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But come, superior Muse! divinely bright,
Daughter of heav'n, whose offspring still are light;
Oh condescend, celestial facred guest !
To purge my fight, and consecrate my breast:
While I presume Omnipotence to trace,
And sing that Pow'r, who peopl'd boundless space!
Thou present wert, when forth th' Almighty rode
While Chaos trembled at the voice of God!
Thou saw'st, when o'er th' immense his line he drew,
When Nothing from his Word existence knew!
His Word, that wak’d to life the vast profound,
While conscious light was kindld at the found!
Creation fair! surpriz'd th' angelic eyes,
And sov’reign Wisdom saw that all was wise!
Him, sole almighty Nature's book displays,
Diftin&t the page, and legible the rays !
Let the wild sceptic his attention throw,
To the broad horizon, or earth below;
He finds thy soft impression touch his breast,
He feels the God, and owns him unconfess’d!
Should the stray-pilgrim, tir'd of fands and kies,
In Libya's waste behold a palace rise,
Would he believe the charm from atoms wrought?
Go, Atheist, hence, and mend thy jufter thought!
What hand, almighty architect! but thine
Could give the model of this vast design?
What hand but thine adjust th' amazing whole?
And bid consenting systems beauteous roll!
What hand but thine supply the solar light?
For ever wasting, yet for ever bright!
What hand but thine the starry train array,
Or give the moon to shed her borrow'd ray?
What hand but thine the azure convex spread?
What hand but thine trace out the ocean's bed?
To the vast main the sandy barrier throw,
And with that feeble curb restrain the foe!
What hand but thine the wintry flood affwage,
Or stop the tempest in its wildest rage!
Thee infinite! what finite can explore ?
Imagination finks beneath thy pow'r;
Thee could the ableft of thy creatures know,
Loft were thy unity, for he were thou!
Yet present to all sense thy pow'r remains,
Reveal'd in nature, nature's author reigns !
In vain would error from conviction fly,
Thou every where art present to the eye!
The sense how stupid, and the fight how blind,
That fails this universal truth to find ?
Go!-all the sightless realms of space survey,
Returning trace the planetary way!
The sun, that in his central glory shines,
While ev'ry planet round his orb inclines ;
Then at our intermediate globe repose,
And view yon lunar Satellite that glows !
Or cast along the azure vault thy eye,
When golden day enlightens all the sky;
Around behold earth’s variegated scene,
The mingling prospects, and the flow'ry green;
The mountain's brow, the long extended wood,
Or the rude rock that threatens o'er the flood!
And say are these the wild effects of chance ?
Oh strange effect of reas'ning ignorance !
Nor pow'r alone confess’d in grandeur lies,
The glittering planet, or the painted skies!
Equal the elephant's or emmet's dress
The wisdom of Omnipotence confess;
Equal the cumb’rous whale's enormous mass
With the small insect in the crowded grafs;
The mite that gambols in its acid sea,
In shape a porpus, tho' a speck to thee!
Ev’n the blue down the purple plumb surrounds,
A living world, thy failing light confounds!
To him a peopled habitation shows,
Where millions taste the bounty God bestows !
Great Lord of life, whose all-controling might
Thro' wide creation beanis divinely bright,
Nor only does thy pow'r in forming ihine,
But to annihilate, dread King ! is thine.
Shouldft thou withdraw thy still-supporting hand,
How languid Nature would astonish'd stand!
Thy frown night's antient empire would restore,
And raise a blank_where systems smil'd before!
See in corruption, all-surprizing state,
How struggling life eludes the stroke of fate;
Shock'd at the scene, tho' sense averts its eye,
Nor stops the wond'rous process to descry;
Yet jufter thought the mystic change pursues,
And with delight almighty wisdom views !
The brute, the vegetable world surveys,
Sees life subfisting ev’n from life's decays!
Mark there, felf-taught, the pensive reptile come,
Spin his thin shroud, and living build his tomb!
With conscious care his former pleasures leave,
And dress him for the business of the grave!
Thence pass’d the short-liv'd change,renew'd he springs,
Admires the skies, and tries his painted wings!
With airy flight the insect roves abroad,
And scorns the meaner earth he lately trod!
Thee, potent, let deliver'd Israel praise,
And to thy Name their grateful homage raise!
Thee potent God! let Egypt's land declare,
Which felt thy justice, awfully fevere!
How did thy frown benight the shadow'd land?
Nature revers’d, how own thy high command?
When jarring elements their use forgot,
And the fun felt thy overcasting blot!
When earth produc'd the peftilential brood,
And the foul stream was crimson'd into blood!
How deep the horrors of that awful night!
How strong the terror, and how wild the fright!
When o'er the land thy sword vindictive part,
And men and infants breath'd at once their last!
How did thy arm thy favour'd tribes convey!
Thy light conducting, point th' amazing way!
Obedient ocean to their march divide,
The wat'ry wall distinct on either side;
While thro' the deep the long procession led,
And saw the wonders of the
Nor long they march'd, till black’ning in the rear,
The vengeful tyrant and his host appear;
Plunge down the deep,—the waves thy nod obey,
And whelm the threat'ning storm beneath the sea!
Nor yet thy pow'r thy chosen train forfook,
When thro’ Arabia's sands their way they took;
By day thy cloud was present to the fight,
Thy fiery pillar led the march by night;
Thy hand amidst the waste their table spread,
With feather'd viands, and with Heav'nly bread:
When the dry wilderness no streams supply'd,
Gufh'd from the yielding rock the vital tide!
What limits can Omnipotence confine!
What obstacles restrain thy arm divine !
Since stones and waves their settled laws forego,
Since seas can harden, and since rocks can flow?
On Sinai's top the Muse, with ardent wing,
The triumphs of Omnipotence would sing,
When o'er its airy brow thy cloud display'd,'
Involv'd the nations in its awful shade!
When gloomy darkness fill'd its midmost space,
And the rock trembled to its rooted base;