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Happy, thrice happy he! whose conscious heart Enquires his purpose, and discerns his part; Who runs with heed th' involuntary race, Nor lets his hours reproach him as they pass; Weighs how they steal away, how fure, how fast, And, as he weighs them, apprehends the last : Or vacant, or engag'd, our minutes Aly; We may be negligent, but we must die.
LL you who leap religion's facred fence,
And hunt th' ignoble chace of lust and sense; Whose impious breasts some hellish fiend inspires ! And tongues, and eyes, confess adult'rous fires; Who drown your wretched fouls in floods of wine, And to the beast the nobler man resign; Who with loud oaths and curses rend the sky, And dare th' Almighty's dread authority : With earnest speed your darling vice forego, Which else will prove your certain overthrow. For since heaven's awful king is just and pure, You must the lashes of his wrath endure; Must ere 'tis long, to your confusion find, That God, tho' injured, is not deaf nor blind.
A CONTEMPLATION ON NIGHT.
HETHER amid the gloom of night I stray,
Or my glad eyes enjoy revolving day,
Still nature's various face informs my sense,
Of an all-wise, all-powerful providence.
When the gay sun first breaks the shades of night,
And strikes the distant eastern hills with light,
Colour returns, the plains their livery wear,
And a bright verdure clothes the smiling year;
The blooming flow’rs with op’ning beauties glow,
And grazing flocks their milky fleeces show;
The barren cliffs with chalky fronts arise,
And a pure azure arches o'er the skies.
But when the gloomy reign of night returns,
Stript of her fading pride all nature mourns :
The trees no more their wonted verdure boaft,
But weep in dewy tears their beauty loft:
No diftant landscapes draw our curious eyes,
Wrapt in night's robe the whole creation lies.
Yet still, ev'n now, while darkness clothes the land,
We view the traces of th' Almighty hand;
Millions of stars in heaven's wide vault appear,
And with new glories hang the boundless sphere :
The silver moon her western couch forsakes,
And o’er the skies her nightly circle makes;
Her solid globe beats back the sunny rays,
And to the world her borrow'd light repays.
Whether those stars that twinkling lustre send,
Are funs, and rolling worlds those suns attend,
Man may conjecture, and new schemes declare,
Yet all his systems but conjectures are;
But this we know, that heaven's eternal KING,
Who bade this universe from nothing spring,
Can at his WORD bid numerous worlds appear,
And rising worlds th' all-pow'rful WORD shall hear.
When to the western main the sun descends,
To other lands a rising day he lends;
The spreading dawn another shepherd spies,
The wakeful flocks from their warm folds arise;
Refresh'd, the peasant feeks his early toil,
And bids the plough correct the fallow soil.
While we in fleep's embraces waste the night,
The climes oppos'd enjoy meridian light:
And when those lands the busy sun forsakes,
With us again the rofy morning wakes ;
In lazy sleep the night rolls-swift away,
And neither clime laments his absent ray, .
When the pure soul is from the body flown,
No more thall night's alternate reign be known:
The sun no more shall rolling light bestow,
But from th' Almighty streams of glory fow.
Oh, may some nobler thought my soul employ,
Than empty, transient, sublunary joy!
The stars shall drop, the sun shall lose his flame,
But thou, O God, for ever shine the same,
RE the foundations of the world were laid,
Ere kindling light th' almighty word obey'd,
Thou wert; and when the subterraneous fame
Shall burst its prison, and devour this frame,
From angry heaven when the keen lightning flies,
When fervent heat diffolves the melting skies,
Thou still fhalt be; still, as thou wert before,
And know no change, when time shall be no more.
O endless thought! divine eternity!
Th' immortal foul shares but a part of thee;
For thou wert present when our life began,
When the warm dust shot in breathing man.
Ah! what is life? with ills encompass'd round,
Amidst our hopes, fate strikes the sudden wound:
To-day the statesman of new honor dreams,
To-morrow death destroys his airy schemes;
Is mouldy treasure in thy chest confin'd?
Think all that treasure thou must leave behind ;
Thy heir with smiles:shall view thy blazon'd hearse,
And all thy hoards with slavish hand disperse.
Should certain fate th' impending blow delay,
Thy mirth will ficken and thy bloom decay;
Then feeble age will all thy nerves difarm,
No more thy blood its' narrow channels warm.
Who then would wish to stretch this narrow span, To suffer life beyond the date of man?
The virtuous soul pursues a nobler aim, And life regards but as a fleeting dream : She longs to wake, and wishes to get free, To launch from earth into eternity. For while the boundless theme extends our thought, Ten thousand thousand rolling years are nought.
A REASONABLE QUESTION.
FROM PRIOR'S SOLOMON.
F, when the branch cut off, a wither'd rod
Should at a word pronounc'd revive and bud :
Is this more strange than that the mountain's brow,
Strip'd by December's frost, and white with snow,
Should push, in spring, ten thousand thousand buds,
And boast returning leaves, and blooming woods ?
That each successive night, from opening heaven,
The food of ANGELS Ihall to Man be given;
Is this more strange, than that with common bread
Our fainting bodies every day are fed ;
Than that each grain and feed consum'd in earth,
Raises its store, and multiplies its birth;
And from the handful which the tiller fows,
The labor'd fields rejoice, and future harvest flows?