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THE MECHANISM OF MAN.
"I am fearfully and wonderfully made."-Psalm
cxxxix. v. 14.
FOND atheist! could a giddy dance
Of atoms blindly hurled
Produce so regular, so fair,
So harmonized a world?
Why do not Lybia's driving sands,
A palace here, the child of chance,
Or there a temple form?
Presumptuous wretch! thyself survey;
That lesser fabric scan;
Tell me, from whence the immortal dust,
The God, the reptile man?
Where wast thou, when the embryo earth
From chaos burst its way,
When stars exulting sang the morn,
And hailed the new-born day?
What fingers brace the tender nerves,
The twisting fibres spin?
Who clothes in flesh the hardening bone,
And weaves the silken skin?
How came the brain and beating heart,
Life's more immediate throne,
(Where fatal every touch) to dwell
Immailed in solid bone?
Who taught the wandering tides of blood
To leave the vital urn,
Visit each limb in purple streams,
And faithfully return?
How know the nerves to hear the will,
The heavy limbs to wield?
The tongue ten thousand tastes discern,
Ten thousand accents yield?
How know the lungs to heave and pant?
Or how the fringed lid
To guard the fearful eye, or brush
The sullied ball unbid?
The delicate, the winding ear
To image every sound,
eye to catch the pleasing view, And tell the senses round?
Who bids the babe, new launched in life,
The milky draught arrest,
And with its eager fingers press
The nectar-streaming breast?
Who with a love too big for words
The mother's bosom warms,
Along the rugged paths of life
To bear it in her arms?
A GOD! a GOD! creation shouts,
A GOD each insect cries;
He moulded in His palm the earth,
And hung it in the skies.
"Let us make man (O voice divine)
"And stamp a God on clay,
"To govern nature's humbler births,
"To bear an earthly sway."
He said with strength and beauty clad,
Young health in every vein,
With thought enthroned upon his brow,
Walked forth majestic MAN.
Around he turns his wandering eyes,
All nature's works surveys,
Admires the earth, the skies, himself,
And tunes his tongue to praise.
TO THE AGED.
THOU art growing old, thy head is grey,
Life, like a spectre, glides away;
The evening shades are gathering fast,
Thy fleeting day will soon be past!
Then on the verge of life's decline,
Be solemn recollection thine!
Review the hours for ever gone;
The hour of death comes hast'ning on.
Ah! has improvement, Conscience say, Kept pace with life's advancing day? Have all the hours thou hast enjoy'd To the best purpose been employ'd?
How much has pass'd in airy dreams,
In idle visionary schemes?
But, though this time was spent amiss,
How much was spent much worse than this?
Has not thy breast with anger
And ill for ill how oft return'd?
Nay, hast thou not misunderstood,
And evil oft return'd for good!
Hast thou been thankful to that
Which sav'd thy life in danger's hour?
With blessings who has crown'd thy days?—
Say, what returns of grateful praise?
When He chastis'd thee, hast thou, then,
Submissive to His chastening been?
Say, didst thou not aloud repine
When Heav'n has cross'd some fond design?
Or, if thy speech has been restrain'd,
'Has not a secret murm'ring pain'd?
Has envy ne'er thy breast annoy'd,
At good which others have enjoy'd?
Hast thou, according to thy store,
Been liberal always to the poor?
And didst thou sympathetic grieve,
O'er ills which thou could'st not relieve?
Hast thou been kind to all thy friends,
Not seeking merely selfish ends?
And hast thou from thy early youth
Adher'd to plain and simple truth?
Were all thy dealings strictly just,
And faithful always to thy trust ?
Have those who watch'd thee never foun.
Thy footsteps on forbidden ground?
Hast thou been thankful for that light,
Which Heav'n has shed o'er nature's night?
Hast thou the Gospel rightly prized,
And ne'er its sacred truths despised?
Say, hast thou kept thy heart from sin?
Has all been pure and right within?
Didst thou in secret always be
As seeing Him who seeth thee?
The past review'd with solemn care,
Will call for penitence, and prayer
To Him alone who can forgive,
And bid the penitent to live.
WHILE from the busy haunts of men I rove,
Their folly, noise, and riot leave behind,
And wander far among the scenes I love,
Do thou enlighten and expand my mind.
What worlds on worlds unnumber'd round me roll
Their glorious orbs, and speak their Maker's
How great, magnificent, sublime the whole!
Then in my breast devotion's altar raise.›.