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Tortures, whom avarice goads, or thirst of power Long days and sleepless nights hath scorched;
Whom dragged in triumph at his chariot wheels
Imperious Dissipation whirls through life,
And hurries from the nursery to the grave
Without one interval of thought, or time
To ask, 'Who placed me here; why was I formed;
What shall I be hereafter?' I would speak
The calm that stills your wilds, their guest o'er-
Diffusive, creeps along the conscious frame,
Bids pause each artery, stays each active limb,
Each rebel passion chains, and through the soul
Breathes holy peace and universal love,
For since the globe first rolled, in every land
Your shades, ye forests, the deluded heart
To heavenly meditation still have called;
And every song, that glorified your God,
Have heard with eager gladness. Ye with joy,
Fresh from his Maker's hand when man arose,
Saw him in wondering homage kneel; ye bade
Your yet unpractised echoes swell the sound
High as the Eternal's throne, when grateful praise
First broke the silence of the new-born world.
Ye, when with bloody arm infuriate Rome,
Pagan or Papal, from the haunts of men
Chased the firm band whom truth forbade to yield,
Crouch to her priests, and worship at her nod;
Ye screened their flight, with hospitable gloom
Sheltered their anguish, and with mingling boughs,
Vocal to prayer, a silvan fane supplied.
O, yet, even yet, your sacred influence breathe, Oft as I tread your leaf-strewn paths; to rest,
Lull each tumultuous wish; with reverent awe
My heart inspire; and, as your stately growth
Pursues its heaven-directed aim, exalt
My thoughts from earth,and point them to the skies!
Man loves the forest. Since in Eden's groves
His sire, yet innocent, enraptured viewed
'Insuperable height of loftiest shade,
Cedar, and pine, and fir, and branching palm,
A silvan scene,' man has the forest loved.
Those groves no autumn knew: eternal spring
With all the blessings of the varied year
In rich profusion crowned them. But when Death
Seized on his prey,fallen man, Destruction stretched
Across the woods her sceptre. With the axe
Their pride she quells, uproots them with the storm,
Consumes with lightning, with the scythe of Time
Spreads them on earth: and yearly o'er their boughs
Flings, as in scorn, a many-coloured robe;
Then strips the transient pomp, and scoffs the wilds
Naked and chilled in emblematic death.
Yet shall unfading Spring her sway resume
In that new promised earth, promised by voice
Of power unbounded and unfailing truth;
Where by no sin to desolation doomed,
For sin shall not be there, no storms annoyed,
Thy works, great God, for such thy will, shall stand
Firm through the ages of eternity!
FAIREST Daughter of the sky!
On whose majestic brow
Divine unutterable glories glow,
While round thy rosy lip, and placid eye,
Love and the smiling Graces ever play,
Tempering the blaze of thy eternal day-
Religion, hail! Thou source of hallowed fires,
Joys ever pure, and sanctified desires!
Beneath the brown-robed wood,
Where Contemplation sits in musing mood,
Soothed by the hollow gales and falling flood,
What time the sun to other realms is roll'd,
And Eve's bright tints of purple and of gold
Faint slowly from the western skies away,
While Cynthia's milder face
Shoots through the' unfolding clouds a silver ray,
And o'er the landscape sheds a softer grace,
Far from the world's delusive scene I fly,
To woo thee from thy native sphere,
To catch the beamings of thy heaven-bright eye,
Thou pleasing awful Fair!
There oft, methinks, I hear the streams along
The melody of thy mellifluous song,
Whose tuneful whisperings suspend the soul,
And every power in pleased attention lull;
Like those high airs of a superior sphere
Which thrill'd in Adam's fond delighted ear,
While favour'd yet with Innocence to rove
In Eden's blissful grove;
Listening, while the guardian quire
To sacred raptures touched the heavenly lyre,
Where'er he trod entranced, above, around,
He heard the solemn, sweet, ecstatic sound;
Now the bold notes in loftier measures played,
In soften'd tones now warbled through the glade,
And fill'd with melody the midnight vale;
Now languishing away
In gradual slow decay,
Died on the expiring gale.
O, now be present, sky-robed maid,
In thy divinest smiles array'd!
Now let my bosom feel thy power,
And consecrate the solemn hour,
When freed from busy scenes and noise,
I seek thy soul-reviving joys!
To outward shows averse, of praises shy,
Thou veilest thy beauties from the public eye;
Thy charms the wise in calm retirement own,
Still loved and valued more, the more they are
"Tis thine secure the fickle heart to guide,
And keep the passions still on Reason's side,
To clear from Error's mist the mental sight,
Refine our joys and sanctify delight,
Ease the sharp pangs of pain, our griefs assuage,
Embellish youth, and dignify our age,
To godlike excellence exalt mankind,
And stamp her Maker's image on the mind.
O bless'd, whose soul thy vivid beauties charm,
Thy aims ennoble, and thy raptures warm!
He tastes of bliss below,
Which wealth could never buy, nor grandeur know.
His is the smiling saints' unruffled rest,
His the pure flame that burns the seraph's breast.
For him meandering from the eternal throne
Heaven's ever living rills of pleasure run:
For him she opens all her secret bowers,
Brightens her skies, and culls unfading flowers.
When dire Ambition calls the world to arms,
And frantic Discord sounds her loud alarms,
While swell'd from realm to realm, from shore to
O'er half the globe her peals of horror roar,
And like a slumbering lion from his lair
Arouse the fiend of war,
Their noise no more disturbs his tranquil joy
Than peevish infants striving for a toy.
In vain the world's tumultuous billows roll
To shake his steadfast soul,
Which in the breast enthroned, erect, serene,
Defies the fury of the foaming main.
Bless'd Genii thus, who range the fields of day,
No wrecks of matter wound-unhurt they stray
Through spheres of fire-and borne secure on high,
While the rude whirlwinds rush around the sky,
Hear the hoarse thunders roar without amaze,
And sport amid the living lightning's blaze.
Come then, propitious to my prayers, inspire
The godlike sentiment, the generous aim.
From thy bright altar's unextinguish'd fire
Dart through my fervid breast the heavenly flame,
To raise my powers, my passions to refine,
Till the dross, working by degrees away,
Shall leave the immortal ether pure, divine,
To rise and mingle with its native day!