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Nor joy abate, till, pitiable doom!
In the short course of one undreaded year
Death blasted all.-Death suddenly o'erthrew
Two lovely Children-all that they possessed !
The Mother followed :-miserably bare
The one Survivor stood; he wept, he prayed
For his dismissal ; day and night, compelled
By pain to turn his thoughts towards the
And face the regions of Eternity.
An uncomplaining apathy displaced
This anguish; and, indifferent to delight,
To aim and purpose, he consumed his days,
To private interest dead, and public care.
So lived he; so he might have died.
To the wide world's astonishment, appeared
The glorious opening, the unlooked-for dawn,
That promised everlasting joy to France !
That sudden light had power to pierce the gloom
In which his Spirit, friendless upon earth,
In separation dwelt, and solitude.
The voice of social transport reached even him!
He broke from his contracted bounds, repaired
To the great City, an Emporium then
Of golden expectations, and receiving
Freights every day from a new world of hope.
Thither his popular talents he transferred ;
And from the Pulpit zealously maintained
The cause of Christ and civil liberty,
As one; and moving to one glorious end.
Intoxicating service! I might say
A happy service; for he was sincere
As vanity and fondness for applause,
And new and shapeless wishes, would allow.
That righteous Cause of freedom did, we know, Combine, for one hostility, as friends, Etherial Natures and the worst of Slaves ; Was served by rival Advocates that came From regions opposite as heaven and hell. One courage seemed to animate them all : And, from the dazzling conquests daily gained By their united efforts, there arose A proud and most presumptuous confidence In the transcendent wisdom of the
age, And its discernment; not alone in rights,
And in the origin and bounds of power,
Social and temporal; but in laws divine,
Deduced by reason, or to faith revealed.
An overweening trust was raised ; and fear
Cast out,-alike of person and of thing.
Plague from this union spread, whose subtle bane
The strongest did not easily escape;
And He, what wonder! took a mortal taint.
How shall I trace the change, how bear to tell
That he broke faith with those whom he had laid
In earth's dark chambers, with a Christian's hope!
An infidel contempt of holy writ
Stole by degrees upon his mind; and hence
Life, like that Roman Janus, double-faced ;
Vilest hypocrisy, the laughing, gay
Hypocrisy, not leagued with fear, but pride.
Smooth words he had to wheedle simple souls ;
But, for disciples of the inner school,
Old freedom was old servitude, and they
The wisest, whose opinions stooped the least
To known restraints: and who most boldly drew
Hopeful prognostications from a creed,
Which, in the light of false philosophy,
Spread like a halo round a misty moon,
Widening its circle as the storms advance.
His sacred function was at length renounced ; And every day and every place enjoyed The unshackled Layman's natural liberty ; Speech, manners, morals, all without disguise. I do not wish to wrong him ;-though the course Of private life licentiously displayed Unhallowed actions-planted like a crown Upon the insolent aspiring brow Of spurious notions—worn as open signs Of prejudice subdued—he still retained, 'Mid such abasement, what he had received From nature—an intense and glowing mind. Wherefore, when humbled Liberty grew weak And mortal sickness on her face appeared, He coloured objects to his own desire As with a Lover's passion. Yet his moods Of pain were keen as those of better men, Nay keener-as his fortitude was less. And he continued, when worse days were come, To deal about his sparkling eloquence,
Struggling against the strange reverse with zeal
That showed like happiness; but, in despite
Of all this outside bravery, within,
He neither felt encouragement nor hope.
For moral dignity, and strength of mind,
Were wanting; and simplicity of Life;
And reverence for himself; and, last and best,
Confiding thoughts, and love and fear of Him
Before whose sight the troubles of this world
Are vain as billows in a tossing sea.
The glory of the times fading away, The splendor, which had given a festal air To self-importance, hallowed it, and veiled From his own sight,--this gone, therewith he lost All joy in human nature; was consumed, And vexed, and chased, by levity and scorn, And fruitless indignation ; galled by pride; Made desperate by contempt of Men who throve Before his sight in power or fame, and won, Without desert, what he desired; weak men, Too weak even for his envy or his hate! -And thus beset, and finding in himself