THE Author of the following Poems was born in the city of Philadelphia, Iune 8th, 1742; and was sent to the Academy there, soon after it was first opened, and before the Collegiate part of the Institu­tion was begun. Having spent about six years in Grammar Learning, his parents, who were reputable citizens, designing him for merchandize, put him Ap­prentice; but not finding either his genius or inclination leading him much to that profession, he devoted more of his time to the service of the Muses, than to the business of the Counting-House. Soon after the ex­piration of his apprenticeship, he accordingly returned to the College, and applied himself, with great dili­gence, to the study of Philosophy and the Sciences, till the Commencement, May 30th, 1765; when, on ac­count of his great merit and promising genius, he was, by special Mandate of the Trustees, upon the recom­mendation of the Provost and Faculty of Professors, complimented with a DIPLOMA for the degree of Master of Arts; although he had not taken the pre­vious degree of Bachelor of Arts, on account, of the interruption in his course of studies, during the term of his apprenticeship.

[Page iv]IMMEDIATELY after the Commencement he em­barked for England, carrying with him recommenda­tions to the Society for propagating the Gospel in foreign parts, as a fit person to supply the new Mission, then pro­posed to be opened for Gloucester county, in New-Iersey. Upon the Society's nomination, he was admitted into holy orders by the present Lord Bishop of London, Dr. TERRICK, who expressed great satisfaction in his examination, and particularly in the perusal of an elegant English piece which he composed in a few minutes, upon a Theological question, which he was desired to give his sentiments upon.

HE returned from England, and landed at Phila­delphia, December 26th, 1765; having had for his fellow-passenger (among others) the worthy and in­genious Lady, to whom many of his pieces are addres­sed. Upon his arrival, he entered immediately upon the business of his Mission; and alas! but just lived long enough to shew, by the goodness of his temper, the purity of his morals, the cheerfulness and affability of his conversation, the sublimity and soundness of his doctrines, and the warmth of his Pulpit Composi­tions, how well he was qualified for the sacred office, to which he had now wholly devoted himself. He died October 29th, 1767, lamented by all that knew him; and by none more earnestly and affectionately, [Page v] than by his own Congregations, whom he had not yet served two years!

SOON after his death, the papers which compose the following Volume were committed to the care of myself, and the Lady already mentioned, agreeable to some of his own last directions; and so sacred is the trust configned by deceased friend, that I scarce know how to excuse my long delay in offering them to the world; especially after the great encouragement given to the publication, by the numerous and respectable list of Subscribers, prefixed to the work. The true ex­cuse will be the best, and I am persuaded, the most acceptable; namely, my want of leisure to select and review the different papers, and the interruption which the work met with, by my being obliged to take a voyage to South-Carolina, during the last winter.

WHAT high and rapturous Ideas our Author had formed of true POETIC GENIUS, may be in some measure conceived from the following Preface, which seems to have been intended for his Pieces, and was undoubted­ly written by him, in the short interval between his last dangerous illness, and that fatal relapse, which put an end to his life—This Preface I shall give literally as he left it; for here the least variation would be criminal.

[Page vi]


‘POETRY, says he, has been accounted the most peculiar of all the liberal arts; and it is the only One, in the circle of literature, which a man of common capacity cannot, by meer dint of constant ap­plication, become master of. The most exalted prose writers that ever graced the learned world, have ren­dered themselves liable to ridicule in their addresses to the MUSES.

‘THE great Cicero, not less famous for the ele­gance of his style, than for his universal knowledge, was a remarkable instance of the truth of this obser­vation. And the wonder ceases, if what a celebrated Critic* says, be true, to wit— That to constitute a POET, is required ‘an elevation of soul, that de­pends not only on art and study, but must also BE THE GIFT OF HEAVEN.’ I say, if this be the case, the riddle is immediately expounded, and we are at no loss to assign a reason, why some, (comparatively speak­ing) illiterate men, have been the sublimest poets of the age they lived in.’

[Page vii]"IT is not strange, therefore, that those whom na­ture has thus distinguished, should be looked on as a kind of prodigies in the world. For, according to Horace, it is not a trifling power the man is en­dued with—

—meum qui pectus inaniter angit,
Irritat, mulcet, falsis terroribus implet,

"THERE is a pleasing Je ne scay quoi in the pro­ductions of poetic genius, which is easier felt than de­scribed. It is the voice of nature in the POET, operat­ing like a charm on the soul of the reader. It is the marvellous conception, the noble wildness, the lof­ty sentiment, the fire and enthusiasm of spirit, the living imagery, the exquisite choice of words, the variety, the sweetness, the majesty of numbers, and the irresistable magic of expression .

THE prose writer, may indeed warm his Reader with a serene and steady fire; he may keep up his attention with the energetic, the flowing period. But the POET'S it is, to wrap him in a flame— to [Page viii] dissolve him, as it were, in his own rapturous blaze! The POET'S it is, to hurry him out of himself, with the same velocity, as though he w [...]re really mounted on a winged Pegasus—It is his to lift him up to Heaven, or plunge him into the gloom of Tartarus— It is his, to unveil to him the secrets of the deep, or to exhibit to his mind, all the novelty of this varied world—to carry him back into the darkness of anti­quity, or waft him forwards into the vast sea of fu­turity—and finally, to inspire him with the patriot glow, or fire his soul with the heavenly ideas of MORAL BEAUTY, and all the varied passions of Love, Fear, Terror, Compassion, &c. &c."

‘SUCH is the genuine Poet, when improved by the precepts of Art; and the works of such have been the continual delight of mankind, as they afford the su­blimest intellectual enjoyment. With such, to tread the flowery fields of imagination, and gather the rich fruits of knowledge, is HAPPINESS indeed!’

‘BUT it is rare, that such Natural Geniuses are seen to arrive at this envied height. Some black ob­stacle still clogs their wings, and retards their pro­gress—Frequently those to whom Nature has been thus bountiful, have not leisure to attend to the cultiva­tion [Page ix] of their talents—frequently, like the rose in the wilderness, they just bloom, and wither away in ob­scurity; and sometimes, alas! the iron-hand of DEATH cuts them SUDDENLY off, as their beauties are just budding forth into existence, and leaves but the FAIR PROMISES of FUTURE EXCELLENCIES****’

FURTHER his pen went not—What a dreadful blank closes the foregoing sentence, and how truly prophetic of his own fate? HE DIED in his TWENTY-SIXTH Year—He was my PUPIL, and truly dear and affec­tionate to me in his whole demeanor—If I had not the original, in his own hand to produce, I should have been afraid to publish this Preface, as his, lest it should be suspected to have been written after his death, and accommodated to that event.

HOW far his Poems will answer the idea he had formed of poetic eminence, must be left for his readers to judge. Many of them are fragments, and un­finished; and but few of them were revised by him­self, with a view of being published. Some cor­rections have, therefore, been made, where there ap­peared any thing materially faulty in respect to Gram­mar, the exactness of the rhymes, &c. But in these the Publisher has been sparing, and has taken care that the Author's sense should in no case be deviated from— [Page x] The task he left to be performed was a mournful one; but it has been executed with that fidelity, which the writer of this would wish might be extended to any perfor­mance of his own, that may be thought worthy of the public eye, by that true friend into whose hands it may fall, when he himself shall be no more!



SHALL fam'd Arcadia own the tuneful choir,
And fair Sicilia boast the matchless lyre?
Shall Gallia's groves resound with heav'nly lays,
And Albion's poets claim immortal bays?
And this new world ne'er feel the muse's fire;
No beauties charm us, or no deeds inspire?
O Pennsylvania! shall no son of thine
Glow with the raptures of the sacred nine?
[Page 2]Ne'er rouze the soul, by strokes of magic kind,
Just war to wage, or humanize mankind;
With sweetest sounds the virgin's soul control,
Or in Elysium wrap the lover's soul?
Fir'd with the thought, I court the Sylvan muse,
Her magic influence o'er me to diffuse;
Whilst I aspire to wake the rural reed,
And sing of swains, whose snowy lambkins feed
On SCHUYLKILL'S banks, with shady walnuts crown'd,
And bid the vales with music melt around.
Soon as the rays that gild the orient dawn,
Ting'd the blue hills, and pearl'd each dewy lawn,
Two swains arose and spread their bleating train
O'er the fresh verdure of a flow'ry plain;
Then sought a hill where purple violets bloom'd,
And fragrant scents the downy air perfum'd;
Close by whose side there stray'd a murm'ring brook,
Where soft reclin'd, each fix'd his oaken crook;
When gay Menalcas the long silence broke,
And pensive Daphnis, thus returning spoke.
See Nature's sweets profusely round display'd,
Flow'rs paint the lawn, and green bedecks the shade;
The feather'd choir in carols hail the day,
And new-blown hawthorns feel you heav'nly ray;
[Page 3]Pomona spreads her dulcet charms around,
And buxom Pan o'erleaps the pregnant ground.
All but my Daphnis hail the rising [...]orn;
Each face but his congenial smiles adorn.
When kindly nature thus invites to joy,
What irksome cares can Daphnis' rest destroy?
Have thy young lambs by wolves devouring bled,
Or some kind brother mingled with the dead?
O say what grief involves the troubled swain,
That thus he slights the shepherd and his strain?
Nature, 'tis true, exults in vernal bloom,
Each grove is music, and each field perfume;
The fruitful trees their blossom'd foliage rear,
And jocund shepherds hail the golden year;
The groves, the vales, the hills and ev'ry lawn,
With sprightly echoes wake the blushing dawn—
But lawns, and hills, and vales and groves around,
Are nought to Daphnis but an empty sound;
The linnet's songs no more entice my ear,
Nor charm the beauties of the smiling year;
The day's refulgence now delights no more,
Nor night's cool shade expanded to each shore!
But since my friend can sympathize with pain,
Know then why this indifference to thy strain.
[Page 4]On my young lambs no prowling wolves have fed,
No brother-swain is number'd with the dead;
But cruel Delia has unfaithful prov'd,
And slights the swain that oft she swore she lov'd.
Say then, Menalcas! has not Daphnis cause
To break all Nature's and all Reason's laws;
To plunge me headlong from you mountain's brow,
And end my sorrows in the waves below.
Can lovely Delia e'er unfaithful prove,
Or slight the swain to whom she vow'd her love?
The rabid wolves may browse with harmless sheep,
And forest-doves with tow'ring eagles keep;
The crabbed thorn with clustering grapes may bend,
And humble willows to proud oaks ascend;
The vales out-top the lofty mountain's brow—
But charming Delia cannot break her vow!
Cease shepherd, cease! for now no Delia charms,
Nor more shall Daphnis wanton in her arms;
The spreading boughs no more shall guard our love,
Nor Delia's name be figur'd in each grove!
For me, my sheep run bleating o'er the plain,
While I to woods and flinty rocks complain!
[Page 5]Milder than Delia flinty rocks are grown,
For in sad echoes they return my moan;
But haughty Delia scorns my ardent flame,
And bids her shepherd woo some humbler dame!
The sportful trouts may leave their war'ry plains,
To dwell in woods, and tune spontaneous strains;
The warbling linnets may in rivers glide,
And dash the billows with the dolphin's pride;
You distant steers, that drag the heavy plough,
May, like the squirrel, spring from bough to bough—
But heav'nly Delia cannot faithless prove,
Nor barter for vile gain her promis'd love!
The breeze that shakes the spangl'd dew-drops round,
The swelling floods that burst the meadow's bound,
Are not more wav'ring than the female mind!
Wild as the waves, unstable as the wind!
With gentler manners treat the beauteous race,
Nor say, if one's unfaithful, all are base!
Let thy sweet pipe beguile this ill-tim'd woe,
While from my reed spontaneous notes shall flow.
[Page 6]Behold our flocks are scatt'ring o'er the plain,
Proceed we then to chaunt the Sylvan strain.
Come, then, Menalcas! tuneful shepherd rise,
Thy song shall praise the SOVEREIGN of the skies;
Whilst I will join in that exalted theme,
Nor more repeat the faithless fair-one's name!
[Page 7]


WHY so tim'rous, gentle friend?
Pri'thee, banish care and dread;
Of harmless pleasure, know no end,
Till thou'rt number'd with the dead.
What can keep thee from the grave,
If it please th' Almighty pow'r?
What destroy thee if he'll save,
Or rob thee of the passing hour?
What should move the pow'r divine,
Thee, good mortal, to destroy?
Then, with me, right-pleasing join,
To gild the wing'd time with joy.
But not in pleasure's Syren-charms,
I mean to lose the heart:
I know that mirth has sad alarms
Where wisdom has no part.
[Page 8]
But let passion's easy gale,
Thy bark with rapture sweep,
While powerful reason shall prevail
And guide her o'er the deep.
Then chearful flow thy transient breath,
With courage arm thy heart;
Immortal life begins in death,
And smiles at his grim dart.
[Page 9]


LIKE as Lybia's burning sand,
Or the parch'd Arabian plain,
Which gentle Eurus never fann'd,
Wou'd drink th' unfathomable main—
So is the wretch who endless craves,
And restless pines in ev'ry state—
O place him with the worst of slaves,
Whether in high or low estate.
Heap him around with massy wealth,
High-throne him on the seat of pow'r;
Each gen'rous joy he'll use by stealth,
While want shall prey on ev'ry hour.
Let glitt'ring pomp allure his soul,
Or nobler fame his mind dilate;
Thro' complicated plagues he'll roll,
And dire vexations still create.
The first-born mortal upon earth,
When round him smiling Nature play'd,
With discontent was void of mirth,
Tho' he o'er ev'ry creature sway'd.
[Page 10]
He who contented spends his days—
Calm as the clear unruffled stream,
His life in gentle current strays,
Mild as the maiden's silver dream.
Be he born to till the field,
Or in war the sword to wield;
If he o'er the midnight oil,
Wastes his life in learned toil,
Studious to instruct mankind
Where true happiness to find;
Or if o'er the lawless main,
He roams in search of sordid gain;
Or sorts with nobles in proud ease,
Or humble swains in cottages;
Be he with content but blest—
He's the happy man confest!
Listen, dear Strephon to my song—
O herd not with ambitious slaves,
Nor join thou with the vulgar throng—
Their joys unstable as the waves.
Strephon, thrice blest with fruitful plains,
The lover of a sapient theme;
Strephon, whose sweetly-soothing strains
Flow gently as thy native stream—
[Page 11]O leave the ruthless scenes of war,
Unfit art thou for rude alarms,
Beside thy gentle * Delaware,
Come, Strephon, seek more pleasing charms.
Here, while o'er the fertile vallies
Thou shalt tuneful stray along,
I will make repeated sallies,
To catch the transport of thy song;
Then mutual joy shall swell our soul,
Attendant to bright wisdom's strain,
While we shall quaff the friendly bowl
Far from the noisy and the vain.
[Page 12]


WHAT theme propitious to the lay;
What gallant hero shall we choose,
Whose name the sounding chord shall sway,
And fire the glowing muse?
What chief in Britain's martial train,
Has fame with palm victorious crown'd,
Whose deeds upon the embattled plain,
Her golden trump shall ceaseless sound?
'Tis WOLFE—Beneath the spacious sky,
A hero of sublimer name,
The searchful muse shall ne'er descry
To consecrate with deathless fame.
Where great ST. LAWRENCE rolls its awful flood,
He, daring, led Britannia's warrior-band,
Scal'd its proud banks▪ and pierc'd the desart wood,
That veils the horrors of the hostile land.
[Page 13]Soon CANADA confess'd his warlike might,
If on the plain conspicuous he appear'd,
Or 'gainst Quebec's aspiring tow'ry height,
His thund'ring arm all-dreadfully be rear'd.
Now lights his vengeance on the dastard foe—
So once Pelides, on the Trojan field,
(Whilst death stood glaring on his crimson'd shield)
Fill'd ev'ry trembling Dardan heart with woe.
Thick as loud whirlwinds strew the fading leaves,
Along the autumnal plain,
Array'd in arms, he fell'd the Gallic chiefs;
A welt'ring breathless train.
What shall Britannia's wrath appease,
Or what restrain her flaming ire,
When foes disturb her sacred peace,
And with just rage her champions fire?
What glorious deeds around thee beam'd.
O WOLFE! on Abram's * purpled plain,
When the warm sanguin'd current stream'd
Of all the flow'r of Gallia slain?
[Page 14]Nought but the trumpet's martial sound,
The clang of polish'd arms,
The thund'ring steed that beats the ground,
Could fill thy soul with charms!
The destin'd hour at length appears,
Celestial victory emits her ray,
And rids Britannia of her fears,
And echoes round propitious day:
The hills around
With joy resound,
And spread the golden tidings far;
The trident-bearing god
Mounting from his deep abode,
To Albion tells the auspicious war;
Tells how, with ancient valour fraught,
Her sons resum'd paternal might;
How the intrepid Towns [...]nd fought,
And mighty Wolfe put hosts to flight!
But while superior to all fear,
With his bold ranks the hero drove,
O'er heaps of slain, in full career—
A shaft, commission'd from above,
[Page 15]Full to his breast with fatal speed,
Took its unerring way,
Down fell great Wolfe amidst the dead,
And purpled where he lay—
"How goes the fight?" he cries,
(For round his head
Grim death was spread
And dim'd his rolling eyes.)
A gen'rous friend reply'd,
"The foes are fled!"
"Enough!" he said,
And without groaning dy'd.
Such are the chiefs that merit fair renown,
And follow bold where glory leads the way!
Such are the chiefs that grace a monarch's crown,
And from the muse demand th' immortal lay!
Chiefs that from Albion's billow-beaten shore,
Can risque the perils of th' Atlantic flood,
And dauntless ride thro' fields bedew'd with gore,
To bathe their youthful arms in Gallic blood!
Proud in the cause of honour to expire,
To stem the onset of the hostile band;
And dare the deep-mouth'd cannon's thund'rous fire,
To crown with joy Britannia's happy land.
[Page 16]Tho' Wolfe shall shine in flaming arms no more▪
Now thron'd in bliss above the cloudless skies;
Cease, O ye sons of Britain, to deplore,
Whilst Brunswick reigns, yet other Wolfes shall rise!

ELEGY TO THE Memory of THEOPHILUS GREW, A. M. Professor of Mathematics in the College of PHILADELPHIA.

WHY will soft sorrow thus o'erwhelm my soul,
And heart-felt anguish ev'ry thought control?
To scenes of woe why will the muse retire,
And cull sad-sounding accents for the lyre?
What shade neglected asks the gentle tear,
To bathe in grief the long forgotten bier?
'Tis GREW descends unheeded to the grave,
With no libation of Castalia's wave.
[Page 17]What tho' the theme transcends my artless lays,
The muse shall swell her numbers in thy praise:
The murm'ring streams shall echo to the sound,
And groves responsive spread the strains around;
Slow winds shall bear the heavy notes along,
And distant hills return the mournful song.
T' enlarge the soul, and clear the dubious mind,
T' unfold celestial wonders to mankind,
To stamp bright knowledge on thy youthful care,
With sweet persuasion and endearing air,
With gentle manners to entice the heart,
Was once thy happy and peculiar art.
But snatch'd, alas! to you immortal plains,
Where glorious angels hymn seraphic strains;
High where you beamy orbs, resplendent, glow,
He drops a tear for this sad world below.
But GREW, thy planets downward shall be hurl'd,
And wild confusion sink a guilty world;
E'en time's white fore-lock shall in chains be bound,
Earth melt to dross, and Cynthia cease her round.
Then shall oblivion blast the hero's fame,
The pomp of monarchs, and the poet's flame;
Then thy good name with matter's self shall blend,
Forgot the father, husband, and the friend.
[Page 18]Quick as the shuttle fly all human things,
Time wafts us rapid on his fleeting wings;
Soon shall the swain that tunes this plaintive lyre,
Kiss the cold earth, and all his flame expire;
Then may some muse, by tender pity mov'd,
Moan in soft elegy the youth she lov'd.
Yet blooming virtue shall triumphant rise,
Spurn the dull earth, and gain her native skies;
Then shall the just with holy raptures fir'd,
With charms transported, and with God inspir'd,
Strike their gold harps, and wake the lofty chord,
In joyful chorus round th' eternal Lord!
Oh! may my soul by thy example warm'd,
With Virtue's rules, and Virtue's sons be charm'd;
Regard them tho' they shine in humble state,
Far from the glitter of the wealthy great.
Blest man, in counsel as in sense profound,
True to thy trust, and ever blameless found;
Stranger to strife, a noble mind confest,
No raging discord harbour'd in thy breast;
Peaceful thou walk'd this wild of "weeds and flow'rs,"
Where envy hisses, and blind fortune show'rs;
Where systems endless frantic zeal inspire,
Warm youth they madden, and cold age they fire.
Led by no mode, thou follow'd Nature's laws,
And trusted in the one unerring cause!
[Page 19]Thus pass'd thy footsteps thro' this mazy round,
Whilst thy wing'd genius soar'd to worlds around;
Till grisly death with darkness clos'd thy eyes,
And angels snatch'd thy spirit to the skies!
But GOD is wise—then, to his righteous sway,
Submit, my muse, and cease thy plaintive lay.


BARRICADO'D with white bone,
Lab'ring under many a groan,
Curtain'd in my room with red,
And smoothly laid in crimson bed;
'Tis I dissolve the stony heart,
And comfort's balmy joys impart;
'Tis I can rule the wav'ring croud,
Or tame the haughty and the proud;
'Tis I o'er beauty oft prevail,
That queen of life's capricious vale;
'Tis I can fire the warrior's soul,
Or passion's giddy voice control;
[Page 20]Senates have felt my lordly sway,
And kings my magic pow'r obey;
'Tis I, so garrulously gay,
That rouze the dames whose heads are grey;
Gilded o'er with truth and lies,
Under many a mixt disguise,
I dress to cheat unpractis'd youth,
With falshood's garb for honest truth;
XANTIPPE bold, in dead of night,
Taught SOCRATES to own my might!
Strange enchantress, motely creature,
Oddest prodigy of nature!
As raging billows, now I'm wild,
And now as warbling fountains mild;
Now religion's laws proclaiming,
And now the good and just defaming;
Now cementing patriotism,
And now in church provoking schism.
Enough, O muse!—kind reason cries,
The man who has this monster dies!
Expound my riddle, if you're able,
For 'twas this confounded BABEL!
[Page 21]


WHEN elemental conflicts rage,
And heav'n is wrap'd in tempests dire,
When storms with storms dread combat wage,
And thunders roll aetherial fire;—
Returning zephyrs od'rous race,
And radiant SOL'S all-chearing face,
The trembling mortals most desire.
When Eurus charg'd with livid clouds,
Scours o'er old ocean's wild domain,
And Boreas rends the vessel's shrouds,
And o'er her swells the raging main;
If lighter breezes should succeed,
And IRIS sweet, of varied hue,
Lift o'er the main her beamy head,
What raptures fill the marine crew!
[Page 22]Thus, when Bellona (ruthless maid!)
Her empire thro' the world has spread,
And death his flag has proud-display'd
O'er legions that in battle bled;—
If PEACE, bedeck'd with olive robe,
(Resplendent nymph, sweet guest of heav'n)
Transfuse her balm around the globe,
A theme of joy to man is giv'n.
Then wake, O muse! thy sweetest lays—
Returning peace demands thy praise;
And while the notes in varied cadence sound,
Eye thou the Theban * Swan that soars o'er heav'nly ground.
If thou from Albion's sea-girt shore,
Advent'rous muse wilt deign to rove,
Inclin'd remotest realms t'explore
And soothe the savage soul to love;
Hither wave thy wand'ring pinion,
Here be fix'd thy last dominion,
Warbling in 'Sylvania's grove.
Bright-ey'd Euphrosyne! attend,
If genial PEACE can aught avail,
With all thy graceful charms descend,
And o'er the youthful lyre prevail.
[Page 23]Bounteous PEACE with lavish hand,
To ev'ry shore thy blessings strew,
O veil the blood-polluted land,
And all thy grateful joys renew.
Thy blissful pregnant reign restore,
And calm the breasts of angry Kings;
Thy horn of Amalthean store
Ope, and expand thy golden wings;
Till trade secure her treasure beams,
And science re-assumes her shades;
Till shepherds quaff untainted streams,
And hinds enjoy their native glades;
Till the glad muses strike the lyre,
And virtuous social deeds inspire;
Till the loud drum no more shall bid to arms prepare,
Nor brazen trumpets breath horrid din of war.
Auspicious pow'r, whose salutary ray
Form'd this new world, and rear'd her infant fame,
Extend anew thy mitigating sway,
And quell the hero's battle-breathing flame.
Ye fragrant myrtles, ope your peaceful bow'rs,
And charm the warrior with your pleasing scenes,
Shield him with woodbine's aromatic flow'rs,
And for his sopha spread your velvet greens.
[Page 24]For him the flute mellifluous shall blow
In Lydian music, sounding soft and low,
And blooming beauty with attractive art,
Shall sweetly melt the tumults of his heart;
The nectar'd bowl with rosy garlands twin'd,
Shall waft his sorrows to the vagrant wind,
While the victorious laurel of renown,
In verdant wreaths his manly brows shall crown.
Too long has war's terrific train,
(The barbed spear and reeking blade)
Made nations rue their chieftains slain,
And sanguin'd every muse's shade.
From distant Volga's rapid floods,
To Canada's high-tow'ring woods,
Has the deadly cannon bray'd.
From where th' effulgent god of day
Impearls Arabia's spicy fields,
To where his setting lustres play—
The world to British valor yields.
How has bold CLIVE, with martial toil,
O'er India born his conqu'ring lance,
For Brunswick gain'd the distant soil,
And dash'd th' aspiring hopes of France?
Let Goree, rich with flaming ore,
Heroic KEPPEL'S acts proclaim,
[Page 25]And Senegal's * Eburnean shore
Resound to future times his name
O'er red Germania's hostile waste,
Britannia's chiefs have conquering shone.
Brave Elliot's warlike fates have grac'd
His Monarch's high illustrious throne;
And Granby's deeds the muses claim
To swell th' immortal trump of fame.
But victory enough has wav'd her glitt'ring wand,
With British honors grac'd, o'er ev'ry prostrate land!
Witness ye plains bedew'd with gore,
So late ambitious Gallia's boast,
Where howling o'er the desert shore,
Was seen the genius of the coast.
Thus, leaning on her shatter'd spear,
She wildly wail'd in deep despair,
Her fall'n tow'rs and vanquish'd host—
"As Niobe (when Juno's hate
Pursu'd to death her tender care)
I moan my offspring's hapless fate,
And vex with sighs the passing air.
Not with less grief my bosom heaves,
Than did the breast of Hector's fire,
[Page 26]When slain were all his Dardan chiefs,
And Ilium blaz'd with Grecian fire.
For lo! where heap'd with slaughter'd Gauls,
Is Louisburgh a ruin'd pile!
Her bulwarks and stupendous walls
Are whelm'd in dust and ashes vile.
Imperial Lawrence heaves with woe,
Of many a Gallic chief the grave,
And as his purple billows flow,
To hoary Neptune's coral cave,
Tells how my vaunting troops, o'erthrown,
Britannia's matchless prowess own;
Tells how Quebec, so late for martial might re­nown'd,
Her rocky ramparts crush'd, lies smoaking on the ground.
What force can Albion's warlike sons dismay,
Dauntless who mingle in th' embattled plain?
What toils dishearten, or what dangers stay?
Not rocks, nor deserts, nor the boisterous main!
How torn my laurels, by her Wolfe's dread arm!
O'er mountains huge, who chas'd my armed band,
Rouz'd the fierce savage, with dire war's alarm,
And hurl'd his thunder o'er my carnag'd land!
No more gay trophies shall emblaze my name,
Nor Gallia's realms re-echo with my fame.
[Page 27]Lost are those honours which my heroes gain'd,
With blood my temples and my domes are stain'd;
But men directed by a heav'nly hand,
'Tis vain, 'tis mad, 'tis impious to withstand"—
She spoke, and mounting from a lofty height,
Westward she wing'd her solitary flight.
Thus has Britannia's glory beam'd
Where'er bright Phaebus, from his car,
To earth his chearful rays hath stream'd,
A down the chrystal vault of air.
Enough o'er Britain's shining arms,
Hath victory display'd her charms,
Amid the horrid pomp of war—
Descend then, PEACE, angelic maid,
And smooth Bellona's haggard brow;
Haste to diffuse thy healing aid,
Where'er implor'd by scenes of woe.
Henceforth, whoe'er disturbs thy reign,
Or stains the world with human gore,
Be they from earth (a gloomy train!)
Banish'd to hell's profoundest shore;
Where vengeance, on Avernus' lake,
Rages with furious Até bound;
And black rebellion's fetters shake,
And discord's hideous murmurs sound;
[Page 28]Where envy's noxious snakes entwine
H [...] temples round, in Gorgon-mood,
And bellowing faction rolls supine
Along the flame be-curled flood!—
Hence, the [...], to that accursed place,
Disturbers of the human race!
And with you bear ambition wild, and selfish pride,
With persecution foul, and terror by her side.
Thus driv'n from earth war's horrid train—
O PEACE, thou nymph divine, draw near!
Here let the muses fix their reign,
And crown with fame each rolling year.
Source of joy and genuine pleasure,
Queen of quiet, queen of leisure,
Haste thy votaries to chear!
Cherish'd beneath thy hallow'd rule,
Shall Pennsylvania's glory rise;
Her sons, bred up in Virtue's school,
Shall lift her honors to the skies—
A state thrice blest with lenient sway,
Where liberty exalts the mind;
Where plenty basks the live long day,
And pours her treasures unconfin'd.
Hither, ye beauteous virgins tend,
With Arts and Science by your side,
[Page 29]Whose skill th' untutor'd morals mend,
And to fair honor mankind guide;
And with you bring the graces three,
To fill the soul with glory's blaze▪
Whose charms give charms to poesy,
And consecrate th' immortal lays"—
Such as when mighty Pindar sung,
Thro' the Alphean vallies rung;
Or such as, Meles, by thy lucid fountains flow'd,
When bold Maeonides with heav'nly transports glow'd.
To such, may Delaware, majestic flood,
Lend, from his flow'ry banks, a ravish'd ear;
Such notes as may delight the wise and good,
Or saints celestial may endure to hear!
For if the muse can aught of time descry,
Such notes shall sound thy crystal waves along,
Thy cities fair with glorious Athens vie,
Nor pure Ilissus boast a nobler song.
On thy fair banks, a Fane to Virtue's name
Shall rise—and Justice light her holy flame.
All hail then, PEACE! restore the golden days,
And round the ball diffuse Britannia's praise;
Stretch her wide empire to the world's last end,
Till Kings remotest to her sceptre bend!
[Page 30]

A RURAL ODE, Written by the Author at the Age of Sixteen.

YE Dryads fair, whose temples round,
Wave wreaths of odoriferous flow'rs;
Lead me your Sylvan scenes amidst,
Where bloom your rosy-fringed bow'rs.
Nymph of the wave, sweet Naiad hear,
While thy clear waters banks along,
With careless steps, I pleasing stray,
And warble forth my youthful song.
Now the gay rays of orient light,
Bedeck the saffron-mantled morn,
And from Favonius' balmy wing,
Drops liquid pearl on ev'ry thorn.
[Page 31]
The gilded groves, with verdure clad,
Reflect bright Phaebus' golden beams,
While his celestial glories flame,
Down the translucent purling streams.
From off each daisy-painted field,
And from the lilly-paved vales,
Zephyr collects a rich perfume,
And scents his soft cosmetic gales;
Whose honied pinions round dispense,
Hygeia's heav'n-descended store,
Chasing each noxious breath away,
And sweet'ning every fragrant shore.
Here keeps his court fresh-blushing health,
His brows with blooming garlands bound;
Here bathes him in fair Schuylkill's wave,
And sports its hills and lawns around;
[Page 32]
Two virgins mild his train support,
In snowy spotless robes array'd,
One guides his will to actions pure,
And e'er by one his table's spread;
These virgins twain, were ever nam'd,
Sweet TEMPERANCE, with eye serene;
And CHASTITY, whose heav'nly birth,
Was pictur'd in her modest mein.
Still, as Aurora onward moves,
His fleecy flocks the shepherd-swain
Drives from their folds, in jovial glee,
And whitens all the verdant plain.
The fawns, with nimble-footed speed,
(Fleet as the winged passing gale)
Bound o'er the mountains flow'ry side,
Or sweep the low-descending vale.
[Page 33]
In yonder gay-enamell'd mead,
The starling plumes his golden wings,
Then tow'ring up the azure height,
He mounts sublime, and soaring sings.
The yellow finch, and linnet blue,
In mattins wild salute the day,
While their sweet songs, by echo caught,
In double-sounding notes decay.
A limpid fountain gurgling flows,
From 'midst you ivy-twisted cave;
And lo! the lovely Chloe cools
Her limbs in its translucent wave!
Deep in you old sequest'red grove,
Where the down-dashing torrents roll,
Ascends on fancy's roving wing,
The rapture-breathing poet's soul!
[Page 34]
Lo! foaming o'er the rough cascade,
The lab'ring billows force their way,
Then mingling with the snow-white flood,
In curling eddies onward stray;
While down the smooth-meand'ring stream,
The shining fishes, sportive, glide;
The perch with silver-glitt'ring scales,
And trout with gold-besprinkled side.
These are your blessings, Sylvan maids—
The sunny hills and shady woods,
Delightful vallies, pleasant plains,
Clear skies, sweet air, and crystal floods—
For hills ye have, (tho' lost to fame)
That fair as thymy Hybla show,
And fields that would with Tempe vie,
Streams that might with Pactolus flow.
[Page 35]
Here could I ever, ever rove,
And quit the world's contentious scenes—
What joy, with innocence and truth,
To wrap me in your charming greens?
But fate and fortune adverse call,
And snatch me to the busy throng!
Adieu then, rural sweets, adieu!
And cease, thou dear-deluding song!


Quem tu Melpomene, semel
Nascentem placido lumine videris, &c.
THRICE blest is he, whose placid birth
The warbling Muses hover'd round;
Novice to all the ills of earth,
While wrapt in music's soothing sound.
[Page 36]
If stern Bellona's thund'ring ire,
Hurls the proud Monarch from his throne,
He whom the sacred Nine inspire
Shall make each fleeting hour his own.
Let Gaul with Belgia's arms unite,
And haughty Spain resume her rage;
He whom Castalia's streams delight,
Shall ev'ry rising fear assuage.
If hostile savages alarm,
And threat'ning warriors fill each plain,
Sweet poesy his grief shall charm,
And sportive breezes steal his pain.
If grisly death, with terrors crown'd,
His heav'n-attender'd soul dismay;
Hark! he awakes th' enchanting sound,
And ev'ry spectre shrinks away.
[Page 37]
But when resplendent beauty's train
Commands the soft accordant lyre;
What transports breathe in ev'ry strain,
And kindle Love's celestial fire!
Her cheeks he paints as blushing dawn,
Her eyes to dim Apollo's rays,
Her breath more balmy than lawn
When round the orient lustre plays.
Yet if fair Friendship's hallow'd flame
In his enraptur'd bosom glows,
His strain still rises with his theme,
Each note still more divinely flows.
Let wretched misers clasp their ore,
And vulgar breasts in sense delight;
The muse shall purer joys explore,
And wing a more exalted flight.
[Page 38]


NOW had the beam of Titan gay
Usher'd in the blissful May,
Scatt'ring from his pearly bed,
Fresh dew on ev'ry mountain's head;
Nature mild and debonnair,
To thee, fair maid, yields up her care.
May, with gentle plastic hand,
Clothes in flow'ry robe the land;
O'er the vales the cowslips spreads,
And eglantine beneath the shades;
Violets blue befringe each fountain,
Woodbines lace each steepy mountain;
Hyacinths their sweets diffuse,
And the rose its blush renews;
With the rest of Flora's train,
Decking lowly dale or plain.
Thro' creation's range, sweet May!
Nature's children own thy sway—
Whether in the chrystal flood,
Am'rous, sport the finny brood;
[Page 39]Or the feather'd tribes declare,
That they breathe thy genial air,
While they warble in each grove
Sweetest notes of artless love;
Or their wound the beasts proclaim,
Smitten with a fiercer flame;
Or the passion higher rise,
Sparing none beneath the skies,
But swaying soft the human mind
With feelings of extatic kind—
Thro' wide creation's range, sweet May!
All Nature's children own thy sway.
Oft will I, (e'er Phosphor's * light
Quits the glimm'ring skirts of night)
Meet thee in the clover-field,
Where thy beauties thou shalt yield
To my fancy, quick and warm,
List'ning to the dawn's alarm,
Sounded loud by Chanticleer,
In peals that sharply pierce the ear.
And, as Sol his flaming car
Urges up the vaulted air,
[Page 40]S [...] quick the scorching ray,
I [...] some covert stray;
Coolly bow'rs or latent dells,
Where light-footed silence dwells,
And whispers to my heav'n-born dream,
Fair Schuylkill by thy winding stream!
There I'll devote full many an hour,
To the still-finger'd Morphean-pow'r,
And entertain my thirsty soul
With draughts from Fancy's fairy bowl;
Or mount her orb of varied hue,
And scenes of heav'n and earth review.
Nor in milder Eve's decline,
As the sun forgets to shine,
And slopping down th' aetherial plain,
Plunges in the Western main,
Will I forbear due strain to pay
To the song-inspiring May
But as Hesper 'gins to move
Round the radiant court of Jove,
(Leading thro' the azure sky
All the starry progeny,
[Page 41]Emitting prone their silver light,
To re-illume the shades of night)
Then, the dewy lawn along,
I'll carol forth my grateful song,
Viewing with transported eye
The blazing orbs that roll on high,
Beaming lustre, bright and clear,
O'er the glowing hemisphere.
Thus from the early-blushing morn,
Till the dappled eve's return,
Will I, in free unlabour'd lay,
Sweetly sing the charming May!


HENCE with sorrow, spleen and care!
Muse, awake the jocund air;
Wreathe thy brows in myrtle twine,
And assist the gay design;
Strike the trembling string with pleasure,
Till it sound the enchanting measure.
[Page 42]Avaunt! thou fiend, pale melancholy!
We are mortals free and jolly,
Who delight to lose the soul,
In the joy-inspiring bowl—
Fill the foaming chalice high,
Till it speak with extasy;
With rosy garland crown the wine,
And steep Nepenthe, herb divine,
In the bright nectareous cup,
Till it swallow sadness up.
Wine can dullest mortals raise,
To deeds of glory, deeds of praise;
If the warrior's breast it warms,
Quick he burns for glorious arms,
And nightly dreams of battles dire,
Of giants huge in steel attire;
Battlements he, proud, o'erthrows,
And rides amidst a thousand foes.
Thus, when Philip's dauntless son,
With his drinking bouts had done,
He rush'd a whirlwind on the plain,
And mountain'd it with heaps of slain.
If wine inspires the tuneful band,
Who can the glowing strain withstand?
[Page 43]Floods of music, all divine,
Pour along in every line;
And the wild Dithyrambic strain,
Rushes thro' the poet's brain.
Alcaeus lov'd the purple juice;
Sprightly Flaccus felt its use;
And the sweet Anacreon,
Warbled best when half-seas gone.
Ivy-crown'd BACCHUS hail!
And, o'er my reeling song prevail!


THE sprightly eye, the rosy cheek,
The dimpled chin, and look so meek,
The nameless grace and air;
The ruby lip in sweetness drest,
The softly-swelling angel breast—
All these adorn my fair!
See! what unnumber'd beauties rove
Around each feature of my love,
[Page 44]And fire my rapt'rous soul!
Ten thousand sweets her looks disclose;
At ev'ry look my bosom glows,
And yields to love's control.
Just heav'ns! why gave ye charms like these,
With ev'ry graceful art to please,
To her whom rigid fate,
Permits me not my pain to tell,
And makes me sacred truth conceal
From one I wish my mate.
Curse on the sordid thirst of gold!
When tend'rest passions all are sold
To win the world's applause;
When, for desire, and love, and joy,
Low interest shall our hours employ,
And gain th' ignoble cause.
[Page 45]

A SONG, After her recovery from a fit of sickness.

WHEN at bleak WINTER'S stern command,
Fair nature's blooming beauties fade,
And the sad groves all leafless stand,
And wither'd is each pleasing shade;
No nightingale, or linnet gay,
Is heard to wake the sprightly strain,
No turtle pours her love-lorn lay,
To sooth the soul of am'rous swain.
But when the jovial hours appear,
That usher in the vernal breeze,
When young-ey'd spring bedecks the year,
And clothes in verdant robe the trees;
[Page 46]
The feather'd choristers prepare
To swell the gratulating song,
While thro' the soft expanse of air,
Wild Music sweetly floats along.
So when my Sylvia, lovely maid!
Is by the touch of sickness pain'd,
When on her cheeks the roses fade,
And with pale white her lips are stain'd;
Oh then! my heart, oppress'd with woe
And inward anguish, pines away;
Nor from my lips does music flow,
A stranger to the warbling lay—
But if the charming nymph renews
The lively look, and health's soft bloom;
Into my breast it does infuse
New life, and dissipates my gloom.
[Page 47]
Soon then I snatch the willing reed,
And soon it sounds my Sylvia's name;
My wond'ring flocks forget to feed,
And listen while I tell my flame.
Again the smiling sparkling eye
Beams lustre o'er her heav'nly face;
Again the cheek of vermil dye
Sheds, blushful round, its wonted grace—
Again her heaving breasts betray
A passion of sublimer kind;
There all the loves and graces play,
And there th' unerring archer * blind.
Again I clasp her round, in bliss,
And press the yielding melting palm;
Again I steal th' ambrosial kiss
From lips distilling sweetest balm!
[Page 48]


OFT had I laugh'd at female pow'r,
And slighted Venus' chain—
Then cheerful sped each fleeting hour,
Unknown to eating pain;
By Stoic rules, severely taught,
To scorn bright beauty's charms,
Sage wisdom sway'd each rising thought,
And woo'd me to her arms;
Till Sylvia, heav'nly Sylvia, came,
Sweet pleasure play'd her round;
Her lucid eyes snot forth a flame,
That hardest hearts would wound.
Quick from my breast each bold resolve,
In empty aether slew;
My limbs in trembling bliss dissolve,
All wet with chilling dew.
[Page 49]
O charmer! cease that ardent gaze,
Nor rob me of my rest;
Such light'ning from those eye-lids plays,
It burns my tortur'd breast.
Deluded swains, who, vainly proud,
Assume gay freedom's air,
And, boastful, scorn the prostrate crowd
That sigh before the fair!
If once fair Sylvia you should meet,
And view her heav'nly mien;
To Love converted, at her feet,
You'll hug the pleasing chain.
[Page 50]


WHILE you, dear TOM, are forc'd to roam.
In search of fortune, far from home,
O'er bogs, o'er seas and mountains;
I too, debar'd the soft retreat
Of shady groves, and murmur sweet
Of silver-prattling fountains,
[Page 51]
Must mingle with the bustling throng▪
And bear my load of cares along,
Like any other sinner:
For, where's the ecstasy in this,
To loiter in poetic bliss,
And go without a dinner?
FLACCUS, we know, immortal bard!
With mighty kings and statesmen far'd,
And liv'd in chearful plenty:
But now, in those degenerate days,
The slight reward of empty praise,
Scarce one receives in twenty.
Well might the Roman swan, along
The pleasing Tiber, pour his song,
When blest with ease and quiet;
Oft did he grace Maecenas' board,
Who would for him throw by the lord,
And in Falernian riot▪
[Page 52]
But, dearest TOM! these days are past,
And we are in a climate cast
Where few the muse can relish;
Where all the doctrine now that's told,
Is that a shining heap of gold
Alone can man embellish.
Then since 'tis thus, my honest friend,
If you be wise, my strain attend,
And counsel sage adhere to;
With me, henceforward, join the crowd,
And like the rest proclaim aloud,
That MONEY is all VIRTUE!
Then may we both, in time, retreat
To some fair villa, sweetly neat,
To entertain the muses;
And then life's noise and trouble leave—
Supremely blest, we'll never grieve
At what the world refuses.
[Page 53]


CAN my MIRA leave her lover?
Two long-ling'ring months to part—
World of time! Thou gentle rover,
Where, O where's thy tender heart?
Wilt thou thus thy person sever
From my eyes and from my arms?
For two tedious months, I never
More shall view thy heav'nly charms!
When, in some fair streams meander,
Thou thy beauteous looks shall trace,
May sweet echo cry,—"Philander
"Claims, as his, that angel-face."—
[Page 54]
When thou tread'st, in blooming lustre,
Some gay meadow's flow'ry side,
And gay youths around thee cluster,
To behold fair Nature's pride;
Then, Oh then, my Mira! mind thee
To beware each shepherd's art;
Know that heav'n and love design'd thee
Mistress of Philander's heart.
Then remember each sweet hour
That in pleasing pain we've spent,
When Cupid, in triumphant pow'r,
Thro' our hearts his arrows sent.
Think, how by each other sighing,
We confess'd the mutual flame,
Looking, melting, panting, dying—
Joy was then too weak a name!
[Page 55]
Think on these, and never yield thee
To a heart less true than mine;
Then shall heav'n's bright angels shield thee,
As a being half-divine!


STILL as emerges from the womb of time,
Each circling [...]ear, you claim our humble rhyme;
But where's the muse▪ whose fiery numbers best,
Shall rouze heroic ardor in each breast?
[Page 56]To wing the flight where conquest leads the way,
Transcends our song, and mocks the feeble lay.
Such themes sublime best suit a rapt'rous lyre,
And bards transported with poetic fire—
Yet when inspir'd with Britain's glorious fame,
What bosom glows not with the hallow'd flame?
When angry Gallia pour'd her hostile train,
Intent on plunder, o'er th' Atlantic main;
Strangers to arms, we knew no murd'rous art,
Nor crimson faulchion, nor the pois'nous dart,
From earliest youth, instructed to abhor
The deadly engines of destructive war;
The cannon's sound, as dire assail'd our ears,
As Jove's red thunder, when he shakes the spheres.
Yet to our aid when mighty Brunswick came,
It kindled in each breast the martial flame;
Undaunted as our warlike troops advance,
To walls, inglorious, shrink the sons of France;
Their cities storm'd, their chiefs in fetters bound,
And their proud ramparts levell'd with the ground.
[Page 57]
O'er this new world, thus has Britannia's arms
Restor'd lost peace, and exil'd war's alarms;
Again rich commerce crowns the merchant's toil,
And smiling Ceres paints the pregnant soil.
Thus the good shepherd, when he views from far
The deadly wolves beset his fleecy care,
Quick to their help his guardian crook he wields,
And soon the prowling throng is scatter'd o'er the fields.
Yet not to us is Britain's care confin'd,
Her fame is wafted to remotest Ind;
By justice call'd, her chiefs, with matchless swords,
Have humbled mighty Asia's proudest lords;
Far distant scenes her martial deeds proclaim,
And Pondicherry bows to Britain's name.
See the sad chance of all-destructive war—
See LALLY captiv'd at the victor's car;
Lally, whose soul the madd'ning furies claim,
And curs'd with longings for the voice of fame.
So when a tyger, flush'd with reeking blood,
Ramps o'er the plains, and tears the leafy wood,
A lion spies him from his secret cave,
Bursts from his stand, to seize th' insulting slave;
Then hunts him, gen'rous, from the neighb'ring fields▪
And peace and safety to the forest yields.
[Page 58]
O'er Europe too, great George's arms prevail,
And on its seas his fleets triumphant sail;
Witness Belleisle, around whose wave-worn shore
His navies ride, and his loud cannons roar.
Oh! could we boast the seeds of epic song,
Immortal Frederick should the verse prolong;
The chief should shine, inclos'd with fields of dead,
And guardian-angels hov'ring round his head;
There, in dread chains, the barb'rous Russ should b [...],
And here, submissive, kneel th' Hungarian foe;
There should be seen to bend, the sons of Gaul,
Here lesser troops, his enemies, should fall.
Thus a firm rock, begirt with raging waves,
Stands the fierce charge, tho' all the tempest raves;
Now round his summit dash the broken tides,
And vainly beat his adamantine sides!
But these we leave to deck th' historic page,
And wake the wonder of a future age.
Now let our muse the Paphian trumpet blow,
Beauty's the theme, and melting strains shall flow.
See Neptune, mounting with his nereid train,
To smooth the surface of the azure main;
As conscious of his charge, he joys to please
The beauteous CHARLOTTE, mistress of the seas!
[Page 59]The jovial sailors ply their shining oars,
And now they reach fair Albion's white-cliff shores;
With warbling flutes, and hautboy's pleasing sound▪
They spread sweet music's silver notes around.
On Cydnus stream, so once array'd was seen
Fair Cleopatra, Egypt's beauteous Queen.
But here we fix, rejoic'd to see you blest,
And Britain's glory in each clime confest!

AN ODE, On completing my One and Twentieth Year of Age.

FATHER * of old oblivion, hail!
Restrain thy swift-revolving glass;
If soothing verse can ought avail,
To charm thy moments as they pass.
Still shall I let thee onward glide,
To waft me down thy boundless tide,
And unimprov'd remain my soul,
When twenty-one quick summers from me thou hast stole?
[Page 60]Adieu! amusements of my youth,
My childhood and my boyish days!
For virtue, probity, and truth,
I quit my sports and frolic lays!
Yet will remembrance bring to view,
The years, in playful bliss, that flew,
When careless of the passing hours,
My whistle sweet I blew, or cull'd the muse's flow'rs!
Then oft in Schuylkill's silver wave,
Or Delaware's majestic tide,
My limbs, delighted, would I lave,
Or thro' the foamy billow's glide;
Then chase the plover o'er the brake,
Or treach'ry cast along the lake,
Pleas'd to delude the finny fry,
The perch with glittering scales, or trout of golden dye.
Oft too, as Sol's resplendent ray
With ardour beam'd thro' Cancer's sign,
Would I the river's margent stray,
Or on its velvet brink recline.
Then would Fancy ope her treasures,
Pouring on the mind new pleasures,
Unlocking all her fairy scenes
Of gay enamell'd groves and sweet Elysian greens.
[Page 61]How would she then uncurtain fate,
And snatch the soul to yonder sky,
Events unknown to man create,
And read conceal'd futurity?
Or, ages old revolving o'er,
Their worthies place my eyes before;
Hero or patriot, saint or sage,
Or who e'er smote the lyre with bold poetic rage.
Flush'd with these glowing visions bright,
What noble frenzy seiz'd the soul!
Each phantom then of dear delight
Would round the impassion'd eye-balls roll;
Then o'er my temples oft the muse
Vouchsaf'd to shed nectareous dews;
How would I eye her ivy crown,
And pant, in youthful heat, for deathless fair renown?
But hence, ye dear delusions all,
'Tis time I tear you from my breast;
Methinks! I hear sweet Reason call,
"Be not with empty dreams possest!"
Away, ye pleasing shades away,
I brook no longer fond delay—
Reluctant still ye from me fly,
Your airy forms I see yet flit before my eye!
[Page 62]
But come, thou habitant of heav'n!
Inspirer of each gallant deed;
Virtue, bright queen, to whom 'tis given
The soul for purer joys to breed;
High-arch'd, o'er you cerulean plain,
Sublimely shines thy sacred fane,
The graces wait its portals nigh,
Which perfect shall endure thro' vast eternity.
Come, and thy gracious aid impart,
Each perishing pursuit to tame;
O root out folly from my heart,
And thou the full possession claim.
Each roving wish, each vain desire,
O purge with thy celestial fire;
What is the world's, the people's gaze?
Hence with the bubble fame, and idle breath of praise!
Whether, adown the stream of time,
I pass with easy prosp'rous sails;
Or o'er its waves I painful climb,
Forlorn and toss'd by stormy gales;
Still let me check the wanton breeze,
Nor be absorb'd in slothful ease;
But stedfast steer, when tempests rise
That rend my shatter'd bark, or mount it to the skies.
[Page 63]
So come what will, the adverse scene,
Or fortune's gay alluring smile,
Still shall I keep my soul serene,
Superior to all sinful guile;
Then, whether Fate's resistless shears,
Shall clip my thread in ripen'd years;
Or, in my Prime, my doom be spoke,
Undaunted shall I yield, and fearless meet the stroke.
[Page 64]

HEROIC STANZAS, On the Successes of his MAJESTY'S Arms, and the Greatness of the ENGLISH NATION; 1762.

HAIL sacred muse! thou harbinger of fame,
To Britain's glory sound the lofty rhime;
A pleasing task her greatness to proclaim,
And stamp her honours on the page of time.
For sure, the praises of her warlike train,
To the harmonious deathless lyre belong;
For them, sweet CLIO, raise the rapt'rous strain,
And the rich tide of music pour along.
As when the monarchs of the bestial race,
Triumphant, rove the sterile Lybian sand;
The tyger fierce, and lordly pard they chase,
Nor dare the trembling flocks their rage withstand;
Or, as the sovereigns of the briny flood,
From shore to shore, imperial, cleave their way;
Before them fly the fearful finny brood,
And all confess their wide-extended sway;
[Page 65]So when Britannia lifts her glitt'ring spear,
Her ensigns blazing o'er th' embattl'd field;
Heart-struck with awe, and chill'd with instant fear,
Her foes inglorious fly, or trembling yield.
Or if some BLAKE her navies, vengeful, lead
O'er the wide bosom of the surging wave;
At her red flag, her en'mies, fill'd with dread,
Shrink to their ports, or find a wat'ry grave.
Not Carthage old, for opulence renown'd,
Nor Tyre, long noted for her purple dye;
Nor aught that in th' historic page is found,
With Britain's isle in wealth and strength can vie.
Her's is fair COMMERCE to earth's distant end,
Whether rich India yields her spicy store,
Or Persian looms their silken beauties blend,
Or mines Peruvian give the glitt'ring ore.
[Page 66]
True to her ports, her num'rous vessels bear
The costly freight from each prolific soil;
Soft Persia's silks, and India's spice, we share,
And gold Peruvian gain without the toil▪
Well doth Britannia the fair path pursue,
Which ancient Rome with glory trod before;
Abroad, each haughty tyrant to subdue,
At home, t'encrease each happy subject's store.
Won by the valour of her martial bands,
Lo! this new world boasts her auspicious name;
Scant are the tracts the lordly Gaul commands,
And lessen'd proud Iberia's ample claim.
Thro' you fair isles that grace the western main,
Like gems bespangling Neptune's azure vest,
Or stars that deck the blue etherial plain,
The feats of British heroes are confest.
[Page 67]
Struck with the thought, I feel unusual fire,
When MARTINICO is the glorious theme—
Heroic deeds heroic songs inspire,
And fill the bard with all the warrior's flame.
See the brave youths, as breathes the trump of war,
Tremendous, rushing on the armed foe;
With mingled shouts they wield the deadly spear,
And o'er the field the crimson torrents flow.
Th' intrepid chiefs their fiery steeds impel,
Where glows the fury of the battle dire,
Where shrill-voic'd clamour lifts her stunning yell,
And ghastly terror rolls his eyes of fire.
Th' astonish'd foes, as MONCKTON'S bands advance,
Fly to the hills, or shrink to dreary caves;
O'er them black horror shakes his iron lance,
And desolation her dread banner waves.
[Page 68]
So when the princely eagles sail the sky,
If aught of meaner fowl oppose their flight,
Soon hurled headlong from the realms on high,
Vanquish'd, they seek to hide their heads in night.
Nor stop we yet the current of our verse,
Still other heroes claim our rapt'rous lays;
Brave ALBEMARLE'S exploits, O muse! rehearse,
And waft, to distant times, his well-earn'd praise.
Let youths unborn say how th' Iberian fled,
Before th' British chieftan's conqu'ring host;
How, o'er the field, Havannah's pride was spread,
And Moro's ramparts levell'd with the dust.
Nor blush, O muse! thy chaplet to bestow
On him who led th' unhappy sons of Spain;
Be virtue honour'd, or in friend or foe,
Or in Britannia's, or Iberia's, train.
[Page 69]
Thus fought Rome's champion, Africanus bold,
And thus the dauntless Hannibal withstood;
Till Latian Ardor, Punic rage, control'd,
And drench'd the fields with Carthaginian blood.
Thus shine the acts of GEORGE'S glorious day,
Illustrious Prince, with early honours crown'd;
Ordain'd by heav'n a matchless race to sway,
In arms victorious, as in arts renown'd!
Give way ye wonders of an ancient date!
Enough have liv'd old Cressy and Poitiers;
Henry and Edward long have shone in state,
And Alfred's name subdu'd a waste of years.
These once o'er Europe spread their glories wide—
But now new worlds our Monarch's sceptre own,
And tho' the deep his distant realms divide,
In ev'ry subject's heart is fix'd his throne.
[Page 70]
Happy this * Tract of rich productive soil
(No more the dwelling of a savage race)
Where golden harvests crown the peasant's toil,
And cheerful plenty gladdens ev'ry face.
But happier still, if war's sad scenes were o'er,
And widows ceas'd to mourn their husbands slain;
When Peace shall spread her reign from shore to shore,
And orphans for their sires no more complain.
Then might the Muses (sweet celestial Maids!)
In this fair land vouchsafe to fix their seat;
Nor leaving Thespiae's ever-pleasing shades,
Would the harmonious Sisters then regret.
[Page 71]
Much boots it us to court their sacred lore,
To gen'rous deeds to animate the soul,
The sage instruction o'er the mind to pour,
And all the giddy passions to control;
To brand proud Folly, and bold Vice to shame,
To teach that Wealth is but a transient joy,
To shew that Honour is the road to fame,
And Virtue is true bliss, without alloy.
Such are the maxims which the sacred Nine
Delight to warble o'er the deathless lyre;
Such are the garlands they delight to twine;
Then hither haste ye soul-exalting Choir—
[Page 72]

Performed at the PUBLIC COMMENCEMENT in the COLLEGE of PHILADELPHIA, May 17th, 1763.

Oh! stretch thy reign, fair PEACE! from shore to shore,
'Till conquest cease, and slav'ry be no more;
'Till the freed Indians, in their native groves,
Reap their own fruits and woo their sable loves.
Pacatumque reget patriis virtutibus orbem.


WHEN flourish'd Athens with the Grecian reign,
And liv'd her heroes, an illustrious train!
[Page 73]When by her arms each neighb'ring state was sway'd
And kings an homage to her warriors paid;
E'en then those chiefs, with rev'rent awe ador'd
The fane of Pallas more than Mars's sword;
(And Latium's lords, who all the world subdu'd,
Low'r'd their proud * fasces to the learn'd and good;)
And with less glory in the rolls of fame,
Shines ev'ry hero's than each sage's name.
Hail blest Ilissus! in whose sacred shade,
The muses warbled and the graces stray'd;
There the deep Stagirite his pupils taught,
And Plato lay intranc'd in heav'nly thought.
This joyful day, in miniature hath shew'd,
Scenes that enraptur'd Athens would have view'd;
Science triumphant! and a land refin'd,
Where once rude ign'rance sway'd th' untutor'd mind;
Of uncouth forms no more the dark retreat,
Transform'd to virtue's and the muse's seat.
[Page 74]Welcome! thrice welcome, ye who grace our dome,
To Wisdom's schools so throng'd the sons of Rome;
To fire their youth, and nurse their rising taste!
So the wise Greeks the fair Lyceum grac'd,
Come, then, my friends, your notes mellifluous pour,
And the soft soul of harmony explore;
With melting strains the happy day prolong,
What more enchanting than the charms of song?
Joyous we join thee in the choral lay,
To add new transports to this blissful day;
To trace the muses to their hallow'd spring,
Catch the sweet sounds, and as they fire us, sing.
The pleasing theme, Philander, shall be thine,
To wake the raptures of th' immortal Nine;
Say, in thy breast what sprightly thoughts arise,
Illume thy face, and kindle in thine eyes?
Not with more pleasure o'er the fragrant lawn
Sports the fleet hare, or bounds the exulting fawn,
When to black storms succeeds the solar ray,
And gilds each beauty of the smiling day,
[Page 75]Than my heart gladdens at the dawn of peace,
As wrath subsides, and war's loud tumults cease.
George gave the word—and bade mankind repose—
Contending Monarchs blush'd that they were foes.
Old warriors now with rage shall glow no more,
But reap the fields their valour won before.
Such is the subject which my soul enjoy'd,
In my eyes sparkled, and my thought employ'd.
Auspicious theme! for which shall be display'd
Th' richest chaplets of th' Aonian shade.
How bright the scene! unsullied days arise,
And golden prospects rush before my eyes!
Hail smiling goddess in whose placid mein,
Celestial bliss with every grace is seen;
O'er thy smooth brow no rugged helmet frowns,
An olive wreath thy shining temple crowns.
Far shalt thou banish barb'rous strife and woe,
With purple vengeance to the realms below.
Stern chiefs no more their crimson'd blade, shall wield,
Nor deadly thunders bellow o'er the field;
[Page 76]Satiate of war, the battle-breathing steed
Peaceful shall range the grove and verdant mead;
No drum shall animate the soldier's breast,
Nor piercing fife arouse him from his rest;
The trump shrill-sounding, and the clang of arms,
Shall shake the plain no more with dire alarms.
The useless rampart shall its strength resign,
And o'er the bastion spread the curling vine;
Th' aspiring ivy round old tow'rs shall stray,
And in the trenches harmless flocks shall play;
The crystal streams shall flow without a stain,
The groves bloom spotless, and each flow'ry plain;
Countries oppress'd by war's destructive rage,
Again revive to bless a milder age;
In the same fields where groves of lances rose,
The furrow'd grain shall golden ranks compose.
Oh haste fair peace! begin thy pleasing reign;
Come, with each lovely virtue in thy train;
Then pure Religion's precepts shall prevail,
Impartial justice poize her balanc'd scale;
Bright liberty shall wanton in the breeze,
Innoxious pleasure, philosophic ease,
[Page 77]Heart-cheering mirth, and plenty ever gay,
With rosy joy shall tend thy gentle sway!
Haste then, O haste, thy soft'ning pow'r renew,
Bless ev'ry clime, the old world and the new!
In friendly league, unite each distant shore,
And bid mankind with anger burn no more.
Commerce shall then expand without control,
Where coasts extend, or farthest oceans roll;
These spacious realms their treasures shall unfold,
And Albion's shores shall blaze with Indian gold.
Hail! happy Britain, in a Sovereign blest,
Who deems in Kings a virtuous name the best;
Guardian of right and sacred liberty,
Rome's glorious Numa shall be seen in thee;
Beneath thy smile fair Science shall increase,
And form one reign of Learning and of Peace.
E'en we who now attempt the muse's shell,
Great George's kind * munificence can tell,
[Page 78]Tho' far remov'd from his illustrious throne,
Yet have these walls his regal bounty known.
Thus universal shines the god of day,
Each land enlight'ning with his genial ray.
Enough, my friends!—ye sweeter numbers flow,
And let the deep ton'd swelling organ blow;
Ye tuneful qui [...]e, your dulcet warblings join,
And sooth th' attentive soul with harmony divine.


SMILING Pleasure's festive band
Swift descends to bless our land,
Sweet Content, and Joy, and Love,
Happy offsprings from above!
No more fell discord calls aloud to war,
Her crimson banners flaming from afar.
[Page 79]
Blest aera, hail! with thee shall cease
Of war the wasting train;
On thee attendant, white rob'd peace
In triumph comes again.
Where the grim savage devastation spread,
And drench'd in gore his execrable hand;
Where prowling wolves late wander'd o'er the dead,
And repossess'd the desolated land;
There beauteous villages and cheerful farms
Now variegate the far extended plain;
And there the swain, secure from future harms,
Delighted, views his fields and waving grain.
Blest aera, hail! with thee shall cease
Of war the wasting train;
On thee attendant, white-rob'd peace
In triumph comes again.
Haste ye muses, and explore
The tawny chief on Erie's shore;
[Page 80]Or among the forests wide,
That imbrown Ontario's side;
Bid him quick his bow unbend,
Hateful war is at an end;
And bid the * sire of rivers, as he runs,
The joy proclaim to all his swarthy sons.
Blest aera, hail! with thee shall cease
Of war the wasting train;
On thee attendant, white-rob'd peace
In triumph comes again.
May Britain's glory still increase,
Her fame immortal be,
Whose sons make war to purchase peace,
And conquer to set free.
Such pow'r is like the star of day,
That cheers the realms of night,
Before whose beam each beast of prey,
To darkness speeds his flight;
And may it grow, till round the earthly ball,
Science and liberty illumine all!
[Page 81]
Blest aera, come! when war shall cease,
With all her wasting train;
And justice, innocence, and peace
Thro' endless years remain.
[Page 82]

PSALM XCVII. Paraphrased.

THERE is in no collection of devout compositions a greater diversity of matter than in the Psalms of DAVID. They appear to have been pen'd while the author was under the immediate impression of those feelings which he so admirably describes; whether of religious pensiveness, devout contemplation, admiration of God's attributes, pious joy, gratitude, and thanksgiv­ing, arising from the various state of his mind or tem­poral affairs. They are, therefore, wonderfully fitted and adapted to the case of men in general, who, at one time or other, are in some of those situations, and actuat­ed by the same sensations: And as they are written with great fervour of spirit, solidity of understanding, strength of fancy, and a soul illuminated by divine in­spiration, it is not to be wondered that they have so often charmed the best and greatest geniuses.—Sundry of our most celebrated English poets have employed their pens in rendering divers of those excellent pieces into verse—and there is not a sublimer and more musical poem in the compositions of Addison, than that which is wrought out of the 19th psalm.

I have thus far premised, to induce, if possible, those youths among us, who have enjoyed the advantage of a [Page 83] liberal education, and have leisure for literary pursuits and a taste and capacity for poetry, which some have lately evinced, to turn their talents towards such in­structive performances.—The Holy Scriptures are the true fountain from which to extract the richest draughts of poesy, both as to dignity of matter and embellishment of figures; witness the noble use the great Milton made of them in his marvellous poems, and though few must expect to reach to such heights as did that prodigy of learning and genius, yet all, according to their ability, may follow his illustrious example; and if we would wish to excel and atchieve any thing great and laud­able, we should always look to a mark superior to our­selves.

The 145th psalm, in particular, one of those paraphrased below, is a most beautiful picture of the Supreme Being, whom the Psalmist extols for those amiable attributes, which most of all must [...]ffect men with joy, as subjects of God's moral govern­ment, his goodness and mercy. Such a theme needs no apology; and as to the present handling of it, if it should excite others, of a similar taste, who, like the Author, may sometimes have an hour in the country un­occupied by duty, business, or friends, which they would wish rationally to employ in such like amusements, he hopes it will plead his excuse.

[Page 84]


EXULT, O earth! ye nations sound his praise,
One God supreme, with pow'r unbounded sways;
Offspring of nature! the glad tidings hear,
Th' eternal Ruler makes the world his care;
Enthron'd sublime, with awful glory crown'd,
Vindictive thunders his bright seat surround;
Rob'd in thick clouds his rapid lightning flies,
And hurls destruction on his enemies;
Celestial righteousness, with truth her own,
And perfect justice form his sacred throne;
This rolling ball he pour'd his light around,
And the world trembled to its utmost bound;
Mountains, whose brows in lofty aether nod,
Melt at the presence of th' all-potent God.
Omniscient Lord! immaculate, divine,
Thro' all creation's frame thy glories shine!
Suns, at thy word, illume each distant pole,
Earth teams with joy and azure oceans roll.
Abash'd, confus'd be those who, vain, adore
Idols of wood, or bend to imag'd ore;
Before his throne let gods and mortals all
In grateful adoration prostrate fall.
The ardent strain, lo! joyous Zion heard,
And Judah's nymphs their tuneful voices rear'd,
[Page 85]Praising transported, and in sweet accord,
Thy holy judgments, ever-righteous Lord.
For thou, Great Monarch of this mighty Whole!
Dost all the pow'rs of heav'n and earth control.
Ye mortals, who to love divine aspire,
From vice polluting and foul sin retire;
Fix on the law of heav'n your steady gaze,
And Wisdom's self shall pleas'd protect your ways.
Those who thy laws, all-gracious Sire, obey,
Are crown'd with bliss, in realms of endless day.
Wake then, ye virtuous! wake the rapt'rous lays,
Join the loud choir of universal praise!
Hail! highest Sovereign! Godhead infinite!
Supreme in glory, majesty and might!
[Page 86]


TO Thee, all-bounteous Lord and King,
My muse in sweetest strains shall sing;
Her morning and her evening lays,
Shall warble forth thy glorious praise.
Nor ever shall my grateful soul,
Forget thy goodness to extol.
Of pow'r and wisdom, source immense!
Unsearchable to mortal sense!
From age to age, the human race
Thro' all thy works, the GOD shall trace,
Declaring to their progeny,
The wonders of thy majesty.
I too will join th' adoring throng,
Thy name shall dignify my song,
And with thy acts my tongue shall sound,
Responsive to the world around.
The world around with heav'n shall join,
To tell that thou art love divine;
Compassion, grace, and mercy sweet,
Hover, like cherubs, round thy seat.
And Goodness too, whose smile alone
Can beautify thy awful throne;
[Page 87] Iustice, with fear, would strike us dead,
But Mercy rears each sinner's head.
Thy Love inspir'd the breathless clay,
And man sustains from day to day;
And not alone to man confin'd,
It gladdens ev'ry living kind;
Show'ring its blessings in each clime,
Thro' all the ceaseless rounds of time;
Painting the seasons as they roll,
And scatt'ring bliss from pole to pole;
Darting the sun's prolific beams,
Filling with silver fish the streams;
Giving sweet vegetation birth,
And breathing fragrance o'er the earth.
To Thee, then, let all beings bend,
And shouts of joy the aether rend.
And chiefly let thy saints on high,
Laud the great Sovereign of the sky;
Leading on the exultant choir,
In strains of rapture, words of fire,
Till heav'n and earth and hell profound,
With the triumphant shouts resound.
Till all confess thy glorious fame,
And tremblingly adore thy name;
Thus ever shall thy reign endure,
In endless majesty secure.
[Page 88]
When trouble sinks us to the dust,
To Thee, for aid, O Lord, we trust.
'Tis thine to heal affliction's smart,
And raise from death the languid heart.
In meagre want or poverty,
To thee we lift the suppliant eye;
Thy bounteous hand, profusely kind,
Pours the rich banquet unconfin'd;
To man and beast thou giv'st their food,
While all enjoy their proper good.
Righteous and holy is the Lord,
And will to all his grace afford,
To all who his great name revere,
And worship him with hearts sincere.
Such in his glorious courts shall dwell,
And triumph over death and hell.
But those who his displeasure move,
Shall never share his heav'nly love.
Bless then, my soul, his sacred name,
And let all nature join the theme;
All nature to its GOD shall cry,
Who lives thro' vast eternity.
[Page 89]


'TWAS on the gentle brink reclin'd,
Of fair Euphrates' murm'ring wave,
When Zion's fate we call'd to mind,
Salt tears our languid checks did lave.
There, on the willows bending low,
Our untun'd joyless harps we hung;
For what but grief could from us flow,
When unrelenting foes among?
Ah! how the victors mock'd our story,
Exulting o'er our helpless state;
Sing now, said they, of Zion's glory,
And, in your mirth, forget your fate.
How shall we joy in land prophane,
Or sound Iehovah's matchless praise?
How sing the wonders of his reign,
To those who slight celestial lays?
[Page 90]
[...]er than I, in evil hour,
[...]hould cease to think of Judah's wrong,
May my right arm be void of pow'r,
And dumb, for ever, be my tongue.
Let, O Lord, thy wrath in thunder,
Speak devoted Edom's ruin;
Who, a-thrist for blood and plunder,
Work'd fair Judah's sad undoing.
And thou, O Babel! doom'd to slaughter,
With just return of sighs and groans!
Blest, who each infant son and daughter.
Shall dash for thee against the stones.
[Page 92]


CASEUS pinguis, pyra, mala, nectar
Te manent mecum, Gulielme, sextam
Occidens quum Sol properabit ho [...]am
Axe fugaci.
Diligit pullos nitidumque nidum
Uxor, at tecum gradiatur audax:
Filio quisquam nec erit venusto
Gratior umbra.
Risus & musae comitentur almae,
Innocens et te jocus & lepores:
Linque sed curas, & amara vitae
Linque severae.
Hanc moram rugis sapiens futuris
Ponito: quamvis viridem senectam
Cautus arceto, remorare vitae
Gaudia blandae.
[Page 94]
Vive nunc: aetas fugit impotentis
Fluminis ritu, volucrisve venti:
Vis stitit nulla, et revocavit boras
Nulla volantes.
Umbra seu pulvis su [...]us, aut inanis
Fumus, et nostrum remanebit olim
Nil nisi virtus, monumenta sacra
[Page 93]


PEARS, apples, cheese, dear WILL, and wine,
If thou wilt grace my house, are thine;
(For these are in my pow'r.
When the last ray of you bright sun,
Shall round its whirling axle run,
And hasten the sixth hour.
Thy wife delights in her neat home
And babes, but let her boldly come,
Provided she's at leisure.
Thy beauteous boy shall also find,
Altho' unask'd, a welcome kind,
And be receiv'd with pleasure.
And with thee haste the virgin Muse,
And jest that laughter shall diffuse,
And mirth that cheers the soul:
Banish afar corroding care,
Severity with gloomy air,
That might our joys control.
More wisely thou procrastinate
These evils to a wrinkled state,
When life's no more inviting:
E'er age comes on, while yet thy blood
Flows in a sprightly vig'rous flood,
Be cheerful and delighting.
[Page 95]
Live! live, my WILL, for now's the day;
Time, like a current, glides away,
Or th' evanecent wind;
Unstaid by stout Herculean force,
Nought can protract its rapid course,
And fleeting moments bind.
Shadows we are, or empty dust,
And vapour-like dissolve we must,
Nor are we more secure;
Nought can escape the dreary pit
But virtue and immortal wit,
Which endless shall endure.
[Page 96]


URBS colitur priscis quondam celeberrima Scotis,
Incumbens saxo solido, cui nomen Edinae.
Venerat huc Phyllis pulcherrima Scotigenarum
Montibus ex patriis, ubi Oreadas inter agrestes
Prima fuit, denos bis non aspexerat annos
Gloria deliciaeque patris: quam forte vagantem
Viderat Urbanus subitoque exarsit, at illa
Munere nec pretio potuit precibusve moveri.
Hunc igitur vanis fundentem vota querelis
Audiit Arcturi rupes et inhospita saxa:
Audiit, et planctus gemebunda remurmurat Echo.
Echo sola meos miserata est, inquit amores;
Tristra nam moestis ex saxis assonat imis,
Flebile luctisonis responsat et usque cicutis.
Me miserum quoties exclamo, lugubris illa
Me miserum ingeminat gelidis e vallibus: Eheu
Clamanti exclamat, repetitis vocibus, Eheu!
[Page 98]O rupes! O mî quondam dilectaque saxa!
O valles solitas audire et reddere voces
Phyllidis auricomae! num jam mihi ferre potestis
Auxilii quidquam rabidos lenire dolores?
Phyllis abest, longumque vale mihi dixit; avenas,
Delicias quondam, fragiles perdamque cicutas.
Phyllis abest, nec me delectant carmina, nec me
Lanigerive greges, dulcesve ante omnia musae.
Naides, et sordent mihi munera vestra, nec ipse
Pan placeat, calamis si quando inflare miselli [...]
Tentet, et ingentes divellere pectore curas.
O crudelis amor! crudelia saxa! bovesque
Crudeles! qui non sentitis pectoris AEstus:
Quales fornicibus ruptis ciet AEtna Typhois
Ore vomens lapidesque feros, flammasque globosque
In Siculos agros, liquefactaque saxa revolvit.
[Page 100]O pecora! O caprae, crudeles vos quoque! nostri
Vos neque, pastores, miserescitis. Improba saxa
Torreat acre gelu, montisque cacumina saevi
Horrescant subitis ventis, tumidisque procellis.
Perpetuo coelum contristet bruma nivosis
Imbribus, aeternis rigeat fera terra pruinis.
Vos, pecora, insani perimant contagia morbi
Dira, vel innumeris jaceant laniata per agros
Membra lupis: scelerata lues, vel numinis ira
Ultricis vigiles miserandâ morre magistro [...]
Tollat, et hos nemo plangat. Sed quo furor aegram
Impius abripuit menteta? Quid saxa? Quid aer?
Quid caprae? aut ovium quid commeruere magistri?
Quid vos devoveam? Piget, et malesane furenti
Dicta mihi, simul et temeraria vota recanto.
Si rata namque forent quaecunque armata flagellis
Ira, aut praecipiti furibunda insania motu
Dictitat, Urbano quae spes restaret, ut istas
Nympha memor nostri formosa reviseret oras?
[Page 102]Quin potius studiis conspirent omnia junctis
Phyllida blanditis iterum revocare tenellis.
Spina rosas, viridans cerealia munera fruges
Terra ferat; volucrum resonet clamoribus aether
Blandidulis; pecudum mugitus sidera pulsent.
Pabula felices caprae genialia carpant,
Balantesque greges ovium: nova gaudia vobis
Usque renascantur, pastores: tempora brumae
Perpetuum vernent, modicisque caloribus aestas
Suggerat armento foecundus graminis herbas.
Talia dicentem circumque gregesque bovesque,
Circum pastores, circumque stetere bubulci,
Et lachrymis maduere genae: ferus ipse Cupido
Condoluit, caecis mons ingemuitque cavernis.
[Page 97]

A PASTORAL, from the Latin of the same.

ON [...] rock, enroll'd in ancient fame,
[...]nds and EDINBURGH its name;
Here c [...] Phyllis from her native hills,
Whose [...] all the Scottish maids excels;
First of the rural nymphs in Venus' arms,
Not yet had twenty summers crown'd her charms.
This lovely fair, her father's joy and pride,
Once, as she heedless pass'd, Urbanus ey'd.
Quick as the lightning darts from pole to pole,
An instant passion fir'd his am'rous soul;
With pray'rs and bribes he strove to win her mind,
But she, unmov'd, his tender suit declin'd.
Soon then the ruthless rocks he rov'd among,
And with his plaints Arcturus' summit rung.
Echo too heard his tear-exciting strain,
And back resounded every groan again.
Echo, says he, alone laments my woe,
In hollow accents from the caves below.
My pipe sad warb'ling fills the groves around,
While she redoubles ev'ry plaintive sound.
Ah! wretched me! I mournfully exclaim;
Ah! wretched me! the vales repeat again.
[Page 99]Alas! alas! I sigh to ev'ry shade;
Alas! alas! returns the piteous Maid.
Ye sunny banks that once were my delight,
With precipices awful to the sight,
And vales that heard the bright-hair'd Phyllis sing,
What aid to me can all your beauties bring?
Phyllis is gone, with her my pleasures flew,
Gone, and has bid a killing long adieu.
My pipe and brittle reed I'll now destroy;
Phyllis is fled, the source of all my joy.
Not songs, nor flocks, can now my bliss recal,
Nor charming Muses, sweeter than them all.
The blue-ey'd Naiads now delight no more,
Nor frolic Pan that sports the mountains o'er;
His idle reed no cure for me can find,
Music enchants alone th' unruffl'd mind.
O cruel love! and cruel oxen too,
With savage rocks that never passion knew;
Those ills ye feel not that my soul infest,
Nor raves the furious tempest in your breast.
Such as when swells old AEtna's restless womb,
And bursts the caverns of Typhean gloom,
Fierce stones, and flames, and globes of fiery red,
It spouts tremendous from its burning bed,
And rolls the melted sulph'rous mass amain,
A flaming river down Sicilia's plain.
[Page 101]You are relentless too, my fleecy care,
[...]e, nor your shepherds, pity my despair.
May frosts severe the cruel rocks divide,
And sudden whirlwinds tear the mountain's side;
May dark December reign with icy snow,
And Boreas ever round the aether blow;
Let the hard earth with cold perpetual freeze,
Nor ever feel the balmy-breathing breeze.
And you my flock, may madness seize your joy,
And dire distempers all your race destroy;
Or wolves innumerable your members tear,
And far disperse them through the fields and air;
May the curs'd plague your watchful swains con­sume,
Or heav'n's dread thunder speak their instant doom.
But why will fancy thus wild warfare wage,
And swell my sick-mind with an impious rage?
How have the rocks and air arous'd my ire?
Nor goats, nor sheep, nor shepherds did conspire
To pain my bosom, nor to fix my fate;
Why then shall harmless these deserve my hate?
Oh, I repent! my furious vows recant,
With all my wrathful execrating rant.
For if what anger's fierce vindictive arm.
Or madness' rash precipitate alarm,
Should bid, and in their order be obey'd▪
How could I hope to see the beauteous Maid?
[Page 103]No! let the tender blandishments of all,
Unite their charms my Phyllis to recal.
Let the rough thorn with fragrant roses blow,
And the green earth with golden harvests glow;
Let the soft air the feather'd songsters fill
With wood-notes warbled from each dale and hill;
Let the glad herds their joyful lowings raise,
And blythsome flocks in foodful pastures graze;
Ye swains, for you may pleasures new appear,
And spring perpetual rule the circling year;
May winter's face with lasting green be crown'd,
And gentle suns enrich the fruitful ground.
Thus, as he sung, the herdsmen, flocks and swains,
Bedew'd their cheeks to hear his moving strains;
Cupid himself (the savage archer) moan'd,
And from its caves the hollow mountain groan'd.
[Page 104]

ELEGY, TO THE MEMORY OF MY BELOVED FRIEND, MR. THOMAS GODFREY, Who died near Wilmington, North-Carolina, August 3d, 1763.

O DEATH! thou victor of the human frame!
The soul's poor fabric trembles at thy name!
How long shall man be urg'd to dread thy sway,
For those whom thou untimely tak'st away?
Life's blooming spring just opens to our eyes,
And strikes the senses with a sweet surprize,
When thy fierce arm uplifts the fatal blow
That hurls us breathless to the earth below.
Sudden, as darts the lightning thro' the sky,
Around the globe thy various weapons fly.
Here war's red engines heap the field with slain,
And pallid sickness there extends thy reign;
Here the soft virgin weeps her lover dead,
There maiden beauty sinks the graceful head;
[Page 105]Here infants grieve their parents are no more,
There rev'rend sires their childrens' deaths deplore
Here the sad friend— O! save the sacred name,
Yields half his soul to thy relentless claim;
O pardon, pardon the descending tear!
Friendship commands, and not the muses here.
O say, thou much lov'd dear departed shade,
To what celestial region hast thou stray'd?
Where is that vein of thought, that noble sire
Which fed thy soul, and bade the world admire?
That manly strife with fortune to be just,
That love of praise? an honourable thirst!
The Soul, alas! has fled to endless day,
And left its house a mould'ring mass of clay.
There, where no fears invade, nor ills molest,
Thy soul shall dwell immortal with the blest;
In that bright realm, where dearest friends no more
Shall from each other's throbbing breasts be tore,
Where all those glorious spirits sit enshrin'd,
The just, the good, the virtuous of mankind.
There shall fair angels in a radiant ring,
And the great SUN of heav'n's eternal KING,
Proclaim thee welcome to the blissful skies,
And wipe the tears for ever from thy eyes.
[Page 106]How did we hope— alas! the hope how vain!
To hear thy future more enripen'd strain;
When fancy's fire with judgment had combin'd
To guide each effort of th' enraptur'd mind.
Yet are those youthful glowing lays of thine
The emanations of a soul divine;
Who heard thee sing but felt sweet music's dart
In thrilling transports pierce his captiv'd heart?
Whether soft melting airs attun'd thy song,
Or pleas'd to pour the thundring verse along,
Still nobly great, true offspring of the Nine,
Alas! how blasted in thy glorious prime!
So when first opes the eye-lids of the morn,
A radiant purple does the heav'ns adorn,
Fresh smiling glory streaks the skies around,
And gaily silvers each enamel'd mound,
Till some black storm o'erclouds the aether fair,
And all its beauties vanish into air.
Stranger, who e'er thou art, by fortune's hand
Tost on the baleful Carolinian strand,
Oh! if thou seest perchance the POET'S grave,
The sacred spot with tears of sorrow lave;
Oh! shade it, shade it with ne'er-fading bays.
Hallow'd's the place where gentle GODFREY lays.
(So may no sudden dart from death's dread bow
Far from the friends thou lov'st e'er lay thee low)
[Page 107]There may the weeping morn its tribute bring,
And angels shield it with their golden wing,
Till the last trump shall burst the womb of night,
And the purg'd atoms to their soul unite!

October 1, 1763.

[Page 108]

Occasioned by hearing him play on the HARMONICA.

IN grateful wonder lost, long had we view'd
Each gen'rous act thy patriot-soul pursu'd;
Our Little State resounds thy just applause,
And, pleas'd, from thee new fame and honour draws;
In thee those various virtues are combin'd,
That form the true pre-eminence of mind.
What wonder struck us when we did survey
The lambent lightnings innocently play,
And down thy * rods beheld the dreaded fire
In a swift flame descend—and then expire;
While the red thunders, roaring loud around,
Burst the black clouds, and harmless smite the ground.
[Page 109]Blest use of art! apply'd to serve mankind,
The noble province of the sapient mind!
For this the soul's best faculties were giv'n,
To trace great nature's laws from earth to heav'n!
Yet not these themes alone thy thoughts com­mand,
Each softer science owns thy fostering hand;
Aided by thee, Urania's heav'nly art,
With finer raptures charms the feeling heart;
Th' Harmonica shall join the sacred choir,
Fresh transports kindle, and new joys inspire—
Hark! the soft warblings, sounding smooth and clear,
Strike with celestial ravishment the ear,
Conveying inward, as they sweetly roll,
A tide of melting music to the soul;
And sure if aught of mortal-moving strain,
Can touch with joy the high angelic train,
'Tis this enchanting instrument of thine,
Which speaks in accents more than half divine!
[Page 110]


SWEET Zephyr leave th' enamel'd plain,
And hither wave thy gentle wing;
Would'st thou out-rival Orpheus' strain,
O haste and touch this trembling string.
The balmy-breathing power obeys,—
'Tis his my slender harp to claim;
He comes, and o'er its bosom plays,
And rapture wakes the slender frame!
The tender, melting notes of love,
The soul in soothing murmurs steal;
Low as the languor-breathing dove,
That, lonesome, coos her plaintive tale.
Hark! what sounds of pleasing pain,
Deep as some bleeding lovers lay,
Sad as the cygnet's moving strain,
When on the shore she dies away.
A nobler gale now sweeps the wire,
The hollow frame responsive rings,
Loud as when angels strike the lyre,
Sweet as the heav'nly chorus sings.
[Page 111]
And hark! the numbers roll along,
Majestically smooth and clear,
Like Philomel's enchanting song,
The notes mellifluous pierce the ear.
Thus as the varying accents flow,
Each passion feels th' accordant sound—
This lifts the soul, that sinks it low,
We seem to tread on fairy ground.
[Page 112]


HOW slow to him who feels the smart of love
Time's leaden hours to sweet possession move!
His wing'd desires out-strip each tardy morn;
Eager he cries— long-wish'd for day be born,
When to my heart soft vows shall Mira tie,
And love's own laws the priest shall sanctify!
Dull lingering days revolve, and nights succeed,
And still on love's fond dreams I hapless feed.
The throbs of passion, and the heart-felt pain,
The hope far distant, and the longing vain;
The sigh unfeigned, the bosom's troublous swell—
Ah! what are these?— say lovers, ye can tell!
What shall divide the pair whom love hath join'd,
And heaven hath form'd with sympathy of mind?
Shall grov'ling fortune basely interpose,
To part those hearts where mutual passion glows?
Forbid it love!— For raiment, house and food,
These brows shall be with honest sweat bedew'd.
Early each morn I'll wake the cherub health,
And cheerful industry's best prize is wealth;
[Page 113]We'll bound our wishes in a temp'rate round,
Yet shall our table be with plenty crown'd;
No friend, nor stranger, will we send away
Without a meal, and glass, discreetly gay;
Neat elegance shall deck our little store,
And fair oeconomy shall keep the door;
How shall the proud with wonder then behold
Our blissful lives without a hoard of gold!
Oh then! my Mira, love-inspiring fair,
Who with thy swain should then in bliss compare?
Not only that thy beauty's pleasing charms
Shall fire my panting soul with love's alarms;
Nor that thy cheek which shames the peach's bloom,
And ruby lips that breathe divine perfume,
Enchant me all; nor yet thy spotless breast,
Which gently heaves, can make me wholly blest.
'Tis that thy manners, void of guile and art,
Speak the internal goodness of thy heart;
'Tis that thy sweetness heightens ev'ry grace,
And dove-like innocence adorns thy face.
'Tis that thy soul is warm'd with virtue's fire,
Merit can love, and real worth admire!
Can view a coxcomb's tinsel and despise,
And sense, without a * figure, truly prize.
[Page 114]Can with thy lover feel unfeign'd desire,
And own that passion which thy charms inspire.
Nor blush at these, thou dearest, lovely maid;
These shall attract, when beauty's bloom shall fade;
When all the radiance of thy form shall die,
These, with fresh lustre, shall thy age supply;
Enhance our love when sprightly youth is past,
Improve with years, and all our lives shall last.
[Page 115]

Spoken at a Performance of SOLEMN MUSIC and ORATORY, in the Hall of the College of PHILA­DELPHIA.

IN Wisdom's lore the tender mind to frame,
The youthful breast to fire with virtue's flame,
The thoughts to raise, the passions to control,
And plant each godlike purpose in the soul;
To SCIENCE this illustrious field's assign'd,
To beam the rays of knowledge o'er mankind;
For this were plan'd the noble laws of art,
T' unfold the embrio powers of the heart;
To guide each movement to its native goal,
And scan the systems of this mighty whole!
[Page 116]
Heav'n has on man the reasoning gift bestow'd,
And in his breast sublime ideas sow'd;
But as it fares with rich luxuriant land,
When left to chance, nor till'd by culture's hand,
For fragrant flowers the rankling weeds arise,
Poison the plains and all their charms disguise;
So when the thoughts are in a lawless state,
Which in the mind's fair garden vegetate,
Soon shall intentions foul pollute the breast,
Like noxious weeds that flow'ry lawns infest.
Not more distinguish'd in creation's chain
Is man, by reason, o'er the bestial train,
Than man from man, by education made,
When native sense by Science is array'd,
When ev'ry faculty matur'd by skill,
Obeys the dictates of the sapient will;
Then, led by Science, fancy wings her flight
Round the wide world, or to the realms of light,
Extracting wisdom from each scene below,
Or soaring 'mid the radiant planets glow;—
Where, wonder struck!— she finds their sparkling rays,
But bright reflections from the solar blaze!
And views with steady eye those wandering stars,
That fright the world with prodigies and wars!
[Page 117]
By SCIENCE youthful minds are taught to know,
What to their God, their Country, Friends, they owe;
Life's glorious scope, and whence it first began,
What springs direct the Microcosm, Man;
What bids a savage like a sage to shine,
Or makes an * Attila an Antonine;
All that ennobles man's exalted race,
All that Religion, Virtue, Truth, embrace!
'Tis her's with loftier feelings to inspire,
And fit a mortal for the heavenly choir!
[Page 118]

Written and pronounced as an Exercise at the Public Commencement, May 30, 1765, on taking the De­gree of M. A. in said College.

'TWAS nobly done! the Muse's seat to raise
In this fair land, and earn immortal praise!
To civilize our first fam'd sires began,
'Twas yours to prosecute the glorious plan;
They peopled deserts with unwearied toil,
Establish'd laws and till'd the fruitful soil;
'Twas yours to call in each refining art,
T' improve the manners and exalt the heart;
To train the rising race in wisdom's lore,
And teach them virtue's summit to explore.
What land than this can choicer blessings claim,
Where sacred liberty has fixt her name;
[Page 119]Where o'er each field gay Plenty spreads her store,
Free as you * river laves the winding shore;
Where active Trade pours forth her jovial train
O'er the green bosom of the boundless main;
Where honest Industry's bright tools resound,
And Peace her olive scepter waves around?
To such a state fair SCIENCE to convey,
And beam afar the philosophic day;
To make our native treasures doubly blest,
Was sure a scheme to fire each worthy breast;
Was fit for gen'rous patriots to pursue,
Was fit for learning's patrons— and for you!
As from the east you orb first darts his ray
O'er heav'ns blue vault, and westward bends his way,
So Science in the orient climes begun,
And, like bright Sol, a western circuit run;
From eastern realms to Greece was learning brought,
What e'er Pythagoras or Cadmus taught;
Her form illustrious Athens did illume,
And rais'd the genius of imperial Rome;
From Latium's plains she sought Britannia's shore,
And bid her barb'rous sons be rude no more;
[Page 120]Fierce nations roam'd around the rugged isle,
Till Science on its fields began to smile;
Fair Cam and Isis heard no muse's strains,
Their shades were trod by wolves and fiercer Danes,
Till with the ARTS Augusta's grandeur rose,
And her loud thunder shook the deep's repose.
Just so, in time (if right the Muse descries)
Shall this wide realm with tow'ry cities rise;
The spacious Delaware, thro' future song,
Shall roll in deathless majesty along;
Each grove and mountain shall be sacred made,
As now is Cooper's hill and Windsor's shade.
Flush'd with the thought I'm borne to ages hence
The muse-wrought vision rushes on my sense.
Methinks MESSIAH'S ensign I behold
In the deep gloom of yonder shades unroll'd,
And hear the Gospel's silver clarion sound,
Rousing with heav'nly strains the heathen round;
Methinks I hear the nations shout aloud,
And to the glory-beaming standard crowd;
New inspirations shake each trembling frame,
The PARACLETE pours forth the lambent flame,
In renovating streams on ev'ry soul,
While through their breasts celestial transports roll.
[Page 121]Stupendous change! methinks th' effects appear;
In the dark region sacred temples rear
Their lofty heads; fair cities strike my sight,
And heav'n-taught Science spreads a dazzling light
O'er the rough scene, where error's court was found,
And red-ey'd slaughter crimson'd all the ground.
O haste, blest days! till ign'rance flee the ball,
And the bright rays of knowledge lighten all,
Till in you wild new seats of Science rise,
And such as you the arts shall patronize!
For this your names shall swell the trump of fame,
And ages yet unborn your worth proclaim.
[Page 122]

EPITAPH, IN MEMORY OF MRS. MARGARET ROBINSON, WIFE OF CAPT. JAMES ROBINSON, Who died March 22, 1765, and was buried in St. Catharine's Church, London.

THOU, who within these hallow'd walls shalt move,
Know that this stone was fix'd by gen'rous love;
A husband's fondest hopes beneath it rest,
A wife, in whom fair virtue stood confest;
In whom sweet love, and mild compassion join'd,
With each soft grace that decks the female mind;
A wife who never gave her husband pain,
But when pale death had rank'd her with the slain!
What soothing joys her goodness did impart,
Ah! read them in her partner's broken heart!
Think, in his grief, thou seest her virtues rise,
And pity's streams shall soon o'erflow thine eyes!
[Page 123]

MAY 20, 1768.

SOFT breathing o'er the velvet green,
Is felt the heart-reviving gale;
Gay Spring unfolds the blooming scene,
The budding grove and scented vale.
The orchard's sweets, the garden's flowers,
The brook that babbles thro' the plain,
The bladed lawns and blossom'd bowers,
The wild notes of the feather'd train—
In vain their matchless charms unite,
Poetic rapture to diffuse;
I view them with a calm delight,
But uninspir'd remains the muse.
Too dull I grow to sport in rhime,
No rapt'rous warmth elates my soul;
No more the muse's hill I climb,
Nor in bright fancy's chariot roll.
[Page 124]
The glories of the vernal year,
The lustre of the female form,
Could once awake the sprightly air,
And all my soul with transport warm.
But, now transform'd to hermit grave,
These radiant prospects languid seem,
I haunt no more the flow'ry cave,
Nor loll aside the plaintive stream.
Th' enchanting pow'r of verse no more
In sweet Elysium wraps my heart;
O'er heaps of musty prose I pore,
Forgetful of the Muse's art.
What then can re-illume my breast,
And light the long neglected fire,
When Nature's landscape gaily drest,
Can scarce a glowing thought inspire?
[Page 125]
When e'en CLARINDA'S winning charms,
But half excites the sprightly strain;
Tho' form'd to raise love's soft alarms,
And rank'd in beauty's lucid train.
Yet though these flatt'ring themes no more,
Allure the moral bard to stray,
Still shall the Muse a theme explore,
Deserving of her choicest lay.
Good-nature shall new string the lyre,
Which marks CLARINDA for her own;
CLARINDA'S Beauty all admire,
I praise her for this charm alone.
[Page 126]


SEQUESTER'D from the city's noise,
Its tumults and fantastic joys,
Fair nymphs and swains retire,
Where Delaware's far rolling tide,
Majestic winds by Glo'ster's side,
Whose shades new joys inspire.
There innocence and mirth resort,
And round its banks the graces sport,
Young love, delight and joy;
Bright blushing health unlocks his springs,
Each grove around its fragrance flings,
With sweets that never cloy.
Soon as from out the orient main,
The sun ascends th' etherial plain,
[Page 127]Bepearling ev'ry lawn;
Wild warbling wood-notes float around,
While echo doubles ev'ry sound,
To hail the gladsome dawn.
Now Celia with thy Cloe rise,
Ye fair unlock those radiant eyes,
Nor more the pillow press;
Now rise and taste of vernal bliss,
Romantic dreams and sleep dismiss,
New joys your sense shall bless.
Whether along the velvet green,
Adorning all the sylvan scene,
The fair incline to stray;
Where lofty trees o'ershade the wave,
And Zephyrs leave their secret cave,
Along the streams to play.
There lovely views the * river crown,
Woods, meadows, ships, you spiry town,
Where wit and beauty reign;
Where Cloe and fair Celia's charms,
Fill many a youth with love's alarms,
Sweet pleasure, mix'd with pain.
[Page 128]
Or whether o'er the fields ye trip,
At you salubrious fount to sip,
Immur'd in darksome shade;
Around whose sides magnolias' bloom,
Whose silver blossoms deck the gloom,
And scent the spicy glade.
These are Aurora's rural sweets—
Fresh dew-drops, flowers and green retreats,
Perfume the balmy air;
Rise then and greet the new-born day,
Rise, fair ones, join the linnet's lay,
And Nature's pleasures share.
So shall gay health your cheeks adorn,
With blushes sweeter than the morn,
And fresh as early day;
And then, that Glo'ster is the place,
To add to beauty's brightest grace,
The world around shall say.
[Page 129]



O TIME! still urging to eternity,
In thy deep womb the world's vast actions lie—
Thy hours still whirl us on in full career,
Day following day, and year succeeding year;
Old moments ending as the new ones rise—
For thy first child, Succession, never dies;
But all things human own thy sov'reign pow'r,
Just live and die— a thousand in an hour.
Kings, empires, thrones and nations fade away,
And others still succeed as they decay;
[Page 130]Fair peace and horrid war still rule by turns,
With love and rage the world, alternate, burns;
And thus the same rotation shall be seen,
Till consummation shuts this earthly scene!
What then avails t' invoke the sacred Nine,
Or humbly bend us at the Muse's shrine,
When we, together with our loftiest rhime,
Shrink to oblivion, at one blast of Time?


HUSH'D was the air, the howling winds were still,
And icy fetters bound each silver rill;
Old Night her raven mantle cast around,
And Spectres rose from consecrated ground;
[Page 131]The full orb'd moon a pallid lustre shed,
And o'er each scene a livelier horror spread.
'Twas then aside the frozen Delaware,
(To the bleak north, her bosom, heaving, bare)
Revolving various troubles in her mind,
Fair Pennsylvania's genius sad reclin'd,
Her olive crown, scarce cleans'd from reeking gore,
She dash'd, indignant, on the flinty shore;
Then, sorrowful, she turn'd her briny eyes
To where her Capital's proud turrets rise.
Thus, as she rested on a bank of snow,
Breathing deep sighs, and lost in speechless woe;
Sudden, a solemn murmur fill'd the air,
And rous'd the Goddess from her trance of care.—
[Page 132]


WHAT solemn awe pervades my wond'ring soul,
While o'er the deep I cast my straining eye?
Around me, waves on waves, stupendous roll,
And, mounting, seem to meet the bending sky.
Whether the rosy-fringed dawn I view,
Purpling the golden east with infant light,
While the red sun yet drinks the falling dew,
And dissipates the lazy shades of night;
Or whether, mounted in his glitt'ring car,
He darts meridian splendor o'er the main;
Or sinking softer down the western air,
He clothes with crimson clouds th' etherial plain;
[Page 133]
The heavens and ocean still my vision bound,
Nor other object save what they dispense;
Within the vast circumference is found,
To charm the heart, or rouse the eager sense.
Yet still the man, by Nature's grandeur sir'd,
Whom Heav'n's inimitable works can please;
Will feel his soul with gen'rous thoughts inspir'd,
Struck with the pow'r that form'd those awful seas.
How sweet the morn, when aephyrs round us sweep,
And in the east, with blushing beauty gay,
Bright Sol emerging from the pearly deep,
Leads on, in dazzling majesty the day?
The orient billows seem one living blaze;
The grey mists rise, with amber skirted o'er,
And float afar before the solar rays,
Collecting, in their march the showery store.
[Page 134]
Along the boundless aether, light, they sail,
Remotest regions feel their kindly aid;
Or, on the hills they break, or lowly vale
Refresh, and fructify the thirsty glade.
Then, in meand'ring streams, they prattling glide,
Wat'ring the green savannahs in their course;
And swell the river's oft revolving tide,
And mingle, foaming, with their native source.
Oft when, in silent calm, the noon-day beam
Reflects its glory down heav'n's azure steep,
Through the clear waves, resplendent dolphins gleam,
And whales, enormous, gambol round the deep.
Oft in this wat'ry region fish are found,
Resembling animals of earthly form;
Here, in black droves, the nimble * sea-hogs bound,
Omen to mariners of coming storm.—
[Page 135]


COME, thou Queen of pensive air,
In thy sable, sooted car,
By two mournful turtles drawn—
Let me meet thee on you lawn,
With decent vestments wrapt around,
And thy brows with cypress bound!
Quickly come, thou sober dame,
And thy musing Poet claim.
Bear me, where thou lov'st to rove,
In the deep, dark, solemn grove;
Where, on banks of velvet green,
Peace, with Silence, still is seen;
And Leisure, at the sultry noon,
On flowry carpet flings him down—
There, sweet Queen! I'll sing thy pleasures
In euthusiastic measures,
And sound thy praise thro' the lone vale,
Responsive to the hollow gale;
The murm'ring rills shall spread it round,
And grottoes the wild notes rebound.—
[Page 136]


NOW came the hour, th' important hour,
When Heav'n's eternal SON,
(Who deign'd the fleshly form to wear,
And all our sins and troubles bear)
His sacred blood for man must pour,
By Satan's wiles undone.
O Thou! all-hallow'd Spirit, hear!
Inspirer of the prophets old,
Who tun'd the royal David's ear,
When thro' his breast sweet transports roll'd;
Thou PARACLETE divine, o'er-rule my humble lyre,
And touch a mortal breast with thy celestial fire;
For all in vain
We wake the strain,
Our gratitude to prove
And sing MESSIAH'S love,
Unless thy holy flame our frozen hearts inspire.—
[Page 137]

AN INVOCATION, For the Return of Spring; March 17th, 1760.

YE south [...]n gales, that fan Peruvian groves,
With gentle am'rous wing,
Awhile suspend your tender loves,
And chide the loit'rer spring!
O gently chide th' unkind delay,
That keeps the nymph so long away
From northern climes, whose drooping swains
Long to hail her on their frozen plains.
Where'er the ling'ring maid you find,
By stream or vocal grove,
Around her waist soft osiers bind
That she may cease to rove.
Then swiftly ply your rapid wing,
The captive fair-one hither bring,
That all our fields in renovated charms may smile,
And slow'rs unnumber'd deck the loosen'd soil.
[Page 138]
All nature mourns thee, blooming fair—
No more the streams delight;
No more embroider'd vales appear,
To check the wand'ring sight.
E'en Phaebus darts a sickly ray,
And pours a dull dejected day,
Refusing to dispense his splendid beams
To loose the frozen glebe, and thaw the icy streams.
Yet sad Canadia's sons, with dread,
Still court the wintry gloom;
For frost and snow on them more pleasure shed,
Than thy enliv'ning bloom!
With eyes aghast, they view the plain
Portending thy approaching reign,
And wish St. Lawrence streams may never flow,
But, bound in icy chains, repel their conquering foe.
Not such the prayer of vet'ran bands
Whom WOLFE to glory led,
Beneath whose gallant warlike hands,
The pride of Gallia bled.
[Page 139]With ardent wish for Spring's return,
And martial rage, their bosoms burn;
Impatient once again the foe to meet,
And, in one well-fought field, their labours to complete****


HAIL SOLITUDE! thou friend to virtue, hail!
To me thy blissful presence oft reveal,
Lest worldly scenes my foolish heart ensnare,
And all my hopes of bliss be lost in air!
The noblest heroes e'er the sun survey'd,
With joy approach'd thy venerable shade;
And far from wishing for the toys of state
Or mean amusements of the vulgar great,
Possess'd their minds in philosophic ease,
Till nature fix'd a period to their days;
Then void of fear, each anxious thought supprest,
They gain'd, with joy, the land of endless rest.
When Cynthia, peerless regent of the night,
Ascends her polish'd car divinely bright;
[Page 140]Often, with care opprest, I pensive stray,
Where Schuylkill winds his solitary way;
Beneath some mountain's wild romantic brow,
Whose pendent cliffs alarm the flood below,
I lay me down—t'indulge the solemn hour,
And yield myself to contemplation's pow'r;
I feel the goddess rouse my slumb'ring soul,
And all my vain and wand'ring thoughts control;
I seem to breathe on consecrated ground,
And wisdom speaks in ev'ry object round;
Each scene delights—the breeze that gently roves,
In hollow murmurs thro' th' illumin'd groves,
The moon-light dancing down the trembling stream,
Or darting thro' the trees with fainter gleam—
These and a thousand charms, alternate rise,
To wake sweet musing, and to feast the eyes!
And hark! from you tall mountain's cloud-wrapt brow,
What notes majestic hither seem to flow!
Angelic voices, lutes melodious, join,
To praise the maker of this frame divine—
With voice distinct, they say, or seem to say,
"Who gave you glorious orbs their bright array?
"What careful hand their golden lamps supplies,
"Or marks their courses thro' you azure skies?
[Page 141]"What wond'rous pow'r, amid the pathless plain,
"Prevents confusion in their sparkling train?
"'Tis GOD alone"—the heavenly chorus sings—
"'Tis GOD alone"—the wide empyrean rings—
If heavenly hosts with such devotion burn,
What equal honours can frail man return?
Yet, wake my soul, prepare the grateful lay,
In emulation of those sons of day;
Whose glorious bands, unseen by mortal eye,
Visit this earth, or hover in the sky;
For saints expiring, tune the silver lyre,
And thro' their doubting souls sweet confidence inspire.
Hail! all-improving sacred solitude!
Thou best companion of the wise and good!
Why should vain man from thy blest presence run,
And all self-converse, with such caution, shun?
Can sensual pleasures so o'erwhelm the mind
As not to leave one trace of thought behind?
Alas! they can—and hence, that strange delight
In all that's wicked, empty, vain and light.
Thy faithful mirror no false charms bestows,
But, in just colours, each affection shows
[Page 142]If pure the mind, new transports seize the breast,
And give a foretaste of celestial rest;
But if foul vice should in the glass appear,
The conscious heart is fill'd with black despair
[Page 143]


ORPHEUS, of old, as poets tell,
Took a fantastic trip to hell,
To seek his WIFE—as wisely guessing,
She must be there, since she was missing.
Downward he journey'd, wond'rous gay,
And, like a lark, sang all the way;
The reason was, or they bely'd him,
His yoke-fellow was not beside him.
Whole grottoes, as he pass'd along,
Danc'd to the music of his song.
So have I seen, upon the plains,
A fiddler captivate the swains,
And make them caper to his strains.
To Pluto's court at last he came,
Where the god sat enthron'd in flame,
And ask'd if his lost love was there,
EURYDICE, his darling fair?
The fiends, who list'ning round him stood,
At the odd question laugh'd aloud—
[Page 144]"This must some mortal madman be,
"We fiends are happier far than he.
But music's sounds o'er hell prevail▪
Most mournfully he tells his tale,
Sooths with soft arts the monarch's pain,
And gets his bargain back again—
"Thy pray'rs are heard," grim Pluto cries,
"On this condition take thy prize—.
"Turn not thine eyes upon the fair,
"If once thou turn'st, she flies in air."
In am'rous chat they climb th' ascent,
Orpheus *, as order'd, foremost went;
(Tho' when two lovers downwards steer,
The man, as fit, falls in the rear.)
Soon the fond fool turns back his head,
Assoon in air his spouse was fled.
If 'twas design'd, 'twas wond'rous well;
But, if by chance, more lucky still.
Happy the man, all must agree,
Who once from wedlock's noose gets free;
But he who from it twice is freed,
Has most prodigious luck indeed!
[Page 145]


HOW breathes the morn her incense round,
And sweetens ev'ry sylvan scene?
Wild warblings thro' the groves resound,
And op'ning flow'rs bedeck the green.
Bright o'er the hills the solar ray
Its gaily trembling radiance spreads,
Pleas'd on the glassy fount to play,
And pearl the dew-bespangled meads.
How sweet this hour the fields to rove,
When Nature sheds her charms profuse;
Or hide me in th' embow'ring grove,
And court the thought-inspiring Muse?
[Page 146]
What joy, aside the plaintive fount,
Dissolv'd in pleasing thought, to stray;
And swift on Fancy's wing to mount,
And tread the bright ethereal way?
Thus musing o'er the charming plains,
(Where G—me the just and good retires,
Where Laura breathes her tender strains,
Whom ev'ry graceful muse inspires)
Young Damon pour'd his artless lay,
Beam'd from imagination's light,
When sudden from the realms of day,
A form of glory struck his sight.
Wisdom's grave matron, from the skies,
Before the trembling youth appear'd,
(Tho' seen but by poetic eyes)
And thus to speak the dame was heard.
[Page 147]
Would'st thou, O youth, these scenes enjoy,
The solemn grove and fragrant lawn,
And pleasure taste without alloy,
Wake jolly HEALTH at early dawn.
Banish Ambition from thy breast,
And sordid-minded Av'rice fly;
Nor let pale Spleen thy ease infest,
Nor gloomy Sorrow cloud thine eye.
Thy heart an off'ring nobly yield
At Virtue's high exalted shrine;
Thy soul let Resolution shield,
And e'er to dove-ey'd Peace incline:
Let Cheerfulness, with placid mein,
Hold a firm empire o'er thy heart,
And sweet Content shall ceaseless reign,
And never-ending bliss impart.
[Page 148]
Then shall th' immortal Nine unfold
What sweets the sylvan scenes can give;
In heav'n thy name shall be enroll'd,
And others learn like thee to live.


"HOW happy is the blameless vestal's lot?
"The world forgetting, by the world "forgot;
"Eternal sun-shine of the spotless mind;
"Each prayer accepted and each wish resign'd;
"Labour and rest, that equal periods keep;
"Obedient slumbers, that can wake and weep;
"Desires compos'd, affections ever even;
"Tears that delight, and sighs that waft to "heaven.
"Grace shines around her with serenest beams,
"And whisp'ring angels prompt her golden "dreams.
[Page 149]"For her the spouse prepares the bridal ring,
"For her white virgins hymeneal [...] sing;
"For her th' unfading rose of Eden blooms,
"And wings of seraphs shed divine perfumes;
"To sounds of heav'nly harps she dies away,
"And melts in visions of eternal day.

A PARODY On the foregoing LINES, by a LADY, assuming the Name of LAURA.

HOW happy is the country Parson's lot?
Forgetting Bishops, as by them forgot;
Tranquil of spirit, with an easy mind,
To all his Vestry's votes he sits resign'd:
Of manners gentle, and of temper even,
He jogs his flocks, with easy pace, to heaven.
In Greek and Latin, pious books he keeps;
And, while his Clerk sings psalms, he—soundly sleeps.
[Page 150]His garden fronts the sun's sweet orient beams,
And fat church-wardens prompt his golden dreams.
The earliest fruit, in his fair orchard, blooms;
And cleanly pipes pour out tobacco's fumes.
From rustic bridegroom oft he takes the ring;
And hears the milk-maid plaintive ballads sing.
Back-gammon cheats whole winter nights away,
And Pilgrim's Progress helps a rainy day.


I Lately saw, no matter where,
A parody, by Laura fair;
In which, beyond dispute, 'tis clear,
She means her country friend to jeer;
For, well she knows, her pleasing lays,
(Whether they banter me or praise,
Whatever merry mood they take)
Are welcome for their author's sake.
[Page 151]
Tobacco vile, I never smoak,
(Tho' Laura loves her friend to joke)
Nor leave my flock all in the lurch,
By being lullaby'd in church;
But, change the word from clerk to priest,
Perhaps I lull my sheep to rest.
As for the table of Back-gammon,
'Tis far beyond the reach of Damon;
But, place right gammon on a table,
And then to play a knite—I'm able.
"How happy is my lot," you say,
Because from Bishops far away!
Happy I am, I'll not deny,
But then it is when you are nigh;
Or gently rushes o'er my mind
Th' idea of the nymph refin'd;
In whom each grace and virtue meet,
That render woman-kind complete;
The sense, the taste, the lovely mien
Of Stella, pride of Patrick's Dean.
O Laura! when I think of this,
And call you friend—'tis greater bliss,
[Page 152]Than all the "fat church-wardens schemes,"
Which rarely▪ "prompt my golden dreams;"
Yet, if the happiness, fair maid,
That sooths me in the silent shade,
Should, in your eye, appear too great,
Come, take it all—and share my fate!


LAURA to Damon health doth send,
And thus salutes her saucy friend.
Because you would exert your wit,
You take the cap ne'er made to fit;
And then your sprighly verse display,
To prove me out in every way—
But I'll proceed, nor care one farthing;
Nor shall you make me sue for pardon,
Nor once recant what I asserted,
Tho' from my pen in haste it flirted.
Truly, because you do inherit
Some portion of the Dean's queer spirit,
[Page 153]You want to prove, in wondrous haste,
That Laura too has Stella's taste;
As if it must directly follow,
Since you are favour'd by Apollo,
That he his choicest gifts must send,
To ev'ry scribbling female friend.
I thank you, sir—you're wond'rous kind!
But think me not so vain or blind,
As to believe the pretty things,
Your muse, with ease, at Laura flings.
'Tis true, the moments I beguil'd,
And at a country parson smil'd;
Unhappy me! who ne'er could dream,
That you should think yourself the theme▪
Unless my muse, thro' rank ill-nature,
Had turn'd what follows into satyr—
"A manner frank and debonnair,
"A heart that's open and sincere,
"Plain sense, strip'd of pedantic rules,
"And formal precepts, hatch'd in schools;
"Firm honesty without parade,
"Simplicity in truth array'd;
"A sprightly vein of humour too,
"Known only by a favour'd few."
[Page 154]
Had Madam Muse, in spleen or spight,
Plac'd all those graces in a light,
To make us laugh, more than admire—
Then Damon might have taken fire,
And said,—'tis past dispute and clear,
I meant my country friend to jeer.
Yet, e'er I close—allow me time,
But just to add another rhyme.
Since I esteem your bliss so great,
In pennance you will chuse a mate,
And tell me—"I may share your fate!"
The scheme is good, I must confess,
If you have bliss, to make it less!
Yet take a hint, before resolv'd,
And in the dragging chain involv'd.
While youthful joys around you shine,
Haste not to bend at Hymen's shrine;
Let friendship, gen'rous friendship, be
The bond to fetter you and me,
Vestal, Platonic—what you will,
So virtue reigns with freedom still.
But if, in matrimonial noose,
You must be bound—and have a spouse;
The faithful rib that heav'n shall send,
I'll fondly greet, and call her friend***
[Page 155]


LAURA, for once excuse, I pray,
The pertness of a rural lay;
And I will ne'er again offend,
Or need the name of saucy friend;
Stella, (for now I see it clearly,
Who loves a little mischief dearly)
Resolv'd to carry a gay farce on,
Told me I was the country parson,
Described in your melodius strain;
To which I now return again.
I, like my namesake, without * guile,
Thought in my turn that I might smile,
So seis'd my pen, in a brisk sally,
Determin'd to pay off the tally;
And, in a fit of warm regard,
Dropt a few words—quite off my guard;
For which I Laura's mercy crave,
And shall remain her humble slave—
She's pleas'd to say, that "I inherit,
"Some portion of the DEAN'S queer spirit."
If aught in me was ever seen,
Resembling Patrick's boasted Dean;
[Page 156]It was his faults, I fear—rank pride,
Which, for my life, I cannot hide,
And one less vain than Swift—or me,
Might e'en both proud and saucy be,
When such fine things of him are said
By Laura, the harmonious maid;
Yet still her compliments, I fear,
Are only sent her friend to jeer,
Or sugar o'er a little smart
And close the bleedings of a heart—
Thus, without cause, when children cry,
And put their finger in their eye,
Kind mamma gives them aught that's handy,
Cakes, marmalade, or sugar-candy.
Fair Laura hints—the hint I take,
And honour for its mistress' sake—
Yet when great Cupid is inclin'd,
To fix his empire o'er my mind,
A silken cord, no "dragging chain,"
Shall lead me to his sacred fane;
For none, I trust, shall e'er discover,
In me aught like the whimp'ring lover;
The fault'ring voice, the sigh of care,
The languid look, the dying air.
When abject thus behaves the muse,
May I kind Laura's friendship lose,
[Page 157]That friendship which I dearer hold;
Than silver heaps or shining gold.
And now, farewell!—may ev'ry hour
Fresh happiness on Laura pour—
Whether in sacred wedlock join'd,
Or to the Vestal state inclin'd;
May constant joys before her rise,
Till, for low earth, she gains the skies!

VERSES ON THREE LADIES, Who filled up * Les Bouts Rimez and desired the AUTHOR to decide which was best.

WHEN the wife of old Jove, with the child of his brain,
And his § daughter so fair, attack'd the young swain;
Poor Paris was sadly bewilder'd to find,
To which of the fair-ones his heart was inclin'd;
[Page 158]Till at length, from his quiver, a mischievous shaft,
Little Cupid produc'd—at which the boy laugh'd—
Then gave it to Venus, who straight let it fly,
And sudden as light'ning reach'd Paris's eye;
For the queen of sweet smiles the shepherd then sighs,
And yields to bright Venus the laurel and prize.
Thus Damon was smitten with rapture and joy
When your contest, fair ladies, his thoughts did employ.
The praise of Madona vermilion'd his face
With blushes—for want of that virtue and grace,
Which her good-natur'd pen could so easily paint,
Tho' the portrait was bright and original taint.
Next Laura, accomplish'd in head and in heart,
Fair daughter of Clio produc'd her sweet art,
Apollo himself, I fancy, with zeal,
Would wish to imprint the poetical seal.
The third tuneful lady that makes up the choir,
Entranc'd my poor brain, and my heart set on fire—
Ah, Clara! I fear the arrow of Cu',
Instead of the muse's soft weapon you drew;
Or why through my breast do such ecstacies roll,
And the throbs of sweet passion beat high in my soul.
[Page 159]In the name of Apollo, a sprig of green bays
I grant to each lady for her witty lays.

ANSWER BY LAURA, One of the THREE LADIES above mentioned.

'TIS true that Paris was a beau,
But yet was not polite;
For he on Ida's top could show
To two bright nymphs a slight.
Three fair ones begg'd him to decide
Which was the greatest beauty—
He might have sooth'd each lady's pride
And yet have done his duty.
To one he might have given shape,
And piercing eyes to t'other;
Then had he made a good escape,
And sav'd a mighty pother.
[Page 160]
Minerva then had dwelt in peace,
And JUNO, without passion,
Have caus'd a ten years war to cease,
And sav'd old Priam's nation.
Young Damon, in a like dispute,
Took care to shun a quarrel;
He try'd each lady's taste to suit,
And gave to each the laurel.
Had one alone obtain'd the bays,
And wit's bright prize have borne,
The other two, throughout their days,
The willow must have worn.




[Page 5]


My respected FRIENDS,

THE partiality you have shewn to the following discourse, in desiring me to furnish you with a Copy of it, to send to the press, merits my sincerest thanks.

At the same time, I cannot but observe to you, that the honour you pay me lays me under no small difficulty. For, to argue the unworthiness of the composition against its being printed, would be returning you a poor compliment, and might appear in me like an af­fectation of modesty.— On the other hand, my comply­ing with your request, may subject me to the charge of vanity, with those who are readier to censure than to judge with candour. I can only say, therefore, that the reason you assign for your desire to have this dis­course printed, is sufficient for me to wave the above objections, viz. That you believe it may be of service to some people in my mission, as it sets forth some prac­tical truths (as you are pleas'd to say) in an agreeable [Page 6] point of light. Whether that can be said with propri­ety of the following Sermon, it becomes me not to decide.

Should it please God to bless it to any one of you, should it excite but in one single breast, a taste for vital religion and the practice of Christianity, whatever other­wise may be its fate, I shall rejoice that it now attends you to your closets.

I have only therefore, to add, that it appears the same now in print, as when delivered to you from the Pulpit, with no other than a few verbal alterations. And, as it was not compos'd with any design of being sent to the press, I hope no one will be surprised if he finds it to consist only of a few plain arguments and ad­monitions, counselling plain people, so to use this world, that (in some future state of existence) they may be found worthy to inherit the immortal joys of a bet­ter.

Recommending you, therefore, to God's Grace, and the best of Masters and Patterns, Jesus Christ; I re­main, with true affection and regard,

Your faithful Minister, And obliged humble Servant, N. EVANS.
[Page 7]

The LOVE of the World incompa­tible with the LOVE of GOD.

1 JOHN II.15, 16, 17.

Love not the world, neither the things that are in the world. If any man love the world, the love of the Father is not in him. For all that is in the world, the lust of the flesh, and the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life, is not of the Father, but is of the world. And the world passeth away, and the lust thereof; but he that doth the will of God, abideth for ever.

NOTHING can sound more harsh and ungrateful to human nature than precepts of this sort. The load of sense with which we are weighed down, the variety of alluring objects that surround us, the syren-voice of temptation, and the prevalence of numerous example, are too apt, more especially in the spring-tide of life, to give nature the conquest over Grace, passion over rea­son, [Page 8] and vanity over wisdom. We are too apt to be hurried away into the flowery avenues of plea­sure, to yield up the will to desire, regardless of the consequences, and impatient of control.

The eminent Apostle of the Gentiles, leaves us this account of his conflict with the world; * ‘I delight’ (says he) ‘in the law of God, after the inward man. But I see another law in my members, warring against the law of my mind, and bringing me into captivity to the law of sin, which is in my members; which a great genius of our nation thus paraphrases;’ ‘For that which my inward man is delighted with, that which with satisfaction my mind would make its rule, is the law of God. But I see in my members another principle of action equiva­lent to a law, directly waging war against that law which my mind would follow, leading me captive into an unwilling subjection to the con­stant inclination and impulse of my carnal appe­tite, which, as steadily as if it were a law, carries me to sin.’ This then is not a particular case, but what all mankind is liable to, for the mind would serve the law of God; but the flesh the law of sin. [Page 9] Which law of sin, as the Apostle expresses it, is the inherent propensity of our fallen natures to grati­fy the violent calls of animal desire. And what St. John means in the text by loving the world, no doubt, is the delight we take in indulging this de­praved inclination, so as to make the gross and vici­ous pleasures of sense the prime object of our pur­suits; instead of endeavouring to subdue our bodies and perfect our minds in the spirit of religion and solid virtue.

A person then may be said to love the world, according to the meaning of the text, when his mind is under the influence and guidance of his animal passions; when those passions are so far in­dulged as to occasion confusion and uproar in his soul, to breed disorder and irregularity in society, and to alienate his affections from the love of di­vine and moral excellencies; when his conduct is swayed by corrupt customs; when he looks upon the enjoyments of this world as his chief good, and his ideas of happiness are confined within its scanty orb; when, to gain its applause, he barters his conscience, neglects the great duties incumbent on him as a rational agent, and banishes the sacred forms of religion and virtue from his heart. Ne­gatively, he may be said to love the world, when [Page 10] he does not prefer Almighty God as the first and grand object of his thoughts; when he does not esteem his favour as the highest felicity, endeavour to live as in his presence, devote himself to his service and strive to imitate, as far as the frailty of human nature will admit, his adorable perfections.

Further, by the love of the world we are to under­stand making an immoderate use of God's benefits, attaching our minds solely to earthly pleasures, following the errors and evil courses of lawless and abandoned men, giving way to low groveling thoughts, nor wishing to enjoy the more refined and manly pleasure which slows from a virtuous course of action.

Such being the love of the world, we cannot wonder at its being condemned by the good Apo­stle in the text; and it is a very vain thing for those who are connected with the world in the light we have represented, to expect any benefit from our Saviour's sufferings, or hope to be saved, in time of need, by only calling on his name. For it is written, that * ‘every one that nameth the name of Christ depart from iniquity.’ And the bles­sed Jesus hath solemnly assured us, that ‘not every one that saith unto him, Lord, Lord, shall [Page 11] enter into the kingdom of heaven; but he that doth the will of his Father which is in heaven.’

Some there are, who think that not loving the world consists in banishing themselves from hu­man society, and that turning their backs on their fellow-creatures is turning their backs on the world; and therefore fly to deserts and cloysters in pursuit of virtue and to avoid vice. But far otherwise is the prayer of our divine Master, when he recommended his disciples to the care of his heavenly Father. * ‘I pray not,’ says he ‘that thou shouldst take them out of the world, but that thou shouldst keep them from the evil.’ For the world is the grand theatre on which all virtuous actions must be performed, and the merit of our performance rests in not quitting the stage, and yet avoiding the evil. For what field have we to call forth the duties of Christianity in, if it is not among our brethren? By ex­tending our love and charity among our fellow-creatures, by acts of devotion, justice, mercy, and living up to the dictates of truth and right reason, is the best method of showing our love to God, and the genuine path that the Gospel has [Page 12] pointed out. But this it is impossible to do with­out mingling with mankind; and although we may meet with some whose behaviour and manners may give us a pain too big to be utter'd, yet we are not to turn our backs on the world for any such reason. Does not the eternal Majesty of heaven, the infinite fountain of all excellence and perfection, bear with our weaknesses and fol­lies from day to day? and shall we lack patience then with one another, when even the best of us are such frail, infirm creatures, as to be unable to enter into heaven without the imputation of a better righteousness than our own? 'Tis our duty to war against vicious habits, to endeavour, with the aids of God's Grace, after an upright and blameless conduct, and to convince the world, by the force of example, that our religion is more than a name, and that we are really in love with the beauty of holiness.

By the love of the world, as mentioned by the Apostle in the text, it is very manifest that he means the love of sin; or, suffering our souls to yield (in St. Paul's phrase) to the "law of sin;" that is, debauching our reason, and converting the talents of the mind from their proper office, the perfecting us for heaven, to be the slaves of [Page 13] our appetites, to warp the judgment and blind the understanding, to call corruption pleasure, and madness joy. But it would be very injurious to the sacred text as well as highly absurd in its consequences, to suppose that St. John here means by not loving the world, to treat with contempt the good things of this life. For to what purposes were the mercies of God so plen­tifully strew'd over the vast and beautiful theatre of Nature, if they were not for us to use, and sober­ly and thankfully enjoy? Nay, so eminently glo­rious is the frame of this visible world, that it compelled many sensible Heathens, who were led only by natural light, loudly to acknowledge that so wonderful a system could alone be effected by the power, wisdom and goodness of an infinite intelligence; and is therefore fit for the admi­ration of man, as a reasoning creature, and one of the chief sources to deduce the most exalted ideas of his Almighty Creator. What is condemned and forbidden in the text is our making the blessings of this life the principal object of our pursuits, so as to make us unmindful of the shortness of our duration in this world, and that awful eternity into which we shall soon be translated; so as to injure our bodies and debase the nobler faculties of the soul, to unfit us for the various offices which [Page 14] our connexions require of us, and give the mind a disrelish for the rational pleasures of religion, and for those high and important meditations, which as men and christians it becomes us fre­quently to be engaged in. * ‘For this world is God's school, where immortal spirits clothed with flesh are trained and bred up for eter­nity.’ And it behoves us to be exceeding thankful to Almighty God that he has cautioned and commanded us against an immoderate desire after worldly enjoyments. For we shall find it our interest if we look no further than this life to make a sober use of its refreshments. For diseases of the body, with loss of reputation, ruin of families, the total destruction of commu­nities, and above all the horrors of an evil consci­ence, attend our eagerly pursuing the inordinate calls of vice.

Were we born for no other purpose than to eat, drink and play, we might indeed strive who should roll foremost in the gay circle of pleasure, and only wish to beat the intoxicating round of licentiousness. But to other ends were we called into this life, and for far higher exercises were the faculties of the soul given to us than to [Page 15] be the ministers of iniquity. That illustrious Per­sonage who came down from heaven for our salva­tion, has set us, and all his followers, an excellent example of all those virtues and amiable qualities which it is our duty to practise during our stay in this world. The love and charity, which, like another celestial glory, shed a lustre around him, the universal philanthropy which he breathed, should kindle in our breasts the warmest benevo­lence for all that bear the human shape; and the public-spiritedness of his actions should inspire us with that generous principle which directs every thought and deed to God's glory, and the public good.

He whose soul is set upon temporal pleasures and pursuits, will rarely find leisure for any secret communion with the Father of Spirits, or feel any inclination to enjoy so blessed a privilege. For the human mind is so formed as to be inca­pable of following the bent of two differing pas­sions together. Or according to the language of scripture, ‘we cannot serve God and Mammon. If we are in love with the world, our thoughts will altogether be engaged in mean, selfish views. Earthly happiness will be the sole mark we shall aim at, and whatever may interfere with, or throw a [Page 16] check upon such a career, will be ever disgustful in our eyes. How can those passions, which are absorbed in carnal pursuits, be elevated with the flame of divine love? And how can that heart, which is coiled up in the narrow circle of self-love, distend with the true spirit of christian charity?

The pleasure which arises from the enjoyment of the good things of this world, though taken in moderation, is of so fleeting and perishable a na­ture, as to give but a momentary satisfaction, and yields no matter for comfortable reflection in time of need.— Could we call, from their mansions of clay, the votaries of sensuality, the votaries of wealth, and the votaries of ambition, that have bustled on the stage of this world for these four thousand years past— what account, think ye, would they give of their former favourite pur­suits? ‘I imagine, they would tell us, that the re­flection on the time past, on these unprofitable schemes gave them but a poor consolation in the eternal world; that they now reflect with so­vereign contempt and abhorrence on what they once were so greatly enamoured of; that the high debauch, the dissolute frolic, the hoard of yellow dirt, the magnificent edifice, the splendid retinue, the nobility of blood, and the applause [Page 17] of the world, would appear to them unsubstan­tial,’ as the Poet happily expresses it, as—‘the baseless fabrick of a vision.’ But far other­wise are the pleasures of religion and virtue; they are of an undecaying nature; a fons peren­nis, a perpetual source of genuine comfort flow­ing in the breast of every christian. They shall live with him beyond the grave, and shall endure when this earthly globe shall be wrapt in flames, when you heavens shall vanish away, and the sun and moon shall dissolve. Nay, they shall exist, when time shall be lost in eternity, when new heavens shall roll and a new earth shall bloom, * wherein righteousness shall dwell for ever and ever.

The love of the world is a subject no way susceptible of novelty, and what every one can speak largely upon. And yet how rare and diffi­cult is it for us to take the matter rightly to heart. We make no scruple of acknowledging that all the enjoyments under the sun are vain and unsub­stantial. And yet vain and empty as they are, how hard do we find it to abstract ourselves from them? In some serious moments, perhaps, our souls, disgusted with some disappointment, or un­pleasing [Page 18] occurrence, assume an air of dignity, and affect to despise the lower pleasures, the glittering gewgaws and the painted baubles of life. But, alas! how soon do we fall from these stout resolu­tions, and suffer ourselves to be ensnared with the next flattering temptation? Thus do we continue through life, still meeting with some new disap­pointment, and yet still giving way to the next temptation that comes in our way. That active principle that stirs within our breasts must have some object on which to employ its busy and enlarged powers; and could we but once fix it on its proper aim, how glorious would be its pursuits! Could we but once convince ourselves of the nothing­ness of all earthly bliss; could we but once see that the pleasures of this life, are like the glories of a painted cloud, beautiful at a distance, but, up­on a near approach, nothing but a sun-gilt va­pour; were this the case, I say, our souls would soon begin to search out for some more substantial happiness, and would quickly fix on that high and glorious source of all that is lovely, fair and good; where it would perceive such irresistible excellency, such transcendent glory and divine beauty, as would sweetly surprize and captivate all the powers of the soul. And how greatly are we blessed in having our souls so constituted as to be [Page 19] able to enjoy so exalted a pleasure! to be capable of discovering, admiring and loving the excellen­cies and perfections of the invisible God, and of imitating, though in great weakness, all his moral attributes! to be capable of pleasures far superior to those of sense, arising from the pursuit of what is excellent, and the practice of what is right! to be capable of receiving the highest satisfaction from the performance of acts of devotion, justice, mer­cy and charity; and, above all, to be capable of the sublimest pleasure from the reflection, that he that doth the will of God in this world, shall abide for ever in uninterrupted bliss in the world to come!

Surely, then, the man who seriously reflects on the value of his immortal soul, on the dignity of its nature, and the design of his coming into the world, will never be enslaved to corruptible and sublunary joys. He will use the things of this life as though he did not use them; and though his body may sometimes even wish to rebel against his mind, yet he will never suffer his nobler part to be satisfied with any happiness beneath that everlasting beatitude which the Sovereign of Hea­ven alone can bestow. To this end he will be continually endeavouring to wean himself from a too fond attachment to the delights of this life; [Page 20] to subdue those impetuous passions, which like some mighty torrent are apt to bear down all the powers of the mind, if not timely controled; to prepare himself by frequent contemplation on a spiritual life, for that pure etherial kingdom where no corruption can dwell. And happy, thrice happy! the highly favoured christian! who has the co­operating Grace of the Divine Spirit to aid him in the arduous enterprize of perfecting himself!

If we take a brief view of the condition of a person who has been altogether devoted to this world, and one who, having made a just estimate of human life, has given up his mind to the pre­cepts of Christ, I imagine we shall make no hesi­tation in determining which character we would wish to possess.— Behold the man of the world under the hand of adversity, and he is the image of unhappiness. Trembling and irresolute, he dreads to look for consolation in his own bosom, its proper residence.— The gay ideas of pleasure flit like the vanishing wind before his view. Are the inexorable arrows of death pointed at his heart? alas! ten thousand dreary forms affright his imagination, and stiffen every pore with hor­ror! Despairing to look forward, and dreading to think on what has pass'd, he feels a certain fearful looking for of judgment, and a [...]ry indignation [Page 21] already burning in his bosom. A reproaching conscience stares him in the face, and the re­ward of an ill-spent life is intolerable to his thoughts.— But not so the man who has secured his happiness on the glorious terms of the Gospel, whose salvation is sealed with the redeeming blood of the Lamb, and who has endeavoured to practise those graces and virtues which adorned his god­like Master, while here on earth. Having long inured his soul to the thoughts of a more perfect existence and glorious immortality, when these elementary bodies shall mingle with their conge­nial dust, he feels no anxiety at the thoughts of leaving this transitory life; and often wishes to cast off the sin-worn tabernacle that detains his soul from mounting to that throne, where my­riads of glorified spirits are continually pouring forth their immortal songs to the praise and ho­nour of the Supreme and All-creating Lord!— Is the good man oppressed with affliction and at­tacked by adversity, is he pursued by persecution, is he on the torturing rack, or bent beneath the merciless hand of the executioner? is he com­mitted to the flames, limb by limb, and his whole body tumbling into dissolution? the testi­mony of a good conscience, and an immoveable confidence in the victorious Son of God shall speak peace to his soul, and like a heavenly hand [Page 22] stretched forth from the clouds, shall support him through all extremes, shall rob death of its sting, and the grave of its victory.

Who would not then strive to possess so heroic and manly a spirit? Who would be enslaved to the paltry pleasures of sense, when the joys of angels are at his acceptance, when the delights of virtue are so superior to all others, and so na­turally fitted for the exalted powers of the soul? Is it so trifling an advantage to disarm death of its awful terrors? to rise triumphant over the grave? to be distinguished in God's courts with a crown of glory, and to enjoy the raptures of the blest through the boundless ages of futurity? If the thoughts of meeting with some celebrated philosophers and poets in a future state could make a wise heathen anticipate its joys; how great, think ye, must be the christian's exulta­tion, when he reflects, according to St. Paul's sub­lime description, that he shall be translated from this life into * ‘the city of the living God, the hea­venly Jerusalem, and to an innumerable compa­ny of angels, and to the general assembly and church of the first-born, which are written in heaven, and to God the judge of all, and to Jesus the mediator of the new covenant.’

[Page 23]Knowing, therefore, that the world passeth away, and the lust thereof, but he that doth the will of God abideth for ever; who would be so far attached to this unstable state as to risk his everlasting happiness on its account? If we con­sider the great and glorious Being we have to answer to; what it is to appear at his awful tri­bunal, to give an account of our conduct; that it is he who shall distribute rewards and punish­ments for the deeds done in the flesh; that, ‘if any man have not the spirit of Christ he is none of his; and that the fruits of the Spirit are love, joy, peace, long-suffering, gentleness, good­ness, faith, meekness, temperance;’ I say, if we duly consider these things, they are enough to animate us with a becoming sense of religion and virtue, and to disengage us from the fascinating delights of sense. Moreover, when we are assured that * ‘the day of the Lord will come as a thief in the night, in the which the heavens shall pass away with a great noise, and the elements shall melt with fervent heat, the earth also, and the works that are therein shall be burnt up; seeing that all these things shall be dissol­ved, what manner of persons ought ye to be, in all holy conversation and godliness?’ ‘Finally, brethren, whatsoever things are true, whatso­ever [Page 24] things are honest, whatsoever things are just, whatsoever things are pure, whatsoever things are lovely, whatsoever things are of good report; if there be any virtue, and if there be any praise, think on these things—’ ‘still pressing toward the mark for the prize of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus, adding grace to grace, and virtue to virtue, till ye are made meet to be partakers of that transcendent happiness, which surpasseth all human conception, and which God hath prepa­red for those who love and obey him.’

‘And now may the God of peace, that brought again from the dead our Lord Jesus, that great shepherd of the sheep, through the blood of the everlasting covenant, make you perfect in every good work to do his will, working in you that which is well pleasing in his sight, through Jesus Christ; to whom, with the divine illuminating Spirit, the tri-personal and ever adorable Godhead, be all glory and majesty, dominion and power, both now and ever.’ Amen.

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