Pursue the theme, and you shall find
A disciplined and furnished mind

To be at least expedient,
And, after summing all the rest,
Religion ruling in the breast

A principal ingredient.

True friendship has, in short, a grace
More than terrestrial in its face,

That proves it heaven-descended;
Man's love of woman not so pure,
Nor, when sincerest, so secure

To last till life is ended.


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 e'en to woman paid,
Praise is the medium of a knavish trade,
A coin by craft for folly's use designed,
Spurious, and only current with the blind.
The path of sorrow, and that path alone
Leads to the land where sorrow is unknown:
No traveller ever reached that blessed abode,
Who found not thorns and briers in his road.
The world may dance along the flowery plain,
Cheered as they go by many a sprightly strain;
Where nature has her mossy velvet spread,
With unshot feet they yet securely tread;
Admonished, 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 designed
To rescue from the ruins of mankind,
Called 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 breathed 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,
And many a pang experienced still within,
Reminds them of their hated inmate, Sin;

But ills of every shape and every name,
Transformed to blessings, miss their cruel aim;
And every moment's calm that soothes 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 every drop bespeaks a Saviour thine.
So once in Gideon's fleece the dews were found,
And drought on all the drooping herbs around.




Come, ponder well, for 'tis no jest,

To laugh it would be wrong;
The troubles of a worthy priest

The burden of my song.

This priest he merry is and blithe

Three quarters of the year,
But oh! it cuts him like a scythe

When tithing time draws near.

He then is full of frights and fears,

As one at point to die,
And long before the day appears

He heaves up many a sigh.

For then the farmers come, jog, jog,

Along the miry road,
Each heart as heavy as a log,

To make their payments good.

In sooth the sorrow of such days

Is not to be expressed,
When he that takes and he that pays

Are both alike distressed.

Now all unwelcome at his gates

The clumsy swains alight,
With rueful faces and bald pates :—

He trembles at the sight.

And well he may, for well he knows
Each bumpkin of the clan,

Instead of paying what he owes,
Will cheat him if he can.

So in they come—each makes his leg,

And flings his head before, And looks as if he came to beg,

And not to quit a score.

"And how does miss and madam do,

The little boy and all?" "All tight and welL And how do you,

Good Mr. What-d'ye-call?"

The dinner comes, and down they sit:

Were e'er such hungry folk? There's little talking, and no wit;

It is no time to joke.

One wipes his nose upon his sleeve,

One spits upon the floor,
Yet not to give offence or grieve,

Holds up the cloth before.

The punch goes round, and they are dull

And lumpish still as ever;
Like barrels with their bellies full,

They only weigh the heavier.

At length the busy time begins,

"Come, neighbours, we must wag."

The money chinks, down drop their chins, Each lugging out his bag.

One talks of mildew and of frost,

And one of storms and hail, And one of pigs that he has lost

By maggots at the tail.

Quoth one, "A rarer man than you

In pulpit none shall hear;
But yet, methinks, to tell you true,

You sell it plaguey dear."

Oh, why were farmers made so coarse,

Or clergy made so fine? A kick that scarce would move a horse,

May kill a sound divine.

Then let the boobies stay at home;

'Twould cost him I dare say, Less trouble taking twice the sum,

Without the clowns that pay.



COWPER, whose silver voice, tasked sometimes hard,
Legends prolix delivers in the ears
(Attentive when thou read'st) of England's peers,

Let verse at length yield thee thy just reward.

Thou wast not heard with drowsy disregard,
Expending late on all that length of plea
Thy generous powers, but silence honoured thee,

Mute as e'er gazed on orator or bard.

Thou art not voice alone, but hast beside

Both heart and head ; and couldst with music sweet
Of attic phrase and senatorial tone,
Like thy renowned forefathers, far and wide
Thy fame diffuse, praised not for utterance meet
Of others' speech, but magic of thy own.



Two Poets,1 (poets, by report,

Not oft so well agree,)
Sweet harmonist of Flora's court!

Conspire to honour thee.

They best can judge a poet's worth,
Who oft themselves have known

The pangs of a poetic birth
By labours of their own.

We therefore pleased extol thy song,

Though various yet complete,
Rich in embellishment as strong,

And learned as 'tis sweet.

No envy mingles with our praise;

Though, could our hearts repine
At any poet's happier lays,

They would—they must at thine.

But we, in mutual bondage knit

Of friendship's closest tie,
Can gaze on even Darwin's wit

With an unjaundiced eye;

And deem the Bard, whoe'er he be,

And howsoever known,
Who would not twine a wreath for thee,

Unworthy of his own.

1 Alluding to the poem by Mr. Hayley, which accompanied these lines. ON MRS. MONTAGU'S FEATHER HANGINGS.

The Birds put off their every hue,

To dress a room for Montagu.

The Peacock sends his heavenly dyes,

His rainbows and his starry eyes;

The Pheasant, plumes which round infold

His mantling neck with downy gold;

The Cock his arched tail's azure show;

An'd, river blanched, the Swan his snow.

All tribes beside of Indian name,

That glossy shine, or vivid flame,

Where rises and where sets the day,

Whate'er they boast of rich and gay,

Contribute to the gorgeous plan,

Proud to advance it all they can.

This plumage neither dashing shower,

Nor blasts that shake the dripping bower,

Shall drench again or discompose,

But, screened from every storm that blows,

It boasts a splendour ever new,

Safe with protecting Montagu.

To the same patroness resort,

Secure of favour at her court,

Strong Genius, from whose forge of thought

Forms rise, to quick perfection wrought,

Which, though new-born, with vigour move,

Like Pallas, springing armed from Jove;

Imagination scattering round

Wild roses over furrowed ground.

Which Labour of his frown beguile,

And teach Philosophy a smile;

Wit flashing on Religion's side,

Whose fires, to sacred truth applied,

The gem, though luminous before,

Obtrudes on human notice more,

Like sunbeams on the golden height

Of some tall temple playing bright;

Well-tutored Learning, from his books

Dismissed with grave, not haughty looks,

Their order on his shelves exact,

Not more harmonious or compact

Than that, to which he keeps confined

The various treasures of his mind;

All these to Montagu's repair,

Ambitious of a shelter there.

There Genius, Learning, Fancy, Wit,

Their ruffled plumage calm refit,

(For stormy troubles loudest roar

Around their flight who highest soar,)

And in her eye, and by her aid,

Shine safe without a fear to fade.

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