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That grace was Cowper's-his, confess'd by all
But why before us, protestants, produce
Yon ancient prude,whose wither'd features show She might be young some forty years ago, Her elbows pinion'd close upon her hips,
, Her head erect, her fan upon her lips, Her eyebrows arch'd, her eyes both gone astray, To watch yon amorous couple in their play, With bony and unkerchief'd neck defies The rude inclemency of wintry skies, And sails with lappet-head, and mincing airs, Duly at clink of bell to morning prayers. To thrift and parsimony much inclined, She yet allows herself that boy behind; The shivering urchin, bending as he goes, With slipshod heels, and dewdrop at his nose; His predecessor's coat advanced to wear, Which future pages yet are doom’d to share, Carries her Bible tuck'd beneath his arm, And hides his hands to keep his fingers warm.
She, half an angel in her own account, Doubts not hereafter with the saints to mount, Though not a grace appears, on strictest search, But that she fasts and, item, goes to church.
word a wasp;
Conscious of age she recollects her youth,
Such are the fruits of sanctimonious pride,
theirs; Your portion is with them-Nay, never frown, But, if you please, some fathoms lower down.
Artist, attend - your brushes and your paintProduce them-take a chair-now draw a saint, Oh sorrowful and sad! the streaming tears Channel her cheeks-a Niobe appears! Is this a saint? Throw tints and all away True Piety is cheerful as the day, Will weep
indeed, and heave a pitying groan For others' woes, but smiles
her own. What purpose has the King of saints in view ? Why falls the Gospel like a gracious dew? To call up plenty from the teeming earth, Or curse the desert with a tenfold dearth? Is it that Adam's offspring may be saved From servile fear, or be the more enslaved ? To loose the links that gall’d mankind before, Or bind them faster on, and add still more?
The freeborn Christian has no chains to prove,
Man's obligations infinite, of course
The dinner served, Charles takes his usual stand, Watches your eye, anticipates command; Sighs if perhaps your appetite should fail! And, if he but suspects a frown, turns pale; Consults all day your interest and your ease, Richly rewarded if he can but please; And, proud to make his firm attachment known, To save your life, would nobly risk his own.
Now which stands highest in your serious
thought? Charles, without doubt, say you—and so he ought; One act, that from a thankful heart proceeds, Excels ten thousand mercenary deeds.
Thus Heaven approves as honest and sincere The work of generous love and filial fear; But with averted eyes the’ omniscient Judge Scorns the base hireling, and the slavish drudge. Where dwell these matchless saints? old Curio
cries. E’en at your side, Sir, and before your eyes, The favour'd few-the' enthusiasts you despise; And pleased at heart, because on holy ground Sometimes a canting hypocrite is found, Reproach a people with a single fall, And cast his filthy raiment at them all. Attend ! -an apt similitude shall show, Whence springs the conduct that offends you so.
See where it smokes along the sounding plain, Blown all aslant, a driving, dashing rain, Peal upon peal redoubling all around, Shakes it again and faster to the ground; Now flashing wide, now glancing as in play, Swift beyond thought the lightnings dart away. Ere yet it came, the traveller urged his steed, And hurried, but with unsuccessful speed; Now,drench'd throughout and hopeless of his case, He drops the rein, and leaves him to his pace. Suppose, unlook'd for in a scene so rude, Long hid by interposing hill or wood, Some mansion, neat and elegantly dress’d, By some kind hospitable heart possessid, Offer him warmth, security, and rest;
Think with what pleasure, safe and at his ease,
Some lead a life unblamable and just,