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FROM THE FRENCH OF MADAME DE LA MOTHE GUION.
'Tis folly all—let me no more be told,
Canals, and fountains, and delicious vales,
TRANSLATIONS FROM GUION. 67
Whose silver waters, and whose murmurs, join
sails; On whose broad back grim Death triumphant rides, While havoc floats on all thy swelling tides, Thy shores a scene of ruin, strew'd around With vessels bulged, and bodies of the drown'd!
Ye fish, that sport beneath the boundless waves, And rest, secure from man, in rocky caves; Swift-darting sharks, and whales of hideous size, Whom all the aquatic world with terror eyes! Had I but faith immovable and true, I might defy the fiercest storm, like you: The world, a more disturb'd and boisterous sea, When Jesus shows a smile, affrights not me; He hides me, and in vain the billows roar, Break harmless at my feet, and leave the shore.
Thou azure vault, where through the gloom of night, Thick sown, we see such countless worlds of light! Thou moon, whose car encompassing the skies, Restores lost nature to our wondering eyes; Again retiring, when the brighter sun Begins the course he seems in haste to run! Behold him where he shines! His rapid rays, Themselves unmeasured, measure all our days; Nothing impedes the race he would pursue, Nothing escapes his penetrating view, A thousand lands confess his quickening heat, And all he cheers are fruitful, fair, and sweet.
Far from enjoying what these scenes disclose, I feel the thorn, alas! but miss the rose: Too well I know this aching heart requires More solid good to fill its vast desires; In vain they represent his matchless might, Who call'd them out of deep primeval night; Their form and beauty but augment my woe: I seek the Giver of those charms they show: Nor, Him beside, throughout the world he made, Lives there in whom I trust for cure or aid.
Infinite God, thou great unrival'd One! Whose glory makes a blot of yonder sun; Compared with thine, how dim his beauty seems, How quench'd the radiance of his golden beams! Thou art my bliss, the light by which I move; In thee alone dwells all that I can love; All darkness flies when thou art pleased to appear,
A sudden spring renews the fading year;
tongue, Attempt thy praise, and join the general song.
Almighty Former of this wondrous plan, Faintly reflected in thine image, man— Holy and just—the greatness of whose name Fills and supports this universal frame, Diffused throughout the infinitude of space, Who art thyself thine own vast dwelling place; Soul of our soul, whom yet no sense of ours Discerns, eluding our most active powers; Encircling shades attend thine awful throne, That veil thy face, and keep thee still unknown; Unknown, though dwelling in our inmost part, Lord of the thoughts, and Sovereign of the heart.
Repeat the charming truth, that never tires, No God is like the God my soul desires; He at whose voice heaven trembles, even He, Great as he is, knows how to stoop to me— Lo! there he lies—that smiling infant said, "Heaven, earth, and sea,exist!"—and they obey'd; E'en He, whose being swells beyond the skies, Is born of woman, lives, and mourns, and dies; Eternal and immortal, seems to cast That glory from his brows, and breathes his last. Trivial and vain the works that man has wrought, How do they shrink, and vanish at the thought I
Sweet solitude, and scene of my repose! This rustic sight assuages all my woes— That crib contains the Lord, whom I adore; And earth's a shade, that I pursue no more. He is my firm support, my rock, my tower, I dwell secure beneath his sheltering power, And hold this mean retreat for ever dear, For all I love, my soul's delight, is here. I see the Almighty swathed in infant bands, Tied helpless down the thunder-bearer's hands! And, in this shed that mystery discern, Which faith and love, and they alone, can learn.
Ye tempests, spare the slumbers of your Lord! Ye zephyrs, all your whisper'd sweets afford! Confess the God that guides the rolling year; Heaven, do him homage; and thou, earth, revere! Ye shepherds, sages, monarchs, hither bring Your hearts an offering, and adore your King! Pure be those hearts, and rich in faith and love; Join in his praise, the harmonious world above: To Bethlehem haste, rejoice in his repose, And praise him there for all that he bestows I
Man, busy man, alas, can ill afford To obey the summons, and attend the Lord; Perverted reason revels and runs wild, By glittering shows of pomp and wealth beguil'd; And, blind to genuine excellence and grace, Finds not her author in so mean a place.