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The sea-wort (3) floating on the waves, or rolled up high along the shore,
Ye counted useless and vile, heaping on it names of contempt :
Yet hath it gloriously triumphed, and man been humbled in his ignorance,
For health is in the freshness of its savour, and it cumbereth the beach
with wealth ;
Comforting the tossings of pain with its violet-tinctured essence,
And by its humbler ashes enriching many proud.
Be this, then, a lesson to thy soul, that thou reckon nothing worthless,
Before thou heedest not its use, nor knowest the virtues thereof.
And herein, as thou walkest by the sea, shall weeds be a type and an ear-
nest Of the stored and uncounted riches lying hid in all creatures of God: There be flowers making glad the desert, and roots fattening the soil, And jewels in the secret deep, scattered among groves of coral, And comforts to crown all wishes, and aids unto every need, Influences yet unthought, and virtues, and many inventions, And uses above and around, which man hath not yet regarded. Not long to charm away disease, hath the crocus (4) yielded up its bulb, Nor the willow lent its bark, nor the nightshade its vanquished poison ; Not long hath the twisted leaf, the fragrant gift of China, Nor that nutritious root, the boon of far Peru, Nor the many-coloured dahlia, nor the gorgeous flaunting cactus, Nor the multitude of fruits and flowers ministered to life and luxury; Even so), there be virtues yet unknown in the wasted foliage of the elm, In the sun-dried harebell of the downs, and the hyacinth drinking in the
meadow, In the sycamore's winged fruit, and the face t-cut cones of the cedar;
And the pansy and bright geranium live not alone for beauty,
Nor the waxen flower of the arbute, though it dieth in a day,
Nor the sculptured crest of the fir, unseen but by the stars;
And the meanest weed of the garden serveth unto inany uses,
The salt tamarisk, and juicy flag, the freckled orchis, and the daisy.
The world may laugh at famine when forest-trees yield bread,
When acorns give out fragrant drink, (5) and the sap of the linden is as
For every green herb, from the lotus to the darnel,
Is rich with delicate aids to help incurious man.
Still, Mind is up and stirring, and pryeth in the corners of contrivance, Often from the dark recesses picking out bright seeds of truth : Knowledge hath clipped the lightning's wings, and mewed it up
pose, Training to some domestic task the fiery bird of heaven; Tamed is the spirit of the storm, to slave in all peaceful arts, To walk with husbandry and science; to stand in the vanguard against
death: And the chemist balanceth his elements with more than magic skill, Commanding stones that they be bread, and draining sweetness out of
wormwood. Yet man, heedless of a God, counteth up vain reckonings, Fearing to be jostled and starved out, by the too prolific increase of his
And asketh, in unbelieving dread for how few years to come
Will the black cellars of the world yield unto him fuel for his winter.
Might not the wide waste sea be pent within narrower bounds?
Might not the arm of diligence make the tangled wilderness a garden?
And for aught thou canst tell, there may be a thousand methods
Of coniforting thy limbs in warmth, though thou kindle not a spark.
Fear not, son of man, for thyself nor thy seed:-with a multitude is plenty
God's blessing giveth increase, and with it larger than enough.
SEARCH out the wisdom of nature, there is depth in all her doings;
She seemeth prodigal of power, yet her rules are the maxims of frugality:
The plant refresheth the air, and the earth filtereth the water,
And dews are sucked into the cloud, dropping fatness on the world :
She hath, on a mighty scale, the general use of all things ;
Yet hath she specially for each its microscopic purpose :
There is use in the prisoned air, that swelleth the pods of the laburnum;
Design in the venomed thorns, that sentinel the leaves of the nettle;
A final cause for the aromatic gum, that congealeth the moss around a rose :
A reason for each blade of grass, that reareth its small spire.
How knoweth discontented man what a train of ills might follow,
If the lowest menial of nature knew not her secret office ?
If the thistle never sprang up, to mock the loose husbandry of indolence,
Or the pestilence never swept away an unknown curse from among men ?
Would ye crush the buzzing myriads that float on the breath of the evening
Would ye trample the creatures of God that people the rotting fruit :
suffer no mildew forest to stain the unhealthy wall, Nor a noisome savour to exhale from the pool that breedeth disease ? Pain is useful unto man, for it teacheth him to guard his life, And the fetid vapours of the fen warn him to fly from danger: And the meditative mind, looking on, winneth good food for its hunger, Seeing the wholesome root bring forth a poisonous berry; For otherwhile falleth it out that truth, driven to extremities, Yieldeth bitter folly as the spoilt fruit of wisdom. o, blinded is thine eye, if it see not just aptitude in all things; 0, frozen is thy heart, if it glow not with gratitude for all things : In the perfect circle of creation not an atom could be spared, From earth’s magnetic zone to the bindweed round a hawthorn.
sage, and the beetle at his feet, hath each a ministration to perform ;. The briar and the palm have the wages of life, rendering secret service. Neither is it thus alone with the definite existences of matter; But motion and sound, circumstance and quality, yea, all things have their
office. The zephyr playing with an aspen leaf,—the earthquake that rendeth a
continent; The moonbeam silvering a ruined arch,—the desert wave dashing up a
pyramid; The thunder of jarring icebergs,—the stops of a shepherd's pipe; The howl of the tiger in the glen,-and the wood-dove calling to her mate;
The vulture's cruel rage,—the grace of the stately swan;
The fierceness looking from the lynx's eye, and the dull stupor of the sloth:
To these, and to all, is there added each its use, though man considereth
For Power hath ordained nothing which Economy saw not needful.
All things being are essential to the vast ubiquity of God;
Neither is there one thing overmuch, nor freed from honourable servitude.
Were there not a need-be of wisdom, nothing would be as it is;
For essence without necessity argueth a moral weakness.
We look through a glass darkly, we catch but glimpses of truth;
But, doubtless, the sailing of a cloud hath Providence to its pilot,
Doubtless, the root of an oak is gnarled for a special purpose,
The foreknown station of a rush is as fixed as the station of a king,
And chaf from the hand of a winnower, steered as the stars in their
Man liveth only in himself, but the Lord liveth in all things;
And His pervading unity quickeneth the whole creation.
Man doeth one thing at once, nor can he think two thoughts together;
But God compasseth all things, mantling the globe like air:
And we render homage to His wisdom, seeing use in all His creatures,
For, perchance, the universe would die, were not all things as they are.
EQUAL is the government of heaven in allotting pleasures among men,
And just the everlasting law, that hath wedded happiness to virtue:
For verily on all things else broodeth disappointment with care,
That childish man may be taught the shallowness of earthly enjoyment
Wherefore, ye that have enough, envy ye the rich man his abundance ?
Wherefore, daughters of affluence, covet ye the cottager's content'
Take the good with the evil, for ye all are pensioners of God,
And none may choose or refuse the cup His wisdom mixeth.
The poor man rejoiceth at his toil, and his daily bread is sweet to him:
Content with present good he looketh not for evil to the future:
The rich man languisheth with sloth, and findeth pleasure in nothing,
He locketh up care with his gold, and feareth the fickleness of fortune.
Can a cup contain within itself the measure of a bucket?
Or the straitened appetites of man drink more than their fill of luxury?
There is a limit to enjoyment, though the sources of wealth be boundless
And the choicest pleasures of life lie within the ring of moderation
Also, though penury and pain be real and bitter evils,
I would reason with the poor afflicted, for he is not so wretched as he
What right hath an offender to complain, though others escape punishment,
If the stripes of earned misfortune overtake him in his sin ?
Wherefore not endure with resignation the evils thou canst not avert?
For the coward pain will flee, if thou meet him as a man :
Consider whatever be thy fate, that it might and ought to have been worse.
And that it lieth in thy hand to gather even blessing from afflictions: