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To put forth all his ardor, all his art,
And give his soul her full unbounded flight,
But reaching him, who gave her wings to fly.
When blind ambition quite mistakes her road,
And downward pores, for that which shines above,
Substantial happiness, and true renown;
Then, like an idiot gazing on the brook,
We leap at stars, and fasten in the mud;
At glory grasp, and sink in infamy.
Ambition! powerful source of good and ill!
Thy strength in man, like length of wing in birds,
When disengag'd from Earth, with greater ease,
And swifter flight, transports us to the skies;
By toys entangled, or in gilt bemir'd,
It turns a curse; it is our chain, and scourge,
In this dark dungeon, where confin'd we lie,
Close grated by the sordid bars of sense;
All prospect of eternity shut out;
And, but for execution, ne'er set free.
With error in ambition justly charged,
Find we Lorenzo wiser in his wealth?
What if thy rental I reform? and draw
An inventory new to set thee right?
Where thy true treasure? Gold says, "Not in me:"
And, Not in me," the diamond. Gold is poor;
India's insolvent; seek it in thyself,
Seek in thy naked self, and find it there;
In being so descended, form'd, endow'd;
Sky-born, sky-guided, sky-returning race!
Erect, immortal, rational, divine!
In senses which inherit Earth, and Heavens ;
Enjoy the various riches Nature yields;
Far nobler! give the riches they enjoy;
Give taste to fruits; and harmony to groves;
Their radiant beams to gold, and gold's bright fire;
Take in, at once, the landscape of the world,
At a small inlet, which a grain might close,
And half-create the wondrous world they see.
Our senses, as our reason, are divine.
But for the magic organ's powerful charm,
Earth were a rude, uncolor'd chaos, still.
Objects are but th' occasion; ours th' exploit ;
Ours is the cloth, the pencil, and the paint,
Which Nature's admirable picture draws;
And beautifies creation's ample dome.
Like Milton's Eve, when gazing on the lake,
Man makes the matchless image, man admires.
Say, then, shall man, his thoughts all sent abroad,
Superior wonders in himself forgot,
His admiration waste on objects round,
When Heaven makes him the soul of all he sees?
Absurd! not rare! so great, so mean, is man.
What wealth in senses such as these! What wealth
In fancy, fir'd to form a fairer scene
Than sense surveys! In memory's firm record,
Which, should it perish, could this world recall
From the dark shadows of o'erwhelming years!
In colors fresh, originally bright,
Preserve its portrait, and report its fate!
What wealth in intellect, that sovereign power,
Which sense and fancy summons to the bar;
Interrogates, approves, or reprehends;
And from the mass those underlings import,
From their materials sifted, and refin'd,
And in truth's balance accurately weigh'd,
Forms art, and science, government, and law;
The solid basis, and the beauteous frame,
The vitals, and the grace of civil life!
And manners (sad exception!) set aside,
Strikes out, with master-hand, a copy fair
Of his idea, whose indulgent thought
Long, long, ere chaos teem'd, plann'd human bliss.
What wealth in souls that soar, dive, range
Disdaining limit, or from place or time;
And hear at once, in thought extensive, hear
Th' Almighty fiat, and the trumpet's sound!
Bold, on creation's outside walk, and view
What was, and is, and more than e'er shall be;
Commanding, with omnipotence of thought,
Creations new in fancy's field to rise!
Souls, that can grasp whate'er th' Almighty made,
And wander wild through things impossible!
What wealth, in faculties of endless growth,
In quenchless passions violent to crave,
In liberty to choose, in power to reach,
And in duration (how thy riches rise!)
Duration to perpetuate-boundless bliss!
Ask you, what power resides in feeble man
That bliss to gain? Is virtue's, then, unknown?
Virtue, our present peace, our future prize.
Man's unprecarious, natural estate,
Improvable at will, in virtue lies;
Its tenure sure; its income is divine.
High-built abundance, heap on heap! for what? To breed new wants, and beggar us the more ; Then make a richer scramble for the throng? Soon as this feeble pulse, which leaps so long Almost by miracle, is tir'd with play, Like rubbish from disploding engines thrown, Our magazines of hoarded trifles fly; Fly diverse; fly to foreigners, to foes; New masters court, and call the former fool (How justly!) for dependence on their stay. Wide scatter, first, our playthings; then, our dust. Dost court abundance for the sake of peace? Learn, and lament thy self-defeated scheme : Riches enable to be richer still;
And, richer still, what mortal can resist?
Thus wealth (a cruel task-maker!) enjoins
New toils, succeeding toils, an endless train
And murders peace, which taught it first to shine
The poor are half as wretched as the rich;
Whose proud and painful privilege it is,
At once, to bear a double load of woe;
To feel the stings of envy, and of want,
Outrageous want! both Indies cannot cure.
A competence is vital to content.
Much wealth is corpulence, if not disease;
Sick, or encumber'd, is our happiness.
A competence is all we can enjoy.
O be content, where Heaven can give no more!
More, like a flash of water from a lock,
Quickens our spirits' movement for an hour;
But soon its force is spent, nor rise our joys
Above our native temper's common stream.
Hence disappointment lurks in every prize,
As bees in flowers; and stings us with success.
The rich man, who denies it, proudly feigns;
Nor knows the wise are privy to the lie.
Much learning shows how little mortals know;
Much wealth, how little worldlings can enjoy ;
At best, it babies us with endless toys,
And keeps us children till we drop to dust.
As monkeys at a mirror stand amaz'd,
They fail to find what they so plainly see;
Thus men, in shining riches, see the face
Of happiness, nor know it is a shade;
But gaze, and touch, and peep, and peep again
And wish, and wonder it is absent still.
How few can rescue opulence from want!
Who lives to nature, rarely can be poor;
Who lives to fancy, never can be rich.
Poor is the man in debt; the man of gold,
In debt to Fortune, trembles at her power.
The man of reason smiles at her, and death.
O what a patrimony this! A being
Of such inherent strength and majesty,
Not worlds possest can raise it; worlds destroy'd
Can't injure; which holds on its glorious course,
When thine, O Nature! ends; too blest to mourn
Creation's obsequies. What treasure, this!
The monarch is a beggar to the man.
Immortal! Ages past, yet nothing gone!
Morn without eve! a race without a goal!
Unshorten'd by progression infinite!
Futurity for ever future! Life
Beginning still where computation ends!
"Tis the description of a Deity!
"Tis the description of the meanest slave:
The meanest slave dares then Lorenzo scorn?
The meanest slave thy sovereign glory shares.
Proud youth fastidious of the lower world!
Man's lawful pride includes humility:
Stoops to the lowest; is too great to find
Inferiors; all immortal! brothers all!
Proprietors eternal of thy love.
Immortal! What can strike the sense so strong,
As this the soul? It thunders to the thought;
Reason amazes; gratitude o'erwhelms ;
No more we slumber on the brink of fate;
Rous'd at the sound, th' exulting soul ascends,
And breathes her native air; an air that feeds
Ambitions high, and fans ethereal fires;
Quick kindles all that is divine within us;
Nor leaves one loitering thought beneath the stars.
Has not Lorenzo's bosom caught the flame?
Immortal! Were but one immortal, how
Would others envy! How would thrones adore!
Because 'tis common, is the blessing lost?
How this ties up the bounteous hand of Heaven!
O vain, vain, vain, all else! Eternity!
A glorious, and a needful refuge, that,
From vile imprisonment, in abject views.
"Tis immortality, 'tis that alone,
Amid life's pains, abasement, emptiness,
The soul can comfort, elevate, and fill.
That only, and that amply, this performs;
Lifts us above life's pains, her joys above;
Their terror those, and these their lustre lose;
Eternity depending covers all;
Eternity depending all achieves;
Sets Earth at distance; casts her into shades;
Blends her distinctions; abrogates her powers;
The low, the lofty, joyous, and severe,
Fortune's dread frowns, and fascinating smiles,
Make one promiscuous and neglected heap,
The man beneath; if I may call him man,
Whom immortality's full force inspires.
Nothing terrestrial touches his high thought;
Suns shine unseen, and thunders roll unheard,
By minds quite conscious of their high descent,
Their present province, and their future prize;
Divinely darting upward every wish,
Warm on the wing, in glorious absence lost!
Doubt you this truth? Why labors your belief?
If Earth's whole orb by some due distanc'd eye
Were seen at once, her towering Alps would sink,
And level'd Atlas leave an even sphere.
Thus Earth, and all that earthly minds admire,
Is swallow'd in Eternity's vast round.
To that stupendous view when souls awake,
So large of late, so mountainous to man,
Time's toys subside; and equal all below.
Enthusiastic, this? Then all are weak,
But rank enthusiasts. To this godlike height
Some souls have soar'd; or martyrs ne'er had bled.
And all may do, what has by man been done.
Who, beaten by these sublunary storms,
Boundless, interminable joys can weigh,
Unraptur'd, unexalted, uninflam'd?
What slave unblest, who from to-morrow's dawn
Expects an empire? He forgets his chain,
And, thron'd in thought, his absent sceptre waves.
And what a sceptre waits us! what a throne! Her own immense appointments to compute, Or comprehend her high prerogatives, In this her dark minority, how toils, How vainly pants, the human soul divine! Too great the bounty seems for earthly joy; What heart but trembles at so strange a bliss?
In spite of all the truths the Muse has sung,
Ne'er to be priz'd enough! enough revolv'd!
Are there who wrap the world so close about them,
They see no further than the clouds; and dance
On heedless Vanity's fantastic toe,
Till, stumbling at a straw, in their career, [song!
Headlong they plunge, where end both dance and
Are there, Lorenzo? Is it possible?
Are there on Earth (let me not call them men)
Who lodge a soul immortal in their breasts;
Unconscious as the mountain of its ore;
Or rock, of its inestimable gem?
When rocks shall melt, and mountains vanish, thes
Shall know their treasure; treasure, then, no more.
Are there (still more amazing!) who resist The rising thought? who smother, in its birth, The glorious truth? who struggle to be brutes? Who through this bosom-barrier burst their way, And, with revers'd ambition, strive to sink? Who labor downwards through th' opposing powers Of instinct, reason, and the world against them, To dismal hopes, and shelter in the shock Of endless night; night darker than the grave's? Who fight the proofs of immortality? With horrid zeal, and execrable arts, Work all their engines, level their black fires, To blot from man this attribute divine, (Than vital blood far dearer to the wise,) Blasphemers, and rank atheists to themselves?
To contradict them, see all Nature rise! What object, what event, the Moon beneath, But argues, or endears, an after-scene? To reason proves, or weds it to desire? All things proclaim it needful; some advance One precious step beyond, and prove it sure. A thousand arguments swarm round my pen, From Heaven, and Earth, and man. Indulge a few By Nature, as her common habit, worn; So pressing Providence a truth to teach, Which truth untaught, all other truths were vain
Of moment infinite! but relish'd most
By those who love thee most, who most adore.
Nature, thy daughter, ever-changing birth
Of thee the great Immutable, to man
Speaks wisdom is his oracle supreme;
And he who most consults her, is most wise.
Lorenzo, to this heavenly Delphos haste;
And come back all-immortal; all-divine:
Look Nature through, tis revolution all;
All change; no death. Day follows night, and night
The dying day; stars rise, and set, and rise;
Earth takes th' example See, the Summer gay,
With her green chaplet, and ambrosial flowers,
Droops into pallid Autumn: Winter grey,
Horrid with frost, and turbulent with storm,
Blows Autumn, and his golden fruits, away:
Then melts into the Spring: soft Spring, with breath
Favonian, from warm chambers of the south,
Recalls the first. All, to re-flourish, fades;
As in a wheel, all sinks, to reascend:
Emblems of man, who passes, not expires.
With this minute distinction, emblems just,
Nature revolves, but man advances; both
Eternal, that a circle, this a line.
That gravitates, this soars. Th' aspiring soul,
Ardent, and tremulous, like flame, ascends,
Zeal and humility her wings, to Heaven.
The world of matter, with its various forms,
All dies into new life. Life born from death
Rolls the vast mass, and shall for ever roll.
No single atom, once in being, lost,
With change of counsel charges the Most High.
What hence infers Lorenzo? Can it be?
Matter immortal? And shall spirit die?
Above the nobler, shall less noble rise?
Shall man alone, for whom all else revives,
No resurrection know? Shall man alone,
Imperial man! be sown in barren ground,
Less privileg'd than grain, on which he feeds?
Is man, in whom alone is power to prize
The bliss of being, or with previous pain
Deplore its period, by the spleen of fate
Severely doom'd death's single unredeem'd?
If Nature's revolution speaks aloud,
In her gradation, hear her louder still.
Look Nature through, 'tis neat gradation all.
By what minute degrees her scale ascends!
Each middle nature join'd at each extreme,
To that above is join'd, to that beneath.
Parts, into parts reciprocally shot,
Abhor divorce: what love of union reigns!
Here, dormant matter waits a call to life;
Half-life, half-death, join'd there; here life and sense;
There, sense from reason steals a glimmering ray;
Reason shines out in man. But how preserv'd
The chain unbroken upward, to the realms
Of incorporeal life? those realms of bliss
Where death hath no dominion? Grant a make
Half-nortal, half-immortal; earthy, part,
And part ethereal; grant the soul of man
Eternal; or in man the series ends.
Wide yawns the gap; connexion is no more;
Check'd reason halts; her next step wants support;
Striving to climb, she tumbles from her scheme;
A scheme, analogy pronounc'd so true;
Analogy, man's surest guide below.
Thus far, all Nature calls on thy belief.
And will Lorenzo, careless of the call,
False attestation on all Nature charge,
Rather than violate his league with death?
Renounce his reason, rather than renounce
The dust belov'd, and run the risk of Heaven?
O what indignity to deathless souls!
What treason to the majesty of man!
Of man immortal! Hear the lofty style:
If so decreed, th' Almighty Will be done. Let Earth dissolve, yon ponderous orbs descend, And grind us into dust. The soul is safe; The man emerges; mounts above the wreck, As towering flame from Nature's funeral pyre; O'er devastation, as a gainer, smiles; His charter, his inviolable rights,
Well pleas'd to learn from thunder's impotence,
Death's pointless darts, and Hell's defeated storms.”
But these chimeras touch not thee, Lorenzo!
The glories of the world thy sevenfold shield.
Other ambition than of crowns in air,
And superlunary felicities,
Thy bosom warm. I'll cool it, if I can ;
And turn those glories that enchant, against thee.
What ties thee to this life, proclaims the next.
If wise, the cause that wounds thee is thy cure.
Come, my ambitious! let us mount together, (To mount, Lorenzo never can refuse); And from the clouds, where pride delights to dwell, Look down on Earth.-What see'st thou? Wondrous things!
Terrestrial wonders, that eclipse the skies.
What lengths of labor'd lands! what loaded seas!
Loaded by man for pleasure, wealth, or war!
Seas, winds, and planets, into service brought,
His art acknowledge, and promote his ends.
Nor can th' eternal rocks his will withstand:
What level'd mountains! and what lifted vales!
O'er vales and mountains sumptuous cities swell,
And gild our landscape with their glittering spires.
Some 'mid the wondering waves majestic rise;
And Neptune holds a mirror to their charms.
Far greater still! (what cannot mortal might?)
See, wide dominions ravish'd from the deep!
The narrow'd deep with indignation foams.
Or southward turn; to delicate and grand,
The finer arts there ripen in the sun.
How the tall temples, as to meet their gods,
Ascend the skies! the proud triumphal arch
Shows us half Heaven beneath its ample bend.
High through mid-air, here, streams are taught to
Whole rivers, there, laid by in basons, sleep.
Here, plains turn oceans; there, vast oceans join
Through kingdoms channel'd deep from shore to
And chang'd creation takes its face from man.
Beats thy brave breast for formidable scenes,
Where fame and empire wait upon the sword?
See fields in blood; hear naval thunders rise;
Britannia's voice! that awes the world to peace.
How yon enormous mole, projecting, breaks
The mid-sea, furious waves! Their roar amidst,
Out-speaks the Deity, and says, "O main!
Thus far, nor farther; new restraints obey."
Earth's disembowel'd! measur'd are the skies!
Stars are detected in their deep recess !
Creation widens! vanquish'd Nature yields!
Her secrets are extorted! art prevails!
What monument of genius, spirit, power!
And now, Lorenzo! raptured at this scene, Whose glories render Heaven superfluous! say, Whose footsteps these?-Immortals have been here. Could less than souls immortal this have done?
Earth's cover'd o'er with proofs of souls immortal :
And proofs of immortality forgot.
To flatter thy grand foible, I confess,
These are ambition's works: and these are great:
But this, the least immortal souls can do;
Transcend them all. But what can these transcend?
Dost ask me what?-One sigh for the distrest.
What then for infidels? A deeper sigh.
"Tis moral grandeur makes the mighty man:
How little they, who think aught great below!
All our ambitions Death defeats, but one;
And that it crowns. Here cease we: but, ere long,
More powerful proof shall take the field against thee,
Stronger than death, and smiling at the tomb.
in their favor, and none at all on the other, they catch at this reed, they lay hold on this chimera, to save themselves from the shock and horror of an immediate and absolute despair. On reviewing my subject, by the light which this argument, and others of like tendency, threw upon it, I was more inclined than ever to pursue it, as it appeared to me to strike directly at the main root of all our infidelity. In the following pages, it is, accordingly, pursued at large; and some arguments for immortality, new at least to me, are ventured on in them. There also the writer has made an attempt to set the gross ab surdities and horrors of annihilation in a fuller and more affecting view, than is (I think) to be met with elsewhere.
Containing the Nature, Proof, and Importance, of
The gentlemen, for whose sake this attempt was
chiefly made, profess great admiration for the
wisdom of heathen antiquity: what pity it is they
are not sincere! If they were sincere, how
would it mortify them to consider, with what
contempt and abhorrence their notions would
have been received by those whom they so much
admire! What degree of contempt and abhor-
rence would fall to their share, may be conjec
tured by the following matter of fact (in my
opinion) extremely memorable. Of all their hea
then worthies, Socrates (it is well known) was
the most guarded, dispassionate, and composed:
yet this great master of temper was angry; and
angry at his last hour; and angry with his friend;
and angry for what deserved acknowledgment;
angry for a right and tender instance of true
friendship towards him. Is not this surprising!
What could be the cause? The cause was for
his honor; it was a truly noble, though, perhaps
a too punctilious regard for immortality: for, his
friend asking him, with such an affectionate con-
cern as became a friend, "Where he should
deposit his remains?" it was resented by Socrates
as implying a dishonorable supposition, that he
could be so mean, as to have a regard for any
thing, even in himself, that was not immortal.
This fact, well considered, would make our infidels
withdraw their admiration from Socrates; or
make them endeavor, by their imitation of this
illustrious example, to share his glory and con
sequently, it would incline them to peruse the
following pages with candor and impartiality;
which is all I desire; and that, for their sakes:
for I am persuaded, that an unprejudiced infidel
must, necessarily, receive some advantageous in
pressions from them.
July 7, 1744.
As we are at war with the power, it were well if we were at war with the manners, of France. A land of levity is a land of guilt. A serious mind is the native soil of every virtue; and the single character that does true honor to mankind. The soul's immortality has been the favorite theme with the serious of all ages. Nor is it strange; it is a subject by far the most interesting, and important, that can enter the mind of man. Of highest moment this subject always was and always will be. Yet this its highest moment seems to admit of increase, at this day; a sort of occasional importance is superadded to the natural weight of it; if that opinion which is advanced in the preface to the preceding Night, be just. It is there supposed, that all our infidels, whatever scheme, for argument's sake, and to keep themselves in countenance, they patronize, are betrayed into their deplorable error, by some doubts of their immortality, at the bottom. And the more I consider this point, the more I am persuaded of the truth of that opinion. Though the distrust of a futurity is a strange error; yet it is an error into which bad men may naturally be distressed. For it is impossible to bid defiance to final ruin, without some refuge in imagination, some presumption of escape. And what presumption is there? There are but two in nature; but two, within the compass of human thought. And these are-That either God will
Contents of the Seventh Night.
not, or can not punish. Considering the divine In the Sixth Night, arguments were drawn from
attributes, the first is too gross to be digested by our strongest wishes. And since omnipotence is as much a divine attribute as holiness, that God cannot punish, is as absurd a supposition as the former. God certainly can punish as long as wicked men exist. In non-existence, therefore, is their only refuge; and, consequently, nonexistence is their strongest wish. And strong wishes have a strange influence on our opinions: they bias the judgment, in a manner almost incredible. And since on this member of their alternative, there are some very small appearances
Nature, in proof of immortality: here, others are drawn from man: from his discontent; from his passions and powers; from the gradual growth of reason; from his fear of death; from the nature of hope, and of virtue; from knowledge and love. as being the most essential properties of the soul; from the order of creation; from the nature of ambition; avarice; pleasure. A digression ou the grandeur of the passions. Immortality alone renders our present state intelligible. An objection from the Stoic's disbelief of immortality answered. Endless questions unresolvable, but on suppo
sition of our immortality. The natural, most The cause how obvious, when his reason wakes!
melancholy, and pathetic complaint of a worthy His grief is but his grandeur in disguise;
man, under the persuasion of no futurity, The And discontent is immortality.
gross absurdities and horrors of annihilation urged Shall sons of ether, shall the blood of Heaven,
home on Lorenzo. The soul's vast importance; Set up their hopes on Earth, and stable here
from whence it arises. The difficulty of being With brutal acquiescence in the mire?
an infidel. The infamy, the cause, and the char-Lorenzo! no! they shall be nobly pain'd;
acter of an infidel state. What true free-think- The glorious foreigners, distress'd, shall sigh
ing is. The necessary punishment of the false. On thrones; and thou congratulate the sigh:
Man's ruin is from himself. An infidel accuses Man's misery declares him born for bliss;
himself of guilt, and hypocrisy; and that of the His anxious heart asserts the truth I sing,
worst sort. His obligation to Christians. What And gives the sceptic in his head the lie.
danger he incurs by virtue. Vice recommended Our heads, our hearts, our passions, and our powers
to him. His high pretences to virtue and benevo- Speak the same language; call us to the skies;
lence exploded. The conclusion, on the nature Unripen'd these in this inclement clime,
of faith, reason, and hope, with an apology for this Scarce rise above conjecture and mistake;
And for this land of trifles those too strong
Tumultuous rise, and tempest human life:
What prize on Earth can pay us for the storm?
Meet objects for our passions, Heaven ordain'd,
Objects that challenge all their fire, and leave
No fault, but in defect. Blest Heaven! avert
A bounded ardor for unbounded bliss!
O for a bliss unbounded! far beneath
A soul immortal, is a mortal joy.
Nor are our powers to perish immature;
But, after feeble effort here, beneath
A brighter sun, and in a nobler soil,
Transplanted from this sublunary bed,
Shall flourish fair, and put forth all their bloom.
Reason progressive, instinct is complete ;
Swift instinct leaps; slow reason feebly climbs.
Brutes soon their zenith reach; their little all
Flows in at once; in ages they no more
Could know, or do, or covet, or enjoy.
Were man to live coëval with the Sun,
The patriarch-pupil would be learning still;
Yet, dying, leave his lesson half unlearnt.
Men perish in advance, as if the Sun
Should set ere noon, in eastern oceans drown'd;
If fit, with dim, illustrious to compare,
The Sun's meridian with the soul of man.
To man, why, stepdame Nature! so severe ?
Why thrown aside thy masterpiece half-wrought,
While meaner efforts thy last hand enjoy?
Or, if abortively poor man must die,
Nor reach, what reach he might, why die in dread?
Why curst with foresight? Wise to misery?
Why of his proud prerogative the prey?
Why less pre-eminent in rank, than pain?
His immortality alone can tell ;
Full ample fund to balance all amiss,
And turn the scale in favor of the just!
His immortality alone can solve
The darkest of enigmas, human hope;
Of all the darkest, if at death we die.
Hope, eager hope, th' assassin of our joy,
All present blessings treading under foot,
Is scarce a milder tyrant than despair.
With no past toils content, still planning new,
Hope turns us o'er to death alone for ease.
Possession, why more tasteless than pursuit?
Why is a wish far dearer than a crown?
That wish accomplish'd, why, the grave of bliss?
Because, in the great future buried deep,
Beyond our plans of empire, and renown,
Lies all that man with ardor should pursue,
And he who made him, bent him to the right.
HEAVEN gives the needful, but neglected, call.
What day, what hour, but knocks at human hearts,
To wake the soul to sense of future scenes?
Deaths stand, like Mercuries, in every way,
And kindly point us to our journey's end.
Pope, who couldst make immortals! art thou dead?
I give thee joy: nor will I take my leave;
So soon to follow Man but dives in death;
Dives from the Sun, in fairer day to rise;
The grave, his subterranean road to bliss.
Yes, infinite indulgence plann'd it so;
Through various parts our glorious story runs;
Time gives the preface, endless age unrolls
The volume (ne'er unroll'd !) of human fate.
This, Earth and skies already* have proclaim'd.
The world's a prophecy of worlds to come;
And who, what God foretells (who speaks in things,
Still louder than in words) shall dare deny?
If Nature's arguments appear too weak,
Turn a new leaf, and stronger read in man.
If man sleeps on, untaught by what he sees,
Can he prove infidel to what he feels?
He, whose blind thought futurity denies,
Unconscious bears, Bellerophon! like thee,
His own indictment; he condemns himself;
Who reads his bosom, reads immortal life;
Or, Nature, there, imposing on her sons,
Has written fables; man was made a lie.
Why discontent for ever harbor'd there?
Incurable consumption of our peace!
Resolve me, why the cottager and king,
He whom sea-sever'd realms obey, and he
Who steals his whole dominion from the waste,
Repelling winter blasts with mud and straw,
Disquieted alike, draw sigh for sigh,
In fate so distant, in complaint so near?
Is it, that things terrestrial can't content?
Deep in rich pasture, will thy flocks complain?
Not so; but to their master is denied
To share their sweet serene. Man, ill at ease,
In this, not his own place, this foreign field,
Where Nature fodders him with other food
Than was ordain'd his cravings to suffice,
Poor in abundance, famish'd at a feast,
Sighs on for something more, when most enjoy'd.
Is Heaven then kinder to thy flocks than thee?
Not so; thy pasture richer, but remote ;
In part, remote; for that remoter part
Man bleats from instinct, tho' perhaps, debauch'd
By sense, his reason sleeps, not dreams the cause.
*Night the Sixth.
Man's heart th' Almighty to the future sets,. By secret and inviolable springs;