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And paint his person, character, and views,
PHILOSOPHIC SPECULATIONS IN GEOLOGY AND COSMOGONY
Some drill and bore
And thus they spend
And overbuilt with most impending brows, ’T were well, could you permit the world to live As the world pleases : what's the world to you ? Much. I was born of woman, and drew milk As sweet as charity from human breasts. I think, articulate, I laugh, and weep, And exercise all functions of a man. How then should I and any man that lives Be strangers to each other? Pierce my vein, Take of the crimson stream meandering there, And catechise it well ; apply thy glass, Search it, and prove now if it be not blood Congenial with thine own : and, if it be, What edge of subtlety canst thou suppose Keen enough, wise and skilful as thou art, To cut the link of brotherhood, by which One common Maker bound me to the kind ? True ; I am no proficient, I confess, In arts like yours. I cannot call the swift And perilous lightnings from the angry clouds, And bid them hide themselves in earth beneath ; I cannot analyze the air, nor catch The parallax of yonder luminous point, That seems half quenched in the immense abyss : Such powers I boast not — neither can I rest A silent witness of the headlong rage, Or heedless folly, by which thousands die, Bone of my bone, and kindred souls to mine.
LIMITS ARE SET TO HUMAN KNOWLEDGE. - CONCEIT OF
God never meant that man should scale the heay. By strides of human wisdom in His works, [ens, Though wondrous : He commands us in his Word To seek Him rather where his mercy shines. The mind, indeed, enlightened from above, Views Him in all ; ascribes to the grand Cause The grand effect; acknowledges with joy His manner, and with rapture tastes his style. But never yet did philosophic tube, That brings the planets home into the eye Of observation, and discovers, else Not visible, his family of worlds, Discover Him that rules them ; such a veil Hangs over mortal eyes, blind from the birth, And dark in things divine. Full often too Our wayward intellect, the more we learn Of Nature, overlooks her Author more ; From instrumental causes proud to draw Conclusions retrograde, and mad mistake.
THE DAY OF JUDGMENT. -BOOTLESS TOIL.
When I see such games, Played by the creatures of a Power, who swears That He will judge the earth, and call the fool To a sharp reckoning, that has lived in vain ; And when I weigh this seeming wisdom well, And prove it in the infallible result So hollow and so false - I feel my heart Dissolve in pity, and account the learned, If this be learning, most of all deceived. Great crimes alarm the conscience, but it sleeps While thoughtful man is plausibly amused. Defend me therefore, common sense, say I, From reveries so airy, from the toil Of dropping buckets into empty wells, And growing old in drawing nothing up !
SCIENCE MUST BE RELIGIOUS TO PROGRESS.
But if his Word once teach us, shoot a ray Through all the heart's dark chambers, and reveal Truths undiscerned but by that holy light, Then all is plain. Philosophy, baptized In the pure fountain of eternal love, Has eyes indeed ; and viewing all she sees As meant to indicate a God to man, Gives Him his praise, and forfeits not her own. Learning has borne such fruit in other days
SYMPATHY WITII ERRING HUMANITY.
'T were well, says one sage erudite, profound, Terribly arched, and aquilino his nose,
MAX MARS THE COUNTRY.-MURDER OF GAME, ETC.
On all her branches ; piety has found
NEWTON, MILTON, HALE.
Such was thy wisdom, Newton, childlike sage! Sagacious reader of the works of God, And in his Word sagacious. Such too thine, Milton, whose genius had angelic wings, And fed on manna ! And such thine, in whom Our British Themis gloried with just cause, Immortal Hale! for deep discernment praised, And sound integrity, not more than famed For sanctity of manners undefiled.
Scenes formed for contemplation, and to nurse The growing seeds of wisdom ; that suggest, By every pleasing image they present, Reflections such as meliorate the heart, Compose the passions, and exalt the mind; Scenes such as these 't is his supreme delight To fill with riot, and defile with blood. Should some contagion, kind to the poor brutes We persecute, annihilate the tribes, That draw the sportsman over hill and dale, Fearless, and rapt away from all his cares ; Should never game-fowl hatch her eggs again, Nor baited hook deceive the fish's eye ; Could pageantry, and dance, and feast, and song, Be quelled in all our summer-months' retreats ; How many self-deluded nymphs and swains, Who dream they have a taste for fields and groves, Would find them hideous nurseries of the spleen, And crowd the roads, impatient for the town!
VIRTUE ALONE BLOOMS PERENNIALLY.
All flesh is grass, and all its glory fades Like the fair flower dishevelled in the wind ; Riches have wings, and grandeur is a dream. The man we celebrate must find a tomb, And we that worship him ignoble graves. Nothing is proof against the general curse Of vanity, that seizes all below. The only amaranthine flower on earth Is virtue ; the only lasting treasure, truth.
WHO TRULY ENJOY THE CHARMS OF NATURE. — XOT THE
WHAT IS TRUTH ? - HOW IT IS TO BE SOUGHT. -HUMILITY.
But what is truth? 'Twas Pilate's question put To Truth itself, that deigned him no reply. And wherefore? will not God impart his light To them that ask it? – Freely – 't is his joy, His glory, and his nature, to impart, But to the proud, uncandid, insincere, Or negligent inquirer, not a spark. What's that, which brings contempt upon a book, And him who writes it, though the style be neat, The method clear, and argument exact ? That makes a minister in holy things The joy of many, and the dread of more, His name a theme for praise and for reproach ? That, while it gives us worth in God's account, Depreciates and undoes us in our own? What pearl is it, that rich men cannot buy, That learning is too proud to gather up ; But which the poor, and the despised of all, Seek and obtain, and often find unsought ?
-- and I will tell thee what is truth.
They love the country, and none else, who seek For their own sake its silence, and its shade. Delights which who would leave, that has a heart Susceptible of pity, or a mind Cultured and capable of sober thought, For all the savage din of the swift pack, And clamors of the field ? Detested sport, That owes its pleasures to another's pain ; That feeds upon the sobs and dying shrieks Of harmless nature, dumb, but yet endued With eloquence, that agonies inspire, Of silent tears and heart-distending sighs ? Vain tears, alas ! and sighs, that never find A corresponding tone in jovial souls ! Well - one at least is safe.
THE AUTHOR'S TAME HARE.
RURAL, DOMESTIC LIFE. — ITS ADVANTAGES.
One sheltered hare Has never heard the sanguinary yell Of cruel man, exulting in her woeg. Innocent partner of my peaceful home, Whom ten long years' experience of my care Has made at least familiar; she has lost Much of her vigilant instinctive dread, Not needful here, beneath a roof like mine. Yes — thou mayest eat thy bread, and lick the hand That feeds thee; thou mayest frolic on the floor At evening, and at night retire secure To thy straw couch, and slumber unalarmed ; For I have gained thy confidence, have pledged All that is human in me, to protect Thine unsuspecting gratitude and love. If I survive thee, I will dig thy grave ; And, when I place thee in it, sighing say, I knew at least one hare that had a friend.'
O friendly to the best pursuits of man, Friendly to thought, to virtue, and to peace, Domestic life, in rural pleasure passed ! Few know thy value, and few taste thy sweets ; Though many boast thy favors, and affect To understand and choose thee for their own. But foolish man foregoes his proper bliss, Even as his first progenitor, and quits, Though placed in Paradise (for earth has still Some traces of her youthful beauty left), Substantial happiness for transient joy.
1 Cowper tamed several bares.
Servile employ ; but such as mny amuse, Not tire, demanding rather skill than force.
CARE AND LOVE FOR TREES. -PRUNING. - WALL-FRUITS.
EMPLOYMENTS OF A VIRTUOUS, RETIRED LEISURE. How various his employments, whom the world Calls idle ; and who justly in return Esteems that busy world an idler too ! Friends, books, a garden, and perhaps his pen, Delightful industry enjoyed at home, And nature in her cultivated trim, Dressed to his taste, inviting him abroad Can he want occupation, who has these ? Will he be idle, who has much t' enjoy ? Me, therefore, studious of laborious ease, Not slothful, happy to deceive the time, Not waste it, and aware that human life Is but a loan to be repaid with use, When He shall call his debtors to account, From whom are all our blessings, business finds Even here : while sedulous I seek t' improve, At least neglect not, or leave unemployed, The mind He gave me ; driving it, though slack Too oft, and much impeded in its work By causes not to be divulged in vain, To its just point — the service of mankind.
Proud of his well-spread walls, he views his trees, That meet (no barren interval between), With pleasure more than ev'n their fruits afford; Which, save himself who trains them, none can feel. These therefore are his own peculiar charge ; No meaner hand may discipline the shoots, None but his steel approach them. What is weak, Distempered, or has lost prolific powers, Impaired by age, his unrelenting hand Dooms to the knife : nor does he spare the soft And succulent, that feeds its giant growth But barren, at th' expense of neighboring twigs Less ostentatious, and yet studded thick With hopeful gems.
TRIMMING OUT OF TREES.
UTILITY TO OTHERS THE BEST AIM.
The rest, no portion left That may disgrace his art, or disappoint Large expectation, he disposes neat At measured distances, that air and sun, Admitted freely, may afford their aid, And ventilate and warm the swelling buds. Hence summer has her riches, autumn hence, And hence even winter fills his withered hand With blushing fruits, and plenty not his own.
He, that attends to his interior self, That has a heart, and keeps it ; has a mind That hungers, and supplies it ; and who seeks A social, not a dissipated life, Has business ; feels himself engaged t' achieve No unimportant, though a silent, task. A life all turbulence and noise, may seem, To him that leads it, wise, and to be praised ; But wisdom is a pearl with most success Sought in still water, and beneath clear skies. He that is ever occupied in storms, Or dives not for it, or brings up instead, Vainly industrious, a disgraceful prize.
THE MORNING OF THE VIRTTOUS MAN OF LEISTRE.
CAREFUL TENDING OF BUDS NEEDFUL IN THE CAPRICIOUS
WEATHER OF EARLY SPRING. Fair recompense of labor well bestowed, And wise precaution ; which a clime so rude Makes needful still, whose spring is but the child Of churlish winter, in her froward moods Discovering much the temper of her sire. For oft, as if in her the stream of mild Maternal nature had reversed its course, She brings her infants forth with many smiles ; But, once delivered, kills them with a frown. He therefore, timely warned, himself supplies Her want of care, screening and keeping warm The plenteous bloom, that no rough blast may sweep His garlands from the boughs. Again, as oft As the sun peeps, and vernal airs breathe mild, The fence withdrawn, he gives them every beam, And spreads his hopes before the blaze of day.
The morning finds the self-sequestered man Fresh for his task, intend what task he may. Whether inclement seasons recommend His warm but simple home, where he enjoys With her, who shares his pleasures and his heart, Sweet converse, sipping calm the fragrant lymph, Which neatly she prepares ; then to his book Well chosen, and not sullenly perused In selfish silence, but imparted oft, As aught occurs, that she may smile to hear, Or turn to nourishment, digested well.
THE CUCUMBER. - ITS PROPER CULTURE.
LABORERS TO BE CAREFULLY LOOKED AFTER. EXERCISE.
Or if the garden, with its many cares, All well repaid, demand him, he attends The welcome call, conscious how much the hand Of lubbard labor needs his watchful eye, Oft loitering lazily, if not o'erseen, Or misapplying his unskilful strength. Nor does he govern only or direct, But much performs himself. No works, indeed, That ask ust, tough sine bred to toil,
To raise the prickly and green-coated gourd, So grateful to the palate, and when rare So coveted, else base and disesteemed Food for the vulgar merely – is an art That toiling ages have but just matured, And at this moment unassayed in song. Yet gnats have had, and frogs and mice, long since, Their eulogy : those sang the Mantuan bard, And these the Grecian, in ennobling strains ; And in thy numbers, Philips, shines for aye The solitary shilling. Pardon, then, Ye sage dispensers of poetic fame,
The ambition of one meaner far, whose powers,
THE HOT-BED FOR CUCUMBERS. - HOW MADE. The stable yields a stercoraceous heap, Impregnated with quick fermenting salts, And potent to resist the freezing blast : For, ere the beech and elm have cast their leaf Deciduous, when now November dark Checks vegetation in the torpid plant Exposed to his cold breath, the task begins. Warily therefore, and with prudent heed, He seeks a favored spot ; that where he builds The agglomerated pile, his frame may front The sun's meridian disk, and at the back Enjoy close shelter, wall, or reeds, or hedge Impervious to the wind. First he bids spread Dry fern or littered hay, that may imbibe Th' ascending damps ; then leisurely impose, And lightly, shaking it with agile band From the full fork, the saturated straw. What longest binds the closest forms secure The shapely side, that as it rises takes, By just degrees, an overhanging breadth, Sheltering the base with its projected eaves ; Th’ uplifted frame, compact at every joint, And overlaid with clear translucent glass, He settles next upon the sloping mount, Whose sharp declivity shoots off secure From the dashed pane the deluge as it falls. He shuts it close, and the first labor ends. Thrice must the voluble and restless earth Spin round upon her axle, ere the warmth, Slow gathering in the midst, through the square Diffused, attain the surface : when, behold! [mass A pestilent and most corrosive steam, Like a gross fog Baotian, rising fast, And fast condensed upon the dewy sash, Asks egress ; which obtained, the overcharged, And drenched conservatory, breathes abroad, In volumes wheeling slow, the vapor dank ; And, purified, rejoices to have lost Its foul inhabitant. But to assuage The impatient fervor, which it first conceives Within its reeking bosom, threatening death To his young hopes, requires discreet delay. Experience, slow preceptress, teaching oft The way to glory by miscarriage foul, Must prompt him, and admonish how to catch The auspicious moment, when the tempered heat, Friendly to vital motion, may afford Soft fomentation, and invite the seed.
And fruitful soil, that has been treasured long,
Two leaves produced, two rough indented leaves,
COSTLINESS OF HOT-HOUSE CULTURE AND FRUITS. Grudge not, ye rich (since luxury must have His dainties, and the world's more numerous half Lives by contriving delicates for you), Grudge not the cost. Ye little know the cares, The vigilance, the labor, and the skill, That day and night are exercised, and hang Upon the ticklish balance of suspense, That ye may garnish your profuse regales With summer fruits brought forth by wintry suns. Ten thousand dangers lie in wait to thwart The process. Heat and cold, and wind and steam, Moisture and drought, mice, worms, and swarming Minute as dust, and numberless, oft work [flies, Dire disappointment, that admits no cure, And which no care can obviate. It were long, Too long, to tell the expedients and the shifts, Which he that fights a season so severe Devises, while he guards his tender trust; And oft at last in vain. The learned and wise Sarcastic would exclaim, and judge the song Cold as its theme, and like its theme the fruit Of too much labor, worthless when produced.
PLANTING THE CUCUMBER-SEED.
The seed, selected wisely, plump and smooth, And glossy, he commits to pots of size Diminutive, well filled with well-prepared
THE GREEN-HOUSE. ---ITS PLANTS DESCRIBED. Who loves a garden loves a green-house too. Unconscious of a less propitious clime, There blooms exotic beauty, warm and snug,
TASTE SHOULD PRESIDE OVER RURAL LABORS. THE KYOLL.
While the winds whistle, and the snows descend.
So manifold, all pleasing in their kind, All healthful, are the employs of rural life, Reiterated as the wheel of time Runs round ; still ending, and beginning still. Nor are these all. To deck the shapely knoll, That, softly swelled and gayly dressed, appears A flowery island from the dark green lawn Emerging, must be deemed a labor due To no mean hand, and asks the touch of taste. Here also grateful mixture of well-matched And sorted hues, each giving each relief, And by contrasted beauty shining more — Is needful. Strength may wield the ponderous spade, May turn the clod, and wheel the compost home But elegance, chief grace the garden shows And most attractive, is the fair result Of thought, the creature of a polished mind.
VULGAR TASTE IN GARDENING.
ARRANGEMENT OF EXOTICS IN THE GREEN-HOUSE.
Without it all is Gothic as the scene To which the insipid citizen resorts, Near yonder heath ; where industry misspent, But proud of his uncouth, ill-chosen task, Has made a heaven on earth; with suns and moons Of close-rammed stones has charged the encumbered And fairly laid the zodiac in the dust. (soil,
THE GARDEN SHOULD BE FIRST WELL PLANXED.
Yet just arrangement, rarely brought to pass But by a master's hand, disposing well The gay diversities of leaf and flower, Must lend its aid to illustrate all their charms, And dress the regular yet various scene. Plant behind plant aspiring, in the van The dwarfish ; in the rear retired, but still Sublime above the rest, the statelier stand. So once were ranged the sons of ancient Rome, A noble show! while Roscius trod the stage ; And so, while Garrick, as renowned as he, The sons of Albion ; fearing each to lose Some note of Nature's music from his lips, And covetous of Shakspeare's beauty, seen In every flash of his far-beaming eye. Nor taste alone and well-contrived display Suffice to give the marshalled ranks the grace Of their complete effect.
Ho, therefore, who would see his flowers disposed Sightly and in just order, ere he gives The beds the trusted treasure of their seeds, Forecasts the future whole ; that when the scene Shall break into its preconceived display, Each for itself and all as with one voice Conspiring, may attest his bright design. Nor even then, dismissing as performed His pleasant work, may he suppose it done.
LABORIOUS CARES OF THE CONSERVATORY. THEIR RICH
Much yet remains Unsung, and many cares are yet behind, And more laborious ; cares on which depends Their vigor, injured soon, not soon restored. The soil must be renewed, which, often washed, Loses its treasure of salubrious salts, And disappoints the roots ; the slender roots Close interwoven, where they meet the vase Must smooth be shorn away ; the sapless branch Must fly before the knife; the withered leaf Must be detached, and where it strews the floor Swept with a woman's neatness, breeding else Contagion, and disseminating death. Discharge but these kind offices, and who Would spare, that loves them, offices like these? Well they reward the toil. The sight is pleased, The scent regaled, each odorif 'rous leaf, Each opening blossom, freely breathes abroad Its gratitude, and thanks him with its sweets.
VARIOUS LABITS OF PLANTS REQUIRE VARIOUS PROVISIONS
FOR SUPPORT. Few self-supported flowers endure the wind Uninjured, but expect the upholding aid Of the smooth-shaven prop; and, neatly tied, Are wedded thus, like beauty to old age, For interest sake, the living to the dead. Some clothe the soil that feeds them, far diffused And lowly creeping, modest and yet fair, Like virtue, thriving most where little seen : Some, more aspiring, catch the neighbor shrub With clasping tendrils, and invest his branch, Else unadorned, with many a gay festoon And fragrant chaplet, recompensing well The strength they borrow with the grace they lend.
WEEDS ARE LIKE FACTIONISTS. All hate the rank society of weeds, Noisome, and ever greedy to exhaust The impoverished earth ; an overbearing race, That, like the multitude made faction mad, Disturb good order, and degrade true worth.