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CXX

THE WATER-FALL

With what deep murmurs, through Time's silent stealth,

Dost thy transparent, cool, and watery wealth

Here flowing fall,

And chide128128chide, make a ringing sound and call,

As if his liquid, loose retinue129129retinue, the waters regarded as the Stream's troop or following stay'd

Lingering, and were of this steep place afraid;--

The common pass,

As clear as glass,

93

All must descend

Not to an end,

But quicken'd by this deep and rocky grave,

Rise to a longer course, more bright and brave.

Dear stream! dear bank! where often I

Have sate, and pleased my pensive eye;

Why, since each drop of thy quick store

Runs thither where it flow'd before,

Should poor souls fear a shade or night,

Who came--sure--from a sea of light?

Or, since those drops are all sent back

So sure to thee that none doth lack,

Why should frail flesh doubt any more

That what GOD takes He'll not restore?

O useful element and clear!

My sacred wash and cleanser here;

My first consigner130130consigner, in Baptism unto those

Fountains of life, where the Lamb goes!

What sublime truths and wholesome themes

Lodge in thy mystical, deep streams!

Such as dull man can never find,

Unless that Spirit lead his mind,

Which first upon thy face did move

And hatch'd all with His quickening love.

As this loud brook's incessant fall

In streaming rings restagnates all,

Which reach by course the bank, and then

Are no more seen: just so pass men.

--O my invisible estate,

My glorious liberty, still late!

Thou art the channel my soul seeks,

Not this131131Not this ... I look for the passage. into heavenly freedom, not to glide down the stream with cataracts and creeks.


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