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Then, first rebelling, his own stamp he coins,
The murderer Cain was latent in his loins;
And blood began its first and loudest cry,
For differing worship of the Deity.
Thus Persecution rose, and farther space
Produc'd the mighty Hunter of his race.
Not so the blessed Pan his flock increas'd,
Content to fold 'em from the famish'd beast :
Mild were his laws; the sheep and harmless Hind
Were never of the persecuting kind.
Such pity now the pious pastor shows,
Such mercy from the British Lion flows,
That both provide protection from their foes. S
Oh happy regions ! Italy and Spain,
Which never did those monsters entertain!
The Wolf, the Bear, the Boar, can there advance
No native claim of just inheritance;
And self-preserving laws, severe in show,
May guard their fences from the invading foe.
Where birth hath plac'd 'em, let 'em safely share
The common benefit of vital air:
Themselves unharmful, let them live unharm’d,
Their jaws disabled, and their claws disarm’d:
Here, only in nocturnal howlings bold,
They dare not seize the Hind, nor leap the fold:
More powerful, and as vigilant as they,
The Lion awfully forbids the prey :
Their rage repress'd, though pinch'd with famine
They stand aloof, and tremble at his roar; [sore,
Much is their hunger, but their fear is more.
These are the chief; to number o'er the rest,
And stand, like Adam, naming every beast,
Were weary work; nor will the Muse describe
A slimy-born and sun-begotten tribe,
Who, far from steeples, and their sacred sound,
In fields their sullen conventicles found.
These gross, half-animated lumps I leave,
Nor can I think what thoughts they can conceive ;
But if they think at all, 'tis sure no higher
Than matter, put in motion, may aspire:
Souls that can scarce ferment their mass of clay,
So drossy, so divisible are they,
As would but serve pure bodies for allay :
Such souls as shards produce, such beetle-things
As only buz to Heaven with evening wings;
Strike in the dark, offending but by chance ;
Such are the blindfold blows of Ignorance :
They know. not beings, and but hate a name ;
To them the Hind and Panther are the same.
The Panther, sure the noblest next the Hind,
And fairest creature of the spotted kind;
Oh, could her in-born stains be wash'd away,
She were too good to be a beast of prey!
How can I praise, or blame, and not offend,
Or how divide the frailty from the friend?
Her faults and virtues lie so mix'd, that she
Nor wholly stands condemn'd, nor wholly free;
Then, like her injur'd Lion, let me speak;
He cannot bend her, and he would not break.
Unkind already, and estrang’d in part,
The Wolf begins to share her wandering heart ·
Though unpolluted yet with actual ill,
She half commits, who sins but in her will.
If, as our dreaming Platonists report,
There could be spirits of a middle sort,
Too black for Heaven, and yet too white for
hell. Who just drop'd half way down, nor lower fell;
So pois'd, so gently she descends from high,
It seems a soft dismission from the sky.
Her house not ancient, whatsoe'er pretence
Her clergy-heralds make in her defence;
A second century not half-way run,
Since the new honours of her blood begun :
A lion* old, obscene, and furious made
By lust, compress’d her mother in a shade ;
Then, by a left-hand marriage, weds the dame,
Covering adultery with a specious name;
So Schism begot; and Sacrilege and she,
A well match'd pair, got graceless Heresy.
God's and kings' rebels have the same good cause
To trample down divine and human laws :
Both would be call'd Reformers, and their hate
Alike destructive both to church and state :
The fruit proclaims the plant; a lawless prince
By luxury reform'd incontinence;
By ruins, charity; by riots, abstinence;
Confessions, fasts, and penance set aside :
Oh, with what ease we follow such a guide,
Where souls are starv'd, and senses gratified !
Where marriage pleasures midnight prayer sup-
And matin bells, a melancholy cry, [ply,
Are turn’d to merrier notes, increase and multiply.
Religion shows a rosy-colour'd face,
Not batter'd out with drudging works of grace:
A down-hill reformation rolls apace.
What flesh and blood would crowd the narrow
gate ; Or, till they waste their pamperd paunches, wait All would be happy at the cheapest rate.
Though our lean faith these rigid laws has given, The full-fed Mussulman goes fat to Heaven; For his Arabian prophet with delights Of sense allur'd his eastern proselytes. The jolly Luther, reading him, began To’interpret Scriptures by his Alcoran ; To grub the thorns beneath our tender feet, And make the paths of Paradise more sweet; Bethought him of a wife, ere half-way gone, (For 'twas uneasy travelling alone) And, in this masquerade of mirth and love, Mistook the bliss of Heaven for Bacchanals above. Sure he presum’d of praise, who came to stock The' ethereal pastures with so fair a flock, Burnish'd, and battening on their food, to show Their diligence of careful herds below.
Our Panther, though like these she chang'd her Yet as the mistress of a monarch's bed, [head, Her front erect with majesty she bore, The crosier wielded, and the mitre wore. ller upper part, of decent discipline, Show'd affectation of an ancient line ; And fathers, councils, church, and churches' head, Were on her reverend phylacteries read : But what disgrac'd and disavow'd the rest, Was Calvin's brand, that stigmatiz'd the beast. Thus like a creature of a double kind, In her own labyrinth she lives confin'd; To foreign lands no sound of her is come, Humbly content to be despis'd at home. Such is her faith, where good cannot be had, At least she leaves the refuge of the bad : Nice in her choice of ill, though not the best, And least deform’d, because deform'd the least.
In doubtful points betwixt two differing friends,
Where one for substance, one for sign contends;
Their contradicting terms she strives to join,
Sign shall be substance, substance shall be sign:
A real presence all her sons allow,
And yet ’tis flat idolatry to bow,
Because the Godhead's there they know not how.
Her novices are taught that bread and wine
Are but the visible and outward sign,
Receiv'd by those who in communion join;
But the’ inward grace, or the thing signified,
His blood and body, who to save us died.
The faithful this thing signified receive;
What is't those faithful then partake or leave?
For what is signified and understood
Is, by her own confession, flesh and blood :
Then, by the same acknowledgment, we know
They take the sign, and take the substance too.
The literal sense is hard to flesh and blood,
But nonsense never can be understood.
Her wild belief on every wave is toss'd.
But sure no church can better morals boast :
True to her king her principles are found,
Oh, that her practice were but half so sound !
Stedfast in various turns of state she stood,
And seal'd her vow'd affection with her blood.
Nor will I meanly tax her constancy,
That interest or obligement made the tie,
Bound to the fate of murder'd Monarchy.
Before the sounding axe so falls the vine,
Whose tender branches round the poplar twine ;
She chose her ruin, and resign'd her life,
In death undaunted as an Indian wife :