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As one who fees a serpent in his way
Glift'ning and bafking in the summer ray,
Disorder'd stops, to fhun the danger near,
Then walks with faintness on, and looks with fear;
So seent'd the fire, when, far upon the road,
The shining spoil his wily partner show'd.
He stopt with silence; walk'd with trembling heart;
And much he with’d, but durft not afk, to part:
Murm'ring he lifts his eyes, and thinks it hard
That gen'rous actions meet a base reward.
While thus they pass, the fun his glory shrouds :
The changing fkies hang out their fable clouds;
A found in air prefag'd approaching rain;
And beasts, to covert, scud a-cross the plain.
Warn’d by the signs, the wand'ring pair retreat,
To seek for shelter at a neighbouring feat.
'Twas built with turrets, on a rising ground;
And strong, and large, and unimprov'd around:
Its owner's temper, tim'rous and fevere.
Unkind and griping, caus’d a desert there.
As near the miser's heavy doors they drew,
Fierce rifing gufts, with ludden fury, blew ;
The nimble lightning, mix'd with fhow'rs, began;
And o'er their heads, loud rolling thunder ran.
Here long they knock; but knock or call in vain,
Driv'n by the wind and batter'd-by the rain.
At length, fome pity warm'd the master's breasti
('Twas then his threlhold first receiv'd a gueft);
Slow creaking turns the door, with jealous cares
And half he welcomes in the shiv'ring pair.
One frugal faggot lights the naked walls,
And nature's fervour through their limbs recalls;
Bread of the coarseft fort, with eager wine,
(Each hardly granted) serv'd them both to dine ;
And, when the tempest first appear'd to cease,
A ready warning bid them part in peace.
With still remark, the pond'ring hermit view'd,
in one fo rich, a life fo poor and rude :
And why should such (within himself he cry'd)
Lock the lot wealth a thousand want beside?
But, what new marks of wonder foon took place,
In every settling feature of his face,
When, from his vest, the young companion bore
That cup, the gen'rous landlord own'd before,
And paid profusely, with the precious bowl,
The Itinted kindness of this churlith foul !
But, now the clouds in airy tomult fly;.
The fun, emerging, opes an azure sky;
A fresher green the smelling leaves display,
And, glitt'ring as they tremble, cheer the day :-
The weather courts them from the poor retreat ;
And the glad master bolts the wary gate.
While hence they walk, the pilgrim's bofom wrought
With all the travel of uncertain thought.
His partner's acts without their cause appear ;
'Twas there a vice, and seem'd a madness bere.
Detesting that, and pitying this, he goes,
Lost and confounded with the various fhows.
Now, night's dim fhades again involve the sky;
Again the wand'rers want a place to lie ;
Again they search, and find a lodging nigh:
The soil improv'd around; the mansion neat;
And neither poorly low, nor idly great :
It seem'd to speak its master's turn of mind;
Content, and, not for praise, but virtue, kind.
Hither the walkers turn, with weary feet;
Then, bless the mansion and the master
greet: Their greeting fair, bestow'd with modelt guife, The courteous master hears, and thus replies.
Without a vain, without a grudging heart,
To him who gives us all, I yield a part:
From him you come ; for him-accept it here ;
A frank and sober, more than costly cheer.
He spoke ; and bade the welcome table spread ::
Then talk'd of virtue till the time of bed ;
When the grave household round his hall repair,
Warn'd by a bell, and close the hours with pray'r.
At length the world, renew'd by calm repose,
Was strong for toil; the dappled morn arose.
Before the pilgrimns part, the younger crept
Near the clos'd cradle where an infant slept,
And writh'd his.neck: the landlord's little pride
Itrange return!-grew black, and galp'd, and died.
Horrour of horrours ! what! his only fon!
How look'd our hermit when the fact was done?
Not hell, though hell's black jaws in sunder part,
And breathe blue fire, could more assault his heart.
Confus'd and struck with filence at the deed,
He flies; but, trembling, fails to fly with fpeed.
His fteps the youth pursues. The country lay
Perplex'd with roads: a servant show'd the way.
A river cross'd the path. The passage o’er
Was nice to find : the servant trode before ::
Long arms of oaks an open bridge supply'd ;
And, deep, the waves, beneath the bending, glides.
The youth, who seem'd to watch a time to fin,
Approach'd the careless guide, and thrust him in :
Plunging, he falls; and, rising, lifts his head ;
Then, flashing, turns, and finks among the dead.
Wild sparkling rage inflames the father's eyes;
He bursts the bands of fear, and madly cries,
Detested wretch !- -But scarce his Speech begang.
When the strange partner seem'd no longer man :
His youthful face grew more serenely Tweet ;
His robe turn’d white, and flow'd upon his feet ;.
Fair rounds of radiant points inveft his hair ;
Celestial odours breathe through purpled air ;
And wings, whose colours glitter'd on the day,
Wide at his back, their gradual plumes display.
The form ethereal burits upon his fight,
And moves in all the majesty of light.
Though loud, at first, the pilgrim's passion grew,
Sudden he gaz'd, and wist not what to do ;
Surprise, in secret chains, his words fufpends ;
And, in a calm, his settling temper ends.
But silence, here, the beauteous angel broke:
The voice of music ravish'd as he spoke.
Thy pray'r, thy praise, thy life to vice unknown, In sweet memorial rise before the throne : These charms, succel's in our bright region find, And force an angel down to calm thy mind. For this commission'd, I forfook the sky Naj, cease to kneel-thy fellow-servant I.
Then know the truth of government divine ; And let thefe fcruples be no longer thine,
The Maker justly claims that world he made ;
In this the riglit of providence is laid :
Its facred majesty through all depends
On using second means to work his ends.
'Tis thus, withdrawn in ftatè from human eye,
The Pow'r exerts his attributes on high ;
Your actions uses, nor controuls your will;
And bids the doubting fons of men be ftill.
What strange events can strike with more surprise, ,
Than those which lately struck thy wond'ring eyes?
- Yet, taught by these, confess th' Almighty just;
And, where you can't unriddle, learn to trust.
The great, vain man, who far'd on costly food;
W ose life was too luxurious to be good ;
Who made his ivory Itands with goblets shine ;
And forced his gueits to morning drauglits of wine ; :
Has, with the cup, the gracelets custom loft ; .
And still he welcomes, but with less of cost.
The mean suspicious wretch, whole bolted door
Ne'er moy'd in duy to the wand'ring poor ;
With him I left the cup, to teach his mind,
That heav'n can bless, if mortals will be kind.
Conscious of wanting werth, he views the bowl ; -
And feels compassion touch his grateful soul.
Thus artists melt the fullen ore of lead,
With heaping coals of fire upon its head : :
In the kind warmth the metal learns to glow;
And, loose from dross, the silver runs below.
Long liad our pious friend in virtue trode,
Bút, now, the child half-wean’d his heart from God;
(Child of his age )--for him he liv'd in pain,
And meafur'd back his steps to earth again,-,
To wliat excesses had his dotage run !
Bat God, to save the father, took the sono',
To all, but thee, in fits he feeni'd to go ;
And 'twas my ministry to deal ihe blow.
The poor fond parent, humbled in the dust,
Now owns, in tears, the punishment was just."
But how had all his fortune felt a wreck,
Had that false servant fped in fafety back!
This night his treasur'd heaps he meant to steal: :
And what a fund of charity wou'd fail!
Thus Heav'n instructs thy mind. This trial o'er,
Depart in peace, relign, and lin no more..
On sounding pinions Lere the youth withdrew :.
The sage stood wond'ring as the seraph flew.
Thus look!d Elifha, when, to mount on high,
His master took the chariot of the sky :
The fiery pomp, ascending, left the view ;
The prophet gaz’d, and will’d to follow too.
The bending hermit here a pray'r begun-
“ Lord ! as in heav'n, on earth thy will be done."
Then, gladly turning, fought his ancient place,
And pass’d a life of piety and peace.
IX. On the Death of Mrs Mafon.
TAKE, holy earth! all that my soul holds dear :-
Take that best gift, which Heav'n so lately gave. To Bristol's fount I bore, with trembling care,
Her faded form. She bow'd to taste the wave And died. Does youth, does beauty, read the line ?
Does sympathetic fear their breast alarm ?: Speak, dead Maria ! breathe a strain divine :
Ev'n from the grave, thou thalt have pow'r to charmi Eid them be. chaste, be innocent, like thee;
Bid' them, in duty's sphere, as meekly move.:: And, if as fair, from vanity as free,
As firm in friendthip, and as fond in love. Tell them, though 'tis an awful thing to die.!
('Twas ev'n to thee) yet, the dread path once trodė,, Heav'n lifts its everlasting portals high, And bids “ the pure in heart behold their God.”
X. Extrait from the Temple of Fame.
AROUND these wonders as I cast a Jook;
The trumpet founded, and the temple shook ;;
And all the nations, summon’d at the call,
From different quarters, fill the spacious hall.
Of various tongues the tringled founds were heard;
In various garbs promiscuous throngs appear’d :
Millions of suppliant crowds the shrine atiend,
And all degrees before the goddess bend;