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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

“ Favour'd as ours; transgressors from the womb, “ And hasting to a grave, yet doom'd to rise, " And to possess a brighter heav'n than yours? “ As one, who, long detain'd on foreign shores “ Pants to return, and when he sees afar “ His country's weather-bleach'd and batter'd rocks, “ From the green wave emerging, darts an eye “ Radiant with joy towards the happy land ;

“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 thither tend."

So reads he nature whom the lamp of truth Mluminates. 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 the employ'd, Worlds that had never been hądst 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. Theirs is indeed A teaching voice ; but 'tis the praise of thinę, . 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 proy'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,

In that blest moment, Nature, throwing wide
Her veil opaque, discloses with a smile
The Author of her beauties, who, retir'd
Behind his own creation, works unseen
By the impure, and hears his pow'r denied.
Thou art the source and centre of all minds,
Their only point of rest, eternal Word !
From thee departing, they are lost, and rove
At random, without honour, hope, or peace.
From thee is all that sooths the life of man,
His high endeavour, and his glad success,
His strength to suffer, and his will to serve.
But oh thou bounteous Giver of all good,
Thou art of all thy gifts thyself the crown!
Give what thou canst, without thee we are poor ;

VOL. 11.

ARGUMENT OF THE SIXTH BOOK.

Bells at a distance. Their effect.--A fine noon in winter.

-A sheltered walkı-Meditation better than books. Our familiarity with the course of nature makes it appear less wonderful than it is.The transformation that

spring effects in a shrubbery described.--A mistake con· cerning the course of nature corrected.God maintains it

by an unremitted act. The amusements fashionable at this hour of the day reproved.--Animals happy, a delightful sight.- Origin of cruelty to animals. That it is a great crime proved from scripture. That proof il. lustrated by a tale. A line drawn between the lawful and unlawful destruction of them. Their good and useful properties insisted on.Apology for the encomiums bestowed by the author on animals.- Instances of man's extravagant praise of man. The groans of the creation shall have an end.A view taken of the restoration of all things.-An invocation and an invitation of him who shall bring it to pass.The retired man vindicated from the charge of uselessness. Conclusion.

THE TASK.

BOOK VI.

THE WINTER WALK AT NOON.

THERE is in souls a sympathy with sounds ;

With melting airs, or martial, brisk, or grave :
Some chord in unison with what we hear
Is touch'd within us, and the heart replies.
How soft the music of those village bells,
Falling at intervals upon the ear
In cadence sweet, now dying all away,
Now pealing loud again, and louder still,
Clear and sonorous, as the gale comes on!
With easy force it opens all the cells
Where mem'ry slept. Wherever I have heard

And with it all its pleasures and its pains.
Such comprehensive views the spirit takes,
That in a few short moments I retrace

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