« PreviousContinue »
She sung the godlike principle of thought,
And how, from objects by the senses brought,
The intellectual imagery is wrought;
How she the modes of beings can discern, 349
A nice respect, a meer relation learn;
Can all the thin abstracted notions reach,
Which Grecian wits, or, Britain, thine can teach.
Thus has the Muse itrove to display a part
Of those unnumber'd miracles of art,
of prudence, conduct, and of wife design,
Which to th' attentive thought conspicuous shine,
Still, vanquish'd Atheists! will you keep the field,
And, hard in error, still refuse to yield ?
See, all your broken arms lie spread around, 650
And ignominious rout deforms the ground;
Be wise, and once, admonish'd by a fợe,
Where lies your strength, and where your weakness, know;
No more at Reason's solemn bar appear,
Hardy no more scholastic weapons bear;
655 Dilband your feeble forces, and decline The war; no more in tinsel armour shine ; Nor shake your bullrush spears, but swift repair To your strong place of arms, the scoffer's chair ; And thence, supported with a mocking ring,
660 Sarcastic darts and keen invectives fling Against your foes, and scornful at your feasts Religion vanquish with decisive jefts; Arm’d with resistless laughter, Heaven assail, Relinquish Reason, and let Mirth prevail. 665
Good Heaven ! that men, who vaunt discerning light, And arrogant from wisdom's distant height
Look down on vulgar mortals, who revere
A Cause Supreme, should their proud building rear
Without one prop the ponderous pile to bear!
How much the Judge, who does in Heaven preside
Re-mocks the scoffer, and contemns his pride!
Behold, the sad unsufferable hour
Advances near, which will his error cure ;
When he compellid shall drink the wrathful bowl,
And ruin'd feel immortal vengeance roll
Through all his veins, and drench his inmost soul.
O'erwhelm'd with horror, sunk in deep despair,
And lost for ever, will the wretch forbear
To curse his madness, and blafpheme the power
Of his just Sovereign, which he mock'd before?
Hail, King Supreme! of Power Immense Abyss !
Father of Light! Exhaustless Source of Bliss !
Thou uncreated, Self-existent Cause,
Control'd by no superior Being's laws,
Ere infant light essay'd to dart the ray,
Smild heavenly sweet, and try'd to kindle day :
Ere the wide fields of æther were display'd,
Or filver stars cærulean spheres inlaid ;
Ere yet the eldest child of Time was born, 690
Or verdant pride young Nature did adorn;
Thou art ; and didst eternity employ
In unmolested peace, in plenitude of joy,
In its ideal frame the world, design'd
From ages past, lay finish'd in thy mind.
Conform to this divine imagin’d plan,
With perfect art th' amazing work began.
Thy glance survey'd the solitary plains,
Where shapeless shade inert and filent reigns ;
Then in the dark and undistinguish'd space,
Unfruitful, uninclos'd, and wild of face,
Thy compass for the world mark'd out the destin'd
Then didst Thou through the fields of barren Night
Go forth, collected in Creating Might.
Where Thou almighty vigour didst exert,
Which emicant did this and that
Through the black bosom of the empty space :
The gulphs confess th' omnipotent embrace,
And, pregnant grown with elemental feed,
Unfinith'd orbs and worlds in embryo breed.
From the crude mass, Omniscient Architect,
Thou for each part materials didst select,
And with a master-hand thy world erect.
Labour'd by Thec, the globes, vast lucid buoys,
By Thee uplifted, float in liquid skies :
By Thy cementing word their parts cohere,
And roll by Thy impulsive nod in air.
Thou in the vacant didft the earth fufpend,
Advance the mountains, and the vales extend;
People the plains with Rocks, with beasts the wood,
And store with scaly colonies the food.
Next, Man arosc at Thy Creating Word,
Of Thy terrestial realms vicegerent lord.
His soul, more artful labour, more refin'd,
And emulous of bright Seraphic Mind,
Ennobled by Thy Image, spotless thone,
Prais’d Thee her author, and ador'd Thy throne :
Able to know, admire, enjoy her God,
She did her high felicity applaud.
Since Thou didst all the spacious worlds display,
Homage to Thee let all obedient
Let glittering stars, that dance their destin'd ring
Sublime in sky, with vocal planets fing
Confederate praise to Thee, O Great Creator King !
Let the thin districts of the waving air,
Conveyancers of found, Thy skill declare.
Let winds, the breathing creatures of the skies,
Call in each vigorous gale, that roving flies
By land or sea; then one loud triumph raise,
And all their blasts employ in songs of praise.
While painted herald-birds Thy deeds proclaim,
And on their spreading wings convey Thy fame :
Let Eagles, which in Heaven's blue concave foar,
Scornful of earth superior seats explore,
And rise with breasts erect against the sun,
Be ministers to bear Thy bright renown,
And carry ardent praises to Thy throne.
Ye fish, assume a voice; with praises fill
The hollow rock, and loud reactive hill.
Let lions with their roar their thanks express,
With acclamations shake the wilderness.
Let thunder clouds, that float from pole to pole,
With falvos loud salute Thee as they roll.
Ye monsters of the sea, ye noisy waves,
Strike with applause the repercussive caves.
Let hail and rain, let meteors form’d of fire,
And lambent flames, in this blest work conspire.
Let the high cedar and the mountain pine
Lowly to thee, Great King, their heads incline,
Let every spicy odoriferous tree
Present its incense and its balm to Thee.
And thou, Heaven's viceroy o'er this world below,
In this blest task superior ardour show:
To view thyfelf, inflect thy reason's ray,
Nature's replenish'd theatre survey;
Then all on fire the Author's skill adore,
And in loud songs extol Creating Power.
Degenerate minds, in mazy error lost,
May combat Heaven, and impious triumphs boast;
But, while my veins feel animating fires,
And vital air this breathing breast inspires,
Grateful to Heaven, I'll stretch a pious wing,
And fing His praise, who gave me power to fing.