Hymn XII.


O’er throngs of men around I cast mine eyes,1
While each to separate work his hand applies ;2
The mean who toil for food, the proud for fame,3
And crowds by custom led, with scarce an aim.4


Here busy dwarfs gigantic shadows chase,5
As if they thus could grow a giant race ;6
Unknowing what they are, they fain would be7
Such empty dreams as in their sleep they see.8


There lives, like glittering bubbles mount the sky,9
Contemning earth, from whence they rose on high,10
A moment catch the stars’ eternal rays,11
And burst and vanish in the moon’s clear gaze :12


Or torn by passion, swoln with falsest pride,13
Betray’d by doubt that mocks each surer guide,14
The rebel heart, in self-enthroned disdain,15
Its lawless weakness boasts, and penal pain.16


Alone it loves to bleed and groan apart,17
And scorn the crowd who stir the seething mart,18
Who each will own, befool’d by ease and pelf,19
Nor earth nor heaven beyond his shrivell’d self.20


And yet, O God ! within each darken’d soul21
Is life akin to thy creation’s whole,22
That needs but will to see, and straight would find23
The world one frame for one pervading Mind,24


In all things round one sacred Power would know,25
From Thee, diffused through all thy works below ;26
In every breath of life would hear thy call,27
And All discern in Each, and Thee in All.28


A truth too vast for spirits lost in sloth,29
By self-indulgence marr’d of nobler growth,30
Who bear about, in impotence and shame,31
Their human reason’s visionary name.32


Oh ! grant the crowds of earth may read thy plan,33
And strive to reach the hope design’d for man ;34
Though now, shorn, stunted, twisted, wither’d, spent,35
We dare not dream how high thy love’s intent.36


Oh, God ! ’twere more than life to mouldering dust,37
The hour that kindled men to thoughtful trust38
That taught our hearts to seek thy righteous will,39
And so with love thy wisdom’s task fulfil.40


Redeem’d from fear, and wash’d from lustful blot,41
By faith we then might rise above our lot ;42
And like thy chosen few, restored within,43
By hearts as morning pure might conquer sin !44