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Imagination scattering round
Wild roses over furrow'd ground,
Which Labour of his frown beguile,
And teach Philosophy a smile-
Wit flashing on Religion's side,
Whose fires, to sacred Truth applied,
The gem, though luminous before,
Obtrudes on human notice more,
Like sunbeams on the golden height
Of some tall temple playing bright-
Well-tutor'd Learning, from his books
Dismiss'd with grave, not haughty, looks,
Their order on bis shelves exact,
Not more harmonious or compact
T'han that, to which he keeps confined
The various treasures of his mind-
All these to Montagu's repair,
Ambitious of a shelter there.
There Genius, Learning, Fancy, Wit,
Their ruffled plumage calm refit,
(For stormy troubles loudest roar
Around their flight who highest soar,)
And in her eye, and by her aid,
Shine safe without a fear to fade.
She thus maintains divided sway
With yon bright regent of the day;
The Plume and Poet both we know,
Their lustre to his influence owe;
And she the works of Phoebus aiding,
Both Poet saves and Plume from fading.
AFFLICTED PROTESTANT LADY
A STRANGER's purpose in these lays
Is to congratulate and not to praise.
To give the creature the Creator's due,
Were sin in me, and an offence to you.
From man to man, or e'cn to woman paid,
Praise is the medium of a knavish trade,
A coin by Craft for folly's use design’d,
Spurious, and only current with the blind.
The path of sorrow, and that path alone,
Leads to the land where sorrow is unknown;
No traveller ever reached that bless'd abode,
Who found not thorns and briers in his road.
The World may dance along the flowery plain,
Cheer'd as they go by many a sprightly strain ;
Where Nature has her mossy velvet spread,
With unshod feet they yet securely tread;
Admonish’d, scorn the caution and the friend,
Bent all on pleasure, heedless of its end.
But He, who knew what human hearts would prove,
How slow to learn the dictates of his love,
That, hard by nature and of stubborn will,
A life of ease would make them harder still,
In pity to the souls his grace design'd
To rescue from the ruins of mankind,
Call'd for a cloud to darken all their years,
And said, 'Go spend them in the vale of tears.'
O balmy gales of soul-reviving air !
O salutary streams that murmur there!
These flowing from the Fount of Grace above,
Those breathed from lips of everlasting love.
The flinty soil indeed their feet annoys,
Chill blasts of trouble nip their springing joys,
An envious World will interpose its frown
To mar delights superior to its own,
And many a pang, experienced still within,
Reminds them of their hated inmate, Sin ;
But ills of every shape and every name,
Transform’d to blessings, miss their cruel aim ;
And every moment's calm that soothes the breast,
Is given in earnest of eternal rest.
Ah, be not sad, although thy lot be cast
Far from the flock, and in a boundless waste!
No shepherd's tents within thy view appear,
But the chief Shepherd even there is near;
Thy tender sorrows and thy plaintive strain
Flow in a foreign land, but not in vain;
Thy tears all issue from a source divine,
And every drop bespeaks a Saviour thine-
So once in Gideon's fleece the dews were found,
And drought on all the drooping herbs around,
Dear Joseph-five and twenty years ago
Alas how time escapes !—'tis even so—
With frequent intercourse, and always sweet,
And always friendly, we were wont to cheat
A tedious hour-and now we never meet!
As some grave gentleman in Terence says,
('Twas therefore much the same in ancient days)
Good lack, we know not what to-morrow brings-
Strange fluctuation of all human things !
True. Changes will befall, and friends may part,
But distance only cannot change the heart:
And, were I call’d to prove the assertion true,
One proof should serve—a reference to you.
Whence comes it then, that in the wane of life,
Though nothing have occurr’d to kindle strife,
We find the friends we fancied we had won,
Though numerous once, reduced to few or none ?
Can gold grow worthless that has stood the touch?
No; gold they seem’d, but they were never such.
Horatio's servant once, with bow and cringe,
Swinging the parlour door upon its hinge,
Dreading a negative, and overaw'd
Lest he should trespass, begg'd to go abroad.
Go, fellow !-whither?—turning short about-
Nay. Stay at home-you're always going out.
'Tis but a step, Sir, just at the street's end.--
For what?-An please you, Sir, to see a friend.-
A friend ! Horatio cried, and seem'd to start-
shalt thou, and with all my heart.And fetch my cloak; for, though the night be raw, I'll see him too-the first I ever saw,
I knew the man, and knew bis nature mild,
And was his plaything often when a child;
But somewhat at that moment pinch'd him close,
Else he was seldom bitter or morose.
Perhaps his confidence just then betray'd,
His grief might prompt him with the speech he made;
Perhaps 'twas mere good humour gave it birth,
The harmless play of pleasantry and mirth.
Howe'er it was, his language, in my mind,
Bespoke at least a man that knew mankind.
But not to moralize too much, and strain,
To prove an evil of which all complain,
(I hate long arguments verbosely spun,)
One story more, dear Hill, and I have done.
Once on a time an emperor, a wise man,
No matter where, in China or Japan,
Decreed, that whosoever should offend
Against the well-known duties of a friend,
Convicted once, should ever after wear
But balf a coat, and show his bosom bare.
The punishment importing this, no doubt,
That all was naught within, and all found out.