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Nose, ears, and eyes seem present on the spot.
Now the distemper, spite of draught or pill,
Victorious seem'd, and now the doctor's skill ;
And now—alas for unforeseen mishaps !
They put on a damp nightcap, and relapse ;
They thought they must have died, they were so bad, -
Their peevish hearers almost wish they had.

It happen'd on a solemn even-tide,
Soon after He that was our surety 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 incurr'd 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 appeared t' have done,
T'exalt a people, and to place them high
Above all else, and wonder'd He should die.
Ere yet they brought their journey to an end,
A stranger join'd them, courteous as a friend,
And ask'd them, with a kind engaging air,
What their affliction was, and begg'd a share.
Inform’d, He gather'd up the broken thread,
And truth and wisdom gracing all He said,
Explain'd, illustrated, and search'd 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 soon became a guest,

And made so welcome at their simple feast,
He bless'd 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 aim'd at Him.

But conversation, choose what theme we may, And chiefly when Religion leads the way, Should flow like waters after summer show'rs, Not as if raised by mere mechanic pow'rs. The Christian, in whose soul, though now distress'd, Lives the dear thought of joys he once possess'd, When all his glowing language issued forth With God's deep stamp upon its current worth, Will speak without disguise, and must impart, Sad as it is, his undissembling heart, Abhors constraint, and dares not feign a zeal, Or seem to boast a fire he does not feel. The Song of Sion is a tasteless thing, Unless when rising on a joyful wing The soul can mix with the celestial bands, And give the strain the compass it demands.

RETIREMENT. studiis florens ignobilis oti."— VIRG. Geor. Lib. iv.

Which thousands, once fast chain'd to, quit no

more, But which, when life at ebb runs weak and low, All wish, or seem to wish they could forego,


The statesman, lawyer, merchant, man of trade,
Pants for the refuge of some rural shade,
Where, all his long anxieties forgot
Amid the charms of a sequester'd spot,
Or recollected only to gild o'er
And add a smile to what was sweet before,
He may possess the joys he thinks he sees,
Lay his old age upon the lap of ease,
Improve the remnant of his wasted span,
And, having lived a trifler, die a man.
Thus conscience pleads her cause within the breast,
Though long rebell’d against, not yet suppress'd,
And calls a creature form'd for God alone,
For Heaven's high purposes and not his own,
Calls him away from selfish ends and aims,
From what debilitates and what inflames,
From cities humming with a restless crowd,
Sordid as active, ignorant as loud,
Whose highest praise is that they live in vain,
The dupes of pleasure, or the slaves of gain,
Where works of man are cluster'd close around,
And works of God are hardly to be found,
To regions where, in spite of sin and woe,
Traces of Eden are still seen below,
Where mountain, river, forest, field, and grove,
Remind him of his Maker's pow'r and love.
'Tis well if look'd for at so late a day,
In the last scene of such a senseless play,
True wisdom will attend his feeble call,
And grace his action ere the curtain fall.
Souls that have long despised their heav'nly birth,
Their wishes all impregnated with earth,
For threescore years, employ'd with ceaseless care
In catching smoke and feeding upon air,
Conversant only with the ways of men,

Rarely redeem the short remaining ten.
Invetrate habits choke th' unfruitful heart,
Their fibres penetrate its tend'rest part,
And, draining its nutritious pow'rs to feed
Their noxious growth, starve ev'ry better seed.

Not that I mean t' approve or would enforce
A superstitious and

monastic course : Truth is not local, God alike pervades And fills the world of traffic and the shades, And may be fear'd amid the busiest scenes, Or scorn'd where business never intervenes. But 'tis not easy with a mind like ours, Conscious of weakness in its noblest pow'rs, And in a world where (other ills apart) The roving eye misleads the careless heart, To limit thought, by nature prone to stray Wherever freakish fancy points the way, To bid the pleadings of self-love be still, Resigu our own, and seek our Maker's will ; To spread the page of Scripture, and compare Our conduct with the laws engraven there, To measure all that passes in the breast, Faithfully, fairly, by that sacred test; To dive into the secret deeps within, To spare no passion and no fav’rite sin, And search the themes important above all, Ourselves, and our recov'ry from our fall. But leisure, silence, and a mind released From anxious thoughts how wealth may be increased, How to secure in some propitious hour The point of int'rest, or the post of power, A soul serene, and equally retired, From objects too much dreaded, or desired, Safe from the clamours of perverse dispute, At least are friendly to the great pursuit.

Ye groves (the statesman at his desk exclaims, Sick of a thousand disappointed aims), My patrimonial treasure and my pride, Beneath your shades your grey possessor hide, Receive me, languishing for that repose The servant of the public never knows. Ye saw me once (ah, those regretted days, When boyish innocence was all my praise), Hour after hour delightfully allot To studies then familiar, since forgot, And cultivate a taste for ancient song, Catching its ardour as I mused along ; Nor seldom, as propitious Heav'n might send, What once I valued and could boast, a friend, Were witnesses how cordially I press'd His undissembling virtue to my breast; Receive me now, not uncorrupt as then, Nor guiltless of corrupting other men, But versed in arts that, while they seem to stay A fallen empire, hasten its decay. To the fair haven of my native home, The wreck of what I was, fatigued I come, For once I can approve the patriot's voice, And make the course he recommends, my choice ; We meet at last in one sincere desire, His wish and mine both prompt me to retire. 'Tis done-he steps into the welcome chaise, Lolls at his ease behind four handsome bays, That whirl away from bus'ness and debate The disencumber'd Atlas of the state.

A mind unnerved, and indisposed to bear The weight of subjects worthiest of her care, Whatever hopes a change of scene inspires, Must change her nature, or in vain retires.

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