Wednesday, October 13, 2010

A Hymn

Most of Dr Church's poetry is much, much too long to be published in a blog. The following poem, however, was published in Bickerstaff's "Boston Almanack for the Year 1769," printed by Mein and Fleeming* and sold in John Mein's King Street bookstore.

         A Hymn

Still sing the God of Seasons, as they roll:
For me, when I forget the darling theme,
Whether the blossom blows the summer ray
Russets the plain, inspiring Autumn gleams;
Or winter rises in the blackening east:
Be my tongue mute, my fancy paint no more,
And, dead to joy, forget my heart to beat!
   Should fate command me to the furthest verge
Of the green earth, to distant barborous climes,
Rivers unknown to song; where first the sun
Gilds Indian mountains, or his setting beam
Flames on th' Atlantic isles; 'tis nought to me:
Since God is ever present, ever felt
In the void waits as in the city full;
And where He vital breathes, there must be joy.
When even at last the solemn hour shall come,
And wing thy mystic flight to future worlds.
I chearful will obey; there with new powers,
Will rising wonders sing: I cannot go
Where universal love not smiles around,
Sustaining all yon orbs and all their sons;
From seeming evil still educing good,
And better thence again, and better still,
In infinite progression. But I lose
Myself in Him, in Light Ineffable!
Come then, expressive silence, must his praise.

*John Fleeming married Dr Church's sister Alice on August 11, 1770. John Mein and Fleeming jointly published the Boston Chronicle, the best newspaper, technically, in Boston. Mein was a thorn in the side of the Whigs, publishing the names of merchants who were violating the non-importation agreements.He finally was forced to flee Boston in October 1769 after he and Fleeming were involved in a shooting incident. I will detail more about this when I publish the fascinating story of John Fleeming.

Please note that the cover of the Almanack carries a portrait of John Wilkes.

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