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Alas! the tide of pleasure sweeps along
All that should be the boast of British song.
'Tis not the wreath that once adorn'd thy brow,
The prize of happier times will serve thee now.
Our ancestry, a gallant christian race,
Patterns of ev'ry virtue, ev'ry grace,
Confess'd a God, they kneeld before they fought,
And praised him in the victories he wrought.
Now from the dust of antient days bring forth
Their sober zeal, integrity and worth,
Courage, ungrac'd by these, affronts the skies,
Is but the fire without the sacrifice.
The stream that feeds the well-spring of the heart
Not more invigorates life's noblest part,
Than virtue quickens with a warmth divine,
The pow’rs that sin has brought to a decline.
A. Th' inestimable estimate of Brown,
Rose like a paper-kite, and charm’d the town;
But measures plann'd and executed well,
Shifted the wind that rais’d it, and it fell.
He trod the very felf-fame ground you tread,
And victory refuted all he said.
B. And yet his judgment was not fram’d amiss, Its
error, if it err'd, was merely this He thought the dying hour already come, And a complete recov'ry struck him dumb.
But that effeminacy, folly, lust, Enervate and enfeeble, and needs must, And that a nation shamefully debas'd, Will be despis’d and tramplid on at last, Unless sweet penitence her pow'rs renew, Is truth, if history itself be true. There is a time, and justice marks the date, For long-forbearing clemency to wait, That hour elaps'd, th'incurable revolt Is punish’d, and down comes the thunder-bolt. If
put by the threat’ning blow, Must the perform the same kind office now ? May she, and if offended heav'n be still Accesâble and pray’r prevail, she will,
'Tis not however insolence and noise,
The tempest of tumultuary joys,
Nor is it yet despondence and dismay,
Will win her visits, or engage her stay,
Pray’r only, and the penitential tear,
Can call her smiling down, and fix her here.
But when a country, (one that I could name)
In prostitution sinks the sense of shame,
When infamous venality grown bold,
Writes on his bosom, to be lett or fold;
When perjury, that heav'n defying vice,
Sells oaths by tale, and at the lowest price,
Stamps God's own name upon a lie just made,
To turn a penny in the way of trade ;
When ay’rice starves, and never hides his face,
Two or three millions of the human race,
And not a tongue enquires, how, where, or when,
Though conscience will have twinges now and then;
When profanation of the sacred cause
In all its parts, times, ministry and laws,
Bespeaks a land once christian, fall’n and loft
In all that wars against that title most,
What follows next let cities of great name,
And regions long since desolate proclaim,
Nineveh, Babylon, and antient Rome,
Speak to the present times and times to come,
They cry aloud in ev'ry careless ear,
Stop, while ye may, suspend your mad career ;
O learn from our example and our fate,
Learn wisdom and repentance e'er too late.
Not only vice disposes and prepares
The mind that numbers sweetly in her snares,
To stoop to tyranny's usurp'd command,
And bend her polish'd neck beneath his hand,
(A dire effect, by one of nature's laws
Unchangeably connected with its cause)
But providence himself will intervene
To throw his dark displeasure o'er the scene,
All are his instruments; each form of war,
What burns at home, or threatens from afar,
Nature in arms, her elements at strife,
The storms that overset the joys of life,
Are but his rods to scourge a guilty land,
And waste it at the bidding of his hand.
He gives the word, and mutiny soon roars
In all her gates, and shakes her distant Niores,
The standards of all nations are unfurld,
She has one foe, and that one foe, the world.
And if he doom that people with a frown,
And mark them with the feal of wrath, press’d down,
Obduracy takes place; callous and tough
The reprobated race grows judgment proof:
Earth shakes beneath them, and heav'n roars above,
But nothing scares them from the course they love;
To the lascivious pipe and wanton song
That charm down fear, they frolic it along,
With mad rapidity and unconcern,
Down to the gulph from which is no return.
They trust in navies, and their navies fail,
God's curse can cast away ten thousand fail;