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For ever on the brink of being born.
All pay themselves the compliment in think,
They one day shali po$ drivel; and (heir pride
On this reversion takes up ready praise ;
At least, their own; chei suture selves applauds;
How excellent that life ihey we'er will lead !
Time lodg'd in their own hands is folly's vails;
That lodg'd in fate's, to wisrom they consign;
The thing they can't but purpose, they postpone.
'Tis not in folly, not to scora a fool;
And scarce in human wisdom to do more. 3. All promise is poor dilatory man;
And that thro' ev'ry stage. When young, indeed,
In full content, we sometimes nobly rest,
Unanxious for ourselves; and only wish,
As duteous sons, our fathers were more wise.
At thirty, man suspects himself a fool;
Knows it at forty, and reforms his plan;
At fifty, chides his infamous delay;
Pushes his prudent purpose to resolve ;
In all the magnanimity of thought,
Resolves, and re-resolves, then dies the same.
4. And why? Because he thinks himself immortal,
All men think all men mortal, but themselves ;
Themselves, when some alarming shock of fate
Strikes thro' their wounded hearts the sudden dread;
But their hearts wounded, like the wounded air,
Soon close ; where, past the shaft, no trace is found.
As from the wing no scar the sky retains;
The parted wave no furrow from the keel;
So dies in human hearts the thought of death.
Ev'n with the tender tear which Nature sheds
O'er those we love, we dropt it in their grave. YOUNG.
SECTION X. That philosophy, which stops at secondary causes, reproved. 1. HAPPY the man who sees a God employ'd
In all the good and ill that checker life!
Resolving all events, with their effects
And manifold results, into the will
And arbitration wise of the Supreme.
Did not his eye rule all things, and intend
The least of our concerns ; (since from the least
The greatest oft originate ;) could chance
Diant place in his dominion, or dispose
One lawless particle to thwart his pian ;
Then God might be surpris'd, and unforeseen
Contingence might alarm him, and disturb
The smooth and equal course of his aflairs. 2. This truth, philosophy, though eagle-ey'd
In nature's tendencies, oft o'erlooks ;
And having found his instrument, forgets
Or disregards, or, more presumptuous still,
Denies the pow'r that wields it. God proclaims
His hot displeasure against foolish men
That live an atheist life ; involves the hear'n
In tempests ; quits his grasp upon the winds,
And gives them all their fury ; bids a plague
Kindle a fiery boil upon the skin,
And putrify the breath of blooming health ; 8. He calls for famine, and the meagre fiend
Blows mildew from between his shrivel'd lips,
And taints the golden ear; he springs his mines,
And desolates a nation at a blast:
Forth steps the spruce philosopher, and tells
Of homogeneal and discordant springs
And principles; of causes, how they work
By necessary laws their sure effects,
Of action and re-action. 4.
He has found The source of the disease that nature fecls; And bids the world take heart and banish fear. Thou fool! will thy discov'ry of the cause Suspend th' effect, or heal it? Has not God Still wrought by means since first he made the world ! And did he not of old employ his means, To drown it? What is his creation less Than a capacious reservoir of means, Form'd for his use, and ready at his will ? Go, dress thine eyes with eye-salve : ask of him, Or ask of whomsoever he has taught; And learn, though late, the genuine cause of all.
SECTION XI. Indignant sentiments on national prejudices and hatred
and on slavery.
1. Or, for a lodge in some vast wilderness,
Some houndless contiguity of shade,
Where rumour of oppression and deceit,
Of unsuccessful or successful war,
Might never reach me more ! 'My ear is pain'd,
My soul is sick with every day's report
of wrong and outrage with which earth is fill'd.
There is no flesh in man's obdurate heart;
It does not feel for man. The nat'ral bond
Of brotherhood is sever'd as the flax
That falls asunder at the touch of fire. 2. He finds his fellow guilty of a skin
Not colour'd like his own; and having pow'r
T enforce the wrong, for such a worthy, cause
Dooms and devotes him as his lawful prey.
Lands intersected by a narrow frith
Abhor each other Mountains interpos'd,
Make enemies of nations, who had else,
Like kindred drops, been mingled into one.
3. Thus man devotes his brother, and destroys ;
And worse than all, and most to be deplor'd,
As human nature's broadest, foulest blot,
Chains him, and tasks him, and exacts his sweat
With stripes, that mercy, with a bleeding heart,
Weeps when she sees inflicted on a beast. ·
4. Then what is man! And what man seeing this,
And having human feelings, does not blush
And hang his head, to think himself a man?
I would not have a slave to till my ground,
To carry ine, to fan me while I sleep,
And tremble when I wake, for all the wealth
That sinews bought and sold have ever earn'd. 5.No : dear as freedom, and in my heart's
Just estimation priz'd above all price;
I had much rather be myself the slave,
And wear the bonds, than fasten them on him.
We have no slaves at home--then why abroad ?
And they themselves once ferried o'er the wave
That parts us, are emancipate and loos’d.
6. Slaves cannot breathe in England : if their lungs
Receive our air, that moment they are free ;
They touch our country, and their shackles fall.
That's noble, and bespeaks a nation proud
And jealous of the blessing. Spread it then,
And let it circulate through ev'ry vein
Of all your empire : that where Britain's power
Is felt, mankind may feel her mercy too.
The morning in summer.
1. The meek ey'd morn appears, mother of dews,
At first faint gleaming in the dappled east;
Till far o'er ether spreads the wid'ning glow;
And from before the lustre of her face
White break the clouds away; With quicken'd step
Lrown night retires: young day pours in apace,
And opens all the lawny prospect wide.
& The dripping rock, the mountain's misty top,
Swell on the sight, and brighten with the dawn.
Blue, thro' the dusk, the-smoaking currents shine ;
And from the bladed field the fearful hare
Limps awkward: while along the forest-glade
The wild deer trip, and often turning gaze
At early passenger. Music awakes
The native voice of undissembled joy ;
And thick around the woodland hymns arise.
8. Rous'd by the cock, the soon-clad shepherd leaves
His mossy cottage, where with peace he dwells ;
And from the crowded fold, in order, drives.
His flock to taste the verdure of the morn.
Falsely luxurious, will not man awake ;
And, springing from the bed of sloth, enjoy
The cool, the fragrant, and the silent hour
To meditation due and sacred song ?
For is there ought in sleep can charm the wise ! 4. To lie in dead oblivion, losing half
The fleeting moments of too short a life ;
Total extinction of th' enlightened soul !
Or else to feverish vanity alive,
Wilder'd, and tossing thro’ distemper'd dreams ?
Who would, in such a gloomy state, remain
Longer than nature craves; when ev'ry muse
And every blooming pleasure waits without,
To bless the wildly devious morning walk ?
Rural sounds, as well as rural sights, delightful.
1. Nor rural sights alone, but rural sounds
Exhilerate the spirit, and restore
The tone of languid nature. Mighty winds,
That sweep the skirt of some far-spreading' wood
Of ancient growth, make music, not unlike
The dash of ocean on his winding shore,
And lull the spirit while they fill the mind,
Unnumber'd branches waving in the blast,
And all their leaves fast flutt'ring all at once. 2. Nor less composure waits upon the roar
distani floods; or on the softer voice
Of neighb'ring fountain; or of rills that slip
Through the cleft rock, and, chiming as they fall
Upon loose pebbles, lose themselves at length
In matted grass, that, with a livelier green,
Betravs the secret of their silent course.
Nature inanimate employs sweet sounds;
But animated nature sweeter still,
To sooth and satisfy the human ear.
3. Ten thousand warblers cheer the day, and one
The live-long night. Nor these alone, whose notes
Nice finger'd art must emulate in vain ;
But cawing rooks, and kites that swim sublime,
In still repeated circles, screaming loud,
T'he jay, the pye, and ev'n the boding owl
That hails the rising moon, have charms for me.
Sounds in harmonious in themselves, and harsh,
Yet heard in scenes where peace for ever reigns,
And only there, please highly for their sake.
The Rose. 1. The rose had been wash’d, lately wash'd in a showey.
Which Mary to Anna convey'd ;
The plentiful moisture encumber'd the flower,
And weigh'd down its beautiful head.
2. The cup was all fill'd, and the leaves were all wel,
And seem'd to a fanciful view,
To weep for the buds it had left with regret,
On the flourishing bush where it grew. 3. I hastily seiz'd it, unfit as it was
For a nosegay, so dripping and drown'd;
And swinging it rudely, too rudely, alas !
I snap'd it-it fell to the ground.
4. And such, I exclaim'd, is the pitiless part,
Some act by the delicate mind,