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Hear me, Oh hear while I impart
The deep conviction of my heart, That such a theatre august and grand,
Whose author, actors, awful play,
Are God, mankind, a judgment day, Was for some higher aim, some holier purpose plann'd.
I will not, nay I cannot, deem
This fair Creation's moral scheme,
That seems so crude, mysterious, misapplied,
Meant to conclude as it began,
Unworthy the material plan
With whose perfections rare its failures are allied.
As in our individual fate,
Our manhood and maturer date,
Correct the faults and follies of our youth,
So will the world, I fondly hope,
With added years give fuller scope
To the display and love of wisdom, justice, truth. "Tis this that makes my feelings glow,
My bosom thrill, my tears o'erflow,
At any deed magnanimous-sublime;
'Tis this that re-assures my soul,
When nations shun the forward goal,
And retrograde awhile in ignorance and crime.
Mine is no hopeless dream of some
When saints and angels shall inhabit earth;
But a conviction deep, intense,
That man was meant by Providence Progressively to reach a higher moral worth.
On this dear faith's sustaining truth
Hath my soul brooded from its youth, As heaven's best gift, and earth's most cheering dower,
Oh! may I still, in life's decline,
Hold unimpair'd this creed benign,
And mine old age attest its meliorating power!
Ye sole freebooters of the wood,
Since Adam Bell and Robin Hood:
Kept everywhere asunder
From other tribes,-King, Church, and State
Spurning, and only dedicate
To freedom, sloth, and plunder;
Your forest-camp,—the forms one sees
Banditti-like amid the trees,
The ragged donkeys grazing,
The Sybil's eye prophetic, bright
With flashes of the fitful light
Beneath the caldron blazing,
O'er my young mind strange terrors threw :
Thy History gave me, Moore Carew!
A more exalted notion
Of Gipsy life; nor can I yet.
My former deep emotion.
For “auld lang syne” I'll not maltreat
Yon pseudo-tinker, though the cheat,
As sly as thievish Reynard,
Instead of mending kettles, prowls,
And decimate my hen-yard.
Come thou, too, black-eyed lass, and try
That potent skill in palmistry,
Which sixpences can wheedle ;
Mine is a friendly cottage-here
No snarling mastiff need you fear,
No Constable or Beadle.
”Tis yours, I know, to draw at will
Upon futurity a bill,
And Plutus to importune;
Discount the bill--take half yourself,
Give me the balance of the pelf,
And both may laugh at fortune.