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O'er rocks and woods, in broad brown cataracts,
A thousand snow-fed torrents shoot at once ;
And, where they rush, the wide-resounding plain
Is left one slimy waste. Those sullen seas,
That washed the ungenial pole, will rest no more
Beneath the shackles of the mighty north ;
But, rousing all their waves, resistless heave. 1000 :
And hark! the lengthening roar continuous runs
Athwart the rifted deep : at once it bursts,
And piles a thousand mountains to the clouds.
Il fares the bark with trembling wretches charged,
That, tossed amid the floating fragments, moors 1005
Beneath the shelter of an icy isle,
While night o'erwhelms the sea, and horror looks
More horrible. Can human force endure
The assembled mischiefs that besiege them round?
Heart-gnawing hunger, fainting weariness, 1010
The roar of winds and waves, the crush of ice,
Now ceasing, now renewed with louder rage,
And in dire echoes bellowing round the main.
More to embroil the deep, Leviathan
And his unwieldly train, in dreadful sport,
Tempest the loosened brine, while through the gloom,
Far from the bleak inhospitable shore,
Loading the winds, is heard the hungry howl
Of famished monsters, there awaiting wrecks.
Yet Providence, that ever-waking eye,
Looks down with pity on the feeble toil
Of mortals lost to hope, and lights them safe,
Through all this dreary labyrinth of fate.
'Tis done! dread WINTER spreads his latest glooms, And reigns tremendous o'er the conquered year. 1025 How dead the vegetable kingdom lies !
How dumb the tuneful! Horror wide extends
His desolate domain. Behold, fond Man !
See here thy pictured life; pass some few years,
Thy flowering Spring, thy Summer's ardent strength,
Thy sober Antumn fading into age,
1030 And pale concluding Winter comes at last, And shuts the scene.
Ah! whither now are filed, Those dreams of greatness ? 'those unsolid hopes Of happiness ? those longings after fame?
1035 Those restless cares? those busy bustling days ? Those gay-spent, festive nights? those veering thoughts Lost between od and ill, that shared thy life? All now are vanished ! Virtue sole survives, Immortal never-failing friend of Man,
1040 His guide to happiness on high. And see! 'Tis
come, the glorious morn ! the second birth Of heaven and earth ! awakening nature hears The new-creating word, and starts to life, In every heightened form, from pain and death 1045 For ever free. The great eternal scheme, Involving all, and in a perfect whole Uniting, as the prospect wider spreads, To reason's eye refined clears up apace. Ye vainly wise! ye blind presumptuous ! now, 1050 Confounded in the dust, adore that Power, And Wisdom oft arraigned: see now the cause, Why unassuming worth in secret lived, And died, neglected : why the good Man's share In life was gall and bitterness of soul :
1055 Why the lone widow and her orphans pined In starving solitude ; while Luxury In palaces, lay straining her low thought,
To form unreal wants ; why heaven-born Truth,
And Moderation fair, wore the red marks
Of Superstition's scourge': why licensed Pain,
That cruel spoiler, that embosomed foc,
Imbittered all our bliss. Ye good distressed !
Ye noble few! who here unbending stand
Beneath life's pressure, yet bear up awhile,
And what your bounded view, which only saw
A little part, deemed Evil, is no more :
The storms of Wintry Time will quickly pass,
And one unbounded Spring encircle all.
THESE, as they change, ALMIGHTY FATHER, these Are but the varied Gop. The rolling year Is full of thee. Forth in the pleasing Spring Thy beauty walks, thy tenderness and love. Wide flush the fields ; the softening air is balm ; Echo the mountains round ; the forest smiles; And every sense, and every heart is joy. Then comes thy glory in the Summer months, With light and heat refulgent. Then thy sun Shoots full perfection thro' the swelling year :
10 And oft thy voice in dreadful thunder speaks ; And oft at dawn, deep noon, or falling eve, By brooks and groves, in hollow-whispering gales. Thy bounty shines in Autumn unconfined, And spreads a common feast for all that lives.
In Winter awful Thou ! with clouds and storms
Around Thee thrown, tempest o'er tempest rolled,
Majestic darkness ! on the whirlwind's wing,
Riding sublime, Thou bidst the world adore,
And humblest Nature with thy northern blast.
Mysterious round! what skill, what force divine,
Deep felt, in these appear ! a simple train,
Yet so delightful mixt, with such kind art,
Such beauty and beneficence combined ;
Shade, unperceived, so softening into shade ;
And all so forming an harmonious whole ;
That, as they still succeed, they ravish still.
But wandering oft, with brute unconscious gaze,
Man marks not Thee, marks not the mighty hand,
That, ever-busy, wheels the silent spheres ;
Works in the secret deep ; shoots, steaming, thence
The fair profusion that o'erspreads the Spring;
Flings from the sun direct the flaming day ;
Feeds every creature ; hurls the tempest forth ;
And, as on earth this grateful change revolves, 35
With transport touches all the springs of life.
Nature, attend ! join every living soul,
Beneath the spacious temple of the sky,
In adoration join ; and, ardent, raise
One general song! To Him, ye vocal gales,
Breathe soft, whose Spirit in your freshness breathes :
Oh talk of Him in solitary glooms !
Where, o'er the rock, the scarcely waving pine
Fills the brown shade with a religious awe.
And ye, whose bolder note is heard afar,
Who shake the astonished world, lift high to heaven
The impetuous song, and say from whom you rage :
His praise, 'ye brooks, attune, ye trembling rills;
And let me catch it as I muse along.
Ye headlong torrents, rapid and profound ;
Ye softer floods, that lead the humid maze
Along the vale ; and thou, majestic main,
A secret world of wonders in thyself!
Sound His stupendous praise ; whose greater voice
Or bids you roar, or bids your roarings fall,