And let thy will be done.
To thee, whose temple is all space,
Whose altar, earth, sea, skies!
One chorus let all being raise!
All nature’s incense rise!
Know then thyself; presume
not God to scan
The proper study of mankind, is man.
Plac’d on this isthmus of a middle state,
A being darkly wise, and rudely great;
With too much knowledge for the sceptic side,
With too much weakness for the stoic’s pride,
He hangs between; in doubt to act, or rest;
In doubt, to deem himself a God, or beast;
In doubt, his mind or body to prefer;
Born, but to die; and reas’ning, but to err:
Alike in ignorance, his reason such,
Whether he thinks too little or too much:
Chaos of thought and passion, all confus’d;
Still by himself abus’d, or disabus’d:
Created, half to rise, and half to fall;
Great lord of all things, yet a prey to all:
Sole judge of truth, in endless error hurl’d;
The glory, jest, and riddle of the world!
See! Winter comes, to
rule the varied year,
Sullen and sad, with all his rising train,
Vapours, and clouds, and storms. Be these my theme;
These, that exalt the soul to solemn thought,
And heavenly musing. Welcome, kindred glooms!
Congenial horrors, hail! With frequent foot,
Pleas’d, have I, in my cheerful morn of life,
When, nurs’d by careless solitude, I liv’d,
And sung of nature with unceasing joy.
Pleas’d, have I wand’red through your rough domain;
Trod the pure virgin snows, myself as pure;
Heard the winds roar, and the big torrent burst;
Or seen the deep fermenting tempest brew’d
In the grim evening sky. Thus pass the time,
Till, through the lucid chambers of the south,
Look’d out the joyous spring, look’d out, and smil’d.
My name is Norval. On
the Grampian Hills
My father feeds his flocks; a frugal swain,
Whose constant cares were to increase his store,
And keep his only son, myself, at home.
For I had heard of battles, and I long’d
To follow to the field some warlike lord:
And heav’n soon granted what my sire deny’d.
This moon, which rose last night, round as my shield,
Had not yet fill’d her horns, when by her light,
A band of fierce barbarians, from the hills
Rush’d, like a torrent, down upon the vale,
Sweeping our flocks and herds. The shepherds fled
For safety and for succour. I alone,
With bended bow, and quiver full of arrows,
Hover’d about the enemy, and mark’d
The road he took; then hasted