Page images

Their wasteful splendor from the palace wall.

110 None, none escape the kindness of thy care: All compassed underneath Thy spacious wing, Each fed and guided by Thy powerful hand.

Tell me, ye splendid Orbs ! — as from your thrones Ye mark the rolling provinces that own

115 Your sway, — what beings fill those bright abodes ? How formed, how gifted; what their powers, their state, Their happiness, their wisdom? Do they bear The stamp of human nature ? Or has God Peopled those purer realms with lovelier forms

120 And more celestial minds ? Does Innocence Still wear her native and untainted bloom ? Or has Sin breathed his deadly blight abroad, And sowed corruption in those fairy bowers ? Has War trod o'er them with his foot of fire ?

125 And Slavery forged his chains, and Wrath, and Hate, And sordid Selfishness, and cruel Lust, Leagued their base bands to tread out Light and Truth, And scattered woe where Heaven has planted joy? Or are they yet all Paradise, unfallen

And uncorrupt; - existence one long joy,
Without disease upon the frame, or sin
Upon the heart, or weariness of life, –
Hope never quenched, and age unknown,
And death unfeared; while fresh and fadeless youth 135
Glows in the light from God's near throne of Love ?

Open your lips, ye wonderful and fair !
Speak, speak! the mysteries of those living worlds
Unfold !-No language! Everlasting light,
And everlasting silence !- Yet the eye

May read and understand. The hand of God
Has written legibly what man may know,
THE GLORY OF THE MAKER. There it shines,
Ineffable, unchangeable ; and man,




Bound to the surface of this pigmy globe,
May know and ask no more. In other days,
When death shall give the encumbered spirit wings,
Its range shall be extended; it shall roam,
Perchance, among those vast mysterious spheres,

pass from orb to orb, and dwell in each
Familiar with its children, - learn their laws,
And share their state, and study and adore
The infinite varieties of bliss
And beauty, by the hand of Power divine
Lavished on all its works. Eternity
Shall thus roll on with ever-fresh delight;
No pause of pleasure or improvement; world
On world still opening to the instructed mind
An unexhausted universe, and time
But adding to its glories ; while the soul,
Advancing ever to the Source of light
And all perfection, lives, adores, and reigns,
In cloudless knowledge, purity, and bliss.




The Garden of Eden.—MILTON.

Eden stretched her line
From Auran eastward to the royal towers
Of great Seleucia, built by Grecian kings,
Or where the sons of Eden long before
Dwelt in Telassar: in this pleasant soil
His far more pleasant garden God ordained:
Out of the fertile ground he caused to grow
All trees of noblest kind for sight, smell, taste;
And all amid them stood the tree of life,

5 10




High eminent, blooming ambrosial fruit
Of vegetable gold; and next to life,
Our death, the tree of knowledge, grew fast by,
Knowledge of good, bought dear by knowing ill.
Southward through Eden went a river large,
Nor changed his course, but through the shaggy hill
Passed underneath engulfed; for God had thrown
That mountain as his garden-mould high-raised
Upon the rapid current, which through veins
Of porous earth with kindly thirst up-drawn,
Rose a fresh fountain, and with many a rill
Watered the garden ; thence united fell
Down the steep glade, and met the nether flood,
Which from his darksome passage now appears,
And, now divided into four main streams,
Runs diverse, wandering many a famous realm
And country, whereof here needs no account;
But rather to tell how, if art could tell,
How from that sapphire fount the crisped brooks,
Rolling on orient pearl and sands of gold,
With mazy error under pendent shades
Ran nectar, visiting each plant, and fed
Flowers worthy of Paradise, which not nice art
In beds and curious knots, but nature's boon
Poured forth profuse on hill, and dale, and plain,
Both where the morning sun first warmly smote
The open field, and where the unpierced shade
Imbrowned the noontide bowers: thus was this place
A happy rural seat of various views;
Groves whose rich trees wept odorous gums and balm ;
Others whose fruit, burnished with golden rind,
Hung amiable, Hesperian fables true,
If true, here only, and of delicious taste:
Betwixt them lawns, or level downs, and flocks
Grazing the tender herb, were interposed,



40 45


Or palmy hillock; or the flowery lap
Of some irriguous valley spread her store,
Flowers of all hue, and without thorn the rose :
Another side, umbrageous grots and caves
Of cool recess, o'er which the mantling vine
Lays forth her purple grape, and gently creeps
Luxuriant; meanwhile murmuring waters fall
Down the slope hills, dispersed, or in a lake,
That to the fringed bank with myrtle crowned
Her crystal mirror holds, unite their streams.
The birds their choir apply; airs, vernal airs,
Breathing the smell of field and grove, attune
The trembling leaves, while universal Pan,
Knit with the Graces and the Hours in dance,
Led on the eternal Spring.



From Night VI.-DR. Young.


Genius and art, ambition's boasted wings,
Our boast but ill deserve. If these alone
Assist our flight, Fame's flight is Glory's fall.
Heart merit wanting, mount we ne'er so high,
Our height is but the gibbet of our name.
A celebrated wretch when I behold,
When I behold a genius bright and base,
Of towering talents and terrestrial aims,
Methinks I see, as thrown from her high sphere,
The glorious fragments of a soul immortal,
With rubbish mixed, and glittering in the dust:
Struck at the splendid, melancholy sight,
At once compassion soft, and envy, rise, —

10 15





But wherefore envy? talents, angel-bright,
If wanting worth, are shining instruments
In false Ambition's hand, to finish faults
Illustrious, and give infamy renown.

Great ill is an achievement of great powers.
Plain sense but rarely leads us far astray.
Reason the means, affections choose our end.
Means have no merit, if our end amiss.

wrong our hearts, our heads are right in vain.
Hearts are proprietors of all applause.
Right ends and means make wisdom : worldly-wise
Is but half witted at its highest praise.

Let genius, then, despair to make thee great;
Nor flatter station. What is station high ?
'Tis a proud mendicant; it boasts and begs;
It begs an alms of homage from the throng,
And oft the throng denies its charity.
Monarchs and ministers are awful names !
Whoever wear them, challenge our devoir.
Religion, public Order, both exact
External homage and a supple knee,
To beings pompously set up to serve
The meanest slave: all more is Merit's due,
Her sacred and inviolable right,
Nor ever paid the monarch, but the man.
Our hearts ne'er bow but to superior worth;
Nor ever fail of their allegiance there.
Fools, indeed, drop the man in their account,
And vote the mantle into majesty.
Let the small savage boast his silver fur,
His royal robe, unborrowed and unbought,
His own, descending fairly from his sires.
Shall man be proud to wear his livery,
And souls in ermine scorn a soul without ?
Can place or lessen us, or aggrandize ?




« PreviousContinue »