« 上一頁繼續 »
When the grave houfhold round his hall repair, Warn'd by a bell, and close the hours with pray'r.
At length the world renew'd by calm repose Was ftrong for toil, the dapple morn arose; Before the pilgrims part, the younger crept Near the clos'd cradle where an infant flept, And writh'd his neck:-the landlord's little pride (Oftrange return!) grew black, and gafp'd, and dy'd. Horror of horrors! what! his only fon;
How look'd our hermit when the fact was done? Not hell, tho' hell's black jaws in funder part, And breathe blue fire, could more affault his heart.
Confus'd, and ftruck with filence at the deed, He flies, but trembling fails to fly with speed. His fteps the youth purfues; the country lay Perplex'd with roads, a fervant fhew'd the way: A river cross'd the path; the paffage o'er Was nice to find; the fervant went before; Long arms of oak an open bridge supply'd, And deep the waves beneath the bending glide. The youth, who seem'd to watch a TIME to SIN, Approach'd the careless guide, and thrust him in; Plunging he falls, and rifing lifts his head, Then flashing turns, and finks among the dead.
Wild fparkling rage inflames the father's eyes, He burfts the bands of fear, and madly cries, Detefted wretch !-But scarce his fpeech began, When the strange partner feem'd no longer man: His youthful face grew more ferenely sweet, His robe turn'd white, and flow'd upon his feet;
Fair rounds of radiant points inveft his hair,
Tho' loud at firft the pilgrim's paffion grew,
Thy prayer, thy praise, thy life to vice unknown,
In sweet memorial rife before the throne.
Then know the truth of government divine,
The Maker juftly claims that world he made,
What ftrange events can ftrike with more furprize, Than those which lately ftruck thy wond'ring eyes?
Yet taught by these, confess th' Almighty just,
The great vain man, who far'd on coftly food,
The mean fufpicious wretch, whose bolted door Ne'er mov'd in duty to the wand'ring poor; With him I left the cup, to teach his mind That heaven can blefs, if mortals will be kind; Confcious of wanting worth, he views the bowl, And feels compaffion touch his grateful foul. Thus artifts melt the fullen ore of lead, With heaping coals of fire upon its head; In the kind warmth the metal learns to glow, And loose from drofs the filver runs below.
Long had our pious friend in virtue trod, But now the CHILD half-wean'd his foul from God; (Child of his age) for him he liv'd in pain, And meafur'd back his fteps to earth again. To what exceffes had his dotage run? But GOD, to fave the FATHER, took the SON; To all but thee, in fits he feem'd to go, (And 'twas my miniftry to deal the blow.) The poor fond parent, humbled in the duft, Now owns in tears the punishment was just.
But how had all his fortune felt a wreck, Had that falfe fervant fped in fafety back!
This night his treasur❜d heaps he meant to steal;
Thus heaven instructs thy mind: this trial o'er, Depart in peace, refign, and fin no more.
On founding pinions here the youth withdrew,
The bending hermit here a pray'r begun,
"AVE angels finn'd, and shall not man beware? How fhall a fon of earth decline the snare? Not folded arms, and flackness of the mind, Can promise for the safety of mankind : None are fupinely good: thro' care and pain, And various arts, the steep afcent we gain. This is the feat of combat, not of reft; Man's is laborious happiness at best. On this fide death his dangers never cease, His joys are joys of conqueft, not of peace.
SELF A BASEMENT.
ILT thou, fupreme JEHOVAH ! condefcend To be my guide, my father, and my friend? Dare I, thus guilty, once prefume to claim Or hope a refuge in thy facred name? I, who fo often from thy precepts ftray'd, Enjoy'd thy gifts, nor grateful homage paid; When GRACE and REASON to affift were near, And I, ungrateful, turn'd the deafen'd ear! Thy preservations are an endless train, And yet how few in memory remain ! Thy mercy boundless! as thy love was free, No innate caufe for fuch regards in me; No excellence, no human acts of mine, But ere the worlds were, a DECREE of thine! If aught of WORTH my guilty nature claim, From JESU's fide that worth IMPUTED came, If great my guilt, redeeming love's more bright, As day more radiant, when oppos'd to night. I plead his merits-thence my humble claim, To hope protection in thy facred name. O, for his fake, impart thy special aid, While here I traverse life's declining fhade! And when my wand'rings end-permit my foul To gain thy courts above yon ftarry pole: There with the heavenly hoft my voice I'll raise, To fing thy wonders, and exalt thy praise.