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Unless it forces, call it tu you will,
It in but wish, and pronencss to the ill.—
Art thou not tempted V Do I Call? said Shore.
The pure have fallen.—Then are pure no

more:
While reason guides me, I Kiihii walk nright,
Nor need a steadier hand, or stronger light;
Nor this in clrend of awful threats, design'd
For the wrnk spirit nnd the grov'ling mind;
But that, engaged by thoughts and views

sublime, I wage free war with gro»sncss and with

crime. Thus look'd he proudly on the vulgar crew. Whom statutes govern, and whom fears

subdue.

Faith, with his virtue,he indeed profess'd, But doubts deprived his ardent mind of

rest; Reason, his sovereign mistress, fnil'd to show Light through the mazes of the world below; Questions arose, and they surpnss'd the skill Of his sole aid, and would be dubious still; These to discuss lie sought no common guide, But to the doubters in his doubts applied; When all together might in freedom speak. And their loved truth with mutual ardour

seek. Alas! though men who feel their eyes decay Take more than common pains to find their

wny, Yet, when for this they ask each other's aid. Their mutual purpose is the more delay'd: Of all their doubts, their reasoning clear'd

not one. Still the snmc spots were present in the sun; Still the same scruples haunted Edward's

mind, Who found no rest, nor took the means to

find. But though with shaken faith, and slave to

fame. Vain nnd aspiring on the world he came; Yet was he studious, serious, moral, grave, No passion's victim, and no system's slave; Vice he opposed, indulgence lie disdnin'd, And o'er each sense in ennsrious triumph

reign'd.

Who often reads, will sometimes wish to

write, And Shore would yield instruction and

delight: A serious drama he design'd, bnt found 'Twos tedious travelling in that gloomy

ground; A deep nnd solemn story he would try. But grew ashamed of ghosts, and laid it by; Sermons he wrote, but they who knew his

creed. Or knew it not, were ill disposed to read; And he would lastly be the nntion's guide, But, studying, fail'd to fix upon a side;

Fame he desired, and talents he possessed. But loved not labour, though he could not

rest, Nor firmly fix the vacillating mind. That, ever working, could no centre find. "I'is thus n snnguine reader loves to trace The Nile forth rushing on his glorious rare; Calm and secure the fancied traveller goes Through sterile deserts and by threat'ning

foes; He thinks not then of Afric's scorching

sands, Tli' Arabian sea, the Abyssinian bunds; Fasils and Michaels, and the robbers all. Whom we politely chiefs and heroes call: He of success alone delights to think, He views that fount, he stands upon the

brink. And drinks n fancied draught, exulting so

to drink. In his own room, and with his books around, His lively mind its chief employment found; Then idly busy, quietly employ'd. And, lost to life, his visions were enjoy'd: Yet still he took a keen inquiring view Of all that crowds neglect, desire, pursue; And thus abstracted, curious, still, serene. He. unemplny'd, beheld life's shifting scene; Still more averse from vulgar joys and cares. Still more unfitted for the world's affairs.

There was a house where Edward ofttimes went,

And social hours in pleasant trifling spent;

He read, conversed and reasnn'd, sang and play'd,

And all were happy while the idler stay'd .

Too happy one, for thence arose the pain.

Till this engaging triflcr came again.

Hut did he love? We answer, day by day.

The loving feet would take th' accustom'd way,

The amorous eye would rove as if in quest

Of something rare,and on the mansion rest;

The same soft passion touch'd the gentle tongne,

And Anna's charms in tender notes wen sung;

The ear too seem'd to feel the common flame.

Soothed and delighted with the fair one's name;

And thus as love each other part possessed.

The heart, no doubt, its sovereign power confess'd.

Pleased in her sight, the youth required no more;

Not rich himself, he saw the damsel poor;

And he too wisely, nay, too kindly loved.

To pain the being whom his soul approved

A serious friend our cautious vouth possess 71, And at his table tat a welcome guest;

Both anemploy'd, it was tlieir chief delight To read what free and daring author* write; Author* who loved from common views to

•our, Aodirelt the fountain* never traced before; Truth they profess'd, yet often left the true And beaten prospect, for the wild nnd new. Niii chosen friend his fiftieth year had seen, His fortune easy, and his nir serene; Drift and atheist rnll'd; for few agreed IWiat were liis nations, principles, or rreed; Hi< mind reposed not, for he hated rest, But all things made a query or a jest; PerpkVd himself, he ever sought to prove That man is donui'd in endless dnuht to rove; Himself in darkness lie profess'd to he. And would maintain that not n man could see. The youthful friend, dissentient, reason'd

still Of the soul's prowess, and (In- suhject will; Of virtue's heauty, and of honour's force, And a warm zeal gave life to his discourse: Sioce from his feelings all his fire arose, And he had interest in the themes he chose. Thr friend, indulging a sarcastic smile. Said—Dear enthusiast! thou wilt change

thy style, 1' hen man's delusions, errors, crimes, deceit, No more distress thee, und no longer cheat. Vrt lo! this cautious man, so coolly wise, Oo a young beauty fiv'd unguarded eyes; And her he married: Edward at the view Made to his cheerful visits long adieu; But haply err'd, for this engaging bride No mirth suppress'd, but rather cause

supplied: And when she saw the friends, by reasoning

Coofnsed if right, and positive if wrong, flith playful speech and smile, that spoke

delight. She made them careless both of wrong nnd

right. This gentle damsel gave consent to wed, With school and school-day-dinners in her

head: She sow was promised choice of daintiest

food, 4>d costly dress, that marie her sovereign

good; With walks on hilly heath to banish spleen, And saramcr-visiU when the roads were

clean. -til these she loved, to these she gave consent, And the was married to her heart's content. fhrir manner this—the friends together read. 'ill hooks a cause for disputation bred; ktate then follow'd, nnd the vnpour'd child "flared they argued till her head was wild; And strange to her it was that mortal brain Could seek the trial, or endure the pain. Then as the friend reposed, the younger pair Sat down to cards, and play'ri beside his

chair; Till he awaking, to his books applied. Or heard the music of th' obedient bride:

If mild the evening, in the fields they strny'd,
And their own flock with partial eye survey'ri;
Kut oft the hnshand, to indulgence prone,
Resumed his book, and hade them walk alone.
Do, my kind Edwarri! I must take mine ease,
Name the dear girl the planets and the trees;
Tell her what warblers pour their evening-
song,
What insects flutter, as you walk along;
Teach her to fix the roving thoughts, to bind
The wandering sense, and methodize the

mind.
This was obey'd; nnd oft when this was done,
They calmly gazed on the declining sun;
In silence saw the glowing landscape fade,
Or, sitting, sang beneath the arbour's shade:
Till rose the moon nnd on each youthful face
Shed a soft beauty and a dangerous grace.
When the young wife beheld in long debate
The friends, all careless as she seeming snte;
It soon appear'd, there was in one combined
The nobler person and the richer mind:
He wore no wig, no grisly beard was seen,
And none beheld him careless or unclean;
Or watch'd him sleeping:—we indeed have

heard Of sleeping beauty, and it has appear'd; 'Tis seen in infants—there indeed we find The features soften'd by the slumbering mind, But other beuuties, when disposed to sleep, Should from the eye of keen inspector keep: The lovely nymph who would her swain

surprise, May close her mouth, hut not conceal her

eyes; Sleep from the fairest face some beauty

takes, And all the homely features homelier makes; So thought our wife, beholding with a sigh Her sleeping spouse, and Edward smiling by. A sick relation for the husband sent. Without delay the friendly sceptic went; Nor fcar'd the youthful pair, for he had seen Th-^ wife untroubled and the friend serene: No selfish purpose in his roving eyes, No vile deception in her fond replies: So judged the husbnnd, nnd with judgment

true. For neither yet the guilt or rianger knew. What now reinain'd? but they again should

play Th' accustom'd game, and walk th' accus

tnm'ri way; With careless freedom should converse or

read. And the friend's absence neither fear nor

heed: But rather now they scem'd confused, constraint; Within their room still restless they remain'd, And painfully they felt, nnd knew each other

pain'd.— Ah! foolish men! how could ye thus depend, One on himself, the other on his friend? The youth with troubled eye the lady saw. Vet felt too brave, too daring, to withdraw; While she, with tuneless hand the jarring

keys Touching, was not one moment nt her ease: Now would she walk, and rail her friendly

guide. Now speak of rain, and east her cloke aside; Seize on n bonk, unconscious what she read, And restless still to new resources fled; Then laugh'd aloud, then tried to look serene, And ever changed, and every change was seen. Painful it is to dwell on deeds of shame— The trying day was past, another came; The third was all remorse, confusion, dread, And (all ton late !) the fallen hero fled. Then felt the youth, in that seducing time. How feebly honour guards the heart from

crime: Small is his native strength; man needs the

stay, The strength imparted in the trying day; For all that honour brings against the force Of headlong passion, aids its rapid course; Its slight resistance but provokes the fire, As wood-work stops the flnuie, and then

conveys it higher. The husband came; a wife by guilt made

bold Had, meeting, soothed him, as in days of old; But soon this fact transpired; her strong

distress, And his friend's absence, left him nought to

guess. Still cool, though grieved, thus prudence

bade him write— I cannot pnrdon, and 1 will not fight; Thou nrt too poor a culprit for the laws, And I too faulty to support my cause: All must be punish'd; I must sigh alone, At home thy victim for her guilt atone; And thou, unhappy! virtuous now no more, Must loss of fame, peace, purity deplore; Sinners with praise will pierce thee to the

heart, And saints deriding tell thee what thou art.

Such was his fall; and Edward, from that

tune, Felt in full force the censure and the crime— Despised, ashamed; his noble views before, And his proud thoughts, degraded him the

more: Should he repent—would that conceal his

shame? Could peace be his? It perish'd with his

fame: Himself he scorn'd, nor could his crime

forgive; He fcar'd to die, yet felt ashamed to live: Grieved, but not contrite was his heart;

oppress'd. Not broken; not converted, but distress'd; He wanted will to bend the stubborn knee. He wanted light the cause of ill to see, I'o learn how frail is man, how humble

then should be;

For faith he had not. or a faith too weak To gain the help that humbled sinners seek; Else had he prny'd—to an offended God His tears had flown a penitential Hood; Though far astray, he would have heard

the call Of mercy—Come! return, thou prodigal; Then, though confused, distress'd, ashamed,

afraid, Still had the trembling penitent nbey'd; Though faith had fainted, when assnil'd by

fear, Hope to the soul had whisper'd, 'Persevere!' Till in his Father's house an humbled guest, He would have found forgiveness, comfort.

rest. But all this joy was to our youth denied By his fierce passions and his daring pride; And shame and doubt impell'd him in •

course. Once so abhorr'd, with unresisted force.. Proud minds and guilty, whom their crime*

oppress, Fly to new crimes for comfort and redress; So found our fallen youth a short relief In wine, the opiate guilt applies to grief,— From fleeting mirth that o'er the bottle lives. From the false joy its inspiration gives; And from associates pleased to find a friend. With powers to lead them, gladden, and

defend, In all those scenes where transient ease is

found, For minds whom sins oppress and sorrows

wound. Wine is like anger; for it makes us strong. Blind and impatient, and it leads us wrong; The strength is quickly lost, we feel the

error long: Thus led, thus strengthen'd in an evil cause. For folly pleading, sought the youth

applause; Sad for a time, then eloquently wild. He gaily spoke as his companions smiled; Lightly he rose, and with his former grarr Proposed some doubt, and argued on the

case; Fate and fore-knowledge Mere his favonritr

themes— How vain man's purpose, how absurd hi*

schemes: Whatever is, was ere our birth drrrrrd; We think our actions from ourselves proceed. And idly we lament tli' inevitable deed; It seems our own, but there's a power absir Directs the motion, nay, that makes as motr; Nor good nor evil ran you beings name. Who are but rooks and ensiles in the gsmr; Superior natures with their puppets play. Till, bngg'd or buried, all are swept away. Such were the notions of a mind to ill Now prone, but ardent, and determined still: Of joy now eager, as before of famr. Andscreen'dby folly when assail'd by shame. Deeply he sank; nbey'd each passion** rail. And used his reason to defend Uicm aUL

Shall I proceed, and step by step relate The odioua progress of a sinner's fate? >o—let me rather hasten to the time (Sure to arrive) when misery waits on crime.

With Virtue, Prudence fled; what Shore posscss'd Was told, was spent, and he wns now

distress'd: And Want, unwelcome stranger, pale and wan, Met with her haggard looks the hurried man; Hi« pride felt keenly what he must expect From naeless pity and from cold neglect. Struck by new terrors,from his friendshe fled, And wept his woes upon a restless bed; Hi-tiring- late, at early hour to rise, With (Drunken features, and with bloodshot

eyes: If deep one moment closed the dismal view, Fancy her terrors built upon the true; And night and day had their alternate woes, That baffled pleasure and that mock'd repose; Till to despair and anguish was ennsign'd The wreck and ruin of a noble mind.

Now seized for debt, and lodged within a

., ... J*'1' •

He tried his friendships, and he found them

fail; Then fail'd his spirits, and his thoughts

were all Fit'd on his sins,his sufferings, and his fall: Hi. raffled mind was pictured in his face, Once the fair seat of dignity and grace: Great was the danger of a man so prone To think of madness, and to think alone; let pride still lived, and struggled to sustain The drooping spirit and the roving brain; Bat this too fail'd: a friend his freedom gave, And sent him help the thrcat'ning world to

brave; Gate solid counsel what to seek or flee, But itill would stranger to his person be: !• vain! the truth determined to explore, He traced the friend whom he had wrong'd

before. This was too much; both aided and advised Bv one who shunn'd him, pitied, and

despised: He bore it not; 'twas a deciding stroke, tod nn his reason like a torrent broke: In dreadful stillness he appear'd awhile, »ith vacant horror and a ghastly smile; Then rose at once into the frantic rage, Tint force control I'd not, nor could love

assuage. 'rienda now appear'd, but in the man was seen The angry maniac, with vindictive mien; Too late their pity gave to care and skill The hurried mind and ever-wandering will;

Unnoticed pnss'd all time, and not a ray
Of reason broke nn his benighted way;
But now he spurn'd the M raw in pure disdain,
And now laugh'd loudly at the clinking chain.
Then as its wrnth subsided, by degrees
The mind sank slowly to infantine case;
To playful folly, and to causeleKs joy,
Speech without aim, and without end,

employ;
He drew fantastic figures nn the wall,
And gave some wild relation of them all;
With brutal shape he join'd the human face,
And idiot smiles approved the motley race.
Harmless at length tlf unhappy man was

found, The spirit settled, but the reason drnwii'd; And all the dreadful tempest died away, To the dull stillness of the misty dny. And now his freedom he attain'd— if free The lost to reason, truth, and hope, can be; His friends, or wearied with the charge, or

sure The harmless wretch was now beyond a cure, Gave him to wander where he pleased, and

find His own resources for the eager mind; The playful children of the place he meets, Playful with them he rambles through the

streets; In all they need his stronger arm he lends, And his lost mind to these approving friends.

That gentle maid, whom once the youth

had loved. Is now with mild religious pity moved; Kindly she chides his boyish flights, while he Will for a moment fix'd and pensive be; And as she trembling speaks, his lively eyes Explore her looks, lie listens to her sighs; Chnrm'd by her voice, th' harmonious sounds

invade His clouded mind, and for a time persuade: Like a pleased infant, who has newly caught From the maternal glance a gleam of

thought; He stands enrapt,the half-known voice to hear, And starts, half-conscious, at the falling tear. Rarely from town, nor then unwatch'd, he

goes, In darker mood, as if to hide his woes; Returning soon, he with impatience seeks His youthful friends, and shouts, and sings,

and speaks; Speaks a wild speech with action all as

wild— The children's leader, and himself a child; He spins their top, or, at their bidding, bends His back, while o'er it leap his laughing

friends; Simple and weak, he acts the boy once more, And heedless children call him silly Shore.

192

REFLECTIONS ON SOCIAL MEETINGS.

A Few! 1) 111 fe w there are, who in the mind Perpetual source of consolation find; The weaker many to the world will come, For comforts seldom to be found from home. When the faint hands no more a brimmer

hold When flannel-wreaths the useless limbs

infold, The breath impeded, and the bosom cold; When half the pillow'd man the palsy

chains, And the blood falters in the bloated veins,— Then, as our friends no further aid supply Than hope's cold phrase and courtesy's soft

sigh, We should that comfort for ourselves ensure, Which friends could not, if we could friends,

procure. Early in fife, when we can laugh aloud, There's something pleasant in a social

crowd,

Who laugh with us—but will such joy

remain, When we lie struggling on the bed of pain '. When our physician tells us with n sigh, No more on hope and science to rely. Life's stall' is useless then; with labouring

breath We pray for hope divine—the staffof death — This is a scene which few companions grace, And where the heart's first favourites yield

their placeHere all the aid of man to man must end; Here mounts the soul to her eternal Friend; The tenderest love must here its tie resign, And give th' aspiring heart to love divine. Men feel their weakness, and to numbers run, Themselves to strengthen, or themselves to

shun; But though to this our weakness may be

• prone.

Let's learn to live, for we must die, alone.

[merged small][graphic]

Tig well that man to all the varying states Of good and ill his mind accommodates; He not alone progressive grief sustains, But soon submits to unexperienced pains: Change after change,nil climes his body bears; His mind repeated shocks of changing cares: Faith and fair virtue arm the nobler breast; Hope and mere wont of feeling aid the rest. Or who could bear to lose the balmy air Of summer's breath, from all things fresh

and fair, With all that man admires or loves below; All earth and water, wood and vale bestow. Where rosy pleasures smile whence real

blessings flow; With sight and sound of every kind that

lives And crowning all with joy that freedom gives? Who could from these, in some unhappy day, Bear to be drawn by ruthless arms away

To the vile nuisance of ft' noisome room
Where only insolence and misery come?
(Save that the curious will by chance appear,
Or some in pity drop a fruitless tear;)
To a damp prison, where the very sight
Of the warm sun is l'a\ our and not right;
Where all we hear or sec the feelings shock.
The oath and groan, the fetter and the lock?
Who could bear this and live?—Oh many a

year
All this is borne, and miseries more severe;
And some there are, familiar with the scene.
Who live in mirth.though few becomesen-ar.
Far as I might the inward man perceive.
There was a constant effort—not to grieve;
Not to despair, for better days would ranssr.
And the freed debtor smile again at Imnv:
Subdued his habits, he may peace retrain.
And bless the woes that were not sent in

vain.

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