« PreviousContinue »
These samples—for alas! at last
These are but samples, and a taste
Of evils yet unmention'd
May prove the task a task indeed,
In which 'tis much if we succeed
Pursue the search, and you will find
Good sense and knowledge of mankind
To be at least expedient,
And, after summing all the rest,
Religion ruling in the breast
A principal ingredient.
The noblest friendship ever shown
The Saviour's history makes known,
Though some have turn’d and turn'd it;
And, whether being craz'd or blind,
Or seeking with a biass'd mind,
Have not, it seems discern'd it.
O Friendship, if my soul forego
Thy dear delights while here below;
To mortify and grieve me,
May I myself at last appear
Unworthy, base, and insincere,
Or may my friend deceive me!
THE ENCHANTMENT DISSOLVED.
BLINDED in youth by Satan's arts,
The world to our unpractis'd hearts
A flattering prospect shows;
Our fancy forms a thousand schemes
Of gay delights, and golden dreams,
And undisturb'd repose.
So in the desert's dreary waste,
By magic pow'rs produc'd in haste,
(As ancient fables say)
Castles, and groves, and music sweet,
The senses of the trav’ller meet,
And stop him in his way.
But while he listens with surprise,
The charm dissolves, the vision dies,
'Twas but enchanted ground:
Thus if the Lord our spirit touch,
The world, which promis'd us so much,
A wilderness is found.
At first we start and feel distress'd,
Convinc'd we never can have rest
In such a wretched place;
But He whose mercy breaks the charm,
Reveals his own Almighty arm,
And bids us seek his face.
Then we begin to live indeed,
When from our sin and bondage freed
By this beloved Friend;
We follow him from day to day,
Assur'd of grace through all the way,
And glory at the end.
LIGHT SHINING OUT OF DARKNESS.
God moves in a mysterious way,
His wonders to perform;
He plants his footsteps in the sea,
And rides upon the storm.
Deep in unfathomable mines
Of never-failing skill,
He treasures up his bright designs,
And works his sov’reign will.
Ye fearful saints, fresh courage take,
The clouds ye so much dread
Are big with mercy, and shall break
In blessings on your head.
Judge not the Lord by feeble sense,
But trust him for his grace;
Behind a frowning Providence
He hides a smiling face.
His purposes will ripen fast,
Unfolding ev'ry hour;
The bud may have a bitter taste,
But sweet will be the flow'r.
Blind unbelief is sure to err,*
And scan his work in vain : God is his own interpreter,
And he will make it plain.
The billows swell, the winds are high,
Clouds overcast my wintry sky;
Out of the depths to thee I call,
My fears are great, my strength is small,
O Lord, the pilot's part perform,
And guide and guard me through the storm;
Defend me from each threat'ning ill,
Control the waves, say,
Peace, be still.”
Amidst the roaring of the sea,
My soul still hangs her hope on thee;
Thy constant love, thy faithful care,
Is all that saves me from despair.
Dangers of every shape and name
Attend the followers of the Lamb,
Who leave the world's deceitful shore,
And leave it to return no more.
Though tempest-toss'd and half a wreck,
My Saviour through the floods I seek ;
Let neither winds nor stormy main
Force back my shatter'd bark again.
O LORD, my best desire fulfil,
And help me to resign Life, health, and comfort, to thy will,
And make thy pleasure mine. Why should I shrink at thy command,
Whose love forbids my fears ? Or tremble at the gracious hand
That wipes away my tears ? No let me rather freely yield
What most I prize to Thee;
Who never hast a good withheld,
Or wilt withhold from me.
Thy favour, all my journey through
Thou art engag'd to grant;
What else I want, or think I do,
'Tis better still to want. Wisdom and mercy guide my way,
Shall I resist them both ? A poor
blind creature of a day, And crush'd before the moth! But, ah! my inward spirit cries,
Still bind me to thy sway; Else the next cloud that vails my skies, Drives all these thoughts away.
STANZAS Subjoined to the Yearly Bill of Mortility of the Parish of All Saints, Northump to.*
Anno Domini, 1787.
Pallida Mors æquo pulsat pede pauperum tabernas,
Pale Death with equal foot strikes wide the door de
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 vig'rous as their sires,
Nor plague nor famine came :
This annual tribute Death requires,
And never waves 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 it's new foliage on,
the thoughtless, have I seen,
I pass'd—and they were gone.
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.
* Composed for Johu Cox, parish Clerk of Nurthamptou.