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Leaving anxious thoughts behind,
Give to-morrow to the wind.
Strike the tabor, sweetly play,
We keep jocund holiday..
By guileful flatt'ry-won, the heedless youth
Thus falls an easy prey; he joins the throng
Of folly's children, in their mad career,
Ranging the giddy maze of vanity.
Nor sees the snare, nor heeds the dreadful gulph,
Upon whose verge he dances : gulph of woe !
Whose op'ning jaws have swallow'd thousands down
In fathomless destruction. Hapless souls !
A while they swam in pleasure's treach'rous sea,
Reveld a moment in fantastic joys,
Then split upon the rock, their vessel bilg'd,
And down, down, down they sunk to endless woe,
And infinite perdition ; there to dwell,
And weep, and groan, a long eternity.
So the young ox, with festive wreaths adorn'd,
Mid sprightly sounds, proud of his honors, goes
With stately steps along, thoughtless of harm,
'Till in his throat the sacrificer's knife
Deep plung'd, the bleeding victim falls and dies.
With downcast look, in pensive attitude,
Celesto stands; his gen'rous breast can feel
And kindly pity his deluded charge.
'Twas his to guard him from corporeal harm,
That might with forceful acts of violence
His safety injure; but to guard his heart
From Satan's wiles, to influence his will,
Shield his affections, and preserve his soul,
Angelic pow'r here fails; not Gabriel's self,
Raphael, nor all the heav'nly host combin'd,
Can stand sufficient for the mighty task.
The Lord of Hosts alone, the great I AM!
By his Almighty grace, can keep the soul,
Rebuke the tempter, give to feeble man,
O'er sin, the world, and self, the victory!
Yet, full of noble zeal, the angel glow'd,
Zeal for his God! and faithful love to him
Whose welfare providence had made his care.
And see! he spreads his wings and soars aloft,
far and wide in search of one
He deem'd of pow'r sufficient to reclaim
And bring the wand'rer back, and turn his feet
From error's maze, to tread in paths of peace.
Long fruitless prov'd his toil, but found at length;
With accents mild and countenance serene,
He to Religion thus his speech address'd.
Offspring of heav'n, belov'd of God, I come To crave thy pow'rful aid, my earthly charge, A youth committed to my strictest care By our great master, late betray'd, entic'd By her, who potent reigns in human hearts, And leads them far from God, and holds them bound In cursed chains, blind vot'ries to her will : Thou knows't her well, 'tis Syren, foe declar'd
To God and thee, his image and delight.
Come, and let thy sweet voice attract his ears,
For on thy tongue melodious music hangs ;
Come, and disclose thy beauties to his sight,
And charm his heart by thy mysterious pow'r.
O shew his feet the way that leads to life,
And break the snare, and snatch him from the arms
Of that false sorceress, and in his breast
O raise thy holy, happy, peaceful throne,
And make him bless'd indeed.
To thy request, fair angel, I attend;
Thy tale with grief I hear, nor slack shall prove
To use my utmost skill, and to his ear
Bring truth divine. But know, my utmost pow'r
Can but his ear assail ; 'tis not in me
To turn the bias of his heart corrupt ;
My elder sister, grace divine, alone
Can ope those doors, to me by nature shut.
'Tis her prerogative to melt the heart,
Change the affections, new create the soul,
And reinstate me in my rightful throne.
Then shall I sway my peaceful sceptre there,
And guide his feet in wisdom's pleasant paths.
Who can save a wretch undone ?
Who can melt a heart of stone ?
None but grace, from Jesus sent,
Grace indeed, omnipotent!
See the fruitless heath appear
Barren, desolate and bare ;
Parch'd with heat, no moisture nigh,
Open to the sult'ry sky.
Grace can look the drought away,
Dress it in the robes of May;
See the leafy train arise,
Spicy odours fill the skies.
Heav'nly dews refresh the ground,
Fruitfulness smiles all around;
See the wilderness no more,
Eden opes her plenteous store.
'Tis true ; but know, dear maid, tho' Henry now Runs in the devious paths of sin astray, His name in heav'nly records is set down, And in eternal love he bears a part ; For heav'nly spirits 'tend not those whose end Is misery and woe: 'we minister At our dread Lord's command, to those who share In his redeeming love, for whose dear sake, He, manifest in flesh, on earth appear'd, And took their sins, and nail'd them to his cross, That he might snatch them from the jaws of hell By pow'r almighty, and supernal grace. Here springs a ray of light; then, who can tell, But when thy 'voice arrests his outward ear, And pourtrays to his view the joys which flow
From undefil'd religion, all sincere,
An unseen hand,' an energy divine,
May fix the lesson home upon his heart,
And teach him heav'nly wisdom.
.........Celesto lead, Thy steps I follow, and with warm desire, To see this brand pluck'd from sin's hateful fire.
Now had the cock's shril clarion wak'd the morn,
And callid Aurora from her soft repose
T' unlock the gate of day, the soaring lark
Warbled his early matins; from each bush
The feather'd songsters sent sweet melody,
To greet th' approach of light, in varied notes;
When, lo! the rover, flush'd with gay delights,
Fatigu'd with midnight revels, stroll'd recluse,
Revolving in his mind past pleasures o'er,
And big with expectation, fond and vain.
But see! religion comes, with modest step,
Treading the dewy grass ; her progress mark'd
By springing flow'rets, fragrantly sweet ; :
Her unadorned tresses careless hang
On either shoulder, while a snow-white robe
Her beauteous form conceals : around her, girt
Fast with a golden girdle, to her feet
Her robe descends in flowing majesty ;
In her fair face no wanton blushes rise
From thought impure, or laughing levity,
But holy cheerfulness sits native there,