Nature poems/ page 9 of 287 /
From low and abject themes the grov'ling museNow mounts aërial, to sing of armsTriumphant, and emblaze the martial actsOf Britain's hero; may the verse not sinkBeneath his merits, but detain a whileThy ear, O Harley, (though thy country's wealDepends on thee, though mighty Anne requiresThy hourly counsels) since with ev'ry artThy self adorn'd, the mean essays of youthThou wilt not damp, but guide, wherever found,The willing genius to the muses' seat:Therefore thee first, and last, the muse shall sing
Though much concern'd to leave my dear old friend,I must however his design commendOf fixing in the country: for were IAs free to choose my residence, as he;The Peak, the Fens, the Hundreds, or Land's End,I would prefer to Fleet Street, or the Strand
Voice of our Century, whose heart is broken,Weeping for those who will not come again--Lord Christ! hast thou been crucified in vain?--Challenge the right of every Tyrant's token:The fist of mail; the sceptre; ancient, oakenCoffers of gold for which thy sons are slain;The pride of place, which from the days of CainHath for the empty right of Power spoken!
Be like a trumpet blown from clouds of doomAgainst whatever seeks to bind on earth;Bring from the blood of battle, from the wombOf women weeping for their dead, the birthOf better days with banishment of wrong,Love in all hearts, on every lip--a song
Eternal night and solitude of space;Breath as of vapour crimsoning to flame;Far constellations moving in the sameInvariable order and the paceThat times the sun, or earth's elliptic raceAmong the planets: Life--dumb, blind and lame--Creeping from form to form, until her shameBlends with the beauty of a human face!
Death can not claim what Life so hardly wonOut of her ancient warfare with the Void--O Man! whose day is only now begun,Go forth with her and do what she hath done;Till thy last enemy--Death--be destroyed,And earth outshine the splendour of the sun
About the age of twenty, when the first hairfallsignals that nature is finished with the organismand we just begin to conceive the use of women(having been all this timemore enamored of the fountain than the cistern),we retire to nursing homes,whether they be kaleidoscopic gardensaimed like a blunderbuss of hermeticism at our neighbors,or a desperate dream safari through old Zambesi,where the suicidal waves of angry nativesgive the illusion that we are advancing rapidly,or the crow's-nest of this windless office blockwhere the cook is already boiling the last sail
The Doctor, in a clean starch'd band,His golden snuff box in his hand,With care his diamond ring displays,And artful shows its various Rays;While grave he stalks down -- StreetHis dearest -- to meet
PErplex'd and troubl'd at his bad successThe Tempter stood, nor had what to reply,Discover'd in his fraud, thrown from his hope,So oft, and the perswasive RhetoricThat sleek't his tongue, and won so much on Eve,So little here, nay lost; but Eve was Eve,This far his over-match, who self deceiv'dAnd rash, before-hand had no better weigh'dThe strength he was to cope with, or his own:But as a man who had been matchless heldIn cunning, over-reach't where least he thought,To salve his credit, and for very spightStill will be tempting him who foyls him still,And never cease, though to his shame the more;Or as a swarm of flies in vintage time,About the wine-press where sweet moust is powr'd,Beat off, returns as oft with humming sound;Or surging waves against a solid rock,Though all to shivers dash't, the assault renew,Vain battry, and in froth or bubbles end;So Satan, whom repulse upon repulseMet ever; and to shameful silence brought,Yet gives not o're though desperate of success,And his vain importunity pursues
MEan while the new-baptiz'd, who yet remain'dAt Jordan with the Baptist, and had seenHim whom they heard so late expresly call'dJesus Messiah Son of God declar'd,And on that high Authority had believ'd,And with him talkt, and with him lodg'd, I meanAndrew and Simon, famous after knownWith others though in Holy Writ not nam'd,Now missing him thir joy so lately found,So lately found, and so abruptly gone,Began to doubt, and doubted many days,And as the days increas'd, increas'd thir doubt:Sometimes they thought he might be only shewn,And for a time caught up to God, as onceMoses was in the Mount, and missing long;And the great Thisbite who on fiery wheelsRode up to Heaven, yet once again to come
I Who e're while the happy Garden sung,By one mans disobedience lost, now singRecover'd Paradise to all mankind,By one mans firm obedience fully tri'dThrough all temptation, and the Tempter foil'dIn all his wiles, defeated and repuls't,And Eden rais'd in the wast Wilderness