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WHAT makes the glory of a mighty Land,
Her people famous, and her hist'ry grand ?
Is it, that Earth has felt her vast control
Far as the wind can sweep, or ocean roll ;
That ships and merchandise her ports bedeck,
And Navies thunder at her awful beck !
That grandeur walks each street, arrays each dome,
And in her temples hails a second Rome?
Though Power and Greatness, those almighty two,
That move the world, and teach what Man can do,
In ev'ry age have thus some Empires blest,
And, Alp-like rear'd their thrones above the rest;
Yet, what remains of all that once hath been ?
The billows welter where the ports were seen!
The wild-grass quivers o'er their mangled piles,
When Empires grovel on deserted plains,
In sun-like grandeur to outdare the night
That Time engenders o'er their vanish'd might?
'Tis Mind ! an immortality below,
That gilds the past, and bids the future glow;
'Tis Mind! heroic, pure, devoted Mind,
To God appealing for corrupt mankind,
Reflecting back the image that He gave
Ere sin began, or earth became a slave !
Exalting thought! when ages are no more,
Like sunken billows on a far-off shore,
A second life, in lofty prose or song,
Their glories have, to light the world along!
And ever thus may spirit be refined ;
For what is Godhead, but consummate mind?
Or Heaven, but one surpassing realm of thought,
With each perfection of His wisdom fraught ?
Not what we have, but what our natures feel,
By truth unfolded for sublimest zeal,
Developes all which makes our being great,
And links a human to immortal state.
Than this, could fancy weave a darker curse?—
That man is meaner than the universe !
Creation is Eternal Will, express'd
In forms of matter which were deem'd the best ;
Within, is spirit; all without, we know
Forms the frail vision of a fleeting show: