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Dar'd to suppose the subject had a choice,
Kneel now, and lay thy forehead in the dust; Blush, if thou canst; not petrified, thou must ; Act but an honest and a faithful part ; Compare what then thou wast with what thou art ; And, God's disposing providence confessid, Obduracy itself must yield the rest.Then thou art bound to serve him, and to prove, Hour after hour, thy gratitude and love.
Has he not hid thee, and thy favour'd land, For ages safe beneath his sheltering hand, Given thee his blessing on the clearest proof, Bid nations leagu'd against thee stand aloof, And charg'd hostility and hate to roar Where else they would, but not upon thy shore ? His power secur'd thee when presumptuous Spain Baptiz'd her fleet invincible in vain. Her gloomy monarch, doubtful and resign'd To every pang that racks an anxious mind, Ask'd of the waves that broke upon his coast, What tidings ? and the surge replied-All lost !
And when the Stuart, leaning on the Scot,
• Alluding to the grant of Magna Charta, which was es. torted from King John by the Barons, at Runnymede, near
Now think, if pleasure have a thought to spare ; If God himself be not beneath her care ! If business, constant as the wheels of time, Can pause an hour to read a serious rhyme ; If the new mail thy merchants now receive, Or expectation of the next, give leave ; Oh think, if chargeable with deep arrears For such indulgence gilding all thy years, How much, though long neglected, shining yet, The beams of heavenly truth have swell'd the debt ! When persecuting zeal måde royal sport With tortur'd innocence in Mary's court, And Bonner, blithe as shepherd at a wake, Enjoy'd the show, and danc'd about the stake ; The sacred book, its value understood, Receiv'd the seal of martyrdom in blood. Those holy men, so full of truth and grace, Seem, to reflection, of a different race ; Meek, modest, venerable, wise, sincere, In such a cause they could not dare to fear ; They could not purchase earth with such a prize, Or spare a life too short to reach the skies. From them to thee convey'd along the tide, Their streaming hearts pour'd freely when they died; Those truths, which neither use nor years impair, Invite thee, woo thee, to the bliss they share. What dotage will not vanity maintain ? What web too weak to catch a modern brain ? The moles and bats in full assembly find, On special search, the keen ey'd eagle blind.
And did they dream, and art thou wiser now?
How shall a verse impress thee? by what name Shall I adjure thee not to court thy shame ? By theirs, whose bright example, unimpeach'd, Directs thee to that eminence they reach'd Heroes and worthies of days past, thy sires ? Or his, who touch'd their hearts with hallow'd fires ! Their names, alas ! in vain reproach an age, Whom all the vanities they scorn'd, engage;
And his, that seraphs tremble at, is hung
But, above all, reflect-how cheap soe'er Those rights, that millions envy thee, appear, And, though resolv'd to risk them, and swim down The tide of pleasure, heedless of his frownThat blessings truly sacred, and when given Mark'd with the signature and stamp of Heaven, The word of prophecy, those truths divine, Which make that heaven, if thou desire it, thine, (Awful alternative ! believ'd, belov'd, Thy glory; and thy shame, if unimprov'd} Are never long vouchsaf'd, if push'd aside With cold disgust, or philosopłuc pride ;