And when high noon has gain’d, and when thou fall’st,
Moon! that now meet’st the orient fun, now fly’st
With the fix’d stars, fix’d in their orb that flies;
And ye five other wand’ring fires! that move
In mystic dance, not without song; resound
His praise, who out of darkness, call’d up light.
Air, and ye elements! the eldest birth
Of nature’s womb, that, in quaternion, run
Perpetual circle, multiform, and mix
And nourish all things; let your ceaseless change
Vary, to our great Maker, still new praise,
Ye mists and exhalations! that now rise
From hill or streaming lake, dusky or grey,
Till the sun paint your fleecy skirts with gold,
In honour to the world’s great Author, rise;
Whether to deck with clouds, th’ uncolour’d sky,
Or wet the thirsty earth with falling show’rs,
Rising, or falling, still advance his praise.
His praise, ye winds! that from four quarters blow,
Breathe soft or loud! and wave your tops, ye pines!
With ev’ry plant, in sign of worship, wave,
Fountains! and ye that warble, as ye flow,
Melodious murmurs, warbling, tune his praise.—–
Join voices, all ye living souls. Ye birds,
That, singing, up to heaven-gate ascend,
Bear, on your wings, and in your notes, his praise.—
Ye, that in waters glide! and ye, that walk
The earth, and stately tread, or lowly creep!
Witness, if I be silent, morn or ev’n,
To hill, or valley, fountain, or fresh shade,
Made vocal by my song, and taught his praise.—
Hail, universal Lord! be bounteous still,
To give us only good: and, if the night
Have gather’d aught of evil, or conceal’d—
Disperse it, as now light dispels the dark.
At the close of the day, when
the hamlet is still,
And mortals the sweets of forgetfulness prove;
When nought, but the torrent, is heard on the hill;
And nought, but the, nightingale’s song, in the grove;
’Twas then, by the cave of the fountain afar;
A hermit his song of the night thus began;
No more with himself, or with nature at war,
He thought as a sage, while he felt as a man.
’Ah! why thus abandon’d
to darkness and woe?
’Why thus, lonely Philomel, flows thy sad strain?
’For spring shall return, and a lover bestow,
’And thy bosom no trace of misfortune retain.
’Yet, if pity inspire thee, ah! cease not thy lay;
’Mourn, sweetest complainer, man calls thee to mourn;
’Oh! soothe him, whose pleasures, like thine, pass away,
’Full quickly they pass—but they never return.