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[Iad form d for virtue's nobler view,
By precept and example too,
Would often boast his matchless skill,
To curb the steed, and guide the wheel ;
And as he pass'd the gazing throng,
With graceful ease, and smack'd the thong.
The idiot wonder they express'd,
Was praise and transport to his breast.
At length, quite vain, he needs would sbow
His master what his art could do ;
And bade his slaves the chariot lead
To Academus' sacred shade.
The trembling grove confess'd its fright,
The wood-nymphs started at the sight ;
The muses drop the learned lyre,
And to their inmost shades retire.
Howe'er, the youth, with forward air ;
Bows to the sage, and mounts the car.
The lash resounds, the coursers spring,
The chariot marks the rolling ripg ;
And gath'ring crowds, with eager eyes,
And shouts, pursue him as he fies.
Triumphant to the goal return'd, With nobler thirst his bosom burn'd; And now along th' indented plain The self-same track he marks again, Pursues with care the nice design, Nor ever deviates from the line. Amazement seiz'd the circling crowd ; The youths with emulation glow'd ; Ev'n bearded sages hail'd the boy ; And all but Plato gaz’d with joy. For he, deep-judging sage, beheld With pain the triumphs of the field : And when the charioteer drew nigh, And, Aush'd with hope, had caught his eye, “ Alas! unhappy youth,” he cry'd, “Expect no praise from me," (and sigh'a. “ With indignation I survey Such skill and judgment thrown away. The time profusely squander'd there, On vulgar arts beneath thy care, If well employ'd, at less expense, Had taught thee honour, virtue sense :
Togam sa, a guide tie state- ITSEEA
Discurse betzeedom and Exe, retiring to res
Non came stiller sing on, and to hight gray
Hadis ber sober lv'ry all things ched
*Silence accompanied for beast added
They to their grassy coach, these to their rests
Were dank; all but the wakefel nagttegale
She all night long ber am roas descat sung
Silence was pleas'd. Son glow'd the firmaseat
With living sapphires : Hesperes, that led
The starry bost, rode brightest, till the moon,
Kising in clouded majesty, at length,
Apparent queen onveilá ber peerless light,
And o'er the dark ber silver mantle threw.
When Adam thus to Eve: “ Fair consort, th' boer
Of night, and all things now retir'd to rest,
Mind us of like repose, since God hath set
Labour and rest, as day and night, to men
Successive ; and the timely dew of sleep,
Now falling with soft slamb'rous weight, inclines
Our eye-lids. Other creatures all day long
Rove idle unemployd, and less need rest :
Man hath his daily work of body or mind
Appointed, which declares his dignity,
And the regard of Hear'n on all his ways;
While other animals unactive range,
And of their doings God takes no account.
Tomorrow, ere fresh morning streak the east
With first approach of light, we must be risen,
And at our pleasant labour; to reform
Yon flow'ry arbours, yonder alleys green,
Our walk at noon, with branches overgrown,
That mock our scent manuring, and require
More lands than ours to lop their wanton growth.
Those blossoms also, and those dropping gums,
That lie bestrown, unsightly and unsmooth,
Ask riddance, if we mean to tread with ease.
Mean while, as nature wills, night bids us rest."
To who thus Eve, with perfect beauty adorn'd My author and disposer, what thou bidst Vourgu'd I pbey; so God ordains.
With thee conversing I forget all time ;
All seasons and their change, all please alike.
Sweet is the breath of morn, her rising sweet,
With charm of earliest birds ; pleasant the sun
When first on this delightful land he spreads
His orient beams, on herb, tree, fruit, and flow'r,
Glist'ring with dew; fragrant the fertile earth
After soft show'rs; and sweet the coming on
Of grateful evening mild ; then silent night,
With this her solemn bird, and this fair moon,
And these the gems of heav'n, her starry train :
But neither breath of morn, when s. ascends
With charm of earliest birds ; nor rising sun
On this delightful land ; nor herb, fruit, tlow'r,
Glist’ring with dew ; nor fragrance after show'rs,
Nor grateful evening mild ; nor silent night
With this her solemn bird ; nor walk by moon,
Or glittring star light,—without thee is sweet.
But wherefore all night long shine these ? for whom
This glorious sight, when sleep hath shut all eyes ?”
To whom our gen’ral ancestor reply'd :
Daughter of God and man, accomplish'd Eve,
These have their course to finish round the eara,
By morrow ev’ning ; and from land to land,
In order, though to nations yet unborn,
Minist'ring light prepar'd, they set and rise ;
Lest total darkness should by night regain
Her old possession, and extinguish life
In nature and all things ; wbich these soft îires
Not only enlighten, but, with kindly heat
Of various influence, foment and warm,
Temper or nourish ; or in part shed down
Their stellar virtue on all kinds that grow
On earth, made hereby apter to receive
Perfection from the sun's more potent ray:
These tben, though unbeheld in deep of night,
Shine not in vain ; nor think, though men were none,
That heav'n would want spectators, God want praise ;
Millions of spiritual creatures walk the earth
Unseen, both when we wake, and when we sleep,
All these with ceaseless praise his works behold,
Both day and night. How often, from the sleep
Of echoing hill or thicket have we heard
Celestial voices to tbe midnight air,
Sole, or responsive each to others' note,
Singing their great Creator ? Of in bands,
While they keep watch, or nightly rounding walk
With heav'nly touch of instrumental sounds,
la full harmonic number join'd, their songs
Divide the night, and lift our thoughts to heav'n.“
Thus talking hand in hand alone they pass'd
On to their blissful bow'r.-
-There arriv'd, both stood, Both turn'd ; and under open sky ador'd The God that made both sky, air, earth, and heav'n Which they behcid, the moon's resplendent globe, And starry pole. - Thou also mad'st the night, Maker Omnipotent, and thou the day, Which we, in our appointed work employ'd, Have finish'd, happy in our mutual help, And mutual love, the crown of all our bliss Ordain'd by thee ; and this delicious place For us too large, where thy abundance wants Par takers, and uncropt falls to the ground. But thou hast promis'd from us two a race, To fill the earth, who shall with us extol Thy goodness infinite, both when we wake, And when we seek, as now, thy gift of sleep.”~-MILTON
Religion and Death
Lo! a form divinely bright
Descends, and bursts upon my sight;
A seraph of illustrious birth!
(Religion was her name on earth ;)
Supremely sweet her radiant face,
And blooming with celestial grace !
Three shining cherubs form’d her train,
Wav'd their light wings, and reach'd the plain :
Faith, with sublime and piercing eye,
And pinions flutt'ring for the sky;
Here Hope, that smiling angel stands,
And golden anchors grace her hands ;
There Charity in robes of white,
Fairest and fav’rite maid of light.
The seraph spoke~ ?Tis Reason's part
govern and to guard the heart :
To lull the wayward soul to rest,
When hopes and fears distract the breast.
calm this doubtful strife,
And steer thy bark through various life ::
But when the storms of death are nigh,
And midnight darkness veils the sky,
Shall Reason then direct thy sail,
Disperse the clouds, or sink the gale!
Stranger, this skill alone is mine,
Skill that transcends his scanty line.”
“ Revere thyself—thou'rt near allied
To angels on thy better side.
How various e'er their ranks or kinds,
Angels are but uubodied minds :
When the partition-walls decay,
Men emerge angels from their clay.
Yes, when the frailer body dies,
The soul asserts her kindred skies.
But minds, though sprung from heav'nly race,
Must first be tutor’d for the place :
The joys above are understood,
And relish'd only by the good,
Who shall assume this guardian care ;
Who shall secure their birth-right there?
Souls are my charge—to me 'tis giv'n
To train them for their native heav'n.”
• Know then-who bow the early knee, And give the willing heart to me; Who wisely, when Temptation waits, Elude her frauds, and spurn her baits ; Who dare to own my injur'd cause, Though fools deride my sacred laws; Or scorn to deviate to the wrong, Though persecution lifts her thong; Though all the sons of hell conspire To raise the stake and light the fire ; Know, that for such superior souls, There lies a bliss beyond the poles : Where spirits shine with purer ray, And brighten to meridian day ; Where love, where boundless friendship rules i (No friends that change, no love that cools ;) Where rising floods of knowledge roll, And pour, and pour upon the soul!"