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of song,


Ordained to guide the embodied spirit For which we shunned and hated thee before. home,

840 Then we are free: then liberty like day From toilsome life to never-ending rest. Breaks on the soul, and by a flash from Love kindles as I gaze. I feel desires

heaven That give assurance of their own success, Fires all the faculties with glorious joy. And that, infused from Heaven, must A voice is heard that mortal ears hear not thither tend.”

Till Thou hast touched them; 'tis the voice So reads he nature whom the lamp of truth Illuminates. Thy lamp, mysterious Word ! A loud Hosanna sent from all thy works, 888 Which whoso sees, no longer wanders lost, Which he that hears it with a shout repeats, With intellects bemazed in endless doubt, And adds his rapture to the general praise. But runs the road of wisdom. Thou hast In that blest moment, Nature throwing built,

wide With means that were not till by thee em- Her veil opaque, discloses with a smile ployed,

850 The Author of her beauties, who, retired Worlds that had never been hadst Thou in Bebind his own creation, works unseen strength

By the impure, and hears his power deBeen less, or less benevolent than strong.

nied. They are thy witnesses, who speak thy power Thou art the source and centre of all And goodness infinite, but speak in ears

minds, That hear not or receive not their report. Their only point of rest, Eternal Word! In vain thy creatures testify of thee From thee departing, they are lost and Till Thou proclaim thyself. Theirs is indeed

At random without honour, hope, or peace. A teaching voice; but 'tis the praise of thine From thee is all that soothes the life of That whom it teaches it makes prompt to


900 learn,

859 His high endeavour, and his glad success, And with the boon gives talents for its use. His strength to suffer, and his will to Till Thou art heard, imaginations vain Possess the heart, and fables false as hell, But oh, Thon bounteous Giver of all good! Yet deemed oracular, lure down to death Thou art of all thy gifts thyself the crown! The uninformed and heedless souls of men. Give what Thou canst, without Thee we are We give to Chance, blind Chance, our

poor; selves as blind,

And with Thee rich, take that Thou wilt The glory of thy work, which yet appears

away. Perfect and unimpeachable of blame, Challenging human scrutiny, and proved Then skilful most when most severely judged.

THE DIVERTING HISTORY OF Bat Chance is not; or is not where Thou

JOHN GILPIN reignest:

870 Thy Providence forbids that fickle power


HE INTENDED AND CAME SAFE (If power she be that works but to con

To mix the wild vagaries with thy laws.

[Publ. 1783]
Yet thus we dote, refusing, while we can
Instruction, and inventing to ourselves JOHN GILPIN was a citizen
Gods such as guilt makes welcome; gods

Of credit and renown,
that sleep,

A train-band captain eke was he
Or disregard our follies, or that sit

Of famous London town.
Amused spectators of this bustling stage.
Thee we reject, unable to abide

John Gilpin's spouse said to her dear, Thy purity, till pare as Thou art pure, 880 “Though wedded we have been Made such by thee, we love thee for that These twice ten tedious years, yet we

No holiday have seen.




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And now, as he went bowing down

His reeking head full low, The bottles twain behind his back

Were shattered at a blow.

Down ran the wine into the road,

Most piteous to be seen, Which made his horse's flanks to smoke

As they had basted been.


But still he seemed to carry weight,

With leathern girdle braced; For all might see the bottle-necks

Still dangling at his waist.

“What news? what news? your tidings tell;

Tell me you must and shall
Say why bareheaded you are come,

Or why you come at all ?”
Now Gilpin had a pleasant wit,

And loved a timely joke; And thus unto the calender

In merry guise he spoke: “I came because your horse would come,

And, if I well forebode,
My hat and wig will soon be here, –

They are upon the road.”
The calender, right glad to find

His friend in merry pin,
Returned him not a single word,

But to the house went in;



Thus all through merry Islington

These gambols he did play, Until he came unto the Wash

Of Edmonton so gay; And there he threw the Wash about

On both sides of the way, Just like unto a trundling mop,

Or a wild goose at play.

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Away went Gilpin, and away

Went Gilpin's hat and wig : He lost them sooner than at first;

For why ? — they were too big. Now Mistress Gilpin, when she saw

Her husband posting down Into the country far away,

She pulled out half-a-crown;



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[Publ. 1798] On that those lips bad language ! Life has

passed With me but roughly since I heard thee

last. Those lips are thine - thy own sweet smile


see, The same that oft in childhood solaced

me ; Voice only fails, else how distinct they say, “Grieve not, my child, chase all thy fears The meek intelligence of those dear eyes (Blessed be the art that can immortalize, The art that baffles Time's tyrannic claim To quench it) here shines on me still the







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Faithful remembrancer of one so dear, 'Tis now become a history little known, O welcome guest, though unexpected here ! That once we called the pastoral house our Who bidst me honour with an artless song, Affectionate, a mother lost so long,

Short-lived possession ! but the record fair I will obey, not willingly alone,

That memory keeps, of all thy kindness But gladly, as the precept were her own :

there, And, while that face renews my filial grief, Still outlives many a storm that has effaced Fancy shall weave

a charm for my relief, A thousand other themes less deeply traced. Shall steep me in Elysian reverie,

Thy nightly visits to my chamber made, A momentary dream that thou art she. That thou mightst know me safe and warmly My mother! when I learnt that thou laid ; wast dead,

Thy morning bounties ere I left my home, Say, wast thou conscious of the tears I The biscuit, or confectionary plum ; shed ?

The fragrant waters on my cheek bestowed Hovered thy spirit o'er thy sorrowing son, By thy own hand, till fresh they shone and Wretch even then, life's journey just be glowed ;

All this, and more endearing still than all, Perhaps thou gavest me, though unfelt, a Thy constant flow of love, that knew no kiss:

fall, Perhaps a tear, if souls can weep in bliss Ne'er roughened by those cataracts and Ah, that maternal smile! It answers — Yes.

brakes I heard the bell tolled on thy burial day, That humour interposed too often makes; I saw the hearse that bore thee slow away,

All this still legible in memory's page, And, turning from my nursery window,

And still to be so to my latest age, drew

Adds joy to duty, makes me glad to pay 70 A long, long sigh, and wept a last adieu! Such honours to thee as my numbers may; But was it such ? It was. Where thou Perhaps a frail memorial, but sincere,

Not scorned in heaven, though little noticed Adieus and farewells are a sound unknown.

here. May I but meet thee on that peaceful Could Time, his flight reversed, restore shore,

the hours, The parting word shall pass my lips no When, playing with thy vesture's tissued more !

flowers, Thy maidens, grieved themselves at my The violet, the pink, and jessamine, concern,

I pricked them into paper with a pin Oft gave me promise of thy quick return. (And thou wast happier than myself the What ardently I wished I long believed,

while, And, disappointed still, was still deceived. Wouldst softly speak, and stroke my

head By expectation every day beguiled,

and smile), Dupe of to-morrow even from a child. Could those few pleasant days again apThus many a sad to-morrow came and

pear, went,

Might one wish bring them, would I wish Till, all my stock of infant sorrow spent,

them here? I learnt at last submission to my lot ; I would not trust my heart the dear deBut, though I less deplored thee, ne'er for- light

Seems so to be desired, perhaps I might. — Where once we dwelt our name is heard But no — what here we call our life is no more,

such Children not thine have trod my nursery

So little to be loved, and thou so much, floor;

That I should ill requite thee to constrain And where the gardener Robin, day by day, Thy unbound spirit into bonds again. Drew me to school along the public way, Thou, as a gallant bark from Albion's Delighted with my baublecoach, and

coast wrapped

(The storms all weathered and the ocean In scarlet mantle warm, and velvet capped, crossed)

art gone





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