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HESE are thy glorious works, parent of good,
Almighty, thine this univerfal frame, Thus wondrous fair ; thyself how wondrous then! Unspeakable, who sitt'st above these heav'ns, To us invisible, or dimly seen In these thy lowest works; yet these declare Thy goodness beyond thought, and pow'r divine. Speak ye who best can tell, ye fons of light, Angels; for ye behold him, and with songs And choral symphonies, day without night, Circle his throne rejoicing ; ye in heav'n, On earth join all ye creatures to extol Him first, him last, him midit, and without end. Fairest of stars, last in the train of night, If better thou belong not to the dawn, Sure pledge of day, that crown'ft the smiling morn With thy bright circiet, praise him in thy sphere, While day arises, that sweet hour of prime. Thou fun, of this great world both eye and soul, Acknowledge him thy greater : found his praise In thy eternal course, both when thou climb'ít, And when high noon haft gain'd, and when thou fall'ít. Moon, that now meet'it the orient fun, now fly'it
With the fix'd stars, fix'd in their orb that flies;
And ye five other wand'ring fires that move
In mystic dance not without song, resound
His praise, who out of darkness call’d up light.
Air, and ye elements, the eldest birth
Of nature's womb, that in quaternion run
Perpetual circle, multiform ; and mix,
And nourish all things ; let your ceaseless change
Vary to our great Maker still new praise.
Ye mists and exhalations that now rise
From hill or steaming lake, dusky or gray,
Till the sun paint your fleecy skirts with gold,
In honour to the world's great Author rise,
Whether to deck with clouds th' uncolour'd sky,
Or wet the thirsty earth with falling showers,
Rising or falling still advance his praise.
His praise, ye winds, that from four quarters blow,
Breathe soft or loud; and wave your tops, ye pines,
With every plant, in sign of worship wave.
Fountains, and ye, that warble, as ye flow,
Melodious murmurs, warbling tune his praise,
Join voices all ye living fouls ; ye birds,
That singing up to heaven-gate ascend,
Bear on your-wings and in your notes his praise.
Ye that in waters glide, and ye that walk
The earth, and stately tread, or lowly creep;
Witness if I be silent, morn or even,
To hill, or valley, fountain, or fresh fhade,
Made vocal by my song, and taught his praisc.
Hail universal Lord, be bounteous still
To give us only good; and if the night
Have gather'd ought of evil, or conceal’d,
Disperse it, as now light dispels the dark.
MESSIAH, a Sacred ECLOGUE.
E nymphs of Solyma! begin the fong:
To heav'nly themes sublimer strains belong.
The mosly fountains, and the sylvan shades,
The dreams of Pindus and th' Aonian maids,
Delight no more - thou my voice inspire
Who touch'd Isaiah's hallow'd 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 flow'r with fragrance fills the skies :
Th’æthereal spirit o'er its leaves shall move,
And on its top descends the mystic dove.
Ye heav'ns! from high the dewy nectar pour,
And in soft silence shed the kindly show'r !
The fick 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 rob’d innocence from heav'n descend.
Swift fly the years, and rise th' expected morn!
Oh spring to light, auspicious Babe, be born!
See nature haftes 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 fpicy clouds from lowly Saron rise,
And Carmel's flow'ry top perfumes the skies!
Hark! a glad voice the lonely desert chears ;
Prepare the way! a God, a God appears :
A God, a God! the vocal hills reply,
The rocks proclaim th' approaching Deity.
Lo, earth receives him from the bending kies !
Sink down, ye mountains, and, ye vallies, rise ;
With heads declin'd, ye cedars, homage pay;
Be smooth ye rocks; ye rapid floods, give way!
The Saviour comes! by ancient bards foretold :
Hear him, ye deaf, and all ye blind, behold !
He from thick films shall
the visual ray,
And on the fightless eye-ball pour the day :
"Tis he th' obitructed paths of sound fhall clear,
And bid new music charm th’ unfolding ear :
The dumb fhall fing, the lame his crutch forego,
And leap exulting like the bounding roe.
No figh, no murmur the wide world shall hear,
From ev'ry face he wipes off ev'ry tear.
In adamantine chains shall death be bound,
And hell's grim tyrant feel th' eternal wound..
As the good shepherd tends his fleecy care,
Seeks freshest pasture, and the purest air,
Explores the loft, the wand'ring sheep directs,
By day o'ersees them, and by night protects,