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So seem'd the sire, when, far upon the road,
While thus they pass, the sun his glory shrouds,
As near the miser's heavy doors they drew, Fierce rising gusts with sudden fury blew; The 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 ('Twas then his threshold first received a guest); Slow creaking turns the door with jealous care, And half he welcomes in the shivering pair; One frugal fagot lights the naked walls, And Nature's fervour through their limbs recalls : Bread of the coarsest sort, with eager wine (Each hardly granted), served them both to dine ; And when the tempest first appear'd to cease, A ready warning bid them part in peace.
With still remark the pondering hernit view'd, • In one so rich, a life so poor and rude;
“And why should such,” within himself he cried, * Lock the lost wealth a thousand want beside ?" But what new marks of wonder soon took place In every settling feature of his face,
When from his vest the young companion bore
But now the clouds in airy tumult fly!
While hence they walk, the pilgrim's bosom
Now night's dim shades again involve the sky,
Hither the walkers turn with weary feet,
“ Without a vain, without a grudging heart, To him who gives us all I yield a part; From him you come, for him accept it here, A frank and sober, more than costly cheer.” He spoke, and bid the welcome table spread, Then talk of virtue till the time of bed, When the grave household round his hall repair, Warn'd by a bell, and close the hours with prayer.
At length the world, renew'd by calm repose, Was strong for toil, the dappled morn arose; Before the pilgrims part, the younger crept Near the closed cradle where an infant slept,
And writhed his neck: the landlord's little pride,
Confused, and struck with silence at the deed,
Wild, sparkling rage inflames the father's eyes, He bursts the bands of fear, and madly cries, “ Detested wretch!” But scarce his speech began, When the strange partner seem'd no longer man: His youthful face grew more serenely sweet, His robe turn’d white, and flow'd upon his feet; Fair rounds of radiant points invest his hair, Celestial odours breathe through purpled air; And wings, whose colours glitter'd on the day, Wide at his back their gradual plumes display. The form ethereal burst upon his sight, And moves in all the majesty of light.
Though loud at first the pilgrim's passion grew, Sudden he gazed, and wist not what to do; Surprise in secret chains his words suspends, And in a calm his settling temper ends. But silence here the beauteous angel broke (The voice of music ravish'd as he spoke). “ Thy prayer, thy praise,
thy life to vice unknown, In sweet memorial rise before the throne:
These charms, success in our bright region find,
« Then know the truth of government divine, And let these scruples be no longer thine.
“The Maker justly claims that world he made, In this the right of Providence is laid ; Its sacred majesty through all depends On using second means to work his ends : 'Tis thus, withdrawn in state from human eye, The power exerts his attributes on high; Your actions uses, nor controls your will, And bids the doubting sons of men be still. [prise,
“What strange events can strike with more surThan those which lately struck thy wondering eyes ? Yet, taught by these, confess th' Almighty just, And where you can't unriddle, learn to trust!
“ The great, vain man, who fared on costly food, Whose life was too luxurious to be good, Who made his ivory stands with goblets shine, And forced his guests to morning draughts of wine, Has, with the cup, the graceless custom lost, And still he welcomes, but with less of cost.
“The mean, suspicious wretch, whose bolted door Ne'er moved in duty to the wandering poor, With him I left the cup, to teach his mind That Heaven can bless if mortals will be kind. Conscious of wanting worth, he views the bowl, And feels compassion touch his grateful soul. Thus artists melt the sullen ore of lead, With heaping coals of fire upon his head; In the kind warmth the metal learns to glow, And loose from dross the silver runs below.
“ Long had our pious friend in virtue trod, But now the child half-wean'd his heart from God; (Child of his age) for him he lived in pain, And measured back his steps to earth again.
To what excessess had his dotage run ?
“But now had all his fortune felt a wrack,
On sounding pinions here the youth withdrew,
The bending hermit here a prayer begun,
PIETY, OR THE VISION. 'Twas when the night in silent sable fled, When cheerful morning sprung with rising red, When dreams and vapours leave to crowd the brain, And best the vision draws its heavenly scene ; 'Twas then, as slumbering on my couch I lay, A sudden splendour seem'd to kindle day; A breeze came breathing in a sweet perfume, Blown from eternal gardens, fill'd the room ; And in a void of blue that clouds invest, Appear'd a daughter of the realms of rest: Her head a ring of golden glory wore, Her honour'd hand the sacred volume bore,