‘Writing grace’: Moses.
Silence, you winds! listen, ethereal lights!
While our Urania sings what Heaven indites;
The numbers are the nymph’s; but from above
Descends the pledge of that eternal love.
Here wretched mortals have not leave alone,
But are instructed to approach His throne;
And how can He to miserable men
Deny requests which His own hand did pen?
In the Evangelists we find the prose
Which, paraphrased by her, a poem grows;
A devout rapture! so divine a hymn,
It may become the highest seraphim!
For they, like her, in that celestial choir,
Sing only what the Spirit does inspire.
Taught by our Lord, and theirs, with us they may
For all but pardon for offences pray.
SOME REFLECTIONS OF HIS UPON THE SEVERAL PETITIONS IN THE SAME PRAYER.
1 His sacred name with reverence profound
Should mention’d be, and trembling at the sound!
It was Jehovah; ’tis Our Father now;
So low to us does Heaven vouchsafe to bow!
He brought it down that taught us how to pray,
And did so dearly for our ransom pay.
2 His kingdom come. For this we pray in vain
Unless he does in our affections reign.
Absurd it were to wish for such a King,
And not obedience to His sceptre bring,
Whose yoke is easy, and His burthen light,
His service freedom, and his judgments right.
3 His will be done. In fact ’tis always
But, as in heaven, it must be made our own.
His will should all our inclinations sway,
Whom Nature, and the universe, obey.
Happy the man! whose wishes are confined
To what has been eternally designed;
Referring all to His paternal care,
To whom more dear than to ourselves we are.
4 It is not what our avarice hoards up;
’Tis He that feeds us, and that fills our cup;
Like new-born babes depending on the breast,
From day to day we on His bounty feast;
Nor should the soul expect above a day,
To dwell in her frail tenement of clay;
The setting sun should seem to bound our race,
And the new day a gift of special grace.
5 That he should all our trespasses forgive,
While we in hatred with our neighbours live;
Though so to pray may seem an easy task,
We curse ourselves when thus inclined we ask,
This prayer to use, we ought with equal care
Our souls, as to the sacrament, prepare.
The noblest worship of the Power above,
Is to extol, and imitate his love;
Not to forgive our enemies alone,
But use our bounty that they may be won.