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And renovation of a faded world,
150 The scentless and the scented rose; this red And of a humbler growth, the other* tall, And throwing up into the darkest gloom Of neighb’ring cypress, or more sable yew, Her silver globes, light as the foamy surf, 155 That the wind severs from the broken wave; The lilack, various in array, now white, Now sanguine, and her beauteous head now set With purple spikes pyramidal, as if Studious of ornament, yet unresolv'd
160 * The Guelder Rose.
Which hue she most approv’d, she chose them all;
170 Yellow and bright, as bullion unalloy'd, Her blossoms; and luxuriant above all The jasmine, throwing wide her elegant sweets, The deep dark green of whose unvarnish'd leaf Makes more conspicuous, and illumines more 175 The bright profusion of her scatter'd stars.These have been, and these shall be in their day; And all this uniform uncolourd scene Shall be dismantled of its fleecy load, And flush into variety again.
180 From dearth to plenty, and from death to life, Is Nature's progress, when she lectures man In heav'nly truth ; evincing, as she makes The grand transition, that their lives and works A soul in all things, and that soul is God. 185 The beauties of the wilderness are his, That makes so gay the solitary place, Where no eye sees them. And the fairer forms, That cultivation glories in, are his. He sets the bright procession on its way,
190 And marshals all the order of the year ; He marks the bounds, which winter may
195 And, ere one flow'ry season fades and dies, Designs the blooming wonders of the next.
Some say that in the origin of things,
When all creation started into birth,
210 So man, the moth, is not afraid, it seems, To span omnipotence, and measure might That knows no measure, by the scanty rule And standard of his own, that is to-day, And is not ere to-morrow's sun go down.
215 But how should matter occupy a charge, Dull as it is, and satisfy a law So vast in its demands, unless impellid To ceaseless service by a ceaseless force, And under pressure of some conscious cause ? 220 The Lord of all, himself through all diffus'd, Sustains, and is the life of all that lives, Nature is but a name for an effect, Whose cause is God. He feeds the secret fire, By which the mighty process is maintain'd, Who sleeps not, is not weary ; in whose sight Slow circling ages are as transient days; Whose work is without labour ; whose designs No flaw deforms, no difficulty thwarts ; And whose beneficence no charge exhausts. 230 Him blind antiquity profan’d, not servid, With self-taught rites, and under various names, Female and male, Pomona, Pales, Pan, And Flora, and Vertumnus; peopling earth With tutelary goddesses and gods,
235 That were not; and commending as they would
To each some province, garden, field, or grove.
250 To the green blade that twinkles in the sun, Prompts with remembrance of a present God. His presence, who made all so fair, perceiv'd, Makes all still fairer. As with him no scene Is dreary, so with him all seasons please.
255 Though winter had been none, had man been true And earth be punish'd for its tenant's sake, Yet not in vengeance; as this smiling sky, So soon succeeding such an angry night, And these dissolving snows, and this clear stream 260 Recov'ring fast its liquid musick, prove.
Who, then, that has a mind well strung and tun'd To contemplation, and within his reach A scene so friendly to his fav'rite task, Would waste attention at the checker'd board. 265 His host of wooden warriours to and fro Marching and countermarching, with an eye As fix'd as marble, with a forehead ridg'd And furrow'd into storms, and with a hand Trembling, as if eternity were hung
270 In balance on his conduct of a pin ? Nor envies he aught more their idle sport, Who pant with application misapplied To trivial toys, and, pushing iv'ry balls
Across a velvet level, feel a joy
275 Akin to rapture, when the bauble finds Its destin'd goal, of difficult access. Nor deems he wiser him, who gives his noon To miss, the mercer's plague from shop to shop Wand'ring, and litt'ring with unfolded silks 280 The polish'd counter, and approving none, Or promising with smiles to call again. Nor him, who by his vanity seduc’d, And sooth'd into a dream, that he discerns The diff'rence of a Guido from a daub, Frequents the crowded auction : station’d there As duly as the Langford of the show, With glass at eye, and catalogue in hand, And tongue accomplish*d in the fulsome cant And pedantry that coxcombs learn with ease : 290 Oft as the price-deciding hammer falls, He notes it in his book, then raps his box, Swears 'tis a bargain, rails at his hard fate, That he has let it pass--but never bids!
Here unmolested, through whatever sign 295 The sun proceeds, I wander. Neither mist, Nor freezing sky nor sultry, checking me, Nor stranger intermeddling with my joy. E'en in the spring and playtime of the year, That calls the unwonted villager abroad
300 With all her little ones, a sportive train, To gather kingcups in the yellow mead, And prink their hair with daisies, or to pick A cheap but wholesome salad from the brook These shades are all my own. The tim'rous hare, Grown so familiar with her frequent guest, 306 Scarce shuns me; and the stock-dove, analarm'd, Sits cooing in the pinetree, nor suspends His long love ditty for my near approach. Drawn from his refuge in some lonely elm,
310 That age or injury has hollow'd deep, Where, on his bed of wool and matted leaves,