Verse > Anthologies > The Oxford Book of English Mystical Verse > 54. From ‘The Task’
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Nicholson & Lee, eds.  The Oxford Book of English Mystical Verse. 1917.
  
54. From ‘The Task’
By William Cowper  (1731–1800)
  
THE LORD of all, himself through all diffus’d,
Sustains, and is the life of all that lives.
Nature is but a name for an effect,
Whose cause is God. He feeds the secret fire
By which the mighty process is maintain’d,        5
Who sleeps not, is not weary; in whose sight
Slow circling ages are as transient days;
Whose work is without labour; whose designs
No flaw deforms, no difficulty thwarts;
And whose beneficence no charge exhausts.       10
Him blind antiquity profan’d, not serv’d,
With self-taught rites, and under various names,
Female and male, Pomona, Pales, Pan,
And Flora, and Vertumnus; peopling earth
With tutelary goddesses and gods       15
That were not; and commending, as they would,
To each some province, garden, field, or grove.
But all are under one. One spirit—His
Who wore the platted thorns with bleeding brows—
Rules universal nature. Not a flow’r       20
But shows some touch, in freckle, streak, or stain,
Of his unrivall’d pencil. He inspires
Their balmy odours, and imparts their hues,
And bathes their eyes with nectar, and includes,
In grains as countless as the sea-side sands,       25
The forms with which he sprinkles all the earth.
Happy who walks with him! whom what he finds
Of flavour or of scent in fruit or flow’r,
Or what he views of beautiful or grand
In nature, from the broad majestic oak       30
To the green blade that twinkles in the sun,
Prompts with remembrance of a present God!

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