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Yes—ye may fill your garners, ye that reap
The loaded soil, and ye may waste much good
In senseless riot; but ye will not find
In feast or in the chase, in song or dance,
A liberty like his, who, unimpeached
Of usurpation, and to no man's wrong,
Appropriates nature as his Father's work,
And has a richer use of yours than you.
He is indeed a freeman. Free by birth
Of no mean city; planned or ere the hills
Were built, the fountains opened, or the sea
With all his roaring multitude of waves.
His freedom is the same in every state;
And no condition of this changeful life,
So manifold in cares, whose every day
Brings its own evil with it, makes it less :
For he has wings, that neither sickness, pain,
Nor

penury, can cripple or confine.
No nook so narrow but he spreads them there
With ease, and is at large. The oppressor holds
His body bound; but knows not what a range
His spirit takes, unconscious of a chain;
And that to bind him is a vain attempt
Whom God delights in, and in whom he dwells.

Acquaint thyself with God, if thou wouldst taste His works. Admitted once to his embrace, Thou shalt perceive that thou wast blind before : Thine

eye shall be instructed; and thine heart Made pure shall relish, with divine delight Till then unfelt, what hands divine have wrought. Brutes

graze the mountain-top, with faces prone
And
eyes

intent upon the scanty herb,
It yields them; or recumbent on its brow
Ruminate heedless of the scene outspread
Beneath, beyond, and stretching far away
From inland regions to the distant main.

Man views it, and admires; but rests content
With what he views. The landscape has his praise,
But not its author. Unconcerned who formed
The paradise he sees, he finds it such,
And such well-pleased to find it, asks no more.
Not so the mind, that has been touched from heaven,
And in the school of sacred wisdom taught
To read his wonders, in whose thought the world,
Fair as it is, existed ere it was.
Not for his own sake merely, but for his
Much more, who fashioned it, he gives it praise ;
Praise that from earth resulting, as it ought,
To earth's acknowledged sovereign, finds at once,
Its only just proprietor in Him.
The soul that sees him, or receives sublimed
New faculties, or learns at least to employ
More worthily the powers she owned before,
Discerns in all things what, with stupid gaze
Of ignorance, till then she overlooked,
A ray of heavenly light gilding all forms
Terrestrial in the vast and the minute;
The unambiguous footsteps of the God,
Who gives its lastre to an insect's wing,
And wheels his throne upon the rolling worlds.
Much conversant with heaven, she often holds
With those fair ministers of light to man,
That fill the skies nightly with silent pomp,
Sweet conference. Inquires what strains weße they
With which heaven rang, when every star, in baste
To gratulate the new created earth,
Sent forth a voice, and all the sons of God
Shouted for joy.—“Tell me, ye shining hosts,
That navigate a sea that knows no storms,
Beneath a vault unsullied with a cloud,
If from your elevation, whence ye view
Distinctly scenes invisible to man,

And systems, of whose birth no tidings yet
Have reached this nether world, ye spy a race
Favoured as ours; transgressors from the womb,
And hasting to a grave, yet doomed to rise,
And to possess a brighter heaven than yours?
As one, who long detained on foreign shores,
Pants to return, and when he sees afar
His country's weather-bleach'd and batter'd rocks,
From the green wave emerging, darts an eye
Radiant with joy towards the happy land;
So I with animated hopes behold,
And many an aching wish, your beamy fires,
That show like beacons in the blue abyss,
Ordained to guide the embodied spirit home
From toilsome life to never-ending rest.
Love kindles as I gaze. I feel desires,
That give assurance of their own success,
And that infused from heaven must thither tend.”

So reads he nature, whom the-lamp of truth
Illuminates. Thy lamp, mysterious word!
Which whoso sees no longer wanders lost,
With intellects bemazed in endless doubt,
But runs the road of wisdom. Thou hast built
With means that were not till by thee employed,
Worlds, that had never been hadst thou in strength
Been less, or less benevolent than strong.
They are thy witnesses, who speak thy power
And goodness infinite, but speak in ears
That hear not, or receive not their report.
In vain thy creatures testify of thee,
Till thou proclaim thyself. Theirs is indeed
A teaching voice; but 'tis the praise of thine,
That whom it teaches it makes prompt to learn,
And with the boon gives talents for its use.
Till thou art heard, imaginations vain
Possess the heart, and fables false as hell ;

Yet, deemed oracular, lure down to death The uninformed and heedless souls of men. We give to chance, blind chance, ourselves as blind, The glory of thy work; which yet appears Perfect and unimpeachable of blame, Challenging human scrutiny, and proved Then skilful most when most severely judged. But chance is not; or is not where thou reignest : Thy providence forbids that fickle power (If power she be that works but to confound) To mix her wild vagaries with thy laws. Yet thus we dote, refusing while we can Instruction, and inventing to ourselves Gods such as guilt makes welcome; gods that sleep, Or disregard our follies, or that sit Amused spectators of this bustling stage. Thee we reject, unable to abide Thy purity, till pure as thou art pure, Made such by thee, we love thee for that cause For which we shunned and hated thee before. Then we are free. Then liberty, like day, Breaks on the soul, and by a flash from heaven Fires all the faculties with glorious joy. A voice is heard, that mortal ears hear not Till thou hast touched them; 'tis the voice of song, A loud Hosanna sent from all thy works ; Which he that hears it with a shout repeats, And adds his rapture to the general praise. In that blest moment Nature, throwing wide Her veil opaque, discloses with a smile The author of her beauties, who, retired Behind his own creation, works unseen By the impure, and hears his power denied. Thou art the source and centre of all minds, Their only point of rest, eternal Word! From thee departing they are lost, and rove

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At random without honour, hope, or peace.
Prom thee is all that sooths the life of man,
His high endeavour, and his glad success,
His strength to suffer, and his will to serve.
But oh, thou bounteous Giver of all good,
Thou art of all thy gifts thyself the crown!
Give what thou canst, without thee we are poor ;
And with thee rich, take what thou wilt away.

THE TASK.

BOOK VI.

THE WINTER WALK AT NOON.

Bells at a distance.-Their effect.-A fine noon in winter.-A

sheltered walk.- Meditation better than books. -Our fami. liarity with the course of nature makes it appear less wonderful than it is.-The transformation that spring effects in a shrubbery described.--A mistake concerning the course of natare corrected. God maintains it by an unremitted act.-The amusements fashionable at this hour of the day reproved, Animals happy, a delightful sight.-Origin of cruelty to ani. mals.-That it is a great crime proved from scripture.That proof illustrated by a tale.- A line drawn between the lawful and unlawful destruction of them.-Their good and useful properties insisted on.-Apology for the encomiums bestowed by the author on animals.-Instances of man's extravagant praise of man.-The groans of the creation shall have an end.-A view taken of the restoration of all things. An invocation and an invitation of him who shall bring it to pass.-The retired man vindicated from the charge of useless ness.-Conclusion.

There is in souls a sympathy with sounds,
And as the mind is pitched the ear is pleased
With melting airs or martial, brisk or grave,
Some chord in unison with what we hear
Is touched within us, and the heart replies.

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