Henry Vanderford

Progress

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"Man hath sought out many inventions."

The planets, forced by Nature's law,
Within their orbits ceaseless roll,
And man the lesson thence may draw--
By industry to reach his goal.

Hail! industry's all-conquering might!
Hail! engineering's giant skill!
That clambers up the mountain height,
And intervening valleys fill.

The enterprise of man shall know
No bounds upon this mundane sphere,
Whate'er his hands may find to do
He executes with skill and care.

His genius Nature's self subdues,
And all her powers subservient lie
At his command, and pleas'd he views
His great resources multiply.

He mines the earth and skims the air,
He plows the main, descends the deep,
And through its silent chambers there,
Electric forces flash and leap.

He flies, upon the wings of steam,
Mounts up with aerostatic pow'r,
He paints with every solar beam--
Unfolds new wonders ev'ry hour!

Not in material things alone
Does Progress mark its high career,
Fair science builds her regal throne,
And morals her triumphal car.

Man stands erect--his image fair
In God's own likeness first was cast,
His high prerogatives appear,
He seeks his destiny at last.

Upward and onward is his course,
In mental and in moral life,
With higher purpose, now, perforce,
With loftier aspirations rife.

In matters both of Church and State,
A high ambition spurs him on,
With buoyancy and hope elate,
He plies his task till it be done.

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