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Remote from towns he ran his godly race,
Nor e'er had chang'd, nor wish'd to change his
Unskilful he to fawn, or seek for pow'r,
By doctrines fashion'd to the varying hour;
Far other aims his heart had learn'd to prize,
More bent to raise the wretched than to rise."
His house was known to all the vagrant train,
He chid their wand'rings, but reliev'd their pain.
The long remember'd beggar was his guest,
Whose beard descending swept his aged breast;
The ruin'd spendthrift, now no longer proud,
Claim'd kindred there, and had his claims allow'd ;
The broken soldier, kindly bid to stay,
Sat by his fire, and talk'd the night away;
Wept o'er his wounds, or tales of sorrow done,
Shoulder'd his crutch, and shew'd how fields were
Pleas’d with his guests the good man learn’d to
glow, And quite forgot their vices in their woe; Careless their
merits or their faults to scan, His pity gave ere charity began. Thus to relieve the wretched was his pride, And even his failings lean’d to virtue's side ; But in his duty prompt at ev'ry call, He watch'd and wept, he pray'd and felt for all. And, as a bird each fond endearment tries, To tempt its new-fledg'd offspring to the skies; He tried each art, reprov'd each dull delay, Allur'd to brighter worlds, and led the way. Beside the bed where parting life was laid, And sorrow, guilt, and pain, by turns dismayd, The reverend champion stood. At his control, Despair and anguish fled the struggling soul; Comfort came down the trembling wretch to raise, And his last falt'ring accents whispered praise. At church, with meek and unaffected grace, His looks adorn'd the venerable place;
Truth from his lips prevaild with double sway,
And fools, who came to scoff, remain’d to pray.
The service past, around the pious man,
With ready zeal, each honest rustic ran;
Ev'n children follow'd with endearing wile,
And pluck'd his gown to share the good man's
His ready smile a parent's warmth exprest,
Their welfare pleas'd him, and their cares distrest ;
To them his heart, his love, his griefs were giv'n,
But all his serious thoughts had rest in heav'n.
RETIREMENT.- From the Same. O BLEST Retirement! friend to life's decline, Retreat from care, that never must be mine, How blest is he who crowns, in shades like these, A youth of labour with an age of ease! Who quits a world where strong temptations try, And since 'tis hard to combat, learns to fly! For him no wretches born to work and weep Explore the mine, or tempt the dang’rous deep; No surly porter stands in guilty state, To spurn imploring famine from the gate; But on he moves to meet his latter end, Angels around befriending virtue's friend ; Sinks to the grave with unperceived decay, While resignation gently slopes the way And all his prospects brightning to the last, His heaven commences ere the world be past !
JOHNSON VANITY OF HUMAN WISHES.- Latter past. WHEN first the college rolls receive his name, The young enthusiast quits his ease for fame; Registless burns the fever of renown, Caught from the strong contagion of the gown :
O'er Bodley's dome his future labours spread,
And Bacon's mansion trembles, o'er his head..
Are these thy views? Proceed, illustrious youth,
And Virtue guard thee to the throne of Truth !
Yet should thy soul indulge the gen'rous heat
Till captive Science yields her last retreat :
Should Reason guide thee with her brightest ray,
And pour on misty doubt resistless day;"
Should no false kindness.lure to loose delight,
Nor praise relax, nor difficulty fright;
Should tempting novelty thy cell refrain,
And Sloth effuse her opiate fumes in vain ;
Should Beauty blunt on fops her fatal dart,
Nor claim the triumph of a lettered heart ;
Should no disease thy torpid veins invade,
Nor Melancholy's phantoms haunt thy shade ;
Yet hope not life from grief or danger free,
Nor think the doom of man reversed for thee :
Deign on the passing world to turn thine eyer,
And pause awhile from learning, to be wise ;
There mark what ills the scholar's life assail
Toil, envy, want, the patron, and the gaol.
See nations, slowly wise and meanly just,
To buried merit raise the tardy bust.
If dreams yet flatter, once again attend,
Hear Lydiat's life, and Galileo's end.
Nor deem, when Learning her last prize bestows,
The glittring eminence exempt from foes.
See, when the vulgar 'scapes, despised or aw'd,
Rebellion's vengeful talons seize on Laud.
From meaner minds, tho' smaller fines content
The plundered palace, or sequestered rent;
Marked out by dang'rous parts, he meets the shock,
And fatal Learning leads him to the block :
Around his tomb let Art and Genius weep,
But hear his death, ye blockheads, hear and sleep:
The festal blazes, the triumphal show,
The ravished standard, and the captive foe,
The senate's thanks, the gazette's pompous tale,
With force resistless o'er the brave prevail.
Such bribes the rapid Greek o'er Asia whirld,
For such the steady Romans shook the world ;
For such in distant lands the Britons shine,
And stain with blood the Danube or the Rhine ;
This power has praise, that virtue scarce can warm,
Till Fame supplies the universal charm.
Yet Reason frowns on War's unequal game,
Where wasted nations raise a single name,
And mortgaged states their grandsires' wreaths
From age to age in everlasting debt;
Wreaths which at last the dear-bought right convey
To rust on medals, or on stones decay.
On what foundation stands the warrior's pride,
How just his hopes, let Swedish Charles decide;
A frame of adamant, a soul of fire,
No dangers fright him, and no labours tire;
O’er love, o'er fear, extends his wide domain,
Unconquered lord of pleasure and of pain;
No joys to him pacific sceptres yield,
War sounds the trump, he rushes to the field;
Behold surrounding kings their pow’rs combine,
And one capitulate, and one resign;
Peacecourts his hand, but spreads her charms in vain,
“ Think nothing gained,” he cries, “ till nought
remain; “ On Moscow's walls till Gothic standards fly, “ And all be mine beneath the polar sky." The march begins in military state, And nations on his eye suspended wait; Stern Famine guards the solitary coast, And Winter barricades the realms of Frost ; He comes, nor want nor cold his course delay; Hide, blushing Glory, hide Pultowa's day: The vanquished hero leaves his broken bands, And shews his miseries in distant lands;
Condemned a needy supplicant to wait,
While ladies interpose, and slaves debate.
But did not Chance, at length, her error mend?
Did no subverted empire mark his end?
Did rival monarchs give the fatal wound?
Or hostile millions press him to the ground?
His fall was destined to a barren strand,
A petty fortress, and a dubious hand;
He left the name, at which the world grew pale,
To point a moral, ár adorn a tale.
All times their scenes of pompous woes afford,
From Persia's tyrant, to Bavaria's lord.
In gay hostility, and barb'rous pride,
With half mankind embattled at his side,
Great Xerxés comes to seize the certain prey,
And starves exhausted regions in his way;
Attendant Flatt'ry counts his myriads o’er,
Till counted myriads soothe his pride no more ;
Fresh praise is tried till madness fires his mind,
The waves he lashes, and enchains the wind.;
New pow'rs are claim'd, new pow'rs are still
Till rude resistance lops the spreading god.
The daring Greeks deride the martial show,
And heap their vallies with the gaudy foe;
Th'insulted sea with humbler thoughts he gains,
A single skiff to speed his flight remains;
Th' incumber'd oar scarce leaves the dreaded coast
Through purple billows and a floating host,
The bold Bavarian, in a luckless hour,
Tries the dread summits of Cæsarean pow'r,
With unexpected legions bursts away,
And sees defenceless realms receive his
sway; Short sway! fair Austria spreads her mournful
charms, The queen, the beauty, sets the world in arms; From hill to hill the beacon's rousing blaze Spreads wide the hope of plunder and of praise :