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A frequent similar effect argueth a constant cause :
Yet who hath counted the links that bind an omen to its issue?
Who hath expounded the law that rendereth calamities gregarious,
Pressing down with yet more woes the heavy-laden mourner ?
Who knoweth wherefore a monsoon should swell the sails of the prosper-
Blithely speeding on their course the children of good luck ?
Who hath companioned a vision from the horn or ivory gate; ()
Or met an other's mind in his, and explained its presence ?
There is a secret somewhat in antipathies ; and love is more than fancy ;
Yea, and a palpable notice warneth of an instant danger;
For the soul hath its feelers, cobwebs floating on the wind,
That catch events in their approach with sure and apt presentiment,
So that some halo of attraction heraldeth a coming friend.
Investing, in his likeness, the stranger that passed on before;
And while the word is in thy mouth, behold thy word fulfilled,
And he of whom we spake can answer for himself.
O man, little hast thou learnt of truth in things most true,
How therefore shall thy blindness wot of truth in things most false ?
Thou hast not yet perceived the causes of life or motion ;
How then canst thou define the subtle sympathies of mind ?
For the spirit, sharpest and strongest when disease hath rent the body,
Hath welcomed kindred spirits in nightly visitations,
Or learnt from restless ghosts dark secrets of the living,
And helped slow justice to her prey by the dreadful teaching of a dream.
Verily, there is nothing so true, that the damps of error have not warp
Verily, there is nothing so false, that a sparkle of truth is not in it.
For the enemy, the father of lies, the giant Upas of creation,
Whose deadly shade hath blasted this once green garden of the Lord,
Can but pervert the good, but may not create the evil;
He destroyeth, but cannot build; for he is not antagonist deity :
Mighty in his stolen power, yet is he a creature and a subject;
Not a maker of abstract wrong, but a spoiler of concrete right:
The fiend hath not a royal crown; he is but a prowling robber,
Suffered, for some mysterious end, to haunt the King's highway;
And the keen sword he beareth, once was a simple ploughshare ;
Yea, and his panoply of error is but a distortion of the truth :
The sickle that once reaped righteousness, beaten from its useful curve,
With axe, and spike, and bar, headeth the marauder's halbert.
Seek not further, O man, to solve the dark riddle of sin ;
Suffice it, that thine own bad heart is to thee thine origin of evil.
Thou hast seen many sorrows, travel-stained pilgrim of the world,
But that which hath vexed thee most, hath been the looking for evil ;
And though calamities have crossed thee, and misery been heaped on thy
Yet ills that never happened, have chiefly made thee wretched.
The sting of pain and the edge of pleasure are blunted by long expectation.
For the gall and the balm alike are diluted in the waters of patience:
And often thou sippest sweetness, ere the cup is dashed from thy lip;
Or drainest the gall of fear, while evil is passing by thy dwelling.
A man too careful of danger liveth in continual torment;
But a cheerful expecter of the best hath a fountain of joy within him:
Yea, though the breath of disappointment should chill the sanguine heart,
Speedily gloweth it again, warmed by the live embers of hope ;
Though the black and heavy surge close above the head for a moment,
Yet the happy buoyancy of Confidence riseth superior to Despair.
Verily, evils may be courted, may be wooed and won by distrust;
For the wise Physician of our weal loveth not an unbelieving spirit ;
And to those giveth he good, who rely on his hand for good;
And those leaveth he to evil, who fear, but trust him not.
Ask for good, and hope it; for the ocean of good is fathomless;
Ask for good, and have it; for thy Friend would see thee happy:
But to the timid heart, to the child of unbelief and dread,
That leaneth on his own weak staff, and trusteth the sight of his eyes,
The evil he feared shall come, for the soil is ready for the seed;
And suspicion hath coldly put aside the hand that was ready to help him ;
Therefore look up, sad spirit, be strong, thou coward heart,
Or fear will make thee wretched, though evil follow not behind:
Cease to anticipate misfortune,—there are still many chances of escape ;
But if it come, be courageous; face it, and conquer thy calamity.
There is not an enemy so stout as to storm and take the fortress of the
Unless its infirmity turn traitor, and Fear unbar the gates.
The valiant standeth as a rock, and the billows break upon him ;
The timorous is a skiff unmoored, tost and mocked at by a ripple ;
The valiant holdeth fast to good, till evil wrench it from him;
The timorous casteth it aside, to meet the worst half
Yet oftentimes is evil but a braggart, that provoketh and will not fight;
Or the feint of a subtle fencer, who measureth his thrust elsewhere:
Or perchance a blessing in a masque, sent to try thy trust,
The precious smiting of a friend, whose frowns are all in love :
Often the storm threateneth, but is driven to other climes,
And the weak hath quailed in fear, while the firm hath been glad in his
THE sea-wort (3) floating on the waves, or rolled up high along the shore,
Ye counted useless and vile, heaping on it names of contempt :
Yet hath it gloriously triumphed, and man been humbled in his ignorance,
For health is in the freshness of its savour, and it cumbereth the beach
Comforting the tossings of pain with its violet-tinctured essence,
And by its humbler ashes enriching many proud.
Be this then a lesson to thy soul, that thou reckon nothing worthless,
Because thou heedest not its use, nor knowest the virtues thereof.
And herein, as thou walkest by the sea, shall weeds be a type and an
earnest Of the stored and uncounted riches lying hid in all creatures of God: There be flowers making glad the desert, and roots fattening the soil, And jewels in the secret deep, scattered among groves of coral, And comforts to crown all wishes, and aids unto every need, Influences yet unthought, and virtues, and many inventions, And uses above and around, which man hath not yet regarded. Not long to charm away disease, hath the crocus (*) yielded up its bulb, Nor the willow lent its bark, nor the nightshade its vanquished poison ;
Not long hath the twisted leaf, the fragrant gift of China,
Nor that nutritious root, the boon of far Peru,
Nor the many-coloured dahlia, nor the gorgeous flaunting cactus,
Nor the multitude of fruits and flowers, ministered to life and luxury;
Even so, there be virtues yet unknown in the wasted foliage of the elm,
In the sun-dried harebell of the downs, and the hyacinth drinking in the
In the sycamore's winged fruit, and the facet-cut cones of the cedar ;
And the pansy and bright geranium live not alone for beauty,
Nor the waxen flower of the arbute, though it dieth in a day,
Nor the sculptured crest of the fir, unseen but by the stars ;
And the meanest weed of the garden serveth unto many uses,
The salt tamarisk, and juicy flag, the freckled orchis, and the daisy.
The world may laugh at famine when forest-trees yield bread,
When acorns give out fragrant drink, (6) and the sap of the linden is as
fatness : For every green herb, from the lotus to the darnel, Is rich with delicate aids to help incurious man.
Still, Mind is up and stirring, and pryeth in the corners of contrivance, Often from the dark recesses picking out bright seeds of truth : Knowledge hath clipped the lightning's wings, and mewed it up for a
purpose, Training to some domestic task the fiery bird of heaven; Tamed is the spirit of the storm, to slave in all peaceful arts, To walk with husbandry and science; to stand in the vanguard against
death: And the chemist balanceth his elements with more than magic skill, Commanding stones that they be bread, and draining sweetness out of
wormwood. Yet man, heedless of a God, counteth up vain reckonings, Fearing to be jostled and starved out, by the too prolific increase of his
And asketh, in unbelieving dread, for how few years to come
Will the black cellars of the world yield unto him fuel for his winter.
Might not the wide-waste sea be pent within narrower bounds ?
Might not the arm of diligence make the tangled wilderness a garden ?
And for aught thou canst tell, there may be a thousand methods
Of comforting thy limbs in warmth, though thou kindle not a spark.
Fear not, son of man, for thyself nor thy seed :—with a multitude is plenty ; God's blessing giveth increase, and with it larger than enough.
Search out the wisdom of nature, there is depth in all her doings;
She seemeth prodigal of power, yet her rules are the maxims of frugality:
The plant refresheth the air, and the earth filtereth the water,
And dews are sucked into the cloud, dropping fatness on the world :
She hath, on a mighty scale, the general use of all things ;
Yet hath she specially for each its microscopic purpose :
There is use in the prisoned air, that swelleth the pods of the laburnum;
Design in the venomed thorns, that sentinel the leaves of the nettle ;
A final cause for the aromatic gum, that congealeth the moss around a rose :
A reason for each blade of grass, that reareth its small spire.
How knoweth discontented man what a train of ills might follow, ,
If the lowest menial of nature knew not her secret office ?
If the thistle never sprang up, to mock the loose husbandry of indolence,
Or the pestilence never swept away an unknown curse from among men ?
Would ye crush the buzzing myriads that float on the breath of the evening?
Would ye trample the creatures of God that people the rotting fruit ?
Would ye suffer no mildew forest to stain the unhealthy wall,
Nor a noisome savour to exhale from the pool that breedeth disease ?
Pain is useful unto man, for it teacheth him to guard his life,
And the fetid vapours of the fen warn him to fly from danger :
And the meditative mind, looking on, winneth good food for its hunger,
Seeing the wholesome root bring forth a poisonous berry;
For otherwhile falleth it out that truth, driven to extremities,
Yieldeth bitter folly as the spoilt fruit of wisdom.
O, blinded is thine eye, if it see not just aptitude in all things ;
O, frozen is thy heart, if it glow not with gratitude for all things :
In the perfect circle of creation not an atom could be spared,
From earth's magnetic zone to the bindweed round a hawthorn.
The sage, and the beetle at his feet, hath each a ministration to perform ;
The brier and the palm have the wages of life, rendering secret service.
Neither it thus one with the definite existences of matter;
But motion and sound, circumstance and quality, yea, all things have their
office. The zephyr playing with an aspen leaf,—the earthquake that rendeth a