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And this delightful Earth, and that fair sky, Leap'd out of nothing, call'd by the Most High: By such a change thy darkness is made light, 640 Thy chaos order, and thy weakness might;
And He, whose pow'r mere nullity obeys,
Who found thee nothing, form'd thee for his praise.
How shall a verse impress thee; by what name
Heroes and worthies of days past, thy sires?
Or his, who touch'd their hearts with hallow'd fires?
And if the feast of freedom cloy thee not,
Reflect that these, and all that seems thine own,
Held by the tenure of his will alone,
Like angels in the service of their Lord,
Remain with thee, or leave thee at his word;
That gratitude and temp'rance in our use
Of what he gives unsparing and profuse,
Secure the favour, and enhance the joy,
That thankless waste and wild abuse destroy.
Those rights, that millions envy thee, appear,
Which make that Heav'n, if thou desire it, thine, (Awful alternative! believ'd, belov'd,
Thy glory; and thy shame if unimprov’d)
Are never long vouchsaf'd, if push'd aside
And that judicially withdrawn, disgrace,
A world is up in arms, and thou, a spot
And wilt thou join to this bold enterprise
Whoe'er assails thee, the success is sure;
But if he leave thee, though thy skill and pow'r Of nations, sworn to spoil thee and devour, Were all collected in thy single arm,
And thou couldst laugh away the fear of harm, That strength would fail, oppos'd against the push And feeble onset of a pigmy rush.
Say not (and if the thought of such defence
Should spring within thy bosom, drive it thence). What nation amongst all my foes is free
From crimes as base as any charg❜d on me?
Their measure fill'd, they too shall pay the debt,
Them without light, and thee without a cloud.
Muse, hang this harp upon yon aged beech, Still murm'ring with the solemn truths I teach;
And while at intervals a cold blast sings
Thro' the dry leaves, and pants upon
My soul shall sigh in secret, and lament
I know the warning song
That few will hear and fewer heed the strain;
A blessing to my country and mankind,
Then place it once again between my knees; 730
In scenes of plenty, or the pining waste,
Shall be my chosen theme, my glory to the last.