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Ere matter form'd at Thy creative tone, Thou wert!-Omnific, Endless, and Alone: In Thine own essence, all that was to beSublime, unfathomable Deity!
Thou said'st-and lo! a universe was born, And light flash'd from Thee, for its birth-day morn!'
A world unshrouded all its beauty now! The youthful mountain rear'd its haughty brow, Flowers, fruits, and trees felt instantaneous life, And Ocean chaf'd his billows into strife! And next, triumphant o'er the green-clad earth, The universal sun burst into birth,
And dash'd from off his altitude sublime,
The first dread ray that mark'd commencing time. Last rose the moon-and then th' array of stars Wheel'd round the heavens upon their burning cars!
But all was silent as a world of dead,
Till the great Deep her living swarms outspread!
Forth from her teeming bosom, sudden came
Immingled monsters-mighty, without name;
Then plumy tribes, wing'd into being there,
And play'd their gleamy pinions on the air,—
Till thick as dews upon a twilight green,
Earth's living creatures rose upon the scene!
And now the gorgeous universe was rife, Full, fresh, and glowing with created life! And when th' Eternal, from his starry height, Beheld the young world basking in his light, And breathing incense of deep gratitude,He bless'd it, for his mercy made it good!
Creation's master-piece! a breath of God,
Ray of His glory, quicken'd at His nod,
Immortal Man came next,--divinely grand,
Glorious and perfect from his Maker's hand;
Last, softly beautiful as Music's close,
Angelic woman into being rose !
And thus, thou wert, and art the fountain soul,
And countless worlds around thee live and roll;
In sun and shade, in ocean and in air,
Different, though never lessen'd-everywhere!
All life and motion from thy source began,
From worlds to atoms, angels down to man !
FAIN would my longing soul begin
Some ceaseless hymn to god,
Whose mercy has redeem'd from sin,
With no less price than blood;
Fain would I praise my Saviour here,
In grateful strains with heart sincere.
But how shall finite beings raise,
With hearts to folly prone,
That pleasing and accepted praise.
Which thou wilt deign to own.
What angels can but faintly shew,
Shall fallen man attempt to do.
We cannot praise thy holy name,
Unless thy grace inspire;
Assist us by that heav'nly flame,
Impart the sacred fire;
And on our humble altars raise,
A ceaseless sacrifice of praise.
The sighings of a contrite heart,
Thou God wilt not despise.
Nor even bid a soul depart
Unblest, whose uprais'd eyes
For mercy sues; but 'mid his grief,
Will send thy Spirit with relief.
And wilt thou from th' unceasing strain
Of pure and unmix'd praise,
By angel choirs, on yon bright plain,
Pour'd forth in sweetest lays,
Turn thy regard, and bend thine ear,
The sinner's bursting grief to hear?
Cheer'd by the hope-through future days
The love of God I'll sing,
And laud in humble grateful praise,
The name of Israel's King;
In life and death my heart I raise,
In ceaseless and accepted praise.
LINES ON THE DEATH OF MR. RICHARDS.
HOLY the place, whose kindly soil
Yields for the flesh its sweet repose;
Where rests the pilgrim free from toil,
Where the rich spicy fragrance blows :
Calm be his sleep, whose life
Was given to pain and God;
Who pass'd the vale of strife,
Which his great Master trode :
Who laid mortality's dim robe,
Covering of ills and sorrows, by;
To take the fadeless vesture, wove
By hands of cherubim on high!
Who bade to time, adieu,
When its brief race was run;
Who hail'd, with stedfast view,
Sleep, true disciple! for thy rest,
The rest of piety shall be
Soft as his dreams, who on the breast
Of Jesus lean'd once peacefully.
Haste Ceylonese! and bring
Your tribute to the dead;
Your choicest chaplets fling
Upon the Martyr's bed!
THE HAPPY DEBTOR.
TEN thousand talents once I ow'd,
And nothing had to pay !
But Jesus freed me from the load,
And wash'd my debt away.
Yet since the Lord forgave my sia,
And blotted out my score,
Much more indebted I have been
Than e'er I was before.
My guilt is cancel'd quite, I know,
And satisfaction made;
But the vast debt of love I owe
Can never be repaid.
The love I owe for sin forgiven,
For power to believe,
For present peace, and promis'd heaven,
No angel can conceive.
That love of thine, thou sinner's Friend!
Witness thy bleeding heart!
My little all can ne'er extend
To pay a thousandth part.
Nay more, the poor returns I make
I first from thee obtain ;*
And 'tis of grace, that thou wilt take
Such poor returns again.
'Tis well-it shall my glory be
(Let who will, boast their store), In time and to eternity,
To owe the more and more.
He is the happy man, whose life e'en now
Shows somewhat of that happier life to come;
Who, doom'd to an obscure but tranquil state,
Is pleas'd with it, and, were he free to choose,
Would make his fate his choice; whom peace the
Of virtue, and whom virtue, fruit of faith, [fruit
Prepare for happiness; bespeak him one
Content indeed to sojourn while he must
Below the skies, but having there his home,
The world o'erlooks him in her busy search
Of objects, more illustrious in her view;
And occupied as earnestly as she,
Though more sublimely, he o'erlooks the world.
She scorns his pleasures, for she knows them not;
He seeks not hers, for he has prov'd them vain,
He cannot skim the ground like summer birds
Pursuing gilded flies; and such he deems
Her honours, her emoluments, her joys.