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Where seeds of love and truth might grow,
And flowers of generous virtue blow;
To plant, to watch, to water there,
This be our duty-be our care!
And sweet it is the growth to trace
Of worth, of intellect, of grace,
In bosoms where our labours first
Did the young seed of spring-time burst;
And lead it on, from hour to hour,
To ripen into perfect flower.
Hast thou e'er seen a garden clad
In all the robes that Eden had ?-
Or vale o'erspread with streams and trees,-
A paradise of mysteries !
Plains, with green hills adorning them,
Like jewels in a diadem ?
These gardens, vales, and plains and hills,
Which beauty gilds, and music fills,
Were once but deserts-culture's hand
Has scatter'd verdure o'er the land :
And smiles and fragrance rule, serene,
Where barren wilds usurp'd the scene.
And such is Man! a soil which breeds
Or sweetest flowers, or vilest weeds :
Flowers lovely as the morning's light-
Weeds deadly as the aconite ;
Just as his heart is train'd to bear
The poisonous weed, or floweret fair.
Flow, then, pure Knowledge! ever flow!
Change nature's face in man below ;
A paradise once more disclose-
Make deserts bloom with Sharon's rose;
And, through a Saviour's blood, once shed,
Raise his forlorn and drooping head.
DWELLER in heaven and Ruler below,
Fain would I know thee, yet tremble to know.
How can a mortal deem how it
be That being can never be absent from thee? Is it true that thou saw'st me before I was born ? Is it true that thou knew’stme ere I knew the morn? That nature must live in the light of thine eye ?This knowledge for me is too great and too high!
That fly I to noon-day, or fly I to night,
To shroud me in darkness, or bathe me in light,
The light and the darkness to thee are the same,
And still in thy presence of wonder I am !
Should I, with the dove, to the desert repair,
Or dwell with the eagle in clough of the air,
In the desert afar, on the mountain's wild brink,
From the eye of Omnipotence still I must shrink.
Or mount I on wings of the morning away,
To caves of the ocean unseen by the day,
And hide in the uttermost parts of the sea,
Even there to be living and moving in thee?
Nay, scale I the clouds, in the heavens to dwell,
Or make I my bed in the shadows of hell ;
Can science expound, or humanity frame,
That still thou art present, and still art the same.
Yes ! present for ever! Almighty ! alone,
Great Author of nature, unbounded, unknown !
What mind can embody thy presence divine ?
I know not my own being ! how can I thine ?
Then humbly and low in the dust let me bend,
And adore what on earth I can ne'er comprehend;
The mountains may melt, and the elements flee,
Yet a universe still be rejoicing in thee!
This pretty bird, oh ! how she flies and sings !
But could she do so if she had not wings?
Her wings bespeak my faith, her songs my peace :
When I believe and sing, my doubtings cease.
DEPENDENCE ON DIVINE PROVIDENCE.
When my breast labours with oppressive care,
And o'er my cheek descends the falling tear;
While all my warring passions are at strife,
Oh, let me listen to the words of life!
Raptures deep-felt his doctrines did impart,
And thus he raised from earth the drooping heart.
Think not, when all your scanty stores afford Is spread at once upon the sparing board ; Think not, when worn the homely robe appears, While on the roof the howling tempest bears, What farther shall this feeble life sustain, And what shall clothe these shivering limbs again. Say, does not life its nourishment exceed ? And the fair body its investing weed?
Behold! and look away your low despair,See the light tenants of the barren air : To them nor stores, nor granaries belong ; Nought but the woodland and the pleasing song: Yet your kind, Heavenly Father bends his eye On the least wing that flits along the sky. To him they sing, when spring renews the plain, To him they cry, in winter's pinching reign; Nor is their music nor their plaint in vain : He hears the gay and the distressful call, And with unsparing bounty fills them all.
Observe the rising lily's snowy grace, Observe the various vegetable race ; They neither toil nor spin, but careless grow; Yet, see how warm they blush, how bright they glow. What regal vestments can with them compare, What king so shining, or what queen so fair ?