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The captive prophet, whom Jehovah gave 1 Of moral being most anomalous,
I'll introduce thee to a single heart,
But one by God's renewing spirit touched,
well. Baptized, and found in Christian hearts alone; Will, passion, reason, hopes, fears, joy, distress, First-born of Virtue, daughter of the skies, Peace, turbulence, simplicity, deceit, Nursling of truth divine, sister of all
Good, ill, corruption, immortality; The graces, meekness, holiness, and love; A temple of the Holy Ghost, and yet Giving to God, and man, and all below, Oft lodging fiends; the dwelling-place of all That symptom showed of sensible existence, The heavenly virtues, charity and truth, Their due, unasked; fear to whom fear was due; Humility, and holiness, and love; To all, respect, benevolence, and love:
And yet the common haunt of anger, pride, Companion of religion, where she came, Hatred, revenge, and passions foul with lust; There freedom came; where dwelt, there freedom Allied to heaven, yet parleying oft with hell; dwelt;
A soldier listed in Messiah's band, Ruled where she ruled, expired where she ex- Yet giving quarter to Abaddon's troops; pired.
With seraphs drinking from the well of life, "He was the freeman whom the truth made And yet carousing in the cup of death; free,”
An heir of heaven, and walking thitherward, Who, first of all, the bands of Satan broke; Yet casting back a covetous eye on earth; Who broke the bands of sin ; and for his soul, Emblem of strength, and weakness; loving now, In spite of fools, consulted seriously;
And now abhorring sin; indulging now, In spite of fashion, persevered in good;
And now repenting sore; rejoicing now, In spite of wealth or poverty, upright;
With joy unspeakable, and full of glory; Who did as reason, not as fancy, bade; Now weeping bitterly, and clothed in dust; Who heard temptation sing, and yet turned not A man willing to do, and doing not; Aside ; saw Sin bedeck her flowery bed, Doing, and willing not; embracing what And yet would not go up; felt at his heart He hates, what most he loves abandoning; The sword unsheathed, yet would not sell the truth; Half saint, and sinner half; half life, half death; Who, having power, had not the will to hurt; Commixture strange of heaven, and earth, and hell. Who blushed alike to be, or have a slave;
What seest thou here? what markst? A battleWho blushed at naught but sin, feared naught but God;
Two banners spread, two dreadful fronts of war Who, finally, in strong integrity
In shock of opposition fierce, engaged. Of soul, ’midst want, or riches, or disgrace, God, angels, saw whole empires rise in arms, Uplifted, calmly sat, and heard the waves Saw kings exalted, heard them tumble down, Of stormy folly breaking at his feet,
And others raised, -and heeded not; but here Now shrill with praise, now hoarse with foul re- God, angels looked; God, angels, fought;
and Hell, proach,
With all his legions, fought: here, error fought And both despised sincerely; seeking this With truth, with darkness light, and life with death; Alone, The approbation of his God,
And here, not kingdoms, reputation, worlds, Which still with conscience witnessed to his peace. Were won; the strife was for eternity,
This, this is freedom, such as angels use, The victory was never-ending bliss, And kindred to the liberty of God.
The badge, a chaplet from the tree of life. First-born of Virtue, daughter of the skies! While thus, within, contending armies strove, The man, the state, in whom she ruled was free; Without, the Christian had his troubles too. All else were slaves of Satan, Sin, and Death. For, as by God's unalterable laws,
Already thou hast something heard of good And ceremonial of the Heaven of Heavens, And ill, of vice and virtue, perfect cach; Virtue takes place of all, and worthiest deeds Of those redeemed, or else abandoned quite; Sit highest at the feast of bliss; on earth, And more shalt hear, when, at the judgment-day, The opposite was fashion's rule polite. The characters of mankind we review.
Virtuc the lowest place at table took, Seems aught which thou hast heard astonishing? Or served, or was shut out; the Christian still A greater wonder now thy audience asks; Was mocked, derided, persecuted, slain; Phenomena in all the universe,
And Slander, worse than mockery, or sword,
Or death, stood nightly by her horrid forge, For battles won. These are the sons of men And fabricated lies to stain his name,
Redeemed, the ransomed of the Lamb of God And wound his peace; but still he had a source All these, and millions more of kindred blood, Of happiness, that men could neither give Who now are out on messages of love, Nor take away. The avenues that led All these, their virtue, beauty, excellence, To immortality before him lay.
And joy, are purchase of redeeming blood; He saw, with faith's far reaching eye, the fount Their glory, bounty of redeeming love. Of life, his Father's house, his Saviour God, O Love divine! Harp, lift thy voice on high! And borrowed thence to help his present want. Shout, angels! shout aloud, ye sons of men!
Encountered thus with enemies, without, And burn, my heart, with the eternal fame! Within, like bark that meets opposing winds My lyre, be eloquent with endless praise! And floods, this way, now that, she steers athwart, O Love divine ! immeasurable Love! Tossed by the wave, and driven by the storm; Stooping from heaven to earth, from earth to hell; But still the pilot, ancient at the helm,
Without beginning, endless, boundless Love! The harbour keeps in eye; and after much Above all asking, giving far, to those Of danger passed, and many a prayer rude, Who nought deserved, who nought deserved but He runs her safely in: so was the man
death! Of God beset, so tossed by adverse winds; Saving the vilest! saving me! O Love And so his eye upon the land of life
Divine! O Saviour God! O Lamb, once slain! He kept. Virtue grew daily stronger, sin At thought of thee, thy love, thy flowing blood, Decayed; his enemies, repulsed, retired; All thoughts decay; all things remembered fade; Till, at the stature of a perfect man
All hopes return; all actions done by men In Christ arrived, and with the Spirit filled, Or angels, disappear, absorbed and lost; He gained the harbour of eternal rest.
All fly, as from the great white Throne which he, But think not virtue, else than dwells in God The prophet, saw, in vision wrapped, the heavens Essentially, was perfect, without spot.
And earth, and sun, and moon, and starry host, Examine yonder suns. At distance seen,
Confounded, fled, and found a place no more. How bright they burn! how gloriously they shine, One glance of wonder, as we pass, deserve Mantling the worlds around in beamy light! The books of Time. Productive was the world But nearer viewed, we through their lustre see In many things, but most in books. Like swarms Some dark behind; so virtue was on earth, Of locusts, which God sent to vex a land So is in heaven, and so shall always be. Rebellious long, admonished long in vain, Though good it seem, immaculate, and fair Their numbers they poured annually on man, Exceedingly, to saint or angel's gaze
From heads conceiving still. Perpetual birth! The uncreated Eye, that searches all,
Thou wonderst how the world contained them all. Sees it imperfect; sees, but blames not; sees, Thy wonder stay. Like men, this was their doom: Well pleased, and best with those who deepest dive" That dust they were, and should to dust return." Into themselves, and know themselves the most ; And oft their fathers, childless and bereaved, Taught thence in humbler reverence to bow Wept o'er their graves, when they themselves were Before the Holy One; and oftener view
green. His excellence, that in them still may rise,
And on them fell, as fell on every age, And grow his likeness, growing evermore. As on their authors fell, oblivious Night,
Nor think that any, born of Adam's race, Which o'er the past lay, darkling, heavy, still, In his own proper virtue entered heaven. Impenetrable, motionless, and sad, Once fallen from God and perfect holiness, Having his dismal, leaden plumage stirred No being, unassisted, e'er could rise,
By no remembrancer, to show the men Or sanctify the sin-polluted soul.
Who after came what was concealed beneath. Oft was the trial made, but vainly made.
The story-telling tribe, alone, outran So oft as men, in earth's best livery clad, All calculation far, and left behind, However fair, approached the gates of heaven, Lagging, the swiftest numbers. Dreadful, even And stood presented to the eye of God, To fancy: was their never-ceasing birth; Their impious pride so oft his soul abhorred. And room had lacked, had not their life been short. Vain hope! in patch-work of terrestrial grain, Excepting some, their definition take To be received into the courts above !
Thouthus, expressed in gentle phrase, which leaves As vain as towards yonder suns to soar,
Some truth behind: A Novel was a book
Look round, and see those numbers infinite, full
And oftener still, of trifling, second-hand
Remark, and old, diseased, putrid thought, Not weak and foolish only, but the wise,
Patient, courageous, stout, sound headed man,
One kind alone remained, seen through the gloom Believed a lie; for never man on earth, And sullen shadow of the past: as lights That mountain crossed, or saw its farther side. At intervals they shone, and brought the eye,
Around it lay the wreck of many a Sage, That backward travelled, upward, till arrived Divine, Philosopher; and many more At him, who, on the hills of Midian, sang Fell daily, undeterred by millions fallen; The patient man of Uz; and from the lyre Each wondering why he failed to comprehend Of angels, learned the early dawn of Time. God, and with finite measure infinite. Not light and momentary labour these,
To pass it, was no doubt desirable; But discipline and self-denial long,
And few of any intellectual size, And purpose stanch, and perseverance, asked, That did not, some time in their day, attempt; And energy that inspiration seemed.
But all in vain; for as the distant hill, Composed of many thoughts, possessing each Which on the right or left, the traveller's eye Innate and underived vitality;
Bounds, seems advancing as he walks, and oft Which, having fitly shaped, and well arranged He looks, and looks, and thinks to pass; but still In brotherly accord, they builded up;
It forward moves, and mocks his baffled sight, A stately superstructure, that, nor wind, Till night descends, and wraps the scene in gloom, Nor wave, nor shock of falling years, could move; So did this moral height the vision mock; Majestic and indissolubly firm;
So lifted up its dark and cloudy head, As ranks of veteran warriors in the field, Before the eye, and met it evermore, Each by himself alone and singly seen,
And some, provoked, accused the righteous God. A tower of strength; in massy phalanx knit, Accused of what? hear human boldness now! And in embattled squadron rushing on,
Hear guilt, hear folly, madness, all extreme ! A sea of valour, dread, invincible.
Accused of what? the God of truth accused Books of this sort, or sacred, or profane, Of cruelty, injustice, wickedness. Which virtue helped, were titled, not amiss, Abundant sin ! because a mortal man, "The medicine of the mind:” who read them, read A worm, at best, of small capacity, Wisdom, and was refreshed ; and on his path With scarce an atom of Jehovah's works Of pilgrimage, with healthier step advanced. Before him, and with scarce an hour to look
In mind, in matter, much was difficult Upon them, should presume to censure God, To understand. But, what in deepest night The infinite and uncreated God! Retired, inscrutable, mysterious, dark,
To sit, in judgment, on Himself, his works, Was evil, God's decrees, and deeds decreed, His providence! and try, accuse,
condemn! Responsible: why God, the just and good, If there is aught, thought or to think, absurd, Omnipotent and wise, should suffer sin
Irrational and wicked, this is more,
To devils growing fast. Wise men and good
Divine incarnate, human in divine;
The inward call; the Sanctifying Dew
Not that religion wished. The Christian faith, Her vigour, toiled; and vagrant Fancy toiled. Unlike the timorous creeds of pagan priests,
Was frank, stood forth to view, invited all, His palace rose and kissed the gorgeous clouds. To prove, examine, search, investigate,
Streams bent their music to his will, trees sprung; And gave herself a light to see her by.
The native waste put on luxuriant robes; Mysterious these, because too large for eye And plains of happy cottages cast out Of man, too long for human arm to mete. Their tenants, and became a hunting-field. Go to yon mount, which on the north side Before him bowed the distant isles, with fruits stands
And spices rare; the South her treasures brought, Of New Jerusalem, and lists its head
The East and West sent; and the frigid North Serene in glory bright, except the hill,
Came with her offering of glossy furs.
Of cunning skill, and curious device,
And when the wants of nature were supplied,
The man new wants and new expenses planned And find the end of infinite: and so
Nor planned alone. Wise, learned, sober men, It was with all the mysteries of faith.
Of cogitation deep, took up his case, God set them forth unveiled to the full gaze And planned for him new modes of folly wild; Of man, and asked him to investigate;
Contrived new wishes, wants, and wondrous But reason's eye, however purified,
means And on whatever tall and goodly height Of spending with despatch ; yet, after all, Of observation placed, to comprehend
His fields extended still, his riches grew, Them fully, sought in vain: in vain seeks still ; And what seemed splendour infinite, increased. But wiser now and humbler, she concludes, So lavishly upon a single man From what she knows already of his love Did Providence his bounties daily shower. All gracious, that she cannot understand; Turn now thy eye, and look on Poverty; And gives him credit, reverence, praise for all. Look on the lowest of her ragged sons. Another feature in the ways of God,
We find him by the way, sitting in dust; That wondrous seemed, and made some men com- He has no bread to eat, no tongue to ask, plain,
No limbs to walk, no home, no house, no friend, Was the unequal gift of worldly things. Observe his goblin cheek, his wretched eye; Great was the difference, indeed, of men See how his hand, if any hand he has, Externally, from beggar to the prince.
Involuntary opens, and trembles forth, The highest take and lowest, and conceive As comes the traveller's foot; and hear his groan, The scale between. A noble of the earth, His long and lamentable groan, announce One of its great, in splendid mansion dwelt; The want that gnaws within. Severely now Was robed in silk and gold; and every day The sun scorches and burns his old bald head; Fared sumptuously; was titled, honoured, served. The frost now glues him to the chilly earth. Thousands his nod awaited, and his will On him hail, rain, and tempest, rudely beat; For law received. Whole provinces his march And all the winds of heaven, in jocular mood, Attended, and his chariot drew, or on
Sport with his withered rags, that, tossed about, Their shoulders bore aloft the precious man. Display his nakedness to passers by, Millions, abased, fell prostrate at his feet : And grievously burlesque the human form. And millions more thundered adoring praise. Observe him yet more narrowly. His limbs, As far as eye could reach, he called the land With palsy shaken, about him blasted lie; His own, and added yearly to his fields.
And all his flesh is full of putrid sores Like tree that of the soil took healthy root, And noisome wounds, his bones, of racking pains. He grew on every side, and towered on high, Strange vesture this for an immortal soul ! And over half a nation, shadowing wide, Strange retinue to wait a lord of earth! He spread his ample bows. Air, earth, and sea, It seems as Nature, in some surly mood, Nature entire, the brute, and rational,
After debate and musing long, had tried To please him ministered, and vied among How vile and miserable thing her hand Themselves, who most should his desires prevent, Could fabricate, then made this meagre man. Watching the moving of his rising thoughts A sight so full of perfect misery, Attentively, and hasting to fulfil.
That passengers their faces turned away,
And hasted to be gone; and delicate
A deeper lesgon this to mortals taught, And tender women took another path.
And nearer cut the branches of their pride This great disparity of outward things That not in mental, but in moral worth, Taught many lessons; but this taught in chief, God excellence placed ; and only to the good, Though learned by few: That God no value set, To virtue, granted happiness, alone. That man should none, on goods of worldly kind ! Admire the goodness of Almighty God! On transitory, frail, external things,
He riches gave, he intellectual strength, Of migratory, ever-changing sort:
To few, and therefore none commands to be And further taught, that in the soul alone, Or rich, or learned; nor promises reward The thinking, reasonable, willing soul,
Of peace to these. On all, He moral worth God placed the total excellence of man; Bestowed, and moral tribute asked from all. And meant him evermore to seek it there. And who that could not pay? who born so poor,
But stranger still the distribution seemed Of intellect so mean, as not to know Of intellect, though fewer here complained; What seemed the best; and, knowing, might not do? Each with his share, upon the whole content. As not to know what God and conscience bade, One man there was, and many such you might And what they bade not able to obey? Have met, who never had a dozen thoughts And he, who acted thus, fulfilled the law In all his life, and never changed their course; Eternal, and its promise reaped of peace; But told them o'er, each in its customed place, Found peace this way alone: who sought it else, From morn till night, from youth to hoary age. Sought mellow grapes beneath the icy Pole, Little above the ox that grazed the field, Sought blooming roses on the cheek of death, His reason rose ; so weak his memory,
Sought substance in a world of fleeting shades.
An heir of flattery, to titles born,
Or to be known because his fathers were,
He on this height hereditary stood, Necessity, or laws of gravitation;
And, gazing higher, purposed in his heart
To take another step. Above him seemed,
In prime of youth, he bent his eagle eye.
There was another, large of understanding, And story telling glens, and founts, and brooks, Of memory infinite, of judgment deep,
And maids, as dew-drops pure and fair, his soul Who knew all learning, and all science knew; With grandeur filled, and melody, and love. And all phenomena, in heaven and earth, Then travel came, and took him where he wished. Traced to their causes ; traced to the labyrinths He cities saw, and courts, and princely pomp; Of thought, association, passion, will;
And mused alone on ancient mountain-brows; And all the subtle, nice affinities
And mused on battle-fields, where valour fought Of matter traced, its virtues, motions, laws; In other days; and mused on ruins gray And most familiarly and deeply talked
With years; and drank from old and fabulous Of mental, moral, natural, divine.
wells, Leaving the earth at will, he soared to heaven, And plucked the vine that first-born prophets And read the glorious visions of the skies;
plucked, And to the music of the rolling spheres
And mused on famous tombs, and on the wave Intelligently listened; and gazed far back Of ocean mused, and on the desert waste; Into the awful depths of Deity;
The heavens and earth of every country saw. Did all that mind assisted most could do; Where'er the old inspiring Genii dwelt, And yet in misery lived, in misery died, Aught that could rouse, expand, refine the soul, Because he wanted holiness of heart.
Thither he went, and meditated there.