Page images
[ocr errors][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small]

IT may be proper to obferve, that fome paffages, in

the preceding Effay, having been unjustly fufpected of a tendency towards Fate and Naturalism, the author composed this Prayer as the fum of all, to fhew that his system was founded in free-will, and terminated in piety: That the firft caufe was as well the Lord and Governor of the Universe as the Creator of it; and that, by fubmiffion to his will (the great principle enforced throughout the Effay) was not meant the fuffering ourselves to be carried along by a blind determination, but the refting in a religious acquicfcence, and confidence full of Hope and Immortality. To give all this the greater weight, the poet chofe for his model the Lord's Prayer, which, of all others, beft deferves the title prefixed to this Paraphrafe.




ATHER of All! in every Age,
In every Clime ador'd,

By Saint, by Savage, and by Sage,
Jehovah, Jove, or Lord!

Thou Great First Cause, least understood ;
Who all my Sense confin'd

To know but this, that Thou art Good,
And that myself am blind;

Yet gave me, in this dark Estate,
To fee the Good from Ill;
And, binding Nature faft in Fate,
Left free the Human Will:

What Confcience dictates to be done,
Or warns me not to do,

This, teach me more than Hell to fhun,
That, more than Heaven pursue.
What Bleffings thy free Bounty gives,
Let me not caft away;

For God is paid when Man receives,
T'enjoy is to obey.

Yet not to Earth's contracted Span
Thy Goodness let me bound,
Or think Thee Lord alone of Man,
When thousand Worlds are round;

G 4


Let not this weak, unknowing hand
Prefume thy bolts to throw,
And deal damnation round the land,
On each I judge thy Foe.

If I am right, thy grace impart,
Still in the right to ftay:

If I am wrong, oh teach my heart
To find that better way.

Save me alike from foolish Pride,
Or impious Difcontent, 1
At aught thy Wisdom has deny'd,
Or aught thy Goodness lent.
Teach me to feel another's Woe,
To hide the Fault I fee;
That Mercy I to others show,
That Mercy fhow to me.

Mean though I am, not wholly fo,
Since quicken'd by thy Breath;
O lead me wherefoe'er I go,

Through this day's Life or Death.

This day, be Bread and Peace my Lot:
All elfe beneath the Sun,

Thou know'ft if beft beflow'd or not,
And let thy Will be done.

To Thee, whofe Temple is all Space,
Whofe Altar, Earth, Sea, Skies!
One Chorus let all Being raife!
All Nature's Incenfe rife!


[blocks in formation]

"Eft brevitate opus, ut currat fententia, neu fe
"Impediat verbis laffas onerantibus aures:
"Et fermone opus eft modo trifti, fæpe jocofo,
"Defendente vicem modo Rhetoris atque Poetæ,
"Interdum urbani, parcentis viribus, atque
"Extenuantis eas confultò."


« PreviousContinue »