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The vision of the heavenly multitude,
Who hymned the song of peace o'er Bethlehem's
Yet thou more bright than all the angel blaze,
That harbingered thy birth, Thou, Man of Woes !
Despised Galilean! For the great
Invisible (by symbols only seen)
With a peculiar and surpassing light
Shines from the visage of the oppressed good man,
When heedless of himself the scourged Saint
Mourns for the oppressor.
Fair the vernal mead, Fair the high grove, the sea, the sun, the stars ; True impress each of their creating Sire! Yet nor high grove, nor many-colored mead, Nor the green Ocean with his thousand isles, Nor the starred azure, nor the sovran Sun, E'er with such majesty of portraiture Imaged the supreme beauty uncreate, As thou, meek Saviour) at the fearful hour When thy insulted anguish winged the prayer Harped by Archangels, when they sing of mercy ! Which when the Almighty heard from forth his
throne Diviner light filled Heaven with ecstasy ! Heaven's hymnings paused: and Hell her yawning
mouth Closed a brief moment.
Lovely was the death Of Him whose life was Love! Holy with power He on the thought-benighted Sceptic beamed Manifest Godhead, melting into day What floating mists of dark idolatry Broke and misshaped the omnipresent Sire : And first by Fear uncharmed the drowsed Soul.
'Till of its nobler nature it ’gan feel
Dim recollections; and thence soared to Hope,
Strong to believe whate'er of mystic good
The Eternal dooms for his immortal sons.
From Hope and firmer Faith to perfect Love
Attracted and absorbed : and centred there
God only to behold, and know, and feel,
Till by exclusive consciousness of God
All self-annihilated it shall make
God its identity : God all in all!
We and our Father one !
And blest are they, Who in this fleshly World, the elect of Heaven, Their strong eye darting through the deeds of men, Adore with steadfast unpresuming gaze Him Nature's essence, mind, and energy! And gazing, trembling, patiently ascend Treading beneath their feet all visible things As steps, that upward to their Father's throne Lead gradual—else nor glorified nor loved. They nor contempt embosom nor revenge: For they dare know of what may seem deform The Supreme Fair sole operant : in whose sight All things are pure, his strong controlling Love Alike from all educing perfect good. Theirs too celestial courage, inly armedDwarfing Earth's giant brood, what time they muse On their great Father, great beyond compare ! And marching onwards view high o'er their heads His waving banners of Omnipotence.
Who the Creator love, created might
Dread not: within their tents no terrors walk.
For they are holy things before the Lord
Aye unprofaned, though Earth should league with
God's altar grasping with an eager hand.
Fear, the wild-visaged, pale, eye-starting wretch,
Sure-refuged hears his hot pursuing fiends
Yell at vain distance. Soon refreshed from Heaven
He calms the throb and tempest of his heart.
His countenance settles ; a soft solemn bliss
Swims in his eye-his swimming eye upraised :
And Faith's whole armor glitters on his limbs !
And thus transfigured with a dreadless awe,
A solemn hush of soul, meek he beholds
All things of terrible seeming: yea, unmoved
Views e'en the immitigable ministers
That shower down vengeance on these latter
For kindling with intenser Deity
From the celestial Mercy-seat they come,
And at the renovating wells of Love
Have filled their vials with salutary wrath,
To sickly Nature more medicinal
Than what soft balm the weeping good man pours ·
Into the lone despoiled traveller's wounds!
Thus from the Elect, regenerate through faith,
Pass the dark Passions and what thirsty Cares
up the Spirit, and the dim regards
Self-centre. Lo they vanish! or acquire
New names, new features—by supernal grace
Enrobed with Light, and naturalized in Heaven.
As when a shepherd on a vernal morn
Through some thick fog creeps timorous with slow
Darkling he fixes on the immediate road
His downward eye: all else of fairest kind
Hid or deformed. But lo! the bursting Sun!
Touched by the enchantment of that sudden beam
Straight the black vapor melteth, and in globes
Of dewy glitter gems each plant and tree;
On every leaf, on every blade it hangs!
Dance glad the new-born intermingling rays,
And wide around the landscape streams with glory!
There is one Mind, one omnipresent Mind,
Omnific. His most holy name is Love.
Truth of subliming import ! with the which
Who feeds and saturates his constant soul,
He from his small particular orbit flies
With blest outstarting! From Himself he flies,
Stands in the sun, and with no partial gaze
Views all creation ; and he loves it all,
And blesses it, and calls it very good!
This is indeed to dwell with the most High !
Cherubs and rapture-trembling Seraphim
Can press no nearer to the Almighty's Throne.
But that we roam unconscious, or with hearts
Unfeeling of our universal Sire.
And that in his vast family no Cain
Injures uninjured (in her best-aimed blow
Victorious murder a blind suicide)
Haply for this some younger Angel now
Looks down on human nature: and behold !
A sea of blood bestrewed with wrecks, where mad
Embattling interests on each other rush
With unhelmed rage !
'Tis the sublime of man, Our noontide majesty, to know ourselves
Parts and proportions of one wondrous whole!
This fraternizes man, this constitutes
Our charities and bearings. But ’tis God
Diffused through all, that doth make all one whole !
This the worst superstition, him except
Aught to desire, Supreme Reality!
The plenitude and permanence of bliss !
O Fiends of Superstition ! not that oft
The erring priest hath stained with brother's blood
Your grisly idols, not for this may wrath
Thunder against you from the Holy One!
But o’er some plain that steameth to the sun,
Peopled with death ; or where more hideous Trade
Loud laughing packs his bales of human anguish;
I will raise up a mourning, O ye
fiends! And curse your spells, that film the
of Faith, Hiding the present God; whose presence lost, The moral world's cohesion, we become An anarchy of Spirits ! Toy-bewitched, Made blind by lusts, disherited of soul, No common centre Man, no common sire Knoweth! A sordid solitary thing, Mid countless brethren with a lonely heart Through courts and cities the smooth savage roams, Feeling himself, his own low self the whole ; When he by sacred sympathy might make The whole one self! self, that no alien knows ! Self, far diffused as Fancy's wing can travel ! Self, spreading still! Oblivious of its own, Yet all of all possessing! This is Faith! This the Messiah's destined victory! But first offences needs must come! Even now !*
January 21st, 1794, in the debate on the address to his Majesty, on the speech from the throne, the Earl of Guild.