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Thy beauty walks, thy tenderness, and love.
Wide flush the fields; the softening air is balm ;
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;
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
Thy bounty shines in autumn unconfined,
And spreads a common feast for all that lives.
In winter, awful thon! with clouds and storms
Around thee thrown, tempest o'er tempest rolled
Majestic darkness ! on the whirlwind's wing,
Riding sublime, thou didd'st the world adore,
And humblest nature with thy northern blast
Mysterious round! what skill, what force divine,
Deep felt, in these appear! a simple train,
Yet so delightful mixed, with such kind art,
Such beauty and beneficence combined;
Shade, unperceived, so softening into shade;
And all so forming an harmonious whole,
That, as they still succeed, they ravish still.
But wandering oft, with brute, unconscious gaze,
Man marks not thee - marks not the mighty hand,
That, ever busy, wheels the silent spheres;
Works in the secret deep; shoots, steaming, thence
The fair profusion that o'erspreads the spring ;
Flings from the sun direct the flaming day;
Feeds every creature; hurls the tempest forth;
And, as on earth this grateful change revolves,
With transport touches all the springs of life.
Nature, attend ! join, every living soul
Beneath the spacious temple of the sky,
In adoration join; and ardent, raise
One general song! To Him, ye vocal gales,
Breathe soft, whose spirit in your freshness breathes :
O, talk of Him in solitary glooms !
Where, o'er the rock, the scarcely waving pine
Fills the brown shade with a religious awe.
And ye, whose bolder note is heard afar,
Who shake the astonished 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.
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,
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.
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 hushed the prostrate world,
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
song Burst from the groves; and when the restless day, Expiring, lays the warbling world asleep, Sweetest of birds! sweet Philomela, charm The listening shades, and teach the night His praise. Ye chief, for whom the whole creation smiles, At once the head, the heart, and tongue of all, Crown the great hymn! In swarming cities vast, Assembled men to the deep organ join The long-resounding voice, oft breaking clear, At solemn pauses, through the swelling base; And, as each mingling flame increases each, In one united ardor, rise to heaven. Or, if you rather choose the rural shade, And find a fane in every sacred grove, There let the shepherd's flute, the virgin's lay, The prompting seraph, and the poet's lyre, Still sing the God of Seasons as they roll! For me, when I forget the darling theme, Whether the blossom blows, the Summer ray Russets the plain, inspiring Autumn gleams, Or Winter rises in the blackening east, Be my tongue mute, my fancy paint no more, And, dead to joy, forget my heart to beat.
Should fate command me to the farthest verge
Of the green earth, to distant, barbarous climes,
Rivers unknown to song, — where first the sun
Gilds Indian mountains, or his setting beam
Flames on the Atlantic isles, — 'tis nought to me;
Since God is ever present, ever felt,
In the void waste as in the city full;
And where He vital breathes there must be joy.
When even at last the solemn hour shall come,
And wing my mystic flight to future worlds,
I cheerful will obey ; there, with new powers,
Will rising wonders sing : I cannot go
Where Universal Love not smiles around,
Sustaining all yon orbs, and all their suns;
From seeming evil still educing good,
And better thence again, and better still,
In infinite progression. But I lose
Myself in Hin, in light ineffable!
Come, then, expressive Silence, muse His praise.
43. Picture of the Miseries of War.
It is wonderful with what coolness and indifference the greater part of mankind see war commenced. Those that hear of it at a distance, or read of it in books, but have never presented its evils to their minds, consider it as little more than a splendid game, a proclamation, an army, a battle, and a triumph. Some, indeed, must perish in the successful field; but they die upon the bed of honor, resign their lives amidst the joys of conquest, and, filled with their country's glory, smile in death!
The life of a modern soldier is ill represented by heroic fiction. War has means of destruction more formidable than the cannon and the sword. Of the thousands and ten thousands that perished in the late contests with France and Spain, a very small part ever felt the stroke of an enemy; the rest languished in tents and ships, amidst damps and putrefaction; pale, torpid, spiritless, and helpless; gasping and groaning, unpitied among men, made obdurate by long continuance of hopeless misery; and were at last whelmed in pits, or flung into the ocean, without notice and without remernbrance. By incommodious encampments and unwholesome stations, where courage is useless and enterprise impracticable, fleets are silently dispeopled, and armies sluggishly melted away.
Formidable, adapted to excite fear or apprehension : able, 63.
Thus is a people gradually exhausted, for the most part, with little effect. The wars of civilized nations make very slow changes in the system of empire. The public perceives scarcely any alteration but an increase of debt; and the few individuals who are benefited are not supposed to have the clearest right to their advantages. If he that shared the danger enjoyed the profit, and, after bleeding in the battle, grew rich by the victory, he might show his gains without envy. But, at the conclusion of a ten years' war,
how are we recompensed for the death of multitudes and the expense of millions, but by contemplating the sudden glories of paymasters and agents, contractors and commissaries, whose equipages shine like meteors, and whose palaces rise like exhalations?
The bell strikes one. We take no note of time
But from its loss; - to give it then a tongue
Is wise in man. As if an angel spoke,
I feel the solemn sound. If heard aright,
It is the knell of my departed hours.
Where are they? with the years beyond the flood !
It is the signal that demands despatch ;
How much is to be done? My hopes and fears
Start up alarmed, and o'er life's narrow verge
Look down — on what? a fathomless abyss !
A dread eternity! how surely mine!
And can eternity belong to me,
Poor pensioner on the bounties of an hour ?
Contractor, one who agrees with government to furnish provisions, or other supplies, or to perform any work or service for the public, at a certair. price or rate. — Commissary, in a military sense, one who has the charge of furnishing provisions, clothing, &c., for an army.