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Thee we reject, unable to abide
885 A voice is heard that mortal ears hear not, Till thou hast touch'd 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 ! 890 In that blest moment, Nature, throwing wide Her veil opaque,
discloses with a smile The author of her beauties, who, retir'd Behind his own creation, works unseen By the impure, and hears his pow'r denied : 895 Thou art the source and centre of all minds, Their only point of rest, eternal Word ! From thee departing, they are lost, and rove At random, without honour, hope, or peace. From thee is all that sooths the life of man, 900 His high endeavour, and his glad success, His strength to suffer, and his will to serve. But O thou bounteous Giver of all good, Thou art of all thy gifts thyself the crown! Give what thou canst, without thee we are poor ; 905 And with thee rich, take what thou wilt away.
THE WINTER WALK AT NOON.
ARGUMENT OF THE SIXTH BOOK Bells at a distance-Their effect- A fine noon in winter-A shel
tered walk-Meditation better than books-Our familiarity with the course of Nature makes it appear less wonderful than it isThe transformation that Spring effects in a shrubbery, described -A mistake concerning the course of Nature 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 animals. That it is a great crime proved from Scripture-That proof illustrated by a tale A line drawn between the lawful and unla wful 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 welessness-Conclusion.
THERE is in souls a sympathy with sounds,
With easy force it opens all the cells
25 That we might try the ground again, where once (Through inexperience as we now perceive) We miss'd that happiness we might have found ! Some friend is gone, perhaps his son's best friend! A father, whose authority, in show
30 When most severe, and must'ring all its force, Was but the graver countenance of love ; Whose favour, like the clouds of spring, might low'r, And utter now and then an awful voice, But had a blessing in its darkest frown,
35 Threat'ning at once and nourishing the plant. We lov’d, but not enough, the gentle hand That rear'd us. At a thoughtless age, allur'd By ev'ry gilded folly, we renounc'd His shelt'ring side, and wilfully forewent
40 That converse which we now in vain regret. How gladly would the man recall to life The boy's neglected sire! a mother too, That softer friend, perhaps more gladly still, Might he demand them at the gates of death. 45 Sorrow has, since they went, subdu'd and tam'd The playful humour : he could now endure, (Himself grown sober in the vale of tears,)
And feel a parent's presence no restraint.
The night was winter its roughest mood; The morning sharp and clear. But now at noon Upon the southern side of the slant hills, And where the woods fence off the northern blast, 60 The season smiles, resigning all its rage, And has the warmth of May. The vault is blue Without a cloud, and white without a speck The dazzling splendour of the scene below. Again the harmony comes o'er the vale ;
65 And through the trees I view th' embattled tow'r, Whence all the musick. I again perceive The soothing influence of the wasted strains, And settle in soft musings as I tread The walk, still verdant, under oaks and elms, 70 Whose outspread branches overarch the glade. The roof, though moveable through all its length As the wind sways it, has yet well suffic'd, And, intercepting in their silent fall The frequent flakes, has kept a path for me. 75 No noise is here, or none that hinders thought The red-breast warbles still, but is content With slender notes, and more than half suppress’d: Pleas'd with his solitude, and fitting light From spray to spray, where'er he rests he shakes 80 From many a twig the pendent drops of ice, That tinkle in the wither'd leaves below. Stillness, accompanied with sounds so soft, Charms more than silence. Meditation here May think down hours to moments. Here the heart 85 May give a useful lesson to the head,
And Learning wiser grow without his books.
115. By slow solicitation, seize at once The roving thought, and fix it on themselv . ;
What prodigies can pow'r divine perform More grand than it produces year by year, And all in sight of inattentive man?
120 Familiar with th' effect, we slight the cause, And in the constancy of Nature's course, The regular return of genial months,