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While hence they walk, the pilgrim's bosom wrought With all the travail of uncertain thought. His partner's acts without their cause appear; Twas there a vice, and seem'd a madness here. Detesting that, and pitying this, he goes, Lost and confounded with the various shows.
Now night's dim shades again involve the sky;
Again the wand'rers want a place to lie;
Again they search, and find a lodging nigh:
The soil improv'd around; the mansion neat;
And neither poorly low, nor idly great;
It seem'd to speak its master's turn of mind:
Content, and not for praise, but virtue kind.
Hither the walkers turn, with weary feet;
Then bless the mansion, and the master greet;
Their greeting fair, bestow d with modest guise,
The courteous master hears, and thus replies:
"Without a vain, without a grudging heart, To him who gives us all, I yield a part: From him you come, from him accept it hereA frank and sober, more than costly cheer." He spoke and bade the welcome tables spread; Then talk'd of virtue the time of bed: When the grave household round his hall repair, Warn'd by the bell, and close the hour with prayer. At length the world, renew'd by calm repose, Was strong for toil; the dappl'd morn arose; Before the pilgrims part, the younger crept Near the clos'd cradle, where an infant slept, And writh'd his neck; the landlord's little prideO strange return!-grew black, and gasp'd, and died. Horror of horrors! what! his only son!
How look'd our hermit when the deed was done!
Not hell, though hell's black jaws in sunder part,
And breathe blue fire, could more assault his heart.
Confus'd and struck with silence at the deed,
He flies but trembling, fails to fly with speed.
His steps the youth pursues. The country lay
Perplex'd with ads; a servant show'd the way.
A river cross'd the path. The passage o'er
Was nice to find the servant trod before;
Long arms of oak an open bridge supply'd,
And the deep waves beneath the bending, glide.
The youth, who seem'd to watch a time to sin,
Approach'd the careless guide, and thrust him in:
Plunging he falls; and rising, lifts his head;
Then splashing, turns, and sinks among the dead.
Wild sparkling rage inflames the father's eyes:
He bursts the bands of fear, and madly cries,
Detested wretch! -But scarce his speech began,
When the strange partner seem'd no longer man;
His youthful face grew more serenely sweet;
His robe turn'd white, and flow'd upon his feet;
Fair rounds of radiant points invest his hair;
Celestial odours breathe through purpled air;
And wings, whose colours glitter'd on the day,
Wide at his back, their gradual plumes display.
The form ethereal bursts upon his sight,
And moves in all the majesty of light.
Though loud, at first, the pilgrim's passion grew,
Sudden he gaz'd, and wist not what to do;
Surprise, in secret chains, his words suspends;
And, in a calm, his settled temper ends.
But silence here, the beauteous angel broke:
The voice of music ravish'd as he spoke.
Thy pray'r, thy praise, thy life to vice unknown, In sweet memorial rise before the throne, These charms success in our bright region find, And force an angel down to calm thy mind. For this commission'd, I forsook the sky; Nay, cease to kneel, thy fellow servant I.
Then know the truth of government divine,
And let these scruples be no longer thine.
The Maker justly claims that world he made;
In this the right of Providence is laid;
Its sacred majesty, through all depends,
On using second means to work his ends.
'Tis thus, withdrawn in state from human eye,
The Pow'r exerts his attributes on high;
Your actions uses, nor controls your will,
And bids the doubting sons of men be still.
What strange events can strike with more surprise,
Than those which lately struck thy wond'ring eyes?
Yet taught by these, confess th' Almighty just,
And, where you can't unriddle, learn to trust.
The great, vain man, who far'd on costly food; Whose life was too luxurious to be good; Who made his ivory stands with goblets shine, And fore'd his guests to morning draughts of wine; Has, with the cup, the graceless custom lost, And still he welcomes, but with less of cost.
The mean suspicious wretch, whose bolted door Ne'er mov'd in pity to the wand'ring poor; With him I left the cup, to teach his mind, That Heav'n can bless, if mortals will be kind. Conscious of wanting worth, he views the bowl, And feels compassion touch his grateful soul. Thus artists melt the sullen ore of lead, With heaping coals of fire upon its head : In the kind warmth, the metal learns to glow, And loose from dross, the silver runs below. Long had our pious friend in virtue trod, But now, the child half wean'd his heart from God
(Child of his age) for him he liv'd in pain,
And measur'd back his steps to earth again.
To what excesses had his dotage run?
But God, to save the father, took the son.
To all, but thee, in fits he seem'd to go,
And 'twas my ministry to deal the blow.
The poor fond parent, humbled in the dust,
Now owns in tears, the punishment was just.
But how had all his fortune felt a wreck,
Had that false servant sped in safety back?
This night his treasur'd heaps he meant to steal,
And what a fund of charity would fail?
Thus Heav'n instructs thy mind. This trial o'er
Depart in peace, resign, and sin no more.
On sounding pinions here the youth withdrew,
The sage stood wond'ring as the seraph flew.
Thus look'd Elisha, when to mount on high,
His master took the chariot of the sky:
The fi'ry pomp, ascending, left the view;
The prophet gaz'd, and wish'd to follow too.
The bending hermit here a pray'r begun :
"Lord, as in Heav'n, on earth thy will be done."
Then, gladly turning, sought his ancient place,
And pass'd a life of piety and peace.
IX. On the Death of Mrs. Mason. TAKE, holy earth! all that my soul holds dear;
Take that best gift, which Heav'n so lately gave; To Bristol's fount I bore, with trembling care,
Her faded form. She bow'd to taste the waveAnd died. Does youth, does beauty read the line Does sympathetic fear their breasts alarm! Speak, dead Maria! breathe a strain divine;
E'en from the grave thou shalt have pow'r to charm. Bid them be chaste, be innocent like thee;
Bid them in duty's sphere, as meekly move: And if as fair, from vanity as free,
As firm in friendship, and as fond in love; Tell them, though 'tis an awful thing to die,
('Twas e'en to thee) yet the dread path once trod, Heav'n lifts its everlasting portals high,
And bids the "pure in heart behold their God."
X.-Extract from the Temple of Fame,
AROUND these wonders as I cast a look,
The trumpet sounded and the temple shook;
And all the nations summon'd at the call,
From diff'rent quarters fill the spacious hall.
Of various tongues the mingled sounds were heard;
In various garbs promiscuous throngs appear'd:
Millions of suppliant crowds the shrine attend,
And all degrees before the goddess bend;
The poor, the rich, the valiant, and the sage,
And boasting youth, and narrative old age.
First, at the shrine, the learned world appear,
And to the goddess thus prefer their pray'r :
"Long have we sought t' instruct and please mankind,
With studies pale, and midnight vigils blind;
But thank'd by few, rewarded yet by none,
We here appeal to thy superior throne;
On wit and learning the just prize bestow,
For fame is all we must expect below."
The goddess heard, and bid the muses raise
The golden trumpet of eternal praise.
From pole to pole the winds diffuse the sound,
And fill the circuit of the world around:
Not all at once, as thunder breaks the cloud,
The notes at first were rather sweet than loud:
By just degrees they ev'ry moment rise,
Spread round the earth, and gain upon the skies.
Next these, the good and just, an awful train,
Thus on their knees, address the sacred fane :-
"Since living virtue is with envy curs'd,
And the best men are treated as the worst,
Do thou, just goddess, call our merits forth,
And give each deed th' exact intrinsic worth."
"Not with bare justice shall your acts be crown'd,
(Said Fame) but high above desert renown'd,
Let fuller notes th' applauding world amaze,
And the loud clarion labour in your praise."
A troop came next, who crowns and armour wore,
And proud defiance in their looks they bore.
"For thee (they cry'd) amidst alarms and strife,
We sail'd in tempests down the stream of life:
For thee, whole nations fill'd with fire and blood,
And swam to empire through the purple food.
Those ills we dar'd thy inspiration own;
What virtues seem'd was done for thee alone."
"Ambitious fools! (the queen reply'd and frown'd)
Be all your deeds in dark oblivion drown'd;
Ther sleep forgot, with mighty tyrants gone,
Your statues moulder'd, and your names unknown."
A sudden cloud strait snatch'd them from my sight,
And each majestic phantom sunk in night.
Then came the smallest tribe I vet had seen;
Plain was their dress, and modest was their mien :
"Great idol of mankind, we never claim
The praise of merit, nor aspire to fame ;
But, safe in deserts from th' applause of men,
Would die unheard of as we liv'd unseen.
"Tis all we beg thee, to conceal from sight,
Those acts of goodness which themselves requite.
O! let us still the sacred joy partake,
To follow virtue, e'en for virtue's sake."
"And live there men who slight immortal fame ?
Who, then, with incense shall adore our name?
But, mortals know, 'tis still our greatest pride,
To blaze those virtues which the good would hide.
Rise, muses, rise! add all your tuneful breath,
These must not sleep in darkness and in death."
She said. In air the trembling music floats,
And or the winds triumphant swell the notes;
So soft, though high; so loud, and yet so clear,
E'en list'ning angels lean from heaven to hear;
To farthest shores the ambrosial spirit flies,
Sweet to the world, and grateful to the skies.
XI.-Panegyric on Great Britain.
HEAVENS! what a goodly prospect spreads around,
Of hills, and dales, and woods, and lawns, and spires,
And glitt'ring towns, and gilded streams, till all
The stretching landscape into smoke decays!
Happy Britannia! where the Queen of Arts,
Inspiring vigour, Liberty, abroad
Walks, unconfin'd even to thy farthest cots,
And scatters plenty with unsparing hand.
Rich is thy soil, and merciful thy clime;
Thy streams unfailing in the summer's drought,
Unmatch'd thy guardian oaks; thy vallies float
With golden waves; and on thy mountains, flocks
Bleat numberless; while roving round their sides,
Bellow the black'ning herds in lusty droves.
Beneath, thy meadows glow, and rise unequall'd
Against the mower's scythe. On every hand
Thy villas shine. Thy country teems with wealth,
And property assures it to the swain,
Pleas'd and unwearied in his guarded toil.
Full are thy cities with the sons of art-
And trade and joy, in every busy street,
Mingling are heard! even drudgery himself,
As at the car he sweats, or, dusty, hews
The palace stone, looks gay. The crowded ports,
Where rising masts, and endless prospect yield,
With labour burn, and echo to the shouts
Of hurried sailor, as he hearty waves
His last adieu, and loosening every sheet,
Resigns the spreading vessel to the wind.
Bold, firm and graceful are thy gen'rous youth,
By hardship sinew'd, and by danger fir'd,
Scattering the nations where they go; and first
Or on the listed plain, or stormy seas.
Mild are thy glories too, as o'er the plains
Of thriving peace thy thoughtful sires presido;
In genius and substantial learning, high;