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Though laden, not encumber'd with her spoil;
arise. For her the Judgment, umpire in the strife, That Grace and Nature have to wage through life, Quick-sighted arbiter of good and ill, Appointed sage preceptor to the Will, Condemns, approves, and with a faithful voice Guides the decision of a doubtful choice.
Why did the fiat of a God give birth To yon
fair Sun, and his attendant Earth? And, when descending he resigns the skies, Why takes the gentler Moon her turn to rise,
Whom Ocean feels through all his countless waves, And owns her pow'r on ev'ry shore he laves? Why do the seasons still enrich the
year, Fruitful and young as in their first career? Spring hangs her infant blossoms on the trees, Rock'd in the cradle of the western breeze; Summer in haste the thriving charge receives Beneath the shade of her expanded leaves, Till Autumn's fiercer heats and plenteous dews Dye them at last in all their glowing hues."Twere wild profusion all, and bootless waste, Pow'r misemploy'd, munificence misplac'd, Had not it's author dignified the plan, And crown'd it with the majesty of man. Thus form’d, thus plac'd, intelligent, and taught, Look where he will, the wonders God has wrought, The wildest scorner of his Maker's laws Finds in a sober moment time to pause, To press th' important question on his heart,
Why form’d at all, and wherefore as thou art?" If man be what he seems, this hour a slave, The next mere dust and ashes in the grave; Endu'd with reason only to descry. His crimes and follies with an aching eye;
With passions, just that he may prove, with pain,
Truths, that the learn'd pursue with eager thought, Are not important always as dear bought, Proving at last, though told in pompous strains, A childish waste of philosophic pains; But truths, on which depends our main concern, That 'tis our shame and mis’ry not to learn, Shine by the side of ev'ry path we tread With such a lustre, he that runs may read. 'Tis true that, if to trifle life away Down to the sunset of their latest day, Then perish on futurity's wide shore Like fleeting exhalations, found no more,
Were all that Heav'n requir'd of humankind,
In early days the conscience has in most A quickness, which in later life is lost: Preserv'd from guilt by salutary fears, Or guilty soon relenting into tears. Too careless often, as our years proceed, What friends we sort with, or what books we read, Our parents yet exert a prudent care, To feed our infant minds with proper fare; And wisely store the nurs'ry by degrees With wholesome learning, yet acquir'd with ease. Neatly secur'd from being soild or torn Beneath a pane of thin translucent horn, A book (to please us at a tender age "Tis called a book, though but a single page) Presents the pray’r the Saviour deign’d to teach, Which children use, and parsons - when they
preach. Lisping our syllables, we scramble next Through moral narrative, or sacred text; And learn with wonder how this world began, Who made, who marr’d, and who has ransom'd,
Points, which, unless the Scripture made them plain, The wisest heads might agitate in vain.