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Your absent Delia to her father sends
And prays to see him ere the Summer ends.
Now while the earth 's with beauteous verdure dyed,
And Flora paints the meads in all her pride;
While laden trees Pomona's bounty own,
And Ceres' treasures do the fields adorn,
From the thick smokes, and noisy town, O come,
And in these plains awhile forget your home.
Though my small incomes never can afford,
Like wealthy Celsus to regale a lord ;
No ivory tables groan beneath the weight
Of sumptuous dishes, served in massy plate:
The forest ne'er was search'd for food for me,
Nor from my hounds the timorous hare does fee:
No leaden thunder strikes the fowl in air,
Nor from my shaft the winged death do fear:
With silken nets I ne'er the lakes despoil,
Nor with my bait the larger fish beguile.
No luscious sweetmeats, by my servants plac'd
In curious order e'er my table grac’d;
To please the taste, no rich Burgundian wine,
In chrystal glasses on my sideboard shine;
The luscious sweets of fair Canary's isle
Ne'er fill'd my casks, nor in my flagons smile:
No wine, but what does from my apples flow,
My frugal house on any can bestow :
Except when Cæsar's birth day does return,
And joyful fires throughout the village burn;
Then moderate each takes his cheerful glass,
And our good wishes to Augustus pass.
But though rich dainties never spread my board,
cool vaults Calabrian wines afford; Yet what is neat and wholesome I can spread, My good fat bacon and our homely bread, With which my healthful family is fed. Milk from the cow, and butter newly churn'd, And new fresh cheese, with curds and cream just turn'd. For a dessert upon my table 's seen The golden apple, and the melon green; The blushing peach and glossy plum there lies, And with the mandrake tempt your hands and eyes.
These I can give, and if you 'll here repair, To slake your thirst a cask of Autumn beer, Resery'd on purpose for your drinking here.
Under the spreading elms our limbs we'll lay,
While fragrant Zephyrs round our temples play.
Retir'd from courts, and crowds, secure we 'll set,
And freely feed upon our country treat.
No noisy faction here shall dare intrude,
Or once disturb our peaceful solitude.
No stately beds my humble roofs adorn
Of costly purple, by carved panthers borne;
Nor can I boast Arabia's rich perfumes,
Diffusing odors through our stately rooms.
For me no fair Egyptian plies the loom,
But my fine linen all is made at home.
Though I no down or tapestry can spread,
A clean soft pillow shall support your head,
Fill'd with the wool from off my tender sheep,
On which with ease and safety you may sleep.
The nightingale shall lull you your rest,
And all be calm and still as is your breast.
Of the Rev. Mr Adams's life very little is known. All that we have been able to collect of his history, is embraced in the concise summary of his birth in 1705; his graduation from Harvard College in 1721 ; his settlement in the ministry at Newport, Rhode Island, in 1728, his dismissal from his church in 1730; and his death at Cambridge, Massachusetts, in 1740. The confident predictions of his immortality,* recorded in the preface to a little collection of his poems published after Mr Adams's death, serve only to excite a desire of knowing something of a character so lauded as his, but we are furnished with nothing that can gratify our curiosity. The productions in this volume have an internal evidence of the author's fervent
piety, but we search in vain for those flights of the imagination and characteristics of sublimity spoken of in the introductory remarks of a too partial friend. These poems, however, give as good evidence of a cultivated mind, as any other written at that period. We quote the
ADDRESS TO THE SUPREME BEING,
For his assistance in my Poetical Compositions.
To Thee, great GOD! I lift my humble strains,
My verse inspire ; let judgment hold the reins,
And curb my fancy's fierce unruly fire,
Which else would, wild, to boundless flights aspire.
May I not write too little, or too much,
But paint with care, not with a hasty touch.
May all my thoughts be rather just than high,
And never let me rave when I should fly.
But yet secure me from the low extreme,
Of writing meaner than becomes
Through all my works, let order clearly shine,
And let me know the reason of each line.
Give me to trace out nature in each thought,
And let each piece be to perfection brought;
A subject for my genius fit to choose,
Not vainly light, nor yet profanely loose,
But innocent, at least, if not sublime,
And let my numbers smoothly flow in rhyme.
May each production, writ with strength and ease,
The ear, the judgment, and the fancy please.
But if my soul, by a superior flame,
Was never fir'd to merit lasting fame,
Awaken'd, let me see my fond mistake,
And with just anger from my folly break.
Nor let me in the poet lose the priest,
But know both what and when to write is best;
From wasting, to redeem my vacant hours,
And to refine the roughness of my powers.
The brightest ancients let me read and know,
And let their spirit in my numbers flow;
And all the moderns, who, by thee inspired,
Will be, as long as nature lasts, admired:
By nobler patterns so to form my lays,
As from the thinking few to merit praise.
But most, dear God, assist my towering løre,
To sound thy name upon its trembling wire;
Be thou the subject of my lofty verse,
And, thine unbounded work, the universe:
The streaming purple, gushing from his heart,
Which made the Saviour's suffering soul depart.
Doubly immortal, then, shall be my fame,
Heaven shall contain my soul, and earth my name. Mr Knapp, in his Biographical Sketches, says that Adams's Paraphrase of the Revelations was a failure. We are of a different opinion, and are inclined to think that his best poetry will be found in this version of the Apocalypse. There is certainly an agreeable harmony, and a faithful observance of the original in the following extracts.
THE Sardian angel, Jesus bids attend,
Before whose throne the radiant spirits stand
And seven celestial lights adorn his hand.
“Through the thin veil of thine hypocrisy
I cast the flames of mine omniscient eye;
The form that lives, and dazzles all around,
Conceals a heart corrupt, a bleeding wound;
Through which your dying grace shall soon be spent,
Unless your care and penitence prevent.
Few are your deeds, nor will those pious acts
Atone the greater sum of your neglects.
Past admonitions present to your fear,
The lightnings seem to see, the thunders hear;
Nor let the less'ning sounds die on your ear.
faith and former life,
Or else expect my judgments like a thief,
Shall steal in wrath on your unguarded hours,
The bolts descending while the tempest pours :
Too much like Sodom, Sardis has her lots,
Whose shining garments are distain’d with spots,
Their fairer vesture, whiten'd into snow,
Shall o'er the flowery walks of Eden flow.
The worthy victor shall be cloth'd in white;
At once the garb of innocence and light;
In heaven's fair books, in golden figures wrote,
His name shall shine, nor endless ages blot.
When heaven shall pour its angels all around,
And all the dead shall live before the sound,
And tribes unnumber'd circle round the king,
His name shall glitter in the shining ring :
The godlike man my Father, too, shall own,
My lips acquit him, and my hand shall crown:
Th’ applauded saint, proclaim’d by every tongue,
The saints shall shout, while angels give their song.
Whose ears these counsels in attention bind,
The same or greater happiness shall find.
The Saviour holy, and the witness true, O Philadelphia's Guardian, writes to you, The scenes of joy and wo are in his hand Who doth the keys of life and death command; The gates of heaven, and hell's tremendous flame, These none can open, nor can shut but him. Thy power, in fiery persecutions show'd, Though small thy strength, the rage of hell withstood: Since in the storm thy growing courage rose, The opening hours shall smiling scenes disclose ; Nor more shall shut by clouds of rising foes. The boasted Jews, who Satan's army meet, Shall own my love, and own it at your feet. On nations round, discharg'd from throne to throne, The storm shall fall, but fly from thee alone. When all the driving tempest roars around, The heavens serene and spotless will be found.
Behold I come, with speedy vengeance come,
Big with the joys of nations, or their doom :
Then let thy faith and constancy prepare
The golden crown and regal robes to wear.
A victor then, the palm shall grace thy hand,
And thou a pillar in the temple stand;
Secure, sublime, and beauteous thou shalt rise
grace the church within the skies.
Thy vesture, too, the name of God shall wear,
And that fair city, pendent in the air ;
The offspring of the skies, and modell’d there;
And thy new title glittring on thy vest,
Shall join a dazzling lustre to the rest.
Ye churches hear, and ponder what is said,
For depths are here, and boundless fields are spread
Laodicea, hear the great amen,
For ever true his witness will remain ;
And rising at his word the world began: