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How sweet the glooms beneath thy aged trees,
Thy noon-tide shadow, and thy ev'ning breeze!
His image thy forsaken bow'rs restore;
Thy walks and airy prospects are no more;
No more the summer in thy gloom's allay'd,
Thy ev'ning breezes, and thy noon-day shade.
From other ills, however fortune frown'd, Some refuge in the Muse's art I found; Reluctant now I touch the trembling string, Bereft of him who taught me how to sing; And these sad accents, murmur'd o'er his urn, Betray that absence they attempt to mourn. O! must I then (now fresh my bosom bleeds, And Craggs in death to Addison succeeds) The verse, begun to one lost friend, prolong, And weep a second in th' unfinish'd song! These words divine, which, on his death-bed laid, To thee, O Craggs, th' expiring sage convey'd, Great, but ill-omen'd monument of fame, Nor he surviv'd to give, nor thou to claim. Swift after him thy social spirit flies, And close to his, how soon thy coffin lies. Blest pair, whose union future bards shall tell In future tongues; each other's boast! farewel. Farewel! whom join'd in fame, in friendship try'd, No chance could sever, nor the grave divide.
BY A CLERGYMAN IN VIRGINIA,
Returning home from his Duty in a very gloomy Night.
COME, heav'nly pensive contemplation, come,
Possess my soul, and solemn thoughts inspire!
The sacred hours, that with too swift a wing
Incessant hurry by, nor quite elaps'd,
Demand a serious close; then be my soul
Sedate and solemn, as this gloom of night
That thickens round me. Free from care, compos'd
Be all my soul, as this dread solitude,
Thro' which with gloomy joy I make my way.
Above these clouds, above the spacious sky,
In whose vast arch these cloudy oceans roll,
Dispensing fatness to the world below,
There dwells the MAJESTY, whose single hand
Props universal nature, and who deals
His liberal blessings to this little globe,
The residence of worms; where Adam's sons,
Thoughtless of him who taught their souls to think,
Ramble in vain pursuits. The hosts of heav'n,
Cherubs and seraphs, potentates and thrones,
Array'd in glorious light, hover on wing
Before his throne, and wait his sov'reign nod:
With active zeal, with sacred rapture fir'd,
To his extensive empire's utmost bound
They bear his orders, and his charge perform.
Yet He, e'en He (ye ministers of flame,
Admire the condescension and the grace!)
Employs a mortal form'd of meanest clay,
Debas'd by sin, whose best desert is hell,
Employs him to proclaim a SAVIOUR's name,
And offer pardon to a rebel world.
This day my tongue, the glory of my frame,
Enjoy'd the honour of his advocate:
Immortal souls, of more transcendent worth
Than Ophir, or Peru's exhaustless mines,
Are trusted to my care. Important trust!
What if some wretched soul, (tremendous thought!)
Once favour'd with the gospel's joyful sound,
Now lost, for ever lost through my neglect,
In dire infernal glooms, with flaming tongue,
Be heaping execrations on my head,
Whilst here secure I dream my life away!
What if some ghost, cut off from life and hope,
With fierce despairing eyes upturn'd to heaven,
That wildly stare, and witness horrors huge,
Be roaring horrid, "LORD, avenge my blood
66 On that unpitying wretch, who saw me run
"With full career, the dire enchanting road
"To these devouring flames, yet warn'd me not; "Or faintly warn'd me, and with languid tone, "And cool harangue, denounc'd eternal fire, "And wrath divine!" At the dread shocking thought My spirit shudders, all my inmost soul Trembles and shrinks. Sure, if the plaintive cries Of spirits reprobate can reach the ear
Of their great Judge, they must be cries like these. But if the meanest of that happy choir, That with eternal symphonies surround The heavenly throne, can stand, and thus declare, "I owe it to his care that I am here, "Next to Almighty grace: his faithful hand, "Regardless of the frowns he might incur, "Snatch'd me, reluctant, from approaching flames, "Ready to catch, and burn unquenchable.
"May richest grace reward his pious zeal
"With some bright mansion in this world of bliss!"
Transporting thought! Then blessed be the hand
That form'd my elemental clay to man,
And still supports me! 'Tis worth while to live,
If I may live to purposes so great.
Awake, my dormant zeal! for ever flame
With gen'rous ardour for immortal souls;
And may my head, and tongue, and heart, and all,
Spend and be spent in service so divine!
WHERE proud Augusta, blest with long repose,
Her ancient wall, and ruin'd bulwark shows;
Close by a verdant plain, with graceful height,
A stately fabric rises to the sight.
Yet though its parts all elegantly shine,
And sweet proportion crowns the whole design;
Though art, in strong expressive sculpture shown,
Consummate art informs the breathing stone;
Far other views than these within appear,
And woe and horror dwells for ever here.
For ever from the echoing roofs rebounds
A dreadful din of het'rogeneous sounds;
From this, from that, from ev'ry quarter rise
Loud shouts, and sullen groans, and doleful cries;
Heart-soft'ning plaints demand the pitying tear,
And peals of hideous laughter shock the ear.
Thus, when in some fair human form we find The lusts all rampant, and the reason blind, Griev'd we behold such beauty giv’n in vain,·` And nature's fast work survey with pain.