網頁圖片
PDF
ePub 版

And give good company a face severe, As if they met around a father's bier ; For tell some men, that pleasure all their bent, And laughter all their work, is life mispent, Their wisdom bursts into this fage reply, Then mirth is fin, and we should always cry. To find the medium asks fome share of wit, And therefore 'tis a mark fools never hit. But though life’s valley be a vale of tears, A brighter scene beyond that vale appears, Whose glory with a light, that never fades, Shoots betwcen scattered rocks and opening shades, And, while it Mows the land the foul desires, The language of the land she seeks inspires. Thus touched the tongue receives a sacred cure Of all that was absurd, profane, impure; Held within modeft bounds the tide of speech Pursues the course, that truth and nature teach; No longer labours merely to produce The pomp of sound, or tinkle without ule: Wherever it winds, the falutary stream, Sprightly and fresh, enriches every theme, While all the happy man poffeíted before, The gift of nature, or the clasiic store, Is made subfcrvient to the grand design, For which heaven formed the faculty divine.

So should an ideot, while at large he strays,
Find the sweet lyre, on which an artist plays,
With rash and awkward force the chords he shakes,
And grins with wonder at the jar he makes;
But let the wife and well-instructed hand
Once take the shell beneath his just command,
In gentle founds it seems as it complained
Of the rude injuries it late sustained,
Till tuned at length to some immortal song,
It sounds Jehovah's name, and pours his praise along.

RETIREMENT.

studiis fiorens ignobilis oti.

Virg. Geor. Lib. 4.

HACKNEYED in business, wearied at that oar,
Which thousands, once faft chained to, quit no more,
But which, when life at ebb ryns weak and low,
All wish, or seem to wish, they could forego;
'I le ftatesman, lawyer, merchant, man of trade,
Pants for the refuge of some rural shade,
Where, all his long anxieties forgot
Amid the charms of a fequeftered spot,
Or recollected only to giid o'er,
And add a smile to what was sweet before,
He may poffefs the joys he thinks he fees,
Lay his old age upon the lap of ease,
Improve the remnant of his wasted span,
And, having lived a trifler, die a man.

Thus conscience pleads her caufe within the breaft,
Though long rebelled against, not yet suppressed,
And calls a creature formed for God alone,
For heaven's high purposes, and not his own;
Calls him away from selfish ends and aims,
From what debilitates and what inflames,
From cities humming with a restless crowd,
Sordid as active, ignorant as loud,
Whose highest praise is that they live in vain,
The dupes of pleasure, or the Naves of gain,
Where works of man are clustered clofe around,
And works of God are hardly to be found,
To regions where, in spite of fin and woe,
Traces of Eden are still seen below,
Where mountain, river, foreft, field, and grove,
Remind him of his Maker's power and love.
'Tis well if, looked for at so late a day,
In the laft scene of such a senseless play,
True wisdom will attend his feeble call,
And grace his action ere the curtain fall,
Souls, that have long despised their heavenly birth,
Their wishes all impregnated with parth,
For threescore years employed with ceaseless care
In catching smoke and feeding upon air,
Conversant only with the ways of meth,
Rarely redeem the short remaining ten.

KO

Inveterate habits choke the unfruitful heart,
Their fibres penetrate its tendereft part,
And, draining its nutritious powers to feed
Their noxious growth, ftarve every better seed.

Happy, if full of days--but happier far,
If, ere we yet discern life's evening star,
Sick of the service of a world, that feeds
Jis patient drudges with dry chaff and weeds,
Fie can escape from custom's idiot sway,
To serve the Sovoreign we were born to obey.
Then sweet to muse upon his skill displayed
(Infinite skill) in all that he has made!
To trace in nature's most minute design
The signature and stamp of power divine,
Contrivance intricate, expressed with ease,
Where unafifted tighi no beauty fees,
The Mapely limb and lubricated joint,
Within the small dimensions of a point,
iluscle and nerve miraculously spun,
ilis mighty work, who speaks and it is done,
The invisible in things scarce seen revealed,
'io whom an atom is an ample field;
To wonder at a thousand infect forms,
Thicle hatched, and those resuscitated worms,
T'ew life ordained and brighter scenes to share,
Once prone on earth, now buoyant upon air,

« 上一頁繼續 »