« ElőzőTovább »
If a man hold fast to thy creed, and fit his thinking to thy notions,
Thou shalt take him for a man right minded, yea, and excuse his evil :
But seest thou not, o bigot, that thy zeal is but a hunting after praise,
And the full pleasure of a proselyte lieth in the flattering of self ?
A man of many praises meeteth many welcomes,
But he who blameth often, shall not keep a friend;
The velvet-coated apricot is one thing, and the spiked horse-chestnut is
A handle of smooth amber is pleasanter than rough buck-horn.
Show me a popular man; I can tell thee the secrei of his power;
He hath soothed them with glozing words, lulling their ears with flattery,
The smile of seeming approbation is ever the companion of his presence,
And courteous looks, and warm regards, earn him all theii hearts.
Nothing but may be better, and every better might be best ;
The blind may discern, and the simple prove, fault or want in all ihings.
And a little mind looketh on the lily with a microscopic eye,
Eager and giai to fry out specks on its robe of purity;
But a great mind gazeth on the sun, glorying in his brightness,
And taking large knowledge of his good, in the broad prairie of creation :
What, though he hatch basilisks? what, though spots are on the sun ?
In fulness is his worth, in fulness be his praise !
KNOWLEDGE holdeth by the hilt, and heweth out a road to conquest;
Ignorance graspeth the blade, and is wounded by its own good sword:
Knowledge distilleth health from the virulence of opposite poisons ;
Ignorance mixeth wholesomes unto the breeding of disease:
Knowledge is leagued with the universe, and findeth a friend in all things;
But ignorance is every where a stranger; unwelcome, ill at ease, and out
of place. A man is helpless and unsafe up to the measure of his ignorance, For he lacketh perception of the aptitudes commending such a matter to
Clutching at the horn of danger, while he judgeth it the handle of secu
rity, Or casting his anchor so widely, that the granite reef is just within the
tether. Untaught in science he is but half alive, stupidly taking note of nothing, Or listening with dull wonder to the crafty saws of an empiric ; Simple in the world, he trusteth unto knaves; and then to make amends
for folly, Dealeth so shrewdly with the honest, they cannot but suspect him for a
thief; With an unknown God, he maketh mock of reason, fathering contrivance
on chance, Or doting with superstitious dread on some crooked image of his fancy But ignorant of Self, he is weakness at heart; the keystone crumbleth into
sand, There is panic in the general's tent, the oak is hollow as hemlock;
Though the warm sap creepeth up its bark, filling out the sheaf of leaves, Though knowledge of all things beside aid proofs of seeming vigour, Though the master-mind of the royal sage feast on the mysteries of wis
dom, Yet ignorance of self shall bow down the spirit of a Solomon to idols; The storm of temptation, sweeping by, shall snap that oak like a reed, And the proud luxuriance of its tufted crown drag it the sooner to the dust.
YOUTH, confident in self, tampereth with dangerous dalliance,
Till the vice his heart once hated hath locked him in her foul embrace:
Manhood, through zeal of doing good, seeketh high place for its occasions,
Unwitting that the bleak mountain-air will nip the tender budding of his
Or painfully, for love of truth, he climbeth the ladder of science,
Till pride of intellect, heating his heart, warpeth it aside to delusion.
The maiden, to give shadow to her fairness, plaiteth her raven hair,
Heedlessly weaving for her soul the silken net of vanity:
The gray-beard looketh on his gold, till he loveth its yellow smile,
Unconscious of the bright decoy which is luring his heart unto avarice :
Wrath avoidetk no quarrel, jealousy counteth its suspicions,
Pining envy gazeth still, and melancholy seeketh solitude,
The sensitive broodeth on his slights, the fearful poreth over horrors,
The train of wantonness is fired, the nerves of indecision are unstrung,
Each special proneness unto harm is pampered by ignorant indulgence,
And the man, for want of warning, yieldeth to the apt templation.
A smith at the loom, and a weaver at the forge, were but sorry craftsmen ;
And a ship that saileth on every wind never shall reach her port:
Yet there be thousands among men who heed not the leaning of their
talents, But, cutting against the grain, toil on to no good end; And the light of a thoughtful spirit is quenched beneath the pushel of
commerce, While meaner plodding minds are driven up the mountain of philosophy: The cedar withereth on a wall, while the house-leek is fattening in a
hot-bed. And the dock with its rank leaves hideth the sun from violets.
To every thing a fitting place, a proper honourable use ;
The humblest measure of mind is bright in its humble sphere :
The glowworm, creeping in the hedge, lighteth her evening torch,
And her far-off mate, on gossamer sail, steereth his course by that star:
But ignorance mocketh at proprieties, bringing out the glowworm at noon
And setteth the faults of mediocrity in the full blaze of wisdom.
Ravens croaking in darkness, and a skylark trilling to the sun,
The voice of a screech-owl from a ruin, and the black-bird's whistle in a
A cushion-footed camel for the sands, and a swift reindeer for the snows,
A naked skin for Ethiopia, and rich soft furs for the Pole:
In all things is there a fitness : discord with discord hath its music;
And the harmony of nature is preserved by each one knowing his place.
The blind at an easel, the palsied with a graver, the halt making for the
goal, The deaf ear tuning psaltery, the stammerer discoursing eloquence,What wonder if all fail : the shaft flieth wide of the mark Alike if itself he crooked, or the bow be strung awry ; And the mind which were excellent in one way, but foolishly toileth in
another, What is it but an ill-strung bow, and its aim a crooked arrow ? By knowledge of self, thou provest thy powers; put not the racer to the
plough, Nor goad the toilsome ox to wager his slowness with the fleet: Consider thy failings, heed thy propensities, search out thy latent virtues, Analyze the doubtful, cultivate the good, and crush the head of evil; So shalt thou catch with quick hand the golden ball of opportunity, The warrior armed shall be ready for the fray, beside his bridled steed; Thou shalt ward off special harms, and have the sway of circumstance. And turn to thy special good the common current of events; Choosing from the wardrobe of the world, thou shalt suitably clothe thy
spirit, Nor thrust the white hand of peace into the gauntlet of defiance : The shepherd shall go with a staff, and conquer by sling and stone; The soldier shall let alone the distaff, and the scribe lay down the sword; The man unlearned shall keep silence, and earn one attribute of wisdom;
The sage be sparing of his lessons before unhearing ears:
Calm shalt thou be, as a lion in repose, conscious of passive strength,
And the shock that splitteth the globe, shall not unthrone thy self-posses-
ACQUAINT thee with thyself, O man ! so shalt thou be humble:
The hard hot desert of thy heart shall blossom with the lily and the rose;
The frozen cliffs of pride shall melt as an iceberg in the tropics;
The bitter fountains of self-seeking be sweeter than the waters of the
But if thou lack that wisdom,—thy frail skiff is doomed,
On stronger eddy whirling to the dreadful gorge;
Untaught in that grand lore,—thou standest, cased in steel,
To dare with mocking unbelief the thunderbolts of heaven.
For look now around thee on the universe, behold how all things serve
The teeming soil, and the buoyant sea, and undulating air,
Golden crops, and bloomy fruits, and flowers, and precious gems,
Choice perfumes and fair sights, soft touches and sweet music:
For thee, shoaling up the bay, crowd the finny nations,
For thee, the cattle on a thousand hills live and labour and die:
Light is thy daily slave, darkness inviteth thee to slumber;
Thou art served by the hands of Beauty, and Sublimity kneeleth at thy
Arise, thou sovereign of creation, and behold thy glory!
Yet more, thou hast a mind; intellect wingeth thee to heaven,
Tendeth thy state on earth, and by it thou divest down to hell;
Thou hast measured the belt of Saturn, thou hast weighed the moons of
And seen, by reason's eye, the centre of thy globe;
Subtly hast thou numbered by billions the leagues between sun and sun,
And noted in thy book the coming of their shadows:
With marvellous unerring truth thou knowest to an inch and to an
instant, The where and the when of the comet's path that shall seem to rush by at
thy command : Arise, thou king of mind, and survey thy dignity!