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Invades, possesses, and o’erwhelms the soul
pole, And heaven is all departed as a scroll : And when, as Justice has long since decreed, This earth shall blaze, and a new world succeed, Then these thy glorious works, and they that share That Hope which can alone exclude despair, Shall live exempt from weakness and decay, The brightest wonders of an endless day.
Happy the bard, (if that fair name belong To him that blends no fable with his song) Whose lines uniting, by an honest art, The faithful monitor's and poet's part, Seek to delight, that they may mend mankind, And, while they captivate, inform the mind; Still happier, if he till a thankful soil, And fruit reward his honourable toil : But happier far who comfort those that wait To hear plain truth at Judah’s hallow'd gate; Their language simple, as their manners meek, No shining ornaments have they to seek, Nor labour they, nor time nor talents waste, In sorting flowers to suit a fickle taste; But while they speak the wisdom of the skies, Which art can only darken and disguise, The abundant harvest, recompense divine, Repays their work,—the gleaning only, mine.
He made at first, though free and unconfined,
But though some nobler minds a law respect,
Oh, could their ancient Incas rise again,
Again the band of commerce was design'd
Qud nihil majus meliusve terris
Tempora priscum.-Hor. Lib. iv. Ode ii.
FAIREST and foremost of the train that wait
God working ever on a social plan,
Wise to promote whatever end he means,
All other sorrows virtue may endure,
To improve the fortitude that bears the load, No land but listens to the common call,
To teach the wanderer, as his woes increase, And in return receives supply from all.
The path of Wisdom, all whose paths are peace. This genial intercourse and mutual aid
But slavery !-Virtue dreads it as her grave: Cheers what were else an universal shade,
Patience itself is meanness in a slave: Calls Nature from her ivy-mantled den,
Or if the will and sovereignty of God And softens human rockwork into men.
Bid suffer it awhile, and kiss the rod, Ingenious Art with her expressive face,
Wait for the dawning of a brighter day, Steps forth to fashion and refine the race,
And snap the chain the moment when you may. Not only fills necessity's demand,
Nature imprints upon whate'er we see, But overcharges her capacious hand:
That has a heart and life in it, Be free; Capricious taste itself can crave no more
The beasts are charter'd, neither age nor force, Than she supplies from her abounding store: Can quell the love of freedom in a horse : She strikes out all that luxury can ask,
He breaks the cord that held him at the rack, And gains new vigour at her endless task.
And, conscious of an unincumber'd back, Hers is the spacious arch, the shapely spire, Snuffs up the morning air, forgets the rein, The painter's pencil, and the poet's lyre;
Loose fly his forelock and his ample mane, From her the canvass borrows light and shade, Responsive to the distant neigh he neighs, And verse, more lasting, hues that never fade. Nor stops, till, overleaping all delays, She guides the finger o'er the dancing keys, He finds the pasture where his fellows graze. Gives difficulty all the grace of ease,
Canst thou, and honour'd with a Christian name, And pours a torrent of sweet notes around, Buy what is woman-born, and feel no shame? Fast as the thirsting ear can drink the sound. Trade in the blood of innocence, and plead
These are the gifts of Art, and Art thrives most Expedience as a warrant for the deed? Where commerce has enrich'd the busy coast; So may the wolf, whom famine has made bold He catches all improvements in his flight,
To quit the forest and invade the fold; Spreads foreign wonders in his country's sight, So may the ruffian, who with ghostly glide, Imports what others have invented well,
Dagger in hand, steals close to your bedside; And stirs his own to match them or excel.
Not he, but his emergence forced the door, 'Tis thus reciprocating each with each,
He found it inconvenient to be poor. Alternately the nations learn and teach;
Has God then given its sweetness to the cane, While Providence enjoins to every soul
Unless his laws be trampled on,-in vain ? An union with the vast terraqueous whole. Built a brave world, which cannot yet subsist,
Heaven speed the canvass gallantly unfurld Unless his right to rule it be dismiss'd ? To furnish and accommodate a world,
Impudent blasphemy! So Folly pleads, To give the pole the produce of the sun,
And, Avarice being judge, with ease succeeds. And knit the unsocial climates into one !:
But grant the plea, and let it stand for just, Soft airs and gentle heavings of the wave
That man make man his prey, because he must; Impel the feet whose errand is to save,
Still there is room for pity to abate, To succour wasted regions, and replace
And soothe the sorrows of so sad a state. The smile of opulence in sorrow's face !-
A Briton knows, or if he knows it not, Let nothing adverse, nothing unforeseen,
The Scripture placed within his reach, he ought, Impede the bark that ploughs the deep serene, That souls have no discriminating hue, Charged with a freight transcending in its worth Alike important in their Maker's view; The gems of India, nature's rarest birth,
That none are free from blemish since the fall, That flies, like Gabriel on his Lord's commands, And love divine has paid one price for all. A herald of God's love to pagan lands !
The wretch, that works and weeps without relief, But, ah! what wish can prosper, or what prayer, Has one that notices his silent grief. For merchants rich in cargoes of despair,
He, from whose hands alone all power proceeds, Who drive a loathsome traffic, gauge and span Ranks its abuse among the foulest deeds, And buy the muscles and the bones of man? Considers all injustice with a frown; The tender ties of father, husband, friend,
But marks the man that treads his fellow down. All bonds of nature in that moment end,
Begone! the whip and bell in that hard hand And each endures, while yet he draws his breath, Are hateful ensigns of usurp'd command; A stroke as fatal as the scythe of death.
Not Mexico could purchase kings a claim The sable warrior, frantic with regret
To scourge him, weariness his only blame. Of her he loves and never can forget,
Remember, Heaven has an avenging rod; Loses in tears the far receding shore,
To smite the poor is treason against God. But not the thought that they must meet no more ; Trouble is grudgingly and hardly brook'd, Deprived of her and freedom at a blow,
While life's sublimest joys are overlook'd. What has he left that he can yet forego?
We wander o'er a sunburnt thirsty soil, Yes, to deep sadness sullenly resign'd,
Murmuring and weary of our daily toil, He feels his body's bondage in his mind,
Forget to enjoy the palm-tree's offer'd shade, Pats off his generous nature, and, to suit
Or taste the fountain in the neighbouring glade: His mamiers with his fate, puts on the brute. Else who would lose, that had the power to imOh most degrading of all ills that wait
prove, On man, a mourner in his best estate!
The occasion of transmuting fear to love?
Oh, 'tis a godlike privilege to save,
Oh, could I worship aught beneath the skies, That earth hath seen, or fancy can devise, Thine altar, sacred Liberty, should stand, Built by no mercenary vulgar hand, With fragrant turf and flowers as wild and fair As ever dress'd a bank, or scented summer air. Duly, as ever on the mountain's height The peep of morning shed a dawning light; Again, when evening in her sober vest Drew the grey curtain of the fading west, My soul should yield thee willing thanks and
praise, For the chief blessings of my fairest days: But that were sacrilege ;-praise is not thine, But his who gave thee, and preserves thee mine : Else I would say, and as I spake bid fly A captive bird into the boundless sky, This triple realm adores thee ;-thou art come From Sparta hither, and art here at home. We feel thy force still active, at this hour Enjoy immunity from priestly power, While conscience, happier than in ancient years, Owns no superior but the God she fears. Propitious spirit! yet expunge a wrong Thy rights have suffer'd, and our land, too long. Teach mercy to ten thousand hearts that share The fears and hopes of a commercial care; Prisons expect the wicked, and were built To bind the lawless, and to punish guilt, But shipwreck, earthquake, battle, fire, and flood, Are mighty mischiefs, not to be withstood, And honest merit stands on slippery ground, Where covert guile and artifice abound: Let just restraint, for public peace design'd, Chain up the wolves and tigers of mankind, The foe of virtue has no claim to thee, But let insolvent innocence go free.
Patron, of else the most despised of men, Accept the tribute of a stranger's pen; Verse, like the laurel its immortal meed, Should be the guerdon of a noble deed,
I may alarm thee, but I fear the shame,
Philosophy that does not dream or stray,
man, All prompt his pleased pursuit, and to pursue Still prompt him, with a pleasure always new; He too has a connecting power, and draws Man to the centre of the common cause, Aiding a dubious and deficient sight With a new medium and a purer light. All truth is precious, if not all divine, And what dilates the powers must needs refine. He reads the skies, and watching every change, Provides the faculties an ampler range, And wins mankind, as his attempts prevail, A prouder station on the general scale. But reason still, unless divinely taught, Whate'er she learns, learns nothing as she ought; The lamp of revelation only, shows, What human wisdom cannot but oppose, That man in nature's richest mantle clad, And graced with all philosophy can add, Though fair without, and luminous within, Is still the progeny and heir of sin. Thus taught, down falls the plumage of his pride, He feels his need of an unerring guide, And knows that falling he shall rise no more, Unless the power that bade him stand, restore. This is indeed philosophy; this known, Makes wisdom, worthy of the name, his own; And without this, whatever he discuss, Whether the space between the stars and us, Whether he measure earth, compute the sea, Weigh sunbeams, carve a fly, or spit a flea, The solemn trifler with his boasted skill Toils much, and is a solemn trifler still; Blind was he born, and his misguided eyes Grown dim in trifling studies, blind he dies. Self-knowledge truly learn’d, of course implies The rich possession of a nobler prize, For self to self, and God to man reveald, (Two themes to nature's eye for ever seald)
Are taught by rays that fly with equal pace
Such was the portrait an apostle drew, From the same centre of enlightening grace. The bright original was one he knew, Here stay thy foot ; how copious and how clear Heaven held his hand, the likeness must be true. The o'erflowing well of Charity springs here ! When one that holds communion with the skies Hark! 'tis the music of a thousand rills,
Has fillid his urn where these pure waters rise, Some through the groves, some down the sloping And once more mingles with us meaner things, hills,
'Tis even as if an Angel shook his wings : Winding a secret or an open course,
Immortal fragrance fills the circuit wide, And all supplied from an eternal source.
That tells us whence his treasures are supplied. The ties of Nature do but feebly bind,
So when a ship, well freighted with the stores And commerce partially reclaims mankind ; The sun matures on India's spicey shores, Philosophy, without his heavenly guide,
Has dropt her anchor and her canvass furl’d, May blow up self-conceit, and nourish pride, In some safe haven of our western world, But while his province is the reasoning part, 'Twere vain enquiry to what port she went, Has still a veil of midnight on his heart :
The gale informs us, laden with the scent. 'Tis truth divine exhibited on earth,
Some seek, when queasy conscience has its Gives Charity her being and her birth.
Another's good,--theirs centres in their own; Endued with reason, yet by nature blind.
And too short-lived to reach the realms of peace, Let supposition lend her aid once more,
Must cease for ever when the poor shall cease. And land some grave optician on the shore : Flavia, most tender of her own good name, He claps his lens, if haply they may see,
Is rather careless of a sister's fame : Close to the part where vision ought to be ; Her superfluity the poor supplies, But finds that though his tubes assist the sight, But if she touch a character, it dies. They cannot give it, or make darkness light. The seeming virtue weigh'd against the vice, He reads wise lectures, and describes aloud She deems all safe, for she has paid the price ; A sense they know not, to the wondering crowd, No charity but alms aught values she, He talks of light, and the prismatic hues,
Except in porcelain on her mantel-tree. As men of depth in erudition use,
How many deeds with which the world has rung, But all he gains for his harangue is—Well- From pride in league with ignorance have sprung! What monstrous lies some travellers will tell ! But God o'errules all human follies still,
The soul whose sight all-quickening grace renews And bends the tough materials to his will. Takes the resemblance of the good she views, A conflagration or a wintry flood As diamonds stript of their opaque disguise, Has left some hundreds without home or food, Reflect the noonday glory of the skies.
Extravagance and avarice shall subscribe, She speaks of Him, her author, guardian, friend, While fame and self-complacence are the bribe. Whose love knew no beginning, knows no end, The brief proclaim'd, it visits every pew,
In language warm as all that love inspires, But first the 'Squire's, a compliment but due ; | And in the glow of her intense desires
With slow deliberation he unties Pants to communicate her noble fires.
His glittering purse, that envy of all eyes, She sees a world stark blind to what employs And while the clerk just puzzles out the psalm, Her eager thought and feeds her flowing joys, Slides guinea behind guinea in his palm ; Though wisdom hail them, heedless of her call, Till finding, what he might have found before, Flies to save some, and feels a pang for all : A smaller piece amidst the precious store, Herself as weak as her support is strong,
Pinch'd close between his finger and his thumb, She feels that frailty she denied so long,
He half exhibits, and then drops the sum. And from a knowledge of her own disease, Gold to be sure !-Throughout the town 'tis told, Learns to compassionate the sick she sees.
How the good 'Squire gives never less than gold. Here see, acquitted of all vain pretence,
From motives such as his, though not the best, The reign of genuine Charity commence ;
Springs in due time supply for the distress'd, Though scorn repay her sympathetic tears, Not less effectual than what love bestows, She still is kind, and still she perseveres ;
Except—that office clips it as it goes. The truth she loves, a sightless world blaspheme, But lest I seem to sin against a friend, "Tis childish dotage, a delirious dream,
And wound the grace I mean to recommend, The danger they discern not, they deny,
(Though vice derided with a just design Laugh at their only remedy, and die.
Implies no trespass against love divine) But still a soul thus touch'd can never cease,
Once more I would adopt the graver style ; Whoever threatens war, to speak of peace. A teacher should be sparing of his smile. Pure in her aim and in her temper mild,
Unless a love of virtue light the flame, Her wisdom seems the weakness of a child ; Satire is, more than those he brands, to blame; She makes excuses where she might condemn, He hides behind a magisterial air Reviled by those that hate her, prays for them ; His own offences, and strips others bare, Suspicion lurks not in her artless breast,
Affects indeed a most humane concern, The worst suggested, she believes the best ; That men, if gently tutor’d, will not learn, Not soon provoked, however stung and teased, That mulish folly, not to be reclaim'd And if perhaps made angry, soon appeased ; By softer methods, must be made ashamed, She rather waives than will dispute her right, But (I might instance in St. Patrick's dean) And injured, makes forgiveness her delight. Too often rails to gratify his spleen.
Most satirists are indeed a public scourge ;
All zeal for a reform that gives offence
No works shall find acceptance in that day
Such virtues had need prove their own reward,
Thus have I sought to grace a serious lay