Page images
PDF
EPUB

As when a felon whom his country's IawS
Have justly doom'd for some atrocious cause,
Expects in darkness and heart-chilling fears,
The shameful close of all his mispent years,
If chance, on heavy pinions slowly borne,
A tempest usher in the dreaded morn,
Upon his dungeon walls the lightnings play,
The thunder seems to summon him away,
The warder at the door his key applies,
Shoots back the bolt, and all his courage dies:
If then, just then, all thoughts of mercy lost,
When Hope, long ling'ring, at last yields the ghost,
The found of pardon pierce his startled ear,
He drops at once his fetters and his fear,
A transport glows in all he looks and speaks,
And the first thankful tears bedew his cheeks.
Joy, far superior joy, that much outweighs
The comfort of a few poor added days,
Invades, possesses, and o'erwhelms the foul
Of him whom hope has with a touch made whole:
N T»

[ocr errors]

'Tis heav'n, all heav'n descending on the wings
Of the glad legions of the King of Kingsj
'Tis more—'tis God diffus'd through ev'ry part,
'Tis God himself triumphant in his heart.
Oh welcome now, the fun's once hated light,
His noon-day beams were never half so bright,
Not kindred minds alone are call'd t' employ
Their hours, their days in list'ning to his joy,
Unconscious nature, all that he surveys,
Rocks, groves and streams must join him'in his
praise.
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 so'ols 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 that 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 monitors and poets part,
Seek to delight, that they may mend mankind,
And while they captivate, inform the mind.
Still happier, if he till a thankful foil,
And fruit reward his honorable toil:
But happier far who comfort those that wait
To hear plain truth at Judah's hallaw'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 flowers to suit a fickle taste;
But while they speak the wisdom of the skies,
Which art can only darken and disguise,
Th' abundant harvest, recompence divine,
Repays their work—the gleaning only, mine."

N a CHARITY.

CHARITY.

Qua nihll majus meliufve terris
Fata donavere, boniq; divi,
Nee dabunt, quamvis redeant in aurum
l"empora prifeum.

Hor. Lib. IV. Ode II.

T"^ AI REST 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 all above, Prosper (I press thee with a pow'rful plea) A task I venture on, impell'd by thee: Oh never seen but in thy blest effects, Nor felt but in the soul that heav'n selects,

Who

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 sires,
And though disgrac'd and slighted, to redeem
A poet's name, by making thee the theme.

God working ever on a social plan,
By various ties attaches man to man:
He 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 fees best,
Where seas or desarts part them from the rest,
DisFring 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:

N 3 H«

« PreviousContinue »