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Till, settling on the current year,
The spring of eighty-nine shall be An era cherish'd long by me, Which joyful I will oft record, And thankful at my frugal board ; For then the clouds of eighty-eight That threaten’d England's trembling state With loss of what she least could spare, Her sovereign’s tutelary care, One breath of Heaven, that cried-Restore! Chas'd, never to assemble more ; And far the richest crown on earth, If valued by its wearer's worth, The symbol of a righteous reign Sat fast on George's brows again.
Then peace and joy again possess'd
O Queen of Albion, queen of isles ! Since all thy tears were chang'd to smiles, The eyes that never saw thee shine With joy not unallied to thine, Transports not chargeable with art Illume the land's remotest part,
And strangers to the air of courts,
If they who on thy state attend,
For the use of the Sunday School at Olney.
In heav'n thy dwelling place,
And taught to seek thy face.
Thanks for thy word and for thy day,
And grant us, we implore,
Thy holy sabbaths more.
Thanks that we hear—but O impart
To each desires sincere,
And learn as well as hear.
For if vain thoughts the minds engage
Of older far than we,
Our minds should e'er be free?
Much hope, if thou our spirits take
Under thy gracious sway,
And babes as wise as they.
Wisdom and bliss thy word bestows,
A sun that ne'er declines,
Who plac'd us where it shines
Subjoined to the Yearly Bill of Mortality of the Parish
of All Saints, Northampton,* Anno Domini 1787.
Pallida Mors, æquo pulsat pede pauperum tabernas, Regumque turres.
Horace. Pale Death with equal foot strikes wide the door Of royal halls, and hovels of the poor.
WHILE thirteen moons saw smonthly run
The Nen's barge-laden wave,
Have found their home, the grave.
(frail always) made more frail
That so much death appears ?
* Composed for John Cox, parish clerk of Northampton.
No ; these were vig'rous as their sires,
Nor plague nor famine came; This annual tribute Death requires,
And never waves his claim.
Like crowded forest-trees we stand,
And some are mark'd to fall;
And soon shall smite us all.
Green as the bay-tree, ever green,
With its new foliage on,
I pass’d--and they were gone.
Read, ye that run, the awful truth,
With which I charge my page ; A worm is in the bud of youth,
And at the root of age.
No present health can health ensure
For yet an hour to come ;
Can always balk the tomb.
And O! that humble as my lot,
And scorn'd as is my strain, These truths, though known, too much forgot,
I may not teach in vain.
So prays your clerk with all his heart,
And ere he quits the pen,
And answer all-Amen!
ON A SIMILAR OCCASION
FOR THE YEAR 1788.
Quod adest, memento
COULD I, from Heav'n inspir'd, as sure presage
To whom the rising year shall prove his last, As I can number in my punctual page,
And item down the victims of the past ;
How each would trembling wait the mournful sheet
On which the press might stamp him next to die, And reading here his sentence, how replete
With anxious meaning, heav'nward turn his eye!
Time then would seem more precious than the joys
In which he sports away the treasure now; And pray'r more seasonable than the noise
Of drunkards, or the musick-drawing bow.
Then doubtless many a trifler, on the brink
Of this world's hazardous and headlong shore, Forc'd to a pause, would feel it good to think,
Told that his setting sun must rise no more.