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There sit, and now, discreeter grown,
Too late their rashness they bemoan;
And this by dear experience gain,
That pleasure's ever bought with pain.
3 So when the gilded baits of vice,
Are plac'd before our longing eyes,
With greedy haste we snatch our fill,
And swallow down the latent ill:
But when experience opes our eyes,
Away the fancied pleasure flies.
It flies, but oh! too late we find,
It leaves a real sting behind.-MERRICK.
The nightingale and the glow-worm.
Had cheer'd the village with his song,
Nor yet at eve his note suspended,
Nor yet when eventide was ended,
Began to feel, as well he might,
The keen demands of appetite;
When, looking eagerly around,
He spied far off, upon the ground,
A something shining in the dark,
And knew the glow-worm by his spark
So stooping down from hawthorn top
He thought to put him in his crop.
2 The worm, aware of his intent,
Harangued him thus, right eloquent-
"Did you admire my lamp," quoth he,
"As much as I your minstrelsy,
You would abhor to do me wrong,
As much as I to spoil your song;
For 'twas the self-same Pow'r divine,
Taught you to sing, and me to shine;
That you with music, I with light,
Might beautify and cheer the night."
3 The songster heard his short oration,
And, warbling out his approbation,
Releas'd him, as my story tells,
And found a supper somewhere else.
Hence, jarring sectaries may learn,
Their real int'rest to discern ;
That brother should not war with brother, And worry and devour each other:
But sing and shine by sweet consent,
Till life's poor, transient night, is spent;
Respecting, in each other's case,
The gifts of nature and of grace.
4 Those Christians best deserve the name, Who studiously make peace their aim: Peace, both the duty and the prize
Of him that creeps, and him that flies.comPL SECTION III.
The trials of virtue.
DLAC'D on the verge of youth, my mind
I view'd its ills of various kind,
Afflicted and afraid.
But chief my fear the dangers mov'd
That virtue's path enclose:
My heart the wise pursuit approv'd;
But O, what toils oppose!
For see, ah see! while yet her ways
With doubtful step. I tread,
A hostile world its terrors raise,
Its snares delusive spread.
4 O how shall I, with heart prepar'd,
Those terrors learn to meet?
How, from the thousand snares to guard
My unexperienc'd feet?
As thus I mus'd, oppressive steep,
Soft o'er my temples drew
Oblivion's veil.-The wat'ry deep,
(An object strange and new,)
Before me rose: on the wide shore
Observant as I stood,
The gathering storms around me roar,
And heave the boiling flood.
7 Near and more near the billows rise;
Ev'n now my steps they lave;
And death, to my affrighted eyes,
Approach'd in every wave.
What hope, or whither to retreat!
Each nerve at once unstrung;
Chill fear had fetter'd fast my feet,
And chain'd my speechless tongue
9 I felt my heart within me die;
When sudden to mine ear
A voice, descending from on high,
Reprov'd my erring fear.
10 "What tho' the swelling surge thou see
Impatient to devour;
Rest, mortal, rest on God's decree,
And thankful own his pow'r.
11 Know, when he bade the deep appear,
"Thus far,' th' Almighty said,
"Thus far, no farther, rage; and here
'Let thy proud waves be stay'd.'”
12 1 heard; and lo! at once controll❜d,
The waves, in wild retreat,
Back on themselves reluctant roll'd,
And, murm'ring, left my feet.
13 Deeps, to assembling deeps, in vain
Once more the signal gave:
The shores the rushing weight sustain,
And check th' usurping wave.
14 Convinc'd, in nature's volume wise,
The imag'd truth I read ;
And sudden from my waking eyes,
Th' instructive vision fled.
15 Then why thus heavy, O my soul! Say, why distrustful still,
Thy thoughts with vain impatience roll
16 Let faith suppress each rising fear,
Each anxious doubt exclude:
Thy Maker's will has plac'd thee here,
A Maker wise and good!
17 He to thy ev'ry trial knows,
Its just restraint to give;
Attentive to behold thy woes,
And faithful to relieve.
18 Then why thus heavy, O my soul !
Say, why distrustful still,
Thy thoughts with vain impatience roll
O'er scenes of future ill?
19 Tho' griefs unnumber'd throng thee round, Still in thy God confide,
Whose finger marks the seas their bound,
And curbs the headlong tide.-MERAIGK.
The youth and the philosopher.
GRECIAN youth, of talents rare,
Had form'd for virtue's nobler view,
By precept and example too,
Would often boast his matchless skill,
To curb the steed, and guide the wheel;
And as he pass'd the gazing throng,
With graceful ease, and smack'd the thong
The idiot wonder they express'd,
Was praise and transport to his breast.
At length, quite vain, he needs would show
His master what his art could do;
And bade his slaves the chariot lead
To Academus' sacred shade.
The trembling grove confess'd its fright;
The wood-nymph started at the sight;
The muses drop the learned lyre,
And to their inmost shades retire.
Howe'er, the youth, with forward air,
Bows to the sage, and mounts the car.
The lash resounds, the coursers spring,
The chariot marks the rolling ring;
And gath'ring crowds, with eager eyes,
And shouts, pursue him as he flies.
4 Triumphant to the goal return'd,
With nobler thirst his bosom burn'd;
And now along th' indented plain,
The self-same track he marks again;
Pursues with care the nice design,
Nor ever deviates from the line.
Amazement seiz'd the circling crowd;
The youths with emulation glow'd;
Ev'n bearded sages hail'd the boy,
And all but Plato gaz'd with joy.
For he, deep-judging sage, beheld
With pain the triumphs of the field:
And when the charioteer drew nigh,
And, flush'd with hope, had caught his eye,
Alas! unhappy youth," he cry'd,
"Expect no praise from me," (and sigh'd.)
With indignation I survey
Such skill and judgment thrown away:
The time profusely squander'd there,
On vulgar arts beneath thy care,
If well employ'd, at less expense,
Had taught thee honour, virtue, sense;
And rais'd thee from a coachman's fate,
To govern men, and guide the state."
Discourse between Adam and Eve, retiring to rest.
OW came still ev'ning on, and twilight gray
Silence accompanied; for beast and bird,
They to their grassy couch, these to their nests,
Were sunk; all but the wakeful nightingale.
She, all night long, her am'rous descant sung:
Silence was pleas'd. Now glow'd the firmament
With living sapphires: Hesperus, that led
The starry host, rode brightest, till the moon,
Rising in clouded majesty, at length,
Apparent queen, unveil'd her peerless light,
And o'er the dark her silver mantle threw.
When Adam thus to Eve: "Fair consort, th' hoc
Of night, and all things now retir'd to rest,
Mind us of like repose; since God hath set
Labour and rest, as day and night, to men
Successive, and the timely dew of sleep,
Now falling with soft slumb'rous weight, inclines
Our eye-lids. Other creatures all day long
Rove idle unemploy'd, and less need rest:
Man hath his daily work of body or of mind
Appointed, which declares his dignity,
And the regard of Heav'n on all his ways;
While other animals unactive range,
And of their doings God takes no account.
To-morrow, ere fresh morning streak the east
With first approach of light, we must be risen,
And at our pleasant labour; to reform
Yon flow'ry arbours, yonder alleys green,
Our walk at noon, with branches overgrown,
That mock our scant manuring, and require
More hands than ours to lop their wanton growth.
Those blossoms also, and those dropping gums,
That lie bestrown, unsightly and unsmooth,
Ask riddance, if we mean to tread with ease.
Mean while, as nature wills, night bids us rest.”