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I PRAISED the earth in beauty seen,
With garlands gay of various green;
I praised the sea whose ample field
Shone glorious as a silver shield;
And earth and ocean seem'd to say,
"Our beauties are but for a day."
I praised the sun whose chariot roll'd
On wheels of amber and of gold;
I praised the moon whose softer eye
Gleam'd sweetly through the summer sky;
And moon and sun in answer said,
"Our days of light are numbered."
O God, O good beyond compare!
If thus Thy meaner works are fair;
If thus Thy bounties gild the span
Of ruin'd earth and sinful man;
How glorious must the mansion be
Where Thy redeem'd shall dwell with Thee!
HYMN BEFORE SUNRISE IN THE VALE OF
HAST thou a charm to stay the morning-star
In his steep course? So long he seems to pause
On thy bald, awful head, O sovran Blanc !
The Arve and Arveiron at thy base
Rave ceaselessly; but thou, most awful Form!
Risest from forth thy silent sea of pines,
How silently! Around thee and above,
Deep is the air and dark, substantial, black,
An ebon mass; methinks thou piercest it,
As with a wedge! But when I look again,
It is thine own calm home, thy crystal shrine,
Thy habitation from eternity!
O dread and silent Mount! I gazed upon thee,
Till thou, still present to the bodily sense,
Didst vanish from my thought; entranced in prayer,
I worshipp'd the Invisible alone.
Yet, like some sweet beguiling melody,
So sweet, we know not we are listening to it,
Thou, the mean while, wast blending with my thought,
Yea, with my life and life's own secret joy,
Till the dilating Soul, enrapt, transfused
Into the mighty vision passing-there,
As in her natural form swell'd vast to heaven!
Awake, my soul! not only passive praise
HYMN BEFORE SUNRISE IN CHAMOUNI.
Thou owest! not alone these swelling tears,
Mute thanks, and secret ecstasy! Awake,
Voice of sweet song! Awake, my heart, awake!
Green vales and icy cliffs, all join my hymn!
Ye ice-falls! ye that from the mountain's brow
Adown enormous ravines slope amain—
Torrents, methinks, that heard a mighty voice,
And stopp'd at once amid their maddest plunge!
Motionless torrents! silent cataracts!
Who made you glorious as the gates of heaven
Beneath the keen, full moon? Who bade the sun
Clothe you with rainbows? Who with living flowers
Of loveliest hue spread garlands at your feet!
God! let the torrents, like a shout of nations,
Answer! and let the ice-plains echo, God!
God! sing, ye meadow-streams, with gladsome voice!
Ye pine-groves, with your soft and soul-like sounds!
And they, too, have a voice, yon piles of snow,
And in their perilous fall shall thunder, God!
Ye living flowers that skirt th' eternal frost!
Ye wild goats sporting round the eagle's nest !
Ye eagles, playmates of the mountain-storm!
Ye lightnings, the dread arrows of the clouds!
Ye signs and wonders of the element !
Utter forth, God! and fill the hills with praise!
GOD THE AUTHOR OF NATURE.
A soul in all things, and that soul is God.
The beauties of the wilderness are His,
That make so gay the solitary place,
Where no eyes see them. And the fairer forms
That cultivation glories in are His.
He sets the bright procession on its way,
And marshals all the order of the year;
He marks the bounds which winter may not pass,
And blunts its pointed fury; in its case,
Russet and rude, folds up the tender germ
Uninjured, with inimitable art;
And ere one flowery season fades and dies,
Designs the blooming wonders of the next.
The Lord of all, Himself through all diffused,
Sustains and is the life of all that lives.
Nature is but a name for an effect,
Whose cause is God. One spirit-His,
Who wore the platted thorns with bleeding brows,
Rules universal nature! Not a flower
But shows some touch, in freckle, streak, or stain,
Of his unrivall'd pencil. He inspires
Their balmy odours, and imparts their hues,
And bathes their eyes with nectar, and includes,
In grains as countless as the sea-side sands,
The forms with which He sprinkles all the earth.
Happy who walks with Him! whom what he finds
Of flavour or of scent, in fruit or flower,
Or what he views of beautiful or grand
In Nature, from the broad majestic oak
To the green blade that twinkles in the sun,
Prompts with remembrance of a present God.
ROLL on, ye stars! exult in youthful prime,
Mark with bright curves the printless steps of time;
Near and more near your beamy cars approach,
And lessening orbs on lessening orbs encroach;
Flowers of the sky! ye, too, to age must yield,
Frail as your silken sisters of the field!
Star after star from heaven's high arch shall rush,
Suns sink on suns, and systems systems crush,
Headlong, extinct, to one dark centre fall,
And death, and night, and chaos mingle all!
Till o'er the wreck, emerging from the storm,
Immortal nature lifts her changeful form,
Mounts from her funeral pyre on wings of flame,
And soars and shines, another and the same!