MAN, as he came from his CREATOR’s hand,
With infant innocence, instinctive love,
Saw NATURE’s beauty—felt her influence bland,
As dawns the day thro’ Heaven’s blue vault above.
Wrapt in admiring joy he gazed around,
And when his fellow man first met that gaze,
Sprung forth towards him with spontaneous bound,
Hailing a second self with wild amaze!
Or haply, if quick glancing, he survey’d
The form of virgin loveliness disclose,
Beneath the covert of some breezy shade,
In all the sweetness of serene repose.
Heavens! what emotions darted thro’ his frame,
What sudden transport fix’d his wand’ring eyes;
Ere hopes or objects had received a name,
As new sensations—thoughts—affections rise.
She startling—wakes!—Will timid beauty strive
To fly—nor smiling animate her charms?
While he, to sensibility alive,
Clasps the sweet sociate with protecting arms?
From that glad hour, each joy that NATURE yields,
Doubles the influence of its first delights:
More gay the flowret, and more fresh the fields:
The morn more fair: ev’n blest the glooms of night.
A principle communicative dwells
Within the HEART of man: it leads him on
To seek SOCIETY; and he rebels,
Who scorpion-like crawls sordidly alone.
And if thus social, then, to make it blest,
Congenial minds sincerely must unite;
But where to find that true concordant rest,
Time ne’er has pointed in his ceaseless flight.
Nor in my various wand’rings have I found,
For ah! the WORLD is so far lost in ART,
The sweet simplicities of NATURE, wound
Th’ affected, false, refinements of the heart.
‘He only is thy true, thy faithful FRIEND,
Who feeds not vanity with flattery’s food;
But from each sensual, proud, and selfish end
Averts thine aim, and leads thee on to good.
‘To a degenerate world’s far-distant bourne,
Seeking that friend, in HOPE’s gay chariot ride,
Less light of heart thou wearied shalt return,
With DISAPPOINTMENT seated at thy side.
‘Confide thou then in HIM, and HIM alone,
Who form’d the fruitful earth and azure sky:
Whose PROVIDENCE, thro’ life, has led thee on,
And still regards thee with benignant eye.
‘Humbly to HIM, thy heart, thy soul, resign:
Beyond thy faith, his streams of mercy flow:
EDEN shall end thy pilgrimage below.’
Inspired with love and charity to man,
Such were the precepts blest SHEIKH HEIDER gave;
But worldly policy’s contracted span
Has laid those precepts in the martyr’s grave.
Th’ Arabian adage says, ‘to live secure,
Climb thou to Heaven, or cavern’d depths descend;
For on earth’s surface nought is safe or sure,
The wise man in the MIRROR seeks his friend.’
To HEAVEN my VOWS are sped, by whose command
These far-secluded trackless woods I sought:
Temptations to revisit PERSIA’s land,
Shall ne’er, prevailing, turn those vows to nought.
The will divine ’tis not for me to know,
Beyond the point that teaches to obey;
Not so the tyrant powers that rule below,
In boastful pride of heaven-appointed sway.
All hail, ye mountain solitudes! from you
And from your untamed inmates will I claim
Those calm retreats that nature’s children knew,
Ere EDUCATION taught one artful aim.
Tho’ here recluse, O GOD! inspire my mind
With love of THEE, of NATURE, and MANKIND.