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The Pamphlet Collection of Sir Robert Stout: Volume 8


page 279


Human Purpose.
If all around us yield to change—
The woods, the streams, the mountain range;
Shall man affect to be
Unchangeable as He who guides
The flight of time, and stems the tides
From all eternity?

Rather a lesson let it teach—
How frail at best is human reach,
Unless the Power that moves
Our inward being should impress
The stamp of His own steadfastness
On whomsoe'er He loves.

Ah! give me grace to be content
With what I have, and ne'er lament
Because my means are scant:
For riches are but apt at best
To leave the soul but little rest,
And urge to further want.

And do I play the hypocrite
With my own soul while thus I write,
And simulate denial?
I'll trust at least I may be found
In time of trouble whole and sound
When put upon my trial.

Yet human impulse, what is it
Else than a fond and vain conceit
Indulged at any moment,
And suffered oft to lead astray
The mind too weak to curb the sway
That leads to after torment.

Oh! may I keep a jealous eye
O'er mind infirm, and ne'er rely
On hopes without foundation,
Which rise and fall with every wind
That agitates the human mind—
A profitless sensation. Q.

As a fond Mother o'er her children bends
In melting love, and clasps one to her breast—
One at her feet, one on her knee she tends,
Whilst to another's brow her lips are press'd;
And 'mid their sports and murmurs still attends
To every varied fanciful request;
Whispers to one—to one a glance she sends,
And smiles or chides, in all her love's confess'd.
So watches over us the Sovereign power
Of Providence : this comforts, that supplies,
Hears all, and doth on all His mercy shower;
And if some grace or favour He denies,
'Tis but to teach the Soul her prayer to pour,
Or by denial graciously replies.

D. G.