1749 ENGLISH POETRY 1579-1830: SPENSER AND THE TRADITION

Rev. James Hervey

John Duick, "To Mr. Hervey on his Meditations" Gentleman's Magazine 19 (September 1749) 422.



Yes, Inspiration breathes in ev'ry thought!
Thee, Hervey, thee celestial wisdom taught!
From the same pow'r, thy sacred raptures sprung,
That tun'd each prophet's, each apostolic's tongue.
Jesus! effulgence of paternal light,
Equal in wisdom, goodness, truth, and might,
Whose energy according worlds attest,
Kindled those ardours in thy glowing breast.
We catch the flame as we thy page peruse,
And faith in ev'ry object Jesus views.
We in the bloomy breathing garden, trace
Somewhat — like emanations of his grace.
Yet must all sweetness and all beauty yield,
Idumea's grove, and Sharon's flow'ry field,
Compar'd with Jesus: Meanly meanly shows
The brightest lily, faint the loveliest rose.

Divine instructor! lead thro' midnight glooms,
To moralizing stars, and preaching tombs.
Thro' the still void a Saviour's voice shall break,
A ray from Jacob's star the darkness streak:
To him the fairest scenes their lustre owe,
His cov'nant brightens the celestial bow;
His vast benevolence profusely spreads
The yellow harvests, and the verdant meads.

Thy pupil, Hervey, a redeemer finds,
In boundless oceans, and in viewless winds:
He reigns at will the furious blasts, and guides
The rending tempests, and the roaring tides.
O give, my soul, thy welfare to his trust;
Who rais'd the world, can raise the sleeping dust!
He will, he will, when nature's course is run,
Mid'st falling stars, and an extinguish'd sun;
He will with myriads of his saints appear,
O may I joyn them, tho' the meanest there!
Tho' nearer to the throne my Hervey sings,
Tho' I at humbler distance strike the strings,
Th' according notes shall joyn th' amazing strain,
The lamb of God! from earth's foundation's slain!
Thus both shall mingle in the same employ,
Both drink the fulness of eternal joy.