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True peace was given to man, unchanged as God, Its blasts! and Sin, with cold, consumptive breath, Who, in his own essential nature, binds Involved it still in clouds of mortal damp. Eternally to virtue happiness,
Yet did it grow, thus kept, protected thus; Nor lets them part through all his universe. And bear the only fruit of true delight;
Philosophy, as thou shalt hear, when she The only fruit worth plucking under heaven. Shall have her praise, her praise and censure too, But, few, alas! the holy plant could see, Did much, refining and exalting man;
For heavy mists that Sin around it threw But could not nurse a single plant that bore Perpetu y; and few the sacrifice True happiness. From age to age she toiled, Would make, by which alone its clusters stooped, Shed from her eyes the mist that dimmed them And came within the reach of mortal man. still,
For this, of whom who would approach and eat, Looked forth on man, explored the wild and tame, Was rigorously exacted to the full: The savage and polite, the sea and land,
To tread and bruise beneath the foot the world And starry heavens; and then retired far back Entire; its prides, ambitions, hopes, desires; To meditation's silent, shady seat;
Its gold and all its broidered equipage; And there sat pale, and thoughtfully, and weighed To loose its loves and friendships from the heart, With wary, most exact, and scrupulous care, And cast them off; to shut the ear against Man's nature, passions, hopes, propensities, Its praise, and all its flatteries abhor; Relations, and pursuits, in reason's scale; And, having thus behind him thrown what seemed And searched and weighed, and weighed and So good and fair, then must he lowly kneel, searched again,
And with sincerity, in which the Eye And many a fair and goodly volume wrote, That slumbers not, nor sleeps, could see no lack, That seemed well worded too, wherein were found This prayer pray: "Lord, God! thy will be done, Uncountable receipts, pretending each,
Thy holy will, howe'er it cross my own.” If carefully attended to, to cure
Hard labour this for flesh and blood! too hard Mankind of folly, to root out the briers, For most it seemed. So, turning, they the tree And thorns, and weeds, that choked the growth of Derided as mere bramble, that could bear joy;
No fruit of special taste; and so set out And showing too, in plain and decent phrase, Upon ten thousand different routes to seek Which sounded much like Wisdom's, how to plant, What they had left behind, to seek what they To shelter, water, culture, prune, and rear Had lost. For still as something once possessed The tree of happiness; and oft their plans And lost, true happiness appeared. All thought Were tried; but still the fruit was green and sour. They once were happy; and even while they
Of all the trees that in Earth's vineyard grew, smoked And with their clusters tempted man to pull And panted in the chase, believed themselves And eat, one tree, one tree alone, the true More miserable to-day than yesterday, Celestial manna bore, which filled the soul, To-morrow than to-day. When youth complained, The tree of holiness, of heavenly seed,
The ancient sinner shook his hoary head, A native of the skies; though stunted much As if he meant to say, Stop till you come And dwarfed, by Time's cold, damp, ungenial My length, and then you may have cause to sigh. soil,
At twenty, cried the boy, who now had seen And chilling winds, yet yielding fruit so pure, Some blemish in his joys, How happily So nourishing and sweet, as, on his way, Plays yonder child that busks the mimic babe, Refreshed the pilgrim; and begot desire And gathers gentle flowers, and never sighs! Unquenchable to climb the arduous path At forty, in the fervour of pursuit, To wbere her sister plants, in their own clime, Far on in disappointment's dreary vale, Around the fount, and by the stream of life, The grave and sage-like man looked back upon Blooming beneath the Sun that never sets, The stripling youth of plump unseared hope, Bear fruit of perfect relish fully ripe.
Who galloped gay and briskly up behind, To plant this tree, uprooted by the fall, And, moaning, wished himself eighteen again. To earth the Son of God descended, shed And he, of threescore years and ten, in whose His precious blood; and on it
Chilled eye, fatigued with gaping after hope, From off his living wings, the Spirit shook Earth's freshest verdure seemed but blasted leaves, The dews of heaven, to nurse and hasten its Praised childhood, youth, and manhood; and degrowth.
nounced Nor was this care, this infinite expense, Old age alone as barren of all joy. Not needed to secure the holy plant.
Decisive proof that men had left behind To root it out, and wither it from earth, The happiness they sought, and taken a most Hell strove with all its strength, and blew with all Erroneous path; since every step they took
Was deeper mire. Yet did they onward run, To loathing and disgust, they needed not
Boding disaster, stood. Over the flower
Hung dismally, and threatened, before the hand Sometimes indeed, when wisdom in their ear Of him that wished, could pull it, to descend, Whispered, and with its disenchanting wand, And o'er the desert drive its withered leaves; Effectually touched the sorcery of their eyes, Or, being pulled, to blast it unenjoyed, Directly pointing to the holy tree,
While yet he gazed upon its loveliness, Where grew the food they sought, they turned, And just began to drink its fragrance up. surprised.
Gold many hunted, sweat and bled for gold; That they had missed so long what now they found Waked all the night, and laboured all the day. As one upon whose mind some new and rare And what was this allurement dost thou ask? Idea glances, and retires as quick,
A dust dug from the bowels of the earth, Ere memory has time to write it down;
Which, being cast into the fire, came out
Love, charity, benevolence, and all
Their souls and an eternity of bliss,
The praise, the glitter, fashion, and renown,
But, few returned from folly's giddy chase, The laughing-stock of devils and of men,
With vigilance and fasting worn to skin “Ho! here's the tree of life! come, eat, and live !" And bone, and wrapped in most debasing rags, And round the new discoverer quick they flocked Thou mightst have seen him bending o'er his In multitudes, and plucked, and with great haste, heaps, Devoured; and sometimes in the lips 'twas sweet, And holding strange communion with his gold; And promised well: but, in the belly gall. And as his thievish fancy seemed to hear Yet after him that cried again, Ho! here's The night-man's foot approach, starting alarmed, The tree of life! again they ran, and pulled, And in his old, decrepit, withered hand, And chewed again, and found it bitter still. That palsy shook, grasping the yellow earth From disappointment on to disappointment, To make it sure. Of all God made upright, Year after year, age after age, pursued, And in their nostrils breathed a living soul, The child, the youth, the hoary headed man, Most fallen, most prone, most earthy, most de Alike pursued, and ne'er grew wise. For it
based; Was folly's most peculiar attribute,
Of all that sold Eternity for Time,
But hastily, as pleasures tasted, turned Illustrious fool! nay, most inhuman wretch!
He sat among his bags, and, with a look And gloomy night, I looked, and saw her come
In wait at every corner, full of guile:
To seek thy face, and I have found thee here. Her most essential lineaments we trace; My bed is decked with robes of tapestry, Her general features everywhere alike.
With carved work and sheets of linen fine; Of comely form she was, and fair of face; Perfumed with aloes, myrrh, and cinnamon. And underneath her eyelids sat a kind
Sweet are stolen waters! pleasant is the bread Of witching sorcery that nearer drew
In secret eaten! the goodman is from home. Whoever, with unguarded look, beheld; Come, let us take our fill of love till morn A dress of gaudy hue loosely attired
Awake; let us delight ourselves with loves. Her loveliness; her air and manner frank, With much fair speech, she caused the youth to And seeming free of all disguise; her song
yield; Enchanting; and her words, which sweetly dropped, And forced him with the flattering of her tongue. As honey from the comb, most large of promise, I looked, and saw him follow to her house, Still prophesying days of new delight,
As goes the ox to slaughter; as the fool And rapturous nights of undecaying joy; To the correction of the stocks; or bird And in her hand, where'er she went, she held That hastes into the subtle fowler's snare, A radiant cup that seemed of nectar full; And knows not, simple thing, 'tis for its life. And by her side, danced fair, delusive Hope. I saw him enter in, and heard the door The fool pursued, enamoured; and the wise Behind them shut; and in the dark, still night, Experienced man, who reasoned much and When God's unsleeping eye alone can see, thought,
He went to her adulterous bed. At morn Was sometimes seen laying his wisdom down, I looked, and saw him not among the youths. And vying with the stripling in the chase. I heard his father mourn,
his mother weep, Nor wonder thou, for she was really fair, For none returned that went with her. The dead Decked to the very taste of flesh and blood, Were in her house, her guests in depths of hell. And many thought her sound within, and gay She wove the winding-sheet of souls, and laid And healthy at the heart: but thought amiss. Them in the urn of everlasting death. For she was full of all disease: her bones
Such was the Shadow fools pursued on earth, Were rotten; Consumption licked her blood, and Under the name of pleasure; fair outside, drank
Within corrupted, and corrupting still. Her marrow up; her breath smelled mortally, Ruined and ruinous, her sure reward, And in her bowels plague and fever lurked; Her total recompense, was still, as he, And in her very heart, and reins, and life, The bard, recorder of Earth's Seasons, sung, Corruption's worm gnawed greedily unseen. “ Vexation, disappointment, and remorse.” Many her haunts. Thou mightst have seen Yet at her door the young and old, and some her now
Who held high character among the wise, With indolence, lolling on the mid-day couch, Together stood, and strove among themselves, And whispering drowsy words; and now at dawn, Who first should enter, and be ruined first, Loudly and rough, joining the sylvan horn; Strange competition of immortal souls! Or sauntering in the park, and to the tale To sweat for death! to strive for misery! Of slander giving ear; or sitting fierce,
But think not Pleasure told her end was death. Rude, blasphemous, malicious, raving, mad, Even human folly then had paused at least. Where fortune to the fickle die was bound. And given some signs of hesitation; nor
But chief she loved the scene of deep debauch, Arrived so hot, and out of breath, at wo.
Of inward blame, she stood and waved her hand, And at the shadowy twilight, in the dark And pointed to her bower, and said to all
Who passed, Take yonder flowery path, my steps The man of science to the shade retired, Attend; I lead the smoothest way to heaven; And laid bis head upon his hand, in mood This world receive as surety for the next: Of awful thoughtfulness, and dived, and dived And many simple men, most simple, though Again, deeper and deeper still, to sound Renowned for learning much, and wary skill, The cause remote ; resolved, before he died, Believed, and turned aside, and were undone. To make some grand discovery, by which
Another leaf of finished Time we turn, He should be known to all posterity. And read of fame, terrestrial fame, which died, And in the silent vigils of the night, And rose not at the resurrection morn;
When uninspired men reposed, the bard, Not that by virtue earned, the true renown, Ghastly of countenance, and from his eye Begun on earth, and lasting in the skies, Oft streaming wild unearthly fire, sat up, Worthy the lofty wish of seraphim,
And sent imagination forth, and searched The approbation of the Eye that sees
The far and near, heaven, earth, and gloomy hell, The end from the beginning, sees from cause For fiction new, for thought, unthought before ; To most remote effect. Of it we read
And when some curious, rare idea peered In book of God's remembrance, in the book Upon his mind, he dipped his hasty pen, • Of life, from which the quick and dead were judged; And by the glimmering lamp, or moonlight beam
The book that lies upon the Throne, and tells That through his lattice peeped, wrote fondly Of glorious acts by saints and angels done;
down, The record of the holy, just, and good.
What seemed in truth imperishable song.
And sometimes too, the reverend divine,
And vanities of Time, heard Fame's sweet voice
Such was her nature, and her practice such. And hoping, as he toiled amain, and saw But, O! her voice was sweet to mortal ears, The characters take form, some other wight, And touched so pleasantly the strings of pride Long after he was dead and in the grave, And vanity, which in the heart of man Should loiter there at noon, and read his name. Were ever strung harmonious to her note, In purple some, and some in rags, stood forth That many thought, to live without her song For reputation. Some displayed a limb Was rather death than life. To live unknown, Well-fashioned; some, of lowlier mind, a cane Unnoticed, unrenowned! to die unpraised, Of curious workmanship and marvellous twist. Unepitaphed!' to go down to the pit,
In strength some sought it, and in beauty more. And moulder into dust among vile worms, Long, long, the fair one laboured at the glass, And leave no whispering of a name on earth! And, being tired, called in auxiliar skill, Such thought was cold about the heart, and chilled To have her sails, before she went abroad, The blood. Who could endure it? who could Full spread and nicely set, to catch the gale choose
Of praise ; and much she caught, and much deWithout a struggle, to be swept away
served, From all remembrance, and have part no more When outward loveliness was index fair With living men ? Philosophy failed here, Of purity within : but oft, alas ! And self-approving pride. Hence it became The bloom was on the skin alone; and when The aim of most, and main pursuit, to win She saw, sad sight! the roses on her cheek A name, to leave some vestige as they passed, Wither, and heard the voice of Fame retire That following ages might discern, they once And die away, she heaved most piteous sighs, Had been on earth, and acted something there. And wept most lamentable tears; and whiles,
Many the roads they took, the plans they tried. 'In wild delirium, made rash attempt,
Unholy mimicry of Nature's work!
Upon the mountain tops, but wondering not To re-create, with frail and mortal things, Why shells were found at all, more wondrous still! Her withered face. Attempt how fond and vain! Of him who strange enjoyment took in tales Her frame itself soon mouldered down to dust ; Of fairy folk, and sleepless ghosts, and sounds And, in the land of deep forgetfulness, Unearthly, whispering in the ear of night Her beauty and her name were laid beside Disastrous things; and him who still foretold Eternal silence and the loathsome worm; Calamity which never came, and lived Into whose darkness flattery ventured not; In terror all his days of comets rude, Where none had ears to hear the voice of Fame. That should unmannerly and lawless drive
Many the roads they took, the plans they tried, Athwart the path of earth, and burn mankind; And awful oft the wickedness they wrought. As if the appointed hour of doom, by God To be observed, some scrambled up to thrones, Appointed, ere its time should come! as if And sat in vestures dripping wet with gore. Too small the number of substantial ills, The warrior dipped his sword in blood, and wrote And real fears, to vex the sons of men. His name on lands and cities desolate.
These, had they not possessed immortal souls, The rich bought fields, and houses built, and raised And been accountable, might have been passed The monumental piles up to the clouds, With laughter, and forgot; but, as it was, And called them by their names: and, strange to And is, their folly asks a serious tear. tell!
Keen was the search, and various, and wide,
Many the roads they took, the plans they tried. Deliriously upon the bossy shield
And laboured hard, -oh, labour worse than
So happiness was sought in pleasure, gold, Forsaken thing, that wandered on, forlorn,
He travailed sorely, and made many a tack,
No lingering consciousness that e'er he was. Of him who taught the ravenous bird to fly Guilt's midnight wish! last, most abhorred thought! This way or that, thereby supremely blest ; Most desperate effort of extremest sin! Or rode in fury with the howling pack, Others, pre-occupied, ne'er saw true Hope: Affronting much the noble animal,
He, seeing, aimed to stab her to the heart, He spurred into such company; of him And with infernal chymistry to wring Who down into the bowels of the earth
The last sweet drop from sorrow's cup of gall; Descended deeply, to bring up the wreck To quench the only ray that cheered the earth, Of some old earthen ware, which having stowed, And leave mankind in night which had no star., With every proper care, he home returned Others the streams of Pleasure troubled; he O'er many a sea and many a league of land, Toiled much to dry her very fountain head. Triumphantly to show the marvellous prize ; Unpardonable man! sold under sin! And him that vexed his brain, and theories built He was the devil's pioneer, who cut Of gossamer upon the brittle winds,
The fences down of Virtue, sapped her walls, Perplexed exceedingly why shells were found And opened a smooth and easy way to death.