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Nor ought beside of prospect, grove, or song,
Dim grottoes, gleaming lakes, and fountains clear.
Here, too, dwells simple Truth, plain Innocence,
Unsullied Beauty, sound unbroken Youth,
Patient of labour, with a little pleased ;
Health over-blooming, unambitious Toil
Calm Contemplation, and poetic Ease.

The rage of nations, and the crush of states,
Move not the man, who, from the world escap'd,
In still retreats and flow'ry solitudes,
To Nature's voice attends, from month to month,
And day to day, through the revolving year :
Admiring, sees her in her ev'ry shape,
Feels all her sweet emotions at his heart;
Takes what she lib’ral gives, nor thinks of more.
He, when young Spring protrudes the bursting gems,
Marks the first bud, and sucks the healthful gale
Into his freshen’d soul ; her genial hours
He full enjoys; and not a beauty blows,
And not an op'ning blossom breathes, in vain.
In Summer he, beneath the living shade,
Such as o'er frigid Tempe wont to wave,
Or Hemus cool, reads what the Muse of these,
Perhaps, has in immortal numbers sung;
Or what she dictates writes: and, oft an eye
Shot round, rejoices in the vig'rous year.
When Autumn's yellow lustre gilds the world,
And tempts the sickled swain into the field,
Seiz’d by the gen’ral joy, his heart distends
With gentle throes; and, through the tepid gleams
Deep musing, then he best exerts his song.
Ev'n Winter wild to him is full of bliss.
The mighty tempest, and the hoary waste,
Abrupt and deep, stretch'd o'er the buried earth,
Awake to solemn thought. At night the skies,
Disclos'd and kindled by refining frost,
Pour ev'ry lustre on th' exalted eye.
A friend, a book, the stealing hours secure,
And mark them down for wisdom. With swift wing
O’er land and sea th' imagination roams ;
Or truth, divinely breaking on his mind,
Elates his being, and unfolds his pow'rs;

Or in his breast heroic virtue burns.
The touch of kindred, too, and love he feels;
The modest eye, whose beams on his alone
Ecstatic shine; the little strong embrace
Of prattling children, twisted round his neck,
And, emulous to please him, calling forth
The fond parental soul. Nor purpose gay,
Amusement, dance, or song, he sternly scorns ;
For happiness and true philosophy
Are of the social, still, and smiling kind.
This is the life which those who fret in guilt,
And guilty cities, never knew; the life
Led by primeval ages, uncorrupt,
When angels dwelt, and God himself, with man.

THOMSON

CHAPTER XXX.

GENIUS.

FROM Heav'n my strains begin ; from Heav'n descends
The flame of genius to the human breast,
And love and beauty, and poetic joy,
And inspiration. Ere the radiant sun
Sprang from the east, or ʼmidst the vault of night
The moon suspended her serener lamp;
Ere mountains, woods, or streams adorn'd the globe,
Or Wisdom taught the sons of men her lore;
Then liv’d th' almighty One; then, deep retir'd
In his unfathom’d essence, view'd the forms—
The forms eternal-of created things ;
The radiant sun, the moon's nocturnal lamp,
The mountains, woods, and streams, the rolling globe,
And Wisdom's mien celestial. From the first
Of days on them his love divine he fix’d,
His admiration : till in time complete,
What he admir'd and lov’d, his vital smile
Unfolded into being. Hence the breath
Of life informing each organic frame;
Hence the green earth, and wild resounding waves;
Hence light and shade alternate ; warmth and cold;

And clear autumnal skies, and vernal show'rs;
And all the fair variety of things.

But not alike to ev'ry mortal eye
Is this great scene unveild. For since the claims
Of social life to diff'rent labours urge
The active pow'rs of man; with wise intent
The hand of Nature on peculiar minds
Imprints a diff'rent bias, and to each
Decrees its province in the common toil.
To some she taught the fabric of the sphere,
The changeful moon, the circuit of the stars,
The golden zones of Heav'n : to some she gave
To weigh the moment of eternal things,
Of time, and space, and fate's unbroken chain ;
And will's quick impulse : others by the hand
She led o'er vales and mountains, to explore
What healing virtue swells the tender veins
Of herbs and flow'rs; or what the beams of morn
Draw forth, distilling from the clifted rind
In balmy tears. But some to higher hopes
Were destin'd: some within a finer mould
She wrought, and temper'd with a purer flame.
To these the Sire Omnipotent unfolds
The world's harmonious volume, there to read
The transcript of himself. On ev'ry part
They trace the bright impressions of his hand;
In earth or air, the meadow's purple stores,
The moon's mild radiance, or the virgin's form
Blooming with rosy smiles, they see portray'd
That uncreated beauty which delights
The Mind supreme.

They also feel her charms,
Enamour'd : they partake th' eternal joy.

A KENSIDE.

CHAPTER XXXI.

GREATNESS.

Say, why was man so eminently rais'd
Amid the vast creation ? why ordain'd,
Through life and death, to dart his piercing eye,
With thoughts beyond the limits of his frame?

But that the Omnipotent might send him forth,
In sight of mortal and immortal pow’rs,
As on a boundless theatre, to run
The great career of justice; to exalt
His gen'rous aim to all diviner deeds;
To chase each partial purpose from his breast;
And through the mists of passion and of sense,
And through the tossing tide of chance and pain
To hold his course unfalt’ring, while the voice
Of Truth and Virtue, up the steep ascent
Of Nature, calls him to his high reward,
Th’applauding smile of Heav'n. Else wherefore burns
In mortal bosoms this unquenched hope,
That breathes from day to day sublimer things,
And mocks possession? Wherefore darts the mind,
With such resistless ardour, to embrace
Majestic forms; impatient to be free;
Spurning the gross control of wilful might;
Proud of the strong contention of her toils ;
Proud to be daring ? Who but rather turns
To Heav'n's broad fire his unconstrained view,
Than to the glimm’ring of a waxen flame!
Who that, from Alpine heights, his lab'ring eye
Shoots round the wide horizon, to survey
Nilus, or Ganges, rolling his bright wave
Through mountains, plains, through empires black with

shade,
And continents of sand, will turn his gaze,
To mark the windings of a scanty rill
That murmurs at his feet ? The high-born soul
Disdains to rest her Heav'n-aspiring wing
Beneath its native quarry. Tir'd of earth
And this diurnal scene, she springs aloft
Through fields of air; pursues the flying storm;
Rides on the volley'd lightning through the heav'ns ;
Or, yok'd with whirlwinds and the northern blast,
Sweeps the long tract of day. Then high she soars
The blue profound, and, hov'ring round the sun,
Beholds him pouring the redundant stream
Of light; beholds his unrelenting sway
Bend the reluctant planets to absolve
The fated rounds of time. Thence far effus'd,

She darts her swiftness up the long career
Of devious comets; through its burning signs,
Exulting, measures the perennial wheel
Of Nature, and looks back on all the stars,
Whose blended light, as with a milky zone,
Invests the orient. Now amaz'd she views
Th' empyreal waste, where happy spirits hold,
Beyond this concave Heav'n, their calm abode;
And fields of radiance, whose unfading light
Has travell’d the profound six thousand years,
Nor yet arrives in sight of mortal things.
Ev'n on the barriers of the world untir'd
She meditates th' eternal depth below;
Till, half recoiling, down the headlong steep
She plunges; soon o'erwhelm'd and swallow'd up
In that immense of being. There her hopes
Rest at the fated goal. For from the birth
Of mortal man,

the sov'reign Maker said,
That not in humble nor in brief delight,
Not in the fading echoes of renown,
Power's purple robes, nor Pleasure's flow'ry lap,
The soul should find enjoyment: but from these
Turning disdainful to an equal good,
Through all th' ascent of things enlarge her view,
Till every bound at length should disappear,
And infinite perfection close the scene. A KENSIDE.

CHAPTER XXXII.

NOVELTY.
CALL now to mind what high capacious pow'rs
Lie folded up in man: how far beyond
The praise of mortals may th' eternal growta
Of nature to perfection half divine
Expand the blooming soul! What pity then
Should sloth's unkindly fogs depress to earth
Her tender blossom, choke the streams of life,
And blast her spring! Far otherwise design’d
Almighty Wisdom; Nature's happy cares
Th' obedient heart far otherwise incline.

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