Page images


Beholding in the many-tinetur'd bow

Where men and angels shall to audit come,
The promise of a safer world below.

And millions yet unborn receive their doom !
When wild ambition rear'd its impious head, Then thall fair Providence, to all display'd,
And rising Babel Hear'n with pride Turvey'd, Appear divinely bright without a shade;
Thy word the mighty labour could confound, In light triumphant all her acts be shown,
And leave the mass to moulder with the ground. And blushing Doubt eternal Wisdoin own!

Froin Thee all human actions take their springs, Meanwhile, thou great Intelligence supreme,
The rise of empires, and the fall of kings! Sov'reign Director of this mighty frame,
See the vali theatre of time display'd,

Whose watchful hand and all-observing ken
While o'er the scene fucceeding heroes tread ! Fashions the hearts, and views the ways of men,
With pomp the thining images fucceed, Whether thy hand the plenteous table spread,
What leaders triumph! and what monarchs bleed! Or measure sparingly the daily bread;
Perform the parts thy providence assign’d; Whether or wealth or honours gild the scene,

Their pride, their passions to thy ends inclin’d: Or wants deform, and wasting anguish stain;
A while they glitter in the face of day, On Thee let truth and virtue firm rely,
Then at thy nod the phantoms pass away; Bless'd in the care of thy approving eye!
No traces left of all the busy scene,

Know that thy Providence, their constant friend, But that remembrance says-- The things have been! Thro’ life shall guard them, and in death attend; • But (questions doubt) whence sickly nature feels with everlasting arms their caule embrace, • The ague-lits her face so oft reveals? (breast? | And crown the paths of piety with peace. • Whenceearthquakes heave the earth's astonish'd • Whence tempests rage or yellow plagues infeft?

IX. "Whence draivs rank Africher empoison'd store? « Or liquid fires explosive Etna pour ?"

Ye seraphs, who God's throne encircling still, Go, fceptic inolc ! demand th'eternal cause, With holy zeal your golden cenfers fill; The secret of his all-preferving laws !

Ye flaming ministers to distant lands, The depths of wisdom infinite explore, Who bear, obsequious, his divine coinmands; And ask thy Maker--why he knows no more ? Ye cherubs who compose the facred choir,

Thy error itill in moral things as great, Attuning to the voice th'angelic lyre ! As vain to cavil at the ways of fate.

Or ye fair natives of the heav'nly plain, To ask why prosperous Vice fo oft succeeds, Who once were mortal--now a happier train ! Why suffers Innocence, or Virtue bleeds ! Who spend in peaceful love your joyful hours, Wly monsters, nature inult with blushes own, In blissful meads and amaranthine bov'rs, By crimes grow pow'rful, and disgrace a throne ! Oh lend one fpark of your celestial fire, Why faints and lages, mark'd in every age, Oh deign my glowing bosom to inspire, Perith, the victims of tyrannic rage ;

And aid the Muse's unexperienc'd wing, Why Socrates for truth and freedom fell, While Goodness, theme divine, the soars to sing ! Or Nero reign'd the delegate of hell :

Tho' all thy attributes divinely fair, In vain by rcaton is the maze pursu'd,

Thy full perfe&tion, glorious God, declare : Of ill triumphant, and afflicted good.

Yet if one beams superior to the rest, Fix'd to the hold, so might the failor aim Oh let thy goodness fairelt be confest : To judge the pilot, and the steerage blame, As shines the moon amidit her starry train, As we dire&t to God what should belong, As breathes thc rose amongst the flow'ry scene, Or say that sov'reign wisdom governs wrong. As the mild dove her Hilver plumes displays, Nor always vice docs uncorrected go,

So sheds thy mercy its distinguish'd rays. Nor virtue unrewarded pass below!

This led, Creator mild, thy gracious hand, Oft facred justice lifts her awful head,

When formless Chaos heard thy high command; And dooms the tyrant and th'usurper dead ; When pleas'd, thy cye thy matchless works reOft Providence, inore friendly than severe,

view'd, Arrefts the hero in his wild carcer;

And Goodness, placid, spoke that all was good! Directs the fever, poniard, or the ball,

Nor only does in heav'n thy goodness thinc; By which an Ammon, Charles, or Cæfar fall :

Delighted nature feels its warmth divine ;
Or when the curled Borgias brew the cup Thc vital sun's illuminating bcam,
For merit, bids the monsters drink it op; The silver crescent, and the starry gleam ;
On violence oft retorts the cruel 1pcar,

As day and night, alternate they command, Or fetters cunning in its crafty snare :

Proclaim that truth to ev'ry distant land. Relieves the innocent, exalts the just,

Sec smiling nalure, with thy trcafures fair, And lays the proud oppreffor in the dust! Confess thy bounty and parental care ;

Bur fast as time's twift pinions can convey, Renew'd by thee, the faithful seasons risc, Haltens the pomp of that tremendous day, And carth with plenty all her sons supplies. When to the view of all created cyes,

Thc generous lion and the brinded boar, God's high tribunal thall majestic risc,

As nightly thro' the forest-walks they roar, When the loud trumpet shall affeinblc round From thee, Almighty Maker, seek their prey; he dead, reviving at the piercing found ! Nor froin thy hand unfated go away :


eyes !

To thee for meat the callow ravens cry, Whofe virtue can thy deepest crimes efface, Supported by thy all-preserving eye:

Re-heal thy nature, and confirm thy peace ! From thee, the feather'd natives of the plain, Can all the errors of thy lite atone, Or those who range the field, or plough the main, / And raise thee from a rebel to a fon! Receive with conftant course th'appointed food, O blest Redeemer, from thy facred throne, And taste the cup of universal good ;

Where saints and angels sing the triumphs won ! Thy hand thou open'st, million'd myriads live ; (Where, from the grave thou rais'd thy glorious Thou frown'st, they faint;, thou similift, and they Chain’d to thy car the po'v'rsinfernal led) (head,

On virtue's acre, as on rapine's stores, (revive! From that exalted height of bliss supreine, See Heav'n, impartial, deal the fruitful show'rs! Look down on those who bear thy sacred name; • Life's common blessings all her children share, Restore their ways, inspire thein by thy grace, Tread the fame earth, and breathe a gen'ral air! Thy laws to follow, and thy steps to trace; Without distinction, boundless bleflings fall, Thy bright exainple to thy doctrine join, And Goodness, like the tun, enlightens all! And by their morals prove their faith divine !

Oh man, degenerate man! offend no more ! Nor only to thy church confine thy ray ; Go, learn of brutes thy Maker to adore ! O'er the glad world thy healing light display; Shall these, thro' ev'ry tribe, his bounty own; Fair Sun of Righteousnels! in beauty rise, Of all his works ungrateful thou alone! And clear the mists that cloud the mental skies! Deaf when the tuneful voice of mercy cries, To Judah's remnant, now a scatter'd train, And blind when sov'reign Goodness charms the Oh great Metliah ! show thy promis'd reign;

phemes, O'er earth as wide, thy saving warmth dif'use, Mark how the wretch his awful name blaf- As spreads the ambient air, or falling dews, His pity spares,--his clemency reclaims! And haste the time when, vanquilh'd by thy Observe his patience with the guilty strive,

pow'r, And bid the criminal repent and live :

Death thall expire, and fin defile no more ! Recal the fugitive with gentle eye, Beseech the obftinate, he would not die !

X. RECTITUDE. Amazing tenderness-amazing most,

Hence distant far, ye sons of earth profane, The foul on whom such mercy Thould be lost ! The loose, ambitious, covetous, or vain :

Butwould'st thou view the rays of goodness join Ye worms of pow'r! ye minion'd Naves of state,
In one strong point of radiance all divine ! The wanton vulgar, and the sordid great!
Behold, celestial muse! yon eastern light; But come, ye purer souls, from drošs refin'd,
To Bethlem's plain, adoring, bend thy fight! The blameless heart and uncorrupted mind!
Hear the glad message to the shepherds giv’n, Let your chaste hands the holy aliars raise,
Good-will on earth to man, and peace in heav'n.' Fresh incenfe bring, and light the glowing blaze;
Attend the swains, pursue the starry road, Your grateful voices aid the mufe, to fing
And hail to earth the Saviour and the God! The spotless justice of th’Almighty King !

Redemption ! oh thou beauteous mystic plain! As only Rectitude divine he knows,
Thou falutary source of life to man!

As truth and sanctity his thought compose ;
What tongue can speak thy comprehensive grace? So these the dictates which th’Eternal Mind
What thought thy depths unfathomable trace ? To reasonable beings has allign'd;
When loft in fin our ruin'd nature lay,

Thefe has his care on ev'ry mind impressid, When awful justice claim'd her righteous pay! The conscious seals the Hand of heav'n attest! Sce the mild Saviour bend his pitying eye, When man, perverse, forwrong forsakes the right, And stop the lightning just prepar’d to fly! He still attentive keeps the fault in light; (O strange effect of unexampl'd love !) Demands the strict atonement should

be made, View him descend the heav'nly throne above:

And claims the forfeit on th'offender's head ! Patient, the ills of mortal lite endure ;

But Doubt demands -- “Why man dispos'd Calm, tho'revil'd, and innocent, tho' poor!

" this way? Uncertain his abode, and coarse his food, “ Why left the dang'rous choice to go astray ? His life one fair continu'd scene of good! “ If Heav'n that made him did the fault foresee, For us fuftain the wrath to man decreed, “Thence follows, Heav'n is more to blame than The victim of eternal justice bleed !

No; had to good the heart alone inclin'd, Che.” Look! to the cross the Lord of Life is ty'd, What toil, what prize had virtue been assign'd? They pierce his hands, and wound his sacred fide! From obstacles her noblest triumphs flow, See God expires ! our forfeit to atone,

Her spirits languish when she finds no foc! While nature trembles at his parting groan ! Man might perhaps have fo been happy still,

Advance thou hopeless mortal steel'd in guilt, Happy, without the privilege of will, Behold, and if thou can'st, forbear to melt! And just, because his hands were ty'd from ill ! Shall Jesus die thy freedom to regain,

Owond'rous scheme to mend th'almighty plan, And wilt thou drag the voluntary chain ? By sinking all the dignity of mani Wilt thou refuse thy kind ascent to give, Yet turn thy eyes, vain sceptic, own thy pride, When dying he looks down to bid the live! And view thý' happiness and choice ally'd ; Perverse, wilt thou reject the proffer'd good See virtue from herself her bliss derive, Bought with his life, and Atreaming in his blood ! A bliss, beyond the pow'r of thrones to give ;


[ocr errors]
[ocr errors]
[ocr errors]

See vice of empire and of wealth possessid, In vain would thought his measur'd justice scan!
Pine at the heart, and feel herself unbless'd. His ways how different from the ways of man!
And lay, were yet no farther marks affign'd, Too deep for thee his secrets are to know;
Is man ungratcful? or is Heav'n unkind? Enquire not, but more wisely fhun the woe :

“Yes, all the woes from Heav'n permiffive fall, Waru'd bv his threat’nings, to his laws attend, “ The wretch adopts,--the wretch improves them And learn to make Onnipotence thy friend! all."

Our weaker laws, to gain the purpos'd ends, From his wild lust, or his oppressive deed, Oft pass the bounds the law-giver intends; Rapes, battles, murders, facrilege proceed; Oft partial power, to serve its own design, His wild ambition thins the peopl'd tarth, Warps from the text, exceeding reason's line; Or from his ar rice, Farine takes his birth; Strikes, bias'd, at the person, not the deed, Had nature giv’n the hero wings to fly, And fees the guiltless unprotected bleed! His pride would lead hi n to atreinpt the sky! But God alone, with unimpatrion'd fight, To an els make the pigmy's folly known, Surveys the nice barrier of wrong and right; And draw c'en pity tiom ih'eternal throne. And, while subfervient, as his will ordains,

Yet, while on carth triumphant vice prevails, Obedient Nature yields the present means; Celeivial justice balances her scales;

While neither force nor passions guide his views, With eyé unbias'd all the scene furveys ; Ev’n Evil works the purpose he pursues ! l'ith hand impartial, ev'ry crime the weighs; That bitter spring! the source of human pain! Oft close pursuing at his trembling heels, Heal'd by his touch, does mineral health contain! The man of blood her awful preience feels; And dark Alli&tion, at his potent nod, Oft from her arm, amidst the of state, Withdraws its cloud, and brightens into good. The regal tyrant, with 1uccess clate,

Thus human justice(far as man can go) Is forc'd to leap the precipice of fate!

For private safety strikes thu dubious blow, Or if the villain país unpumilh'd here,

But Rectitude divine, with nobler suul, Tis but to make the future stroke levere; Consults each individual in the whole! For foon or late, eternal Justice pays

Directs the iflues of each moral strife, Mankind the juit detert of all their ways. And fees creation struggle into life! 'Tis in that awful all-dil lofing day!

And you, ye happier souls! who in his ways When high Omniscience thall her books display; Obfervant walk, and sing his daily praise ! When Juftice shall present her ttrict account, Ye righteous few! whofc calın unruffled breasts Whule Conícience thall attest the due ainount, No fcars can darken, and no guilt infefts, That all who feel, condemn’d, the dreadful rod, To whom his gracious promites extend, Shall own that righteous are the ways of God! In whom they centre, and in whom shall end,

Oh then, u bile penitence cam fate disarm, Which (blers'd on that foundation sure who While ling’ring Justice yet with-holds its arm ; Shall with eternal justice be fulfilld: [build) While heav'nly patience grants the precious çime, Ye fons of life, to whole glad hope is given Let the lost finner think him of his crime; The bright reversion of approaching heav'n, Immediate, to the feat of mercy Ay,

With grateful hearts his glorious praise recite, Nor wait to morrow_left to-night he die! Whose love froin darkness calPd you out to

But tremble, all ye sins of blackest birth, So let your picty reflective thine, [light; Ye giants, that deform the fact of earth; As men may thence confess his truth divine! Trumble, ye fons of aggravated guilt,

And when this mortal veil, as soon it mult, And, ere too late, let forrow learn to melt; Shall drop, returning to its native dust, Reinorleiefs Murder! drop thy hand severe, The work of life with approbation done, And bathe thy bloody weapon with a tear; Receive from God your bright immortal crown! Go, Lui impure! converte with friendly light, Forsake the inanfions of dcfiling night;

XI. Quit, dark Hypocrily, thy thin diguise',

But oh, advent'rous Muse, restrain thy flight, Northink to chcat the notice of the skies! Dare not the blaze of uncreated light! Lof cial Avarice, thy grasp forego,

Before whole glorious throne with dread surprise, And bid the useful trcalire learn to flow; Th’adoring scraph veils his dazzled eyes ; Reitore, Injustice, the defraudei gain!

Whole pure etti:lyence, radiant to excels, Oppreilion, bend to cafe tlie captive's chain, No colours can describe, or words exprefs! Ercantul Justice frike the fatal blow,

All the fair beauties, all the lucid stores, And drive you to the realms of night below! Whicho'ershy works thy hand resplendent pours,

But Doubt refumes," If futtie has decrced Feeble, thy brighter glories to display, " The punishment proportion’d to the decd, Pale as the moon before the folar ray! “ Eternal miserv scein ; too fevere,

See on his throne the gaudy Persian placid, “ Toodiead a weight forwietched man to bear! In all the pomp of the luxuriant east ! 6 Too mar fh!--thatendicis torments thonli repay While minglin gems a borrow'd day unfold, “ The crimes of life.ihe errors of the car!" And t:c rich piple waves embots’d with gold;

Instint our rcaton would prefumptuous pry; Yet mark thi. une of painted grandeur yield Hear'n's countelö are beyond conception high; To the fair lily that adorn, the field !



Obscur’d, behold that fainter lily lies

6 64. Ode to Wisdom. Miss CARTER. By the rich bird's inimitable dyes; Yet these furvey, confounded and outdone,

THE folitary bird of night

Thro' the pale Males now wings his flight, By the superior lustre of the fun ;

And quits the time-thook tow'r, That fun himielf withdraws his leflen'd beam

Where, ihelter'd from the blaze of day,
From Thee, the glorious Author of his frame! In philofophic gloom he lay,
Transcendent Pow'r! fole Arbitor of fatc!

Beneath his ivy bow'r.
How great thy glory! and thy bliss how great! With joy I hear the folemn found,
To view froin thy exalted throne above
(Eternal source of light, and life, and love')

Which midnight echoes waft around,
Unnumber'd creatures draw their siniling birth,

And fighing gales repeat: To bless the heav'ns, or beautify the earth;

Fav'rire of Pallas ! I attend, While fyftems roll, obedient to thy view,

And, faithful to thy summons, bend
And worlds rejoice—which Newton never knew.

At Wisdom's awful fcat.
Then raise the song, the gen’ral anthem raise, She loves the cool, thc filent eve,
And swell the concert of eternal praise !

Where no false shows of life deceive,
Ailift ye orbs, that form this boundless whole,

Beneath the lunar ray :
Which in the womb of space unnumber'd roll; Here Folly drops each vain disguise,
Ye planets, who compoie our leffer scheme, Nor sports her gaily-colour'd dyes,
And bend, concertive, round the folar frame; As in the glare of day.
Thou eye of nature! whose extensive ray O Pallas ! queen of ev'ry art,
With endless charms adorns the

ace of day;

“ That glads the fenfe, or mends the heart," Confenting raise th’harmonious joyful found, Blest source of purer joys; And bear his praises thro' the valt profound : In ev'ry form of beauty bright, His praise, ye winds that fan the cheerful air, That captivates the mental fight Swift as they pats along your pinions bear! With pleafure and surprise ; His praise let ocean thro' her realms display, Far as her circling billows can convey!

To thy unspotted fhrine I bow,

Aflift thy moleft fuppliant's vow,
Flis praite ye misty vapours wide ditiulc,

That breathes no wild defires :
In rins deicending, or in milder dews;
His prailes whitpur, ye majestic trecs,

But, taught by thv unerring rules,

To thun the fruitless with of fools,
As your tops rufile to the gentle breeze!

To nobler views aspires.
His praise around, ye Hotv'ry tribes, exhale,
Far as your fiveets ernbalın the fpicy gale!

Not Fortune's gein, Ambition's plume,
His praise, ye dimpled streams, to carth reveal, Nor Cytherea's fading alcom,
As pleas'd ye mwinur thro' the flow'ry vale: Be objects of my pray’r:
His praise, yc feather’d choirs distinguish'd fing, Let av’rice, vanity, and pride,
As to vour notes the vocal forests ring! Thele glittring envy'd toys, divide
His praise proclaim, ye monsters of the deep,

The dull rewards of care.
Who in the vast abyss your revels keep! To me thy better gifts impa t,
fair natives of our earthly scene,

Each moral beauty of the heart, Who range the wilds, or haunt the pasturc By ftudious thought resind: green!

For wealth, the fmiics of glad content;
Nor thou, vain lord of earth, with carclefs ear, For poi'r, its ampleft, beft extent,
The universal hymn of worship hear!



mind. Put ardent in the facred chorus join,

When Fortune drops her gay parade, Thy foil transported with the talk divine !

When Pleafure's transient rofes fade,
While by his works th’Almighty is confefsd,

And wither in the tomb,
Supreincly glorious, and supremely blets’d!
Great Lord of Life! from whoin this humble Unchang’d is thy imınorral prize,

Thy ever-verdant laurels riie
Derirts the pow'r to sing thy holy name,

In undecaying bloom. Forgives the lowly Mufc, whole artlets lay

By the protectel, I defy
Has dar'd thy facred Attributes survey!

The coxcomb's (ncer, the stupid lie
Deisted of thro' Nature's beautcous field, Of ignorance and fpito;
His the ador'd thy Wildom bright revealid;

Alike contemn the lezilen fuol,
Oit haveler withes aiin’d the secret song,

And all the pointed ridicule
But awful rev'rence still with-held her tongue :

Of undiscerning wit.
Yet as thy bounty lent the reas’ning beam, From envy, hurry, noise, and strife,
As feels my couscious breast the vital tame, The dull impertinence of life,
So, llcft Creator, let thy fervant pay

In thy retreat I rett;
His mite of gratitude this feeble way,

Pursue thee to thy peaceful groves, Thy Goodness own, thy Providence adore, Where Plato's facred spirit roves, And yield thce only-what was thine before. In all thy graces dreit.


empire o'er

He bid flyffus' tuncful stream

That bell again! It tells us what she is ; Convey the philosophic theme

On what she was, no more the strain prolong: Of perfect, fair, and good :

Luxuriant fancy, pause! an hour like this Attentive Athens caught the sound,

Demands the tribute of a serious fong. And all her lift'ning sons around

Maria claims it from that sable bier, [head; In awful silence stood.

Where cold and wan the flumb'rer rests her Reclaim'd, her wild licentious youth

In still finall whispers to reflection's ear Confest the potent voice of truth,

She breathes the solemn diEtates of the dead. And felt it's just controul :

O catch the awful notes, and lift them loud! The passions ceas’d their loud alarms,

Proclaiin the theme by sage, by fool, rever'd; And virtue's soft persuasive charms

Hear it, ye young, ye vain, ye great, ye proud! O'er all their senses stole.

'Tis Nature speaks, and Nature will be heard. Thy breath inspires the poet's song,

Yes; ye shall hear, and tremble as you hear, The patriot's free unbials'd tongue,

While, high with health, your hearts exulting The hero's gen'rous strife :

E’en in the midst of pleasure's mad career, [leap; Thine are retirement's filent joys,

The mental monitor shall wake and weep! And all the sweet endearing ties Of still domestic life.

For fay, than Coventry's propitious ftar,

What brighter planet on your births arose? No more to fabled names confin'd,

Or gave of fortune's gifts an ampler share,
To Thee, fupreme, all-perfect mind,

In life to lavish, or by death to lose ?
My thoughts direct their flight:
Wisdom's thy gift, and all her force

Early to lose! While borne on busy wing,
From thec deriv'd, unchanging source

Ye lip the nectar of each varying bloom; 1 Of intellectual light !

Nor fear, while balking in the beams of Spring,

The wint'ry storm that sweeps you to the tomb; O send her fure, her steady ray To regulate my doubtful way,

Think of her fate ! revere the heav'nly hand Thro' life's perplexing road;

That led her hence, tho’soon, by iteps fo flow: The mists of error to controul!

Long at her couch Death took his patient stand, And thro' it's gloom direct my soul

And menac'd oft, and oft withheld the blow : To happiness and good!

To give reflection time, with lenient art, Beneath her clear discerning eye

Each fond delusion from her soul to steal ; The visionary shadows fly

Teach her from folly peaceably to part, Of folly's painted show;

And wean her from a world she lov'd so well. She sees, thro' ev'ry fair disguise,

Say, are ye sure his mercy shall extend That all, but Virtue's folid joys,

To you so long a span Alas, yefigh! (friend, Is vanity and woe.

Make then, while yet ye may, your God your

And learn with equal ease to sleep or die !

Nor think the Muse, whose sober voice ye hear, $ 65. Elegy on the Death of Lady Coventry.

Contracts with bigot frown her fullen brow; Written in M.DCC.LX. MASON.

Casts round religion's orb the mists of fear, (glow.

Or shades with horrors what with smiles should THE midnight clock has toll?d; and hark!

[found ? No; she would warm you with seraphic fire, Of death beats slow! Heard ye the note pro Heirs as ye are of heav'n's eternal day; It pauses now; and now, with riling knell, Would bid you holdly to that heav'n aspire,

Flings to the hollow gale its fullen found. Not sink and number in your cells of clay. Yes; Coventry is dead. Attend the strain,

Know, ye were form’d to range yon azure field, Daughters of Albion ! ye that, light as air, In yon etherial founts of bliss to lave : So oft have trippid in her fantastic train, For then, secure in faith's protecting thield,

With hearts as gay, and faces half as fair : Thesting from death, the vict'ry from the grave! For she was fair beyond yon brightest bloom Is this the bigot's rant? Away, ye vain, [fteep:

(This envy owns, fince now her bloom is fled); Fair as the forms that, wove in fancy's looin,

Your hopes, your fears, in doubt, in dulnels

Go soothe your fouls, in sickness, grief, or pain, Float in light vifion round the poet's head. With the fad folace of eternal sleep! Whene'er with soft serenity The smild,

Yet will I praise you, trifiers as ye are, [creed, Or caught the orient blush of quick surprize, More than those preachers of your fav’rite How sweetly mutable, how brightly wild, Who proudly swell the brazen throat of war,

The liquid luftre darted from her eyes ! Who form the phalanx, bid the battle bleed, Each look, each motion, wak'd a new-born grace, Nor wish for more; who conquer but who die.

That o'er her forin its transient glory cait: Hear, Folly, hear, and triumph in the tale! Some lovelier wonder foon usurp'd the place, Like you they reason, not like you enjoy Chac'd by a charın still lovelier than the last. The breeze of bliss that fills your fiiken sail :


« PreviousContinue »