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CVIII

THE BOOK

Eternal GOD! Maker of all

That have lived here since the Man's fall!

The Rock of Ages! in whose shade

They live unseen, when here they fade;

Thou knew'st this paper when it was

Mere seed, and after that, but grass;

Before 'twas drest or spun; and when

Made linen, who did wear it then:

What were their lives, their thoughts and deeds,

Whether good corn, or fruitless weeds.

84

Thou knew'st this tree, when a green shade

Cover'd it, since a cover110110cover, literal boards made,

And where it flourish'd, grew, and spread,

As if it never should be dead.

Thou knew'st this harmless beast, when he

Did live and feed by Thy decree

On each green thing; then slept, well-fed--

Clothed with this skin, which now lies spread

A covering o'er this aged book,

Which makes me wisely weep, and look

On my own dust; mere dust it is,

But not so dry and clean as this.

Thou knew'st and saw'st them all, and though

Now scatter'd thus, dost know them so.

O knowing, glorious Spirit! when

Thou shalt restore trees, beasts and men,

When Thou shalt make all new again,

Destroying only death and pain,

Give him amongst Thy works a place,

Who in them loved and sought Thy face!


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