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As by a charm, the waves of grief subside;
Impetuous Passion stops her headlong tide:
At thy felt presence all emotions cease,
And my hushed spirit finds a sudden peace,
Till every worldly thought within me dies,
And earth's gay pageants vanish from my eyes ;
Till all my sense is lost in infinite,
And one vast object fills my aching sight.
But soon, alas! this holy calm is broke;
My soul submits to wear her wonted yoke;
With shackled pinions strives to soar in vain,
And mingles with the dross of earth again.
But he, our gracious Master, kind as just,
Knowing our frame, remembers man is dust.
His spirit, ever brooding o'er our mind,
Sees the first wish to better hopes inclined ;
Marks the young dawn of every virtuous aim,
And fans the smoking flax into a flame.
His ears are open to the softest cry,
His grace descends to meet the lifted eye;
He reads the language of a silent tear,
And sighs are incense from a heart sincere.
Such are the vows, the sacrifice I give; Accept the vow, and bid the suppliant live: From each terrestrial bondage set me free;
every wish that centres not in thee;
my fond hopes, my vain disquiets cease, And point my path to everlasting peace.
If the soft hand of winning Pleasure leads
By living waters, and through flowery meads,
When all is smiling, tranquil, and serene,
And vernal beauty paints the flattering scene,
O teach me to elude each latent snare,
And whisper to my sliding heart—Beware!
With caution let me hear the syren's voice, And doubtful, with a trembling heart, rejoice.
If friendless, in a vale of tears I stray,
Where briars wound, and thorns perplex my way,
Still let my steady soul thy goodness see,
And with strong confidence lay hold on thee ;
With equal eye my various lot receive,
Resigned to die, or resolute to live;
Prepared to kiss the sceptre or the rod,
While God is seen in all, and all in God.
I read his awful name, emblazoned high
With golden letters on the illumined sky;
Nor less the mystic characters I see
Wrought in each flower, inscribed in every tree;
In every leaf that trembles to the breeze
I hear the voice of God
With thee in shady solitudes I walk,
With thee in busy crowded cities talk ;
In every creature own thy forming power,
In each event thy providence adore.
Thy hopes shall animate my drooping soul,
Thy precepts guide me, and thy fears controul :
Thus shall I rest, unmoved by all alarms,
Secure within the temple of thine arms;
From anxious cares, from gloomy terrors free,
And feel myself omnipotent in thee.
Then when the last, the closing hour draws nigh, And earth recedes before my swimming eye;
When trembling on the doubtful edge of fate
I stand, and stretch my view to either state :
Teach me to quit this transitory scene
With decent triumph and a look serene;
Teach me to fix my ardent hopes on high,
And having lived to thee, in thee to die.
A SUMMER EVENING'S MEDITATION.
*T is past! The sultry tyrant of the south
Has spent his short-lived rage; more grateful hours
Move silent on; the skies no more repell
The dazzled sight, but with mild maiden beams
Of tempered lustre court the cherished eye
To wander o’er their sphere; where hung aloft
Dian's bright crescent, like a silver bow
New strung in heaven, lifts high its heamy horns
Impatient for the night, and seems to push
Her brother down the sky. Fair Venus shines
Even in the eye of day; with sweetest beam
Propitious shines, and shakes a trembling flood