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Another, On The Same Occasion - Poem by Rees Prichard

Thou ruler of heaven, of earth, and the main,
Of wind, and of weather, of tempests, and rain,
O, list to the moan and the mournful request
Of us, who're by storms, and bad weather distrest!

The winds, and the waves, and the fast-falling show'rs,
The stars in their courses, and th' heavenly pow'rs,
Against us with fell animosity fight,
And our rife offences with famine requite.

The sun, us'd to cheer us with heat and with light,
Now turns his pale orbit away from our sight,
Refusing his wonted assistance to yield,
'Till half of our grain is destroy'd on the field.

The moon, like a widow, her spouse who bewails,
In clouds ev'ry night her wan countenance veils;
Her tears, like our sins, in such plenty abound,
Our labours and corn in a deluge are drown'd.

The billows roar wildly, the firmament low'rs,
The clouds, heavy-laden, oft burst into show'rs,
And, for the loose lives which so long we have led,
Whole rivers of woe are pour'd down on each head.

Our corn the fierce tempest lays down, as it grows,
The prime of our harvest the wind overthrows,
It shed, and it rotted, or grew with the heat,
Against it, the rains so outrageously beat!

Our grain is already just lost on the ground,
The season prevents us from having it abound,
Assist us, O Lord! now - (or else it must spoil)
With weather, to gather it from the dank soil.

That part of the crop which in mows has been set,
Like straw in a dunghill, is thoroughly wet,
It smokes, reeks and moulders, tho' hid out of sight,
But, what lies without, must be ruin'd out-right.

What's brought to the barn, is in no better case,
But silently heats and ferments in the place,
Just ready to blaze - help, God of all might,
And let not our labours be frustrated quite.

The victuals, for dinner or supper design'd,
Are full of as bad and unhealthy a kind;
And, if to assist us our God does not deign,
We all in adversity long shall remain.

Lord, open thine eyes, and behold this sad sight,
Survey with compassion our pitiful plight,
The food of mankind is quite rotten become,
For want of fair weather, to carry it home.

Have mercy, good God! for destroy'd is our grain,
And terribly rack'd are our bowels with pain:
O make both the dearth and distemper to cease,
Bless us with thy grace, and our grain with increase!

But what shall we do for seed-corn in the spring?
If so long we shall live, a supply who can bring?
All, round us, complain of great scarceness, and want;
Do thou, gracious God, a sufficiency grant!

On the sheep of thy pasture have pity, O Lord!
And take not the staff of our lives from our board,
Forgive us our sins, our vile manners amend,
And our joyless bosoms with comfort distend.

Command thou the sun, to supply us with light,
Cause the moon and the stars to illume us by night,
With seas'nable weather the farmer befriend,
And to thy displeasure put quickly an end.

Clear thou the Horizon, disperse ev'ry cloud,
Those rife rains repel, (for thou'rt gracious and good)
Allay the fierce tempest, and, after the rain,
Give sunshine and crispness agen to our grain!

But here, mighty God! I must freely confess,
Our sins have brought on us this dismal distress,
With all the foul weather, and judgements severe,
Which punish'd thy servants so sorely, this year.

Thou fill'dst us so full with thy favours and meat,
That none, to adore thee, wou'd stir from their seat,
Or give thee due glory and thanks, for their food,
'Till ev'ry misfortune our footsteps pursu'd.

The Ox and the Ass know by whom they are fed,
The Dog loves his master, by whom he was bred;
But men are ungrateful, and seem not to know,
Their meat, and their all, to their Maker they owe.

With manifold blessings, thou feedest us all,
Like fatlings fed up to the full in the stall,
But we will not lift up our heads, nor attend,
More than brutes unto him, whence those favours descend.

Thy storms and thy tempests thou therefore didst send,
By rain and bad weather our manners to mend,
And force us, by feeling thy judgements, to know
'Tis thou with thine hand dost those blessings bestow.

Tho' great were the judgements, thou shedd'st on each head,
To punish the dissolute lives that we led,
We ne'er since the conquest, so guilty have been,
So sunk in debauch'ry, so sodden in sin.

Tho' the storm roars so loud, and so fierce pours the rain,
And tho' ('tis a truth) just destroy'd is our grain,
Yet still in the ale-house each sabbath we stay,
And spend in a riotous manner the day.

When each shou'd repent, in the dust, on his face,
And prostrate implore thy forgiveness and grace,
And truly our glorious Creator adore,
Like Jews, we blasphem'd, and like troopers we swore.

The more thou didst ask us to turn and relent,
Our morals to mend, and our sins to repent,
We sinn'd worse and worse, and more desperate grew,
And farther and farther from mercy withdrew.

The greater the plagues were, which hung o'er each head,
Storm, war, or disease, or a scarceness of bread,
More hard'ned and callous, like Pharaoh, we were,
And forc'd thee to vex us with judgements severe.

It is not then strange, thou thy anger shou'dst show,
By doubling and trebling each terrible blow:
But no one the reason, I fansy, can tell,
Why thou hast not hurl'd us, ere this, into hell.

Forgive our perverseness, thy fierce anger calm,
Remove our adversity, Lord! and our shame,
Like Nineveh, give us all grace to repent,
And serve thee with pleasure, and perfect assent!


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