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Whose sacred flower with fragrance fills the skies :
The Ethereal Spirit o'er its leaves shall move,
And on its top descend the mystic Dove.
Ye heavens ! from high the dewy nectar pour,
And in soft silence shed the kindly shower !
The sick and weak the healing plant shall aid,
From storms a shelter, and from heat a shade.
All crimes shall cease, and ancient frauds shall fail ;
Returning Justice lift aloft her scale ;
Peace o'er the world her olive wand extend,
And white-robed Innocence from heaven descend.
Swift fly the years, and rise the expected morn!
O spring to light, auspicious Babe, be born!
See, Nature hastes her earliest wreaths to bring,
With all the incense of the breathing spring :
See lofty Lebanon his head advance,
See nodding forests on the mountains dance ;
See spicy clouds from lowly Saron rise,
And Carmel's flowery top perfumes the skies !
Hark! a glad voice the lonely desert cheers ;
Prepare the way! A God, a God appears !
A God, a God! the vocal hills reply ;
The rocks proclaim the approaching Deity.
Lo, earth receives him from the bending skies !
Sink down, ye mountains ; and ye valleys, rise !
With heads declined, ye cedars, homage pay ;
Be smooth, ye rocks ; ye rapid floods, give way.
The Saviour comes ! by ancient bards foretold !
Hear Him, ye deaf ; and all ye blind, behold !
He from thick films shall purge the visual ray,
And on the sightless eyeball pour the day :
'Tis he the obstructed paths of sound shall clear,
And bid new music charm th' unfolding ear:
The dumb shall sing, the lame his crutch forego,
And leap exulting, like the bounding roe.
No sigh, no murmur, the wide world shall hear ;
From every face he wipes off every tear.
In adamantine chains shall death be bound,
And hell's grim tyrant feel th' eternal wound.
As the good shepherd tends his fleecy care,
Seeks freshest pasture, and the purest air ;
Explores the lost, the wandering sheep directs,
By day o'ersees them, and by night protects ;
The tender lambs he raises in his arms,
Feeds from his hand, and in his bosom warms ;
Thus shall mankind his guardian care engage,
The promised father of the future age.
No more shall nation against nation rise,
Nor ardent warriors meet with hateful eyes,
Nor fields with gleaming steel be coverd o’er ;
The brazen trumpets kindle rage no more ;
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,
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 flowering palm suco
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 tongues 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 Idume'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
Reveald, 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 !
THOMSON, 1700—1748. THESE, as they change, Almighty Father, these Are but the varied God. The rolling year Is full of Thee. Forth in the pleasing Spring Thy beauty walks, thy tenderness and love. Wide flush the fields; the softening air is balm ; Echo the mountains round; the forest smiles ; And every sense, and every heart is joy. Then comes thy glory in the Summer months, With light and heat refulgent. Then thy sun Shoots full perfection through the swelling year : And oft thy voice in dreadful thunder speaks : And oft at dawn, deep noon, or falling eve, By brooks and groves, in hollow whispering gales. Thy bounty shines in Autumn unconfin’d, And spreads a common feast for all that lives.
In Winter awful Thou! with clouds and storms
Around Thee thrown, tempest o'er tempest rolld,
Majestic darkness ! on the whirlwind's wing,
Riding sublime, Thou bid'st the world adore,
And humblest Nature with thy northern blast.
Mysterious round ! what skill, what force divine,
Deep felt, in these appear ! a simple train,
Yet so delightful mix’d, with such kind art,
Such beauty and beneficence combin'd;
Shade, unperceivd, so softening into shade,
And all so forming an harmonious whole ;
That, as they still succeed, they ravish still.
But wandering oft, with brute unconscious gaze,
Man marks not Thee, marks not the mighty hand,
That, ever-busy, wheels the silent spheres ;
Works in the secret deep ; shoots, steaming, thence
The fair profusion that o'erspreads the Spring :
Flings from the sun direct the flaming day ;
Feeds every creature ; hurls the tempest forth ;
And, as on earth this grateful change revolves,
With transport touches all the springs of life.
Nature, attend ! join every living soul, Beneath the spacious temple of the sky, In adoration join ; and, ardent, raise One general song ! to Him, ye vocal gales, Breath soft, whose Spirit in your freshness breathes : Oh, talk of Him, in solitary glooms ! Where o'er the rock, the scarcely waving pine Fills the brown shade with a religious awe. And ye, whose bolder note is heard afar, Who shake the astonished world, lift high to heaven Th' impetuous song, and say from whom you rage. His praise, ye brooks, attune, ye trembling rills; And let me catch it as I muse along. Ye headlong torrents, rapid, and profound ; Ye softer floods, that lead the humid maze Along the vale ; and thou, majestic main, A secret world of wonders in thyself, Sound His stupendous praise : whose greater voice Or bids you roar, or bids your roarings fall. Soft roll your incense, herbs, and fruits, and flowers,
In mingled clouds to Him; whose sun exalts,
Whose breath perfumes you, and whose pencils paints.
Ye forests bend, ye harvests wave, to Him;
Breathe your still song into the reaper's heart,
As home he goes-beneath the joyous moon.
Ye that keep watch in heaven, as earth asleep
Unconscious lies, effuse your mildest beams,
Ye constellations, while your angels strike,
Amid the spangled sky, the silver lyre.
Great source of day! best image here below
Of thy Creator, ever pouring wide,
From world to world, the vital ocean round,
On Nature write with every beam His praise.
The thunder rolls : be hush'd the prostrate world :
While cloud to cloud returns the solemn hymn.
Bleat out afresh, ye hills : ye mossy rocks,
Retain the sound : the broad responsive low,
Ye valleys, raise ; for the Great Shepherd reigns ;
And his unsuffering kingdom yet will come.
Ye woodlands all, awake : a boundless song
Burst from the groves ! and when the restless day,
Expiring, lays the warbling world asleep,
Sweetest of birds ! sweet Philomela, charm
The listening shades, and teach the night His praise.
Ye chief, for whom the whole creation smiles,
At once the head, the heart, and tongue of all,
Crown the great hymn; in swarming cities vast,
Assembled men, to the deep organ join
The long resounding voice, oft-breaking clear,
At solemn pauses, through the swelling base ;
And, as each mingling flame increases each,
In one united ardour rise to heaven.
Or if you rather choose the rural shade,
And find a fane in
There let the shepherd's flute, the virgin's lay,
The prompting seraph, and the poet's lyre,
Still sing the God of Seasons, as they roll !
For me, when I forget the darling theme,
Whether the blossom blows, the summer
ner-ray Russets the plain, inspiring Autumn gleams,