« VorigeDoorgaan »
His gracious attributes, and prove the share
His offspring hold in his paternal care.
If, led from earthly things to things divine,
His creature thwart not his august design,
Then praise is heard instead of reasoning pride,If lawyer, loud, "whatever cause he plead,
Now see him launched into the world at large;
If priest, supinely droning o'er his charge,
Their fleece his pillow, and his weekly drawl,
Though short, too long, the price he pays for all.
And captious cavil and complaint subside.
Nature, employed in her allotted place,
Is hand-maid to the purposes of Grace;
By good vouchsafed makes known superior good,
And bliss not seen by blessings understood:
That bliss, revealed in Scripture, with a glow
Bright as the covenant-ensuring bow,
Fires all his feelings with a noble scorn
Of sensual evil, and thus Hope is born.
Hope sets the stamp of vanity on all
But proudest of the worst, if that succeed.
Perhaps a grave physician, gathering fees,
Punctually paid for lengthening out disease;
No COTTON, whose humanity sheds rays,
That make superior skill his second praise.
If arms engage him, he devotes to sport
His date of life, so likely to be short;
A soldier may be any thing, if brave, .
So may a tradesman, if not quite a knave.
Such stuff the world is made of; and mankind
That men have deemed substantial since the fall, To passion, interest, pleasure, whim resigned,
Yet has the wondrous virtue to educe
From emptiness itself a real use;
And while she takes, as at a father's hand,
What health and sober appetite demand,
From fading good derives, with chymic art,
That lasting happiness, a thankful heart.
Hope, with uplifted foot set free from earth,
Pants for the place of her ethereal birth,
On steady wings sails through th' immense abyss,
Plucks amaranthine joys from bowers of bliss,
And crowns the soul, while yet a mourner here,
With wreaths like those triumphant spirits wear.
Hope, as an anchor firm and sure, holds fast
The Christian vessel, and defies the blast.
Hope! nothing else can nourish and secure
His new-born virtues, and preserve him pure.
Hope! let the wretch, once conscious of the joy,
Whom now despairing agonies destroy,
Speak, for he can, and none so well as he,
What treasures centre, what delights in thee.
Had he the gems, the spices, and the land
That boasts the treasure, all at his command;
The fragrant grove, th' inestimable mine,
Insist on, as if each were his own pope,
Forgiveness, and the privilege of hope.
But Conscience, in some awful silent hour,
When captivating lusts have lost their power,
Perhaps when sickness, or some fearful dream,
Reminds him of religion, hated theme!
Starts from the down, on which she lately slept,
And tells of laws despised, at least not kept:
Shows with a pointing finger, but no noise,
A pale procession of past sinful joys,
All witnesses of blessings foully scorned,
And life abused, and not to be suborned.
Mark these, she says; these summoned from afar,
Begin their march to meet thee at the bar;
There find a Judge inexorably just,
And perish there, as all presumption must.
Peace be to those (such peace as Earth can give)
Who live in pleasure, dead e'en while they live;
Born capable indeed of heavenly truth;
But down to latest, age, from earliest youth
Their mind a wilderness through want of care,
The plough of wisdom never entering there.
Peace, (if in sensibility may claim
Were light, when weighed against one smile of A right to the meek honours of her name)
Though, clasped and cradled in his nurse's arms,
He shines with all a cherub's artless charms,
Man is the genuine offspring of revolt,
Stubborn and sturdy, as a wild ass' colt;
His passions, like the watery stores that sleep
Beneath the smiling surface of the deep,
Wait but the lashes of a wintry storm,
To frown and roar, and shake his feeble form.
From infancy through childhood's giddy maze,
Froward at school, and fretful in his plays,
The puny tyrant burns to subjugate
The free republic of the whip-gig state.
If one, his equal in athletic frame,
Or, more provoking still, of nobler name,
Dare step across his arbitrary views,
An Iliad, only not in verse, ensues:
The little Greeks look trembling at the scales,
Till the best tongue, or heaviest hand, prevails.
To men of pedigree, their noble race,
Emulous always of the nearest place
To any throne, except the throne of Grace.
Let cottagers and unenlightened swains
Revere the laws they dream that Heaven ordains:
Resort on Sundays to the house of prayer,
And ask, and fancy they find blessings there.
Themselves, perhaps, when weary they retreat
T'enjoy cool nature in a country seat,
T'exchange the centre of a thousand trades,
For clumps, and lawns, and temples, and cascades,
May now and then their velvet cushions take,
And seem to pray for good example's sake;
Judging, in charity no doubt, the town
Pious enough, and having need of none.
Kind souls! to teach their tenantry to prize
What they themselves, without remorse, despise :
Nor hope have they, nor fear, of aught to come,
As well for them had prophecy been dumb;
They could have held the conduct they pursue,
Had Paul of Tarsus lived and died a Jew;
And truth, proposed to reasoners wise as they,
Is a pearl cast-completely cast away.
He sent a servant forth by every road,
To sound his horn, and publish it abroad,
That all might mark-knight, menial, high, and
They die-Death lends them, pleased, and as in An ordinance it concerned them all to know.
All the grim honours of his ghastly court.
Far other paintings grace the chamber now,
Where late we saw the mimic landscape glow:
The busy heralds hang the sable scene
If, after all, some headstrong hardy lout
Would disobey, though sure to be shut out,
Could he with reason murmur at his case,
Himself sole author of his own disgrace?
No! the decree was just and without flaw;
With mournful 'scutcheons, and dim lamps be- And he, that made, had right to make, the law;
Proclaim their titles to the crowd around,
But they that wore them move not at the sound;
The coronet, placed idly at their head,
Adds nothing now to the degraded dead;
And e'en the star, that glitters on the bier,
Can only say-Nobility lies here.
Peace to all such-'twere pity to offend,
By useless censure, whom we can not mend;
Life without hope can close but in despair,
'Twas there we found them, and must leave them
As, when two pilgrims in a forest stray,
Both may be lost, yet each in his own way;
So fares it with the multitudes beguiled
In vain Opinion's waste and dangerous wild;
Ten thousand rove the brakes and thorns among,
Some eastward, and some westward, and all wrong.
But here, alas! the fatal difference lies,
Each man's belief is right in his own eyes;
And he that blames what they have blindly chose,
Incurs resentment for the love he shows.
Say, botanist, within whose province fall
The cedar and the hyssop on the wall,
Of all that deck the lanes, the fields, the bowers,
What parts the kindred tribes of weeds
Sweet scent, or lovely form, or both combined,
Distinguish every cultivated kind;
The want of both denotes a meaner breed,
And Chloe from her garland picks the weed.
Thus hopes of every sort, whatever sect
Esteem them, sow them, rear them, and protect,
If wild in nature, and not duly found,
Gethsemane! in thy dear hallowed ground,
That can not bear the blaze of Scripture light,
Nor cheer the spirit, nor refresh the sight,
Nor animate the soul to Christian deeds,
His sovereign power and pleasure unrestrained,
The wrong was his who wrongfully complained.
Yet half mankind maintain a churlish strife
With Him, the donor of eternal life,
Because the deed, by which his love confirms
The largess he bestows, prescribes the terms.
Compliance with his will your lot ensures,
Accept it only, and the boon is yours.
And sure it is as kind to smile and give,
Love is not pedler's trumpery bought and sold:
As with a frown to say, Do this, and live.
He will give freely, or he will withhold;
His soul abhors a mercenary thought,
And him as deeply who abhors it not;
He stipulates indeed, but merely this,
Will trust him for a faithful generous part,
That man will freely take an unbought bliss,
Nor set a price upon a willing heart.
Of all the ways that seems to promise fair,
This only can; for this plain cause, expressed
To place you where his saints his presence share,
In terms as plain, Himself has shut the rest.
But oh the strife, the bickering, and debate,
The flirted fan, the bridle, and the toss,
The tidings of unpurchased Heaven create!
All speakers, yet all language at a loss.
From stuccoed walls smart argument rebound;
And beaux, adepts in every thing profound,
Die of disdain, or whistle off the sound.
Such is the clamour of rooks, daws, and kites,
Th' explosion of the levelled tube excites,
Where mouldering abbey-walls o'erhang the glade,
And oaks coeval spread a mournful shade;
The screaming nations, hovering in mid air,
Loudly resent the stranger's freedom there,
And seem to warn him never to repeat
His bold intrusion on their dark retreat.
Adieu, Vinosa cries, ere yet he sips
(Oh cast them from thee!) are weeds, arrant The purple bumper trembling at his lips,
Ethelred's house, the centre of six ways,
Diverging each from each, like equal rays,
Himself as bountiful as April rains,
Lord paramount of the surrounding plains,
Would give relief of bed and board to none
But guests that sought it in th' appointed One;
And they might enter at his open door,
E'en till his spacious hall would hold no more.
Adieu to all morality! if Grace
Make works a vain ingredient in the case.
The Christian hope is-Waiter, draw the cork—
If I mistake not-Blockhead!, with a fork!
Without good works, whatever some may boast,
Mere folly and delusion-Sir, your toast.
My firm persuasion is, at least sometimes,
That Heaven will weigh.man's virtues and his
With nice attention, in a righteous scale,
And save or damn as these or those prevail.
I plant my foot upon this ground of trust,
And silence every fear with-God is just.
But if perchance on some dull drizzling day
A thought intrude, that says, or seems to say,
If thus th' important cause is to be tried,
Suppose the beam should dip on the wrong
I soon recover from these needless frights,
And God is merciful-sets all to rights.
Thus between justice, as my prime support,
And mercy, fled to as the last resort,
I glide and steal along with Heaven in view,
And,-pardon me, the bottle stands with you.
I never will believe, the Colonel cries,
The sanguinary schemes, that some devise
Who make the good Creator on their plan
A being of less equity than man.
If appetite, or what divines call lust,
Which men comply with, e'en because they must,
Be punished with perdition, who is pure?
Then theirs, no doubt, as well as mine, is sure.
If sentence of eternal pain belong
To every sudden slip and transient wrong,
Then Heaven enjoins the fallible and frail
A hopeless task, and damns them if they fail.
My creed (whatever some creed-makers mean
By Athanasian nonsense, or Nicene)—
My creed is, he is safe that does his best,
And death's a doom sufficient for the rest.
Right, says an ensign; and, for aught I see,
Your faith and mine substantially agree;
The best of every man's performance here
Is to discharge the duties of his sphere.
A lawyer's dealings should be just and fair,
Honesty shines with great advantage there.
Fasting and prayer sit well upon a priest,
A decent caution and reserve at least.
A soldier's best is courage in the field,
With nothing here that wants to be concealed;
Manly deportment, gallant, easy, gay;
A hand as liberal as the light of day.
The soldier thus endowed who never shrinks,
Nor closets up his thoughts, whate'er he thinks,
Who scorns to do an injury by stealth,
Must go to Heaven-and I must drink his health.
Sir Smug, he cries, (for lowest at the board,
Just made fifth chaplain of his patron lord,
His shoulders witnessing, by many a shrug,
How much his feelings suffered, sat Sir Smug,)
Your office is to winnow false from true;
Come, prophet, drink, and tell us what think you?
Sighing and smiling as he takes his glass,
Which they that woo preferment rarely pass,
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 world that charmed me most
Was,-welladay, the title-page was lost;
The writer well remarks, a 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 waive just now, for conversation's sake.—
Spoke like an oracle, they all exclaim,
And add Right Reverend to Smug's honoured
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 gulfs 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 vigour of a polar sky, And plant successfully sweet Sharon's rose On icy plains, and in eternal snows.
O blest within th' 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 groves 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; Piles 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, Proclaims the soil a conquest he has won, And scorns to share it with the distant sun.
"The Moravian Missionaries in Greenland. See Krantz.
Yet Truth is yours, 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 nicest optics turn away.
Here see th' encouragement Grace gives to vice,
The dire effect of mercy without price!
What were they? what some fools are made by
They were by nature, atheists, head and heart.
The gross idolatry blind heathens teach
Was too refined for them, beyond their reach.
Not e'en 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, desirable 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 sins of man,
Might almost have indulged with an escape,
Chargeable only with a 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 myrtle and luxuriant yew.
Go now, and with important tone demand
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 plaything 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, o'er 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 mercy 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 his 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 fool;
The world's best comfort was, his doom was passed;
Die when he might, he must be damned at last.
Now, Truth, perform thine office; waft aside
The curtain drawn by Prejudice and Pride,
Reveal (the man is dead) to wondering eyes
This more than monster, in his proper guise.
He loved the world that hated him: the tear
That dropt upon his Bible was sincere:
Assailed by scandal and the tongue of strife,
His only answer was a blameless life;
And he that forged, and he that threw the dart,
Had each a brother's interest in his heart.
Paul's love of Christ, and steadiness unbribed,
Were copied close in him, and well transcribed.
He followed Paul, his zeal a kindred flame,
His apostolic charity the same.
Like him, crossed cheerfully tempestuous seas,
Forsaking country, kindred, friends, and ease;
Like him he laboured, and like him content
To bear it, suffered shame where'er he went.
Blush, Calumny! and write upon his tomb,
If honest Eulogy can spare thee room,
Thy deep repentance of thy thousand lies,
Which, aimed at him, have pierced the offended
And say, blot out my sin, confessed, deplored,
Against thine image, in thy saint, O Lord!
No blinder bigot, I maintain it still,
Than he who must have pleasure, come what will:
He laughs, whatever weapon Truth may draw,
And deems her sharp artillery mere straw.
Scripture indeed is plain; but God and he
On Scripture ground are sure to disagree;
Some wiser rule must teach him how to live,
Than this his Maker has seen fit to give;⚫
Supple and flexible as Indian cane,
To take the bend his appetites ordain;
Contrived to suit frail Nature's crazy case,
And reconcile his lusts with saving grace.
By this, with nice precision of design,
He draws upon life's map a zigzag line,
That shows how far 'tis safe to follow sin,
And where his danger and God's wrath begin.
By this he forms, as pleased he sports along,
His well-poised estimate of right and wrong;
And finds the modish manners of the day,
Though loose, as harmless as an infant's play.
Build by whatever plan Caprice decrees,
With what materials, on what ground you please;
Your hope shall stand unblamed, perhaps admired,
If not that hope the Scripture has required.
The strange conceits, vain projects and wild dreams,
With which hypocrisy for ever teems,
(Though other follies strike the public eye,
And raise a laugh,) pass unmolested by;
But if, unblameable in word or thought,
A man arise, a man whom God has taught,
With all Elijah's dignity of tone,
And all the love of the beloved John,
To storm the citadels they build in air,
Hence all that is in man, pride, passion, art,
Powers of the mind, and feelings of the heart,
Insensible of Truth's almighty charms,
Starts at her first approach, and sounds to arms!
While Bigotry, with well-dissembled fears,
His eyes shut fast, his fingers in his ears,
Mighty to parry and push by God's word,
With senseless noise, his argument the sword,
Pretends a zeal for godliness and grace,
And spits abhorrence in the Christian's face.
Parent of Hope, immortal Truth! make known
Thy deathless wreaths, and triumphs all thine own:
The silent progress of thy power is such,
Thy means so feeble, and despised so much,
That few believe the wonders thou hast wrought,
And none can teach them, but whom thou hast
O see me sworn to serve thee, and command
A painter's skill into a poet's hand,
That, while I trembling trace a work divine,
Fancy may stand aloof from the design,
And light, and shade, and every stroke be thine.
If ever thou hast felt another's pain,
If ever when he sighed hast sighed again,
If ever on thy eyelid stood the tear,
That pity had engendered, drop one here.
This man was happy-had the world's good word,
And with it every joy it can afford;
Friendship and love seemed tenderly at strife,
Which most should sweeten his untroubled life;
Politely learned, and of a gentle race,
Good breeding and good sense gave all a grace,
And smite the untempered wall; 'tis death to spare. And whether at the toilette of the fair,
To sweep away all refuges of lies,
And place, instead of quirks themselves devise,
Lama Sabacthani before their eyes;
To prove, that without Christ all gain is loss,
All hope despair, that stands not on his cross;
Except the few his God may have impressed,
A tenfold frenzy seizes all the rest.
Throughout mankind, the Christian kind at least,
There dwells a consciousness in every breast,
That folly ends where genuine hope begins,
And he that finds his Heaven must lose his sins.
Nature opposes with her utmost force
This riving stroke, this ultimate divorce;
And, while religion seems to be her view,
Hates with a deep sincerity the true:
For this, of all that ever influenced man,
Since Abel worshipped, or the world began,
This only spares no lust, admits no plea,
But makes him, if at all, completely free;
Sounds forth the signal, as she mounts her car,
Of an eternal, universal war;
Rejects all treaty, penetrates all wiles,
Scorns with the same indifference frowns and smiles;
Drives through the realms of Sin, where riot reels,
And grinds his crown beneath her burning wheels!
He laughed and trifled, made him welcome there,
Or if in masculine debate he shared,
Ensured him mute attention and regard.
Alas, how changed! Expressive of his mind,
His eyes are sunk, arms folded, head reclined;
Those awful syllables, hell, death, and sin,
Though whispered, plainly tell what works within;
That conscience there performs her proper part,
And writes a doomsday sentence on his heart;
Forsaking, and forsaken of all friends,
He now perceives where earthly pleasure ends;
Hard task! for one who lately knew no care,
And harder still as learnt beneath despair;
His hours no longer pass unmarked away,
A dark importance saddens every day;
He hears the notice of the clock perplexed,
And cries, perhaps eternity strikes next;
Sweet music is no longer music here,
And laughter sounds like madness in his ear:
His grief the world of all her power disarms,
Wine has no taste, and beauty has no charms:
God's holy word, once trivial in his view,
Now by the voice of his experience true,
Seems, as it is, the fountain whence alone
Must spring that hope he pants to make his own.