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Then we are free. Then liberty, like day,
Breaks on the soul, and by a flash from heaven
Fires all the faculties with glorious joy.
A voice is heard that mortal ears hear not,
Till thou hast touch'd them; 'tis the voice of song,
A loud Hosanna sent from all thy works ·
Which he that hears it with a shout repeats,
And adds his rapture to the general praise.
In that blest moment Nature, throwing wide
Her veil opaque, discloses with a smile
The author of her beauties, who, retired
Behind his own creation, works unseen
By the impure, and hears his power denied.
Thou art the source and centre of all minds,
Their only point of rest, eternal Word !
From thee departing they are lost, and rove
At random without honour, hope, or peace.
From thee is all that soothes the life of man,
His high endeavour, and his glad success,
His strength to suffer, and his will to serve.
But, O thou bounteous Giver of all good,
Thou art of all thy gifts thyself the crown !
Give what thou canst, without thee we are poor ;
And with thee rich, take what thou wilt away.

THE TASK. BOOK VI.

THE WINTER WALK AT NOON.

VOL. VII.

H

THE ARGUMENT.

Bells at a distance-Their effect- A fine noon in winterA sheltered walk-Meditation better than books-Our famili. arity with the course of nature makes it appear less wonderful than it is—The transformation that spring effects in a shrubbery described--A mistake concerning the course of nature corrected - God maintains it by an unremitted act — The amusements fashionable at this hour of the day reproved— Animals happy, a delightful sight-Origin of cruelty to animalsThat it is a great crime proved from scripture-That proof illustrated by a tale-A line drawn between the lawful and unlawful destruction of them— Their good and useful properties insisted on -Apology for the encomiums bestowed by the author on animals—Instances of man's extravagant praise of man—The groans of the creation sball have an end-A view aken of the restoration of all things—An invocation and an invitation of Him who shall bring it to pass—The retired man vindicated from the charge of uselessness-Conclusion.

THE TASK.

BOOK VI.

THE WINTER WALK AT NOON.

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There is in souls a sympathy with sounds;
And as the mind is pitch'd the ear is pleased
With melting airs, or martial, brisk, or grave:
Some chord in unison with what we hear
Is touch'd within us, and the heart replies.
How soft the music of those village bells,
Falling at intervals upon the ear
In cadence sweet, now dying all away,
Now pealing loud again, and louder still,
Clear and sonorous, as the gale comes on !
With
easy
force it

opens

all the cells
Where Memory slept. Wherever I have heard
A kindred melody, the scene recurs,
And with it all its pleasures and its pains.
Such comprehensive views the spirit takes,
That in a few short moments I retrace
(As in a map the voyager his course)
The windings of my way through many years.
Short as in retrospect the journey seems,
It seem'd not always short; the rugged path,
And prospect oft so dreary and forlorn,

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