Hymn XVII.

Within its hollow nook of rocks and trees1
The lake in silence lies,2
Untouch’d by gusts of autumn’s changeful breeze,3
Which sweep the distant skies.4
It upward looks, with still and glassy face,5
And sees the windy rack,6
Which o’er the surface idly seems to trace7
White clouds and shadows black.8
So dwells the wiser heart, at ease and safe,9
And marks the passing storm,10
Which cannot there the tranquil being chafe,11
Nor that bright peace deform.12
The tongues of busy rumour, vain and loud,13
And cold malignant hate,14
And dreams obscure, that cheat the greedy crowd,15
And full-blown scorn sedate ;16
High-sated wealth, decorous pride of place,17
Mankind’s anarchal kings ;18
And Science, blindly wrapping round its face19
The veil it draws from things ;20
The spectres thin that haunt the lifeless breast,21
And are not what they seem22
Lust, follies, envies, avarice, unrest,23
That act earth’s tragic dream ;—24
All these around the soul resolved and sure,25
A train of hunters throng,26
With unbelieving threats and mocks impure,27
And self-bewitching song.28
A moment’s rush is theirs to seize their prey,29
Which shrinks perhaps aghast ;30
But nerved again by faith, it stands at bay,31
And, lo ! the rout is past.32
But shades they were, and melt around in shade,33
In him no place they own,34
Who, looking clear through all things undismay’d,35
In all sees God alone.36
An instant lingering on the nightly wold,37
’Mid rocks of mournful brows,38
While sweeps the howling gale from caverns cold,39
And waves the leafless boughs ;40
With dread the man beholds the shadows drear,41
That ape a demon train42
Before a glance of thought the view is clear,43
And earth is still’d again.44
So thou, O God ! to man’s weak darkness known,45
A light sustain’d by gloom,46
Wilt make thy steadfast will to good my own,47
And lead me through the tomb !48