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Of ufurpation, and to no man's wrong,
Appropriates nature as his Father's work,
And has a richer ufe of yours than
He is indeed a freeman; free by birth
Of no mean city, plann'd or ere the hills
Were built, the fountains open'd, or the fea
With all his roaring multitude of waves.
His freedom is the fame in ev'ry ftate;
And no condition of this changeful life,
So manifold in cares, whofe ev'ry day
Brings its own evil with it, makes it lefs:
For he has wings that neither fickness, pain,
Nor penury, can cripple or coaline;
No nook fo narrow but he spreads them there
With eafe, and is at large. Th' oppreffor holds
His body bound, but knows not what a range
His fpirit takes, unconscious of a chain;
And that to bind him is a vain attempt,
Whom God delights in, and in whom he dwells.
Acquaint thyfelf with God, if thou wouldst tafte
His works. Admitted once to his embrace,
Thou shalt perceive that thou waft blind before:
Thine eye fhall be inftructed; and thine heart,
Made pure, fhall relifh with divine delight,
Till then unfelt, what hands divine have wrought.
Brutes graze the mountain-top with faces prone,
And eyes intent upon the fcanty herb
It yields them; or, recumbent on its brow,
Ruminate, heedlefs of the fcene outspread
Beneath, beyond, and stretching far away
From inland regions to the diftant main.
Man views it and admires, but refts content
With what he views. The landscape has his praife,
But not its Author. Unconcern'd who form'd
The paradife he fees, he finds it fuch;
And, fuch well-pleas'd to find it, asks no more.
Not fo the mind that has been touch'd from Heaven,
And in the fchool of facred wildom taught
To read his wonders, in whofe thought the world,
Fair as it is, exifted ere it was:
Not for its own fake merely, but for his
Much more who fafhion'd it, he gives it praife;
Praife that, from earth refulting, as it ought,
To earth's acknowledg'd Sovereign, finds at once
Its only just proprietor in Him.
The foul that fees him, or receives fublim'd
New faculties, or learns at leaft t' employ
More worthily the pow'rs the own'd before,
Difcerns in all things, what with stupid gaze
Of ignorance till then the overlook'd,
A ray of heavenly light gilding all forms
Terreftrial, in the vaft and the minute,
The unambiguous footsteps of the God
Who gives its luftre to an infect's wing,
And wheels his throne upon the rolling worlds.
Much converfant with Heaven, fhe often holds
With thofe fair minifters of light to man,
That hit the skies nightly with filent pomp,
Sweet conference; enquiies what trains were they
With which heaven rang, when ev'ry star, in hafte
To gratulate the new-created earth,
Sent forth a voice, an i all the fons of God
Shouted for inv—“ Tell me, ye thining hots,
"That navigate a fea that knows no storms,
"Beneath a vault unfullied with a cloud, "If from your elevation, whence ye view Diftinétly fcenes invifible to man,
And fyftems of whose birth no tidings yet Have reach'd this nether world, ye ipy a race Favour'd as ours, tranfgreffors from the womb, "And hafting to à grave, yet dooin'd to rife, "And to poffefs a brighter heaven than yours? "As one who, long detain'd on foreign thore, "Pants to return, and when he fees afar [rocks
His country's weather-bleach'd and batterɗ "From the green wave emerging, darts an eye Radiant with joy towards the happy land; "So I with animated hopes behoid,
And many an aching with, your beamy fires, "That fhew like beacons in the blue abyfs, "Ordain'd to guide th' embodied spirit home "From toilfome life to never-ending reft.
Love kindles as I gaze. I feel defires That give affurance of their own fuccefs, "And that infus'd from heaven mustthither tend." So reads he nature, whom the lamp of truth Illuminates; thy lamp, myfterious word! Which whofo fecs no longer wanders loft, With intellects bemaz'd, in endless doubt, But runs the road of wisdom. Thou hast built, With means that were not till by thee employd, Worlds that had never been, hadft thou in ftrength Been lefs, or lefs benevolent than strong. They are thy witneffes, who speak thy pow'r And goodness infinite, but fpeak in cars That hear not, or receive not their report. In vain thy creatures teftify of thee Till thou proclaim thyfelf." 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 ute. Till thou art heard, imaginations vain Poffefs the heart, and fables falfe as hell, Yet deem'd oracular, lure down to death The uninform`d and heedlefs fons of men. We give to chance, blind chance, our felves as blind, The glory of thy work, which yet appears Perfect and unimpeachable of blame, Challenging human fcrutiny, and prov'd Then fkilful moft when most severely judg'd. But chance is not, or is not where thou reignft: Thy providence forbids that fickle pow'r (If pow'r the be that works but to confound) To mix her wild vagaries with thy laws. Yet thus we dote, refufing while we can Instruction, and inventing to ourfelves Gods fuch as guilt makes welcome, Gods that fleep, Or difregard our follies, or that fit Amus'd fpectators of this bustling stage. Thee we reject, unable to abide Thy purity, till pure as thou art pure, Made fuch by thee, we love thee for that caufe For which we fhunn'd and hated thee before. Then we are free: then liberty like day Breaks on the foul, and by a flash from Heaven Fires all the faculties with glorious joy. A voice is heard that mortal ears hear not Fill thou haft touch'd them; 'tis the voice of fong, A loud
A loud Hofanna fent from all thy works,
Which he that hears it with a thout repeats,
And adds his rapture to the gen'ral praise.
In that bleft moment, Nature throwing wide
Her veil opake, difclofes with a fmile
The Author of her beauties, who, retir'd
Behind his own creation, works unfeen
By the impure, and hears his pow'r denied.
Thou art the fource and centre of all minds,
Their only point of reft, Eternal Word!
From thee departing, they are loft, and rove
At random, without honour, hope, or peace.
From thee is all that fooths the life of man,
His high endeavour, and his glad fuccefs,
His ftrength to fuffer, and his will to ferve.
But, O! thou bounteous Giver of all good,
Thou art of all thy gifts thyfelf the crown!
Give what thou canft, without thee we are poor;
And with thee rich, take what thou wilt away.
That Philofophy which tops at Secondary
Cafes reprov. d. COWPER.
HAPPY the man who fees a God employ'd
In all the good and ill that chequer life!
Refolving all events, with their effects
And manifold refults, into the will
And arbitration wife of the Supreme.
Did not his eye rule all things, and intend
The leaft of our concerns (fince from the leaft
The greatest oft originate); could chance
Find place in his dominion, or difpofe
One lawless particle to thwart his plan;
Then God might be furpris'd, and unforeseen
Contingence might alarm him, and disturb
The finooth and equal courfe of his affairs.
This truth, philofophy, though eagle-eyed
In nature's tendencies, oft overlooks;
And, having found his inftrument, forgets
Or difregards, or, more prefumptuous ftill,
Denies the pow'r that wields it. God proclaims
His hot difpleafure againft foolish men
That live an atheift lite; involves the heaven
In tempefts; quits his giafp upon the winds,
And gives them all their fury; bids a plague
Kindle a fiery bile upon the fkin,
And putrefy the breath of blooming health.
He calls for famine; and the meagre fiend
Blows mildew from between his thrivell d' lips,
And taints the golden car: he fprings his mines,
And defolates a nation at a blast.
Forth fteps the fpruce philofopher, and tells
Of homogeneal and difcordant fprings
And principles; of caufes, how they work
By neceffary laws their fure effects,
Of action and re-action. He has found
The fource of the difeafe that Nature feels,
And bids the world take heart, and banith fear.
Thou fool! will thy difcovery of the caufe
Sufpend th' effect or heal it? Has not God
Still wrought by means fince first he made the world?
And did he not of old employ his means
To drown it? What is his creation lefs
Than a capacious refervoir of means
Form'd for his ufe, and ready at his will?
Go, drefs thine eyes with eye-falve; afk of him,
Or afk of whomfoever he has taught,
And learn, tho' late, the genuine caufe of all.
§ 136. Rural Sounds as well as Sights delightful. COWPER.
NOR rural fights alone, but rural founds
Exhilarate the fpirit, and reftore
The tone of languid Nature. Mighty winds,
That fweep the fkirt of fome far-fpreading wood
Of antient growth, make mufic not unlike
The dalk of ocean on his winding fhore,
And lull the fpirit while they fill the mind,
Unnumber'd branches waving in the blaft,
And all their leaves faft flutt'ring all at once.
Nor lefs compofure waits upon the roar
Of diftant floods, or on the fofter voice
Of neighb'ring fountain, or of rills that flip
Through the cleft rock, and chiming as they fall
Upon loofe pebbles, lofe themfelves at length
In matted grafs, that with a livelier green
Betrays the fecret of their filent courfe.
Nature inanimate employs fweet founds,
But animated nature fweeter ftill,
To footh and fatisfy the human ear.
Ten thoufand warblers cheer the day, and one
The live-long night: nor thefe alone, whofe notes
Nice-finger'd art muft emulate in vain,
But cawing rooks, and kites that fwim fublime
In ftill repeated circles, fereaming loud,
The jay, the pye, and even the boding owl
That hails the rifing moon, have charms for me.
Sounds inharmonious in themfelves and harsh,
Yet heard in fcenes where peace for ever reigns,
And only there, please highly for their fake.
137. The Wearifomeness of what is commonly
called a Life of Pleasure. COWPER.
HE fpleen is feldom felt where Flora reigns;
The low'ring eye, the petulance, the flown,
And fullen fadnefs, that o'erfhade, distort,
And mar the face of beauty, when no caufe
For fuch immeafurable woe appears;
Thefe Flora banishes, and gives the fair
Sweet fmiles and bloom, lefs tranfient than her own.
It is the conftant revolution, ftale
And taftelefs, of the fame repeated joys,
That palls and fatiates, and makes languid life
A pedlar's pack, that bows the bearer down.
Health fuffers, and the fpirits ebb; the heart
Recoils from its own choice-at the full feaft
Is famifh'd-finds no mufic in the fong,
No finartnefs in the jeft, and wonders why.
Yet thoufands till defire to journey on,
Though halt and weary of the path they tread.
The paralytic, who can hold her cards,
But cannot play them, borrows a friend's hand
To deal and fhuffle, to divide and fort
Her mingled fuits and fequences, and fits
Spectatrels both and fpectacle, a fad
And filent cypher, while her proxy plays.
Others are dragg'd into the crowded room
Between fupporters; and, once feated, fit,
Through downright inability to rife,
Till the ftout bearers lift the corpfe again.
Thefe fpeak a loud memento. Yet even these
Themfelves love life, and cling to it; as he
That overhangs a torrent, to a twig.
They love it, and yet loath it; fear to die,
Yet fcorn the purposes for which they live.
Then wherefore not renounce them? No-the
The flavish dread of folitude, that breeds
Reflection and remorfe, the fear of thame,
And their invet'rate habits-all forbid.
Whom call we gay? That honour has been long
The boaft of mere pretenders to the name.
The innocent are gay-the lark is gay,
That dries his feathers, faturate with dew,
Beneath the rofy cloud, while yet the beams
Of day-fpring overshoot his humble neft.
The pealant too, a witness of his fong,
Himfelf a fongfter, is as gay as he.
But fave me from the gaiety of those
Whofe head-achs nail them to a noon-day bed;
And fave me too from theirs whofe haggard eyes
Flath defperation, and betray their pangs
For property ftripp'd off by cruel chance;
From gaiety that fills the bones with pain,
The mouth with blafphemy, the heart with woe.
§ 141. Satirical Review of our Trips 10 France. Cow PER.
NOW hoift the fail, and let the ftreamers float
Upon the wanton breezes. Strew the deck
With lavender, and fprinkle liquid fweets,
That no rude favour maritime invade
The nofe of nice nobility. Breathe soft
Ye clarionets, and fofter ftill ye flutes,
That winds and waters, lull'd by magic founds,
May bear us imoothly to the Gallic fhore.
True, we have left an empire-let it pafs.
True, we may thank the perfidy of France,
That pick'd the jewel out of England's crown,
With all the cunning of an envious fhrew:
And let that pafs-'twas but a trick of state.
A brave man knows no malice, but at once
Forgets, in peace, the injuries of war,
And gives his direft foe à friend's embrace.
And, fham'd as we have been, to the very beard
Brav'd and defied, and in cur own fea prov'
Too weak for thofe decifive blows, that once
Infur'd us maft'ry there, we yet retain
Some fmall pre-eminence; we juftly boaft
At leaft fupcrior jockeyfhip, and claim
The honours of the turf as all our own.
Go then, well worthy of the praife ye feek,
And fhew the fhame ye might conceal at home,
In foreign eyes!-be grooms, and win the plate,
Where once your nobler fathers won a crown!
$139. The Pulpit the Engine of Reformation. Cow PER.
With what intent I touch the holy thing)—
The pulpit (when the fat'rift has at laft,
Strutting and vap'ring in an empty school,
Spent all his force and made no profelyte)—
I fay the pulpit (in the fober ufe
Of its legitimate peculiar pow'rs)
Muft ftand acknowledg'd, while the world fhall
The most important and effectual guard,
Support, and ornament, of virtue's caufe.
There ftands the mellenger of truth; there ftands
The legate of the fkies: his theme divine,
His office facred, his credentials clear.
By him the violated law fpeaks out
It's thunders; and by him, in ftrains as fweet
As angels ufe, the gospel whispers peace.
He ftablishes the ftrong, reftores the weak,
Reclaims the wand'rer, binds the broken heart,
And, arm'd himfelf in panoply complete
Of heavenly temper, furnishes with arms
Bright as his own; and trains, by ev'ry rule
Of holy difcipline, to glorious war,
The facramental hoft of God's elect.
§ 140. The Petit-Maitre Clergyman. CoWPEL. VENERATE the man whofe heart is warm, Whofe hands are pure, whofe doctrine and whofe Coincident, exhibit lucid proof
That he is honeft in the facred cause.
To fuch I render more than mere respect,
Whofe actions fay that they refpe&t themfelves.
But loofe in morals, and in manners vain,
In converfation frivolous, in drefs
Extreme, at once rapacious and profufe;
Frequent in park, with lady at his fide,
Ambling, and prattling scandal as he goes;
But rare at home, and never at his books
Or with his pen, fave when he fcrawls a card;
Conftant at routs, familiar with a round
Of lady fhips, a ftranger to the poor;
Ambitious of preferment for its gold,
And well prepar'd by ignorance and sloth,
By infidelity and love o' th' world,
To make God's work a finecure: a flave
To his own pleasures, and his patron's pride-
From fuch apoftles, O ye mitred heads,
Preferve the church! and lay not careless hands
On fculls that cannot teach, and will not learn.
HERMIT on the banks of Trent, Far from the world's bewildering maze, To humbler fcenes of calm content, Had filed from brighter, busier days. If haply from his guarded breaft
Should fteal the unfufpected figh; And Memory, an unbidden gueft, With former paffions fill'd his cye : Then pious hope and duty prais'd
The wifdom of th' unerring fway; And while his eye to heaven he rais'd, Its filent waters funk away.
Life's gayer enfigns once he bore
Ah! what avails the mournful tale Suffice it, when the fcene was o't,
He fled to the fequefter'd vale. "What tho' the joys I lov'd fo well, "The charms," he cry'd, “that youth has "known,
Fly from the hermit's lonely cell! "Yet is not Armine ftill my own? "Yes, Armine, yes, thou valued youth ! "'Midft every grief thou ftill art mine! "Dear pledge of Winifreda's truth, "And folace of my life's decline. Tho' from the world and worldly care "My wearied mind I mean to free, Yet ev'ry hour that heaven can spare, My Armine, I devote to thee.
And fure that heaven my hopes fhall blefs, "And make thee fam'd for virtues fair, And happy too, if happiness "Depend upon a parent's pray'r Laft hope of life's departing day, "In whom its future fcenes I fee! "No truant thought fhall ever stray "From this lone hermitage and thee." Thus, to his humble fate refign'd,
His breaft each anxious care foregoes; All but the care of Armine's mind,
The dearest task a parent knows! And well were all his cares repaid;
In Armine's breast cach virtue grew, In full maturity display'd
To fond Affection's anxious view. Nor yet neglected were tn charms
To polifh'd life that grace impart: Virtue, he knew, but feebly warms
Till fcience humanize the heart. And when he faw the lawless train
Of paffions in the youthful breaft, He curb'd them not with rigid rein,
But ftrove to footh them into reft. "Think not, my fon, in this," he cry'd, "A father's precept fhall difpleafe; "No-be cach paffion gratify'd
"That tends to happiness or cafe. "Nor fhall th' ungrateful talk be mine "Their native generous warmth to blame, "That warmth if reafon's fuffrage join
"To point the object and the aim. "This fuffrage wanting, know, fond boy, "That every paffion proves a foe: "Tho' much it deal in promis'd joy, "It pays, alas! in certain woe. "Complete Ambition's wildeft fcheme; "In Power's most brilliant robes appear; "Indulge in Fortune's golden dream; "Then afk thy breast if Peace be there. "No: it fhall tell thee, Peace retires
"If once of her lov'd friends depriv'd;
"Contentment calm, fubdued defires, "And happinefs that 's felf-deriv'd." To temper thus the ftronger fires
Of youth he ftrove; for well he knew, Boundless as thought tho' man's defires, The real wants of life were few. And oft revolving in his breast
Th' infatiate luft of wealth or fame, He, with no common care oppreft,
To Fortune thus would oft exclaim: "O Fortune! at thy crowded fhine "What wretched worlds of fuppliants bow! "For ever hail'd thy power divine,
"For ever breath'd the ferious vow. "With tottering pace and feeble knee, "See age advance in fhameless hafte, "The palfy'd hand is stretch'd to thee "For wealth he wants the power to taste. "See, led by Hope, the youthful train, "Her fairy dreams their hearts have won ; She points to what they ne'er shall gain, “Or dearly gain—to be undone. "Muft I too form the votive prayer,
"And wilt thou hear one fuppliant more? "His prayer, O Fortune! deign to hear, "To thee who never pray'd before.
"O may one dear, one favour'd youth, May Armine ftill thy power difclaim; "Kneel only at the fhrine of truth,
"Count freedom wealth, and virtue fame!" Lo! to his utmost wishes bleft,
The prayer was heard; and freedom's flame, And truth the funthine of the breaft,
Were Armine's wealth, were Armine's fame.
His heart no felfish cares confin'd,
He felt for all that feel diftrefs;
And, ftill benevolent and kind,
He blefs'd them, or he wifh'd to blefs.
For what tho' Fortune's frown deny
With wealth to bid the fufferer live,
Yet Pity's hand can oft fupply
A balm the never knew to give:
Can oft with lenient drops affuage
The wounds no ruder hand can heal, When grief, defpair, diftraction rage, While Death the lips of love fhall feal Ah then, his anguish to remove,
Depriv'd of all his heart holds dear, How fweet the ftill furviving love
Of Friendship's fmile, of Pity's tear! This knew the fire: he oft would cry, • From these, my fon, O ne'er depart! "Thefe tender charities that tie
"In mutual league. the human heart. "Be thine thofe feelings of the mind, "That wake at Honour's, Friendship's call; "Benevolence, that unconfin'd
"Extends her liberal hand to all.
"By Sympathy's untutor'd voice
"Be taught her focial laws to keep;
"Rejoice if human heart rejoice,
And weep if human eye fhall weep. "The heart that bleeds for others' woes "Shall feel each felfifh forrow lefs; "His breaft, who happinefs beftows, "Reflected happiness shall blefs.
Each ruder paffion fill withflood "That breaks o'er virtue's fober line, "The tender, noble, and the good, "To cherish and indulge be thine.
And yet, my Armine, might I name "One paffion as a dangerous guest, "Well mayft thou wonder when I blame "The tendercft, nobleft, and the best. "Nature, 'tis true, with love defign'd "To finooth the race our fathers ran; "The favage of the human kind
"By love was foften'd into man. "As feels the ore the fearching fire, Expanding and refining too, "So fairer glow'd each fair defire,
"Each gentle thought fo gentler grow. "How chang'd, alas thofe happy days! "A train how different now fucceeds! "While fordid Avarice betrays, "Or empty Vanity misleads. "Fled from the heart each nobler guest, "Each genuine feeling we forego; "What nature planted in the breast
"The flowers of love, are weeds of woe. "Hence all the pangs the heart muft feel
"Between contending patlions toft, “Wild [caloufy's avenging steel,
"And life and fame and virtue loft! "Yet falling life, yet fading fame,
Her breaft, impatient of control,
Scorn'd in its filken chains to lie,
And the foft language of the foul
Flow'd from her never-filent eye.
The bloom that open'd on her face
Well feem'd the emblem of her mind,
Where fnowy innocence we trace
With blufhing modefty combin'd.
To thefe refiflefs grace impart
That look of tweetnefs form'd to pleafe,
That elegance devoid of art,
That dignity that's loft in cafe.
What youth fo cold could view unmov'd
The maid that ev'ry beauty fhar'd?
Her Armine faw; he faw, he lov'd;
He lov'd-alas! and he despair'd!
Unhappy youth he funk oppreft;
For much he labour'd to conceal
That gentleft paflion of the breaft,
Which all can feign, but few can feel.
Ingenuous fears fupprefs'd the flame,
Yet ftill he own'd its hidden power;
With tranfport dwelling on her name,
He footh'd the folitary hour.
How long," he cry'd, "muft I conceal “What yet my heart could with were known' "How long the trueft paffion feel,
"And yet that paffion fear to own? Ah, might I breathe my humble vow! "Might the too deign to lend an ear! "Elvira's felf fhould then allow
"That Armine was at leaft fincere. Wild with! to deem the matchlefs maid “Would liften to a youth like me, Or that my vows could e'er perfuade, "Sincere and conftant tho' they be! Ah! what avail my love or truth? “She listens to no lowly Swain; "Her charms must bless fome happier youth, "Some youth of Fortune's titled train. "Then go, fallacious Hope! adieu ! "The flattering profpect I refign; "And bear from my deluded view "The blifs that never must be mine! "Yet will the youth, whoe'er he be, "In truth or tenderness excell? "Or will he on thy charms like me "With fondnefs never-dying dwell' Will he with thine his hopes unite? "With ready zeal thy joys improve? With fond attention and delight "Each with prevent, each fear remove? "Will he, fill faithful to thy charms, "For conftant love be long rever'd? Nor quit that heaven within thy arms "By every tender tie endear'd? "What tho' his boastful heart be vain "Of all that birth or fortune gave, "Yet is not mine, tho' rude and plain, "At leaft as noble and as brave?