Page images
PDF
EPUB

These praise their Maker all, and lift in praise
The pious heart to join in nature's prayer.
Nor things of voice alone, each humid flow'r
It's incense breathes to thee! each dewy plant,
And grassy spire, thick strung with native pearl !
Almighty Father ! flocks, and herds, and birds,
Insects and flow'rs, and plants; all nature's births,
All praise thy goodness, all but thankless man!
Man, most ungrateful! most oblig'd of all!

But see! in mild, resplendent majesty,
See! where ascending, the bright lord of day,–
His forehead hung with locks of curling gold,-
Smiles from his eastern throne; dispelling fast
Th'invading mists, that with distemper'd shade
Hang on night's dusky rear, and hide from view
Surrounding prospects fair: of flow'ret-meads
And wood-clad bills, with villas intermix'd
Of ancient aspect, fram'd for rural peace;
Delightful residence! and verdant groves
Of structure tall, and silver-skirting streams,
Winding through vales in Flora's wardrobe drest,
Or rich in stately grain; whose loaded plumes
Dance proudly on the breeze; and like a sea
Roll far the sounding vegetable wave.
And all beyond the mountain heights appear
By distance blue; that lose themselves in sky.

How chang'd the prospect from the scene of late, When darkness, emblem of still nature's grave, Had clos'd her in a temporary death; Annihilating colours, sense, and forms, On ev'ry lid bad shed her poppy dews, And round creation's silent bed had drawn Her sable curtains of nocturnal gloom.

P

Thus looks the convert,-late in bondage lock'd
Of legal terrors,-a tremendous night!
Thus chang’d, when on bis sad tenebrious soul,
Jesus, the day--star from above, shall rise
With healing balm beneath his radiant wings;
Jesus, of righteousness, that brighter sun!

Is light so grateful to the human sense?
Created light-a faint, refracted ray?
One distant sun; the shadow but of God!
Dark adumbration of the deity ?
O! what is heav'n, that day of endless light?
Where saiuts shall from th' essential fountain drink
Of radiance! in God's full paternal shine ?
Ah! what is hell? of ever absent day
A night, all bopeless !-and all endless too!

Welcome bright influence ! kindest gift of Him Who bade thy orb of splendours pour on earth Life, health, and joy! thy warm, thy friendly ray How grateful! while the vapour-weeping mead Reeks with chill mist, an incommodious track For the rash trav'ler yet, whose welt'ring feet Brush from the plaishy blades the tears of morn. Here let me wander, where in fragrance full Or rosy light, this more inviting hill Drinks on his sloping side, the franker beam. With pace relax'd the steep ascent I gain; But gain with toil-how like the christian's path: A sweetly-pleasing, yet laborious wayAnd now, how vast a landscape, kenn'd from hence, Breaks on my 'wilder'd eye! in roving lost, From field, farm, village, park, dale, stream, and grove. Gay primrose lawns, flaming in vernal gold, Or daisy-interlaid, of checquer'd hues :

With herds and flocks, wide feeding round at will;
And woods night-brown: where ever and anon
Some opening glade I meet, with ranging troops
Of timorous deer; viewed here and there between.
And here and there, a branch of some fair stream
Silv'ring the vale; and over all, the tops
Of sacred spires, that tow'r in ancient state,
I catch at distant glance; a solemn sight!
Beyond them Thames, her ocean-hastning flood
Throws widely open to the beam of hear'n ;
Her bosom white with proudly-swelling sails,
That bear her home the treasures of the world,
Spread a full breadth, to gather all the wind
By the glad crews revisiting her shores.
Whose spirits dance with expectation warm,
Parents or friends, in transport soon to meet
Consorts or children; after absence leng.
And farther on, in smallness almost lost,
Augusta, seen in soft'ning miniatare,
O'er a profusive longitude of plains,
Her hundred temples rears; like needle-points
Uprising slender in th' embrighten'd air.
Where, in the midst, the work of Wren displays
Its graceful dome; and to the west, just spy'd,
The gothic abbey: where sepulchred sleeps
Through a long race, the dust of Albion's kings.
Around I gaze--around-by raptures tir'd,
Yet never full-some object new and fair,
Some fresh presented charm, where'er I turn
The scene expands--and still expands the scene,
With prospects ever fair, and ever new.
But all is seen below, a picture spread
Beneath my feet, with nought above but skies,

The Rookery.

The peopled rookery-all abroad on wing, Each with their several families employ'd, Training to industry their callow broods. To man how moral! loud it speaks to man : Man may learn here--that indolent !- his work, His duties task: of helpless progeny The care, and erudition's tender toil. Man may learn here—that infidel!--to place On Providence his trust: these all depend On its free almonry :-wide dost thou stretch Preserver kind, thy liberal shedding hand Munificent, and with profusion fill Of every living thing the large desire ! More useful lesson yet to man they teach, To atheist man, that monster rational ! One obvious lesson, more important still: Pray’r,-nature's instinct, innate to the soul, A tax of homage on creation laid, The general bond on universal life. Their morning orisons, their vespers loud These teach their young; the infant suppliants cry, And ask their meat from God : how sweetly,-hark! Sound their responses ! how devout the charm! And see the sporting minstrels! how in troops They make excursion; now divide, now join Their sable columns; travel and return; Yet never jostle in their mazy fight. While quick observing, through their lofty camp, Their planted centinel gives warning signs. Strange intuition !-cheaply tenanted, Free and at ease they dwell: content each day

With nature's dole, and blest with careless sleep,
Hous'd in their skiey chambers, rock'd with winds.
Ah! happy freemen! ye, your fields of air
Hold common with ye all. Man, tyrant lord !
Parcels his speck of earth; to each small spot,
Counting mean self the whole, lays private claim,
And yokes in servile toils his vassal's kind,
Distinguish'd scarcely from the vassal'd brute;
Pre-eminent alone, by birth,' in woe.

Sun-set, and the approach of night. But see, where now, thy own best parallel, See where at length the downward-bearing sun His low, broad orb of setting splendour rests On the green pillow of yon western steep. In smiling radiance bidding half our world Farewell, on speed to visit nether skies. Carrying morn, noon, and night in ceaseless change, Each new, swift minute round the peopld ball. Look! how the rapid journier seems to bait His slack’ning steeds, and loos’d to evening sports, Shoots down obliquely bis diverging beams ! That kindle on opposing hills the blaze Of glitt'ring turrets, and illumin'd domes; A prospect all on fire; 'till sinking still, More, and still sinking, while to sight quite lost, Ais rays play upwards, in the fleecy clouds, That swiftly pencild, dress a mimic scene In fancy's eye, of groves, and whitend alps, And towers romantic, rear'd complete, or waste In ruin'd majesty: with interspace Of golden ether, and Elysian plain :Then vanish quite as soon; and shift by turns

« PreviousContinue »