« AnteriorContinuar »
NOR shall the eternal roll of praise reject
Those Unconforming; whom one rigorous day
Drives from their Cures, a voluntary prey
To poverty, and grief, and disrespect,
And some to want, as if by tempests wrecked
On a wild coast; how destitute! did they
Feel not that Conscience never can betray,
That peace of mind is Virtue's sure effect?
Their altars they forego, their homes they quit,
Fields which they love, and paths they daily trod,
And cast the future upon Providence ;
As men the dictates of whose inward sense
Outweighs the world; whom self-deceiving wit
Lures not from what they deem the cause of God.
PERSECUTION OF THE SCOTTISH COVENANTERS.
WHEN Alpine vales threw forth a suppliant cry, The majesty of England interposed
And the sword stopped; the bleeding wounds were closed;
And Faith preserved her ancient purity.
How little boots that precedent of good,
Scorned or forgotten, thou canst testify,
For England's shame, O Sister Realm! from wood,
Mountain, and moor, and crowded street, where lie The headless martyrs of the Covenant,
Slain by compatriot Protestants that draw
From councils senseless as intolerant
Bodies fall by wild sword-law;
But who would force the Soul, tilts with a straw Against a Champion cased in adamant.
ACQUITTAL OF THE BISHOPS.
A VOICE, from long-expecting thousands sent,
Shatters the air, and troubles tower and spire;
For Justice hath absolved the innocent,
And Tyranny is balked of her desire:
Up, down, the busy Thames rapid as fire
Coursing a train of gunpowder- it went,
And transport finds in every street a vent,
Till the whole City rings like one vast choir.
The Fathers urge the People to be still,
With outstretched hands and earnest speech,—in vain!
Yea, many, haply wont to entertain
Small reverence for the mitre's offices,
And to Religion's self no friendly will,
A Prelate's blessing ask on bended knees.
CALM as an under-current, strong to draw
Millions of waves into itself, and run,
From sea to sea, impervious to the sun
And ploughing storm, the spirit of Nassau
(Swerves not, how blest if by religious awe
Swayed, and thereby enabled to contend
With the wide world's commotions) from its end
Swerves not, - diverted by a casual law.
Had mortal action e'er a nobler scope?
The Hero comes to liberate, not defy;
And, while he marches on with steadfast hope,
Conqueror beloved! expected anxiously!
The vacillating Bondman of the Pope
Shrinks from the verdict of his steadfast eye.
OBLIGATIONS OF CIVIL TO RELIGIOUS LIBERTY.
UNGRATEFUL Country, if thou e'er forget
The sons who for thy civil rights have bled!
How, like a Roman, Sidney bowed his head,
And Russel's milder blood the scaffold wet!
But these had fallen for profitless regret
Had not thy holy Church her champions bred,
And claims from other worlds inspirited
The star of Liberty to rise. Nor yet
(Grave this within thy heart!) if spiritual things
Be lost, through apathy, or scorn, or fear,
Shalt thou thy humbler franchises support,
However hardly won or justly dear:
What came from heaven to heaven by nature clings,
And if dissevered thence, its course is short.
A SUDDEN conflict rises from the swell
Of a proud slavery met by tenets strained
In Liberty's behalf. Fears, true or feigned,
Spread through all ranks; and lo! the Sentinel
Who loudest rang his pulpit 'larum bell
Stands at the Bar, absolved by female eyes
Mingling their glances with grave flatteries
Lavished on him, that England may rebel
Against her ancient virtue. HIGH and Low,
Watch-words of Party, on all tongues are rife;
As if a Church, though sprung from heaven, must
To opposite and fierce extremes her life,
Not to the golden mean, and quiet flow
Of truths that soften hatred, temper strife.
Down a swift stream, thus far, a bold design
Have we pursued, with livelier stir of heart
Than his who sees, borne forward by the Rhine,
The living landscapes greet him, and depart;
Sees spires fast sinking, up again to start!
And strives the towers to number, that recline
O'er the dark steeps, or on the horizon line
Striding with shattered crests his eye athwart.
So have we hurried on with troubled pleasure:
Henceforth, as on the bosom of a stream
That slackens, and spreads wide a watery gleam,
We, nothing loth a lingering course to measure,
May gather up our thoughts, and mark at leisure
How widely spread the interests of our theme.
ASPECTS OF CHRISTIANITY IN AMERICA.
WELL worthy to be magnified are they
Who, with sad hearts, of friends and country took
A last farewell, their loved abodes forsook,
And hallowed ground in which their fathers lay;
Then to the new-found World explored their way,
That so a Church, unforced, uncalled to brook
Ritual restraints, within some sheltering nook
Her Lord might worship and his word obey
In freedom. Men they were who could not bend ;
Blest Pilgrims, surely, as they took for guide
A will by sovereign Conscience sanctified;
Blest while their Spirits from the woods ascend