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And vales of bliss : the intellectual power
Bends from his aweful throne a wondering ear,
And smiles : the passions, gently sooth'd away,
Sink to divine repose, and love and joy
Alone are waking ; love and joy serene
As airs that fan the summer. O! attend,
Whoe'er thou art, whom these delights can touch,
Whose candid bosom the refining love
Of Nature warms, O listen to my song ;
And I will guide thee tu her favourite walks,
And teach thy solitude her voice to hear,
And point her loveliest features to thy view.

Know then, whate'er of Nature's pregnant stores,
Whate'er of mimic Art's reflected forms
With love and admiration thus inflame
The powers of fancy, her delighted sons
To three illustrious orders have referr'd;
Three sister-graces, whom the painter's hand,
The poet's tongue, confesses; the sublime,
The wonderful, the fair. I see them dawn!
I see the radiant visions, where they rise,
More lovely than when Lucifer displays
His beaming forehead through the gates of morn,
To lead the train of Phæbus and the Spring.

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 limit of his frame;
But that the Omnipotent might send him forth
In sight of mortal and immortal powers,
As on a boundless theatre, to run
The great career of justice; to exalt

His generous 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 unfaultering, while the voice
Of Truth and Virtue, up the steep ascent
Of Nature, calls him to his high reward, [burns
The applauding smile of Heaven? Else wherefore
In mortal bosoms this unquenched hope,
That breathes from day to day sublimer things,
And mocks possession ? wherefore darts the mind,
With such resistless 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 Heaven's broad fire his unconstrained view,
Than to the glimmering of a waxen flame?
Who that, from Alpine heights, his labouring eye
Shoots round the wide horizon, to survey
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 high-born soul
Disdains to rest her heaven-aspiring wing
Beneath its native quarry. Tir’d of Earth
And this diurnal scene, she springs aloft
Through fields of air ; pursues the flying storm ;
Rides on the vollied lightning through the heavens;
Or, yok'd with whirlwinds and the northern blast,

Sweeps the long tract of day. Then high she soars
The blue profound, and hovering round the Sun
Beholds him 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
Of devious comets ; through 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,
Invest the orient. Now amaz'd she views
The empyreal waste, where happy spirits hold,
Beyond this concave Heaven, their calm abode;
And fields of radiance, whose unfading light
Has travellid the profound six thousand years,
Nor yet arrives in sight of mortal things.
Even on the barriers of the world untir'd
She meditates the 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
Rest at the fated goal. For from the birth
Of mortal man, the sovereign Maker said,
That not in humble nor in brief delight,
Not in the fading echoes of Renown,
Power's purple robes, nor Pleasure's lowery lap,
The soul should find enjoyment: but from these
Turning disdainful to an equal good,
Through all the ascent of things enlarge her view,
Till every bound at length should disappear,
And infinite perfection close the scene.

Call now to mind what high capacious powers Lie folded up in man; how far beyond The praise of mortals, may the 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 blast her spring! Far otherwise design'd Almighty Wisdom; Nature's happy cares The obedient heart far otherwise incline. Witness the sprightly joy when aught unknown Strikes the quick sense, and wakes each active power To brisker measures : witness the neglect Of all familiar prospects, though beheld With transport once; the fond attentive gaze Of young astonishment; the sober zeal Of age, commenting on prodigious things, For such the bounteous Providence of Heaven, In every breast implanting this desire Of objects new, and strange, to urge us on With unremitted labour to pursue Those sacred stores that wait the ripening soul, In Truth's exhaustless bosorn. What need words To paint its power? 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 wild and wondrous tale, From morn to eve; unmindful of her form, Unmindful of the happy dress that stole

The wishes of the youth, when every 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 robb’d the widow, and devour'd
The orphan's portion; of unquiet souls
Risen from the grave to ease the heavy guilt
Of deeds in life conceal’d; of shapes that walk
At dead of night, and clank their chains, and wave
The torch of Hell around the murderer's bed.
At every solemn pause the crowd recoil,
Gazing each other speechless, and congeal'd
With shivering sighs ; till eager for the event,
Around the beldame all erect they hang,
Each trembling heart with grateful terrours quellid.

But lo! disclos’d in all her smiling pomp,
Where Beauty onward moving claims the verse
Her charms inspire : the freely-flowing verse
In thy immortal praise, O form divine,
Smooths her mellifluent stream. Thee, Beauty, thee,
The regal dome, and thy enlivening ray
The mossy roofs adore : thou, better Sun!
For ever beamest on the enchanted heart
Love, and harmonious wonder, and delight
Poetic. Brightest progeny of Heaven !
How shall I trace thy features ? where select
The roseate hues to emulate thy bloom ?
Haste then, my song, through Nature's wide expanse,
Haste then, and gather all lier comeliest wealth,
Whate'er bright spoils the florid earth contains,

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