XXXIX. Religion consists in right sentiments of God
Frame to yourself some forms, some rules whereby
To guide your life, on which to keep your eye,
Which whether to yourself you live recluse,
Or which in conversation you may use;
For there are dangers, which the wise would fly
Both in retirement and society.
For neither can a ship with safety ride
Within her port, if not with cables ty'd;
Nor can she be secure, when under sail,
Though in fair weather with a prosp'rous gale,
Unless known rules, by long experience try'd,
Her well-spread canvas, and her rudder guide.
Nor only in the main do tempests roar,
They strike the flats, and riot on the shore;
And skilful sailors with just reason doubt
Danger within, as well as those without.
LX. Life compared to a Walk
As the shoe's made to serve and fit the foot,
As the leg gives the measure to the boot;
So our possessions should be measur'd by
The body's use, and its necessity.
If here you stop, content with what you need,
With what will keep you warm, your body feed;
Within the bounds of temperance you live.
But if the reins you to your wishes give;
If nature's limits you but once transgress,
You tumble headlong down a precipice
Into a boundless gulph: this we may see
If we pursue our former simile:
For lets suppose your shoe made tight and fit,
Strong, warm, and easy, as 'tis requisite,
What more can be desired from a shoe?
'Tis all that hide, or thread, and wax can do.
But if you look for more, you're hurry'd on
Beyond your bounds, and then 'tis ten to one,
That it must be more modish, pink'd, and wrought,
Then set with pearls, from farthest Indies brought,
[...] Read more