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Pluck'd from the wing of human vanity,
Which makes us stoop from our aërial heights,
And, damp'd with omen of our own decease,
On drooping pinions of ambition lower'd,
Just skim earth's surface, ere we break it up,
O’er putrid earth to scratch a little dust,
And save the world a nuisance. Smitten friends
Are angels sent on errands full of love;
For us they languish, and for us they die:
And shall they languish, shall they die, in vain ?
Ungrateful, shall we grieve their hovering shades,
Which wait the revolution in our hearts?
Shall we disdain their silent, soft address;
Their posthumous advice, and pious prayer?
Senseless, as herds that graze their hallow'd graves,
Tread under foot their agonies and groans ;
Frustrate their anguish, and destroy their deaths ?
The bell strikes one. We take no note of time
But from its loss. To give it then a tongue
Is wise in man. As if an angel spoke,
I feel the solemn sound. If heard aright,
It is the knell of my departed hours :
Where are they? With the years beyond the flood.
It is the signal that demands despatch ;
How much is to be done! My hopes and fears
Start up alarm’d, and o'er life's narrow verge
Look down-On what ? a fathomless abyss !
A dread eternity! how surely mine!
And can eternity belong to me,
Poor pensioner on the bounties of an hour ?
On Piety humanity is built ;
And on humanity, much happiness ;
And yet still more on piety itself.
A soul in commerce with her God, is heav
Feels not the tumults and the shocks of life ;
The whirls of passions, and the strokes of heart.
A Deity believed, is joy begun;
A Deity adored, is joy advanced ;
A Deity beloved, is joy matured.
Each branch of piety delight inspires ;
Faith builds a bridge from this world to the next,
O'er death's dark gulf, and all its horror hides ;
Praise, the sweet exhalation of our joy,
That joy exalts, and makes it sweeter still;
Prayer ardent opens heaven, lets down a stream
Of glory on the consecrated hour
Of man, in audience with the Deity.
Who worships the Great God, that instant joins
The first in heaven, and sets his foot on hell.
Some angel guide my pencil, while I draw,
What nothing less than angel can exceed!
A man on earth devoted to the skies;
Like ships on seas, while in, above the world.
With aspect mild, and elevated eye,
Behold him seated on a mount serene,
Above the fogs of sense, and passion's storm;
All the black cares and tumults of this life,
Like harmless thunders, breaking at his feet,
Excite his pity, not impair his peace.
Earth's genuine sons, the sceptred and the slave,
A mingled mob! a wandering herd! he sees,
Bewilder'd in the vale: or all unlike!
His full reverse in all! What higher praise?
Wbat stronger demonstration of the right?
The present all their care; the future his.
When public welfare calls, or private want,
They give to fame; his bounty he conceals;
Their virtues varnish nature, his exalt;
Mankind's esteem they court, and he his own;
Theirs the wild chase of false felicities,
His the composed possession of the true.
Alike throughout is his consistent peace,
All of one colour, and an even thread;
While party-colourd shreds of happiness,
With hideous gaps between, patch up for them
A madman's robe; each puff of fortune blows
The tatters by, and shews their nakedness.
He sees with other eyes than theirs: where they
Behold a sun, he spies a Deity;
What makes them only smile, makes him adore;
Where they see mountains, he but atoms sees;
An empire, in his balance, weighs a grain.
They things terrestrial worship, as divine;
His hopes immortal blow them by, as dust
That dims his sight, and shortens his survey,
Which longs in infinite to lose all bound.
Titles and honours (if they prove his fate)
He lays aside to find his dignity;
No dignity they find in aught besides.
They triumph in externals (which conceal
Man's real glory), proud of an eclipsc.
Himself too much he prizes to be proud,
And nothing thinks so great in man as man.
Too dear he holds his interest to neglect
Another's welfare, or his right invade;
Their interest, like a lion, lives on prey.
They kindle at the shadow of a wrong:
Wrong he sustains with temper, looks on heaven,
Nor stoops to think his injurer his foe;
Nought but what wounds his virtue wounds his peace.
A cover'd heart their character defends;
A cover'd heart denies him half his praise.
With nakedness his innocence agrees ;
While their broad foliage testifies their fall.
Their no-joys end, where his full feast begins:
His joys create, theirs murder, future bliss.
To triumph in existence, his alone;
And his alone triumphantly to think
His true existence is not yet begun.
His glorious course was, yesterday, complete;
Death, then, was welcome; yet life still is sweet.
Born near Haverfordwest in South Wales, April 10, 1711, after passing through Christ Church, Oxford, John GAMBOLD became vicar of Stanton Harcourt, Oxfordshire, where he remained till 1748, when he joined the United Brethren. Thereafter he officiated as minister of the Moravian Chapel, Fetter Lane, London, and eventually as a bishop of the United Brethren, until the close of his pious and useful life, which ended where it began, at Haverfordwest, September 13, 1771.
The Mystery of Eife.
So many years I've seen the sun,
And call’d these eyes and hands my own,
A thousand little acts I've done,
And childhood have, and manhood known:
O what is life! and this dull round
To tread, why was a spirit bound?
So many airy draughts and lines,
And warm excursions of the mind,
Have fill'd my soul with great designs,
While practice grovell’d far behind :
O what is thought! and where withdraw
The glories which my fancy saw ?
So many tender joys and woes
Have on my quivering soul had power ;
Plain life with heightening passions rose,
The boast or burden of their hour :
O what is all we feel! why fled
Those pains and pleasures o'er my bead ?
So many human souls divine,
So at one interview display'd,
Some oft and freely mix'd with mine,
In lasting bonds my heart have laid :
O what is friendship! why impress’d
On my weak, wretched, dying breast ?
So many wondrous gleams of light,
And gentle ardours from above,
Have made me sit, like seraph bright,
Some moments on a throne of love:
O what is virtue! why bad I,
Who am so low, a taste so high?
Ere long, when Sovereign Wisdom wills,
My soul an unknown path shall tread,
And strangely leave, who strangely fills
This frame, and wast me to the dead :
O what is death! 'tis life's last shore,
Where vanities are vain no more;
Where all pursuits their goal obtain,
And life is all retouch'd again;
Where in their bright results shall rise
Thoughts, virtues, friendships, griefs, and joys.
Of this most Christian of our poets—in his theology the most evangelical, in his standard of right and wrong the most scriptural, and in his tone and spirit, constitutional melancholy notwithstanding, the most benevolent and cheerfulthere is no need that we should say anything. No literary career has so often tenipted the biographical pen, and, selfportrayed in his charming lays and no less charming letters, no figure is more familiar to the English mind than the bard of Olney. Evenings too dull for a severer task, or too exhausted for a brisker excitement, have often been beguiled by his inimitable epistles. Our classical exercitations are associated with his effort, so hard but so hearty, to transfer into curt but sturdy English the thoughts which wander at their will along the sunny tide of Homer's song; and our knowledge of human nature has been enlarged by his clear intuitions, and his clever but not ill-natured descriptions. Many a merry schoolboy has been made still merrier by “ The