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Too vast, too boundless for our narrow mind,
Warp'd with low prejudices, to infold,
And sagely comprehend. Thence higher soaring,
Through ye I raise my solemn thoughts to Him,
The mighty Founder of this wond'rous maze,
The great Creator! Him! who now sublime,
Wrapt in the solitary amplitude
Of boundless space, above the rolling spheres
Sits on his silent throne, and meditates.
The angelic hosts, in their inferior Heaven,
Hymn to the golden harps his praise sublime,
Repeating loud, "The Lord our God is great,"
In varied harmonies.-The glorious sounds
Roll o'er the air serene-The Æolian spheres,
Harping along their viewless boundaries,
Catch the full note, and cry, "The Lord is great,"
Responding to the Seraphim.-O'er all,
From orb to orb, to the remotest verge
Of the created world, the sound is borne,
Till the whole universe is full of HIM.
Oh! 'tis this heavenly harmony which now
In fancy strikes upon my listening ear,
And thrills my inmost soul. It bids me smile
On the vain world, and all its bustling cares,
And gives a shadowy glimpse of future bliss.
Oh! what is man, when at ambition's height, What even are kings, when balanced in the scale
Of these stupendous worlds! Almighty God!
Thou, the dread author of these wond'rous works!
Say, canst thou cast on me, poor passing worm,
One look of kind benevolence ?-Thou canst:
For thou art full of universal love,
And in thy boundless goodness wilt impart
Thy beams as well to me as to the proud,
The pageant insects of a glittering hour.
Oh! when reflecting on these truths sublime,
How insignificant do all the joys,
The gaudes, and honours of the world appear!
How vain ambition!-Why has my wakeful lamp
Outwatch'd the slow-pac'd night?-Why on the page,
The schoolman's labour'd page, have I employ'd
The hours devoted by the world to rest,
And needful to recruit exhausted nature?
Say, can the voice of narrow Fame repay
The loss of health? or can the hope of glory
Lend a new throb unto my languid heart,
Cool, even now, my feverish aching brow,
Relume the fires of this deep-sunken eye,
Or paint new colours on this pallid cheek?
Say, foolish one-can that unbodied fame,
For which thou barterest health and happiness,
Say, can it sooth the slumbers of the grave?
Give a new zest to bliss, or chase the pangs
Of everlasting punishment condign?
Alas! how vain are mortal man's desires!
How fruitless his pursuits! Eternal God!
Guide thou my footsteps in the way of truth,
And oh assist me so to live on earth,
That I may die in peace, and claim a place
In thy high dwelling.-All but this is folly,
The vain illusions of deceitful life.
SUPPOSED TO BE SPOKEN BY A LOVER AT THE GRAVE OF HIS
Occasioned by a Situation in a Romance.
MARY, the moon is sleeping on thy grave,
And on the turf thy lover sad is kneeling,
The big tear in his eye.—Mary, awake,
From thy dark house arise, and bless his sight
On the pale moonbeam gliding. Soft, and low,
Pour on the silver ear of night thy tale,
Thy whisper'd tale of comfort and of love,"
To sooth thy Edward's lorn, distracted soul,
And chear his breaking heart.-Come, as thou didst, When o'er the barren moors the night-wind howl'd," And the deep thunders shook the ebon throne
Of the startled night.-O! then, as lone reclining,"
I listen'd sadly to the dismal storm,
Thou on the lambent lightnings wild careering
Didst strike my moody eye';—dead pale thou wert,
Yet passing lovely.-Thou didst smile upon me,
And oh thy voice it rose so musical,
Betwixt the hollow pauses of the storm,
That at the sound the winds forgot to rave,
And the stern demon of the tempest, charm'd,
Sunk on his rocking throne to still repose,
Lock'd in the arms of silence.
My only love!-O! now again arise,
And let once more thine aëry accents fall
Soft on my listening ear. The night is calm,
The gloomy willows wave in sinking cadence
With the stream that sweeps below. Divinely swelling
On the still air, the distant waterfall
Mingles its melody;—and, high above,
The pensive empress of the solemn night,
Fitful, emerging from the rapid clouds,
Shews her chaste face in the meridian sky.
No wicked elves upon the Warlock-knoll
Dare now assemble at their mystic revels;
It is a night, when from their primrose beds,
The gentle ghosts of injur'd innocents
Are known to rise, and wander on the breeze,
Or take their stand by the oppressor's couch,
And strike grin terror to his guilty soul.
The spirit of my love might now awake,
And hold its custom'd converse.
Thy Edward kneels upon thy verdant grave,
And calls upon thy name. The breeze that blows
On his wan cheek will soon sweep over him
In solemn music, a funereal dirge,
Wild and most sorrowful.-His cheek is pale,
The worm that prey'd upon thy youthful bloom,
It canker'd green on his.-Now lost he stands,
The ghost of what he was, and the cold dew
Which bathes his aching temples gives sure omen
Of speedy dissolution.Mary, soon
Thy love will lay his pallid cheek to thine,
And sweetly will he sleep with thee in death.
A Letter in Hudibrastic Verse.
You bid me, Ned, describe the place
Where I, one of the rhyming race,
Pursue my studies con amore,
And wanton with the muse in glory.
Well, figure to your senses straight,
Upon the house's topmost height,
A closet, just six feet by four,
With white-wash'd walls, and plaster floor,
So noble large, 'tis scarcely able
To admit a single chair and table:
And (lest the muse should die with cold)
A smoky grate my fire to hold: