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Exact my own defects to scan;
What others are to feel; and know myself a man.
The creation required to praise its Author.
BEGIN, my soul, th' exalted lay!
Let each enraptur'd thought obey,
And praise th' Almighty's name:
To swell th' inspiring theme.
Ye fields of light, celestial plains,
Your Maker's wond'rous pow'r proclaim,
Ye angels, catch the thrilling sound!
Let ev'ry list'ning saint above
Join, ye loud spheres, the vocal choir;
Soon as gray evening gilds the plain,
Thou heav'n of heav'ns, his vast abode ;
Who call'd yon worlds from night:
"Ye shades dispel!"-th' Eternal said;
Whate'er a blooming world contains,
Ye dragons sound his awful name
Let ev'ry element rejoice;
Ye thunders burst with awful voice
To him ye graceful cedars, bow;
Tell, when affrighted nature shook,
Ye flocks that haunt the humble vale,
Crop the gay rose's vermeil bloom,
Wake all ye mountain tribes, and sing;
TO HIM who shap'd your finer mould,
Let man, by nobler passions sway'd
Spread his tremendous name around,
Ye whom the charms of grandeur please,
Fall prostrate at his throne:
Ye princes, rulers, all adore ;
Praise him, ye kings, who makes your pow'r
Ye fair, by nature form'd to move,
Let age take up the tuneful lay,
The universal prayer.
FATHER OF ALL! in ev'ry age,
In ev'ry clime ador'd,
By saint, by savage, and by sage,
Jehovah, Jove, or Lord!
Thou GREAT FIRST CAUSE, least understood,
Who all my sense confin'd
To know but this, that thou art good,
And that myself am blind;
Yet gave me in this dark estate,
What conscience dictates to be done, Or warns me not to do,
This teach me more than hell to shun, That more than heav'n pursue.
What blessings thy free bounty gives, Let me not cast away;
For God is paid, when man receives;
Yet not to earth's contracted span
Let not this weak, unknowing hand
If I am right, thy grace impart,
If I am wrong, oh teach my
Save me alike from foolish pride,
At aught thy wisdom has denied,
Teach me to feel another's wo,
Mean tho' I am, not wholly so,
This day, be bread and peace my lot:
Thou know'st if best bestow'd or not,
To thee, whose temple is all space,
TREACH'ROUs conscience! while she seems to sleep
And give us up to license unrecall'd,
And her dread diary with horror fills.
Not the gross act alone employs her pen;
A watchful foe! the formidable spy,
List'r 'ng, o'erhears the whispers of our camp;
As all rapacious usurers conceal
Their doomsday-book from all-consuming heirs ;
Unnoted, notes each moment misapply'd;
And judgment publish; publish to more worlds.