Images de page
PDF
ePub

Rais'd, as ancient prophets were,
In heav'nly vision, praise, and pray'r ;
Pleasing all men, hurting none,
Pleas'd and bless'd with God alone:
Then while the gardens take my light
With all the colours of delight;
While filver waters glide along,
To please my ear, and court my song:
I'll lift my voice, and tune my string,
And thee, Great Source of Nature, fing.
The sun that walks his airy way,
To light the world, and give the day ;
The moon that shines with borrow'd light;
The stars that gild the gloomy night;
The feas that roll unnumber'd waves ;
The wood that spreads its shady leaves;
The field whose ears conceal the grain,
The yellow treasure of the plain :
All of these, and all I lee,
Should be fung, and sung by me:
They speak their Maker as they can,
But want and ask the tongue of man.

Go, search among your idle dreams,
Your busy or your vain extremes ;
And find a life of equal bliss,
Qr own the next begun in this.

PRIOR.

CHARITY.

A PARAPHRASE ON 1 CORINTHIANS XIII.

!

DID (weeter sounds adorn my flowing tongue,
Than ever man pronounc'd, or angels sung :
Had I all knowledge, human and divine,
That thought can reach, or science can define ;
And had I pow'r to give that knowledge birth,
In all the speeches of the babbling earth :
Did Shadrach's zeal my glowing breast inspire,
To weary tortures, and rejoice in fire ;
Or had I faith like that which Ifrael faw,
When Moses gave them miracles and law;
Yet, gracious Charity, indulgent guest,
Were not thy pow'r exerted in my breast,
Those speeches would send up unheeded pray’r,
That scorn of life would be but wild despair :
A cymbal's found were better than my voice ;
My faith were form, my eloquence were noise.

Charity, decent, modest, easy, kind,
Softens the high, and rears the abject mind;
Knows with just reins, and gentle hand to guide.
Betwixt vile Mhame, and arbitrary pride :
Not foon provok'd, she easily forgives,
And much the suffers, as the much believes :
Soft peace the brings wherever she arrives ;
She builds our quiet, as she formas our lives :

Lays the rough paths of peevith nature even,
And opers in each heart a little heaven.

Each other gift, which God on man bestows,
Its proper bounds and due restriction knows;
To one fixt purpose dedicates its pow'r,
And finifhing its act, exists no more.
Thus, in obedience to what Heav'n decrees,
Knowledge fhall fail, and prophecy shall cease:
But lasting Charity's more ample sway,
Nor bound by time, nor subject to decay,
In happy triumph thall for ever live,
And endless goor diffuse, and endless praise receive.

As through the artist's intervening glass,
Our eye obferves the distant planets pass;
A little ve discover; but allow
That more remains unseen than art can show;
So whilf our iniuds its knowledge would improve
fit, feeble eye inteat on things above)
High as we may, we litt our reason up,
Ey Faith directid, and confirm'd by Hope :
Yet are we able only to survey
Dawnings of beams, and promises of day.
Heav'a's fuller efluence mocks our dazzled fight;
Too great its fwiftness, and too strong its light.

But soon its mediate clouds shall be dispeild:
The Sun shall soon be face to face beheld,
In all his robes, with all his glory on,
Seated sublime on his meridian throne.
Then coafiant Faith and holy Hope fall die,
One lof in certainly, and one in joy :
Wbilå thou, mory happy pow'r, fair Charity,
Triumphant fler, greatest of the three,

[ocr errors]

Thy office and thy nature still the same,
Lasting thy lamp, and unconíum'd thy flame,
Shalt still survive -
Shalt stand before the hoft of hear'n confeft,
For ever blessing, and for ever blet.

THE CONVERSATION.

A,TALE.

[ocr errors]

always has been thought discrete, To know the company you meet ; And sure there may be secret danger, In talking much before a stranger. “ Agreed—what then?Then drink your ale; I'll pledge you, and repeat my tale.

No matter where the scene is fixt: The persons were but oddly mixt; When sober Damon thus began (And Damon is a clever man :) “ I now grow old; but still, from youth, "Have held for Modesty and Truth. The men, who by these fea-marks steer, “ In life's great voyage never err : “ Upon this point I dare defy “ The world. I pause for a reply."

Sir, either is a good affiftant,' Said one who sat a little distant: « Truth decks our speeches and our books; • And Modesty adorns our looks : • But farther progress we must take: . Not only born to look and speak :

[ocr errors]

. The man must act. The Stagyrite
• Says thus, and says extremely right:
• Stri& juftice is the sovereign guide,
• That o'er our actions should preside :
* This Queen of virtues is con feft
• To regulate and bind the rest.
• Thrice happy if you once can find
• Her equal balance poise your mind :
• All different graces soon will enter,
• Like lines concurrent to their centre.'

'I'was thus, in short, these two went on,
With yea and NAY, and PRO and con,
Through many points divinely dark,
And Waterland assaulting Clarke ;
Till, in theology half lost,
Damon took up the Evening-Poft ;
Confounded Spain, compos'd the North,
And deep in politics held forth.

“ Methinks we're in the like condition, “ As at the Treaty of Partition : “ That Itoke, for all King William's care,

Begat another tedious war. “ Matthew, who knew the whole intrigue, “ Ne'er much approv'd that mystic league : “ In the vile Utrecht Treaty too, « Poor man ! he found enough to do. “ Sometimes to me he did apply ; “ But down-right Dunstable was I, " And told him where they were mistaken, “ And counsel'd him to save his bacon: “ But (pass his politics and prose)

I never herded with his foes ;

[ocr errors]
« PrécédentContinuer »