Page images
PDF
EPUB

Thy providence forbids that fickle pow'r
(If pow'r she be, that works but to confound)
To inix her wild vågaries with thy laws.
Yet thus we dote, refusing while we can
Instruction, and inventing to ourselves
Gods such as guilt makes welcome ; gods that sleep,
Or disregard our follies, or that sit
Amus'd spectators of this bustling stage.
Thee we reject, unable to abide
Thy purity, till pure as thou art pure,
Made such by thee, we love thee for that cause,
For which we shunn'd and hated thee before.
Then we are free. Then liberty, like day,
Breaks on the soul, and by a flash from heav'n
Fires all the faculties with glorious joy.
A voice is heard that mortal ears hear not,
Till thou hast touch'd them ; 'tis the voice of song,
A loud Hosanna sent from all thy works ;
Which he that hears it, with a shout repeats,
And adds his rapture to the general praise !,
In that blest moment, Nature, throwing wide
Her veil opaque, discloses with a smile
The author of her beauties, who, retir'd
Behind his own creation, works unseen
By the impure, and bears his pow'r denied :
Thou art the source and centre of all minds,
Their only point of rest, eternal Word !
From thee departing, they are lost, and rove
At random, without bonour, hope, or peace.
Froin thee is all that sooths the life of man,
His high endeavour, and his glad success,
His strength to suffer, and his will to serve.
But o thou bounteous Giver of all good,
Thou art of all thy gifts thyself the crown!
Give what thou canst, without thee we are poor;
And with theo-rich, take what thou wilt away.

THE WINTER WALK AT NOON.

ARGUMENT OF THE SIXTH BOOK.

Bells at a distance-Their effect- A fine noon in

winter- A sheltered walk-Meditation better than books-Our familiarity with the course of Nature makes it appear Jess wonderful than it is—The transformation that Spring effects in a shrubbery, described- A mistake concerning the course of Na. ture corrected-God maintains it by an unremitted aci-The amusements fashionable at this hour of the day reproved- Animals happy, a delightful sight-Origin of cruelty to animals—That it is a great crime proved from Scripture-That proof illustrated by a tale-A line drawn between the lawful and unlawful destruction of them-Their good and useful properties insisted on-Apology for the encomiums bestowed by the author on animals -Instances of man's extravagant praise of manThe groans of the cration shall have an end-A view taken of the restoration of all things-An invocation and an invitation of Him who shall bring it to pass—The retired man vindicated from the charge of uselessness-Conclusion.

[merged small][ocr errors][merged small][merged small]
[ocr errors]

THERE is in souls a sympathy with sounds,
And as the mind is pitch'd, the ear is pleas'd
With melting airs or martial, brisk, or grave;
Some chord in unison with what we hear
Is touch'd within us, and the heart replies,
How sost the musick of those village bells,
Falling at intervals upon the ear
In cadence sweet, now dying all away,
Now pealing loud again, and louder still,
Clear and sonorous, as the gale comes on!
With easy force it opens all the cells
Where Mem'ry slept. Wherever I have heard
A kindred melody, the scene recurs,
And with it all its pleasures and its pains.
Such comprehensive views the spirit takes,
That in a few short moments I retrace

The

(As in a map the voyager his course)
The windings of my way through many years.
Short as in retrospect the journey seems,
It seem'd not always short; the rugged path,
And prospect oft so dreary and forlorn,
Mov'd many a sigh at its disheart'ning length.
Yet feeling present evils, while the past
Faintly impress the mind or not at all,
llow readily we wish time spent revok'd,
That we might try the ground again, where once
(Through inexperience as we now perceive)
We miss'd that happiness we might have found !
Some friend is gone, perhaps his son's best friend!
A father, whose authority, in show
When most severe, and must'ring all its force,
Was but the graver countenance of love ;
Whose favour, like the clouds of spring, might low'r,
And utter now and then an awful voice,
But had a blessing in its darkest frown,
Threat’ning at once and nourishing the plant.
We lov'd, but not enough the gentle band
That rear'd us. At a thougbtless age, allur'd
By ev'ry gilded folly, we renounc'd
His shelt'ring side, and wilfully forewent
That converse which we now in vain regret.
How gladly would the man recall to life
The boy's neglected sire! a mother too,
That softer friend, perhaps more gladly still,
Might he demand them at the gates of death.
Sorrow has, since they went, subdu'd and tam'd
The playful humour : he could now endure,
(Himself grown sober in the vale of tears,)
And feel a parent's presence no restraint.
but not to understand a treasure's worth,
Till time has stol'n away the slighted good,
1s cause of half the poverty we feel,

« PreviousContinue »