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النشر الإلكتروني

And this delightful Earth, and that fair sky, Leap'd out of nothing, call'd by the Most High: By such a change thy darkness is made light, 640 Thy chaos order, and thy weakness might;

And He, whose pow'r mere nullity obeys,

Who found thee nothing, form'd thee for his praise.
To praise him is to serve him, and fulfil,
Doing and suff'ring, his unquestion'd will;
"Tis to believe what men inspir'd of old,
Faithful, and faithfully inform'd, unfold;
Candid and just, with no false aim in view,
To take for truth what cannot but be true;
To learn in God's own school the Christian part,
And bind the task assign'd thee to thine heart: 651
Happy the man there seeking and there found,
Happy the nation where such men abound.

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?

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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 trembled at, is hung
Disgracefully on ev'ry trifler's tongue,
Or serves the champion in forensic war
To flourish and parade with at the bar.
Pleasure herself perhaps suggests a plea,
If int❜rest move thee, to persuade ev'n thee;
By ev'ry charm, that smiles upon her face,
By joys possess'd, and joys still held in chase,
If dear society be worth a thought,

And if the feast of freedom cloy thee not,

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Reflect that these, and all that seems thine own,

Held by the tenure of his will alone,

Like angels in the service of their Lord,

Remain with thee, or leave thee at his word;

That gratitude and temp'rance in our use

Of what he gives unsparing and profuse,

Secure the favour, and enhance the joy,

That thankless waste and wild abuse destroy.
But above all reflect, how cheap soc'er

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Those rights, that millions envy thee, appear,
And though resolv'd to risk them, and swim down
The tide of pleasure, heedless of His frown,
That blessings truly sacred, and, when giv'n,
Mark'd with the signature and stamp of Heav'n,
The word of prophecy, those truths divine,

Which make that Heav'n, 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 philosophic pride;

And that judicially withdrawn, disgrace,
Errour, and darkness, occupy their place.

A world is up in arms, and thou, a spot
Not quickly found if negligently sought,
Thy soul as ample as thy bounds are small,
Endur'st the brunt, and dar'st defy them all:

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And wilt thou join to this bold enterprise
A bolder still, a contest with the skies?
Remember, if he guard thee and secure,

Whoe'er assails thee, the success is sure;

But if he leave thee, though thy skill and pow'r Of nations, sworn to spoil thee and devour, Were all collected in thy single arm,

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And thou couldst laugh away the fear of harm, That strength would fail, oppos'd against the push And feeble onset of a pigmy rush.

Say not (and if the thought of such defence

Should spring within thy bosom, drive it thence). What nation amongst all my foes is free

From crimes as base as any charg❜d on me?

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Their measure fill'd, they too shall pay the debt,
Which God, though long forborn, will not forget.
But know that Wrath divine, when most severe,
Makes justice still the guide of his career,
And will not punish, in one mingled crowd,

Them without light, and thee without a cloud.

Muse, hang this harp upon yon aged beech, Still murm'ring with the solemn truths I teach;

And while at intervals a cold blast sings

Thro' the dry leaves, and pants upon

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the strings,

My soul shall sigh in secret, and lament
A nation scourg'd, yet tardy to repent.
is sung in vain,

I know the warning song

That few will hear and fewer heed the strain;
But if a sweeter voice, and one design'd

A blessing to my country and mankind,
Reclaim the wand'ring thousands, and bring home
A flock so scatter'd and so wont to roam,

Then place it once again between my knees; 730
The sound of truth will then be sure to please:
And truth alone, where'er my life be cast,

In scenes of plenty, or the pining waste,

Shall be my chosen theme, my glory to the last.

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