Page images
PDF
EPUB

Hail, genial hope ! the balm of all our care ;
Strong as its rock, and as its fountain clear.
Consistent act ; that as it trusts, obeys ;
Whose meek compliance is its surest praise:
Repentant hope; more ftudious to perform,
Than rafhly vow; or with presumption warm
On her own strength, for safety to depend,
Whose boast is shame, and shame shall be its end,

Hail, wond'rous grace! of love the art divine !
Her judgments, MERCIES; and her threats, benign
Pierc'd with her cries, she left her radiant seat,
To bless her foes, and raise them at her feet:
Bids them arise, but take the warning given,
Nor once ungrateful, war again with heaven.

Such warning Ours, to save from foul despair;
Who spar'd the last, now spares another year.
But tried once more, and once more tried in vain,
All hope is dash'd; justice remounts again
Her penal throne; presenting from afar
The scourge of famine, and the sword of war.
Bids death advance in all its ghastly forms,
The whirlwind rattles, and the tempest storms.
Red Æther's lightning streams along the vale,
The skies roll thunder, and the clouds drop hail.

Huge piles of sinoke the hemisphere becloud;
The sun shines darkness, and its rival blood.
The falling stars desert the spangled sphere,
And, faint, expire amidst the kindling air.
The impetuous ocean from its centrę roars,
And o'er the land a distant deluge pours.

Her

Her barriers shake, the Alpin'd cliffs divide,
Rush from their height, and plunge the embillow'd
Suffufive blasts from mines sulphureous blow; [tide.
Rocks whirl o'er rocks, and feas to mountains grow.
The eternal hills, convulsive on their base,
Rise with the storm, and quit their natal place.
A horrid gloom o'er nature's face is spread,
And Tophet rous'd prepares to meet her dead.
Mens hearts for fear of greater evils fail,
While guilt o'er hope, and death o'er life prevail.
Old Time aghaft, now rends his hoary hairs;
Yields his domain, and dies amidst his years.
The final trump, of seven-fold thunder sound,
Blows, “ Cut it down; why cumbers it the ground?
« Too long already has the land been spar'd;
« Double their guilt, be doubled its reward !”

Thuş nature staggers, and creation fails !
While mercy, hopeless, drops the o'er-balanc'd scales;
Turns from her charge, and pointing to the rod,
Cries, “ There, ye rebels, go and meet your GOD!"

ON SEEING A GROUP OF TREES.

F

VAINT emblem that, of eden's happy shade,

For purest love and contemplation made:
Where sacred goodness, manifest, began
To shine distinguish'd in the creature man:
Where evil first of innocence took place,
And, but for Christ, had damn'd a ruin'd race !

ABRAHAM's ABRAHAM's SACRIFICE.

F
ROM the third morning dawn’d the orient light,
When Abraham gain'd the destin'd mountain's

height;
And Ifaac, now their journey's period found,
Had thrown his cumbrous burthen to the ground,
His load of wood, with solemn right assign'd
To burn the sacrifice by GOD enjoin'd.
And now the ready care and zealous toil
Of fire and fon had rear’d the facred pile,
When thus (yet oft' with sighs his utt'rance broke,
And oft with gushing tears) the patriarch fpoke.

" Thou, in whom heaven's best love to me was Kind, good, and duteous; O my darling fon! [shown, Firm to my soul, whom all dear ties engage, Crown of my hopes, and comfort of my age; Now be the ardor of thy faith display'd, And fummon all my virtue to thy aid, To hear the doom by God's own voice decreed, That thou, O can I speak it! thou must bleed : Thy harmless life, so runs the dread command, Must here be offer'd by thy father's hand. Fain, fain, heaven knows, by strong reluctance preft, And partial nature pleading in my breast, Fain would I have mistook the sacred call: 'Twas dream, 'twas fancy, 'twas illufion all. Can GOD, I reason'd, his own law controul, Impress’d so deeply on the human soul;

His law, which as the wrath divine they dread,
Prohibits man man's vital blood to shed ?
Did he establish this a rule to bind
Through all successive ages all mankind ?
And can he, faithful, gracious, just, and mild,
Can he command me to destroy my child?
Alas! why not? who shall maintain the strife
With him, sole sov'reign, arbiter of life?
On these plain terms he gives us all to see
New-born th' ætherial light, and bids us be;
That whenfoever he, or foon, or late,
Shall summon us to leave our earthly state,
The body its congenial duft must claim,
The soul return to GOD from whom it came.
And sure for this, the time, the means, the way,
'Tis his to choose, his providential sway
Inflicts the sudden stroke, or flow decay :
To each inferior cause he gives its weight,
And arms with all its darts the hand of fate.

“ Then, great Creator, fince 'tis thy decree
That Isaac now mufi fall, and fall by me,
Prostrate and mute, I bow before thy throne,
Thy name be hallow'd, and thy will be done.
Oft thy dread voice has filld me with delight,
Or in the trance, or vision of the night;
And still as I obey'd it haft thou shed
Riches, and peace, and honor round my head.
And shall I now resist the well-known call?
And grudge one gift to thee who gav'ft me all ?

Haft

}

Hast thou so blest my whole long life-time past,
And shall I now forsake thee at the last?
Yet, my good GOD, all gracious as thou art,
Forgive the yearnings of a parent's heart;
That my poor service may be rightly paid,
Support my frailness with thy heavenly aid,
And suffer not, by this hard instance try'd,
My stedfast faith in thee to start afide."
Thus far his grief the rev'rend fire exprest,
A spacious flood of tears forbad the rest.

When Ifaac thus; “ Ill must it surely suit,
When God commands, for mortals to dispute ;
His will once spoke the whole creation awes,
And what am I, to make a moment's pause?
But here so plainly stands his love exprest,
Here to obey, is only to be bleft;
'Tis only earlier to be call'd away
To God's own presence, and the realms of day,
Snatch'd from the ill to come, nor doom'd to know
The various bitterness of human woe.
Can I beneath good Abraham's forming hand,
In heavenly truth and steady virtue train’d,
Taught, O my GOD, with one perpetual aim,
To love thy service, and to fear thy name;
Can I not hope, unbodied when I roam
Where sp’rits immortal find their deftin'd home
In that new world thy goodness still to share,
And praise and bless my kind preserver there?
Can I thy mercy not securely trust
To hide my human frailties in the dust,

And

« PreviousContinue »