IF possess’d of hoarded treasure,
Wouldst thou strive to bless thy store?
Be it then thy sweetest pleasure
To impart it to the poor.
What art thou, this gift possessing,
But the minister of GRIEF,
If thou hide the radiant blessing,
Like the base and abject THIEF?
Look around thee, MAN! and say
Wouldst thou, like the source of day,
Pour the golden flood of light,
And glad the nations lost in night;
Exulting view thy lovely beams
Illume the mountains, dance along the streams;
Bid the wide earth in extacy rejoice,
And all her vocal tribes with grateful voice
Hymn their delight?—Or, like the VULTURE, cow’r
O’er the fall’n ELEPHANT, unable to devour
That giant carcase; yet insatiate, aim
To guard the mighty prey from every puny claim;
Crouch like the DRAGON in his murky den,
O’er gems and gold he knows not to employ:
Writhing his care-worn frame—his watchful ken,
Guards all approach of CHARITY or JOY?
What tho’ the lovers of this fleeting world,
Like hungry DOGS, growl o’er their carrion prey;
Tho’ musky odours in their track were hurl’d,
Still by the tainted breeze would guide their way:
Thou, ACHMED, all such base examples shun,
Be great, beneficent, and imitate the SUN.
If, by the SCOURGE OF FATE, to deserts driv’n,
Thou there hast met the favouring smile of HEAVEN.
If REASON build her mansion in thy mind:
While every passion slumbers in the breast,
False hopes, and fears, and interests soothed to rest:
If WISDOM’s sacred flame illume thy soul,
And nought the freedom of her will controul.
To weak, to erring man, that light impart,
To guide his wand’ring steps, and warm his torpid heart.
Teach him the vanity of earthly things,
From sensual, sordid views, to pageant Kings:
Teach him—distinctions of the LORD and SLAVE,
Are soon forgotten in the silent grave.
That NATURE’s various gifts, where’er bestow’d,
Are all, the bounties of her guardian GOD.
These gratefully received, a bliss impart,
Beyond the boast of POWER, or pride of ART.
Teach him to act on NATURE’s simple plan,
Resign’d to HEAVEN—unconfident in MAN.
Teach him to prize HUMILITY and LOVE,
And seeking PEACE on earth—foretaste the joys above.