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   Chapter 4 No.4

The Poems of Jonathan Swift, D.D., Volume 1 By Jonathan Swift Characters: 1140

Updated: 2017-12-01 00:03


And some, to be large ciphers in a state,

Pleased with an empty swelling to be counted great,

Make their minds travel o'er infinity of space,

Rapt through the wide expanse of thought,

And oft in contradiction's vortex caught,

To keep that worthless clod, the body, in one place;

Errors like this did old astronomers misguide,

Led blindly on by gross philosophy and pride,

Who, like hard masters, taught the sun

Through many a heedless sphere to run,

Many an eccentric and unthrifty motion make,

And thousand incoherent journeys take,

Whilst all th'advantage by it got,

Was but to light earth's inconsiderable spot.

The herd beneath, who see the weathercock of state

Hung loosely on the church's pinnacle,

Believe it firm, because perhaps the day is mild and still;

But when they find it turn with the first blast of fate,

By gazing upward giddy grow,

And think the church itself does so;

Thus fools, for being strong and num'rous known,

Suppose the truth, like all the world, their own;

And holy Sancroft's motion quite irregular appears,

Because 'tis opposite to theirs.

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