« PreviousContinue »
Or make the parrot's mimickry his choice, That odious libel on an human voice? No-nature unfophisticate by man, Starts not aside from her Creator's plan, The melody that was at first design'd To cheer the rude forefathers of mankind, Is note for note deliver'd in our ears, In the last scene of her fix thousand years :, Yet Fashion, leader of a chatt'ring train, Whom man for his own hurt permits to reign, Who shifts and changes all things but his shape, And would degrade her yor’ry to an ape, The fruitful parent of abuse and wrong, Holds an ufurp'd dominion o'er his congue : There sits and prompts him with his own disgrace, Prescribes the theme, the tone and the grimace, And when accomplished in her wayward school, Calls gentleman whom she has made a fool. 'Tis an unalterable fixt decree That none could frame or ratify but she, .
That heav'n and hell and righteousness and fin,
Snares in his path and foes that lurk within,
God and his attributes (a field of day
Where 'tis an angel's happiness to stray)
Fruits of his love and wonders of his might,
Be never named in ears esteemed polite.
That he who dares, when she forbids, be grave,
Shall stand proscribed, a madman or a knave,
A close designer not to be believed,
Or if excus'd that charge, at least deceived,
Oh folly worthy of the nurse's lap,
Give it the breast or stop its mouth with pap!
Is it incredible, or can it seem
A dream to any except those that dream,
That man should love his Maker, and that fire
Warming his heart should at his lips transpire?
Know then, and modestly let fall your eyes,
And vail !your daring crest that braves the skies,
That air of insolence affronts your God,
You need his pardon, and provoke his rod,
Now, in a posture that becomes you more..
Than that heroic strut assumed before, .'
Know, your arrears with ev'ry hour accrue, .
For mercy shown while wrath is juftly dues
The time is fhört, and there are souls on earth;
Though future pain may serve for present mirth,
Acquainted with the woes that fear or shame
By fashion taught, forbade them once to name,
And having felt the pangs you deem a jest,
Have prov'd them truths too big to be express’d :
Go seek on revelation's hallow'd ground,
Sure to succeed, they remedy they found,
Touch'd by that pow'r that you have dar'd to mock,
That makes seas stable and dissolves the rock,
Your heart shall yield a life-renewing stream,
That fools, as you have done, shall call a dream.
It happened on a folemn even-tide,
Soon after He that was our furety died,
Two bosom friends each pensively inclined,
The scene of all those sorrows left behind,
Sought their own village, busied as they went
In musings worthy of the great event :
They spake of him they loved, of him whose life
Though blameless, had incurred perpetual strife,
Whose deeds had left, in spite of hostile arts,
A deep memorial graven on their hearts ;
The recollection like a vein of ore,
The farther traced enrich'd them still the more,
They thought him, and they justly thought him one
Sent to do more than he appear’d to have done,
T'exalt a people, and to place them high
Above all else, and wonder'd he should die.
E’re yet they brought their journey to an end,
A stranger joined them, courteous as a friend,
And asked them with a kind engaging air,
What their affliction was, and begged a share.
Informed, he gather'd up the broken thread,
And truth and wisdom gracing all he said,
Explained, illustrated and searched so well
The tender theme on which they chose to dwell,
That reaching home, the night, they said, is near,
We must not now be parted, sojourn here
The new acquaintance foon became a guest,
And made fo welcome at their simple feast,
He blessed the bread, but vanish'd at the word,
And left them both exclaiming, 'twas the Lord!
Did not our hearts feel all he deign'd to say,
Did they not burn within us by the way ?
Now theirs was converse such as it behoves
Man to maintain, and such as God approves ;
Their views indeed were indistinct and dim,
But yet successful being ained at him.
Christ and his character their only scope,
Their object and their subject and their hope,
They felt what it became them much to feel,
And wanting him to loose the sacred seal,
Found him as prompt as their desire was true,
To spread the new-born glories in their view.
Well—what are ages and the lape of time
Matched against truths as lasting as sublime ?