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not had for years, and may not have again, draw near in what is nearest ; and do you, my dear Lord, vouchsafe your friend and brother some clear tokens as to that goal you say has from child. hood been mentally prescribed you, and the way you have taken to gain it.
Lord H.—I will do this willingly, and the rather that I have with me a leaf, in which I have lately recorded what appeared to me in glimpse or flash in my young years, and now shines upon my life with steady ray. I brought it, with some thought that I might impart it to you, which confidence I have not shown to any yet ; though if, as I purpose, some memoir of my life and times should fall from my pen, these poems may be interwoven there as cause and comment for all I felt, and knew, and was. The first contains my thought of the beginning and progress of life :
(From the Latin of Lord Herbert.)
First, the life stirred within the genial seed,
Seeking its properties, whence plastic power
Was born. Chaos, with lively juice pervading,
External form in its recess restraining,
While the conspiring causes might accede,
And full creation safely be essayed.
Next, movement was in the maternal field;
Fermenting spirit puts on tender limbs,
And, earnest, now prepares, of wondrous fabric,
The powers of sense, a dwelling not too mean for mind contriving
That, sliding from its heaven, it may put on
These faculties, and, prophesying future fate,
Correct the slothful weight (of matter,) nor uselessly be manifested.
A third stage, now, scene truly great contains
The solemn feast of heaven, the theatre of earth,
Kindred and species, varied forms of things
Are here discerned,-and, from its own impulse,
It is permitted to the soul to circle,
Hither and thither rove, that it may see
Laws and eternal covenants of its world,
And stars returning in assiduous course,
The causes and the bonds of life to learn,
And from afar foresee the highest will.
How he to admirable harmony
Tempers the various motions of the world,
And Father, Lord, Guardian, and Builder-up,
And Deity on every side is styled.
Next, from this knowledge the fourth stage proceeds:
Cleansing away its stains, mind daily grows more pure,
Enriched with various learning, strong in virtue,
Extends its powers, and breathes sublimer air:
A secret spur is felt within the inmost heart,
That he who will, may emerge from this perishable state,
And a happier is sought
By ambitious rites, consecrations, religious worship,
And a new hope succeeds, conscious of a better fate,
Clinging to things above, expanding through all the heavens,
And the Divine descends to meet a holy love,
And unequivocal token is given of celestial life.
That, as a good servant, I shall receive my reward;
Or, if worthy, enter as a son, into the goods of my father,
God himself is my surety. When I shall put off this life,
Confident in a better, free in my own will,
He himself is my surety, that a fifth, yet higher state shall ensue,
And a sixth, and all, in fine, that my heart shall know how to ask.
CONJECTURES CONCERNING THE HEAVENLY LIFE.
Purified in my whole genius, I congratulate myself
Secure of fate, while neither am I downcast by any terrors,
Nor store up secret griefs in my heart,
But pass my days cheerfully in the midst of mishaps,
Despite the evils which engird the earth,
Secking the way above the stars with ardent virtue.
I have received, beforehand, the first fruits of heavenly life-
I now seek the later, sustained by divine love,
Through which, conquering at once the scoffs of a gloomy destiny,
I leave the barbarous company of a frantic age,
Breathing out for the last time the infernal air-breathing in the supernal,
I enfold myself wholly in these sacred flames,
And, sustained by them, ascend the highest dome,
And far and wide survey the wonders of a new sphere,
And see well-known spirits, now beautiful in their proper light,
And the choirs of the higher powers, and blessed beings
With whom I desire to mingle fires and sacred bonds-
Passing from joy to joy the heaven of all,
What has been given to ourselves, or sanctioned by a common vow.
God, in the meantime, accumulating his rewards,
May at once increase our honour and illustrate his own love.
Nor heavens shall be wanting to heavens, nor numberless ages to life,
Nor new joys to these ages, such as an
Eternity shall not diminish, nor the infinite bring to an end.
Nor, more than all, shall the fair favour of the Divine be wanting-
Constantly increasing these joys, varied in admirable modes,
And making each state yield only to one yet happier,
And what we never even knew how to hope, is given to us—
Nor is aught kept back except what only the One can conceive,
And what in their own nature are by far most perfect
In us, at least, appear embellished,
Since the sleeping minds which heaven prepares from the beginning-
Only our labor and industry can vivify,
Polishing them with learning and with morals,
That they may return all fair, bearing back a dowry to heaven,
When, by use of our free will, we put to rout those ills
Which heaven has neither dispelled, nor will hereafter dispel.
Thus through us is magnified the glory of God,
And our glory, too, shall resound throughout the heavens,
And what are the due rewards of virtue, finally
Must render the Father himself more happy than his wont.
Whence still more ample grace shall be showered upon us,
Each and all yielding to our prayer,
For, if liberty be dear, it is permitted
To roam through the loveliest regions obvious to innumerable heavens,
And gather, as we pass, the delights of each,
If fired contemplation be chosen rather in the mind,
All the mysteries of the high regions shall be laid open to us,
And the joy will be to know the methods of God,
Then it may be permitted to act upon earth, to have a care
Of the weal of men, and to bestow just laws.
If we are more delighted with celestial love,
We are dissolved into flames which glide about and excite one another
Mutually, embraced in sacred ardours,
Spring upwards, enfolded together in firmest honds,
In parts and wholes, mingling by turns,
And the ardour of the Divine kindles (in them) still new ardours,
It will make us happy to praise God, while he commands us,
The angelic choir, singing together with sweet modulation,
Sounds through heaven, publishing our joys,
And beauteous spectacles are put forth, hour by hour,
And, as it were, the whole fabric of heaven becomes a theatre,
Till the divine energy pervades the whole sweep of the world,
And chisels out from it new forms,
Adorned with new faculties, of larger powers.
Our forms, too, may then be renewed
Assume new forms and senses, till our
Joys again rise up consummate.
If trusting thus, I shall have put off this mortal weed,
Why may not then still greater things be disclosed ?
George H.—(who, during his brother's reading, has listened, with head bowed down, leaned on his arm, looks up after a few moments' silence)—Pardon, my lord, if I have not fit words to answer you. The flood of your thought has swept over me like music, and like that, for the time, at least, it fills and satisfies. I am conscious of many feelings which are not touched upon there,—of the depths of love and sorrow made known to men, through One whom you as yet know not. But of these I will not speak now, except to ask, borne on this strong pinion, have you never faltered till you felt the need of a friend ? strong in this clear vision, have you never sighed for a more homefelt assu. rance to your faith ? steady in your demand of what the soul requires, have you never known fear lest you want purity to receive the boon if granted ?
Lord H.-1 do not count those weak moments, George ; they are not my true life.
George H.-It suffices that you know them, for, in time, I doubt not that every conviction which a human being needs, to be reconciled to the Parent of all, will be granted to a nature so ample, so open, and so aspiring. Let me answer in a strain which bespeaks my heart as truly, if not as nobly as yours an. swers to your great mind,
My joy, my life, my crown!
My heart was meaning all the day
Somewhat it fain would say;
And still it runneth, muttering, up and down,
With only this—my joy, my life, my crown.
Yet slight not these few words;
If truly said, they may take part
Among the best in art.
The fineness which a hymn or psalm affords,
Is, when the soul unto the lines accords.
He who craves all the mind
And all the soul, and strength and time;
If the words only rhyme,
Justly complains, that somewhat is behind
To make his verse or write a hymn in kind.
Whereas, if the heart be moved,
Although the verse be somewhat scant,
God doth supply the want-
As when the heart says, sighing to be approved,
“Oh, could I love!” and stops; God writeth, loved.
Lord H.—I cannot say to you truly that ‘my mind replies to this, although I discern a beauty in it. You will say I lack hu. mility to understand yours.