صور الصفحة
PDF
النشر الإلكتروني

Yet not infringe those never altering laws
Of equity and mercy, which combined
To form the essence of the' Eternal Cause,
Judge, guardian, friend of all existing kind.
But since, full oft, the pangs of dire disease,
Labour, and famine, and oppression hard,
From cruel man, the blameless victims seize,
Of Heavenly Justice they may claim reward.
Alas! the dumb, defenceless numbers found
The wretched subjects of a tyrant's sway,
Who hourly feel his unresisted wound,
And hungry pine through many a weary day;
Or those, of lot more barbarously severe,
Who strain their weak lame limbs beneath a load
Their fainting strength is basely doom'd to bear,
While smites the lash, the steely torments goad.
Has God decreed that this poor helpless train
Shall groaning yield the vital breath he gave,
Unrecompensed for years of want and pain,
And close on them the portals of the grave?
Ah no! the great Retributory Mind
Will recompense, and may perhaps ordain
Some future mode of being, more refined
Than ours, less sullied with inherent stain;
Less torn by passion, and less prone to sin;
Their duty easier, trial less severe,
Till their firm faith and virtue proved may win
The wreaths of life in yon eternal sphere.-
This then may form the much rewarding doom:-
But O! whate'er the nature of the ed,
Theirs it must be ;—then let us now presume
Their guiltless cause on other grounds to plead.

Suppose permitted ills did not oppress,
That certain as their innocence, their peace,
And thus that, with the being they possess,
Sensation might, without injustice, cease;
Yet still, proud man, in this scorn'd tribe below,
Shall more than innocence thy pride impede,
Nature, where all the generous ardours glow,
And action vieing with thy noblest deed.
If strength, if grace, if magnitude of frame
To give the dignifying powers must fail ;
If not from them proceeds the sacred claim
That lifts the creature on Creation's scale;
If mind shall ever be to form preferr'd,
Courage to force, to beauty sentiment, [ferr'd,
One brute, at least, has powers, by Heaven con-
That for a doom oblivious were not lent.
Ah! what but Heaven-born sentiment corrects,
Refines, adorns, ennobles being ? still
From the contagious taint of Vice protects,
Controls the appetites, exalts the will?
This shouldst thou feel, perforce then shalt thou
That animal perfection must depend,

[see
Human and brute alike, on the degree
In which the lights of sentiment extend.
In brutal life if exquisite they prove;
If education may increase their force ;
If fond, intelligent, and faithful love
Rise in the breast, and strengthen on its course;
1f, in a silent servitude to man,
Energic Friendship burns with generous strife,
Say, canst thou deem thy Dog's short vital span
Stopp'd on the confines of Eternal Life?

His natural temper, fervent, choleric, fierce,
Nay bloody, see, by sentiment subdued;
Subdued, for thee, to every soft reverse,
For thee, in all its native rage renew'd !
When unattach'd, and yet to man unknown,
Wolfish and wild the wilderness he roves;
Bays with his horrid howl the silent moon,
And stalks the terror of the desert groves.
Yet mark this heart, of savage enterprise,
Moulded by thee to all that's kind and sweet;
See him approach, with mild imploring eyes,
And lay his strength and courage at thy feet!
Charm'd to exchange them for the soft delights
Of growing love, his duteous head he lays
Light on thy knee;-his lifted eye invites
The wish'd command, which instant he obeys.
At that known voice with ardour up he springs,
And, in the joy of usefulness elate, [brings,
With gladden'd haste the endear'd commission
Or drives intruding vagrants from thy gate.
Thy wealth, thy person anxious to protect,
And gentle only to thy frequent friends,
Nor bribe nor flattery gain his coy respect,
Useless the flattery, and the bribe offends.
When night broods sullen o'er the drowsy earth,
Though faint with midday toil he scorns repose,
Leaves the warm comforts of the ember'd hearth,
To guard thy slumbers, and appal thy foes.
Watchful and listening walks his silent rounds,
Scenting the lurking stranger from afar.-
And, if he pass the interdicted bounds,
The loud indignant bark proclaims the war.

Or beast, or man, is he to spoil devote?
With fangs terrific, and with burning eyes,
Rushes thy brave protector on his throat,
And low in blood the dark destroyer lies.
But yet, if fear resign what theft supplied,
He, pitying, from the prostrate foe recoils.-
Mark then the victor, great in honest pride,
Content with conquest, rest upon his spoils !
Though high in health, the pleas of hunger strong,
In tempting opportunity arise,
Generously proud he scorns his trust to wrong,
And all untouch'd the prey he rescued lies !
Vainly do night and secrecy accord,
This sacred sense of honour to control!
Do human records fairer proof afford
Of all that elevates a thinking soul ?
Exempt the nuptial and the filial ties,
Hast thou one friend amongst the reasoning kind,
On whom thy secret heart for truth relies,
Thus ardent, noble, constant, and refined ?
To selfish passions thus superior found,
Whom neither interest sways nor arts beguile?
To thee in faith and trust unfaltering bound,
Thy will his law, his happiness thy smile.
Ah, wretch ingrate, to liberal hope unknown!
Does pride incrust thee in so dark a leaven,
To deem this spirit, purer than thine own,
Sinks while thou soarest to the light of heaven?
What though, when Reason all her power displays,
Drawn from Philosophy's most copious source,
Too subtle proves Creation's endless maze
For her best skill, too mighty for her force;

Or when she tries the mystery to explain
Of the tremendous Expiatory Plan,
Shows, only shows how arrogant, how vain
Such needless daring scrutiny in man;
Yet, while Almighty Wisdom thus appears
To human powers inscrutablý sublime,
Her gracious form Almighty Justice rears,
Unveild, unchanging, through the rounds of Time.
Hear, from the centre of the’ Eternal Throne,
Her awful voice the fix'd award disclose,
'If evils over guiltless life are strown, [woes.'
The God who gave that life will recompense its

ANNA SEWARD.

KNOWLEDGE. Is there a joy that gilds our stormy days, For which the soul of man so much doth pine As heaven-born Knowledge? Yet her sacred rays Are as the diamond's, and by art must shine; The latent beams more exquisitely fine In some of highest worth, yet all require Industrious care, or lost the light divine Ordain'd to wake each elegant desire [aspire. That shall to all that's fair and great and good

While yet unknown the principles of art,
Imperious veils must shroud its radiance clear;
When sluggish ignorance surrounds the heart
No lustres can pervade the darkness drear,
But all as colours to the blind appear;
Where Pleasure's tint, celestial, rosy red,
Majestic purple, scarlet, hue of war,

« السابقةمتابعة »