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OR who would ever care to do brave deed,
Or strive in virtue others to excel,
If none would yield him his deserved meed,
Due praise, that is the spur of doing well? For if good were not praised more than ill, None would choose goodness of his own free will.
They praise and they admire they know not what,
And know not whom, but as one leads the other:
And what delight to be by such extoll'd,
To live upon their tongues, and be their talk,
Of whom to be dispraised were no small praise?
The noisy praise
Of giddy crowds is changeable as winds;
Still vehement, and still without a cause;
Servant to change, and blowing in the tide
Of swoln success; but veering with the ebb,
It leaves the channel dry.
The love of praise, howe'er conceal'd by art,
Reigns, more or less, and glows in every heart;
The proud, to gain it, toils on toils endure,
The modest shun it, but to make it sure.
For praise that's due, does give no more
To worth than what it had before;
But, to commend without desert,
Requires a mastery of art,
That sets a glass on what's amiss,
And says what should be, not what is.
My soul is open to the charms of praise:
There is no joy beyond it, when the mind
Of him who hears it can, with honest pride,
Confess it just, and listen to its music.
Long, open panegyric drags at best,
And praise is only praise when well addrest.-Gay.
WE, ignorant of ourselves,
Beg often our own harms, which the wise powers
Deny us for our good; so we find profit
By losing of our prayers.
Heaven is the magazine wherein God puts
Both good and evil; prayer's the key that shuts
And opens this great treasure; 't is a key
Whose words are Faith, and Hope, and Charity.
Would'st thou prevent a judgment due to sin?
Turn but the key, and thou may'st lock it in.
Or would'st thou have a blessing fall upon thee?
Open the door and it will shower on thee.
And if by prayer
Incessant, I could hope to change the will
Of Him who all things can, I would not cease
To weary him with my assiduous cries.
I was not born for courts or state affairs;
I pay my debts, believe, and say my prayers.
That work which is begun well, is half done,
And without_prayer no work is well begun.
Fawnshaw, from the Italian of Guarini.
True adoration, what a voice is thine!
For prayer is man's omnipotence below,
A soul's companionship with Christ and God,
Communion with Eternity begun!
Oh! when the heart is full-when bitter thoughts
Come crowding up for utterance,
And the poor common words of courtesy
Are such a very mockery, how much
The bursting heart may pour itself in prayer.
From every place below the skies,
The grateful song, the fervent prayer,
The incense of the heart may rise
To heaven, and find acceptance there.
JUDGE not the preacher, for he is thy judge,
If thou mistake him thou conceiv'st him not:
God calleth preaching folly. Do not grudge
To pick out treasures from an earthen pot;
The worst speak something good. If all want sense
God takes a text and preacheth patience.
He that gets patience and the blessing which
Preachers conclude with, hath not lost his pains.
The proud he tam'd, the penitent he cheer'd,
Nor to rebuke the rich offender fear'd;
His preaching much, but more his practice wrought A living sermon of the truths he taught.
At church with meek and unaffected grace,
His looks adorn'd the venerable place;
Truth from his lips prevail'd with double sway,
And fools, who came to scoff, remain'd to pray.
YE tradeful merchants, that with weary toil,
Do seek most precious things to make your gain,
And both the Indies of their treasures spoil,
What needeth you to seek so far in vain?
For lo! my love doth in herself contain
All this world's riches, that may far be found. If sapphires, lo! her eyes be sapphires plain;
If rubies, lo! her lips be rubies round;
If pearls, her teeth be pearls both pure and sound;
If ivory, her forehead ivory ween;
If gold, her locks are finest gold on ground;
If silver, her fair hands are silver sheen;
But that which fairest is but few behold,
Her mind adorn'd with virtues manifold.
I never saw
Such precious deeds in one that promised nought But beggary and poor luck.
PREFERMENT. PRELUDE. PREROGATIVE. 505
'Tis the curse of service,
Preferment goes by letter and affection,
Not by the old gradations, when each second
Stood heir to the first.
That springs from sin and lust, shoots quickly up, As gardeners' crops do in the rottenest ground.
When knaves come to preferment, they rise as
Gallows are raised in the low countries, one
Upon another's shoulders.
A lively prelude fashioning the way
In which the voice shall wander.
EITHER Songster, holding out their throats,
And folding up their wings, renewed their notes,
As if all day, preluding to the fight,
They only had rehearsed, to sing by night.
How could communities,
The primogeniture and due of birth,
Prerogative of age, sceptres, and crowns,
But by degree stand in authentic place.-Shakspere.
For freedom still maintained alone, Freedom, an English subject's sole prerogative, Accept our pious praise.
Let him maintain his power, but not increase it;
The strong prerogative when strained too high,
Cracks like the tortured chord of harmony,
And spoils the concert between king and subject.
FREEDOM was first bestowed on human race,
And prescience only held the second place.-Dryden.
Before Thy prescience, Power Divine!
What is this idle sense of mine?
What all the learning of the schools?
What sages, priests, and pedants? fools!
The world is Thine, from Thee it rose,
By Thee it ebbs, by Thee it flows.
Hence, worldly lore! By whom is wisdom shown?
The Eternal knows, knows all, and he alone.
From the Persian of Omar Khiam.
THE presence of a King engenders love
Amongst his subjects and his loyal friends,
As it disanimates his enemies.
Thou with eternal wisdom didst converse,
Wisdom, thy sister, and with her didst play
In presence of the Almighty Father, pleased
With thy celestial song.
I do not doubt his love, but I could wish
His presence might confirm it: when I see
A fire well fed, shoot up its wanton flame,
And dart itself into the face of heaven,
I grant that fire, without a fresh supply,
May for a while be still a fire; but yet
How doth its lustre languish, and itself
Grow dark, if it too long want the embrace
Of its loved pyle! how straight it buried lies
In its own ruins!
Yes, Thou art ever present, Power Divine!
Not circumscrib'd by time, nor fix'd to space,
Confin'd to altars, nor to temples bound.
In wealth, in want, in freedom, or in chains,
In dungeons, or on thrones, the faithful find Thee.