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Why falls the Gospel like a gracious dew ? 180
Man's obligations infinite, of course
205, Expert in all the duties of his place ; Say, on what hinge does his obedience move ? Has he a world of gratitude and love ? No, not a spark—'tis all mere sharper's play ; He likes your house, your housemaid, and your pay; Reduce his wages, or get rid of her,
211 Tom quits you, with—Your most obedient, Sir.
The dinner serv'd, Charles takes his usual stand, Watches your eye, anticipates command ; Sighs, if perhaps your appetite should fail ; 215 And, if he but suspects a frown, turns pale ; Consults all day your int’rest and your ease,
Richly rewarded if he can but please ;
Now which stands highest in your serious thought ?
230 The favour'd few—th’ enthusiasts you despise. And pleas'd at heart, because on holy ground Sometimes a canting hypocrite is found, Reproach a people with a single fall, And cast his filthy garment at them all.
235 Attend !-an apt similitude shall show Whence springs the conduct that offends you so.
See where it smokes along the sounding plain,
265 And, having well deservd, expects the worst. Then welcome refuge, and a peaceful home ; Oh for a shelter from the wrath to come! Crush me, ye rocks; ye falling mountains, hide Or bury me in ocean's angry tide
270 The scrutiny of those all-seeing eyes I dare not--And you need not, God replies: The remedy you want I freely give; The book shall teach you—read, believe, and live. "Tis done—the raging storm is heard no more,
275 Mercy receives him on her peaceful shore; And justice, guardian of the dread command, Drops the red vengeance from his willing hand. A soul redeemid demands a life of praise ; Hence the complexion of his future days,
280 Hence a demeanour holy and unspeck’d, And the world's hatred, as its sure effect.
Some lead a life unblamable and just, Their own dear virtue their unshaken trust : They never sin-or if, (as all offend,)
285 Some trivial slips their daily walk attend, The poor are near at hand, the charge is small, A slight gratuity atones for all. For though the pope has lost his int'rest here, And pardons are not sold as once they were, 290 No papist more desirous to compound, Than some grave sinners upon English ground, That plea refuted, other quirks they seek
Mercy is infinite, and man is weak ;
295 And Heav'n no doubt shall be their home at last.
Come then—a still small whisper in your ear-
The path to bliss abounds with many a snare ;
Yon cottager, who weaves at her own door, Pillow and bobbins all her little store ; Content, though mean, and cheerful if not gay Shuffling her threads about the livelong day, 320 Just earns a scanty pittance, and at night Lies down secure,
her heart and pocket light ; She, for her humble sphere by nature fit, Has little understanding, and no wit, Receives no praise ; but though her lot be such, 325 (Toilsome and indigent,) she renders much : Just knows, ard knows no more, her Bible trueA truth the brilliant Frenchman never knew ; And in that charter reads with sparkling eyes Her title to a treasure in the skies.
330 O happy peasant ! Oh unhappy bard!
His the mere tinsel, hers the rich reward ;
335 She, safe in the simplicity of hers.
Not many wise, rich, noble, or profound In science, win one inch of heavenly ground. And is it not a mortifying thought The poor should gain it, and the rich should not. 340 No,—the voluptuaries, who ne'er forget One pleasure lost, lose Heav'n without regret; Regret would rouse them, and give birth to pray’r, Pray’r would add faith, and faith would fix them there. Not that the Former of us all, in this,
345 Or ought he does, is govern'd by caprice; The supposition is replete with sin, And bears the brand of blasphemy burn'd in. Not so—the silver trumpet's heav'nly call Sounds for the poor, but sounds alike for all : 350 Kings are invited, and would kings obey, No slaves on earth more welcome were than they ; But royalty, nobility, and state, Are such a dead preponderating weight, That endless bliss, (how strange soe'er it seem,) 355 In counterpoise, flies up and kicks the beam. "Tis open,
and ye cannot enter,—why? Because ye will not, Conyers would replyAnd he says much that many may dispute And cavil at with ease, but none refute.
360 O bless'd effect of penury and want, The seed sown there, how vig'rous is the plant ! No soil like poverty for growth divine, As leanest land supplies the richest wine. Earth gives too little, giving only bread,
365 To nourish pride, or turn the weakest head : To them the sounding jargon of the schools Seems what it is—a cap and bells for fools : The light they walk by, kindled from above,