Page images
PDF
EPUB

The Sum of the Commandments.

Matt. xxii. 37, 39.
With all thy soul love God above,
And as thyself ihy Neighbour love.

Our Saviour's Golden Rule.

Matt. vii. 12.
Be you to others kind and true,
As you'd have others be to you;
And neither do nor say to men,
Whate'er you would not take again.

DEVOUT SOLILOQUIES.

Copied from an original Manuscript, in the Handwriting

of the laté Mrs. Rowe.

SOLILOQUY I.
O Thou, to whom the fairest angel veils,
With folded wings, the beauties of his face,
'Tis Thee, 'uis Thee alone my wishes seek.
For Thee, I'd break the fondest ties below,
Forget the names of amity and love,
And all the gentle bands of human life.

O! turn the veil aside that bides Thy face,
And holds the glorious vision from my view;
Pity the agonies of strong desire,
And stand in open majesty confess'd.
If, when a few short minutes are expir’d,
And this frail substance to its dust returns,
If thou wilt ihen unfold thy lovely face,
And in the heights of excellence appear,
Why wilt Thou not indulge a moment's bliss,
Disclose one beam of Thy unclouded light,
To cheer the joyless gloom of mortal life?

Thou fairest of ten thousand! whose bright smiles
Enlighten heaven, and open paradise
In all its blissful and transporting scenes,

Vouchsafe at least a momentary glance
Of Thy fair face, if I must ask no more.

Forgive the fond impatience of my soul,
Which dwells on Thee, and has no other joy,
No entertainment in this lonesome world,
'Tis all a dismal solitude to me.

SOLILOQUY II.
If some fond lover, by the charming force
Of mortal beauty held, can call the groves,
The fields, the floods, and all the sparkling stars
To witness his unshaken truth and love,
While the frail object of his boasted faith
Fades like a painted flow'r and is no more;
And shall my heart, with heav'nly love inflam'd,
Grow doubtful while I swear eternal truth
To the prime excellence, beauty divine ?
Shall I protest with caution shall my tongue
Speak with reserve, and yield but half assent?
No: let me find the most pathetic form,
Beyond the obligations men have known,
Beyond all human ties :-solemn as when
Some mighty angel lifis his hand on high,
And by the living God attests his oath?
Thus let me bind my soul-and O! be witness
Ye shining ministers, for you surround
And sanctify the place where holy vows
Ascend to heaven. Be witness when we meet
Upon th' immortal shores, as soon we must,
Be witness : for the solemn hour draws near,
That solemn hour, when with triumphant joy
Or exquisite confusion I shall bear
Your approbation, or your just reproaches;
Your just reproaches, if you find me false,
If this fond heart, ensnar'd by earthly charms,
Shall break its faith, profane the sanctity
Of plighted vows, and consecrated flames.

o Thou! to whose all-seeing eye my soul
Lies all unveild, to Thee I dare appeal.
If Thou art not my chief my only joy,
Let sacred peace for ever fly my breast,
And rest become an endless stranger there,
Let no harmonious sound delight my ears,
If Thy lov'd name is not the sweetest sound,

The most transporting music they convey.
Let beauty ne'er again delight my eyes,
Shut out the sun, io every pleasant thing
Its rays disclose, if e'er l find a charm
In nature's lovely face, abstract from Thee;
Let all my hopes, my gayest expectations
Be blasted, when they are not plac'd in Thee.

Oh! I might speak a bolder language still,
And bid Thee cut off all my future hopes
Of heav’oly bliss, if Thy transporting smiles
Are not the emphasis of all that bliss.

SOLILOQUY III.

Where am I? surely paradise is round me!
My soul, my sense is full of thy perfection,
Whatever nature boasts in all her pride,
The blooming fragrancy of thousand springs
Are open to my view, and thou art all
The charming, the delicious land of love.

I know not what to speak, for human words
Lose all their pow'r, their emphasis, their force,!
And grow insipid, when I talk of Thee,
The excellent Supreme, the God of gods!
Whate'er the language of those gods, those pow'rs
In heav'nly places crown'd, however strong,
Or musical, or clear their language is,
Yet all falls short of Thee, though set to strains
That hell would smile to bear, and wild despair,
Discord, and mad confusion stand compos'd
In fix'd attention to the charming song!

When wilt Thou blow away those envious clouds,
And shew me all the dazzling scenes beyond ?
Those heav'ns of beauty and essential glory,
Those sights the eyes of mortals never saw,
Nor ear has heard, nor boldest thought conceiv'd!
What will those wonders prove? How shall my pow'rs
Be to their full capacity employ'd
In ecstasy and love? How shall I rove
For ever through those regions of delight,
Those paths ineffable, where pleasure leads
Her smiling train, and wings the blissful hours ?
Come ye triumphant moments, come away,
Thou glorious period where I fix my eyes ;
For which I hourly chide the ling’ring course

Of sun, and moon, and starry constellations,
Thou end of all my grief, thou happy date
Of care, and pain, and ev'ry human ill.

SOLILOQUY IV.
Absolve the penance of mortality,
And let me now commence the life divine.
I sicken for enlargement: where's the bar?
Thy Spirit is not straighten'd, Thou canst raise
Thy creature to what eminence thou wilt :
Uomerited, the brightest ranks above
Receiv'd their flame, and purity from Thee.

I dare not article with the Most High,
Nor boast but of my want and emptiness.
Let me be poor, necessitous, and low,
Or any thing, that Thou may'st be advanc'd.
If I must glory, let me glory here,
That I can make no claim, nor ask reward.
Oh! be Thy goodness free; give like Thyself,
And be Thy own magnificence the rule.
Still undiminish'd is Thy endless store.
Eternal bounty cannot lessen Thee.
Why shouldst Thou bound Thyself and check the
Of Thy own glorious nature, which is all [course
O’erflowing love, and pure beneficence ?
'Tis Thy delight and glory to dispense
Treasures of wisdom, life, and heav'nly love
To souls that pine and languish after Thee.

O! Thou canst never lavish out Thy store.
The sun that from his radiant exaltation
Looks down and blesses universal nature,
Nor from the meanest worm keeps back his rays,
That sun is but a feeble type of Thee.
Millions of happy beings draw in life
And pleasure from thy smiles, yet still the spring
The fresh the ever rising springs of joy
Unwasted flow.-Thou to Thy glorious Self
Art all sufficient, still the plenitude
Of Thy own bliss, and canst Thou not supply

The utmost wishes of created minds?
The following Lines were found on her Table, in her dying

Moments, supposed to have been written just before.
O guide, and counsel, and protect, my soul from sin.
O speak! and let ine know thy heav'nly will;

Speak evidently to my list’ning soul.
O fill my soul with love, and light, and peace,
And whisper heav'nly comfort to my soul!
O speak, celestial spirit, in the strain
Of love and heav'nly pleasure to my soul !

MEMOIRS OF ILLUSTRIOUS WOMEN.

LADY JANE GREY.

This highly distinguished lady was the eldest daughter of Henry Grey, Duke of Suffolk, and of Lady Frances Brandon, niece of King Henry VIII. She was of the most

amiable character, accomplished by the best education, both in literature and in religion. Her countenance was sweet and dignified; her disposition mild and modest; and her deportment courteous and affable. She was nearly of the same age as her cousin, King Edward VI. and seemed to possess even greater facility in acquiring every branch of polite literature. She obtained a familiar knowledge of the Roman, Greek, French, and Italian languages; she spent much of her time in application to learning; and expressed a great indifference for the amusements usual with her age and rank. Roger Ascham, tutor to the lady Elizabeth, having one day paid her a visit, at Broadgate, her father's seat in Leicestershire, found her employed in reading Plato, while the rest of the family were engaged in a party of hunting in the park. On his admiring the singularity of ber choice, she told him that she received more pleasure from that author, than they could derive from all their sport and gaiety. She was then under the tuition of Mr. Elmer (afterwards Bishop of London) one of her father's chaplains; to whose kind and gentle treatment, which formed a striking contrast to the severity she experienced from her parents, she attributed the great delight which she took in study.

Nor was she deficient in the usual accomplishments of her sex and station. Sir Thomas Chaloner, who was cotemporary with her, particularly says, that she was well skilled in instrumental music; wrote a fine hand ; and excelled in the performances of the needle.

She early imbibed the principles of the Protestant reli

« PreviousContinue »