« ПредыдущаяПродолжить »
4 To whom thus Eve, with perfect beauty adorn'd:
"My author and disposer, what thou bidst,
Unargu'd, 1 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 flow'r,
Glist'ring with dew; fragrant the fertile earth,"
After soft show'rs; 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 heav'n, her starry train:
5 But neither breath of morn, when she ascends
With charm of earliest birds; nor rising sun
On this delightful land; nor herb, fruit, flow'r,
Glist'ring with dew; nor fragrance after show'rs ;
Nor grateful evening mild; nor silent night,
With this her solemn bird; nor walk by moon,
Or glitt'ring star-light, without thee is sweet.
But wherefore all night long shine these? for whom
This glorious sight, when sleep hath shut all eyes ?"
6 To whom our gen'ral ancestor reply'd:
"Daughter of God and man, accomplish'd Eve,
These have their course to finish round the earth,
By morrow ev'ning; and from land to land,
In order, though to nations yet unborn,
Minist'ring 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.
7 These then, though unbeheld in deep of night,
Shine not in vain; nor think, though men were none,
That heav'n 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 heav'nly touch of instrumental sounds,
In full harmonic number join'd, their songs
Divide the night, and lift our thoughts to heav'n."
8 Thus talking hand in hand alone they pass'd
On to their blissful bow'r.-
-There arriv'd, both stood, Both turn'd; and under open sky, ador'd The God that made the sky, air, earth, and heav'n 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 apponted 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." MILTOM
Religion and Death
Descends, and bursts upon my sight;
A seraph of illustrious birth!
(Religion was her name on earth ;)
Bupremely sweet her radiant face,
And blooming with celestial grace!
Three shining cherubs form'd her train,
Way'd their light wings, and reach'd the plain :
Faith, with sublime and piercing eye,
And pinions flutt'ring for the sky;
Here Hope, that smiling angel, stands,
And golden anchors grace her hands;
There Charity, in robes of white,
Fairest and fav'rite maid of light.
The seraph spoke-" "Tis Reason's part
To govern and to guard the heart;
To full the wayward soul to rest,
When hopes and fears, distract the breast
Reason may calm this doubtful strife, And steer thy bark through various life: But when the storms of death are nigh, And midnight darkness veils the sky, Shall Reason then direct thy sail, Disperse the clouds, or sink the gale? Stranger, this skill alone is mine, Skill that transcends his scanty line." 3 "Revere thyself-thou'rt near allied To angels on thy better side. How various e'er their ranks or kinds, Angels are but unbodied minds: When the partition-walls decay, Men emerge angels from their clay. Yes, when the frailer body dies, The soul asserts her kindred skies. But minds, though sprung from heav'nly race, Must first be tutor'd for the place: The joys above are understood, And relish'd only by the good. Who shall assume this guardian care; Who shall secure their birth-right there? Souls are my charge-to me 'tis giv'n To train them for their native heav'n." "Know then-who bow the early knee,, And give the willing heart to me; Who wisely, when Temptation waits, Elude her frauds, and spurn her baits; Who dare to own my injur'd cause, Though fools deride my sacred laws; Or scorn to deviate to the wrong, Though persecution lifts her thong; Though all the sons of hell conspire To raise the stake and light the fire; Know, that for such superior souls, There lies a bliss beyond the poles :: Where spirits shine with purer ray, And brighten to meridian day; Where love, where boundless friendship rules; (No friends that change, no love that coels ;) Where rising floods of knowledge roll, And pour, and pour upon the soul!" 5 "But where's the passage to the skies?— The road through death's black valley lies. Nay, do not shudder at my tale; Tho' dark the shades, yet safe the vale.
This path the best of men have trod;
And who'd decline the road to God?
Oh! 'tis a glorious boon to die!
This favour can't be priz'd too high."
6 While thus she spoke, my looks express'd
The raptures kindling in my breast;
My soul a fix'd attention gave;
When the stern monarch of the grave,
With haughty strides approach'd:-amaz'd
I stood, and trembled as I gaz'd.
The seraph calm'd each anxious fear,
And kindly wip'd the falling tear;
Then hasten'd, with expanded wing,
To meet the pale, terrific king.
7 But now what milder scenes arise!
The tyrant drops his hostile guise;
He seems a youth divinely fair;
In graceful ringlets waves his hair ;
His wings their whit'ning plumes display,
His burnish'd plumes, reflect the day;
Light flows his shining azure vest,
And all the angel stands confess'd.
I view'd the change with sweet surprise;
And, Oh! I panted for the skies:
Thank'd heav'n, that e'er I drew my breath,
And triumph'd in the thoughts of death.-COTTON
The vanity of wealth.
N with av'rice painful vigils keep;
O more thus brooding o'er yon heap,
Still unenjoy'd the present store,
Still endless sighs are breath'd for more.
Oh! quit the shadow, catch the prize,
Which not all India's treasure buys!
To purchase heav'n has gold the pow'r?
Can gold remove the mortal hour?
In life, can love be bought with gold?
Are friendship's pleasures to be sold?
No-all that's worth a wish-a thought,
Fair virtue gives unbrib'd, unbought.
Cease then on trash thy hopes to bind;
Let nobler views engage thy mind. DR. JOHNION.
Nothing formed in vain.
Creative wisdom, as if aught 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.
2. And lives the man, whose universal eye
Has swept at once th' unbounded scheme of things ?
Mark'd their dependence so, and firm accord,
As with unfault'ring accent to conclude,
That this availeth nought? Has any seen
The mighty chain of beings, less'ning 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.-тHоMJON.
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 needful prido! For, as in bodies, thus in souls, we find What wants in blood and spirits, swell'd with wind Pride, where wit fails, steps in to our defence, And fills up all the mighty void of sense, 2 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 ev'ry friend-and ev'ry foe. A little learning is a dangerous thing; Drink deep, or taste not the Pierian springt