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Whilst all the stars that round her burn,
And all the planets, in their turn,.
Confirm the tidings as they roll,
And spread the truth from pole to pole
What though, in solemn silence, all
Move round this dark terrestrial ball ?
What though no real voice or sound
Amidst their radiant orbs be found ?
In Reason's ear they all rejoice,
And utter forth a glorious voice;
For ever singing, as they shine,
66 The Hand that made us is divine."
ALEXANDER POPE.-Born, 1688; Died, 1744.
Alexander Pope, one of the first of English poets of the second rank, was the son of a linen draper in London. His power of condensed expression, knowledge of human nature, bright glancing wit, and exquisite satirical keenness, are wonderful. Description of nature is not frequent in his poems, and was not the strong point of his genius. His translation of Homer is really an English poem based on the Greek.
THE DYING CHRISTIAN TO HIS SOUL.
VITAL spark of heavenly flame!
Quit, oli quit this mortal frame !
Trembling, hoping, ling'ring, flying;
Oh, the pain, the bliss of dying!
Cease, fond nature! cease thy strife,
And let me languish into life
Hark, they whisper-angels say,
“Sister spirit, come away!”
What is this absorbs me quite,
Steals my senses, shuts my sight,
Drowns my spirit, draws my breath?
Tell me, my soul-can this be death?
The world recedes-it disappears !
Heaven opens on my eyes !—my ears
With sounds seraphic ring!
Lend, lend your wings ! I mount! I fly!
O grave! where is thy victory?
O death! where is thy sting?
FATHER of all! in every age
In every clime adored,
By saint, by savage, and by sage,
Jehovah, Jove, or Lord!
Thou great First Cause, least understood :
Who all my sense confined
To know but this, that Thou art good,
And that myself am blind;
Yet gave me, in this dark estate,
To see the good from ill; And binding nature fast in fate,
Left free the human will.
What conscience dictates to be done,
Or warns me not to do,
This, teach me more than hell to shun,
That, more than heaven pursue.
What blessings thy free bounty gives,
Let me not cast away ;
For God is paid when man receives;
To enjoy is to obey.
Yet not to earth’s contracted span
Thy goodness let me bound,
Or think Thee Lord alone of man,
When thousand worlds are round;
Let not this weak unknowing hand
Presume Thy bolts to throw,
And deal damnation round the land,
On each I judge thy foe:
If I am right, oh teach my heart
Still in the right to stay;
If I am wrong, thy grace impart
To find that better way!
Save me alike from foolish pride,
Or impious discontent,
At aught thy wisdom has denied
Or aught thy goodness lent.
Teach me to feel another's woe;
To hide the fault I see;
I to others show,
That mercy show to me.
" It depends on the spirit in which man receives His bounty. Lowly gratitude
Mean though I am, not wholly so
Since quicken’d by thy breath, Oh lead me wheresoe'er I go,
Through this day's life or death.
This day, be bread and peace my lot:
All else beneath the sun
Thou know'st if best bestow'd or not,
And let Thy will be done.
To Thee, whose temple is all space,
Whose altar, earth, seas, skies,
One chorus let all Being raise !
All Nature's incense rise!
THE TOWN AND COUNTRY MICE.
ONCE on a time (so runs the fable),
A country mouse, right hospitable,
Received a town mouse at his board,
Just as a farmer might a lord :
A frugal mouse, upon the whole,
Yet loved his friend, and had a soul :-
Knew what was handsome, and would do't
On just occasion, coute qu'il coûte.2
He brought him bacon, nothing lean;
Pudding, that might have pleased a dean;
Cheese, such as men in Suffolk make,
But wished it Stilton for his sake;
Yet, to his guest though no way sparing,
He ate himself the rind and paring.
Our courtier scarce could touch a bit,
But showed his breeding and his wit:
He did his best to seem to eat,
And cried—“ I vow you're mighty neat:
But, my dear friend, this
For Heaven's sake come and live with men;
Consider, mice, like men, must die,
Both small and great, both you and I;
Then spend your life in joy and sport,
This doctrine, friend, I learned at court."
The veriest hermit in the nation
May yield, Heaven knows, to strong temptation.
Away they come, through thick and thin,
To a tall house near Lincoln's Inn;
'Twas on a night of a debate,
When all their lordships had sat late.
Behold the place! where, if a poet
Shined in description, he might show it;
Tell how the moonbeam trembling falls,
And tips with silver all the walls ;
Palladian walls, Venetian doors,
Grotescos roofs, and stucco floors :
But let it, in a word, be said,
The moon was up, and men a-bed,
The napkins white, the carpets red: