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To Nature's voice attends, from month to month,
And day to day, through the revolving year:
Admiring, sees her in every shape;
Feels all her sweet emotions at his heart;
Takes what she lib'ral gives, nor thinks of more.
He, when young Spring protrudes the bursting gems,
Marks the first bud, and sucks the healthful gale
Into his freshen’d soul; her genial hours
He full enjoys; and not a beauty blows,
And not an opening blossom breathes, in vain.
In Summer he, beneath the living shade,
Such as o'er frigid Tempé wont to wave,
Or Hemus cool, reads what the Muse, of these,
Perhaps, has in immortal numbers sung ;
Or what she dictates writes: and, oft an eye
Shot round, rejoices in the vigorous year.
When Autumn's yellow lustre gilds ihe world,
And tempts the sickled swain in:o the field,
Seiz'd by the gen’ral joy, his heart distends
With gentle throes; and through the tepid gleams-
Deep musing, then he best exerts his song.
Even Winter wild to him is full of bliss.
The mighty tempest, and the boary waste,
Abrupt and deep, stretch'd o'er the buried earth,
Awake to solemn thought. At night the skies,
Disclos'd, and kindled, by refining frost,
Pour every lustre on th' exalted eye.
A friend, a book, the stealing hours secure,
And mark them down for wisdom. With swift wing,
O’er land and sea the imagination roams;
Or truth, divinely breaking on bis mind,
Elates his being, and unfolds his powers;
Or in his breast heroic virtue burns.
The touch of kindred too and love he feels;
The modest eye, whose beams on his alone
Ecstatic shine; the little strong embrace
Of prattling children, twisted round his neck,
And emulous to please him, calling forth
The fond parental soul. Nor purpose gay,
Amusement, dance, or song, he sternly scorns;
For happiness and true philosophy
Are of the social, still, and smiling kind.
This is the life which those who fret in guilt,
And guilty cities, never knew; the life
Led by primeval ages, uncorrupt,
When Angels dwelt, and God himself, with man.
From Heav'n my strains begin; from Heav'n descends' The flame of genius 10 the human breast, And love, and beauty, and poetic joy, And inspiration. Ere the radiant sunSprang from the east, or ’mid the vault of night The moon suspended her serener lamp; Ete mountains, woods, or streams adorn’d the globe, Or Wisdom taught the sons of men her lore; Then liv'd th' Almighty One: then, deep retir'd In his unfathom'd essence, view'd the forms, The form's eternal of created things; The radiant sun, the moon's nocturnal lamp, The mountains, woods, and streams, the rolling globe, 's And Wisdom's mien celestial. From the first Of days, on them his love divine he fix'd, His admiration : till in time complete, What he admir'd, and lov’d, his vital smile Unfolded into being. Hence the breath of life informing each organic frame, Hence the green earth, and wild resounding waves ; Hence light and shade alternate; warmth and cold; And clear autumnal skies and vernal show'rs, And all the fair variety of things. But not alike to every
mortal Is this great scene unveill. For since the claims. Of social life to different labours
urge The active pow'rs of man; with wise intent The hand of Nature on peculiar miods
Imprints a different bias, and to each
Decrees its province in the common toil.
To some she taught the fabric of the sphere,
The changeful moon, the circuit of the stars,
The golden zones of Heaven : to some she gave
To weigh the moment of eternal things,
Of time, and space, and fåte's unbroken chain,
And will's quick impulse: others by the hand
She led o'er vales and mountains, to explore
- What healing virtue swells the tr-nder veins
Of herbs and flow'rs; or what the beams of morn
Draw forth, distilling from the clefted rind
In balmy tears. But some, to higher hopes
Were destin'd; some within a finer mould
She wrought, and temper'd with a purer flame.
To these the Sire Omnipotent unfolds
The world's harmonious volume, ihere to read
The transcript of himself. On every part
They trace the bright impressions of his hand:
In earth or air, the meadow's purple stores,
The moon's mild radiance, or the virgin's form
Blooming with rosy smiles, they see portray'd
That uncreated beauty, which delights
The Mind supreme! They also feel her charms,
Enamour'd: ihey partake th' eternal joy.
Say, why was man so eminently rais'd
Amid the vast creation why ordain'd
Through life and death to dart his piercing eye,
With thoughts beyond the limits of his frane?
But that th' Omnipotent might send him forth
In sight of mortal and immortal pow'rs,
As on a boundless theatre, to run
The great career of justice; to exalt
aim to all diviner deeds ; To chase each partial purpose from his breast; And through the mists of passion and of sense, And through the tossing tide of chance and pain, To hold his course unfall’ring, while the voice Of truth and virtue, up the steep ascent Of Nature, calls him to his high reward, Th’ applauding smile of Heav'n. Else wherefore burns In mortal bosoms this unquenched hope, That breathes from day to day sublimer things, And mucks possession: Wherefore darts the mind, With such resistless ardour, 10 enbrace Majestic forms; impatient to be free; Spurning the gross control of wilful might; Proud of the strong contention of her toils; Proud to be daring? Who but rather turns To Heaven's broad fire his unconstrained view, Than to the glimm’ring of a waxen flame? Who that, from Alpine heights, his lab'ring eye Shoots round the wide horizon, to survey Nilus or Ganges rolling his bright wave Thru' mountains, plains, thro' empires black with shade, And continents of sand, will turn his gaze To mark the windings of a scanty rill That murmurs at his feet? The high-born soul Disdains to rest her heav'n-aspiring wing Beneath its native quarry. Tir'd of earth And this diurnal scene, she springs aloft Through fields of air; pursues the flying storm; Rides on the volley'd lightnings through the heav'ns; Or yok'd with whirlwinds and the northern blast, Sweeps the long tract of day. Then high she soars The blue profound, and hovering round the sun, Beholds him pouring the redundant stream Of light; beholds his unrelenting sway Bend the reluctant planets to absulve The fated rounds of time. Thence far effus'd She darts her swiftness up the long career
Of devious cómets; through jis burning signs, · Exulting, measures the perennial wheel
Of Nature, and looks back on all the stars, 4
Whose blended light, as with a milky zone;
lovests the orient. Now amaz'd she views
Th' empyreal waste, where happy spirits hold,
Beyond this concave Hear'ii, their calm abode ;
And fields of radiance, wbose unfading light
Has traveli'd the profound six thousand years,
Nor yet arrives in sight of mortal things.
Ev'n on the barriers of the world untir'd
She meditates th' eternal depth below;
Till, half recoiling, down the headlong steep
She plunges; soon o’erwhelm'd and swallow'd
In that immense of being. There her hopes
Rest at the fated goal. For from the birth
Of mortal nian, the sov'reign Maker said,
That not in humble-nor in brief delight, ,
Not in the fading echoes of renown,
Power's purple robes, nor pleasure's flow'ry lap,
The soul should find enjoyment: but from these
Turning disdainful to an equal good,
Through all th' ascent of things enlarge her view,.
Till every bound at length should disappear,
And infinite perfection close the scene.
CALL now to mind what high capacious pow'rs
Lie folded up in man: how far beyond
The praise of mortals, may th' eternal growth
Of Nature to perfection half divine,
Expand the blooming soul! What pity then
Should sloth's unkindly fogs depress to earth
Her tender blossom, choke the streams of life,
And blast her spring! Far otherwise design'd
Almighty wisdom : Nature's happy cares
Th' obedient heart far otherwise incline.
Witness the sprightly joy, when ought unknown