Poetry Explorer- Classic Contemporary Poetry, A PARAPHRASE OF THE LATTER PART OF THE SIXTH CHAPTER OF ST. MATTHEW, by JAMES THOMSON (1700-1748)



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A PARAPHRASE OF THE LATTER PART OF THE SIXTH CHAPTER OF ST. MATTHEW, by             Poet's Biography
First Line: When my breast labours with oppressive care
Last Line: Is he unwise? Or are ye less than they?
Subject(s): Bible


When my breast labours with oppressive care,
And o'er my cheek descends the falling tear;
While all my warring passions are at strife,
O, let me listen to the words of life!
Raptures deep-felt His doctrine did impart,
And thus he raised from earth the drooping heart.
"Think not, when all your scanty stores afford --
Is spread at once upon the sparing board;
Think not, when worn the homely robe appears,
While on the roof the howling tempest bears;
What further shall this feeble life sustain,
And what shall clothe these shivering limbs again!
Say, does not life its nourishment exceed?
And the fair body its investing weed?
"Behold! and look away your low despair --
See the light tenants of the barren air:
To them, nor stores, nor granaries belong,
Nought but the woodland and the pleasing song;
Yet your kind heavenly Father bends his eye
On the least wing that flits along the sky;
To Him they sing, when Spring renews the plain,
To him they cry, in Winter's pinching reign;
Nor is their music, nor their plaint in vain;
He hears the gay and the distressful call,
And with unsparing bounty fills them all.
"Observe the rising lily's snowy grace,
Observe the various vegetable race;
They neither toil, nor spin, but careless grow,
Yet see how warm they blush! how bright they glow!
What regal vestments can with them compare?
What king so shining? or what queen so fair?
If ceaseless thus the fowls of heaven he feeds,
If o'er the fields such lucid robes he spreads:
Will he not care for you, ye faithless, say?
Is he unwise? or are ye less than they?





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