« PrécédentContinuer »
WAILE fuft through water, earth and air,
The vernal spirits rove,
From noisy joys, and giddy crowds,
To rural scenes remove.
The mountain snows are all diffolvd,
And hush'd the bluftring gale :
While fragrant Zephyrs gently breathe
Along the flow'ry vale.
The circling planets' constant rounds
The wint’ry wastes repair;
And still from temporary death,
Renew the verdant year.
But ah! when once our tranfient bloom,
The spring of life, is o'er,
That rosy season takes its flight,
And must return no more.
Yet judge by reason's sober rules,
From false opinion free,
And mark how little pilf'ring years
Can steal from you or me.
Each moral pleasure of the heart,
Each lafting charm of truth,
Depends not on the giddy aid
Of wild inconstant youth.
The vain coquet, whose empty pride
A fading face supplies,
May juftly dread the wintry gloom,
Where all its glory dies.
Leave such a ruin to deplore,
To fading forms confin'd: Nor age nor wrinkles discompofe
One feature of the mind,
Amidft the universal change
Unconscious of decay,
It views, unmoy'd, the fithe of Time
Sweep all besides away.
Fix'd on its own eternal frame,
Eternal are its joys:
While, borne on transitory wings,
Each mortal pleasure flies,
While ev'ry short-liv'd flow'r of sense
Destructive years consume,
Through Friendship's fair enchanting walks
Unfading myrtles bloom.
Nor with the natrow bounds of time
The beauteous prospect ends,
But, lengthen’d through the vale of death,
To Paradise extends.
HILE Night in folemn shade invests the pole, And calm reflection foothes the pensive soul ; While reason undisturb'd afferts her sway, And life's deceitful colours fade away;
To thee, All-conscious-presence! I devote
This peaceful interval of sober thought :
Here all my better faculties confine;
And be this hour of facred filence thine !
If, by the day's illusive scenes milled,
My erring foul from virtue's path has fray'd ;
Snar'd by example, or by passion warm’d,
Some false delight my giddy senfe has charm'd;
My calmer thoughts the wretched choice reproven
And my best hopes are center'd in thy love.
Depriv'd of this, cav life one joy afford ?
Its utmost boast, a vaid unmeaning word.
But, ah! how oft my lawless passions rove,
And break those awful precepts I approve !
Pursue the fatal impulse 1 abhor,
And violate the virtue I adore!
Oft, when thy beiter Spirit's guardian care
Warn’d my fond soul to thun the tempting snare,
My stubborn will his gentle aid repress’d,
And check'd the rifing goodness in my breast;
Mad with vain liopes, or urg'd by false desires,
Still'd his soft voice, and quench'd his sacred fires.
With grief oppress'd, and proftrate in the dust,
Shouldst thou condemn, I own the sentence jutt,
But, oh, thy softer titles let me claim,
And plead my cause by mercy's gentle name.
Mercy! that whipes the penitential tear,
And diffipates the horrors of despair ;
From vigorous justice steals the vengeful hour,
Softens the dreadful attribute of pow'r,
Dilarms the wrath of an offended God,
And scals my pardon in a Saviour's blood I
All-powerful Grace, exert thy gentle sway,
And teach my rebel passions to obey;
Left lurking folly, with infidious art,
Regain my volatile inconstant heart!
Shall every high resolve devotion frames
Be only lifeless founds and specious names ?
O rather, while thy hopes and fears controul,
In this still hour, each motion of my soul,
Secure its safety by a sudden doom,
And be the foft retreat of sleep my tomb !
Calm let me number in that dark repose,
Till the last morn its orient beam disclose :
Then, when the great archangel's potent found
Shall echo through creation's ample round.
Wak'd from the Neep of death, with joy survey
The op’ning fplendors of eternal day.
AN ADDRESS TO THE DEITY. Deus eft quodcunque vides, quocunque moveris.
life, and Author of my days !
Permit my feeble voice to lisp thy praise ;
And trembling take upon a mortal tongue
That hallow'd name to harps of seraphs sung.
Yet here the brightest seraphs could no more
Than hide their faces, tremble, and adore.
Worms, angels, men, in ev'ry diff'rent [pliere,
Are equal all, for all are nothing here,
Ali Nature faints beneath the mighty name
Which Nature's works, through all her parts, proclaim.
I feel that name my inmost thoughts controul,
And breathe an awful stillness through my soul;
As by a charm, the waves of grief subside ;
Impetuous passion ftops her headlong tide :
At thy felt presence all emotions cease,
And my hush'd spirit finds a sudden peace,
Till every worldly thought within me dies,
And carth's gay pageants vanish from my eyes ;
Till all my sense is loft in infinite,
And one vast object fills my aching fight.
But soon, alas ! this holy calm is broke;
My soul submits to wear her wonted yoke ;
With shackled pinions strives to foar in vain,
And mingles with the drofs of earth again.
But he, our gracious Master ! kind as just,
Knowing our frame, remembers man is duft.
His Spirit, ever brooding o'er our mind,
Sees the first wish to better hopes inclin'd;
Marks the young dawn of ev'ry virtuous aim,
And fans the smoaking flax into a flame.
His ears are open to the foftest cry,
His grace descends to meet the lifted eye ;
He reads the language of a filent tear,
And fighs are incense from a heart fincere.
Such are the vows,
the facrifice I give;
Accept the vow, and bid the suppliant live:
From each terrestrial bondage set me free ;
Still ev'ry with that centres not in thec;
Bid my fond hopes, my vain disquiets cease,
And pvint my path to everlasting peace.