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More lovely thai* when Lucifer displays
His beaming forehead thro' the gates of morn,
To lead the train of Phoebus and the spring.
Say, what is Taste, but the internal pow'rs
The Exeasbres arising from a Cultivated.
I MAG I NAT T.O N.
O BLEST of heav'n, whom not the languid songs
Of luxury, the Syren! not the bribes
Of sordid wealth, nor all the gaudy spoils
Of pageant honour, can seduee to leave
Those ever-blooming sweets, which from the storfc.
Of nature fair imagination culls
TofCharm th' enliven'd soul! What tho' not all
Of mortal offspring can attain the height
Of envied life; tho' only few possess
Tatrician treasures or imperial state;
Yet nature's care, to all her children just,
With richer treasures and an ampler state
Endows at large whatever happy man
Will deign to use them.. His the city's pomp,
The rural honours his. Whate'er adorns
The princely dome, the column, and the arch,
The breathing marbles and the sculptur'd gold,
Beyond the proud possessor's narrow claim,
His tuneful breast enjoys. For hirn, the spring
Distils her dews, and from the silken gem
Its lucid leaves unfolds: for him, the hand.
Of autumn tinges every fertile branch
With blooming gold, and blushes like the morn.
Each passing hour sheds tribute from her wings;
And still new beauties meet his lonely walk,
And loves unfelt attract him. Not a breezy
Flies o'er the meadow, not a cloud imbibes
The setting sun's effulgence, not a strain
From all the tenants of the warbling shade
Ascends, but whence his bosom can partake
Fresh pleasure, unreprov'd. Nor thence partakes
Fresh pleasure only: for th' attentive mind,
By this harmonious action on her pow'rs,
Becomes herself harmonious: wont so oft
In outward things to meditate the charm
Of sacred order, soon she seeks at home
To rind a kindred order, to exert ■
Within herself this elegance of love,
This fair-inspir d delight: her temper'd pow'rs.
Refine at length, and every passion. wears
A chaster, milder, more attractive mien.
But if to ampler prospects, if to gaze
On nature's form where, negligent of all
These lesser graces, she assumes the port
Of that eternal majesty that weigh'd
The world's foundations, if to these the mind;
Exalts her daring eye; then mightier for
Will be the change, and nobler. Would the forms
Of servile custom cramp her gen'rous pow'rs?
Would sordid politics, the barb'rous growth.
Of ignorance and rapine, bow her down
To tame pursuits, to indolence and rear?
Lo! she appeals to nature, to the winds
And rolling waves, the sun's unwearied eourse>.
The elements and seasons: all declare •
For what th' eternal Maker has oidain'd.
The pow'rs of man: we feel within ourselves.
His energy divine: he tells the heart,
He meant, he made us to behold and love
What he beholds and loves, the general orb.
Of life and being; to be great like him,.
Beneficent and active. Thus the ruen, «
Whom nature's works can charm, with God himself
Hold converse: grqw familiar, day bjr day,
With his conceptions, act upon his plan;
Say, why was man so eminently rais'd
Amid the vast creation; why ordain'd
Thro' life and death to dart his piercing eye,
With thoughts beyond the limit of his frame;
But that th' Omnipotent might send him forth
In sight of mortal and immortal pow'rs,
As on a boundless theatre, to run
The great career of justice; to exalt
His gen'rous aim to all diviner deeds;
To chase each partial purpose from his breast:
And thro' the mists of passion and of sense,
And thro' the tossing tide of chance and pain,
To hold his course unfalt'ring, while the voice
Of truth and virtue, up the steep ascent
Of nature, calls him to his high reward,
Th' applauding smile of heav'n? Else wherefore burns
in mortal bosonis this uiiquenched hope,
That breathes from day to day sublimer things,
And mocks possession? Wherefore darts the mind,
With such resistless ardour, to embrace
Majestic forms: impatient to be free,
Spurning the gross controul of wilful might;
Proud of the strong contention of her toils;
Proud to be daring? Who but rather turns
Toheav'n's broad fire his unconstrained view,
Than to the glimmering cf a waxen flame?
Who that, from Alpine heights, his lab'ring eye
Shoots round the wide horuon, to survey
Nilus or Ganges rolling his bright wave
Thro' mountains, plains, thro' empires black with shade,
And continents of sand; will turn his gaze
To mark the winding of a scanty rill
That murmurs at his feet? The high.born soul;
Disdains to rest her heav'n-aspiring wing
Beneath its native c^arry. Tir'd of earth
And this diurnal scene, she springs aloft
Through fields of air; pursues the flying storm ;.
Hides on the volley'd lightning thro' the heav'ns;
Has travell'd the profound six thousand years,
Ev'n on the barriers of the world unttr'd
She meditates th' eternal deep below;
Till, half recoiling, down the headlong steep
She plunges,; soon o'erwhelm'd and swallow'd up
In that immense of being. There her hopes
Rest at the fated goal. For from the birth
Of moital man, the sovereign Maker said,
That not in humble nor in brief delight,
Not in the fading echoes of renown,
Pow'r's purple robes, nor pleasure's fiow'ry lap,
The soul should find enjoyment: but from these
Turning disdainful to an equal good,
Thro' all th' ascent of things enlarge her view,.
Till every bound at length should disappear,
And infinite perfection close the scene.
Call now to mind what high capacious powers
Lie folded up in man; how far beyond
The praise of mortals, may th' eternal growth
Of nature, to perfection half divine,
Expand the blooming soul. What pity then.