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Though doomed through many a night
Of anxious care to roam,
NEW YEAR'S HYMN.
As o'er the past my memory strays,
The world, and worldly things beloved, My anxious thoughts employed; And time unhallowed, unimproved, Presents a fearful void.
Yet Holy Father! wild despair,
My life's brief remnant all be thine :
MORALITY IN THE FIELDS.
WITH toilsome steps when I pursue
And when with seed I strew the earth,
Pleas'd, I behold the stately stem
Support its bearded honour's load; Thus, Lord, sustain'd by thee I came
To manhood, through youth's dang❜rous road.
Purging from noxious herbs the grain,
Oh! may I learn to purge my mind From sin, rank weed of deepest stain, Nor leave one baleful root behind. When blasts destroy the op'ning ear,
Life, thus replete with various woe, Warns me to shun, with studious care, Pride, my most deadly latent foe. When harvest comes, the yellow crop
Prone to the reaper's sickle yields; And I beneath death's scythe must drop, And soon or late forsake these fields.
When future crops, in silent hoards,
Sleep for awhile, to service dead; Thy emblem this, O Grave! affords
The path to life, which all must tread.
A Dialogue between the Flesh and the Spirit.
Flesh. WHAT! become nothing! ne'er persuade me God made me something; and I'll not undo it. [to it. Spirit. Thy something is not thine, but his that gave it. Resign to him, if thou mean to save it.
Flesh. God gave me life: and shall I choose to die Before my time, or pine in misery?
Spirit. God is thy life: if then thou fearest death; Let him be all thy soul, thy pulse, and breath.
Flesh. What! must I hate myself? whenas my brother Must love me! and I may not hate another?
Spirit. Loath what is loathsome. Love God, in the rest He truly loves himself, that loves God best.
Flesh. Doth God our ease and pleasure to us grudge? Or doth religion make a man a drudge?
Spirit. That is thy poison which thou callest pleasure : And that thy drudgery which thou count'st thy treasure. Flesh. Who can endure to be thus mewed up? And under laws for every bit and cup?
Spirit. God's cage is better than the wilderness. When winter comes, liberty brings distress.
Flesh. Pleasure's man's happiness: the will's not free To choose our misery: this cannot be.
Spirit. God is man's end: with him are highest joys.
Hast thou found sweeter pleasures than God's love?
God would not have thee have less joy, but more :
Flesh. Who can love baseness, poverty, and want? And under pining sickness be content?
Spirit. He that hath laid his treasure up above;
Flesh. What good will sorrow do us? Is not mirth,
Taste not the sweet that endless sorrow brings.
Flesh. Affliction's bitter: life will soon be done :
Spirit. Prosperity is barren: all men say
Like the beholding of thy chiefest treasure.
Flesh. Nature made me a man, and gave me sense : Changing of nature is a vain pretence :
It taught me to love women, honour, ease,
Spirit. Nature hath made thee rational; and reason Must rule the sense, in ends, degrees, and season.
Reason's the rider; sense is but the horse:
Flesh. Religion is a dull and heavy thing,
Spirit. Cupid hath stuck a feather in thy cap;
Flesh. Why should I think of what will be to-morrow? An ounce of mirth is worth a pound of sorrow. [thee?
Spirit. But where's that mirth when sorrows overtake Will it then hold when life and God forsake thee? Forgetting death or Hell will not prevent it. Now lose thy day, thou'lt then too late repent it.
Flesh. Must I be pain'd and wronged, and not feel? As if my heart were made of flint or steel?
Spirit. Dost thou delight to feel thy hurt and smart? Would not an antidote preserve thy heart? Impatience is but self-tormenting folly : Patience is cordial, easy, sweet, and holy. Is not that better which turns grief to peace, Than that which doth thy misery increase?