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His steeds, usurp a place they well deserve.
The groans of nature in this nether world, Which Heav'n has heard for ages, have an end. Foretold by prophets, and by poets sung,
Whose fire was kindled at the prophets' lamp,
Sweet is the harp of prophecy ; too sweet
Oh scenes surpassing fable, and yet true, Scenes of accomplish'd bliss ! which who can see, Though but in distant prospect, and not feel
His soul refresh'd with foretaste of the joy ? Rivers of gladness water all the earth, And clothe all climes with beauty ; the reproach Of barrenness is past. The fruitful field Laughs with abundance; and the land, once lean, Or fertile only in its own disgrace, Exults to see its thistly curse repeaļd. The various seasons woven into one, And that one season an eternal spring, The garden fears no blight, and needs no fence, For there is none to covet, all are full. The lion, and the libbard, and the bear Graze with the fearless flocks; all bask at noon Together, or all gambol in the shade Of the same grove, and drink one common stream. Antipathies are none. No foe to man Lurks in the serpent now : the mother sees, And smiles to see, her infant's playful hand Stretch'd forth to dally with the crested worm, To stroke his azure neck, or to receive The lambent homage of his arrowy tongue. All creatures worship man, and all mankind One Lord, one Father. Error has no place: That creeping pestilence is driv'n away ; The breath of heav'n has chas’d it. In the heart No passion touches a discordant string, But all is harmony and love. Disease Is not : the pure and uncontam’nate blood Holds its due course, nor fears the frost of age. One song employs all nations ; and all cry,
“ Worthy the Lamb, for he was slain for us !"
And endless her increase. Thy rams are there,
O Sion! an assembly such as earth
* Nebaioth and Kedar, the sons of Ishmael, and progenitors of the Arabs, in the prophetic scripture here alluded to, may
Thus heav'n-ward all things tend. For all were
once Perfect, and all must be at length restor'd. So God has greatly purpos'd ; who would else In his dishonour'd works himself endure Dishonour, and be wrong'd without redress. Haste, then, and wheel away a shatter'd world, Ye slow-revolving seasons! we would see (A sight to which our eyes are strangers yet) A world that does not dread and hate his laws, And suffer for its crime ; would learn how fair The creature is that God pronounces good, How pleasant in itself what pleases him. Here ev'ry drop of honey hides a sting ; Worms wind themselves into our sweetest flow'rs ; And ev'n the joy that haply some poor heart Derives from heav'n, pure as the fountain is, Is sullied in the stream, taking a taint From touch of human lips, at best impure. Oh for a world in principle as chaste As this is gross and selfish ! over which Custom and prejudice shall bear no sway, That govern all things here, should’ring aside The meek and modest truth, and forcing her To seek a refuge from the tongue of strife In nooks obscure, far from the ways of men :Where violence shall never lift the sword, Nor cunning justify the proud man's wrong, Leaving the poor no remedy but tears :Where he that fills an office shall esteem