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Poem by Philip James Bailey
All things, O God, by Thee made, are to Thee Holy, and with true praisefulness inspired; Nature and all her powers, Thy servitors, Our friends and fellow--worshippers: and man, Arch--priest of earth, most bounden Thee to adore. Thou, O great Sun, whose life eliciting ray But shadoweth forth His greater grace, who showers On spiritual and natural world alike His inexhaustless good: sun--kindler, Him, Sun--quencher, praise thou and adore, who thee Fixed in full heaven His mighty miniature; Him, infinite centre, unseen, from whose force Original, radiate all things, and to whom, Inly illumining every soul of life, Parental, they relapse; even as thy beams, Though world--soiled, thine all brightening breast regain. Sun, magnify thy maker! Moon, whose gleam Reflective, types the God--light, wherewith shines Man's soul, lead thou, through each sabbatic change That errant essence to One invariable; And, as some pilgrim maid, from shrine to shrine Circling, insatiate of all sanctities, Her resolute soul to expand with fullest faith, And holiest memories; teach us, light of night, By thy superb procession through yon skies, Mansioned with many a world of bliss, to enlarge Our spirits with love of God, nor know of wane, Save in the world's attraction; so best serving Our Lord and thine. Twin spheres, perpetual rest This showing, pauseless motion that, between Whose fires, for purifying, the storied day, The night, earth's star tipped shadow pass, and space, World spangled, 'neath whose sensible folds, His garb, The formless spirit within we trace; your Lord Attest, the eternal reason of the whole; Hidden in Himself, self manifestive cause; Former of forms; who, source and sum of life Bade being be; and, from His boundless deeps Of reason, drew law primitive and supreme. Ye orbs, self moved, which, rounding with our own, The infinite within, without, yourselves Find nought but God, oh, shout aloud your proofs, All heavens may hear; and even the nebulous star, Of pale, irresolute sheen, with fearful joy Vibrant, conclude God is, our Lord, our Sire; Not chaos, chance, nor matter; law inert, Unconscious; nor ourselves, contingent, weak, Who might have been, as now, or not have been. Chance hurled him prostrate in the dust when asked The crucial question; chaos cowled his head In twice redoubled darkness, witting nought; Mute matter heard not; no! it was mind most skilled All made by one omnific word; all named His children; laid on every head His hand, Whose radiant impress shows there still; and dowered With natural life, second to nought save soul. Wherefore, bright worlds, your parent spirit exalt; Leap 'mid your solar dance; with awful mirth Joy in yourselves and gladden in your God. He through your space spread tome, of light and peace, And fates more blessed than these, of rights divine And heavenly royalties, His starry rede To man predictive speaks, whose words are worlds. Stars restful, who, day's dazzling veil withdrawn, Heaven's sanctuary illume, your laws, powers, spheres, Graduate, each gift of the variousness He sole Holds in perfective fulness, reason of thanks Past numbering, Him, through all life mundane, adore Harmoniously. Time's tawdry pageants pass. States, empires come--pause, vanish. O'er yon hills Your globèd fires, in dread--fraught sameliness Of time and place, rise punctual. Shall stars show More than their founder, faithful? Hear, all orbs, Moveless, or who, persistent in extremes, Course fast and far the firmament, and, ours quit, Warm ye full oft by alien hearths; while proud Of chaste and chartered liberties, your Sire, Source, force and end of every law by Him To creatures limited, He by all bonds unbound, Above law, praise the Lawgiver; who poured ye forth As from an urn of life; flooding with light All space, but gave space, light, life, bound and scope; Order divine, connate with Heaven; and form, First of all laws, whereby the immensurable To finite fitted, fills the organic whole; Mirror material of substantive mind; For nothing finite, nought conceivable By us, can of itself be, more than God, Beyond thought, to aught else existence owe. Effect pretemporal of eternal cause, Heaven in thy highest reach, thy starriest depth, Thy bosom's inmost infinite, sanctify With thy voluminous silence Him all wise; Who, holding all perfections absolute And necessary, as all conclusions time, As space orbs, as earth Nature's countless germs, The great progressive power which prompts with life Their self--renewing functions, and unseals The flowing forces of this sensible sphere-- Aye tabernacleth in thee. And thou, O Earth, Who movest in music, like a harper's hand, White among gleamy chords, thine elements, Stringed fourfold, laud Him with all sounds of joy; With joy august and dread, great mother world, Whose veins within, the fire Promethean stolen Truly of heaven, and Him, who planned the plains Ætherial, streams from unbeginning time To time unending; cease not, earth, His praise, Who in Himself imbreasts both thee and heaven. O heart of fire, which, central, towards our feet Throbbest, through rock girders zone wide, and huge halls Where stalactital mountains hang, and whence Are fed the deep gorged volcanoes that erst scarred With channelled flame--floods and hot torrent ore, Earth's soft face, healing now; material shape First looming, which, uncurbed and uncompressed, Swept'st o'er the naked void, a burning mist; Till, stiffened gradual, the constituent mass, Once reek--like, severing into self--poised spheres, In gravity rejoiced, space circling; Him Greet as liege loyal Master, who, of old, On the high mount of world enlightening law-- For law is love defined--toward those who brake So soon the tabled stones of blessing, tamed down, And tempered into intolerable blaze, The eye glance of His wrath; fire, praise thou God; Earliest of worldly rudiments, and last; Voracious even of death, though bodiless, Though soulless. Retributive cause, Him praise. Grey Ocean, folding in thine arms our earth, Still shrinking tremulous from the booming shock Of thy foam--crested legions, laud the arm Which, forceful, hollowed thine abysmal bed. Nor seldom at hot noon, unmarked, retired Into thy closest chambers, seek His feet; But, like a guilty king, discrowned, self doomed To penance, ask remission of high sins; The slaughterous storm which wrecked a harmless fleet; The smooth insidious death, gainful to thee; And many a hideous end hidden in deep ooze. All not thine own, with other thronèd thieves-- Thou must yield up. What justice bids restore In thy store count not. Neither quite despair. The prayers of purity and of penitent sin Like favourites be of God. He, righteous, reads, As through a tear in Nature's eye, thy deeps Reluctant; and just restitution claims From thee, from all, before acceptance. Night And morn, thy voice, or tolling to repose I hear, or whispering out of sleep. To earth's Tongue, and all elements, join then, Ocean, thine; Him equitable, only unsearchable, name. Tides, that with tranquil transport woo the shore, Or vehement rapture roused by passionate airs, Clash, cymbalwise, your white hands. He is God Who fashioned you, evoked you from the void Impalpable of vapour, and with force Mobile, as with resistless will endowed. Spell over in every wave His words of love, When first He taught you whence ye were; and when, Wearied with vast librations to and fro, And sparklings infinite, twinkling time away, Your deep breasts heave with long and dreamy swell, Let His dread name, untongued, initiate sleep, And hallow all your calm. Him, ebb and flood, Now heaped in billowy darkness, now ungloomed By streamy globelets of liquescent flame, Like light chaotic struggling for free life, Worship in all your width; who bade ye flow From fountains elemental, and condensed, In the cool concave of His spacious hand, The world air limitless, wherein He breathed All being into being. Laud your God. Winds, tireless wayfarers of air, like aged With the beginning, His all fatherly lips Bless, that from dull vacuity woke ye, now Laden with death tempestuous, but with wafts Oftener of His world vivifying breath, Who matter into movement touching, gave ye To rove the earth as spirits space: His name In secret sigh as lovers wont, therewith All elements divinizing; and while ye sweep Earth in bland waves aërial, gales health--rife, The white wheat winnowing for high granaries, A life--whole benediction breathe. What less Can creature its Creator give? What more? Him whirlwinds, hurricanes, wild winged storms, confess, Earthquakes, and powers pernicious; that the breast Of this fair orb have rent aforetime; nor This sole; but once disrupting into space Our midmost planet, shot, diffuse through void, A shower of falling worlds; just judgment;--praise Destructive Him, Him recreative, who yet Those shattered world--shards shall restore, conglobed In innocent unity, and to happier life Their intercursive tenants. Meteors, Him, Ye lightnings laud with thunders thousandfold, Who do His bidden hests, and justify God's dealings, when beneath high bannered tent, The feastful conqueror, thunder riven, down drops Before his guests astound; or, on his throne, Struck by a falling star, loosed from God's hand, The tyrant, curse incarnate, suddenly ends In face of all the land he had outraged. Him, Agents of wrath and angels of his ire, Laud, who, too, slays with uncompassionate bolt Shepherd and sheep blameless alike, in shade Of weathering crag, death dreamed not of, nor ill; Praise Him, nathless, that man's whole race may know Submiss, prepared, the incomprehensible One; Who in Himself all motives, means, and ends Compriseth, first and final cause of things. Nor by necessity He, nor dubious choice Of specious good, acts; but the best wills, does, As absolute viewed, now, relative or eterne. Snow, with thy voiceless tongue, from either pole To zenith, preach in godliest silence God; Who ice and frost, thy sterner brethren, armed With glassy key to lock earth's lifewarm veins. Praise Him reanimative. Thy glistening down, Thy blossoming starlets, thy crystalline flowers, White as the wing of angel waved in Heaven Only, shed thankful. God exalts the pure. On peaks sky peering, and earth's orbèd brow Upturned as in God's arms, thy Lord adore. Night's dazzling dancers, tall--speared, which invade Air northward, with explosive rays, the stars' Pale armies routing breathless, and sure morn Confounding with false outbursts; ominous once Of imminent battle strife, fear's restless ears Deafening with clash imaginary of arms; With all your fiery tongues, lambent of heaven, Peal forth to God your resonant thanks, that ye, Mere militant masquers known, men now your play With curious questings mark, and cheerful awe; For knowledge hath undreaded ye; no more Prefigurative of war. Haste, days of peace, Humanity's perfection, peace; our path Convergent with Divinity, there; oh, haste. Man shall be one in spirit, as God is one. Our God is Lord of peace. Breathe, glittering bow, All hued, ere burst, as though from beauty o'ertense, Thy brief, bright life throughout, one solemn thought; God's oath, how thankworthy; the passed passed by; Which, sparing earth, thee special witness hight, Man's heart to reassure 'gainst ruining storms; While far beyond, bides aye the intent divine Of precreative love. Him, bow of heaven, God's holy oath made visible here, adore. Laud Him ye cloudlets snow--bosomed, which morn Or eve serve, golden robed; or, rich in rain, Blend tearful blessings with the reviling blast; Praise ye, whose life expends itself in good, The source surceaseless of all blessings. Hymn Your God, while hurrying on wing--footed winds, His messages of mercy to scorched lands Dreaming of violet wreaths, dew soaked, to cool Their sun seared breasts, and widening deserts strew With riot of rank greenery; or, when slow Beneath the moon, ye swoon away utterly, Earth breathing lightlier then; each blade and bloom Bedropped with fragrant moist; cheer ye; your life Culmines in death; for, from your birth--hour, known Of no man, midst the black Atlantic, wroth At ancient bans ignored, which betwixt old And young world barred alliance, now with coils The voiceable lightnings dart through, perfected, Till life's last moment, God your whole career Sums in His eye's broad purpose. What, round heaven, Hath seemlier honour? Praise Him for your end. Storm breasting cliffs, whose feet, earth stained, the deep Laveth, as with the humility of a god; Oh of that steadfast strength make much, your Lord Hath sunken you in and grounded you, as signs Of His unshaken truth, against whose face The spray of years from Time's unnumbered tides, Dashes in vain. Rocks, glory in your host; Earth framer He who hath kinged you with His name, And ta'en your own; whose guests are ye for life; And then, make room. Ye too, who sit serene, Firstborn of earth and ancients of the snow; Time's youthmates; mountains, solemn as God's thoughts Pondering the chain of being, life with life Linked in connatural lineage round to Him; Praise ye His favouring hand, who in earth's murk breast Moulded your giant forms; who, age by age, Tried ye with flood, and tested ye with fire; Proved ye with darkness; racked ye patiently, As schooling for perfection; and at last, Crowned and consummate in all mysteries, Led into sacred light, the outmost court Of God's invisible temple, whose dome is life, Whose sanctuary the soul; Him, aye at rise And set of sun, when comeliest ye appear, In fiery albs arrayed and burning snows, To adore fail not; for He in your most pure Beauty delights; and to His heavenly eye, Whose loveliness shews boundless as His love, All beauteousness is holy. Laud ye Him, Whose mystic name Heaven, secret and sublime, Hath yet to you assured. Him praise, ye plains, Teeming with succulent life, glebe, glade and lea, With homeliest blossoms blushing now, with fruit Boughed soon delicious; or solemnized with corn; Rejoice; the day comes war, waste, want shall cease. Hosts vowed from youth to peaceful arts and works Shall swarm all lands; and, emulative of worth, Strive who most good shall plan, and planned, perfect In practice. Then shall ye make glad; and man, Illustrious by his heavenly birth and end, Co--worker with his Maker in all good, So meliorate with kindly culture earth, Our God given estate, that change like vast, Time, though on prodigies pampered, dares not rate In face of truth's o'er vigilant guard, with signs Less marvellous, but as more than miracle names. Not in forlorn fertility then, subject To ravished fruits and ravaged stores; but aye In plenty, that to see hearts swell, as now, Confess who blessed you with the privilege man To banquet: man, earth's king. Coy valleys, lisp Well pleased, your thanks, that God's attempering hand Hath smoothed ye meet for happiest ends, and made Shadows substantial of the calm which broods Welkin--like, o'er those upper deeps of soul Vain worldling sounds not, nor pride's keel profanes. Gush into song, shy nooks; dells fall and swell, With every deep pulsation of earth's heart, Into melodious praise, even as Joy's eye Melts in the measureless relief of tears. Him whose ordaining hand your solitudes Hath given to peace, adore: who heaved the hills, Your dales too delved as deep. Vine mantled knolls, Whence stills the grape blood, choicest juice that charms God's tabled round, the earth; Him, palm plumed vales, Where glow all fruits of tropic fame; and fields That temperate taste, the palate's luxe, rules; Him, Hot wilds of herbage sparse; all healing roots, And wholesome poisons; spice and incense; all For our sustenance and delight which fructify, Or flourish bosky; laurel, myrtle, and bay; Oil--olive, guide to wisdom, pledge of peace; Gum, balm, acacia's sinless branch, and myrrh; Pour forth your sweet breath'd thanks, till starry earth, Still fair, still dear, still in her matron prime, With thickening odours cloud her sacred path, Like a swung censer through the templed skies. Bloom bedded pleasances, where leisured taste Luxuriates, as in recollected dreams Of life prenatal in God's garden; Him, How fair, the beautifier of all worlds, Worship; and all ye plants, well nurtured, praise; Who quickened you from dark and obdurate seed; Suppled with balmy showers your growthful roots; Gave daily dews; tapered your shapely stems In His fine fingers; with free foliage clad, Pendent and plenteous; starred your heads with flowers, Crosswise or radiate; praise Him with meek pride. It was His considerate touch your bosoms bathed With heaven's translucent hues; your heart--buds dyed In sunsets Paradisal; steeped your leaves, One moment, in aetherial scents; and streaked With veinlets, velvet lined, your nectarous cups: None less, none else. O virgin lily, queen Of flowers, immaculate, vaunt, with all thy kin Most delicate, vaunt, not less than forest oaken, Or cedarn, fane--famed, ebon, sandal, rose; Settim, God's ark, or gopher, man's, His hand; Nor shadowy pine copse, soundless as the void. Fair fountains, rainbow haunted, art hath voiced Through marble lips, and 'mid palatial courts Bade whisper God's great name; you that, like strings Of liquid silver, ripple neath nature's touch, In lifeful melody; and, through daisied banks, By your own sweet song solaced, seek your end In joy unlessenable; and you, tameless springs, Froth flecked, that seawards gash the plashy moor; Or rush, rock maddened, adown deep jagged ravines, Chant, murmurous Him; Him, rill and runnel praise. Praise Him, ye rivers, vastening as ye roll From ice cleft or turfed slope to where the main Lurks watchful, with your waters soft and sweet, To slake his lips salt parched, and tribute seize In kind of his liege loves; and you, from heights Flush with the eagle's eyrie, plunging, death Scorning as life, for are not ye immortal? And you, from chasmy and glacial wilds, death--white, Or pine clad gore, leaping, cloud shrouded; praise His name who on your first precipitous steps, And pretty stumbling falls smiled stealthily; Your infant course mapped; fed with milky mists; And, guiding to good ends the waywardest course, Those swift, still feet subservient made to bear Treasures of sap to meadland, swathed in sward, Or leagues of grain, heart strengthening; all the sun, Of annual growth, or root perennial, helps Mature, with you, praise Him for. Seas, land ringed, Primaeval Ocean's relics, and ye fresh And lucid lakelets, where the stark fisher, man, First floated his rough raft, and the mud hut He, beaverlike, had builded, fortified; Or where, hard by, the cave--born savage left His liberal bones to mell with those he had gnawn; Rejoice, and bless your Maker, that in your breast Lie glassed now cities and castled palaces, Wood nested cots, rich mansions, gold topped fanes, And seats of science; while o'er your faces skim Barks self impelled, art's noblest, manliest feat. God, necessary in essence, in will free, Because illimitable, and free to free From general law His special will and ours, Powers self determinative, through all His works In apt proportions acts to ends well planned; Rules rudest nature by dynamic law, Spatially operative; His own designs Oft modifying by like wise; empowers Organic being with instinct; but to mind Leaves liberty of motive; and Himself Conceals, to allow to man and angel scope Accountable. Let all life praise its Lord Therefore; of beasts, if tamed, as God's claimed once, Ours now, whose inoffensive natures He, Most amiable, as ensamples chose of His, All suffering Deity; laud Him, end and head Of sacrifice; if wild, His prescience praise, Which would not mean should nobler strains restrict. Dwellers in Ocean's wave roofed halls, who range, Constant, from shoal to deep, from deep to shoal; Him worship, heavenly husbandman, who drives Yearly His star--plough o'er the brine, and seeds Its furrows with your innumerous hosts of life. Cloud haunters, Ocean now, the skies anon Enthralling, greet Him gratefully who gave Your strength despotic, and powers of threefold use; Wave cradled, riding winds, land tripping; hail Your Maker irresponsible, who all being Founded, not found made, and so justified. And you, bright song birds, whose felicitous lives In flight, thought--swift, and music sweet as love, Heart--harmony, elapse; song, even and morn, Concerted, trill, grateful to Him who grants Your innocent souls earth's luxuries, and in life Here, something like the liberties of heaven. Your kind with force, choice honoured, and so allied By nature's Lord to the world's conscious sense And rational energy, Him, ye serpent seed, Skin sloughing, witness annual of new birth; Him, too, ye insect tribes, thrice--lived, who joy In natural resurrection, and fulfil The cycle of being, glorified with wings; Of luminous bodies ye; or, honeyed swarms, In politic craft pre--eminent, and sage use Of toil divisional with constructive skill, Praise; praise ye gay broods, dawn--born, night--slain, air With filmy winglet fanning; nor yet grieve. Death, Impatient not for you alone, secures In his dark couch, after life's giddying reel, A sequel undisturbed. Ye animate motes, Uneyeable, whose curt existence we Laugh into nought at every breath; yet deem Your Maker bounteous. Life, how scant soever, Seems good, as loaned of God, whose arm all space Outspans, whose eye all mirrors. Him, then, hymn, O universal Nature, passive power Of Deity, which, with the minutest thing Subsistent, owest thyself totally to God; The whole embracing in thy boundless breast; Our world--sire praise; while yet immortal man, The intelligible light, silent, within, Shall clearlier hear than though each atom spake; Or every cloudlet thundered, Worship God. Him worship, all of human blood who roam, Tribal, in wilds; for breath, food, freedom, praise; Ye more, who, fixèd, live the life refined Of cities, amid societies of the wise; Graced with all science, learning, interchange Of luxuries, profitable to all, and wealth Art's delicate toil, or lowliest labour, earns: For polity based on manly rights; for life Social, by moral law, with usance kind Confederate, ruled; for Nature's comely boons; For virtue's bonds majestic; mind's delights; The affections of the heart; the joys of sense; Man's common usefulness to man, whereby The general good conceived of Thee, and blessed In that conception, issues; for the gift Those fitnesses to trace in all Thy works, Which, proved the intent, glads and sublimes man's soul, Conclusive of resemblant powers; and deeds Like, but how little like. Him bless for power To separate truth from error, right from wrong; For love of knowledge; art's purifying grace; For cultured mind; for means material thralled In thousand shapes by inventive wit; and now Forces of progress, aids to man's high race, And holy future; succourers of the world; Aye working through part ends its end complete, Through beauty, good, truth; order realized, Expressed or thought, its way back to God's breast; Seat both of law and liberty, needful each For mere creation; He o'er both supreme. Praise Him, all bounteous, for the intelligence Inquisitive, which from every being would wrest The reason of its existence, nor, tongue--stilled, Slacks but in gaze of Thee, before whose face Bow angel essences, in number more Than night's invisible stars, wherewith, commixed, The forces of the universe stand; Him praise Who is praised of all. Praise Him for power to praise. Ye continents many--peopled, and all isles, Children of earth and ocean; and thou, chief, Who hast the birthright and the blessing; swell With jubilant joy, the song to Him supreme, Father and friend of life; who man's crude needs Mildens with heavenly sanctions, by seer's voice Or prophet's; justice names His assessor; Gives nations the reward of well--doing, peace, While evildoers themselves accurse by war; Presumptuous states by races checks, and stress Of personal interaction; now lays bare To scoffing ages popular policy; Now scheming power's recondite cunning; heeds Indignant, empires wrongs reciprocate, Just rights upheld complacent; to all doles Such excellencies as wisdom warrants. Nought Lacks He true 'compt of, who, with all that think, Most intimate secretly, cons both, and weighs Men's individual deeds; which, though we feign Transient to hold and trivial, by Him glimpsed Prove not phaenomenal merely, but imply Eternal bearings; and here rooted, there Fruit freely; if to our contentment, well; If elsewise, still reproachless He, whose end, In all creating, was to diffuse Himself Through life in uncontaminate good; to all As present, and to those He loves most nigh. Him, in the heights of His divinity, praise, The depths of His humanity; the breadth Of being; Him redemptive who assumed Into His perfect nature ours, complete Deficiency; who set in manhood, rose In Deity, praise; all lands, lips, nations, hail His laudable name; till, passed from world to world, Their shining feet it reach, who, glorious, tread, Starpaved and straight, the streets of Paradise. Him, workers of the world, world--wielder Him, Blessed in activity, blesser of repose, Praise ceaseless, who with alternative rest And action, nature's self--perpetuate scheme Poises; contracting or expanding force The ages hoard, the hours distribute; Him Who, coupling life with motion, builds on rest Eternal Heaven. Who labour's law revere, The sweat of honest toil, deeming a dew Grateful to God, more than that beads the rose, Laud, manful, Him, ye who gaunt want, fell foe To life and knowledge, battling daily, yet Wot well where'er on earth be faith and truth, Aim holy or aspiration, there is God; That all who do their best of hand or mind, Do well; and thought devout may every task, Not of itself unholy, hallow. Him, Unchangeable Himself, but of all change Impressive; self--necessitating cause; Ye truth searchers exalt, whose trust to know All verity as in heaven, He, sovereign soul Of being, divines, and turns to simplest faith; Who, more than all, is; whom apparent things, Fruit transient of eternal root unseen, Conspire to honour, from life's primal cell To heaven's immeasurable arch, and hosts Contiguous of all being; which both worlds Exterior and intrinsic, link in powers Reactive; and God indwelling in the world Evince; but God, most just; who towards us acts As He would have us act towards all and Him; Exacting from perfection perfect deed, For imperfection, grace; His equity such, Who loves the spirit long suffering like Himself; But His own binds in normal righteousness To man wards, and assumes the splendid coil, Wherewith, attaching nature to Himself, True freedom means obedience to high law,-- Our spirits He liberates and exalts. Him praise, In whose divine perception all things made, Move congruous, designate for final good; Happy because all holy; in His love Boundless; in virtues sumless; who for us Made truth compensate nature, and with light Kinned and companioned her; the soul's guide that, This, body's; Him let man praise, who, empowered With high capacities to administer here, Creation's uses and our own, yet dares, Humbly, the stores his Lord for him amassed In times bygone, adjust; and the vague force Nature inbred at birth, condenses, fines; The code of life interprets; and, inspired, Conform with reason, faculty supreme, Divine, and to both common, truth revealed, As march the ages on, makes more humane, And so more worthy God. Him, deeplier taught In holiest mysteries, blessed o'er all in soul, Simple or sage, ye of celestial strain, Yet earth--born, laud, who caused ye, finite, know Him infinite; and His nature imaging In your conditional essence, be to Him Through mediate sonship of His Christ, your whole Existence one sole glorifying act. Though like a permanent star--cloud mid the void, Insoluble, the cross, still shadowing shame With honour, earth's hate thwarted by God's love, Proclaim it, man redeemed, as aye thy first Of blessings. Thanks for all things, but for this, Thanks threefold. Let us praise Thee while we live, For Thy regenerant Spirit which hallowing life, Ones it with Thine; whereby we dread not death, The house the sun must pass through, and the sign Which us initiates into heaven; but know Death means reunion with the deathless; range With our translated elders; consciousness Enlarged of the Eternal Spirit unmarred By bodily needments; life at one with God; And faith's huge promises,--our souls assume The future, and we covenant here for heaven,-- Confirmed by fate. Here, and for ever, Him All souls, praise. Praise Him, lovers of His law Unwrit, word unrevealed, but to yourselves. Not for those faculties only with all life Ye own instinctive, but each mental gift Enlightened conscience sways; for conscience' self; For those affections not the world, not man, Not country, friendship, love exhausts, nor blood, While just devotion burns in us towards Him; For those high powers, conceptions, hopes, which fill Or thrill our breasts; which prophets e'er have preached, Or nature hints we share, the unboundedness Of time, existence, will; the ennobling sense Of duteousness towards men, of debt to God; For reason, whose undimmed outlook o'er the world, Is balanced by right insight into ourselves; For a life whitening through probation, here; For deep convictions of a loftier lot, An ampler scope of spirit, a draught of bliss Endless, to be, nearer the fount; praise Him Who godly care spares not, nor stores, that we, Saved from our niggard selves, and unto Him Assimilate, may, through good deeds faith inspired; Just estimate of divine love towards all made; Life venerable and pure; the calm supreme And clear of sacred souls, the quietude Intense and infinite, gain of holy thoughts; Such as He loves and lives in. Laud ye God, Saviour and instigator of all good; Yet not the less impenetrable; who ill O'errules to good; both mingles; ends and means Metes; sparing now, as space were something scant; Now lavish of waste worlds; atomic force Economizing here; there solar powers Permitting perish. What then? That sun hath long Compassed its end; this atom a world's head May yet be. Him, ye just in soul, adore, Who, latent Deity, gives place to all, And takes away; whose holy attributes, Essential as His being, ray and rule From Him, through all His rational works; the source Of every virtuous tie the world of soul Acknowledgeth, as from wisdom's sacred breast Spontaneous sprung; whereby God laws Himself In natural rectitude, with all create; He who all made, Himself to manifest; And to intelligent creatures gave to know, Possess, communicate, His love and truth; His righteousness to emulate; to share His holiness; His beatitude enjoy; And, in His wisdom skilled, in His intents Proved, and heart purified, for others' weal Most labouring, taught to crown with moral good The vast divine of things. But though the mass Be holy, yet the first--fruits God most loves. Praise, therefore, Him, ye sons of light, and bless The communable Deity, who, albeit, Perpetual passion suffering at men's hands, Hoards not from those He loves Divinity; Him, Participants of His kingly state, whose wills With His conjoined, subregnant rule, the same, Though in narrower round, as His; praise Him supreme, Who loves the praises He in hymns inspires, Or, wordlessly, imbreathes. Let all forechosen; Ambitious only of more humility; Exalted but to serve; who, while in time, Bide truelier in the eternal state, which rests To each world proper, pillared upon the passed And future in the soul, praise Him; ye, most, Whose privilege is to please God perfectly; Earth this wise tolerated; whereto ye lend, Like fire from faith's accepted offering, The savour of salvation; whose heart's hope That all souls might be saved, by him inspired, Transfigured into fate, reads sure in heaven. All ways are byeways but the way of God, So broad, not thought a road. And man's wise heart Which wide relations with the infallible holds, Though flawed by error; with all excellence, Moral and rational; with God immanent In all things, yet transcendent over all, Knows the divine involves us, and impends Heaven--like o'er earth. Who can escape the skies? Who, blessed with soul, the sweet constraint to adore Their Lord, sire, saviour, sanctifier of all? Who in their principles cores all ends; combines Results forestablished with acts freely willed; Through body clarifies the spirit of man; And virtue made obligatory, but ruled, For its validity, rise and close in Him. Him praise, ye generations of the passed, Whose unrenown seems holier than all fame; All final history in her epitaphs Of nations notes; Him, who the adopted soul Fills, by sin's absolution, with rich foretaste Of evil's abolition; the world stamped With total good. Praise Him, ye sceptred saints, With God, like--minded, glorying in His will, Impeccable, who muse celestial things; Whose sins are washed away in seas of love; Who, liberate from all law, sit judging law; Whose passion for perfection sated, ye, Rapt into Deity, with your Lord enjoy Life unitive, life eternal, life divine; Who revel in futurity, and inhale The gust of inspiration at His lips; Of all worlds owner, author of all fates. Who knoweth God the sum of science owns. The heavens record His handiwork; the earth Worships His footsteps; life His breath repeats; The soul His image; everlasting space, The harmonies of His nature echoing, round Reflects His vast extension; the great whole, His boundless being, and His infinite mind. Midst, but apart from all, He substance gives And choice, distinct from others and Himself; Yet Himself makes the beauty and the bliss Of His intelligent universe; its aim, Its orderly source, its endless end; whose rule, Let justice among equals reign,--is love. For He with us not varying, harsh or bland, As our vain 'haviour bids, but in Himself All kind, sufficing, fixed; unroughed by wrath, By bribeful prayers unsmoothed; towards all His works Piteous, yea, sentient of faith's faintest sigh, In all His sweetness, is by none save soul Saved, apprehensible. Lord, be it for me With earth's triumphal hymn these lays to blend, Worthy but of Thy blessing that they flow From gifts Thou gavest, reconsecrate to Thee; Whereby in Thy dear love Thou madest it mine To interpret nature's elements, and with her In all her holy tongues commune; to live In presence of our peers, the powers of heaven, Sun, moon, and skies star--crowded; clouds, winds, tides; Born of yon far blue infinite; but all Predestined to soul service; mine to scan In greatest minds' great thoughts earth's passed; betimes Fatal, foreshape the future; mine to know, In moral might towards Thee Deific drawn All spirits in order blessed; mine, henceforth, aye To extol Thee merciful as mighty; Thee, Ours, and all Being's, end and author, God. All things in Thee subsistent, Thou alone In Thyself art; all eyeing at one glance; All minding in one thought; in one sole act, Creating, comprehending, judging all. Unalterable as silence, Thy decrees Are boundless and for ever. Thy delight Is in the holy of heaven, and in the heart Responsive to Thy counsels. Even as space, All things embosoming, is Thy mercifulness. Thy love is life; and they who find Thee here, Find peace and perfectness; eternal gifts; Peace in themselves, and perfectness in Thee.
Philip James Bailey
Philip James Bailey's other poems:
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