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All partial evil, universal good:
And spite of pride, in erring reason's spite,
One truth is clear-WHATEVER IS, IS RIGHT.
Confidence in divine protection.
Hymn on a review of the seasons.
1. THESE, as they change, Almighty Father, these
Are but the varied God. The rolling year
Is full of thee. Forth in the pleasing Spring
Thy beauty walks, thy tenderness and love.
Wide flush the fields, the softning air is balm ;
Echo the mountains round; the forest smiles,
And every sense, and every heart is joy.
2. Then comes thy glory in the summer months,
With light and heat refulgent. Then thy sun
Shoots full perfection through the swelling year;
And oft thy voice in dreadful thunder speaks.
And oft at dawn, deep noon, or falling eve,
By brooks and groves, in hollow-whisp'ring gales.
3. Thy bounty shines in autumn unconfin'd,
And spreads a common feast for all that lives.
In winter, awful thou! with clouds and storms
Around thee thrown, tempest o'er tempest roll'd.
Majestic darkness! On the whirlwind's wing,
Riding sublime, thou bidst the world adore !
And humblest nature with thy northern blast.
4. Mysterious round! what skill, what force divine,
Deep felt, in these appear! a simple train,
Yet so delightful mix'd, with such kind art,
Such beauty and beneficence combin'd;
Shade, unperceiv'd, so soft'ning into shade,
And all so forming an harmonious whole,
That as they still succeed, they ravish still.
5. But wand'ring oft, with brute unconscious gaze,
Man marks not thee, marks not the mighty hand,
That ever busy, wheels the silent spheres ;
Works in the secret deep; shoots, steaming, thence
The fair profusion that o'er spreads the spring;
Flings from the sun direct the flaming day;
Feeds every creature; hurls the tempest forth;
And, as on earth this grateful change revolves,
With transport touches all the springs of life.
6. Nature, attend! join every living soul,
Beneath the spacious temple of the sky,
In adoration join! and, ardent, raise
One general song!
Ye, chief, for whom the whole creation smiles,
At once the head, the heart, the tongue of all,
Crown the great hymn!
For me, when I forget the darling theme,
Whether the blossom blows, the summer ray
Russets the plain; inspiring autumn gleams;
Or winter rises in the black'ning east;
Be my tongue mute, my fancy paint no more ;
And, dead to joy, forget my heart to beat!
8. Should fate command me to the farthest verge
Of the green earth, to distant barb'rous climes,
Rivers unknown to song; where first the sun
Gilds Indian mountains, or his setting beam
Flames on th' Atlantic isles; 'tis nought to me
Since God is ever present, ever felt,
In the void waste as in the city full ;
And where HE vital breathes there must be joy.
When e'en at last the solemn hour shall come,
And wing my mystic flight to future worlds,
I, cheerful, will obey; there, with new pow'rs,
Will rising wonders sing: I cannot go
Where UNIVERSAL LOVE smiles not around,
Sustaining all yon orbs, and all their suns;
From seeming evil still educing good,
And better thence again, and better still,
In infinite progression. But I lose
Myself in HIM, in light ineffable!
Come, then, expressive silence, muse his praise.
1. O solitude, romantic maid!
Whether by nodding towers you tread,
Or haunt the desert's trackless gloom,
Or hover o'er the yawning tomb,
Or climb the Andes' clifted side,
'Or by the Nile's coy source abide,
Or, starting from your half year's sleep,
From Hecla view the thawing deep,
Or, at the purple dawn of day,
Tadmor's marble wastes survey;
You, recluse, again I woo,
And again your steps pursue.
2. Plum'd conceit himself surveying,
Folly with her shadow playing,
Purse-proud elbowing insolence,
Bloated empiric, puff'd pretence,
Noise, that through a trumpet speaks,
Laughter, in loud peals that breaks,
Intrusion, with a fopling's face,
(Ignorant of time and place,)
Sparks of fire dissension blowing,
Ductile, court-bred flattery bowing,
Restraint's stiff neck, grimace's leer,
Squint-ey'd censure's artful sneer,
Ambition's buskins, steep'd in blood,
Fly thy presence, Solitude!
3. Sage reflection, bent with years,
Conscious virtue, void of fears,
Muffled si ence, wood-nymph shy,
Meditation's piercing eye,
Halcyon peace on moss reclin'd,
Retrospect that scans the mind,
Rapt earth-gazing reverie,
Blushing artless modesty,
Health that snuffs the morning air,
Full eyed truth with bosom bare,
Inspiration, nature's child,
Seek the solitary wild.
4. When all nature's hush'd asleep,
Nor love, nor guilt, their vigils keep,
Soft you leave your cavern'd den,
And wander o'er the works of men ;
But when Phosphor brings the dawn,
By her dappled coursers drawn,
Again you to the wild retreat,
And the early huntsman meet,
Where, as you pensive pass along,
You catch the distant shepherd's song,
Or brush from herbs the pearly dew,
Or the rising primrose view,
Devotion lends her heav'n plum'd wings
You mount, and nature with you sings.
5. But when mid-day fervours glow,
To upland airy shades you go,
Where never sun-burnt woodman came
Nor sportsman chased the timid game :
And there, beneath an oak reclined,
With drowsy waterfalls behind,
You sink to rest.
Till the tuneful bird of night,
From the neighb'ring poplar's height
Wake you with her solemn strain,
And teach pleas'd echo to complain.
6. With you roses brighter bloom,
Sweeter every sweet perfume ;
Purer every fountain flows,
Stronger every wilding grows.
Let those toil for gold who please,
Or, for fame renounce their ease.
What is fame an empty bubble;
Gold? a shining, constant trouble.
Let them for their country bleed !
What was Sidney's, Raleigh's meed?
Man's not worth a moment's pain;
Base, ungrateful, fickle, vain.
7. Then let me, sequester'd fair,
To your sybil grot repair;
On yon hanging cliff it stands,
Scoop'd by nature's plastic hands,
Bosom'd in the gloomy shade
Of cyprus not with age decay'd;
Where the owl still hooting sits,
Where the bat incessant flits;
There in loftier strains I'll sing
Whence the changing seasons spring:
Tell how storms deform the skies,
Whence the waves subside and rise,
Trace the comet's blazing tail,
Weigh the planets in a scale;
Bend, great God, before thy shrine;
The boundless microcosm's thine.
8. Since in each scheme of life I've fail'd,
And disappointment seems entail'd";
Since all on earth I valued most,
My guide, my stay, my friend is lost;
O Solitude, now give me rest,
And hush the tempest in my breast.
O gently deign to guide my feet
To your hermit-trodden seat;
Where I may live at last my own,
Where I at last may die unknown.
9. I spoke she turn'd her magic ray;
And thus she said, or seem'd to say;
Youth, you're mistaken, if you think to find
In shades, a med'cine for a troubled mind;
Wan grief will haunt you wheresoe'er you go,
Sigh in the breeze, and in the streamlet flow.
There, pale inaction pines his life away;
And satiate mourns the quick return of day:
There, naked frenzy laughing wild with pain,
Or bares the blade, or plunges in the main:
There superstition broods o'er all her fears,
And yells of demons in the zephyr hears.
10. But if a hermit you're resolv'd to dwell,
And bid to social life a last farewell;
God never made an independent man,
'Twould jar the concord of his general plan.
See every part of that stupendous whole,
"Whose body nature is, and God the soul;'
To one great end the general good conspire,
From matter, brute, to man, to seraph, fire.
11. Should man through nature solitary roam,
His will, his sovereign, every where his home,
What force would guard him from the lion's jaw?
What swiftness wing him from the panther's paw?
Or should fate lead him to some safer shore,
Where panthers never prowl, nor lions roar,
Where liberal nature all her charms bestows,
Suns shine, birds sing, flowers bloom, and water flows,
Fool, dost thou think he'd revel on the store,
Absolve the care of Heaven, nor ask for more?
Tho' waters flow'd, flow'rs bloom'd, and Phoebus shone, He'd sigh, he'd murmur, that he was alone. For know, the Maker on the human breast A sense of kindred, country, man, impress'd. 12. Though nature's works the ruling mind declare, And well deserve inquiry's serious care, The God (whate'er misanthrophy may say,) Shines, beams in man with most unclouded ray. What boots it thee to fly from pole to pole?" Hang o'er the sun, and with the planets roll? What boots through space's furthest bourns to roam? If thou, O man, a stranger art at home. Then know thyself, the human mind survey;