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Intent on schemes of worldly pleasure,
Till rous'd, I start with sudden fear,
•Can God approve,—what thou dost here?'
Then Death's dread voice I need not fear;
MEDITATIONS IN THE NIGHT.
[MADAME GUION, TRANSLATED BY COWPER.]
SEASON of my purest pleasure,
Sealer of observing eyes! When, in larger, freer measure,
I can commune with the skies; While, beneath thy shade extended,
Weary man forgets his woes; I, my daily trouble ended,
Find, in watching, my repose. Silence all around prevailing,
Nature hush'd in slumber sweet, No rude noise mine ears assailing,
Now my God and I can meet:
Universal nature slumbers,
And my soul partakes the calm, Breathes her ardour out in numbers,
Plaintive song or lofty psalm.
Now my passion, pure and holy,
Shines and burns, without restraint; Which the day's fatigue and folly
Cause to languish, dim and faint: Charming hours of relaxation !
How I dread the ascending sun! Surely, idle conversation
Is an evil, match'd by none.
Worldly prate and babble hurt me;
I have ears for none but love.
Hearing my absurd replies;
Nor the knowledge of the wise.
Simple souls, and unpolluted,
By conversing with the great,
To their dignity and state;
Are but talents misapplied;
Nothing human choose beside.
'Tis the secret fear of sinning
Checks my tongue, or I should say, When I see the night beginning,
I am glad of parting day:
Love this gentle admonition
Whispers soft within my breast;
Acquiescence suits thee best.'
Night affords me, I resign;
Wisdom infinite! of mine :
Quarrelling with thy decrees;
'Tis her folly and disease.
Now no longer will I choose;
Irksome as they seem, refuse;
Neither time nor place impedes ;
Our unhappiness proceeds.
[CAMPBELL.] Lo! at the couch where infant beauty sleeps, Her silent watch the mournful mother keeps; She, while the lovely babe unconscious lies, Smiles on her slumb’ring child with pensive eyes, And weaves a song of melancholy joy* Sleep, image of thy father, sleep, my boy: No ling'ring hour of sorrow shall be thine; No sigh that rends thy father's heart and mine;
Bright as his manly sire, the son shall be
TO A MOTHER AND HER CHILD.
( The Child asleep on the Mother's bosom.)
(REV. HOBART CAUNTER.] FOND Mother! how those mild and mellow'd orbs Of love and beauty, ting'd with the pure blue Of heaven, beam sweetly on thy babe! How calm Its sleep! how lovely in its slumbers ! hush'd By a soft voice, whose witching minstrelsy Steals o'er the heart like gentle summer airs Breathing upon the waters tenderly, To ruffle not, but sweetly agitate Its still clear bosom. Cherub! thou art lull'd To slumber with the gentlest lullaby That ever fell upon the wearied sense, And pillow'd where an angel's cheek might rest,
Nor feel a taint through his pure essence spread
God's blessing be upon thy babe, fond mother!
Calm is thy rest Pure innocent! an anxious mother's eye Watches thy slumbers-thy young dreams have now Nought to disturb them? Like the twilight dawn, Where all is redolent, one gen'ral hue Pervading nature, looking smilingly Thro' the thin veil of morning, to thine eye Is the fair view of life. There's harmony In all that breathes around thee. To thy young And ardent ken, the world seems one vast sphere Of living beauty, and a storehouse fraught With ev'ry thing for joy; but shortly, child, 'The film shall drop from thy delighted eye, And shew thee all its hideousness : anon Stern time shall ripen thy perceptions, now So dull and immature; when thou shalt look Down its dark vista with an eager glance, And there behold the lucid orb of bliss Peering bebind the murky fogs of woe, Lighting their gloomy track-like the bright sun Riding amid his fires, through flashing clouds, To shew the gath'ring storm.
But there's a God Above, who shall direct thee through the clash Of angry elements, to that pure rest Where angels wait to welcome thee. When years Shall have unlock'd thy reason's stores, may vice Find no asylum in thy heart! In Him Who perish'd for thee, may thine ardent soul Repose its trust; and from this chequer'd worldWhen thou hast pluck'd its roses with their thorns