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The flaunting flowers our gardens yield,
High sheltering woods and wa's maun shield ;
But thou, beneath the random bield 5
O'clod or stane,
Adorns the histie 6 stibble-field,
Unseen, alane. There, in thy scanty mantle clad, Thy snawy bosom sunward spread, Thou lifts thy unassuming head
In humble guise ;
But now the share? uptears thy bed,
And low thou lies !
Such is the fate of artless maid,
Sweet floweret of the rural shade,
By love's simplicity betrayed,
And guileless trust;
Till she, like thee, all soiled, is laid
Low i' the dust.
Such is the fate of simple bard,
On life's rough ocean luckless starred ! 8
Unskilful he to note the card 9
Of prudent lore,
Till billows rage, and gales blow hard,
And whelm him o'er!
Such fate to suffering worth is given,
Who long with wants and woes has striven,
By human pride or cunning driven,
To misery's brink,
Till wrenched of every stay but Heaven,
He ruined, sink !
Even thou who mourn’st the Daisy's fate-
That fate is thine—no distant date;
Stern Ruin's ploughshare drives, elate,
Full on thy bloom,
Till crushed beneath the furrow's weight,
Shall be thy doom !
Let Portugal and haughty Spain
Display their orange groves ;
And France exult her vines to train
Around her trim alcoves :
Old England has a tree as strong,
As stately as them all,
As worthy of a minstrel's song
In cottage and in hall.
'Tis not the yew-tree, though it lends
Its greenness to the grave ;
Nor willow, though it fondly bends
Its branches o'er the wave;
Nor birch, although its slender tress
Be beautifully fair-
As graceful in its loveliness
As maiden's flowing hair.
'Tis not the poplar, though its height
May from afar be seen ;
Nor beech, although its boughs be dight 1
With leaves of glossy green.
All these are fair, but they may fling
Their shade unsung by me ;
My favourite and the forest's king,
The British Oak shall be !
Its stem, though rough, is stout and sound
Its giant branches throw
Their arms in shady blessings round,
O'er man and beast below;
Its acorns, graceful to the sight,
Are toys to childhood dear;
Its mistletoe, with berries white,
Adds mirth to Christmas cheer,
And when we reach life's closing stage,
Worn out with care or ill,
For childhood, youth, or hoary age,
Its arms are open
But prouder yet its glories shine,
When, in a nobler form,
It floats upon the heaving brine,
And braves the bursting storm ;
Or when, to aid the work of love,
To some benighted clime
It bears glad tidings from above,
Of gospel truths sublime ;
Oh! then, triumphant in its might,
O’er waters dim and dark,
It seems in Heaven's approving siglit
A second glorious Ark.
On earth the forest's honoured king !
Man's castle on the sea !
Who will, another tree may sing-
Old England's Oak for me !
1 Dight, decked, adorned.
2 The zephyr's gentle sigh, the gentle west wind.
All are but parts of one stupendous whole,
Whose body Nature is, and God the soul ;
That, changed through all, and yet in all the same,
Great in the earth, as in the ethereal frame;
Warms in the sun, refreshes in the breeze,
Glows in the stars, and blossoms in the trees ;
SOLILOQUY ON THE IMMORTALITY OF THE SOUL.
Lives through all life, extends through all extent;
Spreads undivided, operates unspent ;
Breathes in our soul, informs our mortal part,
As full, as perfect in a hair as heart;
As full, as perfect in vile man that mourns,
As the rapt seraph that adores and burns ;
To him no high, no low, no great, no small;
He fills, he bounds, connects, and equals all.
Cease then, nor order imperfection name :
Our proper bliss depends on what we blame.
Know thy own point: This kind, this due degree
Of blindness, weakness, Heaven bestows on thee.
Submit. In this or any other sphere,
Secure to be as blest as thou canst bear :
Safe in the hand of one disposing power,
Or in the natal or the mortal hour.
All nature is but art unknown to thee;
All chance, direction which thou canst not see ;
All discord, harmony not understood ;
All partial evil, universal good ;
And spite of pride, in erring reason's spite,
One truth is clear-Whatever is, is right.
SOLILOQUY ON THE IMMORTALITY OF THE SOUL.
It must be so-Plato, thou reason'st well!l-
Else whence this pleasing hope, this fond desire,
This longing after immortality ?
Or whence this secret dread and inward horror
Of falling into naught? Why shrinks the soul
Back on herself, and startles at destruction ?
'Tis the Divinity that stirs within us ;
'Tis Heaven itself that points out an hereafter,
And intimates eternity to man.
Eternity ! thou pleasing, dreadful thought!