Page images
PDF
EPUB

. Yet gave me, in this dark Estate,

To see the Good from Ill; And binding Nature fast in Fate,

Left free the Human Will.

What Conscience dictates to be done,

Or warns me not to do,
This, teach me more than Hell to fhun,

That, more than Heav'n pursue.

What Blessings thy free Bounty gives,

Let me not cast away ;
For God is paid when Man receives,

T'enjoy is to obey.

Yet not to Earth's contracted Span

Thy goodness let me bound,
Or think Thee Lord alone of Man,

When thousand Worlds are round:

Let not this weak, unknowing hand

Presume thy bolts to throw,
And deal damnation round the land,

On each I judge thy Foe.

of Hope and Immortality. To give all this the greater weight, the poet

chose for his model the Lord's PRAYER, which, of all others, best deserves the title prefixed to his Paraphrafe.

If I am right, thy grace impart,

Still in the right to stay, If I am wrong, oh teach

my

heart To find that better way.

Save me alike from foolish Pride,

Or impious Discontent,
At aught thy wisdom has deny'd,

Or aught thy Goodness lent.

Teach me to feel another's Woe,

To hide the Fault I see ; That Mercy I to others show,

That Mercy show to me.

Mean tho’ I am, not wholly so,

Since quick’ned by thy Breath;
Oh lead me wherefoe'er I

go,
Thro' this day's Life or Death.

NOTES.
If I am right, the grace impart,-

If I am wrong, O teach my heart] As the imparting grace on the christian system is a stronger exertion of the divine power, than the natural illumination of the heart, one would expect that right and wrong should change places ; more aid being required to restore men to the right than to keep them in it. But as it was the poet's purpose to insinuate that Revelation was the right, nothing could better express his purpose than the making the right secured by the guards of grace.

3

This day, be Bread and Peace my Lot:

All else beneath the Sun, Thou know'st if best bestow'd or not,

And let Thy Will be done.

To thee, whose Temple is all Space,

Whose Altar, Earth, Sea, Skies! One Chorus let all Being raise !

All Nature's Incense rise!

Moral Eslays

IN

FOUR EPISTLES

Τ Ο

Several Persons.

Eft brevitate opus, ut currat fententia, neu se
Impediat verbis lassis onerantibus aures :
Et sermone opus eft modo tristi, sæpe jocoso,
Defendente vicem modo Rhetoris atque Poetæ,
Interdum urbani, parcentis viribus, atque
Extenuantis eas consultò.

Hor.

[blocks in formation]
« PreviousContinue »