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346

CICERO'S THIRD ORATION AGAINST CATILINE.

hands, and lastly their several voluntary confessions, were strong and convincing evidences of their guilt ; yet had I still clearer proofs of it from their looks, change of colour, countenances, and silence. For such was their amazement, such their downcast looks, such their stolen glances one at another, that they seemed not so much convicted by the information of others, as detected by the consciousness of their own guilt.

POETRY.

THE exercise afforded the mind, in turning poetry into prose, is both pleasing and instructive ; it refines the taste-elevates the understanding--and strengthens. the faculty whereby obscurity is made plain and beauty heightened.

LESSON I.

On Time.

FLY, envious Time, till thou run out thy race;
Call on the lazy leaden-stepping Hours,
Whose speed is but the heavy plummet's pace ;
And glut thyself with what thy womb devours,
Which is no more than what is false and vain,
And merely mortal dross ;
So little is our loss,
So little is thy gain !
For when as each thing bad thou hast entomb’d,
And last of all thy greedy self consumed,
Then long eternity shall greet our bliss
With an individual kiss ;
And joy shall overtake us as a flood,
When every thing that is sincerely good
And perfectly divine,
With truth, and peace, and love, shall ever shine
About the supreme throne
Of Him, to whose happy-making sight alone
When once our heavenly-guided soul shall climb,
Then, all this earthy grossness quit,
Attired with stars, we shall for ever sit,
Triumphing over death, and chance, and thee,

O Time!

LESSON II.

Retirement.

I PRAISE the Frenchman,* his remark was shrewd
How sweet, how passing sweet is solitude !
But grant me still a friend in my retreat,
Whom I may whisper----solitude is sweet,
Yet neither these delights, nor aught beside,
That appetite can ask, or wealth provide,
Can save us always from a tedious day,
Or shine the dullness of still life away ;
Divine communion, carefully enjoy'd,
Or sought with energy must fill the void,
O sacred art, to which alone life owes
Its happiest seasons, and a peaceful close,
Scorn'd in a world, indebted to that scorn
For evils daily felt and hardly borne,
Not knowing thee, we reap with bleeding hands
Flow'rs of rank odour upon thorny lands,
And, while Experience cautions us in vain,
Grasp seeming happiness, but find it pain.
Despondence, self deserted in her grief,
Lost by abandoning her own relief,
Murmuring and ungrateful Discontent,
That scorns afflictions mercifully meant,
Those humours tart as wines upon the fret,
Which idleness and weariness beget ;
These, and a thousand plagues, that haunt the breast,
Fond of the phantom of an earthly rest,
Divine communion chases, as the day
Drives to their dens th' obedient beasts of prey.

* Bruyere.

See Judah’s promis'd king, bereft of all,
Driv'n out an exile from the face of Saul ;
To distant caves the lonely wand'rer flies,
To seek that peace a tyrant's frown denies.
Hear the sweet accents of his tuneful voice,
Hear him o'erwhelm’d with sorrow, yet rejoice ;
No womanish or wailing grief has part,
No, not a moment, in his royal heart ;
'Tis manly music, such as martyrs make,
Suff'ring with gladness for a Saviour's sake ;
His soul exults, hope animates his lays,
The sense of mercy kindles into praise,
And wilds, familiar with a lion's roar,
Ring with exstatic sounds unheard before ;
'Tis love like this, that can alone defeat
The foes of man, or make a desert sweet.

Religion does not censure or exclude
Unnumber'd pleasures harmlessly pursu'd ;
To study culture, and with artful toil
To meliorate and tame the stubborn soil ;
To give dissimilar, yet fruitful lands,
The grain, or herb, or plant, that each deniands ;
To cherish virtue in an humble state,
Aud share the joys your bounty may create ;
To mark the matchless workings of the pow'r,
That shuts within its seed the future flow'r,
Bid these in elegance of form excel,
In colour these, and those delight the smell,
Sends Nature forth, the daughter of the skies,
To dance on Earth, and charm all human eyes ;
To teach the canvas innocent deceit,
Or lay the landscape on the snowy sheet-
These, these are arts pursu'd without a crime,
That leave no stain upon the wing of Time.

My poetry, (or rather notes that aim Feebly and vainly at poetic fame,) Employs, shut out from more important views, Fast by the banks of the slow winding Ouse ; Content if thus sequester’d I may raise A monitor's, though not a poet's praise, And while I teach an art too little known, To close life wisely, may not waste my own.

LESSON III.

The Faithful Bird.

THE green-house is my summer seat :
My shrubs displac'd from that retreat

Enjoy'd the open air ;
Two Goldfinches, whose sprightly song,
Had been their mutual solace long,

Liv'd happy pris'ners there.

They sang as blithe as finches sing,
That flutter loose on golden wing,

And frolic where they list ;
Strangers to liberty, 'tis true,
But that delight they never knew,

And therefore never miss'd.

But nature works in every breast,
With force not easily suppress'd ;

And Dick felt some desires,
That after many an effort vain,
Instructed him at length to gain

A pass between his wires.

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