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Sheltered, and flourish in a little grove
Of their own kindred— all behold in him
A silent monitor, which on their minds
Must needs impress a transitory thought
Of self-congratulation, to the heart
Of each recalling his peculiar boons,
His charters and exemptions; and, perchance,
Though he to no one give the fortitude
And circumspection needful to preserve
His present blessings, and to husband up
The respite of the season, he, at least -
And ’tis no vulgar service-makes them felt.
Yet further; many, I believe, there are
Who live a life of virtuous decency-
Men who can hear the decalogue, and feel
No self-reproach ; who, of the moral law
Establish'd in the land where they abide,
Are still observers, and not negligent
In acts of love to those with whom they dwell,-
Their kindred, and the children of their blood ;-
Praise be to such, and to their slumbers peace!
But of the poor man ask — the abject poor,
Go and demand of him, if there be here,
In this cold abstinence from evil deeds,
And these inevitable charities,
Wherewith to satisfy a human soul?
No, man is dear to man; the poorest poor
Long for some moments of a wearied life,
When they can know and feel that they have been
Themselves the fathers and the dealers out
Of some small blessings ; have been kind to such
As needed kindness ;—for this single cause,
That we have all of us one human heart.
Such pleasure is to one kind being known:
My neighbour, when with punctual care each week,
Duly as Friday comes, though press’d herself
By her own wants, she from her store of meal
Takes one unsparing handful for the scrip
Of this old mendicant, and from her door
Returning, with exhilarated heart,
Sits by her fire, and builds her hope in heav'n.
Then let him pass, a blessing on his head !
And while in that vast solitude, to which
The tide of things has borne him, he
To breathe and live but for himself alone,
Unblam’d, uninjur'd, let him bear about
The good which the benignant law of heav'n
Has hung around him; and while life is his,
Still let him prompt th' unletter'd villagers
To tender offices and pensive thoughts.
Then let him pass, a blessing on his head !
And long as he can wander, let him breathe
The freshness of the valleys ; let his blood
Struggle with frosty air and winter snows;
And let the charter'd wind, that sweeps the heath,
Beat his grey locks against his wither'd face.
Rev'rence the hope whose vital anxiousness
Gives the last human int’rest to his heart.
Be his the natural silence of old age !
Let him be free of mountain solitude ;
And have around him, whether heard or not,
The pleasant melody of woodland-birds.
Few are his pleasures : if his eyes have now
Been doom'd so long to settle on the earth,
That not without some effort they behold
The countenance of the horizontal sun
Rising or setting, let the light at least
Find a free entrance to their languid orbs;
And let him, where and when he will, sit down
Beneath the trees, or by the grassy bank
Of highway-side, and with the little birds
Share his chance-gather'd meal : and finally,
As in the eye of nature he has liv’d,
So in the eye of nature let him die.
The Commonwealth of Bees.
So work the honey-bees : Creatures, that by a rule in nature, teach The art of order to a peopled kingdom. They have a king, and officers of sorts,Where some, like magistrates, correct at home; Others, like merchants, venture trade abroad; Others, like soldiers, armed in their stings, Make boot upon the summer's velvet buds ; Which pillage they with merry march bring home To the tent royal of their emperor ; Who, busied in his majesty, surveys
The singing masons building roofs of gold;
The civil citizens kneading up the honey;
The poor mechanic porters crowding in
Their heavy burdens at his narrow gate ;
The sad-eyed justice, with his surly hum,
Delivering o'er to executors pale
The lazy yawning drone.
RESTORE to God his due in tithe and time;
A tithe purloin'd cankers the whole estate. Sundays observe. Think when the bells do chime, 'Tis angels' music; therefore come not late.
God then deals blessings : if a king did so,
Who would not haste, nay, give, to see the shew ?
Though private prayer be a brave design,
Yet public hath more promises, more love;
And love's a weight to hearts—to eyes a sign.
We all are but cold suitors ; let us move
Where it is warmest. Leave thy six and seven;
Pray with the most; for, where most pray, is
When once thy foot enters the church, be bare.
God is more there than thou; for thou art there Only by his permission. Then beware ;
And make thyself all reverence and fear.
Kneeling ne'er spoild silk stocking. Quit thy
All equal are within the church's gate.
Resort to sermons; but to prayers most;
Praying 's the end of preaching. Oh, be dress’d!
Stay not for th' other pin. Why, thou hast lost
A joy for it worth worlds. Thus hell doth jest
Away thy blessings, and extremely flout thee,
Thy clothes being fast, but thy soul loose about
In time of service seal up both thine eyes,
And send them to thine heart; that, spying sin, They may weep out the stains by them did rise. These doors being shut, all by the ears comes in :
Who marks in church-time others' symmetry,
Makes all their beauty his deformity.
Let vain or busy thoughts have there no part;
Bring not thy plough, thy plots, thy pleasures thither.
Christ purg'd his Temple ; so must thou thy heart.
All worldly thoughts are but thieves met together
To cozen thee. Look to thy actions well;
For churches either are our heaven or hell.
Judge not the preacher; for he is thy judge:
If thou mislike him thou conceiv'st him not. God calleth preaching folly. Do not grudge
To pick out treasures from an earthen pot :