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Were built, the fountains open'd, or the sea, 765
Th' oppressor holds
1775 His spirit takes, unconscious of a chain; And that to bind him is a vain attempt, Whom God delights in, and in whom He dwells.
Acquaint thyself with God, if thou would'st taste His works. Admitted once to his embrace, 780 Thou shalt perceive that thou wast blind before: . Thine eye shall be instructed; and thine heart,
shall relish with divine delight, Till then unfelt, what hands divine have wrought. Brutes graze the mountain-top, with faces prone, 785 And eyes intent upon the scanty herb It yields them; or, recumbent on its brow, Ruminate heedless of the scene outspread Beneath, beyond, and stretching far away From inland regions to the distant main.
790 Man views it, and admires; but rests content With what he views. The landscape has his praise, But not its author. Unconcern'd who form’d The Paradise he sees, he finds it such, And such well pleas’d to find it, asks no more. 793 Not so the mind that has been touch'd from Heav'n, And in the school of sacred wisdom taught To read His wonders, in whose thought the world, Fair as it is, existed ere it was. Nor for its own sakc merely, but for his
800Much more who fashion'd it, he gives it praise; Praise that from carth resulting, as it ought,
To earth's acknowledg’d sovoreign finds at once
view Distinctly, scenes invisible to man, And systems, of whose birth no tidings yet Have reach'd this nether world, ye spy a race Favour'd as ours; transgressors from the womb And hasting to a grave, yet doom'd to rise, 830 And to possess a brighter Heaven than yours? As one, who, long detain’d on foreign shores, Pants to return, and when he sees afar His country's weather bleach'd and batter'd rocks, From the green wave emerging, darts an eye 835 Radiant with joy toward the happy land; So I with animated hopes behold, And many an aching wish, your beamy fires, That show like beacons in the blue abyss, Ordain'd to guide th' embodied spirit home 840
From toilsome life to never-ending rest.
So reads he Nature, whom the lamp of truth 845
855 In vain thy creatures testify of thee, Till thou proclaim thyself. Theirs is indeed A teaching voice; but 'tis the praise of thine, That whom it teaches it makes prompt to learn, And with the boon gives talents for its use. 860 Till thou art heard, imaginations vain Possess the heart, and fables false as hell; Yet deem'd oracular, lure down to death The uninform’d and heedless souls of men. We give to chance, blind chance, ourselves as blind, The glory of thy work; which yet appears 866 Perfect and unimpeachable of blame, Challenging human scrutiny, and prov'd Then skilful most when most severely judg’d. But chance is not; or is not where thou reign’st: Thy providence forbids that fickle pow'r (If pow'r she be, that works but to confound) To mix her wild vagaries with thy laws. Yet thus we dote, refusing while we can Instruction, and inventing to ourselves
875 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
895 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!
890 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 hears his pow'r denied: 895 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 honour, hope, or peace. From thee is all that sooths the life of man,
900 Ilis high endeavour, and his glad success, His strength to suffer, and his will to serve. But 0 thou bounteous Giver of all good, Thou art of all thy gifts thyself the crown! Give what thou canst, without thee we are poor; 905 And with thee 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 shel.
tered walk-Meditation better than books-Our familiarity with the course of Nature, makes it appear less wonderful than it is- The transformation that spring effects in a shrubberry, described-A mistake concerning the course of Nature corrected-God maintains it by an wremitted act—The amusements fashionable at this hour of the day reproved- Animals happy, a delightful sight-Origin of cruelty io 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 ihe author on Animals-- Instances of man's extravagant praise of man-The groans of the creation 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 use lessness--Conclusion.
THERE is in souls a sympathy with sounds,