Poetical recreations consisting of original poems, songs, odes, &c. with several new translations : in two parts
Barker, Jane.
Page  24

Sitting by a Rivulet.

I.
AH lovely stream, how fitly may'st thou be,
By thy immutability,
Thy gentle motion and perennity,
To us the Emblem of Eternity:
And to us thou do'st no less
A kind of Omnipresence too express.
For always at the Ocean thou
Art always here, and at thy Fountain too;
Always thou go'st thy proper Course,
Spontaneously, and yet by force,
Each Wave forcing his Precursor on;
Yet each one runs with equal haste,
As though each fear'd to be the last.
With mutual strife, void of contention,
In Troops they march, till thousands, thousands past.
Yet gentle stream, thou'rt still the same,
Always going, never gone;
Yet do'st all Constancy disclaim,
Wildly dancing to thine own murmuring tunefull Song;
Old as Time, as Love and Beauty young.
Page  25II.
But chiefly thou to Unity lay'st claim,
For though in thee,
Innumerable drops there be,
Yet still thou art but one,
Th'Original of which from Heav'n came:
The purest Transcript thereof we
I'th' Church may wish, but never hope to see,
Whilst each Pretender thinks himself alone
The Holy Catholick Church Militant;
Nay, well it is if such will grant,
That there is one else where Triumphant.
III.
But gente stream, if they,
As thou do'st Nature, would their God obey;
And as they run their course of life, would try
Their Consciences to purify:
From self-love, pride, and avaricy,
Stubbornness equal to Idolatry;
They'd find opinion of themselves,
To be but dang'rous sandy Shelves,
Page  26To found or build their Faith upon,
Unable to resist the force
Of Prosperity's swelling violent sorce,
Or storms of Persecution:
Whose own voracity (were't in their power)
Wou'd not only Ornaments devour,
But the whole Fabrick of Religion.
IV.
But gentle stream, thou'rt nothing so,
A Child in thee may safely go
To rifle thy rich Cabinet;
And his Knees be scarcely wet,
Whilst thou wantonly do'st glide,
By thy Enamell'd Banks most beauteous side;
Nor is sweet stream thy peacefull tyde,
Disturbed by pale Cynthia's influence;
Like us thou do'st not swell with pride
Of Chastity or Innocence.
But thou remain'st still unconcern'd,
Whether her Brows be smooth or horn'd;
VVhether her Lights extinguish'd or renew'd,
In her thou mindest no Vicissitude.
Page  27Happy if we, in our more noble State,
Could so slight all Vicissitudes of Fate.