Page images
PDF
EPUB

Summer in haste the thriving charge receives
Beneath the flade of her expanded leaves,
'Till autumn's ficrcer heats and plenteous dews
Dye them at last in all their glowing hues-
'Twere wild profufion all, and bootless waste,
Pow'r misemploy'd, munificence misplacid,
Had not its Author dignified the plan,
And crown'd it with the majesty of man.

Thus form’d, thus plac'd, intelligent, and taught,
Look where he will, the wonders God has wrought,
The wildest scorner of his Maker's laws
Finds in a sober moment time to pause,
To press th' important question on his heart,

Why form'd at all, and wherefore as thou art >
If man be what he seems, this hour a fave,
The next, mere dust and ashes in the grave;
Endu'd with reason only to descry
His crimes and follies with an aching eye ;
With passions just that he may prove, with pain,
The force he spends against their fury, vain ;
And if, soon after having burnt, by turns,
With ev'ry lust with which frail nature burns,
His being end where death diffolves the bond,
The tomb take all, and all be blank beyond;
Then he, of all that nature has brought forth,
Stands self-impeach'd the creature of least wortli,
Vol. II.
M M

And

And unless while he lives ; and when he dies,
Brings into doubt the wisdom of the skies,
Truths that the learn'd pursue with cager

thought,
Are not important always as dear-bought,
Proving at last, though told in pompous strains,
A childish waste of philosophic pains ;
But truths on which depends our main concern,
That 'tis our shame and mis’ry not to learn,
Shine by the side of ev'ry path we tread
With such a lustre, he that runs may read.
Tis true, that if to trife life away
Down to the sun-set of their latest day,
Then perish on futurity's wide shore
Like fleeting exhalations, found no more,
Were all that Heav'n requir'd of human kind,
And all the plan their destiny design'd,
What none could rev'rence all might justly blame,
And man would breathe but for his Maker's shame,
But reason heard, and nature well perus'd,
At once the dreaming mind is disabus’d.
If all we find possessing earth, sea, air,
Refle& his attributes who plac'd them there,
Fulfil the purpose, and appear design'd
Proofs of the wisdom of th' all seeing mind,

“T'is plain, the creature whom he chose t’invest
With kingship and dominion o'er the rest,
Receiv'd his nobler nature, and was made
Fit for the power in which he stands array'd,
That first or last, hereafter if not here,
He too might make his Author's wisdom clear,
Praise him on earth, or, obstinately dumb,
Suffer his justice in a world to come.
This once believ'd, 'twere logic misapplied
To prove a consequence by none denied,
That we are bound to cast the minds of youth
Betimes into the mould of heav'nly truth,
That taught of God they may indeed be wise,
Nor ignorantly wand'ring miss the skies.

In early days the conscience has in most
A quickness, which in later life is loft,
Preserv'd from guilt by falutary fears,
Or, guilty, foon relenting into tears.
Too careless often, as our years proceed,
What friends we fort with, or what books we ead,
Our parents yet exert a prudent care
To feed our infant minds with proper care
And wisely store the nurs’ry, by degrees,
With wholesome learning and acquir’d with ease.
Neatly secur'd from being soild or torn,
Beneath a pane of thin translucent horn,

M 2

A book

A book (to please us at a tender age
'Tis call'd a book, though but a single page)
Presents the pray’r the Saviour deign'd to teach,
Which children use, and parsons when they

preach.
Lisping our syllables, we scramble next
Through moral narrative, or sacred text,
And learn with wonder how this world began,
Who made, who marr'd, and who has ransom'd

man.

Points, which unless the Scripture made them plain,
The wisest heads might agitate in vain.
Oh thou, whom borne on fancy's eager wing
Back to the season of life's happy spring,
I pleas'd remember, and while mem'ry yet
Holds fast her office here, can ne'er forget,
ingenious dreamer, in whofe well told tale
Sweet fi&ion and sweet truth alike prevail,
Whose hum'rous vein, strong sense, and simple

style,
May teach the gayeft, make the gravest smile,
Witty, and well employd, and like thy Lord,
Speaking in parables his slighted word,
I name thee not, left so despis’d a name
Should move a sneer at thy deserved fame ;

Yet

Yet ev’n in transitory life's late day,
That mingles all my brown with sober grey,
Revere the man, whose Pilgrim marks the road,
And guides the Progress of the soul to God.
"Twere well with most, if books that could engage
Their childhood, pleas'd them at a riper age ;
The man, approving what had charm'd the boy,
Would die at last in comfort, peace, and joy,
And not with curses on his art who stole
The gem of truth from his unguarded soul.
The stamp of artless piety impress'd
By kind tuition on his yielding breast,
The youth now bearded, and yet pert and raw,
Regards with scorn, though once receiv'd with

awe,
And, warp'd into the labyrinth of lies,
That babblers, call?d philosophers, devise,
Blasphemes his creed, as founded on a plan
Replete with dreams, unworthy of a man.
Touch but his nature in its ailing part,
Affert the native evil of his heart,
His pride resents the charge, although the proof*
Rife in his forehead, and seem rank enough ;
Point to the cure, describes a Saviour's cross
As God's expedient to retrieve his loss,

* See 2 Chron, ch. xxvi. ver. 19.

« PreviousContinue »