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Sheds every hour a clearer light
In aid of our defective sight;
And spreads, at length, before the soul,
A beautiful and perfect whole,
Which busy man's inventive brain
Toils to anticipate in vain.
Say, Anna, had you never known
The beauties of a rose full blown,
Could you, though luminous your eye,
By looking on the bud, descry,
Or guess, with a prophetic power,
The future splendour of the flower?
Just so the Omnipotent, who turns
The system of a world's concerns,
From mere minutiæ can educe
Events of most important use;
And bid a dawning sky display
The blaze of a meridian day.
The works of man tend, one and all,
As needs they must, from great to small;
And vanity absorbs at length
The monuments of human strength.
But who can tell how vast the plan
Which this day's incident began;
Too small, perhaps, the slight occasion
For our dim-sighted observation;
It pass'd unnoticed, as the bird
That cleaves the yielding air unheard,
And yet may prove, when understood,
A harbinger of endless good.
Not that I deem, or mean to call Friendship a blessing cheap or small; But merely to remark, that ours, Like some of nature's sweetest flowers,
Rose from a seed of tiny size,
That seem’d to promise no such prize;
A transient visit intervening,
And made almost without a meaning
(Hardly the effect of inclination,
Much less of pleasing expectation),
Produced a friendship, then begun,
That has cemented us in one;
And placed it in our power to prove,
By long fidelity and love,
That Solomon has wisely spoken;
• A threefold cord is not soon broken.'
MRS. MONTAGU'S FEATHER HANGINGS.
The Birds put off their every hue,
To dress a room for Montagu.
The Peacock sends his heavenly dyes,
His rainbows and his starry eyes;
The Pheasant plumes, which round infold
His mantling neck with downy gold;
The Cock his arch'd tail's.azure show;
And, river blanch'd, the Swan his snow,
All tribes beside of Indian name,
That glossy shine, or vivid flame,
Where rises and where sets the day,
Whate'er they boast of rich and gay,
Contribute to the gorgeous plan,
Proud to advance it all they can.
This plumage neither dashing shower,
Nor blasts that shake the dripping bower
Shall drench again or discompose,
But, screen’d from every storm that blows,
It boasts a splendour ever new,
Safe with protecting Montagu.
To the same patroness resort,
Secure, of favour at her court,
Strong Genius, from whose forge of thought
Forms rise, to quick perfection wrought,
Which, though newborn, with vigour move,
Like Pallas springing arm'd from Jove
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 his shelves exact,
Not more harmonious or compact
Than 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
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 Phæbus 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’en 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 reach'd 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. [prove,
But He, who knew what human hearts would
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 stre ns 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 sooths 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.