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Of nature at the voice divine repair'd
Each to its place, till rosy earth unveil'd
Her fragrant bosom, and the joyful sun
Sprung up the blue serene; by swift degrees
Thus disentangled, his entire design
Emerges. Colours mingle, features join,
And lines converge: the fainter parts retire;
The fairer eminent in light advance;
And every image on its neighbour smiles.
Awhile he stands and with a father's joy
Contemplates. Then with Promethean art,
Into its proper vehicle he breathes

The fair conception; which, embodied thus,
And permanent becomes to eyes or ears
An object ascertain'd: while thus inform'd,
The various organs of his mimic skill,
The consonance of sounds, the featur'd rock,
The shadowy picture and impassion'd verse,
Beyond their proper powers attract the soul
By that expressive semblance, while in sight
Of nature's great original we scan

The lively child of art; while line by line,
And feature after feature we refer

To that sublime exemplar whence it stole
Those animating charms. Thus beauty's palm
Betwixt them wavering hangs: applauding love
Doubts where to choose: and mortal man aspires
To tempt creative praise. As when a cloud
Of gathering hail with limpid crusts of ice
Enclos'd and obvious to the beaming sun,
Collects his large effulgence; straight the heavens
With equal flames present on either hand
The radiant visage: Persia stands at gaze,
Appall'd; and on the brink of Ganges doubts
The snowy vested seer, in Mithra's name,
To which the fragrance of the south shall burn,
To which his warbled orisons ascend.

Such various bliss the well-tun'd heart enjoys,
Favour'd of heaven while, plung'd in sordid cares,
The unfeeling vulgar mocks the boon divine:
And harsh austerity, from whose rebuke
Young love and smiling wonder shrink away

Abash'd and chill of heart, with sager frowns
Condemns the fair enchantment. On my strain,
Perhaps even now, some cold, fastidious judge
Casts a disdainful eye; and calls my toil,
And calls the love and beauty which I sing,
The dream of folly. Thou, grave censor! say,
Is beauty then a dream, because the glooms
Of dulness hang too heavy on thy sense,
To let her shine upon thee? So the man
Whose eye ne'er open'd on the light of heaven,
Might smile with scorn while raptur'd vision tells
Of the gay colour'd radiance flushing bright
O'er all creation. From the wise be far

Such gross

unhallow'd pride; nor needs my song
Descend so low; but rather now unfold,
If human thought could reach, or words unfold
By what mysterious fabric of the mind,
The deep-felt joys and harmony of sound
Result from airy motion; and from shape
The lovely phantoms of sublime and fair.
By what fine ties hath God connected things
When present in the mind, which in themselves
Have no connection? Sure the rising sun
O'er the cerulean convex of the sea,

With equal brightness and with equal warmth
Might roll his fiery orb; nor yet the soul
Thus feel her frame expanded and her powers
Exulting in the splendour she beholds;
Like a young conqueror moving through the
Of some triumphal day. When join'd at eve,
Soft-murmuring streams and gales of gentlest breath
Melodious Philomela's wakeful strain

Attemper, could not man's discerning ear
Through all its tones the sympathy pursue;
Nor yet this breath divine of nameless joy

pomp

Steal through his veins and fan the awaken'd heart,
Mild as the breeze, yet rapturous as the song.
But were not nature still endow'd at large
With all which life requires, though unadorn'd
With such enchantment: wherefore then her form
So exquisitely fair? her breath perfum'd

With such ethereal sweetness? whence her voiee

Inform'd at will to raise or to depress

The impassion'd soul? and whence the robes of light
Which thus invest her with more lovely pomp

Than fancy can describe? Whence but from thee,
O source divine of ever-flowing love,

And thy unmeasur'd goodness? Not content
With every food of life to nourish man,
By kind illusions of the wondering sense
Thou mak'st all nature beauty to his eye,
Or music to his ear: well pleas'd he scans
The goodly prospect; and with inward smiles
Treads the gay verdure of the painted plain;
Beholds the azure canopy of heaven,
And living lamps that over-arch his head
With more than regal splendour; bends his ears
To the full choir of water, air, and earth;
Nor heeds the pleasing error of his thought,
Nor doubts the painted green or azure arch,
Nor questions more the music's mingling sounds
Than space, or motion, or eternal time;
So sweet he feels their influence to attract
The fixed soul; to brighten the dull glooms
Of care, and make the destin'd road of life
Delightful to his feet. So fables tell,
The adventurous hero, bound on hard exploits,
Beholds with glad surprise, by secret spells
Of some kind sage, the patron of his toils,
A visionary paradise disclos'd

Amid the dubious wild: with streams, and shades,
And airy songs, the enchanted landscape smiles,
Cheers his long labours and renews his frame.
What then is taste, but these internal powers
Active, and strong, and feelingly alive
To each fine impulse? a discerning sense
Of decent and sublime, with quick disgust
From things deform'd, or disarrang'd, or gross
In species? This, nor gems, nor stores of gold,
Nor purple state, nor culture can bestow;
But God alone when first his active hand
Imprints the secret bias of the soul.
He, mighty parent! wise and just in all,
Free as the vital breeze or light of heaven,

Reveals the charms of nature.

Ask the swain

Who journeys homeward from a summer day's
Long labour, why, forgetful of his toils

And due repose, he loiters to behold

The sun-shine gleaming as through amber clouds,
O'er all the western sky; full soon, I ween,
His rude expression and untutor❜d airs,
Beyond the power of language, will unfold

The form of beauty smiling at his heart,

How lovely! how commanding! But though heaven
In every breast hath sown these early seeds
Of love and admiration, yet in vain,
Without fair culture's kind parental aid,
Without enlivening suns, and genial showers,
And shelter from the blast, in vain we hope
The tender plant should rear its blooming head,
Or yield the harvest promis'd in its spring.
Nor yet will every soil with equal stores
Repay the tiller's labour; or attend
His will, obsequious, whether to produce
The olive or the laurel. Different minds
Incline to different objects: one pursues
The vast alone, the wonderful, the wild;
Another sighs for harmony, and grace,

And gentlest beauty. Hence when lightning fires
The arch of heaven, and thunders rock the ground,
When furious whirlwinds rend the howling air,
And ocean groaning from its lowest bed,
Heaves his tempestuous billows to the sky;
Amid the mighty uproar, while below
The nations tremble, Shakspeare looks abroad
From some high cliff, superior, and enjoys
The elemental war. But Waller longs,
All on the margin of some flowery stream
To spread his careless limbs amid the cool
Of plantane shades, and to the listening deer
The tale of slighted vows and love's disdain
Resound soft-warbling all the live-long day:
Consenting Zephyr sighs; the weeping rill
Joins in his plaint, melodious; mute the groves;
And hill and dale with all their echoes mourn.
Such and so various are the tastes of men.

Oh! blest of heaven, whom not the languid songs Of luxury, the Syren! not the bribes

Of sordid wealth, nor all the gaudy spoils
Of pageant honour can seduce to leave

Those ever-blooming sweets, which from the store
Of nature fair imagination culls

To charm the enliven'd soul! What though not all
Of mortal offspring can attain the heights
Of envied life; though only few possess
Patrician treasures or imperial state;
Yet nature's care, to all her children` just,
With richer treasures and an ampler state,
Endows at large whatever happy man

Will deign to use them. His the city's pomp,
The rural honours his. Whate'er adorns

The princely dome, the column and the arch,
The breathing marbles and the sculptur'd gold,
Beyond the proud possessor's narrow claim
His tuneful breast enjoys. For him, the spring
Distils her dews, and from the silken gem
Its lucid leaves unfolds: for him, the hand
Of autumn tinges every fertile branch
With blooming gold and blushes like the morn.
Each passing hour sheds tribute from her wings;
And still new beauties meet his lonely walk,
And loves unfelt attract him. Not a breeze
Flies o'er the meadow, not a cloud imbibes
The setting sun's effulgence, not a strain
From all the tenants of the warbling shade
Ascends, but whence his bosom can partake
Fresh pleasure unreprov'd. Nor thence partakes
Fresh pleasure only for the attentive mind,
By this harmonious action on her powers
Becomes herself harmonious: wont so oft
In outward things to meditate the charm
Of sacred order, soon she seeks at home
To find a kindred order, to exert
Within herself this elegance of love,

This fair inspir'd delight: her temper'd powers
Refine at length, and every passion wears
A chaster, milder, more attractive mien.
But if to ampler prospects, if to gaze

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