Poetry Explorer- Classic Contemporary Poetry, HYMNS OF A HERMIT: 5, by JOHN STERLING (1806-1844)

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Classic and Contemporary Poetry

HYMNS OF A HERMIT: 5, by             Poet's Biography
First Line: Eternal mind! Creation's light and lord
Last Line: Unveil'd we see, and hail thy wisdom's call.
Subject(s): Hermits

ETERNAL Mind! Creation's Light and Lord!
Thou trainest man to love thy perfect will,
By love to know thy truth's obscurest word,
And so his years with hallow'd life to fill;
To own in all things round thy law's accord,
Which bids all hope be strong to vanquish ill;
Illumined thus by thy diffusive ray,
The darken'd world and soul are bright with day.

In storm, and flood, and all decays of time,
In hunger, plagues, and man-devouring war;
In all the boundless tracts of inward crime --
In selfish hates, and lusts that deepliest mar,
In lazy dreams that clog each task sublime,
In loveless doubts of truth's unsetting star;
In all -- thy Spirit will not cease to brood
With vital strength, unfolding all to good.

The headlong cataract and tempest's roar,
The rage of seas, and earthquake's hoarse dismay,
The crush of empire, sapp'd by tears and gore,
And shrieks of hearts their own corruption's prey;
All sounds of death enforce thy righteous lore,
In smoothest flow thy being's truth obey,
And, heard in ears from passion's witchery free,
One endless music make -- a hymn to Thee!

But most, O God! the inward eyes of thought
Discern thy laws in all that works within;
The conscious will, by hard experience taught,
Divines thy mercy shown by hate of sin:
And hearts whose peace by shame and grief was bought,
Thy blessings praise, that first in wo begin,
For still on earthly pain's tormented ground
Thy love's immortal flowers and fruits abound.

Fair sight it is, and medicinal for man,
To see thy guidance lead the human breast;
In life's unopen'd germs behold thy plan,
Till mid the ripen'd soul it stands confest;
From impulse too minute for us to scan,
Awakening sense with love and purpose blest;
And through confusion, error, trial, grief,
Maturing reason, conscience, calm belief.

This to have known, my soul, be thankful thou! --
This clear, ideal form of endless good,
Which casts around the adoring learner's brow
The ray that marks man's holiest brotherhood;
Thus e'en from guilt's deep curse and slavish vow,
And dreams whereby the light was long withstood,
Thee, Lord! whose mind is rule supreme to all,
Unveil'd we see, and hail thy wisdom's call.

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