Inspire Me, Heaven, Nor In Me Leave A Thought
Source: Miscellanies in Prose and Verse, on Various Occasions (London: Printed for the (Anonymous) Author, 1776), pp. 29-31.
Ode to Christ.
O pater! O hominem ! summi regnati Olympi, dilecti nati, funus crudele videbis.
Inspire me, heaven, nor in me leave a thought
Untouch'd, untry'd, to sing a Saviour's praise;
Free from the vicious pangs of a mind untaught,
May my poor pen his God-like virtues raise.
Yet ah how vain I try the heav'nly theme,
Or the great task attempt alone to scan!
Since he outshines the lustre of all fame,
Who liv'd a Mortal, and who died a Man.
O for a voice on fire, to stop the dreaded crime
Of men who live regardless of thy word,
Whose transient pleasure is but loss of time,
Senseless of what such loss will soon afford.
Would but our fellow-creatures hark awhile,
And strive their wand'ring passions to subdue,
I'd teach them solace from thy god-like stile,
To soften sorrow, and their joys renew.
For who that follows thee, but lives above
The common fate of irreligious man?
In thee, by FAITH, we taste celestial love,
Nor think of life, but as a trifling span.
Superior pleasure doth the mind enjoy,
When moor'd with ease in resignation's bay;
Where peace prevails—no horrors to annoy,
The blissful moments of a virtuous lay.
The chariot rolling on its gilded wheels,
Contains, 'tis true, some one of noble birth;
But nobler far is he who amply feels
The fear of him that reigns above this earth.
The Deists boast of all their moral life,
Whilst Atheists hold Religion's all a trade;
But yet in both succeeds a conscious strife,
Nor were thy precepts for such mortals made.
But thou, O Lord, distributes all thy joys
To those whose virtue tastes their richest sweet,
And sinks the crimes indulg'd for earthly joys
With good immortal and with grace replete.
Come then, fair man, before it be too late,
And join with chearfulness the Christian band:
Desert the follies of a transitory state,
Since Wisdom calls throughout a Christian land.
The Latin phrase above is roughly translated by an on-line service as:
Oh, father! Oh man! highest heaven of Olympus, of the beloved were born, you will see the bitter funeral.
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