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Fair rounds of radiant points invest his hair;
Though loud at first the pilgrim's passion grew,
Then know the truth of government divine,
Tis thus, withdrawn in state from human eye,
What strange events can strike with more surprise, Than those which lately struck thy wondering eyes? Yet, taught by these, confess the Almighty just, And where you can't unriddle, learn to trust.
The great, vain man, who fared on costly food, Whose life was too luxurious to be good; Who made his ivory stands, with goblets shine, And forced his guests to morning draughts of wine, Has, with the cup, the graceless custom lost, And still he welcomes, but with less of cost. The mean, suspicious wretch, whose bolted door . Ne'er moved in duty to the wandering poor; With him I left the cup, to teach his mind That Heaven can bless, if mortals will be kind. Conscious of wanting worth, he views the bowl, And feels compassion touch his grateful soul. Thus artists melt the sullen ore of lead, With heaping coals of fire upon its head; In the kind warmth the metal learns to glow, And, loose from dross, the silver runs below.
Long had our pious friend in virtue trod,
But now the child half wean'd his heart from God;
Child of his age, for him he lived in pain,
And measured back his steps to earth again.
To what excesses had his dotage run!
But God, to save the father, took the son.
To all but thee, in fits he seem'd to go,
And 'twas my ministry to deal the blow:
The poor fond parent, humbled in the dust,
Now owns, in tears, the punishment was just.
But now had all his fortune felt a wrack,
Had that false servant sped in safety back?
This night his treasured heaps he meant to steal,
And what a fund of charity would fail!
Thus Heaven instructs thy mind: this trial o'er,
Depart in peace, resign, and sin no more.
On sounding pinions here the youth withdrew; The sage stood wondering as the seraph flew. Thus look'd Elisha, when to mount on high, His master took the chariot of the sky; The fiery pomp ascending left the view; The prophet gazed, and wish'd to follow too.
The bending Hermit here a prayer begun, "Lord! as in heaven, on earth thy will be done." Then, gladly turning, sought his ancient place, And pass'd a life of piety and peace.