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And, after many a vain essay,
To captivate the tempting prey,
Gives him at length the lucky pat,
And has him safe beneath his hat:
Then lifts it gently from the ground;
But ah! 'tis lost as soon as found;
Culprit his liberty regains,
Flits out of sight, and mocks his pains.
The sense was dark; 'twas therefore fit
With simile to illustrate it;
But as too much obscures the sight,
As often as too little light,
We have our similes cut short,
For matters of more grave import.
That Matthew's numbers run with ease,
Each man of common sense agrees !
All men of common sense allow
That Robert's lines are easy too :
Where then the preference shall we place,
Or how do justice in this case?
Matthew, (says Fame,) with endless pains
Smooth'd and refined the meanest strains;
Nor suffer'd one ill chosen rhyme
To escape him at the idlest time;
And thus o'er all a lustre cast,
That, while the language lives shall last.
A nt piease your ladyship, (quoth I,)
For, 'tis my business to reply;
Sure so much labour, so much toil,
Bespeak at least a stubborn soil :
Theirs be the laurel-wreath decreed,
Who both write well, and write full speed i
Who throw their Helicon about
As freely as a conduit spout!
Friend Robert, thus like chien savant
Lets fall a poem en passant,
Nor needs his genuine ore refine-
"Tis ready polish'd from the mine.
A TALE, FOUNDED ON A FACT,
WHERE Humber pours his rich commercial stream
There dwelt a wretch, who breathed but to blas-
In subterraneous caves his life he led, [pheme;
Black as the mine in which he wrought for bread.
When on a day, emerging from the deep,
A sabbath-day, (such sabbaths thousands keep !)
The wages of his weekly toil he bore
To buy a cock—whose blood might win him more;
As if the noblest of the feather'd kind
Were but for battle and for death design'd;
As if the consecrated hours were meant
For sport, to minds on cruelty intent;
It chanced (such chances Providence obey)
He met a fellow-labourer on the way,
Whose heart the same desires had once inflamed ;
But now the savage temper was reclaim'd,
Persuasion on his lips had taken place ;
For all plead well who plead the cause of grace.
His iron heart with scripture he assail'd,
Woo'd him to hear a sermon, and prevail'd.
His faithful bow the mighty preacher drew,
Swift as the lightning-glimpse the arrow flew.
He wept; he trembled; cast his eyes around,
To find a worse than he ; but none he found.
He felt his sins, and wonder'd he should feel.
Grace made the wound, and grace alone could heal.
Now farewell oaths, and blasphemies, and lies!
He quits the sinner's for the martyr's prize.
That holy day was wash'd with many a teár,
Gilded with hope, yet shaded too by fear.
The next, his swarthy brethren of the mine
Learn'd, by his alter'd speech, the change divine !
Laugh'd when they should have wept, and swore
the day Was nigh when he would swear as fast as they.. “ No,” said the penitent, “ such words shall share This breath no more ; devoted now to prayer. 0! if thou seest (thine eye the future sees) That I shall yet again blaspheme, like these; Now strike me to the ground on which I kneel, Ere yet this heart relapses into steel; Now take me to that heaven I once defied, Thy presence, thy embrace !"—He spoke, and died !
TO THE REV. MR. NEWTON, ON HIS RETURN
That ocean you have late survey'd,
Those rocks I too have seen,
But I, afflicted and dismay'd,
You, tranquil and serene.
You from the flood-controlling steep
Saw stretch'd before your view,
With conscious joy, the threatening deep,
No longer such to you.
To me the waves, that ceaseless broke
Upon the dangerous coast,
Hoarsely and ominously spoke
Of all my treasure lost.
Your sea of troubles you have past,
And found the peaceful shore ;
I, tempest-toss'd, and wreck'd at last,
Come home to port no more.
What is there in the vale of life
Half so delightful as a wife,
When friendship, love, and peace combine
To stamp the marriage-bond divine ?
The stream of pure and genuine love
Derives its current from above ;
On whom he most depended, basely left, Betray'd, deserted; from his airy height Headlong he falls; and through the rest of life Drags the dull load of disappointment on.
READING RICHARDSON'S HISTORY OF Sir
Say, ye apostate and profane,
Wretches, who blush not to disdain
Allegiance to your God, -
Did e'er your idly wasted love
Of virtue for her sake remove
And lift you from the crowd ?
of glory run,
Know, the devout, and they alone,
Are equal to the task:
The labours of the illustrious course
Far other than the unaided force
Of human vigour ask.
To arm against reputed ill
The patient heart too brave to feel
The tortures of despair :
Nor safer yet high-crested pride,
When wealth flows in with every tide
To gain admittance there.