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She led o'er vales and mountains, to explore
What healing virtue swells the tender veins
Of herbs and flow'rs; or what the beams of morn
Draw forth, distilling from the clifted rind
In balmy tears. But some to ligher hopes
Were destin'd: some within a finer mould
She wrought and temper'd with a purer flame.
To these the Sire Omnipotent unfolds
The world's larmonious volume, there to read
The transcript of himself. On ev'ry part
They trace the bright impressions of Ins hand;
In earth, or air, the meadow's purple stores,
The moon's mild radiance, or the virgin's form
Blooming with rosy smiles, they see portray'd
That uncreated Beauty which delights
The Mind supreme. They also feel her charms,
Enamour'd : they partake th' eternal joy.

AKENSIDE

CHAP. XXXI.

GREATNESS.

SAY, why was man so eminently rais'd
Amid the vast creation? why ordain'd
Through life and death to dart his piercing eye,
With thoughts beyond the limits of his frame?
But that th' Omnipotent might send him forth,
In sight of mortal and immortal pow'rs,
As on a boundless theatre, to run
The great career of justice; to exalt
His gen'rous aim to all diviner deeds ;
To chase each partial purpose from his breast;
And through the mists of passion and of sense,
And through the tossing tide of chance and pain,
To hold his course unfalt'ring, while the voice
Of Truth and Virtue, up the steep ascent
Of Nature, calls him to his high reward,
Th' applauding smile of Heav'n. Else wherefore burn's
in mortal bosoms this unquenched hope,
That breathes from day to day sublimer things,

And mocks possession? Wherefore darts the mind,
With sucir resistless ardour to embrace
Majestic forms; impatient to be free
Spurning the gross control of wilful might ;
Proud of the strong contention of her toils ; 1.4
Proud to be daring? Who but rather turns :
To Heav'n's broad fire his unconstrained view,
Than to the glimm’ring of a waxen flame!
Who that from Alpine heights his lab'ring eye
Shoots round the wide hicrizon, to survev v primer
Nilus, or Ganges, rolling his bright wave
Through mountains, plains, through empires black with

shade,
And continents of sand, will turn his

gaze,
To mark the windings of a scanty rill,
That murmurs at his feet? The bigh-born soul
Disdains to rest her Heav'n-aspiring wing
Beneath it's native quarry. Tird of earth
And this diurval scene, she springs aloft
Through fields of air ; pursues the flying storm;
Rides on the volley'd lightning through the leav'ns ;
Or yok'd with whirlwinds and the northern blas:
Sweeps the long tract of day. Then high she soars
The blue profound, and hov'ring round the Sun,
Beholds bim pouring the redundant stream
Of light; beholds his unrelenting sway
Bend the reluctant planets to absolve
The fated rounds of time. Thence far effus'd
She darts her swiftness up the long career
Oi devious comets ; through it's burn.ng signs,
Exulting, measures the perennial wheel
Of Nature, and looks back on all the stars,
Whose bleuded light as with a milky zone
Invests the orient. Now amaz'd she views
Th' empyreal waste, where happy spirits hold,
Beyond this concave Heav'n, their calm abode;.
And fields of radiance, whose unfadivg light
Has travelld the profound six thousand years,
Nor yet arrives in sight of mortal things.
Ev'n on the barriers of the world untir'e
She meditates th' eternal depth below;

Till, half recoiling, down the headlong steep
She plunges; soen o’erwhelm’d and swallow'd up
In that immense of being. There her hopes
Rest at the fated goal. For from the birth
Of mortal inan, the sov'reign Maker said,
That not in humble nor in brief delight,
Not in the fading echoes of renown,
Pow'r's purple robes, nor Pleasure's flow'ry lap,
The soul should find enjoyment : but from these
Turning disdainful to an equal good,
Through all th' ascent of things enlarge her view,
Till ev'ry bound at length should disappear,
And infinite perfection close the scene. AKENSIDE.

CHAP. XXXII.

NOVELTY.

Call now to mind what high capacious pow'rs
Lie folded up in man: how far beyond
The praise of mortals may th' eternal growth
Of nature to perfection half divine
Expand the blooming soul! What pity then
Should sloth's unkindly fogs depress to earth
Her tender blossom, choke the streams of life,
And biast her spring! Far otherwise design'd
Alnsighty Wisdom; Nature's happy cares
Th' obedient heart fan otherwise incline.
Witness the sprightly joy, when aught unknown
Strikes the quick sense, and wakes each active pow'r
To brisker measures : witness the neglect
Of all familiar prospects, though beheld
With transport once; the fond attentive gaze
OS
young

astonishment; the soher zeal
Of age, commenting on prodigious things.
For such the bounteous providence of Heav'n,
In ev'ry breast implanting this desire
Of objects new and strauge, to urge us on,
With unremitted labour to pursue

Those sacred stores, that wait the rip'ning soul
In Truth's exhaustless bosom. Wbat need words
To paint it's pow'r? For this, the daring youth
Breaks from his weeping mother's anxious arms,
In foreign climes to rove; the pensive sage,
Heedless of sleep, or midnight's harmful damp,
Hangs o'er the sickly taper; and untir'd
The virgin follows, with enchanted step,
The mazes of some wise and wondrous tale,
From morn to eve, unmindful of her form,
Unmindful of the happy dress that stole
The wishes of the youth, when ev'ry maid
With envy pin'd. Hence finally by night
The village matron, round the blazing hearth,
Suspends the infant audience with her tales,
Breathing astonishment! of witching rhymes
And evil spirits ; of the death-bed call
Of him who robò'd the widow, and devour'd
The orphan's portion; of unquiet souls
Ris’n from the grave to ease the heavy guilt
Of deeds in life conceald ; of shapes that walk
At dead of night, and clank their chains, and wave
The torch of Hell around the murd'rer's bed.
At ev'ry solemn pause the crowd recoil,
Gazing each other speechless, and congeald
With shiv'ring sighs: till cager for th’ event,
Around the beldam all erect they hang,
Each trenibling heart with grateful terrours quell'd.

AKENSIDE.

CHAP. XXXIII.

PHILANTHROPY.

When erst Contagion, with mephitic breath,
And wither'd Famine, urg'd the work of death :
Marseilles' good bishop, London's gen'rous mayor,
With food and faith, with med'cine and with pray’r,
Raisd the weak head, and stay'd the parting sigh,
Or with new life relum'd the swimming eye.

And now, Philanthropy! thy rays divine
Dart round the globe from Zembla to the line ;
O'er each dark prison plays the cheering light,
Like northern lustres o'er the vault of night. -
From realm to realm, with cross or crescent crown'd,
Where'er mankind and misery are found,
O’er burning sands, deep waves, or wilds of snow,
Thy Howard journ'ying seeks the house of Wo.
Down many a winding step to dungeons rank,
Where Anguish wails aloud, and fetters clairk;
To caves bestrew'd with many a mould'ring bone,
And cells, whose echoes only learn to groan ;
Where no kind bars a wbisp'ring friend disclose,
No sunbeam enters, and no zephyr blows,
He treads, inemulous of fame or wealth,
Profuse of toil, and prodigal of health ;
With soft assuasive eloquence expands
Pow'r's rigid heart, and opes his clenching hands ;
Leads stern-ey'd Justice to the dark domains,
If not to sever, to relax the chains ;
Or guides awaken'd Mercy through the gloom,
And shows the prison sister to the tomb
Gives to lier babes the self-devoted wife,
To her fond husband liberty and life !-
-The spirits of the good, who bend from high
Wide o'er these earthly scenes their partial eye,
When first, array'd in Virtue's purest robe,
They saw her Howard traversing the globe;
Saw round his brows her sunlike glory blaze
In
arrowy

circles of unwearied rays ;
Mistook a mortal for an angel guest,
And ask'd what seraph foot the earth impress'd.
Onward he movos Disease and Death retire,
- And murm’ring demons hate hiin, and adnaire.

DARWIN

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