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But ills of every shape and every name Transformed to blessings miss their cruel aim, And every moment's calm, that soothes the breast, Is given in earnest of eternal rest.
Ah, be not sad, although thy lot be cast Far from the flock, and in a distant waste! No shepherd's tents within thy view appear, But the chief shepherd is for ever near; Thy tender sorrows and thy plaintive strain Flow in a foreign land, but not in vain ; Thy tears all issue from a source divine, And every drop bespeaks a Saviour thine--'Twas thus in Gideon's fleece the dews were found, And drought on all the drooping herds around.
UNWIN, I should but ill repay
The kindness of a friend,
Whose worth deserves as warm a lay
As ever friendship penned,
Thy name omitted in a page,
That would reclaim a vicious age.
An union formed, as mine with thee,
Not rashly, nor in sport,
May be as fervent in degree,
And faithful in its sort,
And may as rich in comfort prove,
As that of true fraternal love.
The bud inserted in the rind,
The bud of peach or rose,
Adorns, though differing in its kind,
The stock whereon it grows,
With flower as sweet, or fruit as fair,
As if produced by nature there.
Not rich, I render what I may,
I seize thy name in haste,
And place it in this first essay,
Lest this should prove the last.
"Tis where it should be---in a plan,
That holds in view the good of man.
The poet's lyre, to fix his fame,
Should be the poet's heart;
Affection lights a brighter flame
That ever blazed by art.
No muses on these lines attend,
I sink the poet in the friend.
FOUNDED ON A FACT, WHICH HAPPENED IN JANUARY, 1779.
WHERE Humber pours his rich commercial stream,
There dwelt a wretch, who breathed but to blaspheme.
In subterraneous caves his life he led,
Black as the mine, in which he wrought for bread.
When on a day, emerging from the deep,
A sabbath-day (such sabbaths thousands keep!)
The wages of his weekly toil he bore
To buy a cock---whose blood might win him more;
As if the noblest of the feathered kind
Were but for battle and for death designed;
As if the cousecrated hours were meant
For sport to minds on cruelty intent;
It chanced, (such chances Providence obey)
He met a fellow-labourer on the way,
Whose heart the same desires had once inflamed;
But now the savage temper was reclaimed.
Persuasion on his lips had taken place;
For all plead well who plead the cause of grace:
His iron heart with Scripture he assailed,
Wooed him to hear a sermon, and prevailed.
His faithful bow the mighty preacher drew,
Swift, as the lightening-glimpse, the arrow flew.
He wept; he trembled; cast his eyes around,
To find a worse than he; but none he found.
He felt his sins, and wondered he should feel.
Grace made the wound, and grace alone could heal.
Now farewell oaths, and blasphemies, and lies!
He quits the sinner's for the martyr's prize.
That holy day was washed with many a tear,
Gilded with hope, yet shaded too by fear.
The next, his swarthy brethren of the mine Learned, by his altered speech--the change divine! Laughed when they should have wept, and swore the day Was nigh, when he would swear as fast as they. "No (said the penitent): such words shall share "This breath no more; devoted now to prayer. "O! if thou seest, (thine eye the future sees) "That I shall yet again blaspheme, like these ;--"Now strike me to the ground, on which I kneel, "Ere yet this heart relapses into steel;
"Now take me to that Heaven, I once defied,
Thy presence, thy embrace!"---He spoke and died!
ADDRESSED TO LADY HESKETH, BY MISS CATHARINE FANSHAWE, IN RETURNING A POEM OF MR. COWPER'S, LENT ΤΟ HER, ON CONDITION SHE SHOULD NEITHER SHOW IT, NOR TAKE A COPY.
TO be remembered thus is fame,
And in the first degree;
And did the few like her the same,
The press might sleep for me.
So Homer, in the memory stored
Of many a Grecian belle,
Was once preserved---a richer hoard,
But never lodged so well.
ON THE ICE ISLANDS,
SEEN FLOATING IN THE GERMAN OCEAN.
WHAT portents, from what distant region, ride,
Unseen till now in ours, th' astonished tide?
In ages past, old Proteus, with his droves
Of sea-calves, sought the mountains and the groves;
But now, descending whence of late they stood,
Themselves the mountains seem to rove the flood.
Dire times were they, full-charged with human woes;
And these, scarce less calamitous than those.
What view we now? More wond'rous still! Behold!
Like burnished brass they shine, or beaten gold;
And all around the pearl's pure splendour show,
And all around the ruby's fiery glow.
Come they from India, where the burning Earth,
All bounteous, gives her richest treasures birth;
And where the costly gems, that beam around
The brows of mightiest potentates, are found?
No. Never such a countless dazzling store.
Had left, unseen, the Ganges' peopled shore.
Rapacious hands, and ever-watchful eyes,
Should sooner far have mark'd and seiz'd the prize.
Whence sprang they then? Ejected have they come
From Ves'vius', or from Ætna's burning womb?
Thus shine the self-illum'd, or but display
The borrowed splendours of a cloudless day?
With borrowed beams they shine. The gales that breathe
Now landward, and the current's force beneath,
Have borne them nearer: and the nearer sight,
Advantaged more, contemplates them aright.
Their lofty summits crested high, they show,
With mingled sleet, and long-incumbent snow,
The rest is ice. Far hence, where, most severe,
Bleak winter well-nigh saddens all the year,
Their infant growth began. He bade arise
Their uncouth forms, portentous in our eyes.
Oft as dissolved by transient suns, the snow
Left the tall cliff, to join the flood below,
He caught, and curdled with a freezing blast
The current, ere it reached the boundless waste.
By slow degrees uprose the wonderous pile,
And long successive ages rolled the while,
Till, ceaseless in its growth, it claimed to stand
Tall as its rival mountains on the land.
Thus stood, and, unremovable by skill,
Or force of man, and stood the structure still;
But that, though firmly fixt, supplanted yet
By pressure of its own enormous weight,
It left the shelving beach---and, with a sound
That shook the bellowing waves and rocks around,
Self-launched, and swiftly, to the briny wave,
As if instinct with strong desire to lave,
Down went the ponderous mass. So bards of old,
How Delos swam th' Ægean deep, have told.
But not of ice was Delos. Delos bore
Herb, fruit, and flow'r. She, crowned with laurel, wore,
Even under wintry skies, a summer smile;
And Delos was Apollo's favourite isle.
But, horrid wanderers of the deep, to you
He deems Cimmerian darkness only due.
Your hated birth he deigned not to survey,
But scornful, turned his glorious eyes away.
Hence! seck your home, nor longer rashly dare
The darts of Phoebus, and a softer air;
Lest ye regret, too late, your native coast,
In no congenial gulph for ever lost!
ON FINDING THE HEEL OF A SHOE.
FORTUNE! thank thee: gentle goddess! thanks!
Not that my muse, though bashful, shall deny
She would have thanked the rather, hadst thou cast
A treasure in her way; for neither meed
Of early breakfast, to dispel the fumes,
And bowel-raking pains of emptiness,