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Which joyful I will oft record,
And thankful at my frugal board;
For then the clouds of eighty-eight,
That threaten'd England's trembling state
With loss of what she least could spare,
Her sovereign's tutelary care,
One breath of Heaven, that cried-Restore!
Chased, never to assemble more:
And for the richest crown on Earth,
If valued by his wearer's worth,
The symbol of a righteous reign
Sat fast on George's brows again.
Then peace and joy again possess'd
Our Queen's long agitated breast;
Such joy and peace as can be known
By sufferers like herself alone,
Who losing, or supposing lost,
The good on Earth they valued most,
For that dear sorrow's sake forego
All hope of happiness below,
Then suddenly regain the prize,
And flash thanksgivings to the skies!
O, Queen of Albion, queen of isles!
Since all thy tears were changed to smiles,
The eyes, that never saw thee, shine
With joy not unallied to thine,
Transports not chargeable with art
Illume the land's remotest part,
And strangers to the air of courts,
Both in their toils and at their sports,
The happiness of answer'd prayers,
That gilds thy features, shew in theirs.
If they, who on thy state attend,
Awe-struck, before thy presence bend,
'Tis but the natural effect
Of grandeur that ensures respect;
But she is something more than queen,
Who is beloved where never seen.
FOR THE USE OF THE SUNDAY SCHOOL
HEAR, Lord, the song of praise and prayer,
In heaven thy dwelling-place,
From infants made the public care,
And taught to seek thy face.
Thanks for thy word, and for thy day,
And grant us, we implore, Never to waste in sinful play
Thy holy sabbaths more.
Thanks that we hear,-but O impart
To each desires sincere,
That we may listen with our heart,
And learn as well as hear!
For if vain thoughts the minds engage
Of older far than we,
What hope, that, at our heedless age,
Our minds should e'er be free?
Much hope, if thou our spirits take
Under thy gracious sway,
Who canst the wisest wiser make,
And babes as wise as they.
Wisdom and bliss thy word bestows,
A sun that ne'er declines,
And be thy mercies shower'd on those,
Who placed us where it shines.
SUBJOINED TO THE YEARLY BILL OF MORTALITY OF THE PARISH OF ALL-SAINTS, NORTHAMPTON,⭑ ANNO DOMINI 1787.
Pallida Mors æquo pulsat pede pauperum tabernas,
Pale death with equal foot strikes wide the door
Of royal halls, and hovels of the poor.
WHILE thirteen moons saw smoothly run
The Nen's barge-laden wave,
All these, life's rambling journey done,
Have found their home, the grave.
Was man (frail always) made more frail
Than in foregoing years?
Did famine or did plague prevail,
That so much death appears?
No: these were vigorous as their sires,
Nor plague nor famine came;
This annual tribute Death requires,
And never waives his claim.
Like crowded forest-trees we stand,
And some are mark'd to fall;
The axe will smite at God's command,
And soon shall smite us all.
Green as the bay-tree, ever green,
With its new foliage on,
The gay, the thoughtless, have I seen,
I pass'd and they were gone.
* Composed for John Cox, parish clerk of Northampton.
Read, ye that run, the awful truth,
With which I charge my page;
A worm is in the bud of youth,
And at the root of age,
No present health can health ensure
For yet an hour to come;
No med'cine, though it oft can cure,
Can always balk the tomb.
And O! that humble as my lot,
And scorn'd as is my strain,
These truths, though known, too much forgot,
I may not teach in vain.
So prays your clerk, with all his heart,
And ere he quits the pen,
Begs you for once to take his part,
And answer all-Amen!
Quod adest, memento
Componere æquus. Cætera fluminis
Improve the present hour, for all beside
Is a mere feather on a torrent's tide.
COULD I, from heaven inspired, as sure presage
To whom the rising year shall prove his last,
As I can number in my punctual page,
And item down the victims of the past;
How each would trembling wait the mournful sheet,
On which the press might stamp him next to die;
And, reading here his sentence, how replete
With anxious meaning, heavenward turn his
Time then would seem more precious than the joys
In which he sports away the treasure now;
And prayer more seasonable than the noise
Of drunkards, or the music-drawing bow.
Then doubtless many a trifler, on the brink
Of this world's hazardous and headlong shore,
Forced to a pause, would feel it good to think,
Told that his setting sun must rise no more.
Who next is fated, and who next to fall,
The rest might then seem privileged to play;
But naming none, the voice now speaks to ALL.
Observe the dappled foresters, how light
They bound and airy o'er the sunny glade-
One falls-the rest, wide-scatter'd with affright,
Vanish at once into the darkest shade.
Had we their wisdom, should we, often warn'd,
Still need repeated warnings, and at last,
A thousand awful admonitions scorn'd,
Die self-accused of life run all to waste?
Sad waste! for which no after-thrift atones.
The grave admits no cure for guilt or sin;
Dew-drops may deck the turf, that hides the bones,
But tears of godly grief ne'er flow within.
Learn then, ye living! by the mouths be taught
Of all these sepulchres, instructors true,
That, soon or late, death also is your lot,
And the next opening grave may yawn for you.