Page images

“ And gesture they propound to our belief?
“ Nay—conduct hath the loud ft tongue. The voice
6 Is but an inftrument, on which the priest
“ May play what tune he pleases. In the deed,
“ The unequivocal authentic deed,
“ We find sound argument, we read the heart."

Such reasonings (if that name must need belong
To excuses in which reason has no part)
Serve to compose a spirit well inclined
To live on terms of amity with vice,
And fin without disturbance. Often urged,
(As often as libidinous discourse
Exhaufted, he resorts to folemn themes
Of theological and grave import)
They gain at last his unreserved affent;
Till, hardened his heart's temper in the forge
Of luft, and on the anvil of despair,
He slights the ftrokes of conscience. Nothing moves,
Or nothing much, his constancy in ill;
Vain tampering has but fostered his disease;
'Tis defperate, and he sleeps the sleep of death.
Hafte now, philosopher, and set him free.
Charm the deaf serpent wisely. Make him hear
Of rectitude and fitness, moral truth
How lovely, and the moral sense how sure,


[ocr errors]


Consulted and obeyed, to guide his steps
Directly to the FIRST AND ONLY FAIR.
Spare not in such a cause. Spend all the powers
Of rant and rhapsody in virtue's praise:
Be moft sublimely good, verbosely grand,
And with poetic trappings grace thy prose,
Till it out-mantle all the pride of verse.-
Ah, tinkling cymbal, and high sounding brass,
Smitten in vain ! such music cannot charm
The eclipse, that intercepts: truth's heavenly beam,
And chills and darkens a wide-wandering soul.
The still SMALL voice is wanted. He must speak,
Whose word leaps forth at once to its effect;
Who calls for things that are not, and they come.

Grace makes the Nave a freeman. "Tis a change, That turns to ridicule the turgid speech And stately tone of moralifts, who boast, As if, like him of fabulous renown, They had indeed ability to smooth The shag of savage nature, and were each An Orpheus, and omnipotent in song: But transformation of apoftate man From fool to wise, from earthly to divine, Is work for Him that made him. And he by means in philosophic eyes

He alone,

Trivial and worthy of disdain, achieves
The wonder; humanizing what is brute
In the loft kind, extracting from the lips
Of alps their venom, overpowering strength
By weakness, and hoftility by love,

Patriots have toiled, and in their country's cause Bled nobly; and their deeds, as they deserve, Receive proud recompense. We give in charge Their names to the sweet lyre. The historic muse, Proud of the treasure, marches with it down To latest times; 'and sculpture; in her turn, Gives bond in stone and ever during brass To guard them, and to immortalize her truft: But fairer wreaths are due, though never paid, To those, who pofted at the shrine of truth Have fallen in her defence. . A patriot's blood Well spent in such a strife may earn indeed, And for a time ensure, to his loved land The sweets of liberty and equal laws; But martyrs struggle for a brighter prize, And win it with more pain. Their blood is shed In confirmation of the noblest claim, Our claim to feed upon immortal truth, To walk with God, to be divinely free, To foar, and to anticipate the skies.

Yet few remember them. They lived unknown
Till persecution dragged them into fame,
And chased them up to heaven. Their ashes flew
-No marble tells us whither. With their names
No bard embalms and fanctifies his song:
And history, so warm on meaner themes,
Is cold on this. She execrates indeed
The tyranny, that doomed them to the fire,
But gives the glorious sufferers little praise *.

He is the freeman whom the truth makes free, And all are llaves beside. There's not a chain That hellish foes, confederate for his harm, Can wind around him, but he cafts it off With as much ease as Samson his green wyths. He looks abroad into the varied field Of nature, and though poor perhaps, compared With thofe whose manfions glitter in his fight, Calls the delightful scenery all his own, His are the mountains, and the vallies his, And the resplendent rivers. His to enjoy With a propriety that none can feel, But who, with filial confidence inspired, Can lift to heaven an unpresumptuous eye, And smiling fay" My Father made them all"

* See Hume,

Are they not his by a peculiar right,
And by an emphasis of intereft his,
Whose eye they fill with tears of holy joy,
Whose heart with praise, and whose exalted mind
With worthy thoughts of that unwearied love,
That planned, and built, and still upholds, a world
So clothed with beauty for rebellious man?
Yes—ye may fill your garners, ye that reap
The loaded foil, and ye may waste much good
In senseless riot; but ye will not find
In feast or in the chase, in song or dance,
A liberty like his, who, unimpeached
Of usurpation, and to no man's wrong,
Appropriates nature as his Father's work,
And has a richer use of your's than you.
He is indeed a freeman. Free by birth
Of no mean city; planned or ere the hills
Were built, the fountains opened, or the sea
With all his roaring multitude of waves,
His freedom is the same in every state;
And no condition of this changeful life,
So manifold in cares, whose every day
Brings its own evil with it, makes it less :
For he has wings, that neither fickness, pain,
Nor penury, can cripple or confine.
No nook so narrow but he spreads them there

« PreviousContinue »