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And the regard of Heaven on all his ways
While other animals unactive range,
And of their doings God takes no account.
To-morrow, ere fresh Morning streak the east
With first approach of light, we must be risen,
And at our pleasant labour: to reform
Yon flowery arbors, yonder allies green,
Our walk at noon, with branches overgrown,
That mock our scant manuring, and require
More hands than ours to lop their wanton growth.
Those blossoms also, and those dropping gums,
That lie bestrown, unsightly and unsmooth,
Ask riddance, if we mean to tread with ease.
Mean while, as Nature wills, night bids us rest.”
To whom thus Eve, with perfect beauty adorn'd:
"My author and disposer, what thou bidst
Unargu'd I obey: so God ordains.
With thee conversing I forget all time;
All seasons and their change, all please alike.
Sweet is the breath of morn, her rising sweet,
With charm of earliest birds; pleasant the sun,
When first on this delightful land he spreads
His orient beams, on herb, tree, fruit, and flower,
Glistering with dew; fragrant the fertile earth
After soft showers; and sweet the coming on
Of grateful evening mild; then silent night,
With this her solemn bird, and this fair moon,
And these the gems of heaven, her starry train:
But neither breath of morn, when she ascends
With charm of earliest birds; nor rising sun
On this delightful land; nor herb, fruit, flower,
Glistering with dew; nor fragrance after showers;
Nor grateful evening mild ; nor silent night
With this her solemn bird; nor walk by moon,
Or glittering star-light, without thee is sweet,
But wherefore all night long shine these? for whom
This glorious sight, when sleep hath shut all eyes?"
To whom our general ancestor reply'd:
"Daughter of God and man, accomplish'd Eve,
These have their course to finish round the earth,
By morrow evening; and from land to land
In order, though to nacions yet unborn,
Ministering light prepar'd, they set and rise;
Lest total darkness should by night regain
Her old possession, and extinguish life
In nature and all things; which these soft fires
Not only enlighten, but, with kindly heat
Of various influence, foment and warm,
Temper or nourish ; or in part shed down
Their stellar virtue on all kinds that grow
On earth, made hereby apter to receive
Perfection from the sun's, more potent ray.
These then, though unbeheld in deep of night,
Shine not in vain; nor think, though men were none,
That heaven would want spectators, God want praise:
Millions of spiritual creatures walk the earth
Unseen, both when we wake, and when we sleep.
All these with ceaseless praise his works behold,
Both day and night. How often, from the steep
Of echoing hill or thicket have we heard
Celestial voices to the midnight air,.
Sole, or responsive each to others' note,
Singing their great Creator? Oft in bands,
While they keep watch, or nightly rounding walk.
With heavenly touch of instrumental sounds,
In full harmonic number join'd, their songs
Divide the night, and lift our thoughts to heaven."
Thus talking hand in hand alone they pass'd
On to their blissful bower-
There arriv'd, both stood, Both turn'd and under open sky ador'd
The God that made both sky, air, earth, and heaven,.
Which they beheld, the moon's resplendent globe,
And starry pole.. "Thou also mad'st the night,
Maker Omnipotent, and thou the day,
Which we, in our appointed work employ'd,
Have finish'd, happy in our mutual help,
And mutual love, the crown of all our bliss
Ordain'd by thee; and this delicious place
For us too large, where thy abundance wants,
Partakers, and uncropt falls to the ground.
But thou hast promis'd from us two a race,
To fill the earth, who shall with us extol
Thy goodness infinite, both when we wake,
And when we seek, as now, thy gift of sleep."
Nothing formed in Vain.
LET no presuming impious railer tax
Creative wisdom, as if ought was form'd
In vain, or not for admirable ends.
Shall little haughty Ignorance pronounce
His works unwise, of which the smallest part
Exceeds the narrow vision of her mind!
As if, upon a full proportion'd dome,
On swelling columns heav'd, the pride of art!
A critic-fly, whose feeble ray scarce spreads
An inch around, with blind presumption bold,
Should dare to tax the structure of the whole.
And lives the man, whose universal eye
Has swept at once the unbounded scheme of things:
Mark'd their dependance so, and firm accord,
As with unfaultering accent to conclude,
That this availeth nought? Has any seen
The mighty chain of beings, lessening down
From infinite perfection, to the brink
Of dreary nothing, desolate abyss !
From which astonish'd thought, recoiling, turns ?
Till then alone let zealous praise ascend,
And hymns of holy wonder, to that POWER,
Whose wisdom shines as lovely in our minds,
As on our smiling eyes his servant sun.
Indignant Sentiments on National Prejudices and
Hatred; and on Slavery.
OH for a lodge in some vast wilderness,
Some boundless contiguity of shade,
Where rumour of oppression and deceit,
Of unsuccessful or successful war,
Might never reach me more. My ear is pain'd,
My soul is sick with every day's report
Of wrong and outrage with which earth is fill'd.
There is no flesh in man's obdurate heart,
It does not feel for man. The natural bond
Of brotherhood is sever'd, as the flax
That falls asundar at the touch of fire.
He finds his fellow guilty of a skin
Not colour'd like his own; and having power
To enforce the wrong, for such a worthy cause
Dooms and devotes him as his lawful
Lands intersected by a narrow frith
Abhor each other. Mountains interpos'd,
Make enemies of nations, who had else,
Like kindred drops, been mingled into one.
Thus man devotes his brother, and destroys;
And worse than all, and most to be deplor'd,
As human Nature's broadest, foulest blot,
Chains him, and tasks him, and exacts his sweat
With stripes, that Mercy, with a bleeding heart,
Weeps when she sees inflicted on a beast.
Then what is man! And what man seeing this,
And having human feelings, does not blush
And hang his head, to think himself a man?
I would not have a slave to till my ground,
To carry me, to fan me while I sleep,
And tremble when I wake, for all the wealth
The sinews bought and sold have ever earn'd.
No dear as freedom is, and in my heart's
Just estimation priz'd above all price;
I had much rather be myself the slave, R,
And wear the bonds, than fasten them on him.
We have no slaves at home-then why abroad?
And they themselves once ferried o'er the wave
That parts us, are emancipate and loos'd.
Slaves cannot breathe in England; if their lungs
Receive our air, that moment they are free;
They touch our country, and their shackles fall.
That's noble, and bespeaks a nation proud
And jealous of the blessing. Spread it then,
And let it circulate through ev'ry vein
Of all your empire, that where Britain's power
Is felt, mankind may feel her mercy too.
Reflections on a Future State, from a Review of
"Tis done! dread Winter spreads his latest glooms,
And reigns tremendous o'er the conquer'd year.
How dead the vegetable kingdom lies!
Horror wide extends
Behold, fond man!
pass some few years,
How dumb the tuneful!
His desolate domain.
See here thy pictur'd life
Thy flowering spring, thy summer's ardent strength,
Thy sober autumn fading into age,
And pale concluding winter comes at last,
And shuts the scene. Ah! whither now are fled,
Those dreams of greatness? those unsolid hopes
Of happiness? those longings after fame ?
Those restless cares? those busy bustling days?
Those gay spent, festive nights? those veering
Lost between good and ill, that shar'd thy life?
All now are vanish'd! Virtue sole survives,
Immortal never-failing friend of man,
His guide to happiness on high. And see!