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Views him in all ; ascribes to the grand cause
The grand effect; acknowledges with joy
His manner, and with rapture tastes his style.
But never yet did philosophic tube,
That brings the planets home into the eye
Of observation, and discovers, else
Discover him that rules them ; such a veil
Hangs over mortal eyes, blind from the birth,
And dark in things divine. Full often, too,
Our wayward intellect, the more we learn
Of nature, overlooks her Author more ;
From instrumental causes proud to draw
Conclusions retrograde, and mad mistake.
But if his word once teach us, shoot a ray
Through all the heart's dark chambers, and reveal
Truths undiscern'd but by that holy light,
Then all is plain. Philosophy, baptiz'd
In the pure fountain of eternal love,
Has eyes, indeed ; and viewing all she sees
As meant to indicate a God to man,
Gives him his praise, and forfeits not her own.
Learning has born such fruit in other days
On all her branches: piety has found
Friends in the friends of science, and true pray'r
Has flow'd from lips wet with Castalian dews.
Such was thy wisdom, Newton, childlike sage!
Sagacious reader of the works of God,
And in his word sagacious. Such too thine,
Milton, whose genius had angelic wings,
And fed on manna! And such thine, in whom
Our British Themis gloried with just cause,
Immortal Hale! for deep discernment prais’d,
And sound integrity, not more than fam'd
For sanctity of manners undefild.
All flesh is grass, and all its glory fades
Like the fair flow'r dishevell’d in the wind;
Riches have wings, and grandeur is a dream :
The man we celebrate must find a tomb,
And we that worship him ignoble graves.
Nothing is proof against the gen’ral curse
Of vanity, that seizes all below.
The only amaranthine flow'r on earth
Is virtue ; th’ only lasting treasure, truth.
But what is truth? 'twas Pilate's question, put
To truth itself, that deign’d him no reply.
And wherefore? will not God impart his light
To them that ask it ?-Freely'tis his joy,
His glory, and his nature, to impart. .
But to the proud, uncandid, insincere,
Or negligent inquirer, not a spark.
What's that which brings contempt upon a book,
And him who writes it; though the style be neat,
The method clear, and argument exact ?
That makes a minister in holy things
The joy of many, and the dread of more,
His name a theme for praise and for reproach -
That, while it gives us worth in God's account,
Depreciates and undoes us in our own?
What pearl is it that rich men cannot buy,
That learning is too proud to gather up ;
Seek and obtain, and often find unsought ?
Tell me—and I will tell thee what is truth.
O, friendly to the best pursuits of man,
Friendly to thought, to virtue, and to peace,
Domestic life in rural leisure pass'd!
Few know thy value, and few taste thy sweets ;
Though many boast thy favours, and affect
To understand and choose thee for their own.
But foolish man foregoes his proper bliss,
Ev'n as his first progenitor, and quits,
Though plac'd in paradise, (for earth has still
Some traces of her youthful beauty left)
Substantial happiness for transient joy.
Scenes form’d for contemplation, and to nurse
The growing seeds of wisdom ; that suggest, . By ev'ry pleasing image they present, Reflections such as meliorate the heart, Compose the passions, and exalt the mind ; Scenes such as these 'tis his supreme delight To fill with riøt, and defile with blood. Should some contagion, kind to the poor brutes We persecute, annihilate the tribes That draw the sportsman over hill and dale, Fearless, and rapt away from all his cares ; Should never game-fowl hatch her eggs again, Nor baited hook deceive the fish's eye; . Could pageantry and dance, and feast and song, Be quell'd in all our summer-months' retreat ;
How many self-deluded nymphs and swains,
Who dream they have a taste for fields and groves,
Would find them hideous nurs’ries of the spleen,
And crowd the roads, impatient for the town!
They love the country, and none else, who seek
For their own sake its silence and its shade.
Delights which who would leave, that has a heart
Susceptible of pity, or a mind
Cultur'd and capable of sober thought,
For all the savage din of the swift pack,
And clamours of the field ?-Detested sport,
That owes its pleasures to another's pain ;
That feeds upon the sobs and dying shrieks
Of harmless nature, dumb, but yet endu'd
With eloquence, that agonies inspire,
Of silent tears and heart-distending sighs ?
Vain tears, alas, and sighs, that never find
A corresponding tone in jovial souls !
Well-one at least is safe. One shelter'd hare
Has never heard the sanguinary yell
Of cruel man, exulting in her woes.
Innocent partner of my peaceful home,
Whom ten long years' experience of my care
Has made at last familiar ; she has lost
Much of her vigilant instinctive dread,
Not needful here, beneath a roof like mine.
Yes—thou may'st eat thy bread, and lick the hand
That feeds thee; thou may'st frolic on the floor
At ev’ning, and at night retire secure
To thy straw couch, and slumber unalarm’d;
For I have gain'd thy confidence, have pledg'd
All that is human in me to protect
Thine unsuspecting gratitude and love.
If I survive thee I will dig thy grave ;
I knew at least one hare that had a friend.
How various his employments, whom the world Calls idle ; and who justly, in return, Esteems that busy world an idler too ! Friends, books, a garden, and perhaps his pen, Delightful industry enjoy'd at home, And nature in her cultivated trim Dress'd to his taste, inviting him abroad Can he want occupation who has these? Will he be idle who has much ť enjoy ? Me, therefore, studious of laborious ease, Not slothful ; happy to deceive the time, Not waste it ; and aware that human life Is but a loan to be repaid with use, . When he shall call his debtors to account From whom are all our blessings; bus’ness finds Ev'n here : while sedulous I seek t improve, At least neglect not, or leave unemploy'd, The mind he gave me; driving it, though slack Too oft, and much impeded in its work By causes not to be divulg'd in vain, To its just point--the service of mankind. He that attends to his interior self, That has a heart, and keeps it ; has a mind That hungers, and supplies it; and who seeks