THE EQUALITY OF MANKIND.
1 THERE was a time when from those hapless schools,
2 Where Science droops, and pension'd Litchfield rules,
3 Inhaling faction, with the Tory race
4 On Right Divine, Hereditary Grace,
5 Much did I waver, much did I unite
6 The names of Patriot, and of Jacobite:[Page 232]
7 Thanks to my friendly stars those days are o'er,
8 And now, not meanly pinion'd as before,
9 Untaught to bend the pliant knee, and join
10 The slaves, who flock to Grandeur's tinsel shrine,
11 Kindling at thy perpetual flame the brand
12 Of honest Satire, with officious hand
13 To thee, O Truth, I consecrate the blaze; —
14 Receive, exalt, invigorate my lays.
15 The studious Pilgrim, as his bare feet tread
16 O'er holy Carmel! with religious dread,
17 If, sunk in mouldering rubbish, he descries
18 Where some old fane, or massive altar lies,
19 Kneeling adores it with a stedfast gaze,
20 And ruminates the works of mightier days,
21 Feasts his rapt soul on pure devotion's fires,
22 And slowly from the much-lov'd spot retires.
23 Led by dark Legend on from clime to clime
24 Amid th' historic ravages of Time,
25 Thus the bold Muse asserts her liberal plan
26 To mark the genuine privilege of man,
27 To prove how Fiction, and how Fact agree,
28 That God was just, and all Mankind were free.
29 From Jura's mount, from those inclement skies,
30 (Where pale and wan Helvetia's Genius lies,
31 His arms revers'd, his shield thrown idly by,
32 To note the sad decays of Liberty;)
33 Come, stern Philosophy, — that garb of woe
34 Befits thee most, majestically slow[Page 233]
35 Thy gait, while rais'd aloof thy red right hand
36 Waves in the gale Resentment's flaming brand,
37 Such as, from Seine's proud banks when Rosseau fled,
38 Thy Vengeance hurl'd at mitred Beaumont's head:
39 Beneath thy auspices in Albion's plain,
40 While Justice triumphs in a George's reign,
41 Alone, yet scorning Caution's coward mask,
42 Will I encounter this adventurous task;
43 Tho' far too sanguine to conceal their rage,
44 My Foes already curse each opening page,
45 And Friends, half shrinking at so rude a test,
46 Glance o'er my title, and forswear the rest.
47 Back to Creation's infancy, when Earth
48 Few revolutions dated from its birth,
49 My theme invites: — poor Exile doom'd to rove
50 Far from the sweets of Eden's happy grove
51 Behold our first Progenitor; — his race
52 Plung'd in a lineal series of disgrace,
53 Become a prey from that ill-fated hour
54 To pain, disease, and death's remorseless power.
55 Some evils soon attain'd their utmost prime,
56 To perfect others was a work of time.
57 Perhaps in those rude ages, when no law
58 Kept the warm passions of mankind in awe,
59 Rapine was frequent; from his neighbour's fold
60 Some proud Oppressor, of gigantic mold,
61 His fleecy charge, his only treasure bore,
62 And left the shepherd weltering in his gore:[Page 234]
63 Yet then no dire necessity had made
64 Murder a system, war a needful trade;
65 No Frederick, foe to nature and to man,
66 Justice his pretext, tyranny his plan,
67 Born every right of nations to betray,
68 O'er Leipzick's walls had forc'd his desperate way;
69 Coarse was their food, their sordid dwelling small,
70 Such was the lot of one, the lot of all:
71 In some deep vale their shapeless altar stood
72 Rais'd with the casual turf, or unhewn wood;
73 Thither, by grateful adoration taught,
74 On some choice festival the Rustic brought
75 A decent offering from his little stock,
76 Fruits of the ground, or firstlings of his flock:
77 No temple rear'd its fretted roof on high,
78 No golden censer's blaze perfum'd the sky,
79 No vain High-Priest with surly grandeur trod,
80 As if to shame the meanness of his God.
81 When, like the Titans, earth's rebellious crew
82 To Heaven's high bulwarks rais'd their hostile view,
83 In vain, their boastful arrogance to quell,
84 Their leaders were dispers'd, their turret fell;
85 On Shinar's plains Despotic Power unfurl'd
86 Her banner, and to vex the groaning world
87 From shore to shore the strange contagion ran;
88 Fraternal concord ceas'd, and Monarchy began.
89 Thus while the storms in hollow caverns sleep,
90 And scarce a zephyr fans the quiet deep,[Page 235]
91 Suddenly from the rock's impending brow
92 A cumbrous fragment on the tide below
93 Comes rushing downwards; boils the vast profound,
94 Waves upon waves dash'd on the beach resound.
95 Detested Hunter! Nimrod led the way,
96 War was his savage pastime, man his prey;
97 For brutal strength by trembling vassals fear'd
98 The walls of ancient Babylon he rear'd:
99 In his high dome, with crayons rude portray'd,
100 The warrior's dread atchievements were display'd;
101 Here pierc'd with darts th' expiring tyger lay,
102 There rush'd embattled hosts in firm array;
103 There in his car the thickest ranks he broke,
104 And nations yielded to his galling yoke.
105 Such empire's origin: — with horrid yell
106 From the black confines of his native hell
107 Emerg'd the Demon of tyrannic pride,
108 And Vice came onward with a larger stride:
109 Ungrateful were the task, and endless toil
110 To trace its progress thro' each distant soil
111 Fertile of Tyrants. Craft with Prowess join'd
112 Soon tam'd the generous fierceness of mankind.
113 Dominion first was gain'd by lawless might;
114 The claim of long Hereditary Right
115 Succeeded; when to varnish o'er each flaw,
116 And bow the world with superstitious awe,
117 The Priests dress'd up some bugbear of their own,
118 Call'd him a King, and plac'd him on a throne;[Page 236]
119 Then caught the weakness of those darker times,
120 And dragg'd in Heaven to sanctify his crimes.
121 Search well its inmost source, and tell whence springs
122 This sacred claim of Israel's vaunted Kings:
123 When that audacious crew renounc'd their God,
124 Despis'd his mercies, brav'd his heaviest rod;
125 And for his Patronage too mighty grown
126 Set up a little Idol of their own:
127 Say, did their Prophet urge Saul's Right Divine? —
128 His incense blaz'd not at so vile a shrine.
129 Or did some ill in mystic leaves foretold,
130 And chronicled by gravest seers of old,
131 While on delusive hopes they fondly built,
132 O'erwhelm them with involuntary guilt?
133 No; 'twas their baffled pride whose last resource
134 Dragg'd this perdition on their heads by sorce.
135 From that black period each intenser crime,
136 That brands with infamy its parent clime,
137 Assail'd the palace, overspread the land,
138 And in their temple took its guilty stand.
139 The seat of Chemosh by the purple vine
140 Was planted, and at Moloch's brazen shrine,
141 As with inhuman zeal the trembling sire
142 Consign'd his shrieking infants to the fire,
143 While with loud din their hideous cymbals rung,
144 His Worshippers obscene their uncouth orgies sung.
145 Belief, in various senses understood,
146 Is man's severest curse, or surest good.
147 Thus, in the meads where hallow'd Jordan glides,
148 Enriching Palestine with copious tides,
149 Where springs the branching palm, where streams the oil,
150 Where fruitful vineyards bless the peasant's toil;
151 Deep in the heart of Siddim's odious vale,
152 Impregnating with death each tainted gale,
153 The black Asphaltes from its slimy bed
154 Sees pitchy clouds, sulphureous vapours, spread.
155 Let Mecca tell, big with aspiring schemes,
156 Seraphic trances, counterfeited dreams,
157 How subtle Mahomet, of servile birth,
158 Diffus'd his tenets thro' th' astonish'd earth,
159 By fire and sword the Nations undeceiv'd
160 Confess'd their former errors, and believ'd.
161 In Judah's soil the tree of knowledge grew,
162 Whose fruit unsound, yet specious to the view,
163 Entrusted to the treacherous Levite's care,
164 Fell, ere it ripen'd, in that baleful air;
165 Relentless Cowards! with a brutal hand
166 Urging their fraudful progress thro' the land,
167 O'er Nature's parting agonies they trod,
168 And slaughter'd millions in the name of God,
169 Each right of arms infringing, nor forbore
170 To dip their reeking blades in infant gore;
171 Till mighty conscience, whose prevailing call
172 Opes the dread volume of her laws to all,[Page 238]
173 Bewail'd them darken'd by so strong a taint;
174 That none discern'd the villain from the saint.
175 Far other fame the Christian doctrine gain'd,
176 From Heaven transmitted, and by Heaven maintain'd,
177 With scepter'd arrogance to vex the earth,
178 Yet most those realms which gave his grandeur birth,
179 To make divided Faith and Virtue foes,
180 On its firm base no second David rose:
181 Yet from this pure and unpolluted source,
182 Ere long, the streams in a perverted course
183 Ran foul: Fanatics soon began to call
184 Merit a sound, Religion all in all;
185 Infuriate Priests the bonds of nature tore,
186 And Persecution drench'd the world with gore.
187 Arm'd with the Cross, o'er Asia's ravag'd lands,
188 See sainted Champions pour their desperate bands,
189 A dreaming Hermit leads them, and aloud
190 Preaches salvation to the frantic crowd:
191 Zeal whets the poniard, and with ruthless joy
192 They come, they sack, they ravish, they destroy.
193 The Muse rejecting this historic draught
194 With bitter truths, strict testimonies fraught,
195 Its civil discords, and religious strife
196 O'erlooks, to take a fairer view of life;
197 Borne on the rapid wings of Thought she flies,
198 Opes new creations, seeks for other skies,
199 Revolving all that sportive Ovid told
200 Of cloudless suns, of ages wing'd with gold,[Page 239]
201 Those ages, when in Peneus' chearful grove
202 Man knew no sorrows, no disease but Love;
203 When Nature's self was unconstrain'd and young,
204 And Bards rang'd lawless as the Gods they sung.
205 Ye happier times of innocence and truth,
206 Pleasing instructors of my thoughtless youth,
207 When none the image of his God belied,
208 No Minions crouch'd beneath a Sultan's pride,
209 No wealth ensnar'd, no poverty distress'd,
210 No ruffians plunder'd, and no kings oppress'd;
211 Tho' doom'd to grovel in a baser age,
212 Will I from Memory's enchanting page
213 Retrace your scatter'd annals. — When of old
214 Arcadia's peaceful shepherds uncontroul'd
215 Their ranging flocks thro' boundless pastures drove,
216 Or tun'd their pipes beneath the myrtle grove,
217 Their laws on brazen tablets unimprest
218 Were deeply grav'd on each ingenuous breast,
219 No proud Vicegerent of Astrea reign'd,
220 Astrea's self her own decrees maintain'd.
221 Books, useless lumber, yet in embryo slept,
222 No Damon rav'd in rhime, no Delia wept;
223 Nor had, nor needed they the casuist's page,
224 Plain were the duties of that simpler age:
225 For Nature, best of mothers, pleas'd to teach
226 Virtues no modern theorist can reach;
227 With characters indelible, on high
228 Blazon'd her system of Equality.
229 Alas! how gladly would Illusion's beam
230 For ever vibrate on this glittering theme:
231 Here let me finish; nor, my soul to wring,
232 From Fable's sweets proceed to Fable's sting:
233 I must; — these fairy dreams have had their space,
234 And now the dreadful sequel claims a place.
235 Like the presumptuous Mariner, whose sails,
236 Wasted from port with soft Etesian gales,
237 Urge his o'erweening eagerness to brave
238 Without a Pilot the perfidious wave,
239 Soon o'er whose bark th' impetuous tempests sweep,
240 And bury all his fortunes in the deep:
241 Seduc'd by Fancy's charms, amidst a grove
242 Of pleasing errors have I dar'd to rove,
243 Till, half desponding, comfortless, aghast,
244 I but survey bright Freedom's form at last,
245 To see her perish by as sure a wound
246 Mid these enchantments, as on vulgar ground.
247 Fond Epimetheus! when thy luckless hand
248 Scatter'd Pandora's curses o'er the land,
249 Forth from the casket glittering to the view
250 Scepters, and crowns, delusive trumpery, flew;
251 Man ey'd the bait, and with an ideot joy
252 Eagerly rush'd to snatch the gilded toy:
253 Freedom thenceforth, and Peace, and Justice fled,
254 Infernal Discord rear'd her snaky head
255 From blackest Erebus, whose scorpions hurl'd
256 By dread Oppression curb'd a wretched world;[Page 241]
257 Too late remorse congeal'd each guilty soul,
258 And forky lightnings flash'd from pole to pole.
259 Where-e'er we search the vast instructive page
260 Of Fact, or Fiction, we in every age
261 See Saints impal'd and tortur'd at the stake
262 Thro' fervent zeal, and for Religion's sake;
263 Murders and sorceries, and Men, whose heart
264 Ne'er prompted one humane, one generous part,
265 While some vain Mortal, arbiter os ill,
266 Govern'd the rest; at whose imperious will
267 Millions of slaughter'd Heroes bit the dust
268 To soothe a Tyrant's pride, a Strumpet's lust;
269 Till loathing both the present, and the past,
270 We learn this melancholy truth at last;
271 "On Life's rough sea by stormy passions tost,
272 " Freedom and Virtue were together lost. "
273 Shame on our vaunted reason, when we find
274 No creature else so senseless, and so blind;
275 The Brutes indeed to force superior yield,
276 And leave the strongest master of the field,
277 Yet this imperial claim to none descends,
278 With the possessor's strength his title ends;
279 Nor, if their enterprizing Leader calls,
280 Do they forsake their well-replenish'd stalls,
281 And with heroic frenzy risk their life,
282 Fomenting some unnecessary strife.
283 Unfall'n, and uncorrupted, they fulfil
284 Their Nature's end, their mighty Maker's will:[Page 242]
285 Stoop then, ye sons of Reason, stoop, and own
286 The veriest beast more worthy of a throne.
287 The Chain, whose two Extremities unite,
288 Presenting still a middle to our sight,
289 Where link by link in fruitless search we tend,
290 Yet find not a beginning, or an end,
291 Talk as we please, dissemble how we can,
292 Presents a just similitude of Man;
293 Who, in each state of life constrain'd to own
294 A strict dependance, useless when alone,
295 Cleaves, tho' a Monarch, to his native dung,
296 And venerates the soil from whence he sprung.
297 View first the Slave, whom his unhappy fate
298 In galling fetters to some foreign state
299 Tears from his dearest home; there basely sold
300 By those, who truck humanity for gold,
301 Abus'd, neglected, sinking with distress,
302 When all is dark, and Hope alone can bless;
303 Ev'n then thro' Life's dim curtain he descries
304 Some happier regions, and serener skies,
305 Where Commerce never rears her impious head,
306 No Fiends approach, no Missionaries tread.
307 Next him the Peasant, whose incessant toil,
308 Harshly requited, tills the rugged soil,
309 Press'd by the barbarous insults of the great,
310 The foolish prodigality of state:[Page 243]
311 Yet his low couch no thorny cares molest,
312 His even spirits yield unbroken rest.
313 Those restless Beings next in order place,
314 Whose motley stations wear a doubtful face,
315 Who dragg'd by Fortune into Middle Life,
316 That vortex of malevolence and strife,
317 Envying the great, and scoffing at the mean,
318 Or swol'n with pride, or wasted with chagrin,
319 Like Mahomet's unsettled ashes, dwell,
320 Midway suspended, between Heaven and Hell.
321 Clad with those Titles antient Justice gave
322 To grace the wise, the generous, and the brave,
323 O'er these ascend the Sycophants of Power,
324 Their master's tools, the minions of an hour.
325 Last of the Group, to close this irksome scene,
326 Childishly great, and eminently mean,
327 Behold the Monarch, whose exalted throne,
328 Dupes to their fear, his Eastern Vassals own;
329 When by the toil, which earns the Hind's hard bread,
330 His splendor is maintain'd, his lux'ry fed;
331 Is not a wretch like this, to either side
332 Of Life's perverse extremities allied?
333 Here to its source the line revolving tends,
334 Here close the points, and here the circle ends.
335 When lust, when rapine, when ungovern'd rage
336 Strongly characteris'd the iron age,[Page 244]
337 Law soon became a necessary ill,
338 Vice edg'd the sword, and gave it force to kill;
339 Monarchs, we see, were then at first design'd
340 A general good, a blessing unconfin'd:
341 For public welfare, not for private ends,
342 From sire to son the regal crown descends.
343 When Kings support afflicted Virtue's cause,
344 Curb potent Vice, and vindicate the laws,
345 Our high respect deservedly they share,
346 Not for themselves, but for the trust they bear.
347 As on the slippery pinnacle they stand
348 Of brittle grandeur, with rapacious hand
349 If they assume unlimited domain,
350 And madly govern with perverted rein
351 The vast Machine of Empire; to the skies
352 Ascend the widow's tears, the orphan's cries;
353 A Cato's spirit, or a Cicero's tongue
354 With keen resentment animates the throng;
355 Some Hampden hears his gasping country's groan,
356 And in just vengeance shakes a guilty throne.
357 Should inauspicious Fortune tear away
358 From Virtue's grasp the triumphs of a day,
359 Should Tyranny, by long success grown great,
360 Crush the defenceless victims of her hate,
361 Grim Superstition with an haggard eye
362 Points to the spoils, and rears her torch on high,
363 From regal conquest her own inference draws,
364 And blends with that of Heaven its dearer cause.
365 Blind to the treacherous snare, when Fate decreed
366 That Troy should perish by the wooden steed;
367 The rest stood fix'd with hesitating fear,
368 While bold Laocoon hurl'd his forcesul spear
369 Against the monster, from whose knotty side
370 Resounding arms, and Grecian shrieks replied:
371 Stung by a snake the pious Priest expir'd,
372 While Folly gaz'd, and Ignorance admir'd;
373 This moral curb'd th' infatuated crew —
374 "The sacrilegious wretch Minerva slew."
375 When virtuouss
s Lord Brooke, see Clarendon's History.Greville thus in civil strife
376 Crown'd with that honest prayer his closing life;
377 Can we unmov'd with indignation bear
378 To see grave Clarendon, whose stile, whose air,
379 'Twixt tortur'd facts, and scripture-phrases quaint,
380 Shews half the royalist, and half the saint,
381 Stamp on his ashes with a dotard's pride,
382 And execrate the cause for which he died?
383 Ye fields of Naseby, where the thundering hand.
384 Of Freedom greatly prosper'd; where that band
385 Of hardy Patriots resolutely bore,
386 Thro' storms of horror, and thro' seas of gore,
387 Their country's charter, snatch'd in happiest hour
388 From Sacerdotal wrath, and Kingly power:
389 Oft as your towers, on which dread Vengeance wrote
390 Strong characters, and blasted where she smote,[Page 246]
391 In youth's gay season fix'd my roving eye,
392 How did I hail that scene of victory!
393 Ev'n now methinks I see brave Fairfax tread
394 Th' ensanguin'd plain; — to grace the warrior's head
395 From Fame's unsullied grove let Virtue bring
396 Those laurels green with everlasting spring:
397 Illustrious meed, too oft profusely strewn
398 To deck the precincts of Ambition's throne,
399 To crown some proud Infringer of the laws:
400 But due to vengeance, due to Britain's cause.
401 Nor, tho' the Muse forlorn and helpless stray
402 O'er thy bare coast, nor glean one fragrant bay,
403 Bleak Caledonia, shalt thou pass unsung,
404 For Freedom on thy hills her arm new-strung:
405 When thy firm sons, who lov'd the public weal,
406 Or inly burn'd to see tyrannic Zeal
407 Against their altars lift an impious hand,
408 And threat th' accustom'd worship of the land,
409 From their huge cliffs descending like a flood,
410 Stood forth, prepar'd to seal their faith with blood;
411 At their approach while perjur'd Holland fled,
412 False to his Master's cause, his Master's bed;
413 And Hierarchy, that fiend, whom Scripture paints
414 Drunk with the blood of Martyrs and of Sai n ts,
415 Consign'd by Fate in penal chains to dwell,
416 Slunk unregarded to her native hell.
417 Curse on the shouts of that licentious Throng,
418 Whose merriment (more brutal than the song[Page 247]
419 Of mad Agave, when wild Haemus o'er
420 Her Pentheus' mangled limbs the mother bore;)
421 Proclaims the fall of Liberty: — ye shades
422 Of mighty Chiefs, from your Elysian glades
423 Look down benign, avert the dire presage,
424 Nor with two Charles's brand one sinful age.
425 O, my poor country! what capricious tide
426 Of Fortune swells the Tyrant's motley pride!
427 Around his brows yon servile Prelates twine
428 The stale and blasted wreath of Right Divine;
429 While Harlots, like the Coan Venus fair,
430 Move their light feet to each lascivious air.
431 Hence with your orgies! — righteous Heaven ordains
432 A purer worship, less audacious strains.
433 When falls by William's sword (as soon it must)
434 This Edifice of bigotry and lust,
435 The Muse shall start from her inglorious trance,
436 And give to Satire's grasp her vengeful lance,
437 At Truth's historic shrine shall victims smoke,
438 And a fresh Stuart bleed at every stroke:
439 Thine too, perfidious Albemarle (whose steel,
440 Drawn to protect embroil'd Britannia's weal,
441 Shrunk from thy coward arm, consign'd the reins
442 Of power to Charles, and forg'd a nation's chains)
443 Compar'd with nobler villainies or old,
444 High deeds, on plates of adamant enroll'd,
445 Shall meet the felon's undistinguish'd fate,
446 Sure of contempt, unworthy of our hate.
447 Once more emerging from this baleful reign
448 Of Stuart Kings, and from the Pontiff's chain,
449 By Boyne's swift current Freedom rear'd her head,
450 When from those banks the Papal Tyrant fled;
451 Then every vale with lo Paeans rung
452 As the glad reaper at his harvest sung,
453 Thee, great Nassau, benevolently brave,
454 Equally born to conquer, and to save,
455 When Glory's sounding trump to Gallia's shore,
456 Th' exulting shouts of British Freedom bore,
457 Dismay'd she saw the kindling ardor burn,
458 And Seine hung trembling o'er her wasted urn.
459 Warm with the same benevolence of mind,
460 Friends to the native rights of human kind,
461 Succeeding Kings extend the generous plan,
462 And Brunswick perfects what Nassau began.
463 Thrice happy Albion! in whose favour'd land
464 Impartial Justice with a steady hand
465 Poises the scales of empire; where the names
466 Of servile tenure, and the seudal claims
467 Of Norman Peers in musty tomes decay,
468 Swept by obliterating years away.
469 But if in Faction's loud and empty strain
470 Yon frontless rabble vex a gentle reign,
471 In Peace itself ideal dangers find,
472 Provoke new wars, and challenge half mankind;
473 What tho' another Tully at their head
474 From breast to breast the rank contagion spread:[Page 249]
475 Say, what are we? some pension'd Patriot's tools,
476 Meer artless, unsuspecting, British fools.
477 Born in a changeful clime, beneath a sky
478 Whence storms descend, and hovering vapours fly,
479 Stung with the fever, tortur'd with the spleen,
480 Boisterously merry, churlishly serene,
481 By each vague blast dejected or elate,
482 Dupes in their love, immoderate in their hate,
483 With strange formality, or bearish ease,
484 Then most disgufiful, when they strive to please,
485 No happy mean the sons of Albion know,
486 Their wavering tempers ever ebb and flow,
487 Rank contraries, in nothing they agree;
488 Untaught to serve, unable to be free.
489 While parties rage, O Truth! with honest zeal
490 To thee, protectress of my lays, I kneel;
491 O deign to shew me in their real light,
492 Stript of that glare which cheats the dazzled sight,
493 The Chiefs, whose blazon'd deeds and sounding worth
494 Usurp a sphere above the sons of earth;
495 Ope dark Futurity's instructive womb,
496 Conduct me to the mansions of the tomb,
497 Where titles cease, where worldly pomp is o'er,
498 Mute are the Nine, and Flattery soothes no more:
499 So may I take a more impartial view,
500 Forget the rank, and give the man his due.
501 Yet what regards it or the world, or me,
502 How Fame awards her posthumous decree,
503 If man, unconscious of her loudest breath,
504 Sleep a cold tenant of the vale of death?
505 Let the delirious Siamois compute
506 How Sommonokodon his worshipp'd brute,
507 Thro' being's long progressive stages trod,
508 Began an Ox, and ended in a God.
509 Our fleeting souls let the weakt
t Pythagoras.Samian trace
510 In birds, in beasts, and all the finny race;
511 These baseless structures, fictions light and vain,
512 Coin'd in the foldings of an idle brain,
513 To their absurd inventors I resign,
514 They are not in the Church's creed, or mine.
515 But shall the Peasant from his turf-bound grave
516 Or rise no more, or wake again a Slave?
517 And shall the Monarch in a future state,
518 With the same visionary pomp elate,
519 Resume the trappings of his lost command,
520 And wield a mimic scepter in his hand?
521 Tho' gloomy Bigots paint a partial God,
522 Bare his red arm, and lift his scorpion rod;
523 Tho' on a text perverting Zealots dwell,
524 Till Scripture suits the purposes of hell;
525 Think for thyself; — suppose life's voyage o'er;
526 Think for thyself, and envy Kings no more:[Page 251]
527 Resign'd and calm await that awful hour,
528 That crisis of all sublunary power,
529 When wreaths of glory shall adorn the Just,
530 And Empire's proud Colossus sink to dust.
About this text
Title (in Source Edition): THE EQUALITY OF MANKIND.
Author: Michael Wodhull
Themes: religion; history
Genres: heroic couplet; essay
References: DMI 32670
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The text has been typographically modernized, but without any silent modernization of spelling, capitalization, or punctuation. The source of the text is given and all editorial interventions have been recorded in textual notes. Based on the electronic text originally produced by the ECCO-TCP project, this ECPA text has been edited to conform to the recommendations found in Level 5 of the Best Practices for TEI in Libraries version 3.0.