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With what he views. The landscape has his praise,
But not its author. Unconcern’d who form’d
The paradise he sees, he finds it such,
And such well-pleas’d to find it, asks no more.
Not so the mind that has been touch'd from heav'n,
And in the school of sacred wisdom taught
To read his wonders, in whose thought the world,
Fair as it is, existed ere it was.
Not for its own sake merely, but for his
Much more who fashion’d it, he gives it praise;
Praise that, from earth resulting, as it ought,
To earth's acknowledg’d sov’reign, finds at once
Its only just proprietor in Him.
The soul that sees him, or receives sublim'd
New faculties, or learns at least t' employ
More worthily the pow’rs she own'd before,
Discerns in all things, what with stupid gaze
Of ignorance, till then she overlook'd-
ray of heav'nly light, gilding all forms Terrestrial in the vast and the minute;
The unambiguous footsteps of the God
Who gives its lustre to an insect's wing,
And wheels his throne upon the rolling worlds.
Much conversant with heav'n, she often holds
With those fair ministers of light to man,
That fill the skies nightly with silent pomp,
Sweet conference. Inquires what strains were they
With which heav'n rang, when ev'ry star, in haste
To gratulate the new created earth,
Sent forth a voice, and all the sons of God
Shouted for joy._" Tell me, ye shining hosts,
“ That navigate a sea that knows no storms,
“ Beneath a vault unsullied with a cloud,
“ If from your elevation, whence ye
view Distinctly scenes invisible to man, “ And systems of whose birth no tidings yet “ Have reach'd this nether world, ye spy a race
“ Favour'd as our's; transgressors from the womb,
“ And hasting to a grave, yet doom'd to rise,
“ And to possess a brighter heav’n than your's?
“ As one who long detain'd on foreign shores “ Pants to return, and when he sees afar
His country's weather-bleach'dand batter'drocks, “ From the green wave emerging, darts an eye “ Radiant with joy towards the happy land; “ So I with animated hopes behold, “ And many an aching wish, your beamy fires, « That show like beacons in the blue abyss, “ Ordain'd to guide th' embodied spirit home “ From toilsome life to never-ending rest. “ Love kindles as I gaze. I feel desires “ That give assurance of their own success, “ And that, infus'd from heav'n, must thithertend.”
So reads he nature whom the lamp of truth Iluminates. Thy lamp, mysterious word! Which whoso sees no longer wanders lost, With intellects bemaz'd in endless doubt,
But runs the road of wisdom. Thou hast built, With means that were not till by thee employ'd,
Worlds that had never been hadst thou in strength
Been less, or less benevolent than strong.
They are thy witnesses, who speak thy pow'r
And goodness infinite, but speak in ears
That hear not, or receive not their report.
In vain thy creatures testify of thee
Till thou proclaim thyself. Their’s is indeed
A teaching voice; but 'tis the praise of thine
That whom it teaches it makes prompt to learn,
And with the boon gives talents for its use.
Till thou art heard, imaginations vain
Possess the heart, and fables false as hell;
Yet, deem'd oracular, lure down to death
The uninform’d and heedless souls of men.
We give to chance, blind chance, ourselves as blind,
The glory of thy work; which yet appears
Perfect and unimpeachable of blame,
Challenging human scrutiny, and prov'd
Then skilful most when most severely judg’d.
But chance is not; or is not where thou reign'st:
Thy providence forbids that fickle pow'r
(If pow'r she be that works but to confound)
To mix her wild vagaries with thy laws.
Yet thus we dote, refusing while we can
Instruction, and inventing to ourselves
Gods such as guilt makes welcome; gods that sleep,
Or disregard our follies, or that sit
Amus'd spectators of this bustling stage.
Thee we reject, unable to abide
Thy purity, till pure as thou art pure;
Made such by thee, we love thee for that cause
For which we shunn’d and hated thee before.
Then we are free. Then liberty, like day,
Breaks on the soul, and by a flash from heav'n
Fires all the faculties with glorious joy.
A voice is heard that mortal ears hear not
Till thou hast touch'd them; 'tis the voice of song-
A loud hosanna sent from all thy works;
Which he that hears it with a shout repeats,
And adds his rapture to the gen’ral praise.