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Sustain, thou only canst, the sick of heart;
Then, as we issued from that covert nook, He thus continued, lifting up his eyes To heaven :-“How beautiful this dome of sky; And the vast hills, in fluctuation fixed At thy command, how awful! Shall the Soul, Human and rational, report of thee Even less than these ?- Be mute who will, who can, Yet I will praise thee with impassioned voice : My lips, that may forget thee in the crowd, Cannot forget thee here; where thou hast built, For thy own glory, in the wilderness ! Me didst thou constitute a priest of thine, In such a temple as we now behold Reared for thy presence: therefore, am I bound To worship, here, and every where—as one Not doomed to ignorance, though forced to tread, From childhood up, the ways of poverty ; From unreflecting ignorance preserved, And from debasement rescued.-By thy grace The particle divine remained unquenched ; And, 'mid the wild weeds of a rugged soil, Thy bounty caused to flourish deathless flowers, From paradise transplanted : wintry age Impends; the frost will gather round my heart; If the flowers wither, I am worse than dead ! -Come, labour, when the worn-out frame requires Perpetual sabbath ; come, disease and want ; And sad exclusion through decay of sense ; But leave me unabated trust in thee-And let thy favour, to the end of life, Inspire me with ability to seek Repose and hope among eternal thingsFather of heaven and earth! and I am rich, And will possess my portion in content !
And what are things eternal ?-powers depart," The grey-haired Wanderer stedfastly replied, Answering the question which himself had asked, “ Possessions vanish, and opinions change, And passions hold a fluctuating seat : But, by the storms of circumstance unshaken, And subject neither to eclipse nor wane, Duty exists ;-immutably survive, For our support, the measures and the forms, Which an abstract intelligence supplies; Whose kingdom is, where time and space are not. Of other converse which mind, soul, and heart, Do, with united urgency, require, What more that may not perish ?- Thou, dread
source, Prime, self-existing cause and end of all That in the scale of being fill their place; Above our human region, or below, Set and sustained ;-thou, who didst wrap the cloud Of infancy around us, that thyself, Therein, with our simplicity awhile Might'st hold, on earth, communion undisturbed ; Who from the anarchy of dreaming sleep, Or from its death-like void, with punctual care, And touch as gentle as the morning light, Restor'st us, daily, to the powers of sense And reason's stedfast rule—thou, thou alone Art everlasting, and the blessed Spirits, Which thou includest, as the sea her waves : For adoration thou endur'st ; endure For consciousness the motions of thy will; For apprehension those transcendent truths Of the pure intellect, that stand as laws (Submission constituting strength and power) Even to thy Being's infinite majesty!
This universe shall pass away—a work Glorious! because the shadow of thy might, A step, or link, for intercourse with thee.
Ah! if the time must come, in which my feet
Those fervent raptures are for ever flown; And, since their date, my soul hath undergone Change manifold, for better or for worse: Yet cease I not to struggle, and aspire Heavenward; and chide the part of me that flags, Through sinful choice; or dread necessity On human nature from above imposed. 'Tis, by comparison, an easy task Earth to despise ; but, to converse with heaven This is not easy :-to relinquish all We have, or hope, of happiness and joy, And stand in freedom loosened from this world, I deem not arduous; but must needs confess That 'tis a thing impossible to frame Conceptions equal to the soul's desires; And the most difficult of tasks to keep Heights which the soul is competent to gain.
-Man is of dust : ethereal hopes are his, Which, when they should sustain themselves aloft, Want due consistence; like a pillar of smoke,
That with majestic energy from earth Rises ; but, having reached the thinner air, Melts, and dissolves, and is no longer seen. From this infirmity of mortal kind Sorrow proceeds, which else were not ; at least, If grief be something hallowed and ordained, If, in proportion, it be just and meet, Yet, through this weakness of the general heart, Is it enabled to maintain its hold In that excess which conscience disapproves. For who could sink and settle to that point Of selfishness ; so senseless who could be As long and perseveringly to mourn For any object of his love, removed From this unstable world, if he could fix A satisfying view upon that state Of pure, imperishable, blessedness, Which reason promises, and holy writ Ensures to all believers ? — Yet mistrust Is of such incapacity, methinks, No natural branch; despondency far less; And, least of all, is absolute despair. -And, if there be whose tender frames have drooped Even to the dust ; apparently, through weight Of anguish unrelieved, and lack of power An agonizing sorrow to transmute; Deem not that proof is here of hope withheld When wanted most; a confidence impaired So pitiably, that, having ceased to see With bodily eyes, they are borne down by love Of what is lost, and perish through regret. Oh! no, the innocent Sufferer often sees Too clearly ; feels too vividly; and longs To realize the vision, with intense And over-constant yearning ;-there-there lies
The excess, by which the balance is destroyed.
Here then we rest ; not fearing for our creed