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Those which our life corrupt and darken, love
(The nobler star!) must from the soul remove.
Spots are observ'd in that which bounds the year;
This brighter sun moves in a boundless sphere,
Of Heav'n the joy, the glory, and the light;
Shines among angels, and admits no night.
This Iron Age (so fraudulent and bold !)
Touch'd with this love, would be an Age of Gold:
Not as they feign'd, that oaks should honey drop,
Or land neglected bear an unsown crop;
Love would make all things easy, safe, and cheap;
None for himself would either sow or reap:
Our ready help and mutual love would yield
A nobler harvest than the richest field.
Famine and death, confin’d to certain parts,
Extended are by barrenness of hearts.
Some pine for want where others surfeit now;
But then we should the use of plenty know.
Love would betwixt the rich and needy stand,
And spread Heaven's bounty with an equal hand:
At once the givers and receivers bless,
Increase their joy, and make their sufferings less.
Who for himself no miracle would make,
Dispens’d with several for the people's sake:
He that long fasting, would no wonder show,
Made loaves and fishes, as they ate them, grow..
Of all his pow'r, which boundless was above,
Here he as'd none but to express his love;
And such a love would make our joy exceed,
Not when our own, but otlıer mouths we feed.
Laws would be useless which rude nature awe; Love, changing nature, would prevent the law: Tigers and lions into dens we thrust, But milder creatures with their freedom trust. Devils are chain'd, and tremble; but the Spouse No force but love, nor bond but bounty, knows. Men (whom we now so fierce and dangerous see) Would guardian angels to each other be: Such wonders can this mighty love perform, Vultures to doves, wolves into lambs transform! Love what Isaiah prophesied can do, Exalt the vallies, lay the mountains low, Humble the lofty, the dejected raise, (ways. Smooth and make straight our rough and crooked Love, strong as death, and like it, levels all; With that possest, the great in title fall : Themselves esteem but equal to the least, Whom Heav'n with that high character has blest. This love, the centre of our union, can Alone bestow complete repose on man; Tame his wild appetite, make inward peace, And foreign strife among the nations cease. No martial trumpet should disturb our rest, Nor princes arm, though to subdue the East, Where for the tomb so many heroes (taught By these that guided their devotion) fought. Thrice happy we, could we like ardour have To gain his love, as they to win his grave! Love as he lov'd! A love so unconfin'd, With arms extended, would embrace mankind. Self-love would cease, or be dilated, when We should behold as many selfs as men ; All of one family, in blood allied, His precious blood, that for our ransom died !
Though the creation (so divinely taught!)
Prints such a lively image on our thought,
That the first spark of new-created light,
From chaos struck, affects our present siglit,
Yet the first Christians did esteem more blest
The day of rising than the day of rest,
That every week might new occasion give ..
To make his triumph in their memory live.
Then let our Muse compose a sacred charm
To keep his blood among us ever warm,
And singing as the blessed do above,
With our last breath dilate this flame of love.
But on so vast a subject who can find
Words that may reach the ideas of his mind?
Our language fails ; or, if it could supply,
What mortal thought can raise itself so high?
Despairing here, we might abandon art,
And only hope to have it in our heart.
But though we find this sacred task too hard,
Yet the design, the endeavour, brings reward. :
The contemplation does suspend our woe,
And make a truce with all the ills we know.
As Saul's afflicted spirit from the sound
Of David's harp a present solace found;
So on this theme while we our Muse engage,
No wounds are felt of Fortune or of Age.
On Divine Love to meditate is peace,
And makes all care of meaner things to cease.
Amaz'd at once, and comforted, to find
A boundless Power so infinitely kind,
The soul contending to that light to fly
From her dark cell, we practise how to die;
Employing thus the poet's winged art,
To reach this love, and grave it in our heart..
Joy so complete, so solid, and severe,
Would leave no place for meaner pleasures there ;
Pale they would look, as stars that must be gone,
When from the East the rising sun comes on.
The fear of God is freedom, joy, and peace,
And makes all ills that vex us here to cease.
Though the word Fear some men may ill endure,
'Tis such a fear as only makes secure.
Ask of no angel to reveal thy fate;
Look in thy heart, the mirror of thy state.
He that invites will not the invited mock,
Opening to all that do in earnest knock.
Our hopes are all well-grounded on this fear;
All our assurance rolls upon that sphere.
This fear, that drives all other fears away,
Shall be my song the morning of our day!
Where that fear is there's nothing to be fear'd:
It brings from Heav'n an angel for a guard.
Tranquillity and peace this fear does give;
Hell gapes for those that do without it live.
It is a beam which he on man lets fall Of light, by which he made and governs all. 'Tis God alone should not offended be; But we please others, as more great than he. For a good cause the sufferings of man May well be borne: 'tis more than angels can. Man, since his fall, in no mean station rests, Above the angels, or below the beasts, He with true joy their hearts does only fill, That thirst and hunger to perform his will. Others, though rich, shall in this world be vext, And sadly live, in terror of the next. (pursue, The world's great conqueror' would his point And wept because he could not find a new; Which had he done, yet still he would have cried, To make him work until a third he spied. Ambition, avarice, will nothing owe To Heav'n itself, unless it make them grow. Though richly fed, man's care does still exceed; Has but one month, yet would a thousand feed. In wealth and honour, by such men possest, If it increase not, there is found no rest. All their delight is while their wish comes in; Sad when it stops, as there had nothing been. 'Tis strange men should neglect their present store, And take no joy but in pursuing niore; No! though arriv'd at all the world can ain; This is the mark and glory of our frame. A soul capacious of the Deity, Nothing but he that made can satisfy. A thousand worlds, if we with him compare, Less than 'so many drops of water are.