ENGLISH POETRY 1579-1830: SPENSER AND THE TRADITION
Rev. Moses Browne
Eliza, "To the Rev. Moses Browne, on reading his Sunday Thoughts" Westminster Magazine 9 (July 1781) 385.
Rev. Moses Browne:
1737: John Duick
1738: H. Price
1739: Richard Yate
1749: Edward Cave
1750: Rev. James Hervey
1773: Augustus Toplady
1786: William Cowper
1791: John Hawkins
1796: Dr. William Perfect
1799: Dr. Nathan Drake
1807: Robert Southey
1835: Robert Southey
1843: John Holland
1854: Katherine Byerley Thomson
1781: Rev. Moses Browne
1784: Charlotte Smith
1784: Helen Maria Williams
1805: William Cowper
Hail, venerable Bard, whose soothing lines
Can steal from Night the terrors of her reign!
Tutor'd by thee, how bright her darkness shines,
And fair Religion stifles mortal pain.
No more in anguish should the midnight hour
Of woe-worn wretches rend the breast with sighs;
Could they with thee attain the envied pow'r,
Could they with thee o'er earth superior rise.
Useless and vain, how many reach the age
That dignifies thy head with glory's crown?
For well, bless'd Saint, vers'd in the sacred page,
Hast thou the teachings of thy master known.
Here let my fancy, sometimes wont to stray,
Revel awhile with innocent delight;
Imagine Time, unused to brook delay,
Stood still — enraptur'd — as he saw thee write.
Think that he bade his messengers forbear,
And charg'd them on thee to defer their call;
Lest from their chilling touch aught might appear
Less energy or judgment, near to fall.
They lose their pow'r — and Genius with a smile
Proclaims her triumphs o'er their wonted force,
Which could the wreath from Science' head beguile,
Which could from Mem'ry all her aids divorce.
Thy latter page glows with the true sublime,
Thy pencil stole its colouring at the Cross;
With thee o'er Pisgah to the Lamb I'd climb,
And call the world's great boast — wealth, titles — loss.
Thy Sunday Thoughts the Lord of Sabbath blest,
And led thy pensive meditations, where
The shouting Seraphs sing the Saints to rest,
And Christians in their Saviour's glory share.
The little wanting to complete thy plan,
Little I said — not in its import small;
By nightly watchings lead the mind to scan
Each wond'rous work of the great All in All.
What if in youth affliction mark'd thy road?
What if deep sorrows were thy lot from heav'n?
The end was answer'd, since it led to God,
For the Saint's sigh a sure reward is giv'n.
To years remote the Christian world shall bless
Thy pious mem'ry, and thy labours praise:
With Browne enraptur'd, God's great acts express,
And high as Heav'n their grateful thanks shall raise.