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Fly swift, ye years !--Arise, thou glorious morn!
Thou great avenger of thy race be born!
The conqueror's palm and deathless fame be thine!
One generous stroke, and liberty be mine!
And now, ye Pow'rs! to whom the brave are doar,
Receive me falling, and your suppliant hear.
To you this unpolluted blood. I pour,
To you that spirit which ye gave restore !
I ask no lazy pleasures to possess,
No long eternity of happiness;
But if unstaind by voluntary guilt,
At your great call this being I have spilt,
For all the wrongs which innocent I share,
For all I've suffer'd, and for all I dare ;
O lead me to that spot, that sacred shore,
Where souls are free, and men oppress no more!
THESE, as they change, Almighty Father! these,
Are but the varied God. The rolling year
Is full of thee. Forth in the pleasing spring
Thy beauty walks, thy tenderness and love.
Wide flush the fields; the soft'ning air is balm;
Echo the mountains round; the forest smiles;
And ev'ry sense, and ev'ry heart is joy.
Then comes thy glory in the summer months,
With light and heat refulgent. Then thy sun
Shoots full perfection thro’ the swelling year.
And oft thy voice in dreadful thunder speaks ;
And oft at dawn, deep noon, or falling eve,
By brooks and groves, in hollow whisp’ring gales.
Thy bounty shines in autumn unconfin’d,
And spreads a common feast for all that lives.
In winter, awful thou! with clouds and storms
Around thee thrown, tempest o'er tempest rollid,
Majestic darkness! on the whirlwind's wing
Riding sublime, thou bidst the world adore,
And humblest nature with thy northern blast.
Mysterious round! what skill, what force divine,
Deep felt in these appear! a simple train,
Yet so delightful mix’d, with such kind art,
Such beauty and beneficence combin’d;
Shade, unperceiv’d, so softning into shade ;
And all so forming an harmonious whole ;
That, as they still succeed, they ravish still.
But wand’ring oft, with brute unconscious gaze,
Man marks not thee, marks not the mighty hand,
That ever busy, wheels the silent spheres;
Works in the secret deep; shoots, steaming, thence
The fair profusion that o'erspreads the spring;
Flings from the sun direct the flaming day;
Feeds every creature; hurls the tempest forth;
And, as on earth this grateful change revolves,
With transport touches all the springs of life.
Nature, attend ! join, every living soul,
Beneath the spacious temple of the sky,
In adoration join ; and ardent, raise
One general song! To him, ye vocal gales,
Breathe soft, whose spirit in your freshness breathes:
Oh talk of him in solitary glooms!
Where o'er the rock, the scarcely-waving pine
Fills the brown shade with a religious awe.
And ye, whose bolder note is heard afar,
Who shake th' astonish'd world, lift high to heav'n
Th’impetuous song, and say, from whom you rage.
His praise, ye brooks, attune, ye trembling rills;
And let me catch it as I muse along.
Ye headlong torrents, rapid and profound ;,
Ye softer floods, that lead the humid maze
Along the vale; and thou majestic main,
A secret world of wonders in thyself,
Sound his stupendous praise ; whose greater voice
Or bids you roar, or bids your roarings fall.
Soft roll your incense, herbs, and fruits, and flow’rs,
In mingled clouds to him; whose sun exalts,
Whose breath perfumes you, and whose pencil paints.
Ye forests, bend, ye harvests, wave to him;
Breathe your still song into the reaper's ear,
As home he goes beneath the joyous moon.
Ye that keep watch in heaven, as earth asleep
Unconscious lies, effuse your mildest beams,
Ye constellations ! while your angels strike,
Amid the spangled sky, the silver lyre.
Great source of day! best image here below
Of thy Creator, ever pouring wide,
From world to world, the vital ocean round,
On nature write with ev'ry beam his praise.
The thunder rolls: be hush'd the prostrate world ;
While cloud to cloud returns the solemn hymn.
Bleat out afresh, ye hills; ye mossy rocks,
Retain the sound : the broad responsive low,
Ye vallies, raise; for the Great Shepherd reigns,
And his unsuff'ring kingdom yet will come.
Ye woodlands all, awake; a boundless song
Burst from the groves; and when the restless day
Expiring, lays the warbling world asleep,
Sweetest of birds! sweet Philomela, charm
The list'ning shades, and teach the night his praise.
Ye chief, for whom the whole creation smiles !
At once the head, the heart, and tongue of all,
Crown the great hymn! in swarming cities vast,
Assembled men, to the deep organ join,
The long resounding voice, oft breaking clear,
At solemn pauses, thro' the swelling base :
And as each mingling flame increases each,
In one united ardour rise to heav'n.
Or if you rather choose the rural shade,
And find a fane in every sacred grove ;
There let the shepherd's flute, the virgin's lay,
The prompting seraph, and the poet's lyre,
Still sing the God of seasons as they roll.
For me, when I forget the darling theme,
Whether the blossom blows, the summer ray
Russets the plain, inspiring autumn gleams,
Or winter rises in the black’ning east;
Be my tongue mute, my fancy paint no more,
And, dead to joy, forget my heart to beat!
Should fate command me to the farthest vergo
Of the green earth, to distant barb’rous climes,
Rivers unknown to song, where first the sun
Gilds Indian mountains, or his setting beam
Flames on the Atlantic isles; 'tis nought to me,
Since God is ever present, ever felt,
In the void waste, as in the city full ;
And where he vital spreads, there must be joy.
When ev'n at last the solemn hour shall come
And wing my mystic flight to future worlds,
I cheerful will obey; there, with new pow'rs,
Will rising wonders sing : I cannot go
Where UNIVERSAL LOVE not smiles around,
Sustaining all yon orbs, and all their suns,
From seeming evil still educing good,
And better thence again, and better still,
In infinite progression.—But I lose
Myself in Him, in LIGHT INEFFABLE!
Come, then, expressive silence, muse His praise.