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When souls drawn upwards in communion sweet Yet Age, by long experience well informid,
Well read, well temper’d, with religion warm’d, Discourse, as if releas'd and safe at home,
That fire abated, which impels rash youth, Of dangers past, and wonders yet to come, Proud of his speed, to overshoot the truth, And spread the sacred treasures of the breast As time improves the grape's anthentic juice, Upon the lap of covenanted Rest.
Mellows and makes the speech more fit for use, “ What, always dreaming over heav'nly things, And claims a rev’rence in it's short'ning day, Like angel-heads in stone with pigeon-wings? That 't is an honour and a joy to pay. Canting and whining out all day the word, The fruits of Age, less fair, are yet more sound, And half the night? fanatic and absurd !
Than those a brighter season pours around; Mine be the friend less frequent in his pray’rs, And, like the stores autumnal suns mature, Who makes no bustle with his soul's affairs, Through wintry rigours unimpair'd endure. Whose wit can brighten up a wintry day,
What is fanatic phrenzy, scorn'd so much, And chase the splenetic dull hours away;
And dreaded more than a contagious touch?
Well spoken, Advocate of sin and shame, To tremble (as the creature of an hour
All tremble in all worlds, except our own,
Though common sense, allow'd a casting voice, It's happiest soil in the serenest minds ?
And free from bias, must approve the choice, Religion curbs indeed it's wanton play,
Convicts a man fanatic in th' extreme, And brings the trifler under rig'rous sway,
And wild as madness in the world's esteem. But gives it usefulness unknown before,
But that disease, when soberly defin'd, And, purifying, makes it shine the more.
Is the false fire of an o'erheated mind; A Christian's wit is inoffensive light,
It views the truth with a distorted eye, A beam that aids, but never grieves the sight; And either warps or lays it useless by ; Vig'rous in age as in the flush of youth,
'T is narrow, selfish, arrogant, and draws 'T is always active on the side of truth;
It's sordid nourishment from man's applause; Temp'ránce and peace insure it's healthful state, And while at heart sin unrelinquish'd lies, And make it brightest at it's latest date.
Presumes itself chief fav'rite of the skies. Oh I have seen (nor hope perhaps in vain, 'Tis such a light as putrefaction breeds Ere life go down, to see such sights again) In fly.blown flesh, whereon the maggot feeds, A vet'ran warrior in the Christian field,
Shines in the dark, but, usher'd into day, Who never saw the sword he could not wield; The stench remains, the lustre dies away. Grave without dulness, learned without pride, True bliss, if man may reach it, is compos'd Exact, yet not precise, though meek, keen-ey'd; Of hearts in union mutually disclos'd ; A man that would have foil'd at their own play And, farewell else all hope of
pure delight, A dozen would-bes of the modern day;
Those hearts should be reclaim'd, renew'd, upright. Who, when occasion justified it's use,
Bad men, profaning friendship’s hallow'd name, Had wit as bright as ready to produce,
Form in it's stead, a covenant of shame, Could fetch from records of an earlier age,
A dark confed'racy against the laws Or from philosophy's enlighten’d page,
Of virtue, and religion's glorious cause : His rich materials, and regale your ear
They build each other up with dreadful skill, With strains it was a privilege to hear :
As bastions set point blank against God's will : Yet above all his luxury supreme,
Enlarge and fortify the dread redoubt,
But souls, that carry on a blest exchange
Of joys, they meet with in their heav'nly range, It moves me more perhaps than folly ought, And with a fearless confidence make known When some green heads, as void of wit as thought, The sorrows, sympathy esteems it's own, Suppose themselves monopolists of sense,
Daily derive increasing light and force And wiser men's ability pretence.
From such communion in their pleasant course, Though time will wear us, and we must grow old, Feel less the journey's roughness and its length, Such men are not forgot as soon as cold,
Meet their opposers with united strength, Their fragrant mem'ry will outlast their tomb, And, one in heart, in int’rest, and design, Embalm d for ever in it's own perfume.
Gird up each other to the race divinc. And to say truth, though in it's early prime,
But Conversation, choose what theme we may, And when unstain'd with any grosser crime, And chiefly when religion leads the way, Youth has a sprightliness and fire to boast,
Should Aow, like waters after summer show'rs, That in the valley of decline are lost,
Not as if rais'd by mere mehanic pow'rs. And Virtue with peculiar charms appears,
The Christian, in whose soul, though now distress'd, Crown'd with the garland of life's blooming years; | Lives the dear thought of joys he once possessid,
When all his glowing language issu'd forth That truth itself is in her head as dull
A trick upon the canvass, painted flame.
And all her censures of the work of grace, The song of Sion is a tasteless thing,
Are insincere, meant only to conceal Unless, when rising on a joyful wing,
A dread she would not, yet is forc'd to feel; The soul can mix with the celestial bands,
That in her heart the Christian she reveres,
Strange tidings these to tell a World, who treat A poet does not work by square or line,
As smiths and joiners perfect a design ;
And claim a right to scamper and run wide, Partakers of a new ethereal birth,
Wherever chance, caprice, or fancy guide.
The World and I fortuitously met;
Since she and I convers'd together last,
And I have liv'd recluse, in rural shades,
Great changes and new manners have occurr'd,
And she may now be as discreet and wise,
As once absurd in all discerning eyes. With such a jest, as fill’d with hellish glee
Sobriety perhaps may now be found, Certain invisibles as shrewd as he;
Where once Intoxication press’d the ground; But veneration or respect finds none,
The subtle and injurious may be just, Save from the subjects of that work alone.
And he grown chaste, that was the slave of lust; The World grown old her deep discernment shows, Arts once esteem'd may be with share dismiss'd; Claps spectacles on her sagacious nose,
Charity may relax the miser's fist; Peruses closely the true Christian's face,
The gamester may have cast his cards away, And finds it a mere mask of sly grimace ;
Forgot to curse, and only kneel to pray, Usurps God's office, lays his bosom bare,
It has indeed been told me (with what weight,
How credibly, 't is hard for me to state)
And Jupiter bids fair to rule again ;
That certain feasts are instituted now, Has made the new-born creature her abode,
Where Venus hears the lover's tender vow ; Nor shall be found in unregen’rate souls,
That all Olympus through the country roves, Till the last fire burn all between the Poles. To consecrate our few remaining groves, Sincerity! why 't is his only pride,
And Echo learns politely ro repeat
The praise of names for ages obsolete ;
To bring the passions under sober sway,
By stout substantial gods of wood and stone,
May Mercury once more embellish man,
Reclaim his taste, and brighten up his parts,
Learn'd at the bar, in the palæstra bold,
'Tis time, however, if the case stands thus, The doctrines warp'd to what they never meant ; For us plain folks, and all who side with us,
To build our altar, confident and bold,
SUPPOSED TO BE WRITTEN BY ALEXANDER SELKIRK, Then Baal is the God, and worship him.
DURING HIS SOLITARY A BODE IN TEIL ISLAND OF Digression is so much in modern use, Thought is so rare, and fancy so profuse, Some never seem so wide of their intent,
I am monarch of all I survey, As when returning to the theme they meant;
My right there is none to dispute ; As mendicants, whose business is to roam,
From the centre all round to the sea, Make ev'ry parish but their own their home.
I am lord of the fowl and the brute. Though such continual zig-zags in a book,
O Solitude! where are the charms, Such drunken reelings have an awkward look,
That sages have seen in thy face? And I had rather creep to what is true,
Better dwell in the midst of alarms,
Than reign in this horrible place.
I am out of humanity's reach,
I must finish my journey alone, And touch the subject I design’d at first,
Never hear the sweet music of speech, May prove, though much beside the rules of art,
I start at the sound of my own. Best for the public, and my wisest part.
The beasts, that roam over the plain, And first let no man charge me, that I mean
My form with indifference see ; To close in sable ev'ry social scene,
They are so unacquainted with man,
Their tameness is shocking to me.
Society, friendship, and love,
Divinely bestow'd upon man, Their wisdom bursts into this sage reply,
O, had I the wings of a dove, “ Then mirth is sin, and we should always cry."
How soon would I taste you again! To find the medium asks some share of wit,
My sorrows I then might assuage And therefore 't is a mark fools never hit :
In the ways of religion and truth, But though life's valley be a vale of tears,
Might learn from the wisdom of age,
And be cheer'd by the sallies of youth
Resides in that heavenly word !
More precious than silver and gold, Thus touch'd, the tongue receives a sacred cure
Or all that this Earth can afford. Of all that was absurd, profane, impure;
But the sound of the church-going bell Held within modest bounds, the tide of speech
These valleys and rocks never heard,
Or smild when a sabbath appear'd.
Ye winds, that have made me your sport,
Convey to this desolate shore While all the happy man possess'd before,
Some cordial endearing report The gift of Nature, or the classic store,
Of a land, I shall visit no more. Is made subservient to the grand design,
My friends, do they now and then send For which Heav'n form’d the faculty divine.
A wish or a thought after me? So should an idiot, while at large he strays,
O tell me I yet have a friend,
Though a friend I am never to see.
How fleet is a glance of the mind !
Compar'd with the speed of its flight, Once take the shell beneath his just command,
The tempest itself lags behind, In gentle sounds it seems as it complain'd
And the swift-winged arrows of light. of the rude injuries it late sustain’d,
When I think of my own native land, Till tun'd at length to some immortal song,
In a inoment I seem to be there; It sounds Jetoval's name, and pours his praise along.
But alas! recollection at hand
Soon hurries me back to despair.
But the sea-fowl is gone to her nest,
The beast is laid down in his lair;
And I to my cabin repair.
And mercy, encouraging thought!
John Gilpin's spouse said to her dear,
“ Though wedded we have been These twice ten tedious years, yet we
No holiday have seen,
“ Good lack !" quoth he — " yet bring it me,
My leathern belt likewise,
When I do exercise."
« To-morrow is our wedding-day,
And we will then repair Unto the Bell at Edınonton
All in a chaise and pair.
“ My sister, and my sister's child,
Myself, and children three, Will fill the chaise ; so you must ride
On horseback after we."
Now Mistress Gilpin (careful soul!)
Had two stone bottles found, To hold the liquor that she lov'd,
And keep it safe and sound. Each bottle had a curling ear,
Through which the belt he drew, And hung a bottle on each side,
To make his balance true. Then over all, that he might be
Equipp'd from top to toe,
He manfully did throw.
Upon his nimble steed,
With caution and good heed.
He soon replied, " I do admire
Of woman-kind but one, And you are she, my dearest dear,
Therefore it shall be done,
“ I am a linen-draper bold,
As all the world doth know, And my good friend the calender
Will lend his horse to go."
Quoth Mrs. Gilpin, “ That 's well said ;
And, for that wine is dear,
Which is both bright and clear."
John Gilpin kiss'd his loving wife ;
O'erjoy'd was he to find,
She had a frugal mind.
But yet was not allow'd
Should say that she was proud.
But finding soon a smoother road
Beneath his well-shod feet,
Which gall'd him in his seat.
But John he cried in vain ;
In spite of curb and rein.
Who cannot sit upright,
And eke with all his might.
So three doors off the chaise was stay'd,
Where they did all get in; Six precious souls, and all agog
To dash through thick and thin.
His horse, who never in that sort
Had handled been before, What thing upon his back had got
Did wonder more and more.
Away went Gilpin, neck or nought;
Away went hat and wig ;
Of running such a rig.
Like streamer long and gay,
At last it flew away.
The bottles he had slung;
As hath been said or sung.
For saddle-tree scarce reach'd had he,
His journey to begin, When, turning round his head, he saw
Three customers come in.
The dogs did bark, the children scream'd,
“ What news? what news ? your tidings tell ; Up Aew the windows all ;
Tell me you must and shall And ev'ry soul cried out, “ Well done!"
Say why bareheaded you are come, As loud as he could bawl.
Or why you come at all ?" Away went Gilpin — who but he ?
Now Gilpin had a pleasant wit, His fame soon spread around,
And lov'd a timely joke; “ He carries weight! he rides a race !
And thus unto the calender 'Tis for a thousand pound !"
In merry guise he spoke: