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Book VI. I

0 Sion an assembly such as earth
Saw never, such as heaven stoops down to see.
Thus heaven-ward all things tend. For all were
Perfect, and all must be at length restored. [once
So God has greatly purposed; who would else
In his #. works himself endure
I)ishonour, and be wrong'd without redress.
Haste then, and wheel away a shatter'd world,
Ye slow revolving seasons ! we would see
(A sight to which our eyes are strangers yet)
A world that does not dread and hate his laws,
And suffer for its crime; would learn how fair
The creature is that God pronounces good,
How pleasant in itself what pleases him.
Here every drop of honey hides a sting;
Worms wind themselves into our sweetest flowers;
And even the joy, that haply some poor heart -
Derives from heaven, puré as the fountain is,
Is sullied in the stream, taking a taint
From touch of human lips, at best impure.
O for a world in principle as chaste
As this is gross and selfish over which
Custom and prejudice shall bear no sway,
That govern all things here, shouldering aside
The meek and modest truth, and forcing her
To seek a refuge from the tongue of strife
In nooks obscure, far from the ways of men;
Where violence shall never lift the sword,
Nor cunning justify the proud man's wrong,
Leaving the poor no remedy but tears:
Where he that fills an office, shall esteem
Th' orcasion it presents of doing good
More than the perquisite: where law shall speak
Seldom, and never but as wisdom prompts
And equity; not jealous more to guard
A worthless form, than to decide aright:
Where fashion shall not sanctify abuse,
Nor smooth good-breeding (supplemental grace)
With Jean performance ape the work of love!
Come them, and, added to thy many crowns. |
Receive yet one, the crown of all the earth,
Thou who alone art worthy . It was thine
By ancient covenant, ere nature's birth;
And thou hast made it thine by purchase since,
Andoverpaid its value with thy blood.
Thy saints proclaim thee king; and in their hearts
Thy title is engraven with a pen
Dipp'd in the fountain of eternal love.
Thy saints proclaim thee king; and thy delay
Gives courage to their foes, who, could they see
The dawn of thy last advent, long desired,
Would creep into the bowels of the hills,
And flee for safety to the falling rocks.
The very spirit of the world is tired
Of its own taunting question, ask'd so long,
* Where is the pronise of your Lord's approach 2
The infidel has shot his bolts away,
Till, his exhausted quiver yielding none,’
He gleans the blunted §: that have recoil'd,
And aims them at the shield of truth again.
The veil is rent, rent too by priestly hands,
That hides divinity from mortal eyes;
And all the mysteries to faith proposed,
Insulted and traduced, are cast aside,
As useless, to the moles and to the bats.
They now are deem'd the faithful, and are praised,
Who, constant only in rejecting thee,
Deny thy Godhead with a martyr's zeal,
And quit their office for their error's sake.
Blind, and in love with darkness : yet even these
Worthy, compared with sycophants, who kneel
Thy name adoring, and then preach thee man o
So fares thy church. But how thy church may fare
The world takes little thought. Who will may

preach, And what they will. All pastors are alike To wandering sheep, resolved to follow mone. Two gods divide them all–Pleasure and Gain: For these they live, they sacrifice to these, And in their service wage perpetual war With conscience and with thee. Lust in their

hearts, And mischief in their hands, they roam the earth, To prey upon each other; stubborn, fierce, #: ed, foaming out their own disgrace. Thy prophets speak of such ; and, noting down The features of the last * times, Exhibit every lineament of these. Come then, and, added to thy many crowns, Receive yet one, as radiant as the rest, IXue to thy last and most effectual work,

THE WINTER, WALE AT NOON.

Thy word fulfill'd, the conquest of a world!

He is the happy man whose life, even now, Shows somewhat of that happier life to come; Who, doom'd to an obscure |. tranquil state, Is pleased with it, and, were he free to choose, Would make his fate his choice; whom peace, the Of virtue, and whom virtue, fruit of faith, [fruit Prepare for happiness; bespeak him one Content indeed to sojourn while he must Below the skies, but having there his home. The world o'erlooks him, in her busy search

f objects more illustrious in her view; And, occupied as earnestly as she, Though more sublimely, he o'erlooks the world. She scorns his pleasures, for she knows them not; He seeks not hers, for he has proved them vair He cannot skim the ground #. summer birds Pursuing gilded flies; and such he deems Her honours, her emoluments, her joys. Therefore in contemplation is his bliss, Whose power # such, that whom she lifts from

eart

she makes familiar with a heaven unseen,
And shows him glories yet to be reveal’d.
Not slothful he, though seeming unemploy'd,
And censured oft as useless. Stillest streams
Oft water fairest meadows, and the bird
That flutters least, is longest on the wing.
Ask him, indeed, what trophies he has raised,
Or what achievements of immortal fame
He purposes, and he shall answer—None.
His warfare is within. There, unfatigued,
His fervent spirit labours. There he fights,

| And there obtains fresh triumphs o'er himself,

And neverosing wreaths; compared witn
which,
The laurels that a Caesar reaps are weeds.
Perhaps the self-approving, haughty world,
That, as she sweeps him with her whistling silks,
Scarce deigns to notice him, or, if she see,
Deems him a cipher in the works of God,
Receives advantage from his noiseless hours,
Of which she little dreams. Perhaps she owes
Her sunshine and her rain, her blooming spring
And plenteous harvest, to the prayer he makes,
When, Isaac like, the solitary saint
Walks forth to meditate at eventide,
And think on her, who thinks not for herself.
Forgive him then, thou bustler in concerns
Of little worth, an idler in the best,
If, author of no mischief, and some good,
He seek his proper happiness by means
That may advance, but cannot hinder, thine.
Nor, though he tread the secret path of life,
Engage no notice, and enjoy much ease,
Account him an encumbrance on the state,
Receiving benefits, and rendering none.
His sphere though humble, if that humble sphere
Shine with his fair example, and though small
His influence, if that influence all be spent
In soothing sorrow, and in quenching strife,
In ..of elpless indigence, in works,
From which at least a grateful few derive
Some taste of comfort in a world of wo;
Thenlet the supercilious great confess
He serves his country, recompenses well
The state, beneath the shadow of whose vine
He sits secure, and in the scale of life
Holds no ignoble, though a slighted, place.
The man whose virtues are more felt than seen,
Must drop indeed the hope of public praise;
But he may boast, what few that win it can,
That, if his country stand not by his skill
At least his follies have not wrought her fall.
Polite refinement offers him in vain
Her golden tube, through which a sensual world
Draws gross impurity, and likes it well,
The neat conveyance hiding all th' offence.
Not that he peevishly rejects a mode
Because that world adopts it. If it bear
The stamp and clear impression of good sense,
And be not costly more than of true worth,
He puts it on, and for decorum's sake
Can wear it even as gracefully as she.
She judges of refinement by the eye,
He by the test of conscience, and a heart
Not soon deceived; aware that what is base
No polish can make sterling; and that vice,
Though well perfumed and elegantly dress'd,
Like an unburied carcass trick'd with flowers,
Is but a garnish'd nuisance, fitter far
For §: than for fair attire.
So life gli oothly and by stealth away,

More golden than that age of fabled gold
Renown'd in ancient song; not vex'd with care,
Or stain'd with guilt, beneficent, approved
Of God and man, and peaceful in its end.
$o glide my life away ! and so at last,
My share of duties decently fulfill’d,
May some disease, not tardy to perform
Its destin'd office, wet with gentle stroke,
Dismiss me weary to a safe retreat,
Beneath the turf that I have often trod.
It shall not grieve me then, that once, when call’d
To dress a Sofa with the flowers of verse,
I play'd a while, obedient to the fair,
ith that light task; but soon, to pleaseher more,
Whom flowers alone I knew would little please,

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1T is not from his form,-in which we trace
Strength join'd with beauty, dignity with grace,—
That'man, the master of this globe, derives
His right of empire over all that lives.
That form indeed, th' associate of a mind
Vast in its powers, ethereal in its kind,
That form, the labour of almighty skill,
Framed for the service of a free-born will,
Asserts precedence, and bespeaks control,
But borrows all its grandeur from the soul.
Hers is the state, the splendor, and the throne,
An intellectual kingdom, all her own. .
For her the memory fills her ample page
With truths pour'd down from every distant age;
For her amasses an unbounded store,
The wisdom of great nations, now no more:
Though laden, not incumber'd with her spoil;
Laborious, yet unconscious of her toil;
When copiously supplied, then most enlarged;
Still to be fed, and not to be surcharged.
For her the fancy, roving unconfined,
The present muse i. mind,
Works magic wonders, adds a brighter hue
To nature's scenes than nature ever knew.
At her command winds rise, and waters roar,
Again she lays them slumbering on the shore;
#. flower and fruit the wilderness supplies,
Or bids the rocks in ruder pomp arise.
For her the judgment, umpire in the strife,
That grace and nature have to wage through life,
Quick-sighted arbiter of good and ill,
Appointed sage preceptor to the will,
Condemns, approves, and, with a faithful voice,
Guides the decision of a doubtful choice.
Why did the fiat of a God give birth
To yon fair sun and his attendant earth 2
And, when descending he resigns the skies,
Why takes the gentler moon her turn to rise,
om ocean feels through all his countless waves,
And owns her power on every shore he laves?
Why do the seasons still enrich the year,
Fruitful and young as in their first career?
Spring o: her infant blossoms on the trees,
R. in the cradle of the western breeze;
Summer in haste the thriving charge receives
Beneath the shade of her expanded leaves,
Till autumn's fiercer heats and plenteous dews
Dye them at last in all their glowing hues.—
Twere wild profusion all, and bootless waste,
Power misemploy'd, munificence misplaced,
Had not its Author dignified the plan,
And crown'd it with the majesty of man.
Thus form'd, thus F. intelligent, and taught,
Look where he wils, the wonders God has wrought,
The wildest scorner of his Maker's laws
Finds in a sober moment time to pause,
To press th’ important T. on his heart,
- W. form'd at all, and wherefore as thou art?”
If man be what he seems, this hour a slave,
The next mere dust and ashes in the grave;
Endued with reason only to desc
His crimes and follies, with an aching eye;
With passions, just that he may prove, with pain,
The force l:e spends against their fury vain;
And if, soon after having burn'd, by turns,
With every lust, with which frail nature burns,

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Phis "...io. where death dissolves the bond,
The tomb take all, and all be blank beyond;
Then he, of all that nature has brought forth,
Stands self-impeach d the creature of least worth,
nd, useless while he lives and when he dies,
Brings into doubt the wisdom of the skies.
Truths that the learn'd pursue with i. thought,
Are not important always as dear-bought,
of at last, though told in pompous strains,
A childish waste of philosophic pains;
But truth on which depends our main concern,
That 'tis our shame and misery not to learn,
Shine by the side of every path we tread
With such a lustre, he that runs may read.
'Tis true that, if to trifle life away
Down to the sunset of their latest day,
#. on futurity's wide shore,
Like fleeting exhalations, found no more,
Were all that Heaven required of human kind,
And all the plan their destiny tlesign'd,
What none could reverence all might justly blame,
And man would breathe but for his Maker's
shame.
But reason heard, and nature well perused,
At once the dreaming mind is disabused.
If all we find possessing earth, sea, air,
Reflect his attributes, who placed them there
Fulfil the §. and appear desigm'
Proofs of the wisdom of th’ all-seeing mind,
'Tis plain the creature, whom he chose to invest
With kingship and dominion o'er the rest,
ceived his nobler nature, and was made
Fit for the power in which he stands array'd;
That first, or last, hereafter, if not here,
He too might make his Author's wisdom clear,
Praise him on earth, or, obstinately dumb,
Suffer his justice in a world to come.
This once believed, 'twere logic misapplied,
To prove a consequence by none denied,—
That we are bound to cast the minds of youth
Betimes into the mould of heavenly truth,
That taught of God they may indeed be wise,
Nor ignorantly wandering miss the skies.
In early days the conscience has in most
A quickness, which in later life is lost:
Preserved from guilt by salutary fears,
Or guilty soon relenting into tears.
Too careless often, as our years proceed, [read,
What friends we sort with, or what books we
Our parents yet exert a prudent care,
To feed our infant o: with proper fare;
And wisely store the nursery by degrees
With wholesome learning, yet acquired with ease.
Neatly secured from being soil'd or torn
Beneath a pane of thin translucent horm,
A book (to please us at a tender age
'Tis call'd a book, though but a single page) -
Presents the prayer the Saviour deign'd to teach,
Which children, use, and parsons—when they
Lisping our syllables, we scramble next spreach.
Through moral narrative, or sacred text;
And learn with wonder how this world began,
Who made, who marr'd, and who has ransom'd,
man: [plain,
Points, which, unless the Scripture made them
The wisest heads might agitate in vain.

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