Page images



upon hope will die fasting. There are no gains without pains; then help hands, for I have no lands,' or if I have they are smartly taxed. He that hath a trade, hath an estate ; and he that hath a calling, hath an office of profit and honour,' as Poor Richard says; but then the trade must be worked at, and the calling well followed, or neither the estate nor the office will enable us to pay our taxes. If we are industrious, we shall never starve ; for ' At the working man's house, hunger looks in, but dares not enter.' Nor will the bailiff nor the constable enter, for 'Industry pays debts, while despair increaseth them.' What though you have found no treasure, nor has any rich relation left a legacy, ‘Diligence is the mother of good luck, and God gives all things to industry. Then plough deep, while sluggards sleep, and you shall have corn to sell and to keep.' Work while it is called today, for you know not how much you may be hindered to-morrow. One to-day is worth two to-morrows,' as Poor Richard says; and farther, “Never leave that till to-morrow which you can do to-day.'

“If you were a servant, would you not be ashamed that a good master should catch you idle ? then your own master ? Be ashamed to catch yourself idle, when there is so much to be done for yourself, your family, your country, and your king. Constant dropping wears away stones; and by diligence and patience the mouse ate in two the cable; and little strokes fell great oaks.'

“Methinks I hear some of you say, 'Must a man

Are you



afford himself no leisure ?' I will tell thee, my friend, what Poor Richard says: 'Employ thy time well, if thou meanest to gain leisure ; and, since thou art not sure of a minute, throw not away an hour. Leisure is time for doing something useful; this leisure the diligent man will obtain, but the lazy maz never ; for, “ A life of leisure and a life of laziness are two things.

“But with our industry we must likewise be steady, settled, and careful, and oversee our own affairs with our own eyes, and not trust too much to others, for, as Poor Richard says,

'I never saw an oft removed tree,
Nor yet an oft removed family,

That throve so well as those that settled be. And again,

'Three removes is as bad as a fire ;' and again, “Keep thy shop, and thy shop will keep thée;' and again, 'If you would have your business done, go; if not, send;' and again,

'He that by the plough would thrive,

Himself must either hold or drive.'

Trusting too much to others' care is the ruin of many; but a man's own care is profitable, for 'If you would have a faithful servant, and one that you like, serve yourself. A little neglect may breed great mischief; for want of a nail the shoe was lost; for a want of shoe the horse was lost; and for want of a horse the rider was lost,' being overtaken and slain by the enemy; all for want of a little care about a horse-shoe nail.”

[ocr errors]


BORN, 1700; DIED, 1748.
Principal Works.—The Seasons, Castle of Indolence,

Rule Britannia.


THESE, as they change, Almighty Father, these
Are but the varied God. The rolling year
is full of thee. Forth in the pleasing Spring
Thy beauty walks, thy tenderness and love.
Wide flush the fields; the softening air is balm;
Echo the mountains round; the forest smiles;
And every sense and every heart is joy.
Then comes thy glory in the Summer months,
With light and heat refulgent. Then thy sun
Shoots full perfection through the swelling year:
And oft thy voice in dreadful thunder speaks,
And oft at dawn, deep noon, or falling eve
By brooks and groves in hollow-whispering gales,
Thy bounty shines in Autumn unconfined,
And spreads a common feast for all that lives.
in Winter awful thou! with clouds and storms
Around thee thrown, tempest o'er tempest rolled,
Majestic darkness! On the whirlwind's wing
Riding sublime, thou bidst the world adore,
And humblest nature with thy northern blast.

Mysterious round! what skill, what force divine, Deep-felt, in these appearl a simple train, Yet so delightful mixed, with such kind art, Such beauty and beneficence combined ;

[ocr errors][merged small][merged small]

Shade unperceived, so softening into shade;
And all so forming a harmonious whole,
That, as they still succeed, they ravish still.
But wandering oft, with rude unconscious gaze,
Man marks not Thee, marks not the mighty hand
That, ever busy, wheels the silent spheres;
Works in the secret deep; shoots steaming thence
The fair profusion that o'erspreads the spring;
Flings from the sun direct the flaming day;
Feeds every creature; hurls the tempest forth,
And, as on earth this grateful change revolves,
With transport touches all the springs of life.

Nature, attend ! join, every living soul
Beneath the spacious temple of the sky,
In adoration join; and ardent raise
One general song! To Him, ye vocal gales,
Breathe soft, whose spirit in your freshness breathes
Oh, talk of Him in solitary glooms,
Where o'er the rock the scarcely waving pine
Fills the brown shade with a religious awe.

whose bolder note is heard afar,
Who shake the astonished world, lift high to heaven
The impetuous song, and say from whom you rage.
His praise, ye brooks, attune, ye trembling rills;
And let me catch it as I muse along.
Ye headlong torrents, rapid and profound;
Ye softer floods, that lead the humid maze
Along the vale; and thou majestic main,
A secret world of wonders in thyself,
Sound His stupendous praise, whose greater voice
Or bids you roar, or bids your roaring fall.

[blocks in formation]

So roll your incense, herbs, and fruits, and flowers,
In mingled clouds to Him, whose sun exalts,
Whose breath perfumes you, and whose pencil painis
Ye forests, bend; ye harvests, wave to Him;
Breathe your still song into the reaper's heart,
As home he goes beneath the joyous moon.
Ye that keep watch in heaven, as earth asleep
Unconscious lies, effuse your mildest beams;
Ye constellations, while your angels strike,
Amid the spangled sky, the silver lyre.
Great source of day! blest image here below
Of thy Creator, ever pouring wide,
From world to world, the vital ocean round,
On nature write with every beam His praise.
The thunder rolls: he hushed the prostrate worla,
While cloud to clouds returns the solemn hymn.
Bleat out afresh, ye hills; ye mossy rocks,
Retain the sound; the broad responsive low,
Ye valleys, raise; for the Great Shepherd reigns,
And his unsuffering kingdom yet will come.
Ye woodlands, all awake; a boundless song
Burst from the groves; and when the restless day,
Expiring, lays the warbling world asleep,
Sweetest of birds ! sweet Philomela, charm
The listening shades, and teach the night His praise
Ye chief, for whom the whole creation smiles;
At once the head, the heart, the tongue of all,
Crown the great hymn! in swarming cities vast,
Assembled men to the deep organ join
The long resounding voice, oft breaking clear
At solemn pauses, through the swelling base:
And, as each mingling flame incrcases each,

« PreviousContinue »