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Whither, O whither, art thou fled,
To lay thy meek contented head!
What happy region dost thou please
To make the seat of calms and ease?
Ambition searches all its sphere
Of pomp and state, to meet thee there.
Increasing avarice would find
Thy presence in its gold enshrin'd.
The bold advent'rer ploughs his way
Thro' rocks amidst the foaming sea,
To gain thy love! and then perceives
Thou wert not in the rocks and waves.
The silent heart which grief assails,
Treads soft and lonesome o'er the vales,
Sees daises open, rivers run,
And seeks (as I have vainly done)
Amusing thought; but learns to know
That solitude's the nurse of woe.
No real happiness is found
In trailing purple o'er the ground;
Or in a soul exalted high,
To range the circuit of the sky;
Converse with stars above, and know
All nature in its forms below;
The rest it seeks, in seeking dies
And doubts at last for knowledge rise.
Lovely, lasting peace, appear!
This world itself, if thou art here,
Is once again with Eden bless'd,
And man contains it in his breast.
'Twas thus, as under shade I stood,
I sung my wishes to the wood,
And, lost in thought, no more perceiv'd
The branches whisper as they wav'd.
It seem'd as all the quiet place
Confess'd the presence of the grace,
When thus she spoke--Go, rule thy will,
Bid thy wild passions all be still;
Know God-and bring thy heart to know
The joys which from religion flow:
Then every grace shall prove its guest,
And I'll be there to crown the rest.
Oh! by yonder mossy seat,
In my hours of sweet retreat;
Might I thus my soul employ,
With sense of gratitude and joy;
Rais'd, as ancient prophets were,
In heavenly vision, praise and pray'r;
Pleasing all men, hurting none,
Pleas'd and bless'd with God alone;
Then, while the gardens take my sight,
With all the colours of delight;
While silver waters glide along,
To please my ear, and court my song;
I'll lift my voice, and tune my string,
And Thee, great Source of nature, sing.
The sun that walks his airy way,
To light the world and give the day;
The moon that shines with borrow'd light;
The stars that gild the gloomy night;
The seas that roll unnumber'd waves;
The wood that spreads its shady leaves;
The field whose ears conceal the grain,
The yellow treasure of the plain;
All of these, and all I see,
Should be sung, and sung by me:
They speak their Maker as they can,
But want and ask the tongue of Man.
Go, search among your idle dreams,
Your busy or you vain extremes ;
And find a life of equal bliss,
Or own the next begun to this.
God the everlasting light of his People*.
YE golden lamps of heav'n, farewell!
With all your feeble light :
Farewell, thou ever-changing moon,
Pale empress of the night.
And thou, refulgent orb of day!
In brighter flames array'd,
My soul, which springs beyond thy sphere,
No more demands thine aid.
Ye stars, are but the shining dust
Of my divine abode,
The pavement of those heav'nly courts,
Where I shall reign with God.
The Father of eternal light
Shall there his beams display,
Nor shall one moment's darkness mix
With that unvaried day.
No more the drops of piercing grief
Shall swell into mine eyes;
Nor the meridian sun decline
Amidst those brighter skies.
"The sun shall no more go down, neither shall the moon thdraw itself; for the LORD shall be thine everlasting light, ad the days of thy mourning shall be ended." Isaiah, ix. 20.
There all the millions of his saints
Shall in one song unite;
And each the bliss of all shall share
With infinite delight.
A CONTEMPLATION ON NIGHT.
WHETHER amid the gloom of night I stray,
Or my glad eyes enjoy revolving day,
Still Nature's various face informs my sense,
Of an all-wise, all-powerful, Providence.
When the gay sun first breaks the shades of night'
And strikes the distant eastern hills with light,
Colour returns, the plains their liv'ry wear,
And a bright verdure clothes the smilling year;
The blooming flow'rs with opening beauties glow,
And grazing flocks their milky fleeces show,
The barren cliffs with chalky fronts arise,
And a pure azure arches o'er the skies.
But, when the gloomy reign of night returns,
Stript of her fading pride all nature mourns:
The trees no more their wonted verdure boast,
But weep in dewy tears their beauty lost;
No distant landscapes draw our curious eyes,
Wrapt in night's robe the whole creation lies.
Yet still e'en now while darkness clothes the land,
We view the traces of th' Almighty hand;
Millions of stars in heav'n's wide vault appear,
And with new glories hang the boundless sphere:
The silver Moon her western couch forsakes,
And o'er the skies her nightly circle makes;
Her solid globe beats back the sunny rays,
And to the world her borrow'd light repays.
Whether those stars that twinkling lustre sen Are suns, and rolling worlds those suns attend.
Man may conjecture, and new schemes declare,
Yet all his systems but conjectures are:
But this we know, that heav'n's eternal King,
Who bade this universe from nothing spring,
Can at his Word bid num'rous worlds appear,
And rising worlds th' all-powerful Word shall hear.
When to the western main the sun descends,
To other lands a rising day he lends ;
The spreading dawn another shepherd spies,
The wakeful flocks from their warm folds arise;
Refresh'd the peasant seeks his early toil,
And bids the plough correct his fallow soil.
While we in sleep's embraces waste the night,
The climes oppos'd enjoy meridian light;
And when those lands the busy sun forsakes,
With us again the rosy morning wakes;
In lazy sleep the night rolls swift away,
And neither clime laments his absent ray.
When the pure soul is from the body flown,
No more shall night's alternate reign be known:
The sun no more shall rolling light bestow,
But from th' Almighty streams of glory flow.
Oh, may some nobler thought my soul employ
Than empty, transient, sublunary, joy!
The stars shall drop, the sun shall lose his flame, But thou, O God, for ever shine the same.
Stranger. WHOм are they ushering from the world,
This pageantry and long parade of death?