« PreviousContinue »
From tomb to tomb unweary'd I parade;
Fearless, frequent the mansions of the dead:
When all forsake the consecrated spot
Here I reside, and still maintain my lot.
"When thoughtless crowds their worldly cares pursue
Alone I range the chancel and the pew:
Her lofts, her bells, her steeple, and her roof,
Have I admir'd when all have stood aloof,
The books, the cushion, cassock, and the gown,
Each I survey as I pursue my round:
From this my station seldom known to stray,
I watch by night, and here I rest by day.
When wild schismatics from her altars flee,
She's never been deserted once by me:
I merit more than all the eagle race,
Who make her stable walls my dwelling-place.
• Are birds of prey by partial love preferr'd,
While constant churchmen lose their just reward?
Shall strolling guests a sov'reign bounty share
While I have paid my constant visits there?
'Shall eagles rise, and thus in favour shine,
And wear a crown by right of merit mine?
I've long observ'd their slight, contemptuous throw,
Your idols to the moles and bats shall go.
Nor do I claim to wear the crown alone;
'Tis due to you, and due to ev'ry one.
Shall foes, like them, be free from age to age,
While we are coop'd and perch'd in Babel's cage?
Let each advise what method to pursue,
Or try for once what force of arms can do.'
So spake the Bat; and clos'd with pensive mood,
While ev'ry sage in consternation stood.
"Your goodness is as a morning cloud; and as the early dew it goeth away," Hos. vi. 4.
HIS CONVENIENT PROFESSION.
THE Cuckow to apologize began
As being not a native of the land,
Not forward he in this rebellious stir,
But claim'd the privilege of a foreigner.
'Tis I, my friends, of all that use the wing,
Am made to bear the tidings of the Spring;
And keep my time as punctual as the day:
I never err'd, nor miss'd the month of May.
'I make the heart of man himself rejoice;
The sick, the lame, are glad to hear my voice.
Some watch the night; but I observe the year,
And bear the joyful tidings far and near.
'I ever sound my own deserved fame,
Nor dare to boast of others worth or name.
With care I feel the temper of the clime;
The softest season is my favour'd time.
While others choose to stand immod'rate heat,
I count it then my wisdom to retreat.
Not made to bear the heat of summer's noon,
I come in time; nor do I go too soon.
With toil of wing I fly from north to south;
And never err, but always tell the truth.
Merit I claim, for merit is my due,
As all will own my yearly message true.
These isles I rang'd from May to Midsummer, When Britain knew no wise astronomer.
I never kept my news or seasons back,
Nor was I led by Robin's Almanack.
By rules of law I take my rural flight,
And all have own'd my just predictions right.
Of Winter past, of Summer come, I sing
Without consulting Moore, or Vincent Wing.
Intemp'rate climes and seasons I detest;
A moderate profession is the best:
I go my constant circuit once a year,
And scorn those airy flights that end in fear.
Your transient friend construes your measures hard That men like you from honours are debarr'd. Exert your skill, defend your common cause; And make them soar by statutes, rules, and laws.
• If martial deeds throughout the world must ring,
How you have fought your peers on even wing;
Lest light confound, or pinion fail in air,
Let me advise to place a tower near.'
“ Doth the Eagle mount up at thy command, and make her nest on high ?
She dwelleth and abideth on the rock, upon the crag of the rock, and the strong place. From thence she seeketh the prey, and her eyes behold afar off. Her young ones also suck up blond : and where the slain are, there is she,” Job xxxix. 27-30.
Wilt thou presume to hold Jehovah's hand,
And make the Eagle mount at thy command ?
Wilt thou prescribe her secret place of rest,
And fix the spot where she must build her nest?
She makes the stable rock her residence,
And always takes her distant views from thence :
Here she abides in safety night and day;
And 'tis from hence she's led to seek her prey.
Eternal day can hardly 'scape her eyes,
She often peers above the azure skies,
And feeds her young with rich and heav'nly food,
As taught in time to prize atoning blood.
She soars above the rattling of the spear;
No Owl or Bat the object of her fear.
From Satan's hold she's wisely taught to flee,
But find a slaughter'd Saviour—there is she.
FORTH came the Bittern, brushing through the throng,
And learnedly debates of right and wrong.
His looks proclaim the warm conspirator,
And he will prove the justice of the war-
Shall Eagles rise, and leave us in the lurch,
Who neither guard the wood nor range the church;
While others, faithful to their legal charge,
Proclaim their merit to the world at large?
'Defy their talons, and their warlike beak;
With force of arms a just revenge we seek.
Arise, ye pow'rs! revoke the fatal doom;
Nor rest contented to be cag'd at Rome.
In nervous strains, on measures deep concert;
Let each his wisest counsels now impart;
What arms to use, what harness to put on,
And how to fly the realms of Babylon.'