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- Miscellaneous Poems - 3/8 -


I've been of thousand devils caught, And thrust into that horrid place Where reign dismay, despair, disgrace; Furies with iron fangs were there, To torture that accursed race Doom'd to dismay, disgrace, despair.

Harmless I was; yet hunted down For treasons, to my soul unfit; I've been pursued through many a town, For crimes that petty knaves commit; I've been adjudged t'have lost my wit, Because I preached so loud and well; And thrown into the dungeon's pit, For trampling on the pit of hell.

Such were the evils, man of sin, That I was fated to sustain; And add to all, without--within, A soul defiled with every stain That man's reflecting mind can pain; That pride, wrong, rage, despair, can make; In fact, they'd nearly touch'd my brain, And reason on her throne would shake.

But pity will the vilest seek, If punish'd guilt will not repine, - I heard a heavenly teacher speak, And felt the SUN OF MERCY shine: I hailed the light! the birth divine! And then was seal'd among the few; Those angry fiends beheld the sign, And from me in an instant flew.

Come hear how thus the charmers cry To wandering sheep, the strays of sin, While some the wicket-gate pass by, And some will knock and enter in: Full joyful 'tis a soul to win, For he that winneth souls is wise; Now hark! the holy strains begin, And thus the sainted preacher cries: --{1}

"Pilgrim, burthen'd with thy sin, Come the way to Zion's gate, There, till Mercy let thee in, Knock and weep and watch and wait. Knock!--He knows the sinner's cry! Weep!--He loves the mourner's tears: Watch!--for saving grace is nigh: Wait,--till heavenly light appears.

"Hark! it is the Bridegroom's voice: Welcome, pilgrim, to thy rest; Now within the gate rejoice, Safe and seal'd and bought and blest! Safe--from all the lures of vice, Seal'd--by signs the chosen know, Bought--by love and life the price, Blest--the mighty debt to owe.

"Holy Pilgrim! what for thee In a world like this remain? From thy guarded breast shall flee Fear and shame, and doubt and pain. Fear--the hope of Heaven shall fly, Shame--from glory's view retire, Doubt--in certain rapture die, Pain--in endless bliss expire."

But though my day of grace was come, Yet still my days of grief I find; The former clouds' collected gloom Still sadden the reflecting mind; The soul, to evil things consign'd, Will of their evil some retain; The man will seem to earth inclined, And will not look erect again.

Thus, though elect, I feel it hard To lose what I possess'd before, To be from all my wealth debarr'd, - The brave Sir Eustace is no more: But old I wax, and passing poor, Stern, rugged men my conduct view; They chide my wish, they bar my door, 'Tis hard--I weep--you see I do. -

Must you, my friends, no longer stay? Thus quickly all my pleasures end; But I'll remember when I pray, My kind physician and his friend; And those sad hours, you deign to spend With me, I shall requite them all; Sir Eustace for his friends shall send, And thank their love at Greyling Hall.

VISITOR.

The poor Sir Eustace!--Yet his hope Leads him to think of joys again; And when his earthly visions droop, His views of heavenly kind remain: But whence that meek and humbled strain, That spirit wounded, lost, resign'd? Would not so proud a soul disdain The madness of the poorest mind?

PHYSICIAN.

No! for the more he swell'd with pride, The more he felt misfortune's blow; Disgrace and grief he could not hide, And poverty had laid him low: Thus shame and sorrow working slow, At length this humble spirit gave; Madness on these began to grow, And bound him to his fiends a slave.

Though the wild thoughts had touch'd his brain, Then was he free: --So, forth he ran; To soothe or threat, alike were vain: He spake of fiends; look'd wild and wan; Year after year, the hurried man Obey'd those fiends from place to place; Till his religious change began To form a frenzied child of grace.

For, as the fury lost its strength, The mind reposed; by slow degrees Came lingering hope, and brought at length, To the tormented spirit, ease: This slave of sin, whom fiends could seize, Felt or believed their power had end: - "'Tis faith," he cried, "my bosom frees, And now my SAVIOUR is my friend."

But ah! though time can yield relief, And soften woes it cannot cure; Would we not suffer pain and grief, To have our reason sound and sure? Then let us keep our bosoms pure, Our fancy's favourite flights suppress; Prepare the body to endure, And bend the mind to meet distress; And then HIS guardian care implore, Whom demons dread and men adore.

"THE HALL OF JUSTICE", IN TWO PARTS.

PART I.

Confiteor facere hoc annos; sed et altera causa est, Anxietas animi, continuusque dolor. OVID. -------------------

MAGISTRATE, VAGRANT, CONSTABLE, &c.

VAGRANT.

Take, take away thy barbarous hand, And let me to thy Master speak; Remit awhile the harsh command, And hear me, or my heart will break.

MAGISTRATE.

Fond wretch! and what canst thou relate, But deeds of sorrow, shame, and sin? Thy crime is proved, thou know'st thy fate; But come, thy tale!--begin, begin! -

VAGRANT.

My crime!--This sick'ning child to feed. I seized the food, your witness saw; I knew your laws forbade the deed, But yielded to a stronger law.

Know'st thou, to Nature's great command All human laws are frail and weak? Nay! frown not--stay his eager hand, And hear me, or my heart will break.

In this, th' adopted babe I hold With anxious fondness to my breast, My heart's sole comfort I behold, More dear than life, when life was blest; I saw her pining, fainting, cold, I begg'd--but vain was my request.

I saw the tempting food, and seized - My infant-sufferer found relief; And in the pilfer'd treasure pleased,


Miscellaneous Poems - 3/8

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