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(Through inexperience, as we now perceive) Charms more than silence. Meditation here
May give a useful lesson to the head,
In heads replete with thoughts of other men; And utter now and then an awful voice,
Wisdom in minds attentive to their own. But had a blessing in its darkest frown,
Knowledge, a rude unprofitable mass, Threatening at once and nourishing the plant. The mere materials with which Wisdom builds, We loved, but not enough, the gentle hand Till smoothed, and squared, and fitted to its place, That reared us. At a thoughtless age, allured Does but encumber whom it seems t'enrich. By every gilded folly, we renounced
Knowledge is proud that he has learned so much; His sheltering side, and wilfully forewent Wisdom is humble that he knows no more. That converse, which we now in vain regret. Books are not seldom talismans and spells, How gladly would the man recall to life By which the magic art of shrewder wits The boy's neglected sire! a mother too,
Holds an unthinking multitude enthralled. That softer friend, perhaps more gladly still, Some to the fascination of a name Might he demand them at the gates of death. Surrender judgment, hoodwinked. Some the style Sorrow has, since they went, subdued and tamed Infatuates, and through labyrinths and wilds The playful humour; he could now endure, Of error leads them, by a tune entranced. (Himself grown sober in the vale of tears) While sloth seduces more, too weak to bear And feel a parent's presence no restraint. The insupportable fatigue of thought, But not to understand a treasure's worth, And swallowing therefore without pause or choice, Till time has stolen away the slighted good, The total grist unsisted, husks and all. Is cause of half the poverty we feel,
But trees and rivulets, whose rapid course And makes the world the wilderness it is. Defies the check of winter, haunts of deer, The few that pray at all pray oft amiss, And sheep-walks populous with bleating lambs, And seeking grace t improve the prize they hold, And lanes in which the primrose ere her time Would urge a wiser suit than asking more. Peeps through the moss, that clothes the hawthorn
The night was winter in its roughest mood; root, The morning sharp and clear. But now at noon Deceive no student. Wisdom there, and truth, Upon the southern side of the slant hills, Not shy, as in the world, and to be won And where the woods fence off the northern blast, By slow solicitation, seize at once The season smiles, resigning all its rage, The roving thought, and fix it on themselves. And has the warmth of May. The vault is blue What prodigies can power divine perform Without a cloud, and white without a speck More grand than it produces year by year, The dazzling splendour of the scene below. And all in sight of inattentive man? Again the harmony comes o'er the vale; Familiar with the effect we slight the cause, And through the trees I view th’embattled tower, And in the constancy of nature's course, Whence all the music. I again perceive The regular return of genial months, The soothing influence of the wafted strains, And renovation of a faded world, And settle in soft musings as I tread
See nought to wonder at. Should God again,
The roof, though moveable through all its length How would the world admire! but speaks it less
His moment when to sink and when to rise,
While summer was, the pure and subtle lymph
And all shall be restored. These naked shoots, Designs the blooming wonders of the next.
Some say that in the origin of things,
of that controlling ordinance they move, Then each in its peculiar honours clad, And need not his immediate hand, who first Shall publish even to the distant eye
Prescribed their course, to regulate it now. Its family and tribe. Laburnum, rich
Thus dream they, and contrive to save a God In streaming gold; syringa, ivory pure; Th' encumbrance of his own concerns, and spare The scentless and the scented rose; this red The great artificer of all that moves And of an humbler growth, the other* tall, The stress of a continual act, the pain And throwing up into the darkest gloom Of unremitted vigilance and care, Of neighbouring cypress, or more sable yew, As too laborious and severe a task. Her silver globes, light as the foamy surf So man, the moth, is not afraid, it seems, That the wind severs from the broken wave To span omnipotence, and measure might, The lilac, various in array, now white,
That knows no measure, by the scanty rule Now sanguine, and her beauteous head now set And standard of his own, that is to-day, With purple spikes pyramidal, as if
And is not ere to-morrow's sun go down. Studious of ornament, yet unresolved
But how should matter occupy a charge, Which hue she most approved, she chose them all; Dull as it is, and satisfy a law Copious of flowers the woodbine, pale and wan So vast in its demands, unless impelled But well compensating her sickly looks To ceaseless service by a ceaseless force, With never-cloying odours, early and late; And under pressure of some conscious cause? Hypericum all bloom, so thick a swarm The Lord of all, himself through all diffused, Of flowers like flies clothing her slender rods, Sustains, and is the life of all that lives, That scarce a leaf appears; mezereon too, Nature is but a name for an effect, Though leafless, well-attired, and thick beset Whose cause is God. He feeds the sacred fire With blushing wreaths, investing every spray; By which the mighty process is maintained; Althea with the purple eye; the broom, Who sleeps not, is not weary; in whose sight Yellow and bright, as bullion unalloyed, Slow circling ages are as transient days; Her blossoms; and luxuriant above all
Whose work is without labour; whose designs The jasmine, throwing wide her elegant sweets, No flaw deforms, no difficulty thwarts; The deep dark green of whose unvarnished leaf
And whose beneficence no change exhausts. Makes more conspicuous, and illumines more, Him blind antiquity profaned, not served, The bright profusions of her scattered stars.
With self-taught rites, and under various names, These have been, and these shall be, in their day; (Female and male, Pomona, Pales, Pan, And all this uniform uncoloured scene
And Flora, and Vertumnus; peopling earth Shall be dismantled of its fleecy load,
With tutelary goddesses and gods, And flush into variety again.
That were not; and commending as they would From dearth to plenty, and from death to life, To each some province, garden, field, or grove. Is Nature's progress, when she lectures man But all are under one. One spirit—His, In heavenly truth; evincing, as she makes
Who wore the platted thorns with bleeding The grand transition, that there lives and works
brows,A soul in all things, and that soul is God.
Rules universal nature. Not a flower The beauties of the wilderness are his, .
But shows some touch, in freckle, streak, or stain, That makes so gay the solitary place,
of his unrivalled pencil. He inspires Where no eye sees them. And the fairer forms, Their balmy odours
, and imparts their hues, That cultivation glories in, are his.
And bathes their eyes with nectar, and includes, He sets the bright procession on its way, In grains as countless as the seaside sands, And marshals all the order of the year;
The forms with which he sprinkles all the earth. He marks the bounds, which winter may not Happy who walks with him! whom what he finds pass,
Of flavour or of scent in fruit or flower, And blunts his pointed fury; in its case, Or what he views of beautiful or grand Russet and rude, folds up the tender germ,
In nature, from the broad majestic oak Uninjured with inimitable art;
To the green blade that twinkles in the sun, And, ere one flowery season fades and dies,
Prompts with remembrance of a present God. • The Guelder-rose.
His presence, who made all so fair, perceived,
Makes all still fairer. As with him no scene Where, on his bed of wool and matted leaves,
wks his And these dissolving snows, and this clear stream Recovering fast its liquid music, prove. And perks his ears, and stamps, and cries aloud, Who then, that has a mind well strung and with all the prettiness of feignied alarm, tuned
And anger insignificantly fierce. To contemplation, and within his reach
The heart is hard in nature and unfit A scene so friendly to his favourite task, For human fellowship, as being void Would waste attention at the checkered board, Of sympathy, and therefore dead alike His host of wooden warriors to and fro
To love and friendship both, that is not pleased Marching and counter-marching, with an eye With sight of animals enjoying life, As fixed as marble, with a forehead ridged Nor feels their happiness augment his own. And furrowed into storms, and with a hand The bounding fawn, that darts across the glade, Trembling, as if eternity were hung*
When none pursues, through mere delight of heart. In balance on his conduct of a pin?
And spirits buoyant with excess of glee; Nor envies he aught more their idle sport, The horse as wanton, and almost as fleet, · Who pant with application misapplied That skims the spacious meadow at full speed, To trivial toys, and pushing ivory balls Then stops, and snorts, and, throwing high his Across a velvet level, feel a joy
heels, Akin to rapture, when the bauble finds Starts to the voluntary race again; Its destined goal, of difficult access.
The very kine, that gambol at high noon,
To Miss, the mercer's plague, from shop to shop That leads the dance, a summons to be gay,
To give such act and utterance as they may
To ecstacy too big to be suppressed
Impart to the benevolent, who wish
Man scarce had risen, obedient to his call
Here unmolested, through whatever sign And angel choirs attended. Wondering stood The sun proceeds, I wander. Neither mist, The new-made monarch, while before him passed, Nor freezing sky nor sultry, checking me, All happy, and all perfect in their kind, Nor stranger, intermeddling with my joy. Thecreatures, summoned from their various haunts, E'en in the spring and playtime of the year, To see their sovereign, and confess his sway. That calls th' unwonted villager abroad Vast was his empire, absolute his power. With all her little ones, a sportive train, Or bounded only by a law, whose force To gather kinecups in the yellow mead, 'Twas his sublimest privilege to feel And prink their hair with daisies, or to pick And own, the law of universal love. A cheap but wholesome salad from the brook, He ruled with meekness, they obeyed with joy; These shades are all my own. The timorous hare, No cruel purpose lurked within his heart, Grown so familiar with her frequent guest, And no.distrust of his intent in theirs. Scarce shuns me; and the stockdove unalarmed So Eden was a scene of harmless sport, Sits cooing in the pine-tree, nor suspends Where kindness on his part who ruled the whole, His long love-ditty for my near approach. Begat a tranquil confidence in all, Drawn from his refuge in some lonely elm, And fear as yet was not, nor cause for fear. That age or injury has hollowed deep
But sin marred all; and the revolt of man,
That source of evils not exhausted yet,
With unsuspecting readiness he takes Was punished with revolt of his from him. His murderer on his back, and pushed all day Garden of God, how terrible the change With bleeding sides and Hanks, that heave for life, Thy groves and lawns then witnessed! Every To the far distant goal, arrives and dies. heart,
So little mercy shows who needs so much! Each animal, of every name, conceived
Does law, so jealous in the cause of man, A jealousy, and an instinctive fear,
Denounce no doom on the delinquent? None. And, conscious of some danger, either fled He lives, and o'er his brimming beaker boasts Precipitate the loathed abode of man,
(As if barbarity were high desert)
The honours of his matchless horse his own.
But many a crime, deemed innocent on earth, The seeds of cruelty, that since have swelled
Is registered in heaven; and these no doubt To such gigantic and enormous growth,
Have cach their record, with a curse annexed. Were sown in human nature's fruitful soil.
Man may dismiss compassion from his heart, Hence date the persecution and the pain,
But God will never. When he charged the Jew That man inflicts on all inferior kinds,
T'assist his foc's down fallen beast to rise; Regardless of their plaints. To make him sport, And when the bush-exploring boy, that seized To gratify the frenzy of his wrath,
The young, to let the parent bird go free; Or his base gluttony, are causes good
Proved he not plainly, that his meaner works And just in his account, why bird and beast
Are yet his care, and have an interest all, Should suffer torture, and the streams be dyed All, in the universal Father's love? With blood of their inhabitants impaled. On Noah, and in him on all mankind, Earth groans beneath the burden of a war The charter was conferred, by which we hold Waged with defenceless innocence, while he, The flesh of animals in fee, and claim Not satisfied to prey on all around,
O'er all we feed on, power of life and death. Adds tentold bitterness to death by pangs But read the instrument and mark it well: Needless, and first torments ere he devours.
Th' oppression of a tyrannous control Now happiest they, that occupy the scenes Can find no warrant there. Feed then, and yield The most remote from his abhorred resort, Thanks for thy food. Carnivorous, through sin, Whom once, as delegate of God on earth, Feed on the slain, but spare the living brute! They feared, and as his perfect image loved. The wilderness is theirs, with all its caves,
The Governor of all, himself to all Its hollow glens, its thickets, and its plains,
So bountiful, in whose attentive ear Unvisited by man. There they are free,
The unfledged raven and the lion's whelp
Plead not in vain for pity on the pangs
Of hunger unassuaged, has interposed,
Not seldom; his avenging arm, to smite Within the confines of their wild domain:
Th' injurious trampler upon nature's law,
That claims forbearance even for a brute.
He hates the hardness of a Balaam's heart;
And prophet as he was, he might not strike To rend a victim trembling at his foot.
The blameless animal, without rebuke, In measure, as by force of instinct drawn,
On which he rode. Her opportune offence Or by necessity constrained, they live
Saved him, or th' unrelenting seer had died. Dependant upon man; those in his fields,
He sees that human equity is slack These at his crib, and some beneath his roof.
To interfere, though in so just a cause; They pro’ie too often at how dear a rate
And makes the task his own. Inspiring dumb He sells protection.— Witness at his foot
And helpless victims with a sense so keen The spaniel dying for some venial fault,
Of injury, with such knowledge of their strength. Under dissection of the knotted scourge;
And such sagacity to take revenge, Witness the patient ox, with stripes and yells
That oft the beast has seemed to judge the man. Driven to the slaughter, goaded, as he runs,
An ancient, not a legendary tale, To madness; while the savage at his heels
By one of sound intelligence rehearsed, Laughs at the frantic sufferer's fury, spent
(If such who plead for Providence may seem Upon the guiltless passenger o'erthrown.
In modern eyes,) shall make the doctrine clear. He too is witness, noblest of the train
Where England, stretched towards the setting That wait on man, the flight-perforining horse; sun,
Narrow and long, o'erlooks the western wave, (As in the course of rash and fiery men)
The rude companion smiled, as if transformed.
But 'twas a transient calm. A storm was near,
His horse, as he had caught his master's mood,
Snorting, and starting into sudden rage,
Unbidden, and not now to be controlled,
So God wrought double justice; made the fool
Who needlessly sets foot upon a worm.
The creeping vermin, loathsome to the sight,
Sacred to neatness and repose, th' alcove,
Or take their pastime in the spacious field;
Or harms them there is guilty of a wrong,
Disturbs the economy of Nature's realm,
The sum is this. If man's convenience, health,
As free to live, and to enjoy that life,
Ye, therefore, who love mercy, teach your sons His rage grew cool; and, pleased perhaps t' have To love it too. The springtime of our years earned
Is soon dishonoured and defiled in most
To check them. But alas! none sooner shoots,
If unrestrained, into luxuriant growth,
By which Heaven moves in pardoning guilty man
And he that shows none, being ripe in years,