The Wind in the Pine

I N TWO CANIOS .

CANTO I .

The fear of God is freedom, joy and peace,
And makes all ills that vex us here to cease.
Though the word fear some men may ill endure,
'Tis such a fear as only makes secure.
Ask of no angel to reveal thy fate;
Look in thy heart, the mirror of thy state.
He that invites will not the invited mock,
Opening to all that do in earnest knock.
Our hopes are all well-grounded on this fear
All our assurance rolls upon that sphere.
This fear, that drives all other fears away,
Shall be my song, the morning of our day!
Where that fear is, there's nothing to be feared;
It brings from Heaven an angel for our guard.
Tranquillity and peace this fear does give;
Hell gapes for those that do without it live.
It is a beam, which he on man lets fall,
Of light, by which he made and governs all.
'Tis God alone should not offended be;
But we please others, as more great than he.
For a good cause, the sufferings of man
May well be borne; 'tis more than angels can.
Man, since his fall, in no mean station rests,
Equal to angels, or below the beasts.
He with true joy their hearts alone does fill,
That thirst and hunger to perform his will.
Others, though rich, shall in this world be vexed,
And sadly live in terror of the next.
The world's great conqueror would his point pursue,
And wept because he could not find a new;
Which had he done, yet still he would have cried,
To make him work until a third he spied.
Ambition, avarice, will nothing owe
To Heaven itself, unless it make them grow.
Though richly fed, man's care does still exceed;
Has but one mouth, but would a thousand feed.
In wealth and honour, by such men possessed,
If it increase not, there is found no rest.
All their delight is while their wish comes in;
Sad when it stops, as there had nothing been.
'Tis strange men should neglect their present store,
And take no joy but in pursuing more;
No! though arrived at all the world can aim;
This is the mark and glory of our frame.
A soul capacious of the Deity,
Nothing buThe that made can satisfy.
A thousand worlds, if we with him compare
Less than so many drops of water are.
Men take no pleasure but in new designs;
And what they hope for, what they have outshines.
Our sheep and oxen seem no more to crave,
With full content feeding on what they have;
Vex not themselves for an increase of store,
But think to-morrow we shall give them more.
What we from day to day receive from Heaven,
They do from us expect it should be given.
We made them not, yet they on us rely,
More than vain men upon the Deity;
More beasts than they! who will not understand
That we are fed from his immediate hand.
Man, that in him has being, moves, and lives,
What can he have, or use, but whaThe gives?
So that no bread can nourishment afford,
Or useful be, without his Sacred Word.

CANTO II .

E ARTH praises conquerors for shedding blood,
Heaven those that love their foes, and do them good.
It is terrestrial honour to be crowned
For strowing men, like rushes, on the ground.
True glory 'tis to rise above them all,
Without advantage taken by their fall.
He that in fight diminishes mankind,
Does no addition to his stature find;
BuThe that does a noble nature show,
Obliging others, still does higher grow;
For virtue practised, such a habit gives,
That among men he like an angel lives;
Humbly he doth, and without envy, dwell,
Loved and admired by those he does excel.
Fools anger show, which politicians hide;
Blessed with this fear, men let it not abide.
The humble man, when he receives a wrong,
Refers revenge to whom it doth belong;
Nor sees he reason why he should engage,
Or vex his spirit for another's rage.
Placed on a rock, vain men he pities, tossed
On raging waves, and in the tempest lost.
The rolling planets, and the glorious sun,
Still keep that order which they first begun;
They their first lesson constantly repeat,
Which their Creator as a law did set.
Above, below, exactly all obey;
But wretched men have found another way;
Knowledge of good and evil, as at first,
(That vain persuasion!) keeps them still accursed!
The Sacred Word refusing as a guide,
Slaves they become to luxury and pride.
As clocks, remaining in the skilful hand
Of some great master, at the figure stand,
But when abroad, neglected they do go,
At random strike, and the false hour show;
So from our Maker wandering, we stray,
Like birds that know not to their nests the way.
In him we dwelt before our exile here,
And may, returning, find contentment there,
True joy may find, perfection of delight,
Behold his face, and shun eternal night.
Silence, my Muse! make not these jewels cheap,
Exposing to the world too large a heap.
Of all we read, the Sacred Writ is best,
Where great truths are in fewest words expressed.
Wrestling with death, these lines I did indite;
No other theme could give my soul delight.
O that my youth had thus employed my pen!
Or that INow could write as well as then!
But 'tis of grace, if sickness, age, and pain,
Are felt as throes, when we are born again;
Timely they come to wean us from this earth,
As pangs that wait upon a second birth.
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