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ON A SIMILAR OCCASION,

FOR THE YEAR 1792.

Felix, qui potuit rerum cognocere causas,
Atque metus omnes et inexorabile fatum
Subjecit pedibus, strepitumque Acherontis avari!

Virg.

Happy the mortal, who has traced effects
To their first cause, cast fear beneath his feet,
And Death, and roaring Hell's voracious fires !

THANKLESS for favours from on high,

Man thinks he fades too soon ; Though 'tis his privilege to die,

Would he improve the boon.

But he, not wise enough to scan

His best concerns aright,
Would gladly stretch life's little span

To ages, if he might :

To ages in a world of pain,

To ages, where he goes
Galled by affliction's heavy chain,

And hopeless of repose.

Strange fondness of the human heart,

Enamoured of its harm!
Strange world, that costs it so much smart,

And still has power to charm.

Whence has the world her magic power

Why deem we death a foe? Recoil from weary life's best hour,

And covet longer woe?

The cause is Conscience---Conscience oft

Her tale of guilt renews :
Her voice is terrible, though soft,

And dread of death ensues.

Then anxious to be longer spared

Man mourns his feeting breath :
All evils then seem light, compared

With the approach of death.
'Tis judgment shakes him; there's the fear,

That prompts the wish to stay :
He has incurred a long arrear,

And must despair to pay.

Pay !---follow Christ, and all is paid;

His death your peace insures ;
Think on the grave where he was laid,

And calm descend to your's.

ON A SIMILAR OCCASION,

FOR THE YEAR 1793.

De sacris autem hæc sit una sententia, ut conserventur.

Cic. de Leg. But let us all concur in this one sentiment, that things sacred

be inviolate.

HE lives who lives to God alone,

And all are dead beside;
For other source than God is none

Whence life can be supplied.

To live to God is to requite

His love as best we may:
To make his precepts our delight,

His promises our stay.

But life, within a narrow ring

Of giddy joys comprised,
Is falsely named, and no such thing,

But rather death disguised.

Can life in them deserve the name,

Who only live to prove
For what poor toys they can disclaim

An endless life above?

Who, much diseased, yet nothing feel;

Much menaced, nothing dread; Have wounds, which only God can heal,

Yet never ask his aid?

Who deem his house a useless place,

Faith, want of common sense; And ardour in the Christian race,

A hypocrite's pretence ?

Who trample order, and the day

Which God asserts his own Dishonour, with unhallowed play,

And worship chance alone ?

If scorn of God's commands, impressed

On word and deed, imply
The better part of man, unblessed

With life that cannot die;

Such want it, and that want uncured

Till man resigns his breath, Speaks him a criminal, assured

Of everlasting death."

Sad period to a pleasant course!

Yet so will God repay
Sabbaths profaned without remorse,

And mercy cast away.

INSCRIPTION

FOR

THE TOMB OF MR. HAMILTON.
PAUSE here, and think : a monitory rhime
Demands one moment of thy fleeting time.

Cons life's silent clock, thy bounding vein;
Seems it to say---" Health here has long to reign?”
Hast thou the vigour of thy youth? an eye
That beams delight? a heart untaught to sigh?
Yet fear. Youth, oft-times healthful and at ease,
Anticipates a day it never sees;
And many a tomb, like HAMILTON's, aloud
Exclaims, “ Prepare thee for an early shroud.”

THE FOUR AGES.

A BRIEF FRAGMENT OF AN EXTENSIVE PRO

JECTED POEM.

1791.

“I COULD be well content, allowed the use
“ Of past experience, and the wisdom gleaned
“ From worn-out follies, now acknowledged such,
“ To recommence life's trial, in the hope
“Of fewer errors, on a second proof!”

Thus, while grey evening lulled the wind, and called
Fresh odours from the shrubb’ry at my side,
Taking my lonely winding walk, I mused,
And held accustomed conference with my heart;
When from within it, thus a voice replied.

“ Couldst thou in truth? and art thou taught at length 66 This wisdom, and but for this ? from all the past ? * Is not the pardon of thy long arrear, 66 Time wasted, violated laws, abuse

Of talents, judgements, mercies, better far “ Than opportunity vouchsafed to err “With less excuse, and haply, worse effect?"

I heard and acquiesced : then to and fro
Oft pacing, as the mariner his deck,
My grav'lly bounds, from self to human kind
I passed, and next considered ---what is man?

Knows he his origin? can he ascend
By reminicence to his earliest date ?
Slept he in Adam ? and in those from him
Through num'rous generations, till he found
At length his destined moment to be born?
Or was he not, till fashioned in the womb ?
Deep myst’ries both! which schoolmen must have toiled
To unriddle, and have left them myst'ries still.

It is an evil incident to man,
And of the worst, that unexplored he leaves
Truths useful and attainable with ease,
To search forbidden deeps, where myst’ry lies
Not to be solved, and useless, if it might.
Myst'ries are food for angels; they digest
With ease, and find them nutriment; but man,
While yet he dwells below, must stoop to glean,
His manna from the ground, or starve, and die.

ON

THE QUEEN'S VISIT TO LONDON,

THE NIGHT OF THE 17TH MARCH, 1789.

WHEN, long sequestered from his throne,

George took his seat again,
By right of worth, not blood alone,

Entitled here to reign.

Then, Loyalty, with all his lamps,

New-trimmed, a gallant show!
Chasing the darkness and the damps,

Set London in a glow.

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