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She rifes, tracing thy almighty hand
In its dread operations. Where is now
The feat of mankind, earth? where her great scenes
Of wars and triumphs? empires fam'd of old,
or of later name,
Peruvian, Mexican, in that new world,
Beyond the wide Atlantic, late difclos'd?
Where is their place ?-Let proud Ambition paufe,
And ficken at the vanity that prompts
His little deeds:-With earth, thofe nearer orbs,
Surrounding planets, late so glorious feen,
And each a world, are now for fight too fmall;
Are almost loft to thought. The fun himself,
Ocean of flame, but twinkles from afar,
A glimmering star amid the train of night!
While in these deep abyffes of the sky,
Spaces incomprehenfible, new funs,
Crown'd with unborrow'd beams, illuftrious fhine
Arcturus here, and here the Pleiades,
Amid the northern hoft: nor with lefs ftate,
At fumless distance, huge Orion's orbs,
Each in his fphere refulgent, and the noon
Of Syrius, burning through the fouth of heaven.
Myriads beyond, with blended rays, inflame
The Milky Way, whose stream of vivid light,
Pour'd from innumerable fountains.round,
Flows trembling, wave on wave, from fun to fun,
And whitens the long path to heaven's extreme :
Diftinguish'd tract! But as with upward flight,
Soaring, I gain th' immenfurable steep,
Contiguous stars, in bright profusion sown
Through these wide fields, all broaden into funs,
Amazing, fever'd each by gulphs of air,
In circuit ample as the folar heavens.
From this dread eminence, where endless day,
Day without cloud abides, alone and fill'd
With holy horror, trembling I furvey
Now.downward through the universal sphere
Already paft; now up to the heights untry'd,
And of th' enlarging prospect find no bound!
About me on each hand new wonders rife
In long fucceffion; here pure scenes of light,
Dazzling the view; here nameless worlds afar,
Yet undiscover'd: there a dying fun,
Grown dim with age, whofe orb of flame extinct,
Incredible to tell! thick, vapory mists,
From every fhore exhaling, mix obfcure
Innumerable clouds, difpreading flow,
And deepening fhade on shade; till the faint globe,
Mournful.of afpect, calls in all his beams.
Millions of lives, that live but in his light,
With horror fee, from diftant fpheres around,
The fource of day expire, and all his worlds
At once involv'd in everlasting night!
Such this dread revolution: heaven itself,
Subject to change, fo feels the waste of years.
Sa this cerulian round, the work divine
Of God's own hand, shall fade; and empty night
Reign folitary, where thefe ftars now roll
From west to east their periods: where the train
Of comets wander their eccentric ways,
With infinite excurfion, through th' immense
Of æther, traverfing from fky to sky
Ten thousand regions in their winding road,
Whofe length to trace imagination fails!
Various their paths; without resistance all
Through these free spaces borne: of various face;
Enkindled this with beams of angry light,
Shot circling from its orb in sanguine showers :
That, through the fhade of night, projecting huge,
In horrid trail, a spire of dusky flame,
Embody'd mifts and vapours, whofe fir'd mafs
Keen-vibrates, ftreaming a red length of air.
While distant orbs, with wonder and amaze,
Mark its approach, and night by night alarm'd
Its dreaded progrefs watch, as of a foe
Whofe march is ever fatal; in whofe train
Famine, and war, and defolating plague,
Each on his pale horse rides; the minifters
Of angry heaven, to fcourge offending worlds 1
But lo! where one, from fome far world return'd,
Shines out with fudden glare through yonder sky,
Region of darkness, where a fun's loft globe,
Deep-overwhelm'd with night, extinguish'd lies.
By fome hid power attracted from his path,
Fearful commotion! into that dusk tract,
The devious comet, steep defcending, falls
With all his flames, rekindling into life
Th' exhaufted orb and fwift a flood of light
Breaks forth diffusive through the gloom, and spreads
In orient ftreams to his fair train afar
Of moving fires, from night's dominion won,
And wondering at the morn's unhop'd return.
In ftill amazement loft, th' awaken'd mind
Contemplates this great view, a fun reftor'd
With all his worlds! while thus at large her flight
Ranges thefe untrac'd scenes, progreffive borne
Far through ethereal ground, the boundlefs walk
Of spirits, daily travellers from heaven;
Who pass the mystic gulph to journey here,
Searching th' Almighty Maker in his works
From worlds to worlds, and, in triumphant quire
Of voice and harp, extolling his high praise.
Immortal natures! cloath'd with brightness round,
Empyreal, from the fource of light effus'd,
More orient than the noon-day's stainless beam.
Their will unerring; their affections pure,
And glowing fervent warmth of love divine,
Whose object God alone: for all things elfe,
Created beauty, and created good,
Illufive all, can charm the foul no more.
Sublime their intellect, and without fpot,
Enlarg'd to draw Truth's endless profpect in,
Ineffable, eternity and time;
The train of beings, all by gradual scale
Defcending, fumless orders and degrees;
Th' unfounded depth, which mortals dare not try,
Of God's perfections; how these heavens first sprung
From unprolific night; how mov'd and rul'd
In number, weight, and measure; what hid laws,
Inexplicable, guide the moral world.
Active as flame, with prompt obedience all
The will of heaven fulfil: fome his fierce wrath
Bear through the nations, peftilence and war :
His copious goodness fome, life, light, and blifs,
To thoufands. Some the fate of empires rule,
Commiffion'd, fheltering with their guardian wings
The pious monarch, and the legal throne.
Nor is the fovereign, nor th' illuftrious great,
Alone their care. To every leffening rank
Of worth propitious, these bleft minds embrace
With univerfal love the just and good,
Wherever found; unpriz'd, perhaps unknown,
Depreft by fortune, and with hate purfued,
Or infult from the proud oppreffor's brow.
Yet dear to heaven, and meriting the watch
Of angels o'er his unambitious walk,
At morn or eve, when Nature's fairest face,
Calmly magnificent, infpires the foul
With virtuous raptures, prompting to forfake
The fin-born vanities, and low pursuits,
That bufy human-kind; to view their ways
With pity; to repay, for numerous wrongs,
Meekness and charity. Or, rais'd aloft,
Fir'd with ethereal ardor, to furvey
The circuit of creation, all these funs
With all their worlds: and ftill from height to height,
By things created rising, last ascend