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As if, hike him of fabulous renown,
They had indeed ability to smooth
The shag of savage nature, and were each
An Orpheus, and omnipotent in song:
But transformation of apostate man
From fool to wise, from earthly to divine,
Is work for Him that made him. He alone,
And he by means in philosophic eyes
Trivial and worthy .Pdisdain, achieves
The wonder; humanizing what is brute
In the lost kind, extracting from the lips
Of asps their venom, overpow'ring strength
By weakness, and hostility by love. *
Patriots have toil'd, and in their country's cause
Bled nobly; and their deeds, as they deserve,
Receive proud recompense. We give in charge
Their names to the sweet lyre. Th’ historic muse,
Proud of the treasure, marches with it down
To latest times; and Sculpture, in her turn,
Gives bond in stone and ever—during brass
To guard them, and to immortalize her trust:
But fairer wreaths are due, though never paid,
To those, who, posted at the shrine of Truth,
Have fall’n in her defence. A patriot's blood,
Well spent in such a strife, may earn indeed,
And for a time ensure, to his lov’d land
The sweets of liberty and equal laws; ,
But martyrs struggle for a brighter prize, .
And win it with more pain. Their blood is shed
In confirmation of the noblest claim,
Our claim to feed upon immortal truth,
To walk with God, to be divinely free,
To soar, and to anticipate the skies.
Yet few remember them. They liv'd unknown,
Till Persecution dragg’d them into fame,
And chas'd them up to Heav'n. Their ashes flew
—No marble tells us whither. With their names
No bard embalms and sanctifies his song.
And History, so warm on meaner themes,
Is cold on i. She execrates indeed
The tyranny, that doom'd them to the fire,
But gives the glorious suff'rers little praise.*
He is the freeman, whom the truth makes free,
And all are slaves besides. There's not a chain,
That hellish foes, confed’rate for his harm,
Can wind around him, but he casts it off,
With as much ease as Sampson his green withes.
He looks abroad into the varied field
Of nature, and though poor, perhaps, compar'd
With those whose mansions F. in his sight,
Calls the delightful scen'ry all his own.
His are the mountains, and the valleys his,
And the resplendent rivers: his to enjoy
With a propriety that none can feel,
But who, with #. confidence inspir’d,
Can lift to Heav'n an unpresumptuous eye,
And smiling say—“My Father made them all!”
Are they not his by a peculiar right,
And by an emphasis of int’rest his,
Whose eye they fill with tears of holy joy,
Whose heart with praise, and whose exalted mind
With worthy thoughts of that unwearied love,
That plann'd, and built, and still upholds, a world
So cloth’d with beauty for rebellious man?
Yes—he may fill your garners, ye that reap
The loaded soil, and ye may waste much good
In senseless riot; but ye will not find
In feast, or in the chase, in song or dance,
A liberty like his, who, unimpeach'd
Of usurpation, and to no man's wrong,
Appropriates nature as his Father's work,
And has a richer use of yours than you.
He is indeed a freeman. Free by birth
Qf no mean city; plann'd or ere the hills
Were built, the fountains open'd, or the sea
With all his roaring multitude of waves.
His freedom is the same in ev'ry state;
And no condition of this changeful life,
So manifold in cares, whose ev'ry da
Brings its own evil with it, makes it less:
For he has wings, that neither sickness, pain,
Nor penury, can cripple or confine.
o nook so narrow, but he spreads them there
With ease, and is at large. ’ oppressor holds
His body bound, but knows not what a range
His spirit takes unconscious of a chain;
And that to bind him is a vain attempt,
Whom God delights in, and in whom he dwells.
YAcquaint thyself with God, if thou wouldst taste
His works. Admitted once to his embrace,
Thou shalt perceive that thou wast blind before :
Thine eye shall be instructed; and thine heart
Made pure shall relish, with divine delight
Till then unfelt, what hands divine have wrought.
Brutes graze the mountain-top, with faces prone,
And eyes intent upon the scanty herb
It yields them; or, recumbent on its brow,
Ruminate heedless of the scene outspread
Beneath, beyond, and stretching far away
From ii regions to the distant main.
Man views it, and admires; but rests content
With what he views. The landscape has his praise,
But not its Author. Unconcern’d who form'd
The Paradise he sees, he finds it such,
And, such well-pleas'd to find it, asks no more.
Not so the mind, that has been touch'd from Heav'n,
And in the school of sacred wisdom taught,
To read his wonders, in whose thought the World,
Fair as it is, existed ere it was.
Not for its own sake merely, but for his -
Much more, who fashion’d it, he gives it praise;
Praise that from Earth resulting, as it ought,
To Earth's acknowledg’d Sov’reign, finds at once
Its only just proprietor in Him.
The ...' that sees him, or receives sublim’d
New faculties, or learns at least to employ
More worthily the pow'rs she own’d before,
Discerns in all things what, with stupid gaze
Of ignorance, till then she overlook’d,
A ray of heav'nly light, gilding all forms
Terrestrial in the vast and the minute;
The unambiguous footsteps of the God,
Who gives its lustre to an insect's wing,
And wheels his throne upon the rolling worlds.
Much conversant with Ho she often holds
With those fair ministers of light to man,
That fill the skies nightly with silent pomp,
Sweet conference. Inquires what strains were they
With which Heav'n rang, when ev’ry star in haste
To gratulate the new-created x
Sent forth a voice, and all the sons of God,
Shouted for joy.—“Tell me, ye shining hosts,
That navigate a sea that knows no storms,
Beneath a vault unsullied with a cloud,
If from your elevation, whence ye view
j , scenes invisible to man,
And systems, of whose birth no tidings yet
Have reach'd this nether world, ye spy a race
Favour’d as ours; transgressors from the womb,
And hasting to a grave, yet doom'd to rise,
And to possess a brighter heav'n than yours?
As one, who, long detain’d on foreign shores,
Pants to return, and when he sees asar
His country's weather-bleach'd and batter'd rocks,
From the green wave emerging, darts an eye
Radiant with joy towards the happy land;
So I with animated hopes .
And many an aching wish, your beamy fires,
That show like beacons in the blue abyss,
Ordain'd to guide th’ embodied spirit home
rom toilsome life to never-ending rest.
#: kindles as I gaze. I feel desires, hat give assurance of their own success, And that, infus’d from Heav'n, must thither tend.” So reads he nature, whom the lamp of truth Illuminates. Thy lamp, mysterious Word Which whoso sees no o: wanders lost, With intellects bemaz'd in endless doubt, But runs the road of wisdom. Thou hast built With means, that were not till by thee employ'd, Worlds, that had never been hadst thou in strength Been less, or less benevolent than strong. They are thy witnesses, who speak thy pow'r 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, deem'd oracular, lure down to death The uninform'd 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 prov’d Then skilful most when most severely judg’d. But chance is not; or is not where thou reign'st: Thy providence forbids that fickle pow'r |. pow'r she be, that works but to confound) o 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 Amus’d spectators of this bustling stage. Thee we reject, unable to abide