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AN EPISTLE

TO

AN AFFLICTED PROTESTANT LADY IN FRANCE.

MADAM,

A STRANGER's purpose in these lays
Is to congratulate, and not to praise.
To give the creature the Creator's due
Were sin in me, and an offence to you.
From man to man, or ev'n to woman paid,
Praise is the medium of a knavish trade,
A coin by craft for folly's use design’d,
Spurious, and only current with the blind.

The path of sorrow, and that path, alone, Leads to the land where sorrow is unknown; No trav'ller ever reach'd that blest abode, Who found not thorns and briars in his road. EPISTLE TO A LADY IN FRANCE. 429 The world may dance along the flow'ry plain, Cheer'd as they go by many a sprightly strain, Where Nature has her mossy velvet spread, With unshod feet they yet securely tread, .. Admonish'd, scorn the caution and the friend, . Bent all on pleasure, heedless of its end. But he, who knew what human hearts would prove, How slow to learn the dictates of his love, That hard by nature and of stubborn will, A life of ease would make them harder still, . In pity to the souls his grace design’d To rescue from the ruins of mankind, Call’d for a cloud to darken all their years, And said, “ Go, spend them in the vale of tears." O balmy gales of soul-reviving air, O salutary streams that murmur there, These flowing from the fount of grace above, Those breath'd from lips of everlasting love! The flinty soil indeed their feet annoys, Chill blasts of trouble nip their springing joys, An envious world will interpose its frown To mar delights superior to its own,

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And many a pang, experienc'd still within,
Reminds them of their hated inmate, sin;
But ills of ev'ry shape and ev'ry name
Transform'd to blessings miss their cruel aim,
And ev'ry moment's calm, that sooths the breast,
Is given in earnest of eternal rest.

Ah, be not sad, although thy lot be cast
Far from the flock, and in a boundless waste!
No shepherd's tents within thy view appear,
But the chief Shepherd even there is near;
Thy tender sorrows and thy plaintive strain .
Flow in a foreign land, but not in vain;
Thy tears all issue from a source divine,
And ev'ry drop bespeaks a Saviour thine-
So once in Gideon's fleece the dews were found,
And drought on all the drooping herbs around.

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UNWIN, I should but ill repay

The kindness of a friend,
Whose worth deserves as warm a lay

As ever friendship penn'd,
Thy name omitted in a page,
That would reclaim a vicious age.

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A union formed, as mine with thee,

Not rashly, nor in sport,
May be as fervent in degree,

And faithful in its sort,
And may as rich in comfort prove,
As that of true fraternal love.

The bud inserted in the rind,

The bud of peach or rose,
Adorns, though diff'ring in its kind,

The stock whereon it grows,

With flow'r as sweet, or fruit aş fair,
As if produc'd by nature there.

Not rich, I render what I may,

I seize thy name in haste,
And place it in this first essay,

Lest this should prove the last.
'Tis where it should be-in a plan,
That holds in view the good of man.

The poet's lyre, to fix his fame,

Should be the poet's heart;
Affection lights a brighter flame

Than ever blaz’d by art.
No muses on these lines attend,
: I sink the poet in the friend.

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END OF THE FIRST VOLUME.

1. Bensiey, Printer, ? Tolt Court, Fleet Street, London,

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