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For this commission'd, I forsook the sky :
Nay, cease to kneel-Thy fellow-servant I.
Then know the truth of government divine,
And let those scruples be no longer thine.
The Maker justly claims that world he made,
In this the right of Providence is laid;
Its sacred Majesty through all depends
On using second means to work his ends:
'Tis thus, withdrawn in state from human eye,
The Power exerts his attributes on high,
Your actions uses, nor controuls your will,
And bids the doubting sons of men be still.
What strange events can strike with more surprise, Than those which lately struck thy wond'ring eyes? Yet, taught by these, confess th' Almighty just, And where you can't unriddle, learn to trust! The Great, Vain Man, who far'd on costly food, Whose life was too luxurious to be good; Who made his ivory stands with goblets shine, And forc'd his guests to morning draughts of wine, Has, with the Cup, the graceless custom lost, And still he welcomes, but with less of cost. The mean suspicious Wretch, whose bolted door Ne'er mov'd in duty to the wand'ring poor; With him I left the Cup, to teach his mind. That Heaven can bless, if mortals will be kind. Conscious of wanting worth, he views the bowl, And feels compassion touch his grateful soul. Thus artists melt the sullen ore of lead, With heaping coals of fire upon its head; In the kind warmth the metal learns to glow, And, loose from dross, the silver runs below. Long had our pious Friend in virtue trod, But now the child half-wean'd his heart from God; (Child of his age) for him he liv'd in pain, And measur'd back his steps to earth again. To what excesses had his dotage run ? But God, to save the father, took the son. To all but thee, in fits he seem'd to go, (And 'twas my ministry to deal the blow.) The poor fond parent, humbled in the dust, Now owns in tears the punishment was just.
But how had all his fortune felt a wrack, Had that false Servant sped in safety back ?
This night his treasur'd heaps he meant to steal,
And what a fund of charity would fail!
Thus Heaven instructs thy mind: This trial o'er, Depart in peace, resign, and sin no more.
On sounding pinions here the youth withdrew,
The Sage stood wond'ring as the Seraph flew.
Thus look'd Elisha, when to mount on high
His master took the chariot of the sky;
The fiery pomp ascending left the view;
The prophet gaz'd, and wish'd to follow too.
The bending Hermit here a pray'r begun,
Lord! as in heaven, on earth thy will be done.
Then gladly turning, sought his ancient place,
And pass'd a life of piety and peace.
IN THE ANCIENT ENGLISH STYLE.
IN Britain's isle and Arthur's days,
When midnight Faeries daunc'd the maze,
Liv'd Edwin of the green;
Edwin, I wis, a gentle youth,
Endow'd with courage, sense, and truth,
Tho' badly shap'd he'd been.
His mountain-back mote well be said
To measure height against his head,
And lift itself above:
Yet spite of all that nature did
To make his uncouth form forbid,
This creature dar'd to love.
He felt the charms of Edith's eyes,
Nor wanted hope to gain the prize,
Could ladies look within;
But one Sir Topaz dress'd with art,
And, if a shape could win a heart,
He had a shape to win.
Edwin (if right I read my song)
With slighted passion pac'd along
All in the moony light:
'Twas near an old enchaunted court,
Where sportive Faeries made resort
To revel out the night.
His heart was drear, his hope was cross'd,
'Twas late, 'twas far, the path was lost
That reach'd the neighbour-town;
With weary steps he quits the shades,
Resolv'd, the darkling dome he treads,
And drops his limbs adown:
But scant he lays him on the floor,
When hollow winds remove the door,
A trembling rocks the ground:"
And (well I ween to count aright)
At once an hundred tapers light
On all the walls around.
Now sounding tongues assail his ear,
Now sounding feet approachen near,
And now the sounds increase :
And from the corner where he lay
He sees a train profusely gay
Come prankling o'er the place.
But (trust me, Gentles!) never yet
Was dight a masking half so neat,
Or half so rich before;
The country lent the sweet perfumes,
The sea the pearl, the sky the plumes,
The town its silken store.
Now whilst he gaz'd, a Gallant drest
In flaunting robes above the rest,
With awful accent cry'd;
What Mortal of a wretched mind,
Whose sighs infect the balmy wind,
Has here presum'd to hide?
At this the Swain, whose vent'rous soul
No fears of Magick art controul,
Advanc'd in open sight;
Nor have I cause of dread,' he said,
Who view (by no presumption led)
Your revels of the night.
'Twas grief, for scorn of faithful love,
Which made my steps unweeting rove
'Amid the nightly dew.'
'Tis well, the Gallant cries again,
We Faeries never injure men
Who dare to tell us true.
Exalt thy love-dejected heart,
Be mine the task, or ere we part,
To make thee grief resign;
Now take the pleasure of thy chaunce:
Whilst I with Mab, my partner, daunce,
Be little Mable thine.
He spoke, and all a sudden there
Light musick floats in wanton air;
The Monarch leads the Queen:
The rest their Faerie partners found,
And able trimly tript the ground
With Edwin of the green.
The dauncing past, the board was laid,
And sicker such a feast was made
As heart and lip desire;
Withouten hands the dishes fly,
The glasses with a wish come nigh,
And with a wish retire.
But now to please the Faerie King,
Full every deal they laugh and sing,
And antick feats devise;
Some wind and tumble like an ape,
And other-some transmute their shape
In Edwin's wond'ring eyes:
'Till one at last, that Robin hight,
(Renown'd for pinching maids by night)
As hent him up aloof;
And full against the beam he flung,
Where by the back the Youth he hung,
To sprawl unneath the roof.
From thence, "Reverse my charm," he cries, "And let it fairly now suffice
"The gambol has been shewn."
But Oberon answers with a smile,
• Content thee, Edwin, for a while e;
'The vantage is thine own!'
Here ended all the phantom-play;
They smelt the fresh approach of day,
And heard a cock to crow;
The whirling wind that bore the crowd
Has clapp'd the door, and whistled loud,
To warn them all to go.
Then screaming all at once they fly,
And all at once the tapers die ;
Poor Edwin falls to floor;
Forlorn his state, and dark the place,
Was never wight in sike a case
Through all the land before.
But soon as dan Apollo rose,
Full jolly creature home he goes,
He feels his back the less;
His honest tongue and steady mind
Had rid him of the lump behind,
Which made him want success,
With lusty livelyhed he talks,
He seems a dauncing as he walks,
His story soon took wind;
And beauteous Edith sees the youth,
Endow'd with courage, sense, and truth,
Without a bunch behind.
The story told, Sir Topuz mov'd
(The youth of Edith erst approv'd)
To see the revel scene;
At close of eve he leaves his home,
And wends to find the ruin'd dome
All on the gloomy plain.
As there he bides, it so befelt,
The wind came rustling down a dell,
A shaking seiz'd the wall:
Up spring the tapers as before,
The Fueries bragly foot the floor,
And musick fills the hall.
But certes sorely sunk with woe
Sir Topaz sees the Elphin show,
His spirits in him die :
When Oberon cries,
A mortal passion, cleeped fear,
⚫ Hangs flagging in the sky.'