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Rich as Eden's happy ground,
There are endless beauties more Earth hath no resemblance for; a Nothing like them round the pole, Nothing can describe the soul; "Tis a region half unknown, That has treasures of its own,
More remote from public view
Yet the silly wand'ring mind, Loth to be too much confin'd, Roves and takes her daily tours, Coasting round the narrow shores, Narrow shores of flesh and sense, Picking sliells and pebbles thence; Or she sits at Fancy's door, Calling shapes and shadows to her, Foreign visits still receiving, And herself a stranger living. Never, never would she buy Indian dust or Tyrian dye, Never trade abroad for more, If she saw her native store, If her inward worth were known, She might ever live alone,
Did sweeter sounds adorn my flowing tongue,
Charity, decent, modest, easy, kind, Softens the high, and rears the abject mind! Knows with just reins and gentle hand to guide Betwixt vile shame, and arbitrary pride: Not soon provok’d, she easily forgives; And much she suffers, as she much believes; Soft peace she brings wherever she arrives; She builds our quiet, as she forms our lives; Lays the rough paths of peevish nature even, And opens in each heart a little heaven.
Each other gift, which God on man bestows, Its proper bounds and due restriction knows; To one fix'd purpose dedicates its power, And finishing its act, exists no more. Thus, in obedience to what heav'n decrees, Knowledge shall fail, and prophecy shall cease: But lasting Charity's more ample sway, Nor bound by time, nor subject to decay, In happy triumph shall for ever live, And endless good diffuse, and endless praise re
ceive. As through the artist's intervening glass, Our eye perceives the distant planets pass, A little we discover; but allow That more remains unseen than art can show: So whilst our mind its knowledge would improve, (Its feeble eye intent on things above).
High as we may, we lift our reason up,
But soon the mediate clouds shall be dispelld;
Then constant Faith and holy Hope shall die, One lost in certainty, and one in joy: Whilst thou, more happy pow'r, fair Charity, Triumphant sister, greatest of the three, Thy office and thy nature still the same, Lasting thy lamp, and unconsum'd thy flame, Shalt still surviveShalt stand before the host of heaven confest, For ever blessing, and for ever blest.