« VorigeDoorgaan »
If chance, on heavy pinions slowly borne,
A tempest usher in the dreaded morn,
Upon his dungeon walls the lightning play,
The thunder seems to summon him away,
The warder at the door his key applies,
Shoots back the bolt, and all his courage dies:
If then, just then, all thoughts of mercy lost,
When hope, long lingering, at last yields the ghost,
The sound of pardon pierce his startled ear,
He drops at once his fetters and his fear;
A transport glows in all he looks and speaks,
And the first thankful tears bedew his cheeks.
Joy, far superior joy, that much outweighs
The comfort of a few poor added days,
Invades, possesses, and o'erwhelms the soul
Of him, whom hope has with a touch made whole.
'Tis heaven, all heaven descending on the wings
Of the glad legions of the king of kings;
'Tis more tis God diffused through every part,
Tis, God himself triumphant in his heart.
Oh, welcome now the sun's once hated light,
His noon-day beams were never half so bright.
Not kindred minds alone are called to employ
Their hours, their days, in listening to his joy;
Unconscious nature, all that he surveys, [praise.
Rocks, groves, and streams, must join him in his
These are thy glorious works, eternal truth,
The scoff of withered age and beardless youth;
These move the
he censure and illiberal grin
Of fools, that hate thee and delight in sin:
But these shall last when night has quenched the
And heaven is all departed as a scroll.
And when, as justice has long since decreed,
This earth shall blaze, and a new world succeed,
Then these thy glorious works, and they who share
That hope, which cau alone exclude despair,
Shall live exempt from weakness and decay,
The brightest wonders of an endless day.
Happy the bard, (if that fair name belong
To him, that blends no fable with his song)
Whose lines uniting, by an honest art,
The faithful monitor's and poet's part,
Seek to delight, that they may mend mankind,
And while they captivate, inform the mind:
Still happier, if he till a thankful soil,
And fruit reward his honourable toil:
But happier far, who comfort those, that wait,
To hear plain truth at Judah's hallowed gate;
Their language simple, as their manners meek,
No shining ornaments have they to seek;
Nor labour they, nor time nor talents waste,
In sorting flowers to suit a fickle taste;
But while they speak the wisdom of the skies,
Which art can only darken and disguise,
The abundant harvest, recompense divine,
Repays their work-the gleaning only mino
Quo nihil május meliùsve terris
Fata donavere, bonique divi:
Nec dabunt, quamvis redeant in aurum®
FAIREST and foremost of the train, that wait-
On man's most dignified and happiest state,
Whether we name thee Charity or love,
Chief grace. below, and all in all above,
Prosper (I press thee with a powerful plea)
A task I venture on, impelled by thee:
Oh never seen but in thy blest effects,
Or felt but in the soul that heaven selects;
Who seeks to praise thee, and to make thee known
To other hearts, must have thee in bis own.
Come, prompt me with benevolent desires;
Teach me to kindle at thy gentle fires,
And though disgraced and slighted, to redeem
A poet's name, by making thee the theme.
God, working ever on a social plan,
By various ties attaches man to man:
He made at first, though free and unconfined,
One man the common father of the kind;
That every tribe, though placed as he sees best,
Where seas or deserts part them from the rest,
Differing in language, manners, or in face,
Might feel themselves allied to all the race.
When Cook-lamented, and with tears as just
As ever mingled with heroic dust,
Steered Britain's oak into a world unknown,
And in his country's glory sought his own,
Wherever he found man, to nature true,
The rights of man were sacred in his view;
He soothed with gifts, and greeted with a smile,
The simple native of the new found isle;
He spurned the wretch, that slighted or withstood
The tender argument of kindred blood,
Nor would endure that any should controul
His free-born brethren of the southern pole.
But though some nobler minds a law respect,-
That none shall with impunity neglect,
In baser souls unnumbered evils meet,
To thwart its influence, and its end defeat.
While Cook is loved for savage lives he sayed;
See Cortez odious for a world enslaved!
Where wast thou then, sweet Charity? where then,
Thou tutelary friend of helpless men?
Wast thou in monkish cells and nunneries found,
Or building hospitals on English ground?
No.-Mammon makes the world his legatee
Through fear, not love; and heaven abhors the fee.
Wherever found, (and all men need thy care)
age nor infancy could find thee there.
The hand, that slew till it could slay no more,
Was glued to the sword-hilt with Indian gore.
Their prince, as justly seated on his throne
As vain imperial Philip on his own,
Tricked out of all his royalty by art,
That stripped him bare, and broke his honest heart,
Died by the sentence of a shaven priest,
For scorning what they taught him to detest.
How dark the veil, that intercepts the blaze
Of heaven's mysterious purposes and ways;
God stood not, though he seemed to stand, aloof;
And at this hour the conqueror feels the proof:
The wreath he won drew down an instant curse,
The fretting plague is in the public purse,
The cankered spoil corrodes the pining state,
Starved by that indolence their mines create.
Oh could their ancient Incas rise again,
How would they take up Israel's taunting strain!
Art thou too fallen Iberia? Do we see
The robber and the murderer weak as we?
Thou, that hast wasted earth, and dared despise
Alike the wrath and mercy of the skies,
Thy pomp is in the grave, thy glory laid
Low in the pits thine avarice has made.
We come with joy from our eternal rest,
To see the oppressor in his turn oppressed.
Art thou the god, the thunder of whose hand
Rolled over all our desolated land,
Shook principalities and kingdoms down,
And made the mountains tremble at his frown?