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Vanity

From Herbert.

The fleet Astronomer travels o’er

The spheres with his sagacious mind,

Their stations views from door to door,

As if to purchase he design’d;

Through all their circling orbs he goes,

And all their mazy wanderings knows.

The nimble Diver with his side

Cuts through the working waves his way,

To fetch the pearl which God did hide

On purpose from the view of day,

That he might save his life, and hers

Whose pride the costly danger wears.

The subtle Chemist can divest

Gay Nature of her various hue;

Stript of her thousand forms, confest

She stands, and naked to his view:

At distance other suitors stand;

Her inmost stores wait his command.

What has not man sought out and found,

But God? Who yet His glorious law

Plants in us; mellowing the ground

With showers and frost, with love and awe.

Poor, busy, foolish man! For Death

In fire, and air, and sea, and land,

Through heaven above, and earth beneath

Thou seek’st; but missest Life at hand.


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