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Man’s Medley

From Herbert.

Hark how the woods with music ring,

How sweet the feather’d minstrels sing!

They have their joys, and man has his:

Yet, if we judge our state aright,

The present is not man’s delight;

Hereafter brings his perfect bliss.

This life belongs to things of sense,

Justly to this they make pretence;

Angels possess the next by birth:

Man, groveling, glorious man alone,

Angel and brute unites in one,

While this hand heaven, that touches earth.

Glorious in soul, he mounts and flies;

Grovelling2222RS. Original is “groveling.” in flesh, he sinks and dies:

His treasure holds in earth confined:

The body’s calls forbid to hear,

Born to regard with listening ear

The dictates of his nobler mind.

Not but his gracious Master here

Allows and bids him taste the cheer:

As birds, that drinking lift their head,

Thankful like them He bids him drink,

And of those streams of pleasure think

That ever cheer the immortal dead.

His joys are double—and his pains;

While of two winters he complains,

The brute creation feels but one:

Round, and within him, tempests roll;

Frost chills his veins, and thought his soul;

Two deaths he fears, and he alone.

Yet even the sharpest, heaviest grief

May with it bring its own relief,

If right his state the sufferer weighs:

Happy the man who finds the art

To turn, by thankfulness of heart,

His double pains to double praise!

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