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[50] there are occasional sparkles of genuine wit, and passages of keen sarcasm, tersely and fitly expressed. Others breathe a warm, devotional feeling; in the following brief prayer, for instance, the wants of the humble Christian are condensed in a manner worthy of Quarles or Herbert:—

Oh! that mine eye might closed be
To what concerns me not to see;
That deafness might possess mine ear
To what concerns me not to hear;
That Truth my tongue might always tie
From ever speaking foolishly;
That no vain thought might ever rest
Or be conceived in my breast;
That by each word and deed and thought
Glory may to my God be brought!
But what are wishes? Lord, mine eye
On Thee is fixed, to Thee I cry:
Wash, Lord, and purify my heart,
And make it clean in every part;
And when 't is clean, Lord, keep it too,
For that is more than I can do.

The thought in the following extracts from a poem written on the death of his friend Pennington's son is trite, but not inaptly or inelegantly expressed:—

What ground, alas, has any man
     To set his heart on things below,
Which, when they seem most like to stand,
     Fly like the arrow from the bow!
Who's now atop erelong shall feel
     The circling motion of the wheel!

The world cannot afford a thing
     Which to a well-composed mind
Can any lasting pleasure bring,
     But in itself its grave will find.
All things unto their centre tend—
     What had beginning must have end!

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Quarles (1)
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