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Happy ! ye sons of busy life,
Who, equal to the bustling strife,
No other view regard ! .
Ev'n when the wished end's denied,
Yet, while the busy means are plied,
They bring their own reward:
Whilst I, a hope-abandon'd wight,
Unfitted with an aim,
Meet every sad returning night
And joyless morn the same.
You, bustling and justling,
Forget each grief and pain;
I, listless yet restless,
Find every prospect vain.
How blest the Solitary's lot,
Who, all-forgetting, all forgot,
Within his humble cell,
The cavern wild with tangling roots,
Sits o'er his newly-gather'd fruits,
Beside his crystal well!
O, haply to his evening thought,
By unfrequented stream,
The ways of men are distant brought,
A faint-collected dream :
While praising, and raising
His thoughts to Heaven on high,
As wand'ring, meand'ring,
He views the solemn sky.
Than I, no lonely Hermit plac'd
Where never human footstep trac'd,
Less fit to play the part,
The lucky moment to improve,
And just to stop, and just to move,
With self-respecting art:
But ah! those pleasures, loves, and joys,
Which I too keenly taste, The Solitary can despise,
Can want, and yet be blest !
He needs not, he heeds not,
Or human love or hate;
Whilst I here, must cry here,
At perfidy ingrate!
Oh! enviable early days,
When dancing thoughtless Pleasure's maze,
To Care, to Guilt unknown !
How ill exchang'd for riper times,
To feel the follies or the crimes
Of others, or my own!
Ye tiny elves, that guiltless sport
Like linnets in the bus
Ye little know the ills ye court,
When manhood is your wish !
The losses, the crosses,
That active man engage;
The fears all, the tears all,
Of dim declining age !
BUT, ah! what wish can prosper, or what prayer,
For merchants rich in cargoes of despair, Who drive a loathsome trafic, gage and span, And buy the muscles and the bones of man? The tender ties of father, husband, friend, All bonds of nature, in that moment end; And each endures, while yet he draws his breath, A stroke as fatal as the scythe of death. The sable warrior, frantic with regret Of her he loves, and never can forget, Loses in tears the far-receding shore, But not the thought that they must meet no more;
Depriv'd of her and freedom at a blow,
What has he left that he can yet forego ?
Yes, to deep sadness sullenly resign'd,
He feels his body's bondage in his mind;
Puts off his generous nature; and, to suit
His manners with his fate, puts on the brute.
Oh most degrading of all ills that wait
On man, a mourner in his best estate!
All other sorrows virtue may endure,
And find submission more than half a cure;
Grief is itself a med'cine, and bestow'd
T improve the fortitude that bears a load;
To teach the wanderer, as his woes increase,
The path of wisdom, all whose paths are peace.
But slavery !--virtue dreads it as her grave;
Patience itself is meanness in a slave :
Or if the will and sovereignty of God
Bid suffer it awhile, and kiss the rod;
Wait for the dawning of a brighter day,
And snap the chain the moment when you may,
Nature imprints upon whate'er we see,
That has a heart and life in it, Be free!
The beasts are charter'd, -neither age nor force
Can quell the love of freedom in a horse :
He breaks the cord that held him at the rack,
And, conscious of an unincumber'd back,
Snuffs up the morning air, forgets the rein,
Loose fly his forelock and his ample mane;
Responsive to the distant neigh he neighs,
Nor stops till, overleaping all delays,
He finds the pasture where his fellows graze.
“TREMBLE, thou Earth!" th’anointed poet said!
“ At God's bright presence ; tremble, all ye
“ And all ye hillocks on the surface bound !"-
Then once again, ye glorious thunders, roll !
The Muse with transport hears ye; once again
Convulse the solid continent ! and shake,
Grand music of Omnipotence, the isles !
'Tis thy terrific voice, thou God of power,
Tis thy terrific voice; all nature hears it,
Awaken'd and alarm'd; she feels its force;
In every spring she feels it, every wheel,
And every movement of her vast machine.
Behold! quakes Apennine; behold! recoils
Athos; and all the hoary-headed Alps
Leap from their bases at the godlike sound.
But what is this, celestial tho' the note,
And proclamation of the reign supreme,
Compar'd with such as, for a mortal ear
Too great, amaze the incorporeal worlds ?
Should Ocean to his congregated waves
Call in each river, cataract, and lake,
And with the watery world down a huge rock
Fall headlong in one horrible cascade,
"Twere but the echo of the parting breeze,
When zephyr faints upon the lily's breast;
Twere but the ceasing of some instrument,
When the last lingering undulation
Dies on the doubting ear, if nam'd with sounds
So mighty! so stupendous! so divine!
POWER OF THE SUPREME BEING, 119 But not alone in the aërial yault Does He the dread theocracy maintain; For oft, enrag'd with his intestine thunders, He harrows up the bowels of the earth, And shocks the central magnet-Cities then Totter on their foundations, stately columns, Magnific walls, and heaven-assaulting spires. What tho' in haughty eminence erect Stands the strong citadel, and frowns defiance On adverse hosts; tho' many a bastion jut Forth from the rampart's elevated mound; Vain the poor providence of human art, And mortal strength how vain! while underneath Triumphs his mining vengeance in thi' uproar Of shatter'd towers, riven rocks, and mountains, With clamor inconceivable uptorn, And hurld adown th' abyss. Sulphureous pyrites Bursting abrupt from darkness into day, With din outrageous and destructive ire, Augment the hideous tumult, while it wounds Th' afflictive ear, and terrifies the eye, And rends the heart in twain. Twice have we felt, Within Augusta's walls twice have we felt, Thy threaten'd indignation: but even Thou, Incens'd Omnipotent, art gracious ever ; Thy goodness infinite but mildly warn'd us, With mercy blended wrath ; O spare us still, Nor send more dire conviction! We confess That thou art He, th' Almighty: we believe. For at thy righteous power whole systems quake; For at thy nod tremble ten thousand worlds.
Hark! on the winged whirlwind's rapid rage, Which is and is not in a moment-hark ! On the hurricane's tempestuous sweep he rides Invincible, and oaks, and pines, and cedars, And forests are no more. For, conflict dreadful! The West encounters East, and Notus meets In his career the Hyperborean blast. The lordly lions shuddering seek their dens, And Aly like timorous deer; the king of birds,