Religious and Moral.
Negro Servant to Mr. John Wheatley,
of Boston, in New England.
Printed for A. Bell, Bookſeller, Aldgate; and ſold by
Meſſrs. Cox and Berry, King-Street, Boston.
Phillis Wheatley, Negro Servant to Mr. John Wheatley, 2-3 wordsflawed-reproduction.
Bookſeller No. 8 near the Saracens Head Aldgate.1 A1r
Religious and Moral.
Negro Servant to Mr. John Wheatley,
of Boston, in New England.
Printed for A. Bell, Bookſeller, Aldgate and ſold by
Meſſrs. Cox and Berry, King-Street, Boston.
To the Right Honourable the Countess of Huntingdon,
The Following Poems Are moſt reſpectfully Inſcribed,
By her much obliged, Very humble, And devoted Servant,
Boſton, 1773-06-12June 12, 1773.
The following Poems were written originally for the Amuſement of the Author, as they were the Products of her leiſure Moments. She had no Intention ever to have publiſhed them; nor would they now have made their Appearance, but at the Importunity of many of her beſt, and moſt generous Friends; to whom ſhe conſiders herſelf, as under the greateſt Obligations.
As her Attempts in Poetry are now ſent into the World, it is hoped the Critic will not ſeverly cenſure their Defects; and we preſume they have too much Merit to 5 A3r v to be caſt aſide with Contempt, as worthleſs and trifling Effuſions.
As to the Diſadvantages ſhe has laboured under, with Regard to Learning, nothing needs to be offered, as her Maſter’s Letter in the following Page will ſufficiently ſhew the Difficulties in this Reſpect ſhe had to encounter.
With all their Imperfections, the Poems are now humbly ſubmitted to the Peruſal of the Public.
The following is a Copy of a Letter ſent by the Author’s Maſter to the Publiſher.
Phillis was brought from Africa to America, in the Year 17611761, between Seven and Eight Years of Age. Without any Aſſiſtance from School Education, and by only what ſhe was taught in the Family, ſhe, in ſixteen Months Time from her Arrival, attained the Engliſh Language, to which ſhe was an utter Stranger before, to ſuch a Degree, as to read any, the moſt difficult Parts of the Sacred Writings, to the great Aſtoniſhment of all who heard her.
As to her Writing, her own Curioſity led her to it; and this ſhe learnt in ſo ſhort a Time, that in the Year 17651765, ſhe wrote a Letter to the Rev. Mr. Occom, the Indian Miniſter, while in England.
She has a great Inclination to learn the Latin Tongue, and has made ſome Progreſs in it. This Relation is given by her Maſter who bought her, and with whom ſhe now lives.
Boſton, 1772-11-14Nov. 14, 1772.
To the Publick.
As it has been repeatedly ſuggeſted to the Publiſher, by Perſons, who have ſeen the Manuſcript, that Numbers would be ready to ſuſpect they were not really the Writings of Phillis, he has procured the following Atteſtation, from the moſt reſpectable Characters in Boſton, that none might have the leaſt Ground for diſputing their Original.
We whoſe Names are under-written, do aſſure the World, that the Poems ſpecified in the following Page, The Words following Page, allude to the Contents of the Manuſcript Copy, which are wrote at the Back of the above Atteſtation. were (as we verily believe) written by Phillis, a young Negro Girl, who was but a few Years ſince, brought an uncultivated Barbarian from Africa, and has ever ſince been, and now is, under the Diſadvantage of ſerving as a Slave in a Family in this Town. She has been examined by ſome of the beſt Judges, and is thought qualified to write them.
His Excellency Thomas Hutchinson, Governor.
The Hon. Andrew Oliver, Lieutenant-Governor.
- The Hon. Thomas Hubbard,
- The Hon. John Erving,
- The Hon. James Pitts,
- The Hon. Harriſon Gray,
- The Hon. James Bowdoin,
- John Hancock, Eſq;
- Joſeph Green, Eſq;
- Richard Carey, Eſq;
- The Rev. Charles Chauncy, D.D.
- The Rev. Mather Byles, D.D.
- The Rev. Ed. Pemberton, D.D.
- The Rev. Andrew Elliot, D.D.
- The Rev. Samuel Cooper, D.D.
- The Rev. Mr.Samuel Mather,
- The Rev. Mr.John Moorhead,
- Mr. John Wheatley, her Maſter.
N.B. The original Atteſtation, ſigned by the above Gentlemen, may be ſeen by applying to Archibauld Bell, Bookſeller, No. 8, Aldgate-Street.
Poems on Various Subjects.
Mæcenas, you, beneath the myrtle ſhade,
Read o’er what poets ſung, and ſhepherds play’d.
What felt thoſe poets but you feel the ſame?
Does not your ſoul poſſeſs the ſacred flame?
Their noble ſtrains your equal genius ſhares 5
In ſofter language, and diviner airs.
While Homer paints lo! circumfus’d in air,
Celeſtial Gods in mortal forms appear;B Swift 10 B1v 10
Swift as they move hear each receſs rebound,
Heav’n quakes, earth trembles, and the ſhores reſound. 10
Great Sire of verſe, before my mortal eyes,
The lightnings blaze acroſs the vaulted ſkies,
And, as the thunder ſhakes the heav’nly plains,
A deep-felt horror thrills through all my veins.
When gentler ſtrains demand thy graceful ſong, 15
The length’ning line moves languiſhing along.
When great Patroclus courts Achilles’ aid,
The grateful tribute of my tears is paid;
Prone on the ſhore he feels the pangs of love,
And ſtern Pelides tend’reſt paſſions move. 20
Great Maro’s ſtrain in heav’nly numbers flows,
The Nine inſpire, and all the boſom glows.
O could I rival thine and Virgil’s page,
Or claim the Muſes with the Mantuan Sage;
Soon the ſame beauties ſhould my mind adorn, 25
And the ſame ardors in my ſoul ſhould burn:
Then ſhould my ſong in bolder notes ariſe,
And all my numbers pleaſingly ſurprize;But 11 B2r 11
But here I ſit, and mourn a grov’ling mind,
That fain would mount, and ride upon the wind.
Not you, my friend, theſe plaintive ſtrains become,
Not you, whoſe boſom is the Muſes home;
When they from tow’ring Helicon retire,
They fan in you the bright immortal fire,
But I leſs happy, cannot raiſe the ſong, 35
The fault’ring muſic dies upon my tongue.
The happier Terence He was an African by birth. all the choir inſpir’d,
His ſoul repleniſh’d, and his boſom fir’d;
But ſay, ye Muſes, why this partial grace,
To one alone of Afric’s ſable race; 40
From age to age tranſmitting thus his name
With the firſt glory in the rolls of fame?
Thy virtues, great Mæcenas! ſhall be ſung
In praiſe of him, from whom thoſe virtues ſprung:B2 While 12 B2v 12
While blooming wreaths around thy temples ſpread, 45
I’ll ſnatch a laurel from thine honour’d head,
While you indulgent ſmile upon the deed.
As long as Thames in ſtreams majeſtic flows,
Or Naiads in their oozy beds repoſe,
While Phœbus reigns above the ſtarry train, 50
While bright Aurora purples o’er the main,
So long, great Sir, the muſe thy praiſe ſhall ſing,
So long thy praiſe ſhall make Parnaſſus ring:
Then grant, Mæcenas, thy paternal rays,
Hear me propitious, and defend my lays. 55
O Thou bright jewel in my aim I ſtrive
To comprehend thee. Thine own words declare
Wiſdom is higher than a fool can reach.
I ceaſe to wonder, and no more attempt
Thine height t’explore, or fathom thy profound. 5
But, O my ſoul, ſink not into deſpair,
Virtue is near thee, and with gentle hand
Would now embrace thee, hovers o’er thine head.
Fain would the heav’n-born ſoul with her converſe,
Then ſeek, then court her for her promis’d bliſs.
Auſpicious queen, thine heav’nly pinions ſpread,
And lead celeſtial Chaſtity along;
Lo! now her ſacred retinue deſcends,
Array’d in glory from the orbs above.
Attend me, Virtue, thro’ my youthful years!
O leave me not to the falſe joys of time!
But guide my ſteps to endleſs life and bliſs.Greatneſs, 14 B3v 14
Greatneſs, or Goodneſs, ſay what I ſhall call thee,
To give an higher appellation ſtill,
Teach me a better ſtrain, a nobler lay,20
O thou, enthron’d with Cherubs in the realms of day!
To The University of Cambridge, in New-England.
While an intrinſic ardor prompts to write;
The muſes promiſe to aſſiſt my pen;
’Twas not long ſince I left my native ſhore
The land of errors, and Egyptian gloom:
Father of mercy, ’twas thy gracious hand 5
Brought me in ſafety from thoſe dark abodes.
Students, to you ’tis giv’n to ſcan the heights
Above, to traverſe the ethereal ſpace,
And mark the ſyſtems of revolving worlds.
Still more, ye ſons of ſcience ye receive 10
The bliſsful news by meſſengers from heav’n,
How Jeſus’ blood for your redemption flows.
See him with hands out-ſtretcht upon the croſs;
Immenſe compaſſion in his boſom glows;
He hears revilers, nor reſents their ſcorn: 15
What matchleſs mercy in the Son of God!
When the whole human race by ſin had fall’n,He 16 B4v 16
He deign’d to die that they might riſe again,
And ſhare with him in the ſublimeſt ſkies,
Life without death, and glory without end. 20
Improve your privileges while they ſtay,
Ye pupils, and each hour redeem, that bears
Or good or bad report of you to heav’n.
Let ſin, that baneful evil to the ſoul,
By you be ſhunn’d, nor once remit your guard; 25
Suppreſs the deadly ſerpent in its egg.
Ye blooming plants of human race divine,
An Ethiop tells you ’tis your greateſt foe;
Its tranſient ſweetneſs turns to endleſs pain,
And in immenſe perdition ſinks the ſoul. 30
To the King’s Moſt Excellent Majeſty. 17681768.
Your ſubjects hope, dread Sire—
The crown upon your brows may flouriſh long,
And that your arm may in your God be ſtrong!
O may your ſceptre num’rous nations ſway,
And all with love and readineſs obey!
But how ſhall we the Britiſh king reward! 5
Rule thou in peace, our father, and our lord!
Midſt the remembrance of thy favours paſt,
The meaneſt peaſants moſt admire the last. The Repeal of the Stamp Act.
May George, belov’d by all the nations round,
Live with heav’ns choiceſt conſtant bleſſings crown’d! 10
Great God, direct, and guard him from on high,
And from his head let ev’ry evil fly!
And may each clime with equal gladneſs ſee
A monarch’s ſmile can ſet his ſubjects free!
On being brought from Africa to America.
’Twas mercy brought me from my Pagan land,
Taught my benighted ſoul to underſtand
That there’s a God, that there’s a Saviour too:
Once I redemption neither ſought nor knew.
Some view our ſable race with ſcornful eye, 5
Their colour is a diabolic die.
Remember, Chriſtians, Negros, black as Cain,
May be refin’d, and join th’ angelic train.
On the Death of the Rev. Dr. Sewell. 17691769.
Ere yet the morn its lovely bluſhes ſpread,
See Sewell number’d with the happy dead.
Hail, holy man, arriv’d th’ immortal ſhore,
Though we ſhall hear thy warning voice no more.
Come, let us all behold with wiſhful eyes 5
The ſaint aſcending to his native ſkies;
From hence the prophet wing’d his rapt’rous way
To the bleſt manſions in eternal day.
Then begging for the Spirit of our God,
And panting eager for the ſame abode, 10
Come, let us all with the ſame vigour riſe,
And take a proſpect of the bliſsful ſkies;
While on our minds Chriſt’s image is impreſt,
And the dear Saviour glows in ev’ry breaſt.
Thrice happy ſaint! to find thy heav’n at laſt, 15
What compenſation for the evils paſt!
Great God, incomprehenſible, unknown
By ſenſe, we bow at thine exalted throne.
O, while we beg thine excellence to feel,
Thy ſacred Spirit to our hearts reveal, 20
And give us of that mercy to partake,
Which thou haſt promis’d for the Saviour’s ſake!
Sewell is dead. Swift-pinion’d Fame thus cry’d.
Is Sewell dead, my trembling tongue reply’d,
O what a bleſſing in his flight deny’d! 25
How oft for us the holy prophet pray’d!
How oft to us the Word of Life convey’d!
By duty urg’d my mournful verſe to cloſe,
I for his tomb this epitaph compoſe.
Lo, here a man, redeem’d by Jeſus’ blood, 30
A ſinner once, but now a ſaint with God;
Behold ye rich, ye poor, ye fools, ye wiſe,
Nor let his monument your heart ſurprize;
’Twill tell you what this holy man has done,
Which gives him brighter luſtre than the ſun.Liſten, 21 C3r 21
Liſten, ye happy, from your ſeats above.
I ſpeak ſincerely, while I ſpeak and love,
He ſought the paths of piety and truth,
By theſe made happy from his early youth!
In blooming years that grace divine he felt, 40
Which reſcues ſinners from the chains of guilt.
Mourn him, ye indigent, whom he has fed,
And henceforth ſeek, like him, for living bread;
Ev’n Chriſt, the bread deſcending from above,
And aſk an int’reſt in his ſaving love. 45
Mourn him, ye youth, to whom he oft has told
God’s gracious wonders from the times of old.
I, too have cauſe this mighty loſs to mourn,
For he my monitor will not return.
O when ſhall we to his bleſt ſtate arrive? 50
When the ſame graces in our boſoms thrive.
On the Death of the Rev. Mr. George Whitefield. 17701770.
Hail, happy ſaint, on thine immortal throne,
Poſſeſt of glory, life, and bliſs unknown;
We hear no more the muſic of thy tongue,
Thy wonted auditories ceaſe to throng.
Thy ſermons in unequall’d accents flow’d, 5
And ev’ry boſom with devotion glow’d;
Thou didſt in ſtrains of eloquence refin’d
Inflame the heart, and captivate the mind.
Unhappy we the ſetting ſun deplore,
So glorious once, but ah! it ſhines no more. 10
Behold the prophet in his tow’ring flight!
He leaves the earth for heav’ns unmeaſur’d height,
And worlds unknown receive him from our ſight.
There Whitefield wings with rapid courſe his way,
And ſails to Zion through vaſt ſeas of day. 15
Thy pray’rs, great ſaint, and thine inceſſant cries
Have pierc’d the boſom of thy native ſkies.Thou 23 C4r 23
Thou moon haſt ſeen, and all the ſtars of light,
How he has wreſtled with his God by night.
He pray’d that grace in ev’ry heart might dwell, 20
He long’d to ſee America excel;
He charg’d its youth that ev’ry grace divine
Should with full luſtre in their conduct ſhine;
That Saviour, which his ſoul did firſt receive,
The greateſt gift that ev’n a God can give, 25
He freely offer’d to the num’rous throng,
That on his lips with liſt’ning pleaſure hung,
Take him, ye wretched, for your only good,
Take him ye ſtarving ſinners, for your food;
Ye thirſty, come to this life-giving ſtream, 30
Ye preachers, take him for your joyful theme;
Take him my dear Americans, he ſaid,
Be your complaints on his kind boſom laid:
Take him, ye Africans, he longs for you,
Impartial Saviour is his title due: 35
Waſh’d in the fountain of redeeming blood,
You ſhall be ſons, and kings, and prieſts to God.
Great Counteſs, The Counteſs of Huntingdon, to whom Mr. Whitefield was Chaplain. we Americans revere
Thy name, and mingle in thy grief ſincere;
New England deeply feels, the Orphans mourn, 40
Their more than father will no more return.
But, though arreſted by the hand of death,
Whitefield no more exerts his lab’ring breath,
Yet let us view him in th’ eternal ſkies,
Let ev’ry heart to this bright viſion riſe; 45
While the tomb ſafe retains its ſacred truſt,
Till life divine re-animates his duſt.
On the Death of a young Lady of Five Years of Age.
From dark abodes to fair etherial light
Th’ enraptur’d innocent had wing’d her flight;
On the kind boſom of eternal love
She finds unknown beatitude above.
This know, ye parents, nor her loſs deplore, 5
She feels the iron hand of pain no more;
The diſpenſations of unerring grace,
Should turn your ſorrows into grateful praiſe;
Let then no tear for her henceforward flow,
No more diſtreſs’d in our dark vale below. 10
Her morning ſun, which roſe divinely bright,
Was quickly mantled with the gloom of night;
But hear in heav’n’s bleſt bow’rs your Nancy fair,
And learn to imitate her language there.
Thou, Lord, whom I behold with glory crown’d,
By what ſweet name, and in what tuneful ſoundD Wilt 26 D1v 26
Wilt thou be prais’d? Seraphic pow’rs are faint
Infinite love and majeſty to paint.
To thee let all their grateful voices raiſe,
And ſaints and angels join their ſongs of praiſe. 20
Perfect in bliſs ſhe from her heav’nly home
Looks down, and ſmiling beckons you to come;
Why then, fond parents, why theſe fruitleſs groans?
Reſtrain your tears, and ceaſe your plaintive moans.
Freed from a world of ſin, and ſnares, and pain, 25
Why would you wiſh your daughter back again?
No――bow reſign’d. Let hope your grief control,
And check the riſing tumult of the ſoul.
Calm in the proſperous, and adverſe day,
Adore the God who gives and takes away; 30
Eye him in all, his holy name revere,
Upright your actions, and your hearts ſincere,
Till having ſail’d through life’s tempeſtuous ſea,
And from its rocks, and boiſt’rous billows free,
Yourſelves, ſafe landed on the bliſsful ſhore, 35
Shall join your happy babe to part no more.
On the Death of a young Gentleman.
Who taught thee conflict with the pow’rs of night,
To vanquiſh Satan in the fields of ſight?
Who ſtrung thy feeble arms with might unknown,
How great thy conqueſt, and how bright thy crown!
War with each princedom, throne, and pow’r is o’er. 5
The ſcene is ended to return no more.
O could my muſe thy ſeat on high behold,
How deckt with laurel, how enrich’d with gold!
O could ſhe hear what praiſe thine harp employs,
How ſweet thine anthems, how divine thy joys! 10
What heav’nly grandeur ſhould exalt her ſtrain!
What holy raptures in her numbers reign!
To ſooth the troubles of the mind to peace,
To ſtill the tumult of life’s toſſing ſeas,D2 To 28 D2v 28
To eaſe the anguiſh of the parents heart, 15
What ſhall my ſympathizing verſe impart?
Where is the balm to heal ſo deep a wound?
Where ſhall a ſov’reign remedy be found?
Look, gracious Spirit, from thine heav’nly bow’r,
And thy full joys into their boſoms pour; 20
The raging tempeſt of their grief control,
And ſpread the dawn of glory through the ſoul,
To eye the path the ſaint departed trod,
And trace him to the boſom of his God.
To a Lady on the Death of her Huſband.
Grim monarch! ſee, depriv’d of vital breath,
A young phyſician in the duſt of death:
Doſt thou go on inceſſant to deſtroy,
Our griefs to double, and lay waſte our joy?
Enough thou never yet waſt known to ſay, 5
Though millions die, the vaſſals of thy ſway:
Nor youth, nor ſcience, nor the ties of love,
Nor aught on earth thy flinty heart can move.
The friend, the ſpouſe from his dire dart to ſave,
In vain we aſk the ſovereign of the grave. 10
Fair mourner, there ſee thy lov’d Leonard laid,
And o’er him ſpread the deep impervious ſhade;
Clos’d are his eyes, and heavy fetters keep
His ſenſes bound in never-waking ſleep,
Till time ſhall ceaſe, till many a ſtarry world 15
Shall fall from heav’n, in dire confuſion hurl’d,
Till nature in her final wreck ſhall lie,
And her laſt groan ſhall rend the azure ſky:Not 30 D3v 30
Not, not till then his active ſoul ſhall claim
His body, a divine immortal frame. 20
But ſee the ſoftly-ſtealing tears apace
Purſue each other down the mourner’s face;
But ceaſe thy tears, bid ev’ry ſigh depart,
And caſt the load of anguiſh from thine heart:
From the cold ſhell of his great ſoul ariſe,25
And look beyond, thou native of the ſkies;
There fix thy view, where fleeter than the wind
Thy Leonard mounts, and leaves the earth behind.
Thyſelf prepare to paſs the vale of night
To join for ever on the hills of light:30
To thine embrace his joyful ſpirit moves
To thee, the partner of his earthly loves;
He welcomes thee to pleaſures more refin’d,
And better ſuited to th’ immortal mind.
Goliath of Gath. 1 Sam. Chap. xvii.
Ye martial pow’rs, and all ye tuneful nine,
Inſpire my ſong, and aid my high deſign.
The dreadful ſcenes and toils of war I write,
The ardent warriors, and the fields of fight:
You beſt remember, and you beſt can ſing5
The acts of heroes to the vocal ſtring:
Reſume the lays with which your ſacred lyre,
Did then the poet and the ſage inſpire.
Now front to front the armies were diſplay’d,
Here Iſrael rang’d, and there the foes array’d;10
The hoſts on two oppoſing mountains ſtood,
Thick as the foliage of the waving wood;
Between them an extenſive valley lay,
O’er which the gleaming armour pour’d the day,
When from the camp of the Philiſtine foes,15
Dreadful to view, a mighty warrior roſe;
In the dire deeds of bleeding battle ſkill’d,
The monſter ſtalks the terror of the field.From 32 D4v 32
From Gath he ſprung, Goliath was his name,
Of fierce deportment, and gigantic frame:20
A brazen helmet on his head was plac’d,
A coat of mail his form terrific grac’d,
The greaves his legs, the targe his ſhoulders preſt:
Dreadful in arms high-tow’ring o’er the reſt
A ſpear he proudly wav’d, whoſe iron head,25
Strange to relate, ſix hundred ſhekels weigh’d;
He ſtrode along, and ſhook the ample field,
While Phœbus blaz’d refulgent on his ſhield:
Through Jacob’s race a chilling horror ran,
When thus the huge, enormous chief began:30
Say, what the cauſe that in this proud array
You ſet your battle in the face of day?
One hero find in all your vaunting train,
Then ſee who loſes, and who wins the plain;
For he who wins, in triumph may demand35
Perpetual ſervice from the vanquiſh’d land:
Your armies I defy, your force deſpiſe,
By far inferior in Philiſtia’s eyes:Produce 33 E1r 33
Produce a man, and let us try the fight,
Decide the conteſt, and the victor’s right.40
Thus challeng’d he: all Iſrael ſtood amaz’d,
And ev’ry chief in conſternation gaz’d;
But Jeſſe’s ſon in youthful bloom appears,
And warlike courage far beyond his years:
He left the folds, he left the flow’ry meads,45
And ſoft receſſes of the ſylvan ſhades.
Now Iſrael’s monarch, and his troops ariſe,
With peals of ſhouts aſcending to the ſkies;
In Elah’s vale the ſcene of combat lies.
When the fair morning bluſh’d with orient red,50
What David’s fire enjoin’d the ſon obey’d,
And ſwift of foot towards the trench he came,
Where glow’d each boſom with the martial flame.
He leaves his carriage to another’s care,
And runs to greet his brethren of the war.55
While yet they ſpake the giant-chief aroſe,
Repeats the challenge, and inſults his foes:E Struck 34 E1v 34
Struck with the ſound, and trembling at the view,
Affrighted Iſrael from its poſt withdrew.
Obſerve ye this tremendous foe, they cry’d,60
Who in proud vaunts our armies hath defy’d:
Whoever lays him proſtrate on the plain,
Freedom in Iſrael for his houſe ſhall gain;
And on his wealth unknown the king will pour,
And give his royal daughter for his dow’r.65
Then Jeſſe’s youngeſt hope: My brethren ſay,
What ſhall be done for him who takes away
Reproach from Jacob, who deſtroys the chief,
And puts a period to his country’s grief.
He vaunts the honours of his arms abroad,70
And ſcorns the armies of the living God.
Thus ſpoke the youth, th’ attentive people ey’d
The wond’rous hero, and again reply’d:
Such the rewards our monarch will beſtow,
On him who conquers, and deſtroys his foe.75
Eliah heard, and kindled into ire
To hear his ſhepherd-brother thus inquire,
And thus begun? What errand brought thee? ſay
Who keeps thy flock? or does it go aſtray?
I know the baſe ambition of thine heart,80
But back in ſafety from the field depart.
Eliah thus to Jeſſe’s youngeſt heir,
Expreſs’d his wrath in accents moſt ſevere.
When to his brother mildly he reply’d,
What have I done? or what the cauſe to chide?85
The words were told before the king, who ſent
For the young hero to his royal tent:
Before the monarch dauntleſs he began,
For this Philiſtine fail no heart of man:
I’ll take the vale, and with the giant fight:90
I dread not all his boaſts, nor all his might.E2 When 36 E2v 36
When thus the king: Dar’ſt thou a ſtripling go,
And venture combat with ſo great a foe?
Who all his days has been inur’d to fight,
And made its deeds his ſtudy and delight:95
Battles and bloodſhed brought the monſter forth,
And clouds and whirlwinds uſher’d in his birth.
When David thus: I kept the fleecy care
And out there ruſh’d a lion and a bear;
A tender lamb the hungry lion took,100
And with no other weapon than my crook
Bold I purſu’d, and chas’d him o’er the field,
The prey deliver’d, and the felon kill’d:
As thus the lion and the bear I ſlew,
So ſhall Goliath fall, and all his crew:
The God, who ſav’d me from theſe beaſts of prey,
By me this monſter in the duſt ſhall lay,
So David ſpoke. The wond’ring king reply’d;
Go thou with heav’n and victory on thy ſide:
This coat of mail, this ſword gird on, he ſaid,110
And plac’d a mighty helmet on his head:The 37 E3r 37
The coat, the ſword, the helm he laid aſide,
Nor choſe to venture with thoſe arms untry’d,
Then took his ſtaff, and to the neighb’ring brook
Inſtant he ran, and thence five pebbles took.115
Mean time deſcended to Philiſtia’s ſon
A radiant cherub, and he thus begun:
Goliath, well thou know’ſt thou haſt defy’d
Yon Hebrew armies, and their God deny’d:
Rebellious wretch! audacious worm! forbear,120
Nor tempt the vengeance of their God too far:
Them, who with his omnipotence contend,
No eye ſhall pity, and no arm defend:
Proud as thou art, in ſhort liv’d glory great,
I come to tell thee thine approaching fate.125
Regard my words, The judge of all the gods,
Beneath whoſe ſteps the tow’ring mountain nods,
Will give thine armies to the ſavage brood,
That cut the liquid air, or range the wood.
Thee too a well-aim’d pebble ſhall deſtroy,130
And thou ſhalt periſh by a beardleſs boy:Such 38 E3v 38
Such is the mandate from the realms above,
And ſhould I try the vengeance to remove,
Myſelf a rebel to my king would prove.
Goliath ſay, ſhall grace to him be ſhown,135
Who dares heav’ns monarch, and inſults his throne?
Your words are loſt on me, the giant cries,
While fear and wrath contended in his eyes,
When thus the meſſenger from heav’n replies:
Provoke no more Jehovah’s awful hand140
To hurl its vengeance on thy guilty land:
He graſps the thunder, and, he wings the ſtorm,
Servants their ſov’reign’s orders to perform.
The angel ſpoke, and turn’d his eyes away,
Adding new radiance to the riſing day.145
Now David comes: the fatal ſtones demand
His left, the ſtaff engag’d his better hand:The 39 E4r 39
The giant mov’d, and from his tow’ring height
Survey’d the ſtripling, and diſdain’d the ſight,
And thus began: Am I a dog with thee?150
Bring’ſt thou no armour, but a ſtaff to me?
The gods on thee their vollied curſes pour,
And beaſts and birds of prey thy fleſh devour.
David undaunted thus, Thy ſpear and ſhield
Shall no protection to thy body yield:155
Jehovah’s name—no other arms I bear,
I ask no other in this glorious war.
To-day the Lord of Hoſts to me will give
Vict’ry, to-day thy doom thou ſhalt receive;
The fate you threaten ſhall your own become,160
And beaſts ſhall be your animated tomb,
That all the earth’s inhabitants may know
That there’s a God, who governs all below:
This great aſſembly too ſhall witneſs ſtand,
That needs nor ſword, nor ſpear, th’ Almighty’s hand:165 The 40 E4v 40
The battle his, the conqueſt he beſtows,
And to our pow’r conſigns our hated foes.
Thus David ſpoke; Goliath heard and came
To meet the hero in the field of fame.
Ah! fatal meeting to thy troops and thee,170
But thou waſt deaf to the divine decree;
Young David meets thee, meets thee not in vain;
’Tis thine to periſh on th’ enſanguin’d plain.
And now the youth the forceful pebble flung,
Philiſtia trembled as it whizz’d along:175
In his dread forehead, where the helmet ends,
Juſt o’er the brows the well-aim’d ſtone deſcends,
It pierc’d the ſkull, and ſhatter’d all the brain,
Prone on his face he tumbled to the plain:
Goliath’s fall no ſmaller terror yields180
Than riving thunders in aerial fields:
The ſoul ſtill ling’red in its lov’d abode,
Till conq’ring David o’er the giant ſtrode:
Goliath’s ſword then laid its maſter dead,
And from the body hew’d the ghaſtly head;185 The 41 F1r 41
The blood in guſhing torrents drench’d the plains,
The ſoul found paſſage through the ſpouting veins.
And now aloud th’ illuſtrious victor ſaid,
Where are your boaſtings now your champion’s dead?
Scarce had he ſpoke, when the Philiſtines fled:
But fled in vain; the conqu’ror ſwift purſu’d:
What ſcenes of ſlaughter! and what ſeas of blood!
There Saul thy thouſands graſp’d th’ impurpled ſand
In pangs of death the conqueſt of thine hand;
And David there were thy ten thouſands laid:195
Thus Iſrael’s damſels muſically play’d.
Near Gath and Ekron many an hero lay,
Breath’d out their ſouls, and curs’d the light of day:
Their fury, quench’d by death, no longer burns,
And David with Goliath’s head returns,200
To Salem brought, but in his tent he plac’d
the load of armour which the giant grac’d.F His 42 F1v 42
His monarch ſaw him coming from the war,
And thus demanded of the ſon of Ner.
Say, who is this amazing youth? he cry’d,205
When thus the leader of the hoſt reply’d;
As lives thy ſoul I know not whence he ſprung,
So great in proweſs though in years ſo young:
Inquire whoſe ſon is he, the ſov’reign ſaid,
Before whoſe conq’ring arm Philiſtia fled.210
Before the king behold the ſtripling ſtand,
Goliath’s head depending from his hand;
To him the king: Say of what martial line
Art thou, young hero, and what ſire was thine?
He humbly thus; the ſon of Jeſſe I:215
I came the glories of the field to try.
Small is my tribe, but valiant in the fight;
Small is my city, but thy royal right.
Then take the promis’d gifts, the monarch cry’d,
Conferring riches and the royal bride:220
Knit to my ſoul for ever thou remain
With me, nor quit my regal roof again.
Thoughts on the Works of Providence.
Arise, my ſoul, on wings enraptur’d, riſe
To praiſe the monarch of the earth and ſkies,
Whoſe goodneſs and beneficence appear
As round its centre moves the rolling year,
Or when the morning glows with roſy charms,5
Or the ſun ſlumbers in the ocean’s arms:
Of light divine be a rich portion lent
To guide my ſoul, and favour my intent.
Celeſtial muſe, my arduous flight ſuſtain,
And raiſe my mind to a ſeraphic ſtrain!10
Ador’d for ever be the God unſeen,
Which round the ſun revolves this vaſt machine,
Though to his eye its maſs a point appears:
Ador’d the God that whirls ſurrounding ſpheres,
Which firſt ordain’d that mighty Sol ſhould reign15
The peerleſs monarch of th’ ethereal train:F2 Of 44 F2v 44
Of miles twice forty millions is his height,
And yet his radiance dazzles mortal ſight
So far beneath—from his th’ extended earth
Vigour derives, and ev’ry flow’ry birth:20
Vaſt through her orb ſhe moves with eaſy grace
Around her Phœbus in unbounded ſpace;
True to her courſe th’ impetuous ſtorm derides,
Triumphant o’er the winds, and ſurging tides.
Almighty, in theſe wond’rous works of thine,25
What Pow’r, what Wiſdom, and what Goodneſs ſhine?
And are thy wonders, Lord, by men explor’d,
And yet creating glory unador’d!
Creation ſmiles in various beauty gay,
While day to night, and night ſucceeds to day:30
That Wiſdom, which attends Jehovah’s ways,
Shines moſt conſpicuous in the ſolar rays:
Without them, deſtitute of heat and light,
This world would be the reign of endleſs night:In 45 F3r 45
In their exceſs how would our race complain,35
Abhorring life! how hate its length’ned chain!
From air aduſt what num’rous ills would riſe?
What dire contagion taint the burning ſkies?
What peſtilential vapours, fraught with death,
Would riſe, and overſpread the lands beneath?40
Hail, ſmiling morn, that from the orient main
Aſcending doſt adorn the heav’nly plain!
So rich, ſo various are thy beauteous dies,
That ſpread through all the circuit of the ſkies,
That, full of thee, my ſoul in rapture ſoars,45
And thy great God, the cauſe of all adores.
O’er beings infinite his love extends,
His Wiſdom rules them, and his Pow’r defends.
When taſks diurnal tire the human frame,
The ſpirits faint, and dim the vital flame,50
Then too that ever active bounty ſhines,
Which not infinity of ſpace confines.
The ſable veil, that Night in ſilence draws,
Conceals effects, but ſhews th’ Almighty Cauſe;Night 46 F3v 46
Night ſeals in ſleep the wide creation fair,55
And all is peaceful but the brow of care.
Again, gay Phœbus, as the day before,
Wakes ev’ry eye, but what ſhall wake no more;
Again the face of nature is renew’d,
Which ſtill appears harmonious, fair, and good.60
May grateful ſtrains ſalute the ſmiling morn,
Before its beams the eaſtern hills adorn!
Shall day to day and night to night conſpire
To ſhow the goodneſs of the Almighty Sire?
This mental voice ſhall man regardleſs hear,
And never, never raiſe the filial pray’r?
To-day, O hearken, not your folly mourn
For time miſpent, that never will return.
But ſee the ſons of vegetation riſe,
And ſpread their leafy banners to the ſkies.70
All-wiſe Almighty Providence we trace
In trees, and plants, and all the flow’ry race;
As clear as in the nobler frame of man,
All lovely copies of the Maker’s plan.The 47 F4r 47
The pow’r the ſame that forms a ray of light,75
That call’d creation from eternal night.
Let there be light, he ſaid: from his profound
Old Chaos heard, and trembled at the ſound:
Swift as the word, inſpir’d by pow’r divine,
Behold the light around its maker ſhine,80
The firſt fair product of th’ omnific God,
And now through all his works diffus’d abroad.
As reaſon’s pow’rs by day our God diſcloſe,
So we may trace him in the night’s repoſe:
Say what is ſleep? and dreams how paſſing ſtrange!85
When action ceaſes, and ideas range
Licentious and unbounded o’er the plains,
Where Fancy’s queen in giddy triumph reigns.
Hear in ſoft ſtrains the dreaming lover ſigh
To a kind fair, or rave in jealouſy;90
On pleaſure now, and now on vengeance bent,
The lab’ring paſſions ſtruggle for a vent.
What pow’r, O man! thy reaſon then reſtores,
So long ſuſpended in nocturnal hours?What 48 F4v 48
What ſecret hand returns the mental train,95
And gives improv’d thine active pow’rs again?
From thee, O man, what gratitude ſhould riſe!
And, when from balmy ſleep thou op’ſt thine eyes,
Let thy firſt thoughts be praiſes to the ſkies.
How merciful our God who thus imparts100
O’erflowing tides of joy to human hearts,
When wants and woes might be our righteous lot,
Our God forgetting, by our God forgot!
Among the mental pow’rs a queſtion roſe,
What moſt the image of th’ Eternal ſhows?
When thus to Reaſon (ſo let Fancy rove)
Her great companion ſpoke immortal Love.
Say, mighty pow’r, how long ſhall ſtrife prevail,
And with its murmurs load the whiſp’ring gale?
Refer the cauſe to Recollection’s ſhrine,110
Who loud proclaims my origin divine,The 49 G1r 49
The cauſe whence heav’n and earth began to be,
And is not man immortaliz’d by me?
Reaſon let this moſt cauſeleſs ſtrife ſubſide.
Thus Love pronounc’d, and Reaſon thus reply’d.115
Thy birth, celeſtial queen! ’tis mine to own,
In thee reſplendent is the Godhead ſhown;
Thy words perſuade, my ſoul enraptur’d feels
Reſiſtleſs beauty which thy ſmile reveals.
Ardent ſhe ſpoke, and, kindling at her charms,120
She claſp’d the blooming goddeſs in her arms.
Infinite Love where’er we turn our eyes
Appears: this ev’ry creature’s wants ſupplies;
This moſt is heard in Nature’s conſtant voice,
This makes the morn, and this the eve rejoice;125
This bids the foſt’ring rains and dews deſcend
To nouriſh all, to ſerve one gen’ral end,G The 50 G1v 50
The good of man: yet man ungrateful pays
But little homage, and but little praiſe.
To him, whoſe works array’d with mercy ſhine,130
What ſongs ſhould riſe, how conſtant, how divine!
To a Lady on the Death of Three Relations.
We trace the pow’r of Death from tomb to tomb,
And his are all the ages yet to come.
’Tis his to call the planets from on high,
To blacken Phœbus, and diſſolve the ſky;
His too, when all in his dark realms are hurl’d,5
From its firm baſe to ſhake the ſolid world;
His fatal ſceptre rules the ſpacious whole,
And trembling nature rocks from pole to pole.
Awful he moves, and wide his wings are ſpread:
Behold thy brother number’d with the dead10
From bondage freed, the exulting ſpirit flies
Beyond Olympus, and theſe ſtarry ſkies.
Loſt in our woe for thee, bleſt ſhade, we mourn
In vain; to earth thou never muſt return.
Thy ſiſters too, fair mourner, feel the dart15
Of Death, and with freſh torture rend thine heart.G2 Weep 52 G2v 52
Weep not for them, who wiſh thine happy mind
To riſe with them, and leave the world behind.
As a young plant by hurricanes up torn,20
So near its parent lies the newly born—
But ’midſt the bright ethereal train behold
It ſhines ſuperior on a throne of gold:
Then, mourner, ceaſe; let hope thy tears reſtrain,
Smile on the tomb, and ſooth the raging pain.25
On yon bleſt regions fix thy longing view,
Mindleſs of ſublunary ſcenes below;
Aſcend the ſacred mount, in thought ariſe,
And ſeek ſubſtantial, and immortal joys;
Where hope receives, where faith to viſion ſprings,30
And raptur’d ſeraphs tune th’ immortal ſtrings
To ſtrains extatic. Thou the chorus join,
And to thy father tune the praiſe divine.
To a Clergyman on the Death of his Lady.
Where contemplation finds her ſacred ſpring,
Where heav’nly muſic makes the arches ring,
Where virtue reigns unſully’d and divine,
Where wiſdom thron’d, and all the graces ſhine,
There ſits thy ſpouſe amidſt the radiant throng,5
While praiſe eternal warbles from her tongue;
There choirs angelic ſhout her welcome round,
With perfect bliſs, and peerleſs glory crown’d.
While thy dear mate, to fleſh no more confin’d,
Exults a bleſt, an heav’n-aſcended mind,10
Say in thy breaſt ſhall floods of ſorrow riſe?
Say ſhall its torrents overwhelm thine eyes?
Amid the ſeats of heav’n a place is free,
And angels ope their bright ranks for thee;
For thee they wait, and with expectant eye15
Thy ſpouſe leans downward from th’ empyreal ſky:O come 54 G3v 54
O come away, her longing ſpirit cries,
And ſhare with me the raptures of the ſkies.
Our bliſs divine to mortals is unknown;
Immortal life and glory are our own.20
There too may the dear pledges of our love
Arrive, and taſte with us the joys above;
Attune the harp to more than mortal lays,
And join with us the tribute of their praiſe
To him, who dy’d ſtern juſtice to atone,25
And make eternal glory all our own.
He in his death ſlew ours, and, as he roſe,
He cruſh’d the dire dominion of our foes;
Vain were their hopes to put the God to flight,
Chain us to hell, and bar the gates of light.30
She ſpoke, and turn’d from mortal ſcenes her eyes,
Which beam’d celeſtial radiance o’er the ſkies.
Then thou, dear man, no more with grief retire,
Let grief no longer damp devotion’s fire,
But riſe ſublime, to equal bliſs aſpire.35 Thy 55 G4r 55
Thy ſighs no more be waſted by the wind,
No more complain, but be to heav’n reſign’d.
’Twas thine t’ unfold the oracles divine,
To ſooth our woes the taſk was alſo thine;
Now ſorrow is incumbent on thy heart,40
Permit the muſe a cordial to impart;
Who can to thee their tend’reſt aid refuſe?
To dry thy tears how longs the heav’nly muſe!
An Hymn to the Morning.
Attend my lays, ye ever honour’d nine,
Aſſiſt my labours, and my ſtrains refine;
In ſmootheſt numbers pour the notes along,
For bright Aurora now demands my ſong.
Aurora hail, and all the thouſands dies,5
Which deck thy progreſs through the vaulted ſkies:
The morn awakes, and wide extends her rays,
On ev’ry leaf the gentle zephyr plays;
Harmonious lays the feather’d race reſume,
Dart the bright eye, and ſhake the painted plume.10
Ye ſhady groves, your verdant gloom diſplay
To ſhield your poet from the burning day:
Calliope awake the ſacred lyre,
While thy fair ſiſters fan the pleaſing fire:The 57 H1r 57
The bow’rs, the gales, the variegated ſkies15
In all their pleaſures in my boſom riſe.
See in the eaſt th’ illuſtrious king of day!
His riſing radiance drives the ſhades away—
But Oh! I feel his fervid beams too ſtrong,
And ſcarce begun, concludes th’ abortive ſong.20
An Hymn to the Evening.
Soon as the ſun forſook the eaſtern main
The pealing thunder ſhook the heav’nly plain;
Majeſtic grandeur! From the zephyr’s wing,
Exhales the incenſe of the blooming ſpring.
Soft purl the ſtreams, the birds renew their notes,5
And through the air their mingled muſic floats.
Through all the heav’ns what beauteous dies are ſpread!
But the weſt glories in the deepeſt red:
So may our breaſts with ev’ry virtue glow,
The living temples of our God below!10
Fill’d with the praiſe of him who gives the light,
And draws the ſable curtains of the night,Let 59 H2r 59
Let placid ſlumbers ſooth each weary mind,
At morn to wake more heav’nly, more refin’d;
So ſhall the labours of the day begin15
More pure, more guarded from the ſnares of ſin.
Night’s leaden ſceptre ſeals my drowſy eyes,
Then ceaſe, my ſong, till fair Aurora riſe.
Isaiah lxiii. 1—8.
Say, heav’nly muſe, what king, or mighty God,
That moves ſublime from Idumea’s road?
In Bozrah’s dies, with martial glories join’d,
His purple veſture waves upon the wind.
Why thus enrob’d delights he to appear5
In the dread image of the Pow’r of war?
Compreſs’d in wrath the ſwelling wine-preſs groan’d
It bled, and pour’d the guſhing purple round.
Mine was the act, th’ Almighty Saviour ſaid,
And ſhook the dazzling glories of his head,10
When all forſook I trod the preſs alone,
And conquer’d by omnipotence my own;
For man’s releaſe ſuſtain’d the pond’rous load,
For man the wrath of an immortal God:To 61 H3r 61
To execute th’ Eternal’s dread command15
My ſoul I ſacrific’d with willing hand;
Sinleſs I ſtood before the avenging frown,
Atoning thus for vices not my own.
His eye the ample field of battle round
Survey’d, but no created ſuccours ſound;20
His own omnipotence ſuſtain’d the ſight,
His vengeance ſunk the haughty foes in night;
Beneath his feet the proſtrate troops were ſpread,
And round him lay the dying, and the dead.
Great God,what light’ning flaſhes from thine eyes?25
What pow’r withſtands if thou indignant riſe?
Againſt thy Zion though her foes may rage,
And all their cunning, all their ſtrength engage,
Yet ſhe ſerenely on thy boſom lies,
Smiles at their arts, and all their force defies.30
Mneme begin. Inſpire, ye ſacred nine,
Your vent’rous Afric in her great deſign.
Mneme, immortal pow’r, I trace thy ſpring:
Aſſiſt my ſtrains, while I thy glories ſing:
The acts of long departed years, by thee5
Recover’d, in due order rang’d we ſee:
Thy pow’r the long-forgotten calls from night;
That ſweetly plays before the fancy’sſight.
Mneme in our nocturnal viſions pours
The ample treaſure of her ſecret ſtores;10
Swift from above ſhe wings her ſilent flight
Through Phœbe’s realms, fair regent of the night;
And, in her pomp of images diſplay’d,
To the high-raptur’d poet gives her aid,
Through the unbounded regions of the mind,15
Diffuſing light celeſtial and refin’d.The 63 H4r 63
The heav’nly phantom paints the actions done
By ev’ry tribe beneath the rolling ſun.
Mneme, enthron’d within the human breaſt,
Has vice condemn’d, and ev’ry virtue bleſt.20
How ſweet the ſound when we her plaudit hear?
Sweeter than Maro’s entertaining ſtrains
Reſounding through the groves, and hills, and plains.
But how is Mneme dreaded by the race,25
Who ſcorn her warnings, and deſpiſe her grace?
By her unveil’d each horrid crime appears,
Her awful hand a cup of wormwood bears.
Days, years miſpent, O what a hell of woe!
Hers the worſt tortures that our ſouls can know.30
Now eighteen years their deſtin’d courſe have run,
In faſt ſuceſſion round the central ſun.
How did the follies of that period paſs
Unnotic’d, but behold them writ in braſs!In 64 H4v 64
In Recollection ſee them freſh return,35
And ſure ’tis mine to be aſham’d, and mourn.
O Virtue, ſmiling in immortal green,
Do thou exert thy pow’r, and change the ſcene;
Be thine employ to guide my future days,
And mine to pay the tribute of my praiſe.40
Of Recollection ſuch the pow’r enthron’d
In ev’ry breaſt, and thus her pow’r is own’d.
The wretch, who dar’d the vengeance of the ſkies,
At laſt awakes in horror and ſurprize,
By her alarm’d, he ſees impending fate,45
He howls in anguiſh, and repents too late.
But O! what peace, what joys are hers t’impart
To ev’ry holy, ev’ry upright heart!
Thrice bleſt the man, who, in her ſacred ſhrine,
Feels himſelf ſhelter’d from the wrath divine!50
Thy various works, imperial queen, we ſee,
How bright their forms! how deck’d with pomp by thee!
Thy wond’rous acts in beauteous order ſtand,
And all atteſt how potent is thine hand.
From Helicon’s refulgent heights attend,5
Ye ſacred choir, and my attempts befriend:
To tell her glories with a faithful tongue,
Ye blooming graces, triumph in my ſong.
Now here, now there, the roving Fancy flies,
Till ſome lov’d object ſtrikes her wand’ring eyes,10
Whoſe ſilken fetters all the ſenſes bind,
And ſoft captivity involves the mind.
Imagination! who can ſing thy force?
Or who deſcribe the ſwiftneſs of thy courſe?
Soaring through air to find the bright abode,15
Th’ empyreal palace of the thund’ring God,
We on thy pinions can ſurpaſs the wind,
And leave the rolling univerſe behind:
From ſtar to ſtar the mental optics rove,
Meaſure the ſkies, and range the realms above.20
There in one view we graſp the mighty whole,
Or with new worlds amaze th’ unbounded ſoul.
Though Winter frowns to Fancy’s raptur’d eyes
The fields may flouriſh, and gay ſcenes ariſe;
The frozen deeps may break their iron bands,25
And bid their waters murmur o’er the ſands.
Fair Flora may reſume her fragrant reign,
And with her flow’ry riches deck the plain;
Sylvanus may diffuſe his honours round,
And all the foreſt may with leaves be crown’d:30 Show’rs 67 I2r 67
Show’rs may deſcend, and dews their gems diſcloſe,
And nectar ſparkle on the blooming roſe.
Such is thy pow’r, nor are thine orders vain,
O thou the leader of the mental train:
In full perfection all thy works are wrought,35
And thine the ſceptre o’er the realms of thought.
Before thy throne the ſubject-paſſions bow,
Of ſubject-paſſions ſov’reign ruler Thou;
At thy command joy ruſhes on the heart,
And through the glowing veins the ſpirits dart.40
Shall day to day and night to night conſpire
To ſhow the goodneſs of the Almighty Sire?
This mental voice ſhall man regardleſs hear,65
And never, never raiſe the filial pray’r?
To-day, O hearken, nor your folly mourn
For time miſpent, that never will return.
Fancy might now her ſilken pinions try
To riſe from earth, and ſweep th’ expanſe on high;
From Tithon’s bed now might Aurora riſe,
Her cheeks all glowing with celeſtial dies,
While a pure ſtream of light o’erflows the ſkies.45
The monarch of the day I might behold,
And all the mountains tipt with radiant gold,I2 But 68 I2v 68
But I reluctant leave the pleaſing views,
Which Fancy dreſſes to delight the Muse;
Winter auſtere forbids me to aſpire,50
And northern tempeſts damp the riſing fire;
They chill the tides of Fancy’s flowing ſea,
Ceaſe then, my ſong, ceaſe the unequal lay.A Fu-
A Funeral Poem on the Death of C. E. an Infant of Twelve Months.
Through airy roads he wings his inſtant flight
To purer regions of celeſtial light;
Enlarg’d he ſees unnumber’d ſyſtems roll,
Beneath him ſees the univerſal whole,
Planets on planets run their deſtin’d round,5
And circling wonders fill the vaſt profound.
Th’ ethereal now, and now th’ empyreal ſkies
With growing ſplendors ſtrike his wond’ring eyes:
The angels view him with delight unknown,
Preſs his ſoft hand, and ſeat him on his throne;
Then ſmiling thus, To this divine abode,
The ſeat of ſaints, of ſeraphs, and of God,
Thrice welcome thou. The raptur’d babe replies,
Thanks to my God, who ſnatch’d me to the ſkies,E’er 70 I3v 70
E’er vice triumphant had poſſeſsed my heart,15
E’er yet the tempter had beguil’d my heart,
E’er yet on ſin’s baſe actions I was bent,
E’er yet I knew temptation’s dire intent;
E’er yet the laſh for horrid crimes I felt,
E’er vanity had led my way to guilt,20
But, ſoon arriv’d at my celeſtial goal,
Full glories ruſh on my expanding ſoul.
Joyful he ſpoke: exulting cherubs round
Clapt their glad wings, the heav’nly vaults reſound.
Say, parents, why this unavailing moan?25
Why heave your penſive boſoms with the groan?
To Charles, the happy ſubject of my ſong,
A brighter world, and nobler ſtrains belong.
Say would you tear him from the realms above
By thoughtleſs wiſhes, and prepoſt’rous love?30
Doth his felicity increſe your pain?
Or could you welcome to this world again
The heir of bliſs? with a ſuperior air
Methinks he anſwers with a ſmile ſevere,
Thrones and dominions cannot tempt me there.35 But 71 I4r 71
But ſtill you cry, Can we the ſigh forbear,
And ſtill and ſtill muſt we not pour the tear?
Our only hope, more dear than vital breath,
Twelve moons revolv’d, becomes the prey of death;
Delightful infant, nightly viſions give40
Thee to our arms, and we with joy receive,
We fain would claſp the Phantom to our breaſt,
The Phantom flies, and leaves the ſoul unbleſt.
To yon bright regions let your faith aſcend,
Prepare to join your deareſt infant friend
In pleaſures without meaſure, without end.
To Captain H—d, of the 65th Regiment.
Say, muſe divine, can hoſtile ſcenes delight
The warrior’s boſom in the fields of fight?
Lo! here the chriſtian, and the hero join
With mutual grace to form the man divine.
In H—d ſee with pleaſure and ſurprize,5
Where valour kindles, and where virtue lies:
Go, hero brave, ſtill grace the poſt of fame,
And add new glories to thine honour’d name,
Still to the field, and ſtill to virtue true:
Britannia glories in no ſon like you.10
To the Right Honourable William, Earl of Dartmouth, His Majeſty’s Principal Secretary of State for North-America,&c.
Hail, happy day, when, ſmiling like the morn,
Fair Freedom roſe New-England to adorn:
The northern clime beneath her genial ray,
Dartmouth, congratulates thy bliſsful ſway:
Elate with hope her race no longer mourns,5
Each ſoul expands, each grateful boſom burns,
While in thine hand with pleaſure we behold
The ſilken reins, and Freedom’s charms unfold.
Long loſt to realms beneath the northern ſkies
She ſhines ſupreme, while hated faction dies:10
Soon as appear’d the Goddeſs long deſir’d,
Sick at the view, ſhe languiſh’d and expir’d;
Thus from the ſplendors of the morning light
The owl in ſadneſs ſeeks the caves of night.
No more, America, in mournful ſtrain15
Of wrongs, and grievance unredreſs’d complain,
No longer ſhall thou dread the iron chain,
Which wanton Tyranny with lawleſs hand
Had made, and with it meant t’ enſlave the land.
Should you, my lord, while you peruſe my ſong,20
Wonder from whence my love of Freedom ſprung,
Whence flow theſe wiſhes for the common good,
By feeling hearts alone beſt underſtood,
I, young in life, by ſeeming cruel fate
Was ſnatch’d from Afric’s fancy’d happy ſeat:25
What pangs excruciating muſt moleſt,
What ſorrows labour in my parent’s breaſt?
Steel’d was that ſoul and by no miſery mov’d
That from a father ſeiz’d his babe belov’d:
Such, ſuch my caſe. And can I then but pray30
Others may never feel tyrannic ſway?
For favours paſt, great Sir, our thanks are due,
And thee we aſk thy favours to renew,
Since in thy pow’r, as in thy will before,
To ſooth the griefs, which thou did’ſt once deplore.35
May heav’nly grace the ſacred ſanction give
To all thy works, and thou for ever live
Not only on the wings of fleeting Fame,
Though praiſe immortal crowns the patriot’s name,
But to conduct to heav’ns refulgent fane,40
May fiery courſers ſweep th’ ethereal plain,
And bear thee upwards to that bleſt abode,
Where, like the prophet, thou ſhalt find thy God.
Ode to Neptune. On Mrs. W—’s Voyage to England.
While raging tempeſts ſhake the ſhore,
While Ælus’ thunders round us roar,
And ſweep impetuous o’er the plain
Be ſtill, O tyrant of the main;
Nor let thy brow contracted frowns betray,5
While my Suſannah ſkims the wat’ry way.
The Pow’r propitious hears the lay,
The blue-ey’d daughters of the ſea
With ſweeter cadence glide along,
And Thames reſponſive joins the ſong.10
Pleas’d with their notes Sol ſheds benign his ray,
And double radiance decks the face of day.
To court thee to Britannia’s arms
Serene the climes and mild the ſky,
Her region boaſts unnumber’d charms,15
Thy welcome ſmiles in ev’ry eye.
Thy promiſe, Neptune keep, record my pray’r,
Nor give my wiſhes to the empty air.
Boſton, 1772-10-10October 10, 1772.
To a Lady on her coming to North-America with her Son, for the Recovery of her Health.
Indulgent muſe! my grov’ling mind inſpire,
And fill my boſom with celeſtial fire.
See from Jamaica’s fervid ſhore ſhe moves,
Like the fair mother of the blooming loves,
When from above the Goddeſs with her hand5
Fans the ſoft breeze, and lights upon the land;
Thus ſhe on Neptune’s wat’ry realm reclin’d
Appear’d, and thus invites the ling’ring wind.
Ariſe, ye winds, America explore,
Waft me, ye gales, from this malignant ſhore;10
The Northern milder climes I long to greet,
There hope that health will my arrival meet.
Soon as ſhe ſpoke in my ideal view
The winds aſſented, and the veſſel flew.
Madam, your ſpouſe bereft of wife and ſon,15
In the grove’s dark receſſes pours his moan;
Each branch, wide-ſpreading to the ambient ſky,
Forgets its verdure, and ſubmits to die.
From thence I turn, and leave the ſultry plain,
And ſwift purſue thy paſſage o’er the main:20
The ſhip arrives before the fav’ring wind,
And makes the Philadelphian port aſſign’d,
Thence I attend you to Bostonia’s arms,
Where gen’rous friendſhip ev’ry boſom warms:
Thrice welcome here! may health revive again,25
Bloom on thy cheek, and bound in ev’ry vein!
Then back return to gladden ev’ry heart,
And give your ſpouſe his ſoul’s far dearer part,
Receiv’d again with what a ſweet ſurprize,
The tear in tranſport ſtarting from his eyes!30
While his attendant ſon with blooming grace
Springs to his father’s ever dear embrace.
With ſhouts of joy Jamaica’s rocks reſound,
With ſhouts of joy the country rings around.
To a Lady on her remarkable Preſervation in an Hurricane in North Carolina
Though thou did’ſt hear the tempeſt from afar,
And felt’ſt the horrors of the wat’ry war,
To me unknown, yet on this peaceful ſhore
Methinks I hear the ſtorm tumultuous roar,
And how ſtern Boreas with impetuous hand5
Compell’d the Nereids to uſurp the land.
Reluctant roſe the daughters of the main,
And ſlow aſcending glided o’er the plain,
Till Æolus in his rapid chariot drove
In gloomy grandeur from the vault above:10
Furious he comes. His winged ſons obey
Their frantic fire, and madden all the ſea.
The billows rave, the wind’s fierce tyrant roars,
And with his thund’ring terrors ſhakes the ſhores:
Broken by waves the veſſel’s frame is rent,15
And ſtrows with planks the wat’ry element.
But thee, Maria, a kind Nereid’s ſhield
Preſerv’d from ſinking, and thy form upheld:
And ſure ſome heav’nly oracle deſign’d
At that dread criſis to inſtruct thy mind20
Things of eternal conſequence to weigh,
And to thine heart juſt feelings to convey
Of things above, and of the future doom,
And what the births of the dread world to come.
From toſſing ſeas I welcome thee to land.25
Reſign her, Nereid, ’twas thy God’s command.
Thy ſpouſe late buried, as thy fears conceiv’d,
Again returns, thy fears are all reliev’d:
Thy daughter blooming with ſuperior grace
Again thou ſee’ſt, again thine arms embrace;30
O come, and joyful ſhow thy ſpouſe his heir,
And what the bleſſings of maternal care!
To a Lady and her Children, on the Death of her Son and their Brother.
O’Erwhelming ſorrow now demands my ſong:
From death the overwhelming ſorrow ſprung.
What flowing tears? What hearts with grief oppreſt?
What ſighs on ſighs heave the fond parent’s breaſt?
The brother weeps, the hapleſs ſiſters join5
Th’ increaſing woe, and ſwell the cryſtal brine;
The poor, who once his gen’rous bounty fed,
Droop, and bewail their benefactor dead.
In death the friend, the kind companion lies,
And in one death what various comfort dies!10
Th’ unhappy mother ſees the ſanguine rill
Forget to flow, and nature’s wheels ſtand ſtill,
But ſee from earth his ſpirit far remov’d
And know no grief recals your beſt-belov’d:He, 83 L2r 83
He, upon pinions ſwifter than the wind,15
Has left mortality’s ſad ſcenes behind
For joys to this terreſtrial ſtate unknown,
And glories richer than the monarch’s crown.
Of virtue’s ſteady courſe the prize behold!
What bliſsful wonders to his mind unfold!20
But of celeſtial joys I ſing in vain:
Attempt not, muſe, the too advent’rous ſtrain.
No more in briny ſhow’rs, ye friends around,
Or bathe his clay, or waſte them on the ground:
Still do you weep, ſtill wiſh for his return?25
How cruel thus to wiſh, and thus to mourn?
No more for him the ſtreams of ſorrow pour,
But haſte to join him on the heav’nly ſhore,
On harps of gold to tune immortal lays,
And to your God immortal anthems raiſe.30
To a Gentleman and Lady on the Death of the Lady’s Brother and Siſter, and a Child of the Name Avis, aged one Year.
On Death’s domain intent I fix my eyes,
Where human nature in vaſt ruin lies:
With penſive mind I ſearch the drear abode,
Where the great conqu’ror has his ſpoils beſtow’d;
There there the offspring of ſix thouſand years5
In endleſs numbers to my view appears:
Whole kingdoms in his gloomy den are thruſt,
And nations mix with their primeval duſt:
Inſatiate ſtill he gluts the ample tomb;
His is the preſent, his the age to come.10
See here a brother, here a ſiſter ſpread,
And a ſweet daughter mingled with the dead.
But, Madam, let your grief be laid aſide,
And let the fountain of your tears be dry’d,
In vain they flow to wet the duſty plain,15
Your ſighs are waſted to the ſkies in vain,Your 85 L3r 85
Your pains they witneſs, but they can no more,
While Death reigns tyrant o’er this mortal ſhore.
The glowing ſtars and ſilver queen of light
At laſt muſt periſh in the gloom of night:20
Reſign thy friends to that Almighty hand,
Which gave them life, and bow to his command;
Thine Avis give without a murm’ring heart,
Though half thy ſoul be fated to depart.
To ſhining guards conſign thine infant care25
To waft triumphant through the ſeas of air:
Her ſoul enlarg’d to heav’nly pleaſure ſprings,
She feeds on truth and uncreated things.
Methinks I hear her in the realms above,
And leaning forward with a filial love,30
Invite you there to ſhare immortal bliſs
Unknown, untaſted in a ſtate like this.
With tow’ring hopes, and growing grace ariſe,
And ſeek beatitude beyond the ſkies.
On the Death of Dr. Samuel Marshall. 17711771.
Through thickeſt glooms look back, immortal ſhade,
On that confuſion which thy death has made;
Or from Olympus’ height look down, and ſee
A Town involv’d in grief bereft of thee.
Thy Lucy ſees thee mingle with the dead,5
And rends the graceful treſſes from her head,
Wild in her woe, with grief unknown oppreſt
Sigh follows ſigh deep heaving from her breaſt.
Too quickly fled, ah! whither art thou gone?
Ah! loſt for ever to thy wife and ſon!10
The hapleſs child, thine only hope and heir,
Clings round his mother’s neck, and weeps his ſorrows there.
The loſs of thee on Tyler’s ſoul returns,
And Boſton for her dear phyſician mourns.
When ſickneſs call’d for Marshall’s healing hand,15
With what compaſſion did his ſoul expand?
In him we found the father and the friend:
In life how lov’d! how honour’d in his end!
And muſt not then our Æſculapius ſtay
To bring his ling’ring infant into day?20
The babe unborn in the dark womb is toſt,
And ſeems in anguiſh for its father loſt.
Gone is Apollo from his houſe of earth,
But leaves the ſweet memorials of his worth:
The common parent, whom we all deplore,25
From yonder world unſeen muſt come no more,
Yet ’midſt our woes immortal hopes attend
The ſpouſe, the ſire, the univerſal friend.
To a Gentleman on his Voyage to Great-Britain for the Recovery of his Health.
While others chant of gay Elyſian ſcenes,
Of balmy zephyrs, and of flow’ry plains,
My ſong more happy ſpeaks a greater name,
Feels higher motives and a nobler flame.
For thee, O R—, the muſe attunes her ſtrings,5
And mounts ſublime above the inferior things.
I ſing not now of green embow’ring woods,
I ſing not now the daughters of the floods,
I ſing not of the ſtorms o’er ocean driv’n,
And how they howl’d along the waſte of heav’n,10
But I to R— would paint the British ſhore,
And vast Atlantic, not untry’d before:
Thy life impair’d commands thee to ariſe,
Leave theſe bleak regions, and inclement ſkies,
Where chilling winds return the winter paſt,15
And nature ſhudders at the furious blaſt.
O thou ſtupendous, earth-encloſing main
Exert thy wonders to the world again!
If ere thy pow’r prolong’d the fleeting breath,
Turn’d back the ſhafts, and mock’d the gates of death,20
If ere thine air diſpens’d an healing pow’r,
Or ſnatch’d the victim from the fatal hour,
This equal caſe demands thine equal care,
And equal wonders may this patient ſhare.
But unavailing, frantic is the dream25
To hope thine aid without the aid of him
Who gave thee birth, and taught thee where to flow,
And in thy waves his various bleſſings ſhow.
May R— return to view his native ſhore
Replete with vigour not his own before,30
Then ſhall we ſee with pleaſure and ſurprize,
And own thy work, great Ruler of the ſkies!
To the Rev. Dr. Thomas Amory on reading his Sermons on Daily Devotion, in which that Duty is recommended and aſſiſted.
To cultivate in ev’ry noble mind
Habitual grace, and ſentiments refin’d,
Thus while you ſtrive to mend the human heart,
Thus while the heav’nly precepts you impart,
O may each boſom catch the ſacred fire,5
And youthful minds to Virtue’s throne aſpire!
When God’s eternal ways you ſet in ſight,
And Virtue ſhines in all her native light,
In vain would Vice her works in night conceal,
For Wiſdom’s eye pervades the ſable veil.10
Artiſts may paint the ſun’s effulgent rays,
But Amory’s pen the brighter God diſplays:
While his great works in Amory’s pages ſhine,
And while he proves his eſſence all divine,The 91 M2r 91
The Atheiſt ſure no more can boaſt aloud15
Of chance, or nature, and exclude the God;
As if the clay without the potter’s aid
Should riſe in various forms, and ſhapes ſelf-made,
Or worlds above with orb o’er orb profound
Self-mov’d could run the everlaſting round.20
It cannot be — unerring Wiſdom guides
With eye propitious, and o’er all preſides.
Still proſper, Amory! ſtill may’ſt thou receive
The warmest bleſſings which a muse can give,
And when this tranſitory ſtate is o’er,25
When kingdoms fall, and fleeting Fame’s no more,
May Amory triumph in immortal fame,
A nobler title, and ſuperior name!
On the Death of J.C. an Infant.
No more the flow’ry ſcenes of pleaſure riſe,
Nor charming proſpects greet the mental eyes,
No more with joy we view that lovely face
Smiling, diſportive, fluſh’d with ev’ry grace.
The tear of ſorrow flows from ev’ry eye,5
Groans anſwer groans, and ſighs to ſighs reply;
What ſudden pangs ſhot thro’ each aching heart,
When, Death, thy meſſenger diſpatch’d his dart?
Thy dread attendants, all-deſtroying Pow’r,
Hurried the infant to his mortal hour.10
Could’ſt thou unpitying cloſe thoſe radiant eyes?
Or fail’d his artleſs beauties to ſurprize?
Could not his innocence thy ſtroke controul,
Thy purpoſe ſhake, and ſoften all thy ſoul?
The blooming babe, with ſhades of Death o’ erſpread,15
No more ſhall ſmile, no more ſhall raiſe its head,
But, like a branch that from the tree is torn,
Falls proſtrate, wither’d, languid, and forlorn.
Where flies my James? ’tis thus I ſeem to hear
The parent aſk, Some angel tell me where,20
He wings his paſſage thro’ the yielding air?
Methinks a cherub bending from the ſkies
Obſerves the queſtion, and ſerene replies,
In heav’ns high palaces your babe appears:
Prepare to meet him, and diſmiſs your tears.25
Shall not th’ intelligence your grief reſtrain,
And turn the mournful to the chearful ſtrain?
Ceaſe your complaints, ſuſpend each riſing ſigh,
Ceaſe to accuſe the Ruler of the ſky.
Parents, no more indulge the falling tear:30
Let Faith to heav’ns refulgent domes repair,
There ſee your infant, like a ſeraph glow:
What charms celeſtial in his numbers flowMelodious, 94 M3v 94
Melodious, while the ſoul-enchanting ſtrain
Dwells on his tongue, and fills th’ ethereal plain?35
Enough— for ever ceaſe your murm’ring breath;
Not as a foe, but friend converſe with Death,
Since to the port of happineſs unknown
He brought that treaſure which you call your own.
The gift of heav’n intruſted to your hand40
Chearful reſign at the divine command:
Not at your bar muſt ſov’reign Wiſdom ſtand.
An Hymn to Humanity. To S. P. G. Eſq;
Lo! for this dark terreſtrial ball
Forſakes his azure-paved hall
A prince of heav’nly birth!
Diving Humanity behold.
What wonders riſe, what charms unfold5
At his deſcent to earth!
The boſoms of the great and good
With wonders and delight he view’d,
And fix’d his empire there:
Him, cloſe compreſſing to his breaſt,10
The fire of gods and men addreſs’d,
My ſon, my heav’nly fair!
Deſcend to earth, there place thy throne;
To ſuccour man’s afflicted ſon
Each human heart inſpire:15
To act in bounties unconfin’d
Enlarge the cloſe contracted mind,
And fill it with thy fire.
Quick as the word, with ſwift career
He wings his courſe from ſtar to ſtar,20
And leaves the bright abode.
The Virtue did his charms impart;
Their G――y! then thy raptur’d heart
Perceiv’d the ruſhing God:
For when thy pitying eye did ſee25
The languid muſe in low degree,
Then, then at thy deſire
Deſcended the celeſtial nine;
O’er me methought they deign’d to ſhine,
And deign’d to ſtring my lyre.30
Can Afric’s muſe forgetful prove?
Or can ſuch friendſhip fail to move
A tender human heart?
Immortal Friendſhip laurel-crown’d
The ſmiling Graces all ſurround35
With ev’ry heav’nly Art.
To the Honourable T. H. Eſq; on the Death of his Daughter.
While deep you mourn beneath the cypreſs-ſhade
The hand of Death, and your dear daughter laid
In duſt, whoſe abſence gives your tears to flow,
And racks your boſom with inceſſant woe,
Let Recollection take a tender part,5
Aſſuage the raging tortures of your heart,
Still the wild tempeſt of tumultuous grief,
And pour the heav’nly nectar of relief:
Suſpend the ſigh, dear Sir, and check the groan,
Divinely bright your daughter’s Virtues ſhone:10
How free from ſcornful pride her gentle mind,
Which ne’er its aid to indigence declin’d!
Expanding free, it ſought the means to prove
Unfailing charity, unbounded love!
She unreluctant flies to ſee no more15
Her dear lov’d parents on earth’s duſky ſhore:Impatient 099 N2r 99
Impatient heav’n’s reſplendent goal to gain,
She with ſwift progreſs cuts the azure plain,
Where grief ſubſides, where changes are no more,
And life’s tumultuous billows ceaſe to roar;20
She leaves her earthly manſion for the ſkies,
Where new creations feaſt her wond’ring eyes.
To heav’n’s high mandate chearfully reſign’d
She mounts, and leaves the rolling globe behind;
She, who late wiſh’d that Leonard might return,25
Has ceas’d to languiſh, and forgot to mourn;
To the ſame high empyreal manſions come,
She joins her ſpouſe, and ſmiles upon the tomb:
And thus I hear her from the realms above:
Lo! this the kingdom of celeſtial love!30
Could ye, fond parents, ſee our preſent bliſs,
How ſoon would you each ſigh, each fear diſmiſs?
Amidſt unutter’d pleaſures whilſt I play
In the fair ſunſhine of celeſtial day,
As far as grief affects an happy ſoul35
So far doth grief my better mind controul,N2 To 100 N2v 100
To ſee on earth my aged parents mourn,
And ſecret wiſh for T――l to return:
Let brighter ſcenes your ev’ning-hours employ:
Converſe with heav’n, and taſte the promis’d joy.40
Niobe in Diſtreſs for her Children ſlain by Apollo, from Ovid’s Metamorphoſes, Book VI. And from a view of the Painting of Mr. Richard Wilſon
Apollo’s wrath to man the dreadful ſpring
Of ills innum’rous, tuneful goddeſs, ſing!
Thou who did’ſt firſt th’ ideal pencil give,
And taught’ſt the painter in his works to live,
Inſpire with glowing energy of thought,5
What Wilſon painted, and what Ovid wrote.
Muſe! lend thy aid, nor let me ſue in vain,
Tho’ laſt and meaneſt of the rhyming train!
O guide my pen in lofty ſtrains to ſhow
The Phrygian queen, all beautiful in woe.10
’Twas where Mæonia ſpreads her wide domain
Niobe dwelt, and held her potent reign:
See in her hand the regal ſceptre ſhine,
The wealthy heir of Tantalus divine,He 102 N3v 102
He moſt diſtinguiſh’d by Dodonean Jove,15
To approach the tables of the gods above:
Her granomittedſire Atlas, who with mighty pains
Th’ ethereal axis on his neck ſuſtains:
Her other grand ſire on the throne on high
Rolls the loud pealing thunder thro’ the ſky.20
Her ſpouſe, Amphion, who from Jove too ſprings,
Divinely taught to ſweep the ſounding ſtrings.
Seven ſprightly ſons the royal bed adorn,
Seven daughters beauteous as the op’ning morn,
As when Aurora fills the raviſh’d ſight,25
And decks the orient realms with roſy light
From their bright eyes the living ſplendors play,
Nor can beholders bear the flaſhing ray.
Wherever, Niobe, thou turn’ſt thine eyes,
New beauties kindle, and new joys ariſe!30
But thou had’ſt far the happier mother prov’d,
If this fair offspring had been leſs belov’d:What 103 N4r 103
What if their charms exceed Aurora’s teint,
No words could tell them, and no pencil paint,
Thy love too vehement haſtens to deſtroy35
Each blooming maid, and each celeſtial boy.
Now Manto comes, endu’d with mighty ſkill,
The paſt to explore, the future to reveal.
Thro’ Thebes wide ſtreets Tireſias’s daughter came,
Divine Latona’s mandate to proclaim:40
The Theban maids to hear the orders ran,
When thus Mæonia’s propheteſs began:
Go, Thebans! great Latona’s will obey,
And pious tribute at her altars pay:
With rights divine, the goddeſs be implor’d,45
Nor be her ſacred offspring unador’d.
Thus Manto ſpoke. The Theban maids obey,
And pious tribute to the goddeſs pay.
The rich perfumes aſcend in waving ſpires,
And altars blaze with conſecrated fires;50
The fair aſſembly moves with graceful air,
And leaves of laurel bind the flowing hair.
Niobe comes with all her royal race,
With charms unnumber’d, and ſuperior grace:
Her Phrygian garments of delightful hue,55
Inwove with gold, refulgent to the view,
Beyond deſcription beautiful ſhe moves
Like heav’nly Venus, ’midſt her ſmiles and loves:
She views around the ſupplicating train,
And ſhakes her graceful head with ſtern diſdain,60
Proudly ſhe turns around her lofty eyes,
And thus reviles celeſtial deities:
What madneſs drives the Theban laides fair
To give their incenſe to ſurrounding air?
Say why this new ſprung deity preferr’d?65
Why vainly fancy your petitions heard?
Or ſay why Cæus’ offspring is obey’d,
While to my goddeſship no tribute’s paid?
For me no altars blaze with living fires,
No bullock bleeds, no frankincenſe transſpires,70
Tho’ Cadmus’ palace, not unknown to fame,
And Phrygian nations all revere my name.Where’er 105 O1r 105
Where’er I turn my eyes vaſt wealth I find.
Lo! here an empreſs with a goddeſs join’d.
What, ſhall a Titaneſs be deify’d,75
To whom the ſpacious earth a couch deny’d?
Nor heav’n, nor earth, nor ſea receiv’d your queen,
’Till pitying Delos took the wand’rer in.
Round me what a large progeny is ſpread!
No frowns of fortune has my ſoul to dread.80
What if indignant ſhe decreaſe my train
More than Latona’s number will remain?
Then hence, ye Theban dames, hence haſte away,
Nor longer off’rings to Latona pay?
Regard the orders of Amphion’s ſpouſe,85
And take the leaves of laurel from your brows.
Niobe ſpoke. The Theban maids obey’d,
Their brows unbound, and left the rights unpaid.
The angry goddeſs heard, then ſilence broke
On Cynthus’ ſummit, and indignant ſpoke;90 O Phœbus! 106 O1v 106
Phœbus! behold, thy mother in diſgrace,
Who to no goddeſs yields the prior place
Except to Juno’s ſelf, who reigns above,
The ſpouſe and ſiſter of the thund’ring Jove.
Niobe ſprung from Tantalus inſpires95
Each Theban boſom with rebellious fires;
No reaſon her imperious temper quells,
But all her father in her tongue rebels;
Wrap her own ſons for her blaſpheming breath,
Apollo! wrap them in the ſhades of death.100
Latona ceas’d, and ardent thus replies,
The God, whoſe glory decks th’ expanded ſkies.
Ceaſe thy complaints, mine be the taſk aſſign’d
To puniſh pride, and ſcourge the rebel mind.
This Phœbe join’d.—They wing their inſtant flight;105
Thebes trembled as th’ immortal pow’rs alight.
With clouds incompaſs’d glorious Phœbus ſtands;
The feather’d vengeance quiv’ring in his hands.Near 107 O2r 107
Near Cadmus’ walls a plain extended lay,
Where Thebes’ young princes paſs’d in ſport the day:110
There the bold courſers bounded o’er the plains,
While their great maſters held the golden reins.
Iſmenus firſt the racing paſtime led,
And rul’d the fury of his flying ſteed.
Ah me, he ſudden cries, with ſhrieking breath,115
While in his breaſt he feels the ſhaft of death;
He drops the bridle on his courſer’s mane,
Before his eyes in ſhadows ſwims the plain,
He, the firſt-born of great Amphion’s bed,
Was ſtruck the firſt, firſt mingled with the dead.120
Then didſt thou, Sipylus, the language hear
Of fate portentous whiſtling in the air:
As when th’ impending ſtorm the ſailor ſees
He ſpreads his canvas to the fav’ring breeze,O2 So 108 O2v 108
So to thine horſe thou gav’ſt the golden reins,125
Gav’ſt him to ruſh impetuous o’er the plains:
But ah! a fatal ſhaft from Phœbus’ hand
Smites through thy neck, and ſinks thee on the ſand.
Two other brothers were as wreſtling found,
And in their paſtime claſpt each other round:130
A ſhaft that inſtant from Apollo’s hand
Transfixt them both, and ſtretcht them on the ſand:
Together they their cruel fate bemoan’d,
Together languiſh’d, and together groan’d:
Together too th’ unbodied ſpirits fled,135
And ſought the gloomy manſions of the dead.
Alphenor ſaw, and trembling at the view,
Beat his torn breaſt, that chang’d its ſnowy hue.
He flies to raiſe them in a kind embrace;
A brother’s fondneſs triumphs in his face:140
Alphenor fails in this fraternal deed,
A dart diſpatch’d him (ſo the fates decreed:)Soon 109 O3r 109
Soon as the arrow left the deadly wound,
His iſſuing entrails ſmoak’d upon the ground.
What woes on blooming Damaſichon wait!145
His ſighs portend his near impending fate.
Juſt where the well-made leg begins to be,
And the ſoft ſinews form the ſupple knee,
The youth ſore wounded by the Delian god
Attempts t’ extract the crime-avenging rod,150
But, whilſt he ſtrives the will of fate t’ avert,
Divine Apollo ſends a ſecond dart;
Swift thro’ his throat the feather’d miſchief flies,
Bereft of ſenſe, he drops his head, and dies.
Young Ilioneus, the laſt, directs his pray’r,155
And cries, My life, ye gods celeſtial! ſpare.
Apollo heard, and pity touch’d his heart,
But ah! too late, for he had ſent the dart:
Thou too, O Ilioneus, are doom’d to fall,
The fates refuſe that arrow to recal.160
On the ſwift wings of ever-flying Fame
To Cadmus’ palace ſoon the tidings came:
Niobe heard, and with indignant eyes
She thus expreſs’d her anger and ſurprize:
Why is ſuch privilege to them allow’d?165
Why thus inſulted by the Delian god?
Dwells there ſuch miſchief in the pow’rs above?
Why ſleeps the vengeance of immortal Jove?
For now Amphion too, with grief oppreſs’d,
Had plung’d the deadly dagger in his breaſt.170
Niobe now, leſs haughty than before,
With lofty head directs her ſteps no more.
She, who late told her pedigree divine,
And drove the Thebans from Latona’s ſhrine,
How ſtrangely chang’d!――yet beautiful in woe,175
She weeps, nor weeps unpity’d by the foe.
On each pale corſe the wretched mother ſpread
Lay overwhelm’d with grief, and kiſs’d her dead,
Then rais’d her arms, and thus, in accents ſlow,
Be ſated cruel Goddeſs! with my woe;180 If 111 O4r 111
If I’ve offended, let theſe ſtreaming eyes,
And let this ſev’nfold funeral ſuffice:
Ah! take this wretched life you deign’d to ſave,
With them I too am carried to the grave.
Rejoice triumphant, my victorious foe,185
But ſhow the cauſe from whence your triumphs flow?
Tho’ I unhappy mourn theſe children ſlain,
Yet greater numbers to my lot remain.
She ceas’d, the bow ſtring twang’d with awful ſound,
Which ſtruck with terror all th’ aſſembly round,
Except the queen, who ſtood unmov’d alone,
By her diſtreſſes more preſumptuous grown.
Near the pale corſes ſtood their ſiſters fair
In ſable veſtures and diſhevell’d hair;
One, while ſhe draws the fatal ſhaft away,195
Faints, falls, and ſickens at the light of day.
To ſooth her mother, lo! another flies,
And blames the fury of inclement ſkies,
And, while her words a filial pity ſhow,
Struck dumb――indignant ſeeks the ſhades below.200 Now 112 O4v 112
Now from the fatal place another flies,
Falls in her flight, and languiſhes, and dies.
Another on her ſiſter drops in death;
A fifth in trembling terrors yields her breath;
While the ſixth ſeeks ſome gloomy cave in vain,205
Struck with the reſt, and mingl’d with the ſlain.
One only daughter lives, and ſhe the leaſt;
The queen cloſe claſp’d the daughter to her breaſt:
Ye heav’nly pow’rs, ah ſpare me one, ſhe cry’d,
Ah! ſpare me one, the vocal hills reply’d:210
In vain ſhe begs, the Fates her ſuit deny,
In her embrace ſhe ſees her daughter die.
The queen of all her family bereft,
Without or huſband, ſon, or daughter left,
Grew ſtupid at the ſhock. The paſſing air215
Made no impreſſion on her ſtiff’ning hair.The 113 P1r 113
The blood forſook her face: amidſt the flood
Pour’d from her cheeks, quite fix’d her eye-balls ſtood.
Her tongue, her palate both obdurate grew,
Her curdled veins no longer motion knew;220
The uſe of neck, and arms, and feet was gone,
And ev’n her bowels hard’ned into ſtone:
A marble ſtatue now the queen appears,
But from the marble ſteal the ſilent tears.This Verſe to the End is the Work of another Hand.
To S. M. a young African Painter, on ſeeing his Works.
To ſhow the lab’ring boſom’s deep intent,
And thought in living characters to paint,
When firſt thy pencil did thoſe beauties give,
And breathing figures learnt from thee to live,
How did thoſe proſpects give my ſoul delight,5
A new creation ruſhing on my ſight?
Still, wond’rous youth! each noble path purſue,
On deathleſs glories fix thine ardent view:
Still may the painter’s and the poet’s fire
To aid thy pencil, and thy verſe conſpire!10
And may the charms of each ſeraphic theme
Conduct thy footſteps to immortal fame!
High to the bliſful wonders of the ſkies
Elate thy ſoul, and raiſe thy wiſhful eyes.
Thrice happy, when exalted to ſurvey15
That ſplendid city, crown’d with endleſs day,
Whoſe twice ſix gates on radiant hinges ring:
Celeſtial Salem blooms in endless ſpring.
Calm and ſerene thy moments glide along,
And may the muſe inſpire each future ſong!20
Still, with the ſweets of contemplation bleſs’d,
May peace with balmy wings your ſoul inveſt!
But when theſe ſhades of time are chas’d away,
And darkneſs ends in everlaſting day,
On what ſeraphic pinions ſhall we move,25
And view the landſscapes in the realms above?
There ſhall thy tongue in heav’nly murmurs flow,
And there my muſe with heav’nly tranſport glow:
No more to tell of Damon’s tender ſighs,
Or riſing radiance of Aurora’s eyes,30
For nobler themes demand a nobler ſtrain,
And purer language on th’ ethereal plain.
Ceaſe, gentle muſe! the ſolemn gloom of night
Now ſeals the fair creation from my ſight.
To His Honour the Lieutenant-Governor, on the Death of his Lady. 1773-03-24March 24, 1773.
All-conquering Death! by thy reſiſtleſs pow’r,
Hope’s tow’ring plumage falls to riſe no more!
Of ſcenes terreſtrial how the glories fly,
Forget their ſplendors, and ſubmit to die!
Who ere eſcap’d thee, but the ſaint Enoch. of old5
Beyond the flood in ſacred annals told,
And the great ſage, Elijah. whom fiery courſes drew
To heav’n’s bright portal from Eliſha’s view;
Wond’ring he gaz’d at the refulgent car,
Then ſnatch’d the mantle floating on the air10
From Death theſe only could exemption boaſt,
And without dying gain’d th’ immortal coaſt.
Not falling millions ſate the tyrant’s mind,
Nor can the victor’s progreſs be confin’d.
But ceaſe thy ſtrife with Death, fond Nature, ceaſe:15
He leads the virtuous to the realms of peace;His 117 P3r 117
His to conduct to the immortal plains,
Where heav’n’s Supreme in bliſs and glory reigns.
There ſits, illuſtrious Sir, thy beauteous ſpouſe;
A gem-blaz’d circle beaming on her brows20
Hail’d with acclaim among the heav’nly choirs,
Her ſoul new-kindling with ſeraphic fires,
To notes divine ſhe tunes the vocal ſtrings,
While heav’n’s high concave with the muſic rings.
Virtue’s rewards can mortal pencil paint?25
No—all deſcriptive arts, and eloquence are faint;
Nor canſt thou, Oliver, aſſent refuſe
To heav’nly tidings from the Afric muſe.
As ſoon may change thy laws, eternal fate,
As the ſaint miſs the glories I relate;30
Or her Benevolence forgotten lie,
Which wip’d the trick’ling tear from Mis’ry’s eye.
Whene’er the adverſe winds were known to blow,
When loſs to loſs Three amiable Daughters who died when juſt arrived to Womens Eſtate. enſu’d, and woe to woe,Calm 118 P3v 118
Calm and ſerene beneath her father’s hand35
She ſat reſign’d to the divine command.
No longer then, great Sir, her death deplore,
And let us hear the mournful ſigh no more,
Reſtrain the ſorrow ſtreaming from thine eye,
Be all thy future moments crown’d with joy!40
Nor let thy wiſhes be to earth confin’d,
But ſoaring high purſue th’ unbodied mind.
Forgive the muſe, forgive th’ advent’rous lays,
That fain thy ſoul to heav’nly ſcenes would raiſe.
A Farewel to America. To Mrs. S. W.
Adieu, New-England’s ſmiling meads,
Adieu, the flow’ry plain:
I leave thine op’ning charms, O ſpring,
And tempt the roaring main.
In vain for me the flow’rets riſe,5
And boaſt their gaudy pride,
While here beneath the northern ſkies
I mourn for health deny’d.
Celeſtial maid of roſy hue,
O let me feel thy reign!10
I languiſh till thy face I view,
Thy vaniſh’d joys regain.
Suſannah mourns, nor can I bear
To ſee the cryſtal ſhow’r,
Or mark the tender falling tear15
At ſad departure’s hour;
Not unregarding can I ſee
Her ſoul with grief oppreſt:
But let no ſighs, no groans from me,
Steal from her penſive breaſt.20
In vain the feather’d warblers ſing,
In vain the garden blooms,
And on the boſom of the ſpring
Breathes out her ſweet perfumes,
While for Britannia’s diſtant ſhore25
We ſweep the liquid plain,
And with aſtoniſh’d eyes explore
The wide-extended main.
Lo! Health appears! celeſtial dame!
Complacent and ſerene,
With Hebe’s mantle o’er her Frame,30
With ſoul-delighting mein.
To mark the vale where London lies
With miſty vapours crown’d,
Which cloud Aurora’s thouſand dyes,35
And veil her charms around,
Why, Phœbus, moves thy car ſo ſlow?
So ſlow thy riſing ray?
Give us the famous town to view,
Thou glorious king of day!40
For thee, Britannia, I reſign
New-England’s ſmiling fields;
To view again her charms divine,
What joy the proſpect yields!
But thou! Temptation hence away,45
With all thy fatal train
Nor once ſeduce my ſoul away,
By thine enchanting ſtrain.
Thrice happy they, whoſe heav’nly ſhield
Secures their ſouls from harms,50
And fell Temptation on the field
Of all its pow’r diſarms!
Boston, 1773-05-07May 7, 1773.
by I. B.
Abird delicious to the taſte,
On which an army once did feaſt,
Sent by an hand unſeen;
A creature of the horned race,
Which Britain’s royal ſtandards grace;5
A gem of vivid green;
A town of gaiety and ſport,
Where beaux and beauteous nymphs reſort,
And gallantry doth reign;
A Dardan hero fam’d of old10
For youth and beauty, as we’re told,
And by a monarch ſlain;
A peer of popular applauſe,
Who doth our violated laws,
And grievances proclaim.15
Th’ initials ſhow a vanquiſh’d town,
That adds freſh glory and renown
To old Britannia’s fame.
An Answer to the Rebus, by the Author of theſe Poems.
The poet aſks, and Phillis can’t refuſe
To ſhew th’ obedience of the Infant muſe.
She knows the Quail of moſt inviting taſte
Fed Iſrael’s army in the dreary waſte;
And what’s on Britain’s royal ſtandard borne,5
But the tall, graceful, rampant Unicorn?
The Emerald with a vivid verdure glows
Among the gems which regal crowns compoſe;
Boſton’s a town, polite and debonair,
To which the beaux and beauteous nymphs repair,
Each Helen ſtrikes the mind with ſweet ſurpriſe,
While living lightning flaſhes from her eyes.
See young Euphorbus of the Dardan line
By Menelaus’ hand to death reſign:
The well known peer of popular applauſe
Is C――m zealous to ſupport our laws.
Quebec now vanquiſh’d muſt obey,
She too muſt annual tribute pay
To Britain of immortal fame,
And add new glory to her name.20
Lately Publiſhed in 2 vols. Twelves, (Price 5th ſewed,)The Memoirs of Miss Williams. A History founded on Facts. By , London: Printed for E. Johnson, in Ave Mary Lane; and A. Bell, near the Saracen’s Head, Aldgate.
Written by the ſame Author, Shortly will be publiſhed, (in a neat Pocket Volume.)The Church-Member’s Directory, or, Every Christian’s Companion.
Deſigned for the Uſe of ſuch as have engaged in a ſolemn Connection with Christ’s Viſible Church. wherein The Duties of that high Relation are conſidered, both in a religious and moral Point of View.Let every one that nameth the name of Chriſt depart from iniquity. 2 Tim. Chap. ii. v. 19.
together with An address to thoſe who have an Intention of entering upon that important Character.For which of you intending to build a tower, ſitteth not down firſt and counteth the coſt, whether he have ſufficient to finish it? Leſt haply after he hath laid the foundation, and is not able to finiſh it, all that behold it, begin to mock him. Saying, This man began to build, and was not able to finiſh. Luke Chap. xiv. Ver. 28, 29, 30.