« PreviousContinue »
Though not a grace appears on strictest search,
But that she fasts, and item, goes to church.
Conscious of age she recollects her youth,
And tells, not always with an eye to truth,
Who spanned her waist, and who, where'er he came,
Scrawled upon glass Miss Bridget's lovely name;
Who stole her slipper, filled it with tokay,
And drank the little bumper every day.
Of temper as envenomed as an asp,
Censorious, and her every word a wasp ;
In faithful memory she records the crimes
Or real, or fictitious, of the times;
Laughs at the reputations she has torn,
And holds them dangling at arm's length in scorn.
Such are the fruits of sanctimonious pride,
Of malace fed while flesh is mortified:
Take, madam, the reward of all your prayers,
Where hermits and where bramins meet with theirs ;
Your portion is with them, Nay, never frown,
But, if you please, some fathoms lower down.
Artist, attend-your brushes and your paint-
Produce them-take a chair-now draw a saint.
Oh sorrowful and sad! the streaming tears
Channel her cheeks-a Niobe appears!
Is this a saint? Throw tints and all away-
True piety is cheerful as the day,
Will weep indeed and heave a pitying groan
For others' woes, but smiles upon her own.
What purpose has the King of saints in view?
Why falls the gospel like a gracious dew?
To call up plenty from the teeming earth,
Or curse the desert with a tenfold dearth?
Is it that Adam's offspring may be saved
From servile fear, or be the more enslaved ?
To loose the links that galled mankind before,
Or bind them faster on, and add still more?
The free-born Christian has no chains to prove,
Or, if a chain, the golden one of love :
No fear attends to queneh his glowing fires,
What fear he feels his gratitude inspires.
Shall be for such deliverance freely wrought,
Recompense ill? He trembles at the thought.
His Master's interest and his own combined
Prompt every movement of his heart and mind :
Thought, word, and deed, his liberty evince,
His freedom is the freedom of a prince.
Man's obligations infinite, of course
His life should prove that he perceives their force ;
His utmost he can render is but small
The principle and motive all in all.
You have two servants-Tom, an arch sly rogue,
From top to toe the Geta now in vogue,
Genteel in figure, easy in address,
Moves without noise, and swift as an express,
Reports a message with a pleasing grace,
Expert in all the duties of his place ;
Say, on what hinge does his obedience move?
Has he a world of gratitude and love?
No, not a spark_-'uis all mere sharper's play;
He likes your house, your housemaid, and your pay;
Reduce his wages, or get rid of her,
Tom quits you, with—Your most obedient, sir.
The dinner served, Charles takes his usual stand,
Watches your eye, anticipates command ;
Sighs if perhaps your appetite should fail;
And if he but saspects a frown, turns pale;
Consults all day your interest and your ease,
Richly rewarded if he can but please ;
And, proud to make his firm attachment knowo,
To save your life would nobly risk his own.
Now which stands highest in your serious thought?
Charles, without doubt, say you--and so he onght;
One act, that from a thankful heart proceeds,
Excels ten thousand mercenary deeds.
Thus heaven approves as honest and sincere
The work of generous love and filial fear;
But with averted eyes th' omniscient Judge
Scorns the base hireling, and the slavish drudge.
Where dwell these matchless saints ?-old Cario
Even at your side, sir, and before your eyes, (cries.
The favoured few-th' enthusiasts you despise.
And pleased at heart because on holy ground
Sometimes a canting hypocrite is found,
Reproach a people with his single fall,
And cast his filthy raiment at them all.
Attend !--an apt similitude shall show
Whence springs the conduct that offends you so.
See where it smokes along the sounding plain, Blown all aslant, a driving dashing rain, Peal upon peal redoubling all around, Shakes it again and faster to the ground; Now flashing wide, now glancing as in play, Swift beyond thought the lightnings dart away. Ere yet it came the traveller urged his steed, And hurried, but with unsuccessful speed ; Now drenched throughout, and hopeless of his case, He drops the rein, and leaves him to his pace. Suppose, unlooked for in a scene so rude, Long hid by interposing hill or wood, Some mansion, neat and elegantly dressed, By some kind hospitable heart possessed, Offer him warmth, security, and rest ; Think with what pleasure, safe and at his ease, He hears the tempest howling in the trees; What glowing thanks his lips and heart employ, While danger past is turned to pre joy So fares it with the sinner, when he feels A growing dread of vengeance at his heels;
His conscience, like a glassy lake before,
Lashed into foaming waves begins to roar ;
The law grown clamorous, though silent long,
Arraigns him-charges him with every wrong ---
Asserts the rights of his offended Lord,
And death or restitution is the word :
The last impossible, he fears the first,
And, having well deserved, expects the worst.
Then welcome refuge, and a peaceful home;
Oh for a shelter from the wrath to come!
Crush me, ye rocks; ye falling mountains hide,
Or bury me in ocean's angry tide.-
The scrutiny of those all-seeing eyes
I dare not-And you need not, God replies;
The remedy you want I freely give :
The book shall teach you-read, believe, and live!
'Tis done—the raging storm is heard no more,
Mercy receives him on her peaceful shore :
And justice, guardian of the dread command,
Drops the red vengeance from his willing hand.
A soul redeemed demands a life of praise ;
Hence the complexion of his future days,
Hence a demeanour holy and unspeckt,
And the world's hatred, as its sure effect.
Some lead a life unblameable and just,
Their own dear virtue their unshaken trust :
They never sin-or if (as all offend)
Some trivial slips their daily walk attend,
The poor are near at hand, the charge is small,
A slight gratuity atones for all.
For though the pope has lost his interest here,
And pardons are not sold as once they were,
No papist more desirous to compound,
Than some grave sinners upon English ground.
That plea refuted, other quirks they seek-
Mercy is infinite, and man is weak;
The future shall obliterate the past,
And heaven no doubt shall be their home at last.
Come then—a still small whisper in your ear-
He has no hope who never had a fear;
And he that never doubted of his state,
He may perhaps-perhaps he may-too late.
The path to bliss abounds with many a snare;
Learning is one, and wit, however rare.
The Frenchman, first in literary fame,
(Mention him if you please. Voltaire ?--the same.)
With spirit, genius, eloquence, sapplied,
Lived long, wrote much, laughed heartily, and died;
The scripture was his jest-book, whence he drew
Bon mots to gall the Christian and the Jew;
An infidel in health, but what when sick?
Oh-then a text would touch him at the quick ;
View him at Paris in his last career,
Surrounding throngs the demi-god revere ;
Exalted on his pedestal of pride,
And fumed with frankincense on every side,
He begs their flattery with his latest breath,
And smothered in't at last, is praised to death
Yon cottager, who weaves at her own door,
Pillow and bobbins all her little store;
Content though mean, and cheerful if not gay,
Shuffling her threads about the live-long day,
Just earns a scanty pittance, and at night
Lies down secure, her heart and pocket light;
She, for her humble sphere by nature fit,
Has little understanding, and no wit,
Receives no praise ; but, though her lot be such
(Toilsome and indigent), she renders much;
Just knows, and knows no more, her Bible true
A truth the brilliant Frenchman never knew;
And in that charter reads with sparkling eyes
Her title to a treasure in the skies.