Should dismal sentence doom my soul to woe.
When in the silent womb my shape was made.
And from the womb to lightsome life conveyed,
Cursed Sin began to take unhappy root.
And through my veins its early fibres shoot;
And then what goodness didst thou show, to kill
The rising weeds and principles of ill !
When to my breast, in fair celestial flame,
Eternal Truth send lovely Wisdom came.
Bright gift, by simple >9ature never got.
But here revealed to change the antient blot :
This wondrous help, which Mercy pleased to grant.
Continue still, for «till thine aid 1 want :
And as the mei^ whom leprosies invade.
Or they that touch the carcass of the dead.
With hyssop sprinkled, and by water cleaned,
Their former pureness in the law regained.
So purge niy soul, diseased, alas ! within.
And much polluted with dead worths of sin.
Some of Yalden's Poems possess merit. His
Hymn to the Morning, and Paraphrase of the. thir-
teenth Chapter of Isaiah, are the only ones which
Digitized by VnOOQ iC
I SNSUSH tAefttD POBTAT. IXT
come wiflim the scope of ttdn Brief Sketch. We re-
gret that we can give no more than om verse of the
fonner; we therefore present oar readers widi the
latl, which we conceive to be the most effective.
' Let there be light P the great Creator laSd,
Hif word the actiTe ch^d obeyed :
Ni^ did her teesiing womb discloee,
Andflieii tiie bhuhisgrBiorih ilahrighlMt dbetiiig, rose.
Awhile th' AIMgiitj wottderinr viewed;
And then hiauelf Mmioiiiioed' it gooi r
* With Night,' Mid iMv 'dHidettf imperial twmy;
« Thoa ray first labour art^ and thdo dridt hkie th^ ]>ay/
Fbnton and Broome. — Among the works of tfiese
two assistants of Pope are to be fonnd manj Sacred
Poems, some of which possess considerable merit
Of die former we have only to notice A Paraphram
cftks fourteenth Chapter (f Isaiah, in blank verse,
which is splendid and poetic,
BaooMB pardphr€ued sundry Chapters m Uabbak^
kuk. Job, and BcclesUutes, bat oor veiy limited space
precludes oor giving^ my extracts. Of Broomb«
Dr. Johnson says— ^tfiat^ altlhough' it canhot be said
that he was a great poet, i^ i^oald be nnjiist to deny
that he was an excellent yersil^er.'
Of that celebrated poet and exemplary Christian,
J06BPH Addison, it is unnecessary to speak in
terms of panegyric* His two nkdst ddebiraMd Para-
phragSM we present oiii' nJaders witti; wittibut any
furtiier comment than merely ex^tisiiiag dur regret
that our language hlts^not been enriched with a com-
plete series of those divine poei»s irom the same sub-
The spadoos 'ff njutmen t on Hfft^
With all the blae ethereal sky
And imgled hi^avensy a shiDing firamey
Their GRfeAT Original proclaim :
Th' aowetfried Sdn from day to day
Does hit Creator^s pow'r display.
And pobfishes to ev'ry limd
ne vNirk of aii AhmghtyMad.
Digitized by VnOOQ iC
Soon as tbe eVning shades preyail.
The Moon takes up the wondrous tale.
And nightly to the hstening earth.
Repeats the story of her birth;
While all the stars that round her bajm^
And all the planets in their turn,
Confirm the tidings as they roll,
And spread the truth from pole to pole.
Whattbough in solemn silence all
Move round this dark terrestrial ball t
What though na real voice nor sound
Amid their radiant orbs be fo^nd?
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/
The Lord my pasture shall preparc,r
, . And .feed me with a shepherd's care;
His presence shall' my wants supply.
And iguard me with a watchful eye ; ^ '' .
My noonday walks he shall attend.
And all my midnight hours defend^ ^;
When in the sultry glebe I faint.
Or on the thirsty mountain pant.
To fertile vales and dewy meads
My weary wand'iing steps he leads ;
Where peaceful rivers, soft and slow.
Amid the verdant landscape tow.
Though in the path of death I tread,
With gloomy horrors overspread.
My steadfast heart shall fear no ill.
For thou, O Lord ! art with me still ;
Thy friendly crook shall give me aid»
And guide me through the dreadful shade*
Though in a bare aind rugged way.
Through devious, lonely .wilds I stray,
Thy bounty shall my pains beguile; .
The barren wilderness shall smile,
With sudden greens and herbage crowned.
And streams shall murmur all around.
Jo«N Gay, the moral and instructive author of
TiiB Fables, deserves, mention, on account of two
ENGLISH. SACEXB POBTAY. Ixvif
of his poems— il Contemplation on Night^and A
nought on Eternity ; the fonner of which conclades
with the following beautiful lines : —
When the pure Soal is from the Body flown,
No more shall Night's alternate reign be known ;
The Sun no more shall rolling light bestow.
Bat from th' Almighty streams of glory flow.
Oh! may some nobler thought my soul employ,
Than empty, transient, sublunary joy !
The Stars shall drop, the. Sun shall lose his flame ;
But thou, O God, for ever shine tfad same.
Contemporary with these beautiful Poets, but as a
versifier, superior to them all, was Alexander
PoPB : to descant on his merits is perfectly unne-
cessary. We therefore present our readers with his
Universal Prayer^ with which it is possible many of
them are familiar, but which, in a ' Chronicle of
Sacred Poesy,' we could not well pass over*
Father of all! in every age,
. In every clime, adored,
By saint, by savage, and by sage,
Jehovah, Jove, or Lord !
Thou great First Cause, least understood.
Who all my sense confined
To know but this, that thou art good.
And that myself am blind:
Yet gave me, in this dark estate, .
To see the good from ill,
And, binding nature fast in fate,
Left fi-ee the human will.
What conscience dictates to be done,
Or warns me not to do,
This teach me more than Hell to shun,
That more than Heaven pursue. ' •
What blessings thy free bounty gives.
Let me not cast away ;
For God is paid when man receives ;
T' enjoy is to obey. '
Yet not to Earth's contracted span ^
Thy goodness let me bound.
Or think thee Lord alone of man.
When thousand worlds are rouipd.
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ItTlil M T B R e P gOflDiri
Let nol th]» w0fti mUowiog band
PiCMiiiie thy bolts to thBow,
And deal damnatioB roand the land
On each tjtidge thy foe.
1 am right, thy grace impart
1^' in the right to stay ;
U lam Wrong, O teach my heart
T6 find that better way.
^Ye vfke alike from foolish pride
Or impious discontent^
At anght tiiy wisdom has denied,
Or aught thy goodness lent
'jfeach me to feel another's woe^
To hide the" foult I s^e ;
^Fbal^mel-cy I lo others sh6W/
Thai mercy rfmw to me.
MeMi tfao' I aw, not wholly so;-
Since, qmcb^ned by thy! breathy
leftd po wheresoe'er I go, , .
Thro' this day's life or death f
This day lib bread and peace my lot ;
All else beneath the 8un
Thou know'st if best bestowed or not.
And let tby will be doiie.
To Thee, wh6se temple is alt space, ,
Whose altar earth, sea, skitis!
One chorus let all being raise !
All Nature's incense rise!
Thki period embraces many of the most distin*
gniahed names in that bright galaxy of genios which
J>rociixed for the age (whether justly or not it is not
br OS to determine) fi»9 prond tifle of 'Augustan/
Waller^ Dryden^ Addison, Pope, and many others^
contributed to smooth the numbers and language of
our country to a degree that has hardly been excelled
byflie most elegant of modem versifiers; although, it
must be confessed, that they lost much of the energy
and strength which characterize the less laboured
but more forcible productions of their immediate
precursors, and, we will add also, of many of their
ENGLISH : SACRBD . FOBTRT. Ixix
Dr. watts— Mrs. ELIZABETH RO we— PITT— THOM-
SON — YOUNG — H ARTE — B YROM -^ BOYSE — SA-
MUEL. WESLEY — Dr. DODDRIDGE — FA WKES —
SMART —MERRICK — BROOKE— COTTON— SCOTT
Dr. Watts^ whose name occupies a high station
among the writers of religions poetry^ was equally
celebrated as a Philosopher and . a Divine. . His
works are too numerous and too well known to need
either enumeration or eulogy here. His Psalms and
Hymns still deservedly maintain their popularity;
they are equally suitable to youth, manhood, and
old age. Abounding in sweetness, simplicity, and
pathos, they will, we have no doubt, descend to suc-
ceeding generations, who will as justly as the present
age appreciate these fruits of genuine piety and ex-
P«ALM hi-^The Last Judgment,
The God of Glory 'sends his summons fortliy
Calls the south nations, and awakes the north :
From east to west the sovereign order spread,
Thro' distant worlds, and regions of tiie dead.
The trumpet sounds, hell trembles, heav'n rejoices ;
Lift up your heads, ye saints, with cheerful voices.
No more shall atheists mock his long delay ;
His veng'ance sleeps no more : behold the day !
BjBhoId the Judge descends ; his guards are nigh ;
Tempest and fire attend him down the sky.
When God appears, all nature shall adore him ;
While sinners tremble, saints rejoice before him.
' Heav'n, earth, and hell, draw near : let all things come
' To he^ar my justice and the sinner's doom ;
* But gather first my saints' (the Judge commands)
* Bring them, ye angels, firom their distant lands.'
When Christ returns, wake ey'ry cheerful passion ;
And shout, ye saints, he comes for your salvation.
* Behold ! my coT'nant stands for ever good,
' Sealed by tib' eternal sacrifice in blood,
' And signed with all their names ; the Greek, the Jew,
* That paid the antient worship or the new.'
There's no distioction here ; join all yoar Toieefl,
And raise your heads, ye su&la, Ibf heav'ii rejoices*
< Here' (saith the Lord) ^ ye angels, spread Iheir thrones,
* And near me seat my favVites and my sons ;
' Co^e, my redeemed, possess the joys prepared
' Ere tine began ; ^s yoor divine reward.
When Christ returns, wake eVry cheerful passion;
And shout, ye saints, he comes for your salvation*
' I am the Saviour, I W Almighty God (
' I am the Judge i ye heavens, proclaim abroad
' My just eternal sentence, and declare
< Those awful truths that sinners dread to hear.'
When God appears, all nature shall adore him ;
While sinners tremble, saintu rejoicie before him;
* Stand foHh, thou bold bhisphemer, and profkne,
* Kow feel my urtftth^ nor call my 1lir)eat*nihgs vaiil !
' lliott hytidcritev onee drest in sainf s attire,
^ I doom mee, painted hypocrite, to fire/
Judgihent proceeds, hell trembles, heaven rejoices ;
Xift iip your heads, ye saints, with cheierftii voices*
* Not folr Ibe Want of goats or bullocks slaiii
' Do I condemn thee ; bulls and goats are viin
* Without the fttmes of love : in vain the store
* Of brutal off'rings that were mine before.'
Earth is the Lord's, all nature shall adore him ;
While siiinei^ tremble, saints rejoice before him.
^ If I were hungryr would I ask thee food ?
' When did I thirst or drink thy bullocks' blood ?
* Mine are the tamer beasts and savage breed,
' Fiocksj herds, ,and fields, and forests where they feed.'
All is the Lord's, he rules the wide creation ;
Gives sinners veng'ahce, and the saints salvation.
' bui i be flattered With thy cringing bows,
' Thy solemn chatt'rings, and ikntastie vows ?
* ArQ my eyes charmed thy vestments to behold,
* Glaring in gems» and p;ay ii| woven gold V
God is the judge of beartis ; no fair disguises
Cap screen the guilty when his veng'ance rises.
' Unthinking wretch ! ho^ cduldst then hope to please
' A. Grodt a Spirit, with such toys as these ?
^ While with my grace and statutes on tiiy tongue,
' Thou lov'st deceit, and dost thy brother wrong?'
Judgment proceeds, bell trembles, heaVn rejoices ;
Lift up your heads, ye saints, with cheerful voices.
BN6LISH tACRSD POBTRY. Ixxi
' In vain to pious fornui tby zeal pretends ;
* Thieves and adolfrers are tby chosen frifsnds ;
' While the false iatf rer at my aliac wi4ts,
' His hardened soul divine instruction hattea.*
God is the judge of hearts ; no fair disguises
Can screen the guilty, when his vengeance rises.
' Silent I waited with long-suflTring love ;
' But didst thou hope that I should ne^r reprove 1
* And cherish such an impious thought within,
* That the All-Holy would indulge thy sin ?'
See God appears, ail nations join t' adore hini;
Judgment proceeds, and sinners fall before him*
* Behold my terrors now ; my thunders roll,
* And thy own crimes affright thy guilty soul.
* Now, like a lion, shall my veng'ance tear
* Thy bleeding heart, and no deliverer near/
Judgment concludes, hell trembles, heav'n rejoices;
Lift up your heads, ye saints, with cheerful voices.
' Sinners, awake betimes ; ye foolss be wise ;
' Awake before tiiis dreadful morning rise ;
* Change your vain thoughts, your crooked works amend ;
' Fly to the Saviour, make the Judge your friend/
Then join, ye saints, wake ev'ry cheerful passion ;
When Christ returns, he comes for your salvation*
Hymn VI:— -4 Morning Sono.
. Once more, my soul, the rising day
Salutes thy waking eyes ;
Once more, my voice, thy tribute pay
To him that rules the skies.
Kight unto night his name repeats.
The day renews the sound,
Wide as the heaven on which he sits.
To turn the seasons round.
^s he supports my mortal frame ;
' My tongue shall speak his praise;
My sins would rouse his wrath to flame,
And yet his wratii delays.
On a poor worm thy po¥^r might tread,
And I'CouM ne*er withstand :
Thy justice might have crushed me dead,
But Mercy held thine hand .
A thousand vn^etched souls are fled
Since tiie last setting sun,
And yet tboa length'nest out my thread,
And yet my moments run.
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Dear God, let all my hours be thine,
Whilst I enjoy the light !
Then shall my sun in smiles decline,
And bring a pleasant night.
Hymn LXV : — The Hopes (/ Heaven our Support under
Trials on Earth.
When I can read my title clear
To mansions in the skies,
1 bid farewell to ev'ry fear,
And wipe my weeping eyes.
Should earth against my soul engage,
And hellish darts be hurled,
. Then I can smile at Satan's rage,
^ And face a frowning world.
Let cares like a wild deluge come,
And storms of sorrow fall ;
May I but safely reach my home.
My God, my heav'n, my all !
There shall I bathe my weary soul
In seas of heav'nly rest.
And not a wave of trouble roll
Across my peaceful breast.
HVRTN LXVI :— il Prospect o/* Heaven waAes Death Easy.
There is a land of pure delight,
Where saints immortal reign ;
Infinite day excludes the night,
And pleasures banish pain.
There everlasting spring abides,
And never-witnnng flow'rs :
Death, like a narrow sea,' divides
This heav'niy land from ours.
Sweet fields beyond the swelling flood
Stand dressed in living green ;
So to the Jews old Canaan stood.
While Jordan rolled between.
But tim'rous mortals start and shrink
To cross this narrow sea ;
And linger,. shiv'ring, on the brink,
And fear to launch ftway.
O ! could we make our doubts remove,
Those gloomy doubts that rise.
And see the Canaan that we love
With unbeclouded eyes ;
BN6LISH SACRED POETRY. Ixxiu
Could we but climb where Moses stood.
And view the landscape o'er.
Nor Jordan's streams, nor death's cold flood,
Should fright us from the shore.
The pious Mrs. Elizabeth Rowe possessed
considerable talents, which she devoted to the best
of aJl purposes — the promotion of religion and vir-
tue: the longest of her Poetical Works is' The His-
tory of Joseph, besides which she wrote several
Hymns, with one of which we present pur readers.
Thou didst, O mighty God! exist
Ere time began its race ;
Before the ample elements.
Filled up the void of space :
Before the ponderous earthly globe
In fluid air was stayed,
Before the Ocean's mighty springs
Their liquid stores displayed :
Ere through the gloom of antient night
The streaks of light appeared ;
Before the high celestial arch
Or starry poles were reared :
Before the loud melodious spheres
Their tuneful round begun ;
Before the shining roads of heaven
Were measured by the Sun^
Ere through the empyrean courts
One hallelujah rung ;
Or to their harps the Sons of Light
Ecstatic anthems siing : .
Ere men adored, or angels knew
Or praised thy wondrous name;
Thy bliss, O Sacred Spring of Life !
Thy glory was the same.
And when the Pillars of the World
With sudden ruin break.
And all this vast and goodly fitime
Sinks in the mighty wreck ;
When from her orb the Moon shall start,
Th' astonished Sun roll back.
And all the trembling starry lamps
Their antient course forsake ;
For ever permanent and fixed,
From a^tation free,
Unchanged in t^verlastin}^ years
Shall Thy existence be.
' Pitt, the celebrated translator of Virgily wrote
maay Paraphr€ises : fhey possess considerable spirit
and picity, biit, each being too long for insertidii
here, we must refer the reader to Pitt's Works, should
he be desirous of perusing what our limited space
codipels us to exclude.
James Thomson, the poet of Nature, whose beau-
tiful descriptive poem^^ The Seasons, contains many
passages which mark a mind imbued with pious as
well as poetic feeling, wrote A Hymn to the Deity,
which is generally subjoined to his larger work, and
Paraphrase on the latter Part of the sixth Chapter of
When my breast labours with oppressiye care,
And o'er my cheek descends the falling tear ;
While all my warring passions are at strife,
Oh, let me listen to the words of life !
Raptures deep felt his doctrine did impart,
And thus he raised from earth the drooping beAlrt :
Think not, when all your scanty stores ^ord
Is spread at once upon the sparing board ;
Think not, when worn the homely robe appears,
While on the roof the howling tempest bears;:
What further shall this feeble life sustain,
And what shall clotiie these shiv'ring limbs again.
Say, does not life its nourishment exceed!
And the fair body its investing weed ?
Behold ! and look away iyour low despair-«-
See the light tenants of die barren air:
To them nor stores nor granaries belong.
Nought but the woodland and the pleasing song;
Yet voui kind heaVnly Father bends his eye
On the least wing that flits along the sky.
To him they sing when spring renews the plain.
To him they cry in wintei^s pinching reign ;
Nor is their musie or their plaint in vain ;
He hears the gay and the distressful call,
And with unsparing bounty fills them all*
BN6LI3H SACRBI) POBTRY. IXXV
Observe the rising lilt's snowy graee^
Observe the various vegetable race ;
They neither toil nor spin, but careless grow,
Yet see how warm they blush ! how bright they glow !
What regal vestments ean with theni compare ?
What Ung so'sfaiiuyng, «r what qqeen so firir ?
If ceaseless tl^us the fowls of heaven he feeds^
If o'er the fields such lucid robes he spreads,
Will he not care for you, ye faithless, say?
I» he nvwifie ; or are yp l^ss than they ? ' .
Co/aiempoTBxy wilii Thomson was the most cele-
brated.of modern Sacred Poets, Dr, Young. His
Nighi Thoughts are too well known to our readers
to need either extract or comment. Among his minor
religions poems are to be found many beauties.
His Paraphrase upon part of Hie Book (iff Job teems
with the magnific^Qt imagery of the original. His
Last Day 19 ajso extremely fine, ai^d oonta^id many
high-wrought passages, of which the following may
be taken as a specimen. It is indeed the offspring
of a mind which, in many of its conceptions, ap-
proaches very nearly to the sublime.
AmA is fhere a Last Day ? and mast there come '
A sure, a ^xed, inexorable doom ?
Ambition, swell, and, thy proud sails to show,
Take all the winds that vanity can blow :
Wealthy on a golden moantain bUuEing stand.
And reach as India Ibrth in either hand ;
Spread a)l thy purple clusters, tempting Yiiie»
And thou, moire dreaded foe, bright Beautyj* sfauie ;
Shine all ;; in ail your charnis together me ;
That all, in all your charms, I may despise^
While I mount upward on a strong desire^
Borne lilp^ Elijah on a car of fire.-
In hopes of glory to be ^uite involyed !
To smile at death ! to long to be dissolved !
From biir decays a pleasure to receive !
And kindle into transport at a grav^ !
What equaii^ this ? and shall the victor now
Boast the proud laurels on his loaded brow ?
Religion ! oh thou cherub, heavenly bright !
^b, joys unmixed, and fathomless delight!
Thou, Thou art all«; nor find I in the whole
Cr<^tion ought but God and my own soul.
Harte^ the biographer of Chistavus Adolphus,
wrote many Divine Poems; also a Collecii^ of Re-
ligious Poems, entitled The Amaranth : they are for the
most part long and very unequal, and but few parts
are worth extracting for the reader's perusal. As our
«pace is limiifced, we must on the present occasion
decline the task.
Byrom, the author of that celebrated Pastoral
My Time, oh ye Muses, was happily spent, wrote
many devotional pieces, tlie whole of which possess
considerable ability ; some indeed (a contemporary
critic thinks) would not suffer by comparison with
Dr. Watts. We insert for our readers' gratification
one of his best poems, entitled
A Penitential Soliloquy.
What ! Uio' no objects strikts upon the sight,
Thy sa»cred presence is an inward light ;
,' What ! ' tho' no sounds shall penetrate the ear.
To listening thought the voice of troth is clear ;
Sincere devotion needs no outward shrine,
The centre of an humble soul is thine.
There may I worship, and there may^st thou place
Thy seat of mercy and thy throne of grace; ,
Yea fix, if Christ my advocate appear.
The dread tribunal of thy justice there ;
Let each vain thought, let each impure desire.
Meet in thy wrath with a consuming fire.
Whilst the kind rigours of a righteous doom
AU deadly filth of selfish pride consume,
Thou, Lord, catfst raise, tW punishing for sin.
The joys of peaceful penitence within ;
Thy justice and thy mercy both are sweet.
That make our sufferings and salvation meet.
Befall me. then whatever God shall please.
His wounds are healing and his griefs give ease ;
He, like a troe physician of the soul,
Applies the med cine that may make it whole ;
rU do, I'll suffer whatsoe'er he vrills,
1 see his aim thro' all these transient ills.
Tis to infuse a salutary grief.
To fit the mind for absolute relief ;
BN6LIW AACMIO MBTET. }V^i
That, f«»4 «mi «if 'ry ftli^ aod fioito kKf^
Dead fo tibe »wld» alite to tkian above.
The MMil inay jriae 4it in ite flrtmrmej youth*
And wonbip Ood in jpiril #nd in tr«tli*
The onfortaiiate mid impradent Boysb's PaBM of
Thb Dbity wad lughly praised by some of bi$ con-
tOTtporarieSy o^pecyi^lly by Fieldiiig^ 'To write
piously on such a ttene' (says Soudiey) ' may ex-
piate the presamptioB of flie attempt, but capmot
palliate the fblhr. Tbp perfect absurdity of this
criticisni must b6 obvious to all, and tfate extract
which we shall proceed to make, will coimiioe our
readers that there is no foundation for the assertion
of the same critic^ tbat * Boy se's Poems excite little
pleasure, and impart no instruction/
Wisdom of the Deity.
, > . O Thoi^ wh(^ when the* Almighty formed this all,
tfjplield tl^ scale and weighed each balanced hall ;
^ And as Iffii Innd completed each design,
..Hilittber^d tiie work, iind filled the seal diviaej
O Wisdom infinite ! creation's sonl, . .
Whose rays diffuse jnew lostre o'er the whole.
What tongues shall make thy charms celestial known?
What hand, fidr goddess! paint thee but thy own ?
What thoagh in Natore^s nmrersid store
Appear the wanders of almigfaty powV;
Pow'r, onattended,<terror would inspire.
Awed must wegaiie, and eomfiwlless admire*
Bat when fi^r Wisdom joins in the design^
The beauty of the ;wliole vesulf a divinel
Hence life nokaoiHedges its gloiioas oanaey
And matter owns its freat Disposer's laws;
Hence ,io^a thousand different models wroughtt- '
Now fiked to quiet, now allied to thought ;
Hence l|pw the forms an^l properties of thfaigs^ ^
Hence rises harmony, and order springs ;
Else, had the mass a.shapeles8 Chaos lay.
Nor ever felt the.dawn <>f Wlsdomfs day 1
See how, associate, round their oentiiiliSon