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So lovely and so great as when the call
Of cursed ambition ceased in Xerxes' breast,
And from the social eye Compassion pour'd
The tender flood of heart-ennobling tears?

Thus the chief scenes of nature view'd apart,
Which with a just similitude affect
The' attentive mind, now through the tuneful whole
Let the swift wing of Fancy bear us on
Beyond the ken of knowledge, where, unseen
To us inhabitants of this small spot,
Ten thousand worlds in regions unconfined,
Progressive and obedient to the source
Of light eternal, gild the vast expanse :
Or, should we stop the' aspiring flight to view,
Led by the hand of Science and of Truth,
Where in the midst the glorious sun expands
His flame, and with perennial beams supplies
The distant planets as they roll around;
What Harmony divine for ever reigns!
How these in tuneful order' through the void
Their different stations keep, their powers distinct
Observe, and in each other's friendly sphere
Their kindest influence blend, till all unite
To form the plan of the all-ruling Mind,
And, through the whole, celestial bliss diffuse!
Hence let the worse than atheist, the fond fool
Who falsely dotes in Superstition's gloom,

4 The superiority of moral beauty to natural has been universally allowed by all authors both ancient and modern. And that sentence of Seneca's may be understood figuratively: Nullum ornamentum principis fastigio dignius pulchriusque est, quam illa corona ob cives servatos. Senec. de Clem. lib. i.

5 Vide Sir Isaac Newton, book iii. p. 345.

And blindfold led by easy Faith, denies
The guide of Reason, obstinately bent.
To seek the cause of universal good
And source of beauty in the demon's cave,
And, shuddering, fancies he at distance hears
The howls of ghosts, created to endure
Eternal torments; let this impious wretch
Look round this fair creation, where, impell'd
By that great Author, every atom tends
To universal Harmony; where Joy,
As with a parent's fondness, to behold
Her own soft image in her child impress'd,
Smiles on the beauteous offspring, and illumes
Responsive signs of pleasure; like the beams
Of Titan sporting on the lucid waves
Whence Venus rose of old: let him then say,
If Nature meant this goodly frame to cheat
Deluded mortals? Did an idiot's scheme
Upraise this wondrous fabric? Say, was man
Forth from the dark abyss of chaos call'd
In vain to breathe celestial air, in vain
To view the bloom of beauty, not to feel
The' effect divine soft thrilling through his soul,
And wakening every power which sleeps within
To gaze amazement? Did the Lord of all
Attune our finer organs to the charms
Of things external, only to ensnare

This image of himself? To the tuneful breast
Of virtuous Wisdom, such discordant thoughts
Are far excluded; other themes employ
The studious sage's hours; his kindred soul
Triumphs on Contemplation's eagle wings
Through yon etherial plains, where distant worlds
Roll through the vast abyss: there unconfined

Pursues the fiery tract where comets glow;
Or in the sable bosom of the night,
Sweeps headlong to o'ertake the rapid flight
Of exhalations, from ideal stars

Shot wildly down; nor 'sdains he to behold
In Nature's humbler walks the sweet recess,
Where Beauty on the splendid rose exults
As conscious of her form, or mildly veils
Her maiden blushes in the chaster pink,
Or on the margin of the crystal brook
In soft narcissus blows. For him the choir
Of feather'd songsters breathe their vernal airs;
For him the stillness of the' autumnal grove
In pleasing sadness reigns; for him the sheaf
Of Ceres spreads its yellow pride; the horn
Of ripe Pomona pours its offerings forth;
Winter presents his free domestic bowl
Of social joy; and Spring's Elysian bloom,
Whilst Flora wantons in her Zephyr's arms,
Invites the Graces forth to join the Hours
In festive dance. His tasteful mind enjoys
Alike the complicated charms, which glow
Through the wide landscape, where enamel'd
Unfruitful rocks, brown woods, and glittering
The daisy-laughing lawns, the verdant plains,
And hanging mountains, strike at once the sight
With varied pleasure; as the' abstracted ray,
Which soft effuses from Eudocia's eye
The opening dawn of love. He looks through all
The plan of Nature with congenial love,
Where the great social link of mutual aid
Through every being twines: where all conspire
To form one system of eternal good,

Of harmony and bliss, in forms distinct,
Of natures various as the' effulgent sun,
Which pours abroad the mighty flood of day,
To the pale glowworm in the midnight shade.

From these sweet meditations on the charms
Of things external; on the genuine forms
Which blossom in creation; on the scene
Where mimic Art with emulative hue
Usurps the throne of Nature unreproved;
Or the just concord of mellifluent sounds;
The soul, and all the intellectual train
Of fond desires, gay hopes, or threatening fears,
Through this habitual intercourse of sense
Is harmonized within, till all is fair

And perfect; till each moral power perceives
Its own resemblance with fraternal joy,
In every form complete, and smiling feels
Beauty and good the same. Thus the first man,
Fresh from creation rising, in the flood
A godlike image saw; with fix'd amaze
He gazed; the' attentive figure from below
Gazed with responsive wonder: did he smile?
The shadowy features dimpled in the waves
Not less delighted; till at length he found
From his own form the external object flow'd,
And moved to his its correspondent charms.

6 See Plato's Dialogues, Xenophon's Memorabilia, &c. whom the ingenious author of the Traité du Beau follows. Si la félicité des hommes est nécessairement liée avec la pratique de la vertu, il faut reconnoître que la vertu est essentiellement belle, puisque le beau consiste dans le rapport des choses avec notre destination.


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An Elegy.



aspice vultus

Ecce meos: utinamque oculos in pectore posses
Inserere, et patrias intus dependere curas.


DEEP in a grove by cypress shaded,
Where midday sun had seldom shone,
Or noise the solemn scene invaded,
Save some afflicted Muse's moan;

A swain, towards full-aged manhood wending,
Sat sorrowing at the close of day;
At whose fond side a boy attending

Lisp'd half his father's cares away.
The father's eye no object wrested,

But on the smiling prattler hung,
Till, what his throbbing heart suggested,
These accents trembled from his tongue-

My youth's first hope, my manhood's treasure, My prattling innocent, attend,

Nor fear rebuke or sour displeasure:

A father's loveliest name is friend.

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