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Patron of else the most despis'd of men, Accept the tribute of a stranger's pen; Verse, like the laurel, it's immortal meed,
Should be the guerdon of a noble deed;
may alarm thee, but I fear the shame (Charity chosen as my theme and aim) I must incur, forgetting HOWARD's name. Blest with all wealth can give thee, to resign Joys doubly sweet to feelings quick as thine, To quit the bliss thy rural scenes bestow, To seek a nobler amid scenes of wo,
To traverse seas, range kingdoms, and bring
Not the proud monuments of Greece or Rome, But knowledge such as only dungeons teach, And only sympathy like thine could reach; That grief, sequester'd from the public stage, Might smooth her feathers, and enjoy her cage; Speaks a divine ambition, and a zeal,
The boldest patriot might be proud to feel.
O that the voice of clamour and debate,
That pleads for peace till it disturbs the state, Were hush'd in favour of thy gen'rous plea, 311
The poor thy clients, and Heav'n's smile thy fee! Philosophy, that does not dream or stray,
Walks arm in arm with Nature all his
Compasses Earth, dives into it, ascends
Aiding a dubious and deficient sight
All truth is precious, if not all divine;
And what dilates the pow'rs must needs refine.
Whate'er she learns, learns nothing as she ought; The lamp of revelation only shows,
What human wisdom cannot but oppose,
That man, in nature's richest mantle clad,
And grac'd with all philosophy can add,
Thus taught, down falls the plumage of his pride;
And knows that falling he shall rise no more,
Unless the pow'r that bade him stand restore.
This is indeed philosophy; this known
Whether the space between the stars and us,
For self to self, and God to man reveal'd,
Some through the groves, some down the sloping
Winding a secret or an open course,
And all supplied from an eternal source.
And Commerce partially reclaims mankind;
Gives Charity her being and her birth.
Suppose (when thought is warm, and fancy
What will not argument sometimes suppose?)
An isle possess'd by creatures of our kind,
But finds, that, though his tubes assist the sight,
They cannot give it, or make darkness light.