Page images

When most severe, and must'ring all its force,
Was but the graver countenance of love;

Whofe favour, like the clouds of fpring, might low'r,
And utter now and then an awful voice,

But had a bleffing in its darkest frown,
Threat'ning at once and nourishing the plant.
We lov'd, but not enough, the gentle hand
That rear'd us. At a thoughtless age, allur'd
By ev'ry gilded folly, we renounc'd

His fhelt'ring fide, and wilfully forewent
That converse which we now in vain regret.
How gladly would the man recall to life
The boy's neglected fire! a mother too,
That fofter friend, perhaps more gladly ftill,
Might he demand them at the gates of death.
Sorrow has, fince they went, fubdu'd and tam'd
The playful humour; he could now endure,
(Himself grown fober in the vale of tears)
And feel a parent's prefence no restraint.
But not to understand a treasure's worth

"Till time has ftol'n away the flighted good,

Is cause of half the poverty we feel,

And makes the world the wildernefs it is.

The few that pray at all pray oft amifs,

And, feeking grace t' improve the prize they hold, Would urge a wifer fuit than afking more.

The night was winter in his roughest mood, The morning fharp and clear. But now at noon Upon the fouthern fide of the slant hills,

And where the woods fence off the northern blast, The feason fmiles, refigning all its rage,

And has the warmth of May. The vault is blue Without a cloud, and white without a speck

The dazzling splendour of the scene below.
Again the harmony comes o'er the vale,
And through the trees I view th' embattled tow'r
Whence all the mufic. I again perceive

The foothing influence of the wafted ftrains,

And settle in foft mufings as I tread

The walk ftill verdant, under oaks and elms,
Whose outspread branches overarch the glade.
The roof, though moveable through all its length
As the wind fways it, has yet well fuffic'd,
And intercepting in their filent fall

The frequent flakes, has kept a path for me.
No noife is here, or none that hinders thought.
The red-breaft warbles ftill, but is content
With flender notes and more than half fupprefs'd:
Pleas'd with his folitude, and flitting light
From spray to spray, where'er he rests he shakes
From many a twig the pendent drops of ice,
That tinkle in the wither'd leaves below.
Stillness, accompanied with founds fo foft,
Charms more than filence. Meditation here
May think down hours to moments.
May give an useful leffon to the head,
And learning, wiser grow without his books.
Knowledge and wisdom, far from being one,
Have oft-times no connexion. Knowledge dwells

Here the heart


In heads replete with thoughts of other men,
Wisdom in minds attentive to their own.
Knowledge, a rude unprofitable mass,
The mere materials with which wisdom builds,
'Till smooth'd and fquar'd and fitted to its place,
Does but incumber whom it seems t' enrich.
Knowledge is proud that he has learn'd fo much,
Wisdom is humble that he knows no more.
Books are not seldom talismans and spells,
By which the magic art of fhrewder wits
Holds an unthinking multitude enthrall'd.
Some, to the fascination of a name

Surrender judgment, hood-wink'd. Some, the style
Infatuates, and through labyrinths and wilds
Of error leads them, by a tune entranc'd.
While floth feduces more, too weak to bear
The infupportable fatigue of thought,

And swallowing, therefore, without paufe or choice,

The total grift unfifted, hufks and all.

But trees, and rivulets whofe rapid courfe



Defies the check of winter, haunts of deer,
And sheep-walks, populous with bleating lambs,
And lanes, in which the primrose ere her time
Peeps through the mofs that cloaths the hawthorn root,
Deceive no ftudent. Wisdom there, and truth,

Not fhy, as in the world, and to be won
By flow folicitation, feize at once

The roving thought, and fix it on themselves.

What prodigies can pow'r divine perform
More grand than it produces year by year,
And all in fight of inattentive man?
Familiar with th' effect we flight the cause,
And, in the conftancy of nature's course,
The regular return of genial months,
And renovation of a faded world,

Should God again,

See nought to wonder at.
As once in Gibeon, interrupt the race

Of the undeviating and punctual fun,

How would the world admire! but speaks it less


« PreviousContinue »