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THE POWER OF MUSIC.

197

And ere one flowery season fades and dies,
Designs the blooming wonders of the next.
The Lord of all, Himself through all diffused,
Sustains and is the life of all that lives.
Nature is but a name for an effect,
Whose cause is God. One spirit—His,
Who wore the platted thorns with bleeding brows,
Rules universal Nature! Not a flower
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,
Their 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 flower,
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.

Cowper.

THE POWER OF MUSIC.

How sweet the moonlight sleeps upon this bank !
Here will we sit, and let the sounds of music
Creep in our ears; soft stillness, and the night,
Become the touches of sweet harmony.
Sit, Jessica : look, how the floor of heaven
Is thick inlaid with patines of bright gold;
There's not the smallest orb which thou behold'st
But in his motion like an angel sings,
Still choiring to the young-eyed cherubims :
Such harmony is in immortal souls;

198

MAN WAS MADE TO MOURN.

But, whilst this muddy vesture of decay
Doth grossly close it in, we cannot hear it.

We are never merry when we hear sweet music.
The reason is, our spirits are attentive :
For do but note a wild and wanton herd,
Or race of youthful and unhandled colts,
Fetching mad bounds, bellowing, and neighing loud,
Which is the hot condition of their blood;
If they but hear perchance a trumpet-sound,
Or any air of music touch their ears,
You shall perceive them make a mutual stand,
Their savage eyes turn'd to a modest gaze,
By the sweet power of music: Therefore, the poet
Did feign that Orpheus drew trees, stones, and floods;
Since nought so stockish, hard, and full of rage,
But music for the time doth change his nature:
The man that hath no music in himself,
Nor is not moved with concord of sweet sounds,
Is fit for treasons, stratagems, and spoils;
The motions of his spirit are dull as night,
And his affections dark as Erebus :
Let no such man be trusted.

Shakspeare.

MAN WAS MADE TO MOURN.

O MAN! while in thy early years,

How prodigal of time!
Mispending all thy precious hours,

Thy glorious youthful prime!
Alternate follies take the sway;

Licentious passions burn;
Which tenfold force give nature's law,

That man was made to mourn.

MAN WAS MADE TO MOURN.

199

Look not alone on youthful prime,

Or manhood's active might;
Man then is useful to his kind,

Supported is his right:
But see him on the edge of life,

With cares and sorrows worn,
Then

age

and want, О ill-match'd pair! Show man was made to mourn.

A few seem favourites of fate,

In pleasure's lap caress'd;
Yet, think not all the rich and great

Are likewise truly blest;
But, oh! what crowds in

every

land Are wretched and forlorn. Through weary life this lesson learn,

That man was made to mourn.

Many and sharp the numerous ills

Inwoven with our frame!
More pointed still we make ourselves

Regret, remorse, and shame!
And man, whose heaven-erected face

The smiles of love adorn,
Man's inhumanity to man

Makes countless thousands mourn.

Yet let not this too much, my son,

Disturb thy youthful breast;
This partial view of humankind

Is surely not the best.
The poor, oppresséd, honest man

Had never sure been born,
Had there not been some recompense
To comfort those that mourn!

Burns.

TRUE BEAUTY.

Men call you fair, and you do credit it,

For that yourself you daily such do see;
But the true fair, that is the gentle wit

And virtuous mind, is much more praised of me. For all the rest, however fair it be,

Shall turn to naught, and lose that glorious hue; But only that is permanent and free

From frail corruption, that doth flesh ensue. That is true beauty, that doth argue you

To be divine, and born of heavenly seed;

Derived from that fair spirit from whom all true And perfect beauty did at first proceed.

He only fair, and what he fair hath made;
All other fair, like flowers untimely fade.

Spenser.

ODE TO A NIGHTINGALE:

I.

My heart aches, and a drowsy numbness pains

My sense, as though of hemlock I had drunk,
Or emptied some dull opiate to the drains

One minute past, and Lethe-wards had sunk:
'Tis not through envy of thy happy lot,
But being too happy in thy happiness, -
That thou, light-wing'd Dryad of the trees,

In some melodious plot
Of beechen green, and shadows numberless,

Singest of summer in full-throated ease.

II.

O for a draught of vintage, that hath been

Cool'd a long age in the deep-delved earth,

ODE TO A NIGHTINGALE.

201

Tasting of Flora and the country green,

Dance and Provençal song, and sun-burnt mirth! O for a beaker full of the warm South, Full of the true, the blushful Hippocrene, With beaded bubbles winking at the brim,

And purple-stained mouth; That I might drink, and leave the world unseen,

And with thee fade away into the forest dim.

III,

Fade far away, dissolve, and quite forget

What thou among the leaves hast never known, The weariness, the fever, and the fret Here, where men sit and hear each other

groan; Where palsy shakes a few sad last grey hairs, Where youth grows pale and spectre-thin, and dies; Where but to think is to be full of sorrow

And leaden-eyed despairs ;
Where beauty cannot keep her lustrous eyes,

Or new love pine at them beyond to-morrow.

IV.

Away, away! for I will fly to thee,

Not charioted by Bacchus and his pards,
But on the viewless wings of Poesy,

Though the dull brain perplexes and retards;
Already with thee! tender is the night,
And haply the queen moon is on her throne,
Cluster'd around by all her starry fays;

But here there is no light,
Save what from heaven is with the breezes blown
Through verdurous glooms and winding mossy

ways.

V.

I cannot see what flowers are at my feet,

Nor what soft incense hangs upon the boughs ;

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