« PreviousContinue »
In music;—Thou art in the cooler breath,
That, from the inmost darkness of the place,
Comes, scarcely felt:-the barky trunks, the
The fresh moist ground, are all instinct with Thee.
Here is continual worship ;-nature, here,
In the tranquillity that Thou dost love,
Enjoys Thy presence. Noiselessly, around,
From perch to perch, the solitary bird
Passes; and yon clear spring, that, 'midst its herbs,
Wells softly forth, and visits the strong roots
Of half the mighty forest, tells no tale
Of all the good it does. Thou hast not left
Thyself without a witness, in these shades,
Of Thy perfections. Grandeur, strength, and
Are here to speak of Thee. This mighty oak
By whose immovable stem I stand, and seem
Almost annihilated—not a prince,
In all the proud old world beyond the deep,
E’er wore his crown as loftily as he
Wears the green coronal of leaves with which
Thy hand has graced him. Nestled at his root
Is beauty, such as blooms not in the glare
Of the broad sun. That delicate forest flower,
With scented breath, and look so like a smile,
Seems, as it issues from the shapeless mould,
An emanation of the in-dwelling Life,
A visible token of the upholding Love,
That are the soul of this wide universe.
My heart is awed within me, when I think
Of the great miracle that still goes on,
In silence, round me—the perpetual work
Of Thy creation, finished, yet renewed
For ever. Written on Thy works, I read
The lesson of Thy own eternity.
Lo! all grow old and die: but see, again,
How, on the faltering footsteps of decay,
Youth presses—ever gay and beautiful youth-
In all its beautiful forms. These lofty trees
Wave not less proudly than their ancestors
Moulder beneath them. O, there is not lost
One of earth's charms: upon her bosom yet,
After the flight of untold centuries,
The freshness of her far beginning lies
And yet shall lie. Life mocks the idle hate
Of his arch enemy Death-yea, seats himself
Upon the sepulchre, and blooms and smiles,
And of the triumphs of his ghastly foe
Makes his own nourishment. For he came forth
From Thine own bosom, and shall have no end.
There have been holy men, who hid themselves
Deep in the woody wilderness, and gave
Their lives to thought and prayer, till they outlived
The generation horn with them, nor seemed
Less aged than the hoary trees and rocks
Around them :--and there have been holy men,
Who deemed it were not well to pass life thuş.
But let me often to these solitudes
Retire, and, in thy presence, reassure
My feeble virtue. Here its enemies,
The passions, at thy plainer footsteps shrink,
And tremble, and are still. O God! when Thou
Dost scare the world with tempests, set on fire
The heavens with falling thunderbolts, or fill
With all the waters of the firmament
The swift, dark whirlwind, that uproots the woods,
And drowns the villages; when, at Thy call,
Uprises the great Deep, and throws himself
Upon the continent, and overwhelms
Its cities ;—who forgets not, at the sight
Of these tremendous tokens of Thy power,
His pride, and lays his strifes and follies by ?
Oh, from these sterner aspects of Thy face,
Spare me and mine: nor let us need the wrath
Of the mad, unchained elements to teach
Who rules them. Be it ours to meditate,
In these calm shades, Thy milder majesty,
And, to the beautiful order of Thy works,
Learn to conform the order of our lives.
'Tis night! Oh now come forth to gaze
Upon the heavens, intense and bright! Look on yon myriad worlds, and say, Though beauty dwelleth with the day
Is not God manifest by night?
Thou that created'st all! Thou fountain
Of our sun's light-who dwellest far
From man, beyond the farthest star,
Yet, ever present; who dost heed
Our spirits in their human need,
We bless Thee, Father, that we are !
We bless Thee for our inward life;
For its immortal date decreeing; For that which comprehendeth Thee, A spark of Thy divinity,
Which is the being of our being !
We bless Thee for this bounteous earth;
For its increase-for corn and wine ;
For forest-oaks, for mountain rills,
For “cattle on a thousand hills ;'
We bless Thee-for all good is Thine!
The earth is Thine, and it Thou keepest,
That man may labour not in vain; Thou giv'st the grass, the grain, the tree, Seed-time and harvest come from Thee,
The early and the latter rain!
The earth is Thine—the summer earth;
Fresh with the dews, with sunshine bright; With golden clouds in evening hours, With singing birds and balmy flowers,
Creatures of beauty and delight.
The earth is thine-the teeming earth;
In the rich bounteous time of seed, When man goes forth in joy to reap, And gathers up his garnered heap,
Against the time of storm and need.
The earth is thine--when days are dim,
And leafless stands the stately tree; When from the north the fierce winds blow, When falleth fast the mantling snow;
The earth pertaineth still to thee!
The earth is thinethy creature, man!
Thine are all worlds, all suns that shine • Darkness and light, and life and death; Whate'er all space inhabiteth
Creator! Father! all are thine!