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When, like a parchment-scroll shrunk up by flames, Celestial art's intent. The trembling stars
See crimes gigantic, stalking through the gloom
And making night still darker by their deeds. In radiant orders, essences sublime,
Slumbering in covert, till the shades descend, Of various offices, of various plume,
Rapine and murder, link'd, now prowl for prey. In heavenly liveries distinctly clad,
The miser earths his treasure; and the thief, Azure, green, purple, pearl, or downy gold, Watching the mole, half-beggars him ere morn. Or all commix'd ; they stand, with wings outspread, Now plots, and foul conspiracies, awake ; Listening to catch the master's least command, And, muffling up their horrours from the Moon, And Ay through Nature, ere the moment ends ; Havock and devastation they prepare, Numbers innumerable! — Well conceiv'd
And kingdoms tottering in the field of blood. By Pagan, and by Christian ! O'er each sphere Now sons of riot in mid-revel rage. Presides an angel, to direct its course,
What shall I do? — Suppress it? or proclaim ?-And feed, or fan, its flames ; or to discharge Why sleeps the thunder ? Now, Lorenzo! now, Other high trusts unknown. For who can see His best friend's couch the rank adulterer Such pomp of matter, and imagine, mind,
Ascends secure; and laughs at gods and men. For which alone inanimate was made,
Preposterous madmen, void of fear or shame, More sparingly dispens'd? That nobler son, Lay their crimes bare to these chaste eyes of Heaven; Far liker the great Sire! -'T is thus the skies Yet shrink, and shudder, at a mortal's sight. Inform us of superiors numberless,
Were Moon and stars for villains only made? As much in ercellence, above mankind,
To guide, yet screen them, with tenebrious light? As above Earth, in magnitude, the spheres.
No, they were made to fashion the sublime These, as a cloud of witnesses, hang o'er us; Of human hearts, and wiser make the wise. (liv'd In a throng'd theatre are all our deeds;
Those ends were answer'd once; when mortals Perhaps, a thousand demigods descend
Of stronger wing, of aquiline ascent On every beam we see, to walk with men.
In theory sublime. Ohow unlike Aweful reflection! Strong restraint from ill! Those vermin of the night, this moment sung,
Yet, here, our virtue finds still stronger aid Who crawl on Earth, and on her venom feed! From these ethereal glories sense surveys.
Those ancient sages, human stars ! they met Something, like magic, strikes from this blue vault; Their brothers of the skies, at midnight hour; With just attention is it view'd? We feel
Their counsel ask'd ; and, what they ask'd, obcy'da A sudden succour, unimplor'd, unthought;
The Stagirite, and Plato, he who drank Nature herself does half the work of man.
The poison'd bowl, and he of Tusculum, Seas, rivers, mountains, forests, deserts, rocks, With him of Corduba (immortal names!) The promontory's height, the depth profound In these unbounded, and Elysian, walks, Of subterranean, excavated grots,
An area fit for gods, and godlike men, (paths Black brow'd, and vaulted high, and yawning wide They took their nightly round, through radiant From Nature's structure, or the scoop of Time, | By seraphs trod; instructed, chiefly, thus, If ample of dimension, vast of size,
To tread in their bright footsteps here below; E'en these an aggrandizing impulse give;
To walk in worth still brighter than the skies. Of solemn thought enthusiastic heights
There they contracted their contempt of Earth; E'en these infuse. — But what of vast in these ? Of hopes eternal kindled, there, the fire; Nothing ; - or we must own the skies forgot. There, as in near approach, they glow'd, and grew Much less in art! – Vain art! Thou pigmy power!! (Great visitants !) more intimate with God, How dost thou swell and strut, with human pride, More worth to men, more joyous to themselves. To show thy littleness! What childish toys, Through various virtues, they, with ardour, ran Thy watery columns squirted to the clouds ! The zodiac of their learn'd illustrious lives. Thy bason'd rivers, and imprison'd seas !
In Christian hearts, O for a Pagan zeal! Thy mountains moulded into forms of men ! A needful, but opprobrious prayer! as much Thy hundred-gated capitals ! or those
Our ardour less, as greater is our light. Where three days' travel left us much to ride ; How monstrous this in mortals! Scarce more strange Gazing on miracles by mortals wrought,
Would this phenomenon in Nature strike, Arches triumphal, theatres immense,
A sun, that froze her, or a star, that warın'd. Or nodding gardens pendent in mid-air!
What taught these heroes of the moral world? Or temples proud to meet their Gods half-way! To these thou giv'st thy praise, give credit too. Yet these affect us in no common kind.
These doctors ne'er were pension'd to deceive inee; What then the force of such superior scenes ? And Pagan tutors are thy taste. — They taught, Enter a temple, it will strike an awe:
That narrow views betray to misery:
That wise it is to comprehend the whole :
The single base of virtue built to Heaven:
And yet, so thwarted Nature's kind design That mind immortal loves immortal aims :
That boundless mind affects a boundless space : (That guard from ill) his shelter, his temptation That vast surveys, and the sublime of things, To more than common guilt, and quite inverts | The soul assimilate, and make her great :
Thot, therefore, Ileaven her glories, as a fund | Are left to finish his aërial towers;
Wisdom and choice, their well-known characters Such are their doctrines; such the night inspir'd. Here deep impress; and claim it for their own. And what more true? What truth of greater Though splendid all, no splendour void of use; weight?
Use rivals beauty; art contends with poner; The soul of man was made to walk the skies; No wanton waste, amid effuse expense; Delightful outlet of her prison here!
The great economist adjusting all There, disencumber'd from her chains, the ties To prudent pomp, magnificentiy wise. Of toys terrestrial, she can rove at large;
How rich the prospect! and for ever new!
And newest to the man that views it most ;
Then, these aërial racers, O how swift !
How the shaft loiters from the strongest sering! But, wonderful herself, through wonder strays;
Spirit alone can distance the carcer. Contemplating their grandeur, finds her own ; Orb above orb ascending without end ! Dives deep in their economy divine,
Circle in circle, without end, enclos'd! Sits high in judgment on their various laws, Wheel, within wheel; Ezekiel! like to thine! And, like a master, judges not amiss.
| Like thine, it seems a vision or a dream ; Hence greatly pleas'd, and justly proud, the soul Though secn, we labour to believe it true! Grows conscious of her birth celestial ; breathes What involution! what extent! what swanus More life, more vigour, in her native air ;
Of worlds, that laugh at Earth! immensely urcat! And feels herself at home amongst the stars; Immensely distant from each other's spheres! And, feeling, emulates our country's praise. What, then, the wondrous space through which they What call we, then, the firmainent, Lorenzo?
roll? As earth the body, since the skies sustain
| At once it quite ingulfs all human thougit; The soul with food, that gives immortal life, 'T is comprehension's absolute defeat. Call it, the noble pasture of the mind;
Nor think thou seest a wild disorder here ; Which there expatiates, strengthens, and exults, Through this illustrious chaos to the sight, And riots through the luxuries of thought. | Arrangement neat, and chastest order, reign. Call it, the garden of the Deity,
i The path prescrib’d, inviolably kept, Blossom’d with stars, redundant in the growth | Upbraids the lawless sallies of mankind. Of fruit ambrosial ; moral fruit to man.
Worlds, ever thwarting, never interfere ; Call il, the breast-plate of the true High-Priest, What knots are ty’d! How soon are they dissolvid, Ardent with gems oracular, that give,
i And set the sceming marry'd planets free! In points of highest moment, right response ; They rove for ever, without errour rove; And ill neglected, if we prize our peace.
Confusion unconfus'd ! nor less admire Thus have we found a true astrology ;
This tumult untumultuous; all on wing!
What fervid action, yet no noise! as aw'd
And bid let fall soft beams on human rest,
Eternal celebration of his praise. Instead of forging chains for foreigners,
But, since their song arrives not at our ear, Bastile thy tutor : grandeur all thy aim ?
Their dance perplex'd exhibits to the sight As yet thou know'st not what it is : how great,
| Fair hieroglyphic of his peerless power.
The circles intricate, and mystic maze,
Leaves so much wonder greater wonder still?
Th' incumbent load ? what magic, what strange art, From thought to thought, inebriate, without end ! In fluid air these ponderous orbs sustains ? An Eden, this! a Paradise unlost !
Who would not think them hung in golden chains ? I meet the Deity in every view,
And so they are ; in the high will of Heaven, And tremble at my nakedness before him!
Which fixes all; makes adamant of air, O that I could but reach the tree of life !
Or air of adamant; makes all of nought, For here it grows, unguarded from our taste; Or nought of all; if such the dread decree. No flaming sword denies our entrance here;
Imagine from their deep foundations torn Would man but gather, he might live for ever. | The most gigantic sons of Earth, the broad
Lorenzo! much of moral hast thou seen. And towering Alps, all tost into the sea; Of curious arts art thou more fond ? Then mark And, light as down, or volatile as air, The mathematic glories of the skies,
Their bulks enormous, dancing on the wares, In number, weight, and measure, all ordain'd. In time, and measure, exquisite ; while all Lorenzo's buisted builders, chance, and fute, | The winds, in emulation of the spheres,
Tune their sonorous instruments aloft;
Her point unable to forbcar, or gain ; The concert swell, and animate the ball.
So great the pleasure, so profound the plan! Would this appear amazing ? What, then, worlds, A banquet, this, where men and angels meet, In a far thinner element sustain'd,
Eat the same manna, mingle Earth and Heaven.
More obvious ends to pass, are not these stars To doubt, if beams, set out at Nature's birth,
Are yet arriv'd at this so foreign world;
Though nothing half so rapid as their fight. At certain periods, as the Sovereign nods,
An eye of awe and wonder let me roll, Discharge high trusts of vengeance, or of love ; And roll for ever : who can satiate sight To clothe, in outward grandeur, grand design, In such a scene ? in such an ocean wide And acts most solemn still more solemnize ? Of deep astonishment? where depth, height, breadth, Ye citizens of air ! what ardent thanks,
Are lost in their extremes; and where to count What full effusion of the grateful heart,
The thick-sown glories in this field of fire, Is due from man indulg'd in such a sight!
Perhaps a seraph's computation fails. A sight so noble ! and a sight so kind !
Now, go, Ambition ! boast thy boundless might It drops new truths at every new survey !
In conquest o'er the tenth part of a grain. Feels not Lorenzo something stir within,
And yet Lorenzo calls for miracles,
Why call for less than is already thine ?
To common sense, great Nature's course proclaims Eternity, finds entrance at the sight :
A Deity: when mankind falls asleep, And an eternity, for man ordain'd,
A miracle is sent, as an alarm ; Or these his destin'd midnight counsellors,
To wake the world, and prove him o'er again, The stars, had never whisper'd it to man.
By recent argument, but not more strong. Nature informs, but ne'er insulls, her sons.
Say, which imports more plenitude of power, Could she then kindle the most ardent wish
Or Nature's laws to fir, or to repeal ? To disappoint it?- That is blasphemy.
To make a sun, or stop his mid career ? Thus, of thy creed a second article,
To countermand his orders, and send back
The flaming courier to the freighted East,
Here, then, Lorenzo ! on these glories dwell; In Ajalon's soft, flowery vale repose ?
Great things are these; still greater, to create.
Than this, call'd un-miraculous survey,
If duly weigh'd, if rationally seen, And thinks the Moon is proud to copy him.
If scen with human eyes. The brute, indeed, Look on her, and gain more than worlds can give, | Sees nought but spangles here; the fool, no more. A mind superior to the charms of power.
Say'st thou, “ The course of Nature governs all ?" Thou muffled in delusions of this life!
The course of Nature is the art of God. Can yonder Moon turn ocean in his bed,
The miracles thou call'st for, this attests ; From side to side, in constant ebb and flow,
For say, Could Nature Nalure's course control ? And purify from stench his watery realms?
But miracles apart, who sees him not, And fails her moral influence ? wants she power Nature's Controller, Author, Guide, and End! To turn Lorenzo's stubborn tide of thought
Who turns his eye on Nature's midnight face, From stagnating on Earth's infected shore,
But must inquire - “ What hand behind the scene, And purge from nuisance his corrupted heart? What arm Almighty, put these wheeling globes Fails her attraction when it draws to Heaven ? In motion, and wound up the vast machine ? Nay, and to what thou valuest more, Earth's joy ? Who rounded in his palm these spacious orbs ? Minds elevate, and panting for unseen,
Who bow'd them flaming through the dark prosound, And defecate from sense, alone obtain
Numerous as glittering gems of morning-dew, Full relish of existence un-deflower'd,
Or sparks from populous cities in a blaze, The life of life, the zest of worldly bliss :
And set the bosom of old night on fire ? All else on Earth amounts - to what? To this : | Peopled her desert, and made horrour smile ?" “ Bad to be suffer'd; blessings to be left :"
Or, if the military style delights thee, man,) Earth's richiest inventory boasts no more.
(For stars have fought their battles, leagu'd with Of higher scenes be, then, the call obey'd. “ Who marshals this bright host ? enrols their O let me gaze !-Of gazing there's no end.
names ? O let me think!-- Thought too is wilder'd here ; Appoints their post, their marches, and returns In mid-way flight imagination tires ;
Punctual at stated periods? Who disbands Yet soon re-prunes her wing to soar ancw, | These veteran troops, their final duty donie,
If e'er disbanded ?" - He, whose potent word, 1 O what a genius must inform the skies!
Or blows you, or forbears: assist my song ; Will give us hearts intrepid, at that hour,
Pour your whole influence; exorcise his heart, When brighter flames shall cut a darker night; So long possest; and bring him back to man. When these strong demonstrations of a God
And is Lorenzo a demurrer still?
| Truths, which, contested, put thy parts to shame.
Too strait aught great, or generous, to receive! (Though guiltless of idolatry) implore ;
Fill’d with an atom! fill'd, and foul'd, with sil!
Instincts and passions, of the nobler kind,
Reason apart, would wake high hope ; and open, Since that authentic, radiant register,
To ravish'd thought, that intellectual sphere,
And promise all the truly-great desire.
The mind that would be happy, must be great; My trembling heart to wisdom; now beyond Great, in its wishes ; great, in its surveys; All shadow of excuse for fooling on.
Extended views a narrow mind extend ; Age smooths our path to prudence ! sweeps aside Push out its corrugate, expansive make, The snares keen appetite and passion spread Which, ere long, more than planets shall embrace To catch stray souls; and woe to that gray head, A man of compass makes a man of worth ; Whose folly would undo what age has done ! Divine contemplate, and become divine. Aid then, aid, all ye stars ! -- Much rather, thou, As man was made for glory, and for bliss, Great Artist ! thou, whose finger set aright All littleness is in approach to woe; This exquisite machine, with all its wheels,
Open thy bosom, set thy wishes wide, Though intervolv'd, exact; and pointing out And let in manhood ; let in happiness; Life's rapid and irrevocable Aight,
Admit the boundless theatre of thought With such an index fair as none can miss,
From nothing, up to God; which makes a pas de Who lifts an eye, nor sleeps till it is clos'd ; Take God from Nature, nothing great is left! Open mine eye, dread Deity! tu read
Man's mind is in a pit, and nothing sees; The tacit doctrine of thy works; to see
Man's heart is in a jakes, and loves the mire. Things as they are, un-alter'd through the glass Emerge from thy profound; erect thine ere; Of worldly wishes. Time, eternity!
See thy distress ! how closc art thou besieg 'd! ('T is these, mis-measured, ruin all mankind) Besieg'd by Nature, the proud sceptic's foe! Set them before me; let me lay them both
Enclos'd by these innumerable worlds,
As in a golden net of Providence,
How art thou caught, sure captive of belief!
This scene is Heaven's indulgent violence : Unveil'd, nor wonder at the transcript more? Canst thou bear up against this tide of glory? When this vile, foreign dust, which smothers all What is earth bosom'd in these anbient orbis, That travel Earth's deep vale, shall I shake off ? But, faith in God impos'd, and press'd on man? When shall my soul her incarnation quit,
Dar'st thou still litigate thy desperate caus, And, re-adopted to thy blest embrace,
Spite of these numerous, aweful witnesses, Obtain her apotheosis in thee ?
And doubt the deposition of the skies? Dost think, Lorenzo, this is wandering wide ? O how laborious is thy way to ruin ! No, 't is directly striking at the mark;
Laborious ! 't is impracticable quite;
To sink beyond a doubt, in this debate,
And crime flagitious, I defy a fool.
Some wish they did ; but no man disbelieve s. And antidote the pestilential Earth!
God is a spirit; spirit cannot strike In every storm, that either frowns, or falls,
These gross, material organs; God by man What an asylum has the soul in prayer!
As much is seen, as man a God can see,
In these astonishing exploits of power.
Conception of design, how exquisite !
How complicate, in their divine police !
Apt means ! great ends! consent to general good! | If in the last, how many knots beside,
Indissoluble all ?- Why choose it there,
Lorenzo! this may seem harangue to thee ; This is not reason's dictate; reason says, (scale;' Such all is apt to seem, that thwarts our will. • Close with the side where one grain turns the 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 ?' Upskill'd, or dis-inclin'd, to read it there?
And reason heard, is the sole mark of inan. Since 't is 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!" ’T will 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; —thy 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 Lock up thy senses ; – let no passion stir ;
Through these bright orbs' dark centres darts a ray! Wake all to reason ; let her reign alone; Of Nature universal threads the whole ! Then, in thy soul's deep silence, and the depth And hangs creation, like a precious gem, Of Nature's silence, midnight, thus inquire, Though little, on the footstool of his throne ! As I have done; and shall inquire no more.
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 or that long-chain'd succession is so frail.
Where, rears 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 Sun, I'm still quite out at sea; nor see the shore. (too? “ I stand, the plan's proud period; I pronounce Whence Earth, and these bright orbs ? — Eternal The work accomplish'd ; the creation clos'd : Grant matter 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
The solitary son of power divine ?
Of night primeval ; barren, now, no more?
In that abyss of horrour, whence they sprung; In mathematics? Has it fram'd such laws,
While Chaos triumphs, repossest of all Which but to guess, a Newton made immortal ? - Rival creation ravish'd from his throne ? If so, how each sage atom laughs at me,
Chaos! of Nature both the womb, and grave! Who think a clod inferior to a man!
Think'st thou my scheme, Lorenzo, spreads too If art, to form; and counsel, to conduct;
wide ? And that with greater far than human skill, Is this extravagant ? - No; this is just ; Resides not in each block; – a Godhead reigns. Just in conjecture, though 't were false in faci. Grant, then, invisible, eternal, Mind;
If 't is an errour, 't is an errour sprung That granted, all is solv'd - But, granting that, From noble root, high thought of the Most-High. Draw I not o'er me a still darker cloud ?
But wherefore errour? 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?
Nothing but quite impossible is hard.
A whole crcation, and a single grain.