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To give thee what politer France receives
Was registered in Heaven ere time began.
Time ploughs them up, and not a trace remains.
A distant age
asks where the fabric stood; Of that one feature can be well content,
And in the dust, sifted and searched in vain,
He is the freeman whom the truth makes free, Of British natures, wanting its excuse
And all are slaves beside. There's not a chain, That it belongs to freemen, would disgust
That hellish foes, confederate for his harm, And shock me. I should then with double pain
Can wind around him, but he casts it off Feel all the rigour of thy fickle clime;
With as much ease as Samson his green withes. And, if I must bewail the blessing lost,
He looks abroad into the varied field For which our Hampdens and our Sidneys bled,
Of nature, and though poor perhaps, compared I would at least bewail it under skies
With those whose mansions glitter in his sight, Milder, among a people less austere;
Calls the delightful scenery all his own.
And the resplendent rivers. His to enjoy
With a propriety that none can feel, And tremble at vain dreams? Heaven grant I may!
But who, with filial confidence inspired, But the age of virtuous politics is past,
Can lift to Heaven an unpresumptuous eye, And we are deep in that of cold pretence.
And smiling say—“ My Father made them all!" Patriots are grown too sltrewd to be sincere,
Are they not his by a peculiar right, And we too wise to trust them. He that takes And by an emphasis of interest his, Deep in his soft credulity the stamp
Whose eye they fill with tears of holy joy, Designed by loud declaimers on the part
Whose heart with praise, and whose exalted mind Of liberty, themselves the slaves of lust,
With worthy thoughts of that unwearied love, Incurs derision for his easy faith,
That planned, and built, and still upholds, a world And lack of knowledge, and with cause enough:
So clothed with beauty for rebellious man? For when was public virtue to be found
Yes-ye may fill your garners, ye that reap Where private was not? Can he love the whole The loaded soil, and ye may waste much good Who loves no part? He be a nation's friend
In senseless riot; but ye will not find Who is in truth the friend of no man there?
In feast or in the chase, in song or dance, Can he be strenuous in his country's cause,
A liberty like bis, who, unimpeached Who slights the charities, for whose dear sake Of usurpation, and to no man's wrong, That country, if at all, must be beloved ?
Appropriates nature as his Father's work, 'Tis therefore sober and good men are sad
And has a richer use of yours than you. For England's glory, seeing it wax pale
He is indeed a freeman. Free by birth And sickly, while her champions wear their hearts Of no mean city: planned or ere the hills So loose to private duty, that no brain,
Were built, the fountains opened, or the sea Healthful and undisturbed by factious fumes, With all his roaring multitude of waves. Can dream them trusty to the general weal.
His freedom is the same in every state; Such were they not of old, whose tempered blades And no condition of this changeful life, Dispersed the shackles of usurped controul,
So manifold in cares, whose every day And hewed them link from link; then Albion's sons Brings its own evil with it, makes it less: Were sons indeed; they felt a filial heart
For he has wings, that neither sickness, pain, Beat high within them at a mother's wrongs; Nor penury, can cripple or confine. And, shining each in his domestic sphere,
No nook so narrow but he spreads them there Shone brighter still, once called to public view. With ease, and is at large. The oppressor holds 'Tis therefore many, whose sequestered lot
His body bound; but knows not what a range Forbids their interference, looking on,
His spirit takes, unconscious of a chain; Anticipate perforce some dire event;
And that to bind him is a vain attempt And, seeing the old castle of the state,
Whom God delights in, and in wbom he dwells. That promised once more firmness, so assailed Acquaint thyself with God, if thou wouldst taste That all its tempest-beaten turrets shake,
His works. Admitted once to his embrace, Stand motionless expectants of its fall.
Thou shalt perceive that thou wast blind before: All has its date below; the fatal hour
Thine eye shall be instructed; and thine heart
Made pure shall relish, with divine delight
So reads he nature, whom the lamp of truth Till then unfelt, what hands divine have wrought. Illuminates. Thy lamp, mysterious word! Brutes graze the mountain-top, with faces prone Which whoso sees no longer wanders lost, And eyes intent upon the scanty herb
With intellects bemazed in endless doubt, It yields them: or recumbent on its brow
But runs the road of wisdom. Thou hast built Ruminate heedless of the scene outspread
With means, that were not till by thee employed, Beneath, beyond, and stretching far away
Worlds that had never been hadst thou in strength From inland regions to the distant main.
Been less, or less benevolent than strong. Man views it, and admires; but rests content They are thy witnesses, who speak thy power With what he views. The landscape has his praise, And goodness infinite, but speak in ears But not its author. Unconcerned who formed That hear not, or receive not their report. The paradise he sees, he finds it such,
In vain thy creatures testify of thee, And such well-pleased to find it, asks no more. Till thou proclaim thyself. Theirs is indeed Not so the mind, that has been touched from Heaven, A teaching voice; but 'tis the praise of thine, And in the school of sacred wisdom taught
That whom it teaches it makes prompt to learn, To read his wonders, in whose thought the world, And with the boon gives talents for its use. Fair as it is, existed ere it was.
Till thou art heard, imaginations vain Not for its own sake merely, but for his
Possess the heart, and fables false as hell; Much more, who fashioned it, he gives it praise; Yet, deemed oracular, lure down to death Praise that from earth resulting, as it ought, The muinformed and heedless souls of men. To earth's acknowledged sovereign, finds at once We give to chance, blind chance, ourselves as blind, Jis only just proprietor in Him.
The glory of thy work; which yet appears The soul that sees him, or receives sublimed
Perfect and unimpeachable of blame, New faculties, or learns at least to employ
Challenging human scrutiny, and proved More worthily the powers she owned before; Then skilful most when most severely judged. Discerns in all things what, with stupid gaze But chance is not; or is not where thou reignest: Of ignorance, till then she overlooked,
Thy providence forbids that fickle power A ray of heavenly light, gilding all forms
(If power she be that works but to confound) Terrestrial in the vast and the minute;
mix her wild vagaries with thy laws. The unambiguous footsteps of the God,
Yet thus we dote, refusing while we can Who gives its lustre to an insect's wing,
Instruction, and inventing to ourselves And wheels his throne upon the rolling worlds. Gods such as guilt makes welcome; gods that sleep, Much conversant with Heaven, she often holds Or disregard our follies, or that sit With those fair ministers of light to man,
Amused spectators of this bustling stage. That fill the skies nightly with silent pomp,
Thee we reject, unable to abide Sweet conference. Inquires what strains were they
Thy purity, till pure as thou art pure, With which Heaven rang, when every star, in haste Made such by thee, we love thee for that cause To gratulate the new-created earth,
For which we shunned and hated thee before. Sent forth a voice, and all the sons of God
Then we are free. Then liberty, like day, Shouted for joy.-" Tell me, ye shining hosts, Breaks on the soul, and by a flash from Heaven That navigate a sea that knows no storms,
Fires all the faculties with glorious joy. Beneath a vault unsullied with a cloud,
A voice is heard, that mortal ears hear not If from your elevation, whence ye view
Till thou hast touched them; 'tis the voice of song, Distinctly scenes invisible to man,
A loud hosanna sent from all thy works; And systems, of whose birth no tidings yet
Which he that hears it with a shout repeats, Have reached this nether world, ye spy a race
And adds his rapture to the general praise. Favoured as ours; transgressors from the womb, In that blest moment Nature, throwing wide And hasting to a grave, yet doomed to rise,
Her veil opaque, discloses with a smile And to possess a brighter heaven than yours? The author of her beauties, who, retired As one, who long detained on foreign shores, Behind his own creation, works unseen Pants to return, and when he sees afar
By the impure, and hears his power denied. His country's weather-bleached and battered rocks, Thou art the source, and centre of all minds, From the green wave emerging, darts an eye Their only point of rest, eternal Word! Radiant with joy towards the happy land;
From thee departing they are lost, and rove So I with animated hopes behold,
At random without honour, hope, or peace. And many an aching wish, your beamy fires, From thee is all, that soothes the life of man, That show like beacons in the blue abyss,
His high endeavour, and his glad success, Ordained to guide the embodied spirit home His strength to suffer, and his will to serve. From toilsome life to never-ending rest.
But oh, thou bounteous giver of all good, Love kindles as I gaze. I feel desires,
Thou art of all thy gifts thyself the crown! That give assurance of their own success,
Give what thou canst, without thee we are poor; And that infused from Heaven must thither tend." And with thee rich, take what thou wilt away.
THE WINTER WALK AT NOON.
And has the warmth of May. The vault is blue There is in souls a sympathy with sounds,
Without a cloud, and white without a speck And as the mind is pitched the ear is pleased
The dazzling splendour of the scene below. With melting airs or martial, brisk or grave; Again the harmony comes o'er the vale; Some chord in unison with what we hear
And through the trees I view the embattled tower, Is touched within us, and the heart replies.
Whence all the music. I again perceive How soft the music of those village bells,
The soothing influence of the wasted strains, Falling at intervals upon the ear
And settle in soft musings as I tread In cadence sweet, now dying all away,
T'he walk, still verdant, under oaks and elms, Now pealing loud again, and louder still,
Whose outspread branches overarch the glade. Clear and sonorous, as the gale comes on !
The roof, though moveable through all its length With easy force it opens all the cells
As the wind 'sways it, has yet well sufficed,
The frequent flakes, has kept a path for me.
No noise is here, or none that binders thought. Such comprehensive views the spirit takes,
The redbreast warbles still, but is content That in a few short moments I retrace
With slender notes, and more than half suppressed: (As in a map the voyager his course)
Pleased with his solitude, and fitting light The windings of my way through many years.
From spray to spray, where'er he rests he shakes Short as in retrospect the journey seems,
From many a twig the pendent drops of ice, It seemed not alway short; the rugged path,
That tinkle in the withered leaves below. And prospect oft so dreary and forlorn,
Stillness, accompanied with sounds so soft, Moved many a sigh at its disheartening length.
Charms more than silence. Meditation here Yet feeling present evils, while the past
May think down hours to moments. Here the heart Faintly impress the mind, or cot at all,
May give an useful lesson to the head, How readily we wish time spent revoked,
And learning wiser grow without his books. That we might try the ground again, where once Knowledge and wisdom, far from being one, (Through inexperience, as we now perceive) Have oft-times no connexion. Knowledge dwells We missed that happiness we might have found! In heads replete with thoughts of other men; Some friend is gone, perhaps his son's best friend,
Wisdom in minds attentive to their own. A father, whose authority, in show
Knowledge, a rude unprofitable mass, When most severe, and mustering all its force, The mere materials with which wisdom builds, Was but the graver countenance of love ;
Till smoothed and squared and fitted to its place, Whose favour, like the clouds of spring, might lower,
Does but incumber whom it seems to enrich. And utter now and then an awful voice,
Knowledge is proud that he has learned so much; But had a blessing in its darkest frown,
Wisdom is humble that he knows no more. Threatening at once and nourishing the plant.
Books are not seldom talismans and spells, We loved, but not enough, the gentle hand, By which the magic art of shrewder wits That reared us. At a thoughtless age, allured Holds an unthinking multitude enthralled. By every gilded folly, we renounced
Some to the fascination of a name His sheltering side, and wilfully forewent
Surrender judgment, hood-winked. Some the style That converse, which we now in vain regret. Infatuates, and through Jabyrinths and wilds How gladly would the man recall to life
Of error leads them by a tune entranced. The boy's neglected sire! a mother too,
While sloth seduces more, too weak to bear That softer friend, perhaps more gladly still, The insupportable fatigue of thought, Might he demand them at the gates of death. And swallowing therefore without pause or choice Sorrow has, since they went, subdued and tamed The total grist unsifted, husks and all. The playful humour; he could now endure, But trees and rivulets, whose rapid course (Himself grown sober in the vale of tears)
Defies the check of winter, haunts of deer, And feel a parent's presence no restraint.
And sheep-walks populous with bleating lambs, But not to understand a treasure's worth,
And lanes, in which the primrose ere her time [root, Till time has stolen away the slighted good, Peeps through the moss that clothes the hawthorn Is cause of half the poverty we feel,
Deceive no student. Wisdom there, and truth, And makes the world the wilderness it is.
Not shy, as in the world, and to be won The few that pray at all pray oft amiss,
By slow solicitation, seize at once
What prodigies can power divine perform
Familiar with the effect we slight the cause,
The regular return of genial months,
And renovation of a faded world,
The beauties of the wilderness are his, See nought to wonder at. Should God again, That make so gay the solitary place As once in Gibeon, interrupt the race
Where no eye sees them. And the fairer forms, Of the undeviating and punctual sun,
That cultivation glories in, are his. How would the world admire! but speaks it less He sets the bright procession on its way, An agency divine, to make him know
And marshals all the order of the year; His moment when to sink and when to rise,
He marks the bounds, which winter may not pass, Age after age, than to arrest his course?
And blunts his pointed fury; in its case, All we behold is miracle ; but seen
Russet and rude, folds up the tender germ, So duly all is miracle in vain.
Uninjured, with inimitable art; Where now the vital energy that moved,
And, ere one flowery season fades and dies, While summer was, the pure and subile lymph Designs the blooming wonders of the next. Through the imperceptible meandering veins
Some say that in the origin of things, Of leaf and flower? It sleeps; and the icy touch When all creation started into birth, Of unprolific winter has impressed
The infant elements received a law, A cold stagnation on the intestine tide.
From which they swerve not since. That under force But let the months go round, a few short months, Of that controlling ordinance they move, And all shall be restored. These naked shoots, And need not his immediate hand, who first Barren as lances, among which the wind
Prescribed their course, to regulate it now. Makes wintry music, sigling as it goes,
Thus dream they, and contrive to save a God Shall put their graceful foliage on again,
The incumbrance of his own concerns, and spare And more aspiring, and with ampler spread, [lost. The great artificer of all that moves Shall boast new charms, and more than they have The stress of a continual act, the pain Then, each in its peculiar honours clad,
Of unremitted vigilance and care, Shall publish even to the distant eye
As too laborious and severe a task. Its family and tribe. Laburnum, rich
So man, the moth, is not afraid, it seems, Iu streaming gold; syringa, ivory pure;
To span omnipotence, and measure might, The scentless and the scented rose; this red, That knows no measure, by the scanty rule And of an humbler growth, the other tall,
And standard of his own, that is to-day, And throwing up into the darkest gloom
And is not ere to-morrow's sun go down.
Dull as it is, and satisfy a law
To ceaseless service by a ceaseless force, Now sanguine, and her beauteous head now set And under pressure of some conscious cause? With purple spikes pyramidal, as if
The Lord of all, himself through all diffused, Studious of ornament, yet unresolved
Sustains, and is the life of all that lives. Which hue she most approved, she chose them all; Nature is but a name for an effect, Copious of flowers the woodbine, pale and wan, Whose cause is God. He feeds the secret fire, But well compensating her sickly looks
By which the mighty process is maintained, With never-cloying odours, early and late ; Who sleeps not, is not weary; in whose sight Hypericum all bloom, so thick a swarm
Slow circling ages are as transient days; Of flowers, like flies clothing her slender rods, Whose work is without labour; whose designs That scarce a leaf appears; mezerion too,
No flaw deforms, no difficulty thwarts: Though leafless, well attired, and thick beset And whose beneficence no charge exhausts. With blushing wreaths, investing every spray; Him blind antiquity profaned, not served, Althæa with the purple eye; the broom,
With self-taught rites, and under various names, Yellow and bright, as bullion unalloyed,
Female and male, Pomona, Pales, Pan, Her blossoms; and luxuriant above all
And Flora, and Vertumnus; peopling earth The jasmine, throwing wide her elegant sweets, With tutelary goddesses and gods, The deep dark green of whose unvarnished leaf That were not; and commending as they would Makes more conspicuous, and illumines more To each some province, garden, field, or grove. The bright profusion of her scattered stars.- But all are under one. One spirit-His, These have been, and these shall be in their day; Who wore the platted thorns with bleeding brows, And all this uniforın and coloured scene
Rules universal nature. Not a flower Shall be dismantled of its fleecy load,
But shows some touch, in freckle, streak, or stain, And Aush into variety again.
Of his unrivalled pencil. He inspires From dearth to plenty, and from death to life, Their balmy odours, and imparts their hues, Is Nature's progress, when she lectures man And bathes their eyes with nectar, and includes, In heavenly truth; evincing, as she makes
In grains as countless as the sea-side sands, The grand transition, that there lives and works The forms, with which he sprinkles all the earth. A soul in all things, and that soul is God.
Happy who walks with him! whom what he finds
Of flavour or of scent in fruit or flower,
Graze with the fearless flocks; all bask at noon Or what he views of beautiful or grand
Together, or all gambol in the shade In nature, from the broad majestic oak
Of the same grove, and drink one common stream. To the green blade, that twinkles in the sun, Antipathies are none. No foe to man Prompts with remembrance of a present God. Lurks in the serpent now: the mother sees, His presence, who made all so fair, perceived, And smiles to see, her infant's playful hand Makes all still fairer. As with him no scene
Stretched forth to dally with the crested worm, Is dreary, so with him all seasons please.
To stroke his azure neck, or to receive Though winter had been none, had mau been true,
The lambent homage of his arrowy tongue. And earth be punished for its tenant's sake,
All creatures worship man, and all mankind Yet not in vengeance: as this smiling sky,
One Lord, one Father. Error has no place: So soon succeeding such an angry night,
That creeping pestilence is driven away;
No passion touches a discordant string,
Is not: the pure and uncontaminate blood
Holds its due course, nor fears the frost of age.
One The groans of nature in this nether world,
song employs all nations; and all cry, Which Heaven has heard for ages, have an end. Worthy the Lamb, for he was slain for us!" Foretold by prophets, and by poets sung,
The dwellers in the vales and on the rocks Whose fire was kindled at the prophets' lamp,
Shout to each other, and the mountain tops The time of rest, the promised sabbath, comes.
From distant mountains catch the flying joy; Six thousand years of sorrow have well-nigh Till nation after nation taught the strain, Fulfilled their tardy and disastrous course
Earth rolls the rapturous hosanna round. Over a sinful world; and what remains
Benold the measure of the promise filled; of this tempestuous state of human things,
See Salem built, the labour of a God! Is merely as the working of a sea
Bright as a sun the sacred city shines; Before a calm, that rocks itself to rest:
All kingdoms and all princes of the earth For He, whose car the winds are, and the clouds Flock to that light; the glory of all lands The dust, that waits upon his sultry march,
Flows into her; unbounded is her joy, When sin hath moved him, and his wrath is hot, And endless her increase. Thy rams are there, Shall visit earth in mercy; sball descend
Nebaioth, and the flocks of Kedar there; Propitious in his chariot paved with love;
The looms of Ormus, and the mines of Ind, And what his storms have blasted and defaced And Saba's spicy groves, pay tribute there. For man's revolt, shall with a smile repair.
Praise is in all her gates: upon her walls, Sweet is the harp of prophecy; too sweet And in her streets, and in her spacious courts, Not to be wronged by a mere mortal touch:
Is heard salvation. Eastern Java there Nor can the wonders it records be sung
Kneels with the native of the farthest west; To meaner music, and not suffer loss.
And Æthiopia spreads abroad the hand, But when a poet, or when one like me,
And worships. Her report has travelled forth llappy to rove among poetic flowers,
Into all lands. From every clime they come
Saw never, such as Heaven stoops down to see. To give it praise proportioned to its worth,
Thus heavenward all things tend. For all were That not to attempt it, arduous as he deems
Perfect, and all must be at length restored. [once The labour, were a task more arduous still. So God has greatly purposed; who would else Oh scenes surpassing fable, and yet true,
In his dishonoured works himself endure Scenes of accomplished bliss! which who can see, Dishonour, and be wronged without redress. Though but in distant prospect, and not feel Haste then, and wheel away a shattered world, Ilis soul refreshed with foretaste of the joy?
Ye slow-revolving seasons! we would see Rivers of gladness water all the earth,
(A sight to which our eyes are strangers yet) And clothe all climes with beauty; the reproach A world, that does not dread and hate his laws, Of barrenness is past. The fruitful field
And suffer for its crime; would learn how fair Laughs with abundance; and the land, once lean, The creature is that God pronounces good, Or fertile only in its own disgrace,
How pleasant in itself what pleases him. Exults to see its thistly curse repealed.
Here every drop of honey hides a sting; The various seasons woven into one,
Worms wird themselves into our sweetest flowers; And that one season an eternal spring,
And ev'n the joy, that haply some poor heart The garden fears no blight, and needs no fence, Derives from heaven, pure as the fountain is, For there is none to covet, all are full.
Is sullied in the stream, taking a taint The lion, and the libbard, and the bear
From touch of human lips, at best impure.