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Ourselves, our nature, what th' Almighty power
Wills us to be-when past death's awful hour!
Our thoughts are vague when they attempt to pass
Beyond the boundaries of is and was.
How very small must seem, whene'er we think,
In being's endless chain this earthly link!
To-day, and yesterday-these words imply
Life has its constant labours 'till we die.
Then may our souls, upspringing from the dust,
Live with the spirits of the good and just!
Is there a spot of sunshine to be found
In life's dark valley? yes-'tis holy ground!
'Tis where Religion sheds a sober beam,
As fell on Gideon's fleece the blessed stream.
"Bask in the sun of pleasure while you can:
Life's summer soon is fled: then what is man!"
Unapt illusion! as our years increase,
The mind gains strength, the storms of passion cease!
The informing spirit then, that never dies,
Gives promise of those godlike energies
That it will exercise without decay,
In other worlds, when this shall pass away.
Let us then fondly hope that they, whose worth
Rivall'd the virtues of the best on earth,
They, in whose hearts angels rejoiced to find
The fear of God, the love of all mankind,
They whom we loved, for whom, alas! we shed
The fruitless tear, since they to us are dead,
Will live for ever with us in the sight
Of that immortal One who dwells in light,
Throned inaccessible. We learn to brave,
Arm'd with this hope, the terrors of the grave!
This is a beautiful life now! Privacy
The sweetness and the benefit of essence.
I see there's no man but may make his paradise ;
And it is nothing but his love and dotage
Upon the world's foul joys that keeps him out on't.
FLETCHER'S Nice Valour, Act v. Scene 2.
THIS day, that shone most glorious from its birth, Is like a glimpse of Heaven as caught from earth. Here oft in silence have we loved to gaze
On sylvan wonders, far above our praise.
Our thoughts are fresh, as is the early dew
In our life's morn; oh! were they always new,
Earth would be Paradise; but soon they lose
Their freshness, and grow stale by frequent use.
Those varied fancies, that when we are young
Please us, remain through want of art unsung;
When art might teach us duly to express
Their charms, alas! we feel and know them less.
The noblest landscape that e'er bless'd the sight,
Day after day beheld, scarce gives delight.
That which we now mis-name a trifling toy,
Once kindled in our hearts a flame of joy!
As the sky's brilliant hues at close of day
Melt down into an undistinguish'd grey—
Thus the changed mind, its lively colours past
Wears the dull livery of the world at last.
E'en PAMPHILUS, in whose young bosom dwelt
A love of all that's beautiful-who felt
That Nature, ever present where he roved,
Clung closely to his heart, a Nymph beloved!
Now views, unheeding, emerald vales and floods,
And in repose magnificent, the woods.
Yet better this than an o'eracted zeal
For rural beauties which you do not feel.
URBANUS is in raptures when he sees,
Since rudeness is a crime, his Patron's trees;
URBANUS deems not what he sees divine;
But 'tis polite to shout at times "How fine!"
This feign'd enthusiast with his words may cheat
The vain possessor of a country-seat!
But has URBANUS view'd the clouds that flush
Around a summer's sky, the morning's blush;
And felt, when quite alone, the deep, deep sense
Of beauty inexpress'd, not less intense
When all sensations of delight are thrown
Into a heavenward gratitude alone?
Pleasures like this are passionless, and give
A lesson to us for what ends we live :
They show the soul's high origin, though worn
By care, and oh! predict that glorious morn,
When life, and light, and love, the trinal beam,
Shall flow upon the good in endless stream!
A lute, a gentle voice, or summer skies,
All in their turn wake kindred sympathies;
Though few, like SYLVIUS, love to waste their hours
Courting romantic thoughts in tangled bowers,
'Till loathing social duties, he misdeems
Himself a spirit in a world of dreams.
Yet will meek evening to the coldest heart
A sober glow of happiness impart ;
Sweet promise this of pleasures yet to come,
Showing that earth is not our proper home.
This nature teaches to that being call'd
"Man of the world," or man by art enthrall'd,
With the thin gloss of fashion smoothing o'er
His real character, like thousands more!
So mild, his manners are to all the same;
Stranger or Friend alike attention claim.
Now FLAVIUS lingers in the town alone;
The pride and of which, alas, are gone!