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And such well pleased to find it, asks no more. Not so the mind that has been touch'd from Heaven, And in the school of sacred wisdom taught To read His wonders, in whose thought the World, Fair as it is, existed ere it was. Not for its own sake merely, but for His Much more who fashion'd it, he gives it praise ; Praise that, from Earth resulting, as it ought, To Earth's acknowledged Sovereign, finds at once Its only just proprietor in Him. The soul that sees him, or receives sublimed New faculties, or learns at least to employ More worthily the powers he own’d before, Discerns in all things what, with stupid gaze Of ignorance, till then she overlook’d, A ray of heavenly light, gilding all forms Terrestrial, in the vast and the minute ; The unambiguous footsteps of the God Who gives its lustre to an insect's wing, And wheels his throne upon the rolling worlds. Much conversant with Heaven, she often holds With those fair ministers of light to man, That fill the skies nightly with silent pomp, Sweet conference : inquires what strains were they With which Heaven rang, when every star, in haste To gratulate the new-created Earth, Sent forth a voice, and all the sons of God Shouted for joy.—“ Tell me, ye shining hosts That navigate a sea that knows no storms, Beneath a vault unsullied with a cloud, If from your elevation, whence ye view Distinctly scenes invisible to man, And systems, of whose birth no tidings yet Have reach'd this nether world, ye spy a race
Favour'd as ours, transgressors from the womb,
And hasting to a grave, yet doom'd to rise,
And to possess a brighter Heaven than yours?
As one who, long detain'd on foreign shores,
Pants to return, and when he sees afar
His country's weather-bleach'd and batter'd rocks,
From the green wave emerging, darts an eye
Radiant with joy towards the happy land ;
So I with animated hopes behold,
And many an aching wish, your beamy fires,
That show like beacons in the blue abyss,
Ordain'd to guide the embodied spirit home
From toilsome life to never-ending rest.
Love kindles as I gaze. I feel desires
That give assurance of their own success,
And that, infused from Heaven, must thither teng
So reads he nature whom the lamp of truth
Illuminates. Thy lamp, mysterious Word!
Which whoso sees no longer wanders lost,
With intellects bemazed in endless doubt,
But runs the road of wisdom. Thou hast built,
With means that were not till by thee employ’d,
Worlds that had never been hadst thou in streng
Been less, or less benevolent than strong.
They are thy witnesses, who speak thy power
And goodness infinite, but speak in ears
That hear not, or receive not their report.
In vain thy creatures testify of thee,
Till thou proclaim thyself. Theirs is indeed
A teaching voice ; but 'tis the praise of thine
That whom it teaches it makes prompt to learn,
And with the boon gives talents for its use.
Till Thou art heard, imaginations vain
Possess the heart ; and fables false as hell,
Yet deein'd oracular, lure down to death
The uninform'd and heedless souls of men.
We give to Chance, blind Chance, ourselves as blind,
The glory of thy work ; which yet appears
Perfect and unimpeachable of blame,
Challenging human scrutiny, and proved
Then skilful most when most severely judged.
But Chance is not; or is not where thou reign'st :
Thy Providence forbids that fickle power
(If power she be that works but to confound)
To mix her wild vagaries with thy laws.
Yet thus we dote, refusing while we can
Instruction, and inventing to ourselves
Gods such as guilt makes welcome ; gods that sleep,
Or disregard our follies, or that sit
Amused spectators of this bustling stage.
Thee we reject, unable to abide
Thy purity, till pure as thou art pure ;
Made such by thee, we love thee for that cause,
For which we shunn'd and hated thee before.
Then we are free : then liberty, like day,
Breaks on the soul, and, by a flash from Heaven,
Fires all the faculties with glorious joy.
A voice is heard that mortal ears hear not
Till thou hast touch'd them ; 'tis the voice of song,
A loud Hosanna sent from all thy works ;
Which he that hears it with a shout repeats,
And adds his rapture to the general praise.
In that blest moment, Nature, throwing wide
Her veil opaque, discloses with a smile
The Author of her beauties, who, retired
Behind his own creation, works unseen
By the impure, and hears his power denied.
Thou art the source and centre of all minds,
Their only point of rest, eternal Word !
From thee departing, they are lost, and rove
At random, without honour, hope, or peace.
From thee is all that soothes the life of man,
His high endeavour, and his glad success,
His strength to suffer, and his will to serve.
But 0 thou bounteous Giver of all good,
Thou art of all thy gifts thyself the crown !
Give what thou canst, without thee we are poor ;
And with thee rich, take what thou wilt away.
BOOK VI.-THE WINTER WALK AT NOON.
Bells at a distance, 1-Their effect, 6-A fine noon in winter, 57—A shel
tered walk, 72—Meditation better than books, 84–Our familiarity with the course of nature makes it appear less wonderful than it is, 118—The transformation that spring effects in a shrubbery described, 140— A mistake concerning the course of nature corrected, 198—God maintains it by an unremitted act, 221—The amusements fashionable at this hour of the day reproved, 262—Animals happy, a delightful sight, 321—Origin of cruelty to animals, 348—That it is a great crime, proved from Scripture, 459_That proof illustrated by a tale, 483—A line drawn between the lawful and unlawful destruction of them, 560—Their good and useful properties insisted on, 601—Apology for the encomiums bestowed by the author on animals, 621-Instances of man's extravagant praise of man, 632— The groans of the creation shall have an end, 729—A view taken of the restoration of all things, 747— An invocation and an invitation of Him who shall bring it to pass, 818—The retired man vindicated from the charge of uselessness, 906–Conclusion, 995.
THERE is in souls a sympathy with sounds ;
And as the mind is pitch'd the ear is pleased
With melting airs or martial, brisk or grave.
Some chord in unison with what we hear
Is touch'd within us, and the heart replies.
How soft the music of those village bells,
Falling at intervals upon the ear
In cadence sweet, now dying all away,
Now pealing loud again, and louder still,
Clear and sonorous, as the gale comes on!
With easy force it opens all the cells
Where Memory slept. Wherever I have heard
A kindred melody, the scene recurs,
And with it all its pleasures and its pains.