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A fair electric flame:
Shoots rapid through the frame !
TO A FRIEND IN ANSWER TO A MELANCHOLY
Away, those cloudy looks, that labouring sigh,
Yon setting sun flashes a mournful gleam
Wild, as the autumnal gust, the hand of Time Flies o'er his mystic lyre: in shadowy dance The alternate groups of Joy and Grief advance Responsive to his varying strains sublime !
Bears on its wing each hour a load of Fate ;
Nor shall not Fortune with a vengeful smile
There shiv’ring sad beneath the tempest’s frown Round his tired linnbs to wrap the purple vest ; And mixed with nails and beads, an equal jest ! Barter for food the jewels of his crown.
A DESULTORY POEM, WRITTEN ON THE CHRISTMAS
EVE OF 1794.
This is the time, when most divine to hear,
E'er with such majesty of portraiture
throne Diviner light filled Heaven with ecstasy! Heaven's hymnings paused: and Hell her yawn
ing mouth Closed a brief moment.
Lovely was the death Of Him whose life was Love! Holy with power He on the thought-benighted Sceptic beamed Manifest Godhead, melting into day What floating mists of dark idolatry Broke and misshaped the omnipresent Sire: And first by Fear uncharmed the drowsed Soul,
Till of its nobler nature it ’gan feel Dim recollections ; and thence soared to Hope, Strong to believe whate’er of mystic good The Eternal dooms for his immortal sons. From Hope and firmer Faith to perfect Love Attracted and absorbed : and centred there God only to behold, and know, and feel, Till by exclusive consciousness of God All self-annihilated it shall make God its identity : God all in all ! We and our Father one!
And blest are they, Who in this fleshly World, the elect of Heaven, Their strong eye darting through the deeds of men, Adore with steadfast unpresuming gaze Him, Nature's essence, mind, and energy! And gazing, trembling, patiently ascend, Treading beneath their feet all visible things As steps, that upward to their Father's throne Lead gradual-else nor glorified nor loved. They nor contempt embosom nor revenge: For they dare know of what may seem deform The Supreme Fair sole operant: in whose sight All things are pure, his strong controlling Love Alike from all educing perfect good. Theirs too celestial courage, inly armedDwarfing Earth's giant brood, what time they muse On their great Father, great beyond compare! And marching onwards view high o'er their heads His waving banners of Omnipotence.
Who the Creator love, created might Dread not: within their tents no terrors walk. For they are holy things before the Lord Aye unprofaned, though Earth should league with
Hell; God's altar grasping with an eager hand, Fear, the wild-visaged, pale, eye-starting wretch, Sure-refuged hears his hot pursuing fiends Yell at vain distance. Soon refreshed from Heaven He calms the throb and tempest of his heart.