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TO A CHILD OF A MONTH OLD.
LEST babe, who Atranger to all worldly strife, lately launch'd
the sea of life,
And ’midst those dang'rous waves wilt soon bé toft,
Where some by pleasure, fome by pain are lost,
Who yet nor feel'ft, nor fear'st to feel the
Of storms that threaten man's maturer age,
But view'st with careless and indifferent eyes
The clouds of folly that around thee rise.
Accept, nor fear infection from 'my fong:
Few authors flatter at an age so young.
Look round the habitable world, and fee
Who would not wish to change their place with thee;
Tir'd of the state they know not how to mend,
All praise the dawn of life, yet court its end :
Would not the miser broach each fav'rite mine,
His heart as easy, thoughts as free as thine ?
What would the hoary villain not endure,
His hands as innocent, his soul as pure?
Would 'not the spendthrift beg his squander'd ore,
To purchase half the bliss thou hast in store?
The rake quit follies once so us’d to please,
For gew-gaws, rattles, and a heart at ease?
Ne'er was a maxim truer sure than this,
That want of innocence is want of bliss;
'Tis this, 'tis innocence thy bosom chears,
This calms thy troubles, this dispels thy fears;
This spreads o'er all its beautifying rays,
Makes ev'ry object, ev'ry play-thing pleafe ;
This (whilst less things the guilty breast can awe)
Gives music to a key, or beauty to a ftraw.
So throʻ the prism to philofophic eyes,
The barren lawns in pleasing prospect rise;
Steep hills in azure tempt the distant fight,
Waste wilds look lovely in a borrow'd light;
Deck'd by the glass the cottage apes the throne,
And shines in colours that were ne'er its own.
Long may this pleasing calm remain within,
Unknown to trouble, as unknown to fin:
When infant reason shall begin to rise,
Prate on thy lips, and wanton in thy eyes,
O! may this charm thy ev'ry care beguile,
Aflift thy prattle, and improve thy smile!
When growing sense, to rip’ning judgment join'd,
Shall fix a doubtful empire in thy mind,
If heat of blood with wanton frenzy warm,
If ease should tempt thee, or if pleasure charm,
O! may this love of virtue, love of truth,
Lead thee still safe thro' all the paths of youth !
Next when thy part in life's still varying plan
Shall call thee forward on the stage of man,
O! may it keep thee honest, gen'rous, just,
True to thy word, and cautious of thy trust,
Light in thy foul devotion's facred flame,
Make pure religion thy continu'd aim !
And last, when manhood's vigour shall decay,
Time shake thy head and silver 't o'er with grey,
Long may this sov'reign remedy remain,
To prop thy weakness, and assuage thy pain,
Till the last moment shed its kindly ray,
And glad the ev'ning of thy well-spent day!
But may ten thousand pleasures rise between
Thy op'ning curtain and this closing scene;
May health attend thee beautiful and gay,
And smooth thro’ life thy else too rugged way:
May peace foon waft thy absent father o'er,
With joy and conquest to his native shore;
But whilst his sov'reign calls him to the war,
Far from his country, from his kindred far,
Him may some guardian spirit still attend,
From fickness shelter, and from harm defend;
Bid swords around him innocently play,
Turn balls afide, and pointed deaths away;
But when his soul a softer passion warms,
When fate restores him to thy mother's arms,
O may thy prattle heighten their delight,
Chase the dull moments of a winter's night;
Or when the days thro' gayer seasons run,
Improve the beauties of a summer's fun:
May friendship's union teach thee foon to feel
Such joys as those who know can only tell !
But till that hour, too helpless babe, shall be,
Accept a father and a friend in me;
For me enough, if thro' thy future age
One thought may aid thee from this moral page;
For me, who lost to worldly pomp and noise,
Soon see its follies, and dares scorn its joys.
ON FAITH, HOPE, AND CHARITY.
THREE fifters, of one heavenly parent born,
Religion brighten, and the church adorn;
The eldest, FAITH, with revelation's eyes,
Thro' reason's shades, the realms of bliss descries;
Brings heaven, in realizing prospect home,
And antedates the happiness to come!
The second, HOPE, with life-bestowing smile,
Lightens each woe, and softens human toil ;
Bidding the thought-dejected heart ascend
To that blest place where every care shall end?
The youngest, CHARITY-a seraph guest!
With clement goodness warms the social breast;
Her boundless view, and comprehensive mind,
Sees and pursues the weal of human kind;
And taught to emulate the throne above,
Grasps all creation in the links of love!
Yet two of these, tho' daughters of the fky
Boast short duration, and are born to die !
For FAITH fhall end in vision--Hope in joy.
While CHARITY, immortal and fublime,
Shall mock the dafts of death, and wreck of time.
When nature finks, herself the prey of fire,
And all the monuments of art expire ;
She shall emerge triumphant from the faine,
'The same her lustre, and her worth the same!
Confess'd shall shine to faints and angels known,
Approv'd, distinguish'd, near th' eternal throne !
THIS IS THE VICTORY-EVEN OUR FAITH.
I JOHN V. IV.
NOR various trials from our birth design'd,
(The lot dispens'd to suffering human kind.) With diff'rent interests in our breasts at strife, The brutish nature, with the heavenly life! Press’d by temptations, prone to sensual ill, Our reason pliant to our fordid will, What aids has pitying heaven for man prepar'd ? What clue to guide him, or what arms to guard ? Nature's short line, and philosophic art, A devious rule, and weak defence impart; Too oft thro’ life's dark maze mislead our way, Too seldom in its warfare gain the day. More sure direction, more successful aid Thy gospel, blest Redeemer ! has display'd : The guilty mind with vengeful dread oppreft, Is in thy pard’ning mercy taught to reft; Is by thy merits clear'd, thy purchase free, And for supplies of strength depends on thee. Who can o'er worldly snares triumphant stride? What unbeliever? flave, feduc'd by pride : Who? but th' heroic faint, advanc'd to fame By faith in Jesus ? that victorious name!
View man in his probationary state, What hostile ills his hourly combat wait!