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Or what she dictates writes : and, oft an eye
Shot round, rejoices in the vigorous year.
When Autumn's yellow lustre gilds the world,
And tempts the sickle swain into the field,
Seiz'd by the general joy, his heart distends
With gentle throes ; and thro' the tepid gleams
Deep musing, then he best exerts his song.
Even Winter wild to him is full of bliss.
The mighty tempest, and the hoary waste,
Abrupt, and deep, stretch'd o'er the buried earth,
Awake to solemn thought. At night the skies,
Disclos'd, and kindled, by refining frost,
Pour every lustre on th' exalted eye.
A friend, a book, the stealing hours secure,
And mark them down for wisdom. With swift wing,
O'er land and sea the imagination roams;
Or truth, divinely breaking on his mind,
Elates his being, and unfolds his powers ;
Or in his breast heroic virtue burns.
The touch of kindred too and love he feels;
The modest eye, whose beams on his alone
Extatic shine; the little strong embrace
Of prattling children, twisted round his neck,
And emulous to please him calling forth
The fond parental soul. Nor purpose gay,
Amusement, dance, or song, he sternly scorns;
For happiness and true philosophy
Are of the social, still, and smiling kind.
This is the life which those who fret in guilt,
And guilty cities, never knew ; the life,
Led by primeval ages, uncorrupt,
When Angels dwelt, and God himself, with man!
-

THOMSON

CHAP. XXIX.

GENIUS.

FROM heav'n my strains begin ; from heav'n descends
The flame of genius to the human breast,
And love and beauty, and poetic joy
And inspiration. Ere the radient sun
Sprang from the east, or 'mid the vault of night
The moon suspended her serener lamp ;
Ere mountains, woods, or streams adorn’d the globe,
Or wisdom taught the sons of men her lore
Then liv'd the almighty ONE : then deep retird
In his unfathom'd essence, view'd the forms,
The forms eternal of created things;
The radiant sun, the moon's nocturnal lamp.
The mountains, woods, and streams, the rolling globe,
And wisdom's mien celestial. From the first
Of days, on them his love divine he fix'd,
His admiration : till in time complete,
What he admir'd, and lov'd, his vital smile
Unfolded into being. Hence the breath
Of life informing each organic frame,
Hence the green earth, and wild resounding waves ;
Hence light and shade alternate ; warmth and cold ;
And clear autumnal skies and vernal show'rs,
And all the fair variety of things.

But not alike to every mortal eye
Is this great scene unveild. For since the claims
Of social life to different labours urge
The active pow'rs of man; with wise intent
The hand of nature on peculiar minds
Imprints a different bias, and to each
Decrees its province in the cominon toil.
To some she taught the fabric of the sphere,
The changeful moon, the circuit of the stars,

The golden zones of heaven : to some she gave
To weigh the moment of eternal things,
Of time, and space, and fate's unbroken chain,
And will's quick impulse : others by the hand
She led o'er vales and mountains, to explore
What healing virtue swells the tender veins
Of herbs and flow'rs; or what the beams of morn
Draw forth, distilling from the clifted rind
In balmy tears. But some, to higher hopes
Were destin'd; some within a finer mould
She wrought, and temper'd with a purer flame.
To these the Sire Omnipotent unfolds
The world's harmonious volume, there to read
The transcript of himself. On every part
They trace the bright impressions of his hand ;
In earth, or air, the meadow's purple stores,
The moon's mild radiance, or the virgin's form
Blooming with rosy smiles, they see pourtray'd
That uncreated beauty, which delights
The Mind supreme. They also feel her charms,
Enamour'd; they partake th' eternal joy.

AKENSIDE.

0001000

CHAP. XXX.

GREATNESS.

SAY, why was man so eminently rais'd
Amid the vast creation ; why ordain'd
Thro’ life and death to dart his piercing eye,
With thoughts beyond the limits of his frame;
But that the Omnipotent might send hing forth
In sight of mortal and immortal pow'rs,
As on a boundless theatre, to run

Dd

The great career of justice; to exalt
His gen'rous aim to all diviner deeds ;
To chase each partial purpose from his breast ;
And thro' the mists of passion and of sense,
And thro' the tossing tide of chance and pain,
To hold his course unfault'ring, while the voice
Of truth and virtue, up the steep ascent
Of nature, calls him to his high reward,
Th' applauding smile of Heav'n: Else wherefore burns
In mortal bosoms this unquenched hope,
That breathes from day to day sublimer things,
And mocks possession ? Wherefore darts the mind,
With such resistless ardour to embrace
Majestic forms; impatient to be free,
Spurning the gross controul of wilful might;
Proud of the strong contention of her toils';
Proud to be daring? Who but rather turns
To Heav'n's broad fire his unconstrained view,
Than to the glimmering of a waxen flame?
Who that, from Alpine heights, his lab'ring eye
Shoots round the wild horizon, to survey
Nilus or Ganges rolling his bright wave
Thro' mountains, plains, thro empires black with shade,
And continents of sand! will turn his gaze
To mark the windings of a scanty rill
"That murmurs at his feet? The high-born soul
Disdains to rest her heav'n aspiring wing
Beneath its native quarry. Tir'd of earth
And this diurnal scene, she springs aloft
Thro' fields of air ; pursues the flying storm;
Rides on the volley'd light’ning thro' the heav'ns ;
Or yok'd with whirlwinds and the northern blast,
Sweeps the long tract of day. Then high she soars
The blue profound, and hovering round the sun,
Beholds him pouring the redundant stream
Or light; beholds his unrelenting sway
Bend the reluctant planets to absolve

The fated rounds of time. Thence far effus'd
She darts her swiftness up the long career
Of devious oomets; thro' its burning signs
Exulting measures the perennial wheel
Of nature, and looks back on all the stars,
Whose blended light, as with a milky zone,
Invests the orient. Now amaz'd she views
Th'empyreal waste, where happy spirits hold,
Beyond this concave heav'n, their calm abode ;
And fields of radience, whose unfading light
Has travellid the profound six thousand years,
Nor yet arrives in sight of mortal things.
Evin on the barriers of the world untir'd
She meditates th' eternal depth below;
Till, half recoiling, down the headlong steep
She plunges; soon o'erwhelm'd and swallow'd up
In that immense of being. There her hopes
Rest at the fated goal. For from the birth
Of mortal man, the sovereign Maker said,
That not in humble nor in brief delight;
Not in the fading echoes of renown,
Power'e purple robes, nor pleasure's flow'ry lap,
The soul should find enjoyment: but from these
Turning disdainful to an equal good,
Thro' all th' ascent of things enlarge her view,
Till every bound at length should disappear,
And infinite perfection close the scene.

AKENSIDE

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CALL now to mind what high capacious pow'rs
Lie folded up in man: how far beyond
The praise of mortals, may th' eternal growth

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