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The active powers of man; with wise intent
The hand of nature on peculiar minds
Imprints a different bias, and to each
Decrees its province in the common toil.
To some she taught the fabric of the sphere,
The changeful moon, the circuit of the stars,
The golden zones of heaven: to some she gave
To weigh the moment of eternal things,
Of time, and space, and fate's unbroken chain,
And will's quick impulse: others by the hand
She led o'er vales and mountains, to explore
What healing virtue swells the tender veins
Of herbs and flowers; or what the beams of morn
Draw forth, distilling from the clifted rind
In balmy tears. But some to higher hopes
Were destined; some within a finer mould
She wrought, and tempered with a purer flame.
To these the Sire omnipotent unfolds
The world's harmonious volume, there to read
The transcript of himself.
4.- ON SLAVERY.
O for a lodge in some vast wilderness,
Some boundless contiguity of shade,
Where rumour of oppression and deceit,
Of unsuccessful or successful war,
Might never reach me more! My ear is pained,
My soul is sick with every day's report
Of wrong and outrage with which earth is filled.
There is no flesh in man's obdurate heart—
It does not feel for man. That natural bond
Of brotherhood is severed as the flax
That falls asunder at the touch of fire.
He finds his fellow guilty of a skin
Not coloured like his own, and, having power
To enforce the wrong, for such a worthy cause,
Dooms and devotes him as his lawful prey!
Lands intersected by a narrow frith
Abhor each other. Mountains interposed
Make enemies of nations, who had else
Like kindred drops been mingled into one.
Thus man devotes his brother, and destroys;
And worse than all, and most to be deplored,
As human nature's broadest, foulest blot,
Chains him, and tasks him, and exacts his sweat
With stripes that Mercy with a bleeding heart
Weeps when she sees inflicted on a beast!
Then what is man? And what man seeing this,
And having human feelings, does not blush
And hang his head, to think himself a man?
I would not have a slave to till my ground,
To carry me, to fan me while I sleep,
And tremble when I wake, for all the wealth
That sinews bought and sold have ever earned.
No dear as freedom is, and in my heart's
Just estimation prized above all price,
I had much rather be myself the slave,
And wear the bonds, than fasten them on him.
We have no slaves at home-then why abroad?
And they themselves, once ferried o'er the wave
That parts us, are emancipate and loosed.
Slaves cannot breathe in England; if their lungs
Receive our air, that moment they are free;
They touch our country, and their shackles fall.
That's noble, and bespeaks a nation proud
And jealous of the blessing. Spread it then,
And let it circulate through every vein
Of all your empire, that where Britain's power
Is felt, mankind may feel her mercy too.
5. THAT PHILOSOPHY, WHICH STOPS AT SECONDARY CAUSES, REPROVED.
HAPPY the man, who sees a God employed
In all the good and ill that chequer life!
Resolving all events, with their effects
And manifold results, into the will
And arbitration wise of the Supreme.
Did not his eye rule all things, and intend
The least of our concerns, (since from the least
The greatest oft originate), could chance
Find place in his dominion, or dispose
One lawless particle to thwart his plan,
Then God might be surprised, and unforeseen
Contingence might alarm him, and disturb
The smooth and equal course of his affairs.
This truth, Philosophy, though eagle-eyed
In nature's tendencies, oft overlooks,
And having found his instruments, forgets
Or disregards, or, more presumptuous still,
Denies the power that wields it. God proclaims
His hot displeasure against foolish men
That live an atheist life; involves the heaven
In tempests; quits his grasp upon the winds,
And gives them all their fury; springs his mines,
And desolates a nation at a blast.
Forth steps the spruce philosopher, and tells
Of homogeneal and discordant springs
And principles; of causes, how they work,
By necessary laws, their sure effects
Of action and re-action. He has found
The source of the disease that Nature feels,
And bids the world take heart and banish fear.
Thou fool! will thy discovery of the cause
Suspend the effect or heal it? Has not God
Still wrought by means since first he made the world?
And did he not of old employ his means
To drown it? What is his creation less
Than a capacious reservoir of means
Formed for his use, and ready at his will?
Go, dress thine eyes with eye-salve, ask of him,
Or ask of whomsoever he has taught,
And learn, though late, the genuine cause of all.
THE GOOD PREACHER AND THE CLERICAL COXCOMB.
WOULD I describe a preacher, such as Paul,
Were he on earth, would hear, approve, and own,
Paul should himself direct me. I would trace
His master-strokes, and draw from his design.
I would express him simple, grave, sincere ;
In doctrine uncorrupt; in language plain,
And plain in manner. Decent, solemn, chaste,
And natural in gesture. Much impressed
Himself, as conscious of his awful charge,
And anxious, mainly, that the flock he feeds
May feel it to. Affectionate in look,
And tender in address, as well becomes
A messenger of grace to guilty men.
Behold the picture !-Is it like ?-Like whom?
The things that mount the rostrum with a skip,
And then skip down again: pronounce a text,
Cry, hem! and, reading what they never wrote,
Just fifteen minutes, huddle up their work,
And with a well-bred whisper close the scene.
In man or woman, but far most in man,
And most of all in man that ministers
And serves the altar, in my soul I loathe
All affectation: 'tis my perfect scorn;
Object of my implacable disgust.
What!-will a man play tricks, will he indulge
A silly fond conceit of his fair form
And just proportion, fashionable mien
And pretty face, in presence of his God?
Or will he seek to dazzle me with tropes,
As with the diamond on his lily hand,
And play his brilliant parts before my eyes,
When I am hungry for the bread of life?
He mocks his Maker, prostitutes and shames
His noble office, and, instead of truth,
Displaying his own beauty, starves his flock.
Therefore, avaunt! all attitude and stare,
And start theatric, practised at the glass.
I seek divine simplicity in him
Who handles things divine; and all beside,
Though learned with labour, and though much admired
By curious eyes and judgments ill-informed,
To me is odious.
7.-CARDINAL WOLSEY'S SPEECH TO CROMWEll.
CROMWELL, I did not think to shed a tear
In all my miseries; but thou hast forced me,
Out of thy honest truth, to play the woman-
Let's dry our eyes, and thus far hear me, Cromwell;
And when I am forgotten, as I shall be,
And sleep in dull cold marble, where no mention
Of me must more be heard; say then I taught thee!
Say, Wolsey, that once trod the ways of glory,
And sounded all the depths and shoals of honour,
Found thee a way, out of his wreck, to rise in ;
A sure and safe one, though thy master missed it.
Mark but my fall, and that which ruined me:
Cromwell, I charge thee, fling away ambition;
By that sin fell the angels; how can man then
(The image of his Maker) hope to win by't?
Love thyself last: cherish those hearts that hate thee.
Still in thy right hand carry gentle peace,
To silence envious tongues. Be just, and fear not.
Let all the ends thou aimest at be thy country's,
Thy God's, and truth's; then if thou fallest, O Cromwell, Thou fallest a blessed martyr. Serve the king;
And, pr'ythee, lead me in-
There take an inventory of all I have ;
To the last penny, 'tis the king's. My robe,
And my integrity to Heaven, is all
I dare now call my own. O Cromwell! Cromwell!
Had I but served my God with half the zeal
I served my king, he would not in mine age
Have left me naked to mine enemies!
CHARACTER OF TERIBAZUS.
AMID the van of Persia was a youth
Named Teribazus, not for golden stores,
Not for wide pastures traversed o'er with herds,
With bleating thousands, or with bounding steeds,
Nor yet for power, nor splendid honours, famed.
Rich was his mind in every art divine,
And through the paths of science had he walked
The votary of wisdom. In the years
When tender down invests the ruddy cheek,
He with the Magi turned the hallowed page
Of Zoroaster; then his towering soul
High on the plumes of contemplation soared,
And from the lofty Babylonian fane
With learned Chaldæans traced the mystic sphere;
There numbered o'er the vivid fires, that gleam
Upon the dusky bosom of the night.
Nor on the sands of Ganges were unheard
The Indian sages from sequestered bowers,
While, as attention wandered, they disclosed
The powers of nature; whether in the woods,
The fruitful glebe or flower, or healing plant,
The limpid waters, or the ambient air,
Or in the purer element of fire.
The fertile plains where great Sesostris reigned,
Mysterious Egypt, next the youth surveyed,
From Elephantis, where impetuous Nile
Precipitates his waters to the sea,