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So whilst our mind its knowledge would improve,
(Its feeble eye intent on things above,)
High as we may, we lift our reason up,
By faith directed, and confirm'd by hope ;
Yet are we able only to survey
Dawnings of beams, and promises of day;
Heaven's fuller effluence mocks our dazzled sight ;
Too great its swiftness, and too strong its light.
But soon the mediate clouds shall be dispellid;
The sun shall soon be face to face beheld,
In all his robes, with all his glory on,
Seated sublime on his meridian throne.
Then constant faith, and holy hope shall die,
One lost in certainty, and one in joy:
Whilst thou, more happy pow'r, fair charity,
Trium ant sister, greatest of the three,
Thy office and thy natore still the saine,
Lasting thy lamp, and unconsum'd thy flame,
Shalt still survive-
Shalt stand before the host of heav'n coufest,
For ever blessing, and for ever blest.
Picture of a good Man.
Some angel guide my pencil, wbile I draw,
What nothing less than angel can exceed,
A man on earth devoted to the skies :
Like ships at sea, while in, above the world.
With aspect mild, and elevated eye,
Behold him seated on a mount serene,
Above the fogs of sense, and passion's storm;
All the black cares, and tumults of this life,
Like harmless thunders, breaking at his feet,
Excite his pity, not impair his peace.
Earth's genuine sons, the scepter'd and the slave,
A mingled mob! a wand'ring herd! he sees,
Bewilder'd in the vale ; in all unlike!
His full reverse in all! What higher praise ?
What stronger demonstration of the right?
The present all their care; the future his,
When public welfare calls, or private want.
They give to fame; his bounty he conceals.
Their virtues varnish nature; his 'exalt.
Mankind's esteem they court; and he his own.
Theirs the wild chase of false felicities;
His, the compos'd possession of the true.
Alike throughout is his consistent piece,
All of one colour and an even thread;
While party-colour'd shreds of happiness,
With hideous gaps between, patch up for them
A madman's robe; each puff of fortune blows
The tatters by, and shows their nakedness.
He sees with other eyes than theirs: where they
Behold a sun, he spies a Deity;
What makes them only smile, makes him adore.
Where they see mountains, he but atoms sees ;
An empire in his balance, weighis a grain.
They things terrestrial worship, as divine.:
His hopes immortal blow them by, as dust,
That dims his sight, and shortens his survey,
Which longs, in infinite, to lose all bound.
Titles and hovours (if they prove his fate)
He lays aside to find his diguity;
No dignity they find in aught besides.
They triumph in externals, (which conceals
Man's real glory) proud of an eclipse :
Himself too much he prizes to be proud;
And nothing thinks so great iu man, as man.
Too dear he holds his int’rest, to neglect
Another's welfare, or his right invade ;
Their int’rest, like a lion, lives on prey.
They kindle at the shaduw of a wrong:
Wrong he sustains with temper, looks on heav'n,
Nor stoops to think his injurer his foe :
Nought, but what wounds his virtue, wounds his peace.
A cover'd heart their character defends;
A cover'd heart denies him half his praise.
With nakedness his innocence agrees !
While their broad foliage testifies their fall !
Their no joys end, where his full feast begins :
His joys create, theirs murder future bliss.
To triumph in existence, his alone;
And his alone triumphantly to think
His true existence is not yet begun.
His glorious course was yesterday complete :
Death, then, was welcome; yet life still is sweet.
The Pleasures of Retirement. O KNEW he but his happiness, of men, The happiest he ! who, far from public rage, Deep in the vale, with a choice few retird, Drinks the pure pleasures of the rural life: What tho' the dome be wanting; whose proud gate, Each morning, vomits out the sneaking orowd Of flatterers false, and in their turn abus'd! Vile intercourse ! What tho? ihe glittering robe, Of every hue reflected light cap give, Or floated looge, or stiff with mazy gold, The pride and gaze of fools, oppress him not? What tho’ from utmost land and sea purvey'd, For hiin each rarer tributary life Bleeds not, and his insatiate table heaps With luxury and death? What tho’ bis bowl Flames not with costly juice ; nor sunk in beds Oft of gay care, he tosses out the night, Or melts the thoughtless hours in idle state'? What though he knows not those fantastic joys, That still amuse the wanton, still deceive ; A face of pleasure, but a heart of pain ; Their hollow moments undelighted all Sure peace is his, a solid life, estrang'd To disappointment and fallacious hope : Rich in content, in nature's bounty rich, In herbs and fruits ; whatever greeps the spring, When heaven descends in showers ; or bends the bough When summer reddens, and when autumn beams; Or in the wintry glebe whatever lies Conceald, and fattens with the richest sap; These are not wanting ; nor the milky drove, Luxuriant, spread o'er all the lowing vale ; Nor bleating mountains ; nor the chide of streains, And hum of bees, inviting sleep sineere Into the guiltless breast, beneath the shade, Or thrown at large amid the fragrant hay ; Nor aught besides of prospect, grove, or song, Dim grottos, gleaming lakes, and fountains clear. Here 100 dwells simple truth; plain innocence ; Unsullied beauty ; sound unbroken youth, Patient of labour, with a little pleas'd ;
Health ever blooming ; unambitious toil ;
Calin contemplation, and poetic ease.
The Pleasure and Benefit of an Improved and well Directed
0! blest of Heaven, whoin nok the languid songs
Of luxury, the siren ! not the bribes
Of sordid wealth, nor all the gandy spoils
Of pageant Honour, can seduce to leare
Those ever blooming sweets, which, from the store
of nature, fair imagination culls,
To charm th' enliven’d soul! What tho' not all
of mortal offspring can attain the height
Of envied life : tho only few possess
Patrician treasures, or imperial state ;
Yet nature's care, to all her children just,
With richer treasures, and an ampler state,
Endows at large whatever happy man
Will deign to use them. His the city's pomp,
The rúral honours his. Whate'er adorns
The princely dome, the column and the arch,
The breathing marble and the sculptur'd gold,
Beyond the proud possessor's narrow claim,
His tuneful breast enjoys. For him, the spring
Distils her dews, and from the silken gem,
Its lucis leaves unfolds; for him, the hand
Of autumn tinges every fertile branch
With blooming gold, and blushes like the moro.
Er h passing hour sheds tribute from her wings ;
And still new beauties meet his lonely walk,
And loves unfelt attract him, Not a breeze
Fies o’er the meadow ; not a cloud imbibes
Le settings un's effulgence ; not a strain
Ir in all the tenants of the warbling shade
Asce, ils; but whence his bosom can partake
Fresi I leasure, un'eprov'd. Nor thence partakes
Fresh pleasure only ; for th' attentive mind,
By this harmonious action of her powers,
Becon.es herself harmonious : wont so oft
In outward things to meditate the charm
Of sacred order, soon she seeks at home,
T', find a kindrod order ; to exert
Within herself this elegance of love,
This fair inspir'd delight : her temper'd powere
Refine at length, and ev'ry passion wears
A chaster, milder, more attractive mien.
But if to ampler prospects, if to gaze
On nature's form, where, negligent of all
These lesser graces, she assumes the part
Of that eternal Majesty that weigh'd
The world's foundations, if to these the mind
Exalts her daring eye; then mightier far
Will be the change, and nobler. Would the forme
Of servile custom eramp her gen'rous powers ?
Would sordid policies, the barb?rous growth
Of ignorance and rapine, bow her down
To tame pursuits, to indolence and fear ?
Lo ! she appeals to nature, to the winds
And rolling waves, the sun's unwearied course,
The elements and seasons : all declare
For what the eternal MAKCR has ordain'd
The pow'rs of man: we feel within ourselves
His energy divine : he tells the heart,
He meant, he made us to behold and love
What he beholds and loves, the general orb
Of life and being ; to be great like hiin,
Beneficent and active. 'Thus the men
Whom nature's works instruct, with God himself
Hold converse ; grow familiar, day by day,
With his conceptions; act upon his plan;
And form to his, the relish of their souls. AKENSIDE.
At the close of the day, when the hamlet is still,
And mortals the sweets of forgetfulness prove;
When nought but the torrent is heard on the hill,
And nought but the nightingale's song in the grove : 'Twas thus by the cave of a mountain afar,
While his harp rung symphonious, a hermit began; No more with himself or with nature at war,
He thought as a sage, tho’ he felt as a man,