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If there be one-one only-who might share
This sanctifying week-day adoration,
Were but our churches open to his prayer,
Why-I demand with earnest iteration
Why are they shut?
THE LIBELLED BENEFACTOR.
They warned me by all that affection could urge,
To repel his advances, and fly from his sight,
They call’d him a fiend, a destroyer, a scourge,
And whisper'd his name with a shudder of fright.
They said that disease went as herald before,
While sorrow and severance followed his track,
They besought me if ever I came to his door,
Not a moment to pause, but turn instantly back.
“ His breath,” they exclaim'd, “is a pestilence foul,
His aspect more hateful than language can tell,
“His touch is pollution,--no Gorgon or Ghoul
“ In appearance and deeds is more loathsome and fell.”
Such stern prohibitions, descriptions so dire,
By which the most dauntless might well be dismay'd, In me only waken’d a deeper desire
To gaze on the monster so darkly portray'd.
I sought him—I saw him-he stood by a marsh,
Where henbane and hemlock with poppies entwined;
He was pale, he was grave, but no feature was harsh,
His eye was serene, his expression was kind.
“This stigmatized being," I cried in surprise,
“Wears a face most benignant; but looks are not facts,
Physiognomy often abuses our eyes ;
There came from a cottage a cry of alarm,
An infant was writhing in agonies sore,
His hand rock'd the cradle, its touch was a charm,
The babe fell asleep, and its anguish was o’er.
He reach'd a proud mansion where, worn by the woe
Of consumption, a Beauty lay wither'd, in bed,
Her pulse he compress'd with his finger, and lo!
The complaint of long years in a moment had fled !
He paused where he heard the disconsolate groan
Of a widow with manifold miseries crush’d;
Where a pauper was left in his sickness to groan,
Both were heal’d at his sight, and their sorrows were
He sped where a king, sorely smitten with age,
In vain sought relief from the pangs he endured ;
“I come,” said the stranger,
'your woes to assuage ;"
He spoke, and the monarch was instantly cured.
Astounded by deeds which appear’d to bespeak
In the fiend a benevolent friend of mankind,
From himself I resolved a solution to seek
Of the strange contradictions that puzzled my mind. “Chase, mystical being," I cried, “this suspense;
“How comes it thou’rt blacken'd by every tongue,
“When in truth thou’rt the champion, the hope, the defence
“Of the king and the beggar, the old and the young?”
“ Thou hast witness’d”—he answer'd-(his voice and his
Were all that is musical, bland, and benign),
“Not a tithe of the blessings I shed on the race
" Who my form and my attributes daily malign. .
“ All distinctions of fortune, of birth, of degree,
Disappear where my levelling banner I wave;
“ From his desolate dungeon the captive I free;
“ His fetters I loose from the suffering slave.
“ And when from their stormy probation on earth,
“ The just and the righteous in peace I dismiss, “I give them a new and more glorious birth In regions of pure and perennial bliss.”