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Before the loud melodious spheres Their tuneful round begun Before the shining roads of heav'n Were measur'd by the sun :
Ere through the empyrean courts One hallelujah rung;
Or to their harps the sons of light Ecstatic anthems sung:
Ere men ador'd, or angels knew,
Or prais'd thy wond'rous name; Thy bliss, O sacred Spring of life! Thy glory, was the same.
And when the pillars of the world
When from her orb the moon shall start,
For ever permanent and fix'd, From agitation free, Unchang'd in everlasting years, Shall thy existence be...
$9. Another Hymn, from Psalm 148th. Ogilvie.
And praise th' Almighty's name:
To swell th' inspiring theme.
Your Maker's wond'rous power proclaim,
Ye angels, catch the thrilling sound!
And touch the sweetest string. Join, ye loud spheres, the vocal choir ; Thon dazzling orb of liquid fire, The mighty chorus aid : Soon as grey ev'ning gilds the plain, Thou, moon, protract the melting strain, And praise him in the shade
Thou heav'n of heav'ns, his vast abode, Ye clouds, proclaim your forming God,
Who call'd yon worlds from night: "Ye shades, dispel !"-th' Eternal said: At once th' involving darkness fled, And nature sprung to light. Whate'er a blooming world contains, That wings the air, that skims the plains, United praise bestow :
Him wouldst thou please? With rev'rend awe
To him who shap'd your finer mould,
Ye whom the charms of grandent please,
Ye fair, by nature form'd to more,
§ 10. Psalm 4th. DEFENDER of my rightful cause, While anguish from bosom draws The deep-felt sigh, the ceaseless pray'r, O make thy servant still thy care. That aid, which oft my griefs has heal'd, To aid again, entreated, yield. How long, ye sons of pride, how long Shall falsehood arm your impious tongue, And erring rage your breast inflame, My pow'r to thwart, my acts defame? To God my heart shall vent its woe, Who, prompt his blessings to bestow On each whose breast has learn'd his fear, Bows to my plaint the willing ear.
Do Thou, my God, do Thou reply,
§11. Psalm 5th.
To Thee, whom nought obscur'd by stain
And share the gifts on those bestow'd, Who love the name of Jacob's God. To each who bears a guiltless heart, Thy grace its blessings shall impart; Strong as the brazen shield, thy aid Around him casts its cov'ring shade.
§ 12. Psalm 6th. Merrick. O SPARE me, Lord, nor o'er my head The fulness of thy vengeance shed. With pitying eye my weakness view, Heal my vex'd soul, my strength renew; And O, if yet my sins demand The wise corrections of thy hand, Yet give my pains their bounds to know, And fix a period to my woe. Return, great God, return, and save Thy servant from the greedy grave. Shall Death's long-silent tongue, O say, The records of thy pow'r display, Or pale Corruption's startled ear, Thy praise within its prison hear? By langour, grief, and care opprest, With groans perpetual heaves my breast, And tears, in large profusion shed, Incessant lave my sleepless bed. My life, though yet in mid carcer, Beholds the winter of its year, (While clouds of grief around me roll, And hostile storms invade my soul.) Relentless from my cheek each trace Of youth and blooming health erase, And spread before my wasting sight The shades of all-obscuring night. Hence, ve profane: My Saviour hears; While yet I speak, he wipes my tears, Accepts my pray'r, and bids each foe With shame their vain attempts forego, And, struck with horror from on high, In wild disorder backward fly,
His rank awhile, by thy decree,
§ 13. Psalm 8th. Merrick. IMMORTAL King! Through Earth's wide frame How great thy honor, praise, and name! Whose reign o'er distant worlds extends, Whose glory, heav'n's vast height transcends. From infants thou canst strength upraise, And form their lisping tongues to praise: By these the vengeance-breathing Foe Thy mightier terrors taught to know, In mute astonishment shall stand, And bow beneath thy conqu'ring hand, When, rapt in thought, with wakeful eye I view the wonders of the sky, Whose frame thy fingers o'er our head In rich magnificence have spread; The silent Moon, with waxing horn, Along th' ethereal region borne; The stars with vivid lustre crown'd, That nightly walk their destin'd round, Lord! What is Man, that in thy care His humble lot should find a share; Or what the Son of Man, that Thou Thus to his wants thy ear shouldst bow?
§14. Psalm 23d, Merrick. Lo, my Shepherd's hand divine! Want shall never more be mine. In a pasture fair and large He shall feed his happy Charge, And my couch with tend'rest care Midst the springing grass prepare. When I faint with summer's heat, He shall lead my weary feet To the streams that still and slow Through the verdant meadow flow, He my soul anew shall frame, And, his mercy to proclaim, When through devious paths I stray, the better way. Teach my stepe Though the dreary vale I tread By the shades of death o'erspread; There I walk from terror free, While my ev'ry wish I see By thy rod and staff supplied; This my guard, and that my guide. While my foes are gazing on, Thou thy fav'ring care hast shown. Thou my plenteous board hast spread; Thou with oil refresh'd my head; Fill'd by Thee my cup o'erflows; For thy Love no limit knows. Constant, to my latest end, This my footsteps shall attend, And shall bid thy hallow'd Dome Yield me an eternal home.
How thick the shades of evening close! How pale the sky with weight of snows! Haste, light the tapers, urge the fire, And bid the joyless day retire! Alas, in vain I try within To raise the dull, dejected scene, While rous'd by grief these fiery pains Tear the frail texture of my veins; While winter's voice, that stormis around, And you deep death-bell's groaning sound Renew my mind's oppressive gloom, Till starting horror shakes the room.
Is there in Nature no kind power To sooth affliction's lonely hour? To blunt the edge of dire disease, And teach these wintry shades to please? Come CHEERFULNESS, triumphant fair, Shine through the painful cloud of care: O sweet of language, mild of mien, O Virtue's friend and Pleasure's queen! Assuage the flames that burn my breast, Attune my jarring thoughts to rest; And while thy, gracious gifts I feel, My song shall all thy praise reveal.
As once ('was in Astrea's reign) The vernal pow'rs renew'd their train,
It happen'd that immortal Love
Thou, Cheerfulness, by Heav'n design'd To rule the pulse that moves the mind, Whatever fretful passion springs, Whatever chance or nature brings To strain the tuneful poize within, And disarrange the sweet machine; Thou, Goddess, with a master-hand Dost each attemper'd key command, Refine the soft and swell the strong, Till all is concord, all is song.
Fair guardian of domestic life, Best banisher of home-bred strife, Nor sullen lip, nor taunting eye, Deform the scene where thou art by No sickening husband damns the hour That bound his joys to female pow'r : No pining mother weeps the cares That parents waste on hopeless heirs: Th' officious daughters pleas'd attend; The brother rises to the friend: By thee their board with flowers is crown'd, By thee with songs their walks resound, By thee their sprightly mornings shine, And evening-hours in peace decline.
Behold the youth, whose trembling heart
Friend to the Muse and all her train,
Hark! when thy breath her song impels, How full the tuneful current swells.
Let Melancholy's plaintive tongue
See where the pale, the sick'ning sage (A prey perhaps to fortune's rage, Perhaps by tender griefs opprest, Or glooms congenial to his breast) Retires in desert-scenes to dwell, And bids the joyless world farewell. Alone he treads th' autumnal shade, Alone beneath the mountain laid, He sees the nightly damps arise, And gathering storms involve the skies; He hears the neighb'ring surges roll, And raging thunders shake the pole; Then, struck by every object round, And stunn'd by ev'ry horrid sound," He pants to traverse nature's ways: Ilis evils haunt him thro' the maze: He views ten thousand demons rise, To wield the empire of the skies, And Chance and Fate assume the rod, And Malice blots the throne of Gov. -O Thou, whose pleasing power I sing! Thy lenient influence hither bring; Compose the storm, dispel the gloom Till Nature wears her wonted bloom, Till fields and shades their sweets exhale, And music swell each opening gale: Then o'er his breast thy softness pour, And let him learn the timely hour To trace the world's benignant laws, And judge of that presiding cause Who founds in discord beauty's reign, Converts to pleasure every pain, Subdues the hostile forms to rest, And bids the universe be blest.
O Thou, whose pleasing power I sing! If right I touch the votive string, If equal praise I yield thy name, govern thou thy poet's flame; Still with the Muse my bosom share, And sooth to peace corroding care. But most exert thy genial power On friendship's consecrated hour: And while my Agis leads the road To fearless wisdom's high abode; Or, warm in freedom's sacred cause, Pursues the light of Grecian laws; Attend, and grace our gen'rous toils With all thy garlands, all thy smiles. But if, by fortune's stubborn sway From him and friendship torn away, I court the Muses healing spell For griefs that still with absence dwell,
Alcæus and Sappho.