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And all in fight of inattentive man? Familiar with th' effect we flight the caufe, And, in the constancy 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 fun, How would the world admire! but speaks it less An agency divine, to make him know His moment when to sink 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 mov'd, While summer was, the pure and subtile lymph Though th' imperceptible meandering veins Of leaf and flow'r? It sleeps; and th'icy touch Of unprolific winter has impress’d A cold stagnation on th’intestine tide. But let the months go round, a few short months, And all fhall be restor'd. The naked shoots, Barren as lances, among which the wind Makes wintry music, fighing as it goes, Shall put their graceful foliage on again, And more aspiring, and with ampler spread, Shall boast new charms, and more than they have loft.
Then, each in its peculiar honours clad,
Shall publish, even to the distant eye,
Its family and tribe. Laburnum rich
Its streaming gold ; fyringa iv'ry pure;
The scented and the scentless rose, this red
And of an humbler growth, the * other tall,
And throwing up into the darkest gloom
Of neighb'ring cypress, or more sable yew,
Her silver globes, light as the foamy surf
That the wind fevers from the broken wave;
The lilac, various in array, now white,
Now fanguine, and her beauteous head now set
With purple spikes pyramidal, as if
Studious of ornament, yet unresolv'd
Which hue lhe most approv’d, she chofe them all.
Copious of flow'rs the woodbine, pale and wan, '
But well compensating her fickly looks
With never-cloying odours, early and late;
Hypericum all bloom, so thick a fwarm
Of flow'rs, like flies cloathing her slender rods,
That scarce a leaf appears; mezerion too,
Though leafless, well attir'd, and thick beset
With blushing wreaths, investing ev'ry spray ;
Althæa with the purple eye ; the broom,
Yellow and bright, as bullion unalloy'd,
Her blossoms, and luxuriant above all
The jasmine, throwing wide her elegant sweets,
The deep dark green of whose unvarnish'a leaf
Makes more conspicuous, and illumines more
The bright profufion of her fcatter'd stars.
These have been, and these shall be in their day,
And all this uniform, uncolour'd scene,
Shall be dismantled of its fleecy load,
And flush into variety again.
From dearth to plenty, and from death to life,
Is nature's progress when she lectures man
In heav'nly truth ; evincing, as fhe makes
The grand transition, that there lives and works
A soul in all things, and that soul is God.
The beauties of the wilderness are his,
That make fo gay the folitary place
Where no eye fees them. And the fairer forms
That cultivation glories in, are his.
He sets the bright proceffion on its way,
And marshals all the order of the year :
He marks the bounds which winter may not pass,
And blunts his pointed fury; in its case,
Ruffet and rude, folds up the tender
Uninjur'd, with inimitable art,
And ere one flow'ry feason fades and dies,
Designs the blooming wonders of the next.
Some say that, in the origin of things
When all creation started into birth,
The infant elements receiv'd a law
From which they swerve not since. That under
Of that controuling ordinance they move,
And need not his immediate hand, who first
Prescrib’d their course, to regulate it now.
Thus dream they, and contrive to save a God
Th’ incumbrance of his own concerns, and spare
The great Artificer of all that moves
The stress of a continual act, the pain
Of unremitting vigilance and care,
As too laborious and severe a task.
· So man, the moth, is not afraid, it seems,
To span Omnipotence, and measure might
That knows no measure, by the scanty rule
And standard of his own, that is to day,
And is not ere to-morrow's sun go down.
But how should matter occupy a charge
Dull as it is, and satisfy a law
So vast in its demands, unless impellid
To ceaseless service by a ceaseless force,
And under pressure of some conscious cause ?
The Lord of all, himself through all diffus'd,
Sustains, and is the life of all that lives.
Nature is but a name for an effect
Whose cause is God. He feeds the secret fire
By which the mighty process is maintain'd,
Who fleeps not, is not weary; in whose fight
Slow-circling ages are as transient days
Whose work is without labour, whose designs
No flaw deforms, no difficulty thwarts,
And whose beneficence no charge exhaufts.
Him blind antiquity profan'd, not servid,
With felf-taught rites, and under various names,
Female and male, Pomona, Pales, Pan,
And Flora, and Vertumnus; peopling earth
With tutelary goddeffes and gods
That were not, and commending as they would
To each some province, garden, field or grove.
But all are under one. One fpirit-His
Who wore the platted thorns with bleeding brows,
Rules universal nature. Not a flow'r
But thews fome touch in freckle, streak or stain,
Of his unrivall'd pencil. He inspires
Their balmy odours and imparts their hues,
And bathes their eyes with nectar, and includes
In grains as countless as the sea-side sands,
The forms with which he sprinkles all the earth.
Happy who walks with him ! whom what he finds
Of flavour or of scent in fruit, or flow'r,
Or what he views of beautiful or grand
In Nature, from the broad majestic oak
To the green blade that twinkles in the fun,
Prompts with remembrance of a prefent God.
His presence, who made all so fair, perceiv’d,
Makes all still fairer. As with him no scene