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If from your elevation, whence ye view
Distinctly scenes invisible to man,
And systems, of whose birth no tidings yet
Have reached this nether world, ye spy a race
Favoured as ours, transgressors from the womb,
And hasting to a grave, yet doomed to rise,
And to possess a brighter heaven than yours?
As one who, long detained on foreign shores,
Pants to return, and when he sees afar
His country's weather-bleached and battered rocks,
From the green wave emerging, darts an eye
Radiant with joy towards 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,
Ordained to guide th' embodied spirit home,
From toilsome life to never-ending rest.
Love kindles as I gaze. I feel desires
That give assurance of their own success,
And that, infused from heaven, must thither tend.”
So reads he Nature, whom the lamp of truth
Illuminates: thy lamp, mysterious Word '
Which whoso sees, no longer wanders lost,
With intellects bemazed, in endless doubt,
But runs the road of wisdom. Thou hast built
With means that were not, till by thee employed,
Worlds that had never been, hadst thou in strength
Peen less, or less benevolent than strong.
They are thy witnesses, who speak thy power
And goodness infinite, but speak in ears
That hear not, or receive not their report,
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.
Till thou art heard, imaginations vain
Possess the heart, and fables false as hell,
Yet deemed oracular, lure down to death
The uninformed and heedless souls of men,
We give to chance, blind chance, ourselves as blind,
The glory of thy work, which yet appears
Perfect and unimpeachable of blame,
Challenging human scrutiny, and proved
Then skilful most when most severely judged.
But chance is not ; or is not where thou reign'st:
Thy providence forbids that fickle power
(If power she be, that works but to confound) o
To mix her wild vagaries 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
Amused 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 shunned and hated thee before.
Then we are free: then liberty, like day,
Breaks on the soul, and by a flash from heaven
Fires all the faculties with glorious joy.
A voice is heard, that mortal ears hear not
Till thou hast touched 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, retired
Behind his own creation, works unseen
By the impure, and hears his power 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 honour, hope, or peace.
From thee is all that soothes 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 thee rich, take what thou wilt away.
Anticipations OF PROPIIECY
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 prophet's 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 workings 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; A.md what his storms have blasted and defaced, Por 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 t'attempt it, arduous as he deems
The labour, were a task more arduous still.
O 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 playful hand
Stretched forth to dally with the crested worm,
Or 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 loreall of Heaven has chased it. In the heart
No passion touches a discordant string,
But ull is harmony and love. Disease