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On Precraftination.

BE wife to-day; 'tis madness to defer :
Next day the fatal precedent will plead;
Thus on, till wisdom is push'd out of life.
Procrastination is the thief of time.

Year after year it steals, till all are fled;
And, to the mercies of a moment leaves
The vaft concerns of an eternal scene.

Of man's miraculous miftakes, this bears
The palm, "That all men are about to live;"
For ever on the brink of being born.

All pay themselves the compliment to think, They, one day, fhall not drivel; and their pride On this reverfion takes up ready praife;

At least, their own; their future felves applauds; How excellent that life they ne'er will lead ! Time lodg'd in their own hands is Folly's vails; That lodg'd in Fate's, to Wisdom they confign; The thing they can't but purpose, they postpone. 'Tis not in Folly, not to fcorn a fool;

And fearce in human Wifdom to do more.

All promife is poor dilatory man;

And that thro' ev'ry ftage. When young, indeed,

In full content, we fometimes nobly rest,
Unanxious for ourfelves; and only with,
As duteous fons, our fathers were more wife.
At thirty, man fufpects himself a fool;
Knows it at forty, and reforms his plan;
At fifty, chides his infamous delay;
Pushes his prudent purpose to refolve;

In all the magnanimity of thought,
Refolves, and re-refolves, then dies the fame.

And why? Because he thinks himself immortal. All men think all men mortal, but themselves; Themselves, when fome alarming fhock of fate Strikes thro' their wounded hearts the fudden dread: But their hearts wounded, like the wounded air, Soon clofe; where, paft the fhaft, no trace is found. As from the wing no fear the sky retains; The parted wave no furrow from the keel; So dies in human hearts the thought of death. Ev'n with the tender tear which Nature sheds O'er those we love, we drop it in their grave.



That Philofophy, which stops at fecondary Causes, reproved.

HAPPY the man who fees a God employ'd
In all the good and ill that checker life!
Refolving all events, with their effects
And manifold refults, into the will

And arbitration wife of the Supreme.

Did not his eye rule all things, and intend

The least of our concerns; (fince from the leaft
The greatest oft originate;) could chance
Find place in his dominion, or difpofe
One lawless particle to thwart his plan;
Then God might be furpris'd, and unforeseen
Contingence might alarm him, and disturb
The smooth and equal course of his affairs.

This truth, Philofophy, though cagle-eyed
In Nature's tendencies, oft overlooks;
And having found his inftrument, forgets
Or difregards, or, more prefumptuous ftill,
Denies the pow'r that weilds it. God proclaims
His hot difpleafure againft foolish men
That live an atheift life; involves the heav'n
In tempefis; quits his grafp upon the winds,
And gives them all their fury; bids a plague
Kindle a fiery boil upon the fkin,

And putrify the breath of blooming Health.
He calls for Famine, and the meagre fiend
Blows mildew from between his fhrivel'd lips,
And taints the golden ear; he fprings his mines,
And defolates a nation at a blast:

Forth fteps the fpruce philofopher, and tells
Of homogeneal and difcordant springs
And principles; of caufes, how they work
By necefsary laws their fure effects,
Of action and re-action. He has found
The fource of the difeafe that Nature feels;
And bids the world take heart and banish fear.
Thou fool! will thy difcov'ry of the caufe
Sufpend th' effect or heal it? Has not God

Still wrought by means fince firft he made the world?
And did he not of old employ his means
To drown it? What is his creation lefs
Than a capacious refervoir of means,
Form'd for his ufe, and ready at his will?
Go, drefs thine eyes with eye-falve; afk of him,
Or afk of whomfoever he has taught;

And learn, though late, the genuine cause of all.



Indignant Sentiments on National Prejudices and Hatred; and on Slavery.

OH for a lodge in some vast wilderness,
Some boundless contiguity of fhade,
Where rumour of opprefsion and deceit,
Of unfuccefsful or fuccefsful war,

Might never reach me more. My ear is pain'd,
My foul is fick with ev'ry day's report

Of wrong and outrage with which earth is fill'd.
There is no flesh in man's obdurate heart;
It does not feel for man. The nat'ral bond
Of brotherhood is fever'd, as the flax

That falls afunder at the touch of fire.

He finds his fellow guilty of a skin

Not colour'd like his own; and having pow'r
T'inforce the wrong, for such a worthy caufe
Dooms and devotes him as his lawful prey.
Lands interfected by a narrow frith
Abhor each other. Mountains interpo'sd,
Make enemies of nations, who had elfe,
Like kindred drops, been mingled into one.
Thus man devotes his brother, and deftroys;
And worse than all, and moft to be deplor'd,
As Human Nature's broadeft, fouleft blot,
Chains him, and tasks him, and exacts his fweat
With ftripes, that Mercy, with a bleeding heart,
Weeps when the fees inflicted on a beast.
Then what is man? And what man feeing this,


And having human feelings, does not blush
And hang his head, to think himself a man?
I would not have a flave to till my ground,
To carry me, to fan me while I fleep,
And tremble when I wake, for all the wealth
That finews bought and fold have ever earn'd.
No: dear as freedom is, and in my heart's
Juft eftimation priz'd above all price;
I had much rather be myfelf the flave,

And wear the bonds, than fasten them on him.
We have no flaves at home-then why abroad?
And they themselves once ferried o'er the wave
That parts us, are emancipate and loos'd.
Slaves cannot breathe in England; if their lungs
Receive our air, that moment they are free;
They touch our country, and their fhackles fall.
That's noble, and bespeaks a nation proud
And jealous of the blessing. Spread it then,
And let it circulate through ev'ry vein
Of all your empire. That where Britain's
Is felt, mankind may feel her mercy too.



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