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Were aw'd, and every thought in silence hung, And wondering expectation. Then the voice Of that celestial power, the mystic show Declaring, thus my deep attention call’d.
“ • Inhabitants of Earth, to whom is given The gracious ways of Providence to learn, Receive my sayings with a stedfast earKnow then, the sovereign spirit of the world, Though, self-collected from eternal time, Within his own deep essence he beheld The bounds of true felicity complete; Yet by immense benignity inclin'd To spread around him that primeval joy Which filld himself, he rais’d his plastic arm, And sounded through the hollow depth of space The strong, creative mandate. Straight arose These heavenly orbs, the glad abodes of life Effusive kindled by his breath divine Through endless forms of being. Each inhald From him its portion of the vital flame, In measure such, that, from the wide complex Of co-existent orders, one might rise, One order, all-involving and entire. He too beholding in the sacred light Of his essential reason, all the shapes Of swift contingence, all successive ties Of action propagated through the sum Of possible existence, he at once, Down the long series of eventful time, So fix'd 'the dates of being, so dispos'd, To every living soul of every kind The field of motion and the hour of rest,
That all conspir’d to his supreme design,
** That rocky pile thou seest, that verdant lawn Fresh-water'd from the mountains. Let the scene Paint in thy fancy the primeval seat Of man, and where the will supreme ordain'd His mansion, that pavilion fair diffus'd Along the shady brink; in this recess To wear the appointed season of his youth, Till riper hours should open to his toil The high communion of superior minds, Of consecrated heroes and of gods. Nor did the Sire Omnipotent forget His tender bloom to cherish; nor withheld Celestial footsteps from his green
abode. Oft from the radiant honours of his throne, He sent whom most he lov'd, the sovereign fair, The effluence of his glory, whom he plac'd Before his eyes for ever to behold; The goddess from whose inspiration flows The toil of patriots, the delight of friends ; Without whose work divine, in Heaven or Earth, Nought lovely, nought propitious, comes to pass, Nor hope, nor praise, nor honour. Her the Sire Gave it in charge to rear the blooming mind, The folded powers to open, to direct The growth luxuriant of his young desires, And from the laws of this majestic world To teach him what was good. As thus the nymph Her daily care attended, by her side With constant steps her gay companions stay'd, The fair Euphrosyné, the gentle queen Of smiles, and graceful gladness, and delights That cheer alike the hearts of mortal men
And powers immortal. See the shining pair! Behold, where from his dwelling now disclos'd They quit their youthful charge and seek the skies.
“ I look’d, and on the flowery turf there stood, Between two radiant forms, a smiling youth, Whose tender cheeks display'd the vernal flower Of beauty ; sweetest innocence illum'd His bashful eyes, and on his polish'd brow Sate young Simplicity. With fond regard He view'd the associates, as their steps they mov'd; The younger chief his ardent eyes detain'd, With mild regret invoking her return. Bright as the star of evening she appear'd Amid the dusky scene. Eternal youth O'er all her form its glowing honours breath'd ; And smiles eternal from her candid eyes Flow'd, like the dewy lustre of the morn Effusive treinbling on the placid waves. The spring of Heaven had shed its blushing spoils To bind her sable tresses: full diffus'd Her yellow mantle floated in the breeze; And in her hand she wav'd a living branch Rich with immortal fruits, of power to calm The wrathful heart, and from the brightening eyes To chase the cloud of sadness. More sublime The heavenly partner mov’d. The prime of age Compos'd her steps. The presence of a god, High on the circle of her brow enthron’d, From each inajestic motion darted awe, Devoted awe! till, cherish'd by her looks Benevolent and meet, confiding love To filial rapture soften'd all the soul.
Free in her graceful hand she pois'd the sword
« • Father of gods and mortals! whose right arm With reins eternal guides the moving heavens, Bend thy propitious ear. Behold well pleas'd
seek to finish thy divine decree.