The Dignity Of Man

Oh what is man, great Maker of mankind!
That Thou to him so great respect dost bear;
That Thou adorn'st him with so bright a mind,
Makest him a king, and even an angel's peer?
Oh what a lively life, what heavenly power,
What spreading virtue, what a sparkling fire,
How great, how plentiful, how rich a dower,
Dost Thou within this dying flesh inspire!
Thou leav'st Thy print in other works of Thine,
But Thy whole image Thou in man hast writ;
There cannot be a creature more divine,
Except, like Thee, it should be infinite:
Nor hath He given these blessings for a day,
Nor made them on the body's life depend;
The soul, though made in time, survives for aye;
And though it hath beginning, sees no end.

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