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TO A CHILD OF A MONTH OLD.
LEST babe, who ftranger to all worldly ftrife,
Art lately launch'd upon the sea of life,
And 'midft thofe dang'rous waves wilt foon be toft,
Where fome by pleafure, fome by pain are loft,
Who yet nor feel'ft, nor fear'ft to feel the rage
Of ftorms that threaten man's maturer age,
But view'ft with careless and indifferent eyes
The clouds of folly that around thee rife.
Accept, nor fear infection from my song:
Few authors Aatter at an age fo young.
Look round the habitable world, and fee
Who would not wish to change their place with thee;
Tir'd of the ftate they know not how to mend,
All praise the dawn of life, yet court its end:
Would not the mifer broach each fav'rite mine,
His heart as easy, thoughts as free as thine?
What would the hoary villain not endure,
His hands as innocent, his foul as pure?
Would not the fpendthrift beg his fquander'd ore,
To purchase half the blifs thou haft in ftore?
The rake quit follies once fo us'd to please,
For gew-gaws, rattles, and a heart at ease?
Ne'er was a maxim truer sure than this,
That want of innocence is want of bliss;
'Tis this, 'tis innocence thy bofom chears,
This calms thy troubles, this difpels thy fears;
This fpreads o'er all its beautifying rays,
Makes ev'ry object, ev'ry play-thing please ;
This (whilft less things the guilty breast can awe)
Gives mufic to a key, or beauty to a straw.
So thro' the prism to philofophic eyes,
The barren lawns in pleafing profpect rife;
Steep hills in azure tempt the diftant fight,
Waste wilds look lovely in a borrow'd light;
Deck'd by the glafs the cottage apes the throne,
And fhines in colours that were ne'er its own.
Long may this pleasing calm remain within,
Unknown to trouble, as unknown to fin:
When infant reason fhall begin to rise,
Prate on thy lips, and wanton in thy eyes,
O! may this charm thy ev'ry care beguile,
Affift thy prattle, and improve thy smile!
When growing sense, to rip'ning judgment join'd,
Shall fix a doubtful empire in thy mind,
If heat of blood with wanton frenzy warm,
If ease should tempt thee, or if pleasure charm,
O may this love of virtue, love of truth,
Lead thee ftill fafe thro' all the paths of youth!
Next when thy part in life's ftill varying plan
Shall call thee forward on the stage of man,
O! may it keep thee honeft, gen'rous, just,
True to thy word, and cautious of thy truft,
Light in thy foul devotion's facred flame,
Make pure religion thy continu'd aim!
And last, when manhood's vigour shall decay,
Time shake thy head and filver 't o'er with grey,
Long may this fov'reign remedy remain,
To prop thy weakness, and affuage thy pain,
Till the laft moment shed its kindly ray,
And glad the ev❜ning of thy well-spent day!
But may ten thousand pleasures rife between
Thy op'ning curtain and this closing scene;
May health attend thee beautiful and gay,
And smooth thro' life thy else too rugged way:
May peace foon waft thy abfent father o'er,
With joy and conqueft to his native shore;
But whilst his fov'reign calls him to the war,
Far from his country, from his kindred far,
Him may fome guardian spirit still attend,
From fickness shelter, and from harm defend ;
Bid fwords around him innocently play,
Turn balls afide, and pointed deaths away;
But when his foul a fofter paffion warms,
When fate reftores him to thy mother's arms,
O may thy prattle heighten their delight,
Chase the dull moments of a winter's night;
Or when the days thro' gayer seasons run,
Improve the beauties of a fummer's fun:
May friendship's union teach thee foon to feel
Such joys as those who know can only tell!
But till that hour, too helpless babe, fhall be,
Accept a father and a friend in me;
For me enough, if thro' thy future age
One thought may aid thee from this moral page;
For me, who loft to worldly pomp and noise,
Soon fee its follies, and dares fcorn its joys.
ON FAITH, HOPE, AND CHARITY.
HREE fifters, of one heavenly parent born,
T Religion brighten, and the church adorn;
The eldeft, FAITH, with revelation's eyes,
Thro' reafon's fhades, the realms of blifs defcries;
Brings heaven, in realizing prospect home,
And antedates the happiness to come!
The fecond, HOPE, with life-bestowing smile,
Lightens each woe, and foftens human toil;
Bidding the thought-dejected heart ascend
To that bleft place where every care shall end?
The youngest, CHARITY-a feraph guest!
With clement goodness warms the focial breast;
Her boundless view, and comprehenfive mind,
Sees and pursues the weal of human kind;
And taught to emulate the throne above,
Grafps all creation in the links of love!
Yet two of thefe, tho' daughters of the fky
Boaft fhort duration, and are born to die!
For FAITH fhall end in vifion-HOPE in joy.
While CHARITY, immortal and fublime,
Shall mock the darts of death, and wreck of time.
When nature finks, herself the prey of fire,
And all the monuments of art expire;
She fhall emerge triumphant from the flaine,
The fame her luftre, and her worth the fame!
Confefs'd fhall fhine to faints and angels known,
Approv'd, diftinguish'd, near th' eternal throne!
THIS IS THE VICTORY-EVEN OUR FAITH.
I JOHN V. IV.
OR various trials from our birth defign'd,
(The lot difpens'd to fuffering human kind.) With diff'rent interefts in our breafts at ftrife, The brutish nature, with the heavenly life! Prefs'd by temptations, prone to sensual ill, Our reafon pliant to our fordid will,
What aids has pitying heaven for man prepar'd?
What clue to guide him, or what arms to guard?
Nature's fhort line, and philofophic art,
A devious rule, and weak defence impart ;
Too oft thro' life's dark maze mislead our way,
Too feldom in its warfare gain the day.
More fure direction, more fuccessful aid
Thy gospel, bleft Redeemer! has display'd:
The guilty mind with vengeful dread oppreft,
Is in thy pard'ning mercy taught to reft;
Is by thy merits clear'd, thy purchase free,
And for fupplies of strength depends on thee.
Who can o'er worldly fnares triumphant stride?
What unbeliever? flave, feduc'd by pride:
Who? but th' heroic faint, advanc'd to fame
By faith in Jefus? that victorious name!
View man in his probationary state,
What hoftile ills his hourly combat wait!