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And the grasp of the mind is weakened, as the talons of a caged vulture.
Wealth nath never given happiness, but often hastened misery :
Enough hath never caused misery, but often quickened happiness :
Enough is less than thy thought, o pampered creature of society,
And he that hath more than enough, is a thief of the rights of his brother.
Man is proud of his mind, boasting that it giveth him divinity,
Yet with all its powers can it originate nothing;
For the great God into all his works hath largely poured out himseli,
Saving one special property, the grand prerogative,—Creation.
To improve and expand is ours, as well as to limit and defeat;
But to create a thought or a thing is hopeless and impossible.
Can a man make matter?-and yet this would-be god
Thinketh to make mind, and form original idea:
The potter must have his clay, and the mason his quarry,
And mind must drain ideas from every thing around it.
Doth the soil generate herbs, or the torrid air breed flies,
Or the water frame its monads, or the mist its swarming blight?-
Mediately, through thousand generations, having seeds within them.
All things, rare or gross, own one common Father.
Truly spake Wisdom, There is nothing new under the sun :
We only arrange and combine the ancient elements of all things.
Invention is activity of mind, as fire is air in motion.
A sharpening of the spiritual sight, to discern hidden aptitudes ·
From the basket and acanthus, is modelled the graceful capital :
The shadowed profile on the wall helpeth the limner to his likeness:
The footmarks stamped in clay, lead on the thoughts to printing;
The strange skin garments cast upon the shore suggest another he-
A falling apple taught the sage pervading gravitation;
The Huron is certain of his
from tracks upon
And shrewdness, guessing on the hint, followeth on the trail :
But the hint must be given, the trail must be there, or the keenest sight is
Behold the barren reef, which an earthquake hath just left dry;
It hath no beauty to boast of, no harvest of fair fruits :
But soon the lichen fixeth there, and, dying, diggeth its own grave, (24)
And softening suns and splitting frosts crumble the reluctant surface;
And cormorants roost there, and the snail addeth its stime,
And efts, with muddy feet, bring their welcome tribute;
And the sea casteth out her dead, wrapped in a shroud of weeds;
And orderly nature arrangeth again the disunited atoms:
Anon, the cold smooth stone is warm with feathery grass,
And the light sporules of the fern are dropt by the passing wind,
The wood-pigeon, on swift wing, leaveth its crop-full of grain,
The squirrel's jealous care planteth the fir-cone and the filbert;
Years pass, and the sterile rock is rank with tangled herbage;
The wild vine clingeth to the briar, and ivy runneth green among the
corn, Lordly beeches are studded on the down, and willows crowd around the
rivulet, And the tall pine and hazel thicket shade the rambling hunter. Shall the rock boast of its fertility ? shall it lift the head in pride?Shall the mind of man be vain of the harvest of its thoughts ? The savage is that rock: and a million chances from without, By little and little acting on the mind, heap up the hothed of society; And the soul, fed and fattened on the thoughts and things around it, Groweth to perfection, full of fruit, the fruit of foreign seeds. For we learn upon a hint, we find upon a clue, We yield an hundred-fold ; but the great sower is Analogy. There must be an acrid sloe before a luscious peach, A boll of rotting flax before the bridal veil, An egg before an eagle, a thought before a thing, A spark struck into tinder, to light the lamp of knowledge, A slight suggestive nod to guide the watching mind, A half-seen hand upon the wall, pointing to the balance of Comparison, By culture man may do all things, short of the miracle - Creation ;
Here is the limit of thy power,-here let thy pride be stayed :
The soil may be rich, and the mind may be active, but neither yield
The eye cannot make light, nor the mind make spirit:
Therefore it is wise in man to name all novelty invention;
For it is to find out things that are, not to create the unexisting :
It is to cling to contiguities, to be keen in catching likeness,
And with energetic elasticity to leap the gulss of contrast.
The globe knoweth not increase, either of matter or spirit:
Atoms and thoughts are usel again, mixing in varied combinations;
And though, by moulding them anew, thou makest them thine own,
Yet have they served thousands, and all their merit is of God.
SEAMs of thought for the sage's brow, and laughing lines for the fool's
For all things leave their track in the mind; and the glass of the mind is
faithful. Seest thou much mirth upon the cheek? there is then little exercise of
virtue; For he that looketh on the world cannot be glad and good : Seest thou much gravity in the eye ? be not assured of finding wisdom; For she hath too great praise, not to get many mimics. There is a grave-faced folly; and verily, a laughter-loving wisdom: And what, if surface-judges account it vain frivolity? There is indeed an evil in excess, and a field may lie fallow too long; Yet merriment is often as a froth, that mantleth on the strong mind: And note thou this for a verity,—the subtlest thinker when alone, From ease of thoughts unbent, will laugh the loudest with his fellows: And well is the loveliness of wisdom mirrored in a cheerful coun
tenance ; Justly the deepest pools are proved by dimpling eddies; For that a true philosophy commandeth an innocent life, And the unguilty spirit is lighter than a linnet's heart: Yea, there is no cosmetic like a holy conscience: The eye is bright with trust, the cheek bloomed over with affection, The brow unwrinkled by a care, and the lip triumphant in its gladness