« AnteriorContinuar »
Ev'o bearded sages baild the buy;
And all bui Plato gaz'd with joy.
For he, deep judging sage, beheld
With pain the triumphs of the field.
And when the charioteer drew nigh,
And, flush,d with hope, bad caught his eye,
“Alas! unhappy youth,” he cry'u.
“Expect no praise from me," (and sigh'd,)
"With indignation I survey
Such skill aod jurigment thrown away:
The time profusely squander'd there,
Oo vulgar aris beneath thy care,
If well employ'd, at leds expeose,
Had taught inee honour, virtue, sense;
And rais'd thee from a coach mao's face
To govern men, aod guide the state.”
SECTION V. Discourse between Adam and Eve, retiring to reste Now caine still ev'ning on, and twilight gray Had in her sober liv'ry all things clad. Silence accompanied ; for beast and bird, They to their grassy couch, these to their nests Were slank; all but the wakeful nighingale. She all oight long her a 'rous descart sung: Silence was pleas'd. Now glow'd the firmament With liviog sapphires : Hesperus, that led The starry host, rode brightest, till the moon, Rising in clouded majesty, at length, Apparent queen, unveil'd her peerless liglit, And o'er the dark her silver mantle threw.
When Adam thus to Eve : "Fair consort, th' hour Of night, and all things now retiråd to rest, Mind us of like repose; since God hath set Labour and rest, as day and night, to men Successive; and the timely dew of sleep, Now falliog with soft slumb’rous weight, inclines Our eye-lids. Other creatures all day long
Rove idle unemploy'd, and less need rest :
Man hatli his daily work of body or of mind
Appointed, which declares his dignity,
And the regard of heaven on all his ways;
While other animals unactive range,
And of their doings God takes no account.
To-morrow, ere fresh morning streak the east
With tresh approach of light we must be risen,
And at our present labour; to reform
Yon flow'ry arbours, yooder alleys green,
Our walk at avon with branches
That mock our scant manuring, and require
More hands than ours to lop their warton growth.
Those blossotos also), and those dropping gums,
That lie bestrown, unsightly and uosinooth,
Ask riddance, if we mean to tread with ease.
Meanwhile, as nature wills, night bids us rest."
To whom thus Eve, with perfect beauty adorn'd:
“My author and disposer, what thou bidst
Unargu'd I obey; so God ordaing.
With thee conversing i froget all time;
All seasons and their change, all please alike.
Sweet is the breath of moro, her rising sweet,
With charm of earliest birds; pleasant the sun
When first on this delightful land he spreads
His orient beams, on herb, tree, fruit and flow'r,
Glist’oing with dew; fragrant the fertile earth
After soft show'rs; and sweet the comiog on
Of greatful evening mild; then silent night,
With this her soleina bird, and this fair moon,
And these the gems of heav'n, her starry traio :
But neither breath of morn, when she ascends
With charm of earliest bırds; nor risiog sun
On this delightful'land; nor herb, fruit, flow'r
Glist'ring with dew; nor fragrance after showr's;
Nor grateful evening mild ; nor 'sitept night
With this fer solemn bird; nor walk by moon,
Or glitt'ring star light, - without thee is sweet.
But wherefore all night long shine these i for whom
This glorious sight, when sleep hath shut all eyes P"?
To whom our genʻral ancestor reply'd . “Daughter of God and man, accomplish'd Eve, These have their course to finish round the earth, By morrow evining; and from land to land, In order, through to nations yet unborn, Ministring light preparód, they set and rise ; Lest total darkness whould by night regain Her old possession, and extinguish life In nature and all things : which these soft fires Not only enlighten, but with kindly beat Of various influence, foment and warm, Temper or nourish ; or in part shed down Their stellar virtue on all kinds that grow On earth, made hereby apter to receive Perfection from the sun's more potent ray. These then, though unbeheld in deep of night, Shine not in vain; nor think, though men were none, That heaven would want spectators, God wabt praise : Millions of spiritual creatures walk the earth Unseen, both when we wake, and when we sleep. All these with ceasless praise his works behold, Both day and night. llow often, from the steep Of echoing hill or thicket, have we heard Celestial voices to the midnight air, Sole, of responsive each to others' note, Singing their great Creator? Oft in bands, While they keep watch, or nightly rounding walk With heav'nly touch of instrumental sounds, In full harmonic'hamber join'd, their songs Divide the night, and lift our thoughts to hearin,"
Thus talking, hand in hand alone they passid Oo to their blissful bow'r,
There arrivéd: buth stood, Both turu'd; and under cpen sky ador'd The Gort that made both sky, air, earth, and heaving Which they beneld, the moon's resplendent globe, And starry pole. "Thou also mad'st the night, Maker Omnipotent, and thoy the day. Which, in nur appointed work employd, Have finishd, happy in our mutual help, and mutual love, the crown of all our bliss
Ordaig'd by thee; and this delicious place
For us too large, where thy abundance wants
Partakers, and uncropt falls to the ground.
But thou hast promised from us two, a race,
To fill the earth, who shall with us extol
Thy goodness infinite, both when we wake,
Aod when we seek, as now, thy gift of sleep.”
Religion and death.
Lo! a form divinely bright,
Descends, and bursts upon my siglit;
A seraph of illustrious birth!
(Religion was her name on earth ;)
Supremely sweet her radiant face,
And blooming with celestial grace !
Three shining cherubs formů her train,
War'a their light wings, and reach'd the plain:
Faith, with sublime and piercing eye,
And pinions Auttering for the sky;
Here Hope, that smiling angel, stands,
And golden anchors grace her hands;
There Charity, in robes of white,
Fairest and fay'rite maid of light!
The seraph spoke—'Tis reason's part
To govern and to guard the heart;
To lull the wayward soul to rest,
Whe, hopes and fears distract the breast,
Reason may calm this doubtful strife,
And sieer thy bark through various life:
But when the storms of death are nigh,
And midnight darkness veils the sky,
Shall reason then direct thy sail,
Disperse the clouds, or sink the gale ?
Stranger, this skill alone is mine,
Skill that transcends his scanty line.
“Revere thyselt--thou'rt near ally'd
To angels on thy better side.
How various e'er their ranks or kinds,
Angels are but unbodied minds :
When the partition walls decay,
Men emerge angels from their clay.
Yes, when the frailer body dies,
The soul asserts her kindred skies.
But minds, though sprung from heav'nly race,
Must first be tutor'd for the place :
The joys above are uuderstood,
And rel sh'd only by the gond.
Who shall assume ihıs guardian care ?
Who shall secure their birth-right there?
Souls are my charge-to nie 'tis giv'n
To train them for their native heav'n.
“Know then-who bow the early knee,
And give the willing heart to me ;
Who wisely, when Temptation waits,
Elude ber fiauds, and spurn her baits ;
Who dare to own my injur'd cause,
Though fools deride my sacred laws;
Or scorn to sleviate to the wrong,
Though persecution lifis her throng;
Though all the sons of hell conspire
To raise the stake and light the fire :
Know that for such superior souls,
There lies a bliss beyond the poles ;
Where spirits shine with purer ray,
And brighten to meriilian day ;
Where love, where boundless friendship rules ;
(Vo friends that change, no love that cools ;)
Where rising Agods of knowledge roll,
And pour, and pour upon ihe soul !
“ But where's the passage to the skies ?--The road through death's dark valley lies. Nay do not shudder at my tale ; Tho' dark the shades, yet safe the vale. This path the best of men have trod; And who'd decline the road to God? Oh! 'lis a glorious boon to die ! This favour can't be priz'd too high." While thus sir: spoke, my looks express'd The raptures kindling in my breast ; My soul a fix'd attention gave ; When the stern monarch of the grave, With baughty, strides approach'd :-amaz’d I stood, and trembled as I gaz'd. The seraph calm'd each anxious fear, And kindly wip'd the falling tear ; Then hastened with expanded wing To meet the pale, terrific king. But now what milder scenes arise ! The tyrant drops his hostile guise ; He seems a youth divinely fair, In graceful ringlets wave his hair ; His wings their whit’ning plumes display, His burnish'd plumes reflect the day ;