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With blushing wreaths, investing ev'ry spray;
Althæa with the purple eye; the broom,
Yellow and bright, as bullion unalloy’d,
Her blossoms; and, luxuriant above all,
The jasmine, throwing wide her elegant sweets,
The deep dark green of whose unvarnish'd leaf
Makes more conspicuous, and illumines more
The bright profusion of her scatter'd stars.-
These have been, and these shall be in their day;
And all this uniform, uncolour'd scene,
Shall be dismantled of its fleecy load,
And flush into variety again.
From dearth to plenty, and from death to life,
Is Nature's progress, when she lectures man
In heav'nly truth; evincing, as she makes
The grand transition, that there lives and works
A soul in all things, and that soul is God.
The beauties of the wilderness are his,
That make so gay the solitary place
Where no eye sees them. And the fairer forms

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BOOK VI.

THE WINTER WALK AT NOON.

249

That cultivation glories in, are his.
He sets the bright procession on its way,
And marshals all the order of the year;

He marks the bounds which winter

may

not pass,

the tender germ,

And blunts his pointed fury; in its case,
Russet and rude, folds

up
Uninjur’d, with inimitable art;
And, ere one flow'ry season fades and dies,
Designs the blooming wonders of the next.

Some say that, in the origin of things,

When all creation started into birth,

The infant elements receiv'd a law,

From which they swerve not since. That under force
Of that controuling ordinance they move,
And need not his immediate hand, who first
Prescrib'd their course, to regulate it now.
Thus dream they, and contrive to save a God
Th' incumbrance of his own concerns, and

spare The great Artificer of all that moves

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The stress of a continual act, the pain
Of unremitted vigilance and care,

As too laborious and severe a task.

So man, the moth, is not afraid, it seems,
To span omnipotence, and measure might,
That knows no measure, by the scanty rule
And standard of his own, that is to-day,
And is not ere to-morrow's sun go down!
But how should matter occupy a charge
Dull as it is, and satisfy a law
So vast in its demands, unless impellid
To ceaseless service by a ceaseless force,
And under pressure of some conscious cause?
The Lord of all, himself through all diffus’d,
Sustains, and is the life of all that lives.

Nature is but a name for an effect,

Whose cause is God. He feeds the secret fire

/

By which the mighty process is maintain’d, Who sleeps not, is not weary; in whose sight Slow circling ages are as transient days;

Whose work is without labour; whose designs
No flaw deforms, no difficulty thwarts;
And whose beneficence no charge exhausts.
Him blind antiquity profan'd, not serv’d,
With self-taught rites, and under various names,
Female and male, Pomona, Pales, Pan,
And Flora, and Vertumnus; peopling earth
With tutelary goddesses and gods
That were not; and commending, as they would,
To each some province, garden, field, or grove.
But all are under one. One spirit-His
Who worethe platted thorns with bleeding brows-
Rules universal nature. Not a flow'r

But shows some touch, in freckle, streak, or stain,

Of his unrivall’d pencil. He inspires
Their balmy odours, and imparts their hues,
And bathes their

eyes with nectar, and includes,
In grains as countless as the sea-side sands,
The forms with which he sprinkles all the earth.
Happy who walks with him! whom what he finds

Of flavour or of scent in fruit or flow'r,

Or what he views of beautiful or grand

In nature, from the broad majestic oak
To the green blade that twinkles in the sun,
Prompts with remembrance of a present God!
His presence, who made all so fair, perceiv’d,

Makes all still fairer. As with him no scene

Is dreary, so with him all seasons please.
Though winter had been none, had man been true,
And earth been punish'd for its tenant's sake,
Yet not in vengeance; as this smiling sky,
So soon succeeding such an angry night,
And these dissolving snows, and this clear stream
Recov’ring fast its liquid music, prove.

Who then, that has a mind well strung and tun'd To contemplation, and within his reach A scene so friendly to his fav’rite task, Would waste attention at the chequer'd board, His host of wooden warriors to and fro

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