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A pt means! great ends! consent to general good! If in the last, how many knots beside,
Indissoluble all ?—Why choose it there,
This is not reason's dictate ; reason says, Such all is apt to seem, that thwarts our will. Close with the side where one grain turns the scale ; And dost thou, then, demand a simple proof What vast preponderance is here! can reason of this great master-moral of the skies,
With louder voice exclaim_ Believe a God ? Unskill'd, or disinclin'd, to read it there?
And reason heard, is the sole mark of man. Since 'tis the basis, and all drops without it, What things impossible must man think true, Take it, in one compact, unbroken chain.
On any other system! and how strange Such proof insists on an attentive ear;
To disbelieve, through mere credulity!" 'Twill not make one amid a mob of thoughts, If, in this chain, Lorenzo finds no flaw, And, for thy notice, struggle with the world. Let it for ever bind him to belief, Retire ;-the world shut out ;-ihy thoughts call And where the link, in which a flaw he finds ? home :
And if a God there is, that God how great! Imagination's airy wing repress ;
How great that power, whose providential care
Of Nature universal threads the whole!
That little gem, how large! a weight let fall In Nature's channel, thus the questions run : From a fix'd star, in ages can it reach “What am I? and from whence ?-I nothing This distant Earth? Say, then, Lorenzo! where, know
Where ends this mighty building? Where, begin But that I am ; and, since I am, conclude
The suburbs of Creation? Where, the wall Something eternal : had there e'er been nought, Whose battlements look o'er into the vale Nought still had been; eternal there must be. Of non-existence ? Nothing's strange abode! But what eternal ?-Why not human race? Say, at what point of space Jehovah dropp'd And Adam's ancestors without an end ?
His slacken'd line, and laid his balance by ; That's hard to be conceiv'd, since every link Weigh'd worlds, and measur'd infinite, no more? of that long-chain'd succession is so frail.
Where, reary his terminating pillar high Can every part depend, and not the whole ? Its extra-mundane head ? and says, to gods, Yet grant it true; new difficulties rise ;
In characters illustrious as the Son, I'm still quite out at sea ; nor see the shore. “I stand, the plan's proud period ; I pronounce Whence Earth, and these bright orbs ?—Elernal too? The work accomplish'd ; the creation clos'd : Grant maller was eternal; still these orbs
Shout, all ye gods! nor shout, ye gods alone ; Would want some other father ;-much design of all that lives, or, if devoid of life, Is seen in all their motions, all their makes ; That rests, or rolls, ye heights, and depths, resound ! Design implies intelligence, and art ;
Resound! resound! ye depths, and heights, reThat can't be from themselves—or man: that art
sound! Man scarce can comprehend, could man bestow? Hard are those questions ;-answer harder still And nothing greater yet allow'd than man.- Is this the sole exploit, the single birth, Who, motion, foreign to the smallest grain, The solitary son of power divine ? Shot through vast masses of enormous weight ? Or has th' Almighty Father, with a breath, Who bid brute matter's restive lump assume Impregnated the womb of distant space? Such various forms, and gave it wings to fly? Has he not bid, in various provinces, Has matter innate motion ? then each atom,
Brother-creations the dark bowels burst Asserting its indisputable right
Of night primeval ; barren, now, no more?
And he the central sun, transpiercing all
While Chaos triumphs, repossest of all
Chaos ! of Nature both the womb, and grave! Who think a clod inferior to a man!
Think'st thou my scheme, Lorenzo, spreads toc If art, to form; and counsel, to conduct;
If 'tis an error, 'tis an error sprung
But wherefore error? who can prove it such Grant I not that which I can ne'er conceive? He that can set Omnipotence a bound. A being without origin, or end!
Can man conceive beyond what God can do? Hail, human liberty! There is no God
Nothing but quite impossible is hard. Yet, why ? On either scheme that not subsists ; He summons into being, with like ease, Subsist it must, in God, or human race :
A whole creation, and a single grain.
Speaks he the word ? a thousand worlds are born! What page of wisdom is denied him ? None; A thousand worlds! there's space for millions more ; If learning his chief lesson makes him wise. And in what space can his great fiat fail !
Nor is instruction, here, our only gain ; Condemn me not, cold critic! but indulge
There dwells a noble pathos in the skies, The warm imagination : why condemn?
Which warms our passions, proselytes our hearts. Why not indulge such thoughts, as swell our hearts How eloquently shines the glowing Pole! With fuller admiration of that power,
With what authority it gives its charge, Who gives our hearts with such high thoughts to Demonstrating greai truths in style sublime, swell ?
Though silent, loud! heard Earth around ; above Why not indulge in his augmented praise ? The planets heard ; and not unheard in Hell; Daris not his glory a still brighter ray,
Hell has her wonder, though too proud to praise. The less is left to chaos, and the realms
Is Earth, then, more infernal ? has she those, Of hideous night, where fancy strays aghast ; Who neither praise (Lorenzo!) nor admire ? And, though most talkative, makes no report? Lorenzo's admiration, pre-engag'd,
Still seems my thought enormous ? Think again; Ne'er ask'd the Moon one question ; never held Experience 'self shall aid thy lame belief.
Least correspondence with a single star; Glasses (that revelation to the sight!)
Ne'er rear'd an altar to the queen of Heaven Have they not led us in the deep disclose
Walking in brightness; or her train ador'd.
Their sublunary rivals have long since
Cause him to sacrifice his fame and peace
To momentary madness, call'd delight. What is too great, if we the cause survey? Idolater, more gross than ever kiss'd Stupendous Architect! thou, thou art all!
The listed hand to Luna, or pour'd out My soul flies up and down in thoughts of thee, The blood to Jove -0 thou, to whom belongs And finds herself but at the centre still !
Al sacrifice! O thou Great Jove unleign'd; I Am thy name! eristence all thine own!
Divine Instructor! Thy first volune, this, Creation's nothing; flatter'd much, if stylid For man's perusal; all in capitals ! “ The thin, the fleeting atmosphere of God.”
In Moon, and stars (Heaven's golden alphabet!) O for the voice-of what? of whom ?- What Emblaz'd to seize the sight; who runs, may read , voice
Who reads, can understand. "Tis unconfind Can answer to my wants, in such ascent,
To Christian land, or Jewry; fairly writ As dares to deem one universe too small ?
In language universal, to mankind ; 'Tell me, Lorenzo! (fo: now fancy glows,
A language, lofty to the learn'd; yet plain Fir'd in the vortex of almighty power)
To those that feed the flock, or guide the plow, Is not this home-creation, in the map
Or, from his husk, strike out the bounding grain, Of universal Nature, as a speck,
A language, worthy the Great Mind, that speaks Like fair Britannia in our liule ball :
Preface, and comment, to the sacred page!
Which oft refers its reader to the skies,
And Scripture 'self a fragment, that unread.
Stupendous book of wisdom, to the wise ; Too small for notice, in the vast of being ; Stupendous book! and open'd, Night! by thee. Sever'd by mighty seas of unbuilt space
By thee much open'd, I confess, O Night! From other realms; from ample continents
Yet more I wish ; but how shall I prevail ? of higher life, where nobler natives dwell; Say, gentle Night! whose modest, maiden beams Less northern, less remote from Deity,
Give us a new creation, and present Glowing beneath the line of the Supreme; The world's great picture soften'd to the sight; Where souls in excellence make haste, put forth Nay, kinder far, far more indulgent still. Luxuriant growths; nor the late autumn wait Say, thou, whose mild dominion's silver key Of human worth, but ripen soon to gods?
Unlocks our hemisphere, and sets to view Yet why drawn fancy in such depths as these? Worlds beyond number; worlds conceal'd hy day Return, presumptuous rover, and confess
Behind the proud and envious star of noon! The bounds of man; nor blame them, as too small. Canst thou not draw a deeper scene ?-And show Enjoy we not full scope in what is seen?
The mighty potentate, to whom belong
These rich regalia pompously display'd
As the chas'd hart, amid the desert waste,
Pants for the living stream ; for him who made her, This Heliopolis, by greater far
So pants the thirsty soul, amid the blank Than the proud tyrant of the Nile, was built ; Of sublunary joys. Say, goddess! where? And he alone, who built it, can destroy.
Where blazes his bright court? Where burns his Beyond this city, why strays human thought?
throne ? One wonderful! enough for man to know ! Thou know'st; for thou art near him; by thee, round One infinite! enough for man to range!
His grand pavilion, sacred fame reports One firmament! enough for man to read!
The sable curtain drawn. If not, can none O what voluminous instruction here !
l'Of thy fair daughter-train, so swift of wingo
Who travel far, discover where he dwells ? But say, what thought? is reason here enthronid, A star his dwelling pointed out below.
And absolute ? or sense in arms against her ? Ye Pleiades! Arcturus ! Mazaroih!
Have you two lights ? or need you no reveal'd ? And thou, Orion! of still keener eye!
Enjoy your happy realms their golden age ? Say ye, who guide the wilder'd in the waves, And had your Eden an abstemious Eve? And bring them out of tempest into port!
Our Eve's fair daughters prove their pedigree, On which hand must I bend my course to find him? And ask their Adams— Who would not be wise ?" These courtiers keep the secret of their King; Or, if your mother fell, you redeem'd ? I wake whole nights, in vain, to steal it from them. And if redeem'd-is your Redeemer scornd ?
I wake ; and, waking, climb night's radiant scale, Is this your final residence ? if not, From sphere to sphere; the steps by Nature set Change you your scene, translated ? or by death? For man's ascent; at once to tempt and aid ; And if by death, what death?—Know you disease ? To tempt his eye, and aid his lowering thought; Or horrid war?-With war, this fatal hour, Till it arrives at the great God of all.
Europa groans (so call we a small field, In ardent contemplation's rapid car,
Where kings run mad.) In our world, Death de. From Earth, as from my barrier, I set out.
putes How swift I mount! diminish'd Earth recedes; İntemperance to do the work of age; I pass the Moon ; and, from her farther side, And hanging up the quiver Nature gave him, Pierce Heaven's blue curtain ; strike into remote ; As slow of execution, for dispatch Where, with his listed tube, the subtle sage Sends forth imperial butchers; bids them slay His artificial, airy journey takes,
Their sheep (the silly sheep they fleec'd before) And to celestial lengthens human sight.
And toss him twice ten thousand at a meal. I pause at every planet on my road,
Sit all your executioners on thrones ? And ask for him who gives their orbs to roll, With you, can rage for plunder make a god ? Their foreheads fair to shine. From Saturn's ring, And bloodshed wash out every other stain ?In which, of Earlhs an army might be lost, But you, perhaps, can't bleed: from matter gross With the bold comet take my bolder Aight, Your spirits clean, are delicately clad Amid those sovereign glories of the skies, In fine-spun ether, privileg'd to soar, Of independent, native lustre, proud ;
Unloaded, uninfected; how unlike The souls of systems and the lords of life, The lot of man! How few of human race Through their wide empires !—What behold I now ? By their own mud unmurder'd! How we wage A wilderness of wonder burning round;
Self-war eternal! Is your painful day Where larger suns inbabit higher spheres ; Of hardy conflict o'er? Or, are you still Perhaps the villas of descending gods ;
Raw candidates at school ? And have you those Nor halt I here ; my toil is but begun;
Who disaffect reversions, as with us? 'Tis but the threshold of the Deity ;
But what are we? You never heard of man ; Or, far beneath it, I am grovelling still.
Or Earth, the bedlam of the universe ! Nor is it strange; I built on a mistake ;
Where reason (undiseas'd with you) runs mad,
Fond of the foulest. In the sacred mount
Pause, then, and, for a moment, here aspire- E'en there, by saints, the demons are outdone ;
Satan, instructed, o'er their morals smiles.O Sun?—Is the Sun turn'd recluse ?-And are But this, how strange to you, who know not man ! His boasted expeditions short to mine ?
Has the least rumor of our race arriv'd ? To mine, how short ! On Nature's Alps I stand, Callid here Elijah in his flaming car? And see a thousand firmaments beneath!
Pass'd by you the good Enoch, on his road A thousand systems ! as a thousand grains! To those fair fields, whence Lucifer was hurl'd; So much a stranger, and so lale arriv'd,
Who brush'd, perhaps, your sphere in his descent, How can man's curious spirit not inquire,
Stain'd your pure crystal ether, or let fall What are the natives of this world sublime, A short eclipse from his portentous shade ? of this so foreign, un-terrestrial sphere,
0! that the fiend had lodg’d on some broad orb Where mortal, untranslated, never stray'd ? Athwart his way; nor reach'd his present home, “Oye, as distant from my little home,
Then blacken's Earth with footsteps foul'd in Hell As swiftest sunbeams in an age can fly!
Nor wash'd in ocean, as from Rome he pass'd Far from my native element I roam,
To Britain's isle ; too, too, conspicuous there! In quest of new, and wonderful, to man.
But this is all digression : where is he, What province this, of his immense domain, That o'er Heaven's battlements the felon hurld Whom all obeys ? or mortals here, or gods? To groans, and chains, and darkness ? Where is he Ye borderers on the coasts of bliss! what are you ? Who sees creation's summit in the vale ? A colony from Heaven? Or, only rais'd,
He, whom, while man is man, he can't but seek; By frequent visit from Heaven's neighboring realms, And if he finds, commences more than man? To secondary gods, and half-divine ? —
O for a telescope his throne to reach! Whate'er your nature, this is past dispute, Tell me, ye learn'd on Earth! or blest above ! Far other life you live, far other tongue
Ye searching, ye Newtonian angels! tell, You talk, far other thought, perhaps, you think, Where, your great Master's orb? His planets where Than man. How various are the works of God! Those conscious satellites, those morning-stars,
First-born of Deity! from central love,
Full well it might! I quite mistook my road;
And is there cause for higher wonder still, Than that which struck us from our past surveys ? Yes ; and for deeper adoration too. From my late airy travel unconfind, Have I learn'd nothing ?-Yes, Lorenzo! this ; Each of these stars is a religious house ; I saw their altars smoke, their incense rise ; And heard hosannas ring through every sphere, A seminary fraught with future gods. Nature all o'er is consecrated ground, Tecmir.g with growths immortal and divine. The great proprietor's all-bounteous hand Leaves nothing waste; but sows these fiery fields With seeds of reason, which to virtues rise Beneath his genial ray: and, if escap'd The pestilential blasts of stubborn will, When grown mature, are gather'd for the skies. And is devotion thought too much on Earth, When beings, so superior, homage borst, And triumph in prostration to the throne ? But wherefore more of planets, or of stars? Ethereal journeys, and, discover'd there, Ten thousand worlds, ten thousand ways devout, All Nature sending incense to the throne, Except the bold Lorenzos of our sphere? Opening the solemn sources of my soul, Since I have pour'd, like seign'd Eridanus, My fowing numbers o'er the flaming skies, Nor see, of fancy, or of fact, what more Invites the Muse. Here turn we, and review Our past nocturnal landscape wide :-Then say, Say, then, Lorenzo! with what burst of heart, The whole, at once, revolving in his thought,
Must man exclaim, adoring, and aghast?
O what a root! O what a branch, is here!
How such ideas of th' Almighty's power,
In inconceivables to men, and gods.
And have I faild? And did I flatter thee?
rise From low to lofty; from obscure to bright; By due gradation, Nature's sacred law, The stars, from whence ?-Ask Chaos-he can tell. These bright iemptations to idolatry,
From darkness and confusion, took their birth; Sons of deformity! from fluid dregs Tartarean, first they rose to masses rude ; And then, to spheres opaque; then dimly shono, Then brighten d; then blaz'd out in perfect day. Nature delights in progress; in advance From worse to better ; but, when minds ascend, Progress, in part, depends upon themselves. Heaven aids exertion ; greater makes the great ; The voluntary little lessens more. O be a man! and thou shalt be a God! And half self-made !— Ambition how divine !
O thou, ambitious of disgrace alone! Still undevout! Unkindled ?—Though high-taught, School'd by the skies, and pupil of the stars ; Rank coward to the fashionable world! Art thou asham'd to bend thy knee to Heaven? Curst fume of pride, exhald from deepest Hell! Pride in religion is man's highest praise. Bent on destruction! and in love with death! Not all these luminaries, quench'd at once,
Were half so sad, as one benighted mind,
Sinking from bad to worse ; few years, the sport Which gropes for happiness, and meets despair. Of fortune; then the morsel of despair. How, like a widow in her weeds, the night,
Say, then, Lorenzo! (for thon know'st it well) Amid her glimmering tapers, silent sils!
What's vice ?-Mere want of compass in our How sorrowful, how desolate, she weeps
thought. Perpetual dews, and saddens Nature's scene! Religion, what ?- The proof of common-sense. A scene more sad sin makes the darken'd soul, How art thou hooted, where the least prevails ! All comfort kills, nor leaves one spark alive. Is it my fault, if these truths call thee fool ?
'Though blind of heart, still open is thine eye : And thou shalt never be miscallid by me. Why such magniticence in all thou seest?
Can neither shame, nor terror, stand thy friend ? Of maller’s grandeur, know, one end is this : And art thou still an insect in the mire ? To tell the rational, who gazes on it
How, like thy guardian angel, have I flown; “'Though that immensely great. still greater he, Snatch'd thee from Earth ; escorted thee ibrough al! Whose breast, capacious, can embrace, and lodge, Th' ethereal armies ; walk'd thee, like a god, Unburihen'd, Nature's universal scheme;
Through splendors of first inagnitude, arrang'd Can grasp creation with a single thought;
On either hand ; clouds brown beneath thy feet; Creation grasp; and not exclude its Sire."
Close-cruis’d on the bright Paradise of God;
Rank poison ; first fermenuing to mere froth,
How shocking is all joy, whose end is sure !
Why then persist ?—No mortal ever liv'd, (Thou, to whose palate glory is so sweet) But, dying, he pronounc'd (when words are true) To wade into perdition, through contempt, The whole that charms thee, absolutely vain ; Not of poor bigots only, but thy own? Vain, and far worse !—Think thou, with dying men; For I have peep'd into thy cover'd heart, O condescend to think as angels think!
And seen it blush beneath a boastful brow; O tolerate a chance for happiness!
For, by strong guilt's most violent assault,
A butterfly comes 'cross, and both are fled.
If there is force in reason; or, in sounds
A magic, at this planetary hour,
Enchantment, not infernal, but divine!
That draw the curtain round Night's ebon throne, Rais'd in enjoyment, as in worth they rise,
And raise ideas, solemn as the scene ! Arrive at length (if worthy such approach) By Night, and all of awful, Night presents At that blest fountain- ad, from which they To ught or sense (of awful much, to both, stream;
The goddess brings !) By these her trembling fires Where conflict past redoubles present joy ;
Like Vesta's, ever-burning; and, like hers, And present joy looks forward on increase ; Sacred to thoughts immaculate, and pure! And that, on more; no period! every step By these bright orators, that prove, and praise, A double boon! a promise, and a bliss."
And press thee to revere the Deity ; How easy sits this scheme on human hearts ! Perhaps, too, aid thee, when rever'd awhile, It suits their make; it soothes their vast desires; To reach his throne ; as stages of the soul, Passion is pleas'd; and reason asks no more ; Through which, at different periods. she shall pass, "Tis rational! 'tis great!—But what is thine? Refining gradual, for her final height, It darkens ! shocks! excruciates! and confounds! And purging off some dross at every sphere ! Leaves us quite naked, both of help, and hope, By this dark pall thrown o'er the silent world!