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His soul proud Science never taught to stray
25 Far as the solar walk or milky way; Yet simple Nature to his hope has given, Behind the cloud-topt hill, a humbler Heaven; Some safer world in depth of woods embraced, Some happier island in the watery waste, 30 Where slaves once more their native land behold, No fiends torment, no Christians thirst for gold. TO BE, contents his natural desire, He asks no angel's wing, no seraph's fire; But thinks, admitted to that equal sky,
35 His faithful dog shall bear him company.
Go, wiser thou! and in thy scale of sense, Weigh thy opinion against Providence; Call imperfection what thou fanciest such, Say, here he gives too little, there too much: 40 Destroy all creatures for thy sport or gust, Yet cry, if man 's unhappy, God's unjust; If man alone engross not Heaven's high care, Alone made perfect here, immortal there: Snatch from his hand the balance and the rod,
45 Re-judge his justice, be the god of God. In Pride, in reasoning Pride, our error lies; All quit their sphere, and rush into the skies. Pride still is aiming at the blest abodes, Men would be angels, angels would be gods. 50 Aspiring to be gods, if angels fell, Aspiring to be angels, men rebel: And who but wishes to invert the laws Of ORDER, sins against the Eternal Cause.
But most by numbers judge a poet's song,
20 That, like a wounded snake, drags its slowlength along.
Leave such to tune their own dull rhymes, and know What’s roundly smooth, or languishingly slow; And praise the easy vigour of a line, Where Denham's strength and Waller's sweetness join. True ease in writing comes from art, not chance, As those move easiest who have learn’d to dance. 'T' is not enough no harshness gives offence, The sound must seem an echo to the sense.
Soft is the strain when Zephyr gently blows, 30
HYMN. THESE, as they change, Almighty Father! these Are but the varied God. The rolling year Is full of Thee. Forth in the pleasing Spring Thy beauty walks, thy tenderness and love. Wide flush the fields ; the softening air is balm; 6 Echo the mountains round; the forest smiles; And every sense, and every heart, is joy. Then comes thy glory in the Summer months, With light and heat refulgent: then thy sun Shoots full perfection through the swelling year: 10 And oft thy voice in dreadful thunder speaks And oft at dawn, deep noon, or falling eve,
By brooks and groves, in hollow-whispering gales
Mysterious round! what skill, what force divine,
Beneath the spacious temple of the sky,
And ye, whose bolder note is heard afar,
45 Who shake the astonish'd world, lift high to heaven The impetuous song, and say from whom you rage. His praise, ye brooks, attune, ye trembling rills; And let me catch it as I muse along. Ye headlong torrents, rapid and profound; Ye softer floods, that lead the humid maze Along the vale; and thou, majestic main, A secret world of wonders in thyself, Sound His stupendous praise; whose greater voice Or bids you roar, or bids your roarings fall. 55 Soft roll your incense, herbs, and fruits, and flowers, In mingled clouds to Him, whose sun exalts, Whose breath perfumes you, and whose pencil paints : Ye forests, bend, ye harvests, wave, to Him; Breathe your still song into the reaper's heart, 60 As home he goes beneath the joyous moon. Ye that keep watch in heaven, as earth asleep Unconscious lies, effuse your mildest beams, Ye constellations, while your angels strike, Amid the spangled sky, the silver lyre.
65 Great source of day! best image here below Of thy Creator, ever pouring wide, From world to world, the vital ocean round, On Nature write with every beam His praise. The thunder rolls: be hush'd the prostrate world; 70 While cloud to cloud returns the solemn hymn. Bleat out afresh, ye hills: ye mossy rocks, Retain the sound : the broad responsive low, Ye valleys, raise ; for the Great Shepherd reigns; And his unsuffering kingdom yet will come. Ye woodlands all, awake; a boundless song