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“Come unto me (Messiah cries)
Stealer of marches, subtile foo, All that are laden and oppressid :
Sinon of stratagem and woe! To l'hee I come (my heart replies)
Thy fatal blows, ah! wbo can ward? O Patron of eternal rest!
Around thee lurks a motley train Who walks with me (rejoins the voice)
of wants, and fears, and chronic pain, In purest day-light shall rejoice,
The hungry Croats of thy guard.
(l'bus on the flow'r-e namelld lawn,
l'nconscious of the least surprize, Long I've thy painful foot-steps trod,
In thought ess gambols sports the fam, Redeemer, Saviour, Friend of all 61
Whilst veil'd in grass the tygress lies. “ Heav'n in my youth bestow'd each good The silent trait'ress crouches low, Of choicer sort: in fertile lands
Her very lungs surcease to blow : A decent patrimony stood,
At length she darts on hunger's wings; Sufficient for my just demands,
Sure of her distance and success, My form was pleasing; health refin'd
Where Newton could but only guess, My blood; a deep-discerning mind
She never misses, when she springs 9.) Crown'd all the rest, -The fav'rite child
“More truly wise the man, whose early youth Of un-affected eloquence,
Is offer'd a free ofl'ring to the Lord, Plain nature, un-scholastic sense:
A self-addicted votary to truth, And once or twice the Muses smil'd!
Servant thro' choice, disciple by accord ! “Blest with each boon that simpler minds desire, Heav'n always did th' unblemish'd turtle choose, Till Heav'n grows weary of their nanseous pray'rs, Where health conjoin'd with spirit most abounds: I made the nobler option to retire 1,
Heav'n seeks the young, nor does the old refuse, And gave the world to worldlings and their heirs; But youth acquits the debt, which age comThe warriors laurels, and the statesman's fame,
pounds! The vain man's hopes for titles and employ, Awkward in time, and sour'd with self-disgrace, The pomp of station, and the rich man's name, The spend-thrift pays bis all, and takes the I left for fools to seek, and knaves t'enjoy;
bankrupt's place." An early whisper did its truths impart,
This spoke the venerable sage And all the God conceal'd irradiated my heart.
Who ne'er imbib'd Mæonian lore, “ Happy the man who turns to Heav'n,
Who drew no aids from Maro's page, When on the landscape's verge of green
And yet to pobler flights could soar. Old-age appears, to whom 'tis giv'n
Taught by the Solyméan inaid; To creep in sight, but fly, unseen!
With native elegance array'd,
He gave his easy thoughts to flow; ginal Latin, and above sixty translations have the charms which anxious art deny'd been made from it into modern languages. Truth and simplicity supply'd,
Our author died August the 8th, 1471, aged Melodious in religious woe. 92 years. and lying over his grave, is represented a per: The veil which artful charms conceals, In the engraving on copper above-mentioned, Poet in sentiment! he feels
The flame; nor seeks from verse his aid ! son respectfully presenting to him a label on which is written a verse to this effect:
To real beauty proves a shade.
When nature's out-lines dubious are, Oh! where'is Peace ? for Thou its paths hast Verse decks them with a slight cymarr 11 ; trod.
True charms by art in vain are drest. To which Kempis retums another strip of paper, Not icy prose could damp his fire: inscribed as follows:
Intense the flame and mounting high'r, In poverty, retirement, and with God. Brightly victorious when opprest! He was a canon regular of Augustins, and sub- | By this time morn in all its glory shone; prior of mount St. Agnes' monastery. He com- The Sun's chaste kiss absorb'd the virgin-dew , posed his treatise On the Imitation of Christ in Th’impatient peasant wish'd his labour done, the sixty-first year of his age, as appears from The cattle to thi' umbrageous strcams withdrew : a note of his own writing in the library of his Beneath a cool impenetrable shade, convent.
Quiet, he mus'd. So Jonas safely sate (play'd) 6 Imitation of Christ, Lib. I. c. i.
(When the swift gourd her palmy leaves disq" Solitude is the best school wherein to learn To see the tow'rs of Ninus bow to fate 12. the way to Heaven,"
St. Jerom. “Worldly honours are a trying snare to men 9 This parenthesis was inserted by way of of an exalted station; of course their chief care imitating the famous parenthesis in Horace's must be, to put themselves out of the reach of Ode, which begins envy by humility.”
Qualem ministrum fulminis alitem, &c. “ The pleasures of this world are only the mo
10 • Eren from the flower till the grape was mentary comforts of the miserable, and not the ripe, bath my heart delighted in Wisdom.” rewards of the happy.” St. August.
Ecclus. c. li. v. 15. Cætera solicitæ speciosa incommoda vitæ "A thin covering of the gause, or sarsnet. Permisi stultis quærere, habere malis. kind.
Dryd. Cymon & Iphigen, Couleius de Plant, 12 Jonab, c. iv. 8. 6.
Th’Ascetic then drew forth a parchment-scroll, When man desponds, (of human hope bereft)
Let patience be thy first and last coneern;
Advances, ou the side it now goes back.
By force, a virtue of celestial kind (1.) 'Tis vanity to wish for length of days; Was never storm'd; by art 'tis undermiu'd 10. The art of living well is wise men's praise.
(5.) All seek for knowledge. Knowledge is no If death, not length of life, engag'd our view, Life would be happier, and death happier tool. Than this; to know ourselves, and God adore.
Nature foreshows our death: 'tis God's decree; Wouldst thon with profit seek, and learn with The king, the insect dies; and so must we.
gain?What's natural, and common to us all,
Unknown thyself, in solitude remain", What's necessary ;-none should evil call, Virtuc retires, but in retirement blooms, Check thy fond love of life, and human pride; Pull of good works, and dying in perfumes ?. Shall man repine at death, when Christ has dy'd In thy own heart the living waters rise '3;
(2.) He that can calmly view the mask of Good conscience is the wisdom of the wise! 16 Will never tremble at the face beneath ; (death, Man's only confidence, unmixt with pride, Probationer of Heav'n, he starts no more
Is the firm trust that God is op his side 13! To see the last sands ebb, than those before Like Aaron's rod, the faithful and the just,
(3.) In vain we argue, boast, elude, descant;- Torn from their tree, shall blossom in the dust. No man is honest that's afraid of want.
(6.) God, says the chief of penitents16, is One, No blood of confessors that bosom warms), Who gives Himself, his Spirit, and his Son. Which starts at hunger, as the worst of harms 4 “ Is hunger irksome?—Thou by Him art fed
(4.) The man with christian preservance fir'ds, With quails miraculous, and Heav'nly bread. Check'd but not stop'd ; retarded but not tird; Is thirst oppressive ?-Lift thy eyes, and see Straiten'd by foes, yet sure of a retreat,
Cat'racts of water fall from rocks for thee. In Heav'n's protection rests securely great ; Art thou in darkness ?-Uncreated light Hears ev'ry sharp alarm withont dismay; Is all thy own, and guides thy erring sight. Midst dangers dauntless, and midst terrours gay; Is nakedness thy lot? --Yet ne'er repine ; Indignant of obstruction glows his fame, The vestments of Eternity are thine. And, struggling, mounts to Heav'n, from whence Art thou a widow ?-God's thy consort true. it came:
Art thou an orphan ?-He's thy father too." Oppress'd it thrives; its own destroyers tires, And with unceasing fortitude aspires 7.
8 Ibid. c. 35, No. 2. Ibid. c. 18, No. 2.
9 See also Caussin's Holy Court, Part I, L: 3. 1 This and the following passages marked with Sect. 52, fol. 1650. a note of reference are extracted almost verbatim 10 “True christian piety was never made a from Kempis's Book of the Imitation of Christ. real captive; it may be killed, but not conquerLib. I, c. 1, 2. See also Lib. 1, c. 19. 23.
St. Jerom. 2 “ Death, when compared to life, scems to 11 “Imitation of Christ, L. I, c. 20. L. II, be a remedy and not a punishment."
c. 10. St. Macar.
“ The retired Christian, in seeking after an On the same point another primitive Chris- happy life, actually enjoys one; and possesses tian hath observed, “ 'That the Supreme Being that already which he only fancies he is pursumade life short; since, as the troubles of iting.”
St. Eucher. cannot be removed from us, we may the sooner 13 « Drink waters out of thine own cisterns. be removed from them.”
St. Bernard. Prov. C. v, V. 15. See also Rev. c. xxii, v. 1. 3" Dost thou fear poverty ? Christ calls the
“ And he showed me a pure river of water of life,
clear as crystal.” See John, c. vii, v. 38.
14 Imitat. of Jesus Christ, L. I, c. 6.
15 Imitat, of Jesus Christ, Lib. II, c. 10. - Art thou hungry? true confidence in God “ The only means of obtaining true security
for the Supreme Governor of the world beholds is to commit all our interests to God, who conthy warfare; and prepares for thee a crown of stantly kuows and is ever willing to bestow good glory and everlasting rest.”
things on them that ask him as they ought.”
Cassian, Hieron. in Epist.
“ Security is no where but in the love and • L. II. Thom. à Kempis.
service of God. It neither in Heaven, nor 5 Perseverance is an image of eternity."
Paradise, much less in the present world. In St. Bernard.
Heaven the angels fell from the divine presence : 6 « The greatest safety man can have is to in Paradise Adam lost his abode of pleasure: in fear nothing but God.”
St. Bernard. “Human fear depresses, the fear of God exhi. | viour.” larates."
Cassian. 16 St. August. The ten lines marked with 7 Imitat. of Christ, L, III., c. 5. Ibid. c. 19, him.
inverted commas are a literal translation from N3.1.
(7.) The men of Science aim themselves to Say, is it much indignities to bear, sbow 17,
When God for thee thy nature deign'd to wear? And know just what imports them not to know 13. If slander vilifies the good man's pame, (Once having miss'd the truth, they farther stray: It hurts not; but prevents a future shame, As men ride fastest who have lost their way ;) The censure and reproaches of mankind Whilst the poor peasant that with daily care Are the true christian mentors of the mind. Improves his lands and offers Heav'n his pray’r, No other way bumility is gain'd; With conscious boldness may produce his face No other way vain glory is restrain'd. Where proud philosophers shall want a place!9. Nor worse, nor better we, if praise or blamo Philosophy in anxious doubts expires :
Lift or depress the man is still the same 27. Religion trims her lamp, as life retires 20.
The happy, if they're wise, must all things fear; True faith, like gold into the furnace cast, Nor need th’ unhappy, if they're gooil, desMaintains its sterling pureness to the last.
pair. Conscience will ev'ry pious act attest 21:
(10.) Hard is the task 'gainst nature's strength A silent paregyrist, but the best !
to strive : (6.) All chastisements for private use are giv’n; Perfection is the lot of none alive ; The revelations Personal of Heav'n 22 :
Or grant frail man could tread th’ unerring road, But man in misery mistakes bis road,
How could we suffer for the sake of Gods? Sighs for lost joys, and never turns to God 23. AMiction's ordeal, sharp, but briglitly shines ; Hear'n more than meets her child with sorrows Sep’rates the gold, and ev'ry vice calcines. try'd ;
To adverse fortune, when the storm runs high, Her dove brings olive, e'er the waves subside24. And sickness graves death's image on the eye, Man gives but once, and grudges when we sue; Nor wealth, nor rank, nor pow'r, assuage the Heav'n makes old gifts the precedents for new.
grief(9.) AMictions have their use of ev'ry kind; Ask God to send thee patience or relief30. At once they humble, and exalt the mind : The infant Moses 'scap'd his wat'ry gravel. The ferment of the soul by just degrees
Heav'n half o'erwhelms the man it means to Refines the true clear spirit from the lees 25.
save! Boast as we will, and argue as we can,
(11.) Th' ambitious and the covetous desire 32 None ever knew the virtues of a man,
More than their worth deserves, or wants re® Except aflliction sifts the flour from bran2.
quire : 17 « It is good to know much and live well: But, ah ! their neighbour's pittance maims their
Not merely for the profit things may yield, but, if we cannot attain both, it is better to de
field : sire piety than learning : for knowledge makes no Thus, gain’d by force, or fraudulent design, man truly happy, nor doth happiness consist in The grapes of Naboth yield them blood for intellectual acquisitions. The only valuable thing is a religious life.”
(12) Nothing but truth can claim a lasting Sti. Greg. Magn. Moral. And again: “That only is the best knowledge Time is truth's surest judge, and judges late: which makes us better.” 18 Imitat. of Christ.
27 Imitat. of Christ, L. III, c. 5. 20 Imitat. of Jesus Christ, L. II, c. 10.
28 Ibid. 21 « As in water face answereth to face, so the
29 “ for gold is tried in the fire, and accepheart of man to man." Prov. xxvii, v. 19, “Thou canst avoid, sooner or later, whatever table men in the furnace of adversity.”
Ecclus. c. ii, v. 5. molesteth thee, except thy own conscience.''
30 Imitat. of Christ, L. III, c. 5. Augustin. in Psalm xxx.
31 Exod. c. II, v.5. 22 Imitat. of Jesus Christ, L. I, c. 13. “God causeth (aflictions) to come, either soul, gathereth for others, that shall spend his
32 “ He that gathereth by defrauding his own for correction, or for his land, or for mercy.” goods riotously. A covetous man's eye is not saJob, c. xxxvii, v. 13.
tisfied with his portiou, and the iniquity of the “ It is the work and providence of God's se
wicked drieth up bis soul.” cret counsel, that the days of the elect should
Ecclus, c. xiv. be troubled in their pilgrimage. This present
33 “ Ahab's excuse to Naboth, when he said life is the way to our eternal abode: God therefore in his secret wisdom aflicts our travel with give me thy vineyard that I may make it a garcontinual trouble, lest the delights of our jour- den of herbs, represents in a lively manner the ney might take away the desire of our journey's use, when they waut to make new acquisitions.
pretences that araricious and ambitious men end."
“No servant of Christ is without addiction. If They lye to their consciences; asking a seeming you expect to be free from persecution, you have trifle, and meaning to obtain something very va
St. Ambrose. not yet so much as begun to be a Christian."
“Woe unto them that covet fields, and take 23 Imitat. of Christ, L. I, c. 11.
them away by violence." Micah, c. ii, v. 2. 24 Imitat. of Christ, ibid. See also Gen. c. death, and cannot be satisfied: woe unto them
They enlarge their desire as Hell, and are as viii, v. 11.
that encrease that which is not theirs." 25 Imitat. of Christ, L. I, c. 13.
Hab. c. ii, v. 5, 26 Jbid. Lib. I, c. 16. Lib. III, c. 12. See
31 Iinitat, of Jesus Christ, L. I, c. 3. also Amos, c. ix. v. 3, and Luke c. xxii, v. 31.
And, for thy guide, be he alone belier'd,
But if vain glory prompts the tongue to boast, Who never can deceive, nor is deceiv'd 35 ! In vain we strive to give, the gift is lost. Thus safe thro' waves the sons of Isr'el trod ; Wealth, unbestow'd, is the fool's alchymy;Their better magnet was the lamp of God: [led Misers have wealth, but taste it not ;-and die. And thus Heav'n's star Earth's humble shepherds In ev'ry purse that th' avaricious bears, To their Messiah in his humbler bed.
There's still a rent, which wily Satan tearst?: (13.) Flatt'ry and fame at death the vain for- A man may mend it
, at returning light, sake,
But the arch-fiend undarns the work at night. And other knaves and fools their honours take36, Useless, O miser! are thy labours found; (14.) Tease not thy mind ; nor run a restless And all thy vintage leaks on thirsty ground 63, round
Chimeric nonsense ! Riches unemploy'd
Is a mere Dioclesian to himself;
A Paula's 44 name is better known in Heav'n. But those who make prophaneness stand for wit, (19.) Riches no more are ours, than are the Desp'rate apply the pigeons to their feet :
[laves. Bankrupts of sense, and impudently bad; Of yonder Rhyne, which our Mount-Agnas, Their judgment ruin'd, and their fancy mad! Th' impatient waters no continuance inake; Like Daniel's 37 goat 38 in th' insolence of youth, Adopt new owners, and their old forsake. Stars they displace, and overturn the truth. 46 As those who call for wines, beyond their (16.) He, who adopts religions, wrong or right,
share, Is not a convert, but an hypocrite :
Refund the draughts which nature cannot bear; Him, seeming what he is not, man esteems; (Whilst bile and gall corroding in their breast God hates him, for he is not what he seemns, Demand a passage, and adınit no rest :) The bull-rush thus a specious outside wears, Just so rapacious misers swell their store; Smooth as the shining rind the poplar bears : To di’monds di’monds add, and ore to ore; But strip the cov'ring of its polish'd skin, They gulp down wealth,--and, with heart pierAnd all is insubstantial sponge within.
cing pain, When not a whisper breaths upon the trees, And clay-cold qualms, discharge the load again. Unmov'd it stands, but bends with ev'ry breeze. Death bursts the casket, and the farce is o'er. It boasts th' ablution of a silver flood,
(Carst is that wealth, which never eas'd the Eut feeds on rnire, and roots itself in mud.
[floor; (17.) Self-love is foolish, criminal, and vain, Whilst fools and spendthrifts sweep it from the Therefore, O man, sach partial views restrain : The gold of Ophyr 47 dazzles their weak eyes, And often take this counsel for a rule,
Turquoises 48 next their weaker minds surprise, To please one's self is but to please one foolo. Rich, deeply azur’d, like Italian skies. (18.) The alms we give, we keep: the alms
lost; those which thou charitably bestowest, are We lose : possessing only what we gave 4.
42 Haggai, c. i, v. 6.
Virg. 36 « There is no work that shows more art and 44 Paula was a Roman lady descended from industry than the texture of a spider's web. The the Gracchi and Scipios. Her husband was of delicate threads are so nicely disposed, and so the Julian race. After his decease, she gave curiously interwoven one with another, that you most of her possessions to the poor, and retired would think it produced by the labour of a ce- from Rome to a solitude at Bethlehem. That lestial being ; yet notbing in the event is more incomparable virgin Eustochium was her daughfragil and insubstantial. A breath of wind tears Both their histories are drawn at large by it to pieces, and carries it away. Just so are St. Jerom, and addressed to Eustochium. Paula worly, acquisitions madle by men in exalted has written some excellent verses on religious stations, and reputedly wise and cunning." subjects.
Origen. She built a temple at Emmäus in honour of 37 Dan. c. viii, v. 10, 11.
our Blessed Saviour., Her tomb is at Bethlehem. 36 The prophet here means, by the goat, the The inscription for her and her daughter was king of Greece, the region of vain philosophy. written by St. Jerom. Sandy's Trav, fol. 135.
19 “ He that loveth himself most, hath of all 139, &c. men the happiness of finding the fewest rivals.” 45 The name of the monastery where Kempis
Anon. Vet. resided. 40 • He that pleaseth himself, pleaseth a 46 Part of this paragraph, is copied from Joo, fool."
C. XX, v. 14, 15, 18. Compare also Job, c. 41 " There is that scattereth and yet increas- xxvii, v. 19, 20, 21. eth; and there is that withholding more than is 47 Gold of Ophir. See 1 Kings c. ix, v. 28. 1 meet, but it tendeth to poverty.”
Chron. xxix, v. 4. 2 Chron, viii, v. 18. Psalm
Prov. c. xi, v. 24. xlv, v. 9. Isaiah xiji. v. 12. * The riches which thou treasurest up, are 16 Turquoises. “ The true oriental turquoise
Then are the fi'ry rubies 49 to be seen,
Would'st thou be vitally with Christ conjoin'd?
No man can worldly happiness ensure ;
(22.) When passions reign with arbitrary sway,
Who can quench flames when double winds assail?
Submission an eternal crown procúres ;
Nor wealth, nor pow'r, attract his wondering
With honey dropping from Philistian oak,
Glow on his cheeks, and sparkle in his eyes .
When fortune smiles within doors and without,
Man's heart, well-pleasid, may think itself de
, and he's devout indeedo.
(25.) Those who revenge a deed that injures Possession brings the vulgar dawbing near.
Copy the very sin, which they condemn.
They snatch God's own prerogative from God!
The hind who soweth winds, shall whirlwinds
reap73, bies." Lam. c. iv, v. 7.
(24.) The worldling,tempter of himself, pursues
51 Berryl. Dan. c. x, v. 6. Rev. xxi, v. 20. 62 Imitat. of Christ, L. I, c. 24.
64 Ibid. L. I, c. 6.
66 See Ezek. c. 1.
63 Ibid. c. iii, v. 1, 2, 3.
Hugo de anima,
170 Imitat, of Christ, L. II, c. 3.
Isidor. to be able to hurt one's neighbour, nor to have
the power and parts to do mischief. The inge-
73 Hosea, c, viii, v. 7. Hind is the head-ser60 Imitat. of Christ, L, I, c. 24.
vant in husbandry matters. Chancer, Dryden, 61 lbid. L. I, c. 21.
and in the west of England at present.