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When by a pardon'd murderer blood is spilt,
The judge that pardon’d hath the greatest guilt ;
Who accuse rigour, make a gross mistake,
One criminal pardon’d, may an hundred make;
When justice on offenders is not done,
Law, government, and commerce, are o’erthrown ;
As besieg'd traitors with the fpe conspire,
T' unlock the gates, and set the town on fire.
Yet lest the punishment th' offence exceed,
Justice with weight and measure must proceed :
Yet when pronouncing sentence, feem not glad,
Such spectacles, though they are just, are fad;
Though what thou dost, thou ought'st not to repent,
Yet human bowels cannot but relent:
Rather than all must suffer, some must die;
Yet nature must condole their misery.
if many equal guilt involve,
Thou may'st not these condemn, and those absolve,
Justice, when equal scales the holds, is blind,
Nor cruelty, nor mercy, change her mind ;
When some escape for that which others die,
Mercy to thofe, to these is cruelty.
A fine and slender net the spider weaves,
Which little and light animals receives ;
And if she catch a common bee or fly,
They with a piteous groan and murmur die ;
But if a wasp or hornet she entrap,
They tear her cords like Sampfon, and escape ;
So like a fly the poor offender dies ;
But, like the walp, the rich escapes and fies.
Do not, if one but lightly thee offend,
The punishment beyond the crime extend;
Or after warning the offence forget ;
So God himself our failings doth remit.
Expect not more from servants than is just,
Reward them well, if they observe their trust;
Nor them with cruelty or pride invade,
Since God and nature them our brothers made ;
If his offence be great, let that fuffice;
If light, forgive, for no man 's always wife.
My early Mistress, now my antient Muse,
That strong Circæan liquor cease t’infuse,
Wherewith thou didst intoxicate my youth,
Now stoop with dis-inchanted wings to truth;
As the dove's fight did guide Æneas, now
May thine conduct me to the golden bough;
Tell (like a tall old oak) how learning Thoots
To heaven her branches, and to hell her roots.
WHEN God from earth formd Adam in the east,
He his own image on the clay imprest;
As subjects then the whole creation came,
And from their natures Adam them did name;
Not from experience (for the world was new),
He only from their cause their natures knew.
been lost with innocence,
We had not known the sentence, nor th’ offence ;
'Twas his chief punishment to keep in store
The fad remembrance what he was before ;
And though th' offending part felt mortal pain,
Th’immortal part its knowledge did retain.
After the flood, arts to Chaldæa fell,
The father of the faithful there did dwell,
Who both their parent and instructor was ;
From thence did learning into Ægypt pass :
Moses in all th' Ægyptian arts was skill’d,
When heavenly power that chosen vessel fill'd;
And we to his high inspiration owe,
That what was done before the flood, we know.
From Ægypt, arts their progress made to Greece,
Wrapt in the fable of the golden fleece.
Mufæus first, then Orpheus, civilize
Mankind, and gave the world their deities;
To many gods they taught devotion,
Which were the distinct faculties of one ;
Th' eternal cause, in their immortal lines,
Was taught, and poets were the first divines :
God Mofes first, then David did inspire,
To compose anthems for his heavenly quire;
To th' one the style of friend he did impart,
On th’ other stamp the likeness of his heart :
And Mofes, in the old original,
Even God the poet of the world doth call.
Next those old Greeks, Pythagoras did rise,
Then Socrates, whom th' oracle call'd wise ;
The divine Plato moral virtue thews,
Then his disciple Aristotle rose,
Who nature's secrets to the world did teach,
Yet that great soul our novelists impeach ;
Too much manuring fillid that field with weeds,
While fects, like locusts, did destroy the feeds;
The tree of knowledge, blasted by disputes,
Produces fapless leaves instead of fruits ;
Proud Greece all nations else barbarians held,
Boasting her learning all the world excell'd.
Flying from thence, to Italy it came,
And to the realm of Naples gave the name,
Till both their nation and their arts did come
A welcome trophy to triumphant Rome ;
Then wherefoever her conquering eagles fled,
Arts, learning, and civility were spread ;
And as in this our microcosm, the heart
Heat, spirit, motion, gives to every part;
So Rome's victorious infuence did disperse
All her own virtues through the universe.
Here some digression I must make, t accuse
'Thee, my forgetful and ingrateful Muse :
Couldst thou from Greece to Latium take thy flight,
And not to thy great ancestor do right?
I can no more believe old Homer blind,
Than those, who say the sun hath never shin'd;
wherein he liv'd was dark, but he
Could not want fight, who taught the world to fee :
They who Minerva from Jove's head derive,
Might make old Homer's skull the Muses' hive;
And from his brain, that Helicon distil,
Whose racy liquor did his offspring fill.
Nor old Anacreon, Hefiod, Theocrite,
Must we forget, nor Pindar's lofty flight.
Old Homer's foul, at last from Greece retir'd,
In Italy the Mantuan fwain inspir’d.
When great Augustus made wars tempests cease,
His halcyon days brought forth the arts of peace ;
He still in his triumphant chariot shines,
By Horace drawn, and Virgil's mighty lines.