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Virtue, the strength and beauty of the soul.
Is the best gift of heaven: a happiness
That even above the smiles and frowns of fate
Exalts great nature's favourites; a wealth
That ne'er encumbers, nor can be transferr❜d.
Count all th' advantage prosperous vice attains,
'Tis but what virtue flies from and disdains:
And grant the bad what happiness they would,
One they must want-which is, to pass for good.
O blind to truth, and God's whole scheme below,
Who fancy bliss to vice, to virtue woe!
Who sees and follows that great scheme the best
Best knows the blessing, and will most be blest.
What nothing earthly gives or can destroy,
The soul's calm sunshine, and the heartfelt joy,
Is virtue's prize.
The only amaranthine flower on earth
Virtue on herself relying,
Every passion hushed to rest,
Loses every pain of dying
In the hope of being blest.
Virtue! how many as a lowly thing,
Born of weak folly, scorn thee! but thy name Alone they know; upon thy soaring wing
They'll fear to mount, nor could thy sacred flame Burn in their baser hearts: the biting thorn,
The flinty crag, flowers hiding, strew thy field; Yet blest is he whose daring bides the scorn
Of the frail, easy herd, and buckles on thy shield. Who says thy ways are bliss, trolls but a lay
To lure the infant; if thy paths, to view, Were always pleasant, crime's worst sons would lay Their daggers at thy feet, and, from mere sloth Mrs. Maria Brooks
THE day seems long, but night is odious;
No sleep but dreams; no dreams but visions strange.
Sir P. Sidney.
Him God vouchsafed
To call by vision from his father's house,
Into a land which he will shew him.
Visions on visions! how the moving throng,
These bright remembrances on fancy press
Buried enjoyments as I pass! The song
Sung in the hushed vale's verdant loneliness;
The storm, the sun, the rainbow, the vain guess
Of notes heard in the distance; the advance
Of bells upon the wind; the loveliness
Of flowers unwithering in the sun's hot glance; The thousand hopes that high in youth's brisk pulses J. H. Wiffin.
The same and oh, how beautiful! the same
As memory meets thee through the mist of years!
Love's roses on thy cheek, and feeling's flame
Lighting an eye unchanged in all but tears!
Upon thy severed lips the very smile
Remembered well, the sunlight of my youth;
But gone the shadow that would steal the while
To mar its brightness, and to mock its truth!
Once more I see thee, as I saw thee last,
The lost restored-the vision of the past!
T. K. Hervey.
Then welcome to my lonely hours,
Thou visionary thing,
Come with thy coronal of flowers,
Flowers of a vanished spring;
For gleeful souls let others roam,
But till life's cords untwine,
In my heart's depth shall find a home,
That pensive face of thine.
THE dread volcano ministers to good:
Its smother'd flames might undermine the world: Loud Etnas fulminate in love to man.
The winds are aw'd, nor dare to breathe aloud,
The air seems never to have borne a cloud,
Save where volcanoes send to heaven their curl'd
And solemn smokes, like altars of the world.
Edward C. Pinckney.
OH! simply open wide the temple door,
And let the solemn, swelling organ greet,
With voluntaries meet,
The willing advent of the rich and poor!
And while to God the loud hosannahs soar,
With rich vibrations from the vocal throng-
From quiet shades that to the woods belong
And brooks with music of their own,
Voices may come to swell the choral song,
With notes of praise they learned in musings lone.
DID not the heavenly rhetoric of thine eye ('Gainst whom the world cannot hold argument) Persuade my heart to this false perjury;
Vows, for thee broke, deserve not punishment. A woman I forswore; but I will prove
(Thou being a goddess) I forswore not thee: My vow was earthly, thou a heavenly love:
Thy grace being gain'd, cures all disgrace in me. Vows are but breath, and breath a vapour is;
Then thou, fair sun, which on my earth dost shine, Exhal'st this vapour vow; in thee it is:
If broken then, it is no fault of mine; If by me broke, what fool is not so wise, To lose an oath to win a paradise?
WANT is a bitter and a hateful good,
Because its virtues are not understood.
Yet many things, impossible to thought,
Have been, by need, to full perfection brought.
The daring of the soul proceeds from thence,
Sharpness of wit, and active diligence;
Prudence at once, and fortitude it gives,
And, if in patience taken, mends our lives;
For even that indigence which brings me low,
Makes me myself, and him above, to know;
A good which none would challenge, few would choose,
A fair possession, which mankind refuse!
If we from wealth to poverty descend,
Want gives to know the flatterer from the friend.
Give want her welcome, if she comes; we find
Riches to be but burthens to the mind.
Against our peace we arm our will:
Amidst our plenty something still
For horses, houses, pictures, planting,
To thee, to me, to him is wanting;
That cruel something unpossest
Corrodes and leavens all the rest,
That something if we could obtain,
Would soon create a future pain.
Man's rich with little, were his judgment true;
Nature is frugal, and her wants are few:
Those few wants answer'd, bring sincere delights;
But fools create themselves new appetites.
Oh! but to breathe the breath
Of the cowslip and primrose sweet—
With the sky above my head,
And the grass beneath my feet,
For only one short hour
To feel as I used to feel,
Before I knew the woes of want
And the walk that costs a meal!