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Yet as the soul is all in every part,
So God and he might each have all her heart.
So had her children too ;. for.charity
Was not more fruitful, or more kind, than she *
Each under other by degrees they grew;
A goodly perspective of distant view.
Anchises look'd not with so pleased a face,
In numbering o'er his future Roman race, t
And marshalling the heroes of his name,
As, in their order, next to light they came;
Nor Cybele, with half so kind an eye,
Survey'd her sons and daughters of the sky;
Proud, shall I say, of her immortal fruit?
As far as pride with heavenly minds may suit.
Her pious love excell’d to all she bore ;i :
New objects only multiplied it more.
And as the chosen found the pearly grain
As much as every vessel could contain ;
As in the blissful vision each shall share.
As much of glory as his soul can bear;
So did she love, and so dispense her care.
Her eldest thus, by consequence, was best,
As longer cultivated than the rest.
The babe had all that infant care beguiles,
And early knew his mother in her smiles :
But when dilated organs let in day
To the young soul, and gave it room to play,
At his first aptness, the maternal love i.
Those rudiments of reason did improve :
The tender age was pliant to command;
Like wax it yielded to the forming hand :
* Lady Abingdon had six sons and three daughters.
+ Æneas descending to the shades, finds his father Anchises engaged in the review of his posterity.
--See Æneid, lib. vi.
True to the artificer, the labour'd mind
With ease was pious, generous, just, and kind
Soft for impression, from the first prepared,
Till virtue with long exercise grew hard :
With every act confirm'd, and made at last
So durable as not to be effaced,
It turnd to habit; and, from vices free,
Goodness resolved into necessity.
Thus fix'd she virtue's image, (that's her own)
Till the whole mother in the children shone;
For that was their perfection: she was such,
They never could express her mind too much.
So unexhausted her perfections were,
That, for more children, she had more to spare;
For souls unborn, whom her untimely death
Deprived of bodies, and of mortal breath;
And, could they take the impressions of her mind,
Enough still left to sanctify her kind.
Then wonder not to see this soul extend
The bounds, and seek some other self, a friend :
As swelling seas to gentle rivers glide,
To seek repose, and empty out the tide ;
So this full soul, in narrow limits pent,
Unable to contain her, sought a vent
To issue out, and in some friendly breast
Discharge her treasures, and securely rest;
To unbosom all the secrets of her heart,
Take good advice, but better to impart.
For 'tis the bliss of friendship’s holy state,
To mix their minds, and to communicate;
Though bodies cannot, souls can penetrate :
to her choice, inviolably true,
And wisely choosing, for she chose but few.
Some she must have; but in no one could find
A tally fitted for so large a mind.
The souls of friends like kings in progress are,
Still in their own, though from the palace far:
Thus her friend's heart her country dwelling was,
A sweet retirement to a coarser place;
Where pomp and ceremonies entered not,
Where greatness was shut out, and business well
This is the imperfect draught; but short as far
As the true height and bigness of a star
Exceeds the measures of the astronomer.
She shines above, we know; but in what place,
How near the throne, and heaven's imperial face,
By our weak optics is but vainly guess'd ;
Distance and altitude conceal the rest.
Though all these rare endowments of the mind Were in a narrow space of life confined, The figure was with full perfection crown'd; Though not so large an orb, as truly round.
As when in glory, through the public place, The spoils of conquer'd nations were to pass, And but one day for triumph was allow'd, The counsel was constrain'd his pomp to crowd; And so the swift procession hurried on, That all, though not distinctly, might be shown: So in the straiten'd bounds of life confined, She gave but glimpses of her glorious mind; And multitudes of virtues pass'd along, Each pressing foremost in the mighty throng, Ambitious to be seen, and then make room For greater multitudes that were to come.
Yet unemploy'd, nò minute slipp'd away; Moments were precious in so short a stay. The haste of Heaven to have her was so great, That some were single acts, though each complete; But every act stood ready to repeat. Her fellow-saints with busy care will look For her blest name in fate's eternal book ; And, pleased to be outdone, with joy will see Numberless virtues, endless charity':
But more will wonder at so short an age,
To find a blank beyond the thirtieth page;
And with a pious fear begin to doubt
The piece imperfect, and the rest torn out.
But 'twas her Saviour's time;* and, could there be
A copy near the original, 'twas she.
As precious gums are not for lasting fire, They but perfume the temple, and expire ; So was she soon exhaled, and vanish'd hence'; A short sweet odour, of a vast expence. She vanish'd, we can scarcely say she died ; For but a now did heaven and earth divide : She pass'd serenely with a single breath; This moment perfect health, the next was death : One sigh did her eternal bliss assure ; So little penance needs, when souls are almost pure. As gentle dreams our waking thoughts pursue, Or, one dream pass'd, we slide into a new; So close they follow, such wild order keep, We think ourselves awake, and are asleep; So softly death succeeded life in her, She did but dream of heaven, and she was there.
No pains she suffer'd, nor expired with noise ; Her soul was whisper'd out with God's still voice; As an old friend is beckon'd to a feast, And treated like a long-familiar guest. He took her as he found, but found her so, As one in hourly readiness to go ; Een on that day, in all her trim prepared, As early notice she from heaven had heard, And some descending courier from above Had given her timely warning to remove;
Or counsell'd her to dress the nuptial room,
For on that night the bridegroom was to come.
He kept his hour, and found her where she lay; ?
Cloth'd all in white, the livery of the day :*
Scarce had she sinn'd in thought, or word, or act,
Unless omissions were to pass for fact;
That hardly death a consequence could draw,
To make her liable to nature's law.
And, that she died, we only have to shew.
The mortal part of her she left below;
The rest, so smooth, so suddenly she went,
Look'd like translation through the firmament,
Or like the fiery car on the third errand. sent. 7.
O happy soul! if thou canst view from high,
Where thou art all intelligence, all eye,
If looking up to God, or down to us; ...
Thou find'st that any way be pervious,
Survey the ruins of thy house, and see
Thy widow'd and thy orphan family;
Look on thy tender pledges left behind;
And, if thou canst a vacant minute find
From heavenly joys, that interval afford
To thy sad children, and thy mourning lord.
See how they grieve, mistaken in their love,
And shed a beam of comfort from above;
Give them, as much as mortal eyes can bear,
A transient view of thy full glories there;
That they with moderate sorrow may sustain,
And mollify their losses in thy gain.
Or else divide the grief; for such thou wert,
That should not all relations bear a part,
It were enough to break a single heart.
Let this suffice: nor thou, great saint, refuse This humble tribute of no vulgar muse;