ePub 版



ARE these the Messengers, whose warning voice
Should call from vanity to works of life,
And honestly reprove, exhort, admonish?"
Fearless of pride, and deaf to pleasure's call
And lucre's sophistry, who pure should walk
And by example point the way to Heav'n?
No, they are ti aitors in the camp of Christ,
Who come with plausible ani taithless lips
Into his presence to profess allegiance,
Then turn their backs and give the hand to Mammon.
In pleasure's tumult who more oft ihan they?
To Dura's golden idol who will hend
Wita humbler front? The frown of wealthy vice
They tear, and, heedless of the threaten'd

Bitter for sweet and sweet for bitter put*,
And thus adulterate the bread of life.
Yes, Spirit of Cowper, I obey and list
Thy harp, with holy indignation fir’d,
Pour forth these strains, not more severe than justo

-“ Loose in morals, and in manners vain,
In conversation frivolous, in dress
Exireme, at once rapacious and profuse ;
Frequent in park with lady ai their side,
Ambling and prattling scandal as they go,
But rare at home, and never at their books,
Or with their pen, save when they scrawl a card;
Constant at routs, familiar with a round
Of ladyships—but strangers to the poor;
Ambitious of preferment for its gold,
And well-prepar'd, by ignorance and sloth,
By infidelity and love of the world,
To make God's work a sinecure; firm slaves
To their own pleasures and their patron's pride :

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Who mount the sacred rostrum with a skip,
And then skip down again;, pronounce a text;
Cry--hem; and, reading what they never wrote,
Just fifteen minutes, huddle up their work,
And with a well-bred whisper close the scene !
From such Apostles; O ye mitred heads,
Preserve the church! and lay not careless hands
On sculls that cannot teach, and will not learn!”




A TRUCE to thought! and let us o'er the fields,
Across the down, or through the shelving wood,
Wind our uncertain way. Let fancy lead,
And be it ours to follow, and admire,
As well we may, the graces

Of Nature. Lay aside the sweet resource
That winter needs, and may at will obtain,
Of authors chaste and good, and let us read
The living page, whose ev'ry character
Delights, and gives us wisdom.

Not a tree,
A plant, a leaf, a blossom, but contains
A folio volume. We may read, and read,
And read again, and still find something new,
Something to please, and something to instruct,
E'en in the noisonne weed. See, erę we pass
Alcanor's threshold, to the curious eye
A little monitor presents her page
Of choice instruction, with her snowy bells,
The lily, of the yale. She nor affects
The public walk, nor gaze of mid-day sun :
She to no state or dignity aspires,
But silent and alone puts on her suit,
And sheds her lasting perfume, but for which
We had not known ihere was a thing so sweet
Hid in the gloomy shade. So when the blast

Her sister tribes confounds, and to the earth
Stoops their high heads that vainly were expos'd,
She feels it not, but flourishes anew,
Still shelter'd and secure. And so the storm
That makes the high elm couch, and rends ihe oak,
The hunible lily spares.

A thousand blows
That shake the lofty monarch on his throne,
We lesser folk feel not. Keen are the pains
Advancement often brings.

To be secure,
Be humble; to be happy, be content.

But come, we loiter. Pass unnotic'd by
The sleepy crocus, and the staring daisy,
The courtier of the sun. What see we there?
The love-sick cowslip, that her head inclines
To hide a bleeding heart. And here's the meek
And soft-ey'd primrose. Dandelion this,

A college youth that flashes for a day
All gold; anon he doffs his gaudy suit,
Touch'd by the magic hand of some grave Bishop,
And all at once, by commutation strange,
Bocomes a Reverend Divine.

Then mark
The melancholy hyacinth, that weeps
All night, and never lifts an eye all day.

How gay this meadow-like a gamesome boy. New cloth’d, his locks fresh comb'd and powder’d, he All health and spirits. Scarce so many stars Shine in the azure canopy of Heav'n, As king-cups here are scatter'd, interspers'd With silver daisies.

See, the toiling swain With many a sturdy stroke cuts up at last The tough and sinewy furze. How hard he fought To win the glory of the barren waste ! For what more noble than the vernal furze With golden baskets hung? Approach it not, For ev'ry blossom has a troop of swords

Drawn to defend it.

"Tis the treasury Of Fays and Fairies. Here they nightly meet, Each with a burnish'd king-cup in his band, And quaff the subtle ether. Here they dance Or to the village chimes, or moody song Of midnight Philomel. The ringlet see Fantastically trod. There, Oberon His gallant train leads out, the while his torch The glow-worm lights and dusky night illumes. And there they foot it feally round, and laugh. The sacred spot ihe superstitious ewe Regards, and bites it not in reverence. Anon the drowsy clock tolls One-the cock His clarion sounds—the dance breaks off-the lights Are quench’d--the music hushid- they speed away Swifter than thought, and still the break of day Outrun, and chasing midnight as she flies, Pursue her round the globe. So Fancy weaves Her flimsy web, while sober Reason sits, And smiling, wonders at the puny work, A net for her; then springs on eagle wing, Constraint defies, and soars above the sun,

But mark with how peculiar grace, yon wood That clothes the weary steep, waves in the breeze Her sea of leaves; thither we turn our steps, And by the way attend the cheerful sound Of woodland harmony, that always fills The merry vale between. How sweet the song Day's harbinger attunes ! I have not heard Such eleganı divisions drawn from art. And what is he that wins our admiration ? A little speck that floats upon the sun-beam. What vast perfection cannot Nature crowd Into a puny point! The nightingale, Her solo anthem sung, and all that heard, Content, joins in the chorus of the day. She, gentle heart, thinks it no pain to please, Nor, like the moody songsters of the world, Just shows her talent, pleases, takes affront, And locks it up in envy.

I love to see the little goldfinch pluck The groundsel's featherd seed, and twit and twit; And ihen in bow'r of apple blossoms perch'd, Trim his gay suit, and

pay us with a song I would not hold him pris'ner for the world.

The chimney-haunting swallow, too, my eye And ear well, pleases. I delight to see How suddenly he skims the glassy pool, How quainuly dips, and with a bullet's speed Whisks by. I love to be awake, and hear His morning song twitter'd to young-ey'd day.

But most of all it wins my admiration, To view the structure of this little work, A bird's nest. Mark it well, within, without. No tool had he that wrought, no knife to cut, No nail to fix, no bodkin to insert, No glue to join ; his little beak was all. And yet how neatly finish’d. What nice hand, With every implement and means of art, And twenty years' apprenticeship to boot, Could make me such another? Fondly then We boast of excellence, whose noblest skill Instinctive genius foils.

The bee observe; She too ani aatist is, and laughs at man, Who calls on rules the sightly hexagon With truth 10 forin; a cunning architect, That at the roof begins her golden work, And builds without foundation. How she toils, And still from bud to bud, from flow'r to flow'r, Travels the live-long day. Ye idle drones, That rather pilfer than your bread obtain By honest means like these, look here, and learn How good, how fair, how honourable 'ris To live by industry. The busy tribes Of bees so emulous, are daily fed With Heaven's peculiar mapna.

'Tis for them, Unwearied alchymists, the blooming world

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