;
Finds wealth where 'tis, bestows it where it wants,
Cities in desarts, woods in cities plants.
So that to us no thing, no place is strange,
While his fair bosom is the world's exchange.
O could I flow like thee, and make thy stream
My great example, as is my theme !
Though deep, yet clear ; though gentle, yet not dull;
Strong without rage, without o’erflowing full.
Heaven her Eridanus no more shall boast,
Whose fame in thine, like leiser current, 's loft ;
Thy nobler streams shall visit Jove's abodes,
To shine among the * stars, and bathe the gods.
Here nature, whether more intent to please
Us for herself, with strange varieties,
(For things of wonder give no less delight,
To the wise maker's, than beholder's sight.
Though these delights from several causes moves
For fo our children, thus our friends we love)
Wifely she knew, the harmony of things,
As well as that of founds, from difcord springs.
Such was the discord, which did first disperse
Form, order, beauty, through the universe ;
While dryness moisture, coldness heat resifts,
All that we have, and that we are, fubfifts.
While the steep horrid roughness of the wood
Strives with the gentle calmness of the flood.
Such huge extremes when nature doth unite,
Wonder from thence results, from thence delight,
The stream is so transparent, pure, and clear,
That had the self-enamour'd youth gaz'd here,
So fatally deceiv’d he had not been,
While he the bottom, not his face had seen.
But his proud head the airy mountain hides
Among the clouds; his shoulders and his fides
A lady mantle cloaths ; his curled brows
Frown on the gentle stream, which calmly flows;
While winds and storms his lofty forehead beat :
The common fate of all that's high or great.
Low at his foot a spacious plain is plac’d,
Between the mountain and the stream embrac’d: .
Which fhade and shelter from the hill derives,
While the kind river wealth and beauty gives ;
And in the mixture of all these appears
Variety, which all the rest endears.
This scene had some bold Greek, or British bard
Beheld of old, what stories had we heard
Of fairies, satyrs, and the nymphs their dames,
Their feasts, their revels, and their amorous flames?
'Tis still the same, although their airy shape
All but a quick poetic fight escape.
There Faunus and Sylvanus keep their courts,
And thither all the horned host resorts
To graze the ranker mead, that noble herd,
On whose sublime and shady fronts is rear'd
Nature's great master-piece ; to fhew how soon
Great things are made, but sooner are undone,
Here have I seen the king, when great affairs
Gave leave to sacken and unbend his cares,
Attended to the chafe by all the flower
Of youth, whose hopes a nobler devour:
Pleasure with praise, and danger they would buy,
And with a foe that would not only fly.
The stag now conscious of his fatal growth,
At once indulgent to his fear and floth,
To fome dark covert his retreat had made,
Where nor man's eye, nor heaven's should invade
His soft repose; when th' unexpected found
Of dogs, and men, his wakeful ear does wound :
Rouz'd with the noise, he scarce believes his ear,
Willing to think th'illusions of his fear
Had given this false alarm, but streight his view
Confirms, that more than all he fears is true.
Betray'd in all his strengths, the wood beset;
All instruments, all arts of ruin met ;
He calls to mind his strength, and then his speed,
His winged heels, and then his armed head;
With these t'avoid, with that his fate to meet :
But fear prevails, and bids him trust his feet.
So fast he fies, that his reviewing eye
Has lost the chasers, and his ear the cry;
Exulting, till he finds their nobler sense
Their disproportion'd speed doth recompense ;
Then curses his conspiring feet, whose scent
Betrays that safety which their swiftness lent.
Then tries his friends ; among the baser herd,
Where he so lately was obey'd and fear'd,
His fafety seeks: the herd, unkindly wise,
Or chases him from thence, or from him flies,
Like a declining statesman, left forlorn
To his friends' pity, and pursuers’ scorn,
With shame remembers, while himself was one
Of the fame herd, himself the same had done.
Thence to the coverts and the conscious groves,
The scenes of his past triumphs, and his loves ;