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Of firm and fragrant leaf; on either side
Acanthus, and each odorous bushy shrub,
the verdant wall ; each beauteous flower,
Iris all hues, roses, and jessamin,
Rear'd high their flourish'd heads between, and wrought
Mosaic ; under-foot the violet,
Crocus, and hyacinth, with rich inlay
Broider'd the ground, more colour'd than with stone
Of costliest emblem : other creature here,
Beast, bird, insect, or worm, durst enter none,
Such was their awe of man !
Thus at their shady lodge arrived, both stood,
Both turn'd, and under open sky adored
The God that made both sky, air, earth, and heaven,
Which they beheld, the moon's resplendent globe,
And starry pole: “Thou also madest the night,
Maker Omnipotent! and Thou the day,
Which we, in our appointed work employ'd,
Have finish’d, happy in our mutual help
And mutual love, the crown of all our bliss
Ordain'd by thee; and this delicious place,
For us too large, where thy abundance wants
Partakers, and uncropt falls to the ground.
But thou hast promised from us two a race
To fill the earth, who shall with us extol
Thy goodness infinite, both when we wake,
And when we seek, as now, thy gift of sleep.”
Paradise Lost, IV. 598.
THE EMIGRANTS SACRED SONG.
ANDREW MARVELL, 1620—1678.
WHERE the remote Bermudas ride,
In th' ocean's bosom unespyd,
From a small boat that rowd along,
The list'ning winds receiv'd their song.
“What should we do, but sing His praise
That led us through the wat’ry maze,
Unto an isle so long unknown,
And yet far kinder than our own.
“Where He the huge sea-monsters wracks,
That lift the deep upon their backs ;
He lands us on a grassy stage,
Safe from the storms and prelates' rage.
“He gave us this eternal spring
Which here enamels every thing,
And sends the fowls to us in care,
On daily visits through the air.
“ He hangs in shades the orange bright,
Like golden lamps in a green night,
And in these rocks for us did frame
A temple where to sound his name.
“Oh ! let our voice His praise exalt
Till it arrive at Heaven's vault,
Which then perhaps rebounding may
Echo beyond the Mexique bay."
Thus sang they in the English boat,
A holy and a cheerful note,
And all the way, to guide their chime,
With falling oars they kept the time.
CATO'S SOLILOQUY ON THE IMMORTALITY
OF THE SOUL.
ADDISON, 1672–1719. It must be so-- -Plato, thou reason'st wellElse whence this pleasing hope, this fond desire, This longing after immortality ? Or whence this secret dread and inward horror, Of falling into nought? Why shrinks the soul Back on herself, and startles at destruction ? 'Tis the Divinity that stirs within us ; 'Tis Heaven itself that points out an hereafter, And intimates eternity to man. Eternity! thou pleasing, dreadful thought ! Through what variety of untried being, Through what new scenes and changes must we pass !
The wide, th' unbounded prospect lies before me ;
But shadows, clouds, and darkness, rest upon it.
Here will I hold. If there's a Power above us,
(And that there is all nature cries aloud,
Through all her works,) He must delight in virtue ;
And that which he delights in must be happy.
But when, or where ?—this world was made for Cæsar ;
I'm weary of conjectures—this sword must end them.
Thus am I doubly arm’d; my death and life,
My bane and antidote, are both before me.
This in a moment brings me to an end ;
But this informs me I shall never die.
The soul, secur'd in her existence, smiles
At the drawn dagger, and defies its point.
The stars shall fade away, the sun himself
Grow dim with age, and nature sink in years,
But thou shalt flourish in immortal youth,
Unhurt amidst the war of elements,
The wreck of matter, and the crush of worlds.
THE SHEPHERD AND PHILOSOPHER.
REMOTE from cities lived a swain,
Unvexed with all the cares of gain ;
His head was silvered o'er with age,
And long experience made him sage ;
In summer's heat, and winter's cold,
He fed his flock, and penned the fold ;
His hours in cheerful labour flew,
Nor envy nor ambition knew ;
His wisdom and his honest fame
Through all the country raised his name.
A deep philosopher (whose rules
Of moral life were drawn from schools)
The shepherd's homely cottage sought,
And thus explored his reach of thought.
“Whence is thy learning ? hath thy toil
O'er books consumed the midnight oil ?
Hast thou old Greece and Rome surveyed,
And the vast sense of Plato weighed ?'
Hath Socrates thy soul refined,
And hast thou fathomed Tully's mind ?
Or, like the wise Ulysses, thrown,
By various fates, on realms unknown,
Hast thou through many cities strayed,
Their customs, laws, and manners weighed ?”
The shepherd modestly replied,
“ I ne'er the paths of learning tried ;
Nor have I roamed in foreign parts,
To read mankind, their laws and arts ;
For man is practised in disguise,
He cheats the most discerning eyes :
The little knowledge I have gained,
Was all from simple nature drained ;
Hence my life's maxims took their rise,
Hence grew my settled hate to vice.
The daily labours of the bee
Awake my soul to industry :
Who can observe the careful ant,
And not provide for future want ?
My dog (the trustiest of his kind)
With gratitude inflames my mind :
I mark his true, his faithful way,
And in my service copy Tray.
In constancy and nuptial love,
I learn my duty from the dove.
The hen, who from the chilly air,
With pious wing, protects her care,
And every fowl that flies at large,
Instructs me in a parent's charge.
From nature too I took my rule,
To shun contempt and ridicule.
I never, with important air,
In conversation overbear.
Can grave and formal
for wise, When men the solemn owl despise !
My tongue within my lips I rein ;
For who talks much, must talk in vain.
We from the wordy torrent fly :
Who listens to the chattering pye ?
Nor would I with felonious flight,
By stealth invade my neighbour's right.
Rapacious animals we hate :
Kites, hawks, and wolves deserve their fate.
Do not we just abhorrence find
Against the toad and serpent kind ?
But envy, calumny, and spite,
Bear stronger venom in their bite.
Thus every object of creation
Can furnish hints to contemplation ;
And from the most minute and mean,
A virtuous mind can morals glean.”
“ Thy fame is just,” the sage replies ;
“Thy virtue proves thee truly wise.
Pride often guides the author's pen ;
Books as affected are as men :
But he who studies nature's laws,
From certain truth his maxims draws ;
The best of schools can ne'er suffice
To make men moral, good, and wise.”
ALEXANDER POPE, 1688—1744.
YE nymphs of Solyma ! begin the song :
To heavenly themes sublimer strains belong.
The mossy fountains and the sylvan shades,
The dreams of Pindus and the Aonian maids,
Delight no more -O Thou my voice inspire
Who touch'd Isaiah's hallow'd lips with fire !
Rapt into future times, the bard begun :
A Virgin shall conceive, a Virgin bear a Son !
From Jesse's root behold a branch arise,