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Well spent in such a strife, may earn indeed
And for a time insure to his lov'd land
The sweets of liberty and equal laws
But martyrs struggle for a brighter prize,
And win it with more pain. Their blood is shed
In confirmation of the noblest claim,
Our claim to feed
To walk with God, to be divinely free,
To foar, and to anticipate the skies.
Yet few remerr.ber them. They liv'd unknown
Till persecution dragg’d them into fame,
And chas'd them up to heaven. Their ashes flew
No marble tells us whither. With their names
No bard embalms and fanctifies his song ;
And History, so warm on meaner themes,
Is cold on this. She execrates indeed
The tyranny that doom'd them to the fire, ,
But gives the glorious suff'rers little praise.*
He is the freeman whom the truth makes free,
And all are sayes beside. There's not a chain
That hellish foes, confed’rate for his harm,
Can wind around him, but he casts it off
With as much ease as Samson his green wyths.
He looks abroad into the varied field
Of Nature, and though poor perhaps, compar'd
With those whose mansions glitter in his sight,
Calls the delightful scen’ry all his own.
His are the mountains, and the vallies his,
And the resplendent rivers. His t' enjoy
With a propriety that none can feel,
But who, with filial confidence inspir’d,
Can lift to heav'n an unpresumptuous eye,
And smiling say — my Father made them all.
Are they not his by a peculiar right,
And by an emphasis of int’rest his,
Whose eye they fill with tears of holy joy,
Whose heart with praise, and whose exalted mind
With worthy thoughts of that unwearied love
That plann'd, and built, and still upholds a world
So cloath'd with beauty, for rebellious man?
your garners, ye that reap
The loaded soil, and ye may waste much good
In senseless riot; but ye will not find
In feast or in the chace, in song or dance,
A liberty like his, who unimpeach'd
Of usurpation, and to no man's wrong,
Appropriates nature as his father's work,
And has a richer use of
He is indeed a freeman. Free by birth
Of no mean city, plann'd or 'ere the hills
Were built, the fountains open'd, or the sea
With all his roaring multitude of waves.
His freedom is the same in every state,
And no condition of this changeful life,
So manifold in cares, whose ev'ry day
Brings its own evil with it, makes it less :
For he has wings that neither sickness, pain,
Nor penury, can cripple or confine.
No nook so narrow but he spreads them there
With ease, and is at large. Th'oppressor holds
His body bound, but knows not what a range
His spirit takes, unconscious of a chain;
And that to bind him is a vain attempt
Whom God delights in, and in whom he dwells.
Acquaint thyself with God, if thou would'st taste His works. Admitted once to his embrace, Thou shalt perceive that thou wast blind before: Thine
eye shall be instructed, and thine heart, Made pure, shall relish, with divine delight 'Till then unfelt, what hands divine have wrought. Brutes graze the mountain-top, with faces prone And eyes intent
upon the scanty herb
It yields them, or recumbent on its brow,
Ruminate heedless of the scene outspread
Beneath, beyond, and stretching far away
From inland regions to the distant main.
Man views it and admires, but rests content
With what he views. The landscape has his praise,
But not its author. Unconcern'd who form'd
The paradise he sees, he finds it such,
And such well-pleas'd to find it, asks no more.
Not so the mind that has been touch'd from heav'n,
And in the school of sacred wisdom taught
To read his wonders, in whose thought the world,
Fair as it is, existed ere it was.
Not for its own sake merely, but for his
Much more who fashion'd it, he gives it praise ;
Praise that from earth resulting as it ought
To earth's acknowledg’d sov'reign, finds at once
Its only just proprietor in Him.
The foul that sees him, or receives sublim'd
New faculties, or learns at least t’employ
More worthily the pow'rs the own'd before ;
Discerns in all things, what with stupid gaze
Of ignorance till then she overlook'd,
ray of heav'nly light gilding all forms Terrestrial in the vast and the minute,