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But come, fuperior Muse! divinely bright,
Daughter of heav'n, whofe offspring still are light;
Oh condescend, celeftial facred guest!
To purge my fight, and confecrate my breast:
While I prefume Omnipotence to trace,
And fing that Pow'r, who peopl'd boundless space!
Thou prefent 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 vaft profound,
While conscious light was kindl'd at the found!
Creation fair! furpriz'd th' angelic eyes,
And fov'reign Wisdom saw that all was wife!
Him, fole almighty Nature's book displays,
Diftinct the page, and legible the rays!
Let the wild fceptic his attention throw,
To the broad horizon, or earth below;
He finds thy foft impreffion touch his breast,
He feels the God,—and owns him unconfess'd!
Should the stray-pilgrim, tir'd of fands and skies,
In Libya's waste behold a palace rife,
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 vaft defign?
What hand but thine adjust th' amazing whole?
And bid confenting systems beauteous roll!
What hand but thine fupply the folar light?
For ever wafting,, 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 fandy barrier throw,
And with that feeble curb reftrain the foe!
What hand but thine the wintry flood affwage,
Or ftop the tempeft in its wildeft 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 fenfe 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 univerfal truth to find?
Go!-all the fightless realms of space survey,
Returning trace the planetary way!
The fun, that in his central glory fhines,
While ev'ry planet round his orb inclines;
Then at our intermediate globe repose,
And view yon lunar Satellite that glows!
Or caft along the azure vault thy eye,
When golden day enlightens all the sky;
Around behold earth's variegated scene,
The mingling profpects, and the flow'ry green;
The mountain's brow, the long extended wood,
Or the rude rock that threatens o'er the flood!
And fay are these the wild effects of chance?
Oh strange effect of reas'ning ignorance!
Nor pow'r alone confefs'd in grandeur lies,
The glittering planet, or the painted skies!
Equal the elephant's or emmet's drefs
The wisdom of Omnipotence confefs;
Equal the cumb'rous whale's enormous mass
With the small infect in the crowded grafs;
The mite that gambols in its acid fea,
In fhape a porpus, tho' a fpeck to thee!
Ev'n the blue down the purple plumb furrounds,
A living world, thy failing fight confounds!
To him a peopled habitation shows,
Where millions tafte the bounty God bestows!
Great Lord of life, whofe all-controling might
Thro' wide creation beams divinely bright,
Nor only does thy pow'r in forming shine,
But to annihilate, dread King! is thine.
Shouldst thou withdraw thy ftill-supporting hand,
How languid Nature would astonish'd stand!
Thy frown night's antient empire would restore,
And raise a blank-where systems fmil'd before!
See in corruption, all-furprizing state,
How ftruggling life eludes the stroke of fate;
Shock'd at the scene, tho' sense averts its eye,
Nor ftops the wond'rous process to defcry;
Yet jufter thought the myftic change pursues,
And with delight almighty wisdom views!
The brute, the vegetable world furveys,
Sees life fubfifting ev'n from life's decays!
Mark there, felf-taught, the penfive reptile come,
Spin his thin fhroud, and living build his tomb!
With conscious care his former pleasures leave,
And dress him for the business of the grave!
Thence pafs'd the fhort-liv'd change,renew'd he springs,
Admires the skies, and tries his painted wings!
With airy flight the infect roves abroad,
And fcorns the meaner earth he lately trod!
Thee, potent, let deliver'd Ifrael 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 overcafting blot!
When earth produc'd the peftilential brood,
And the foul ftream was crimson'd into blood!
How deep the horrors of that awful night!
How ftrong the terror, and how wild the fright!
When o'er the land thy fword vindictive past,
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 watʼry wall diftinct on either fide;
While thro' the deep the long proceffion led,
And faw the wonders of the
Nor long they march'd, till black'ning in the rear,
The vengeful tyrant and his hoft 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 fands 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 ftreams supply'd,
Gufh'd from the yielding rock the vital tide!
What limits can Omnipotence confine!
What obftacles reftrain thy arm divine!
Since ftones and waves their fettled laws forego,
Since feas can harden, and fince rocks can flow?
On Sinai's top the Mufe, with ardent wing,
The triumphs of Omnipotence would fing,
When o'er its airy brow thy cloud difplay'd,'
Involv'd the nations in its awful shade!
When gloomy darknefs fill'd its midmost space,
And the rock trembled to its rooted base;