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VANITY OF HUMAN GREATNESS.

119

This is no flattery : these are counsellors
That feelingly persuade me what I am.

Sweet are the uses of adversity,
Which like the toad, ugly and venomous,
Wears yet a precious jewel in his head.
And this our life, exempt from public haunt,
Finds tongues in trees, books in the running

brooks, Sermons in stones, and good in every thing.

SHAKSPERE.

VANITY OF HUMAN GREATNESS.

FAREWELL, a long farewell to all my greatness!
This is the state of man : to-day he puts forth
The tender leaves of hope ; to-morrow blossoms,
And bears his blushing honours thick upon him ;
The third day comes a frost, a killing frost ;
And when he thinks, good easy man, full surely
His greatness is a-ripening, nips his root,
And then he falls, as I do. I have ventur'd,
Like little wanton boys that swim on bladders,
This many summers in a sea of glory,
But far beyond my depth : my high-blown pride
At length broke under me; and now hath left me,
Weary and old with service, to the mercy
Of a rude stream, that must for ever hide me.
Vain pomp and glory of the world, I hate ye!
I feel my heart new open’d. Oh, how wretched
Is that poor man that hangs on princes' favours !

120

ADDRESS OF ADAM AND EVE.

There is betwixt that smile that we aspire to,
That sweet aspect of princes, and their ruin,
More pangs and fears than wars or women have :
And when he falls, he falls like Lucifer,
Never to hope again.

SHAKSPERE.

ADDRESS OF ADAM AND EVE TO THE DEITY.

THESE are Thy glorious works, Parent of good!
Almighty, Thine this universal frame,
Thus wond'rous fair,- Thyself how wond'rous,

then !
Unspeakable, who sitt'st above these heavens,
To us invisible, or dimly seen
In these Thy lowest works; yet these declare
Thy goodness beyond thought, and power divine.
Speak ye who best can tell, ye sons of light,
Angels; for ye behold Him, and with songs
And choral symphonies, day without night,
Circle His throne rejoicing. Ye in heaven,
On earth, join, all ye creatures, to extol
Him first, Him last, Him midst, and without end.
Fairest of stars, last in the train of night,
If better thou belong not to the dawn,
Sure pledge of day, that crown'st the smiling

morn

With thy bright circlet, praise Him in thy sphere,
While day arises, that sweet hour of prime.
Thou sun, of this great wor!) both eye and soul,

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Oh, for a deathless song to meet

The soul's desire—a lay,
That, when a thousand years are told,

Should praise thee, genial power!
Through summer heat, autumnal cold,

And winter's dreariest hour.
Earth, sea, thy presence feel—nor less

(If yon ethereal blue
With its soft smile the truth express)

The heavens have felt it too. The inmost heart of man, if glad,

Partakes a livelier cheer ; And eyes

that cannot but be sad Let fall a brighten'd tear. Since thy return, through days and weeks

Of hope that grew by stealth,
How many wan and faded cheeks

Have kindled into health !
The old, by thee revived, have said,

“ Another year is ours ;"
And way-worn wanderers, poorly fed,

Have smiled upon thy flowers.
Who tripping lisps a merry song

Amid his playful peers ?
The tender infant, who was long

A prisoner of fond fears ;
But now, when every sharp-edged blast

Is quiet in its sheath,
His mother leaves him free to taste

Earth's sweetness in thy breath.

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Thy help is with the weed that creeps

Along the humblest ground;
No cliff so bare but on its steeps

Thy favours may be found;
But most on some peculiar nook

That our own hands have drest,
Thou and thy train are proud to look,

And seem to love it best.
And yet how pleased we wander forth

When May is whispering, “Come!
Choose from the bowers of virgin earth

The happiest for your home;
Heaven's bounteous love through me is spread

From sunshine, clouds, winds, waves,-
Drops on the mouldering turret's head,

And on your turf-clad graves.”

WORDSWORTH.

ADVERSITY.

Hath not old custom made this life more sweet
Than that of painted pomp? Are not these woods
More free from peril than the envious court?
Here feel we but the penalty of Adam,-
The seasons' difference ; as the icy fang
And churlish chiding of the winter's wind,
Which when it bites and blows upon my body,
E'en till I shrink with cold, I smile, and say,

ADDRESS OF ADAM AND EVE.

121

Acknowledge Him the greater, sound His praise In thy eternal course, both when thou climb'st, And when high noon hast gain'd, and when thou

fall’st. Moon, that now meet’st the orient sun, now fly’st; With the fix'd stars, fix'd in their orb that flies ; And ye five other wand’ring fires, that move In mystic dance, not without

song

resound His praise, who out of darkness call’d up light. Air and ye elements, the eldest birth Of nature's womb, that in quaternion run Perpetual circle, multiform, and mix And nourish all things, let your ceaseless change Vary to our great Maker still new praise. Ye mists and exhalations, that now rise From hill or steaming lake, dusky or grey, Till the sun paint your fleecy skirts with gold, In honour to the woods' great Author rise, Whether to deck with clouds the uncolour'd sky, Or wet the thirsty earth with falling showers ; Rising or falling, still advance His praise. His praise, ye winds, that from four quarters

blow, Breathe soft or loud; and wave your tops, ye

pines, With ev'ry plant, in sign of worship wave. Fountains, and ye that warble as ye flow, Melodious murmurs warbling, tune His praise. Join voices all, ye living souls; ye birds, That singing up to heaven's gate ascend, Bear on your wings and in your notes His praise ;

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