For virtue practised such a habit gives,
That among men he like an angel lives;
Humbly he doth, and without envy, dwell,
Loved and admired by those he does excel.
Fools anger show, which politicians hide; 79
Bless’d with this fear, men let it not abide.
The humble man, when he receives a wrong,
Refers revenge to whom it doth belong;
Nor sees he reason why he should engage,
Or vex his spirit for another’s rage.
Placed on a rock, vain men he pities, toss’d
On raging waves, and in the tempest lost.
The rolling planets, and the glorious sun,
Still keep that order which they first begun;
They their first lesson constantly repeat,
Which their Creator as a law did set. 90
Above, below, exactly all obey;
But wretched men have found another way;
Knowledge of good and evil, as at first,
(That vain persuasion!) keeps them still accursed!
The Sacred Word refusing as a guide,
Slaves they become to luxury and pride.
As clocks, remaining in the skilful hand
Of some great master, at the figure stand,
But when abroad, neglected they do go,
At random strike, and the false hour do show; 100
So from our Maker wandering, we stray,
Like birds that know not to their nests the way.
In Him we dwelt before our exile here,
And may, returning, find contentment there:
True joy may find, perfection of delight,
Behold his face, and shun eternal night.
Silence, my Muse! make not these jewels cheap,
Exposing to the world too large a heap.
Of all we read, the Sacred Writ is best,
Where great truths are in fewest words express’d. 110
Wrestling with death, these lines I did indite;
No other theme could give my soul delight.
Oh that my youth had thus employ’d my pen! 113
Or that I now could write as well as then!
But ’tis of grace, if sickness, age, and pain,
Are felt as throes, when we are born again;
Timely they come to wean us from this earth,
As pangs that wait upon a second birth.
Occasioned upon sight of the 53d chapter of Isaiah
turned into verse by
Poets we prize, when in their verse we find
Some great employment of a worthy mind.
Angels have been inquisitive to know
The secret which this oracle does show.
What was to come, Isaiah did declare,
Which she describes as if she had been there;
Had seen the wounds, which, to the reader’s view,
She draws so lively that they bleed anew.
As ivy thrives which on the oak takes hold,
So, with the prophet’s, may her lines grow old! 10