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How, like a worm, was I rapt round and round
In silken thought, with reptile Fancy spun,
Till darken’d Reason lay quite clouded o'er
With soft conceit of endless comfort here,
Nor yet put forth her wings to reach the skies !
Night-visions may befriend (as sung above):
Our waking dreams are fatal. How I dreamt
Of things impossible! (Could sleep do more?)
Of joys perpetual in perpetual change!
Of stable pleasures on the tossing wave!
Eternal sunshine in the storms of life!
How richly were my noon-tide trances hung
With gorgeous tapestries of pictur'd joys!
Joy behind joy, in endless perspective!
Till at Death's toll, whose restless iron tongue
Calls daily for his millions at a meal,
Starting I woke, and found myself undone.
Where now my phrenzy's pompous furniture ?
The cobweb'd cottage, with its ragged wall
Of mouldering mud, is royalty to me!
The spider's most attenuated thread
Is cord, is cable, to man's tender tie
On earthly bliss ! it breaks at every breeze.
a Picture. PEHOLD'ST thou yonder on the crystal sea,
Beneath the throne of God, an image fair, And in its hand a mirror large and bright? 'Tis Truth, immutable, eternal Truth,
In figure emblematical expressed.
Before it Virtue stands, and smiling sees,
Well pleased, in her reflected soul no spot.
The sons of heaven, archangel, seraph, saint,
There daily read their own essential worth;
And, as they read, take place among the just;
Or high, or low, each as his value seems.
There each his certain interest learns, his true
Capacity; and going thence, pursues,
Unerringly, through all the tracts of thought,
As God ordains, best ends by wisest means.
ALL nature, hear the sacred song!
A Attend, O earth, the solemn strain !
Ye whirlwinds wild that sweep along,
Ye darkening storms of beating rain,
Umbrageous glooms, and forests drear,
And solitary deserts, hear!
Be still, ye winds, whilst to the Maker's praise
The creature of his power aspires his voice to
0, may the solemn-breathing sound
Like incense rise before the throne,
Where he, whose glory knows no bound,
Great Cause of all things, dwells alone ! 'Tis he I sing, whose powerful hand Balanced the skies, outspread the land :
Who spoke,—from ocean's stores sweet waters
came, And burst resplendent forth the heaven-aspiring
One general song of praise arise
To him whose goodness ceaseless flows;
Who dwells enthroned beyond the skies,
And life and breath on all bestows !
Great Source of intellect, his ear
Benign receives our vows sincere :
Rise, then, my active powers, your task fulfil,
And give to him your praise, responsive to my
Partaker of that living stream
Of light, that pours an endless blaze,
0, let thy strong reflected beam,
My understanding, speak his praise ! My soul, in stedfast love secure,
Praise him whose word is ever sure: To him, sole just, my sense of right incline : Join, every prostrate limb; my ardent spirit
join! Let all of good this bosom fires,
To him, sole good, give praises due:
Let all the truth himself inspires
Unite to sing him only true:
To him my every thought ascend,
To him my hopes, my wishes, bend :
From earth's wide bounds let louder hymns arise,
And his own word convey the pious sacrifice !
In ardent adoration joined,
Obedient to thy holy will, Let all my faculties combined,
Thy just desires, O God, fulfil! From thee derived, Eternal King,
To thee, our noblest powers we bring : O, may thy hand direct our wandering way! O, bid thy light arise, and chase the clouds away!
Eternal Spirit, whose command
Light, life, and being gave to all,
O, hear the creature of thy hand,
Man, constant on thy goodness call !
By fire, by water, air and earth,
That soul to thee that owes its birth, By these, he supplicates thy blest repose : Absent from thee, no rest his wandering spirit knows.
LORENZO DE MEDICI, Trans. by ROSCOE.
Acquaint thyself with God. ACQUAINT 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 inland regions to the distant main.
Man views it, and admires ; but rests content
With what he views. The landscape bas his praise,
But not its Author. Unconcerned who formed
The paradise he sees, he finds it such,
And, such well-pleased to find it, asks no more.
Not so the mind that has been touched from
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 fashioned it, he gives it praise ;
Praise, that from earth resulting, as it ought,
To earth's acknowledged Sovereign, finds at once
Its only just proprietor in him.
The soul that sees him or receives sublimed
New faculties, or learns at least t' employ
More worthily the powers she owned before,
Discerns in all things what, with stupid gaze
Of ignorance, till then she overlooked;
A ray of heavenly 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 heaven, she often holds
With those fair ministers of light to man,