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Who hung with woods yon mountain's sultry brow?
From the dry rock who bade the waters flow?
Not to the skies in useless columns tost,

Or in proud falls magnificently lost;

But clear and artless,1 pouring through the plain
Health to the sick, and solace to the swain.
Whose causeway parts the vale with shady rows?
Whose seats the weary traveller repose?

Who taught that heaven-directed spire to rise?
“The Man of Ross!" each lisping babe replies.
Behold the market-place with poor o'erspread!
The Man of Ross divides the weekly bread:
He feeds yon alms-house, neat, but void of state,
Where age and want sit smiling at the gate;
Him portioned maids, apprenticed orphans blest,
The young who labour and the old who rest.
Is any sick? The Man of Ross relieves,
Prescribes, attends, the medicine makes, and gives.
Is there a variance? Enter but his door,
Balked are the courts, and contest is no more.
Despairing quacks with curses fled the place,
And vile attorneys, now a useless race.

Thrice happy man! enabled to pursue
What all so wish, but want the power to do!
Oh say,
what sums that generous hand supply?
What mines, to swell that boundless charity?

Of debts and taxes, wife and children clear,
This man possessed-five hundred pounds a year!
Blush, grandeur, blush! proud courts withdraw your

Ye little stars! hide your diminished rays.

And what! no monument, inscription, stone?
His race, his form, his name almost unknown?

Artless-i. e. not forced by art into fountains or cascades. This word is generally applied to persons, not to things, as here.

2 Of debts, &c.-This line is ambiguous; it may mean either that he had no wife and children, or that after their expenses were paid, he had £500 a year. The former is the more probable interpretation.


Who builds a church to God, and not to Fame,
Will never mark the marble with his name:
Go, search it there, where to be born and die,1
Of rich and poor makes all the history;
Enough, that virtue filled the space between;
Proved, by the ends of being, to have been.


How are thy servants blest, O Lord!

How sure is their defence!
Eternal wisdom is their guide,

Their help, Omnipotence !

In foreign realms, and lands remote,
Supported by thy care,

Through burning climes I passed unhurt,
And breathed in tainted air.

Thy mercy sweetened every soil,
Made every region please;
The hoary Alpine hills it warmed,
And smoothed the Tyrrhene seas.3

Think, O my soul, devoutly think,
How, with affrighted eyes,
Thou saw'st the wide-extended deep
In all its horrors rise.

Confusion dwelt in every face,

And fear in every heart;

When waves on waves, and gulfs on gulfs,

O'ercame the pilot's art.

There, where, &c.-i. e. in the parish registry.


"The earliest composition," says Burns, speaking of his eleventh or twelfth year, "that I recollect taking pleasure in, was the Vision of Mirza, and a hymn of Addison's beginning

"How are thy servants blest, O Lord!"

I particularly remember one half-stanza, which was music to my ear

"For though in dreadful whirls we hung

High on the broken wave."

3 Tyrrhene Sea-this sea, called also the Tuscan Sea, was accounted very dangerous by the Romans, from whom the reference above is taken.

here, of course, any dangerous sea.

It means

Yet then from all my griefs, O Lord,
Thy mercy set me free;
Whilst in the confidence of prayer
My soul took hold on thee.

For though in dreadful whirls we hung
High on the broken wave,

I knew thou wert not slow to hear,
Nor impotent to save.

The storm was laid, the winds retired,
Obedient to Thy will:

The sea that roared at Thy command,
At Thy command was still.

In midst of dangers, fears, and death,
Thy goodness I'll adore;

And praise thee for thy mercies past,
And humbly hope for more.

My life, if Thou preservest my life,

Thy sacrifice shall be;

And death, when death shall be my doom,

Shall join my soul to Thee.



O LOSS of sight, of thee I most complain!

Blind among enemies, O worse than chains,
Dungeon, or beggary, or decrepit age!

Light, the prime work of God, to me is extinct,
And all her various objects of delight

Annulled, which might in part my grief have eased,
Inferior to the vilest now become

Of man or worm; the vilest here excel me ;-
They creep, yet see; I, dark in light, exposed
To daily fraud, contempt, abuse and wrong,
Within doors, or without, still as a fool,

1 Some of Milton's most pathetic passages are due to his own loss of sight. He was blind for the last 22 years of his life, during which period "Paradise Lost," "Paradise Regained," and "Samson Agonistes," (from which the above passage is extracted,) were published. In these remarkable lines he obviously speaks like one who had experienced the privation so touchingly depicted.

2 Prime-first; in allusion to the creation of light which was the work of the first day, and there is perhaps a reference to its importance also.

In power of others, never in my own;
Scarce half I seem to live, dead more than half.
Oh dark, dark, dark,' amid the blaze of noon,
Irrecoverably dark, total eclipse
Without all hope of day!

O first created Beam, and thou great Word,
"Let there be light, and light was over all;
Why am I thus bereaved thy prime decree ?
The sun to me is dark

And silent as the moon,2

When she deserts the night,

Hid in her vacant interlunar cave.3
Since light so necessary is to life,
And almost life itself, if it be true
That light is in the soul,

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She all in every part; why was the sight
To such a tender ball as the eye confined,
So obvious and so easy to be quenched?
And not, as feeling, through all parts diffused,
That she might look at will through every pore?
Then had I not been thus exiled from light,
As in the land of darkness, yet in light,
To live a life half dead, a living death,
And buried; but, oh! yet more miserable
Myself my sepulchre, a moving grave;
Buried, yet not exempt,

By privilege of death and burial,

From worst of other evils, pains, and wrongs;

But made hereby obnoxious more

To all the miseries of life,

Life in captivity

Among inhuman foes.




SEE the wild waste of all-devouring years!
How Rome her own sad sepulchre appears!

Oh dark, dark, &c.-" Few passages in poetry," says Sir E. Brydges, "are so affecting as this; and the tone of expression is peculiarly Miltonic."

2 Silent as the moon-a singular expression, taken from the Latin "silens luna," the silent moon, i. e. the moon when she does not shine.

3 Hid in her, &c.-Hidden idly ("vacant”) in the cave to which she retires between one lunation and another.

With nodding arches, broken temples spread;
The very tombs now vanished like their dead!
Imperial wonders1 raised on nations spoiled,

Where, mixed with slaves, the groaning martyr toiled;
Huge theatres, that now unpeopled woods,
Now drained2 a distant country of her floods;
Fanes, which admiring gods with pride survey;
Statues of men, scarce less alive than they!
Some felt the silent stroke of mouldering age,
Some hostile fury, some religious rage:
Barbarian blindness, Christian zeal conspire,
And Papal piety, and Gothic fire.

Perhaps, by its own ruins saved from flame,
Some buried marble half preserves a name;
That name, the learn'd with fierce disputes pursue,
And give to Titus,3 old Vespasian's due.

Ambition sighed: she found it vain to trust
The faithless column and the crumbling bust;

Huge moles, whose shadow stretched from shore to shore-
Their ruins perished, and their place no more!
Convinced, she now contracts her vast design,
And all her triumphs shrink into a coin.
A narrow orb each crowded conquest keeps-
Beneath her palm* here sad Judæa weeps.
Now scantier limits the proud arch confine,
And scarce are seen the prostrate Nile or Rhine;
A small Euphrates through the piece is rolled,
And little eagles wave their wings in gold.

The Medal, faithful to its charge of fame,
Through climes and ages bears each form and name :
In one short view subjected to our eye,
Gods, emperors, heroes, sages, beauties, lie.
With sharpened sight pale antiquaries pore;
The inscription value, but the rust adore;

Imperial wonders, &c.-.The poet here refers to the circuses, amphitheatres, &c. of Rome.

2 Drained, &c.-In allusion to the naumachiæ or mock sea-fights which used to be represented in the Circus Maximus, the water for which, although derived immediately from the Tiber, might poetically be said to drain a distant country, &c.

3 Give to Titus, &c.-i. e. mistake a statue of Vespasian for one of Titus. 4 Beneath her palm-the medals struck to commemorate the conquest of Judæa represent a female figure sitting, bowed in sorrow, beneath a palm tree.

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