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On Atheism.

1 Tell me, ye daring Atheist, what's your End,
2 To what sure Point do your Debauches tend?
3 You would be happy and secure it here,
4 And have no Glymps of future Worlds appear;
5 Your Minds scarce doubt, but Crimes Reversion fear.
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6 Whoever knew a sober Atheist yet?
7 Tis the Extravagance of floating Wit,
8 Buoy'd up with Wine and sensual Apetite.
9 That Wine can uncreate by all's confest,
10 Unmakes the Man, and levels him with Beast:
11 What is't they would not give the Change were true?
12 For they with Doubts do all their Crimes pursue;
13 They are more plagu'd to curb the Thoughts of Hell,
14 Then all the Self-Denials to live well.
15 No Man at first to Atheism inclin'd,
16 He takes that Refuge after he has sin'd;
17 Bold in his Crimes untill he can't repent,
18 Then strives to think there is no Punishment:
19 Lull'd in lewd Pleasures from Devotion free,
20 We call him Atheist, Alias Debauchee.
21 Where is the Happiness they so much boast,
22 Their Joys are in their Consequences lost?
23 Women and Wine their greatest dear Concern,
24 But cheat their Hopes and make an ill Return;
25 Raptur'd with Charms of his deluding Fair,
26 Oh! the Delights and Bliss he centers there;
27 And in carouzing with lascivious Songs,
28 And all the Frolicks which to Wine belongs.
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29 These are their Summum Bonum, here they're bless'd,
30 In those wild Joys that sting while they'r possess'd;
31 Their Disappointments Pride and Jealousy,
32 Are more severe than Fast and Mortify;
33 A hectoring Rival or Decease at last,
34 Fully revenge the gay Delight that's past;
35 The Pains and Qualms that wait a drunken Fit,
36 Severely scourge the Gust of Appetite;
37 They're punish'd here, and if there is no Hell,
38 (As they would fain believe but cannot tell.)
39 We have the best on't for we're Happy now,
40 Our Joys no torturing Excess allow;
41 Pleas'd and secure amidst our Bliss we move,
42 And with just Transports hope for more above;
43 In this we're bless'd, and since it lasts as long
44 As Life, what matter tho' we'er in the wrong?
45 We'er Happy whilst we are, and shall not know
46 If we mistake, whether we did or no;
47 If you'r in th' wrong, your Errors more perplex'd,
48 You'r plagu'd in this World to be damn'd i'th' next,

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About this text

Title (in Source Edition): On Atheism.
Themes: religion
Genres: heroic couplet

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Source edition

Poems on Several Occasions, Together with a Pastoral. By Mrs. S. F. London: printed, and are to be sold by J. Nutt, near Stationers-Hall, 1703, pp. 61-63. [20],117,[3],15,[1]p.; 8⁰. (ESTC T125148)

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Other works by Sarah Fyge Egerton