Page images

Is once again with Eden blest,
And man contains it in his breast.

'Twas thus, as under shade I stood,
I sung my wishes to the wood,
And, lost in thought, no more perceiv'd
The branches whisper as they wav’d:
It seem'd as all the quiet place
Confess’d the presence of his grace.
When thus she spoke-Go rule thy will,
Bid thy wild passions all be still,
Know God--and bring thy heart to know
The joys which from religion flow :
Then every grace shall prove its guest,
And I'll be there to crown the rest.
Oh! by yonder moffy feat,

hours of sweet retreat, Might I thus my soul employ, With sense of gratitude and joy : Rais'd as ancient prophets were, In heavenly vision, praise, and prayer; Pleasing all men, hurting none, Pleas'd and bless’d with God alone : Then while the gardens take my fight, With all the colours of delight; While filver waters glide along, To please my ear, and court my sung : I'll lift my voice, and tune my string, And thee, great Source of Nature, sing.

The fun that walks his airy way, To light the world, and give the day;

In my

The moon that shines with borrow'd light;
The stars that gild the gloomy night;
The feas that roll unnumber'd waves;
The wood that spreads its shady leaves ;
The field whose ears conceal the grain,
The yellow treasure of the plain ;
All of these, and all I see,
Should be sung, and sung by me:
They speak their Maker as they can,
But want and ask the


Go search among your idle dreams,
Your busy or your

vain extremes ;
And find a life of equal bliss,
Or own the next begun in this.


[blocks in formation]

Ar in a wild, unknown to public view,

From youth to age a reverend Hermit grew;
The moss his bed, the cave his humble cell,
His food the fruits, his drink the crystal well :
Remote from men, with God he pass’d the days,
Prayer all his bufiness, all his pleasure praise.

A life so facred, such serene repose, Seem'd heaven itself, till one fuggestion rose; That vice should triumph, virtue vice obey, This sprung fome doubt of Providence's fway: His hopes no more a certain prospect boaft, And all the tenour of his soul is loft :




So when a smooth expanse receives impreft
Calm nature's image on its watery breast,
Down bend the banks, the trees depending grow,
And skies beneath with answering colours glow :
But if a stone the gentle sea divide,
Swift ruffling circles curl on every side,
And glimmering fragments of a broken fun,
Banks, trees, and skies, in thick disorder run.

To clear this doubt, to know the world by fight,
To find if books, or swains, report it right,
(For yet by swains alone the world he knew,
Whose feet came wandering o'er the nightly dew)
He quits his cell; the Pilgrim-staff he bore,
And fix'd the scallop in his hat before ;
Then with the sun a rising journey went,
Sedate to think, and watching each event.

The morn was wasted in the pathless grass, And long and lonesome was the wild to pass; But when the southern sun had warm’d the day, A youth came posting o'er a crossing way ; His raiment decent, his complexion fair, And soft in graceful ringlets way'd his hair. Then near approaching, Father, hail! he cry'd, And hail, my Son, the reverend Sire reply'd ; Words follow'd words, from question answer flow'd, And talk of various kind deceiv'd the road; Till each with other pleas'd, and loth to part, While in their age they differ, join in heart. Thus stands an aged elm in ivy bound, Thus youthful ivy clasps an elm around.

Now funk the fun; the closing hour of day Came onward, mantled o'er with sober

grey; Nature in silence bid the world repose; When near the road a stately palace rose : There by the moon through ranks of trees they pass, Whose verdure crown’d their sloping sides of grass. It chanc'd the noble master of the dome Still made his house the wandering stranger's home : Yet still the kindness, from a thirst of praise, Prov'd the vain flourish of expensive ease. The pair arrive: the livery'd fervants wait; Their lord receives them at the pompous gate. The table groans with costly piles of food, And all is more than hospitably good.. Then led to rest, the day's long toil they drown, Deep sunk in sleep, and filk, and heaps of down.

At length ’t is morn, and at the dawn of day, Along the wide canals the zephyrs play: Fresh o'er the gay parterres the breezes creep, And shake the neighbouring wood to banish sleep. Up rise the guests, obedient to the call : An early banquet deck'd the splendid hall; Rich luscious wine a golden goblet grac’d, Which the kind master forc'd the guests to taste. Then, pleas’d and thankful, from the porch they go ; And, but the landlord, none had cause of woe; His cup was vanish’d; for in secret guise The younger guest purloin’d the glittering prize.

As one who spies a serpent in his way, Glistening and basking in the summer ray,


Disorder'd stops to shun the danger near,
Then walks with faintness on, and looks with fear;
So seem'd the Sire; when far


the road,
The shining spoil his wiley partner show'd.
He stop'd with filence, walk'd with trembling heart,
And much he wilh’d, but durft not ask to part:
Murmuring he lifts his eyes, and thinks it hard,
That generous actions meet a base reward.

While thus they pass, the fun his glory shrouds,
The changing skies hang out their fable clouds;
A found in air presag'd approaching rain,
And beasts to covert scud across the plain.
Warn'd by the figns, the wandering pair retreat,
To seek for shelter at a neighbouring feat.
'Twas built with turrets, on a rifing ground,
And strong, and large, and unimprov'd around;
Its owner's temper, timorous and severe,
Unkind and griping, caus'd a desert there.

As near the Miser's heavy doors they drew, Fierce rising gufts with sudden fury blew; Thę nimble lightning mix'd with showers began, And o'er their heads loud rolling thunders ran. Here long they knock, but knock or call in vain, Driven by the wind, and batter'd by the rain. At length some pity warm'd the master's breast ('T was then his threshold first receiv'd a guest); Slow creeking turns the door with jealous care, And half he welcomes in the shivering pair ; One frugal faggot lights the naked walls, And nature's fervor through their limbs recalls:

« PreviousContinue »