NATURE degenerates not; why then should MAN,
The boasted LORD of her terrestrial reign?
If sovereign WISDOM form’d the mystic plan,
Unchang’d its end, its order must remain.
If boundless LOVE embrace the wond’rous whole,
A work congenial to creative will:
Shall not all beings ranged from pole to pole,
The perfect FIAT of that LOVE fulfil?
The reptile crawling in his native clay,
The eagle soaring to the midway skies,
The dread Hyæna prowling fierce for prey,
The helpless Fawn to shun his rage that flies,
The lab’ring husbandman, the slothful lord
Feasting luxurious on the poor man’s toil,
The sordid wretch by gen’rous minds abhorr’d,
The sparkling diamond and its artful foil,
The dusky gloom of IGNORANCE, behold:
The imbecility of FOLLY’s train:
Sweet INNOCENCE more pure than virgin gold:
AMBITION restless as the billowy main.
Th’ intriguing statesman, wand’ring AFGHAN rude,
The pious MOSLEM, or the sensual JEW:
The exiled ACHMED here in solitude:
All equally the destined path pursue.
But to what end—is known to him alone,
Who rules supreme o’er Ocean, Earth, and Heav’n.
Should I repine—if thro’ the burning zone,
Or to the icy north my course were driv’n?
In HIM I live—by his behest I move;
His active energy my heart inspires:
I feel a portion of his heav’nly LOVE,
Expand my soul, and raise her native fires.
ETERNAL BEING! merciful as just!
With thy blest TRUTH illume my erring mind:
Teach it, IN THEE to place unbounded trust,
To leave the world and all its hopes behind.
With sweet CONTENT, O grant me here to dwell,
And bless the solitudes around my cell.