תמונות בעמוד

He speaks, and they appear; to him they owe Skill to direct, and strength to strike the blow; To manage with address, to seize with

power The crisis of a dark decisive hour. So Gideon earn’d a victory not his own; Subserviency his praise, and that alone.

Poor England! thou art a devoted deer, Beset with every ill but that of fear. Thee nations hunt; all mark thee for a prey; They swarm around thee, and thou stand’st at bay. Undaunted still, though wearied and perplex’d, Once Chatham saved thee; but who saves thee Alas! the tide of pleasure sweeps along [next? All that should be the boast of British song. 'Tis not the wreath that once adorn'd thy brow, The prize of happier times, will serve thee now. Our ancestry, a gallant Christian race, Patterns of every virtue, every grace, Confess'd a God; they kneel'd before they fought, And praised him in the victories he wrought. Now from the dust of ancient days bring forth Their sober zeal, integrity, and worth; Courage, ungraced by these, affronts the skies, Is but the fire without the sacrifice. The stream, that feeds the well spring of the heart, Not more invigorates life's noblest part Than Virtue quickens with a warmth divine The powers that Sin has brought to a decline.

A. The' inestimable Estimate of Brown Rose like a paper kite, and charm’d the town; But measures, plann’d and executed well, Shifted the wind that raised it, and it feil. He trod the very selfsame ground you tread, And Victory refuted all he said.

B. And yet his judgment was not framed amiss; Its error, if it err’d, was merely this He thought the dying hour already come, And a complete recovery struck him dumb.

But that effeminacy, folly, lust Enervate and enfeeble, and needs must; And that a nation shamefully debased Will be despised and trampled on at last, Unless sweet Penitence her powers renew, Is truth, if history itself be true. There is a time, and Justice marks the date, For long-forbearing Clemency to wait; That hour elapsed, the’ incurable revolt Is punish’d, and down comes the thunderbolt. If Mercy then put by the threatening blow, Must she perform the same kind office now? May she! and, if offended Heaven be still Accessible, and prayer prevail, she will

. 'Tis not, however, insolence and noise, The tempest of tumultuary joys, Nor is it yet despondence and dismay Will win her visits or engage Prayer only, and the penitential tear, Can call her smiling down, and fix her here.

But when a country (one that I could name)
In prostitution sinks the sense of shame;
When infamous Venality, grown bold,
Writes on his bosom, to be let or sold;
When Perjury, that heaven-defying vice,
Sells oaths by tale, and at the lowest price,
Stamps God's own name upon a lie just made,
To turn a penny

in the

of trade; When Avarice starves (and never hides his face) Two or three millions of the human race,

her stay;

And not a tongue inquires, how, where, or when,
Though conscience will have twinges now and
When profanation of the sacred cause, [then;
In all its parts, times, ministry, and laws,
Bespeaks a land, once Christian, fallen and lost,
In all that wars against that title most,
What follows next let cities of great name,
And regions long since desolate proclaim.
Nineveh, Babylon, and ancient Rome
Speak to the present times, and times to come;
They cry aloud in every careless ear,
Stop, while you may; suspend your mad career;
0, learn from our example and our fate,
Learn wisdom and repentance ere too late.

Not only Vice disposes and prepares
The mind, that slumbers sweetly in her snares,
To stoop to Tyranny's usurp'd command,
And bend her polish'd neck beneath his hand
(A dire effect, by one of Nature's laws
Unchangeably connected with its cause);
But Providence himself will intervene,
To throw his dark displeasure o'er the scene.
All are his instruments; each form of war,
What burns at home, or threatens from afar,
Nature in arms, her elements at strife,
The storms that overset the joys of life
Are but his rods to scourge a guilty land,
And waste it at the bidding of his hand.
He gives the word, and Mutiny soon roars
In all her gates, and shakes her distant shores;
The standards of all nations are unfurl’d;
She has one foe, and that one foe the World.
And, if he doom that people with a frown,
And mark them with a seal of wrath press’d down,

Obduracy takes place; callous and tough,
The reprobated race grows judgment proof:
Earth shakes beneath them, and Heaven roars

But nothing scares them from the course they love:
To the lascivious pipe and wanton song,
That charm down fear, they frolic it along,
With mad rapidity and unconcern,
Down to the gulf, from which is no return.
They trust in navies, and their navies fail-
God's curse can cast away ten thousand sail !
They trust in armies, and their courage dies;
In wisdom, wealth, in fortune, and in lies;
But all they trust in withers, as it must,
When He commands in whom they place no trust.
Vengeance at last pours down upon their coast
A long despised, but now victorious host;
Tyranny sends the chain, that must abridge
The noble sweep of all their privilege;
Gives Liberty the last, the mortal shock:
Slips the slave's collar on, and snaps the lock.

A. Such lofty strains embellish what you teach, Mean you to prophesy, or but to preach?

B. I know the mind, that feels indeed the fire The Muse imparts, and can command the lyre, Acts with a force, and kindles with a zeal, Whate'er the theme, that others never feel. If human woes her soft attention claim, A tender sympathy pervades the frame, She

pours a sensibility divine Along the nerve of every feeling line. But if a deed not tamely to be borne Fire indignation and a sense of scorn, The strings are swept with such a power, so loud, The storm of music shakes the astonish'd crowd.

So, when remote futurity is brought
Before the keen inquiry of her thought,
A terrible sagacity informs
The poet's heart; he looks to distant storms;
He hears the thunder ere the tempest lours;
And, arm’d with strength surpassing human
Seizes events as yet unknown to man, (powers,
And darts his soul into the dawning plan.
Hence, in a Roman mouth, the graceful name
Of prophet and of poet was the same;
Hence British poets too the priesthood shared,

hallow'd druid was a bard.
But no prophetic fires to me belong;
I play with syllables, and sport in song.

A. At Westminster, where little poets strive, To set a distich upon six and five, Where Discipline helps the'opening buds of sense, And makes his pupils proud with silver pence, I was a poet too: but modern taste Is so refined, and delicate, and chaste, That verse, whatever fire the fancy warms, Without a creamy smoothness has no charms. Thus, all success depending on an ear, And thinking I might purchase it too dear, If sentiment were sacrificed to sound, And truth cut short to make a period round, I judged a man of sense could scarce do worse Than caper

in the morris-dance of verse. B. Thus reputation is a spur to wit, And some wits flag through fear of losing it. Give me the line that ploughs its stately course Like a proud swan,conquering the stream by force: That, like some cottage beauty, strikes the heart, Quite unindebted to the tricks of art.

« הקודםהמשך »