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States thrive or wither as moons wax and wane, That infidels may prove their title good
By an oath dipped in sacramental blood ?
A blot that will be still a blot, in spite They flourish; and as these decline, decay; Of all that grave apologists may write ;In just resentment of his injured laws,
And though a bishop toil to cleanse the stain, He pours contempt on them and on their cause; He wipes and scours the silver cup in vain. Strikes the rough thread of error right athwart And hast thou sworn on every slight pretence, The web of every scheme they have at heart; : Till perjuries are common as bad pence, Bids rottenness invade and bring to dust
While thousands, careless of the damning sin, The pillars of support, in which they trust, Kiss the book's outside, who ne'er looked within And do his errand of disgrace and shame
Hast thou, when Heaven has clothed thee with On the chief strength and glory of the frame.
disgrace, None ever yet impeded what he wrought, None bars him out from his most secret thought: For thou hast known eclipses, and endured
(And, long provoked, repaid thee to thy face, Darkness itself before his eye is light,
Dimness and anguish, all thy beams obscured, And hell's close mischief naked in his siyht.
When sin had shed dishonour on thy brow; Stand now and judge thyself—Hast thou in- And never of a sabler hue than now,) curred
Hast thou, with heart perverse and conscience His anger, who can waste thee with a word,
seared, Who poises and proportions sea and land,
Despising all rebuke, still persevered, Weighing them in the hollow of his hand,
And having chosen evil, scorned the voice And in whose awful sight all nations seem
That cried, Repent ?-and gloried in thy choice? As grasshoppers, as dust, a drop, a dream?
Thy fastings, when calamity at last Hast thou (a sacrilege his soul abhors)
Suggests the expedient of a yearly fast, Claimed all the glory of thy prosperous wars?
What mean they? Canst thou dream there is a Proud of thy fleets and armies, stolen the gem
power Of his just praise, to lavish it on them?
In lighter diet at a later hour, Hast thou not learned, what thou art often told,
To charm to sleep the threatening of the skies, A truth still sacred, and believed of old,
And hide past folly from all-seeing eyes? That no success attends on spears and swords
The fast, that wins deliverance, and suspends Unblest, and that the battle is the Lord's?
The stroke, that a vindictive God intends, That courage is his creature; and dismay
Is to renounce hypocrisy; to draw The post, that at his bidding speeds away,
Thy life upon the pattern of the law; Ghastly in feature, and his stammering tongue
To war with pleasure, idolized before; With doleful humour and sad presage hung,
To vanquish lust, and wear its yoke no more. To quell the valour of the stoutest heart,
All fasting else, whate'er be the pretence,
Is wooing mercy by renewed offence.
Hast thou within the sin, that in old time
Brought fire from Heaven, the sex-abusing crime, The event and sure decision of the fight?
Whose horrid perpetration stamps disgrace, Hast thou, though suckled at fair Freedom's Baboons are free from, upon human race?
Think on the fruitful and well-watered spot, breast, Exported slavery to the conquered East?
That fed the flocks and herds of wealthy Lot, Pulled down the tyrants India served with dread,
Where Paradise seemed still vouchsafed on earth, And raised thyself, a greater, in their stead?
Burning and scorched into perpetual dearth, Gone thither armed and hungry, returned full,
Or, in his words who damned the base desire, Fed from the richest veins of the Mogul,
Suffering the vengeance of eternal fire: A despot big with power obtained by wealth,
Then nature injured, scandalized, defiled, And that obtained by rapine and by stealth ?
Unveiled her blushing cheek, looked on, and With Asiatic vices stored thy mind,
smiled; But left their virtues and thine own behind ? Beheld with joy the lovely scene defaced, And, having trucked thy soul, brought home the And praised the wrath, that laid her beauties waste. fee,
Far be the thought from any verse of mine, To tempt the poor to sell himself to thee? And farther still the formed and fixed design,
Hast thou by statute shoved from its design To thrust the charge of deeds that I detest, The Saviour's feast, his own blest bread and wine, Against an innocent, unconscious breast, And made the symbols of atoning grace
The man that dares traduce, because he can 'An office-key, a picklock to a place,
With safety to himself, is not a man:
An individual is a sacred mark,
Religion, if in heavenly truths attired, Not to be pierced in play, or in the dark; Needs only to be seen to be admired; But public censure speaks a public foe,
But thine, as dark as witcheries of the night, Unless a zeal for virtue guide the blow.
Was formed to harden hearts and shock the sight; The priestly brotherhood, devout, sincere, Thy Druids struck the well-bung harps they bore From mean self-interest and ambițion clear, With fingers deeply died in human gore; Their hope in heaven, servility their scorn, And while the victim slowly bled to death, Prompt to persuade, expostulate, and warn, Upon the rolling chords rung out his dying breath. Their wisdom pure, and given them from above, Who brought the lamp, that with awakening Their usefulness ensured by zeal and love,
beams As meek as the man Moses, and withal Dispelled thy gloom, and broke away thy dreams, As bold as in Agrippa's presence Paul,
Tradition, now decrepit and worn out, Should fly the world's contaminating touch, Babbler of ancient fables, leaves a doubt: Holy and unpolluted :—are thine such ? But still light reached thee; and those gods of thine, Except a few with Eli's spirit blest,
Woden and Ther, each tottering in his shrine, Hophni and Phineas may describe the rest. Fell broken and defaced at his own door,
Where shall a teacher look, in days like these, As Dagon in Philistia long before. For ears and hearts, that he can hope to please ? But Rome, with sorceries and magic wand, Look to the poor-the simple and the plain Soon raised a cloud that darkened every land; Will hear perhaps thy salutary strain:
And thine was smothered in the stench and fog Humility is gentle, apt to learn,
Of Tiber's marshes and the papal bog. Speak but the word, will listen and return. Then priests, with bulls and briefs, and shaven Alas, not so! the poorest of the flock
crowns, Are proud, and set their faces as a rock; And griping fists, and unrelenting frowns, Denied that earthly opulence they choose, Legates and delegates with powers from hell, God's better gift they scoff at and refuse. Though heavenly in pretension, fleeced thee well; The rich, the produce of a nobler stem,
And to this hour, to keep it fresh in mind, Are more intelligent at least-try them. Some twigs of that old scourge are left behind.* On vain inquiry! they without remorse
The soldiery, the Pope's well-managed pack, Are altogether gone a devious course;
Were trained beneath his lash, and knew the smack; Where beck’ning Pleasure leads them, wildly stray; And, when he laid them on the scent of blood, Have burst the bands, and cast the yoke away. Would hunt a Saracen through fire and flood. Now borne upon the wings of truth sublime,
Lavish of life to win an empty tomb, > Review thy dim original and prime.
That proved a mint of wealth, a mine to Rome, This island, spot of unreclaimed rude earth, They left their bones beneath unfriendly skies, The cradle that received thee at thy birth,
His worthless absolution all the prize. Was rocked by many a rough Norwegian blast,
Thou wast the veriest slave in days of yore, And Danish howlings scared thee as they passed; That ever dragged a chain or tugged an oar; For thou wast born amid the din of arms, Thy monarchs, arbitrary, fierce, unjust, And sucked a breast that panted with alarms. Themselves the slaves of bigotry or lust, While yet thou wast a groveling puling chit,
Disdained thy counsels, only in distress Thy bones not fashioned, and thy joints not knit, Found thee a goodly sponge for power to press. The Roman taught thy stubborn knee to bow,
Thy chiefs, the lords of many a petty fee, Though twice a Cæsar could not bend thee now. Provoked and harassed, in return plagued thee; His victory was that of orient light,
Called thee away from peaceable employ,
In causeless feuds and bickerings of their own. Expressive, energetic, and refined,
Thy parliaments adored on bended knees It sparkles with the gems he left behind;
The sovereignty they were convened to please ; He brought thy land a blessing when he came,
Whate'er was asked, too tirnid to resist,
Dared to suppose the subject had a choice,
• Which may be found at Doctors' Commons
O slave! with powers thou didst not dare exert, Now think, if Pleasure have a thought to spare:
If business, constant as the wheels of time,
Can pause an hour te read a serious rhyme; To trace thee to the date when yon fair sea, If the new mail thy merchants now receive, That clips thy shores, had no such charms for thee; Or expectation of the next, give leave; When other nations flew from coast to coast, Oh think!" if chargeable with deep arrears And thou hadst neither fleet nor flag to boast, For such indulgence gilding all thy years,
Kneel now, and lay thy forehead in the dust; How much, though long neglected, shining yet, Blush, if thou canst; not petrified, thou must : The beams of heavenly truth have swelled the Act but an honest and a faithful part ;
And Bonner, blithe as shepherd at a wake, Then thou art bound to serve him, and to prove, Enjoyed the show, and danced about the stake Hour after hour, thy gratitude and love. The sacred Book, its value understood,
Has he not bid thee, and thy favoured land, Received the seal of martyrdom in blood. For ages safe beneath his sheltering hand, Those holy men, so full of truth and grace, Given thee his blessing on the clearest proof,
Seem to reflection of a different race; Bid nations leagued against thee stand aloof, Meek, modest, venerable, wise, sincere, And charged Hostility and Hate to roar In such a cause they could not dare to fear; Where else they would, but not upon thy shore ? They could not purchase earth with such a prize, His power secured thee, when presumptuous Spain Or spare a life too short to reach the skies. Baptized her fleet invincible in vain;
From them to thee conveyed along the tide, Her gloomy monarch, doubtful and resigned Their streaming hearts poured freely when they To every pang that racks an anxious mind,
died; Asked of the waves, that broke upon his coast, Those truths, which neither use nor years impair, What tidings ? and the surge replied - All lost ! Invite thee, woo thee, to the bliss they share. And when the Stuart leaning on the Scot, What dotage will not vanity maintain ? Then too much feared, and now too much forgot, What web too weak to catch a modern brain ? Pierced to the very centre of the realm, The moles and bats in full assembly find, And hoped to seize his abdicated helm, On special search, the keen eyed eagle blind. 'Twas but to prove how quickly with a frown And did they dream, and art thou wiser now? Hethat had raised thee could have pluck’d thee down. Prove it—if better, I submit and bow. Peculiar is the grace by thee possessed, Wisdom and goodness are twin-born, one heart Thy foes implacable, thy land at rest ;
Must hold both sisters, never seen apart. Thy thunders travel over earth and seas, So then—as darkness overspread the deep, And all at home is pleasure, wealth, and ease. Ere Nature rose from her eternal sleep, 'Tis thus, extending his tempestuous arm, And this delightful earth, and that fair sky, Thy Maker fills the nations with alarm, Leaped out of nothing, called by the Most High; While his own Heaven surveys the troubled scene, By such a change thy darkness is made light, And feels no change, unshaken and serene. Thy chaos order, and thy weakness might; Freedom, in other lands scarce known to shine, And He, whose power mere nullity obeys, Pours out a flood of splendour upon thine;
Who found thee nothing, formed thee for his praise. Thou hast as bright an interest in her rays To praise him is to serve him, and fulfil, As ever Roman had in Rome's best days. Doing and suffering, his unquestioned will; True freedom is where no restraint is known, 'Tis to believe what men inspired of old, That Scripture, justice, and good sense disown, Faithful, and faithfully informed, unfold ; Where only vice and injury are tied,
Candid and just, with no false aim in view, And all from shore to shore is free beside. To take for truth, what can not be but true; Such freedom is—and Windsor's hoary towers
To learn in God's own school the Christian part, Stood trembling at the boldness of thy powers, And bind the task assigned thee to thine heart: That won a nymph on that immortal plain Happy the man there seeking and there found, Like her the fabled Phæbus wooed in vain; Happy the nation where such men abound. He found the laurel only–happier you
How shall a verse impress thee? by what name Th’ unfading laurel, and the virgin too !*
Shall I adjure thee not to court thy shame? Alluding to the grant of Magna Charta, which was ex. By theirs, whose bright example unimpeached, torted from King John by the barons at Runnymede near Directs thee to that eminence they reached, Windsor.
Heroes and worthies of days past, thy sires ? Thy soul as ample as thy bounds are small,
Whoe'er assails thee, thy success is sure;
Of nations sworn to spoil thee and devour, Pleasure herself perhaps suggests a plea,
Were all collected in thy single arm, If interest move thee, to persuade e'en thee; And thou couldst laugh away the fear of harm, By every charm that smiles upon her face, That strength would fail, opposed against the push By joys possessed, and joys still held in chase, And feeble onset of a pigmy rush. If dear society be worth a thought,
Say not (and if the thought of such defence And if the feast of freedom cloy thee not, Should spring within thy bosom, drive it thence) Reflect that these, and all that seem thine own, What nation amongst all my foes is free Held by the tenure of his will alone,
From crimes as base as any charged on me? Like angels in the service of their Lord, Their measure filled, they too shall pay the debt, Remain with thee, or leave thee at his word; Which God, though long forborne, will not forget. That gratitude and temperance in our use But know what wrath divine, when most severe, Of what he gives, unsparing and profuse, Makes justice still the guide of his career, Secure the favour, and enhance the joy,
And will not punish, in one mingled crowd, That thankless waste and wild abuse destroy. Them without light, and thee without a cloud. But above all reflect, how cheap soe'er
Muse, hang this harp upon yon aged beach, Those rights, that millions envy thee, appear, Still murmuring with the solemn truths I teach; And, though resolved to risk them, and swim down And while at intervals a cold blast sings The tide of pleasure, heedless of His frown, Through the dry leaves, and pants upon the strings, That blessings truly sacred, and when given My soul shall sigh in secret, and lament Marked with the signature and stamp of Heaven, A nation scourged, yet tardy to repent. The word of prophecy, those truths divine, I know the warning song is sung in vain; Which make that Heaven, if thou desire it, thine, That few will hear, and fewer heed the strain; (Awful alternative! believed, beloved,
But if a sweeter voice, and one designed Thy glory, and thy shame if unimproved,) A blessing to my country and mankind, Are never long vouchsafed, if pushed aside Reclaim the wandering thousands, and bring home With cold disgust or philosophic pride!
A flock so scattered and so wont to roam, And that, judicially withdrawn, disgrace, Then place it once again between my knees; Ertor, and darkness occupy their place. The sound of truth will then be sure to please:
And truth alone, where'er my life be cast, A world is up in arms, and thou, a spot In scenes of plenty, or the pining waste, Not quickly found, if negligently sought, Shall be my chosen theme, my glory to the last.
Ask what is human life—the sage replies,
As in a dance the pair that take the lead
Dangling his cane about, and taking snuff, Quite to forget, or deem it worth no thought,
For lift thy palsied head, shake off the gloom. But now and then perhaps a feeble ray That overhangs the borders of thy tomb, Of distant wisdom shoots across his way, See Nature gay, as when she first began, By which he reads, that life without a plan, With smiles alluring her admirer man;
As useless as the moment it began,
Oh weariness beyond what asses feel,
Yesterday's face twin image of to-day; The yellow tilth, green meads, rocks, rising While conversation, an exhausted stock, grounds,
Grows drowsy as the clicking of a clock.
Is vanity surpassing all the rest.
That remedy, not hid in deeps profound, Man feels the spur of passions and desires, Y t seldom sought where only to be found, And she gives largely more than he requires; While poison turns aside from its due scope Not that his hours devoted all to Care,
Th’ inquirer's aim, that remedy is hope. Hollow-eyed Abstinence, and lean Despair, Life is His gift, from whom whate'er life needs, The wretch may pine, while to his smell, taste, With every good and perfect gift, proceeds; sight,
Bestowed on man, like all that we partake, She holds a paradise of rich delight;
Royally, freely, for his bounty's sake; But gently to rebuke his awkward fear,
Transient indeed, as is the fleeting hour,
Designed in honour of his endless love,
Nor all an angel's eloquence explain;
That their Creator had no serious end. But still th' imputed tints are those alone When God and man stand opposite in view, The medium represents, and not their own. Man's disappointment must of course ensue.
To rise at noon, sit slipshod and undressed, The just Creator condescends to write, To read the news, or fiddle, as seems best, In beams of inextinguishable light, Till half the world comes rattling at his door, His names of wisdom, goodness, power, and love, To fill the dull vacuity till four;
On all that blooms below, or shines above; And, just when evening turns the blue vault gray, To catch the wandering notice of mankind, To spend two hours in dressing for the day; And teach the world, if not perversely blind,