Page images
PDF
EPUB

And from the forehead of the topmost crag
Shouts eagerly: for haply there uprears
That shadowing Pine its old romantic limbs,
Which latest shall detain th' enamour'd sight
Seen from below, when Eve the valley dims,
Ting'd yellow with the rich departing light;
And haply, basin'd in some unsunn'd cleft,
A beauteous spring, the rock's collected tears,
Sleeps shelter'd there, scarce wrinkled by the gale!
Together thus, the world's vain turmoil left,
Stretch'd on the crag, and shadow'd by the pine,
And bending o'er the clear delicious fount,
Ah dearest Lloyd ! it were a lot divine
To cheat our noons in moralizing mood,
While west-winds fann'd our temples toil-bedewd.
Then downwards slope, oft-pausing, from the mount,
To some low mansion in some woody dale,
Where smiling with blue eye Domestic Bliss
Gives this the husband's, that the brother's kiss !

Thus rudely vers’d in allegoric lore,
The hill of knowledge I essay'd to trace;
That verd'rous hill with many a resting place,
And many a stream, whose warbling waters pour
To glad, and fertilize the subject plains ;
That hill with secret springs, and nooks untrod,
And many a fancy-bless'd and holy sod,
Where inspiration, his diviner strains
Low-murm'ring, lay; and startling from the rocks
Stiff evergreens, whose spreading foliage mocks
Want's barren soil, and the bleak frosts of age,
And mad oppression's thunder-clasping rage !
O meek retiring Spirit! we will climb,
Cheering and cheer'd, this lovely hill sublime;

[ocr errors]

And from the stirring world uplifted high
(Whose noises faintly wafted on the wind
To quiet musings shall attune the mind,
And oft the melancholy theme supply)
There while the prospect thro' the gazing eye
Pours all its healthful greenness on the soul,
We'll laugh at wealth, and learn to laugh at fame,
Our hopes, our knowledge, and our joys the same,
As neighb'ring fountains image, each the whole:
Then when the mind has drunk its fill of truth,
We'll discipline the heart to pure delight,
Rekindling sober joy's domestic flame.
She, whom I love, shall love thee. Honour'd youth,
Now may Heaven realize this vision bright!

RELIGIOUS MUSINGS.

A DESULTORY POEM, WRITTEN ON THE CHRISTMAS EVE OF

1794.

What tho' first,
In years unseason'd, I attun'd the Lay
To idle Passion and unreal Woe?
Yet serious Truth her empire o'er my song
Hath now asserted: Falshood's evil brood,
Vice and deceitful Pleasure, she at once
Excluded, and my Fancy's careless toil
Drew to the better cause!

AKENSIDE.

ARGUMENT.

Introduction. Person of Christ. His Prayer on the Cross. The process of his Doctrines on the mind of the Individual. Character of the elect. Superstition. Digression to the present War. Origin and Uses of Government and Property. The present state of Society. French Revolution. Millennium. Universal Redemption. Conclusion. This is the time, when, most divine to hear, The voice of Adoration rouses me,

As with a Cherub's trump: and high upborne,
Yea, mingling with the Choir, I seem to view
The vision of the heavenly multitude,
Who hymn'd the song of Peace o'er Bethlehem's fields !

Yet thou more bright than all the Angel blaze,
That harbinger'd thy birth, Thou, Man of Woes !
Despised Gallilæan! For the Great
Invisible (by symbols only seen)
With a peculiar and surpassing light
Shines from the visage of th' oppress'd good Man,
When heedless of himself the scourged Saint
Mourns for th' Oppressor. Fair the vernal Mead,
Fair the high Grove, the Sea, the Sun, the Stars,
True Impress each of their creating Sire!
Yet nor high Grove, nor many colour'd Mead,
Nor the green Ocean with his thousand Isles,
Nor the starr’d Azure, nor the sov'reign Sun,
E'er with such majesty of portraiture
Imag'd the supreme beauty uncreate,
As thou, meek Saviour; at the fearful hour
When thy insulted Anguish wing’d the prayer
Harp'd by Archangels, when they sing of Mercy !
Which when th’ Almighty heard, from forth his Throne,
Diviner light fill'd Heaven with ecstacy!
Heaven's hymnings paus'd: and Hell her yawning mouth
Clos'd a brief moment.

Lovely was the Death
Of Him, whose Life was Love! Holy with power
He on the thought-benighted Sceptic beam'd
Manifest Godhead, melting into day
What floating mists of dark idolatry
Broke and misshap'd the Omnipresent Sire :

And first by fear uncharm’d the droused Soul,*
Till of its nobler Nature it 'gan feel
Dim recollections; and thence soar'd to Hope,
Strong to believe whate'er of mystic good
Th' Eternal dooms for his Immortal Sons.
From Hope and firmer Faith to perfect Love
Attracted and absorb'd : and centred there
God only to behold, and know, and feel,
Till by exclusive Consciousness of God
All self-annihilated it shall make t
God its Identity : God all in all !
We and our Father one!

And bless'd are they,
Who in this fleshly World, the elect of Heaven,
Their strong eye darting thro’ the deeds of Men,
Adore with steadfast unpresuming gaze
Him, Nature's Essence, Mind, and Energy!
And gazing, trembling, patiently ascend,
Treading beneath their feet all visible things
As steps, that upward to their Father's Throne
Lead gradual-else nor glorified nor lov'd.
They nor Contempt imbosom nor Revenge:
For they dare know of what may seem deform
The Supreme Fair sole Operant: in whose sight
All things are pure, his strong controlling Love
Alike from all educing perfect good.

* Το Νοητον διηρηκασιν εις πολλων

Θεων ιδιοτητας. . Damas. de Myst. Egypt. + See this demonstrated by Hartley, vol. 1. p. 114, and vol. 2, p. 329. See it likewise proved, and freed from the charge of Mysticism, by Pistorius in his Notes and Additions to part second of Hartley on Man. Addition the 18th, the 653d page of the third volume of Hartley, octavo edition.

Theirs too celestial courage, inly arm'd-
Dwarfing Earth's giant brood, what time they muse
On their great Father, great beyond compare !
And marching onwards view high o'er their heads
His waving Banners of Omnipotence.

Who the Creator love, created might
Dread not: within their tents no Terrors walk
For they are Holy Things before the Lord
Aye-unprofan'd, tho' Earth should league with Hell !
God's Altar grasping with an eager hand
Fear, the wild-visag'd, pale, eye-starting wretch,
Sure-refug'd hears his hot pursuing fiends
Yell at yain distance. Soon refresh'd from Heaven
He calm's the throb and tempest of his heart.
His countenance settles: a soft solemn bliss
Swims in his eye: his swimming eye uprais'd
And Faith's whole armour glitters on his limbs !
And thus transfigur'd with a dreadless awe,
A solemn hush of soul, meek he beholds
All things of terrible seeming: yea, unmov’d
Views e'en th' immitigable ministers
That shower down vengeance on these latter days.
For kindling with intenser Deity
From the celestial Mercy-seat they come,
And at the renovating Wells of Love
Have fill'd their Vials with salutary Wrath,
To sickly Nature more medicinal
Than what soft balm the weeping good man pours
Into the lone despoiled trav’ller's wounds !

Thus from th’Elect, regenerate thro' faith, Pass the dark Passions and what thirsty Cares * * Our evil passions, under the influence of religion, become inno

P 2

« PreviousContinue »