Ode To The Divine Omnipresence

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A College Exercise

O sacred Muse! thy aid impart,
To rapture wake the sounding lyre!
And kindle in my panting heart
A spark of more than mortal fire:
With votive hands the lay consign
To awful Majesty Divine,
On whom all life depends,
Whose glorious form we wondering trace
Through all the varied paths of space,
Far as our bounded sight extends.—
The search our dazzled reason leaves behind,
Exceeds all depth of thought, and mocks the human mind.

Whate’er on earth, in seas, or air,
Strikes with delight the roving eye,
Proclaims aloud the Eternal’s care,
And speaks a present Deity;—
Those who with active pinions cleave
The yielding sky, the lucid wave
In countless myriads throng,
Or through the sylvan regions stray,—
The insect offspring of a day,
The echoing forest’s vernal song,
More strongly than an angel’s voice declare,
Where-e’er we turn our eyes, the God of Life is there.

Now beyond earth’s contracted goal
On Contemplation’s wings arise,
And mark the unnumber’d worlds that roll
Their orbs stupendous through the skies.—
My eye the splendid scene explores,
And now my active fancy soars;
To other suns, which far away
On distant systems pour the blaze of day,
Beyond where Saturn wheels his tedious flight
Around our chearing source of light.—
Forward in vain my restless thoughts I send,
They rush for ever on nor find an end,
On every side still open lie
The boundless fields of vast immensity.—
Could then my voice celestial numbers sing,
My hands strike rapture from the lyric string,
Yet would my heart those numbers deem
Unequal to the glorious theme;
Unequal to exalt his holy name,
Whose awful presence guides the amazing frame;
Who, of all nature’s wide extent the soul,
Exists in every part, and animates the whole.


– Henry James Pye


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