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Soon as the ev'ning shades prevail,
the wond'rous tale,

The moon takes up
And nightly to the list'ning earth,
Repeats the story of her birth:
Whilst all the stars that round her burn,
And all the planets in their turn,
Confirm the tidings as they roll,
And spread the truth from pole to pole.


What though in solemn silence, all
Move round the dark terrestrial ball?
What though, nor real voice nor sound
Amid their radiant orbs be found?
In reason's ear they all rejoice,
And utter forth a glorious voice,
For ever singing as they shine,
The hand that made us is divine.



How are thy servants blest, O Lord!
How sure is their defence !

Eternal Wisdom is their guide,

Their help Omnipotence.

'Published in the Spectator as a 'Divine Ode,' made by a gentleman on the conclusion of his travels.-G.


In foreign realms and lands remote,
Supported by thy care,

Through burning climes I pass'd unhurt,
And breath'd in tainted air.


Thy mercy sweeten'd every soil,
Made every region please:
The hoary Alpine hills it warm'd,
And smooth'd the Tyrrhene seas.


Think, O my soul, devoutly think,
How with affrighted eyes,
Thou saw'st the wide extended deep1
In all its horrors rise!


Confusion dwelt in ev'ry face,

And fear in ev'ry heart,

When waves on waves, and gulfs on gulfs,
O'ercame the pilot's art.



Yet then from all my griefs, O Lord,
Thy mercy set me free,

Whilst in the confidence of pray'r
My soul took hold on thee.

The allusion in these lines is to a violent gale he encount Italian tour.-Vide Life.-G.


For though in dreadful whirls we hung

High on the broken wave,

I knew thou wert not slow to hear,

Nor impotent to save.


The storm was laid, the winds retir'd,
Obedient to thy will;

The sea that roar'd at thy command,
At thy command was still.


In midst of dangers, fears, and death,
Thy goodness I'll adore,
And praise thee for thy mercies past,
And humbly hope for more.


My life, if thou preserv'st my life,
Thy sacrifice shall be;

And death, if death must be my doom,
Shall join my soul to thee!



WHEN rising from the bed of death,
O'erwhelm'd with guilt and fear,
I see my Maker face to face,
O how shall I appear!

1Originally published in the Spectator.


If yet, while pardon may be found,
And mercy may be sought,
My heart with inward horror shrinks,
And trembles at the thought.


When thou, O Lord, shall stand disclos'd,

In majesty severe,

And sit in judgment on my soul,
O how shall I appear!


But thou hast told the troubled mind,
Who does her sins lament,

The timely tribute of her tears

Shall endless wo prevent.


Then see the sorrow of my heart,
Ere yet it be too late;
And hear my Saviour's dying groans,
To give those sorrows weight.


For never shall my soul despair,
Her pardon to procure,
Who knows thy only Son has died
To make her pardon sure.

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CECILIA, whose exalted hymns,

With joy and wonder fill the blest,
In choirs of warbling seraphims,

Known and distinguish'd from the rest,
Attend, harmonious saint, and see
Thy vocal sons of harmony;

Attend, harmonious saint, and hear our pray'rs;
Enliven all our earthly airs,

And, as thou sing'st thy God, teach us to sing of thee:
Tune ev'ry string and ev'ry tongue,

Be thou the muse and subject of our song.


Let all Cecilia's praise proclaim,
Employ the echo in her name.

Hark how the flutes and trumpets raise,
At bright Cecilia's name, their lays;

The success of Alexander's Feast, made it fashionable for succeeding poets, to try their hand at a musical ode: but they mistook the matter, when they thought it enough to contend with Mr. Dryden. It was reserved for one or two of our days to give us a true idea of lyric poetry in English.

[Hurd probably alludes to Collins and Gray, who, however, with all their merit, still leave "Alexander's feast," the first lyric in the language. Johnson speaks of this in higher terms than any other critic I have seen, and says that it was partly imitated by Pope, and has something of Dryden's force.-G.]

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