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Of leaning hills, of trees erect, and streams
Now stealing softly o'er, now thundering down
In desperate cascade, with flowers and beasts,
And all the living landscape of the vale:
In vain thy pencil, Claudio, or Poussin,
Or thine, immortal Guido, would essay
Such skill to imitate ; it is the hand
Of God Himself, for God Himself is there.
Hence with the ascending springs let me advance,
Through beds of magnets, minerals, and spar;
Up to the mountain's summit, there ť indulge
The ambition of the comprehensive eye,
That dares to call the horizon all her own.
Behold the forest and the expansive verdure
Of yonder level lawn, whose smooth shorn sod
No object interrupts; unless the oak
His lordly head uprears, and branching arms
Extends. Behold in regal solitude
And pastoral magnificence he stands,
So simple and so great, the underwood,
Of meaner rank, an awful distance keep.
Yet Thou art there, yet God Himself is there,
Even on the bush, (though not as when to Moses
He shone in burning majesty revealed,)
Nathless conspicuous in the linnet's throat
Is his unbounded goodness. Thee her maker,
Thee her preserver, chants she in her song;
While all the emulative vocal tribe
The grateful lesson lear. No other voice
Is heard, no other sound_for in attention
Buried, even babbling echo holds her peace.
Now from the plains where the unbounded prospect
Gives liberty her utmost scope to range:
Turn we to yon inclosures, where appears
Chequered variety in all her forms
- Which the vague mind attract, and still suspend
With sweet perplexity. What are yon towers,
The work of labouring men and clumsy art,
Seen with the ringdove's nest ? On that tall beech
Her pensile house the feathered artist builds,
The rocking winds molest her not; for see
With such due poise the wondrous fabric's hung,
That, like the compass in the bark, it keeps
True to itself, and stedfast e'en in storms.
Thou idiot, that asserts there is no God,
View and be dumb for ever.
Go, bid Vitruvius or Palladio build
The bee his mansion, or the ant her cave.
Go, call Correggio, or let Titian come
To paint the hawthorn's bloom, or teach the cherry
To blush with just vermilion. Hence, away!
Hence, ye profane! for God himself is here.
Vain were the attempt, and impious, to trace
Through all his works th’ Artificer Divine.
And though nor shining sun nor twinkling star
Bedecked the crimson curtains of the s
Though neither vegetable, beast, nor bird,
Were extant on the surface of the ball,
Nor lurking gem beneath; though the great sea
Slept in profound stagnation, and the air
Had left no thunder to pronounce its Maker ;
Yet man, at home within himself, might find
The Deity immense, and in that frame,
So fearfully, so wonderfully made,
See and adore his providence and power.
I see and I adore;-0 God, most bounteous!
Oh! infinite of goodness and of glory,
The knee that Thou hast shaped shall bend to Thee!
The tongue which Thou hast tuned shall chant thy praise
And thine own image, the immortal soul,
Shall consecrate herself to Thee for ever.
OMNISCIENCE OF THE DEITY.
ARISE, divine Urania, with new strains
To hymn thy God! and thou, immortal Fame,
Arise, and blow thy everlasting trump!
All glory to the Omniscient, and praise,
And power, and domination in the height!
And thou, cherubic Gratitude, whose voice
To pious ears sounds silvery, so sweet,
Come with thy precious incense, bring thy gifts,
And with thy choicest stores the altar crown.
Thou too, my heart, whom He, and He alone
Who all things knows, can know, with love replete,
Regenerate, and pure, pour all thyself
A living sacrifice before his throne!
And may the eternal high mysterious tree
That in the centre of the arched heavens
Bears the rich fruit of knowledge, with some branch
Stoop to my humble reach, and bless my toil!
When in my mother's womb concealed I lay,
A senseless embryo, then, my soul, Thou knewest-
Knewest all her future workings, every thought
And every faint idea yet unformed.
When up the imperceptible ascent
Of growing years, led by thy hand, I rose,
Perception's gradual light, that ever dawns
Insensibly to day, Thou didst vouchsafe.
And taught me by that reason Thou inspired'st,
That what of knowledge in my mind was low,
Imperfect, incorrect-in Thee is wondrous,
Uncircumscribed, unsearchably profound,
And estimable solely by itself.
What is that secret power that guides the brutes,
Which ignorance calls instinct ? 'tis from Thee;
It is the operation of thine hands,
Immediate, instantaneous; 'tis thy wisdom,
That glorious shines transparent through thy works.
Who taught the pye, or who forewarned the jay
To shun the deadly nightshade? Though the cherry
Boasts not a glossier hue, nor does the plum
Lure with more seeming sweets the amorous eye,
Yet will not the sagacious birds, decoyed
By fair appearance, touch the nauseous fruit;
They know to taste is fatal; whence alarmed,
Swift on the winnowing winds they work their way.
Go to, proud reasoner, philosophie man,
Hast thou such prudence? thou such knowledge? No!
Full many a race has fallen into the snare
Of meretricious looks, of pleasing surface;
And oft in desert isles the famished pilgrim,
By forms of fruit and luscious taste beguiled,
Like his forefather Adam, eats and dies.
For why? his wisdom, on the leaden feet
Of slow experience, dully, tedious creeps,
And comes, like vengeance, after long delay.
The venerable sage that nightly trims
The learned lamp to investigate the powers
Of plants medicinal, the earth, the air,
And the dark regions of the fossil world,
Grows old in following what he ne'er shall find;
Studious in vain! till haply at the last
He spies a mist, then shapes it into mountains,
And baseless fabrics from conjecture builds :
While the domestic animal, that guards
At midnight hours his threshold, if oppressed
By sudden sickness, at his master's feet
Begs not that aid his services might claim,
But is his own physician, knows the case,
And from the emetic herbage works his cure.
Hark! from afar the feathered matron screams,
And all her brood alarms! The docile crew
Accept the signal one and all; expert
In th' art of nature, and unlearned deceit:
Along the sod in counterfeited death
Mute, motionless they lie: full well apprized
That the rapacious adversary's near.
But who informed her of the approaching danger? Who taught the curious mother that the hawk Was hatched her foe, and lived by her destruction ? Her whole prophetic soul is active in her, And more than human providence her guard. When Philomela, ere the cold domain Of crippled winter 'gins to advance, prepares Her annual flight, and in some poplar shade Takes her melodious leave, who then's her pilot? Who points her passage through the pathless void To realms from us remote, to us unknown? Her science is the science of her God. Not the magnetic index to the north E'er ascertains her course, nor buoy, nor beacon: She, heaven-taught voyager, that sails in air, Courts not coy west or east, but instant knows What Newton, or not sought, or sought in vain.
Illustrious name! irrefragable proof Of man's vast genius, and the soaring soul! Yet what wert thou to Him, who knew his works Before creation formed them, long before He measured in the hollow of his hand The exulting ocean, and the highest heavens He comprehended with a span, and weighed The mighty mountains in his golden scales; Who shone supreme, who was Himself the light, Ere yet refraction learned her skill to paint And bend athwart the clouds her beauteous bow.' When knowledge at her Father's dread command Resigned to Israel's king her golden key, Oh! to have joined the frequent auditors In wonder and delight, that whilom heard Great Solomon descanting on the brutes ; Oh! how sublimely glorious to apply To God's own honour and good-will to man That wisdom he alone of men possessed, In plenitude so rich, and scope so rare ! How did he raise the pampered silken sons