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So ere the Shunamite a son conceived, The prophet promised, and the wife believed. A son was sent, the son so much desired ;, But soon upon the mother's knees expired. The troubled seer approach'd the mournful door, Ran, pray'd, and sent his pastoral staff before, Then stretch'd his limbs upon the child, and mourn'd, 'Till warmth, and breath, and a new soul return'd.
Thus Mercy stretches out her hand, and saves
Desponding Peter sinking in the waves.
As when a sudden storm of hail and rain
Beats to the ground the yet unbearded grain,
Think not the hopes of harvest are destroy'd
On the flat field, and on the naked void;
The light, unloaded stem, from tempest freed,
Will raise the youthful honours of his head ;
And, soon restored by native vigour, bear
The timely product of the bounteous year.
Nor yet conclude all fiery trials past:
For Heaven will exercise us to the last;
Sometimes will check us in our full career,
With doubtful blessings, and with mingled fear;
That, still depending on his daily grace,
His every mercy for an alms may pass ;
With sparing hands will diet us to good,
Preventing surfeits of our pamper'd blood.
So feeds the mother-bird her craving young
With little morsels, and delays them long,
True, this last blessing was a royal feast;
But, where's the wedding-garment on the guest ?
Our manners, as religion were a dream,
Are such as teach the nations to blaspheme.
In lusts we wallow, and with pride we swell,
And injuries with injuries repel ;
Prompt to revenge, not daring to forgive,
Our lives unteach the doctrine we believe.
Thus Israel sinn'd, impenitently hard,
And vainly thought the present ark their guard ;
But when the haughty Philistines appear,
They fled, abandon'd to their foes and fear;
Their God was absent, though his ark was there.
Ah ! lest our crimes should snatch this pledge away,
And make our joys the blessings of a day!
For we have sinn'd him hence, and that he lives,
God to his promise, not our practice gives.
Our crimes would soon weigh down the guilty scale,
But James, and Mary, and the Church prevail.
Nor Amalek can rout the chosen bands,
While Hur and Aaron hold up Moses' hands.
By living well
, let us secure his days,
Moderate in hopes, and humble in our ways.
No force the free-born spirit can constrain,
But charity, and great examples gain.
Forgiveness is our thanks for such a day,
'Tis god-like, God in his own coin to pay.
But you, propitious queen, translated here,
From your mild heaven, to rule our rugged sphere,
Beyond the sunny walks, and circling year:
You, who your native climate have bereft
Of all the virtues, and the vices left;
Whom piety and beauty make their boast,
Though beautiful is well in pious lost;
So lost, as star-light is dissolved away,
And melts into the brightness of the day;
Or gold about the regal diadem,
Lost to improve the lustre of the gem.
What can we add to your triumphant day?
Let the great gift the beauteous giver pay.
For should our thanks awake the rising sun,
And lengthen, as his latest shadows run,
That, tho' the longest day, would soon, too soon be done.
Let angels' voices with their harps conspire,
But keep the auspicious infant from the choir;
Late let him sing above, and let us know
No sweeter music than his cries below.
Nor can I wish to you, great monarch, more
Than such an annual income to your store ;
The day which gave this Unit, did not shine
For a less omen, than to fill the Trine.
After a Prince, an Admiral beget;
The Royal Sovereign wants an anchor yet.
Our isle has younger titles still in store,
And when the exhausted land can yield no more,
Your line can force them from a foreign shore.
The name of Great your martial mind will suit :
But justice is your darling attribute:
Of all the Greeks, 'twas but one hero's due,
And, in him, Plutarch prophesied of you.
A prince's favours but on few can fali
, But justice is a virtue shared by all.
Some kings the name of conquerors have assumed, Some to be great, some to be gods presumed ; But boundless power, and arbitrary lust, Made tyrants still abhor the name of just; They shunn'd the praise this god-like virtue gives, And fear'd a title that reproach'd their lives. The
power, from which all kings derive their state,
Whom they pretend, at least, to imitate,
Is equal both to punish and reward;
For few would love their God, unless they fear'd.
Resistless force and immortality
Make but a lame, imperfect, deity;
Tempests have force unbounded to destroy,
And deathless being even the damn'd enjoy ;
And yet Heaven's attributes, both last and first,
One without life, and one with life accurst :
But justice is Heaven's self, so strictly he,
That, could it fail, the Godhead could not be.
This virtue is your own; but life and state
Are one to fortune subject, one to fate :
Equal to all, you justly frown or smile;
Nor hopes nor fears your steady hand beguile;
Yourself our balance hold, the world's, our isle.
TO MY FRIEND MR. J. NORTHLEIGH,
AUTHOR OF THE PARALLEL,'
ON HIS TRIUMPH OF THE BRITISH MONARCHY.'
So Joseph, yet a youth, expounded well
The boding dream, and did th' event foretell;
Judged by the past, and drew the Parallel.
Thus early Solomon the truth explored,
The right awarded, and the babe restored.
Thus Daniel, ere to prophecy he grew,
The perjured Presbyters did first subdue,
And freed Susanna from the canting crew.
Well may our Monarchy triumphant stand,
While warlike James protects both sea and land ;
And, under covert of his seven-fold shield,
Thou send'st thy shafts to scour the distant field.
By law thy powerful pen has set us free;
Thou studiest that, and that may study thee.
TO MY HONOURED FRIEND,
SIR ROBERT HOWARD,
As there is music uninform'd by art
In those wild notes, which, with a merry heart,
The birds in unfrequented shades express,
Who, better taught at home, yet please us less :
So in your verse a native sweetness dwells,
Which shames composure, and its art excels.
Singing no more can your soft numbers grace,
Than paint add charms unto a beauteous face.
Yet as, when mighty rivers gently creep,
Their even calmness does suppose them deep;
Such is your muse: no metaphor swell’d high
With dangerous boldness lifts her to the sky:
Those mounting fancies, when they fall again,
Show sand and dirt at bottom do remain.
So firm a strength, and yet withal so sweet,
Did never but in Samson's riddle meet.
'Tis strange each line so great a weight should bear,
And yet no sign of toil, no sweat appear.
Either your art hides art, as stoics feign
Then least to feel, when most they suffer pain ;
And we, dull souls, admire, but cannot see
What hidden springs within the engine be;
Or 'tis some happiness that still pursues
Each act and motion of your graceful muse.
Or is it fortune's work, that in your head
The curious net that is for fancies spread,
Lets through its meshes every meaner thought,
While rich ideas there are only caught ?
Sure that's not all; this is a piece too fair
To be the child of chance, and not of care.
No atoms casually together hurld
Could e'er produce so beautiful a world.
Nor dare I such a doctrine here admit,
As would destroy the providence of wit.
'Tis your strong genius then which does not feel
Those weights, would make a weaker spirit reel..
To carry weight, and run so lightly too,
Is what alone your Pegasus can do.
Great Hercules himself could ne'er do more,
Than not to feel those heavens and gods he bore.
Your easier odes, which for delight were penn'd,
Yet our instruction make their second end :
We're both enrich'd and pleased, like them that woo
At once a beauty, and a fortune too.
Of moral knowledge poesy was queen,
And still she might, had wanton wits not been ;
Who, like ill guardians, lived themselves at large,
And, not content with that, debauch'd their charge.
Like some brave captain, your successful pen
Restores the exiled to her crown again :
And gives us hope, that having seen the days
When nothing flourish'd but fanatic bays,
All will at length in this opinion rest,
“ A sober prince’s government is best.”
This is not all; your art the way
To make the improvement of the richest ground,