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Cottage Poems   By: (1777-1861)

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COTTAGE POEMS.

EPISTLE TO THE REV. J B , WHILST JOURNEYING FOR THE RECOVERY OF HIS HEALTH.

When warm'd with zeal, my rustic Muse Feels fluttering fain to tell her news, And paint her simple, lowly views With all her art, And, though in genius but obtuse, May touch the heart.

Of palaces and courts of kings She thinks but little, never sings, But wildly strikes her uncouth strings In some pool cot, Spreads o'er the poor hen fostering wings, And soothes their lot.

Well pleased is she to see them smile, And uses every honest wile To mend then hearts, their cares beguile, With rhyming story, And lend them to then God the while, And endless glory.

Perchance, my poor neglected Muse Unfit to harass or amuse, Escaping praise and loud abuse, Unheard, unknown, May feed the moths and wasting dews, As some have done.

Her aims are good, howe'er they end Here comes a foe, and there a friend, These point the dart and those defend, Whilst some deride her; But God will sweetest comforts blend, Whate'er betide her.

Thus heaven supported, forth she goes Midst flatterers, critics, friends, and foes; Secure, since He who all things knows Approves her aim, And kindly fans, or fostering blows Her sinking flame.

Hence, when she shows her honest face, And tells her tale with awkward grace, Importunate to gain a place Amongst your friends, To ruthless critics leave her case, And hail her ends.

To all my heart is kind and true, But glows with ardent love for you; Though absent, still you rise in view, And talk and smile, Whilst heavenly themes, for ever new, Our cares beguile.

The happy seasons oft return, When love our melting hearts did burn, As we through heavenly themes were borne With heavenward eyes, And Faith this empty globe would spurn, And sail the skies.

Or, when the rising sun shines bright, Or, setting, leaves the world in night, Or, dazzling, sheds his noon day light, Or, cloudy, hides, My fancy, in her airy flight, With you resides.

Where far you wander down the vale, When balmy scents perfume the gale, And purling rills and linnets hail The King of kings, To muse with you I never fail, On heavenly things.

Where dashing cataracts astound, And foaming shake the neighbouring ground, And spread a hoary mist around, With you I gaze! And think, amid'st the deaf'ning sound, On wisdom's ways.

Where rocky mountains prop the skies, And round the smiling landscape lies, Whilst you look down with tearful eyes On grovelling man, My sympathetic fancy flies, The scene to scan.

From Pisgah's top we then survey The blissful realms of endless day, And all the short but narrow way That lies between, Whilst Faith emits a heavenly ray, And cheers the scene.

With you I wander on the shore To hear the angry surges roar, Whilst foaming through the sands they pour With constant roll, And meditations heavenward soar, And charm the soul.

On life's rough sea we're tempest driven In crazy barks, our canvas riven! Such is the lot to mortals given Where sins resort: But he whose anchor's fixed in heaven Shall gain the port.

Though swelling waves oft beat him back, And tempests make him half a wreck, And passions strong, with dangerous tack, Retard his course, Yet Christ the pilot all will check, And quell their force.

So talk we as we thoughtful stray Along the coast, where dashing spray With rising mist o'erhangs the day, And wets the shore, And thick the vivid flashes play And thunders roar!

Whilst passing o'er this giddy stage, A pious and a learned sage Resolved eternal war to wage With passions fell; How oft you view with holy rage These imps of hell!

See! with what madd'ning force they sway The human breast and lead astray, Down the steep, broad, destructive way, The giddy throng; Till grisly death sweeps all away The fiends among!

As when the mad tornado flies, And sounding mingles earth and skies, And wild confusion 'fore the eyes In terrors dressed... Continue reading book >>




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