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crowned with succéss? Can even the husbandman, who has the promise of God that seed-time and harvest shall not fail, look forward with assured confidence to the expected increase of his fields ? In these, and in all similar cases, our resolution to act can be founded on probability alone.
To the Ursa Major. HENRY WARE, JR.
Ages have witnessed thy devoted trust, Unchanged, unchanging. When the sons of God Sent forth that shout of joy which rang through heaven, And echoed from the outer spheres that bound The illimitable universe, thy voice Joined the high chorus; from thy radiant orbs The glad cry sounded, swelling to His praise,
Who thus had cast another sparkling gem,
Ages have rolled their course, and time grown gray; The earth has gathered to her womb again, And yet again, the myriads, that were born Of her — uncounted, unremembered tribes. The seas have changed their beds; th’ eternal hills Have stooped with age; the solid continents Have left their banks; and man's imperial works The toil, pride, strength of kingdoms, which had fung Their haughty honors in the face of heaven, As if immortal
have been swept away, Shattered and mouldering, buried and forgot. But time has shed no dimness on thy front, Nor touched the firmness of thy tread; youth, strength, And beauty still are thine - as clear, as bright, As when the Almighty Former sent thee forth, Beautiful offspring of his curious skill, To watch earth's northern beacon, and proclaim Th' eternal chorus of eternal Love.
I wonder as I gaze. That stream of light, Undimmed, unquenched, - just as I see it now,Has issued from those dazzling points, through years That go back far into eternity. Exhaustless flood! forever spent, renewed Forever! Yea, and those refulgent drops, Which now descend upon my lifted eye, Left their far fountain twice three years ago. While those winged particles, whose speed outstrips The flight of thought, were on their way, the earth Compassed its tedious circuit round and round, And, in the extremes of annual change, beheld
Six autumns fade, six springs renew their bloom.
Yea, glorious lamps of God! He may have quenched Your ancient flames, and bid eternal night Rest on your spheres ; and yet no tidings reach This distant planet. Messengers still come Laden with your far fire, and we may seem To see your lights still burning; while their blaze But hides the black wreck of extinguished realms, Where anarchy and darkness long have reigned.
Yet what is this, which to th' astonished mind Seems measureless, and which the baffled thought Confounds? A span, a point, in those domains Which the keen eye can traverse.
Seven stars Dwell in that brilliant cluster, and the sight Embraces all at once; yet each from each Recedes as far as each of them from earth; And every star from every other burns No less remote. From the profound of heaven, Untravelled even in thought, keen, piercing rays Dart through the void, revealing to the sense Systems and worlds unnumbered. Take the glass And search the skies. The opening skies pour down Upon your gaze thick showers of sparkling fire — Stars, crowded, thronged, in regions so remote, That their swift beams the swiftest things that be Have travelled centuries on their flight to earth. Earth, sun, and nearer constellations, what Are ye, amid this infinite extent And multitude of God's most infinite works?
And these are suns !— vast, central, living fires, Lords of dependent systems, kings of worlds,
That wait as satellites upon their power,
Tell me, ye splendid orbs, as from your thrones
And scattered woe where Heaven had planted joy?
Open your lips, ye wonderful and fair ! Speak, speak! the mysteries of those living worlds Unfold ! — No language ? Everlasting light, And everlasting silence !-- Yet the eye May read and understand. The hand of God Has written legibly what man may knowTHE GLORY OF THE Maker. There it shines, Ineffable, unchangeable; and man, Bound to the surface of this pygmy globe, May know and ask no more.
In other days, When death shall give th’encumbered spirit wings, Its range shall be extended; it shall roam, Perchance, amongst those vast, mysterious spheres, Shall pass from orb to orb, and dwell in each, Familiar with its children - learn their laws, And share their state, and study and adore The infinite varieties of bliss And beauty by the hand of Power divine Lavished on all its works. Eternity Shall thus roll on with ever-fresh delight; No pause of pleasure or improvement; world On world still opening to th' instructed mind An unexhausted universe, and time But adding to its glories; while the soul, Advancing ever to the Source of light And all perfection, lives, adores, and reigns, In cloudless knowledge, purity, and bliss.