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For these they live, they sacrifice to these,
And in their service wage perpetual war
With conscience and with Thee. Lust in their hearts,
And mischief in their hands, they roam the earth
To prey upon each other: stubborn, fierce,
High-minded, foaming out their own disgrace.
Thy prophets speak of such; and, noting down
The features of the last degenetate times, 900
Exhibit every lineament of these.
Come then, and added to Thy many crowns,
Receive yet one, as radiant as the rest,
Due to Thy last and most effectual work,
Thy word fulfilled, the conquest of a world.
-ll£js_£he_happy man, whose life even now

JShows somewhat of that happier life to come.;

"\VTio, cfobined to arTobscure but tranquil state,
Is pleased with it, and, were he free to choose,
Would make his fate his choice ; .whom peace, the fruit 910

Jlf VM-tn^jind whom virfnf, fri^ of faith, Prepare for happiness; bespeak him one Content indeed to sojourn while he must Below the skies, but having there his home. 1 qThe world o'erlooks him in her busy search Of objects more illustrious in her view;And occupied as earnestly as she, Though more sublimely, he o'erlooks the world. She scorns his pleasures, for she knows them not;He seeks not hers, for he has proved them vain. 920 He rannnt Aim fhp.grnriirl like summer birds

Pursuingijilded flies, and such he deems Her honours, her emoluments, her joys.

TherefoieJn_contemplation_i_s his_bjiss, Whose power is such, that whom she lifts from eartji

.SheTmake? familiar with a heaven unseen, And slrows4Hm-glati£s_y£t_tO- be revealed. Not slothful he, though seeming unemployed, And censured oft as useless. Stillest streams Oft water fairest meadows, and the bird 930 That flutters least is longest on the wing. Ask him, indeed, what trophies he has raised, Or what achievements of immortal fame He purposes, and he shall answer—None. His warfare U ivithjn There unfatigued His fervent spirit labours. There he fights, And there obtains fresh triumphs o'er himself, And never-withering wreaths, compared with which The laurels that a Caesar reaps are weeds. Perhaps the self-approving haughty world, 940 That as she sweeps him with her whistling silks Scarce deigns to notice him, or, if she see, Deems him a cipher in the works of God, Receives advantage from his noiseless hours,

Of which she little dreams. Perhaps she owes Her sunshine and her rain, her blooming spring And plenteous harvest, to the prayer he makes, When, Isaac-like, the solitary saint Walks forth to meditate at eventide, And think on her, who thinks not for herself. ^J£omive Jiim then, thou bustler in concerns pfuttle worth,, and idler in the best, If, author of no mischief and some good, He seeks his proper happiness by means _ Jhat may advance, but cannot hinder,, thine Nor though he tread the secret path of life, Engage no nutife,"aTld enjoy much ease, Account him an encumbrance on the state, Receiving benefits, and rendering none.His sphere though humble, if that humble sphere Shine with his fair example, and though small His influence, if that influence all be spent In soothing sorrow and in quenching strife, In aiding helpless indigence, in works From which at least a grateful few derive Some taste of comfort in a world of woe, Then let the supercilious great confess "lie selves his country, recompenses well The state beneath the shadow of whose vine He sits secure, and in the scale of life Holds no ignoble, though a slighted, place. The man whose virtues are more felt than seen Hustjtfop indeed the hope of public praise;But he may boast what few that win.it can,. That"1f -rnycottntiy stand not by his skill, At least his follies have not wrought her fall. Polite refinement offers him in vain Her golden tube, through which a sensual world Draws gross impurity, and likes it well, The neat conveyance hiding all the offence. Not that he peevishly rejects a mode Because that world adopts it. If it bear The stamp and clear impression of good sense, And be not costly more than of true worth, He puts it on, and for decorum sake Can wear it even as gracefully as she. She judges of refinement by the eye, He by the test of conscience, and a heart Not soon deceived; aware that what is base No polish can make sterling, and that vice, Though well perfumed and elegantly dressed, Like an unburied carcase tricked with flowers, Is but a garnished nuisance, fitter far For cleanly riddance than for fair attire. So life glides smoothly and by stealth away, More golden than that age of fabled gold

Renowned in ancient song; not vexexLwilhxare Or stained with guilt, beneficent, approved Of God and man, and peaceful in its end. So glide my lifejauay! and so "at last, 1000 My share of duties decently fulfilled, May some disease,-notjardy_to perform Its destinecTTDffice, yet with gentle stroke "TMsrais£Jne-weary.tp.a safe reTfeatj "Beneath the turf that I have often trod. It shall not grieve me, then, that once, when called To dress a Sofa with the flowers of verse, I played awhile, obedient to the fair, With that light task; but soon, to please her more, Whom flowers alone I knew would little please, IOIO Let fall the unfinished wreath, and roved for fruit;Roved far, and gathered much : some harsh, 'tis true, Picked from the thorns and briars of reproof, But wholesome, well digested; grateful some To palates that can taste immortal truth, Insipid else, and sure to be despised. But all is in His hand whose praise I seek. Jn-vain the poet sings^ and. the. vtoikL-hears, Jf Hejegard not^ though divine the theme. 'Tis not in artful measures. in_the .chime- 1020 -And idle.tinkling, of a minstrel's lyre, To charm His..e.ar, whose eye is on the heart; WhoseTrown can disappoint the proudest stram. Whose approbation prosper—even mine^

286

AN EPISTLE TO JOSEPH HILL, Esq.

Dear Joseph,—Five and twenty years ago— Alas, how time escapes !—'tis even so— With frequent intercourse, and always sweet, And always friendly, we were wont to cheat A tedious hour, and now we never meet IAs some grave gentleman in Terence says ('Twas therefore much the same in ancient days), Good lack, we know not what to-morrow brings— Strange fluctuation of all human things!True. Changes will befall, and friends may part, i o

But distance only cannot change the heart:And were I called to prove the assertion true, One proof should serve—a reference to you.

Whence comes it, then, that in the wane of life,
Though nothing have occurred to kindle strife,
We find the friends we fancied we had won,
Though numerous once, reduced to few or none?
Can gold grow worthless, that has stood the touch?
No; gold they seemed, but they were never such.

Horatio's servant once, with bow and cringe, 20 Swinging the parlour door upon its hinge, Dreading a negative, and overawed Lest he should trespass, begged to go abroad. "Go, fellow !—whither ?"—turning short about— "Nay. Stay at home—you're always going out."— "'Tis but a step, sir; just at the street's end."— "For what?"—"An please you, sir, to see a friend."— "A friend!" Horatio cried, and seemed to start— "Yea marry shalt thou, and with all my heart. And fetch my cloak; for, though the night be raw, 30 I'll see him too—the first I ever saw."

I knew the man, and knew his nature mild, And was his plaything often when a child; But somewhat at that moment pinched him close. Else he was seldom bitter or morose. Perhaps, his confidence just then betrayed, I lis grief might prompt him with the speech he made; Perhaps 'twas mere good humour gave it birth, The harmless play of pleasantry and mirth. Howe'er it was, his language, in my mind, 40 Bespoke at least a man that knew mankind.

But not to moralize too much, and strain To prove an evil of which all complain,

(I hate long arguments verbosely spun,) One story more, dear Hill, and I have done. Once on a time, an emperor, a wise man, No matter where, in China or Japan, Decreed, that whosoever should offend Against the well-known duties of a friend, Convicted once, should ever after wear 50 But half a coat, and show his bosom bare:The punishment importing this, no doubt, That all was naught within, and all found out.

O happy Britain! we have not to fear Such hard and arbitrary measure here; Else, could a law like that which I relate Once have the sanction of our triple state, Some few that I have known in days of old, Would run most dreadful risk of catching cold; While you, my friend, whatever wind should blow, 60 Might traverse England safely to and fro, An honest man, close buttoned to the chin, Broadcloth without, and a warm heart within.

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