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Psalms of Praise for Yune.
A SACRED ECLOGUE.
Ye nymphs of Solyma ! begin the song : To heavenly themes sublimer strains belong. The mossy fountains and the sylvan shades, The dreams of Pindus and the Aonian maids, Delight no more. – 0 Thou my voice inspire, Who touched Isaiah's hallowed lips with fire !
Rapt into future times, the bard begun : A virgin shall conceive, a virgin bear a Son ! From Jesse's root behold a branch arise, Whose sacred flower with fragrance fills the skies : The ethereal spirit o'er its leaves shall move, And on its top descends the mystic dove. Ye heavens! from high the dewy nectar pour, And in soft silence shed the kindly shower ! The sick and weak the healing plant shall aid, From storms a shelter, and from heat a shade. All crimes shall cease, and ancient fraud shall fail, Returning justice lift aloft her scale ; Peace o'er the world her olive wand extend, And white-robed innocence from heaven descend. Swift fly the years, and rise the expected morn! O spring to light, auspicious Babe, be born! See nature hastes her earliest wreaths to bring, With all the incense of the breathing spring : See lofty Lebanon his head advance, See nodding forests on the mountains dance ; See spicy clouds from lowly Sharon rise, And Carmel's flowery top perfumes the skies ! Hark! a glad voice the lonely desert cheers ; Prepare the way! a God, a God appears ! A God, a God! the vocal hills reply : The rocks proclaim the approaching Deity. Lo, earth receives Him from the bending skies ! Sink down, ye mountains, and, ye valleys, rise ! With heads declined, ye cedars, homage pay ; Be smooth, ye rocks ; ye rapid floods, give way! The Saviour comes ! by ancient bards foretold ; Ilear him, ye deaf! and all ye blind, behold ! He from thick films shall purge the visual ray, And on the sightless eye-ball pour the day : 'Tis He the obstructed paths of sound shall clear, And bid new music charm the unfolding ear ; The dumb shall sing, the lame his crutch forego, And leap exulting like the bounding roe. No sigh, no murmur, the wide world shall hear ; From every face He wipes off every tear. In adamantine chains shall death be bound, And hell's grim tyrant feel the eternal wound.
As the good shepherd tends his fleecy care, Seeks freshest pasture, and the purest air, Explores the lost, the wandering sheep directs, By day o'ersees them, and by night protects ; The tender lambs he raises in his arms, Feeds from his hand, and in his bosom warms : Thus shall mankind His guardian care engage, The promised Father of the future age. No more shall nation against nation rise, Nor ardent warriors meet with hateful eyes, Nor fields with gleaming steel be covered o'er, The brazen trumpets kindle rage no more ; But useless lances into scythes shall bend, And the broad falchion in a ploughshare end. Then palaces shall rise ; the joyful son Shall finish what his short-lived sire begun ; Their vines a shadow to their race shall yield, And the same hand that sowed shall reap the field. The swain in barren deserts, with surprise, Sees lilies spring, and sudden verdure rise : And starts, amidst the thirsty wilds, to hear New falls of water murmuring in his ear. On rifted rocks, the dragon's late abodes, The green reed trembles, and the bulrush nods. Waste sandy valleys, once perplexed with thorn, The spiry fir and shapely box adorn ; To leafless shrubs the flowering palms succeed, And odorous myrtle to the noisome weed. The lambs with wolves shall graze the verdant mead, And boys in flowery bands the tiger lead ; The steer and lion at one crib shall meet, And harmless serpents lick the pilgrim's feet. The smiling infant in his hand shall take The crested basilisk and speckled snake, Pleased the green lustre of their scales survey, And with their forky tongues shall innocently play. Rise, crowned with light, imperial Salem, rise ! Exalt thy towery head, and lift thy eyes ! See a long race thy spacious courts adorn ; See future sons and daughters, yet unborn, In crowding ranks on every side arise, Demanding life, impatient for the skies ! See barbarous nations at thy gates attend, Walk in thy light, and in thy temple bend ; See thy bright altars thronged with prostrate kings, And heaped with products of Sabæan springs ! For thee Idume's spicy forests blow, And seeds of gold in Opbir's mountains glow. See heaven its sparkling portals wide display, And break upon thee in a flood of day. No more the rising sun shall gild the morn, Nor evening Cynthia
her silver horn ;
QUARLES'S “DELIGHT IN GOD."
She is my Maker's creature, therefore good.
She is my tender nurse ; she gives me food.
I love the air ; her dainty sweets refresh
My drooping soul, and to new sweets invite me ; Her shrill-mouthed choir sustain me with their flesh,
And with their polyphonian notes delight me. But what's the air, or all the sweets that she Can bless my soul withal, compared to Thee ?
I love the sea ; she is my fellow-creature
My careful purveyor ; she provides me store ; She walls me round ; she makes my diet greater ;
She wafts my treasure from a foreign shore.
To heaven's high city I direct my journey,
Whose spangled suburbs entertain my eye ;
Transcends the crystal pavement of the sky.
Wherein to dwell ;
Both soft and dry.
Hast set a guard
Me while I sleep.
Both void of state ;
Is worn by the poor,
Good words or meat.
And kitchen small ;
A little bin,
Make me a fire,
And glow like it.
The pulse is thine,
There placed by Thee ;
And my content
To be more sweet. 'Tis Thou that crown'st my glittering hearth
With guiltless mirth,
Spiced to the brink.
That sows my land.
Me for this end -
A thankful heart,
As wholly thine ;
O Lord, of Thee !
Without thy presence, earth gives no refection ;
Without thy presence, sea affords no treasure ; Witbout thy presence, air 's a rank infection ;
Without thy presence, heaven itself's no pleasure;
The highest honors that the world can boast
Are subjects far too low for my desire ;
But dying sparkles of thy living fire.
Without thy presence, wealth is bags of cares ;
Wisdom, but folly ; joy, disquiet — sadness ; Friendship is treason, and delights are snares ;
Pleasure 's but pain, and mirth but pleasing mad
Without Thee, Lord, things be not what they be, Nor have they being, when compared with Thee.
ARGUMENT. Lessons from the farmer's life. Turnip-gowing. Harrowing.
Showers. Wheat ripening. Sparrows. Giles's repose. Insects. The sky-lark. The farmer surveying his ripen ing harvest. Reaping ; gleaning. The harvest-field, and its groups. The dairy-maid. Refreshments in the field. Labors of the barn in harvesting. Flies ; cruelty of docking. The insolent gander. Night ; a thunder-storm. Harvest-home festival. Reflections on the separation of the employer and employed. Refinement checks sympathy and freedom. Lament of the laborer ; his claims.
What though abundance round his dwelling
spreads, Though ever moist his self-improving meads Supply his dairy with a copious flood, And seem to promise unexhausted food ; That promise fails, when buried deep in snow, And vegetative juices cease to flow. For this, his plough turns up the destined lands, Whence stormy Winter draws its full demands ; For this, the seed minutely small he sows, Whence, sound and sweet, the hardy turnip grows.
THE PROCESS OF PREPARING A FIELD IN SUMMER DESCRIBED.
- DRY CLODS, COMPARED WITH FOOLS ; MELLOWED, AT LENGTH, BY STEADY, GENTLE RAIN.
A PROVIDENT FORESIGHT NECESSARY TO AND USUAL WITH
THE FARMER. The Farmer's life displays in every part A moral lesson to the sensual beart. Though in the lap of plenty, thoughtful still, He looks beyond the present good or ill; Nor estimates alone one blessing's worth, From changeful seasons, or capricious earth ; But views the future with the present hours, And looks for failures as be looks for showers ; For casual as for certain want prepares, And round his yard the reeking hay-stack rears ; Or clover, blossomed lovely to the sight, His team's rich store through many a wintry night.
But how unlike to April's closing days ! High climbs the sun, and darts his powerful rays ; Whitens the fresh-drawn mould, and pierces through The cumbrous elods that tumble round the plough. O'er heaven's bright azure, hence, with joyful eyes, The farmer sees dark clouds assembling rise ; Borne o'er his fields a heavy torrent falls, And strikes the earth in hasty driving squalls.
His patient gaze but finish with a sigh,
THE LARK ; ITS SOARING WATCHED BY GILES ; HIS IXXOCENT
AND PEACEFCL SLUMBERS.
• Right welcome down, ye precious drops !' he cries;
THE GROWING GRAIN IN EAR; SPARROWS; NATURE, SOLI
TUDE, AND WISDOM.
Shot up from broad rank blades that droop below, The nodding wheat-ear forms a graceful bow, With milky kernels starting full, weighed down, Ere yet the sun hath tinged its head with brown ; Whilst thousands in a flock, forever gay, Loud chirping sparrows welcome on the day, And from the mazes of the leafy thorn Drop one by one upon the bending corn. Giles with a pole assails their close retreats, And round the grass-grown, dewy border beats ; On either side completely overspread, Here branches bend, there corn o'ertops his head. Green covert, hail ! for through the varying year No hours so sweet, no scene to him so dear. Here Wisdom's placid eye delighted sees His frequent intervals of lonely ease, And with one ray bis infant soul inspires, Just kindling there her never-dying fires, Whence solitude derives peculiar charms, And heaven-directed thought his bosom warms.
Just starting from the corn she cheerly sings, And trusts with conscious pride her downy wings ; Still louder breathes, and in the face of day Mounts up, and calls on Giles to mark her way. Close to his eyes his hat he instant bends, And forms a friendly telescope, that lends Just aid enough to dull the glaring light, And place the wandering bird before his sight; Yet oft beneath a cloud she sweeps along, Lost for a while, yet pours her varied song: He views the spot, and as the cloud moves by, Again she stretches up the clear blue sky; Her form, her motion, undistinguished quite, Save when she wheels direct from shade to light: The fluttering songstress a mere speck became, Like fancy's floating bubbles in a dream ; He sees her yet, but, yielding to repose, Unwittingly his jaded eyelids close. Delicious sleep! From sleep who could forbear, With no more guilt than Giles, and no moro care? Peace o'er his slumbers waves her guardian wing, Nor conscience once disturbs him with a sting ; He wakes refreshed from every trivial pain, And takes his pole and brushes round again. RIPENED CROP. - SUNDAY MORNING SURVEY BY THE
FARMER ; HIS GRATITUDE TO GOD, Its dark-green hue, its sicklier tints, all fail, And ripening harvest rustles in the gale. A glorious sight, if glory dwells below, Where Heaven's munificence makes all the show, O’er every field and golden prospect found, That glads the ploughman's Sunday morning's round, When on some eminence he takes his stand, To judge the smiling produce of the land. Here Vanity slinks back, her head to hide : What is there here to flatter human pride? The towering fabric, or the dome's loud roar, And steadfast columns, may astonish more, Where the charmed gazer long delighted stays, Yet traced but to the architect the praise : Whilst here, the veriest clown that treads the sod, Without one scruple, gives the praise to God, And two-fold joys possess his raptured mind, From gratitude and admiration joined
REAPERS AND GLEANERS, COTTAGERS. Here, midst the boldest triumphs of her worth, Nature herself invites the reapers forth ; Dares the keen sickle from its twelvemonth's rest, And gives that ardor which in every breast From infancy to age alike appears, When the first sheaf its plumy top uprears. No rake takes here what Heaven to all bestows Children of want, for you the bounty flows ! And every cottage, from the plenteous store, Receives a burden nightly at its door.
HABITS OF THE
GILES REPOSING; SUMMER INSECT LIFE ;
BEETLE, MOTU, GRASSHOPPER. Just where the parting bough’s light shadows play, Scarce in the shade, nor in the scorching day, Stretched on the turf he lies, a peopled bed, Where swarming insects creep around his head ! The small dust-colored beetle climbs with pain O’er the smooth plantain-leaf, a spacious plain ! Thence higher still, by countless steps conveyed, He gains the summit of a shivering blade, And flirts his filmy wings, and looks around, Exulting in his distance from the ground. The tender-speckled moth here dancing seen, The vaulting grasshopper of glossy green, And all prolific Summer's sporting train, Their little lives by various powers sustain. But what can unassisted vision do? What, but recoil where most it would pursue ;
THE REAPING; HEALTH ; JOLLITY; TURN OUT OF ALL HANDS.
Hark! where the sweeping scythe now rips along; Each sturdy mower emulous and strong ; Whose writhing form meridian heat defies, Bends o'er his work, and every sinew tries ; Prostrates the waving treasure at his feet, But spares the rising clover, short and sweet. Come, Health ! come, Jollity! light-footed, come ; Here hold your revels, and make this your home. Each heart awaits and hails you as its own ; Each moistened brow, that scorns to wear a frown: The unpeopled dwelling mourns its tenants strayed; E'en the domestic, laughing dairy-maid Hies to the field, the general toil to share.
HARVEST EMPLOYMENTS OF GILES ; TREADING DOWN THE MOW.
Of wholesome viands here a banquet smiles, A common cheer for all ; - e'en humble Giles, Who joys his trivial services to yield Amidst the fragrance of the open field ; Oft doomed, in suffocating heat, to bear The cobwebed barn's impure and dusty air ; To ride in murky state the panting steed, Destined aloft the unloaded grain to tread, Where, in his path as heaps on heaps are thrown, He rears, and plunges the loose mountain down : Laborious task ! with what delight when done Both horse and rider greet the unclouded sun !
THE FARMER'S GLAD SUPERVISION; HARVESTERS; MASTIFF ;
LOVE AND BEAUTY.
Meanwhile the farmer quits his elbow-chair, His cool brick-floor, his pitcher, and his ease, And braves the sultry beams, and gladly sees His gates thrown open, and his team abroad, The ready group attendant on his word, To turn the swarth, the quivering load to rear, Or ply the busy rake, the land to clear. Summer's light garb itself now cumbrous grown, Each his thin doublet in the shade throws down ; Where oft the mastiff skulks with half-shut eye, And rouses at the stranger passing by ; Whilst unrestrained the social converse flows,
every breast Love's powerful impulse knows, And rival wits, with more than rustic grace, Confess the presence of a pretty face.
BALL, THE CART-HORSE ; FLIES ; CRUELTY OF DOCKING.
EWES AND COWS TORMENTED. Yet by the unclouded sun are hourly bred The bold assailants that surround thine head, Poor patient Ball ! and, with insulting wing, Roar in thine ears, and dart the piercing sting ; In thy behalf the crest-waved boughs avail More than thy short-elipt remnant of a tail, A moving mockery, a useless name, A living proof of cruelty and shame, Shame to the man, whatever fame he bore, Who took from thee what man can ne'er restore, Thy weapon of defence, thy chiefest good, When swarming flies contending suck thy blood. Nor thine alone the suffering, thine the care, The fretful ewe bemoans an equal share : Tormented into sores, her head she hides, Or angry brushes from her new-shorn sides. Penned in the yard, e'en now at closing day Unruly cows with marked impatience stay, And, vainly striving to escape their foes, The pail kick down; a piteous current flows.
THE BUXOM COUNTRY MAID. For, lo! encircled there, the lovely maid, In youth's own bloom and native smiles arrayed, Her hat awry, divested of her gown, Her creaking stays of leather, stout and brown ; Invidious barrier ! why art thou so high, When the slight covering of her neck slips by? There half revealing to the eager sight Her full, ripe bosom, exquisitely white ! In many a local tale of harmless mirth, And many a jest of momentary birth, She bears a part, and as she stops to speak, Strokes back the ringlets from her glowing cheek.
REFRESHMEXTS IN THE HARVEST-FIELD-HOME-BREWED ALE.
THE INSOLENT GANDER ; HIS ATTACKS ON THE COLT, COW,
BOLL, AND SWINE; FOOLS AND BRAVOES ; THEIR SAVAGE JOKES.
Is't not enough that plagues like these molest? Must still another foe annoy their rest? He comes, the pest and terror of the yard, His full-fledged progeny's imperious guard ; The gander ; — spiteful, insolent, and bold, At the colt's footlock takes his daring hold, There, serpent-like, escapes a dreadful blow ; And straight attacks a poor defenceless cow : Each booby goose the unworthy strife enjoys, And hails his prowess with redoubled noise. Then back he stalks, of self-importance full, Seizes the shaggy foretop of the bull, Till whirled aloft he falls ; a timely check, Enough to dislocate his worthless neck ; For, lo ! of old, he boasts an honored wound; Behold that broken wing that trails the ground ! Thus fools and bravoes kindred pranks pursue ; As savage quite, and oft as fatal too. Happy the man that foils an envious elf, Using the darts of spleen to serve himself. As when by turns the strolling swine engage The utmost efforts of the bully's rage,
Now noon gone by, and four declining hours, The weary limbs relax their boasted powers ; Thirst rages strong, the fainting spirits fail, And ask the sovereign cordial, home-brewed ale : Beneath some sheltering heap of yellow corn Rest the hooped keg, and friendly, cooling horn, That mocks alike the goblet's brittle frame, Its costlier potions, and its nobler name. To Mary first the brimming draught is given, By toil made welcome as the dews of heaven, And never lip that pressed its homely edge Has kinder blessings or a heartier pledge.