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Sad fate of unbelievers, and yet just,
Among themselves to find so little trust!
Were Scripture silent, Nature would proclaim, DIVINE LOVE.
Without a God, our falsehood and our shame. A POEM IN SIX CANTOS.
To know our thoughts the object of his eyes,
Is the first step tow'rds being good or wise; Floriferis ut apes in saltibus omnia libant; For though with judgment we on things reflect, Sic nos Scripturæ depascimur aurea dicta; Our will determines, not our intellect: Aurea ! perpetuâ semper dignissima vitâ !. Slaves to their passion, reason men employ Nam Divinus Amor cùm cæpit vociferari, Only to compass what they would enjoy. Diffugiunt animi terrores.......
His fear, to guard us from ourselves, we need ;
And Sacred Writ our reason does exceed.
For though Heaven shows the glory of the Lord, Exul eram,requiesque mihi,non fama, petita est, Yet something shines more glorious in his word:
Mens intenta suis ne foret usque malis: His mercy this (which all his work excels!)
While we, inform'd by that celestial book,
Love there reveald (which never shall have end,
Nor had beginning) shall our song commend; THE ARGUMENTS.
Describe itself, and warın us with that flame, I. Asserting the authority of the Scripture, in which which first from Heaven, to make us happy, came. this love is revealed.
CANTO II. II. The preference and love of God to man in the The fear of Hell, or aiming to be blest, creation.
Savours too much of private interest. III. The same love more amply declared in our This mov'd not Moses, nor the zealous Paul, redemption.
Who for their friends abandon'd soul and all : IV. How necessary this love is to reform mankind, A greater yet from Heaven to Hell descends, and how excellent in itself.
To save, and make his enemies his friends. V. Showing how happy the world would be, if this What line of praise can fathom such a love,
Which reach'd the lowest bottom from above? love were universally embraced. VI. Of preserving this love in our memory; and Prom Heaven to Earth, measur'd but half that space.
The royal prophet?, that extended grace
The Law was regnant, and confin'd his thought;
Heaven was scarce heard of, until He came down
To make the region where love triumphs known. The Grecian Muse has all their gods surviv'd, That early love of creatures yet unmade, Nor Jove at us, nor Phæbus, is arriv'd :
To frame the world th' Almighty did persuade; Frail deities! which first the poets made,
For love it was that first created light,
From the rude chaos, and bestow'd new grace What may be hop'd for in a better age,
On things dispos'd of to their proper place; When, not from Helicon's imagin'd spring, Some to rest here, and some to shine above: But Sacred Writ, we borrow what we sing ? Earth, sea, and Heaven, were all th' effects of love. This with the fabric of the world begun,
And love would be return'd. But there was none Elder than light, and shall out-last the sun. That to themselves or others yet were known: Before this oracle, like Dagon, all
The world a palace was, without a guest, The false pretenders, Delphos, Ammon, fall: Till one appears, that must excel the rest : Long since despis'd and silent, they afford
One! like the author, whose capacious mind Honour and triumph to th' Eternal Word.
Might, by the glorious work, the maker find; As late philosophy our globe has grac'd, Might measure Heaven, and give each star a name; And rolling Earth among the planets plac'd, With art and courage the rough ocean tame; So has this book entitled us to Heaven,
Over the globe with swelling sails might go,
Man to create he did a council call :
With his own breath, convey'd into his breast
Life, and a soul fit to command the rest. Religion thus remov'd, the sacred yoke,
Worthy alone to celebrate his name And band of all society, is broke.
For such a gift, and tell from whence it came, What use of oaths, of promise, or of test,
Birds sing his praises in a wilder note; Where men regard no god but interest?
But not with lasting numbers, and with thought, What endless war would jealous nations tear, If none above did witness what they swear!
Man's great prerogative! But above all
With love, of all created things the best ; His grace abounds in his new fav'rite's fall. Without it, more pernicious than the rest. If he create, it is a world he makes ;
For greedy wolves unguarded sheep devour If he be angry, the creation shakes :
But while their hunger lasts, and then give o'er: From his just wrath our guilty parents fled; Man's boundless avarice his want exceeds, He curst the Earth, but bruis'd the serpent's head. And on his neighbours round about him feeds. Amidst the storm, his bounty did exceed,
His pride and vain ambition are so vast, In the rich promise of the Virgin's seed :
That, deluge-like, they lay whole nations waste: Though justice death, as satisfaction, craves, Debauches and excess (though with less noise) Love finds a way to pluck us from our graves. As great a portion of mankind destroys.
The beasts and monsters Hercules opprest
Might, in that age, some provinces infest:
Of ev'ry age, and in all nations reign, His Son descends, to treat a peace with those But soon would vanish, if the world were bless'd Which were, and must have ever been, his foes. With sacred love, by which they are repress'd. Poor he became, and left his glorious seat,
Impendent death, and guilt that threatens Hell, To make us humble, and to make us great: Are dreadful guests, which here with mortals dwell; His business here was happiness to give
And a vex'd conscience, mingling with their joy To those, whose malice could not let him live. Thoughts of despair, does their whole life annoy:
Legions of angels, which he might have usid, But, love appearing, all those terrours fly; (For us resolv'd to perish) he refus'd :
We live contented, and contented die. While they stood ready to prevent his loss, They, in whose breast this sacred love has place, Love took him up, and nail'd him to the cross. Death, as a passage to their joy, embrace. Immortal love! which in his bowels reign'd, Clouds and thick vapours, which obscure the day, That we might be by such great love constrain'd The Sun's victorious beams may chase away; To make return of love: upon this pole
Those which our life corrupt and darken, Love Our duty does, and our religion, roll.
(The nobler star!) must from the soul remove. To love is to believe, to hope, to know;
Spots are observ'd in that which bounds the year; 'Tis an essay, a taste of Heaven below!
This brighter Sun moves in a boundless sphere:
Touch'd with this love, would be an Age of Gold: Could we forbear dispute, and practise love, Not, as they feign'd, that oaks should honey drop, We should agree, as angels do above.
Or land neglected bear an unsown crop : Where love presides, not vice alone doos find Love would make all things easy, safe, and cheap; No entrance there, but virtues stay behind : None for himself would either sow or reap: Both faith and hope, and all the meaner train Our ready help and mutual love would yield Of moral virtues, at the door remain.
A nobler harvest than the richest field. Love only enters as a native there;
Famine and death, confin'd to certain parts, For, born in Heaven, it does but sojourn here. Extended are by barrenness of hearts.
He that alone would wise and mighty be, Some pine for want, where others surfeit now; Commands that others love as well as he.
But then we should the use of plenty know. Love as he lov'd!-How can we soar so high? Love would betwixt the rich and needy stand, He can add wings, when he commands to fly. And spread Heaven's bounty with an equal hand; Nor should we be with this command dismay'd; At once the givers and receivers bless, He that examples gives, will give his aid: Increase their joy, and make their sufføring less. For he took flesh, that, where his precepts fail, Who for himself no miracle would make, His practice, as a pattern, may prevail.
Dispens'd with sev'ral for the people's sake: His love at once, and dread instruct our thought; He that, long-fasting, would no wonder show, As man he suffer'd, and as God he taught. Made loaves and fishes, as they ate them, grow. Will for the deed he takes: we may with ease Of all his pow'r, which boundless was above, Obedient be, for if we love, we please.
Here he us'd none, but to express his love : Weak though we are, to love is no hard task, And such a love would make our joy exceed, And love for love is all that Heaven does ask. Not when our own, but other mouths, we feed. Love! that would all men just and temp'rate make, Laws would be useless, which rude nature awe; Kind to themselves and others for his sake. Love, changing nature, would prevent the law:
'Tis with our minds as with a fertile ground, Tigers and lions into dens we thrust, Wanting this love, they must with weeds abound, But milder creatures with their freedom trust. (Unruly passions) whose effects are worse
Devils are chain'd and tremble; but the Spouse Than thorns and thistles, springing from the curse. No force but love, nor bond but bounty, knows.
Men (whom we now so fierce and dangerous see) CANTO IV.
Would guardian-angels to each other be: To glory man, or misery, is born,
Such wonders can this mighty love perform, Of his proud foe the envy or the scorn:
Vultures to doves, wolves into lambs transform! Wretched he is, or happy, in extreme;
Love what Isaiah prophesy'd can do, Base in himself, but great in Heaven's esteem: Exalt the vallies, lay the mountains low,
IN TWO CANTOS.
Humble the lofty, the rejected raise, (ways. | Notes, whose strong charms the dullest ear might Smooth and make straight our rough and crooked
move, Love, strong as death, and like it, levels all ; And melt the hardest heart in flames of love; With that possess'd, the great in title fall,
Notes, whose seraphic raptures speak a mind Themselves esteem but equal to the least,
From human thoughts and earthly dross refin'd; Whom Heaven with that high character has blest. So just their harmony, so high their flight, This love, the centre of our union, can
With joy I read them, and with wonder write. Alone bestow complete repose on man,
Sure, happy saint, this noble song was given Tame his wild appetite, make inward peace, To fit thee for th' approaching joys of Heaven: And foreign strife among the nations cease. Love, wondrous love, whose conquest was thy theme, No martial trumpet should disturb our rest, Has taught thy soul the airy way to climb: Nor princes arm, though to subdue the East, Love snatch'd thee, like Elijah, to the sky, Where for the tomb so many heroes (taught In flames that not consume, but purify: By those that guided their devotion) fought. There, with thy fellow-angels mix'd, and free Thrice happy we, could we like ardour have From the dull load of dim mortality, To gain his love, as they to win his grave! Thou feel'st new joys, and feed'st thy ravish'd sight, Love as he lov'd! A love so unconfin'd,
With unexhausted beams of love and light: With arms extended, would embrace mankind. And sure, bless'd spirit, to complete thy bliss, Self-love would cease, or be dilated, when
In Heaven thou sing'st this song, or one like this.
OF THE FEAR OF GOD.
The fear of God is freedom, joy, and peace,
And makes all ills that vex us here to cease: Yet the first Christians did esteem more blest Though the word fear some men may ill endure, The day of rising, than the day of rest,
'Tis such a fear as only makes secure. That ev'ry week might new occasion give,
Ask of no angel to reveal thy fate;
Op'ning to all that do in earnest knock.
Our hopes are all well-grounded on this fear; With our last breath dilate this flame of love. All our assurance rolls upon that sphere. But, on so vast a subject, who can find
This fear, that drives all other fears away, Words that may reach th' ideas of his mind ? Shall be my song, the morning of our day! Our language fails : or, if it could supply, Where that fear is, there's nothing to be fear'd; What mortal thought can raise itself so high? It brings from Heaven an angel for a guard : Despairing here, we might abandon art,
Tranquillity and peace this fear does give;
Hell gapes for those that do without it live.
'Tis God alone should not offended be;
For a good cause, the sufferings of man Of David's harp, a present solace found :
May well be borne : 'tis more than angels can. So on this theme while we our Muse engage, Man, since his fall, in no mean station rests, No wounds are felt, of fortune or of age.
Above the angels, or below the beasts. On divine love to meditate is peace,
He with true joy their hearts does only fill, And makes all care of meaner things to cease. That thirst and hunger to perform his will. Amaz'd at once, and comforted, to find
Others, though rich, shall in this world be vext, A boundless power so infinitely kind ;
And sadly live, in terrour of the next. [sue, The soul contending to that light to fly
The world's 3 great conqu’ror would his point purFrom her dark cell, we practise how to die: And wept because he could not find a new : Employing thus the poet's winged art,
Which had he done, yet still he would have cry'd, To reach this love, and grave it in our heart. To make him work, until a third he spy'd. Joy so complete, so solid, and severe,
Ambition, avarice, will nothing owe: Would leave no place for meaner pleasures there: To Heaven itself, unless it make them grow. Pale they would look, as stars that must be gone, Though richly fed, man's care does still exceed: When from the east the rising Sun comes on. Has but one mouth, yet would a thousand feed.
In wealth and honour, by such men possest,
If it increase not, there is found no rest.
All their delight is while their wish comes in ;
Sad when it stops, as there had nothing been. OCCASIONED BY READING AND TRANSCRIBING MR.WALLER'S 'Tis strange men should neglect their present store,
And take no joy, but in pursuing more;
POEM OF DIVINE LOVE AFTER HIS DEATH.
TURNED INTO VERSE BY MRS. WHARTON.
OF THE FEAR OF GOD...OF DIVINE POESY. No! though arriv'd at all the world can aim, Wrestling with death, these lines I did indite; "This is the mark and glory of our frame.
No other theme could give my soul delight. A soul, capacious of the Deity,
O that my youth had thus employ'd my pen! Nothing, but he that made, can satisfy.
Or that I now could write as well as then! A thousand worlds, if we with him compare, But 'tis of grace, if sickness, age, and pain, Less than so many drops of water are.
Are felt as throes, when we are born again : Men take no pleasure but in new designs,
Timely they come to wean us from this Earth, And what they hope for, what they have outshines. As pangs that wait upon a second birth. Our sheep and oxen seem no more to crave, With full content feeding on what they have Vex not themselves for an increase of store, But think tomorrow we shall give them more.
OF DIVINE POESY.
IN TWO CANTOS.
OCCASIONED UPON SIGHT OF THE 53D CHAPTER OP ISAIAH,
Angels have been inquisitive to know
The secret, which this oracle does show.
What was to come, Isaiah did declare,
Which she describes, as if she had been there;
If they should die, who can the world forgive, Without th' advantage taken by their fall. (Such pious lines !) when wanton Sappho's live? He, that in fight diminishes mankind,
Who with his breath his image did inspire, Does no addition to his stature find :
Expects it should foment a nobler fire: But he, that does a noble nature show,
Not love which brutes, as well as men may know; Obliging others, still does higher grow.
But love like his, to whom that breath we owe. Por virtue practis'd such an habit gives,
Verse so design'd, on that high subject wrote, That among men he like an angel lives.
Is the perfection of an ardent thought, Humbly he doth, and without envy, dwell, The smoke which we from burning incense raise, Lor'd and admir'd by those he does excel. When we complete the sacrifice of praise. Fools anger show, which politicians hide:
In boundless verse the fancy soars too high Blest with this fear, men let it not abide.
For any object, but the Deity. The humble man, when he receives a wrong, What mortal can with Heaven pretend to share Refers revenge to whom it doth belong,
In the superlatives of wise and fair! Nor sees he reason why he should engage,
A meaner subject when with these we grace, Or vex his spirit, for another's rage.
A giant's habit on a dwarf we place. Plac'd on a rock, vain men he pities, tost
Sacred should be the product of our Muse, On raging waves, and in the tempest lost.
Like that sweet oil, above all private use, The rolling planets and the glorious Sun
On pain of death forbidden to be made, Still keep that order which they first begun: But when it should be on the altar laid. They their first lesson constantly repeat,
Verse shows a rich inestimable vein, Which their Creator, as a law, did set.
When, dropp'd from Heaven, 'tis thither sent again. Above, below, exactly all obey :
Of bounty 'tis, that he admits our praise, But wretched men have found another way; Which does not him, but us that yield it, raise : Knowledge of good and evil, as at first,
For, as that angel up to Heaven did rise, (That vain persuasiou !) keeps them still accurst! Borne on the flame of Manoah's sacrifice : The sacred word refusing as a guide,
So, wing'd with praise, we penetrate the sky, Slaves they become to luxury and pride.
Teach clouds, and stars, to praise him as we fly; As clocks, remaining in the skilful hand
The whole creation (by our fall made groan!) Of some great master, at the figure stand,
His praise to echo, and suspend their moan. But when abroad, neglected they do go,
For that he reigns, all creatures should rejoice, At random strike, and the false hour do show: And we with songs supply their want of voice. So from our Maker wandering, we stray,
The church triumphant, and the church below,
Their joys are full; our expectation long;
Angels and we, assisted by this art,
May sing together, though we dwell apart. Silence, my Muse! make not these jewels cheap, Thus we reach Heaven, while vainer poems must Exposing to the world too large an heap.
No higher rise, than winds may lift the dust. Of all we read, the Sacred Writ is best;
From that they spring; this, from his breath that Where great truths are in fewest words exprest. To the first dust th' immortal soul we have. (gave
WRITTEN BY MRS. WHARTON.
His praise well sung (our great endeavour here) In songs of joy the angels sung his birth :
Trembling we read! th' affliction and the scorn,
Which, for our guilt, so patiently was borne ! HE 4, that did first this way of writing grace, Conception, birth, and suffering, all belong Convers’d with the Almighty face to face: (Though various parts) to one celestial song: Wonders he did in sacred verse unfold,
And she, well using so divine an art, When he had more than eighty winters told : Has, in this concert, sung the tragic part. The writer feels no dire effect of age,
As Hannah's seed was vow'd to sacred use, Nor verse, that flows from so divine a rage.
So here this lady consecrates her Muse; Eldest of poets, he beheld the light,
With like reward may Heaven her bed adorn, When first it triumph'd o'er eternal night: With fruit as fair, as by her Muse is born! Chaos he saw, and could distinctly tell How that confusion into order fell: As if consulted with, he has exprest The work of the Creator, and bis rest: How the flood drown'd the first offending race,
PARAPHRASE ON THE LORD'S PRAYER, Which might the figure of our globe deface. For new-made earth, so even and so fair,
SILENCE, ye winds! listen ethereal lights! Less equal now, uncertain makes the air:
While our Urania sings what Heaven indites : Surpris'd with heat and unexpected cold,
The numbers are the nymph's; but from above Early distempers make our youth look old:
Descends the pledge of that eternal love. Our days so evil, and so few, may tell
Here wretched mortals have not leave alone, That on the ruins of that world we dwell.
But are instructed to approach his throne: Strong as the oaks that nourish'd them, and high,
And how can he to miserable men That long-liv'd race did on their force rely,
Deny requests, which his own hand did pen? Neglecting Heaven: but we, of shorter date!
In the Evangelists we find the prose, Should be more mindful of impending fate.
Which, paraphras'd by her, a poem grows; To worms, that crawl upon this rubbish here,
A devout rapture ! so divine a hymn, This span of life may yet too long appear:
It may become the highest seraphim ! Enough to humble, and to make us great,
For they, like her, in that celestial choir, If it prepare us for a nobler seat.
Sing only what the Spirit does inspire. Which well observing, he, in numerous lines,
Taught by our Lord, and theirs, with us they may Taught wretched man how fast his life declines:
For all, but pardon for offences, pray.
SOME REFLECTIONS OF HIS UPON THE SEVERAL The lasting Iliads have not liv'd so long,
PETITIONS IN THE SAME PRAYER. As his and Deborah's triumphant song. Delphos unknown, no Muse could them inspire, I. His sacred name, with reverence profound, But that which governs the celestial choir. Should mention'd be, and trembling at the sound ! Heaven to the pious did this art reveal,
It was Jehovah ; 'tis our Father now; And from their store succeeding poets steal. So low to us does Heaven vouchsafe to bow 5! Homer's Scamander for the Trojans fought, He brought it down, that taught us how to pray, And swellid so high, by her old Kishon taught : And did so dearly for our ransom pay. His river scarce could fierce Achilles stay;
II. His kingdom come. For this we pray in vain, Her's, more successful, swept her foes away. Unless he does in our affections reign: The host of Heaven, his Phæbus and his Mars, Absurd it were to wish for such a King, He arms; instructed by her fighting stars,
And not obedience to his sceptre bring, She led them all against the common foe:
Whose yoke is easy, and his burthen light, But he (misled by what he saw below !)
His service freedom, and his judgments right. The powers above, like wretched men, divides, III. His will be done. In fact 'tis always done; And breaks their union into different sides.
But, as in Heaven, it must be made our own. The noblest parts which in his heroes shine His will should all our inclinations sway, May be but copies of that heroine.
Whom Nature and the universe obey. Homer himself and Agamemnon, she
Happy the man whose wishes are confin'd The writer could, and the commander, be.
To what has been eternally design'd; Truth she relates, in a sublimer strain
Referring all to his paternal care, Than all the tales the boldest Greeks could feign: To whom more dear, than to ourselves, we are. For what she sung, that Spirit did indite,
IV. It is not what our avarice hoards up; Which gave her courage and success in fight. 'Tis he that feeds us, and that fills our cup; A double garland crowns the matchless dame; Like new-born babes, depending on the breast, From Heaven her poem and her conquest came. From day to day, we on his bounty feast.
Though of the Jews she merit most esteem, Nor should the soul expect above a day, Yet here the Christian has the greater theme: To dwell in her frail tenement of clay: Her martial song describes how Sis’ra fell: The setting Sun should seem to bound our race, This sings our triumph over Death and Hell, And the new day a gift of special grace. The rising light employ'd the sacred breath
V. That he should all our trespasses forgive, Of the blest Virgin and Elizabeth.
While we in hatred with our neighbours live; Moses.
5 Psalm xviii. 9.