« PreviousContinue »
Down to the gloom of Tartarus profound,
There too I find thee, in the lowest bounds
Of Erebus, and read thee in the scenes
Of complicated wrath: I see thee clad
In all the majesty of darkness there.
If, on the ruddy morning's purple wings
Upborne, with indefatigable course
I seek the glowing borders of the east,
Where the bright sun, emerging from the deeps,
With his first glories gilds the sparkling seas,
And trembles o'er the waves; ev'n there thy hand§
Shall thro' the watery desert guide my course,
And o'er the broken surges pave my way,
While on the dreadful whirls I hang secure,
And mock the warring ocean. If, with hopes
As fond as false, the darkness I expect
To hide, and wrap me in its mantling shade,
Vain were the thought; for thy unbounded ken
Darts thro' the thick'ning gloom, and pries thro'
The palpable obscure. Before thy eyes
The vanquish'dnight throws off herduskyshrowd,
And kindles into day: the shade and light
To man still various, but the same to thee.
On thee is all the structure of my frame
Dependant. Lock'd within the silent womb
Sleeping I lay, and rip'ning to my birth; [there;
Yet, Lord, thy outstretch'd arm preserv'd ine
Before I mov'd to entity, and trod
The verge of being. To thy hallow'd name
due honors; for thy mighty hand
Built this corporeal fabric, when it laid
The ground-work of existence. Hence I read
The wonders of thy art. This frame I view
With terror and delight; and, wrapt in both,
I startle at myself. My bones, unform'd
As yet, nor hardening from the viscous parts,
But blended with th' unanimated mass,
Thy eye distinctly view'd; and, while I lay
Within the earth, imperfect, nor perceiv'd
The first faint dawn of life, with ease survey'd
The vital glimmerings of the active seeds,
Just kindling to existence, and beheld
My substance scarce material. In thy book
Was the fair model of this structure drawn,
Where every part, in just connection join'd,
Compos'd and perfected th' harmonious piece,
Ere the dim speck of being learn'd to stretch
Its ductile form, or entity had known
To range and wanton in an ampler space.
How dear, how rooted in my inmost soul,
"Are all thy counsels, and the various ways
Of thy eternal providence! the sum
So boundless and immense, it leaves behind
The low account of numbers; and outflies
All that imagination e'er conceiv'd: [shores,
Less numerous are the sands that crowd the
The barriers of the ocean. When I rise
Froin my soft bed, and softer joys of sleep,
I rise to thee. Yet lo! the impious flight
Thy mighty wonders. Shall thie sons of vice
Elude the vengeance of thy wrathful hand,
And mock thy ling'ring thunder which withhok!
Its forky terrors from their guilty heads?
Thou great tremendous Gop!-- Avaunt, and
All ye who thirst forblood!--for swolnwithpride,
Each haughtywretchblasphemes thysacredname,
And bellows his approaches to affront
Thy glorious Majesty. Thy foes I hate
Worse than my own. O Lord! explore my soul!
See if a flaw or stain of sin infects
My guilty thoughts; then, lead me in the way
That guides my feet to thy own heaven and thice.
27. An Hymn to the Supreme Being. An Imitation of the 104th Psalm. Blacklock.
Quid prius dicam solitus parentis
Laudibus qui res hominum ac deorum,
Qui mare & terras, varitsque mundum
Temperat horis ?
ARISE, my soul! on wings seraphic rise! And praise th' almighty Sov'reign of the skies; [all In whom alone essential glory shines, Which not the heav'n of heavn's, nor boundless space confines.
When darkness rul'd with universal sway,
He spoke, and kindled up the blaze of day
First, fairest offspring of th' omnific word!
Which like a garment cloth'd its sov'rign Lord.
On liquid air he bade the columns rise,
That prop the starry concave of the skies;
Diffus'd the blue expanse from pole to pole,
And spread circumfluent æther round the whole.
Soon as he bids impetuous tempests fly,
To wing his sounding chariot thro' the sky,
Impetuous tempests the command obey,
Sustain his flight, and sweep th' aërial way.
Fraught with his mandates, from the realms on
Unnumber'd hosts of radiant heralds fly [high,
From orb to orb, with progress unconfind,
As lightning swift, resistless as the wind.
In ambient air this pond'rous ball he hung,
And bade its centre rest for ever strong;
Heav'n, air, and sea, with all their storms in vain
Assault the basis of the firm machine.
At thy Almighty voice old Ocean raves,
Wakes all his force, and gathers-all his waves;
Nature lies mantled in a wat'ry robe,
And shoreless billows revel round the globe;
O'er highest hills the higher surges rise,
Mix with the clouds, and meet the fluid skies.
But when in thunder the rebuke was giv'n,
That shook th' eternal firmament of heav'n;
The grand rebuke th' affrighted waves obey,
And in confusion scour their uncouth way;
And posting rapid to the place decreed,
Winddown thehills,andsweep thehumble maad.
Reluctant in their bounds the waves subside;
The bounds, impervious to the lashing tide,
Restrain its rage; whilst, with incessant roar,
It shakes the caverns, and assaults the shore..
By him, from mountains cloth'd in lucid snow,
Through fertile vales the mazy rivers flow.
Here the wild horse, unconscious of the rein,
That revels boundless o'er the wide campaign,
Imbibes the silver surge, with heat opprest,
To cool the fever of his glowing breast.
Here rising boughs, adorn'd with summer's pride,
Project their waving umbrage o'er the tide ;
While, gently perching on the leafy spray,
Each feather'd warbler tunes his various lay:
And, while thy praise they symphonise around,
Creation echoes to the grateful sound.
Wide o'er the heavens the various bow he bends,
Its tinctures brighten, and its arch extends:
At the glad sign the airy conduits flow,
Soften the hills, and cheer the meads below:
By genial fervor and prolific rain,
Swift vegetation clothes the smiling plain:
Nature, profusely good, with bliss o'erflows,
And still is pregnant, tho' she still bestows.
Here verdant pastures wide extended lic,
And yield the grazing herd exuberant supply.
Luxuriant waving in the wanton air,
Here golden grain rewards the peasant's care:
Here vines mature with fresh carnation glow,
And heav'n above diffuses heav'n below.
Erect and tall here mountain cedars rise,
Wave in the starry vault, and emulate the skies.
Here the wing'd crowd, that skim the yielding
With artful toil their little domes prepare; [air,
Here hatch their tender young, and nurse the
Up the steep hill ascends the nimble doe, While timid coneys scour the plains below, Or in the pendent rock elude the scenting foe..
He bade the silver majesty of night Revolve her circles, and increase her light; Assign'd a province to each rolling splacre, And taught the sun to regulate the year. At his command, wide how 'ring o'er the plain, Primeval night resumes her gloomy reign: Then from their dens, impatient of delay, The savage monsters bend their speedy way, Howl thro' the spacious waste, and chase their frighted prey.
Here stalks the shaggy monarch of the wood, Taught from thy providence to ask his food! To thee, O Father, to thy bounteous skies, He rears his mane, and rolls his glaring eyes: He roars; the desert trembles wide around, And repercussive hills repeat the sound.
Now orient gems the eastern skies adorn, And joyful nature hails the op'ning morn.. The rovers, conscious of approaching day, Fly to their shelters, and forget their prey. Laborious man, with moderate slumber blest, Springs cheerful to his toil from downy rest; Till grateful evening with her argent train, Bid labour cease, and case the weary swain.
"Hail sov 'reign goodness! all-productive mind! On all thy works thyself inscrib'd we find : How various all, how variously endow'd, How great their number; and each part howgood! How perfect then must the great Parent shine," Who with one act of energy divine, Laid the vast plan, and finish'd the design!' Where'er the pleasing search my thoughts
pursue, Unbounded goodness rises to my view ;
Nor does our world alone its influence share;
Exhaustless bounty, and unwearied care
Extends thro' all th' intinitude of space,
And circles nature with a kind embrace.
The azure kingdoms of the deep below, Thy pow'r, thy wisdom, and thy goodness show: Heie multitudes of various beings stray, Crowd the profound, or on the surface play: Tall navies here their doubtful way explore, And ev'ry product waft from shore to shore; Hence meagre want expell'd and sanguine strife, For the mild charms of cultivated life; Hence social union spreads from soul to soul, And India joins in friendship with the pole. Here the huge potent of the scaly train Enormous sails incumbent o'er the main, An animated isle! and, in his way, Dashes to heaven's blue arch the foamy sea; When skies and ocean mingle storm and flame, Portending instant wreck to nature's frame, Pleas'd in the scene, he mocks, with conscious pride;
The volly'd lightning, and the surging tide;
And while the wrathful elements engage,
Foments with horrid sport the tempest's rage.
All these thy watchful providence supplies,
To thee alone they turn their waiting eyes;
For them thou open'st thy exhaustless store,
Till the capacious wish cau grasp no more.
But, if one moment thou thy face should'st
Thy glory clouded, or thy smiles deny'd, [hide,
Then widow'd nature veils her mournful eyes,
And vents her grief in universal cries:
Then gloomy death, with all his meagre train,
Wide o'er the nations spreads his dismal reign;
Sea, earth, and air, the boundless ravage mourn,
And all their hosts to native dust return.
But when again thy glory is display'd, Reviv'd creation lifts her cheerful head; New rising forms thy potent smiles obey, And life rekindles at the genial ray; United thanks replenish'd nature pays, And heav'n and earth resound their Maker's
When time shall in eternity be lost, And hoary nature languish into dust, For ever young, thy glory shall remain, Vast as thy being, endless as thy reign. Thou from the regions of eternal day, View'st all thy works at one immer nense survey; Pleas'd thou behold'st the whole propensely tend To perfect happiness, its glorious end.
If thou to earth but turn thy wrathful eyes, Her basis trembles, and her offspring dies: Thou smit'st the hills, and at th' Almighty blow Their summits kindle, and their inwards glow.
From world to world new wonders still I find,
And all the Godhead flashes on my mind;
When wing'd with whirlwinds,vice shall take its
To the deep bosom of eternal night, [flight
To thee my soul shall endless praises pay:
Join, men and angels, join th' exalted lay!
$28. Another Hymn. ` Anon. How are thy servants blest, O Lord! How sure is their defence ! Eternal wisdom is their guide, Their help omnipotence.
la foreign realms, and lands remote,
Supported by thy care,
Through burning climes I pass'd unhurt,
And breath'd in tainted air.
Thy mercy sweeten'd every soil
Made every region please
The hoary Alpine hills it warm'd,
And smooth'd the Tyrrhene seas. Think, O my soul, devoutly think,
How with affrighted eyes Thou saw'st the wide extended deep In all its horrors rise!
Confusion dwelt in ev'ry face,
And fear in ev'ry heart,
When waves on waves, and gulphs in gulphs,
O'ercame the pilot's art.
Yet then from all my griefs, O Lord,
Thy mercy set me free;
While in the confidence of pray'ı
My soul took hold on thee.
For though in dreadful whirts we hung
High on the broken wave,
I knew thou wert not slow to hear,
Nor impotent to save.
The storm was laid, the winds retir'd Obedient to thy will;
The sea, that roar'd at thy command, At thy command was still.
In midst of dangers, fears, and deaths,
Thy goodness I'll adore;
And praise thee for thy mercies past,
And humbly hope for more.
My life, if thou preserv'st my life,
Thy sacrifice shall be;
And death, if death must be my
Shall join my soul to thee.'
§ 29. Another Hymn. Anon. WHEN rising from the bed of death, O'erwhelm'd with guilt and fear, I see my Maker face to face, Of how shall I appear?
If yet, while pardon may be found,
And mercy may be sought,
My heart with inward horror shrinks,
And trembles at the thought:
When thou, O Lord, shalt stand disclos'd
In majesty severe,
And sit in judgement on my soul,
O how shall I appear?
But thou hast told the troubled soul,
Who does her sins lament,
The timely tribute of her tears
Shall endless woe prevent.
Then see the sorrows of my heart,
Ere yet it be too late:
And hear my Saviour's dying groans,
To give those sorrows weight.
For never shall my soul despair
Her pardon to procure,
Who knows thy only Son has died
To make that pardon sure.
§ 30. A Hymn on the Seasons. Thomson THESE, as they change, Almighty Father, these Are but the varied God. The rolling year Is full of Thee. Forth in the pleasing Spring Thy beauty walks, thy tenderness and love. Wide flush the fields: the softening air is balm; Echo the mountains round; the forest smiles; And every sense and every heart is joy. Then comes thy glory in the Summer months, With light and heat refulgent. Then thy sun Shoots full perfection thro' the swelling year = And oft thy voice in dreadful thunder speaks, And oft at dawn, deep noon, or falling eve, By brooks and groves, in hollow whisp'ring gales, Thy bounty shines in Autumn unconfin'd, And spreads a common feast for all that lives. In Winter awful Thou! with clouds and storms Around Thee thrown,tempest o'er tempest roll'd, Majestic darkness! On the whirlwind's wing, Riding sublime, Thou bidd'st the world adore And humblest nature with thy northern blast.
Mysterious round! what skill, what force diDeep-felt, in these appear! a simple train, [vine, Yet so delightful mix'd, with such kind art, Such beauty and beneficence combin'd; And all so forming an harmonious whole, Shade, unperceiv'd, so softening into shade; That, as they still succeed, they ravish still, But wandering oft, with rude inconscious gaze, Man marks notThee, marks not the mightyhand That, ever busy, wheels the silent spheres; Works in the secret deep; shoots,steaming, thence The fair profusion that o'erspreads the Spring; Flings from the sun direct the flaming day; Feeds ev'ry creature, hurls the tempest forth And, as on earth this grateful change revolves, With transport touches all the springs of life. Nature attend! join every living soul Beneath the spacious temple of the sky, In adoration join; and ardent raise One general song! To him ye vocal gales, Breathesoft, whose spiritinyourfreshnessbreathes: Oh talk of him in solitary glooms, Where o'er the rock the scarcely waving pine Fills the brown shade with a religious awe!
And ye, whose bolder note is heard afar,
Who shake th'astonish'd world, lift high toheav'n
Th'impetuous song, and say from whom you rage
His praise, ye brooks, attune, ye trembling rills;
And let me catch it as I muse along.
Ye headlong torrents, rapid and profound:
Ye softer floods that lead the humid maze
Along the vale; and thou majestic main,
A secret world of wonders in thyself,
Sound his stupendous praise, whose greater voice
Or bids you roar, or bids your roaring fall.
So roll your incense, herbs,and fruits and flowers,
In mingled clouds to Him, whose sun exalts,
Whose breath perfumes you, and whose pencil
When even at last the solemn hour shall come,
And wing my mystic flight to future worlds,
I cheerful will obey; there, with new powers,
Will rising wonders sing: I cannot go
Where universal love not smiles around,
Sustaining all yon orbs, and all their suns :
From seeming evil still adducing good,
And better thence again, and better still,
In infinite progression. But I lose
Myself in Him, in light ineffable!
Come then, expressive silence, muse his praise.
Ye forests bend, ye harvests wave to Him;
Breathe your still song into the reaper's heart,
As home he goes beneath the joyous moon.
Ye that keep watch in heav'n, as earth asleep
Unconscious lies, effuse your mildest beams,
Ye constellations, while your angels strike,
Amid the spangled sky, the silver lyre.
Great source of day! blest image here below
Of thy Creator, ever pouring wide,
From world to world, the vital ocean round,
On nature write with every beam his praise.
The thunder rolls be hush'd the prostrate world;
While cloud to cloud returns the solemn hymn.
Bleat out afresh, ye hills; ye mossy rocks,
Retain the sound: the broad responsive low,
Ye valleys, raise; for the Great Shepherd reigns;
And his unsuffering kingdom yet will come.
Ye woodlands, all awake: a boundless song
Burst from the groves! and when the restless day,
Expiring, lays the warbling world asleep,
Sweetest of birds! sweet Philomela, charm
The listening shades,andteach the nighthis praise.
Ye chief for whom the whole creation smiles;
At once the head, the heart, the tongue of all,
Crown the great hymn! In swarming cities vast,
Assembled men to the deep organ join
The long resounding voice, oft breaking clear,
At solemn pauses, thro' the swelling base;
And as each mingling flame increases each,
In one united ardor rise to heav'n.
Or if you rather choose the rural shade,
And find a fane in every sacred grove :
There let the shepherd's flute the virgin's lay,
The prompting seraph, and the poets lyre,
Still sing the God of Seasons as they roll.
For me, when I forget the darling theme,
Whether the blossom blows; the Summer ray
Russets the plain; inspiring Autumnn gleams;
Or Winter rises in the blackening east:
Be my tongue mute, my fancy paint no more,
And, dead to joy, forget my heart to beat.
Should fate command me to the farthest verge
Of the green earth, to distant barbarous climes,
Rivers unknown to song; where first the sun
Gilds Indian mountains, or his setting beam
Flames on th' Atlantic isles, 'tis nought to me:
Since God is ever present, ever felt,
In the void waste as in the city full;
§ 31. Hymn to Humanity. Langhorne.
PARENT of virtue, if thine ear
Attend not now to sorrow's cry;
If now the pity-streaming tear
Should haply on thy cheek be dry;
Indulge my votive strain, O sweet humanity!
Come, ever welcome to my
A tender, but a cheerful guest.
Nor always in the gloomy cell
Of life-consuming sorrow dwell;
For sorrow, long-indulg'd and slow,
Is to Humanity a foe;
And grief, that makes the heart its prey,
Wears Sensibility away,
Then comes, sweet nymph, instead of thee,
The gloomy fiend, Stupidity.
O may that fiend be banished far,
Though passions hold eternal war!
Nor ever let me cease to know
The pulse that throbs at joy or woe.
Nor let my vacant cheek be dry,
When sorrow fills a brother's eye;
Nor may the tear that frequent flows
E'er make this pleasing sense depart,
From private or from social woes,
Ye Cares, O harden not my heart!
If the fair star of fortune smile,
Let not its flattering power beguile;
Nor, borne along the fav'ring tide,
My full sails swell with bloating pride.
Let me from wealth but hope content,
Remembering still it was but lent;
To modest merit spread my store,
Unbar my hospitable door;
Nor feed, for pomp, an idle train,
While want unpitied pines in vain.
If Heaven, in every purpose wise,
The envied lot of wealth denies;
If doom'd to drag life's painful load
Through poverty's uneven road,
And, for the due bread of the day,
Destin'd to toil as well as pray;
To thee, Humanity, still true,
I'll wish the good I cannot do;
And give the wretch, that passes by;
And where He vital spreads, there must be joy. A soothing word —a teaṛ—a sigh.
Beyond its sphere shall human wisdom go,
And boldly censure what it cannot know?
"Tis ours to cherish what Heav'n deign'd to give,
And thankful for the gift of being live.
and faculties that rise
From earth's low vale, to grasp the golden skies,
Though distant far from perfect, good, or fair,
Claim the due thought, and ask the grateful
Life, fill'd with grief's distressful train,
For ever asks the tear humane.
Pehold in yon unconscious grove
The victims of ill-fated love!
Heard you that agonizing throe?
Sure this is not romantic woe!
The golden day of joy is o'er;
And now they part-
-to meet no more.
Assist them, hearts from anguish free!
Assist them, sweet Humanity!
Come, then, thou partner of my life and name, Froin one dear source, whom Nature form'd the
Ally'd more nearly in cach nobler part,
And more the friend, than brother of
Let us, unlike the lucid twins that rise
At different times, and shine in distant skies,
With mutual eye
this mental world survey,
Mark the slow rise of intellectual day,
View reason's source, if man the source may find,
An trace each Science that exalts the mind.
"Thou self-appointed lord of all below!
Ambitious man, how little dost thou know?
For once let Fancy's towering thoughts subside,
Look on thy birth, and mortify thy pride!
A plaintive wretch, so blind, so helpless born,
The brute sagacious might behold with scorn.
How soon, when Nature gives him to the day,
In strength exulting, does he bound away;
By instinct led, the fostering teat he finds,
Sports in the ray, and shuns the searching winds.
No grief he knows, he feels no groundless fear,
Feeds without cries, and sleeps without a tear.
Did he but know to reason and compare,
See here the vassal, and the master there,
What strange reflections must the scene afford,
That shew'd the weakness of his puling Lord!"
Thus sophistry unfolds her specious plan,
Forin'd not to humble, but depreciate man.
Unjust the censure, if unjust to rate
His pow'rs and merits from his infant-state.
For, grant the children of the flow'ry vale
By instinct wiser, and of limbs more hale,
With equal eye their perfect state explore,
And all the vain comparison 's no more.
But why should life, so short by Heav'n ordain'd,
Parent of virtue, if thine ear
Attend not now to Sorrow's cry; If now the pity-streaming tear
Should haply on thy cheek be dry, Indulge my votive strain, O sweet Humanity!
§ 33. EPISTLE II.
To William Langhorne, M. A. 1760.
LIGHT heard his voice, and, eager to obey,
From all her orient fountains burst away.
At Nature's birth, O! had the power divine
Commanded thus the moral sun to shine,
Beam'd on the mind all reason's influence bright,
And the full day of intellectual light,
Then the free soul on Truth's strong pinion borne,
Had never languish'd in this shade forlorn.
Yet thus imperfect form'd, thus blind and vain,
Doom'd by long toil a glimpse of truth to gain;
Be long to thoughtless infancy restrain'd—
To thoughtless infancy, or vainly sage,
Mourn through the languors of declining age?"
O blind to truth! to Nature's wisdom blind!,
And all that she directs, or Heav'n design'd!
Behold her works in cities, plains and groves,
Or life that vegetates, and life that moves!
In due proportion, as each being stays
In perfect life, it rises and decays
Is man long helpless? Through each tender
See love parental watch the blooming flow'r!
By op'ning charms, by beauties fresh display'd,
And sweets unfolding, see that love repaid!
Has age its pains? For luxury it may
The temp rate wear insensibly away,
While sage experience and reflection clear
Beam a gay sunshine on life's fading year.