Imágenes de páginas
PDF
EPUB

Pride, where Wit fails, steps in to our defense,
And fills up all the mighty void of sense.
If once right reason drives that cloud away
Truth breaks upon us with resistless day.
Trust not yourself; but, your defects to know,
Make use of every friend—and every

foe.
A little learning is a dangerous thing!
Drink deep, or taste not the Pierian spring :
There shallow draughts intoxicate the brain,
And drinking largely sobers us again.
Fired at first sight with what the Muse imparts,
In fearless youth we tempt the heights of Arts,

While, from the bounded level of our mind,
Short views we take, nor see the lengths behind;
But more advanced, behold with strange surprise
New distant scenes of endless science rise !
So pleased at first the towering Alps we try,
Mount o'er the vales, and seem to tread the sky;
Th' eternal snows appear already past,
And the first clouds and mountains seem the last :
But, those attain’d, we tremble to survey
The growing labors of the lengthen'd way;
Th’increasing prospect tires our wandering eyes,
Hills peep o'er hills, and Alps on Alps arise !

THE SCALE OF BEING.

FROM THE “ ESSAY ON Man." AR as Creation's ample range extends, From poisonous herbs extracts the healing dew? The scale of sensual, mental powers as- How Instinct varies in the grovelling swine, cends :

Compared, half-reasoning elephant, with thine ! Mark how it mounts to man's imperial race, 'Twixt that, and Reason, what a nice barrier ! From the green myriads in the peopled grass; Forever separate, yet forever near ! What modes of sight betwixt each wide extreme, Remembrance and Reflection, how allied ; The mole's dim curtain and the lynx's beam : What thin partitions Sense from Thought diOf smell, the headlong lioness between,

vide! And hound sagacious on the tainted green ; And Middle natures, how they long to join, Of hearing, from the life that fills the food, Yet never pass the insuperable line ! To that which warbles through the vernal wood; Without this just gradation, could they be The spider's touch, how exquisitely fine !

Subjected, these to those, or all to thee? Feels at each thread, and lives along the line: The powers of all, subdued by thee alone, In the nice bee, what sense, so subtly true, Is not thy Reason all these powers in one?

SOUND AN ECHO TO THE SENSE.

FROM THE “ESSAY ON CRITICISM." IS not enough no harshness gives offense, When Ajax strives some rock's vast weight to The sound must seem an Echo to the

throw,

The line too labors, and the words move slow : Soft is the strain when Zephyr gently blows, Not so when swift Camilla scours the plain, And the smooth stream in smoother numbers flows; Flies o'er th' unbending corn, and skims along But when loud surges lash the sounding shore,

the main. The hoarse,rough verse should like the torrent roar.

sense:

OMNIPRESENCE OF THE DEITY.

FROM THE “ ESSAY ON Man."
LL are but parts of one stupendous whole, Spreads undivided, operates unspent;

Whose body Nature is, and God the soul ; Breathes in our soul, informs our mortal part,
That, changed through all, and yet in all As full, as perfect, in a hair as heart;

As full, as perfect, in vile Man that mourns, Great in the earth, as in th' ethereal frame, As the rapt Seraph that adores and burns ; Warms in the sun, refreshes in the breeze,

To Him, no high, no low, no great, no small; Glows in the stars, and blossoms in the trees; He fills, He bounds, connects, and equals all. Lives through all life, extends through all extent,

the same,

[ocr errors]
[blocks in formation]

ISAAC WATTS.

WRITER OF CHRISTIAN HYMNS.

[ocr errors]

HE “Hymns,” “ Psalms,” and “Songs for Children ” of Dr. Watts

have been more read and committed to memory, have exerted more holy influences, and made more lasting impressions for good upon the human heart than the productions of any other writer of verse. But Isaac Watts does not hold high rank as a poet, and during his lifetime was quite as much known as a philosopher and

theologian as for his poetical works. Indeed, his “Logic” and “Improvement of the Mind” may still be regarded as standard books. His poems are all of a religious character, many of them having been written for children. He versified the entire book of Psalms, and many of his “Hymns" find a place in the hymn-books of all Christian denominations. It is their ready adaptation to musical rendering, their broad Christian spirit, and their beautiful and tender simplicity, rather than their artistic merits as poems, which have endeared these hymns to so many and such widely different people.

Isaac Watts was a precocious child; he composed verses, as we are told, before he was three years old, began to study Latin at four, and could read easy authors at five. Being a Dissenter, he could not enter one of the Universities, but received a thorough education, and became tutor in a private family. In 1698 he was chosen assistant minister of the Independent congregation in Mark Lane, London, of which he became pastor in 1702. Owing to feeble health he resigned this charge, and in 1712 was invited by Sir Thomas Abney, of Abney Park, near London, to become an inmate of his family. Here he remained during the remaining thirty-six years of his life, preaching not infrequently and writing many books in prose and verse. He continued to receive from his congregation the salary which they insisted upon his accepting, and there were many and continuous evidences of the love and esteem in which he was held, not only by those of his immediate circle, but by the general public. He died in 1748, at the age of seventy-four.

“It is the plain promises of the Gospel,” said he, near his death, “ that are my support; and I bless God they are plain promises, and do not require much labor and pains to understand them, for I can do nothing now but look into my Bible for some promise to support me, and live upon that. .” “He is one of the few poets," says Dr. Johnson, “with whom youth and ignorance may be safely pleased ; and happy will be that reader whose mind is disposed, by his verses or his prose, to copy his benevolence to man and his reverence to God.”

[graphic]

THE ROSE. OW fair is the rose ! what a beautiful flower, So frail is the youth and the beauty of men, The glory of April and May !

Though they bloom and look gay like the But the leaves are beginning to fade in an rose ; hour,

But all our fond cares to preserve them is vain, And they wither and die in a day.

Time kills them as fast as he goes. Yet the rose has one powerful virtue to boast, Then I'll not be proud of my youth nor my Above all the flowers of the field;

beauty, When its leaves are all dead, and its fine colors Since both of them wither and fade ; lost,

But gain a good name by well doing my duty; Still how sweet a perfume it will yield !

This will scent like a rose when I'm dead.

[ocr errors]

THE EARNEST STUDENT.
NFINITE Truth, the life of my desires,

Retire, my soul, within thyself retire,
Come from the sky, and join thyself to Away from sense and every outward show:

Now let my thoughts to loftier themes
I'm tired with hearing, and this reading

aspire; tires ;

My knowledge now on wheels of fire, But never tired of telling thee,

May mount and spread above, surveying all 'Tis thy fair face alone my spirit burns to see.

below."

me:

[merged small][merged small][ocr errors]

THERE IS A LAND OF PURE DELIGHT.
HERE is a land of pure delight,

But timorous mortals start and shrink
Where saints immortal reign;

To cross this narrow sea,
Infinite day excludes the night,

And linger shivering on the brink,
And pleasures banish pain.

And fear to launch away.
There everlasting Spring abides,

Oh! could we make our doubts removeAnd never-withering flowers ;

Those gloomy doubts that rise-
Death, like a narrow sea, divides

And see the Canaan that we love
This heavenly land from ours.

With unbeclouded eyes;
Sweet fields beyond the swelling flood

Could we but climb where Moses stood, Stand dressed in living green;

And view the landscape o'er, So to the Jews old Canaan stood,

Not Jordan's stream nor Death's cold flood While Jordan rolled between.

Should fright us from the shore.

LOOKING UPWARD.
HE heavens invite mine eye,

They're but the porches to thy courts,
The stars salute me round;

And paintings on thy walls.
Father, I blush, I mourn to lie
Thus groveling on the ground.

Vain world, farewell to you;

Heaven is my native air :
My warmer spirits move,

I bid my friends a short adieu,
And make attempts to fly;

Impatient to be there.
I wish aloud for wings of love
To raise me swift and high.

I feel my powers released

From their old fleshy clod ;
Beyond those crystal vaults,

Fair guardian, bear me up in haste,
And all their sparkling balls ;

And set me near my God.

MY DEAR REDEEMER. Y DEAR Redeemer, and my Lord !

Cold mountains, and the midnight air,
I read my duty in Thy word ;

Witnessed the fervor of Thy prayer :
But in Thy life the law appears,

The desert Thy temptations knew-
Drawn out in living characters.

Thy conflict, and Thy victory too.

Such was Thy truth, and such Thy zeal,
Such deference to Thy Father's will,
Such love, and meekness so divine,
I would transcribe, and make them mine.

Be thou my pattern ; make me bear
More of thy gracious image here;
Then God, the judge, shall own my name
Among the followers of the Lamb.

[ocr errors]

COME, WE THAT LOVE THE LORD.
OME, we that love the Lord,

Celestial fruits on earthly ground
And let our joys be known ;

From faith and hope may grow.
Join in the song with sweet accord,
And thus surround the throne.

The hill of Zion yields

A thousand sacred sweets,
Let those refuse to sing,

Before we reach the heavenly fields,
Who never knew our God;

Or walk the golden streets.
But favorites of the Heavenly King
May speak their joys abroad.

Then let our songs abourd,

And every tear be dry ; The men of grace have found

We're marching through Emmanuel's ground Glory begun below;

To fairer worlds on high.

040..

[ocr errors]

WHEN I SURVEY THE WONDROUS CROSS. HEN I survey the wondrous cross

See from His head, His hands, His feet, On which the Prince of Glory died,

Sorrow and love flow mingled down !
My richest gain I count but loss,

Did e'er such love and sorrow meet,
And pour contempt on all my pride.

Or thorns compose so rich a crown?

Forbid it, Lord, that I should boast

Save in the death of Christ, my God; All the vain things that charm me most

I sacrifice them to His blood.

Were the whole realm of Nature mine,

That were a present far too small; Love so amazing, so divine,

Demands my soul, my life, my all.

« AnteriorContinuar »