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PRACTICAL DISCOURSE Concerning DEATH. FORGIVE the Mufe, who, in unhallow'd strains,
The Saint one moment from his God detains :
For fure, whate'er you do, where-e'er you are,
"Tis all but one good work, one conftant prayer:
Forgive her; and intreat that God, to whom
Thy favour'd vows with kind acceptance come,
To raise her notes to that fublime degree,
Which fuits a fong of piety and thee.
Wondrous good man! whose labours may repel
The force of fin, may ftop the rage of hell;
Thou, like the Baptift, from thy God waft fent,
The crying voice, to bid the world repent.
The Youth fhall ftudy, and no more engage
Their flattering wifhes for uncertain age;
No more, with fruitlefs care and cheated ftrife,
Chafe fleeting pleasure through this maze of life;
Finding the wretched all they here can have,
But prefent food, and but a future grave:
Each, great as Philip's victor son, shall view
This abject world, and, weeping, ask a new.
Decrepit Age fhall read thee, and confefs
Thy labours can affuage, where medicines ceafe;
Shall blefs thy words, their wounded foul's relief,
The drops that fweeten their laft dregs of life;
Shall look to Heaven, and laugh at all beneath;
Own riches gather'd, trouble; fame, a breath
And Life an ill, whofe only cure is Death..
Thy even thoughts with fo much plainness flow,
Their fenfe untutor'd Infancy may know :
Yet to fuch height is all that plainnefs wrought,
Wit may admire, and letter'd pride be taught.
Easy in words thy ftyle, in fenfe fublime,
On its bleft steps each age and fex
"Tis like the ladder in the Patriarch's dream,
Its foot on earth, its height above the skies:
Diffus'd its virtue, boundless is its power;
'Tis public health, and univerfal cure:
Of heavenly manna 'tis a fecond feast;
A nation's food, and all to every taste.
To its laft height mad Britain's guilt was rear'd;
And various death for various crimes fhe fear'd.
With your kind work her drooping hopes revive;
You bid her read, repent, adore, and live:
You wreft the bolt from Heaven's avenging hand;
Stop ready death, and fave a finking land.
O ! fave us still: ftill blefs us with thy stay :
O! want thy Heaven, till we have learnt the way:
Refufe to leave thy deftin'd charge too soon;
And, for the church's good, defer thy own.
O! live; and let thy works urge our belief;
Live to explain thy doctrine by thy life;
Till future Infancy, baptiz'd by thee,
Grow ripe in years, and old in piety;
Till Chriftians, yet unborn, be taught to die.
Then, in full age and hoary holiness,
Retire, great teacher ! to thy promis❜d bliss :
Untouch'd thy tomb, uninjur'd be thy dust,
As thy own fame among the future just ;
Till in last sounds the dreadful trumpet speaks;
Till Judgement calls, and quicken'd Nature wakes;
Till, through the utmost earth, and deepest sea,
Our fcatter'd atoms find their deftin'd way,
In hafte to cloath their kindred fouls again,
Perfect our state, and build immortal man :
Then fearless thou, who well fuftain'dst the fight,
To paths of joy, or tracts of endless light,
Lead up all those who heard thee, and believ'd;
'Midft thy own flock, great fhepherd! be receiv'd ;
And glad all Heaven with millions thou hast sav'd.
CARMEN SECULARE, for the Year 1700. To the KING.
"Afpice, venturo lætentur ut omnia fæc❜lo :
“O mihi tam longæ maneat pars ultima vitæ
"Spiritus, & quantum fat erit tua dicere facta !”
THY elder look, great Janus, caft
Into the long records of ages past? Review the years in faireft action dreft With noted white, fuperior to the reft;
Æras deriv'd, and chronicles begun,
From empires founded, and from battles won;
Shew all the fpoils by valiant kings atchiev'd,
And groaning nations by their arms reliev'd ;
The wounds of patriots in their country's cause,
And happy power fuftain'd by wholesome laws;
In comely rank call every merit forth,,
Imprint on every act its standard-worth;
The glorious parallels then downward bring
To modern wonders, and to Britain's king;
With equal juftice, and historic care,
Their laws, their toils, their arms, with his compare
Confefs the various attributes of fame
Collected and complete in William's name;
To all the liftening world relate
(As thou doft his story read), That nothing went before fo great, And nothing greater can fucceed.
Thy native Latium was thy darling cate,
Prudent in peace, and terrible in war :
The boldeft virtues that have govern'd earth
From Latium's fruitful womb derive their birth.
Then turn to her fair-written page;
From dawning childhood to establish'd age
The glories of her empire trace;
Confront the heros of thy Roman race;
And let the jufteft palm the victor's temples grace,
The fon of Mars reduc'd the trembling fwains,
And spread his empire o'er the diftant plains :
But yet the Sabins violated charms
Obfcur'd the glory of his rifing arms.
Numa the rights of strict religion knew;
On every altar laid the incenfe due;
Unfkill'd to dart the pointed fpear,
Or lead the forward youth to noble war.
Stern Brutus was with too much horror good,
Holding his fafces ftain'd with filial blood.
Fabius was wife, but with excefs of care
He fav'd his country, but prolong'd the war.
While Decius, Paulus, Curius, greatly fought,
And by their ftri&t examples taught,
How wild defires fhould be controul'd,
And how much brighter virtue was than gold :
They scarce their fwelling thirft of fame could hide;
And boafted poverty with too much pride.
Excess in youth made Scipio lefs rever'd :
And Cato, dying, feem'd to own, he fear'd.
Julius with honour tam'd Rome's foreign foes;
But patriots fell, ere the dictator rofe.
And, while with clemency Auguftus reign'd,
The monarch was ador'd; the city chain'd.
With jufteft honour be their merits dreft;
But be their failings too confeft:
Their virtue like their Tyber's flood
Rolling, its courfe defign'd their country's good.
But oft' the torrent's too impetuous fpeed
From the low earth tore fome polluting weed;