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Yet neither these delights, nor aught beside,
That appetite can ask, or wealth provide,
Can save us always from a tedious day,
Or shine the dulness of still life away;
Divine communion, carefully enjoy'd,
Or sought with energy, must fill the void.
O sacred art, to which alone life owes
It's bappiest seasons, and a peaceful close,
Scorn'd in a world, indebted to that scorn
For evils daily felt and hardly borne, -
Not knowing thee, we reap with bleeding hands
Flow'rs of rank odour upon thorny lands,
And, while Experience cautions us in vain,
Grasp seeming happiness, and find it pain.
Despondence, self-deserted in her grief,
Lost by abandoning her own relief,
Murmuring and ungrateful Discontent,
That scorns afflictions mercifully meant,
Those humours tart as wines upon the fret,
Which idleness and weariness beget;
These, and a thousand plagues, that haunt the breast,
Fond of the phantom of an earthly rest,
Divine communion chases, as the day
Drives to their dens th' obedient beasts of prey.
See Judah's promis'd king, bereft of all,
Driv'n out an exile from the face of Saul,
To distant caves the lonely wand'rer flies,
To seek that peace a tyrant's frown denies.
Hear the sweet accents of his tuneful voice,
Hear him, o'erwhelm'd with sorrow, yet rejoice;
No womanish or wailing grief has part,
No, not a moment, in his royal heart;
'Tis manly music, such as martyrs make,
Suff'ring with gladness for a Saviour's sake ;
His soul exults, hope animates his lays,
The sense of mercy kindles into praise,
And wilds, familiar with a lion's roar,
Ring with ecstatic sounds unheard before :
'Tis love like his, that can alone defeat
The foes of man, or make a desert sweet.
Religion does not censure or exclude
Unnumber'd pleasures harmlessly pursned;
To study culture, and with artful toil
To meliorate and tame the stubborn soil ;
To give dissimilar yet fruitful lands
The grain, or herb, or plant, that each demands;
To cherish virtue in an humble state,
And share the joys your bounty may create;
To mark the matchless workings of the pow'r,
That shuts within it's seed the future flow'r,
Bids these in elegance of form excel,
In colour these, and those delight the smell,
Sends Nature forth the daughter of the skies,
To dance on Earth, and charm all human eyes;
To teach the canvass innocent deceit,
Or lay the landscape on the snowy sheet
These, these are arts pursu'd without a crime, That leave no stain upon the wing of Time.
Me poetry (or rather notes that aim Feebly and vainly at poetic fame) Employs, shut out from more important views, Fast by the banks of the slow winding Ouse ; Content if thus sequester'd I may raise A monitor's, though not a poet's praise, And while I teach an art too little known, To close life wisely, may not waste my own.
TITHING TIME AT STOCK, IN ESSEX.
Verses addressed to a country clergyman complaining of the dis
agreeableness of the day annually appointed for receiving the dues at the parsonage.
Come, ponder well, for 'tis no jest,
To laugh it would be wrong,
The troubles of a worthy priest,
The burden of my song.
This priest he merry is and blithe
Three quarters of a year,
But oh! it cuts him like a sithe,
When tithing time draws near.
He then is full of fright and fears,
As one at point to die,
And long before the day appears
He heaves up many a sigh.
For then the farmers come jog, jog,
Along the miry road,
Each heart as heavy as a log,
To make their payments good.
In sooth, the sorrow of such days
Is not to be express'd, When he that takes and he that pays
Are both alike distress'd.
Now all unwelcome at his gates
The clumsy swains alight,
With rueful faces and bald pates-
He trembles at the sight.
And well he may, for well he knows
Each bumpkin of the clan, Instead of paying what he owes,
Will cheat him if he can.
So in they come-each makes his leg,
And flings his head before, , And looks as if he came to beg,
And not to quit a score.
“ And how does miss and madam do,
“ The little boy and all ?” “ All tight and well. And how do you,
“ Good Mr. What-d'ye-call ?”