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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,
Ordain'd to guide th' 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
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, deem'd oracular, lure down to death
The uninform’d and heedless souls of men.
We give to chance, blind chance, ourselves as blivd
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 reign'st :
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 shunn'd 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 touch'd them ; 'tis the voice of song,
A loud Hosanna sent from all thy works ;
Which he that bears it with a shout repeats,
And adds his rapture to the general praise.
In that bless'd 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
At random without honour, hope, or peace.
From thee is all that soothes the life of man,
His high endeavour, and his glad success,
His strength to suffer, and his will to serve.
But 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.
What virtue, or what mental grace,
But men unqualified and base
Will boast it their possession ?
Profusion apes the noble part
Of liberality of heart,
And dullness of discretion.
If every polish'd gem we find
Illuminating heart or mind,
Provoke to imitation;
No wonder friendship does the same,
That jewel of the purest flame,
Or rather constellation.
No knave but boldly will pretend
The requisites that form a friend,
A real and a sound one ;
Nor any fool, he would deceive,
But prove as ready to believe,
And dream that he had found one.
Candid, and generous, and just,
Boys care but little whom they trust,
An error soon corrected-
For who but learns in riper years,
That man, when smoothest he appears
Is most to be suspected ?
But here again a danger lies,
Lest, having misapplied our eyes,
And taken trash for treasure,
We should unwarily conclude
Friendship a false ideal good,
A mere Utopian pleasure.
An acquisition rather rare
Is yet no subject of despair ;
Nor is it wise complaining,
If either on forbidden ground,
Or where it was not to be found,
We sought without attaining.
No friendship will abide the test,
That stands on sordid interest,
Or mean self-love erected ;
Nor such as may a while subsist,
Between the sot and sensualist,
For vicio... ends connected.
Who seeks a friend should come disposed,
T' exhibit in full bloom disclosed
The graces and the beauties,
That form the character he seeks,
For 'tis a union, that bespeaks
Mutual attention is implied,
And equal truth on either side,
And constantly supported ;
'Tis senseless arrogance t'accuse
Another of sinister views,
Our own as much distorted.
But will sincerity suffice ?
It is indeed above all price,
And must be made the basis ;
But every virtue of the soul
Must constitute the charming whule,
All shining in their places.
A fretful temper will divide
The closest knot that may be tied,
By ceaseless sharp corrosion ;
A temper passionate and fierce.
May suddenly your joys disperse
At one immense explosion.
In vain the talkative unite
In hopes of permanent delight-
The secret just committed,
Forgetting its important weight,
They drop through mere desire to prate,
And by themselves outwitted.
How bright soe'er the prospect seems,
All thoughts of friendship are but dreu 'n3,
If envy chance to creep in;
An envious man, if you succeed,
May prove a dang'rous foe indeed,
But not a friend worth keeping.
As envy pines at good possess’d,
So jealousy looks forth distress'd
On good, that seems approaching;
And, if success his steps attend,
Discerns a rival in a friend,
And hates him for encroaching.
Hence authors of illustrious name,
Unless belied by common fame,
Are sadly prone to quarrel,
To deem the wit a friend displays
A tax upon their own just praise,
And pluck each other's laurel.
A man renown'd for repartee
Will seldom scruple to make free
With friendship's finest feeling,
Will trust a dagger at your breasi,
And say he wounded you in jest,
By way of balm for healing.
Whoever keeps an open ear
For tatlers will be sure to hear
The trumpet of contention;
Aspersion is the babbler's trade,
To listen is to lend his aid,
And rush into dissention.
A friendship, that in frequent fits
Of controversial rage emits
The sparks of disputation,
Like hand in hand insurance plates
Most unavoidably creates
The thought of conflagration.
Some fickle creatures boast a soul
True as a needle to the pole,
Their humour yet so various
They manifest their whole life through
The needle's deviations too,
Their love is so precarious.
The great and small but rarely meet
On terms of amity complete;
Plebians must surrender
And yield so much to noble folk,
It is combining fire with smoke,
Obscurity with splendour.
Some are so placid and serene
(As Irish bogs are always green)
They sleep secure from waking ; And are indeed a bog, that bears Your unparticipated cares
Unmoved and without quaking. Courtier and patriot cannot mix Their het'rogeneous politics
Without an effervescence,
Like that of salts with lemon juice,
Which does not yet like that produce
A friendly coalescence.
Religion should extinguish strife,
And make a calm of human life;
But friends that chance to differ
On points, which God has left at large,
How freely will they meet and charge !
No combatants are stiffer.