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An ELEGY on Mr. THOMAS GOUGE,
To Mr. ARTHUR SHALLET, Merchant. Worthy Sir, " THE subject of the following Elegy was high in your esteem, and enjoyed a a large share of your affections. Scarce doth bis memory need the assistance of “ the muse to make it perpetual ; but when she can at once pay her honours to " the venerable dead, and by this address acknowledge the favours she has receiv: “ed from the living, it is a double pleasure to, -Sir,
Your obliged humble servant,
To the Memory of the Rev. Mr. THOMAS GOUGE,
Who died January 8th, 1699-700. 1 YE virgin souls, whose sweet complaint His soul was of th' angelic frame,
Could teach Eupbrates not to flow*, The same ingredients, and the mould Could Sion's ruin so divinely paint,
the same, Array'd in beauty and in woe: When the Creator makes a minister of Awake, ye virgin-souls, to mourn,
flarne : And with your tunefulsorrrows dressa He was all form’d of heav'nly things, prophet's urn.
Mortals, believe what my Urania sings, O could my lips or flowing eyes For she has seen him rise upon his But imitate such charming grief,
flamy wings. P'd teach the seas, and teach the skies Wailing, and sobs, and sympathies;
How would he mount, how would he Nor should the stones or rocks be
fly deaf ;
Up thro' the ocean of the sky,
Tow'rd the celestial coast ! Rocks shall have eyes, and stones
With what amazing swiftness soar, have ears
Till earth's darkball was seen no more While Gouge's death is mourn'd in
And all its mountains lost ! melody and tears.
Scarce could the muse pursue him with Heav'n was impatient of our crimes,
her sight : And sent his minister of death
But angels, you can tell, ļo scourge the bold rebellion of the times,
For oft you met his wond'rous flight,
And knew the stranger well; And to demand our prophet's breath ;
Say, how he past the radiant spheres He came commission d for the fates
And visited your happy seats, Ofawful Mead, and charming Bates; And trac'd the well-known turnings There he essay'd the vengeance first,
of the golden streets, Then took a dismal aim, and brought
And walk'd among the stars. great Gouge to dust.
6 Tell how he climb'd the everlasting 3 Great Gouge to dust! how doleful is
hills, the sound!
Surveying all the realms above, How vast the stroke is ! and how wide Borne on a strong-wing'd faith, and the wound!
on the fiery wheels Oh painful stroke! distressing death! Of an immortal love. A wound unmeasurably wide
'Twas there he took a glorious sight No vulgar mortal dy'd
Of the inheritance of saints in light, When he resign'd his breath. And read their title in their Saviour's The muse that mourns a nation's fall
right; Should wait at Gouge's funeral, How oft the humble scholar came, Should mingle majesty and groans, And to your songs he rais'd his ears Such as she sings to sinking thrones, To learn th' unutterable name, And in deep sounding numbers tell, To view th' eternal base that bears How Sion trembled, when this pillar The new creation's frame. fell :
The countenance of God he saw, Sion grows weak, and England poor, Full of mercy, full of awe, Nature herself with all her store,
The glories of his power, and glories of Can furnish such a pomp for death no
his grace: more.
There he beheld the wond'rous springs 4 The reverend man let all things mourn;
Of those celestial sacred things, Sure he was some æthereal mind, The peacefu gospel and the fiery law, Fated in flesh to be confin'd,
Io that majestic face. [employ And order'd to be born.
That face did all his gazing pow'rs
With most profound abasement and * Ps. cxxxvii. Lament. i. 2, 3.
The rolls of fate were half unseal’d, No more return to breathe this grosser He stood adoring by;
(care. The volumes open'd to bis eye, This atinosphere of sin, calamity and And sweet intelligence he held
10 But heav'nly scenes soon leave the With all his shining kindred of the sky. sight,
Wbile we belong to clay, 7 Ye seraphs that surround the throne, Passions of terror and delight, Tell how his name was thro' the pa- Demand alternate sway. lace known,
Behold the man, whose awful voice How warm his zeal was, and how like Could well proclaim the fiery law, your own;
Kindle the flames that Moses saw, Speak it aloud, let half the nationhear, And swell the trumpet's warlike And bold blasphemers shrink and noise. fear*:
He stands the herald of the threat'nImpudent tongues! to blast a pro- ing skies : The poison sure was fetch'd from hell, Lo, on his reverend brow the frowns Where the old blasphemers dwell,
divinely rise, To taint the purest dust, and blot the All Sinaj's thunder on his tongue, and whitest fame!
lightning in his eyes. Impudent tongues! You should be Round the high roof the cuises flew darted thro',
Distinguishing each guilty head, Nail'd to your own black mouths,and Far from th' unequal war the atheist lie
His kindled arrows still pursue,
His arrows strike the atheist thro',
And o'er his inmost pow'rs a shud"We saw him, say th' ethereal throng, d'ring horror spread.
We saw his warm devotions rise, The marble heart groans with an in-
ward wound: And mix'd his praises with our song: Blaspheming souls of harden'd steel We knew the secret flights of his re- Shriek out amaz'd at the new pangs tiring hours,
they feel, Nightly he wak'a his inward powers, And dread the echoes of the sound. Young Israel rose to wrestle with his The lofty wretch arm'd and array'd God,
In gaudy pride sinks down his impious And with unconquer'd force scal'd the
head, celestial towers,
Plunges in dark despair, and mingles To reach the blessing down for those with the dead.
that sought his blood.
11 Now, muse, assume a softer strain, Rais'd high to crush the factions foe;
Now sooth the sioner's raging smart, As oft we saw the rolling vengeance
Borrow of Gouge the wond'rous art stand
To calm the surging conscience and Doubtful t'obey the dread command,
assuage the pain; While his ascending pray'r upheld
He from a bleeding God derives
Life for the souls that guilt had slain, the falling blow."
And straight the dying rebel lives, • Draw the past scenes of thy delight,
The dead arise again; My muse, and bring the wond'rous The opening skies almost obey man to sight:
His powerful song; a hear'nly ray Place him surrounded as he stood Awakes despair to light, and sheds a With pious crowds, while from his chearful day. tongue
His wond'rous voice rolls back the A stream of harmony ran soft along, spheres, And ev'ry ear drapk in the flowing
Recalls the scenes of ancient years, good:
To make the Saviour known';
Sweetly the flying charmer roves Till warm devotion rais'd the current Thro' all his labours and bis loves, strong:
The anguish of his cross, and triumphs Then fervid zeal on the sweet deluge
of his throne. rode,
12 Come, be invites our feet to try Life, love and glory, grace and joy, The steep ascent of Caralry, Divinely roll'd promiscuous on the And sets the fatal tree before our eye: torrent-flood,
See here celestial sorrow reigns; And bore our raptur'd sense away, Rude nails and ragged thorns lay by,
and thoughts and souls to God. Tirg'd with the crimson of redeeining O might we dwell for ever there!
veins. In wond'rous words he sung the vital
flood * Though he was so great and good Where all our sins were drown'd, a wan be did not escape censure.
Words fit to beal and fit to wound,
Sharp as the spear, and balmy as the 15 Gouge was his envoy to the realus blood.
below, In his discourse divine
Vast was his trust and great his skill, Afresh the purple fountain flow'd; Bright the credentials he could Our falling tears kept sympathetic
And thousands own'd the seal. And trickled to the ground,
His hallow'd lips could well impart While ev'ry accent gave a doleful The grace, the promise, and comsound,
mand: Sad as the breaking heart-strings of He knew the pity of Immanuel's heart, th' expiring God.
And terrors of Jehovah's hand.
How did our souls start out to bear 13 Down to the mansions of the dead,
The embassies of love be bare,
While every ear in rapture hung There the dear Prince of Light re
Upon the charming wonders of his
Life's busycares a sacred silence bound,
Attention stood with all her powers, With pleasing horror we survey. With tixed eyes and awe profound,
The caverns of the tomb, Where the belov'd Redeemer lay,
Chain'd to the pleasure of the sound, And shed a sweet perfume.
Nor knew the dying hours. Hark! the old earthquake roars again
[chain | 16 But O my everlasting grief! In Gouge's voice, and breaks the Heav'n has recall'd his envoy from our Of heavy death, and rends the
Hence deluges of sorrow rise, The rising God! he comes, he comes, Nor hope th' impossible relief. With throngs of waking saints, a long
Ye remnants of the sacred tribe triumphing train.
Wno feel the loss, come share the
smart, 14 See the bright squadrons of the sky, And mix your groans with inine : Downward on wings of joy and hasie Where is the tongue that they fly,
describe Meet their returning Sovereign, and Infinite things with equal art, attend him high.
Or language so divine ? A shining car the Conqueror fills, Our passions want the heav'nly Form'd of a golden cloud;
(songe, Slowly the pomp moves up the azure Almighty love breathes faintly in our hills,
And awful threat'nings languish on Old Satan foams and yells aloud,
our tongues; And gnaws th' eternal brass ihat binds How is a great but single name: him to the wheels.
Amidst the crowd he stands alone; The opening gates of bliss receive Stands yet, but with his starry pinions their King,
(gone. The Father God smiles on his Son, Drest for the flight, and ready to be Pays him the honours he has won, Eternal God, command his stay, The lofty thrones adore, and little Stretch the dear months of his delay; cherubs sing:
O we could wish his age were one imBehold him on his native throne,
mortal day! Glory sits fast upon his head ;
But when the tiaming chariots come, Dress'd in new light, and beamy And shining guards, ť attend thy robes,
prophet home, Mis hand rolls on the seasons, and the Amidst a thousand weeping eyes, shining globes,
Send an Elisha dowa, a soul of equal Aad sways the living worlds, and re
(us to the skies. gions of the dead,
Or burn this worthless globe, and take
Right Honourable the Countess of Hertford.
I BEG leave, Madam, to fatter myself, that the same condescension and goodness which has admitted several of these pieces into your closet in manuscript, will permit them all to make this public appearance before you. Your ladyship's known character and taste for every thing that is pious and polite, give an honourable sanction to these writings which stand recommended by your name and approbation: It is no wonder then that these Essays should seek the favour of such a patronage.
Though the author professes himself much a stranger to the great and splendid part of mankind, yet since your ladyship was pleased to indulge him a share in the honours of your friendship, he cannot but take pleasure to have been a witness of those virtues, whereby you bear up the dignity of our holy religion and the blessed gospel, amidst all the tempting grandeurs of this world, and in an age of growing infidelity. He acknowledges it a part of his felicity, that he has had opportunity to learn how happily the leisure which you borrow from the magnificence and ceremonies of a court, is employed in devout contemplations, in the study of virtue, and among the writings of the best poets in our own, or in foreign languages, so far as they are chaste and innocent.
But it is no easy task, as a late ingenious pen * bas expressed it, “ to speak the many nameless graces and native riches of a mind, capable so much at once to relish solitude, and adorn society."
May such a valuable life be drawn out to an uncommon length, as the richest of blessings to your noble family! May you shine long in your exalted station, an illustrious pattern of such goodness as may commaud a reverence and imitation among those who stand round you in higher or lower life! And when your spirit shall take its flight to superior regions, and that blissful world whither your meditation and your hope have often raised you, may the court of Great Britain never want successors in your honourable house to adorn and support it. In the sincerity of these wishes, I take leave to subscribe myself,
Your Ladyship's most obedient
* Mr. Thompson, in the dedication of his poem on the Spring.
TO " MISCELLANEOUS THOUGHTS IN-PROSE AND VERSE."
AS every man has some amusements for an hour of leisure, I have chosen Mathematical Science, Philosophy and Poesy, for mine; and the fruits of some of those hours have been communicated to the world. I acknowledge my obligation to the present age, which has given a favourable acceptance to the Lyric Poems printed in my youth, the plain Rudiments of Geography and Astronomy, and the Treatise of Logic, published some years ago, and to those scattered Essays of Philosophy which I put together last year. These gleanings of Verse, and occasional Thoughts on Miscellaneous Subjects, which have been growing under my hands for thirty years, are now collected for a present to the public, under the encouragement it bas given me to expect the same candour.
That the composure of verse is not beneath the dignity even of sublime and sacred characters, appears in the example of David, the prophet and the king ; to which if I should add Moses and Solomon, it would still strengthen the argument and support the honour of this art. And how far poesy has been made serviceable to the temple and the interest of religion, has been set in a sufficient light by several pens ; nor need I repeat here what is written, in the preface to my book of poems, on that subject. But I must confess it needs some apology, that when I had told the world twenty-five years ago that I expected the future part of my life would be free from the service of the muse, I should now discover my weakness, and let the world know that I have not been able to maintain my purpose.
It is true indeed, some of these copies were written before that time, yet a good part of them must date their existence since ; for where nature has any strong propensity, even from our infant-life, it will awake and shew itself on many occasions, though it has been often and sincerely resisted, and subdued, and laid to sleep. And as I have found my thoughts many a time carried away into four or five lines of verse ere I was aware, and sometimes in opposition to my will, so I confess I have now and then indulged it for an hour or two, as an innocent and grateful diversion from more severe studies. In this view I offer it to my friends ; and amongst the many pieces herein contained, I hope there are some which will give them an agreeable amusement, and perhaps some elevation of thought toward the things of heaven. But in order to taste any degree of pleasure, or reap any profit by the reading, I must entreat them sincerely to seek the entertainment of their hearts, as in the conversation of a friend ; and not to hunt after the painful and awkward joys of sour criticism, which is ever busy in seeking out something to disgust itself.
I make no pretences to the name of a poet, or a polite writer, in an age wherein so many superior souls shine in their works through this nation. Could I display the excellencies of virtue and christian piety in the various forms and appearances of it, with all the beauty and glory in which Mr. Pope has set the kingdom of the Messiah by his well-mingled imitations of Isaiah and Virgil ; could I paint nature and the animated wonders of it in such strong and lively colours as Dr. Young has done; could I describe its lovely and dreadful scenes in lines of such sweetness and terror, as he has described them in his Paraphrase on part of the book of Job; J sbould have a better ground for a pretence to appear among the writers of verse, and do more service to the world. Could I imitate those admirable representations of human nature and passion which that ingenious pen has given us, who wrote the late volumes of “ Epistles from the Dead to the Living,' and, “ Letters Moral and Entertaining.” I should then hope for bappier success in my endeavours to provide innocent and improving diversions for polite youth. But since I can boast of little more than an inclination and a wish that way, I must commit the provision of these amusements to such celebrated authors as I have now mentioned, and to the rising geniuses of the age: And may the hour of poesy be retrieved by them, from the scandal which has been cast upon it by the abuse of verse to loose and profane purposes.