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To the reverend and learned Dr. WEBSTER, Occasioned by his Dialogues on ANGER and FORGIVENESS.


1 'TWAS when th' omniscient creative pow'r
2 Display'd his wonders by a mortal's hand,
3 And, delegated at th' appointed hour,
4 Great Moses led away his chosen band;
5 When Israel's host, with all their stores,
6 Past thro' the ruby-tinctur'd crystal shores,
7 The wilderness of waters and of land:
8 Then persecution rag'd in heav'n's own cause,
9 And right on neighbouring kingdoms to infringe,
10 Strict justice for the breach of nature's laws,
11 Strict justice, who's full-sister to revenge:
12 The legislator held the scythe of fate,
13 Where'er his legions chanc'd to stray,
14 Death and destruction mark'd their bloody way;
15 Immoderate was their rage, for mortal was their hate.
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16 But when the king of righteousness arose,
17 And on the illumin'd East serenely smil'd,
18 He shone with meekest mercy on his foes,
19 Bright as the sun, but as the moon-beams mild;
20 From anger, fell revenge, and discord free,
21 He bad war's hellish clangor cease,
22 In pastoral simplicity and peace,
23 And shew'd to men that face, which Moses could not see.
24 Well hast thou, WEBSTER, pictur'd christian love,
25 And copied our great master's fair design,
26 But livid Envy would the light remove,
27 Or croud thy portrait in a nook malign
28 The Muse shall hold it up to popular view
29 Where the more candid and judicious few
30 Shall think the bright original they see,
31 The likeness nobly lost in the identity.
32 Oh hadst thou liv'd in better days than these,
33 E'er to excel by all was deem'd a shame!
34 Alas! thou hast no modern arts to please,
35 And to deserve is all thy empty claim.
36 Else thou'dst been plac'd, by learning, and by wit,
37 There, where thy dignify'd inferiors sit
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38 Oh they are in their generation wise,
39 Each path of interest they have sagely trod,
40 To live to thrive to rise and still to rise
41 Better to bow to men, than kneel to God.
42 Behold! where poor unmansion'd Merit stands,
43 All cold, and crampt with penury and pain;
44 Speechless thro' want, she rears th' imploring hands,
45 And begs a little bread, but begs in vain;
46 While Bribery and Dulness, passing by,
47 Bid her, in sounds barbarian, starve and die.
48 "Away (they cry (we never saw thy name)
49 " Or in Preferment's List, or that of Fame;
50 "Away nor here the fate thou earn'st bewail,
51 " Who canst not buy a vote, nor hast a soul for sale.
52 Oh Indignation, wherefore wert thou given,
53 If drowsy Patience deaden all thy rage?
54 Yet we must bear such is the will of heaven;
55 And, WEBSTER, so prescribes thy candid page.
56 Then let us hear thee preach seraphic love,
57 Guide our disgusted thoughts to things above;
58 So our free souls, fed with divine repast,
59 (Unmindful of low mortals mean employ)
60 Shall taste the present, recollect the past,
61 And strongly hope for every future joy.


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Title (in Source Edition): To the reverend and learned Dr. WEBSTER, Occasioned by his Dialogues on ANGER and FORGIVENESS. ODE VIII.
Themes: anger; virtue
Genres: ode

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Smart, Christopher, 1722-1771. Poems on several occasions: By Christopher Smart, A. M. Fellow of Pembroke-Hall, Cambridge. London: printed for the author, by W. Strahan; and sold by J. Newbery, at the Bible and Sun, in St. Paul’s Church-Yard, MDCCLII., 1752, pp. 20-22. [16],230p.,plates; 4⁰. (ESTC T42626; OTA K041581.000) (Page images digitized from microfilm of a copy in the Bodleian Library [2799 d 134].)

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