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Zeal77Compare Lucas’s “Enquiry after Happiness,” part 3, ch. 6 and 7, from which some thoughts in this poem appear to have been taken.

Dead as I am, and cold my breast,

Untouch’d by thee, Celestial Zeal,

How shall I sing the unwonted guest?

How paint the joys I cannot feel?

Assist me Thou, at whose command

The heart exults, from earth set free!

’Tis Thine to raise the drooping hand,

Thine to confirm the feeble knee.

’Tis Zeal must end this inward strife,

Give me to know that warmth Divine!

Through all my verse, through all my life

The active principle shall shine.

Where shall we find its high abode?

To heaven the sacred ray aspires,

With ardent love embraces God,

Parent and Object of its fires.

There its peculiar influence known

In breasts seraphic learns to glow;

Yet, darted from the eternal throne,

It sheds a cheering light below.

Through earth diffused, the active flame

Intensely for God’s glory burns;

And, always mindful whence it came,

To heaven in every wish returns.

Yet vain the fierce Enthusiast’s aim

With this to sanctify his cause;

To screen beneath this awful name

The persecuting sword he draws.

In vain the mad Fanatic’s dreams

To this mysteriously pretend;

On fancy built, his airy schemes

Or slight the means, or drop the end.

Where Zeal holds on its even course,

Blind rage and bigotry retires;

Knowledge assists, not checks its force,

And prudence guides, not damps its fires.

Resistless then it wins its way;

Yet deigns in humble hearts to dwell:

The humble hearts confess its sway,

And pleased the strange expansion feel.

Superior far to mortal things,

In grateful ecstasy they own,

(Such antedated heaven it brings,)

That Zeal and Happiness are one.

Now varied deaths their terrors spread,

Now threat’ning thousands rage—in vain!

Nor tortures can arrest its speed,

Nor worlds its energy restrain

That energy, which quells the strong,

Which clothes with strength the abject weak,

Looses the stammering infant’s tongue,

And bids the sons of thunder speak.

While Zeal its heavenly influence sheds,

What light o’er Moses’ visage plays!

It wings the immortal prophet’s steeds,

And brightens fervent Stephen’s face.

Come then, bright flame, my breast inspire;

To me, to me be thou but given,

Like them I’ll mount my car of fire,

Or view from earth an opening heaven.

Come then, if, mighty to redeem,

Christ purchased thee with blood Divine:

Come, holy Zeal! for thou through Him,

Jesus Himself through thee is mine!

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