Sidebilder
PDF
ePub

Such men are raised to station and command, When Providence means mercy to a land. He speaks, and they appear; to him they owe Skill to direct, and strength to strike the blow; To manage with address, to seize with power The crisis of a dark decisive hour. So Gideon earned a victory not his own; Subserviency his praise, and that alone.

Poor England ! thou art a devoted deer, Beset with every ill but that of fear. The nations hunt; all mark thee for a prey; They swarm around thee, and thou stand’st at bay. Undaunted still, though wearied and perplexed, Once Chatham saved thee; but who saves thee next? Alas! the tide of pleasure sweeps along All, that should be the boast of British song. 'Tis not the wreath, that once adorned thy brow, The prize of happier times, will serve thee now, Our ancestry; a gallant christian race, Patterns of every virtue, every grace, Confessed a God; they kneeled before they fought, And praised him in the victories he wrought.

Now from the dust of ancient days bring forth
Their sober zeal, integrity, and worth;
Courage, upgraced 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 powers, that sin has brought to a decline.

A. The inestimable estimate of Brown
Rose like a paper-kite, and charmed the town;
But measures, planned and executed well,
Shifted the wind that raised it, and it fell.
He trod the very self-same ground you tread,
And victory refuted all he said.

B. And yet his judgment was not framed amiss; Its error, if it erred, was merely this, He thought the dying hour already come, And a complete recovery struck him dumb. . But that effeminacy, folly, lust, Enervate and enfeeble, and needs must, And that a nation shamefully debased, Will be despised and trampled on at last,

VOL. I.

Unless sweet penitence her powers 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 elapsed, the incurable revolt
Is punished, and down comes the thunder-bolt.
If mercy then put by the threatening blow,
Must she perform the same kind office now ?
May she! and, if offended heaven be still
Accessible, and prayer 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;
Prayer 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 let or sold;
When perjury, that heaven-defying vice, i
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 avarice starves (and never hides his face)
Two or three millions of the human race,
And not a tongue inquires, 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, fallen and lost-
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 ancient Rome,
Speak to the present times, and times to come;
They cry aloud in every careless ear,
Stop while you may; suspend your mad career;
O learn from our example and our fate,
Learn wisdom and repentance ere too late. .

Not only vice disposed and prepares
The mind, that slumbers sweetly in her snares,
To stoop to tyranny's usurped command,
And bend her polished 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 over the scene. All are his instruments; each form of war, What barns 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 shores; The standards of all nations are unfurled; She has one foe, and that one foe the world. · And, if he doom that people with a frown, And mark them with a seal of wrath pressed down, Obduracy takes place; callous and tough, The reprobated race grows judgment proof: Earth shakes beneath them, and heaven 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,

« ForrigeFortsett »