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In earth and ocean, sky and air,
All that is excellent and fair,
Seen, felt, or understood,
From one Eternal Cause descends,
To one Eternal Centre tends,
With God begins, continues, ends,
The Source and Stream of good.
I worship, not the Sun at noon,
The wandering Stars, the changing Moon,
The Wind, the Flood, the Flame;
I will not bow the votive knee
To Wisdom, Virtue, Liberty ;
“ There is no God but GOD” for me;
JEHOVAH is His name.
Him through all Nature I explore,
Him in His creatures I adore,
Around, beneath, above;
But, clearest in the human mind,
His bright resemblance when I find
Grandeur with purity combined,
I most admire and love.
Oh, there was one,-on earth awhile
He dwelt ; but transient as a smile
That turns into a tear,
His beauteous image passed us by ;
He came like lightning from the sky,
He seemed as dazzling to the eye,
As prompt to disappear.
Mild, in his undissembling mien,
Were genius, candour, meekness seen;
The lips that loved the truth ;
The single eye, whose glance sublime
Looked to eternity through time ;
The soul whose hopes were wont to climb
Above the joys of youth.
Of old,-before the lamp grew dark,
Reposing near the curtained ark,
The child of Hannah's prayer*
Heard, through the temple's silent round,
A living voice, nor knew the sound,
That thrice alarmed him, ere he found
The LORD, who chose him there.
Thus early called and strongly moved,
A prophet from a child approved,
Spencer his course began;
From strength to strength, from grace to grace,
Swiftest and foremost in the race,
He carried victory in his face;
He triumphed as he ran.
How short his day !—the glorious prize,
To our slow hearts and failing eyes,
Appeared too quickly won :
The warrior rushed into the field,
With arm invincible to wield
The Spirit's sword, the Spirit's shield,
When lo! the fight was done.
The loveliest star of evening's train
Sets early in the western main,
And leaves the world in night;
The brightest star of morning's host,
Scarce risen, in brighter beams is lost;
Thus sunk his form on ocean's coast,
Thus sprung his soul to light.
Who shall forbid the eye to weep,
That saw him, from the ravening deep,
Plucked like the lion's prey ?
For ever bowed his honoured head,
The spirit in a moment fled,
The heart of friendship cold and dead,
The limbs a wreath of clay!
Revolving his mysterious lot,
I mourn him, but I praise him not;
Glory to God be given,
Who sent him, like the radiant bow,
His covenant of peace to show;
Athwart the breaking storm to glow,
Then vanish into heaven.
O Church! to whom that youth was dear,
The angel of thy mercies here,
Behold the path he trod,
"A milky way through midnight skies!
Behold the grave in which he lies,
Even from this dust thy prophet cries,
“ Prepare to meet thy God."
ON READING THE VERSES, ENTITLED “RESIGNATION," WRITTEN
BY CHATTERTON, A FEW DAYS BEFORE HIS MELANCHOLY
A DYING Swan of Pindus sings
In wildly mournful strains;
As Death's cold fingers snap the strings,
His suffering lyre complains.
Soft as the mist of evening wends
Along the shadowy vale;
Sad as in storms the moon ascends,
And turns the darkness pale;
So soft the melting numbers flow
From his harmonious lips;
So sad his woe-wan features show,
Just fading in eclipse.
The bard, to dark despair resigned,
With his expiring art,
Sings, ʼmidst the tempest of his mind,
The shipwreck of his heart.
If hope still seem to linger nigh,
And hover o'er his head,
Her pinions are too weak to fly,
Or hope ere now had fled.
Rash minstrel ! who can hear thy songs,
Nor long to share thy fire?
Who read thine errors and thy wrongs,
Nor execrate the lyre?
The lyre, that sunk thee to the grave,
When bursting into bloom,
That lyre the power to Genius gave
To blossom in the tomb.
Yes ;-till his memory fail with years
Shall Time thy strains recite;
And while thy story swells his tears,
Thy song shall charm his flight.
ON PLUCKING ONE, LATE IN THE MONTH OF OCTOBER.
Thou last pale promise of the waning year,
Poor sickly Rose! what dost thou here?
Why, frail flower! so late a comer,
Hast thou slept away the summer?
Since now, in Autumn's sullen reign,
When every breeze
Unrobes the trees,
And strews their annual garments on the plain,
Awaking from repose,
Thy fairy lids unclose.
Feeble evanescent flower,
Smile away thy sunless hour;
Every daisy in my walk
Scorns thee from its humbler stalk;
Nothing but thy form discloses
Thy descent from royal roses;
How thine ancestors would blush
To behold thee on their bush,
Drooping thy dejected head
Where their bolder blossoms spread,
Withering in the frosty gale,
Where their fragrance filled the vale!
Last and meanest of thy race,
Void of beauty, colour, grace!
No bee delighted sips
Ambrosia from thy lips;
No spangling dew-drops gem
Thy fine elastic stem;
No living lustre glistens o'er thy bloom,
Thy sprigs no verdant leaves adorn,
Thy bosom breathes no exquisite perfume,
But pale thy countenance as snow,
While, unconcealed below,
All naked glares the threatening thorn.
Around thy bell, o'er mildewed leaves,
His ample web a spider weaves;
A wily ruffian, gaunt and grim,
His labyrinthine toils he spreads
Pensile and light; their glossy threads,
Bestrewed with many a wing and limb;
Even in thy chalice he prepares
His deadly poison and delusive snares.
While I pause, a vagrant fly
Giddily comes buzzing by;
Round and round, on viewless wings,
Lo! the insect wheels and sings;
Closely couched, the fiend discovers,
Sets him with his sevenfold eyes,
And while o'er the verge he hovers,
Seems to fascinate his prize,
As the snake's magnetic glare
Charms the flitting tribes of air,
Till the dire enchantment draws
Destined victims to his jaws.
Now 'midst kindred corses mangled,
On his feet alights the fly;
Ah ! he feels himself entangled,
Hark! he pours a piteous cry.
Swift as Death's own arrows dart,
On his prey the spider springs,
Wounds his side,-with dexterous art
Winds the web about his wings;
Quick as he came, recoiling then,
The villain vanishes into his den.
The desperate fly perceives too late
The hastening crisis of his fate;
Disaster crowds upon disaster,
And every struggle to get free
Snaps the hopes of liberty
And draws the knots of bondage faster.
Again the spider glides along the line;
Hold, murderer ! hold;--the game is mine.
Captive! unwarned by danger, go,
Frolic awhile in light and air;