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You fall at once into a lower key,
And there resume an unembarrass'd brow;
That's worse—the drone-pipe of an humble-bee. Recov'ring what we lost we know not how;
The southern sash admits too strong a light,
The faculties, that seem'd reduc'd to nought,
You rise and drop the curtain—now 't is night. Expression and the privilege of thought.
He shakes with cold-you stir the fire and strive The reeking, roaring hero of the chase,
To make a blaze--that's roasting him alive.
I give him over as a desp’rate case.
Serve him with venison, and he chooses fish ; Physicians write in hopes to work a cure,
With sole-that's just the sort he would not wish. Never, if honest ones, when death is sure;
He takes what he at first profess'd to loath,
And though the fox he follows may be tam'd,
And in due time feeds heartily on both;
A mere fox-foll' wer never is reclaim'd. Yet still, o'erclouded with a constant frown,
Some farrier should prescribe bis proper course, He does not swallow, but he gulps it down.
Whose only fit companion is his horse;
Your hope to please him vain on ev'ry plan,
Or if, deserving of a better doom,
Himself should work that wonder, if he can The noble beast judge otherwise, his groom.
Alas! his efforts double his distress,
Yet ev'n the rogue that serves him, though he stand, He likes yours little, and his own still less.
To take his honour's orders, cap in hand, Thus always teasing others, always teas'd,
Prefers his fellow-grooms with much good sense, His only pleasure is—to be displeas'd.
Their skill a truth, his master's a pretence. I pity bashful men, who feel the pain
If neither horse nor groom affect the squire, Of fancied scorn and undeserv'd disdain,
Where can at last his jockyship retire? And bear the marks upon a blashing face
O to the club, the scene of savage joys, Of needless shame, and self-impos'd disgrace.
The school of coarse good fellowship and noise ; Our sensibilities are so acute,
There, in the sweet society of those, The fear of being silent makes us mute.
Whose friendship from his boyish years he chose, We sometimes think we could a speech produce Let him improve his talent if he can, Much to the purpose, if our tongues were loose; Till none but beasts acknowledge him a man. Bat being tried, it dies upon the lip,
Man's heart had been impenetrably seal'd, Faint as a chicken's note that has the pip:
Like theirs that cleave the flood or graze the field. Our wasted oil unprofitably burns,
Had not his Maker's all-bestowing hand Like hidden lamps in old sepulchral urns.
Giv'n him a soul, and bade him understand; Few Frenchmen of this evil bave complain'd; The reas’ning pow'r vouchsaf'd of course inferr'd It seems as if we Britons were ordain'd,
The pow'r to clothe that reason with his word; By way of wholesome curb upon our pride,
For all is perfect, that God works on earth, To fear each other, fearing none beside.
And he, that gives conception, aids the birth. The cause, perhaps, inquiry may descry,
If this be plain, 't is plainly understood, Self-searching with an introverted eye,
What uses of his boon the giver would. Conceal'd within an unsuspected part,
The Mind, dispatch'd upon her busy toil, The vainest corner of our own vain heart:
Should range where Providence has bless'd the For ever aiming at the world's esteem,
soil; Our self-importance ruins it's own scheme;
Visiting ev'ry flow'r with labour meet, In other eyes our talents rarely shown,
And gath’ring all her treasures sweet by sweet, Become at length so splendid in our own,
She should imbue the tongue with what she sips,? We dare not risk them into public view,
And shed the balmy blessing on the lips, Lest they miscarry of what seems their due.
That good diffus'd may more abundant grow, True modesty is a discerning grace,
And speech may praise the pow'r that bids it flow. And only blushes in the proper place;
Will the sweet warbler of the livelong night, But counterfeit is blind, and skulks through fear, That fills the list ning lover with delight, Where 't is a shame to be asham'd t'appear;
Forget his harmony, with rapture heard, Humility the parent of the first,
To learn the twitt'ring of a meaner bird ? The last by Vanity prodac'd and nurs'd.
Or make the parrot's mimicry his choice, The circle form’d, we sit in silent state,
That odious libel on a human voice ? Like figures drawn upon a dial-plate ;
No-Nature, unsophisticate by man, • Yes, ma'am,” and “ No, ma'am," utter'd softly Starts not aside from her Creator's plan; show
The melody that was at first design'd Ev'ry five minntes how the minutes go;
To cheer the rude forefathers of mankind, Each individual suff'ring a constraint
Is note for note deliver'd in our ears, Poetry may, but colours cannot paint,
In the last scene of her six thousand years. As if in close committee on the sky,
Yet Fashion, leader of a chatt'ring train, Reports it hot or cold, or wet or dry;
Whom man for his own hurt permits to reign, And finds a changing clime a happy source
Who shifts and changes all things bat his shape, Of wise reflection, and well-tim'd discourse.
And would degrade her votry to an ape, We next inqnire, but softly and by stealth,
The fruitful parent of abuse and wrong, Like conservators of the public health,
Holds a usurp'd dominion o'er his tongue ; Of epidemic throats, if such there are,
There sits and prompts him with his own disgrace, And coughs, and rheums, and phthisic, and catarrh. Prescribes the theme, the tone, and the grimace, That theme exhausted, a wide chasm ensues,
And, when accomplish'd in her wayward school, Fill'd up at last with interesting news,
Calls gentleman whom she has made a fool.
Who danc'd with whom, and who are like to wed, 'T is an unalterable fix'd decree,
And who is hang’d, and who is brought to bed : That none could frame or ratify but she,
But fear to call a more important cause,
That Heav'n and Hell, and righteousness and sin, As if 't were treason against English laws.
Snares in his path, and foes that lark within, The visit paid, with ecstasy we come,
God and his attributes, (a field of day As from a sev'n years' transportation, home,
Where 't is an angel's happiness to stray,)
Fruits of his love and wonders of his might,
Found bim as prompt, as their desire was true, Be never nam'd in ears esteen'd polite.
To spread the new-born glories in their view. That he who dares, when she forbids, be grave,
Well-what are ages and the lapse of time Shall stand proscrib'd a madman or a knave,
Match'd against truths, as lasting as sublime ? A close designer not to be believ'd,
Can length of years on God himself exact, Or, if excus'd that charge, at least deceiv'd..
Or make that fiction, which was once a fact? Oh folly worthy of the nurse's lap,
No-marble and recording brass decay, Give it the breast, or stop its mouth with pap!
And like the graver's mem'ry pass away ; Is it incredible, or can it seem 1
The works of man inherit, as is just, A dream to any, except those that dream,
Their author's frailty, and return to dust : That man should love his Maker, and that fire,
But truth divine for ever stands secure, Warming his heart, should at his lips transpire?
It's head is guarded as it's base is sure; Know then, and modestly let fall your eyes,
Fix'd in the rolling flood of endless years, And veil your daring crest that braves the skies;
The pillar of th' eternal plan appears, That air of insolence affronts your God,
The raving storm and dashing wave defies, You need his pardon, and provoke his rod:
Built by that architect, who built the skies. Now, in a posture that becomes you more
Hearts may be found, that harbour at this honr, Than that heroic strut assum'd before,
That love of Christ, and all it's quick’ning pow'r ; Know, your arrears with ev'ry hour accrue
And lips unstain'd by folly or by strife, For mercy shown, while wrath is justly due.
Whose wisdom, drawn from the deep well of life, The time is short, and there are souls on earth, Tastes of it's healthful origin, and flows Though future pain may serve for present mirth,
A Jordan for th' ablution of our woes. Acquainted with the woes, that fear or shame, O days of Heav'n and nights of equal praise, By Fashion tanght, forbade them once to name, Serene and peaceful as those heav'nly days, And, having felt the pangs you deem a jest,
When souls drawn upwards in communion sweet Have prov'd them traths too big to be express'd. Enjoy the stillness of some close retreat, Go seek on Revelation's hallow'd ground,
Discourse, as if releas’d and safe at home,
Sure to succeed, the remedy they found;
Of dangers past, and wonders yet to come,
Touch'd by that pow'r that you have dar'd to mock, And spread the sacred treasures of the breast
That makes seas stable, and dissolves the rock, Upon the lap of covenanted Rest.
Your heart shall yield a life-renewing stream,
“ What, always dreaming over heav'nly things, That fools, as you have done, shall call a dream. Like angel-heads in stone with pigeon-wings? It happen'd on a solemn even-tide,
Canting and whining out all day the word, Soon after He that was our Surety died,
And half the night? fanatic and absurd ! Two bosom friends each pensively inclin'd,
Mine be the friend less frequent in his pray’rs, The scene of all those sorrows left behind,
Who makes no bustle with his soul's affairs, Sought their own village, busied as they went
Whose wit can brighten up a wintry day, In musings worthy of the great event:
And chase the splenetic dull hours away; They spake of him they lov’d, of him whose life, Content on earth in earthly things to shine, Though blameless, had incurrid perpetual strife, Who waits for Heav'n ere he becomes divine, Whose deeds bad left, in spite of hostile arts,
Leaves saints ť enjoy those altitudes they teach, A deep memorial graven on their hearts.
And placks the fruit plac'd more within his The recollection, like a vein of ore,
reach." The farther trac'd, enrich'd them still the more;
Well spoken, Advocate of sin and shame, They thought him, and they justly thought him, one Known by thy bleating, Ignorance thy name. Sent to do more than he appear'd t' have done; Is sparkling wit the World's exclusive right? Texalt a people, and to place them high
The fix'd fee-simple of the vain and light? Above all else, and wonder'd he should die.
Can hopes of Heav'n, bright prospects of an hour, Ere yet they brought their journey to an end, That come to waft us out of Sorrow's pow'r, A stranger join'd them, courteous as a friend,
Obscure or quench a faculty, that finds And ask'd them with a kind engaging air
It's happiest soil in the serenest minds? What their affliction was, and begg'd a share.
Religion curbs indeed it's wanton play, Inform’d, he gather'd up the broken thread,
And brings the trifler ander rig’rous sway, And, truth and wisdom gracing all he said,
But gives it usefulness unknown before
Explain'd, illustrated, and search'd so well
And, purifying, makes it shine the more.
The tender theme, on which they chose to dwell, A Christian's wit is inoffensive light,
That reaching home, “ The night,” they said, “ is A beam that aids, but never grieves the sight;
Vig'rous in age as in the flush of youth,
We must not now be parted, sojourn here."
'T is always active on the side of truth; The new acquaintance soon became a guest,
Temp'rance and peace insure it's healthful state. And, made so welcome at their simple feast,
And make it brightest at it's latest date.
He bless'd the bread, but vanish'd at the word, Oh I have seen (nor hope perhaps in vain,
And left them both exclaiming, “ 'T was the Lord ! Ere life go down, to see such sights again)
Did not our hearts feel all he deign’d to say,
A vetran warrior in the Christian field,
Did they not burn within us by the way ?”
Who never saw the sword he could not wield; Now theirs was converse, such as it behoves Grave without dulness, learned without pride, Man to maintain, and such as God approves :
Exact, yet not precise, though meek, keen-ey'd ; Their views indeed were indistinct and dim,
A man that would have foil'd at their own play But yet successful, being aim'd at him.
A dozen would-bes of the modern day; Christ and his character their only scope,
Who, when occasion justified it's use, Their object, and their subject, and their hope, Had wit as bright as ready to produce, They felt what it became them much to feel,
Could fetch from records of an earlier age, And, wanting him to loose the sacred seal,
Or from philosophy's enlighten'd page,
His rich materials, and regale your ear
With strains it was a privilege to hear:
Yet above all his luxury supreme,
And his chief glory was the Gospel theme;
There he was copious as old Greece or Rome,
His happy eloquence seem'd there at home,
Ambitious not to shine, or to excel,
But to treat justly what he lov'd so well.
It moves me more perhaps than folly ought,
When some green heads, as void of wit as
thought, Suppose themselves monopolists of sense, And wiser men's ability pretence. Though time will wear us, and we must grow old, Such men are not forgot as soon as cold, Their fragrant mem'ry will outlast their tomb, Embalm'd for ever in it's own perfume. And to say truth, though in it's early prime, And when unstain'd with any grosser crime, Youth has a sprightliness and fire to boast, That in the valley of decline are lost, And Virtue with peculiar charms appears, Crown'd with the garland of life's blooming years; Yet Age, by long experience well inform’d, Well read, well temper'd, with religion warm’d, That fire abated, which impels rash youth, Proud of his speed, to overshoot the truth, As time improves the grape's authentic juice, Mellows and makes the speech more fit for use, And claims a rev'rence in it's short'ning day, That 't is an honour and a joy to pay. The fruits of Age, less fair, are yet more sound, Than those a brighter season pours around; And, like the stores autumnal suns mature, Through wintry rigours unimpair'd endure.
What is fanatic phrenzy, scorn’d so much, And dreaded more than a contagious touch? I grant it dang'rous, and approve your fear, That fire is catching, if you draw too near; But sage observers oft mistake the flame, And give true piety that odious name. To tremble (as the creature of an hour Ought at the view of an almighty Pow'r) Before his presence, at whose aweful throne All tremble in all worlds, except our own, To supplicate his mercy, love his ways, And prize them above pleasure, wealth, or praise, Though common sense, allow'd a casting voice, And free from bias, must approve the choice, Convicts a man fanatic in th' extreme, And wild as madness in the world's esteem. But that disease, when soberly defin'd, Is the false fire of an o'erheated mind; It views the truth with a distorted eye, And either warps or lays it useless by ; T is narrow, selfislı, arrogant, and draws It's sordid nourishment from man's applause And while at heart sin unrelinquish'd lies, Presumes itself chief fav'rite of the skies. 'T is such a light as putrefaction breeds In fly-blown flesh, whereon the maggot feeds, Shines in the dark, but, usher'd into day, The stench remains, the lustre dies away.
True bliss, if man may reach it, is coinpos'd Of hearts in union mutually disclosd; And, farewell else all hope of pare delight, Those hearts should be reclaim'd, renew'd, upright. Bad men profaning friendship’s hallow'd name, Form in it's stead, a covenant of shame, A dark confed'racy against the laws Of virtue, and religion's glorious cause: They build each other ap with dreadful skill, As bastions set point blank against God's will:
Enlarge and fortify the dread redoubt,
Deeply resolv'd to shut a Saviour out ;
Call legions up from Hell to back the deed;
And, curs'd with conquest, finally succeed.
But souls that carry on a blest exchange
Of joys, they meet with in their heav'nly range,
And with a fearless confidence make known
The sorrows, sympathy esteems its own,
Daily derive increasing light and force
From such communion in their pleasant course,
Feel less the journey's roughness and its length,
Meet their opposers with united strength,
And, one in heart, in intrest, and design,
Gird up each other to the race divine.
But conversation, choose what theme we may,
And chiefly when religion leads the way,
Should flow, like waters after suinmer show'rs,
Not as if rais'd by mere mechanic pow'rs.
The Christian, in whose soul, though now dis
Lives the dear thought of joys he once possessid,
When all his glowing language issu'd forth
With God's deep stamp upon it's current worth,
Will speak without disguise, and must impart,
Sad as it is, his undissembling heart,
Abhors constraint, and dares not feign a zeal,
Or seem to boast a fire he does not feel.
The song of Sion is a tasteless thing,
Unless, when rising on a joyful wing,
The soul can mix with the celestial bands,
And give the strain the compass it demands.
Strange tidings these to tell a World, who treat
All but their own experience as deceit!
Will they believe, though credulous enough,
To swallow much upon much weaker proof,
That there are blest inhabitants of earth,
Partakers of a new ethereal birth,
Their hopes, desires, and purposes estrang'd
From things terrestrial, and divinely chang'd,
Their very language of a kind, that speaks
The soul's sure intrest in the good she seeks,
Who deal with Scripture, it's importance telt,
As Tully with philosophy once dealt,
And in the silent watches of the night,
And through the scenes of toil-renewing light,
T'he social walk, or solitary ride,
Keep still the dear companion at their side?
No-shame upon a self-disgracing age,
God's work may serve an ape upon a stage
With such a jest, as fill'd with hellish glee
Certain invisibles as shrewd as he;
But veneration or respect finds none,
Save from the subjects of that work alone.
The World grown old her deep discernment shows,
Claps spectacles on her sagacious nose,
Peruses closely the true Christian's face,
And finds it a mere mask of sly grimace;
Usurps God's office, lays his bosom bare,
And finds hypocrisy close lurking there;
And, serving God herself through mere constraint,'
Concludes his unfeign'd love of him a feint.
And yet, God knows, look human nature throngh,
(And in due time the world shall know it too,)
That since the flow'rs of Eden felt the blast,
That after man's defection laid all waste,
Sincerity tow'rds the heart-searching God
Has made the new-born creature her abode,
Nor shall be found in unregen'rate souls,
Till the last fire burn all between the Poles.
Sincerity! why 't is his only pride,
Weak and imperfect in all grace beside,
He knows that God demands his heart entire,
And gives him all his just demands require.
Without it his pretensions were as vain,
As having it be deems the world's disdain ;
That great defect would cost hinn not alone
Man's favourable judgment, but his own;
His birthright shaken, and no longer clear,
Than while his conduct proves his heart sincere.
Retort the charge, and let the world be told
She boasts a confidence she does not hold;
That, conscious of her crimes, she feels instead
A cold misgiving, and a killing dread :
That while in health the ground of her support
Is madly to forget that life is short;
That sick she trembles, knowing she must die,
Her hope presumption, and her faith a lie;
That while she dotes, and dreams that she believes,
She mocks her Maker, and herself deceives,
Her utmost reach, historical assent,
The doctrines warp'd to what they never meant;
That truth itself is in her head as dull
And useless as a candle in a scull,
And all her love of God a groundless claim,
A trick upon the canvass, painted flame.
Tell her again, the sneer upon her face,
And all her censures of the work of grace,
Are insincere, meant only to conceal
A dread she would not, yet is forc'd to feel;
That in her heart the Christian she reveres,
And while she seems to scorn him, only fears.
A poét does not work by square or line,
As smiths and joiners perfect a design ;
At least we moderns, our attention less,
Beyond th' example of our sires digress,
And claim a right to scamper and run wide,
Wherever chance, caprice, or fancy guide.
The World and I fortuitously met;
I ow'd a trifle and have paid the debt;
She did me wrong, I recompens'd the deed,
And, having struck the balance, now proceed.
Perhaps however as some years have pass’d,
Since she and I convers’d together last,
And I have liv'd recluse, in rural shades,
Which seldom a distinct report pervades,
Great changes and new manners have occurr'd,
And blest reforms, that I have never heard,
And she may now be as discreet and wise,
As once absurd in all discerning eyes.
Sobriety perhaps may now be found,
Where once Intoxication press'd the ground;
The subtle and injurious may be just,
And he grown chaste, that was the slave of lust;
Arts once esteem'd may be with shame dismiss'd;
Charity may relax the miser's fist;
The gamester may have cast his cards away,
Forgot to curse, and only kneel to pray.
It has indeed been told me (with what weight,
How credibly, 't is hard for me to state)
That fables old, that seem'd for ever mute,
Reviv'd are bast'ning into fresh rępnte,
And gods and goddesses, discarded long
Like useless lumber, or a stroller's song,
Are bringing into vogne their heathen train,
And Jupiter bids fair to rule again ;
That certain feasts are instituted now,
Where Venus hears the lover's tender vow;
That all Olympus through the country roves,
To consecrate our few remaining groves,
And Echo learns politely to repeat
The praise of names for ages obsolete ;
That having prov'd the weakness, it should seem,
Of Revelation's ineffectual beam,
To bring the passions under sober sway,
And give the moral springs their proper play,
They mean to try what may at last be done,
By stout substantial gods of wood and stone,
And whether Roman rites may not produce
The virtues of old Rome for English use.
May such success attend the pious plan,
May Mercury once more embellish man,
Grace him again with long forgotten arts,
Reclaim his taste, and brighten up his parts,
Make him athletic as in days of old,
Learn'd at the bar, in the palæstra bold,
Divest the rougher sex of female airs,
And teach the softer not to copy theirs :
The change shall please, nor shall it matter ought
Who works the wonder, if it be but wrought.
'T is time, however, if the case stands thus,
For us plain folks, and all who side with us,
To build our altar, confident and bold,
And say as stern Elijah said of old,
The strife now stands upon a fair award,
If Israel's Lord be God, then serve the Lord :
If he be silent, faith is all a whim,
Then Baal is the God, and worship him.
Digression is so much in modern use,
Thought is so rare, and fancy so profuse,
Some never seem so wide of their intent,
As when returning to the theme they meant;
As mendicants, whose business is to roam,
Make ev'ry parish but their own their home.
Though such continual zig-zags in a book,
Such drunken reelings have an awkward look,
And I had rather creep to what is true,
Than rove and stagger with no mark in view;
Yet to consult a little, seem'd no crime,
The freakish humour of the present time:
But now to gather up what seems dispers’d,
And touch the subject I design’d at first,
May prove, though much beside the rules of art,
Best for the public, and my wisest part.
And first let no man charge me, that I mean
To close in sable ev'ry social scene,
And give good company a face severe,
As if they met around a father's bier;
For tell some men, that pleasure all their bent,
And laughter all their work, is life mis-spent,
Their wisdom bursts into this sage reply,
“ Then mirth is sin, and we should always cry."
To find the medium asks some share of wit,
And therefore 't is a mark fools never hit:
But though life's valley be a vale of tears,
A brighter scene beyond that vale appears,
Whose glory with a light, that never fades,
Shoots between scatter'd rocks and op'ning shades,
And, while it shows the land the soul desires,
The language of the land she seeks inspires.
Thus touch'd, the tongue receives a sacred cure
Of all that was absurd, profane, impure;
Held within modest bounds, the tide of speech
Pursues the course that Truth and Nature teach;
No longer labours merely to produce
The pomp of sound, or tinkle without use :
Where'er it winds, the salutary stream,
Sprightly and fresh, enriches ev'ry theme,
While all the happy man possess'd before,
The gift of Nature, or the classic store,
Is made subservient to the grand design,
For which Heav'n form'd the faculty divine.
So should an idiot, while at large he strays,
Find the sweet lyre, on which an artist plays,
With rash and awkward force the chord he shakes,
And grins with wonder at the jar he makes ;
But let the wise and well-instructed hand
Once take the shell beneath his just command,
In gentle sounds it seems as it complain'd
Of the rude injuries it late sustain'd,
Till tund at length to some immortal song,
It sounds Jehovah's name, and pours his praise along.
studiis florens ignobilis otỉ.
VIRG. Georg. lib. iv.
HACKNEY'D in business, wearied at that oar,
Which thousands, once fast chain'd to, quit no more,
But which, when life at ebb runs weak and low,
All wish, or seem to wish, they could forego;
The statesman, lawyer, merchant, man of trade,
Pants for the refuge of some rural shade,
Where, all his long anxieties forgot
Amid the charms of a sequester'd spot,
Or recollected only to gild o'er,
And add a smile to what was sweet before,
He may possess the joys he thinks he sees,
Lay his old age upon the lap of Ease,
Improve the remnant of his wasted span,
And, having liv'd a trifler, die a man.
Thus Conscience pleads her cause within the breast,
Though long rebelld against, not yet suppress'd,
And calls a creature form'd for God alone,
For Heav'n's high purposes, and not his own,
Calls him away from selfish ends and aims,
From what debilitates, and what inflames,
From cities humming with a restless crowd,
Sordid as active, ignorant as loud,
Whose highest praise is that they live in vain,
The dupes of pleasure, or the slaves of gain,
Where works of man are cluster'd close around,
And works of God are hardly to be found,
To regions where, in spite of sin and woe,
Traces of Eden are still seen below,
Where monntain, river, forest, field, and grove,
Remind him of his Maker's pow'r and love.
'T is well if, look'd for at so late a day,
In the last scene of such a senseless play,
True wisdom will attend his feeble call,
And grace his action ere the curtain fall.
Souls, that have long despis'd their heav'nly birth,
Their wishes all impregnated with Earth,
For threescore years employ'd with ceaseless care
In catching smoke and feeding upon air,
Conversant only with the ways of man,
Rarely redeem the short remaining ten.
Invetrate habits choke th' unfruitful heart,
Their fibres penetrate it's tend'rest part,
And, draining it's nutricious pow'rs to feed
Their noxious growth, starve ev'ry better seed.
Happy, if full of days—but happier far,
If, ere we yet discern life's ev'ning star,
Sick of the service of a world, that feeds
It's patient drudges with dry chaff and weeds,
We can escape from Custom's idiot sway,
To serve the sov’reign we were born tobey.
Then sweet to muse upon his skill display'd
(Infinite skill) in all that he has made !
To trace in Nature's most minute design
The signature and stamp of power divine,
Contrivance intricate, express'd with ease,
Where unassisted sight no beauty sees,
The shapely limb and lubricated joint,
Within the small dimensions of a point,
Mascle and nerve miraculously spun,
His mighty work, who speaks and it is done,
Th’invisible in things scarce seen reveal'd,
To whom an atom is an ample field ;
To wonder at a thousand insect forms,
These hatch'd and those resuscitated worms,
New life ordain'd and brighter scenes to share,
Once prone on earth, now buoyant upon air, (size,
Whose shape would make them, had they bulk and
More hideous foes than fancy can devise;
With helmet-heads, and dragon-scales adorn'd,
The mighty myriads, now securely scorn'd,
Would mock the majesty of man's high birth,
Despise his bulwarks, and unpeople earth :
Then with a glance of fancy to survey,
Far as the faculty can stretch a way,
Ten thousand rivers pour'd at his command
From urns, that never fail, through ev'ry land;
These like a deluge with impetuous force,
Those winding modestly a silent course;
The cloud-surmounting Alps, the fruitful vales;
Seas, on which ev'ry nation spreads her sails;
The Sun, a world whence other worlds drink light,
The crescent Moon, the diadem of night;
Stars countless, each in his appointed place,
Fast anchord in the deep abyss of space
At such a sight to catch the poet's flame,
And with a rapture like his own exclaim,
“ These are thy glorious works, thou source of good,
How dimly seen, how faintly understood !
Thine, and upheld by thy paternal care,
This universal frame, thus wondrous fair ;
Thy pow'r divine, and bounty beyond thought,
Ador'd and prais'd in all that thou hast wrought.
Absorb'd in that immensity I see,
I shrink abas'd, and yet aspire to thee;
Instruct me, guide me to that heav'nly day,
Thy words, more clearly than thy works, display,
That, while thy truths my grosser thoughts refine,
may resemble thee, and call thee mine."
O blest proficiency! surpassing all,
That men erroneously their glory call,
The recompense that arts or arms can yield,
The bar, the senate, or the tented field.
Compard with this sublimest life below,
Ye kings and rulers, what have courts to show ?
Thus studied, us'd and consecrated thus,
On earth what is, seems form'd indeed for us :
Not as the plaything of a froward child,
Fretful unless diverted and beguild,
Much less to feed and fan the fatal fires
Of pride, ambition, or impure desires,
But as a scale, by which the soul ascends
From mighty means to more important ends,
Securely, though by steps but rarely trod,
Mounts from inferior beings up to God,
And sees by no fallacious light or dim,
Earth made for man, and man himself for him.
Not that I mean t approve, or would enforce
A superstitious and monastic course:
Truth is not local, God alike pervades
And fills the world of traffic and the shades,
And may be fear'd amidst the busiest scenes,
Or scorn'd where business never intervenes.
But 't is not easy with a mind like ours,
Conscious of weakness in it's noblest pow'rs,