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These, and a thousand plagues, that haunt the breast,
Fond of the phantom of an earthly rest,
Divine communion chases, as the day
Drives to their dens th' obedient beasts of prey.
See Judah’s promised king, bereft of all,
Driven out an exile from the face of Saul,
To distant caves the lonely wanderer flies,
To seek that peace a tyrant's frown denies.
Hear the sweet accents of his tuneful voice,
Hear him, o'erwhelm’d with sorrow, yet rejoice;
No womanish or wailing grief has part,
No, not a moment, in his royal heart;
'Tis manly music, such as martyrs make,
Suffering with gladness for a Saviour's sake;
His soul exults, hope animates his lays,
The sense of mercy kindles into praise,
And wilds, familiar with a lion's roar,
Ring with ecstatic sounds unheard before ;
'Tis love like bis, that can alone defeat
The foes of man, or make a desert sweet.
Religion does not cerisure or exclude
Unnumbered pleasures harmlessly pursned;
To study culture, and with artful toil
To meliorate and tame the stubborn soil ;
To give dissimilar yet fruitful lands
The grain, or herb, or plant, that each demands;
To cherish virtue in an humble state,
And share the joys your bounty may create ;
To mark the matchless workings of the power,
That shuts within its seed the future flower,
Bids these in elegance of form excel,
In colour these, and those delight the smell,
Sends nature forth the daughter of the skies,
To dance on earth, and charm all human eyes ;
To teach the canvass innocent deceit,
Or lay the landscape on the snowy sheet
These, these are arts pursued without a crime,
That leave no stain upon the wing of time.
My poetry (or rather notes that aim
Feebly and vainly at poetic fame)
Employs, shut out from more important views,
Fast by the banks of the slow winding Ouse;
Content if thus sequestered I may raise
A monitor's, though not a poet's praise,
And while I teach an art too little known,
To close life wisely, may not waste my own.
TITHING-TIME AT STOCK IN ESSEX. Verses addressed to a country clergyman complaining of the disagreeableness of the day annually appointed for receiving the dues at the parsonage.
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 be merry is and blithe
Three-quarters of the year,
But oh! it cuts bim like a scythe,
When tithing-time draws near.
He then is full of fright 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 comeReach 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 of hail,
And one of pigs, that he has lost
By maggots at the tail.
Quoth one, • A rarer man than yon
• In pulpit none shall hear :
• But yet, methinks, to tell you true,
* You sell it plaguy dear.'
Oh, why are 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.
SONNET. ADDRESSED TO HENRY COWPER, ESQ. On his emphatical and interesting delivery of the defence of
Warren Hastings, Esq. in the House of Lords.
CowPER, whose silver voice, tasked sometimes hard,
Legends prolix delivers in the ears
(Attentive when thou readest) of England's peers, Let verse at length yield thee thy just reward.
LINES ADDRESSED TO DR. DARWIN. 169 Thou wast not heard with drowsy disregard,
Expending late on all that length of plea
Thy generous powers, but silence honoured thee
Mute as ever gazed an 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,
ADDRESSED TO DR. DARWIN.
Author of the Botanic Garden.
Two Poets * (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.
#-Alluding to the poem by Mr. Hayley, which accompanied this.