1738 ENGLISH POETRY 1579-1830: SPENSER AND THE TRADITION

Rev. Moses Browne

H. Price, "To Mr. Browne, occaison'd by his Poem on Life, &c." Gentleman's Magazine 8 (December 1738) 651.



From sensual joys to more refin'd delights,
Charm'd with the music of thy sacred song,
I fly, enraptur'd. Thy exalted strains
Inspire me with devotion. In thy page
Life and death, heaven, hell and judgment
Rise up to view, and fill the conscious mind
With hope of future bliss, or dread of pains
That may for ever last. When in thy verse
I see display'd the num'rous train of ills
That constant wait on man, and in my breast
Revolve how large a portion of his time
He spends in vicious pleasures, or consumes
In airy dreams of honour, wealth and fame;
I sympathize with thee, and sighing say,
"Alas! indeed how little of our lives
We, wretched mortals live!" But now the scene
Is chang'd, and downwards to the dust we go.
The gloomy grave, whose hollow womb contains
Two tender babes that ne'er could lisp the praise
Of their almighty maker, shall, e're long,
With greedy jaws, yawn wider to receive
Me, their unhappy father. — Gracious God!—
I dare not murmur. — Be thy sov'reign will
Obey'd by all mankind. — On restless wings
Like thee, blest bard! aloft I strive to soar
To time's grand period, a tremendous day!
Thy tow'ring Muse transports me. In thy strains
I hear th' awaking trumpet's dreadful sound,
The pond'rous ruin of dissolving skies,
The roaring ocean, and the rending rock.
With far less fury foam'd th' imprison'd flood,
When angry heav'n, to punish sinful man,
Broke up th' abyss, and o'er the peopl'd earth
Pour'd forth the deluge. Then the Ganges rose
And Thames and Tagus, and Egyptian Nile,
And distant Danube doom'd to roll his waves
Deep dy'd in Gallick blood. To blissful seats
Th' angelic host, with happy triumph crown'd
Convey the virtuous. Misery and woe
Attend the guilty: From th' incumber'd clouds
Hurl'd headlong, hell receives them. O my soul!
Arise, and sue for mercy. God is good,
And never fails to hear the suppliant voice
That cries for pardon. — Bless his holy name!