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So slowly, by degrees, unwilling fame
The nation felt it in the extremest parts,
Such multitudes she fed, she clothed, she nurst,
Want pass'd for merit at her open door :
As to some holy house the afflicted came,
Sure she had guests sometimes to entertain,
Yet was she not profuse; but fear'd to waste, And wisely managed, that the stock might last; That all might be supplied, and she not grieve, When crowds appear’d, she had not to relieve: Which to prevent, she still increased her store; Laid up, and spared, that she might give the more. So Pharoah, or some greater king than he, Provided for the seventh necessity ;t Taught from above his magazines to frame, That famine was prevented ere it came. Thus heaven, though all-sufficient, shews a thrift In his economy, and bounds his gift; Crea Jabo wa day one single light, And his reflection too supalias the night bısı
. Perhaps a thousand other" hi ds, that lj) outu ) Remote from us, and lati frien the sky #now I
+ In allusion to the provisi nade in Egypt, during the seven years of plenty, for the succeeding years of famine. VOL. XI.
Are lighten'd by his beams, and kindly nurst,
Now, as all virtues keep the middle line,
These virtues raised her fabric to the sky; For that which is next heaven is charity. But as high turrets for their airy steep Require foundations in proportion deep, And lofty cedars as far upward shoot As to the nether heavens they drive the root ; So low did her secure foundation lie, She was not humble, but humility. Scarcely she knew that she was great, or fair, Or wise, beyond what other women are, Or, which is better, knew, but neverdurst compare. For, to be conscious of what all admire, And not be vain, advances virtue higher. But still she found, or rather thought she found, Her own worth wanting, others' to abound; Ascribed above their due to every one, Unjust and scanty to herself alone.
Šuch her devotion was, as might give rules Of speculation to disputing schools, And teach us equally the scales to hold Betwixt the two extremes of hot and cold ; That pious heat may moderately prevail, And we be warm'd, but not be scorch'd with zeal. Business might shorten, not disturb, her prayer ; Heaven had the best, if not the greater share. An active life long orisons forbids; Yet still she pray'd, for still she pray'd by deeds.
Her every day was sabbath ; only free From hours of prayer, for hours of charity.
Such as the Jews from servile toil released,
Muse, down again precipitate thy flight;
light. Her virtue, not her virtues, let us call; For one heroic comprehends them all : One, as a constellation is but one, Though ’tis a train of stars, that, rolling on, Rise in their turn, and in the zodiac run, Ever in motion ; now 'tis faith ascends, Now hope, now charity, that upward tends, And downwards with diffusive good descends.
As in perfumes composed with art and cost, "Tis hard to say what scent is uppermost; Nor this part musk or civet can we call, Or amber, but a rich result of all; So she was all a sweet, whose every part, In due proportion mix’d, proclaim'd the Maker's art. No single virtue we could most commend, Whether the wife, the mother, or the friend; For she was all, in that supreme degree, That as no one prevaild, so all was she. The several parts lay hidden in the piece; The occasion but exerted that, or this. A wife as tender, and as true withal, As the first woman was before her fall : Made for the man, of whom she was a part; Made to attract his eyes, and keep his heart. A second Eve, but by no crime accurst; As beauteous, not as brittle, as the first. Had she been first, still Paradise had been, And death had found no entrance by her sin. So she not only had preserved from ill Her sex and ours, but lived their pattern still.
Love and obedience to her lord she bore; She much obey'd him, but she loved him more: Not awed to duty by superior sway, But taught by his indulgence to obey. Thus we love God, as author of our good; So subjects love just kings, or so they should. Nor was it with ingratitude return'd; In equal fires the blissful couple burn'd; One joy possess'd them both, and in one grief
. His passion still improved; he loved so fast, As if hę fear'd each day would be her last. Too true a prophet to foresee the fate That should so soon divide their happy state; When he to heaven entirely must restore That love, that heart, where he went halves before.