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Is it not also His doing, when an aphis creepeth on a rose-bud ?-
If an avalanche roll from its Alp, ye tremble at the will of Providence;
Is not that will concerned when the sear leaves fall from the poplar ?-
A thing is great or little only to a mortal's thinking,
But abstracted from the body, all things are alike important :
The Ancient of Days noteth in his book the idle converse of a creature
And happy and wise is the man to whose thought existeth not a trifle.
To join advantage to amusement, to gather profit with pleasure,
Is the wise man's necessary aim, when he lieth in the shade of recre-
For he cannot fling aside his mind, nor bar up the floodgates of his wisdom ;
Yea, though he strain after folly, his mental monitor shall check him :
For knowledge and ignorance alike have laws essential to their being,
The sage studieth amusements, and the simple laugheth in his studies.
Few, but full of understanding, are the books of the library of God,
And fitting for all seasons are the gain and the gladness they bestow :
The volume of mystery and Grace, for the hour of deep communings,
When the soul considereth intensely the startling marvel of itself:
The book of destiny and Providence for the time of sober study,
When the mind gleaneth wisdom from the olive grove of history :
And the cheerful pages of Nature, to gladden the pleasant holiday,
When the task of duty is complete, and the heart swelleth high with sat-
The soul may not safely dwell too long with the deep things of futurity ;
The mind may not always be bent back, like the Parthian, straining at the
And, if thou art wearied with wrestling on the broad arena of science,
Leave awhile thy friendly foe, half vanquished in the dust,
Refresh thy jaded limbs, return with vigour to the strife,
Thou shalt easier find thyself his master, for the vacant interval of leisure.
That which may profit and amuse is gathered from the volume of creation,
For every chapter therein teemeth with the playfulness of wisdom.
The elements of all things are the same, though nature hath mixed them
with a difference,
And Learning delighteth to discover the affinity of seeming opposites :
So out of great things and small draweth he the secrets of the universe,
And argueth the cycles of the stars, from a pebble flung by a a child.
It is pleasant to note all plants, from the rush to the spreading cedar,
From the giant king of palms, ("?) to the lichen that staineth its stem :
To watch the workings of instinct, that grosser reason of brutes,-
The river-horse browsing in the jungle, the plover screaming on the
moor, The cayman, basking on a mud-bank, and the walrus anchored to an
iceberg, The dog at his master's feet, and the milk-kine lowing in the meadow; To trace the consummate skill that hath modelled the anatomy of insects, Small fowls that sun their wings on the petals of wild flowers ; To learn a use in the beetle, and more than a beauty in the butterfly; To recognize affection in a moth, and look with admiration on a spider. It is glorious to gaze upon the firmament, and see from far the mansions
of the blest, Each distant shining world, a kingdom for one of the redeemed ; To read the antique history of earth, stamped upon those medals in the
rocks Which Design hath rescued from decay, to tell of the green infancy of
time; To gather from the unconsidered shingle mottled star-like agates, Full of unstoried flowers in the bubbling bloom-chalcedony: Or gay
and curious shells, fretted with microscopic carving, Corallines, and fresh seaweeds, spreading forth their delicate branches. It is an admirable lore, to learn the cause in the change, To study the chemistry of Nature, her grand, but simple secrets. To search out all her wonders, to track the resources of her skill, To note her kind compensations, her unobtrusive excellence. In all it is wise happiness to see the well-ordained laws of Jehovah, The harmony that filleth all his mind, the justice that tempereth his
bounty, The wonderful all-prevalent analogy that testifieth one Creator, The broad arrow of the Great King; carved on all the stores of his arsenal But beware, O worshipper of God, thou forget not him in his dealings,
Though the bright emanations of his power hide him in created glory; For if, on the sea of knowledge, thou regardest not the pole-star of reli
gion, Thy bark will miss her port, and run upon the sandbar of folly: And if, enamoured of the means, thou considerest not the scope to which
they tend, Wherein art thou wiser than the child, that is pleased with toys and
Verily, a trifling scholar, thou heedest but the letter of instruction :
For as motive is spirit unto action, as memory endeareth place,
As the sun doth fertilize the earth, as affection quickeneth the heart,
So is the remembrance of God in the varied wonders of creation.
Man hath found out inventions, to cheat him of the weariness of life,
To help him to forget realities, and hide the misery of guilt.
For love of praise, and hope of gain, for passion and delusive happiness,
He joineth the circle of folly, and heapeth on the fire of excitement;
Oftentimes sadly out of heart at the tiresome insipidity of pleasure,
Oftentimes labouring in vain, convinced of the palpable deceit;
Yet a man speaketh to his brother, in the voice of glad congratulation,
And thinketh others happy, though he himself be wretched :
And hand joineth hand to help in the toil of amusement,
While the secret aching heart is vacant of all but disappointment.
The cheapest pleasures are the best ; and nothing is more costly than sin;
Yet we mortgage futurity, counting it but little loss;
Neither can a man delight in that which breedeth sorrow,
Yet do we hunt for joy even in the fires that consume it.
Whoso would find gladness may meet her in the hovel of poverty,
Where benevolence hath scattered around the gleanings of the horn of
Whoso would sun himself in peace, may be seen of her in deeds of mercy,
When the pale lean cheek of the destitute is wet with grateful tears.
If the mind is wearied by study, or the body worn with sickness,
It is well to lie fallow for a while, in the vacancy of sheer amusement;
But when thou prosperest in health, and thine intellect can soar untired,
To seek uninstructive pleasure is to slumber on the couch of indolence.
Stay awhile, thou blessed band, be entreated, daughters of heaven!
While the chance-met scholar of Wisdom learneth your sacred names :
He is resting a little from his toil, yet a little on the borders of earth,
And fain would he have you his friends, to bid him glad welcome hereafter.
among the glorious art thou, that walkest a Goddess and a Queen,
Thy crown of living stars, and a golden cross thy sceptre ?
Who among flowers of loveliness is she, thy seeming herald,
Yet she boasteth not thee nor herself, and her garments are plain in their
neatness ? Wherefore is there one among the train, whose eyes are red with weeping, Yet is her open forehead beaming with the sun of ecstasy ? And who is that blood-stained warrior, with glory sitting on his crest ? And who that solemn sage, calm in majestic dignity ? Also, in the lengthening troop see I some clad in robes of triumph, Whose fair and sunny faces I have known and loved on earth : Welcome, ye glorified Loves, Graces, and Sciences, and Muses, That, like sisters of charity, tended in this world's hospital ; Welcome, for verily I knew, ye could not but be children of the light, Though earth hath soiled your robes, and robbed you of half your glory; Welcome, chiefly welcome, for I find I have friends in heaven, And some I might scarce have looked for, as thou, light-hearted Mirth ; Thou, also, star-robed Urania ; and thou, with the curious glass, That rejoicedst in tracking wisdom where the eye was too dull to note it; And art thou too among the blessed, mild, much injured Poetry ? Who quickenest with light and beauty the leaden face of matter, Who not unheard, though silent, fillest earth's gardens with music, And not unseen, though a spirit, dost look down upon us from the stars That hast been to me for oil and for wine, to cheer and uphold my soul, When wearied, battling with the surge, the stunning surge of life : Of thee, for well have I loved thee, of thee may I ask in hope, Who among the glorious is she, that walketh a Goddess and a Queen ? And who that fair-haired herald, and who that weeping saint ? And who that mighty warrior, and who that solemn sage ?
Son, happy art thou that Wisdom hath led thee hitherward;
For, otherwise never hadst thou known the joy-giving name of our Queen.
Behold her, the life of men, the anchor of their shipwrecked hopes :
Behold her, the shepherdess of souls, who bringeth back the wanderers to
And for that modest herald, she is named on earth, Humility:
And hast thou not known, my son, the tearful face of Repentance ?
Faith is yon time-scarred hero, walking in the shade of his laurels;
And Reason, the serious sage, who followeth the footsteps of Faith:
And we, all we, are but handmaids, ministers of minor bliss,
Who rejoice to be counted servants in the train of a Queen so glorious. -
But for her name, son of man, it is strange to the language of heaven,
For those who have never fallen need not and may not learn it:
Liegeance we sware to our God, and liegeance well have we kept ;
It is only the band of the redeemed who can tell thee the fullness of that
Yet will I comfort thee, my son, for the love wherewith thou hast loved
me, And thou shalt touch for thyself the golden sceptre of Religion.
So that blessed train passed by me; but the vision was sealed upon my
And its memory is shrined in fragrance, for the promise of the Spirit was
true : I learn from the silent poem of all creation round me, How beautiful their feet, who follow in that train.
Despise not, shrewd reckoner, the God of a good man's worship,
Neither let thy calculating folly gainsay the unity of three ;
Nor scorn another's creed, although he cannot solve thy doubts ;
Reason is the follower of faith, where he may not be precursor :
It is written, and so we believe, waiting not for outward proof,
Inasmuch as mysteries inscrutable are the clear prerogatives of Godhead.
Reason hath nothing positive, faith hath nothing doubtful;
And the height of unbelieving wisdom is to question all things.