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Fallible man, the church-bred youth replies,
Is still found fallible, however wise;
And differing judgments serve but to declare
That truth lies somewhere, if we knew but where.
Of all it ever was my lot to read,
Of critics now alive, or long since dead,
The book of all the word that charmed me most
Was, well-a-day, the title page was lost;
The writer well remarks, an heart that knows
To take with gratitude what heaven bestows,
With prudence always ready at our call,
To guide our use of it, is all in all.
Doubtless it is.-To which, of my own store,
I superadd a few essentials more;
But these, excuse the liberty I take,
I wave just now, for conversation sake.
Spoke like an oracle, they all exclaim,
And add Right Reverend to Smug's honoured name
And yet our lot is given us in a land,
Where busy arts are never at a stand;
Where science points her telescopic eye,
Familiar with the wonders of the sky;
Where bold inquiry, diving out of sight,
Brings many a precious pearl of truth to light:
Where nought eludes the persevering quest,
That fashion, taste, or luxury, suggest.
But above all in her own light arrayed,
See mercy's grand apocalypse displayed!
The sacred book no longer suffers, wrong,
Bound in the fetters of an unknown tongue;
But speaks with plainness, art could never mend,
What simplest minds can soonest comprehend.
God gives the word, the preachers throng around,
Live from his lips,, and spread the glorious sound:
That sound bespeaks salvation on her way,
The trumpet of a life-restoring day;
'Tis heard where England's eastern glory shines,
And in the gulphs of her Cornubian mines.
And still it spreads. See Germany send forth
Her sons to pour it on the farthest north:
Fired with a zeal peculiar, they defy
The rage and rigour of a polar sky,
And plant successfully sweet Sharon's rose
On icy plains, and in eternal snows.
Oh blest within the enclosure of your rocks,
Nor herds have ye to boast, nor bleating flocks,
No fertilizing streams your fields divide,
That show reversed the villas on their side ;
No groyes have ye; no cheerful sound of bird,
Or voice of turtle, in your land is heard;
Nor grateful eglantine regales the smell
Of those, that walk at evening where ye dwell:
But winter, armed with terrors here unknown,
Sits absolute on his unshaken throne;
up his stores amidst the frozen waste,
And bids the mountains he has built stand fast;
Beckons the legions of his storms away
From happier scenes, to make your land a prey:
The Moravian missionaries in Gremland. Vide Krantz.
Proclaims the soil a conquest he has won,
And scorns to share it with the distant sun.
-Yet truth is your's, remote, unenvied isle!
And peace, the genuine offspring of her smile;
The pride of lettered ignorance, that binds
In chains of error our accomplished minds,
That decks, with all the splendour of the true,
A false religion, is unknown to you.
Nature indeed vouchsafes for our delight'
The sweet vicissitudes of day and night;
Soft airs and genial moisture feed and cheer
Field, fruit, and flower, and every creature here;
But brighter beams, than his who fires the skies,
Have risen at length on your admiring eyes,
That shoot into your darkest caves the day,
From which our nicer optics turn away.
Here see the encouragement grace gives to vice,
The dire effect of mercy without price!"
What were they? what some fools are made by art,
They were by nature, atheists, head and heart.
The gross idolatry blind heathens teach
Was too refined for them, beyond their reach.
Not even the glorious sun, though men revere
The monarch most, that seldom will appear,
And though his beams, that quicken where they
May claim some right to be esteemed divine,
Not e'en the sun, desireable as rare,
Could bend one knee, engage one votary there;
They were, what base credulity believes
True Christians are, dissemblers,drunkards, thieves.
The full gorged savage, at his nauseous feast
Spent half the darkness, and snored out the rest,
Was one, whom justice on an equal plan
Denouncing death upon the ŝins of man,
Might almost have indulged with an escape,
Chargeable only with an human shape.
What are they now?-Morality may spare
Her grave concern, her kind suspicions there:
The wretch who once sang wildly, danced and
And sucked in dizzy madness with his draught,
Has wept a silent flood, reversed his ways,
Is sober, meek, benevolent, and prays,
Feeds sparingly, communicates his store,
Abhors the craft he boasted of before,
And he that stole has learned to steal no more.
Well spake the prophet, Let the desert sing,
Where sprang the thorn, the spiry fir shall spring,
And where unsightly and rank thistles grew,
Shall grow the mrytle and luxuriant yew.
Go now, and with important tone démand
On what foundation virtue is to stand,
If self-exalting claims be turned adrift,
And grace be grace indeed, and life a gift:
The poor reclaimed inhabitant, his eyes.
Glistening at once with pity and surprise,
Amazed, that shadows should obscure the sight
Of one, whose birth was in a land of light,
Shall answer, Hope, sweet hope, has set me free,
And made all pleasures else mere dross to me.
These, amidst scenes as waste as if denied
The common care that waits on all beside,
Wild as if nature there, void of all good,
Played only gambols in a frantic mood,
(Yet charge not heavenly skill with having planned
A play-thing world, unworthy of his hand;)
Can see his love, though secret evil lurks
In all we touch, stamped plainly on his works!
Deem life a blessing with its numerous woes,
Nor spurn away a gift a God bestows.
Hard task indeed over arctic seas to roam!
Is hope exotic? grows it not at home?
Yes, but an object, bright as orient morn,
May press the eye too closely to be borne;
A distant virtue we can all confess,
It hurts our pride, and moves our envy, less.
Leuconomus (beneath well-sounding Greek
I slur a name a poet must not speak)
Stood pilloried on infamy's high stage,
And bore the pelting scorn of half an age;
The very butt of slander, and the blot
For every dart that malice ever shot.
The man that mentioned him at once dismissed
All merey from his lips, and sneered and hissed;
His crimes were such as Sodom never knew,
And perjury stood up to swear all true;
His aim was mischief, and bis zeal pretence,
His speech rebellion against common sense
A knave when tried on honesty's plain rule,
And when by that of reason a mere foal;