« PreviousContinue »
From the seats of endless peace
Ha! while I gaze, pale Cynthia fades, They brought the Son, the Lord of Grace; The bursting carth unveils the ades! They taught him to receive a birth,
All now, and wan, and wrapp'd with throwds, To clothe in Aeth, to live on carth;
They rise in vifonary crowds; And after, lifted him on high,
And all with fober accent cry, And taught him on the cross to dic,
“ Think, mortal, what it is to dic !" Love celestial, ardent fire,
Now, from yon black and fun'ral view, O, extreme of fivcet defire!
That bathes the charnel-house with dew, Spread thy brightly raging faine
Methinks I hear a voice beginThrough and orer all my framg;
(Ye raveir, ccase your croaking din; Let it warm me, let it burn,
Ye tolling clocks, no time resound
O'er the long lake and inidnight ground)
Thus speaking from anong the bones :
“ When men my fcythi and darts fupply, To incet my Jesus in the sky!
How gicat a King of Fears am I!,
They make, and then they drcad, my, itings. § 42. A Night Piece on Death. PARSELL.
Fools! if you loss provok'd your fears, By thic blue taper's trembling light
No more my spectre-forın appears : No more I waste the wakeful night, Death's but a path that must be trod, Intest with endless view to pore
If inan would ever pass to God:
A port of calms, a state of ease,
Why, then, thy Noiving fable stoles,
Deep pending cypress, mourning poles, Where witdom's furely taught below.
Loote tcarfs to fall athwart thy weeds, How deep yon azure dies the sky!
Long palis, drawn hearses, cover'd teeds, Where orbs of gold unnumber'd lie;
And plumes of black, that, as they tread, While thro' their ranks, in filver pride,
Nod o'er the 'scutcheops of the dead The nether creicent seems to glidc.
Nor can the parted body know, The numbering breeze forgets to breathe,
Nor wants the foul, these forms of y'oc: The lake is smooth, and clear beneath,
As inen who long in prison dwell, Where once again the Spangled thow
With lainps that glimmer round the cell, Descends to meet our eyes below.
Whene'er their suff'ring years are run, The grounds which on the right aspire, Spring forth to greet the glittering fun; In dimnets froin the view retire;
Such joy, tho' far tranfcending fense, The left presents a place of graves,
Have pious souls at parting hence. Whofe wall the filent water laves.
On earth, and in the body plac'd, That steepic guides thy doubtful fight
A few and evil years they wante : Among the livid gleams of night;
But, when their chains are cast aside, There pass, with melancholy itate,
See the glad feene unfolding wide; By all the folemn heaps of fate;
Clap the glad wing, and tow'r away, And think, as foftly-lad you trcad
And mingle with the blazc of day.
• Time was, like thee, they life pofTeft;
43. Mediah, a Sacred Eclogue. " Pore: Those graves, with bending olier bound; YENymphs of Solyma! begin the Song That namclets heave the cruinbled ground, To hlavenly themes fublimer strains belong Quick to the glancing thought disclole The molly fountains and the sylvan fhades, Where toil and poverty repose.
The drcains of Pindus and th’Aonian maids, The flat finooth stones that bear a name, Delight no more.-( Thou my voice intpire, The chiftel's slender help to famc
Who touch'd Ifaiah's hallow'd lips with fire ! (Which ere dur ict of friends decay,
Rape into future times, the bard begun: Their frequent fteps may wear away)
A Virgin fhall conceive, a Virgin bear a Son! A iniddle race of inortals own,
From Jedie's rood behold a branch arise, Nien halt ambitious, all unknown.
Whole sacred Pow'r with fragranci fillo the skies: The ipable tombs that rite on high, Th'etherealípirit o'er its leaves shall move, IVhofc dcad in vaulted arches lie,
And on it; topticfcends the mytiic Dove. Whofe pillars twell with tculpturd ftones, Ye hcar'ns! from high the dewy nectar pour, Arms, an eis, epitaphs, and cones;
And in soft frience thed the kindly fhow'si There, all the poor remains of it.te,
The fick and w cak thc healing plant shall aid, Adorn the rich, or praise the great;
From storms a fhelter, and from heat a thade; Who, while on earth in fame they iive, All crimes thaliceale, and antient fraud Irall fails Are fcnicleis of the fame they give.
Keturning Juttice lift aloft her (cale;
Peace o'er the world her olive wand extend, Pleas'd, the green luftre of their scales survey,
In crowding ranks on ev'ry fidc arile,
For thee Idume's 1picy forests blow,
One tide of glory, one unclouded blaze
44. An Elezy, uritien in a Country ChurchFrom ev'ry face he wipes off ev'ry tear.
The lowing herd winds Nowly o'er the lea,
The plowman homeward plods his weary way,
And leaves the world to darkness and to me.
Now fades the glimmering landscape on the fight,
And all the air a solemn stillness holds,
And drouty tinklings lull the distant folds;
The moping owi docs to the Moon complain
Beneath those rugged clins, that yew-trec's shade,
Where heaves the turf in many a inould’ring
Each in his narrow cell for ever laid, [heat,
The rude forefathers of the hamlet sccp.
The brcczy callofincense-breathing morn, [thed,
Or climb his knees the envied kiss to share.
Their furrow oft the stubborn glebe has broke;
How bow'd the woods beneath their sturdy
The short and simple annals of the poor.
The boaft of heraldry, the pomp of pow'r,
The paths of glory lead but to the grave.
Back to its manfion call the fleeting breath! Can Honour's voice provoke the filent duft, Or Flatt'ry foothe the dull cold ear of death. Perhaps, in this neglected fpot is laid
Some heart once pregnant with celestial fire: Hands, that the rod of empire might have fway'd, Or wak'd to extafy the living lyre. But knowledge to their eyes her ample page, Rich with the fpoils of Time, did ne'er unroll; Chill Penury exprefs'd their noble rage,
And froze the genial current of the foul. Full many a gem, of pureft ray serene,
The dark unfathom'd caves of ocean bear; Full many a flow'r is born to blush unseen,
And wafte its sweetnefs on the defart air. Some village-Hampden, that with dauntless breaft The little tyrant of his fields with food; Some mute inglorious Milton here may reft; Some Cromwell guiltlefs of his country's blood. Th'applaufe of lift'ning fenates to command, The threats of pain and ruin to defpife, To fcatter plenty o'er a fmiling land,
And read their history in a nation's eyes, Their lot forbade : nor circumfcrib'd alone [fin'd; Their growing virtues, but their crimes conForbade to wade through flaughter to a throne, And shut the gates of mercy on mankind; The ftruggling pangs of confcious truth to hide, To quench the blufhes of ingenious fhame, Or heap the thrine of Luxury and Pride
With incenfe kindled at the Mufe's flame. Far from the madding crowd's ignoble ftrife Their fober withes never learn'd to stray;. Along the cool fequefter'd vale of life
They kept the noiseless tenor of their way. Yet cv'n thefe bones from infult to protect,
Some frail memorial till erected nigh, With uncouth rhimes and fhapelefs fcuplture
Implores the paffing tribute of a figh. [deck`d, Their name, their years, fpelt by th'unletter'd The place of fame and elegy fupply: mufe, And many a holy text around the firews,
That teach the ruftic moralift to die. For who, to dumb forgetfulness a prey, This pleafing anxious being e'er reign'd, Left the warm precincts of the cheerful day, Nor caft one longing, ling'ring, look behind? On fome fond breast the parting foul relies, Some pious drops the clofing eye requires: E 'n from the tomb the voice of nature cries; Ev'n in our afhes live their wonted fires.
For thee, who, mindful of th’unhonour'd dead,
That writhes its old fantastic roots so high, His liftlefs length at noon-tide would he ftretch, And pore upon the brook that bubbles by. Hard by yon wood, now fmiling, as in fcoru,
Mutt'ring his wayward fancies, he would rove; Now drooping, woeful wan, like one forlorn, Or craz❜d with care, or crofs'd in hopeless love. One morn I mifs'd him on the custom'd hill, Along the heath, and near his fav'rite tree: Another came; nor yet befide the rill,
Nor up the lawn, nor at the wood was he. The next, with dirges due, in fad array, [borne, Slow thro' the church-yard path we faw him Approach and read (for thou canst read) the lay Grav'd on the stone beneath yon aged thorn.“
Here refts his head upon the lap of earth,
A youth to Fortune and to Fame unknown; Fair Science frown'd not on his humble birth, And Melancholy mark'd him for her own. Large was his bounty, and his foul fincere; Heav'n did a recompence as largely fend: He gave to Mis'ry all he had, a tear; [a friend. He gain'd from Heav'n ('twas all he with'd) No farther feek His merits to difclofe
Or draw his frailties from their dread abode, (There they alike in trembling hope repofe) The bofom of his Father and his God.
Thro' all her caves in dreadful murmurs found
His fpirit hufh'd the elemental ftrife,
And brooded o'er the kindling feeds of life: Seafons and months began the long proceffion, And measur'd o'er the year in bright fucceffion. The joyful fun fprung up th'ethereal way, Strong as a giant, as a bridegroom gay; And the pale moon diffus'd her fhadowy light Superior o'er the dufky brow of night; Ten thoufand glitt'ring lamps the skies adorning, Numerous as dew drops from the womb of morning.
Earth's blooming face with rifing flow'rs he dreft,
And spread a verdant mantle o'er her breaft; Then from the hollow of his hand he pours The circling waters round her winding fhores; The new-born world in their cool arms embracing,
And with soft murmurs still her banks careffing. At length fhe rofe complete in finish'd pride, All fair and spotless, like a virgin bride; Fresh with untarnish'd luftre as the stood, Her Maker blefs'd his work, and call'd it good; The morning-ftars, with joyful acclamation, Exulting fung, and hail'd the new creation.
Yet this fair world, the creature of a day, Tho built by God's right hand, muft pafs away; And long oblivion creep o'er mortal things, The fate of empires, and the pride of kings: Eternal night fhall veil their proudest story, And drop the curtain o'er all human glory.
The fun himself, with weary clouds oppreft,
The ftars rufh headlong in the wild commotion,
And bathe their glitt'ring foreheads in the ocean,
For the vine's exalted juice,
Should thine alter'd hand reftra.n
Yet to thee my foul fhould raise
$47. HY M N III,
But fix'd, O God! for ever ftands thy throne; AGAIN the Lord of Life and Light
Jehovah reigns, a univerfe alone;
§ 46. HY M N II.
PRAISE to God, immortal praise *,
For the ftores the gardens yield,
Awakes the kindling ray; Unfeals the eyelids of the morn, And pours increasing day.
O what a night was that which wrapt
This day be grateful homage paid,
Jefus, the friend of human kind,
Although the fig-tree fhall not bloffom, neither shall fruit be, in the vines, the labour of the olive fhall fail, and the fields fhall yield no meat, the flocks thall be cut off from the fold, and there fhall be no herd in the ftalls: yet I will rejoice in the Lord, I will joy in the God of my falvation. HABAKKUK iii. 17, 18.
The pow'rs of darkness leagu'd in vain
To bind his foul in death;
Not long the toils of hell could keep
And now his conqu'ring chariot wheels
While broke, beneath his pow'rful cross, Death's iron fceptre lies.
Exalted high at God's right hand,
And Lord of all below,
$48. HY M N IV.
BEHOLD where, breathing love divine,
From that mild Teacher's parting lips
"Blefs'd is the man whofe foft'ning heart
"His feet are never flow;
"He views, thro' mercy's melting eye, "A brother in a foc.
"Peace from the bofom of his God.
My peace to him I give;
"And when he kneels before the throne, "His trembling foul fhall live. "To him protection fhall be fhewn; "And mercy from above "Defcend on those who thus fulfil "The perfect law of love.”
§ 49. HY MN V. AWAKE, my foul! lift up thine eyes, See where thy foes against thee rile, In long array, a num'rous hoft; Awake my foul, or thou art loft. Here giant danger threat'ning ftands, Muft'ring his pale terrific bands; There pleafure's filken banners fpread, And willing fouls are captive lcd. See where rebellious paffions rage, And fierce defires and lufts engage; The meaneft foe of all the train Has thousands and ten thousands flain. Thou tread'ft upon enchanted ground, Perils and fnares befet thee round; Beware of all, guard ev'ry part, But moft, the traitor in thy heart. Come then, my foul, now learn to wield The weight of thine immortal fhield; Put on the armour from above Of heav'nly truth and heav'nly love. The terror and the charm repel, And pow'rs of earth, and pow'rs of hell : The Man of Calvary triumph'd here; Why should his faithful followers fear?
§ 50. An Address to the Deity.
Mrs. BARBAULD, Deus eft quodcunque vides, quocunque moveris. LUCAN
OD of my life! and Author of my days! Permit my feeble voice to lifp thy praise ; And, trembling, take upon a mortal tongue That hallow'd name to harps of Seraphs fung: Yet here the brightest Seraphs could no more Than hide their faces, tremble, and adore. Worms, angels, men, in ev'ry diff'rent sphere Are equal all; for all are nothing here. All nature faints beneath the mighty name Which Nature's works, thro' all her parts, pro¬
I feel that name my inmoft thoughts controul,
But foon, alas! this holy calm is broke;