Page images
PDF

These are thy glorious works, eternal Truth,
The scoff of wither'd age, and beardless youth;
These move the censure and illib’ral grin
Of fools, that hate thee and delight in sin:

. But these shall last when night has quench'd the pole,

And Heav'n is all departed as a scroll.
And when, as Justice has long since decreed,
This Earth shall blaze, and a new world succeed,
Then these thy glorious works, and they who share
That hope, which can alone exclude despair,
Shall live exempt from weakness and decay,
The brightest wonders of an endless day.
Happy the bard, if that fair name belong
To him, that blends no fable with his song,)
Whose lines uniting, by an honest art,
The faithful monitor's and poet’s part,
Seek to delight, that they may mend mankind,
And, while they captivate, inform the mind;

Still happier, if he till a thankful soil,

And fruit reward his honourable toil:
But happier far, who comfort those that wait
To hear plain truth at Judah’s hallow’d gate:
Their language simple, as their manners meek,
No shining ornaments have they to seek,
Nor labour they, nor time nor talents waste,
In sorting flow’rs to suit a fickle taste;
But while they speak the wisdom of the skies, .
Which art can only darken and disguise,
Th’ abundant harvest, recompense divine,
Repays their work—the gleaning only mine.

CHARITY.

* Quo nihil majus meliusve terris
Fata donavere, bonique divi;
Nec dabunt, quamvis redeant in aurum
Tempora priscum.”
Hor. Lib. iv. Od. 2.

* FAIREST and foremost of the train, that wait On man’s most dignified and happiest state, Whether we name thee Charity or Love, Chief grace below, and all in i above, Prosper (I press thee with a pow'rful plea) A task I venture on, impell’d by thee: O, never seen but in thy blest effects, Or felt but in the soul that Heav'n selects; Who seeks to praise thee, and to make thee known , To other hearts, must have thee in his own. Come prompt me with benevolent desires, Teach me to kindle at thy gentle fires, And, though disgraced and slighted, to redeem A poet's name, by making thee the theme.

d, working ever on a social plan,

É. various ties attaches man to man:

e made at first, though free and unconfin'd,
One man the common father of the kind;
That ev'ry tribe, though plac'd as he sees best,
Where seas or deserts part them from the rest,
Diff'ring in language, manners, or in face,
Might feel themselves allied to all the race.
When Cook—lamented, and with tears as just
As ever mingled with heroic dust,-

Steer’d Britain’s oak into a world unknown,
And in his country’s glory sought his own,
Wherever he found man to nature true,
The rights of man were sacred in his view;
He sooth'd with gifts, and greeted with a smile,
The simple native of the new-found isle;
He spurn'd the wretch, that slighted or withstood
The tender argument of kindred blood,
Nor would endure, that any should control
His freeborn brethren of the southern pole.

But though some nobler minds a law respect,
That none shall with impunity neglect,
In baser souls unnumber'd evils meet,
To thwart its influence, and its end defeat.
While Cook is lov’d for savage lives he sav’d,
See Cortez odious for a world enslav’d
Where wast thou then, sweet Charity? where then,
Thou tutelary friend of helpless men?
Wast thou in monkish cells and nunn’ries found,
Or building hospitals on English ground?
No.—Mammon makes the World his legatee
Through fear, not love; and Heav'n abhors the fee.
Wherever found, (and all men need thy care,)
Nor age nor infancy could find thee there.
The hand, that slew till it could slay no more,
Was glued to the sword-hilt with Indian gore.
Their prince, as justly seated on his throne
As vain imperial Philip on his own,
Trick'd out of all his royalty by art
That stripp'd him bare, obroke his honest heart,
Died by the sentence of a shaven priest,
For scorning what they taught him to detest.
How dark the veil, that intercepts the blaze
Of Heav'n's mysterious purposes and ways;
God stood not, though he seem'd to stand aloof;
And at this hour the conqu'ror feels the proof:
The wreath he won drew down an instant curse.
The fretting plague is in the public purse,

K

The canker'd spoil corrodes the pining state,
Starv’d by that indolence their minds create.
* Oh, could their ancient Incas rise again,
How would they take up Israel's taunting strain |
Art thou too fall’n, Iberia? Do we see
The robber and the murd’rer weak as we ?
Thou, that hast wasted Earth, and dar'd despise
Alike the wrath and mercy of the skies,
Thy pomp is in the grave, thy glory laid
Low in the pits thime avarice has made.
We come with joy from our eternal rest,
To see th' oppressor in his turn oppress'd.
Art thou the god, the thunder of whose han
Roll'd over all our desolated land, -
Shook principalities and kingdoms down,
And made the mountains tremble at his frown 2
The sword shall light upon thy boasted pow'rs,
And waste them, as the sword has wasted ours.
'Tis thus Omnipotence his law fulfils,
And Vengeance executes what Justice wills.
Again—the band of commerce was design'd
To associate all the branches of mankind;
And if a boundless plenty be the robe,
Trade is the golden girdle of the globe.
Wise to promote whatever end he means,
God opens fruitful mature’s various scenes:
Each climate needs what other climes produce,
And offers something to the gen'ral use ;
No land but listens to the common call,
And in return receives supply from all.
This genial intercourse, and mutual aid,
Cheers what were else an universal shade,
Calls nature from her ivy-mantled den,
And softens human rock-work into men.
Ingenious Art! with her expressive face,
Steps forth to fashion and refine the race ;
Not only fills Necessity’s demand,
But overcharges her capacious hand :

[merged small][ocr errors][ocr errors][merged small][graphic]
« PreviousContinue »