Oldalképek
PDF
ePub

Not, sure, to drink, to slumber, and to feed,
Wherein brutes equal him, and far exceed.
Dare to assert your rights, celestial raée !
Honour awaits you, do not court disgrace ;
Resemble, what will raise you, not deprave,
Your Sovereign God, and not the beast your slave.
Would you be happy? Strengthen, and controal,
And regulate, that spring of bliss, the soul.

“ All the dread splendour of high heaven, and all* “ The varied wonders that adorn this ball, • Show, in each atom, virtues that transcend 6 Whate'er man's wit can speak or comprehend. “ Then surely He, whò nature's monarch reigns, “ Who forms, who fills, enlivens, and sustains, " Whose boundless works, thus darkly understood, “ Such love display, is wise as well as good. “ Yet Vice in pleasure riots oft and fame, “ While meek neglected Virtue sinks in shame. “ Is not, to punish that, and this to save, “ A doom, a recompence beyond the grave ?

* The lines are marked with inverted commas, as expressing the thoughts, with respect to a future retribution, which might naturally arise in a rational mind unassisted by revelation; and as connected with “ So spake, with anxious dread, the wise of old,” &c,

J.H. B.

66 Yes: in that retribution we would trust, “ Convinced, though man is weak, that God is just. “ Shall we then wish it? When this scene is o'er, “ When vice allures, and passions fire no more; “ Shall we, so long in heedless error gây, “ So rich in blessings we can ne'er repay, “ Alike deprived of flight and of defence, « Rise, and to judge us dare Omnipotênce ? " In God we live and move ; to him is known “Our guilt ; conceal we canot, nor åtone. “Our being sins endanger, joys endear, “We fear to keep it, and to lose it fear.”

Deep in the clouds of general doubt enrotlá, So spake, with anxious dread, the wise of old; Who, in rude reason's narrow sphere confined, Just oped their eyes, and knew that they were blind. Meanwhile, amid the twilight of the times, Unconscious Erort stalk'd, and licensed crimes. From earth's deep Bosom dug the dirty ore They méft, they mould, they hammer, they adore. Curls in high fáme a consecrated pyre, And human victims glút th' accursed fire. The groping seer, by holy madness driven, From quivering entrails rakes the will of heaven.

The owl's long loud moan, screaming from afar,
Gladdens with peace, or animates to war;
While chiefs uncage, in superstitious awe,
A fluttering chick, whose appetite is law.
Dark horror shades man's torpid race: they see
Nor God, nor virtue, nor futurity;
Save when, by forms in turbid fancy bred;
Pale Ignorance is wakened into dread :
And shapes of present crime, and future doom,
Glare momentary through th' involving gloom.

But lo, what genial tides of heavenly beam,
Pour'd slowly, midst the rolling darkness stream!
Lo, where the radiant cross, displayed on high,
Inflames the languor of yon eastern sky!
Through air, earth, ocean, spreads th' expanding ray,
And

wraps the nations in a blaze of day. Hark! a voice" Hear, my favour'd people, hear,

Repent; for heaven's eternal reign is near. “ Come yę, whom long laborious care employs, " Whom doubts alarm, whom servitude annoys, • Come, bear my burden, to my yoke agree, “ Ye weak, ye heavy laden, come to me, “ My yoke is easy and my burden light; “ Hope chears my servant, endless joys requite.

[ocr errors]

“ Comfort I bring, and mercy unconfin’d,
“ And peace on earth, and goodwill to mankind.

My law no more in thunder I proclaim, “ Throned in thick darkness, and tempestuous flame; “ Rich offerings no longer I require, " Or glittering altars crowned with costly fire : " I ask, and what I ask my words impart, • Repentence, faith, and purity of heart. • Come then, my people, listen and believe : “ Seek, ye will find me; ask, ye shall receive : “ Come, for the joys of heaven on earth I send, “ Come to your Lord, your Saviour, and your Friend.”

Son of Omnipotence ! Creation's heir !
Lord, what is man, that he employs thy care !
Dost thou for him this little planet tread,
For him in human weakness veil thy head,
And deign for him to quit th' empyreal sky,
For him to weep, to suffer, and to die !
Trembling in gratitude, before the throne
Prostrate, we claim thy merit as our own.
With humble hearts, but warm in holy trust,
Low bending let us kiss our kindred dust";
Smile in calm hope, with fearful joy adore,
Renounce all former guilt, and sin no more ;

At least be grateful where we cannot pay,
Nor make his gifts the means to disobey.
Him, life and breath who gives us, shall the while,
That life dishonour, and that breath revile !

Ah! can faint words in feeble song express'd,
Disclose the burning raptures of the breast,
When soothed repentance melts into delight,
And all heaven opens on the vanquish'd sight ;
And the soul free from fear, from sorrow free,
Sinks overpower'd in speechless ecstacy!

We sons of dust, admitted to descry. Th' eternal counsels of th' unfolding sky, To cast around th' expansive view sublime Wide over, and beyond, the bounds of time; We mark Heaven's reign begun, explore its laws, Trace their dependance, and perceive their cause; See them from mercy rise, to blessing tend, And, by Omniscience sway'd, in full perfection ends Come now, proud Sage, thine antient art compare ; Where is the wisdom now, the virtue where, The knowledge where, by boasted reason given, Of earth, and of th' economy of heaven? Like stars, o'ertaken by the morning ray, They hide their lessen'd heads, and melt away.

« ElőzőTovább »