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Of all the causes, which conspire to blind
Man's erring judgment, and misguide the mind,
What the weak head with strongest bias rules,
Is Pride, the never-failing vice of fools.
Whatever Nature has in worth deny'd,
She gives in large recruits of needless pride!
For, as in bodies, thus in souls, we find
What wants in blood and spirits, swell'd with wind.
Pride where wit fails, steps into our defence,
And fills up all the mighty void of sense.
If once right Reason drives that cloud away,
Truth breaks upon us with resistless day.
Trust not yourself; but, your defects to know,
Make use of every friend-and every foe.
A little learning is a dangerous thing;
Drink deep, or taste not the Pierean Spring:
Their shallow draughts intoxicate the brain;
And drinking largely sobers us again.
Fir'd at first sight with what the Muse imparts,
In fearless youth we tempt the heights of arts,
While, from the bounded level of our mind,
Short views we take, nor see the lengths behind;
But, more advanc'd, behold, with strange surprise,
New distant scenes of endless science rise!
So pleas'd at first the towering Alps we try,
Mount o'er the vales, and seem to tread the sky
The eternal snows appear already past,
And the first clouds and mountains seem the last:
But those attain'd, we tremble to survey
The growing labours of the lengthen'd way;
The increasing prospect tires our wandering eyes;
Hills peep o'er hills, and Alps on Alps arise.
THE MORNING IN SUMMER.
The meek eye'd Morn appears, mother of dews,
At first faint gleaming in the dappled east ;
Till far o'er ether spreads the widening glow:
And from before the lustre of her face
White break the clouds away. With quickened step
Brown Night retires: Young Day pours in apace,
And opens all the lawny prospect wide.
The dripping rock, the mountain's misty top,
Swell on the sight, and brighten with the dawn.
Blue, through the dusk, the smoking currents shine;
And from the bladed field the fearful hare
Limps, awkward: while along the forest-glade
The wild deer trip, and often turning gaze
At early passenger. Music awakes
The native voice of undissembled joy;
And thick around the woodland hymns arise.
Rous'd by the cock, the soon-clad shepherd leaves
His mossy cottage, where with Peace he dwells;
And from the crouded fold, in order, drives
His flock to taste the verdure of the Morn.
Falsely luxurious, will not man awake; And, springing from the bed of Sloth, enjoy The cool, the fragrant, and the silent hour, To meditation due and sacred song?
For is there aught in sleep can charm the wise?
To lie in dead oblivion, losing half
The fleeting moments of too short a life;
Total extinction of the enlighten'd soul!
Or else to feverish vanity alive,
Wildered, and tossing through distemper'd dreams
Who would, in such a gloomy state remain
Longer than nature craves; when every Muse
And every blooming pleasure wait without,
To bless the wildly devious morning walk?
THE SABBATH MORNING.
How still the morning of the hallowed day!
Mute is the voice of rural labour, hush'd
The plough-boy's whistle, and the milk-maid's song.
The scythe lies glitt'ring in the dewy wreath
Of tedded grass, mingled with fading flowers,
That yester-morn bloom'd waving in the breeze:
Sounds the most faint attract the ear, the hum
Of early bee, the trickling of the dew,
The distant bleating, midway up the hill.
Calmness seem'd thron'd on yon unmoving cloud.
To him who wanders o'er the upland leas,
The blackbird's note comes mellower from the dale;
And sweeter from the sky the gladsome lark
Warbles his heav'n tun'd song; the lulling brook
Murmurs more gently down the deep-sunk glen;
While from yon lowly roof, whose curling smoke
O'ermounts the mist, is heard, at intervals,
The voice of psalms, the simple song of praise.
With dove-like wings Peace o'er yon village broods:
The dizzying mill-wheel rests; the anvil's din
Hath ceas'd; all, all around is quietness.
Less fearful on this day, the limping hare
Stops, and looks back, and stops, and looks on man,
Her deadliest foe. The toil-worn horse, set free,
Unheedful of the pasture, roams at large;
And, as his stiff unwieldly bulk he rolls,
His iron-arm'd hoofs gleam in the morning-ray,
But chiefly Man the day of rest enjoys.
Hail, Sabbath! thee I hail, the poor man's day.
On other days, the man of toil is doom'd
To eat his joyless bread, lonely, the ground
Both seat and board, screen'd from the winter's cold,
And summer's heat, by neighbouring hedge or tree;
But on this day, embosom'd in his home,
He shares the frugal meal with those he loves;
With those he loves he shares the heart-felt joy
Of giving thanks to God, not thanks of form,
A word and a grimace, but rev'rently,
With cover'd face and upward earnest eye.
Hail, Sabbath! thee I hail, the poor man's day :
The pale mechanic now has leave to breathe
The morning air pure from the city's smoke,
While wand'ring slowly up the river-side,
He meditates on Him whose power he marks
In each green tree that proudly spreads the bough,
As in the tiny dew-bent flowers that bloom
Around the roots and while he thus surveys
With elevated joy each rural charm,
He hopes, (yet fears presumption in the hope,)
To reach those realms where Sabbath never ends.
CHARITYA PARAPHRASE ON THE 13TH CHAPTER OF THE FIRST EPISTLE TO THE CORINTHIANS,
Did sweeter sounds adorn my flowing tongue,
Than ever man pronounc'd, or angels sung;
Had I all knowledge, human and divine;
That thought can reach, or Science can divine;
And had I power to give that knowledge birth,
In all the speeches of the babbling earth;
Did Shadrach's zeal my glowing breast inspire,
To weary tortures, and rejoice in fire;
Or had I faith like that which Israel saw,
When Moses gave them miracles, and law:
Yet gracious Charity, indulgent guest,
Were not thy power exerted in my breast;
Those speeches would send up unheeded prayer:
That scorn of life would be but wild despair;
A cymbal's sound were better than my voice;
My faith were form; my eloquence were noise.
Charity, decent, modesty, easy, kind,
Softens the high, and rears the abject mind;
Knows with just reins, and gentle hand to guide,
Betwixt vile shame, and arbitrary pride.
Not soon provok'd, she easily forgives;
And much she suffers, as she much believes.
Soft peace she brings where ever she arrives;
She builds our quiet, as she forms our lives;
Lays the rough part of peevish nature even ;
And opens in each heart a little heaven.
Each other gift, which God on man bestows,
Its proper bounds, and due restriction knows ;
To one fixt purpose dedicates its power;
And finishing its act, exists no more.
'Thus, in obedience to what Heaven decrees,
Knowledge shall fail, and Prophecy shall cease;
But lasting Charity's more ample sway,
Nor bound by time, nor subject to decay,
In happy triumph shall for ever live ;
And endless good diffuse, and endless praise receive. As through the artist's intervening glass,
Our eye observes the distant planets pass;
A little we discover; but allow,
That more remains unseen, than Art can show :
So whilst our mind its knowledge would improve,
(Its feeble eye intent on things above,)
High as we may, we lift our reason up,
By Faith directed, and confirm'd by Hope;
Yet are we able only to survey
Dawnings of beams, and promises of day;
Heaven's fuller effluence mocks our dazzled sight;
Too great its swiftness, and too strong its light.
But soon the mediate clouds shall be dispell'd;
The Sun shall soon be face to face beheld,
In all his robes, with all his glory on,