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Whose wit well managed, and whose clasic style,
Give truth a lustre, and make wisdom smile.
Friends (for I cannot stint, as some have done,
Too rigid in my view, that name to one;
Though one, I grant it, in the generous breast
Will stand advanced a step above the reft:
Flowers by that name promiscuously we call,
the rose, the regent of them all)
Friends, not adopted with a school-boy's hafte,
But chosen with a nice discerning taste,
Well-born, well-disciplined, who, placed apart
From vulgar minds, have honour much at heart,
And, though the world may think the ingredients odd,
The love of virtue, and the fear of God!
Such friends prevent what else would soon succeed,
A temper rustic as the life we lead,
And keep the polish of the manners clean,
As their's, who bustle in the busiest scene;
For solitude, however some may rave,
Seeming a sanctuary, proves a grave,
A sepulchre, in which the living lie,
Where all good qualities grow fick and die.
I praise the Frenchman *, his remark was shrewd-
How sweet, how passing sweet, is folitude!
But grant me ftill a friend in my retreat,
Whom I may whisper-solitude is iweet.
Yet neither these delights, nor aught bctive,
That appetite can ask, or wealth provide,
Can save us always from a tedious day,
Or fine the dulness of still life away;
Divine communion, carefully enjoyed,
Or fought with energy, must fill the void.
Oh sacred art, to which alone life owes
Its happiest seasons, and a peaceful close,
Scorned in a world, indebted to that fcorn
For evils daily felt and hardiy borne,
Not knowing thee, we reap with bleeding hands
Flowers of rank odour upon thorny lands,
And, while experience cautions us in vain,
Grafp seeming happiness, and find it pain.
Defpondence, self-deserted in her grief,
Loft by abandoning her own relief,
Murmuring and ungrateful discontent,
That icorns afflictions mercifully meant,
Those humours tart as wines upon the fret,
Which idleness and wearinets beget;
There, and a thousand plagues, that haunt the breast,
Fond of the phantom of an earthly rest,
Divine communion chases, as the day
Diives to their dens the obedient beasts of prey.
See Judah's promised king, bereft of all,
Driven out an exile from the face of Saul,
To diftant caves the lonely wanderer flies,
To seek that peace a tyrant's frown denies.
Hear the sweet accents of his tuneful voice,
Hear him, overwhelmed with sorrow, yet rejoice;
No womanish or wailing grief has part,
No, not a moment, in his royal heart;
'Tis manly music, such as martyrs make,
Suffering with gladness for a Saviour's fake;
His soul exults, hope animates his lays,
The sense of mercy kindles into praise,
And wilds, familiar with a lion's roar,
Ring with ecstatic sounds unheard before:
'Tis love like his, that can alone defeat
The foes of man, or make a desert sweet.
Religion does not censure or exclude
Unnumbered pleasures harmsessly pursued;
To study culture, and with artful toil
To meliorate and tame the stubborn soil ;
To give diffimilar yet fruitful lands
The grain, or herb, or plant, that each demands;
To cherish virtue in an humble state,
And share the joys your bounty may create;
To mark the matchless workings of the power,
That shuts within its feed the future flower,
Bids these in elegance of form excel,
In colour these, and those delight the smell,
Sends nature forth the daughter of the skies,
To dance on earth, and charm all human eyes;
To teach the canvass innocent deceit,
Or lay the landscape on the snowy feet-
These, these are arts purfued without a crime,
That leave no ftain upon the wing of time.
Me poetry (or rather notes that aim
Feebly and vainly at poetic fame)
Employs, shut out from more important views,
Faft by the banks of the now winding Ouse;
Content if thus sequeftered I may raise
A monitor's, though not a poet's praise,
And while I teach an art too little known,
To close life wisely, may not waste my own.
TITHING TIME AT STOCK, IN ESSEX.
Verses addrefsed to a Country Clergyman complaining of the disagreeableness of the day annually appointed for
receiving the Dues at the Parsonage.
COME, ponder well, for 'tis no jest,
To laugh it would be wrong, The troubles of a worthy priest
The burden of my song.
This prieft he merry is and blithe
Three quarters of a year,
But oh! it cuts him like a fithe,
When tithing time draws near.
He then is full of fright and fears,
As one at point to die,
And long before the day appears
He heaves up many a figh.