Sidebilder
PDF
ePub

All speak one language, all with one sweet voice
Cry to her universal realm, Rejoice!
Man feels the spur of passions and desires,
And she gives largely more than he requires;
Not that his hours devoted all to care,
Hollow-eyed abstinence, and lean despair,
The wretch may pine, while to his smell, taste, sight,
She holds a paradise of rich delight;
But gently to rebuke his awkward fear,
To prove that what she gives, she gives sincere,
To banish hesitation, and proclaim
His happiness, her dear, her only aim.
'Tis grave philosophy's absurdest dream,
That heaven's intentions are not what they seem,
That only shadows are dispensed below,
And earth has no reality but woe.

Thus things terrestrial wear a different hue,
As youth or age persuades; and neither true:
So Flora's wreath through coloured crystal seen,
The rose or lily appears blue or green,
But still the imputed tints are those alone
The medium represents, and not their own,

To rise at noon, sit slip-shod and undressed, To read the news, or fiddle, as seems best, Till half the world comes rattling at his door, To fill the dull vacuity till four; And, just when evening turns the blue vault gray, To spend two hours in dressing for the day; . To make the sun a bauble without use, Save for the fruits his heavenly beams produce; Quite to forget, or deen it worth no thought, Who bids him shine, or if he shine or not; Through mere necessity to close his eyes Just when the larks and when the shepherds rise ; Is such a life, so tediously the same, So void of all utility or aim, That poor JONQUIL, with almost every breath Sighs for his exit, volgarly called death: For he with all his follies, bas a mind Not yet so blank, or fashionably blind, But now and then, perhaps, a feeble ray Of distant wisdom shoots across his way, By which he reads, that life without a plan, As useless as the moment it began,

Serves merely as a soil for discontent
To thrive in; an incumbrance, ere half spent.
Oh weariness beyond what asses feel,
That tread the circuit of the cistern wheel;
A dull rotation, never at a stay.
Yesterday's face twin image of to-day;
While conversation, an exhausted stock,
Grows drowsy as the clicking of a clock.
No need, he cries, of gravity stuffed out
With academic dignity devout,
To read wise lectures, vanity the text;
Proclaim the remedy, ye learned, next;
For truth, self-evident, with pomp impressed,
Is vanity surpassing all the rest.

That remedy, not hid in deeps profound,
Yet seldom sought where only to be found,
While passion turns aside from its due scope
The inquirer's aim, that remedy is hope.
Life is his gift, from whom whatever life needs,
With every good and perfect gift proceeds;
Bestowed on man, like all that we partake,
Royally, freely, for his bounty sake;

Transient indeed, as is the fleeting hour;
And yet the seed of an immortal flower:
Designed in honour of his endless love,
To fill with fragrance his abode above;
No trifle, howsoever short it seem,
And, howsoever shadowy, no dream;
Its value, what no thought can ascertain,
Nor all an angel's eloquence explain.
Men deal with life as children with their play,
Who first misụse, then cast their toys away;
Live to no sober purpose, and contend
That their Creator had no serious end.
When God and man stand opposite in view,
Man's disappointment must of course ensue.
The just Creator condescends to write,
In beams of inextinguishable light,
His names of wisdom, goodness, power and love,
On all that blooms below, or shines above;
To catch the wandering notice of mankind,
And teach the world, if not perversely blind,
His gracious attributes, and prove the share
His offspring hold in his paternal care. .

vol. ).

If, led from earthly things to things divine,
His creature thwart not his august design,
Then praise is heard instead of reasoning pride,
And captious cavil and complaint subside.
Nature, employed in her allotted place,
Is hand-maid to the purposes of grace;
By good vouchsafed makes known superior good,
And bliss not seen by blessings understood :
That bliss, revealed in scripture, with a glow
Bright as the covenant-ensuring bow,
Fires all his feelings with a noble scorn
Of sensual evil, and thus Hope is born.

Hope sets the stamp of vanity on all,
That men have deemed substantial since the fall,
Yet has the wondrous virtue to educe
From emptiness itself a real use;
And while she takes, as at a father's hand,
What health and sober appetite demand,
From fading good derives, with chemic art,
That lasting happiness, a thankful heart.
Hope, with uplifted foot set free from earth,
Pants for the place of her ethereal birth,

« ForrigeFortsett »