"When these resplendent Lights had thus display'd / The shapes and hues of all in Nature made; / The Fish were form'd, depicting Appetites, / And Fowls that soar aloft like Fancy's flights; / Beasts--useful Cattle--Insects--creeping Things-- / Which tread the soil, or soar on wavering wings-- / That beautify this fair terrestial Ball, / Or, o'er its face, offensive, creep, or crawl; / Resemblances of Man, when form'd at first, / And since his Faculties are fall'n, and curs'd-- / When with his pow'rs complete, by God's decree, / Made last, the Sovereign both of Land and Sea."
— Woodhouse, James (bap. 1735, d. 1820)
The shapes and hues of all in Nature made;
The Fish were form'd, depicting Appetites,
And Fowls that soar aloft like Fancy's flights;
Beasts--useful Cattle--Insects--creeping Things--
Which tread the soil, or soar on wavering wings--
That beautify this fair terrestial Ball,
Or, o'er its face, offensive, creep, or crawl;
Resemblances of Man, when form'd at first,
And since his Faculties are fall'n, and curs'd--
When with his pow'rs complete, by God's decree,
Made last, the Sovereign both of Land and Sea.
Made in the image of His blessed Son,
When infant Time, at first, his rounds begun;
Till Hell's dire Murd'rer, and base Liar, beguil'd,
Man's menial Pow'rs, and Body's beauty spoil'd--
His Body doom'd to Pain, and Death at length
While Sin destroy'd his intellectual Strength.
This, deep deprav'd by Vanity and Lust;
That doom'd to perish in its parent Dust--
Yet Man, so ruin'd now, is offer'd, still,
Fresh Pow'rs to execute Heav'n's holy Will--
May be, by humbly asking, still supplied
With heavenly helps, to govern, and to guide;
Not suffering worldly Lust--Pride--Passion--Whim--
Or Sin, or Satan, still to govern him.
Each sinful Habit, daily, to subdue,
By Motives--Pow'rs--and Inclinations, new.
Bless'd benefits! which every Soul may share,
All free, for all, as Water--Light, or Air;
Except perverse with Pride, or dead thro' Doubt,
Men close each avenue to keep them out.
A Spirit, pure! each open'd breast may breathe,
Infus'd, like airy Atmosphere beneath.
A boundless Light! for each Believer free,
Whose intellectual eye's inclin'd to see.
A Fountain, ever full! where, all, that will,
May wash all foulness off, or drink their fill.
Not like the broken Cisterns Man has made,
Where all who seek pure beverage, sigh, betray'd--
Not like the Lamps which Man must feed and trim,
That burn but dull, and soon expire, like Him--
Or filthy fumes of His corrupted breath,
Drench'd with Disease, and fill'd with forms of Death;
But like the breezes breath'd in Eden's bow'rs,
Suffus'd with sweets from spicey fruits, and flow'rs,
With pure Afflatus, offer'd praying Souls,
Like splendour flowing from the new-born Sun,
That o'er those unpolluted regions run;
Which, whether human eye-lids wake, or close,
With heav'nly warmth, and glorious radiance, glows--
Which drew no show'ry cloud from hill, or dell,
Before Earth's rebel Occupiers fell;
But only made a daily mist arise,
To cool the ground, yet not obscure the skies:
Or that fair Fount, with current clear and strong,
That thro' the Garden roll'd its stream along.
And, issuing thence, diffused its fourfold tide,
The Earth to chear and comfort, but divide--
A pure Afflatus ever free for those,
Who ne'er, with wilful crime their nostrils close--
A Light which Heav'n no human Soul denies,
Who shut not, wilfully, their mental eyes--
A Fountain ever flowing o'er its brink,
Where none but Demons are forbid to drink;
None but whose impious obstinacy turns
To drink foul draughts from Nature's earthly Urns.
An heavenly Fount! where each faint Soul, that will,
May surely find, and sweetly drink its fill--
Which feels how feebly Earth's Man's strength maintain,
While striving, still, the Gospel Door to gain,
And dreading death, from Heav'n's impending wrath,
Should he mistake the left for right-hand Path,
Which leads to Salem's pure and peaceful streams,
Man's noblest beverage! Angels' happiest themes!
Text from The Life and Poetical Works of James Woodhouse, ed. R. I. Woodhouse, 2 vols. (London: The Leadenhall Press, 1896). <Link to Hathi Trust> <Link to LION>