Page images


But not the wicked;-them, fevere
Yet juft, from all their pleasures here
He hurries to the realms below,
Terrific realms of penal woe!
Myfelf no fooner heard his call,
Than, scaping through my prison wall,
I bade adieu to bolts and bars,
And foar'd, with angels, to the stars,
Like him of old, to whom 'twas given
To mount on fiery wheels to heaven.
Boötes' waggon, flow with cold,
Appall'd me not; nor to behold
The fword that vaft Orion draws,
Or e'en the Scorpion's horrid claws.
Beyond the Sun's bright orb I fly,
And far beneath my feet defcry
Night's dread goddess, seen with awe,
Whom her winged dragons draw.
Thus, ever wondering at my speed,
Augmented still as I proceed,
I pafs the planetary sphere,

The Milky Way-and now appear
Heaven's crystal battlements, her door
Of maffy pearl, and emerald floor.

"But here I ceafe. For never can
The tongue of once a mortal man
In fuitable description trace
The pleasures of that happy place;
Suffice it, that those joys divine
Are all, and all for ever, mine!"


H, how the human mind wearies herself With her own wanderings, and, involved in gloom

Impenetrable, fpeculates amifs!

Measuring in her folly things divine
By human; laws infcribed on adamant
By laws of man's device, and counfels fix'd
For ever, by the hours that pafs and die.
How?-shall the face of nature then be plough'd
Into deep wrinkles, and shall years at last
On the great Parent fix a fterile curfe?
Shall even the confefs old age, and halt,
And, palfy-fmitten, shake her starry brows?
Shall foul Antiquity with ruft, and drought,
And Famine, vex the radiant worlds above?
Shall Time's unfated maw crave and ingulf
The very heavens that regulate his flight?
And was the Sire of all able to fence

His works, and to uphold the circling worlds,
But, through improvident and heedlefs hafte
Let flip the occafion?-fo then-all is loft--
And in fome future evil hour, yon arch
Shall crumble and come thundering down, the poles
Jar in collifion, the Olympian king

Fall with his throne, and Pallas, holding forth
The terrors of the Gorgon fhield in vain,

Shall rush to the abyfs, like Vulcan hurl'd

Down into Lemnos, through the gate of heaven.
Thou alfo, with precipitated wheels,
Phœbus! thy own fon's fall fhalt imitate,
With hideous ruin fhalt impress the deep
Suddenly, and the flood shall reek and hiss,
At the extinction of the lamp of day.
Then too fhall Hamus, cloven to his base,
Be shatter'd, and the huge Ceraunian hills,
Once weapons of Tartarean Dis, immersed
In Erebus, fhall fill himself with fear.

No. The Almighty Father furer laid
His deep foundations, and, providing well
For the event of all, the fcales of Fate
Suspended in just equipoise, and bade
His univerfal works, from age to age,
One tenour hold, perpetual, undisturb'd.
Hence the prime mover wheels itself about
Continual, day by day, and with it bears
In focial measure swift, the heavens around.
Not tardier now is Saturn than of old,

Nor radiant less the burning cafque of Mars.
Phœbus, his vigour unimpair'd, still shows
The effulgence of his youth, nor needs the god
A downward courfe, that he may warm the vales;
But, ever rich in influence, runs his road,
Sign after fign, through all the heavenly zone.
Beautiful, as at firft, afcends the star

From odoriferous Ind, whofe office is

To gather home betimes the ethereal flock,
Το pour them o'er the skies again at eve,
And to difcriminate the night and day.

Still Cynthia's changeful horn waxes and wanes

Alternate, and with arms extended still

She welcomes to her breast her brother's beams.
Nor have the elements deferted yet

Their functions; thunder with as loud a stroke
As erst smites through the rocks and scatters them.
The east still howls; ftill the relentless north
Invades the shuddering Scythian, still he breathes
The winter, and ftill rolls the ftorms along.
The king of ocean, with his wonted force,
Beats on Pelorus; o'er the deep is heard
The hoarse alarm of Triton's founding fhell;
Nor swim the monsters of the Ægean fea
In fhallows, or beneath diminish'd waves.
Thou too, thy ancient vegetative power
Enjoy'ft, O Earth! Narciffus ftill is sweet;
And Phœbus! ftill thy favourite, and still
Thy favourite Cytherea! both retain
Their beauty; nor the mountains, ore-enrich'd
For punishment of man, with purer gold
Teem'd ever, or with brighter gems the deep.
Thus in unbroken feries all proceeds;
And shall, till wide involving either pole,
And the immensity of yonder heaven,
The final flames of destiny absorb

The world, confumed in one enormous pyre!



E fifter powers, who o'er the facred


Prefide, and thou, fair mother of them


Mnemofyne! and thou who, in thy grot
Immenfe, reclined at leisure, haft in charge
The archives and the ordinances of Jove,
And doft record the festivals of heaven,
Eternity!-inform us who is He,
That great original by nature chosen
To be the archetype of human kind,
Unchangeable, immortal, with the poles
Themselves coeval, one, yet every where,
An image of the God who gave him being?
Twin-brother of the goddess born from Jove,
He dwells not in his father's mind, but, though
Of common nature with ourselves, exists
Apart, and occupies a local home.

Whether, companion of the stars, he spend
Eternal ages, roaming at his will

From sphere to sphere the tenfold heavens, or dwell
On the moon's fide that nearest neighbours earth,
Or torpid on the banks of Lethe fit

Among the multitude of fouls ordain'd

To flesh and blood! or whether (as may chance) That vaft and giant model of our kind

« PreviousContinue »