Benjamin Stillingfleet (1702-1771)
To Lord Haddington
Sweet-natured Lord, at whose birth all the spheres
Tuned their best harmony, and on whose head
Kind heaven its choicest dews in plenty shed;
Teach me what secrets in this vale of tears
Support thy easy mind! Vain hopes and fears,
That over the rest a chequered shadow spread,
Leave thee unclouded; thou dost gaily tread
As in a path that sunshine never cheers.
Whence is this learnt? Ah, no! the solemn brow,
The grave deportment that with careful scan
Measures each step on level ground and even
But trips on rough--these may be learnt, we know,
These have, by that vile beast resembling man;
But thy philosophy is all from heaven.