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Far in the heavens my God retires,
My God, the mark of my desires,
And hides his lovely face; When he descends within my view, He charms my reason to pursue, But leaves it tir'd and fainting in the’unequal chase.
Or, if I reach unusual height
Till near his presence brought, There floods of glory check my flight, Cramp the bold pinions of my wit,
And all untune my thought; Plung'd in a sea of light I roll, Where wisdom, justice, mercy, shines; Infinite rays in crossing lines Beat thick confusion on my sight, and overwhelm
Come to my aid, ye fellow-minds,
And help me reach the throne;
United force hath done ;
Thus atoms fill the sea)
and are lost in thee.
Great God! behold my reason lies
On pinions not her own :
Through all the trackless seas of light,
DEATH AND ETERNITY.
My thoughts, that often mount the skies,
Go search the world beneath, Where Nature all in ruin lies,
And owns her sovereign, Death.
The tyrant, how he triumphs here!
His trophies spread around!
Through all the hollow ground.
These skulls, what ghastly figures now!
How loathsome to the eyes ! These are the heads we lately knew
So beauteous and so wise,
But where the souls, those deathless things,
That left this dying clay?
And trace eternity.
O that unfathomable sea!
Those deeps without a shore ! Where living waters gently play,
Or fiery billows roar.
Thus must we leave the banks of life,
And try this doubtful sea ;
To gain a moment's stay.
There we shall swim in heavenly bliss,
Or sink in flaming waves,
Amongst the silent graves.
Some hearty friend shall drop his tear
On our dry bones, and say, * These once were strong, as mine appear,
And mine must be as they.'
Thus shall our mouldering members teach
What now our senses learn :
Man's infinite concern.
A SIGHT OF HEAVEN IN SICKNESS,
Oft have I sat in secret sighs,
To feel my flesh decay,
To view the tottering clay.
But I forbid my sorrows now,
Nor dares the flesh complain ; Diseases bring their profit too;
The joy o'ercomes the pain.
My cheerful soul now all the day
Sits waiting here and sing's ; Looks through the ruins of her clay,
And practises her wings.
Faith almost changes into sight,
While from afar she spies Her fair inheritance, in light
Above created skies.,
Had but the prison walls been strong,
And less of glory saw.
But now the everlasting hills
Through every chink appear, And something of the joy she feels
While she's a prisoner here.
The shines of Heaven rush sweetly in
At all the gaping flaws; Visions of endless bliss are seen ;
And native air she draws.
O may these walls stand tottering still,
The breaches never close,
And all this glory lose !
Or rather let this flesh decay,
The ruins wider grow,
I stretch my pinions through.
THE UNIVERSAL HALLELUJAH.
PSALM cxlviii. PARAPHRASED.
PRAISE ye the Lord with joyful tongue,
powers that guard his throne; Jesus, the man, shall lead the song,
The God inspire the tune.
Gabriel, and all the immortal choir
That fill the realms above,
And feeds you with his love.
Shine to his praise, ye crystal skies,
The floor of his abode,
Before a brighter God.
Thou restless globe of golden light,
Whose beams create our days, Join with the silver queen of night, To own your
Blush and refund the honours paid
To your inferior names ;
By his o'erflowing flames.
Winds, ye shall bear his name aloud
Through the etherial blue; For when his chariot is a cloud, He makes his wheels of you.