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When souls drawn upwards in communion sweet Yet Age, by long experience well inform’d,
Well read, well temper’d, with religion warm’d, Discourse, as if releas'd and safe at home,
That fire abated, which impels rash youth, Of dangers past, and wonders yet to come,
Proud of his speed, to overshoot the truth, And spread the sacred treasures of the breast As time improves the grape's authentic juice, Upon the lap of covenanted Rest.
Mellows and makes the speech more fit for use, “ What, always dreaming over heav'nly things, And claims a rev'rence in it's short’ning day, Like angel-heads in stone with pigeon-wings? That 't is an honour and a joy to pay. Canting and whining out all day the word, The fruits of Age, less fair, are yet more sound, And half the night? fanatic and absurd !
Than those a brighter season pours around; Mine be the friend less frequent in his pray'rs, And, like the stores autumnal suns mature, Who makes no bustle with his soul's affairs, Through wintry rigours unimpair'd endure. Whose wit can brighten up a wintry day,
What is fanatic phrenzy, scorn'd so much, And chase the splenetic dull hours away;
And dreaded more than a contagious touch? Content on Earth in earthly things to shine, I grant it dang'rous, and approve your fear, Who waits for Heav'n ere he becomes divine, That fire is catching, if you draw too near
r; Leaves saints t' enjoy those altitudes they teach, But sage observers oft mistake the flame, And plucks the fruit plac'd more within his reach.” | And give true piety that odious name.
Well spoken, Advocate of sin and shame, To tremble (as the creature of an hour
All tremble in all worlds, except our own
Though common sense, allow'd a casting voice, It's happiest soil in the serenest minds ?
And free from bias, must approve the choice, Religion curbs indeed it's wanton play,
Convicts a man fanatic in th' extreme, And brings the trifler under rig'rous sway,
And wild as madness in the world's esteem. But gives it usefulness unknown before,
But that disease, when soberly defin'd, And, purifying, makes it shine the more.
Is the false fire of an o'erheated mind; A Christian's wit is inoffensive light,
It views the truth with a distorted eye, A beam that aids, but never grieves the sight; And either warps or lays it useless by ; Vig'rous in age as in the flush of youth,
'T is narrow, selfish, arrogant, and draws 'Tis always active on the side of truth;
It's sordid nourishment from man's applause; Temp'rance and peace insure it's healthful state, And while at heart sin unrelinquish'd lies, And make it brightest at it's latest date.
Presumes itself chief fav'rite of the skies. Oh I have seen (nor hope perhaps in vain, 'Tis such a light as putrefaction breeds Ere life go down, to see such sights again) In fly-blown Hesh, whereon the maggot feeds, A vet'ran warrior in the Christian field,
Shines in the dark, but, usher’d into day, Who never saw the sword he could not wield; The stench remains, the lustre dies away. Grave without dulness, learned without pride, True bliss, if man may reach it, is compos'd Exact, yet not precise, though meek, keen-ey'd ; Of hearts in union mutually disclos'd; A man that would have foild at their own play And, farewell else all hope of pure delight, A dozen would-bes of the modern day;
Those hearts should be reclaim'd, renew'd, upright. Who, when occasion justified it's use,
Bad men, profaning friendship’s hallow'd name, Had wit as bright as ready to produce,
Form in it's stead, a covenant of shame, Could fetch from records of an earlier age,
A dark confed'racy against the laws Or from philosophy's enlighten'd page,
Of virtue, and religion's glorious cause : His rich materials, and regale your ear
They build each other up with dreadful skill, With strains it was a privilege to hear :
As bastions set point blank against God's will: Yet above all his luxury supreme,
Enlarge and fortify the dread redoubt,
But souls, that carry on a blest exchange
Of joys, they meet with in their heav'nly range, It moves me more perhaps than folly ought, And with a fearless confidence make known When some green heads, as void of wit as thought, The sorrows, sympathy esteems it's own, Suppose themselves monopolists of sense,
Daily derive increasing light and force And wiser men's ability pretence.
From such communion in their pleasant course, Though time will wear us, and we must grow old, Feel less the journey's roughness and its length, Such men are not forgot as socn as cold,
Meet their opposers with united strength, Their fragrant mem'ry will outlast their tomb, And, one in heart, in int'rest, and design, Embalm'd for ever in it's own perfume.
Gird up each other to the race divine. And to say truth, though in it's early prime;
But Conversation, choose what theme we may, And when unstain'd with any grosser crime, And chiefly when religion leads the way, Youth has a sprightliness and fire to boast,
Should flow, like waters after summer show'rs, That in the valley of decline are lost,
Not as if rais'd by mere mehanic pow'rs. And Virtue with peculiar charms appears,
The Christian, in whose soul, though now distress'd, Crown'd with the garland of life's blooming years; | Lives the dear thought of joys !ie once possess'd,
When all his glowing language issu'd forth That truth itself is in her head as dull
A trick upon the canvass, painted fame.
And all her censures of the work of grace, The song of Sion is a tasteless thing,
Are insincere, meant only to conceal Unless, when rising on a joyful wing,
A dread she would not, yet is forc'd to feel ; The soul can mix with the celestial bands,
That in her heart the Christian she reveres,
Strange tidings these to tell a World, who treat A poet does not work by square or line,
As smiths and joiners perfect a design ;
And claim a right to scamper and run wide,
Wherever chance, caprice, or fancy guide.
Since she and I convers’d together last,
And I have liv'd recluse, in rural shades,
Great changes and new manners have occurrid,
And she may now be as discreet and wise,
As once absurd in all discerning eyes. With such a jest, as fill’d with hellish glee
Sobriety perhaps may now be found, Certain invisibles as shrewd as he ;
Where once Intoxication press’d the ground; But veneration or respect finds none,
The subtle and injurious may be just, Save from the subjects of that work alone.
And he grown chaste, that was the slave of lust; The World grown old her deep discernment shows, Arts once esteem'd may be with shame dismiss'd; Claps spectacles on her sagacious nose,
Charity may relax the miser's fist; Peruses closely the true Christian's face,
The gamester may have cast his cards away, And finds it a mere mask of sly grimace ;
Forgot to curse, and only kneel to pray. Usurps God's office, lays his bosom bare,
It has indeed been told me (with what weight,
How credibly, 't is hard for me to state)
And Jupiter bids fair to rule again;
That certain feasts are instituted now,
That all Olympus through the country roves,
And Echo learns politely ro repeat
The praise of names for ages obsolete ;
To bring the passions under sober sway,
By stout substantial gods of wood and stone,
May Mercury once more embellish man,
Reclaim his taste, and brighten up his parts,
Learn'd at the bar, in the palæstra bold,
'Tis time, however, if the case stands thus, The doctrines warp'd to what they never meant ; For us plain folks, and all who side with us,
DURING HIS SOLITARY ABODE IN THE ISLAND OF
To build our altar, confident and bold,
SUPPOSED TO BE WRITTEN BY ALEXANDER SELKIRK, Then Baal is the God, and worship him.
Digression is so much in modern use, Thought is so rare, and fancy so profuse, Some never seem so wide of their intent,
I am monarch of all I
survey, As when returning to the theme they meant;
My right there is none to dispute ; As mendicants, whose business is to roam,
From the centre all round to the sea, Make ev'ry parish but their own their home.
I am lord of the fowl and the brute. Though such continual zig-zags in a book,
O Solitude! where are the charms, Such drunken reelings have an awkward look,
That sages have seen in thy face? And I had rather creep to what is true,
Better dwell in the midst of alarms,
Than reign in this horrible place.
I am out of humanity's reach,
I must finish my journey alone, And touch the subject I design'd at first,
Never hear the sweet music of speech, May prove, though much beside the rules of art,
I start at the sound of my own. Best for the public, and my wisest part.
The beasts, that roam over the plain, And first let no man charge me, that I mean
My form with indifference see; To close in sable ev'ry social scene,
They are so unacquainted with man,
Their tameness is shocking to me.
Divinely bestow'd upon man,
O, had I the wings of a dove, “ Then mirth is sin, and we should always cry.”
How soon would I taste you again! To find the medium asks some share of wit,
My sorrows I then might assuage And therefore 't is a mark fools never hit :
In the ways of religion and truth, But though life's valley be a vale of tears,
Might learn from the wisdom of age, A brighter scene beyond that vale appears,
And be cheerd by the sallies of youth. Whose glory with a light, that never fades, Shoots between scatter'd rocks and op’ning shades, Religion ! what treasure untold And, while it shows the land the soul desires,
Resides in that heavenly word ! The language of the land she seeks inspires.
More precious than silver and gold, Thus touch'd, the tongue receives a sacred cure
Or all that this Earth can afford. Of all that was absurd, profane, impure;
But the sound of the church-going bell Held within modest bounds, the tide of speech
These valleys and rocks never heard,
Or smil'd when a sabbath appear'd.
Ye winds, that have made me your sport, Sprightly and fresh, enriches ev'ry theme,
Convey to this desolate shore While all the happy man possess'd before,
Some cordial endearing report The gift of Nature, or the classic store,
Of a land, I shall visit no more. Is made subservient to the grand design,
My friends, do they now and then send For which Heav'n form'd the faculty divine.
A wish or a thought after me? So should an idiot, while at large he strays,
O tell me I yet have a friend,
Though a friend I am never to see.
How fleet is a glance of the mind !
Compar'd with the speed of its flight, Once take the shell beneath his just command,
The tempest itself lags behind, In gentle sounds it seems as it complain'd
And the swift-winged arrows of light. Of the rude injuries it late sustain'd,
When I think of my own native land, Till tun'd at length to some immortal song,
In a moment I seem to be there; It sounds Jehovah's name, and pours his praise along. But alas ! recollection at band
Soon hurries me back to despair.
But the sea-fowl is gone to her nest,
The beast is laid down in his lair;
And I to my cabin repair.
* And mercy, encouraging thought !
John Gilpin's spouse said to her dear,
“ Though wedded we have been These twice ten tedious years, yet we
No holiday have seen.
“ Good lack!" quoth he -"yet bring it me,
My leathern belt likewise,
When I do exercise."
« To-morrow is our wedding-day,
And we will then repair Unto the Bell at Edmonton
All in a chaise and pair.
“ My sister, and my sister's child,
Myself, and children three, Will fill the chaise ; so you must ride
On horseback after we.
Now Mistress Gilpin (careful soul!)
Had two stone bottles found, To hold the liquor that she lor'd,
And keep it safe and sound. Each bottle had a curling ear,
Through which the belt he drew, And hung a bottle on each side,
To make his balance true. Then over all, that he might be
Equipp'd from top to toe,
He manfully did throw.
Upon his nimble steed,
With caution and good heed.
He soon replied, “ I do admire
Of woman-kind but one, And you are she, my dearest dear,
Therefore it shall be done,
" I am a linen-draper bold,
As all the world doth know, And my good friend the calendrer
Will lend his horse to go."
Quoth Mrs. Gilpin, “ That 's well said ;
And, for that wine is dear,
Which is both bright and clear.”
But finding soon a smoother road
Beneath his well-shod feet, The snorting beast began to trot,
Which gall’d him in his seat. So, “ Fair and softly," John he cried,
But John he cried in vain; That trot became a gallop soon,
In spite of curb and rein.
John Gilpin kiss'd his loving wife;
O'erjoy'd was he to find, That, though on pleasure she was bent,
She had a frugal mind.
The morning came, the chaise was brought,
But yet was not allow'd
Should say that she was proud.
So stooping down, as needs he must
Who cannot sit upright, He grasp'd the mane with both his hands
And eke with all his might.
Had handled been before,
Did wonder more and more.
So three doors off the chaise was stay'd,
Where they did all get in; Six precious souls, and all agog
To dash through thick and thin.
Smack went the whip, round went the wheels,
Were never folk so glad,
As if Cheapside were mad.
John Gilpin at his horse's side
Seiz'd fast the flowing mane, And up he got, in haste to ride,
But soon (ame down again ;
Away went Gilpin, neck or nought;
Away went hat and wig;
Of running such a rig.
Like streamer long and gay,
At last it flew away.
The bottles he had slung ;
As hath been said or sung.
The dogs did bark, the children scream'd, “ What news? what news ? your tidings tell ; Up flew the windows all ;
Tell me you must and shall And ev'ry soul cried out, “ Well done!"
Say why bareheaded you are come, As loud as he could bawl.
Or why you come at all ?” Away went Gilpin - who but he ?
Now Gilpin had a pleasant wit, His fame soon spread around,
And lov'd a timely joke; “ He carries weight! he rides a race !
And thus unto the calender 'Tis for a thousand pound !".
In merry guise he spoke: And still as fast as he drew near,
“ I came because your horse would come; 'T was wonderful to view,
And, if I well forbode, How in a trice the turnpike men
My hat and wig will soon be here, Their gates wide open threw.
They are upon the road." And now, as he went bowing down
The calender, right glad to find His reeking head full low,
His friend in merry pin, The bottles twain behind his back
Return'd him not a single word, Were shatter'd at a blow.
But to the house went in: