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The Third Satire Of Dr. John Donne

Compassion checks my spleen, yet Scorn denies
The tears a passage thro' my swelling eyes;
To laugh or weep at sins, might idly show,
Unheedful passion, or unfruitful woe.
Satyr! arise, and try thy sharper ways,
If ever Satyr cur'd an old disease.

Is not Religion (Heav'n-descended dame)
As worthy all our soul's devoutest flame,
As Moral Virtue in her early sway,
When the best Heathens saw by doubtful day?
Are not the joys, the promis'd joys above,
As great and strong to vanquish earthly love,
As earthly glory, fame, respect and show,
As all rewards their virtue found below?
Alas! Religion proper means prepares,
These means are ours, and must its End be theirs?
And shall thy Father's spirit meet the sight
Of Heathen Sages cloath'd in heavenly light,
Whose Merit of strict life, severely suited
To Reason's dictates, may be faith imputed?
Whilst thou, to whom he taught the nearer road,
Art ever banish'd from the bless'd abode.

Oh! if thy temper such a fear can find,
This fear were valour of the noblest kind.

Dar'st thou provoke, when rebel souls aspire,
Thy Maker's Vengeance, and thy Monarch's Ire?
Or live entomb'd in ships, thy leader's prey,
Spoil of the war, the famine, or the sea?
In search of pearl, in depth of ocean breathe,
Or live, exil'd the sun, in mines beneath?
Or, where in tempests icy mountains roll,
Attempt a passage by the Northern pole?
Or dar'st thou parch within the fires of Spain,
Or burn beneath the line, for Indian gain?
Or for some Idol of thy Fancy draw,
Some loose-gown'd dame; O courage made of straw!
Thus, desp'rate Coward! would'st thou bold appear,
Yet when thy God has plac'd thee Centry here,
To thy own foes, to his, ignobly yield,
And leave, for wars forbid, the appointed field?

Know thy own foes; th' Apostate Angel, he
You strive to please, the foremost of the Three;
He makes the pleasures of his realm the bait,
But can he give for Love, that acts in Hate?
The World's thy second Love, thy second Foe,
The World, whose beauties perish as they blow,
They fly, she fades herself, and at the best
You grasp a wither'd strumpet to your breast.
The Flesh is next, which in fruition wasts,
High flush'd with all the sensual joys it tasts,
While men the fair, the goodly Soul destroy,
From whence the flesh has pow'r to tast a joy.

Seek thou Religion, primitively sound—
Well, gentle friend, but where may she be found?

By Faith Implicite blind Ignaro led,
Thinks the bright Seraph from his Country fled,
And seeks her seat at Rome, because we know
She there was seen a thousand years ago;
And loves her Relick rags, as men obey
The foot-cloth where the Prince sat yesterday.

These pageant Forms are whining Obed's scorn,
Who seeks Religion at Geneva born,
A sullen thing, whose coarsness suits the crowd,
Tho' young, unhandsome; tho' unhandsome, proud:
Thus, with the wanton, some perversely judge
All girls unhealthy but the Country drudge.

No foreign schemes make easy Cæpio roam,
The man contented takes his Church at home;
Nay should some Preachers, servile bawds of gain,
Shou'd some new Laws, which like new-fashions reign,
Command his faith to count Salvation ty'd
To visit his, and visit none beside,
He grants Salvation centers in his own,
And grants it centers but in his alone:
From youth to age he grasps the proffer'd dame,
And they confer his Faith, who give his Name:
So from the Guardian's hands, the Wards who live
Enthral'd to Guardians, take the wives they give.

From all professions careless Airy flies,
For, all professions can't be good, he cries,
And here a fault, and there another views,
And lives unfix'd for want to heart to chuse:
So men, who know what some loose girls have done,
For fear of marrying such, will marry none.

The Charms of all, obsequious Courtly strike;
On each he doats, on each attends alike;
And thinks, as diff'rent countrys deck the dame,
The dresses altering, and the sex the same;
So fares Religion, chang'd in outward show,
But 'tis Religion still, where'er we go:
This blindness springs from an excess of light,
And men embrace the wrong to chuse the right.

But thou of force must one Religion own,
And only one, and that the Right alone.
To find that Right one, ask thy Reverend Sire;
Let him of his, and him of his enquire;
Tho' Truth and Falshood seem as twins ally'd,
There's Eldership on Truth's delightful side,
Her seek with heed—who seeks the soundest First
Is not of No Religion, nor the worst.
T' adore, or scorn an
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Submitted on May 13, 2011

4:06 min read

Thomas Parnell

Thomas Parnell was an Anglo-Irish poet and clergyman who was a friend of both Alexander Pope and Jonathan Swift. He was the son of Thomas Parnell of Maryborough, Queen's County now Port Laoise, County Laoise}, a prosperous landowner who had been a loyal supporter of Cromwell during the English Civil War and moved to Ireland after the restoration of the monarchy. Thomas was educated at Trinity College, Dublin and collated archdeacon of Clogher in 1705. He however spent much of his time in London, where he participated with Pope, Swift and others in the Scriblerus Club, contributing to The Spectator and aiding Pope in his translation of The Iliad. He was also one of the so-called "Graveyard poets": his 'A Night-Piece on Death,' widely considered the first "Graveyard School" poem, was published posthumously in Poems on Several Occasions, collected and edited by Alexander Pope and is thought by some scholars to have been published in December of 1721 (although dated in 1722 on its title page, the year accepted by The Concise Oxford Chronology of English Literature; see 1721 in poetry, 1722 in poetry). It is said of his poetry 'it was in keeping with his character, easy and pleasing, ennunciating the common places with felicity and grace. more…

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