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He looks abroad on Nature, and invests,
Where'er his univerfal eye furveys,
Her ample bofom, earth, air, sea, and sky,
In one bright robe, with heavenly tinctures gay.
From this hoar hill, that climbs above the plain,
Half-way up heaven ambitious, brown with woods
Of broadeft fhade, and terrass'd round with walks,
Winding and wild, that deep embowering rife,
Maze above maze, through all its shelter'd height;
From hence, th' aëreal concave without cloud,
Translucent, and in pureft azure drest ;
The boundless scene beneath, hill, dale, and plain;
The precipice abrupt; the diftant deep,
Whole fhores remurmur to the founding furge;
The nearest foreft in wide circuit spread,
Solemn recefs, whofe folitary walks,
Fair Truth and Wisdom love; the bordering lawn, With flocks and herds enrich'd; the daify'd vale; The river's crystal, and the meadow's green Grateful diverfity! allure the eye
Abroad, to rove amid ten thousand charms.
Thefe fcenes, where every Virtue, every Muse
Delighted range, ferene the foul, and lift,
Borne on devotion's wing, beyond the pole,
To highest heaven her thought; to Nature's God,
First fource of all things lovely, all things good,
Eternal, infinite! before whofe throne
Sits fovereign Bounty, and through heaven and earth Careless diffufes plenitude of blifs.
Him all things own: he speaks, and it is day.
Obedient to his nod, alternate night
Obfcures the world. The feafons at his call
Succeed in train, and lead the year around.
While reafon thus and rapture fill the heart; Friends of mankind, good angels, hovering near, Their holy influence, deep-infufing, lend; And in ftill whispers, foft as Zephyr's breath When scarce the green leaf trembles, through her powers Infpire new vigour, purer light fupply,
And kindle every virtue into flame.
Celestial intercourfe! fuperior blifs,
Which vice ne'er knew! health of th' enliven'd foul,
And heaven on earth begun! Thus ever fix'd
In folitude, may I, obfcurely fafe,
Deceive mankind, and steal through life along,
As flides the foot of Time, unmark'd, unknown!
Exalted to his noon the fervent fun,
Full-blazing o'er the blue immenfe, burns out
With fierce effulgence. Now th' embowering maze
Of vale sequester'd, or the fir-crown'd fide
Of airy mountain, whence with lucid lapfe
Falls many a dew-fed ftream, invites the step
Of mufing poet, and fecures repofe
To weary pilgrim. In the flood of day,
Oppreffive brightnefs deluging the world,
Sick Nature pants: and from the cleaving earth
Light vapours, undulating through the air,
Contagious fly, engendering dire difeafe,
Red plague, and fever; or, in fogs aloft
Condensing, fhew a ruffling tempest nigh.
And fee, exhaling from th' atlantic furge,
Wild world of waters, diftant clouds afcend
In vapory confluence, deepening cloud on cloud:
Then rolling dusk along to east and north,
As the blast bears them on his humid wing,
Draw total night and tempeft o'er the noon!
Lo, bird and beast, imprefs'd by Nature's hand
In homeward-warnings through each feeling nerve,
Hafte from the hour of terror and of ftorm.
The Thunder 110w, from forth his cloudy fhrine,
Amid conflicting elements, where Dread
And Death attend, the fervants of his nod,
First, in deaf murmurs, founds the deep alarm,
Heard from afar, awakening awful thought.
Dumb fadness fills this nether world: the gloom
With double blacknefs lours; the tempeft fwells;
And expectation shakes the heart of man.
Where yonder clouds in dusky depth extend Broad o'er the fouth; fermenting in their womb, Pregnant with fate, the fiery tempeft fwells, Sulphureous fteam and nitrous, late exhal'd From mine or unctuous foil and lo, at once, Forth darted in flant ftream, the ruddy flash, Quick-glancing, spreads a moment's horrid day. Again it flames expanfive; fheets the sky, Wide and more wide, with mournful light around, On all fides burning; now the face of things Difclofing; fwallow'd now in tenfold night.
Again the thunder's voice, with pealing roar,
From cloud to cloud continuous roll'd along,
Amazing burfts! Air, fea, and fhore refound.
Horror fits fhuddering in the felon-breast,
And feels the deathful flash before it flies:
Each fleeping fin, excited, starts to view ;
And all is ftorm within. The Murderer, pale
With conscious guilt, though hid in deepest shade,
Hears and flies wild, pursued by all his fears:
And fees the bleeding fhadow of the Slain
Rife hideous, glaring on him through the gloom!
Hark! through th' aëreal vault, the storm inflam'd
Comes nearer, hoarfely loud, abrupt and fierce,
Peal hurl'd on peal inceffant, burst on burst:
Torn from its bafe, as if the general frame
Were tumbling into chaos-There it fell,
With whirlwind-wing, in red diffusion flash'd.
Deftruction marks its path. Yon riven oak
Is hid in fmouldering fires: furpriz'd beneath,
The traveller ill-omen'd proftrate falls,
A livid courfe. Yon cottage flames to heaven:
And in its fartheft cell, to which the hour,
All-horrible, had fped their fteps, behold!
The parent breathlefs lies; her orphan-babes
Shuddering and fpeechlefs round-0 Power divine!
Whofe will, unerring, points the bolt of fate!
Thy hand, though terrible, fhall man decide
If punishment, or mercy, dealt the blow?
Appeas'd at laft, the tumult of the skies
Subfides, the thunder's falling roar is hufh'd:
At once the clouds fly scattering, and the fun
Breaks out with boundless fplendor o'er the world.
Parent of light and joy! to all things he
New life restores, and from each drooping field
Draws the redundant rain, in climbing mifts
Faft-rifing to his ray; till every flower
Lift up its head, and Nature fmiles reviv'd.
At first 'tis awful filence over all,
From fenfe of late-felt danger; till confirm'd,
In grateful chorus mixing, beaft and bird
Rejoice aloud to heaven: on either hand,
The woodlands warble, and the valleys tow.
So pass the songful hours: and now the fun,
Declin'd, hangs verging on the western main,
Whofe fluctuating bofom, blufhing red
The space of many feas beneath his eye,
Heaves in soft swellings murmuring to the shore.
A circling glory glows around his disk
Of milder beams: part, ftreaming o'er the sky,
Inflame the distant azure: part below
In level lines fhoot through the waving wood,
Clad half in light, and half in pleasing shade,
That lengthens o'er the lawn. Yon evening clouds,
Lucid or dusk, with flamy purple edg'd,
Float in gay pomp the blue horizon round,
Amufive, changeful, fhifting into shapes
Of visionary beauty, antique towers
With fhadowy domes and pinnacles adorn'd;
Or hills of white extent, that rife and fink
As fportful Fancy lifts: till late, the fun