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The floods in icy fetters binds,
Smooths the rough surge, and lulls the winds,

Or bids the tempest rise?
Nature in every mystic scene
Declares a plastic author's reign :

Above the morning's wings, Beyond the 'sea's remotest tides, Beneath the daedal earth resides

Th' Almighty King of Kings.




(Late Poet-Laureat. )

ONCE, I remember well the day, 'Twas ere the blooming sweets of May

Had lost their freshest hues: When every flower on ev'ry hill, In ev'ry vale had drank its fill

Of sun-shine and of dews.

In short, 'twas that sweet season's prime,
When Spring gives up the reins of Time

To Summer's glowing hand,
And doubting mortals hardly know,
By whose command the breezes blow

Which fan the smiling land.


'Twas then, beside a green-wood shade, Which cloth'd a lawn's aspiring head,

I urg'd my devious way,
With loitering steps regardless where,
So soft, so genial was the air,

So wondrous bright the day.

And now my eyes with transport rove
O'er all the blue expanse above,

Unbroken by a cloud!
And now beneath delighted pass,
Where, winding through the deep-green grass,

A full brimm'd river flow'd.

I stop, I gaze; in accents rude,

To thee, serenest Solitude,

Burst forth th' unbidden lay ;
“ Begone, vile world, the learn'd, the wise,
The great, the busy I despise,

And pity e'en the gay.

« These, these are joys alone, I cry;
'Tis here, divine Philosophy,

Thou deign'st to fix thy thronel
Here Contemplation points the road
Thro’ Nature's charms to Nature's God!

These, these are joys alone!

“ Adieu, ye vain low-thoughted cares, Ye human hopes, and human fears,

Ye pleasures and ye pains !" While thus I spake, o'er all my

soul A philosophic calmness stole,

A stoic stillness reigns.

The tyrant passions all subside;
Fear, anger, pity, shame, and pride,

No more my bosom move :
Yet still I felt, or seem to feel,
A kind of visionary zeal

Of universal love.

When lo! a voice, a voice I hear ! 'Twas Reason whisper'd in my ear

These monitory strains : «What mean'st thou, man? would'st thou unbind The ties which constitute thy kind,

The pleasures and the pains?

“ The same Almighty Power unseen,
Who spreads the gay or solemn scene

To Contemplation's eye,
Fix'd every movement of the soul,
Taught every wish its destin'd goal,

And quicken'd every joy.

« He bids the tyrant passions rage,
He bids them war eternal wage,

And combat each his foe:
Till from dissentions concord rise,
And beauties from deformities,

And happiness from woe.

« Art thou not man, and dar'st thou find A bliss which leans not to mankind?

Presumptuous thought and vain! Each bliss unshar'd is unenjoy'd, Each power is weak unless employ'd

Some social good to gain.

« Shall light and shade, and warmth and air, With those exalted joys compare,

Which active Virtue feels !
When on she drags, as lawful prize,
Contempt, and Indolence, and Vice,

At her triumphant wheels?

« As rest and labour still succeeds
To man, whilst Virtue's glorious deeds

Employ his toilsome day;
This fair variety of things,
Are merely life's refreshing springs,

To sooth him on his way.

« Enthusiast, go, unstring thy lyre, In vain thou sing'st, if none admire,

How sweet soe'er the strain. And is not thy o'erflowing mind, Unless thou mixest with thy kind,

Benevolent in vain ?

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