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According to thy faith shall it be given
To thee, with spiritual glories, to be graced. As well all facts whence man experience hath, As doubt immunities bound up in faith.
'Tis easy thing to say, that men are knaves;
'Tis easy thing to say, that men arc fools;
Easy, to him who always ridicules
Trouble of farther thought—that oft there rules
We know all this; but we know also well.
Admissible, all other men excel
In virtue, and in happiness. Since bless'd
Are they, stern Fate, spite of thy direst spell!
And plague,—for these have they,—should they assail,
A panacea which will never fail.
God is their rock, their fortress of defence.
For them the wrath of man is impotence;
That" peace" have they—unspeakable intense,—
Life's gauds to them: the unseen they explore:
Rooted in heaven, to live is—to adore 1
Ye, that might cavil at these humble lays,
Peruse the page of child-like Fenelon;
With ills of body such as few have known;—
To luxuries used, they all aside are thrown; To poverty devoted, she defies
Its sorest ills, blessing the sacrifice.
Was e'er an instance known, that man could taste
In other things were this alliance traced;
We scruple not to call them; or, at least,
The one, the other. This coincidence
But grant me here;—and grant the consequence.
Facts, facts, are stubborn things! We trust the sense
Of sight, because th' experience of each day Warrants our trust in it. Now, tell me whence
It is, no mortal yet could dare to say, Man trusted in his God for his defence,
And was confounded? cover'd with dismay? Loses he friends? Religion dries his tears! Loses he life? Religion calms his fears!
Loses he health? Religion balms his mind,
And pains of flesh seem ministers of grace, And wait upon a rapture more refin'd,
Then e'en in lustiest health e'er found a place.
He had before renounced; thus he can trace
He too as much enjoys the spectacle
Of good, when done by others as by him: Loses he fame? the honour he loves well
Is not of earth, but that which seraphim Might prize! Loses he liberty? his cell,
And all its vaults, echo his rapturous hymn! He feels as free as freest bird in air! His heaven-shrin'd spirit finds heaven every where!
'Tis not romance which we are uttering! No;
Thousands of volumes each word's truth attest! Thousands of souls redeem'd from all below
Can bring a proof, that, e'en while earthly guest, 'Tis possible for man that peace to know,
Which maketh him impassive to the test
Pleasure, or philosophical or sensual,
Is not, ought not to be, man's primary rule; We often feel bound by a law potential
To do those things which e'en our reasons fool. God, and he only, sees the consequential;
The mind, well nurtur'd in religion's school Feels that He only—to whom all's obedient— Has right to guide itself by the expedient.
Duty is man's first law, not satisfaction!
That satisfaction comes from this perform'd, We grant! But should this be the prime attraction
That led us to performance, soon inform'd By finding that we've miss'd the meed of action,
We shall confess our error. Oft we're warm'd,
Had Regulus reason'd, whether on the scale
Or Carthage—patriotism's cause avail,
Brutus, Virginius had they tried by tale
Yet had it not these self doom'd heroes seen,
Rome " the eternal city," ne'er had been!
Shall Christ submit upon the cross to bleed,
Have martyrs died, and confessors, indeed,
If it be so, to prate we've little need
Of this enlighten'd age! Takeoff the mask!
If it be so, and ye'll find this our proud age,—
Its grand climacterick past is in its dotage.
Thy name, Thermopylffi, had ne'er been heard.
I grant, that heaven alone to man transfcrr'd,
This more than mortal instinct! Yet absurd
Their heights cannot descry; yea, and a curse
'Twill bring) to make a theory of the worse.
A theory for a declining race!
No, let us keep at least our lips from lies;
Let us notfalsify her prodigies.
From her past triumphs so t' apostatize
Go to Palmyra's ruins; visit Greece,
Behold! The wrecks of her magnificence
Seem left, in spite of man, thus to increase
As to betray how soon man's glories cease;
Tombs, time defying, of the most pretence
The following is only a portion of a series of reminiscences equally luxurious and intense, and which are attended throughout by that vein of reflection which our author never loses:
Oh, were the eye of youth a moment ours!
When every flower that gemm'd the various earth
And every bird, of everlasting mirth
Love was the garniture, whose blameless birth
We can remember earliest days of spring,
When violets blue and white, and primrose pale,
Like callow nestlings 'neath their mother's wing,
When streams look'd blue; and thin clouds clustering
Rising like incense from the breathing world, ,
Whose gracious aspect was with dew impearl'd.
When a soft moisture, steaming every where,
To the earth's countenance mellower hues imparted;
When sylvan choristers self-pois'd in air,
Or perched on bows, in shrilly quiverings darted
Their little raptures forth; when the warm glare
(While glancing lights backwards and forwards started,
As if with meteors silver-sheath'd 'twere flooded)
Sultry, and silent, on the hill's turf brooded.
Oh, in these moments we such joy have felt,
As if the earth were nothing but a shrine;
Gratefully towards its architect divine!
Within that very sanctuary of thine
Oft in the fulness of the joy ye give,
Did I a depth of quietness receive
From insects' drowsy hum, that all my powers
Would baffle to portray! Let them that live
What nameless pleasures letter'd ease may cheer,
Thee, Nature! bless'd to mark with eye and ear!—
Who can have watch'd the wild rose' blushing dye,
Who, of soft shades the fine variety,
Who, when impearl'd with dew-drop's radiancy
His very being, lest the sense should fail
T* imbibe each sweet its beauties did exhale?
Who amid lanes, on eve of summer days,
Which sheep brouse, could the thicket's wealth behold? The fragrant honey-suckle's bowery maze?
The furze bush, with its vegetable gold?
The fox-glove's cone, the figures manifold
The daisy, cowslip, each have to them given—
Grass of Parnassus, meek as star of even:
Bright, as the brightening eye of smiling child,
And bathed in blue transparency of heaven,
Of charms (of which to speak no tongue is able)
I had a cottage in a Paradise!
'Twere hard to enumerate the charms combin'd Within the little space, greeting the eyes, ,
Its unpretending precincts that confin'd. Onward, in front, a mountain stream did rise
Up, whose long course the fascinated mind (So apt the scene to awaken wildest themes) Might localize the most romantic dreams.
When winter torrents, by the rain and snow,
Surlily dashing down the hills, were fed, Its mighty mass of waters seem'd to flow
With deafening course precipitous: its bed