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Nor are His friends shut out: as some great prince
Not for Himself alone procures admission,
But for His train; it is His royal will
That where He is, there should His followers be.
Death only lies between! a gloomy path!
Made yet more gloomy by our coward fears !
But not untrod, nor tedious: the fatigue
Will soon go off. Besides, there's no by-road
To bliss. Then why, like ill-conditioned children,
Start we at transient hardships in the way
That leads to purer air and softer skies,
And a ne'er-setting sun? Fools that we are !
We wish to be where sweets unwithering bloom ;
But straight our wish revoke, and will not go.
So have I seen, upon a summer's even,
Fast by a rivulet's brink a youngster play!
How wishfully he looks to stem the tide !
This moment resolute, next unresolved,
At last he dips his foot; but as he dips
His fears redouble, and he runs away
From the inoffensive stream, unmindful now
Of all the flowers that paint the further bank,
And smiled so sweet of late. Thrice welcome
That after many a painful, trying step, Death
Conducts us to our home, and lands us safe
On the long-wished-for shore. Prodigious change!
Our bane turned to a blessing. Death disarmed
Loses his terror quite; all thanks to Him
Who scourged the venom out! thus the last end
Of the redeemed is peace. How calm his exit!
Night-dews fall not more gently to the ground,
Nor weary, worn-out winds expire so soft.
Behold him ! in the evening tide of life,
By unperceived degrees he wears away;
Yet, like the sun, seems larger at his setting !
High in his faith and hopes, look ! now he reaches
After the prize in view! and, like a bird
That's hampered, struggles hard to get away!
While the glad gates of sight are wide expanded
To let new glories in; then, oh! then,
Each earth-born joy grows vile, or disappears,
Shrank to a thing of nought. Oh! how he longs
To hail the hour of his dismissal hence!
'Tis come! and now he is happy! the glad soul
Has not a wish uncrowned. And now the flesh
Rests, too, in hope of meeting once again
Its better self, never to sunder more.
Nor shall it hope in vain: the time draws on
When not a single spot of burial earth,
Whether on land, or in the spacious sea,
But must give back its long-committed dust,
Inviolate: and faithfully shall these
Make up the full account; not the least atom
Embezzled, or mislaid, of the whole tale.
Each soul shall have a body ready furnished;
And each shall have his own. Hence, ye profane !
Ask not, how this can be?
Know the same power
That reared the piece at first, and took it down,
Can reassemble the loose, scattered parts,
And put them as they were. Almighty God
Has done much more; nor is His arm impaired
Through length of days; and what He can He will;
His faithfulness stands bound to see it done.
When the dread trumpet sounds, the slumbering dust,
Not inattentive to the call, shall wake;
And every joint possess its proper place,
With a new elegance of form, unknown
To its first state. Nor shall the conscious soul
Mistake its partner; but, amidst the crowd,
Singling its other half, into its arms
Shall rush, with all the impatience of a man
Just new come home, who, having long been absent,
With haste runs over every different room,
In pain to see the whole. Thrice-happy meeting!
Nor time, nor death, shall ever part them more!
EXTRACTS FROM A POEM ON THE OMNISCIENCE AND OMNIPOTENCE OF
What is that secret power that guides the brutes ?
That Heaven-directed Instinct! 'Tis from thee;
It is the operation of thine hands,
Immediate, instantaneous; 'tis thy wisdom
That glorious shines transparent through thy works.
Who taught the lark, or who forewarned the jay,
To shun the deadly nightshade? Though the cherry
Boasts not a glossier hue, nor does the plum
Lure with more seeming sweets the wandering eye,
Yet will not the sagacious birds, decoyed
By fair appearance, touch the noxious fruit.
They know to taste is fatal; whence, alarmed,
Swift on the winnowing winds they work their way.
Go to, proud reasoner, philosopbic man,
Hast thou such prudence, thou such knowledge? No.
Full many a race has fallen into the snare
Of meretricious looks, of pleasing surface;
And oft in desert isles the famished pilgrim,
By forms of fruit, and luscious taste, beguiled,
Like his forefather, Adam, eats and dies.
When Philomela, ere the cold domain
Of crippled winter comes, prepares
Her annual flight, and in some poplar shade
Takes her melodious leave, who then's her pilot ?
Who points her passage through the pathless void
To realms from us remote, to us unknown?
Her science is the science of her God.
Not the magnetic index to the north
E’er ascertains her course, nor buoy, nor beacon;
She, heaven-taught voyager, that sails in air,
Courts not coy West nor East, but instant knows
What Newton or not sought, or sought in vain.
“ Tremble, thou Earth !" the anointed poet said,
“ At God's bright presence; tremble all ye mountains!
And all ye hillocks on the surface bound !”
Hark! on the winged whirlwind's rapid rage,
Which is, and is not-in a moment-hark!
On the hurricane's tempestuous sweep He rides
Invincible, and oaks, and pines, and cedars,
And forests are no more. For, conflict dreadful !
The West encounters East, and Notus meets
In his career the Hyperborean blast.
The lordly lions shuddering seek their dens,
And fly like timorous deer; the king of birds,
Who dared the solar ray, is weak of wing,
And faints, and falls, and dies; while He supreme
Stands steadfast in the centre of the storm.
Wherefore ye objects terrible and great,
Ye thunders, earthquakes, whirlwinds, hurricanes,
And boiling billows, hail ! in chorus join
To celebrate and magnify your Maker,
Who yet in works of a minuter mould
Is not less manifest, is not less mighty,
Survey the magnet's sympathetic love,
That woos the yielding needle; contemplate
The attractive amber's power, invisible
E'en to the mental eye: or when the blow
Sent from the electric sphere assaults thy frame,
Shew me the hand that dealt it! Baffled here
By His Omnipotence, Philosophy
Slowly her thoughts inadequate revolves,
And stands, with all His circling wonders round her,
Like heavy Saturn in the ethereal space,
Begirt with an inexplicable ring.
If such the operations of His power,
Which at all seasons and in every place
(Ruled by established laws and current nature)
Arrest the attention, who, oh! who shall tell
His acts miraculous ? when His own decrees
Repeals He, or suspends: when, by the hand
Of Moses or of Joshua, or the mouths
Of His prophetic seers, such deeds were wrought-
Need I recount how Sampson's warlike arm,
With more than mortal nerves was strung to overthrow
Idolatrous Philistia ? Shall I tell
How David triumphed, and what Job sustained ?