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ANSWER BY A FRENCH PROTESTANT.
A Christian church once at Montpelier stood,
TWO HAPPY RIVALS,
DEVOTION AND THE MUSE.
Wild as the lightning, various as the moon,
Roves my Pindaric song: Here she glows like burning noon
In fiercest flames, and here she plays Gentle as star-beams on the midnight seas;
Now in a smiling angel's form,
Anon she rides upon the storm,
Are my thoughts and wishes free,
The links and chains,
(she reigns. If she roves
By streams or groves,
If with bold attempt she sings
Tottering thrones and nations slain;
While thunders roar
From shore to shore, My soul sits fast upon her wings, And sweeps the crimson surge, or scours the pur.
ple plain ; Still I attend her as she flies, Round the broad globe, and all beneath the skies.
But when from the meridian star
Long streaks of glory shine,
The Muse ascends her heavenly car,
Then she leaves my fluttering mind [divine,
Virtue lags with heavy wheel;
As the winged numbers fly,
Half way the ethereal hill.
O why is Piety so weak,
And yet the Muse so strong!
That have confin'd me long?
A spark of heavenly day;
Faint are the efforts of my will,
Shine from the sky,
And call me high
Devotion there begins the flight,
Trace out new regions in the world of light, And scarce the boldest Muse can follow or obey.
I'm in a dream, and Fancy reigns,
Or is the vision true ?
In awful state descending down,
She smiles, and with a courteous hand
She beckons me away ; I feel mine airy powers loose from the cumbrous
clay, And with a joyful haste obey
Religion's high command.
In an unmeasur'd sphere !
That greater traveller!
And all that poets know :
Leave the fluttering Muse behind,
down the wind. Amongst the clouds I lose my breath,
The rapture grows too strong : The feeble powers that Nature gave
Faint, and drop downward to the grave; Receive their fall, thou treasurer of death,
I will no more demand my tongue, Till the gross organ, well refind, Can trace the boundless flights of an unfetter'd mind,
And raise an equal song,
The following Poems of this Book are peculiarly dedi
cated to Divine Love.*
HAZARD OF LOVING THE CREATURES. WHERE’Er my futtering passions rove,
I find a lurking snare ; 'Tis dangerous to let loose our love
Beneath the Eternal Fair.
Souls whom the tie of friendship binds,
And partners of our blood,
And leave the less for God.
Nature has soft but powerful bands,
And 'reason she controuls ;
Hang closest to our souls.
Thoughtless they act the Old Serpent's part ;
What tempting things they be!
And draw it off from thee!
Our hasty wills rush blindly on
Where rising passion rolls,
To bind our slavish souls.
• Different ages have their different airs and fashions of writing. It was much more the fashion of the age, when these poems were written, to treat of Divine subjects in the style of Solomon's Song, than it is aí this day, which will afford some apology for the writer in his younger years.