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The tender lambs he raises in his arms,
Feeds from his hand and in his bosom warms;
Thys shall mankind his guardian care engage,
The promised father of the future age.
No more shall nation against nation rise,
Nor ardent warriors meet with hateful eyes,
Nor fields with gleaming steel be cover'd o'er,
The brazen trumpets kindle rage no more:
But useless lances into scythes shall bend,
And the broad falchion in a ploughshare end.
Then palaces shall rise; the joyful son
Shall finish what his short-lived sire begun;
Their vines a shadow to their race shall yield,
And the same hand that sow'd, shall reap the field.
The swain in barren deserts with surprise
Sees lilies spring, and sudden verdure rise ;
And starts, amid the thirsty wilds to hear
New falls of water murmuring in his ear.
On rifted rocks, the dragon's late abodes,
The green reed trembles, and the bulrush nods.
Waste sandy valleys, once perplex'd with thorn,
The spiry fir and shapely box adorn:
To leafless shrubs the flowery palms succeed,
And odorous myrtle to the noisome weed.
The lambs with
wolves shall graze the verdant mead,
And boys in flowery bands the tiger lead :
The steer and lion at one crib shall meet,
And harmless serpents lick the pilgrim's feet.
The smiling infant in his hand shall take
The crested basilisk and speckled snake;
Pleased, the green lustre of the scales survey,
And with their forky tongue shall innocently play.
Rise, crown'd with light, imperial Salem, rise!
Exalt thy towery head, and lift thy eyes!
See a long race thy spacious courts adorn ;
See future sons and daughters, yet unborn,
In crowded ranks on every side arise,
Demanding life, impatient for the skies !
Sec barbarous nations at thy gates attend,
Walk in thy light, and in thy temple bend;
See thy bright altars throng'd with prostrate kings,
And heap'd with products of Sabean springs.
For thee Idumea's spicy forests blow,
And seeds of gold in Ophir's mountain glow.
See heaven its sparkling portals wide display,
And break upon thee in a flood of day!
No more the rising sun shall gild the morn,
Nor evening Cynthia fill her silver horn;
But lost, dissolved in thy superior rays,
One tide of glory, one unclouded blaze
O’erflow thy courts : the Light himself shall shine
Reveald, and God's eternal day be thine!
The seas shall waste, the skies in smoke decay,
Rocks fall to dust, and mountains melt away ;
But fix'd his word, his saving power remains ;
Thy realm for ever lasts, thy own Messiah reigns!,
Happy the man, whose wish and care
A few paternal acres bound, Content to breathe his native air
In his own ground. Whose herds with milk, whose fields with bread,
Whose flocks supply him with attire ; Whose trees in summer yield him shade,
In winter fire. Bless'd who can unconcern'dly find
Hours, days, and years slide soft away, In health of body, peace of mind,
Quiet by day, Sound sleep by night; study and ease
Together mix'd ; sweet recreation, And innocence, which most does please,
Thus let me live, unseen, unknown;
Thus unlamented let me die,
Steal from the world, and not a stone
Tell where I lie.
ELEGY TO THE MEMORY OF AN UNFORTUNATE LADY.
What beck’ning ghost along the moonlight shade
Invites my steps, and points to yonder glade ?
'Tis she! But why that bleeding bosom gored,
Why dimly gleams the visionary sword?
Oh ever beauteous, ever friendly! tell,
Is it in heaven a crime to love too well?
To bear too tender or too firm a heart,
To act a lover's or a Roman's part?
Is there no bright reversion in the sky
For those who gently think or bravely die?
Why bade ye else, ye powers ! her soul aspire
Above the vulgar flight of low desire ?
Ambition first sprung from your bless'd abodes,
The glorious fault of angels and of gods :
Thence to their images on earth it flows,
And in the breast of kings and heroes glows.
Most souls, 'tis true, but peep out once an age,
Dull, sullen prisoners in the body's cage :
Dim lights of life, that burn a length of years,
Useless, unseen, as lamps in sepulchres ;
Like Eastern kings, a lazy state they keep,
And close confined to their own palace sleep.
From these perhaps (ere Nature bade her die) Fate snatch'd her early to the pitying sky. As into air the purer spirits flow, And separate from their kindred dregs below; So flew the soul to its congenial place, Nor left one virtue to redeem her race.
But thou, false guardian of a charge too good, Thou, mean deserter of thy brother's blood!
See on these ruby lips the trembling breath,
These cheeks now fading at the blast of death;
Cold is that breast which warm’d the world before,
And those love-darting eyes must roll no more.
Thus, if eternal justice rules the ball,
Thus shall your wives, and thus your children fall :
On all the line a sudden vengeance waits,
And frequent hearses shall besiege your gates :
There passengers shall stand, and, pointing, say
(While the long funerals blacken all the way),
Lo! these were they whose souls the furies steeld,
And cursed with hearts unknowing how to yield.
Thus unlamented pass the proud away,
The gaze of fools, and pageant of a day!
So perish all, whose breast ne'er learn'd to glow
For others' good, or melt at others' wo.
What can atone (oh ever injured shade !)
Thy fate unpitied and thy rites unpaid ?
No friend's complaint, no kind domestic tear
Pleased thy pale ghost, or graced thy mournful bier:
By foreign hands thy dying eyes were closed,
By foreign hands thy decent limbs composed,
By foreign hands thy humble grave adornd,
By strangers honour'd, and by strangers mourn'd!
What though no friends in sable weeds appear,
Grieve for an hour, perhaps, then mourn a year,
And bear about the mockery of wo
To midnight dances and the public show?
What though no weeping loves thy ashes grace,
Nor polish'd marble emulate thy face?
What though no sacred earth allow thee room,
Nor hallow'd dirge be mutter'd o'er thy tomb?
Yet shall thy grave with rising flowers be dress'd,
And the green turf lie lightly on thy breast :
There shall the morn her earliest tears bestow,
There the first roses of the year shall blow;
While angels with their silver wings o'ershade
The ground now sacred by thy relics made.
So peaceful rests, without a stone, a name, 'That once had beauty, titles, wealth, and fame. How loved, how honour'd once, avails thee not, To whom related, or by whom begot; A heap of dust alone remains of thee, 'Tis all thou art, and all the proud shall be !
Poets themselves must fall, like those they sung, Deaf the praised ear, and mute the tuneful tongue, Ev'n he, whose soul now melts in mournful lays, Shall shortly want the generous tear he pays; Then from his closing eyes thy form shall part, And the last pang shall tear thee from his heart; Life's idle business at one gasp be o'er, The Muse forgot, and thou beloved no more!
EPISTLE TO DR. ARBUTHNOT.
P. SHUT, shut up the door, good John! fatigued I said,
Tie up the knocker, say I'm sick, I'm dead.
The dog-star rages ! nay, 'tis past a doubt,
All Bedlam or Parnassus is let out:
Fire in each eye, and papers in each hand,
They rave, recite, and madden round the land.
What walls can guard me or what shades can hide?
They pierce my thickets, through my grot they glide.
By land, by water, they renew the charge,
They stop the chariot, and they board the barge.
No place is sacred, not the church is free,
Ev'n Sunday shines no Sabbath day to me;
Then from the mint walks forth the man of rhyme,
Happy to catch me just at dinner-time.
Is there a parson, much bemused in beer, A maudlin poetess, a rhyming peer, A clerk, foredoom'd his father's soul to cross, Who pens a stanza when he should engross? Is there, who, lock'd from ink and paper, scrawls With desperate charcoal round his darken'd walls?