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And with it all its pleasures and its pains. Such comprehensive views the spirit takes, That in a few short moments I retrace (As in a map the voyager his course) The windings of my way through many years. Short as in retrospect the journey seems, It seemed not always short; the rugged path, And prospect oft so dreary and forlorn, Moved many a figli at its disheartening length. Yet feeling present evils, while the paft Faintly impress the mind, or not at all, How readily we wish time spent revoked, That we might try the ground again, where once (Through inexperience, as we now perceive) We mifled that happiness we might have found! Some friend is gone, perhaps his son's best friend, A father, whose authority, in show When moft fevere, and mustering all its force, Was but the graver countenance of love; Whole favour, like the clouds of spring, might lower, And utter now and then an awful voice, But had a blessing in its darkest frown, Threatening at once and nourishing the plant. We loved, but not enough, the gentle hand, That reared us.
At a thoughtless age, allured By every gilded folly, we renounced
His sheltering fide, and wilfully forewent
That converse, which we now in vain regret.
How gladly would the man recall to life
The boy's neglected fire! a mother too,
That fofter friend, perhaps more gladly ftill,
Might he demand them at the gates of death.
Sorrow has, since they went, subdued and tamed
The playful humour; he could now endure,
(Himself grown sober in the vale of tears)
And feel a parent's presence no restraint.
But not to underftand a treasure's worth
Till time has ftolen away the flighted good,
Is cause of half the poverty we feel,
And makes the world the wilderness it is.
The few that pray at all pray oft amiss,
And, seeking grace to improve the prize they hold,
Would urge a wiser suit than asking more.
The night was winter in his rougheft mood; The morning sharp and clear. But now at noon Upon the southern fide of the Nant hills, And where the woods fence off the northern blast, The season smiles, resigning all its rage, And has the warmth of May. The vault is blue Without a cloud, and white without a fpeck The dazzling fplendour of the scene below.
Again the harmony comes o'er the vale ;
And through the trees I view the embattled tower,
Whence all the music. I again perceive
The soothing influence of the wafted ftrains,
And settle in soft musings as I tread.
The walk, still verdant, under oaks and elms,
Whose outspread branches overarch the glade.“
The roof, though moveable through all its length:
As the wind sways it, has yet well sufficed,
And intercepting in their filent fall
The frequent fiakes, has kept a path for me.
No noise is here, or none that hinders thought.
The redbreast warbles ftill, but is content
With slender notes, and more than half suppressed:
Pleased with his folitude, and fitting light
From spray to spray, where'er he refts he makes
From many a twig the pendent drops of ice,
That tinkle in the withered leaves below.
Stillness, accompanied with sounds so foft,
Charms more than filence. Meditation here
May think down hours to moments. Here the heart
May give an useful leffon to the head,
And learning wiser grow without his books.
Knowledge and wisdom, far from being one,
Have oft-times no connexion. Knowledge dwells
In heads replete with thoughts of other men;
Wisdom in minds attentive to their own.
Knowledge, a rude unprofitable mass,
The mere materials with which wisdom builds,
Till smoothed and squared and fitted to its place,
Does but incumber whom it seems to enrich.
Knowledge is proud that he has learned so much;
Wisdom is humble that he knows no more.
Books are not seldom talismans and spells,
By which the magic art of shrewder wits
Holds an unthinking multitude enthralled.
Some to the fascination of a name
Surrender judgment, hood-winked. Some the style
Infatuates, and through labyrinths and wilds
Of error leads them by a tune entranced.
While sloth fedúces more, too weak to bear
The insupportable fatigue of thought,
And swallowing therefore without pause or choice
The total grist unsifted, husks and all.
But trees and rivulets whose rapid course,
Defies the check of winter, haunts of deer,
And sheep-walks populous with bleating lambs,
And lanes, in which the primrose ere her time
Peeps through the moss,that clothes the hawthorn root,
Deceive no student. Wisdom there, and truth,
Not shy, as in the world, and to be won
By slow solicitation, seize at once
The roving thought, and fix it on themselves.
What prodigies can power divine perform More grand than it produces year by year, And all in light of inattentive man? Familiar with the effect we flight the cause, And in the conftancy of nature's course, The regular return of genial months, And renovation of a faded world, See nought to wonder at. Should God again, As once in Gibeon, interrupt the race Of the undeviating and punctual sun, How would the world admire! but speaks it less An agency divine, to make him know His moment when to fink and when to rise, Age after age, than to arrest his course? All we behold is miracle; but feen So duly all is miracle in vain, Where now the vital energy that moved, While summer was, the pure and subtle lymph Through the imperceptible meandering veins Of leaf and flower? It sleeps ; and the icy touch Of unprolific winter has impressed A cold ftagnation on the intestine tide.