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The Governor of all, himself to all So bountiful, in whose attentive ear The unfledg'd raven and the lion's whelp Plead not in vain for pity on the pangs Of hunger unassuag'd, has interpos’d, Not seldom, bis avenging arm, to smite Th’injurious trampler upon nature's law, That claims forbearance even for a brute. He hates the hardness of a Balaam's heart; And, prophet as he was, he might not strike The blameless animal, without rebuke, On which he rode. Her opportune offence Sav'd him, or th' unrelenting seer had died. He sees that human equity is slack To interfere, though in so just a cause ; And makes the task his own. Inspiring dumb And helpless victims with a sense so keen Of injury, with such knowledge of their strength, And such sagacity to take revenge, That oft the beast has seem'd to judge the man. An ancient, not a legendary tale, By one of sound intelligence rehears'd, (If such who plead for Providence may seem In modern eyes,) shall make the doctrine clear.

Where England, stretch'd towards the setting sun, Narrow and long, o'erlooks the western wave, Dwelt young Misagathus; a scorner he Of God and goodness, atheist in ostent, Vicious in act, in temper savage-fierce. He journey'd ; and his chance was, as he went To join a trav'ller, of far diff'rent note, Evander, fam'a for piety, for years


Deserving honour, but for wisdom more.
Fame had not left the venerable man
A stranger to the manners of the youth,
Whose face too was familiar to his view.
Their way was on the margin of the land,
O’er the green summit of the rocks, whose base
Beats back the roaring surge, scarce heard so high
The charity, that warm’d his heart, was mov'd
At sight of the man-monster. With a smile
Gentle, and affable, and full of grace,
As fearful of offending whom he wish'd
Much to persuade, he plied his ear with truths
Not harshly thunder'd forth, or rudely press’d,
But, like his purpose, gracious, kind, and sweet.
• And dost thou dream,' th’ impenetrable man
Exclaim'd, that me the lullabies of age,
• And fantasies of dotards such as thou,
«Can eheat, or move a moment's fear in me?
‘Mark now the proof I give thee, that the brave
• Need no such aids, as superstition lends
• To steel their hearts against the dread of death.
He spoke, and to the precipice at hand
l'ush'd with a madman's fury. Fancy shrinks
And the blood thrills and curdles, at the thought
Of such a gulf as he design’d his grave.
But, though the felon on his back could dare
The dreadful lear, more rational, his steed
Declin'd the death, and wheeling swiftly round,
Or e'er his hoof had press’d the crumbling verge,
Baffled his rider, sav'd against his will.
The frenzy of the brain may be redress’d
By med'cine well applied, but without grace


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The heart's insanity admits no cure.
Enrag'd the more, by what might have reformid
His horrible intent, again he sought
Destruction, with a zeal to be destroy'd,
With sounding whip, and rowels died in blood.
But still in vain. The Providence, that meant
A longer date to the far nobler beast,
Spar'd yet again th' ignoble for his sake.
And now, his prowess prov'd, and his sincere
Incurable obduracy evine’d,
His rage grew cool; and, pleas'd perhaps thave

So cheaply the renown of that attempt,
With looks of some complacence he resum'd
His road, deriding much the blank amaze
Of good Evander, still where he was left
Fix'd motionless, and petrified with dread.
So on they far'd. Discourse on other themes
Ensuing seem'd t'obliterate the past ;
And tamer far for so much fury shown,
(As is the course of rash and fiery men)
The rude companion smild, as if transform'd.
But 'twas a transcient calm. A storm was near,
An unsuspected storm. His hour was come.
The impious challenger of Pow'r divine
Was now to learn, that Heav'n, though slow to

wrath, Is never with impunity defied. His horse, as he had caught his master's mooil, Snorting, and starting into şudden rage, Unbidden, and not now to be controllid, Rush'd to the cliff, and, having reach'd it, stood.

At once the shock unseated him : he flew
Sheer o'er the craggy barrier; and, immers'd
Deep in the flood, found, when he sought it not,
The death he had deserv'd, and died alone.
So God wrought double justice; made the fool
The victim of his own tremendous choice,
And taught a brute the way to safe revenge.

I would not enter on my list of friends
(Though grac'd with polish'd manners and fine sense,
Yet wanting sensibility) the man
Who needlessly sets foot upon a worm.
An inadvertent step may crush the snail,
That crawls at ev’ning in the publick path ;
But he that has humanity, forewarn’d,
Will tread aside, and let the reptile live.
The creeping vermin, loathsome to the sight,
And charg'd perhaps with venom, that intrudes,
A visitor unwelcome, into scenes
Sacred to neatness and repose, th' alcove,
The chamber, or refectory, may die :
A necessary act incurs no blame.
Not so when, held within their proper bounds,
And guiltless of offence, they range the air,
Or take their pastime in the spacious field;
There they are privileg'd; and he that hunts
Or harms them there is guilty of a wrong,
Disturbs th' economy of Nature's realm,
Who, when she form’d, design’d them an abode.
The sum is this. If man's convenience, health,
Or safety, interfere, his rights and claims
Are paramount, and must extinguish theirs.
Else they are all the meanest things that are,

As free to live, and to enjoy that life,'
As God was free to form them at the first,
Who in his sov’reign wisdom made them all.
Ye, therefore, who love mercy, teach your sons
To love it too. The springtime of our years
Is soon dishonourd and defil'd in most
By budding ills, that ask a prudent hand,
To check them. But alas ! none sooner shoots,
If unrestrain'd, into luxuriant growth,
Than cruelty, most dev'lish of them all.
Mercy to him, that shows it, is the rule
And righteous limitation of its act,
By which Heav’n moves in pard’ning guilty man ;
And he that shows none, being ripe in years,
And conscious of the outrage he commits,
Shall seek it, and not find it, in his turn.
Distinguish'd much by reason, and still more
By our capacity of Grace divine,
From creatures, that exist but for our sake,
Which, having serv'd us, perish, we are held
Accountable ; and God some future day
Will reckon with us roundly for th'abuse
Of what he deems no mean or trivial trust.
Superiour as we are, they yet depend
Not more on human help than we on theirs.
Their strength, or speed, or vigilance, were giv ’n
In aid of our defects, In some are found
Such teachable and apprehensive parts,
That man's attainments in his own concerns,
Match'd with th' expertness of the brutes in theirs,
Are ofttimes vanquish’d, and thrown far behind,
Some show that nice sagacity of smell,

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