« AnteriorContinuar »
Pour every lustre on th’exalted eye.
A friend, a book, the stealing 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 modest eye, whose beams on his alone
Extatic shine ; the little strong embrace
Of prattling children, twin'd around his neck,
And emulous to please him, calling forth
The fond parental soul. Nor purpose gay,
Amusement, dance, or song, he sternly fcorns ;
For happiness and true philosophy
Are of the social, till, 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 I U S .
T ROM heav'n my strains begin; from heav'n descer.ds
T The fame of genius to the human breast,
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 freams adorn'd the globe,
Or wisdom taught the fons of men her tore'; .
Then liv'd th' almighty:Ons then deep retird
In his unfathom’d effence, vieivid the forms, i
The forms eternal of created things"; "
The radiant son, the moon's noéturnallamp,
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's,
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 hade alternate; warmth and cold;
And clear autumnaliskies andvernal Mow'rs; ;'
And all the fair variety of things.
But not alike to every mortal eye
Is this great scene unveil'd.. For-since the claims
Qf 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 toit.
To some she 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 veinsi
.. .. p.
Of herbs and low'rs; or what the beams of morn
Draw forth, distilling from the clifted rind
In balmy tears. » But fome, to higher hopes,
Were destin'd; some within a finer mould
She wrought, and temper?d with a purer flame...
To these the Șire 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 fee pourtray'd :. .)
That uncreated beauty, which delights - ,.':
The Mind supreme. They also feel her charms, ,,
Enamour'd; they partake th’eternal joy. -.
CH A P.' XXX..
G R E A T N E S S.
AY, why was man fo eminently rais'd :. .
Amid the vast creation; why ordain'
d i .
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, no
As on a boundless theatre, to run 'i'. . .
The great career of justice; to exalt in' in
His gen'rous aim to all diviner deeds ; .
To.chafe each partial purpose from his breast;
And thro' the mists of passion and of sense, .
And thro' the tosling tide of chance and pain,
To hold his course unfalt'ring, while the voice
Of truth and virtue, ap the steep ascent
Of nature, calls him to his high reward,
Th’applauding smile of Heav'n: Else wherefore burns
In mortal bosoms this unquencked hope,
That breathes from day to day sublimer things,
And mocks poffeffion? Wherefore darts the mind,
With such refiftless ardoar to embrace . '
Majestic forms; impatient to be free, . .
Spurning the gross controal of wilful might; ...
Proud of the strong contention of her toils ; i
Proud to be daring? Who but rather turns in
To Heay'n's broad fire his unconstrained view,
! Than to the glimmering of a waxen filame? Who that, from Alpine heights, his lab’ring eye is. Shoots round the wide horizon, to survey Nilus or Ganges rowling his bright wave Thro’ mountains, plains, thro'empires black with shaderi 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 heav'n-aspiring wing Beneath its native quarry. Tir'd of earth .. And this diurnal scene, the 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, in Sweeps the long tract of day. Then high the soars The blue profound, and hovering round the sun Beholds him pouring the redundant stream Of light; beholds his unrelenting fway Bend the reluctant planets to absolve
S P 2
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 fars, :
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 six 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 ap
In that immense of being. There her hopes:.
Reft at the fated goal. For from the birth
Of mortal man, the sovereign Maker said,
That not in humble nor in brief delights.
Not in the fading echoes of renown, :
Pow'r's purple robes, nor pleasure's flow'ry.lare .
The soul should find enjoyment: but from these
Turning disdainful to an equal goods.
Thro' all th'ascent of things enlarge her views
Till every bound at length should disappear,
And infinite perfection close the scene.