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Happy, thrice happy he! whofe conscious heart Enquires his purpose, and discerns his part; Who runs with heed th' involuntary race, Nor lets his hours reproach him as they pass; Weighs how they steal away, how fure, how faft, And, as he weighs them, apprehends the last: Or vacant, or engag'd, our minutes fly; We may be negligent, but we must die.
LL you who leap religion's facred fence,
And hunt th' ignoble chace of luft and sense; Whose impious breafts fome hellifh fiend infpires! And tongues, and eyes, confefs adult'rous fires; Who drown your wretched fouls in floods of wine, And to the beaft the nobler man refign;
Who with loud oaths and curses rend the sky,
And dare th' Almighty's dread authority:
With earnest speed your darling vice forego,
Which elfe will prove your certain overthrow.
For fince heaven's awful king is juft and pure,
You must the lafhes of his wrath endure;
Muft ere 'tis long, to your confufion find,
That GOD, tho' injured, is not deaf nor blind.
A CONTEMPLATION ON NIGHT.
HETHER amid the gloom of night I stray,
Or my glad eyes enjoy revolving day,
Still nature's various face informs my sense,
Of an all-wise, all-powerful providence.
When the gay fun first breaks the fhades of night,
And ftrikes the diftant eastern hills with light,
Colour returns, the plains their livery wear,
And a bright verdure clothes the smiling year;
The blooming flow'rs with op'ning beauties glow,
And grazing flocks their milky fleeces show
The barren cliffs with chalky fronts arise,
And a pure azure arches o'er the skies.
But when the gloomy reign of night returns,
Stript of her fading pride all nature mourns :
The trees no more their wonted verdure boaft,
But weep in dewy tears their beauty loft:
No diftant landscapes draw our curious eyes,
Wrapt in night's robe the whole creation lies.
Yet ftill, ev'n now, while darkness clothes the land,
We view the traces of th' Almighty hand;
Millions of ftars in heaven's wide vault appear,
And with new glories hang the boundless sphere:
The filver moon her western couch forfakes,
And o'er the skies her nightly circle makes;
Her folid globe beats back the funny rays,
And to the world her borrow'd light repays.
Whether those stars that twinkling luftre send,
Are funs, and rolling worlds thofe funs attend,
Man may conjecture, and new schemes declare,
Yet all his systems but conjectures are;
But this we know, that heaven's eternal KING,
Who bade this universe from nothing spring,
Can at his WORD bid numerous worlds appear,
And rifing worlds th' all-pow'rful WORD shall hear.
When to the western main the fun defcends,
To other lands a rifing day he lends ;
The spreading dawn another shepherd spies,
The wakeful flocks from their warm folds arise;
Refresh'd, the peasant seeks his early toil,
And bids the plough correct the fallow foil.
While we in fleep's embraces waste the night,
The climes oppos'd enjoy meridian light:
And when those lands the bufy fun forfakes,
With us again the rofy morning wakes;
In lazy fleep the night rolls fwift away,
And neither clime laments his abfent ray.
When the pure foul is from the body flown,
No more fhall night's alternate reign be known:
The fun no more fhall rolling light beftow,
But from th' Almighty ftreams of glory flow.
Oh, may some nobler thought my foul employ,
Than empty, tranfient, fublunary joy!
The ftars fhall drop, the fun fhall lofe his flame,
But thou, O God, for ever fhine the fame.
RE the foundations of the world were laid,
Ere kindling light th' almighty word obey'd,
Thou wert; and when the subterraneous flame
Shall burft its prison, and devour this frame,
From angry heaven when the keen lightning flies,
When fervent heat diffolves the melting skies,
Thou ftill fhalt be; ftill, as thou wert before,
And know no change, when time shall be no more.
O endless thought! divine eternity!
Th' immortal foul fhares but a part of thee;
For thou wert prefent when our life began,
When the warm duft shot up in breathing man.
Ah! what is life? with ills encompafs'd round,
Amidst our hopes, fate ftrikes the fudden wound:
To-day the statesman of new honor dreams,
To-morrow death destroys his airy schemes;
Is mouldy treasure in thy cheft confin'd?
Think all that treasure thou must leave behind;
Thy heir with fmiles fhall view thy blazon'd hearse,
And all thy hoards with flavish hand disperse.
Should certain fate th' impending blow delay,
Thy mirth will ficken and thy bloom decay;
Then feeble age will all thy nerves difarm,
No more thy blood its narrow channels warm.
Who then would wish to stretch this narrow span, To fuffer life beyond the date of man?
The virtuous foul purfues a nobler aim, And life regards but as a fleeting dream: She longs to wake, and wishes to get free, To launch from earth into eternity.
For while the boundless theme extends our thought, Ten thousand thousand rolling years are nought.
A REASONABLE QUESTION.
FROM PRIOR'S SOLOMON.
F, when the branch cut off, a wither'd rod
Should at a word pronounc'd revive and bud: Is this more ftrange than that the mountain's brow, Strip'd by December's froft, and white with fnow, Should push, in spring, ten thousand thousand buds, And boast returning leaves, and blooming woods? That each fucceffive night, from opening heaven, The food of ANGELS fhall to MAN be given; Is this more strange, than that with common bread Our fainting bodies every day are fed;
Than that each grain and seed consum'd in earth, Raises its ftore, and multiplies its birth;
And from the handful which the tiller fows,
The labor'd fields rejoice, and future harvest flows?