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Or nothing much, his constancy in ill;
Vain tampering has but foster'd his disease,
'Tis desperate, and he sleeps the sleep of death.
Haste now, philosopher, and set him free!
Charm the deaf serpent wisely. Make him hear
Of rectitude and fitness; moral truth 20
How lovely, and the moral sense how sure,
Consulted and obeyed, to guide his steps
Directly to the FIRST AND ONLY fair.
Spare not in such a cause. Spend all the powers
Of rant and rhapsody in virtue's praise,
Be most sublimely good, verbosely grand,
And with poetic trappings grace thy prose
Till it out-mantle all the pride of verse.-
Ah, tinkling cymbal and high-sounding brass
Smitten in vain! such music cannot charm
The eclipse that intercepts truth's heavenly beam,
And chills and darkens a wide-wandering soul.
The still small voice is wanted. He must speak 685
Whose word leaps forth at once to its effect,
Who calls for things that are not, and they come.
Grace makes the slave a freeman. 'Tis a change
That turns to ridicule the turgid speech
And stately tone of moralists, who boast,
As if, like him of fabulous renown,
They had indeed ability to smooth
The shag of savage nature, and were each
An Orpheus and omnipotent in song.
But transformation of apostate man
Abashed the devil stood
And felt how aweful goodness is, and saw
Virtue in her shape how lovely.
From fool to wise, from earthly to divine,
Is work for Him that made him.
And He by means in philosophic eyes
Trivial and worthy of disdain, achieves
The wonder; humanizing what is brute
In the lost kind, extracting from the lips
Of asps their venom, overpowering strength
By weakness, and hostility by love.
Patriots have toiled, and in their country's cause Bled nobly", and their deeds, as they deserve, Receive proud recompense. We give in charge Their names to the sweet lyre. The historic Muse, Proud of the treasure, marches with it down To latest times; and Sculpture, in her turn, Gives bond in stone and ever-during brass, To guard them, and to immortalize her trust. But fairer wreaths are due, though never paid, To those who posted at the shrine of truth, Have fallen in her defence. A patriot's blood
Ungrateful country, if thou e'er forget
The sons who for thy civil rights have bled!
How, like a Roman, Sidney bowed his head,
And Russel's milder blood the scaffold wet:
But these had fallen for profitless regret
Had not thy holy church her champions bred,
And claims from other worlds inspirited
The star of liberty to rise. Nor yet
(Grave this within thy heart!) if spiritual things
Be lost, through apathy, or scorn, or fear,
Shalt thou thy humbler franchises support
However hardly won, or justly dear;
What came from Heaven, to Heaven by nature clings,
And if dissevered thence its course is short.
Wordsworth. Ecc. Sketches. Sonnet ix. part 3.
Well spent in such a strife may earn indeed,
And for a time insure to his loved land
The sweets of liberty and equal laws;
But martyrs 22 struggle for a brighter prize,
And win it with more pain. Their blood is shed
In confirmation of the noblest claim,
Our claim to feed upon immortal truth,
To walk with God, to be divinely free,
To soar, and to anticipate the skies.
Yet few remember them. They lived unknown
Till persecution dragg'd them into fame
And chased them up to heaven. Their ashes flew
-No marble tells us whither.
No bard embalms and sanctifies his song;
And history 23, so warm on meaner themes,
Is cold on this. She execrates indeed
The tyranny that doom'd them to the fire,
But gives the glorious sufferers little praise 24.
He is the freeman whom the truth makes free,
And all are slaves beside. There's not a chain
That hellish foes confederate for his harm
Can wind around him, but he casts it off
With as much ease as Samson his green withes.
22 Wars, hitherto the only argument
Heroic deem'd ;-the better fortitude
Of patience and heroic martyrdom
23 Thus fame shall be achieved, renown on earth, And what most merits fame in silence hid.
He looks abroad into the varied field 25
Of Nature, and though poor perhaps, compared
With those whose mansions glitter in his sight,
Calls the delightful scenery all his own.
His are the mountains, and the valleys his,
And the resplendent rivers; his to enjoy
With a propriety that none can feel,
But who with filial confidence inspired
Can lift to heaven an unpresumptuous eye,
And smiling say-my Father made them all.
Are they not his by a peculiar right,
And by an emphasis of interest his,
Whose eye they fill with tears of holy joy,
Whose heart with praise, and whose exalted mind
With worthy thoughts of that unwearied love
That plann'd, and built, and still upholds a world
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 sculptured gold
Beyond the proud possessor's narrow claim,
His tuneful breast enjoys, &c.
Akenside. Pleas. of Imag. iii. 574.
These Nature's commoners who want a home,
Claim the wide world for their majestic dome.
Young. First Essay to Pope.
So clothed with beauty, for rebellious man?
Yes-ye may fill your garners, ye that reap
The loaded soil, and ye may waste much good
In senseless riot; but ye will not find
In feast or in the chase, in song or dance,
A liberty like his, who unimpeach'd
Of usurpation and to no man's wrong,
Appropriates nature as his Father's work,
And has a richer use of yours, than ye.
He is indeed a freeman: free by birth
Of no mean city, plann'd or ere the hills
Were built, the fountains open'd, or the sea
With all his roaring multitude of waves.
His freedom is the same in every state;
And no condition of this changeful life
So manifold in cares, whose every day
Brings its own evil with it, makes it less.
For he has wings that neither sickness, pain,
Nor penury, can cripple or confine.
No nook so narrow but he spreads them there
With ease, and is at large. The oppressor holds
His body bound, but knows not what a range
His spirit takes unconscious of a chain,
And that to bind him is a vain attempt
Whom God delights in, and in whom he dwells.
Acquaint thyself with God if thou wouldst taste
His works. Admitted once to his embrace,
Thou shalt perceive that thou wast blind before;
Thine eye shall be instructed, and thine heart
Made pure, shall relish with divine delight
Till then unfelt, what hands divine have wrought.
Brutes graze the mountain-top with faces prone