« PreviousContinue »
To work by twilight were to work too late,
And age is twilight to the night of fate.
To will alone, is but to mean delay,
To work at present, is the use of day,
For man's employ much thought and deed remain,
High thoughts the soul, hard deeds the body strain,
And mysteries ask believing, which to view,
Like the fair sun, are plain, but dazzling too.
Be Truth, so found, with sacred heed poffeff,
Not kings have power to tear it from thy breast.
By no blank charters harni they where they hate,
Nor are they vicars, but the hands of fate..
Ah! fool and wretch, who lett'st thy soul be ty'd
To human laws! or must it so be try'd ?
Or will it boot thee, at the latest day,
When Judgment sits, and Justice alks thy plea,
That Philip that, or Gregory taught thee this,
Or John or Martin ? All may teach amiss :
For every contrary in each extreme
This holes alike, and each may plead the same.
Wouldst thou to power a proper duty shew ?
'Tis thy first task the bounds of power to know;
The bounds once past,
holds the same no more,
Its nature alters, which it own'd before,
Nor were submiffion humbleness exprest,
But all a low idolatry at best.
Power from above, subordinately spread,
Streams like a fountain from th' eternal head;
There, calm and pure, the living waters flow,
But roars a torrent or a flood below,
Each flower ordain'd the margins to adorn,
Eaclı native beauty, from its roots is torn,
And left on deserts, rocks and sands, are tost,
All the long travel, and in ocean loit.
So fares, the soul, which more that power reveres,
Man claims from God, than what in God inheres..
THE GIFT OF POETRY..
ROM realms of never-interrupted peace,
From thy fair station near the throne of Grace,
From choirs of angels, joys in endless round,
And endless harmony's enchanting found,
Charın'd with a zeal the Maker's praise to shew,
Bright Gift of Verse descend, and here below
My ravish'd heart with rais'd affection fill,
And warbling o'er the soul incline my will.
Among thy pomp, let rich expreffion wait,
Let ranging numbers form thy train compleat,
While at thy motions over all the sky
Sweet sounds, and echoes sweet, resounding fly;
And where thy feet with gliding beauty tread,
Let Fancy's flowery spring erect its head.
It comes, it comes, with unaccustom'd light,
The tracts of airy thouglit grow wondrous bright;
Its notions ancient Memory reviews,
And young Invention new designs pursues.
To fome attempt my will and wishes press,
And pleasure, rais’d in hope, forebodes success.
My God, from whom proceed the gifts divine,
My God! I think I feel the gift is thine.
Be this no vain illusion which I find,
Nor nature's. impulse on the passive mind,
But reason's act, produc'd by good desire;
By grace enliven’d with Celestial Fire;
While bafe conceits, like misty sons of night,
Before such beams of glory take their flight,
And frail affections, born of earth, decay,
Like weeds that wither in the warmer ray.
I thank thee, Father! with a grateful mind.
Man 's undeserving, and thy Mercy kind.
I now perceive, I long to sing thy praise,
I now perceive, I long to find my lays.
The sweet incentives of another's love,
And sure such longings have their rise above.
My resolution stands confirm’d within,
My lines aspiring eagerly begin ;
Begin, my lines, to such a subject due,
That aids our labours, and rewards them too !
Begin, while Canaan opens to mine eyes,
Where souls and songs, divinely form’d, arise.
As one whom o'er the sweetly-vary'd meads
Intire recess and lonely pleasure leads,
To verdur'd banks, to paths adorn’d with flowers,
To fhady trees, to closely-waving bowers,
To bubbling fountains, and aside the stream
That softly gliding fooths a waking dream,
Or bears the thought inspir’d with heat along,
And with fair images improves a song;
Through sacred anthems, so may fancy range,
So ftill from beauty, ftill to beauty change,
To feel delights in all the radiant way,
And, with sweet numbers, what it feels repay.
For this I call that ancient Time appear,
And bring his rolls to serve in method here;
His rolls which acts, that endless honour claim,
Have rank'd in order for the voice of fame.
My call is favour'd: Time from first to last
Unwinds his years, the present fees the past;
I view their circles as he turns them o'er,
And fix my footsteps where he went before.
The page unfolding would a top disclose,
Where founds melodious in their birth arofe.
Where first the Morning-stars together fung,
Where first their harps the Sons of Glory strung,
With shouts of jay while Hallelujahs rise
prove the chorus of eternal skies.
Rich sparkling strokes the letters doubly gild,
And all 's with love and admiration fillid.
TO grace those lines, which next appear to light, The pejicil fhone, with more abated light; Yet still the pencil shone, the lines were fair, And awful Moses stands recorded there; Let his, replete with fames and praise divine, Let his, the first-remember'd fong be mine, Then rise my thought, and in thy prophet find What joy should warm thee, for the work design'd.
To that great act, which rais’d his heart, repair,
And find a portion of his fpirit there.
A Nation helpless and unarm'd I view,
Whom strong revengeful troops of war pursue,
Seas stop their flight, their camp must prove their grave,
Ah! what can save them? God alone can save.
God's wondrous voice proclaims his high command,
He bids their leader wave the sacred wand,
And where the billows flow'd, they flow no more,
A road lies naked, and they march it o'er.
the sons of Jacob travel through,
But why will hard’ned Egypt venture too?
Vain in thy rage, to think those waters flee
And rise like walls, on either hand, for thee.
The night comes on, the season for surprize,
Yet fear not, Israel, God directs thine eyes.
A fiery cloud I see thine angel ride,
His chariot is thy light, and he thy guide.
The day comes on, and lialf thy fuccours fail,
Yet fear not, Israel, God will still prevail.
I see thine angel from before thee go,
To make the wheels of venturous Egypt Now,
His rolling cloud inwraps its beams of light,
And what supply'd thy day, prolongs their night.
At length the dangers of the deep are run,
The further brink is past, the bank is won;
The leader turns to view the foes behind,
Then waves his folemn wand within the wind,
Oh Nation freed by wonders, ceale thy fear,
And stand, and see the Lord's Salvation here,