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And crown our hoary hairs ; They'll grow in virtue every day, And they our fondest loves repay,
And recompense our cares.
No borrow'd joys! they're all our own, While to the world we live unknown,
Or by the world forgot : Monarchs! we envy not your state, We look with pity on the great,
And bless our humble lot.
Our portion is not large, indeed,
But then how little do we need,
For nature's calls are few !
In this the art of living lies,
To want no more than may suffice,
And make that little do.
We'll therefore relish with content,
Whate'er kind Providence has sent,
Nor aim beyond our power ; For, if our stock be very small, 'Tis prudence to enjoy it all,
Nor lose the present hour..
To be resign’d when ills betide,
Patient when favours are denied,
And pleas'd with favours given ;.
Dear Cloe, this is wisdom's part,
This is that incense of the heart,
Whose fragrance smells to heaven.
We'll ask no long-protracted treat,
Since winter-life is seldom sweet;
But, when our feast is o'er,
Grateful from table we'll arise,
Nor grudge our sons, with envious eyes,
The relics of our store.
Thus hand in hand through life we'll go; Its checker'd paths of joy and woe
With cautious steps we'll tread; Quit its vain scenes without a tear, Without a trouble, or a fear,
And mingle with the dead.
While conscience, like a faithful friend,
Shall through the gloomy vale attend,
And cheer our dying breath;
Shall, when all other comforts cease,
Like a kind angel whisper peace,
And smooth the bed of death.
Or this American poet I am sorry to be able to give the British reader no account. I believe his personal history is as little known as his poetry on this side of the Atlantic.
DEATH OF IRAD, AND LAMENTATION OF SELIMA
OVER HIS BODY.
FROM HIS CONQUEST OF CANAAN, BOOK V.
LOND. REPRINTED 1788.
Mid countless warriors Irad's limbs were spread,
Ev'n there distinguish'd from the vulgar dead;
Fair as the spring, and bright as rising day,
His snowy bosom open'd as he lay:
From the deep wound a little stream of blood
In silence fell, and on the javelin glow'd,
Grim Jabin, frowning o'er his hapless head,
Deep in his bosom plung'd the cruel blade ;
Foes ev'n in death his vengeance ne'er forgave,
But hail'd their doom insatiate as the grave:
No worth, no bravery, could his rage disarm,
Nor smiling love could melt, nor beauty warm..
But now th' approaching clarions' dreadful sound, Denounces flight, and shakes the banner'd ground.
From clouded plains increasing thunders rise,
And drifted volumes roll along the skies;
At once the chief commands th' unnumber'd
Like gathering tempests darkly pour'd along;
High on the winds, unfurl'd in purple pride,
The imperial standard cast the view aside;
A hero there sublimely seem'd to stand,
To point the conquest, and the flight command;
In arms of burnish'd gold the warrior shone,
And wav'd and brighten' in the falling sun.
But now sublime, in crimson triumph borne,
The sacred standard mock'd th' etherial morn;
Wide on the winds its waving splendours flow'd,
And call'd the warriors from the distant wood.
Behind great Joshua, Hazor's sons to dare,
Pour the bold thousands to the western war;
Beyond Ai's wall the less'ning heathen train
In well-form'd squadrons cross the distant plain;
Part still in sight their shady files extend,
Part fill the wood, and part the hills ascend:
To cease from toil, the prudent chief commands,
And balmy quiet soothes the wearied bands.
Half lost in mountain groves the sun's broad ray
Shower'd a full splendour round his evening way.
Slow Joshua strode the lovely youth to find,
Th’ unwilling bands more slowly mov'd behind.
Soon as the matchless form arose to view,
O'er their sad faces shone the sorrowing dew :
Silent they stood; to speak the leader tried,
But the chok'd accents on his palate died
His bleeding bosom beat.
« Ah! best and bravest of thy race," he said, And gently rais'd the pale reclining head, “ Lost are thy matchless charms; thy glory gone, Gone is the glory which thy hand hath won. In vain on thee thy nation cast her eyes, In vain with joy beheld thy light arise, In vain she wish'd thy sceptre to obey."
Borne by six chiefs, in silence o'er the plain,
Fair Irad mov'd; before the mournful train
Great Joshua's arm sustain'd his sword and shield,
Th'affected thousands length’ning through the field;
When, crown’d with flow'rs, the maidens at her side,
With gentle steps advanc'd great Caleb's pride;
Her snowy hand, inspir'd by restless love,
Of the lone wild-rose two rich wreaths inwove,
Fresh in her hands the flowers rejoic'd to bloom,
And round the fair one shed a mild perfume.
O'er all the train her active glances rov'd,
She gaz'd, and gazing miss'd the youth she lov'd.
Some dire mischance her boding heart divin'd,
And thronging terrors fill'd her anxious mind.