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Poor Stumbler on the rocky coast of Woe,
Tutor'd by Pain each source of Pain to know!
Alike the foodful fruit and scorching fire
Awake thy eager grasp and young desire;
Alike the Good, the Ill offend thy sight,
And rouse the stormy sense of shrill affright!
Untaught, yet wise! 'mid all thy brief alarms
Thou closely clingest to thy Mother's arms,
Nestling thy little face in that fond breast
Whose anxious heavings lull thee to thy rest'
Man's breathing Miniature! thou makest me sigh-
A Babe art thou—and such a thing am I ?
To anger rapid and as soon appeased,
For trifles mourning and by trifles pleased,
Break Friendship's Mirror with a tetchy blow,
Yet snatch what coals of fire on Pleasure's altar glow!
O thou that rearest with celestial aim
The future Seraph in my mortal frame,
Thrice holy Faith' whatever thorns I meet
As on I totter with unpractised feet,
Still let me stretch my arms and cling to thee,
Meek Nurse of Souls through their long Infancy!
waitrex At shunton BARs, NEAR Baiugewater, september, 1795, IN ANswer to A LETTER FRoxi BRISTOL.
Good verse most food, and bad verse then seems better
Received from absent friend by way of Letter.
For what so sweet can laboured lays impart
As one rude rhyme warm from a friendly heart?
Noa travels my meandering eye
The starry wilderness on high;
Nor now with curious sight
I mark the glow-worm, as I pass,
Move with - green radiance, through the grass, An emerald of light.
0 ever present to my view
My wafted spirit is with you,
And soothes your boding fears:
I see you all oppress'd with gloom
Sit lonely in that cheerless room—
Ah me! You are in tears!
Beloved Woman! did you fly
Chill'd Friendship's dark disliking eye,
Or Mirth's untimely din?
With cruel weight these trifles press
A temper sore with tenderness,
When aches the void within.
But why with sable wand unblessed
Should Fancy rouse within my breast
Dim-visaged shapes of Dreadt
Untenanting its beauteous clay
My Sara's soul has wing'd its way,
And hovers round my head!
I felt it prompt the tender Dream, When slowly sunk the day's last gleam;
You roused each gentler sense As, sighing o'er the Blossom's bloom, Meek Evening wakes its soft perfume
With viewless influence.
And hark, my Love! The sea-breeze moans
Through yon reft house! O'er rolling stones
In bold ambitious sweep
The onward-surging tides supply
The silence of the cloudless sky
With mimic thunders deep.
Dark reddening from the channell'd Isle"
(Where stands one solitary pile
Unslated by the blast)
The Watchfire, like a sullen star
Twinkles to many a dozing Tar
Rude cradled on the mast.
Even there—beneath that light-house tower—
In the tumultuous evil hour
Ere Peace with Sara came,
Time was, I should have thought it sweet
To count the echoings of my feet,
And watch the storm-vex'd flame.
And there in black soul-jaundiced fit
A sad gloom-pamper d \lan to sit,
And listen to the roar:
When Mountain Surges bellowing deep
With an uncouth monster leap
Plunged foaming on the shore.
Then by the Lightning's blaze to mark
Some toiling tempest-shattered bark;
Her vain distress-guns hear;
And when a second sheet of light
Flash'd o'er the blackness of the night—
To see no Wessel there !
But Fancy now more gaily sings;
Or if awhile she droop her wings,
As sky-larks 'mid the corn,
On summer fields she grounds her breast:
The oblivious Poppy oer her nest
Nods, till returning morn.
O mark those smiling tears, that swell
The open'd Rose! From heaven they fell,
And with the sun-beam blend.
Bless'd visitations from above,
Such are the tender woes of Love
Fostering the heart, they bend!
When stormy Midnight howling round
Beats on our roof with clattering sound,
To me your arms you'll stretch:
Great God you'll say—To us so kind,
O shelter from this loud bleak wind
The houseless, friendless wretch!
The tears that tremble down your cheek, Shall bathe my kisses chaste and meek
Despised Galilaean For the Great
Invisible (by symbols only seen)
With a peculiar and surpassing light
Shines from the visage of the oppress'd good Man,
When heedless of himself the scourged Saint
Mourns for the Oppressor. Fair the vernal Mead,
Fair the high Grove, the Sea, the Sun, the Stars;
True impress each of their creating Sire :
Yet nor high Grove, nor many-colour'd Mead,
Nor the green Ocean with his thousand Isles,
Nor the starred Azure, nor the sovran Sun,
E'er with such majesty of portraiture
Imaged the supreme beauty uncreate,
As thou, meek Saviour ! at the fearful hour
When thy insulted Anguish wing d the prayer
Harp'd by Archangels, when they sing of Mercy
Which when the Almighty heard from forth his Throne
Diviner light fill'd Heaven with ecstasy!
Heaven's hymnings paused: and Hell her yawning mouth
Closed a brief moment.
Lovely was the death Of Him whose life was love! Holy with power He on the thought-benighted sceptic beam'd Manifest Godhead, melting into day What floating mists of dark Idolatry Broke and misshaped the Omnipresent Sire : And first by Fear uncharmed the droused Soul." Till of its nobler nature it tan feel Dim recollections: and thence soared to Hope, Strong to believe whate'er of mystic good The Eternal dooms for his immortal Sons. From Hope and firmer Faith to perfect Love Attracted and absorb'd : and centred there God only to behold, and know, and feel, Till by exclusive Consciousness of God All self-annihilated it shall make God its Identity : God all in all! We and our Father one!
And bless'd are they, who in this fleshly world, the elect of Heaven, Their strong eve darting through the deeds of Men, Adore with stedfast unpresuming gaze Him Nature's Essence, Mind, and Energy' And gazing, trembling, patiently ascend Treading beneath their feet all visible things As steps, that upward to their Father's Throne Lead gradual—else nor glorified nor loved. they nor Contempt embosom nor Revenge: For they dare know of what may seem deform The Supreme Fair sole Operant : in whose sight All things are pure, his strong controlling Love Alike from all educing perfect good. Theirs too celestial courage, inly armed— Dwarfing Earth's giant brood, what time they muse On their great Father, great beyond compare! And marching onwards view high o'er their heads His waving Banners of Omnipotence.
For they are holy things before the Lord.
Ave unprofaned, though Earth should league with Bell:
God's Altar grasping with an eager hand
Fear, the wild-visaged, pale, eye-starting wretch,
Sure-refuged hears his hot pursuing fiends
Yell at vain distance. Soon refresh d from Beaven,
He calms the throb and tempest of his heart.
His countenance settles: a soft solemn bliss
Swims in his eye—his swimming eye upraised:
And Faith's whole armour glitters on his limbs:
And thus transfigured with a dreadless awe,
A solemn hush of soul, meek be beholds
All things of terrible seeming : yea, unmoved
Views e'en the immitigable ministers
That shower down vengeance on these latter days.
For kindling with intenser Deity
From the celestial Mercy-seat they come,
And at the renovating Wells of Love
have fill'd their Vials with salutary Wrath,
To sickly Nature more medicinal
Than what soft balm the weeping good man pours
Into the lone despoiled traveller's wounds!
Thus from the Elect, regenerate through faith,
Pass the dark Passions and what thirsty Cares
Drink up the spirit and the dim regards
Self-centre. Lo they vanish' or acquire
New names, new features—by supernal grace
Enrobed with light, and naturalized in Heaven.
As when a shepherd on a vernal morn
Through some thick fog creeps timorous with slow foot,
Darkling he fixes on the immediate road
His downward eye: all else of fairest kind
Hid or deformid. But lo! the bursting Sun
Touch'd by the enchantment of that sudden beam
Straight the black vapour melteth, and in globes
Of dewy glitter gems each plant and tree;
On every leaf. on every blade it hangs!
Dance glad the new-born intermingling rays,
And wide around the landscape streams with glory!
There is one Mind, one omnipresent Mind,
Omnific. His most holy name is Love.
Truth of subliming import' with the which
Who feeds and saturates his constant soul,
He from his small particular orbit flies
With bless'd outstarting ! From Himself he flies,
Stands in the Sun, and with no partial gaze
Views all creation; and he loves it all,
And blesses it, and calls it very good!
This is indeed to dwell with the Most High!
Cherubs and rapture-trembling Seraphim
Can press no nearer to the Almighty's Throne.
But that we roam unconscious, or with hearts
Unfeeling of our universal Sire,
And that in his vast family no Cain
Injures uninjurcd (in her best-aim'd blow
Victorious Murder a blind Suicide),
Haply for this some younger Angel now
Looks down on Human Nature: and, behold !
A sea of blood bestrew’d with wrecks, where mad
Embattling Interests on each other rush
With unhelm'd rage!
'T is the sublime of man, Our noontide Majesty, to know ourselves
Aught to desire, Supreme Reality
Parts and proportions of one wondrous whole!
This fraternizes man, this constitutes
our charities and bearings. But t is God
Diffused through all, that doth make all one whole;
This the worst supersition, him except
The plenitude and permanence of bliss!
0 Fiends of Superstition : not that oft
The erring Priest hath stain'd with brother's blood
Your grisly idols, not for this may wrath
Thunder against you from the Holy One!
But oer some plain that steameth to the sun,
Peopled with Death; or where more hideous Trade
Loud-laughing packs his bales of human anguish:
I will raise up a mourning, O ye Fiends!
And curse your spells, that film the eye of Faith,
Hiding the present God: whose presence lost,
The moral world's cohesion, we become
An anarchy of Spirits! Toy-bewitch'd,
Made blind by lusts disherited of soul,
No common centre Man, no common sire
Knoweth. A sordid solitary thing,
"Mid countless brethren with a lonely heart
Through courts and cities the smooth Savage roams,
Feeling himself, his own low Self the whole;
When he by sacred sympathy might make
The whole one self! Self, that no alien knows!
Self, far diffused as Fancy's wing can travel!
Self, spreading still! Oblivious of its own,
Yet all of all possessing: This is Faith !
This the Messiah's destined victory!
But first offences needs must come! Even now."
(Black Hell laughs horrible—to hear the scoff!)
Thee to defend, meek Galilean : Thee
And thy mild laws of love unutterable,
Mistrust and Enmity have burst the bands
Of social Peace; and listening Treachery lurks
with pious fraud to snare a brother's life;
And childless widows o'er the groaning land
Wail numberless; and orphans weep for bread;
Thee to defend, dear Saviour of Mankind'
Thee, Lamb of God! Thee, blameless Prince of Peace!
From all sides rush the thirsty brood of War?
Austria, and that foul Woman of the North,
The lustful Murderess of her wedded Lord!
And he, connatural Mind whom (in their songs
So bards of elder time had haply feign'd)
Some Fury fondled in her hate to man,
Bidding her serpent hair in mary surge
Lick his young face, and at his mouth inbreathe
Horrible sympathy! And leagued with these
Each petty German princeling, nursed in gore!
Soul-harden'd barterers of human blood!
1 January 21st, 1-94, in the debate on the Address to his Majesty, on the speech from the throne, the Earl of Guildford moved an Amendment to the following effect:-- That the House hoped his Majesty would seize the earliest opportunity to conclude a peace with France, etc. This motion was opposed by the Duke of Portland, who - considered the war to be merely grounded on one principle—the preservation of the Christian Religion.- May 3 oth. 1794, the Duke of Bedford moved a number of Resolutions, with a view to the Establishment of a Peace with France, He was opposed (among others) by Lord Abingdon in these remarkable words: - The best road to Peace, my Lords, is War! and war carried on in the same manner in which we are taught to worship our Creator, namely, with all our souls, and with all our minds, and with all our hearts, and with all our strength.*
Death's prime Slave-merchants! Scorpion-whips of Fate!
Nor least in savagery of holy zeal,
Apt for the yoke, the race detenerate,
Whom Britain erst had blush'd to call her sons!
Thee to defend the Moloch Priest prefers
The prayer of hate, and bellows to the herd
That Deity, Accomplice Deity
In the fierce jealousy of waken'd wrath
Will go forth with our armies and our fleets,
To scatter the red ruin on their foes?
0 blasphemy' to mingle fiendish deeds
Lord of unsleeping Love," From everlasting Thou! We shall not die. These, even these, in mercy didst thou form, Teachers of Good through Evil, by brief wrong Making Truth lovely, and her future might Magnetic o'er the fix’d untrembling heart.
In the primeval age a dateless while
The vacant Shepherd wander'd with his flock,
Pitching his tent where'er the green grass waved.
But soon Imagination conjured up
An host of new desires: with busy aim,
Each for himself, Earth's eager children toil'd.
So Property began, twy-streaming fount,
Whence Vice and Virtue flow, honey and gall.
Hence the soft couch, and many-colour'd robe,
The timbrel, and arch'd dome and costly feast,
With all the inventive arts, that nursed the soul
To forms of beauty, and by sensual wants
Unsensualized the mind, which in the means
Learnt to forget the grossness of the end,
Best pleasured with its own activity.
And hence Disease that withers manhood's arm,
The dagger'd Envy, spirit-quenching Want,
Warriors, and Lords, and, Priests—all the sore ills
That vex and desolate our mortal life.
Wide-wasting ills' yet each the immediate source
Of mightier good. Their keen necessities
To ceaseless action goading human thought
Have made Earth's reasoning animal her Lord;
And the pale-featured Sage's trembling hand
Strong as an host of arm'd Deities,
Such as the blind Ionian fabled erst.
From Avarice thus, from Luxury and War
Sprang heavenly Science, and from Science Freedom.
O'er waken'd realms Philosophers and Bards
Spread in conven ric circles: they whose souls,
Conscious of their high dignities from God,
Brook not wealth's rivalry! and they who long
Enamour'd with the charms of order hate
The unsecruly disproportion: and whoe'er
Turn with mild sorrow from the victor's car
And the low puppetry of thrones, to muse
On that blest triumph, when the patriot Sage
Calrd the red lightnings from the o'er-rushing cloud,
And dash'd the beauteous Terrors on the earth
Smiling majestic. Such a phalanx ne'er
Measured firm paces to the calming sound
of Spartan flute! These on the fated day,
* Art thou not from everlasting, O Lord, nine Holy One? We
When, stung to rage by Pity, eloquent men
Have roused with pealing voice unnumber'd tribes
That toil and groan and bleed, hungry and blind.
These hush'd awhile with patient eye serene,
Shall watch the mad careering of the storm;
Then o'er the wild and wavy chaos rush
And tame the outrageous mass, with plastic might
Moulding Confusion to such perfect forms,
As erst were wont, bright visions of the day!
To float before them, when, the Summer noon,
Beneath some arch'd romantic rock reclined
They felt the sea breeze lift their youthful locks;
Or in the month of blossoms, at mild eve,
Wandering with desultory feet inhaled
The wafted perfumes, and the rocks and woods
And many-tinted streams and setting Sun
With all his gorgeous company of clouds
Ecstatic gazed then homeward as they stray'd
Cast the sad eye to earth, and inly mused
Why there was Misery in a world so fair.
Ah far removed from all that glads the sense,
From all that softens or ennobles Man,
The wretched Many Bent beneath their loads
They gape at pageant Power, nor recognize
Their cots transmuted plunder! From the tree
Of Knowledge, ere the vernal sap had risen
Rudely disbranch'd Blessed Society!
Filliest depictured by some sun-scorch'd waste,
Where of majestic through the tainted noon
The Simoom sails, before whose purple pomp
Who falls not prostrate dies! And where by night,
Fast by each precious fountain on green herbs
The lion couches; or hyaena dips
Deep in the lucid stream his bloody jaws;
Or serpent plants his vast moon-glittering bulk,
Caught in whose monstrous twine Behemoth" yells,
His bones loud-crashing!
O ye numberless, Whom foul Oppression's ruffian gluttony Drives from life's plenteous feast! O thou poor wretch, Who nursed in darkness and made wild by want, Roames for prey, yea thy unnatural hand Dost lift to deeds of blood! O pale-eyed form, The victim of seduction, doom'd to know Polluted nights and days of blasphemy; Who in loathed orgies with lewd wassailers Must baily laugh, while thy remember d home Gnaws like a viper at thy secret heart! 0 aged Women! ye who weekly catch The morsel toss'd by law-forced Charity, And die so slowly, that none call it murder! O loathly Suppliants' ye, that unreceived Totter heart-broken from the closing gates Of the full Lazar-house : or, gazing, stand Sick with despair : O ye to Glory's field Forced or ensnared, who, as ye gasp in death, Blced with new wounds beneath the Vulture's beak! O thou poor Widow, who in dreams dost view Thy Husband's mangled corse, and from short doze Start'st with a shriek; or in thy half-thatch'd cot Waked by the wintry night-storm, wet and cold, Cow rst o'er thy screaming baby! Rest awhile
* Behemoth, in Hebrew, signifies wild beasts in general. Some
believe it is the elephant, some the hippopotamus ; some affirm it is the wild bull. Poetically, it designates any large quadruped.