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DESCRIPTION OF A CATARACT.
HUS, up the mount, in airy vision rapt,
Iftray, regardless whither; till the found
Of a near fall of water, every fenfe
Wakes from the charm of thought. Swift-fhrinking back,
I check my steps, and view the broken scene.
SMOOTH, to the fhelving brink, a copious flood
Rolls fair and placid; where, collected all,
In one impetuous torrent, down the fteep
It thundering shoots, and shakes the country round.
At first, an azure fheet, it rushes broad;
Then, whit'ning by degrees, as prone it falls,
And, from the loud-refounding rocks below,
Dash'd in a cloud of foam, it fends aloft
A hoary mift, and forms a ceaseless shower.
Nor can the tortur'd wave here find repose:
But, raging ftill amid the fhaggy rocks,
Now flashes o'er the scatter'd fragments; now,
Aflant the hollow'd channel, rapid, darts;
And, falling faft from gradual flope to flope,
With wild infracted courfe, and leffen'd roar,
It gains a fafer bed; and steals, at last,
Along the mazes of the quiet vale.
EAR yonder copfe, where, once, the garden fmil'd, And, ftill, where many a garden flower grows wild There, where a few torn fhrubs the place disclose, The village preacher's modeft manfion rose.
A man he was, to all the country dear,
And paffing rich-with forty pounds a-year.
Remote from towns, he ran his godly race;
Nor e'er had chang'd, nor wish'd to change his place:
Unpractis'd he, to fawn, or feek for power,
By doctrines fashion'd to the varying hour
Far other aims his heart had learn'd to prize,
More skill'd to raise the wretched, than to rise.
His houfe was known to all the vagrant train:
He chid their wand'rings; but reliev'd their pain,
The long remember'd beggar was his gueft,
Whofe beard, defcending, fwept his aged breaft:
The ruin'd spendthrift, now no longer proud,
Claim'd kindred there, and had his claim allow'd :
The broken foldier, kindly bade to stay,
Sat by his fire, and talk'd the night away;
Wept o'er his wounds, or tales of forrow done,
Shoulder'd his crutch, and fhew'd how fields were won.
Pleas'd with his guests, the good man learn'd to glow,
-And quite forgot their vices in their woe;
Careless their merits or their faults to scan,
His pity gave, ere charity began.
THUS, to relieve the wretched was his pride; And ev❜n his failings lean'd to virtue's fide:
But, in his duty prompt at every call,
He watch'd and wept, he pray'd and felt, for all.
And, as a bird each fond endearment tries,
To tempt its new-fledg'd offspring to the skies,
He try'd each art, reprov'd each dull delay,
Allur'd to brighter worlds, and led the way.
BESIDE the bed where parting life was laid, And forrow, guilt, and pain, by turns dismay'd, The reverend champion ftood. At his control, Despair and anguish fled the ftruggling foul; Comfort came down, the trembling wretch to raise; And his laft falt'ring accents, whisper'd praise.
Ar church, with meek and unaffected grace,
His looks adorn'd the venerable place;
Truth from his lips prevail'd with double sway,
And fools, who came to fcoff, remain❜d to pray.
The fervice paft, around the pious man,
With ready zeal, each honest ruftic ran;
Even children follow'd, with endearing wile,
And pluck'd his gown, to share the good man's fmile;
His ready fmile a parent's warmth exprefs'd;
Their welfare pleas'd him, and their cares distress'd.
To them, his heart, his love, his griefs were given;
But all his ferious thoughts had rest in heaven:
As fome tall cliff, that lifts its awful form,
Swells from the vale, and, mid-way, leaves the ftorm,
Tho' round its breaft the rolling clouds are spread,
Eternal funshine fettles on its head.
HE blifs of man (could pride that bleffing find)
Is, not to act, or think, beyond mankind;
No pow'rs of body, or of foul, to fhare,
But what his nature, and his ftate, can bear.
Why has not man a mircroscopic eye?
For this plain reason, man is not a fly.
Say what th' ufe, were finer optics giv❜n,
T' infpect a mite, not comprehend the heav'n ?
Or touch, if tremblingly alive all o'er,
To fmart and agonize at ev'ry pore?
Or quick effluvia darting thro' the brain,
Die of a rofe in aromatic pain?
If nature thunder'd in his op'ning ears,
And stunn'd him with the mufic of the fpheres,
How would he wish that Heav'n had left him still
The whifp'ring zephyr, and the purling rill?
Who finds not Providence all good and wife,
Alike, in what it gives, and what denies ?
FAR as creation's ample range extends,
The fcale of fenfual, mental powers afcends.
Mark how it mounts, to man's imperial race,
From the green myriads in the peopled grafs !
What modes of fight, betwixt each wide extreme,
The mole's dim curtain, and the lynx's beam!
Of fmeil, the headlong lionefs between,
And hound fagacious on the tainted green!
Of hearing, from the life that fills the flood,
To that which warbles thro' the vernal wood!
The spider's touch, how exquifitely fine!
Feels at each thread, and lives along the line.
In the nice bee, what fenfe, fo fubtly true!
From pois'nous herbs extracts the healing dew:
How inftinct varies in the grov'ling fwine,
Compar'd, half-reas'ning elephant, with thine!
"Twixt that and reason, what a nice barrier!
For ever fep'rate, yet for ever near.
Remembrance, and reflection, how ally'd!
What thin partitions fenfe from thought divide
And middle natures, how they long to join,
Yet never pass th' infuperable line!
Without this juft gradation, could they be
Subjected, thefe to thofe, or all to thee?
The pow'rs of all, fubdu'd by thee alone,
Is not thy reafon all these pow'rs in one?
WHAT, if the foot, ordain'd the duft to tread,
Or hand, to toil, afpir'd to be the head?
What, if the head, the eye, or ear, repin'd
To ferve mere engines to the ruling mind?
Juft as abfurd for any part to claim
To be another, in this gen'ral frame;
Juft as abfurd, to mourn the tasks or pains,
The great directing mind of all ordains.
CEASE, then, nor order imperfection name;
Our proper blifs depends on what we blame.
Submit. In this, or any other sphere,
Secure to be as blefs'd as thou canft bear:
Safe in the hand of one difpofing pow'r,
Or in the natal, or the mortal hour.
ALL nature, is but art, unknown to thee
All chance, direction, which thou canst not see;