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“I LOVE the Lord” is still the strain | The comforts I to all prefer This heart delights to sing ;
Are solitude and love. But I reply,--“Your thoughts are vain, “ Perhaps 'tis no such thing."
Nor exile I, nor prison fear;
Love makes my courage great ; Before the power of Love Divine
I find a Saviour everywhere, Creation fades away ;
His grace in every state. Till only God is seen to shine
Nor castle walls, nor dungeons deep, In all that we survey.
Exclude His quickening beams;
There I can sit, and sing, and weep, In gulfs of awful night we find
And dwell on heavenly themes. The God of our desires ; 'Tis there He stamps the yielding mind, There sorrow, for His sake, is found And doubles all its fires.
A joy beyond compare ;
There no presumptuous thoughts abound, Flames of encircling love invest,
No pride can enter there. And pierce it sweetly through ; 'Tis filled with sacred joy, yet pressed
| A Saviour doubles all my joys, With sacred sorrow too.
And sweetens all my pains,
His strength in my defence employs, Ah Love! my heart is in the right
Consoles me and sustains.
Amidst a thousand woes,
To Thee its ever new delight
I fear no ill, resent no wrong,
And all its peace it owes.
Nor feel a passion move,
When malice whets her slanderous Fresh causes of distress occur
tongue; Where'er I look or move;
Such patience is in love.
SCENES FAVOURABLE TO MEDITATION.
Wilds horrid and dark with o'ershadowing trees,
Rocks that ivy and briers infold,
Scenes Nature with dread and astonishment sees,
But I with a pleasure untold ;
Though awfully silent, and shaggy, and rude,
I am charmed with the peace ye afford; Your shades are a temple where none will intrude,
The abode of my Lover and Lord.
I am sick of thy splendour, O fountain of day,
And here I am hid from its beams;
Here safely contemplate a brighter display
Of the noblest and holiest of themes.
Ye forests, that yield me my sweetest repose,
Where stillness and solitude reign,
To you I securely and boldly disclose
The dear anguish of which I complain.
Here, sweetly forgetting, and wholly forgot
By the world and its turbulent throng,
The birds and the streams lend me many a note
That aids meditation and song.
Here, wandering in scenes that are sacred to night,
Love wears me and wastes me away ;
And often the sun has spent much of his light
Ere yet I perceive it is day.
While a mantle of darkness envelopes the sphere,
My sorrows are sadly rehearsed;
To me the dark hours are all equally dear,
And the last is as sweet as the first.
Here I and the beasts of the desert agree;
Mankind are the wolves that I fear :
They grudge me my natural right to be free,
But nobody questions it here.
Though little is found in this dreary abode
That appetite wishes to find,
My spirit is soothed by the presence of God,
And appetite wholly resigned.
Ye desolate scenes, to your solitude led,
My life I in praises employ,
And scarce know the source of the tears that I shed,
Proceed they from sorrow or joy.
There's nothing I seem to have skill to discern;
I feel out my way in the dark;
Love reigns in my bosom, I constantly burn,
Yet hardly distinguish a spark.
I live, yet I seem to myself to be dead ;
Such a riddle is not to be found;
I am nourished without knowing how I am fed,
I have nothing, and yet I abound.
O Love! who in darkness art pleased to abide,
Though dimly yet surely I see That these contrarieties only reside
In the soul that is chosen of Thee.
Ah send me not back to the race of mankind,
Perversely by folly beguiled : For where, in the crowds I have left, shall I find
The spirit and heart of a child ? Ilere let me, though fixed in a desert, be free;
A little one whom they despise, Though lost to the world, if in union with Thee.
Shall be holy and happy and wise.
TRANSLATIONS OF THE LATIN POEMS OF MILTON.
At length, my friend, the far-sent letters come,
Charged with thy kindness, to their destined home;
They come, at length, from Deva's western side,
Where prone she seeks the salt Vergivian tide.
Trust me, my joy is great that thou shouldst be,
Though born of foreign race, yet born for me,
And that my sprightly friend, now free to roam,
Must seek again so soon his wonted home.
I well content, where Thames with influent tide
My native city laves, meantime reside,
Nor zeal nor duty now my steps impel
To reedy Cam, and my forbidden cell.
Nor aught of pleasure in those fields have I,
That, to the musing bard, all shade deny.
'Tis time that I a pedant's threats disdain,
And fly from wrongs my soul will ne'er sustain.
If peaceful days, in lettered leisure spent
Beneath my father's roof, be banishment,
Then call me banished, I will ne'er refuse
A name expressive of the lot I chuse.
I would that, exiled to the Pontic shore,
Rome's hapless bard had suffered nothing more ;
He then had equalled even Homer's lays,
And Virgil! thou hadst won but second praise.
For here I woo the Muse, with no control;
And here my books—my life-absorb me whole,
Here too I visit, or to smile, or weep,
The winding theatre's majestic sweep;
The grave or gay colloquial scene recruits
My spirits, spent in learning's long pursuits,
Whether some senior shrewd, or spendthrift heir,
Suitor, or soldier now unarmed, be there;
Or some coifed brooder o'er a ten years' cause
Thunder the Norman gibberish of the laws.
The lacquey there oft dupes the wary sire,
And artful speeds the enamoured son's desire.
There, virgins oft, unconscious what they prove,
What love is know not, yet, unknowing, love.
Or if impassioned Tragedy wield high
The bloody sceptre, give her locks to fly
Wild as the winds, and roll her haggard eye,
I gaze, and grieve, still cherishing my grief,
At times even bitter tears yield sweet relief :
As when, from bliss untasted torn away,
Some youth dies, hapless, on his bridal day ;-
Or when the ghost, sent back from shades below,
Fills the assassin's heart with vengeful woe,
When Troy, or Argos, the dire scene affords,
Or Creon's hall laments its guilty lords.
Nor always city-pent, or pent at home,
I dwell; but when spring calls me forth to roam,
Expatiate in our proud suburban shades
Of branching elm, that never sun pervades.
Here many a virgin troop I may descry,
Like stars of mildest influence, gliding by.
Oh forms divine! Oh looks that might inspire
Even Jove himself, grown old, with young desire !
Oft have I gazed on gem-surpassing eyes,
Outsparkling every star that gilds the skies,
Necks whiter than the ivory arm bestowed
By Jove on Pelops, or the Milky Road!
Bright locks, Love's golden snare! these falling low,
Those playing wanton o'er the graceful brow !
Cheeks too, more winning sweet than after shower
Adonis turned to Flora's favourite flower !
Yield, heroines, yield, and ye who shared the embrace
Of Jupiter in ancient times, give place!
Give place, ye turbaned fair of Persia's coast !
And ye, not less renowned, Assyria's boast !
Submit, ye nymphs of Greece! ye, once the bloom 70
Of Ilion ! and all ye of haughty Rome,
Who swept, of old, her theatres with trains
Redundant, and still live in classic strains !
To British damsels beauty's palın is due ;
Aliens ! to follow them is fame for you.
O city, founded by Dardanian hands,
Whose towering front the circling realms commands,
Too blest abode ! no loveliness we see
In all the earth, but it abounds in thee.
The virgin multitude that daily meets,
80 Radiant with gold and beauty, in thy streets, Outnumbers all her train of starry fires, With which Diana gilds thy lofty spires. Fame says, that wafted hither by her doves, With all her host of quiver-bearing loves, Venus, preferring Paphian scenes no more, Has fixed her empire on thy nobler shore. But lest the sightless boy inforce my stay,