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But useless lances into scythes shall bend,
And the broad falchion in a ploughshare end.
Then palaces shall rise; the joyful son
Shall finish what his short-lived sire begun;
Their vines a shadow to their race shall yield,
And the same hand that sow'd shall reap the field;
The swain in barren deserts with surprise
Sees lilies spring, and sudden verdure rise;
And starts amidst the thirsty wilds to hear
New falls of water murmuring in his ear.
On rifted rocks, the dragon's late abodes,
The green reed trembles, and the bulrush nods.
Waste sandy valleys, once perplex'd with thorn,
The spiry fir and shapely box adorn:
To leafless shrubs the flowery palm succeed,
And odorous myrtle to the noisome weed.
The lambs with wolves shall graze the verdant mead,
And boys in flowery bands the tiger lead.
The steer and lion at one crib shall meet,
And harmless serpents lick the pilgrim's feet.
The smiling infant in his hand shall take
The crested basilisk and speckled snake,
Pleased, the green lustre of the scales survey,
And with their forky tongue shall innocently play.
Rise, crown'd with light, imperial Salem, rise!
Exalt thy towery head, and lift thine eyes !
See a long race thy spacious courts adorn;
See future sons, and daughters yet unborn,
In crowding ranks on every side arise,
Demanding life, impatient for the skies!
See barbarous nations at thy gates attend,
Walk in thy light, and in thy temple bend :
See thy bright altars throng'd with prostrate kings,
And heap'd with products of Sabean springs !
For thee Idumea's spicy forests blow,
And seeds of gold in Ophir's mountains glow.
See Heaven its sparkling portals wide display,
And break upon thee in a flood of day!
No more the rising sun shall gild the morn,
Nor evening Cynthia fill her silver horn;
But lost, dissolved in thy superior rays,
One tide of glory, one unclouded blaze,
O’erflow thy courts: the Light himself shall shine
Reveal’d, and God's eternal day be thine!
The seas shall waste, the skies in smoke decay,
Rocks fall to dust, and mountains melt away ;
But fix'd his word, his saving power remains ;
Thy realm for ever lasts, thy own Messiah reigns!
When life as opening buds is sweet,
And golden hopes the fancy greet,
And Youth prepares his joys to meet,
Alas! how hard it is to die!
When just is seized some valued prize,
And duties press, and tender ties
Forbid the soul from earth to rise,
How awful then it is to die!
When, one by one, those ties are torn,
And friend from friend is snatch'd forlorn,
And man is left alone to mourn,-
Ah then, how easy 't is to die!
When faith is firm, and conscience clear,
And words of peace the spirit cheer,
And vision'd glories half appear,-
'Tis joy, 'tis triumph then to die.
When trembling limbs refuse their weight,
And films, slow gathering, dim the sight,
And clouds obscure the mental light,
'Tis Nature's precious boon to die.
Be wise to day; 't is madness to defer: Next day the fatal precedent will plead; Thus on, till wisdom is push'd out of life! Procrastination is the thief of time; Year after year it steals, till all are fled, And to the mercies of a moment leaves The vast concerns of an eternal scene. If not so frequent, would not this be strange? That 't is so frequent, this is stranger still. Of man's miraculous mistakes this bears The palm, " That all men are about to live," For ever on the brink of being born: All pay themselves the compliment to think They one day shall not drivel, and their pride On this reversion takes up ready praise ; At least their own; their future selves applaud : How excellent that life they ne'er will lead ! Time lodged in their own hands is Folly's vails; That lodged in Fate's, to Wisdom they consign; The thing they can't but purpose, they postpone. 'Tis not in folly not to scorn a fool; And scarce in human wisdom to do more. All promise is poor dilatory man, And that through every stage. When young, indeed, In full content we sometimes nobly rest, Unanxious for ourselves, and only wish, As duteous sons, our fathers were more wise. At thirty, man suspects himself a fool; Knows it at forty, and reforms his plan; At fifty chides his infamous delay, Pushes his prudent purpose to resolve; In all the magnanimity of thought Resolves, and re-resolves; then dies the same.
And why? because he thinks himself immortal.
All men think all men mortal but themselves;
Themselves, when some alarming shock of Fate
Strikes through their wounded hearts the sudden
dread : But their hearts wounded, like the wounded air, Soon close ; where, past the shaft, no trace is found. As from the wing no scar the sky retains, The parted wave no furrow from the keel, So dies in human hearts the thought of death : Even with the tender tear which nature sheds O’er those we love, we drop it in their grave.
DESCRIPTION OF THE SWISS.
My soul turn from them, turn we to survey
Where rougher climes a nobler race display;
Where the bleak Swiss their stormy mansions tread,
And force a churlish soil for scanty
No product here the barren hills afford,
But man and steel, the soldier and his sword :
No vernal blooms their torpid rocks array,
But winter, lingering, chills the lap of May;
No zephyr fondly sues the mountain's breast,
But meteors glare, and stormy glooms invest.
Yet still, even here, content can spread a charm,
Redress the clime, and all its rage disarm.
Though poor the peasant's hut, his feasts though
He sees his little lot the lot of all;
Sees no contiguous palace rear its head,
To shame the meanness of his humble shed;
No costly lord the sumptuous banquet deal,
To make him loathe his vegetable meal:
But calm, and bred in ignorance and toil,
Each wish contracting, fits him to the soil.
Cheerful at morn, he wakes from short repose,
Breathes the keen air, and carols as he goes;
With patient angle trolls the finny deep,
Or drives his venturous ploughshare to the steep;
Or seeks the den where snow-tracks mark the way,
And drags the struggling savage into day.
At night returning, every labour sped,
He sits him down the monarch of a shed;
Smiles by his cheerful fire, and round surveys
His children's looks, that brighten at the blaze;
While his loved partner, boastful of her hoard,
Displays her cleanly platter on the board :
And haply too some pilgrim thither led,
With many a tale repays the nightly bed.
Thus every good his native wilds impart,
Imprints the patriot passion on his heart;
And even those hills that round his mansion rise,
Enhance the bliss his scanty fund supplies:
Dear is that shed to which his soul conforms,
And dear that hill which lifts him to the storms;
And as a child, when scaring sounds molest,
Clings close and closer to the mother's breast;
So the loud torrent, and the whirlwind's roar,
But bind him to his native mountains more.
Such are the charms to barren states assign'd;
Their wants but few, their wishes all confined :
Yet let them only share the praises due,
If few their wants, their pleasures are but few;
For every want that stimulates the breast,
Becomes a source of pleasure when redress’d.
ON THE RECEIPT OF HIS MOTHER'S
PICTURE. Oh, that those lips had language! Life has pass'd With me but roughly since I heard thee last. Those lips are thine,—thine own sweet smile I see, The same that oft in childhood solaced me;