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Authority! unfeeling power,
Whose iron heart can coldly doom
The Debtor, drag'd from Pleasure's bower,
To ficken in the dungeon's gloom !
O might thy terror-ftriking call,
Profusion's fons alone enthrall !
But thou canst Want with Guilt confound :
Thy bonds the man of virtuous toil surround,
Driven by malicious Fate within thy dreary bound.
How favage are thy stern decrees? Thy cruel minifter I see A weak, laborious victim seize, By worth entitled to be free! Behold, in the afflicting strife, The faithful partner of his life, In vain thy ruthless servant court, To spare her little children's fole fupport, Whom this terrific form has frighten'd from their sport.
Nor weeps the only from the thought, Those infants must no longer thare His aid, whose daily labour bought The pittance of their scanty fare. The horrors of the loathsome jail Her inly-bleeding heart affail : E'en now her fears, from fondness bred, See the loft partner of her faithful bed Drop, in that murd'rous scene, his pale, expiring head.
Take comfort yet in these keen pains, Fond mourner! check thy gushing tears ! The dungeon now no more contains Those perils which thy fancy fears : No more Contagion's baleful breath Speaks it the hideous cave of Death : HOWARD has planted safety there ; Pure minister of light! his heavenly care Has purg'd the damp of Death from that polluted air.
His care exulting Britain found
Here first display'd, not here confin'd!
No single tract of earth could bound
The active virtues of his mind.
To all the lands, where'er the tear,
That mourn'd the Prisoner's
Sand Pity's glift’ning cheek impearld,
Eager he steerd, with every fail unfurld,
A friend to every clime a Patriot of the World?
Ye nations thro' whose fair domain
Our flying sons of joy have past,
By Pleasure driven with loosen'd rein,
Astonith'd that they flew fo fast!
How did the heart-improving fight
Awake your wonder and delight,
When, in her unexampled chace,
Philanthropy outstrip'd keen Pleasure's pace,
When with a warmer soul she ran a nobler race!
Where-e'er her generous Briton went, Princes his fupplicants became : He feem'd the enquiring angel, fent To scrutinize their secret shame *. Captivity, where he appear'd, Her languid head with transport rear'd; And gazing on her godlike guest, Like thoie of old, whom Heaven's pure servant bleit, E'en by his Mhadow seem’d of demons disposett.
Amaz'd her foreign children cry, Seeing their patron pass along ;
* I am credibly informed that several Princes, or at least persons in authority, requested Mr. Howard not to publish a minute account of some prisons, which lected disgrace on their government.
16 O! who is he, whose daring eye 66 Can search into our hidden wrong? 66 What monarch's Heaven-directed mind, * With royal bounty unconfin’d, " Has tempted Freedom's son to share * These perils ; searching with an angel's care • Each cell of dire Disease, each cavern of Despair ?"
No monarch's word, nor lucre's lust,
Nor vain ambition's reftless fire,
Nor ample power, that facred trust!
His life-diffufing toils inspire :
Rou'd by no voice, save that whose cries,
Internal bid'the foul arise
From joys, that only seem to bless,
From low pursuits, which little minds poffefs,
To Nature's noblest aim, the Succour of Distress !
Taught by that God, in Mercy's robe, é
Who his cæleftial throne resign'd,
To free the prison of the globe
From vice, th' oppressor of th' mind !
For thee, of misery's rights bereft,
For thee, Captivity! he left
Fair Fortune's lap, who, far from coy,
Bade him with smiles his golden hours employ
In her delicious bower, the feftive scene of joy!
While to thy virtue's utmost scope
I boldly strive my aim to raise
As high as mortal hand nay hope
To shoot the glittering * fhaft of Praise ;
ανδρα δ' εγω κεινον
Αιγησαι μενoινων, ελπομαι
Μη χαλκοπαραον ακονθ' ωσει cyw-
νος βαλειν έξω παλαμα δονεων. . PINDAR.
Say! Howard, fay! what may the Muse,
Whose melting eye thy merit views,
What guerdon may her love design
What may fie ask for thee, from Power Divine,
Above the rich rewards which are already thine ?
Sweet is the joy when Science Rings
Her light on philosophic thought;
When Genius, with keen ardor, springs
To clasp the lovely truth he fought:
Sweet is the joy, when Rapture's fire
Forrs from the spirit of the lyre ;
When Liberty and Virtue roli
Spring-tides of fancy o'er the poet's soul,
That waft his Aying bark thro' fear above the pole.
Sweet the delight when the gall'd heart
Feels Consolation's lenient hand
Bind up the wound from Fortune's dart
With Friendship's lite-fupporting band !
And sweeter still, and far above
These fainter joys, when purest Love
The soul his willing captive keeps!
When he in bliss the melting spirit fteeps,
Who drops delicious tears, and wonders that he weeps !
But not the brightest joy, which Arts,
In floods of mental light, bestow ;
Nor what firm Friendihip's zeal imparts,
Blest antidote of bitterest woe !
Mor those that Love's sweet bours dispense,
Can equal the ecstatic sense,
When, swelling to a fond excefs,
The grateful praises of reliev'd distress,
Re-echoed thro' the heart, the foul of Bounty bless.
These transports, in no common fate,
Supremely pure, sublimely strong,
Above the reach of envious fate,
Bleft Howard! these to thee belong :
While years encreasing o'er thee roll, Long may this fupfhinc of the soul New vigor to thy frame convey! Its radiance thro' thy noon of life display, And with serenest light adorn thy closing day!
And when the Power, who joys-to fare, Proclaims the guilt of earth forgiven ; And calls the prisoners of the grave To all the liberty of Heaven : In that bright day, whose wonders blind The eye of the aftonilh'd mind; When life's glad angel shall resume His ancient (way, announce to Death his doom, And from existence drive that tyrant of the tomb :
In that bleft hour when Seraphs fing
The triumphs gain'd in human Itrife ;
And to their new associates bring
The wreaths of everlasting life :
May't thou in Glory's hallow'd blaze,
Approach the Eternal fount of Praise,
With those who lead the angelie van,
Those pure adherents to our Saviour's plan,
Who lir'd but to relieve thc Miseries of Man !