1737 ENGLISH POETRY 1579-1830: SPENSER AND THE TRADITION

Rev. Moses Browne

John Duick, "To Mr. Moses Browne" Gentleman's Magazine 7 (September 1737) 566.



O Thou! by genius and by birth ally'd,
O more esteem'd than all mankind beside!
Accept the lay the muse officious brings,
And pleas'd attend, because Sylvius sings.

Heedless of method, ignorant of art,
My lines the fulness of my soul impart:
Which joys, thy life when happy moments bless,
And feels the stroke, whene'er you know distress.

Oft for some good, some kind, tho' secret, end,
The hand of providence has touch'd my friend;
Perhaps, thy strength of faith, or zeal to try,
Or a new proof of patience to supply;
Where virtue whelm'd in floods of woe appears,
Yet words not speak the grief, nor looks the fears:
But all unruffled in the storm is seen,
With calm affiance, and a placid mien.

But late the winds were loud, the waves ran high,
And a dark cloudy screen obscur'd the sky;
Much for thy weal our anxious bosoms fear'd,
Yet how compos'd thy steady mind appear'd!
Sure, when to us the scene all gloomy seems,
Some ray caelestial on thy spirit beams!
Thine eye discerns some strengthening angel's form,
Whose lore instructs thee to enjoy the storm.

Teach, heav'nly bard, and teach in heav'nly strains,
What strong support the feeble soul sustains,
In its frail tenement of clay inclos'd,
To inward pains and outward force expos'd.
Derive from heav'n divine assistance down,
And with thy Saviour's love thy triumph crown:
Resume the theme you lately touch'd so well,
Again thy charming notes with rapture swell;
Our troubled souls require thy skilful hand,
Our passions sink to peace at thy command:
Like Saul, reliev'd from his delirious fire,
By the sweet notes of youthful David's lyre.

What cannot verse like thine? — beyond the pole,
Above the concave sky, it lifts the soul;
Unfolds caelestial scenes to mortal eyes,
We gaze, and ev'ry earthly pleasure dies.