TO THE PRAISE

OF

CHARITY

Thou mother virtue! with men stay!
Thy soft'ning hand is meek!
If man want thee, his heart is cold;
Tears ne'er can wet his cheek!

Blest emanation of the mind!
Thou'rt from a pow'r divine;
Thou wak'st each grace that man may have,
And passions dost refine!

Thou breath'st smooth gales of gratitude
To Heav'n, who mercy sends!
Thy aspect mild, and pitying eye,
Relieve both foes and friends!

From some celestial place thou com'st;
Thy prospect boundless lies;
From Heav'n to Earth thou still presides;
Thou cur'st our groans and sighs!

Here wretched sons of sorrow toil,
Poor, helpless and forlorn,
Till thy kind hand, with healing smile,
Doth bid them cease to mourn!

When wand'ring, may thou point the way
Through dark affliction's night!
Fond Charity, pray bear the sway!
May man in thee delight!

(Soft is yon balm distilling sky;
Warm Zephyrs wake the year;
Then beauty charms th' enraptured eye,
And melody the ear!

The flow'ry shrubs send forth their smell;
Their scent is rich perfume,
To love and pity equal born,
At morning and at noon!

Beneath the sun's sweet, temp'ring rays,
Strong nerves support man's toil;
Greefs, sulky groans, must take their flight;
Heav'n's peace makes patience smile!)

Thou Heav'n-born gift, of pow'r divine,
In thee true bliss men find;
'Tis thee whom Jove delights to view;
For thou art boundless kind!

How great's thy bliss! thou still reliev'st
All who are in distress;
Whose sorrow's agonizing smart,
Their joys do far surpass!

How does man's breast with ardour glow,
To Him who gave him birth,
More strong than genial fun, which warms
All things that grow on earth!

With great remorse man may repine,
And think how he must mourn,
Secluded from the sweets of life,
With pain and anguish torn!

'Tis he alone who craves thy aid;
Thy feeling heart must bleed,
While adverse, with his heavy hand,
He holds his drooping head!

Unnumber'd woes attend man's state,
Ev'n frowns on angry Fate!
Man's feeble mind can't those things bear:
His diffidence is great!

His ruin'd state doth cause him mourn;
His tow'ring height of fame
Is so reduced, and brought so low,
His breast is fill'd with shame!

Sure friendship kind will joy impart,
And thaw the breast that froze;
Then shall it ease the bleeding heart
Of all it's cares and woes!

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