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On Mr. POPE's Universal PRAYER.

1 AH Thou! whom Nature and thy Stars design'd,
2 At once the Joy and Envy of Mankind,
3 To thy lov'd Memory this Sigh I send;
4 To thee a Stranger, to thy Lines a Friend:
5 How blest the Muse cou'd she like thine aspire,
6 So smooth her Accent, and sublime her Fire;
7 With bright Description make the Bosom glow,
8 Charm like thy Sense, and like thy Numbers flow:
9 O teach my Soul to reach the Seats divine,
10 And praise her Maker in a Strain like thine.
11 Ye careless Ones, who never thought before,
12 Read this grand Verse, then tremble and adore:
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13 Let stern Enthusiasts here be taught to know,
14 'Tis from the Heart true Piety must flow:
15 Here Hope, Content, and smiling Mercy shine;
16 And breathe celestial through the speaking Line:
17 From the still Mind its guilty Passions roll,
18 And dawning Grace awakes the fervent Soul.
19 Let angry Zealots quarrel for a Name,
20 The good, the just, the virtuous are the same:
21 Grace to no Sect, nor Virtue is confin'd;
22 They blend with all, and spread amongst the kind;
23 And the pure Flame that warms the pious Breast:
24 Those cannot merit who condemn the rest.
25 To the dark Nations when Religion came,
26 All drest in Smiles; they saw the heav'nly Dame,
27 Till some stern Teachers of their Office proud,
28 Chose not to soften but affright the Crowd,
29 With gloomy Terrors fill'd the dusky Age,
30 And veil'd her Beauties in the mask of Rage:
31 Then bid the Hand-maids of Perdition rise,
32 Black Cruelty with fierce and flaming Eyes;
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33 Distraction ravag'd on the publick Weal,
34 And Persecution wore the Robe of Zeal:
35 Deluded Faith espous'd the stronger Side,
36 And conquer'd Justice gave her Sword to Pride.
37 This saw the surly discontented Mind,
38 By Nature haughty and to Vice inclin'd:
39 And thence concluded all their Systems vain,
40 The Cant of Schools and Phrensy of the Brain:
41 From hence the Sect of Libertines arose,
42 Who scorn what Reason or the Priests impose:
43 Who give to Chance the World's that round us roll,
44 And tear from Man his ever-conscious Soul.
45 But thou whose Name (immortal as thy Rhymes)
46 Shall live and brighten through succeeding Times:
47 (Whose Lines can Wit and Virtue both inspire,
48 Whom future Ages shall like me admire)
49 Teach me between the two Extremes to glide,
50 Not brave the Stream nor swim with ev'ry Tide:
51 But more with Charity than Zeal possest,
52 Keep my own Faith, yet not condemn the rest.

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About this text

Title (in Source Edition): On Mr. POPE's Universal PRAYER.
Author: Mary Leapor
Themes: poetry; literature; writing; religion
Genres: heroic couplet

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Source edition

Poems upon several occasions: By Mrs. Leapor ... London: printed: and sold by J. Roberts, 1748, pp. 142-144. 15,[5],282p. ; 8⁰. (ESTC T127827; Foxon p. 413; OTA K101776.000)

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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.

Other works by Mary Leapor