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E'en o'er your cold, your ever-sacred urn,
His constant flame shall unextinguish'd burn.
Thus I, Belinda, would your charms improve,
And form your heart to all the arts of love.
The task were harder, to secure my own
Against the power of those already known:
For well you twist the secret chains that bind
With gentle force the captivated mind,
Skill'd every soft attraction to employ,
Each flattering hope, and each alluring joy.
I own your genius; and from you receive
The rules of pleasing which to you I give.
ON THE MORAL ADVANTAGES OF A WELL
.. What though not all
Of mortal offspring can attain the heights
Of envied life; though only few possess
Patrician treasures or imperial state;
Yet Nature's care, to all her children just,
With richer treasures and an ampler state,
Endows at large whatever happy man
Will deign to use. His the city's pomp,
The rural honours his. Whate'er adorns
The princely dome, the column and the arch,
The breathing marbles and the sculptured gold,
Beyond the proud possessor's narrow claim
His tuneful breast enjoys. For him, the Spring
Distils her dews, and from the silken gem
Its lucid leaves unfolds : for him, the hand
Of Autumn tinges every fertile branch
With blooming gold and blushes like the morn.
Each passing hour sheds tribute from her wings;
And still new beauties meet his lonely walk,
And loves unfelt attract him. Not a breeze
Flies o'er the meadow, not a cloud imbibes
The setting sun's effulgence, not a strain
From all the tenants of the warbling shade
Ascends, but whence his bosom can partake
Fresh pleasure, unreproved. Nor thence partakes
Fresh pleasures only : for the attentive mind,
By this harmonious action on her powers,
Becomes herself harmonious: wont so oft
In outward things to meditate the charm
Of sacred order, soon she seeks at home
To find a kindred order, to exert
Within herself this elegance of love,
This fair inspired delight : her temper'd powers
Refine at length, and every passion wears
A chaster, milder, more attractive mien.
But if to ampler prospects, if to gaze
On nature's form, where, negligent of all
These lesser graces, she assumes the port
Of that eternal majesty that weigh'd
The world's foundations, if to these the mind
Exalts her daring eye; then mightier far
Will be the change, and nobler. Would the forms
Of servile custom cramp her generous powers ?
Would sordid policies, the barbarous growth
Of ignorance and rapine, bow her down
To tame pursuits, to indolence and fear?
Lo! she appeals to nature, to the winds
And rolling waves, the sun's unwearied course,
The elements and seasons: all declare
For what th' eternal Maker has ordain'd
The powers of man: we feel within ourselves
His energy divine: he tells the heart,
He meant, he made us to behold and love
What he beholds and loves, the general orb
Of life and being; to be great like him,
Beneficent and active. Thus the men
Whom nature's works can charm, with God himself
Hold converse ; grow familiar, day by day,
With his conceptions, act upon his plan;
And form to his, the relish of their souls.
WHAT then is taste, but these internal powers,
Active, and strong, and feelingly alive
To each fine impulse ? a discerning sense
Of decent and sublime, with quick disgust
From things deform'd, or disarranged or gross
In species? This, nor gems, nor stores of gold,
Nor purple state, nor culture, can bestow;
But God alone when first his active hand
Imprints the secret bias of the soul.
He, mighty parent! wise and just in all,
Free as the vital breeze or light of heaven,
Reveals the charms of nature. Ask the swain
Who journeys homeward from a summer day's
Long labour, why, forgetful of his toils
And due repose, he loiters to behold
The sunshine gleaming as through amber clouds,
O'er all the western sky ;-full soon, I ween,
His rude expression and untutor'd airs, -
Beyond the power of language, will unfold
The form of beauty smiling at his heart;
How lovely! how commanding! but though Heaven
In every breast hath sown these early seeds
Of love and admiration, yet in vain,
Without fair culture's kind parental aid,
Without enlivening suns, and genial showers,
And shelter from the blast, in vain we hope
The tender plant should rear its blooming head,
Or yield the harvest promised in its spring.
Nor yet will every soil with equal stores
Repay the tiller's labour; or attend
His will, obsequious, whether to produce
The olive or the laurel. Different minds
Incline to different objects: one pursues
The vast alone, the wonderful, the wild ;
Another sighs for harmony, and grace,
And gentlest beauty. Hence when lightning fires
The arch of heaven, and thunders rock the ground,
When furious whirlwinds rend the howling air,
And ocean, groaning from its lowest bed,
· Heaves his tempestuous billows to the sky;
Amid the mighty uproar, while below
The nations tremble, Shakspeare looks abroad
From some high cliff, superior, and enjoys
The elemental wår. But Waller longs
All on the n of some flowery stream
To spread his careless limbs amid the cool
Of plantane shades, and to the listening deer
The tale of slighted vows and love's disdain
Resound soft-warbling all the live-long day:
Consenting Zephyr sighs; the weeping rill
Joins in his plaint, melodious; mute the groves;
And hill and dale with all their echoes mourn.
Such and so various are the tastes of men !
TRUTH, HONOUR, HONESTY. In thee, bright maid, though all the virtues shine, With rival beams, and every grace is thine, Yet three, distinguish'd by thy early voice, Excite our praise, and well deserve thy choice. Immortal Truth in heaven itself displays Her charms celestial born, and purest rays, Which thence in streams, like golden sunshine, flow, And shed their light on minds like yours below. Fair Honour, next in beauty and in grace, Shines in her turn, and claims the second place; She fills the well-born soul with noble fires, And generous thoughts and godlike acts inspires. Then Honesty, with native air, succeeds, Plain is her look, unartful are her deeds ; And, just alike to friends and foes, she draws The bounds of right and wrong, nor errs from equal
From heaven this scale of virtue thus descends
By just degrees, and thy full choice defends.
So when in visionary trains, by night
Attending angels bless'd good Jacob's sight,
The mystic ladder thus appear'd to rise,
Its foot on earth, its summit in the skies.
VENI CREATOR SPIRITUS.
PARAPHRASED. CREATOR SPIRIT, by whose aid The world's foundations first were laid, Come visit every pious mind; Come pour thy joys on human kind; From sin and sorrow set us free, And make thy temples worthy thee. O source of uncreated light, The Father's promised Paraclete! Thrice holy fount, thrice holy fire, Our hearts with heavenly love inspire; Come, and thy sacred unction bring To sanctify us, while we sing. Plenteous of grace, descend from high, Rich in thy sevenfold energy! Thou strength of his Almighty hand, Whose power does heaven and earth command.. Proceeding Spirit, our defence, Who dost the gift of tongues dispense, And crown'st thy gift with eloquence! Refine and purge our earthly parts; But, oh, inflame and fire our hearts ! Our frailties help, our vice control, Submit the senses to the soul; And when rebellious they are grown, Then lay thy hand and hold them down.