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To thy blest service! gladly to proclaim Glory to God on high, on earth good will To man; to pour my grateful soul before thee : To sing thy pow'r, thy wisdom, and thy love, And every gracious attribute: to paint The charms of heav'n-born virtue! So shall I (Tho' with long interval of worth) aspire To imitate the work of saints above, Of Cherub and of Seraphim. My heart, My talents, all I am, and all I have, Is thine, O Father! Gracious Lord, accept The humble dedication ! Offer'd gifts Of slaughter'd bulls and goats sacrifical Thou hast refus'd: bat lo, I come, O Lord ! To do thy will; the living sacrifice Of an obedient heart I lay before thee: This humble off’ring more shall please thee, Lord, Than horned bullocks, ceremonial rites, New moons and sabbaths, passovers and fasts! Yet those I, too, will keep; but not in lieu Of holiness substantial, inward worth ; As commutation cheap for pious deeds And purity of life, but as the types Of better things; as fair external signs Of inward holiness and secret truth.
But see, my father, good old Jesse, comes ! To cheer the setting evening of whose life, Content, a simple shepherd here I dwell, Though Israel is in arms; and royal Saul, Encamp'd in yonder field, defies Philistia.
Jesse, David. Jes. Blest be the gracious Pow'r who gave my age To boast a son like thee! Thou art the staff Which props my bending years, and makes me bear The heavy burden of declining age, With fond complacence. How unlike thy fate, O venerable Eli! But two sons, But only two to gild the dim remains Of life's departing day, and bless thy age, And both were curses to thee! Witness, Heav'n, In all the cruel catalogue of pains Humanity turns o'er, if there be one So terrible to human tenderness As an unnatural child ! Dav.
Oh! my lov’d father!
Long may'st thou live, in years and honours rich,
To taste and to communicate the joys,
The thousand fond endearing charities
Of tenderness domestic; Nature's best
And loveliest gift, with which she well atones
The niggard boon of fortune.
Oh! my son !
Of all the graces which adorn thy youth,
I, with a father's fondness, must commend
Thy tried humility. For though the seer
Pour'd on thy chosen head the sacred oil
In sign of future greatness, in sure pledge
Of highest dignity, yet here thou dwell'st
Content with toil, and careless of repose;
And (harder still for an ingenuous mind)
Content to be obscure; content to watch,
With careful eye, thine humble father's flock !
o earthis embien: 0: ceresik... In:TIT,
Si Israelstentier, watches UE: 11: il...
Tnt weak one. Il ni lost rir, Dosor. Dears.
Ang rentis dead. I.. bir susia: Dar...
Tnt teebit ones wit youn:'.
Anow si tuo, r" taide..
Aught from the fiel: for in so near the cam
Tno war's proue ens ons strear, or' yonder pian.
Anc al. Pniiisllás swarmin- nosi encamı
Oppos'o to rota. Salir. Deneat: whebt danner:
Vir brothers lit: the sneni,- i navt nc: re:
Mr fleecy charge, by the committe Lu Ilit.
To learn tht various fortunt oi ta' war.
Jes. And wiser hast thou Colt. Torict happy
Who shal. submit ont dar to his command
Who can so weli ober! Obedience teau:
To certain honours. Not the tow'ring wing
Of eagle-plum’d ambition mounts so surety
To fortune's highest summii as obedience.
iddistan: sound o trumpets.
But why that sudden ardour, (my son:
That trumpet's sound tho so remote its voice,
We hardiv catch the echo as it dies,)
Has rous'd the mantling crimson in thr cheeh,
Kindled the martial spirit in thint eve;
And my young shepherd feels an hero's fire !
Dav. Thou hast not told the posture of the war
And much my beating bosom pants to hear.
Jes. Uncertain is the fortune of the field.
I tremble for thy brothers, thus expos d
To constant peril; nor for them alone
Does the quick feeling agonise my heart.
I feel for all! - I mourn that ling’ring war
Still hangs his banner o'er my native land,
Belov’d Jerusalem! O war ! what art thou ?
At once the proof and scourge of man's fall’n state !
After the brightest conquest, what appears
Of all thy glories ? for the vanquish’d, chains !
For the proud victor, what? Alas! to reign
O’er desolated nations ! a drear waste,
By one man's crime, by one man's lust of pow'r,
Unpeopled ! Ravag'd fields assume the place
Of smiling harvests, and uncultur'd plains
Succeed the fertile vineyard ; barren waste
Deforms the spot once rich with luscious fig
And the fat olive — Devastation reigns.
Here, rifled temples are the cavern’d dens
Of savage beasts, or haunt of birds obscene :
There, pop'lous cities blacken in the sun,
And in the gen’ral wreck, proud palaces
Lie undistinguish’d, save by the dun smoke
Of recent conflagration. When the song
Of dear-bought joy, with many a triumph swellid,
Salutes the victor's ear, and soothes his pride,
How is the grateful harmony profan'd
With the sad dissonance of virgins' cries,
Who mourn their brothers slain! of matrons hoar,
Who clasp their wither'd hands, and fondly ask,
With iteration shrill, their slaughter'd sons !
How is the laurel's verdure stain'd with blood!
And soil'd with widow's tears !
Thrice mournful truth! Yet when our country's sacred rights are menac'd,
Her firm foundations shaken to the base;
When all we love, and all that we revere,
Our hearths and altars, children, parents, wires,
Our liberties and laws, the Throne they guard,
Are scorn'd and trampled on— then, then, my father!
'Tis then Religion's voice, then God himself
Commands us to defend bis injurd name,
And think the victory cheaply bought with life.
'Twere then inglorious weakness, mean self-love,
To lie inactive, when the stirring voice
Of the shrill trumpet wakes the patriot youth,
And, with heroic valour, bids them dare
The foul idolatrous bands, e'en to the death.
Jes. God and thy country claim the life they gave; No other cause can sanctify resentment.
Dav. Sure virtuous friendship is a noble cause ! Oh, were the princely Jonathan in danger, How would I die, well pleas'd in bis defence ! When, 'twas long since, then but a stripling boy, I made short sojourn in his father's palace, (At first to soothe his troubled mind with song, His armour-bearer next,) I well remember The gracious bounties of the gallant prince. How would he sit, attentive to my strain, While to my harp I sung the harmless joys Which crown a shepherd's life! How would he cry, Blest youth! far happier in thy native worth, Far richer in the talent Heav'n has lent thee, Than if a crown hung o'er thy anxious brow. The jealous monarch mark'd our growing friendship; And as my favour grew with those about him, His royal bounty lessen'd, till at length,