The Wilderness.

The homeless wilderness !1
How sweet, how beautiful, and O ! how mild2
Is nature in her summer dress3
To me, thus wandering far alone !4
Now be my thoughts as, when a little child,5
I deemed that God’s eternal throne6
Was in the sun—so glorious, bright7
To bless the earth with loveliness and light.8
Here breathes the peace I seek !9
This heathy wild’s a paradise to him10
Who, musing, hears the voiceless speak11
Hears the calm eloquence of flowers,12
And drinks sweet wisdom from their balmy hymn,13
That charms, with beauty’s chastest powers,14
The vagrant winds their lips to kiss,15
And tells that Nature’s innocence is bliss.16
Nor strife nor hatred here,17
Nor envy, at a neighbour’s good to writhe ;18
Each flower is to its sister dear19
This hates not that of fairer bloom,20
And all are loved by pilgrim bee so blithe ;21
The prickly gorse, and gentler broom,22
In peace dispread their gold together,23
Nor scorn the lowlier blooming thyme and heather.24
So live the good, and love25
For there is virtue yet upon the earth,26
And by her seraph hand are wove27
The feelings of ingenuous hearts28
In happy friendship, sympathy, and mirth ;29
And kindly each to each imparts30
The sunny light that heaven bestows,31
And summer pleasure in each bosom glows.32
The shafts of enmity33
Can never wound my feelings, musing here !34
In every little flower I see,35
There breathes a balm, a holy charm ;36
And the glad song of every bird I hear37
Tells me that envy cannot harm,38
And sweetly teaches to forgive my foes39
My simple song forgives them as it flows.40
But I could love the foe41
Whose censure stern, and praise, alike are just ;42
Whose lip can curl, whose soul can glow,43
As faults appear, or beauties shine ;44
Who scorns to give’the undeserved thrust45
Scans every word of every line.46
As one in whom there is no ruth,47
While native candour still decides with truth.48
Yet why obtrude such theme,49
Where nature spreads around her sacred page ?50
To read aright, my aim supreme,51
And cultivate each germ of thought52
That in me lives ; and win the holy pledge53
Which I, since boyhood gay, have sought,54
To be among the laurell’d blest, above55
Yon sun rejoicing high—a home of love.56
Thou, who all sweetness art,57
And pure as sweet, thou sunborn summer wreath,58
O, be the feelings of my heart,59
Like thee, in moral beauty wove ;60
And as we muse, ’mid winter’s gloom of death,61
Of thy gay summer charms in love,62
So, when beneath the sod I’m laid along,63
Remembered be the votary of song.64