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Seems, as it issues from the shapeless mould,
An emanation from the indwelling life,
A visible token of the upholding love,
That are the soul of this wide universe.
My heart is awed within me when I think
Of the great miracle that still goes on
In silence round me—the perpetual work
Of thy creation, finished, yet renewed
Written on thy works I read
The lesson of thy own eternity.
Lo ! all grow old and die—but see, again,
How on the faltering footsteps of decay
Youth presses-ever gay and beautiful youth
In all its beautiful forms. These lofty trees
Wave not less proudly that their ancestors
Moulder beneath them. Oh, there is not lost
One of earth's charms: upon her bosom yet,
After the flight of untold centuries,
The freshness of her far beginning lies,
And yet shall lie. Life mocks the idle hate
Of his arch-enemy Death-yea, seats himself
Upon the tyrant's throne—the sepulchre,
And of the triumphs of his ghastly foe
Makes his own nourishment. For he came forth
From thine own bosom, and shall have no end.
There have been holy men who hid themselves
Deep in the woody wilderness, and gave
Their lives to thought and prayer, till they outlived
The generation born with them, nor seemed
Less aged than the hoary trees and rocks
Around them; and there have been holy men
Who deemed it were not well to pass life thus.
But let me often to these solitudes
Retire, and in thy presence reassure
le virtue. Here its enemies,
The passions, at thy plainer footsteps shrink,
And tremble, and are still. O God! when thou
Dost scare the world with tempests, set on fire
The heavens with falling thunderbolts, or fill
With all the waters of the firmament
The swift dark whirlwind that uproots the woods
And drowns the villages; when, at thy call,
Uprises the great deep, and throws himself
Upon the continent and overwhelms
Its cities, who forgets not, at the sight
Of these tremendous tokens of thy power,
His pride, and lays his strifes and follies by ?
Oh, from these sterner aspects of thy face
Spare me and mine, nor let us need the wrath
Of the mad unchained elements to teach
Who rules them. Be it ours to meditate,
In these calm shades, thy milder majesty,
And to the beautiful order of thy works
Learn to conform the order of our lives.
(TUPPER.) ALL's for the best ! be sanguine and cheerful,
Trouble and sorrow are friends in disguise;
Nothing but Folly goes faithless and fearful,
Courage for ever is happy and wise :
All for the best,-if a man would but know it,
Providence wishes us all to be blest;
This is no dream of the pundit or poet,
Heaven is gracious, and—All's for the best !
All for the best ! set this on your standard,
Soldier of sadness, or pilgrim of love, Who to the shores of Despair may have wandered,
A way-wearied swallow, or heart-stricken dove. All for the best ! be a man but confiding,
Providence tenderly governs the rest,
And the frail bark of His creature is guiding
Wisely and warily all for the best.
All for the best! then fling away terrors,
Meet all your fears and your foes in the van, And in the midst of your dangers or errors
Trust like a child, while you strive like a man : All's for the best !-unbiassed, unbounded,
Providence reigns from the East to the West; And, by both wisdom and mercy surrounded,
Hope, and be happy, that All's for the best !
How poor, how rich, how abject, how august, How complicate, how wonderful is man ! How passing wonder He who made him such ! Who centred in our make such strange extremes ! From different natures marvellously mix'd, Connection exquisite of distant worlds ! Distinguished link in Being's endless chain ! Midway from Nothing to the Deity! A beam ethereal, sullied, and absorb'd ! Though sullied and dishonoured, still divine ! Dim miniature of greatness absolute ! An heir of glory! a frail child of dust! Helpless immortal ! insect infinite ! A worm! a god !-I tremble at myself, And in myself am lost! At home a stranger, Thought wanders up and down, surprised, aghast, And wondering at her own: How reason reels ! O what a miracle to man is man, Triumphantly distressed! what joy, what dread! Alternately transported, and alarmed! What can preserve my life, or what destroy ? An angel's arm can't snatch me from the grave; Legions of angels can't confine me there.
All, all on earth is shadow, all beyond
Is substance; the reverse is folly's creed :
How solid all, where change shall be no more !
man, fool man ! here buries all his thoughts;
Inters celestial hopes without one sigh.
Prisoner of earth, and pent beneath the moon,
Here pinions all his wishes; winged by Heaven
To fly at infinite; and reach it there,
Where seraphs gather immortality,
On life's fair tree, fast by the throne of God.
What golden joys ambrosial clustering glow
In His full beam, and ripen for the just,
Where momentary ages are no more !
Where time, and pain, and chance, and death expire !
And is it in the flight of threescore years,
To push eternity from human thought,
And smother souls immortal in the dust?
A soul immortal, spending all her fires,
Wasting her strength in strenuous idleness,
Thrown into tumult, raptured or alarmed,
At aught this scene can threaten or indulge,
Resembles ocean into tempest wrought,
To waft a feather, or to drown a fly.
Of man's miraculous mistakes, this bears The palm, “That all men are about to live,” For ever on the brink of being born. All pay themselves the compliment to think They one day shall not drivel: and their pride On this reversion takes up ready praise At least, their own; their future selves applaud ; How excellent that life they ne'er will lead ! Time lodged in their own hands is folly's vails; That lodged in fate's, to wisdom they consign; The thing they can't but purpose, they postpone ; 'Tis not in folly, not to scorn a fool; And scarce in human wisdom, to do more. All promise is poor dilatory man, And that through every stage : when young, indeed, In full content we, sometimes, nobly rest, Unanxious for ourselves; and only wish, As duteous sons, our fathers were more wise.
At thirty man suspects himself a fool :
Knows it at forty, and reforms his plan ;
At fifty chides his infamous delay,
Pushes his prudent purpose to resolve ;
In all the magnanimity of thought
Resolves ; and re-resolves; then dies the same.
And why? Because he thinks himself immortal.
All men think all men mortal but themselves;
Themselves, when some alarming shock of fate
Strikes through their wounded hearts the sudden dread;
But their hearts wounded, like the wounded air,
Soon close; where, past the shaft, no trace is found.
As from the wing no scar the sky retains ;
The parted wave no furrow from the keel :
So dies in human hearts the thought of death :
E'en with the tender tear which nature sheds
O'er those we love, we drop it in their grave.
(COWPER.) William Cowper, author of "Table Talk,” The Task," "Tirocinium," and many
minor poems, was born at Berkhampstead, in Hertfordshire, in 1731; and died in 1800, after a life of much suffering.
I VENERATE the man whose heart is warm,
Whose hands are pure, whose doctrine and whose life,
Co-incident, exhibit lucid proof
That he is honest in the sacred cause.
To such I render more than mere respect,
Whose actions say that they respect themselves.
But, loose in morals, and in manners vain,
In conversation frivolous, in dress
Extreme, at once rapacious and profuse ;
Frequent in park with lady at his side,
Ambling and prattling scandal as he goes !
But rare at home, and never at his books,
Or with his pen, save when he scrawls a card ;
Constant at routs, familiar with a round
Of ladyships-a stranger to the poor ;