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All joy to the believer! He can speak→ Trembling yet happy, confident yet meek. Since the dear hour that brought me to thy foot, And cut up all my follies by the root, I never trusted in an arm but thine, Nor hoped, but in thy righteousness divine: My prayers and alms, imperfect and defiled, Were but the feeble efforts of a child; However performed, it was their brightest part That they proceeded from a grateful heart: Cleansed in thine own all-purifying blood, Forgive their evil, and accept their good; I cast them at thy feet-my only plea Is what it was, dependence upon thee, While struggling in the vale of tears below, That never failed, nor shall it fail me now. Angelic gratulations rend the skies, Pride falls unpitied, never more to rise, Humility is crowned, and faith receives the prize..
Tantane, tam patiens, nullo certamine tolli
WHY weeps the muse for England? What appears In England's case to move the muse to tears?
From side to side of her delightful isle
Is she not clothed with a perpetual smile?
Can nature add a charm, or art confer
A new-found luxury not seen in her?
Where under heaven is pleasure more pursued,
Or where does cold reflection less intrude?
Her fields a rich expanse of wavy corn,
Poured out from plenty's overflowing horn;
Ambrosial gardens, in which art supplies
The fervour and the force of Indian skies;
Her peaceful shores, where busy commerce waits
To pour his golden tide through all her gates;
Whom fiery suns, that scorch the russet spice
Of eastern groves, and oceans floored with ice
Forbid in vain to push his dating way
To darker climes, or climes of brighter day;
Whom the winds waft where'er the billows roll,
From the world's girdle to the frozen pole;
The chariots bounding in her wheel-worn streets,
Her vaults below, where every vintage meets;
Her theatres, her revels, and her sports;
The scenes to which not youth alone resorts,
But age, in spite of weakness and of pain,
Still haunts, in hope to dream of youth again:
All speak her happy: let the muse look round
From East to West, no sorrow can be found:
Or only what, in cottages confined,
Sighs unregarded to the passing wind.
Then wherefore weep for England? What appears
In England's case to move the muse to tears? -
The prophet wept for Israel; wished his eyes
Were fountains fed with infinite supplies:
For Israel dealt in robbery and wrong;
There were the scorner's and the slanderer's tongue;.
Oaths, used as playthings or convenient tools,
As interest biassed knaves, or fashion fools;
Adultery, neighing at his neighbour's door;
Oppression, labouring hard to grind the poor;
The partial balance, and deceitful weight;
The treacherous smile, a mask for secret hate,
Hypocrisy, formality in prayer,
And the dull service of the lip were there.
Her women, insolent and self-caressed,
By vanity's unwearied finger dressed,
Forgot the blush, that virgin fears impart
To modest cheeks, and borrowed one from art;
Were just such trifles, without worth or use,
As silly pride and idleness produce;
Curled, scented, furbelowed, and flounced around,
With feet too delicate to touch the ground,
They stretched the neck, and rolled the wanton eye,
And sighed for every fool that fluttered by.
He saw his people slaves to every lust,
Lewd, avaricious, arrogant, unjust;
He heard the wheels of an avenging God
Groan heavily along the distant road;
Saw Babylon set wide her two leaved brass
To let the military deluge pass;
Jerusalem a prey, her glory soiled,
Her princes captive, and her treasures spoiled ;
Wept till all Israel heard his bitter cry,
Stamped with his foot, and smote upon his thigh; But wept, and stamped, and smote his thigh in vain,
Pleasure is deaf when told of future pain,
And sounds prophetic are too rough to suit
Ears long accustomed to the pleasing lute;
They scorned his inspiration and his theme,
Pronounced him frantic, and his fears a dream;
With self-indulgence winged the fleeting hours,
Till the foe found them, and down fell the towers.
Long time Assyria bound them in her chain,
Till penitence had purged the public stain,
And Cyrus, with relenting pity moved,
Returned them happy to the land they loved;
There, proof against prosperity, awhile
They stood the test of her ensnaring smile,
And had the grace in scenes of peace to show
The virtue, they had learned in scenes of woe.
But man is frail, and can but ill sustain
A long immunity from grief and pain;
And after all the joys that plenty leads,
With tip-toe step vice silently succeeds.
When he that ruled them with a shepherd's rod,
In form a man, in dignity a God,
Came, not expected in that humble guise,
To sift and search them with unerring eyes,
He found, concealed beneath a fair outside,
The filth of rottenness and worm of pride;
Their piety a system of deceit,
Scripture employed to sanctify the cheat ;
The pharisee the dupe of his own art,
Self-idolized and yet a knave at heart.
When nations are to perish in their sins,
'Tis in the church the leprosy begins;
The priest, whose office is with zeal sincere
To watch the fountain, and preserve it clear,
Carelessly nods and sleeps upon the brink,
While others poison what the flock must drink;
Or, waking at the call of lust alone,
Infuses lies and errors of his own;
His unsuspecting sheep believe it pure:
And, tainted by the very means of cure,
Catch from each other a contagious spot,
The foul fore-runner of a general rot.
Then truth is hushed that heresy may preach,
And all is trash that reason cannot teach :
Then God's own image on the soul impressed
Becomes a mockery, and a standing jest;
And faith, the root whence only can arise
The graces of a life that wins the skies,
Loses at once all value and esteem,
Pronounced by grey-beards a pernicious dream:
Then ceremony leads her bigots forth,
Prepared to fight for shadows of no worth;
While truths, on which eternal things depend,
Find not, or hardly find, a single friend:
As soldiers watch the signal of command,
They learn to bow, to kneel, to sit, to stand;
Happy to fill religion's vacant place
With hollow form, and gesture, and grimace.