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Pour every lustre on th' exalted eye.
A friend, a book, the fealing hours secure,
And mark them down for wisdom. With swift wing,
O'er land and sea th' imagination roams;
Or truth, divinely breaking on his mind,
Elates his being, and unfolds his powers; ,
Or in his breast heroic virtue burns.
The touch of kindred too and love he feels;
The modeft eye, whose beams on his alone
Extatic shine; the little strong embrace
Of prattling children, twist around his neck,
And emulous to please him, calling forth
The fond parental foul. Nor purpose gay,
Amusement, dance, or song, he sternly scorns ;
For happiness and true philosophy
Are of the social, still, and smiling kind.
This is the life which those who fret in guilt,
And guilty cities, never knew; the life,
Led by primeval ages, uncorrupt,
When Angels dwelt, and God himself, with man!
CH A P. XXIX.
G E N 1 v s.. FROM heav'n my strains begin ; from heav'n descends I The Aame of genius to the human breaft, And love and beauty, and poetic joy And inspiration. Ere the radiant sun Sprang from the east, or 'mid the vault of night The moon suspended her serener lamp; Ere mountains, woods, or streams adornd the globe,
Or wisdom taught the sons of men her lore; .
Then liv'd th' almighty One: then deep retir'd
In his unfathom'd effence, view'd the forms,
The forms eternal of created things; .
The radiant sun, the moon's nocturnal lamp,
The mountains; woods and streams, the rolling globe,
And wisdom's mien celestial. From the first
Of days, on them his love divine he fix'd,
His admiration : till in time compleat,
What he admir’d, and lov’d, his vital smile
Unfolded into being. Hence the breath
Of life informing each organic frame,
Hence the green earth, and wild resounding waves ;
Hence light and shade alternate; warmth and cold;
And clear autumnal skies and yernal show'rs,
And all the fair variety of things.
But not alike to every mortal eye
Is this great scene unveild. For since the claims
Of social life, to diff'rent labours urge
The active pow'rs of man; with wise intent
The hand of nature on peculiar minds
Imprints a different bias, and to each
Decrees its province in the common toil.
To some le taught the fabric of the sphere,
The changeful moon, the circuit of the stars,
The golden zones of heav'n: to some she gave
To weigh the moment of eternal things,
Of time, and space, and fate's unbroken chain,
And will's quick impulse : others by the hand
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, diftilling from the clifted rind
In balmy tears. But some, to higher 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 harmonious volume, there to read
The transcript of himself. On every part
They trace the bright impressions of his hand :
In earth, or air, the meadow's purple stores,
The moon's mild radiance, or the virgin's form
Blooming with rofy smiles, they see pourtray'd
That uncreated beauty, which delights
The Mind fupreme. They also feel her charms,
Enamour'd; they partaks th' eternal joy.
CH A P. XXX.
GRE A T N E S S.
GAY, why was man so eminently rais'd
D Amid the vast creation; why ordain'd
Thro’ life and death to dart his piercing eye,
With thoughts beyond the limit of his frame;
But that th' Omnipotent might send him forth
In fight 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 3
And thro' the mifts of passion and of sense,
And thro' the tossing tide of chance and pain,
To hold his course unfault'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 burns In mortal bofoms this unquenched hope, That breathes from day to day sublimer things, And mocks possession : Wherefore darts the mind, With such refiftlefs ardour to embrace Majestic forms; impatient to be free, Spurning the gross controul of wilful might; Proud of the strong contention of her toils; Proud to be daring? Who but rather turns To Heav'n's broad fire his unconstrained view, Than to the glimmering of a waxen flame? Who that, from Alpine heights, his lab'ring eye Shoots round the wild horizon, to survey Nilus or Ganges rolling his bright wave Thro'mountains, plains, thro’ empires black with shade; And continents of sand! will turn his gaze To mark the windings of a scanty rilli That murmurs at his feet? The high-born soul Disdains to rest her heav'n-aspiring wing Beneath its native quarry. Tir’d of earth And this diurnal scene, she springs aloft Thro' fields of air ; pursues the flying storm; Rides on the volley'd lightning thro' the heav'ns ; Or yok'd with whirlwinds and the northern blast, Sweeps the long tract of day. Then high she foars The blue profound, and hovering round the sun Beholds him pouring the redundant ftream 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
Of devious comets; thro' its burning signs
Exulting measures the perennial wheel
Of nature, and looks back on all the stars,
Whose blended light, as with a milky zone,
Invests the orient. Now amaz’d the views
Th’empyreal waste, where happy spirits hold,
Beyond this concave heav'n, their calm abode;
And fields of radiance, whose unfading light
Has travell’d the profound fix thousand years,
Nor yet arrives in sight of mortal things.
Ev'n on the barriers of the world untir'd
She meditates th' eternal depth below;
Till, half recoiling, down the headlong steep
She plunges; soon o’erwhelm’d and swallow'd up
In that immense of being. There her hopes
Reft at the fated goal. For from the birth
Cf mortal man, the fovereign 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 foul should find enjoyment: but from these
Turning disdainful to an equal good,
Thro’ all th' ascent of things enlarge her view,
Till every bound at length mould disappear,
And infinite perfection close the fcene.