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Left their far fountain twice three years ago.
While those winged particles, whose speed outstrips
The flight of thought, were on their way, the earth
Compassed its tedious circuit round and round,
And, in the extremes of annual change, beheld
Six autumns fade, six springs renew their bloom.
So far from earth those mighty orbs revolve!

So vast the void through which their beams descend!
Yea, glorious lamps of God! He may have quenched
Your ancient flames, and bid eternal night

Rest on your spheres; and yet no tidings reach
This distant planet. Messengers still come
Laden with your far fire, and we may seem
To see your lights still burning; while their blaze
But hides the black wreck of extinguished realms,
Where anarchy and darkness long have reigned.

Yet what is this, which to th' astonished mind
Seems measureless, and which the baffled thought
Confounds? A span, a point, in those domains
Which the keen eye can traverse. Seven stars
Dwell in that brilliant cluster, and the sight
Embraces all at once; yet each from each
Recedes, as far as each of them from earth.
And every star from every other burns
No less remote. From the profound of heaven,
Untravelled even in thought, keen, piercing rays
Dart through the void, revealing to the sense
Systems and worlds unnumbered. Take the glass,
And search the skies. The opening skies pour down
Upon your gaze thick showers of sparkling fire

Stars, crowded, thronged, in regions so remote
That their swift beams. the swiftest things that be
Have travelled centuries on their flight to earth.

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Earth, sun, and nearer constellations! what
Are ye, amid this infinite extent

And multitude of God's most infinite works!

And these are suns! -vast, central, living fires, Lords of dependent systems, kings of worlds

That wait as satellites upon their power,

And flourish in their smile.

And meditate the wonder!

Awake, my soul,

Countless suns

Blaze round thee, leading forth their countless worlds!
Worlds - in whose bosoms living things rejoice,
And drink the bliss of being from the fount
Of all-pervading Love. What mind can know,
What tongue can utter, all their multitudes!
Thus numberless in numberless abodes!

Known but to thee, blest Father! Thine they are,
Thy children, and thy care and none o'erlooked
Of thee! no, not the humblest soul, that dwells
Upon the humblest globe, which wheels its course
Amid the giant glories of the sky,

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Like the mean mote that dances in the beam
Amongst the thousand mirrored lamps, which fling
Their wasteful splendor from the palace wall.
None, none escape the kindness of thy care;
All compassed underneath thy spacious wing,
Each fed and guided by thy powerful hand.

Tell me, ye splendid orbs! as from your thrones
Ye mark the rolling provinces that own

Your sway
- what beings fill those bright abodes?
How formed, how gifted? what their powers, their state,
Their happiness, their wisdom? Do they bear
The stamp of human nature? Or has God
Peopled those purer realms with lovelier forms
And more celestial minds? Does Innocence

Still wear her native and untainted bloom?
Or has Sin breathed his deadly blight abroad,
And sowed corruption in those fairy bowers?
Has War trod o'er them with his foot of fire?

And Slavery forged his chains, and Wrath, and Hate,
And sordid Selfishness, and cruel Lust,

Leagued their base bands to tread out light and truth,
And scatter wo where Heaven had planted joy?
Or are they yet all Paradise, unfallen
And uncorrupt? existence one long joy,
Without disease upon the frame, or sin
Upon the heart, or weariness of life-
Hope never quenched, and age unknown,

And death unfeared; while fresh and fadeless youth
Glows in the light from God's near throne of Love?
Open your lips, ye wonderful and fair!

Speak, speak! the mysteries of those living worlds Unfold! No language? Everlasting light,

And everlasting silence?

- Yet the eye

May read and understand. The hand of God
Has written legibly what man may know
THE GLORY OF THE MAKER. There it shines
Ineffable, unchangeable; and man,

Bound to the surface of this pigmy globe,
May know and ask no more.
In other days,
When death shall give th' encumbered spirit wings,
Its range shall be extended; it shall roam,

Perchance, amongst those vast, mysterious spheres ;
Shall pass from orb to orb, and dwell in each,
Familiar with its children learn their laws,
And share their state, and study and adore
The infinite varieties of bliss

And beauty, by the hand of Power divine

Lavished on all its works. Eternity
Shall thus roll on with ever-fresh delight;
No pause of pleasure or improvement; world
On world still opening to th' instructed mind
An unexhausted universe, and time

But adding to its glories; while the soul,
Advancing ever to the Source of light.
And all perfection, lives, adores, and reigns
In cloudless knowledge, purity, and bliss.




November, 1837.

In rural life, by Jordan's fertile bed,

The holy prophets learned of yore to sing; The sacred ointment bathed a ploughman's head, The shepherd boy became the minstrel king. And he who to our later ears would bring The deep, rich fervors of their ancient lays, Should dwell apart from man's too public ways, And quaff pure thoughts from Nature's quiet spring. Thus hath he chose his lot, whom city pride And college hall might well desire to claim; With sainted seers communing side by side,

And freshly honoring their illustrious name. He hears them in the field at eventide,

And what their spirit speaks his lucid words proclaim.


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