Nature

The Bee And The Pineapple by William Cowper

William_Cowper_by_Lemuel_Francis_AbbottSweeter sounds than music knows
Charm me, in Emmanuel’s Name;
All her hopes my spirit owes
To His birth, and cross, and shame.

When He came the angels sang
“Glory be to God on high,”
Lord, unloose my stammering tongue,
Who should louder sing than I.

Did the Lord a man become
That He might the law fulfill,
Bleed and suffer in my room,
And canst thou, my tongue, be still?

No, I must my praises bring,
Though they worthless are, and weak;
For should I refuse to sing
Sure the very stones would speak.

O my Savior, Shield, and Sun,
Shepherd, Brother, Husband, Friend,
Every precious name in one;
I will love Thee without end.

Epitaph on a Hare by William Cowper (1784)

Here lies, whom hound did ne’er pursue,
Nor swifter greyhound follow,
Whose foot ne’er tainted morning dew,
Nor ear heard huntsman’s halloo’,

Old Tiney, surliest of his kind,
Who, nursed with tender care,
And to domestic bounds confined,
Was still a wild jack-hare.

Though duly from my hand he took
His pittance every night,
He did it with a jealous look,
And, when he could, would bite.

His diet was of wheaten bread,
And milk, and oats, and straw,
Thistles, or lettuces instead,
With sand to scour his maw.

On twigs of hawthorn he regaled,
On pippins’ russet peel;
And, when his juicy salads failed,
Sliced carrot pleased him well.

A Turkey carpet was his lawn,
Whereon he loved to bound,
To skip and gambol like a fawn,
And swing his rump around.

His frisking was at evening hours,
For then he lost his fear;
But most before approaching showers,
Or when a storm drew near.

Eight years and five round-rolling moons
He thus saw steal away,
Dozing out his idle noons,
And every night at play.

I kept him for his humour’s sake,
For he would oft beguile
My heart of thoughts that made it ache,
And force me to a smile.

But now, beneath this walnut-shade
He finds his long, last home,
And waits in snug concealment laid,
Till gentler Puss shall come.

He, still more aged, feels the shocks
From which no care can save,
And, partner once of Tiney’s box,
Must soon partake his grave.

The Snail by William Cowper

To grass, or leaf, or fruit, or wall,
The snail sticks close, nor fears to fall,
As if he grew there, house and all
                                                Together.

Within that house secure he hides,
When danger imminent betides
Of storm, or other harm besides
                                                Of weather.

Give but his horns the slightest touch,
His self-collecting power is such,
He shrinks into his house, with much
                                                Displeasure.

Where’er he dwells, he dwells alone,
Except himself has chattels none,
Well satisfied to be his own
                                                Whole treasure.

Thus, hermit-like, his life he leads,
Nor partner of his banquet needs,
And if he meets one, only feeds
                                                The faster.

Who seeks him must be worse than blind,
(He and his house are so combin’d)
If, finding it, he fails to find
                                                Its master.

Bird Tragedy by Geerhardus Vos (1933)

OldVosYe birds, no fence can bar you out,
Whether of steel or stone,
From any garden of delight
Ye choose to make your own.

Yours were the freedom of the fields,
Could ye beware the nets,
Which, to beguile your innocence,
The crafty fowler sets.

Yours is the sky up to the clouds;
But from huge birds of prey
Is no defence: they lurk and watch,
Swoop down and clutch and slay.

One moment, and a feathery ball
Floats fluttering on the air;
No one knows, did it reach the earth,
Or, if it did so, where.

Should by incalculable chance
It light upon the spot,
Where hung the sheltering mother-nest,
The place would know it not.

What a pathetic tragedy,
That such things should befall,
In ways so disproportionate,
The big upon the small!

Come, hear the Preacher of the Mount
His wonder-sermon preach:
“No sparrow falleth to the ground
Outside my Father’s reach.”

Ye more than sparrows through his grace,
All your anxiety,
Your heights and depths, your falls and flights
He has in memory.

All creatures are, with Him compared,
Mere nothings; none the less
He can reclaim a ravished bird
From next to nothingness.

by Geerhardus Vos, 1933

Night Scene by John Newton Brown (1821)

I LOOK above—no cloud on high
Veils the deep azure of the sky;
All is serene, and cool, and clear,
And tranquil glory triumphs here!

Yon moon is full— her lustre pure,
Walks radiant through the vast obscure;
And overbears, with splendor bright,
Each feebly glimmering star of night.

Soft is the light she sheds abroad,
The mellow beam sleeps on the road;
While wood, and stream, and hill, and vale,
Rise up beneath her influence pale.

Soft blows the breeze—the air is cool—
The stillness soothes to peace the soul;
At leisure with my friends I walk,
And of surrounding objects talk.

I listen, but I hear no sound,
Save the lone cricket’s chirp around;
One now might hear his very breath
Amid this mimic hush of death!

How can I otherwise than draw,
In such a scene, the breath of awe?
How can my heart refuse to feel
A pensive sweetness o’er it steal;

I envy not the man who sees.
Unmoved, such solemn scenes as these;
The mind which, bound in atheist thrall,
Owns not the God that made them all.

I see His hand—I feel His power—
Bow down, my soul, and Him adore!
And let this night begin with thee
The worship of eternity!

A few more moments roll in haste,
And Time will be forever past!
A day will dawn—the night be o’er—
A sun shall rise, to set no more!

by John Newton Brown

July 31, 1821.