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See yonder poor, o'erlabour'd wight,
and vile, Who begs a brother of the earth
To give him leave to toil; And see his lordly fellow-worm
The poor petition spurn, Unmindful, tho' a weeping wife
And helpless offspring mourn.
If I'm design'd yon lordling's slave
By nature's law design’d, Why was an independent wish
E’er planted in my mind ?
His cruelty or scorn?
To make his fellow mourn?
Yet, let not this too much, my son,
Disturb thy youthful breast:
Is surely not the last !
Had never, sure, been born,
To comfort those that mourn!
O death! the poor man's dearest friend,
The kindest and the best! Welcome the hour my aged limbs
Are laid with thee at rest! The great, the wealthy, fear thy blow,
From pomp and pleasure torn; But, Oh! a blest relief to those
That weary-laden mourn!
IN THE PROSPECT OF DEATH.
O Thou unknown, Almighty Cause
Of all my hope and fear! In whose dread presence, ere an hour,
Perhaps I must appear!
If I have wander'd in those paths
Of life I ought to shun;
Remonstrates I have done;
Thou know'st that thou hast formed me
With passions wild and strong; And listning to their witching voice
Has often led me wrong.
Where human weakness has come short,
Or frailty stept aside, Do thou, All-Good! for such thou art,
In shades of darkness hide.
Where with intention I have err’d,
No other plea I have, But, Thou art good; and goodness still
Delighteth to forgive.
STANZAS ON THE SAME OCCASION.
Why am I loath to leave this earthly scene?
Have I so found it full of pleasing charms? Some drops of joy with draughts of ill between:
Some gleams of sunshine ʼmid renewing storms: Is it departing pangs my soul alarms?
Or death's unlovely, dreary, dark abode?
I tremble to approach an angry God,
Fa would I say, 'Forgive my foul offence!'
Fain promise never more to disobey;
Again I might desert fair virtue's way;
Again exalt the brute and sink the man; Then how should I for heavenly mercy pray,
Who act so counter heavenly mercy's plan? Who sin so oft have mourn’d, yet to temptation ran?
0 Thou, great Governor of all below!
If I may dare a lifted eye to Thee,
Or still the tumult of the raging sea:
Those headlong furious passions to confine; For all unfit I feel my powers to be,
To rule their torrent in th' allowed line; 0, aid me with thy help, Omnipotence divine!
LYING AT A REVEREND FRIEND'S HOUSE ONE NIGHT, THE
AUTHOR LEFT THE FOLLOWING
IN THE ROOM WHERE HE SLEPT.
O Thou dread Power who reign'st above,
I know thou wilt me hear;
I make my prayer sincere.
Long, long, be pleas’d to spare!
And show what good men are.
With tender hopes and fears,
But spare a mother's tears!
In manhood's dawning blush;
Up to a parent's wish!
With earnest tears I pray,
Guide thou their steps alway!
O’er life's rough ocean driv'n,
A family in Heav'n!
THE FIRST PSALM.
The man, in life wherever plac'd,
Hath happiness in store, Who walks not in the wicked's way,
Nor learns their guilty lore!
Nor from the seat of scornful pride
Casts forth his eyes abroad, But with humility and awe
Still walks before his God.
That man shall flourish like the trees
Which by the streamlets grow; The fruitful top is spread on high,
And firm the root below.
But he whose blossom buds in guilt
Shall to the ground be cast,
Before the sweeping blast.
For why? that God the good adore
Hath giv’n them peace and rest, But hath decreed that wicked men
Shall ne'er be truly blest.