« PreviousContinue »
WISDOM! if thy foft controul Can footh the ficknefs of the foul, Can bid the warring paflions cease, And breathe the calm of tender peace; Wifdom! I blefs thy gentle fway, And ever, ever will obey.
But if thou com'ft with frown auftere To nurfe the brood of care and fear; To bid our sweetest paffions dic, And leave us in their room a figh; Or if thine aspect stern have pow'r To wither each poor tranfient flow'r That cheers this pilgrimage of woc, And dry the fprings whence hope fhould flow; Wifdom, thine empire I difclaim, Thou empty boaft of pompous name! In gloomy fhade of cloifters dwell, But never haunt my cheerful cell. Hail to pleafure's frolic train! Hail to fancy's golden reign! Feftive mirth, and laughter wild, Free and fportful as the child Hope with eager fparkling eyes, And eafy faith, and fond furprife! Let thefe, in fairy colours dreft, For ever fhare my carclefs breast: Then, tho' wife I may not be, The wife themfelves thall envy me.
$57. Defpondency. An Ode. BURNS. PPRESS'D with grief, opprefs'd with care, A burden more than I can bear, I fit me down and figh: O life thou art a galling load, Along a rough, a weary road, To wretches fuch as I! Dim-backward as I caft my view, What fick'ning fcenes appear! What forrows yet may pierce me through, Too juftly I may fear! Still caring, defpairing, Muft be my bitter dcom;
My woes here fhall clofe ne'er, But with the clofing tomb! Happy! ye fons of bufy life, Who, equal to the bustling strife, No other view regard!
Ev'n when the wifhed end 's denied,
Forget each grief and pain;
Find ev'ry profpect vain.
Within this humble cell,
Or haply to his ev'ning thought,
The ways of men are diftant brought,
His thoughts to Heav'n on high,
But ah! thofe pleatures, loves, and joys, Which I too keerly tatte,
The Solitary can defpife,
In our own ftrength unhappily fecure,
59. A Paraphrafe on the latter Part of the Sixth Chapter of St. Matthew. THOMSON. WHEN my breaft labours with oppreflive care, And o'er my cheek defcends the falling tear; While all my warring paffions are at ftrife, Oh let me liften to the words of life! Raptures deep-felt his doctrine did impart, And thus he rais'd from earth the drooping heart: Think not, when all your fcanty ftores afford Is fpread at once upon the fparing board; Think not, when worn the homely robe appears, While on the roof the howling tempeft bears; What farther fhall this feeble life fuftain, And what fhall clothe these fhiv'ring limbs again. Say, does not life its nourishment exceed? And the fair body its invefting weed? Behold! and look away your low defpairSee the light tenants of the barren air: To them nor ftores nor granaries belong, Nought but the woodland and the pleafing fong; Yet your kind heav'nly Father bends his eye On the leaft wing that flits along the sky. To him they fing when fpring renews the plain, To him they cry in winter's pinching reign; Nor is their mufic or their plaint in vain: He hears the gay and the diftrefsful call, And with unfparing bounty fills them all.
Obferve the rifing lily's fnowy grace, Obferve the various vegetable race; They neither toil nor fpin, but careless grow, Yet fee how warm they bluth! how bright they
glow! What regal veftments can with them compare? What king fo thining, or what queen so fair?
If ceafelefs thus the fowls of heaven he feeds, If o'er the fields fuch lucid robes he spreads, Will he not care for you, ye faithlefs, fay? Is he unwife? or are ye lefs than they?
$60, Songs of Praife. WATTS.
A general Song of Praise to God. HOW glorious is our heav'nly King, Who reigns above the sky!
I would not change my native land
Thy praise shall still employ my breath,
Praise for the Gospel.
LORD, I afcribe it to thy grace,
How glad the Heathens would have been,
Praife to God for learning to Read. THE praises of my tongue
I offer to the Lord,
That I was taught, and learnt fo young To read his holy word.
That I am brought to know
I can do nothing well;
How Chrift, the Son of God,
He fends his Spirit down To fhew the wonders of his love, And make his gospel known.
O may that Spirit teach,
Then fhall I praise the Lord,
That I was taught to read his word,
§ 61. The Excellency of the Bible demonstrated.
The stars, that in their courfes roll,
Here would I learn how Chrift has died
Such heav'nly wonders tell. Then let me love my Bible more, And take a fresh delight By day to read thefe wonders o'er, And meditate by night.
62. The All-feeing God. ALMIGHTY God, thy piercing eye Strikes thro' the fhades of night, And our moft fecret actions lie
All open to thy fight.
There's not a fin that we commit,
While men and angels hear?
And blot them from thy book. Remember all the dying pains
That my Redeemer felt; And let his blood wash out my stains, And antwer for my guilt.
O may I now for ever fear
§ 63. Solemn Thoughts concerning God and Death. WATTS
THERE is a God that reigns above,
Lord of the heav'ns, and earth, and feas: I fear his wrath, I afk his love, And with my lips I fing his praife. There is a law which he has writ, To teach us all what we must do: My foul, to his commands fubinit, For they are holy, juft, and true. There is a gospel of rich grace, Whence finners all their comforts draw: Lord, I repent, and feek thy face, For I have often broke thy law. There is an hour when I muft die, Nor do I know how foon 't will come; A thousand children, young as I, Are call'd by death to hear their doom. Let me improve the hours I have, Before the day of grace is filed; There's no repentance in the grave Nor pardons offer'd to the dead. Just as the tree, cut down, that fell To north or fouthward, there it lies; So man departs to heav'n or hell, Fix'd in the ftate wherein he dies.
§64. Heaven and Hell WATTE HERE is beyond the sky A heav'n of joy and love; And holy children, when they die Go to that world above.
There is a dreadful hell,
Can fuch a wretch as I
While I have life and breath, Left I fhould be cut off to-day, And fent to eternal death.
§ 65. The Advantages of early Religion. WATTS.
HAPPY the child whofe tender years
Receive instructions well;
Who hates the finner's path, and fears The road that leads to hell.
When we devote our youth to God, 'Tis pleafing in his eyes;
A flow'r when offer'd in the bud
'Tis cafier work, if we begin
'Twill fave us from a thousand fnares,
To thee, almighty God, to thee,
Let the fweet work of pray'r and praife
§ 66. The Danger of Delay. WHY fhould I fay, "'Tis yet too foon
"To feek for Heav'n, or think of death?" A flow'r may fade before 'tis noon, And I this day may lofe my breath. If this rebellious heart of mine Defpife the gracious calls of Heaven, I may be harden'd in my fin, And never have repentance given. What if the Lord grow wroth, and fwear, While I refufe to read and pray, That he'll refufe to lend an ear To all my groans another day! What if his dreadful anger burn, While I refufe his offer'd grace, And all his love to fury turn, And ftrike me dead upon the place! 'Tis dangerous to provoke a God! His pow 'r and vengeance none can tell : One ftroke of his almighty rod Shall fend young finners quick to hell. Then 'twill for ever be in vain To cry for pardon and for grace; To with I had my time again, Or hope to fee my Maker's face!
67 Examples of early Piety. WATTS. WHAT blefs'd examples do I find
Writ in the word of truth, Of children that began to mind Religion in their youth!
Jefus, who reigns above the fky,
And keeps the world in awe, Was once a child as young as I,
And kept his Father's law.
At twelve years old he talk'd with men,
And blefs'd their Saviour's name!