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Nor less the mystic characters I see
Wrought in each flow'r, inscrib'd on ev'ry tree:
In ev'ry leaf that trembles to the breeze
I hear the voice of God among the trees;
With thee in shady solitudes I walk
With thee in busy crowded cities talk;
In ev'ry creature own thy forming pow'r,
In each event thy providence adore.
Thy hopes shall animate my drooping soul,
Thy precepts guide me, and thy fear control.
Thus shall I rest unmov'd by all alarms,
Secure within the temple of thine arins,
From anxious cares, from gloomy terrors free,
And feel myself omnipotent in the
Then, when the last, the closing hour drawsnigh,
And earth recedes before my swimming eye;
When trembling on the doubtful edge of fate
I stand, and stretch my view to either state;
Teach me to quit this transitory scene
With decent triumph and a look serene;
Teach me to fix my ardent hopes on high,
Aud, having liv'd to thee, in thee to die.
§ 54. A Summer Evening's Meditation.
One sun by day, by night ten thousand shine.
Tts past the sultry tyrant of the south
Has spent his short-liv'd rage: more grateful
Meve silent on the skies no more repel
The dazzled sight; but, with mild maiden beanis
Of temper'd light, invite the cherish'd eye
To wander o'er their sphere; where hung aloft
Dian's bright crescent, like a silver bow
New strung in heaven, lifts high its beamy horns,
Impatient for the night, and seems to push
Her brother down the sky. Fair Venus shines,
Ev'n in the eye of day; with sweetest beam
Fropitious shines, and shakes a trembling flood
Of soften'd radiance from her dewy locks.
The shadows spread apace; while meeken'd Eve,
Her cheek yet warm with blushes, slow retires
Thro' the Hesperian gardens of the west,
And shuts the gates of day. "Tis now the hour
When Contemplation, from her sunless haunts,
The cool damp grotto, or the lonely depth
Of unpiere'd woods, were wrapt in silent shade,
She mus'd away the gaudy hours of noon,
And fed on thoughts unripenn'd by the sun,
Moves forward; and with radiant finger points
To you blue concave swell'd by breath divine,
Where, one by one, the living eyes of heaven
Awake, quick kindling o'er the face of æther
One boundless blaze; ten thousand trembling
And dancing lustres, where the unsteady eye,
Restless and dazzled, wanders unconfin'd
O'er all this field of glories: spacious field,
And worthy of the niaster: he whose hand,
With hieroglyphics elder than the Nile,
Inserib'd the mystic tablet; hung on high
To public grace; and said, Adore, O man,
The finger of thy God! From what pure wells
Of milky light, what soft o'erflowing urn.
Are all these lamps so fill'd? these friendly lamps,
For ever streaming o'er the azure deep
To point our path and light us to our home.
How soft they slide along their lucid spheres!
And, silent as the foot of time, fulfil
Their destin'd courses: Nature's self is hush'd,
And, but a scatter'd leaf which rustles thro'
The thick-wove foliage, not a sound is heard
To break the midnight air; tho' the rais'd car,
Intensely list'ning, drinks in ev'ry breath.
How deep the silence, yet how loud the praise!
But are they silent all? or is there not
A tongue in ev'ry star that talks with man,
And woos him to be wise? nor woos in vain ·
This dead of midnight is the noon of thought,
And wisdom mounts her zenith with the stars..
At this still hour the self-collected soul
Turns inward and beholds a stranger there
Of high descent, and more than mortal rank;
An embryo God; a spark of fire divine,
Which must burn on for ages, when the sun
(Fair transitory creature of a day)
Has clos'd his golden eye, and wrapt in shades,
Forgets his wonted journey thro' the east.
Ye citadels of light, and seats of Gods!
Perhaps iny future home, from whence the soul,
Revolving periods past, may oft look back,
With recollected tenderness, on all
The various busy scenes she left below,
Its deep-laid projects and its strange events,
As on some fond and doting tale that sooth'd
Her infant hours-O be it law ful now
To tread the hallow'd circle of your courts,
And with mute wonder and delighted awe
Approach your burning contines! ---Scis'd in
On fancy's wild and roving wing I sail [thought,
From the green borders of the peopled earth,
And the pale moon, her duteous fair attendant!
From solitary Mars; from the vast orb
Of Jupiter, whose huge gigantic bulk
Dances in ether like the lightest leaf;
To the dim verge, the suburbs of the system,
Where cheerless Saturn 'midst his wat`ry moons,
Girt with a lucid zone, in gloomy ponip,
Sits like an exil'd monarch fearless thence
I launch into the trackless deeps of space,
Where, burning round, ten thousand suns appear,
Of elder beam; which ask no leave to shine
Of our terrestrial star, nor borrow light
From the proud regent of our scanty day;
Sons of the morning, first-born of creation,
And only less than him who marks their track,
And guides their fiery wheels. Here must I stop,
Or is there aught beyond? What hand unseen
Impels me onward thro' the glowing orbs
Of habitable nature, far remote,
To the dread confines of eternal night,
To solitudes of vast unpeopled space,
The desarts of creation, wide and wild,
Where embryo systems and unkindled suns
Sleep the womb of chaos? Fancy droops,
And thought astonish'd stops her bold career.
But, oh thou mighty Mind! whose pow'rful word
The lowliest children of the ground,
Moss-rose and violet blossom round,
And lily of the vale.
Said, Thus let all things be, and thus they were, | But thou O Nymph, retir'd and coy!
Where shall I seek thy presence? how unblam'd In what brown hamlet dost thou joy
To tell thy tender tale?
Invoke thy dread perfection?-
Have the broad eyelids of the morn beheld thee?
Or does the beamy shoulder of Orion
Support thy throne! O look with pity down
On erring, guilty man! not in thy names
Of terror clad; not with those thunders arm'd
That conscious Sinai felt, when fear appall'd
The scatter'd tribes! Thou hast a gentler voice
That whispers comfort to the swelling heart,
Abash'd, yet longing to behold her Maker.
But now my soul, unus'd to stretch her pow'rs
In flights so daring, drops her weary wing,
And seeks again the known accustom'd spot,
Drest up with sun, and shade, and lawns, and
A mansion fair and spacious forits guest, [streams;
And full replete with wonders. Let me here,
Content and grateful, wait the appointed time,
And ripen for the skies; the hour will come
When all these splendors bursting on my sight
Shall stand unveil'd, and to my ravish'd sense
Unlock the glories of the world unknown.
§ 55. Hymn to Content. Mrs. Barbauld.
Omnibus esse decit, si quis cognoverit uti. CLAUD.
O THOU, the Nymph with placid eye!
O seldom found, yet ever nigh!
Receive my temp'rate vow.
Not all the storins that shake the pole,
Can e'er disturb thy halcyon soul,
And smooth unalter'd brow,
O come, in simple vest array'd,
With all thy sober cheer display'd,
To bless my longing sight;
Thy mien compos'd, thy even pace,
Thy ineek regard, thy matron grace,
And chaste subdu'd delight.
No more by varying passions be
O gently guide my pilgrim feet
To find thy hermit cell;
Where in some pure and equal sky
Beneath thy soft indulgent eye
The modest virtues dwell.
Simplicity in Attic vest,
And Innocence with candid breast,
And clear undaunted eye;
And Hope, who points to distant years,
Fair op'ning thro' this vale of tears
A vista to the sky.
There Health, thro' whose calin bosom glide
The temp'rate joys in even tide,
That rarely ebb or flow;
And patience there, thy sister meek,
Presents her mild unvarying check
To meet the offer'd blow.
Her influence taught the Phyrgian sage
A tyrant's master's wanton rage
With settled smiles to meet;
Inur'd to toil and bitter bread,
He bow'd his meek submitted head,
And kiss'd thy sainted feet.
what soft propitious hour
I best may choose to hail thy pow'r,
And court thy gentle sway ?
When Autumn, friendly to the Muse,
Shall thy own modest tints diffuse,
And shed thy milder day:
When Eve, her dewy star beneath,
Thy balmy spirit loves to breathe,
And ev'ry storm is laid;
If such an hour was e'er thy choice,
Oft let me hear thy soothing voice
Low whisp'ring thro' the shade.
§ 56. To Wisdom. Mrs. Barbauld. Dona præsentis rape laetus horæ, ac Linque severa.
O WISDOM! if thy soft control
Can sooth the sickness of the soul,
Can bid the warring passions cease,
And breathe the calm of tender peace;
Wisdom! I bless thy gentle sway,
And ever, ever will obey.
But if thou com'st with frown austere
To nurse the brood of care and fear;
To bid our sweetest passions die,
And leave us in their room a sigh?
Or if thine aspect stern have pow'r
To wither each poor transient flow'r
That cheers this pilgrimage of woe,
And dry the springs whence hope should flow,
Wisdom, thine empire I disclaim,
Thou empty boast of pompous name!
In gloomy shade of cloisters dwell,
But never haunt my cheerful cell.
Hail to pleasure's frolic train!
Hail to fancy's golden reign!
Festive mirth and laughter wild,
Free and sportful as the child!
Hope with eager sparkling eyes,
And faith and fond surprise!
Let these, in fairy colors drest,
For ever share my careless breast:
Then, tho' wise I may not be,
The wise themselves shall envy
Dim backward as I cast my view,
What sick'ning scenes appear?
What sorrows yet may pierce me through,
Too justly I may fear!
Sull caring, despairing
Must be uy bitter doom;
My woes here shall close ne'er,
But with the closing tomb!
Happy! ye sons of busy life,
Who, equal to the bustling strife,
No other view regard!
Ev'n when the wished end's denied,
Yet while the busy means are plied,
They bring their own reward:
Whilst I, a hope-abandon'd wight,
Unfitted with an aim,
Meet ev'ry sad returning night
And joyless morn the same.
You, bustling and justling
Forget each grief and pain;
I, listless yet restless
Find ev'ry prospect vain.
How blest the Solitary's lot,
Who all-forgetting, all-forgot,
Within this humble cell, The cavern wild with tangling roots, Sits o'er his newly-gather'd fruits, Beside his crystal well!
Or haply to his evning thought,
By unfrequented stream,
The ways of men are distant brought,
A faint-collected dream:
§ 58. The Frailty and Folly of Man. Prior. GREAT Heav'n! how frail thy creature Man is made!
How by himself insensibly betray'd!
In our own strength unhappily secure,
Too little cautious of the adverse pow'r;
And, by the blast of self-opinion mov'd,
We wish to charm, and seek to be belov’d.
On pleasure's flow'ry brink we idly stray,
Masters as yet of our returning way:
Seeing no danger, we disarm our mind,
And give our conduct to the waves and wind :
Then in the flow'ry mead, or verdant sha de,
To wanton dalliance negligently laid,
We weave the chaplet, and we crown the bowl,
And smiling see the nearer waters roll:
Till the strong gusts of raging passion rise,
Till the dire tempest mingles earth and skies;
And, swift into the boundless ocean borne,
Our foolish confidence too late we mourn:
Round our devoted heads the billows beat;
And from our troubled view the lessen'd lands
While praising, and raising
His thoughts to Heav'n on high,
As wand'ring, meand'ring,
He views the solemn sky.
Than I, no lonely Hermit plac'd
Where never human footstep trac'd,
Less fit to play the part,
The lucky moment to improve,
And just to stop and just to move,
With self-respecting art:
But ah! those pleasures, loves, and joys,
Which I too keenly taste,
The Solitary can despise,
Can want, and yet be blest!
He needs not, he heels not,
Or human love or hate!
Whilst I here, must cry here,
At perfidy ingrate!
Oh! enviable early days,
When dancing thoughtless Pleasure's maze,
To Care, to Guilt unknown!
How ill exchang'd for riper times,
To feel the follies or the crimes
Of others, or my own!
Ye tiny elves, that guiltless sport
Like linnets in the bush.
Te little know the ills ye court,
When manhood is your
The losses, the crosses,
That active man engage;
The fears all, the tears all,
Of dim declining age!
$59. A Paraphrase on the latter Part of the Sixth
Chapterof St. Matthew. Thomson.
WHEN my breast labors with oppressive care,
And o'er my cheek descends the falling tear;
While all my warring passions are at strife,
Oh let me listen to the words of life!
Raptures deep felt Iris doctrine did impart,
And thus he rais'd 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 thehomely robe appears, While on the roof the howling tempest bears; What farther shall this feeble life sustain, And what shall clothe these shiv'ring 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 heav'nly 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 or 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 spiu, but careless grow,' Yet see how warm they blush! how bright they glow!
What regal vestments can with them compare? What king so shiuing, or what queen so fair?
If ceaseless thus the fowls of heav'n 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? E 4
$60. The Sluggard. Watts.
'Tis the voice of a sluggard-I heard him
"You have wak'd me too soon, I must slumber
As the door on its hinges, so he on his bed [head.
Turns his sides and his shoulders, and his heavy
"A little more sleep and a little more slumber."
Thus he wastes half his days, and his hours
And when he gets up, he sits folding his hands,
Or walks about sauntring, er trifling he stands.
I pass'd by his garden and saw the wild brier,
The thorn and the thistle grow broader andhigher;
The clothes that hang on him are turning to rags;
Andhis moneystill wastes, till he starvesorhe begs.
I made him a visit, still hoping to find
He had took better care for improving his mind;
He told me his dreams, talk'dofeating & drinking,
But he scarce reads his Bible, and never loves
Said I then to my heart, "Here's a lesson for me;
That man's but a picture of what I might be;
But thanks to my friends for their care in my
Who taught nie betimes to love working and
§ 63. A Summer Evening. Watts. How fine has the day been, how bright was the sun,
How lovely and joyful the course that he run,
Though he rose in a mist when his race he begun,
And there follow'd some droppings of rain!
But now the fair traveller's come to the west,
is rays all are gold, and his beauties are best ;
He paints the sky gay as he sinks to his rest,
And foretels a bright rising again.
Just such is the Christian: his course he begins
Like the sun in a mist, when he mournsforhissins,
And melts into tears; then he breaks out & shines,
And travels his heavenly way:
But, when he comes nearer to finish his race,
§ 61. The Rose. Watts.
How fair is the Rose! what a beautiful flow'r!
The glory of April and May!
But the leaves are beginning to fade in an hour, Like a fine setting sun, he looks richer in grace,
And they wither and die in a day.
And gives a sure hope at the end of his days
Of rising in brighter array!
Yet the rose has one powerful virtue to boast,
Above all the flow'rs of the field: [lost,
When its leaves are all dead, and fine colors are
Still how sweet a perfume it will yield!
But I have less sense than a poor creeping ant,
If I take not due care for the things I shall want,
Nor provide against dangers in time:
When death or old age shall stare in my face,
What a wretch shall I be in the end of iny days,
If I trifle away all their prime!
And so brought their food within doors.
Now, now, while my strength and my youth are
Let me think what will serve me when sickness
Let me read in good books, and believe and obey,
And pray that my sins be forgiven:
That, when death turns me out of this cottage
I may dwell in a palace in heaven. [of clay,
$64. The Nunc Dimitis. Merrick.
Tis enough-the hour is come:
Now within the silent tomb
Let this mortal frame decay,
Mingled with its kindred clay;
Since thy mercies, oft of old
By thy chosen scers foretold,
Faithful now and stedfast prove,
Ged of truth, and God of love!
Since at length my aged eye
Sees the day-spring from on high!
Son of righteousness, to thee,
Lo! the nations bow the knee;
And the realms of distant kings
Own the healing of thy wings.
Those whom death had overspread
With his dark and dreary shade,
Lift their eyes, and from afar
Hail the light of Jacob's Star;
Waiting till the promis'd ray
Turn their darkness into day.
See the beams intensely shed,
Shine o'er Sion's favor'd head!
Never may they hence remove,
God of truth and God of love!
$65. The Benedicite paraphrased. Merrick. YE works of God, on him alone, In earth his footstool, heav'n his throne, Be all your praise bestow'd ; Whose hand the beauteous fabric made, Whose eye the finish'd work survey'd, And saw that all was good. Ye angels, that with loud acclaim Admiring view'd the new-born frame,
And hail'd the Eternal King, Again proclaim your Maker's praise, Again your thankful voices raise,
And touch the tuneful string.
Praise him, ye blest æthereal plains,
Where, in full majesty, he deigns
To fix his awful throne:
Ye waters that above him roll,
From orb to orb, from pole to pole,
O make his praises known!
Ye thrones, dominions, virtues, pow'rs,
Join ye your joyful songs with ours;
With us your voices raise!
From age to age extend the lay,
To Heaven's Eternal Monarch pay
Hymns of eternal praise.
Celestial orb! whose powerful ray
Opes the glad eyelids of the day,
Whose influence all things own;
Praise him, whose courts effulgent shine
With light as far excelling thine,
As thine the paler moon.
Ye chitt'ring planets of the sky,
Whose lamps the absent sun supply,
With him the song pursue;
And let himself submissive own,
He borrows from a brighter Sun
The light he lends to you.
Ye trees, that fill the rural scene;
Ye flow'rs, that o'er the enamell'd green
In native beauty reign;
O praise the Ruler of the skies,
Whose hand the genial sap supplies,
And clothes the smiling plain.
Ye secret springs, ye gentle rills,
That murm'ring rise among the hills,
Or fill the humble vale;
Praise him, at whose Almighty nod
The rugged rock dissolving flow'd,
And form'd a springing well.
Praise him, ye floods, and seas profound.
Whose waves the spacious earth surround,
And roll from shore to shore,
Aw'd by his voice, ye seas, subside;
Ye floods within your channels glide,
And tremble and adore.