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Soon as the ev'ning shades prevail,
The moon takes up
What though in solemn silence, all
How are thy servants blest, O Lord!
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,
Through burning climes I pass'd unhurt,
Thy mercy sweeten'd every soil,
Think, O my soul, devoutly think,
Confusion dwelt in ev'ry face,
And fear in ev'ry heart,
When waves on waves, and gulfs on gulfs,
Yet then from all my griefs, O Lord,
Whilst in the confidence of pray'r
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,
The sea that roar'd at thy command,
In midst of dangers, fears, and death,
My life, if thou preserv'st my life,
And death, if death must be my doom,
WHEN rising from the bed of death,
1Originally published in the Spectator.
If yet, while pardon may be found,
When thou, O Lord, shall stand disclos'd,
In majesty severe,
And sit in judgment on my soul,
But thou hast told the troubled mind,
The timely tribute of her tears
Shall endless wo prevent.
Then see the sorrow of my heart,
For never shall my soul despair,
CECILIA, whose exalted hymns,
With joy and wonder fill the blest,
Known and distinguish'd from the rest,
Attend, harmonious saint, and hear our pray'rs;
And, as thou sing'st thy God, teach us to sing of thee:
Be thou the muse and subject of our song.
Let all Cecilia's praise proclaim,
Hark how the flutes and trumpets raise,
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.]