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Some shout him, and some hang upon his car
To gaze in his eyes and bless him. Maidens wave
Their 'kerchiefs, and old women weep for joy;
While others not so satisfied unhorse
The gilded equipage, and turning loose
His steeds, usurp a place they well deserve.
Why? what has charmed them? Hath he saved
the state? No. Doth he purpose its salvation? No. Enchanting novelty, that moon at full, That finds out every crevice of the head That is not sound and perfect, hath in theirs Wrought this disturbance. But the wane is near, And his own cattle must suffice him soon. Thus idly do we waste the breath of praise, And dedicate a tribute, in its use And just direction sacred, to a thing Doomed to the dust, or lodged already there. Encomium in old time was poets' work, But poets having lavishly long since Exhausted all materials of the art, The task now falls into the public hand. And I, contented with an humble theme, Have poured my stream of panegyric down The vale of nature, where it creeps and winds Among her lovely works, with a secure And unambitious course, reflecting clear If not the virtues yet the worth of brutes. And I am recompensed, and deem the toils Of poetry not lost, if verse of mine May stand between an animal and woe, And teach one tyrant pity for his drudge.
The groans of nature in this nether world, Which heaven has heard for ages, have an end. Foretold by prophets, and by poets sung Whose fire was kindled at the prophets' lamp, The time of rest, the promised Sabbath comes. Six thousand years of sorrow have well nigh Fulfilled their tardy and disastrous course Over a sinful world. And what remains Of this tempestuous state of human things, Is merely as the working of a sea Before a calm, that rocks itself to rest. For He whose car the winds are, and the clouds The dust that waits upon his sultry march When sin hath moved him and his wrath is hot, Shall visit earth in mercy; shall descend Propitious, in his chariot paved with love, And what his storms have blasted and defaced For man's revolt, shall with a smile repair.
Sweet is the harp of prophecy; too sweet Not to be wronged by a mere mortal touch; Nor can the wonders it records be sung To meaner music, and not suffer loss. But when a poet, or when one like me, Happy to rove among poetic flowers, Though poor in skill to rear them, lights at last On some fair theme, some theme divinely fair, Such is the impulse and the spur he feels To give it praise proportioned to its worth, That not to attempt it, arduous as he deems The labour, were a task more arduous still. Oh, scenes surpassing fable, and yet true, Scenes of accomplished bliss! which who can see Though but in distant prospect, and not feel His soul refreshed with foretaste of the joy? Rivers of gladness water all the earth, , And clothe all climes with beauty; the reproach Of barrenness is past. The fruitful field Laughs with abundance; and the land once lean, Or fertile only in its own disgrace, Exults to see its thistly curse repealed. The various seasons woven into one, And that one season an eternal spring, The garden fears no blight, and needs no fence, For there is none to covet, all are full. The lion and the libbard and the bear Graze with the fearless flocks. All bask at noon Together, or all gambol in the shade Of the same grove, and drink one common stream. Antipathies are none. No foe to man Lurks in the serpent now; the mother sees And smiles to see her infant's playfal hand Stretched forth to dally with the crested worm, To stroke his azure neck, or to receive The lambent homage of his arrowy tongue. All creatures worship man, and all mankind One Lord, one Father. Error has no place; That creeping pestilence is driven away, The breath of heaven has chased it. In the hesrt No passion touches a discordant string, But all is harmony and love. Disease Is not. The pure and uncontaminate blood Holds its due course, nor fears the frost of age. One song employs all nations, and all cry, "Worthy the Lamb, for he was slain for us!" The dwellers in the vales and on the rocks Shout to each other; and the mountain tops From distant mountains catch the flying joy, Till nation after nation taught the strain, Each rolls the rapturous Hosanna round. Dehold the measure of the promise filled, See Salem built, the labour of a God! Bright as a sun the sacred city shines;
All kmgdoms and all princes of the earth
Flock to that light; the glory of all lands
Flows into her, unbounded is her joy,
And endless her increase. Thy rams are there,
Nebaioth, and the flocks of Kedar1 there;
The looms of Ormus, and the mmes of Ind,
And Saba's spicy groves pay tribute there.
Praise is in all her gates. Upon her walls,
And in her streets, and in her spacious courts
Is heard salvation. Eastern Java there
Kneels with the native of the farthest West,
And Ethiopia spreads abroad the hand
And worships. Her report has travelled forth
Into all lands. From every clime they come
To see thy beauty, and to share thy joy,
O Sion! an assembly such as earth
Saw never, such as heaven stoops down to see.
Thus heavenward all things tend. For all were once Perfect, and all must be at length restored. So God has greatly purposed; who would else In his dishonoured works himself endure Dishonour, and be wronged without redress. Haste then, and wheel away a shattered world, Ye slow-revolving seasons! We would see (A sight to which our eyes are strangers yet) A world that does not dread and hate his laws, And suffer for its crime: would learn how fair The creature is that God pronounces good, How pleasant in itself what pleases him. Here every drop of honey hides a sting; Worms wind themselves into our sweetest flowers, And even the joy that haply some poor heart Derives from heaven, pure as the fountain is, Is sullied in the stream; taking a taint From touch of human hps, at best impure. Oh, for a world in principle as chaste As this is gross and selfish! over which Custom and prejudice shall bear no sway That govern all things here, shouldering aside The meek and modest truth, and forcing her To seek a refuge from the tongue of strife In nooks obscure, far from the ways of men. Where violence shall never lift the sword, Nor cunning justify the proud man's wrong, Leaving the poor no remedy but tears. Where he that fills an office, shall esteem The occasion it presents of doing good More than the perquisite: where law shall speak Seldom, and never but as wisdom prompts
1 Nebaioth and Kodar, the sons of Ishmael and progenitors of the Arabs, in the prophetic scripture here alluded to, may be reasonably considered as representatives of the Gentiles at large.—C.
And equity; not jealous more to guard
And all the mysteries to faith proposed
Come then, and added to thy many crowns