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Genteel in figure, easy in address,
Moves without noise, and swift as an express,
Reports a message with a pleasing grace,
Expert in all the duties of his place;
Say, on what hinge does his obedience move?
Has he a world of gratitude and love?
No, not a spark—'tis all mere sharper's play;
He likes your house, your housemaid, and your pay;
Reduce his wages, or get rid of her,
Tom quits you, with-Your most obedient, Sir,
The dinner served, Charles takes his usual stand,
Watches your eye, anticipates command ;
Sighs if perhaps your appetite should fail;
And if he but suspects a frown, turns pale;
Consults all day your interest and your ease,
Richly rewarded if he can but please;
And, proud to make his firm attachment known,
To save your life would nobly risk his own.
Now which stands highest in your serious thought?
Charles, without doubt, say you—and so he ought;
One act that from a thankful heart proceeds,
Excels ten thousand mercenary deeds.
Thus Heaven approves as honest and sincere,
The work of generous love and filial fear;
But with averted eyes the omniscient Judge
Scorns the base hireling, and the slavish drudge.
Where dwell these matchless saints ?-old Curio
E'en at your side, Sir, and before your eyes,
The favour'd few—the enthusiasts you despise.
And pleased at heart, because on holy ground
Sometimes a canting hypocrite is found,
Reproach a people with his single fall,
And cast his filthy raiment at them all ;
Attend !-an apt similitude shall shew
Whence springs the conduct that offends you so.
See where it smokes along the sounding plain,
Blown all aslant, a driving, dashing rain,
Peal apon peal redoubling all around,
Shakes it again and faster to the ground ;
Now flashing wide, now glancing as in play,
Swift beyond thought the lightnings dart away.
Ere yet it came the traveller urged his steed,
And hurried, but with unsuccessful speed;
Now drench'd throughout, and hopeless of his
He drops the rein, and leaves him to his pace.
Suppose, unlook'd-for in a scene so rude,
Long hid by interposing hill or wood,
Some mansion, neat and elegantly dress’d,
By some kind hospitable heart possess'd,
Offer him warmth, security, and rest;
Think with what pleasure, safe and at his ease,
He hears the tempest howling in the trees;
What glowing thanks his lips and heart employ,
While danger past is turn’d to present joy.
So fares it with the sinner when he feels
A growing, dread of vengeance at his heels;
His conscience, like a glassy lake before,
Lash'd into foaming waves, begins to roar;
The law grown clamorous, though silent long,
Arraigas him-charges him with every wrong-
Asserts the rights of his offended Lord,
And death or restitution is the word :
The last impossible, he fears the first,
And, having well deserved, expects the worst.
Then welcome refuge and a peaceful home;
Oh for a shelter from the wrath to come!
Crush me, ye rocks ! ye falling mountains hide,
Or bury me in ocean's angry tide.
The scrutiny of those all-seeing eyes
I dare not-And you need not, God replies;
The remedy you want I freely give;
The Book shall teach you-read, believe, and live!
'Tis done-the raging storm is heard no more,
Mercy receives him on her peaceful shore :
And Justice, guardian of the dread command,
Drops the red vengeance from his willing hand.
A soul redeem'd demands a life of praise ;
Hence the complexion of his future days,
Hence a demeanour holy and unspeck'd,
And the world's hatred, as its sure effect.
Some lead a life unblamable and just,
Their own dear virtue their unshaken trust :
They never sin-or if (as all offend)
Some trivial slips their daily walk attend,
The poor are near at hand, the charge is small,
A slight gratuity atones for all.
For though the pope has lost his interest here,
And pardons are not sold as once they were,
No papist more desirous to compound,
Than some grave sinners upon English ground.
That plea refuted, other quirks they seek-
Mercy is infinite, and man is weak;
The future shall obliterate the past,
And Heaven no doubt shall be their home at last.
Come then-a still small whisper in your ear-
He has no hope who never had a fear;
And he that never doubted of his state,
He may perhaps-perhaps he may-too late.
The path to bliss abounds with many a snare ;
Learning, is one, and wit, however rare.
The Frenchman, first in literary fame,
(Mention him if you please. Voltaire ?—The same),
With spirit, genius, eloquence, supplied,
Lived long, wrote much, laugh'd heartily, and died.
The Scripture was his jest-book, whence he drew
Bon mots to gall the Christian and the Jew;
An infidel in health, but what when sick ?
Oh-then a text would touch him at the quick :
View him at Paris in his last career,
Surrounding throngs the demigod revere;
Exalted on his pedestal of pride,
And fumed with frankincense on every side,
He begs their flattery with his latest breath,
And smother'd in't at last, is praised to death.
Yon cottager, who weaves at her own door,
Pillow and bobbins all her little store ;
Content though mean, cheerful if not gay,
Shuffling her threads about the livelong day,
Just earns a scanty pittance, and at night
Lies down secure, her heart and pocket light;
She, for her humble sphere by nature fit,
Has little understanding, and no wit,
Receives no praise ; but, though her lot be such,
(Toilsome and indigent) she renders much ;
Just knows, and knows no more, her Bible true
A truth the brilliant Frenchman never knew ;
And in that charter reads with sparkling eyes
Her title to a treasure in the skies.
O happy peasant! O unhappy bard !
His the mere tinsel, hers the rich reward;
He praised perhaps for ages yet to come,
She never heard of half a mile from home :
He lost in errors his vain heart prefers,
She safe in the simplicity of hers.
Not many wise, rich, noble, or profound
In science, win one inch of heavenly ground.
And is it not a mortifying thought
The poor should gain it, and the rich should not?
No-the voluptuaries, who ne'er forget
One pleasure lost, lose heaven without regret ;
Regret would rouse them, and give birth to prayer;
Prayer would add faith, and faith would fix them there.
Not that the Former of us all, in this,
Or aught he does, is govern'd by caprice;
The supposition is replete with sin,
And bears the brand of blasphemy burnt in.
Not so-the silver trumpet's heavenly call
Sounds for the poor, but sounds alike for all :
Kings are invited, and would kings obey,
No slavęs on earth more welcome were than they :
But royalty, nobility, and state,
Are such a dead preponderating weight,
That endless bliss (how strange soe'er it seem)
In counterpoise, flies up and kicks the beam.
'Tis open, and ye cannot enter-why?
ye will not, Conyers would reply-
And he says much that many may dispute,
And cavil at with ease, but none refute.
O bless'd effect of penury and want;
The seed sown there, how vigorous is the plant !
No soil like poverty for growth divine,
As leanest land supplies the richest wine.
Earth gives too little, giving only bread,
To nourish pride, or turn the weakest head :
To them the sounding jargon of the schools
Seems what it is-a cap and bell for fools :
The light they walk by, kindled from above,
Shews them the shortest way to life and love:
They, strangers to the controversial field,
Where deists always foil'd, yet scorn to yield,
And never check'd by what impedes the wise,
Believe, rush forward, and possess the prize.
Envy, ye great, the dull unletter'd small :
Ye have much cause for envy-but not all.
We boast some rich ones whom the Gospel sways,
And one who wears a coronet and prays;
Like gleanings of an olive-tree they shew,
Here and there one upon the topm bough.
How readily upon the Gospel plan, That question has its answer- What is man? Sinful and weak, in every sense a wretch; An instrument, whose chords upon the stretch, And strained to the last screw that he can bear, Yield only discord in his Maker's ear: Once the bless'd residence of truth divine, Glorious as Solyma's interior shrine, Where, in his own oracular abode, Dwelt visibly the light-creating God; But made long since, like Babylon of old, A den of mischiefs never to be told : And she, once mistress of the realms around, Now scatter'd wide, and no where to be found, As soon shall rise and reascend the throne, By native power and energy her own, As Nature, at her own peculiar cost, Restore to man the glories he has lost. Gambid the winter cease to chill the year, Replace the wandering comet in his sphere, Then boast (but wait for that unhoped-for hour) The self-restoring arm of human power. But what is man in his own proud esteem? Hear him_himself the poet and the theme: A monarch clothed with majesty and awe, His mind his kingdom, and his will his law; Grace in his mien, and glory in his eyes, Supreme on earth, and worthy of the skies, Strength in his heart, dominion in his nod, And, thunderbolts excepted, quite a god !