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THOU! whose balance does the mountains weigh;
Whose will the wild tumultuous seas obey;
Whose breath can turn those wat'ry worlds to flame,
That flame to tempest, and that tempest tame;
Earth's meanest son, all trembling, prostrate falls,
And on the boundless of thy goodness calls.
O! give the winds all past offence to sweep,
To scatter wide, or bury in the deep.
Thy pow'r, my weakness, may I ever see,
And wholly dedicate my soul to thee.
Reign o'er my will; my passions ebb and flow
At thy command, nor human motive know!
If anger boil, let anger be my praise,
And sin the graceful indignation raise.
My love be warm to succour the distress'd,
And lift the burden from the soul oppress'd,
O may my understanding ever read
This glorious volume which thy wisdom made!
May sea and land, and earth and heav'n be join'd,
To bring th' eternal Author to my mind!
When oceans roar, or awful thunders roll,
May thoughts of thy dread vengeance shake my soul:
When earth's in bloom, or planets proudly shine,
Adore, my heart, the Majesty divine!
Grant I may ever at the morning ray,
Open with pray'r the consecrated day;
Tune thy great praise, and bid my soul arise,
And with the mounting sun ascend the skies:
As that advances, let my zeal improve,
And glow with ardour of consummate love;
Nor cease at eve, but with the setting sun
My endless worship shall be still begun.
And oh! permit the gloom of solemn night,
To sacred thought may forcibly invite.
When this world's shut, and awful planets rise,
Call on our minds, and raise them to the skies;
Compose our souls with a less dazzling sight,
And show all nature in a milder light.
How ev'ry boist'rous thought in calm subsides!
How the smooth'd spirit into goodness glides!
Oh how divine! to tread the milky way,
To the bright palace of the Lord of Day;
His court admire, or for his favour sue,
Or leagues of friendship with his saints renew
Pleas'd to look down and see the world asleep;
While I long vigils to its Founder keep!
Canst thou not shake the centre? Oh control,
Subdue by force, the rebel in my soul.
Thou, who canst still the raging of the flood,
Restrain the various tumults of my blood;
Teach me, with equal firmness, to sustain
Alluring pleasure, and assaulting pain.
O may I pant for thee in each desire!
And with strong faith foment the holy fire!
Stretch out my soul in hope, and grasp the prize,
Which in eternity's deep bosom lies!
At the great day of recompense behold,
Devoid of fear, the fatal book unfold!
Then wafted upward to the blissful seat,
From age to age my grateful song repeat;
My light, my Life, my God, my Saviour see,
And rival angels in the praise of thee!
The pursuit of happiness often ill-directed.
THE midnight moon serenely smiles
O'er nature's soft repose;
No low'ring cloud obscures the sky,
Nor ruffling tempest blows.
Now ev'ry passion sinks to rest,
The throbbing heart lies still;
And varying schemes of life no more
Distract the lab'ring will.
In silence hush'd to reason's voice,
Attends each mental pow'r:
Come, dear Emilia, and enjoy
Reflection's fav'rite hour.
Come; while the peaceful scene invites,
Let's search this ample round;
Where shall the lovely fleeting form
Of happiness be found?
Does it amidst the frolic mirth
Of gay assemblies dwell;
Or hide beneath the solemn gloom,
That shades the hermit's cell?
How oft the laughing brow of joy
A sick'ning heart conceals;
And through the cloister's deep recess,
Invading sorrow steals.
In vain, through beauty, fortune, wit,
The fugitive we trace;
It dwells not in the faithless smile
That brightens Clodia's face.
Perhaps the joy to these deny'd,
The heart in friendship finds:
Ah! dear delusion, gay conceit
Of visionary minds!
Howe'er our varying notions rove,
Yet all agree in one,'
To place its being in some state,
At distance from our own.
O'blind to each indulgent aim
Of power supremely wise,
Who fancy happiness in aught
The hand of Heav'n denies!
Vain is alike the joy we seek,
And vain what we possess,
Unless harmonious reason tunes
The passions into peace.
To temper'd wishes, just desires,
Is happiness confin'd;
And, deaf to folly's call, attends
The music of the mind.
DEAR Chloe, while the busy crowd,
The vain, the wealthy, and the proud,
In folly's maze advance ;
Tho' singularity and pride
Be call'd our choice, we'll step aside,
Nor join the giddy dance.
From the gay world, we'll oft retire
To our own family and fire,
Where love our hours employs :
No noisy neighbour enters here,
No intermeddling stranger near,
To spoil our heart-felt joys.
If solid happiness we prize,
Within our breast this jewel lies:
And they are fools who roam :
The world has nothing to bestow;
From our own selves our joys must flow, And that dear hut our home.
Of rest was Noah's dove bereft,
When, with impatient wings, she left
That safe retreat the ark ;
Giving her vain excursion o'er,
The disappointed bird once more
Explor'd the sacred bark.
Tho' fools spurn Hymen's gentle pow'rs,
We, who improve his golden hours,
By sweet experience know,
That marriage rightly understood,
Gives to the tender and the good
A paradise below.
Our babes shall richest comfort bring;
If tutor'd right, they'll prove a spring
Whence pleasures ever rise:
We'll form their minds, with studious care, To all that's manly, good, and fair,
And train them for the skies.
While they our wisest hours engage,
They'll joy our youth, support our age,
And crown our hoary hairs:
They'll grow in virtue ev'ry day,
And thus our fondest loves repay,
And recompense our cares.
No borrow'd joys! they're all our own,
While to the world we live unknown,
Or by the world forgot:
Monarchs! we envy not your state;
We look with pity on the great,
And bless our humbler lot.