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And dw'd obedient to severest law,
Forbid to tread the promis'd and he saw.
My father's life was one long line of care,
A scene of danger, and a state of war.
Alarin'd, expos'd, his childhood must engage
The bear's rough gripe, and foaming lion's rage.
By various turns his threaten’d youth must fear
Goliah's lifted sword, and Saul’s emitted spear.
Forlorn he must and persecuted fly,
Climb the steep mountain, in the cavern lie,
And often ask, and be refus'd, to die.
For ever, from his manly toil, are known
The weight of power, and anguish of a crown.
What tongue can speak the restless monarch's woes,
When God and Nathan were declar'd his foes?
When every object his offence revil'd,
The husband murder'd, and the wife defil'd,
The parent's sins impress'd upon the dying child?
What heart can think the grief which he sustain'd,
When the king's crime brought vengeance on the
And the inexorable prophet's voice [choice?
Gave famine, plague, or war, and bid him fix his
He dy’d ; and, oh! may no reflection shed
Its poisonous venom on the royal dead ' '
Yet the unwilling truth must be express'd,
Which long has labour'd in this pensive breast:
Dving, he added to my weight of care;
He made me to his crimes undoubted heir ;
Left his unfinish’d murder to his son,
And Joab's blood entail'd on Judah’s crown.
Young as I was, I hasted to fulfil
The cruel dictates of my parent's will.
Of his fair deeds a distant view I took,
But turn'd the tube, upon his faults to look,
Forgot his youth, spent in his country's cause,
His care of right, his reverence to the laws;
But could with joy his years of folly trace,
Broken and old in Bathsheba's cmbrace;
Could follow him, where'er he stray'd from good,
And cite his sad example, whilst I trod
Paths open to deceit, and track'd with blood.
Soon docile to the secret acts of ill,
With smiles I could betray, with temper kill;
Soon in a brother could a rival view,
Watch all his acts, and all his ways pursue.
In vain for life he to the altar fled:
Ambition and revenge have certain speed.
Ev’n there, my soul, ev'n there he should have fell,
But that my interest did my rage conceal,
Doubling my crime, I promise, and deceive,
Purpose to slay, whilst swearing to forgive.
Treaties, persuasions, sighs, and tears, are vain;
With a mean lie curs'd vengeance I sustain,
Join fraud to force, and policy to power,
Till, of the destin'd fugitive secure,
In solemn state to parricide I rise,
And, as God lives, this day my brother dies.
Be witness to my tears, celestial Muse;
In vain I would forget, in vain excuse,
Fraternal blood by my direction spilt;
In vain on Joab's head transfer the guilt:
The deed was acted by the subject's hand;
The sword was pointed by the king's command.
Mine was the murder; it was mine alone:
Years of contrition must the crime atone;
Nor can my guilty soul expect relief,
But from a long sincerity of grief.
With an imperfect hand, and trembling heart,
Her love of truth superior to her art,
Already the reflecting Muse has trac'd
The mournful figures of my actions past.
The pensive goddess has already taught
How vain is hope, and how vexatious thought;
From growing childhood to declining age,
How tedious every step, how gloomy every stage.
This course of vanity almost complete,
Tir'd in the field of life, I hope retreat
In the still shades of Death: for dread and pain,
And griefs, will find their shafts elanc'd in vain,
And their points broke, retorted from the head,
Safe in the grave, and free among the dead.
Yet tell me, frighted Reason what is death?
Blood only stopp'd, and interrupted breath;
The utmost limit of a marrow span,
And end of motion, which with life began.
As smoke that rises from the kindling fires
Is seen this moment, and the next expires;
As empty clouds by rising winds are tost,
Their fleeting forms scarce sooner found than lost;
So vanishes our state, so pass our days;
So life but opens now, and now decays:
The cradle and the tomb, alas! so nigh,
To live, is scarce distinguish'd from to die.
Cure of the miser's wish, and coward's fear,
Death only shows us what we knew was near.
With courage, therefore, view the pointed hour,
Dread not Death's auger, but expect his power;
Nor Nature's law with fruitless sorrow mourn,
But die, O mortal man! for thou wast born.
Cautious thro' doubt, by want of courage wise,
To such advice the reasoner still replies.
Yet measuring all the long-continued space,
Every successive day's repeated race,
Since Time first started from his pristine goal,
Till he had reach'd that hour wherein my soul,
Join'd to my body, swell'd the womb; I was
(At least I think so) nothing : must I pass
Again to nothing, when this vital breath,
Ceasing, consigns me o'er to rest and death?
Must the whole man, amazing thought ! return
To the cold marble, or contracted urn?
And never shall those particles agree,
That were in life this individual he
But, sever'd, must they join the general mass,
Through other forms and shapes ordain'd to pass,
Northought nor image kept of what he was 2
Does the great Word, that gave him sense, ordain
That life shall never wake that sense again?
And will no power his sinking spirits save
From the dark caves of Death, and chambers of
Each evening I behold the setting Sun,
With downward speed, into the Ocean run:
Yet the same light (pass but some fleeting hours)
Fxerts his vigour, and renews his powers;
Starts the bright race again: his constant flame
Rises and sets, returning still the same.
I mark the various fury of the winds;
These neither seasons guide, nor order binds;
They now dilate, and now contract their force;
Various their speed, but endless is their course.
From his first fountain and beginning ouze,
Down to the sea each brook and torrent flows:
Though sundry drops or leave or swell the stream,
The whole still runs, with equal pace, the same; "
Still other waves supply the rising urns,
And the eternal flood no want of water mourns.
Why then must man obey the sad decree,
Which subjects neither sun, nor wind, nor sea?
A flower, that does with opening morn arise, And, flourishing the day, at evening dies; A winged eastern blast, just skimming o'er The ocean's brow, and sinking on the shore; A fire, whose flames through crackling stubble fly, A meteor shooting from the summer sky; A bowl adown the bending mountain roll'd; A bubble breaking, and a fable told; A noon-tide shadow, and a midnight dream; Are emblems which, with semblance apt, proclaim Our earthly course: but, O my soul! so fast Must life run off, and death for ever last? This dark opinion, sure, is too confin'd ; Else whence this hope, and terrour of the mind? Does something still, and somewhere yet remain, Reward or punishment, delight or pain? Say: shall our relics second birth receive? Sleep we to wake, and only die to live? When the sad wife has clos'd her husband's eyes, And pierc'd the echoing vault with doleful cries, Lies the pale corpse not yet entirely dead, The spirit only from the body fled; The grosser part of heat and motion void, To be by fire, or worm, or time, destroy'd; The Soul, immortal substance, to remain, Conscious of joy, and capable of pain? And, if her acts have been directed well, While with her friendly clay she deign'd to dwell, Shall she with safety reach her pristine seat 2 Find her rest endless, and her bliss complete? And, while the bury'd man we idly mourn, Do angels joy to see his better half return ? But, if she has deform'd this earthly life With murderous rapine, and seditious strife, Amaz'd, repuls'd, and by those angels driven From the ethereal seat, and blissful Heaven, In everlasting darkness must she lie, Still more unhappy, that she cannot die Amid two seas, on one small point of land, Weary'd, uncertain, and amaz'd, we stand: On either side our thoughts incessant turn; Forward we dread, and looking back we mourn; Losing the present in this dubious haste, And lost ourselves betwixt the future and the past. These cruel doubts contending in my breast, My reason staggering, and my hopes oppress'd, “Once more,” I said, “once more I will inquire, What is this little, agile, pervious fire, This fluttering rootion, which we call the Mind? How does she act? and where is she confin'd? Have we the power to guide her as we please? Whence then those evils, that obstruct our ease? We happiness pursue; we fly from pain; Yet the pursuit, and yet the flight, is vain: And, while poor Nature labours to be blest, By day with pleasure, and by night with rest, . Some stronger power eludes our sickly will, Dashing our rising hope with certain ill; And makes us, with reflective trouble, see That all is destin'd, which we fancy free. “That Power superiour then, which rules our mind, Is his decree by human prayer inclin'd? Will he for sacrifice our sorrows ease ? And can our tears reverse his firm decrees? Then let Religion aid, where Reason fails; Throw loads of incense in, to turn the scales; And let the silent sauctuary show, What from the babbling schools we may not know,
How man may shun or bear his destin'd part of woe.
“What shall amend, or what absolve, our fate? Anxious we hover in a mediate state, Betwixt infinity and nothing, bounds, Or boundless terms, whose doubtful sense confounds. Unequal thought ! whilst all we apprehend Is, that our hopes must rise, our sorrows end, As our Creator deigns to be our friend’” I said;—and instant bad the priests prepare The ritual sacrifice and solemn prayer. Select from vulgar herds, with garlands gay, A hundred bulls ascend the sacred way. The artful youth procced to form the choir; They breathe the flute, or strike the vocal wire. The maids in comely order next advance; They beat the timbrel, and instruct the dance. Follows the chosen tribe from Levi sprung, Chanting, by just return, the holy song. Along the choir in solemn state they past: * —The anxious king came last. The sacred hymn perform’d, my promis'd vow I paid; and, bowing at the altar low, “Father of Heaven!” I said, “ and Judge of Earth ! Whose word call'd out this universe to birth; By whose kind power and influencing care The various creatures move, and live, and are; But, ceasing once that care, withdrawn that power, They move (alas!) and live, and are no more: Omniscient Master, omnipresent King, To thee, to thee, my last distress I bring. “Thou, that canst still the raging of the seas, Chain up the winds, and bid the tempests cease ? "Redeem my shipwreck'd soul from raging gusts Of cruel passion and deceitful lusts: From storms of rage, and dangerous rocks of pride, Let thy strong hand this little vessel guide (It was thy hand that made it) through the tide Impetuous of this life: let thy command Direct my course, and bring me safe to land! “If, while this weary'd flesh draws fleeting breath, Not satisfy'd with life, afraid of death, It haply be thy will, that I should know Glimpse of delight, or pause from anxious woe I From Now, from iustant Now, great Sire dispel The clouds that press my soul; from Now reveal A gracious beam of light; from Now inspire My tongue to sing, my hand to touch the lyre; My open thought to joyous prospects raise, And for thy mercy let me sing thy praise. Or, if thy will ordains I still shall wait Some new hereafter, and a future state, Permit me strength, my weight of woe to bear, And raise my mind superior to my care. Let me, howe'er unable to explain The secret labyrinths of thy ways to man, With humble zeal confess thy awful power; Still weeping hope, and wondering still adore, So in my conquest be thy might declar'd, And for thy justice be thy name rever'd.” My prayer scarce ended, a stupendous gloom Darkens the air; loud thunder shakes the dome. To the beginning miracle succeed An awful silence and religious dread. Sudden breaks forth a more than common day; The sacred wood, which on the altar lay, Untouch'd, unlighted, glows— Ambrosial odour, such as never flows
From Arab's gum, or the Sabeau rose,
Does round the air evolving scents diffuse: -
The holy ground is wet with heavenly dews:
Celestial music (such Jessides' lyre,
Such Miriam's timbrel, would in vain require)
Strikes to my thought through my admiring ear,
With ecstacy too fine, and pleasure hard to bear.
And lo! what sees my ravish'd eye what feels
My wond'ring soul? An opening cloud reveals
An heavenly form, embody'd, and array'd
With robes of light. I heard. The angel said:
“Cease, man of woman born, to hope relief
From daily trouble and continued grief; -
Thy hope of joy deliver to the wind,
Suppress thy passions, and prepare thy mind;
Free and familiar with misfortune grow,
Be us’d to sorrow, and inur'd to woe ;
By weakening toil and hoary age o'ercome,
See thy decrease, and hasten to thy tomb;
Leave to thy children tumult, strife, and war,
Portions of toil, and legacies of care;
Send the successive ills through ages down,
And let each weeping father tell his son,
That deeper struck, and more distinctly griev'd,
He must augment the sorrows he receiv'd.
“ The child, to whose success thy hope is bound,
Fre thou art scarce interr'd, or he is crown'd,
To lust of arbitary sway inclin'd
(That cursed poison to the prince's mind')
Shall from thy dictates and his duty rove,
And lose his great defence, his people's love;
Ill-counsell'd, vanquish'd, fugitive, disgrac'd,
Shall mourn the faune of Jacob's strength essac'd;
Shall sigh the king dininish'd, and the crown
With lessen'd rays descending to his son;
Shall see the wreaths, his grandsire knew to reap
By active toil and military sweat,
Pining, incline their sickly leaves, and shed
Their falling honours from his giddy head;
By arms or prayer unable to assuage
Domestic horrour and intestine rage, .
Shall from the victor and the vanquish’d fear,
From Israel's arrow, and from Judah's spear;
Shall cast his weary'd limbs on Jordan's flood,
By brother's arms disturb'd, and stain'd with kin-
“Hence labouring years shall weep their destin'd
Charg’d with ili omens, sully'd with disgrace.
Time, by necessity compell'd, shall go
Through scenes of war, and epochas of woe.
The empire, lessen’d in a parted stream,
Shall lose its course— -
Indulge thy tears: the Heathen shall blaspheme;
Judah shall fall, oppress'd by grief and shame,
And men shall from her ruins know her fane. -
“ New Egypts yet and second bonds remain,
A harsher Pharaoh, and a heavier chain.
Again, obedient to a dire command,
Thy captive sons shall leave the promis'd land.
Their name more low, their servitude more vile,
Shall on Euphrates' bank renew the grief of Nile.
“These pointed spires, that wound the ambient
(Inglorious change!) shall in destruction lie
Low, levell'd with the dust; their heights un-
known, * -
Or measur’d by their ruin Yonder throne,
For lasting glory built, design'd, the seat
Of kings for ever blest, for ever great,
Remov’d by the invader's barbarous hand,
Shall grace his triumph in a foreign land.
The tyrant shall demand von sacred load
Of gold, and vessels set apart to God,
Then, by vile hands to common use debas'd,
Shall send them flowing round his drunken feast,
With sacrilegious taunt, and impious iest. -
“Twice fourteen ages shall their way com-
Fmpires by various turns shall rise and set;
While thy abandon'd trio's shall only know
A different master, and a change of woe,
With down-cast eye-lids, and with looks aghast,
Shall dread the future, or bewail the past.
“Afflicted Israel shall sit weeping down,
Fast by the stream where Babel's waters run;
Their harps upon the neighbouring willows hung,
Nor joyous hymn encouraging their tongue,
Nor cheerful dance their feet; with toil oppress'd,
Their weary'd limbs aspiring but to rest.
In the reflective stream the sighing bride,
Viewing her charms impair'd, abash'd, shall hide
Her pensive head; and in her languid face
The bridegroom shall foresee his sickly race,
While ponderous fetters vex their close embrace.
With irksome anguish then your priests shall
Their long-neglected feasts' despair'd return,
And sad oblivion of their solemn days.
Thence forth their voices they shall only raise,
Louder to weep. By day, your frighted seers
Shall call for fountains to express their tears,
And wish their eyes were floods; by night, from
Of opening gulphs, black storms, and raging
Starting amaz'd, shall to the people show [woe.
Emblems of heavenly wrath, and mystic types of
“The captives, as their tyrant shall require
| That they should breathe the song, and touch the
Shall say: Can Jacob's servile race rejoice, [lyre,
Untun'd the music, and disus’d the voice?
What can we play' (they shall discourse), ‘how sing
In foreign lands, and to a barbarous king 2
We and our fathers, from our childhood bred
To watch the cruel victor's eye, to dread
The arbitrary lash, to bend, to grieve,
(Out cast of mortal race') can we conceive
Image of aught delightful, soft, or gay ?
Alas! when we have toil'd the longsome day,
The fullest bliss our hearts aspire to know
Is but some interval from active woe,
In broken rest and startling sleep to mourn,
Till morn, the tyrant, and the scourge, return,
Bred up in grief, can pleasure be our theme *
Our endless anguish does not Nature claim
Reason and sori ow are to us the same.
Alas! with wild amazement we require, o
If idle Folly was not Pleasure's fire
Madness, we fancy, gave an ill-tim'd birth
To grinning Laughter, and to frantic Mirth.”
“This is the series of perpetual woe,
Which thou, alas! and thine, are born to know.
Illustrious wretch! repine not, nor reply:
View not what Heaven ordains with Roason's eye.
Too bright the object is; the distance is too high.
The man, who would resolve the work of Fate,
May limit number, and make crooked straight:
Stop thy inquiry then, and curb thy sense,
Nor let dust argue with Omnipotence.
'Tis God who must dispose, and man sustain,
Boru to cudure, forbidden to couplain.
Thy sum of life must his decrecs fulfil;
What derogates from his command, is ill;
And that alone is good which centres in his will
“Yet, that thv labouring senses may not droop,
Lost to delight, and destitute of hope,
Remark what I, God's messenger, aver
From him, who neither can deceive nor err.
The land, at length redeem’d, shall cease to
Shall from her sad captivity return. [mourn,
Sion shall raise her long-dejected head,
And in her courts the law again be read.
Again the glorious temple shall arise,
And with new lustre pierce the neighbouring skies.
The promis'd seat of empire shall again
Cover the mountain, and command the plain ;
And, from thy race distinguish'd, one shall spring,
Greater in act than victor, more than king
In dignity and power, sent down from heaven,
To succour Earth. To him, To him, 'tis given,
Perpetual o'er the world redeem'd shall flow;
No more may man inquire, nor angel know.
“Now, Solomon remembering who thou art,
Act through thy remnant life the decent part.
Go forth: be strong: with patience and with care
Perform, and suffer: to thyself severe,
Gracious to others, thy desires suppress'd,
Diffus'd thy virtues; first of men be best.
Thy sum of duty let two words contain;
(O may they graven in thy heart remain '')
Be humble, and be just.” The angel said.—
With upward speed his agile wings he spread;
Whilst on the holy ground I prostrate lay,
By various doubts impell'd, or to obey,
Or to object: at length (my mournful look
Heaven-ward erect) determin'd, thus I spoke:
“Supreme, all-wise, etermal Potentate'
Sole Author, sole Disposer of our fate
Fnthron'd in light and immortality,
Whom no man fully sees, and none can see!
Original of beings' Power divine !
Since that I live, and that I think, is thine!—
Benign Creator! let thy plastic hand
Dispose its own effect; let thy command
Restore, Great Father thy instructed son;
And in my act may thy great will be done!”
The TURTLE AND SPARROW. AN elec 1AC TALE.
occasioned by the Dfath of PRINcE GEorce, 1708.
Bohisp an unfrequented glade,
Where yew and myrtle mix their shade,
A widow Turtle pensive sat,
And wept her murder'd lover's fate.
The Sparrow chanc'd that way to walk,
(A bird that loves to chirp and talk;)
Be sure he did the Turtle greet;
She answer'd him as she thought meet.
Sparrows and turtles, by the bye,
Can think as well as you or I:
But how they did their thoughts express,
The margin shows by T and s.
t My hopes are lost, my joys are fled; Alas! I weep Columbo dead: Come, all ye winged lovers, come, Drop pinks and daisies on his tomb: Sing, Philomel, his funeral verse; Ye pious Redbreasts, deck his hearse: Fair Swans, extend your dying throats, Columbo's death requires your notes: “. For him, my friends, for him I moan, My dear Columbo, dead and gone.” Stretch'd on the bier Columbo lies; Pale are his cheeks, and clos'd his eyes; Those checks, where Beauty smiling lay; Those eyes, where Love was us’d to play. Ah! crucl Fate, alas! how soon That beauty and those joys are flown : Columbo is no more: ye Floods, Bear the sad sound to distant woods: The sound let Echo's voice restore, And say, “Columbo is no more.” “ Ye floods, ye woods, ye echoes, moan My dear Columbo, dead and gone.” The Dryads all forsook the wood, And mournful Naiads, round me stood, The tripping Fawns and Fairies came, All conscious of our mutual flame, “To sigh for him, with me to moan
Y saw him bleeding on the ground, The sight tore up my ancient wound; And, whilst you wept, “Alas!' I cry'd, * Columbo and Adonis dy'd.” “Weep, all ye streams; ye mountains, groan; I mourn Columbo, dead and gone; Still let my tender grief complain, Nor day nor night that grief restrain:” I said, and Venus still reply'd, “Columbo and Adonis dy’d.” s. Poor Turturella! hard thy case, And just thy tears, alas, alas! T. And hast thou lov’d, and canst thou hear, With piteous heart, a lover's care 2 Come, then, with me thy sorrows join, And ease my woes by telling thine: “For thou, poor bird, perhaps may'st moan Some Passerella dead and gone.” s. Dame Turtle, this runs soft in rhyme, But neither suits the place nor time; The fowler's hand, whose cruel care For dear Columbo set the snare, The suare again for thee may st; Two birds may perish in one net: Thou should'st avoid this cruel field, And sorrow should to prudence yield. "Tis sad to die — r. — It may be so; "Tis sadder yet to live in woe. s. When widows use this canting strain, They seem resolv'd to wed again. T. When widowers would this truth disprove, They never tasted real love. s. Love is soft joy and gentle strife, His efforts all depend on life: When he has thrown two golden darts, And struck the lovers' mutual hearts, Of his black shafts let Death send one, Alas! the pleasing game is done; Ill is the poor survivor sped, A corpse feels mighty cold in bed. Venus said right—“Nor tears can move, Nor plaints revoke the will of Jove.” All must obey the general doom, Down from Alcides to Tom Thumb. Grim Pluto will not be withstood By force or craft. Tall Robinhood, As well as Little John, is dead, (You see how deeply I am read :) With Fate's lean tipstaff moue can dodge, He'll find you out where'er you lodge, Ajax, to shun his general power, In vain absconded in a flower; An idle scene Tythonus acted, When to a grasshopper contracted ; Death struck them in those shapes again, As once he did when they were men. For reptiles perish, plants decay; Flesh is but grass, grass turns to hay, And hay to dung, and dung to clay. Thus heads, extremely nice, discover That folks may die some ten times over ; But oft, by too refin’d a touch, To prove things plain, they prove too much, Whate'er Pythagoras may say, (For each, you know, will have his way) With great submission I pronounce, That people die no more than once: But once is sure; and death is common To bird and man, including woman;
From the spread eagle to the wren, Alas! no mortal fowl knows when; All that wear feathers, first or last, Must one day perch on Charon's mast; Must lie beneath the cypress shade, Where Strada's nightingale was laid. Those fowl who seem alive to sit, Assembled by Dan Chaucer's wit, In prose have slept three hundred years, Exempt from worldly hopes and fears, Aud, laid in state upon their hearse, Are truly but embalm’d in verse. As sure as Lesbia's Sparrow I, Thou, sure as Prior's Dove, must die, And ne'er again from Lethe's streaus Return to Adige, or to Thames. t. I therefore weep Columbo dead, My hopes bereav'd, my pleasures fled; “ I therefore must for ever moan My dear Columbo, dead and gone.” s. Columbo never sces your tears, Your cries Columbo never hears; A wall of brass, and one of lead, Divide the living from the dead. Repeli’d by this, the gather'd rain Of tears beats back to earth again; In toother the collected sound Of groans, when once receiv'd, is drown'd. 'Tis therefore vain one hour to grieve What Time itself can ne'er retrieve. By nature soft, I know a Dove Can never live without her love; Then quit this flame, and light another; JDame, I advise you like a brother. T. What, I to make a second choice In other nuptials to rejoice! s. Why not, my bird 2– T. — No, Sparrow, no! Let me indulge my pleasing woe: Thus sighing, cooing, ease my pain, But never wish, nor love, again : Distress'd, for ever let me moan “My dear Columbo, dead and gone.” s. Our winged friends through all the grove Contemn the mad excess of love: I tell thee, Dame, the other day I met a Parrot and a Jay, Who mock d thee in their mimic tone, And “wept Columbo, dead and gone.” T. Whate'er the Jay or Parrot said, My hopes are lost, my joys are fled, And I for ever must deplore “Columbo dead and gone.”—s. Encore! For shame! forsake this Bion-style, We'll talk an hour, and walk a mile. Does it with sense or health agree, To sit thus moping on a tree ? To throw away a widow's life, When you again may be a wife 2 Come on; I'll tell you my amours; Who knows but they may influence yours? “ Example draws where precept fails, And sermons are less read than tales.” T. Sparrow, I take thee for my friend, As such will hear thee: I descend; Hop on, and talk; but, honest bird, Take care that no imunodest word May venture to offend my ear. s. Too saint-like Turtle, nover fear.