Sidebilder
PDF

Our wayward intellect, the more we learn

Of nature, overlooks her Author more,

From instrumental causes proud to draw

Conclusions retrograde and mad mistake.

But if his word once teach us, shoot a ray

Through all the heart's dark chambers, and reveal

Truths undiscerned but by that holy light,

Then all is plain. Philosophy baptized

In the pure fountain of eternal love

Has eyes indeed; and viewing all she sees

As meant to indicate a God to man,

Gives Him his praise, and forfeits not her own.

Learning has borne such fruit in other days

On all her branches. Piety has found

Friends in the friends of science, and true prayer

Has flowed from lips wet with Castalian dews.

Such was thy wisdom, Newton, child-like sage!

Sagacious reader of the works of God,

And in his word sagacious. Such too thine,

Milton, whose genius had angelic wings,

And fed on manna. And such thine in whom

Our British Themis gloried with just cause,

Immortal Hale ! for deep discernment praised

And sound integrity not more, than famed

For sanctity of manners undented.

All flesh is grass, and all its glory fades Like the fair flower dishevelled in the wind; Riches have wings, and grandeur is a dream; The man we celebrate must find a tomb, And we that worship him, ignoble graves. Nothing is proof against the general curse Of vanity, that seizes all below. The only amaranthine flower on earth Is virtue, the only lasting treasure, truth. But what is truth? 'twas Pilate's question put To truth itself, that deigned him no reply. And wherefore? will not God impart his light To them that ask it ?—Freely ;—tis his joy, His glory, and his nature to impart: But to the proud, uncandid, insincere Or negligent, inquirer, not a spark. What's that which brings contempt upon a book And him that writes it, though the style be neat, The method clear, and argument exact? That makes a minister in holy things The joy of many and the dread of more, His name a theme for praise and for reproach? That while it gives us worth in God's account, Depreciates and undoes us in our own? What pearl is it that rich men cannot buy, That learning is too proud to gather up, But which the poor and the despised of all

Seek and obtain, awl often find uasosgri?
Tel) me, and I will tell thee, what is tn&.

Oh, friendly to the best pursuits d'naas.
Friendly to thought, to virtue, and to peace,
I)omevtic life in rural leisure passed'
l''cw know thy value, and few taste thy sweets,
Though many boast thy favours, and a&cf
To understand and choose thee for their own.
Hut foolish man foregoes his proper bliss
Kven as his first progenitor, and quits,
Though placed in Paradise, (for earth has still
Somc traces of her youthful beauty left.)
Substantial happiness for t ransient joy.
Scenes formed for contemplation, and to nurse
The growing seeds of wisdom; that suggest
Hy every pleasing image they present
Reflections such as meliorate the heart,
(lomposc the passions and exalt the mind,
Scenes such as these, 'tis his supreme delight
To fill with riot and defile with blood.
Should tome contagion kind to the poor brutes
Wc persecute, annihilate the tribes
Tlmt draw the sportsman over hill and dale
l'Vnrlcss, and rapt away from all his cares;
Should never game-fowl hatch her eggs again,
Nor baited hook deceive the fish's eye;
Could pageantry and dance and feast and song
He quelled in all our summer-month retreats;
I low many self-deluded nymphs and swains
Who dream they have a taste for fields and groves,
Would find them hideous nurseries of the spleen,
And crowd the roads, impatient for the town!
They love the country, and none else, who seek
lor their own sake its silence and its shade;
! Might* which who would leave, that has a heart
Susceptible of pity, or a mind
Cultured and cnpable of sober thought,
For all the savage din of the swift pack
And clamours of the field? detested sport,
Tlmt owes its pleasures to another's pain,
That feeds upon the sobs and dying shrieks
Of harmless nature, dumb, but yet endued
Wilh eloquence that agonies inspire
(If silent tears and hcart-distendmg sighs!
Vnin tears, alas! and sighs that never find
A corresponding tone in jovial souls.
Well,—one at least is safe. One sheltered hare
! las never heard the sangumary yell
Of cruel man, exulting in her woes.
Innocent partner of my peaceful home,
Whom ten long years' experience of my care
Has made at last familiar, she has lost

[graphic]

'Well,one at least is safe. One shelteted hate
Has never /waul the sanguinary yell
Of ctuel man exulting in her ivoes."

Page i54

Much of her vigilant instinctive dread,

Not needful here, beneath a roof like mine.

Yes,—thou mayst eat thy bread, and lick the hand

That feeds thee; thou mayst frolic on the floor

At evening, and at night retire secure

To thy straw-couch, and slumber unalarmed.

For I have gained thy confidence, have pledged

All that is humau in me, to protect

Thine unsuspectmg gratitude and love.

If I survive thee I will dig thy grave,

And when I place thee in it, sighing say,

I knew at least one hare that had a friend.

How various his employments, whom the world Calls idle, and who justly in return Esteems that busy world an idler too! Friends, books, a garden, and perhaps his pen, Delightful industry enjoyed at home, And nature in her cultivated trim Dressed to his taste, inviting him abroad:— Can he want occupation who has these? Will he be idle who has much to enjoy? Me therefore, studious of laborious ease, Not slothful; happy to deceive the time Not waste it; and aware that human life Is but a loan to be repaid with use, When He shall call his debtors to account, From whom are all our blessings, business finds Even here. While sedulous I seek to improve, At least neglect not, or leave unemployed The mind he gave me ; driving it, though slack Too oft, and much impeded in its work By causes not to be divulged in vain, To its just point the service of mankind. He that attends to his interior self, That has a heart and keeps it, has a mind That hungers and supplies it, and who seeks A social, not a dissipated life, Has business; feels himself engaged to achieve No ummportant, though a silent task. A life all turbulence and noise may seem To him that leads it, wise and to be praised; But wisdom is a pearl with most success Sought in still water, and beneath clear skies. He that is ever occupied in storms, Or dives not for it, or brings up instead, Vainly industrious, a disgraceful prize.

The morning finds the self-sequestered man Fresh for his task, intend what task he may. Whether inclement seasons recommend His warm but simple home, where he enjoys With her who shares his pleasures and hvis heart, Sweet converse, sipping calm the fragrant lymph

« ForrigeFortsett »