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Alas! the tide of pleasure sweeps along
All that should be the boast of British song.
'Tis not the wreath that once adorn'd thy brow,
The prize of happier times will ferve thee now.
Our ancestry, a gallant chriftian race,
Patterns of ev'ry virtue, ev'ry grace,
Confefs'd a God, they kneel'd before they fought,
And praised him in the victories he wrought.
Now from the duft of antient days bring forth
Their fober zeal, integrity and worth,
Courage, ungrac'd by thefe, affronts the skies,
Is but the fire without the facrifice.
The stream that feeds the well-spring of the heart
Not more invigorates life's nobleft part,
Than virtue quickens with a warmth divine,
The pow'rs that fin has brought to a decline.
A. Th' ineftimable eftimate of Brown,
Rofe like a paper-kite, and charm'd the town;
But measures plann'd and executed well,
Shifted the wind that rais'd it, and it fell.
very felf-fame ground you tread,
He trod the
And victory refuted all he said.
B. And yet his judgment was not fram'd amifs, Its error, if it err'd, was merely this
He thought the dying hour already come,
And a complete recov'ry ftruck him dumb.
But that effeminacy, folly, lust,
Enervate and enfeeble, and needs muft,
And that a nation fhamefully debas'd,
Will be defpis'd and trampl'd on at last,
Unless sweet penitence her pow'rs renew,
Is truth, if hiftory itself be true.
There is a time, and justice marks the date,
For long-forbearing clemency to wait,
That hour elaps'd, th'incurable revolt
Is punish'd, and down comes the thunder-bolt.
If mercy then put by the threat'ning blow,
Muft fhe perform the fame kind office now?
May she, and if offended heav'n be still
Acceffible and pray'r prevail, fhe will,
'Tis not however infolence and noise,
The tempeft of tumultuary joys,
Nor is it yet defpondence and difmay,
Will win her vifits, or engage her stay,
Pray'r only, and the penitential tear,
Can call her smiling down, and fix her here.
But when a country, (one that I could name)
In prostitution finks the fenfe of fhame,
When infamous venality grown bold,
Writes on his bofom, to be lett or fold;
When perjury, that heav'n defying vice,
Sells oaths by tale, and at the lowest price,
Stamps God's own name upon a lie just made,
To turn a penny in the way of trade;
When av'rice ftarves, and never hides his face,
Two or three millions of the human race,
And not a tongue enquires, how, where, or when,
Though confcience will have twinges now and then;
When profanation of the facred cause
In all its parts, times, miniftry and laws,
Befpeaks a land once chriftian, fall'n and loft
In all that wars against that title most,
What follows next let cities of great name,
And regions long fince defolate proclaim,
Nineveh, Babylon, and antient Rome,
Speak to the present times and times to come,
They cry aloud in ev'ry careless ear,
Stop, while ye may, fufpend your mad career;
O learn from our example and our fate,
Learn wisdom and repentance e'er too late.
Not only vice disposes and prepares
The mind that flumbers fweetly in her fnares,
To stoop to tyranny's ufurp'd command,
And bend her polifh'd neck beneath his hand,
(A dire effect, by one of nature's laws
Unchangeably connected with its caufe)
But providence himself will intervene
To throw his dark displeasure o'er the scene,
All are his inftruments; each form of war,
What burns at home, or threatens from afar,
Nature in arms, her elements at ftrife,
The ftorms that overfet the joys of life,
Are but his rods to fcourge a guilty land,
And wafte it at the bidding of his hand.
He gives the word, and mutiny foon roars
In all her gates, and fhakes her diftant fhores,
The ftandards of all nations are unfurl'd,
She has one foe, and that one foe, the world.
And if he doom that people with a frown,
And mark them with the feal of wrath, press'd down,
Obduracy takes place; callous and tough
The reprobated race grows judgment proof:
Earth fhakes beneath them, and heav'n roars above,
But nothing fcares them from the course they love;
To the lafcivious pipe and wanton fong
That charm down fear, they frolic it along,
With mad rapidity and unconcern,
Down to the gulph from which is no return.
They truft in navies, and their navies fail,
God's curfe can caft away ten thousand fail;