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Shall roll themselves ashore, and reach him there.
The earth shall shake him out of all his holds,
Or make his house his grave; nor, so content,
Shall counterfeit the motions of the flood,
And drown liim in her dry and dusty gulfs.
What then? Were they the wicked above all,
And we the richteous, whose fast-anchored isle
Moved not, while theirs was rocked, like a light skilt,
The sport of every wave? No: none are clear,
And none than we more guilty. But where all
Stand chargeable with guilt, and to the shafts
Of wrath obnoxious, God may choose his mark ;
May punish, if he please, the less, to warn
The more malignant. If he spared not them,
Tremble and be amazed at thine escape,
Far guiltier England, lest he spare not thee!
IIappy the man who sees a God employed
In all the good and ill that checker lite,
Resolving all events, with their effects
And manitold results, into the will
And arbitration wise of the Supreme !
Did not his eye rule all things, and intend
The least of our concerns (since from the least
The greatest oft originate); could chance
Find place in his dominion, or dispose
One lawless particle to thwart his plan, –
Then God might be surprised, and unforeseen
Contingence might alarm him, and disturb
The smooth and equal course of his affairs.
This truth, Philosophy, though eagle-eyed
In Nature's tendencies, oft overlooks;
And, having found his instrument, forgets,
Or disregards, or, more presumptuous still,
Denies, the power that wields it. God proclainis
His bot displeasure against foolish men
That live an atheist life; involves the heavens
In tempests; quits his grasp upon the winds,
And gives them all their fury; bids a plague
Kindle a fiery bile upon the skin,
And putrefy the breath of blooming Health.
He calls for Famine; and the meager fiend
Blows mildew from beneath his shriveled lips,
And taints the golden ear. He springs his mines,
And desolates a nation at a blast.
Forth steps the spruce philosopher, and tells
Of homogeneal and discordant springs
And principles; of causes, how they work,
By necessary laws, their sure effects
of action and re-action : he has found
The source of the disease that Nature feels,
And bids the world take heart, and banish fear.
Thou fool! will thy discovery of the cause
Suspend the effect, or heal it? Has not God
Still wrought by means since first he made the world ?
And did he not of old employ his means
To drown it? What is his creation less
Than a capacious reservoir of means,
Formed for his use, and ready at his will ?
Go dress thine eyes with eye-salve; ask of him,
Or ask of whomsoever he has taught,
And learn, though late, the genuine cause of all.
England, with all thy faults, I love thee still,
My country! and, while yet a nook is left
Where English minds and manners may be found,
Shall be constrained to love thee. Though thy clime
Be fickle, and thy year, most part, deformed
With dripping rains, or withered by a frost,
I would not yet exchange thy sullen skies,
And fields without a flower, for warmer France
With all her vines; nor for Ausonia's groves
Of golden fruitage, and her myrtle-bowers.
To shake thy senate, and from hights sublime
Of patriot eloquence to flash down fire
Upon thy foes, was never meant my task ;
But I can feel thy fortunes, and partake
Thy joys and sorrows with as true a heart
As any thunderer there. And I can feel
Thy follies too, and with a just disdain
Frown at effeminates, whose very looks
Reflect dishonor on the land I love.
How, in the name of soldiership and sense,
Should England prosper, when such things, as smooth
And tender as a girl, all essenced o'er
With odors, and as profligate as sweet,
Who sell their laurel for a myrtle-wreath,
And love when they should fight, — when such as these
Presume to lay their hand upon the ark
Of her magnificent and awful cause ?
Time was when it was praise and boast enough
In every clime, and travel where we might,
That we were born her children ; praise enough
To fill the ambition of a private man,
That Chatham's language was his mother-tongue,
And Wolte's great name compatriot with his own.
Farewell, those honors! and farewell with them
The hope of such hereafter! They have fallen
Each in his field of glory, — one in arms,
And one in council; Wolfe upon the lap
Of smiling Victory that moment won,
And Chatham heart-sick of his country's shame.
They made us many soldiers. Chatham, still
Consulting England's happiness at home,
Secured it by an unforgiving frown
If any wronged her. Wolfe, where'er he fought,
Put so much of his heart into his act,
That his example had a magnet's force;
And all were swift to follow whom all loved.
Those suns are set. Oh! rise some other such,
Or all that we have left is empty talk
Of old achievements, and despair of new.
Now hoist the sail, and let the streamers float
Upon the wanton breezes. Strew the deck
With lavender, and sprinkle liquid sweets,
That no rude savor maritime invade
The nose of nice nobility! Breathe soft,
Ye clarionets ! and softer still, ye flutes !
That winds and waters, lulled by magic sounds,
May bear us smoothly to the Gallic shore.
True, we have lost an empire ; let it pass.
True, we may thank the perfidy of France
That picked the jewel out of England's crown
With all the cunning of an envious shrew;
And let that pass ('twas but a trick of state):
A brave man knows no malice, but at once
Forgets in peace the injuries of war,
And gives his direst foe a friend's ernbrace.
And shamed as we have been, to the very beard
Braved and defied, and in our own sea proved
Too weak for those decisive blows that once
Insured us mastery there, we yet retain
Some small pre-eminence; we justly boast
At least superior jockeyship, and claim
The honors of the turf as all our own.
Go, then, well worthy of the praise ye seek,
And show the shame ye might conceal at home
In foreign eyes! Be grooms, and win the plate
Where once your nobler fathers won a crown!
'Tis generous to communicate your skill
To those that need it. Folly is soon learned ;
And, under such preceptors, who can fail ?
There is a pleasure in poetic pains Which only poets know. . The shifts and turns, The expedients and inventions multiform, To which the mind resorts in chase of terms (Though apt, yet coy, and difficult to win) To arrest the fleeting images that fill The mirror of the mind, and hold them fast, And force them sit till he has penciled off A faithful likeness of the forms he views; Then to dispose his copies with such art That each may find its most propitious light, And shine by situation hardly less Than by the labor and the skill it cost, Are occupations of the poet's mind So pleasing, and that steal away the thought With such address from themes of sad import,
That, lost in his own musings, happy man!
He feels the anxieties of life, denied
Their wonted entertainment, all retire.
Such joys has he that sings. But, ah ! not such,
Or seldom such, the hearers of his song.
Fastidious, or else listless, or perhaps
Aware of nothing arduous in a task
They never undertook, they little note
His dangers or escapes, and, haply, find
Their least amusement where he found the most.
But is amusement all ? Studious of song,
And yet ambitious not to sing in vain,
I would not trifle merely, though the world
Be loudest in their praise who do no more.
Yet what can satire, whether grave or gay ?
It may correct a foible, may chastise
The freaks of fashion, regulate the dress,
Retrench a sword-blade, or displace a patch.
But where are its sublimer trophies found ?
What vice has it subdued ? whose heart reclaimed
By rigor, or whom laughed into reform ?
Alas! Leviathan is not so tamed :
Laughed at, he laughs again, and, stricken hard,
Turns to the stroke his adamantine scales,
That fear no discipline of human hands.
The pulpit, therefore (and I name it filled
With solemn awe, that bids me well beware
With what intent I touch that holy thing), -
The pulpit (when the satirist has at last,
Strutting and vaporing in an empty school,
Spent all his force, and made no proselyte), —
I say, the pulpit (in the sober use
Of its legitimate peculiar powers),
Must stand acknowledged, while the world shall stand,
The most important and effectual guard,
Support, and ornament of Virtue's cause.
There stands the messenger of truth, there stands
The legate of the skies, his theme divine,
His office sacred, his credentials clear.
By him the violated law speaks out
Its thunders; and by him, in strains as sweet
As angels use, the gospel whispers peace.
He stablishes the strong, restores the weak,
Reclaims the wanderer, binds the broken heart,
And, armed himself in panoply complete
Of heavenly temper, furnishes with arms
Bright as his own, and trains, by every rule
Of holy discipline, to glorious war,
The sacramental host of God's elect.
Are all such teachers? Would to Heaven all were !
But, hark! the doctor's voice! Fast wedged between
Two empirics he stands, and with swoln cheeks
Inspires the news, his trumpet. Keener far
Than all invective is his bold harangue
While through that public organ of report
He hails the clergy, and, defying shame,
Announces to the world his own and theirs.
He teaches those to read whom schools dismissed,
And colleges untaught; sells accent, tone,
And emphasis in score; and gives to prayer
The adagio and andante it demands.
He grinds divinity of other days
Down into modern use, transforms old print
To zigzag manuscript, and cheats the eyes
Of gallery critics by a thousand arts.
Are there who purchase of the doctor's ware ?
Oh, name it not in Gath! it can not be
That grave and learned clerks should need such aid.
He doubtless is in sport, and does but droll,
Assuming thus a rank unknown before,
Grand caterer and dry-nurse of the Church!
I venerate the man whose heart is warm,
Whose hands are pure, whose doctrine and whose life,
Co-incident, exhibit lucid proof
That he is honest in the sacred cause:
To such I render more than mere respect,
Whose actions say that they respect themselves.
But loose in morals, and in manners vain;
In conversation frivolous; in dress
Extreme, at once rapacious and profuse;
Frequent in park with lady at his side,
Ambling, and prattling scandal as he goes;
But rare at home, and never at his books,
Or with his pen, save when he scrawls a card;
Constant at routs; familiar with a round
Of ladyships; a stranger to the poor;
Ambitious of preferment for its gold,
And well prepared by ignorance and sloth,
By infidelity, and love of world,
To make God's work a sinecure; a slave
To his own pleasures, and his patrons' pride,
From such apostles, () ye mitered heads !
Preserve the Church, and lay not careless hands
On skulls that can not teach, and will not learn.
Would I describe a preacher such as Paul,
Were he on earth, would hear, approve, and own,
Paul should himself direct me. I would trace
His master-strokes, and draw from his design.
I would express him simple, grave, sincere;
In doctrine uncorrupt; in language plain,
And plain in manner; decent, solemn, chaste,
And natural in gesture ; much impressed
Himself, as conscious of his awful charge,
And anxious mainly that the flock he feeds