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In states, 't is dangerous; in religion, death:
Shall wit turn Christian, when the dull believe?
Sense is our helmet, wit is but the plume;
The plume exposes, 't is our helmet saves.
Sense is the diamond, weighty, solid, sound;
When cut by wit, it casts a brighter beam;
Yet, wit apart, it is a diamond still.
Wit, widow'd of good sense, is worse than nought;
It hoists more sail to run against a rock.
Thus, a half-Chesterfield is quite a fool;
Whom dull fools scorn, and bless their want of wit.
How ruinous the rock I warn thee, shun,
Where Syrens sit, to sing thee to thy fate!
A joy, in which our reason bears no part,
Is but a sorrow tickling, ere it stings.
Let not the couings of the world allure thee;
Which of her lovers ever found her true?
Happy! of this bad world who little know?-
And yet, we much must know her, to be safe.
To know the world, not love her, is thy point;
She gives but little, nor that little, long.
There is, I grant, a triumph of the pulse;
A dance of spirits, a mere froth of joy,
Our thoughtless agitation's idle child,
That mantles high, that sparkles and expires,
Leaving the soul more vapid than before.
An animal ovation! such as holds
No commerce with our reason, but subsists
On juices, through the well-ton'd tubes, well strain'd;
A nice machine! scarce ever tun'd aright;
And when it jars-thy Syrens sing no more,
Thy dance is done; the demi-god is thrown
(Short apotheosis!) beneath the man,
In coward gloom immers'd, or fell despair.
Art thou yet dull enough despair to dread,
And startle at destruction? If thou art,
Accept a buckler, take it to the field;
(A field of battle is this mortal life!)
When danger threatens, lay it on thy heart;
A single sentence proof against the world;
"Soul, body, fortune! every good pertain
To one of these; but prize not all alike;
The goods of fortune to the body's health,
Body to soul, and soul submit to God."
Wouldst thou build lasting happiness? Do this;
Th' inverted pyramid can never stand.
Is this truth doubtful? It outshines the Sun;
Nay the Sun shines not, but to show us this,
The single lesson of mankind on Earth.
And yet-yet, what? No news! mankind is mad;
Such mighty numbers list against the right,
(And what can't numbers, when bewitch'd, achieve!)
They talk themselves to something like belief,
That all Earth's joys are theirs: as Athens' fool
Grinn'd from the port, on every sail his own.
They grin; but wherefore? and how long the
Half ignorance, their mirth; and half, a lie;
To cheat the world, and cheat themselves, they smile.
Hard either task! The most abandon'd own,
That others, if abandon'd, are undone :
Then for themselves, the moment reason wakes,
(And Providence denies it long repose)
O how laborious is their gaiety!
They scarce can swallow their ebullient spleen,
Scarce muster patience to support the farce,
And pump sad laughter till the curtain falls.
Scarce, did I say? Some cannot sit it out;
Oft their own daring bands the curtain draw,
And show us what their joy, by their despair.
The clotted hair! gor'd breast! blaspheming eye!
Its impious fury still alive in death!
Shut, shut the shocking scene.-But Heaven denies
A cover to such guilt; and so should man.
Look round, Lorenzo! see the reeking blade,
Th' envenom'd phial, and the fatal ball;
The strangling cord, and suffocating stream;
The loathsome rottenness, and foul decays
From raging riot (slower suicides!)
And pride in these, more execrable still!
How horrid all to thought!-But horrours, these,
That vouch the truth; and aid my feeble song.
From vice, sense, fancy, no man can be blest:
Bliss is too great, to lodge within an hour:
When an immortal being aims at bliss,
Duration is essential to the name.
O for a joy from reason! joy from that,
Which makes man man; and, exercis'd aright,
Will make him more: a bounteous joy! that gives,
And promises; that weaves, with art divine,
The richest prospect into present peace:
A joy ambitious! Joy in common beld
With thrones ethereal, and their greater far;
A joy high-privileg'd from chance, time, death!
A joy, which death shall double, judgment crown!
Crown'd higher, and still higher, at each stage,
Through blest eternity's long day: yet still,
Not more remote from sorrow, than from him,
Whose lavish hand, whose love stupendous, pours
So much of Deity on guilty dust.
There, O my Lucia may I meet thee there,
Where not thy presence can improve my bliss!
Affects not this the sages of the world?
Can nought affect them, but what fools them too?
Eternity, depending on an hour,
Makes serious thought man's wisdom, joy, and praise.
Nor need you blush (though sometimes your designs
May shun the light) at your designs on Heaven:
Sole point! where over-bashful is your blame.
Are you not wise ?-You know you are: yet hear
One truth, amid your numerous schemes, mislaid,
Or overlook'd, or thrown aside, if seen;
"Our schemes to plan by this world, or the next,
Is the sole difference between wise and fool."
All worthy men will weigh you in this scale;
What wonder then, if they pronounce you light?
Is their esteem alone not worth your care?
Accept my simple scheme of common sense: [own.
Thus, save your fame, and make two worlds your
The world replies not ;-but the world persists;
And puts the cause off to the longest day,
Planning evasions for the day of doom.
So far, at that re-hearing, from redress,
They then turn witnesses against themselves:
Hear that, Lorenzo! nor be wise to morrow.
Haste, Haste! A man, by nature, is in haste;
For who shall answer for another hour?
'T is highly prudent, to make one sure friend;
And that thou canst not do, this side the skies.
Ye sons of Earth! (nor willing to be more!)
Since verse you think from priesteraft somewhat free,
Thus, in an age so gay, the Muse plain truths
(Truths, which, at church, you might have beard
Has ventur'd into light; well-pleas'd the verse
Should be forgot, if you the truths retain;
And crown her with your welfare, not your praise.
But praise she need not fear: I see my fate;
And headlong leap, like Curtius, down the gulf.
Since many an ample volume, mighty tome,
Must die; and die unwept; O thou minute,
Devoted page! go forth among thy foes;
Go nobly proud of martyrdom for truth,
And die a double death: mankind, incens'd,
Denies thee long to live: nor shalt thou rest
When thou art dead; in Stygian shades arraign'd
By Lucifer, as traitor to his throne,
And bold blasphemer of his friend the world;
The world, whose legions cost him slender pay,
And volunteers around his banner swarm;
Prudent, as Prussia, in her zeal for Gaul'
"Are all, then, fools?" Lorenzo cries—Yes, all, But such as hold this doctrine (new to thee); "The mother of true wisdom is the will;" The noblest intellect, a fool without it. World-wisdom much has done, and more may do, In arts and sciences, in wars and peace;
But art and science, like thy wealth, will leave thee,
And make thee twice a beggar at thy death.
This is the most indulgence can afford;-
"Thy wisdom all can do, but-make thee wise."
Nor think this censure is severe on thee:
Satan, thy master, I dare cail a dunce.
NIGHT THE NINTH AND LAST.
CONTAINING, AMONG OTHER THINGS,
I. A MORAL Survey of the NOCTURNAL Heavens.
II. A NIGHT-ADDRESS to the DEITY.
HIS GRACE THE DUKE OF NEWCASTLE, ONE OF HIS MAJESTY'S PRINCIPAL SECRETARIES OF STATE.
Fatis contraria fata rependens.-VIRG.
As when a traveller, a long day past
In pinful search of what he cannot find,
At night's approach, content with the next cot,
There ruminates, a while, his labour lost;
Then cheers his heart with what his fate affords,
And chants his sonne, to deceive the time,
Till the due season calls him to rep se:
Thus I, long-travell'd in the ways of men,
And dancing, with the rest, the giddy maze,
Where disappointment smiles at hope's career;
Warn'd by the languor of life's evening ray,
At length have hous'd me in an humble shed;
Where, future wandering banish'd from my thought,
And waiting, patient, the sweet hour of rest,
I chase the moments with a serious song.
Song sooths our pains; and age has pains to sooth.
When age, care, crime, and friends embrac'd at
Torn from my bleeding breast, and death's dark shade,
Which hovers o'er me, quench th' ethereal fire; Canst thou, O Night! indulge one labour more? One labour more indulge! then sleep, my strain! Till, haply, wak'd by Raphael's golden lyre, Where night, death, age, care, crime, and sorrow, To bear a part in everlasting lays; [cease; Though far, far higher set, in am, I trust, Symphonious to this humble prelude here.
Has not the Muse asserted pleasures pure, Like those above; exploding other joys? Weigh what was urg'd, Lorenzo! fairly weigh;
And tell me, hast thou cause to triumph still?
I think, thou wilt forbear a boast so bold.
But if, beneath the favour of mistake,
Thy smile's sincere; not more sincere can be
Lorenzo's smile, than my compassion for him.
The sick in body call for aid; the sick
In mind are covetous of more disease;
And when at worst, they dream themselves quite
To know ourselves diseas'd, is half our cure.
When nature's blush by custom is wip'd off.
And conscience, deaden'd by repeated strokes,
Has into manners naturaliz'd our crimes;
The curse of curses is, our curse to love;
To triumph in the blackness of our guilt
(As Indians glory in the deepest jet),
And throw aside our senses with our peace.
But grant no guilt, no shame, no least alloy;
Grant joy and glory quite unsully'd shone;
Yet, still, it ill deserves Lorenzo's heart.
No joy, no glory, glitters in thy sight,
But, through the thin partition of an hour,
I see its sables wove by destiny;
And that in sorrow buried; this, in shame;
While howling furies ring the doleful knell ;
And conscience, now so soft thou scarce canst hear
Her whisper, echoes her eternal peal.
Where, the prime actors of the last year's scene;
Their port so proud, their buskin, and their plume?
How many sleep, who kept the world awake
With lustre, and with noise! has Death proclaim'd
A truce, and hung his sated lance on high?
'Tis brandish'd still; nor shall the present year
Be more tenacious of her human leaf,
Or spread of feeble life a thinner fall.
But needless monuments to wake the thought; Life's gayest scenes speak man's mortality, Though in a style more florid, full as plain, As mausoleums, pyramids, and tombs. What are our noblest ornaments, but deaths Turn'd flatterers of life, in paint or marble, The well-stained canvass, or the featur'd stone? Our fathers grace, or rather haunt, the scene. Joy peoples her pavilion from the dead.
Profest diversions !-cannot these escape?"→→ Far from it: these present us with a shroud; And talk of death, like garlands o'er a grave. As some bold plunderers, for bury'd wealth, We ransack tombs for pastime; from the dust Call up the sleeping hero; b him tread The scene for our amusement: how like gods We sit; and, wrapt in immortality, Shed generous tears on wretches born to die; Their fate deploring, to forget our own! What all the pomps and triumphs of our lives, But legacies in blossom? Our lean soil, Luxuriant grown, and rank in vanities, From friends interr'd beneath; a rich manure! Like other worms, we banquet on the dead; Like other worms, shall we crawl on, nor know Our present frailties, or approaching fate?
Lorenzo! such the glories of the world! What is the world itself? Thy world-a grave. Where is the dust that has not been alive? The spade, the plough, disturb our ancestors; From human mould we reap our daily bread. The globe around Earth's hollow surface shakes, And is the cieling of her sleeping sons. O'er devastation we blind revels keep; Whole bury'd towns support the dancer's heel. The moist of human frame the Sun exhales;
Winds scatter through the mighty void the dry;
Earth repossesses part of what she gave,
And the freed spirit mounts on wings of fire;
Each element partakes our scatter'd spoils;
As Nature, wide, our ruins spread: man's death
Inhabits all things, but the thought of man.
Nor man alone; his breathing bust expires,
His tomb is mortal; empires die: where now,
The Roman? Greek? They stalk, an empty name!
Yet few regard them in this useful light;
Though half our learning is their epitaph.
When down thy vale, unlock'd by midnight thought,
That loves to wander in thy sunless realms,
O Death! I stretch my view: what visions rise!
What triumphs! toils imperial! arts divine!
In wither'd laurels glide before my sight!
What lengths of far-fam'd ages, billow'd high
With human agitation, roll along
In unsubstantial images of air!
The melancholy ghosts of dead renown,
Whispering faint echoes of the world's applause,
With penitential aspect, as they pass,
All point at Earth, and hiss at human pride,
The wisdom of the wise, and prancings of the great.
But, O Lorenzo! far the rest above,
Of ghastly nature, and enormous size,
One form assaults my sight, and chills my blood,
And shakes my frame. Of one departed world
1 see the mighty shadow: oozy wreath
And dismal sea-weed crown her; o'er her urn
Reclin'd, she weeps her desolated realms,
And bloated sons; and, weeping, prophesies
Another's dissolution, soon, in flames.
But, like Cassandra, prophesies in vain;
In vain, to many; not, I trust, to thee.
For, know'st thou not, or art thou loth to know,
The great decree, the counsel of the skies?
Deluge and conflagration, dreadful powers!
Prime ministers of vengeance! chain'd in caves
Distinct, apart the giant furies roar;
Apart; or, such their horrid rage for ruin,
In mutual conflict would they rise, and wage
Eternal war, till one was quite devour'd.
But not for this, ordain'd their boundless rage;
When Heaven's inferior instruments of wrath,
War, famine, pestilence, are found too weak
To scourge a world for her enormous crimes,
These are let loose, alternate: down they rush,
Swift and tempestu, from th' eternal throne,
With irresistible commission arm'd,
The world, in vain corrected, to destroy,
And ease creation of the shocking scene.
Seest thou, Lorenzo! what depends on man?
The fate of Nature; as for man, her birth.
Earth's actors change Earth's transitory scenes,
And make creation groan with human guilt.
How must it groan, in a new deluge whelm'd,
But not of waters! at the destin'd hour,
By the loud trumpet summon'd to the charge,
See, all the formidable sons of fire,
Eruptions, earthquakes, comets, lightnings, play
Their various engines; all at once disgorge
Their blazing magazines; and take, by storm,
This poor terrestrial citadel of man.
Amazing period! when each mountain-height Out-burns Vesuvius; rocks eternal pour Their melted mass, as rivers once they pour'd; Stars rush; and final ruin fiercely drives Her plowshare o'er creation!-while aloft, More than astonishment! if more can be!
Far other firmament than e'er was seen.
Than e'er was thought by man! far other stars!
Stars animate, that govern these of fire;
Far other sun!-A sun, O how unlike
The babe at Bethlem! how unlike the man,
That groan'd on Calvary!-Yet he it is;
That Man of Sorrows! O how chang'd! what pomp!
In grandeur terrible, all Heaven descends!
And gods, ambitious, triumph in his train.
A swift archangel, with his golden wing,
As blots and clouds, that darken and disgrace
The scene divine, sweeps stars and suns aside.
And now, all dross remov'd, Heaven's own pure day,
Full on the confines of our ether, flames.
While (dreadful contrast!) far, how far beneath!
Hell, bursting, belches forth her blazing seas,
And storms sulphureous; her voracious jaws
Expanding wide, and roaring for her prey.
Lorenzo! welcome to this scene; the last
In Nature's course; the first in wisdom's thought.
This strikes, if aught can strike thee; this awakes
The most supine; this snatches man from death.
Rouse, rouse, Lorenzo, then, and follow me,
Where truth, the most momentous man can hear,
Loud calls my soul, and ardour wings her flight.
I find my inspiration in my theme;
The grandeur of my subject is my Muse.
At midnight, when mankind is wrapt in peace,
And worldly fancy feeds on golden dreams;
To give more dread to man's most dreadful hour,
At midnight, 't is presum'd this pomp will burst
From tenfold darkness; sudden as the spark
From smitten steel; from nitrous grain, the blaze.
Mau, starting from his couch, shall sleep no more!
The day is broke, which never more shall close!
Above, around, beneath, amazement all!
Terrour and glory join'd in their extremes!
Our God in grandeur, and our world on fire!
All Nature struggling in the pangs of death!.
Dost thou not hear her? Dost thou not deplore
Her strong convulsions, and her final groan?
Where are we now? Ah me! the ground is gone
On which we stood; Lorenzo! while thou may'st,
Provide more firm support, or sink for ever!
Where? How? From whence? Vain hope! it is
Where, where, for shelter, shall the guilty fly,
When consternation turns the good man pale?
Great day! for which all other days were made;
For which Earth rose from chaos, man from Earth;
And an eternity, the date of Gods,
Descended on poor earth-created man!
Great day of dread, decision, and despair!
At thought of thee, each sublunary wish
Lets go its eager grasp, and drops the world;
And catches at each reed of hope in Heaven.
At thought of thee !-and art thou absent then?
Lorenzo! no; 't is here; it is begun;—
Already is begun the grand assize,
In thee, in all: deputed conscience scales
The dread tribunal, and forestalls our doom;
Forestalls; and, by forestalling, proves it sure.
Why on himself should man void judgment pass
Is idle Nature laughing at her sons?
Who conscience sent, her sentence will support,
And God above assert that god in man.
Thrice happy they! that enter now the court
Heaven opens in their bosoms: but, how rare,
Ah me! that magnanimity, how rare!
What hero, like the man who stands himself;
Who dares to meet his naked heart alone;
Who hears intrepid, the full charge it brings,
Resolv'd to silence future murmurs there?
The coward flies; and, flying, is undone.
(Art thou a coward? No:) the coward flies;
Thinks, but thinks slightly; asks, but fears to know;
Asks, "What is truth?" with Pilate; and retires;
Dissolves the court, and mingles with the throng;
Asylum sad! from reason, hope, and Heaven!
Shall all, but man, look out with ardent eye,
For that great day, which was ordain'd for man?
O day of consummation! mark supreme
(If men are wise) of human thought! nor least,
Or in the sight of angels, or their King!
Angels, whose radiant circles, height o'er height,
Order o'er order, rising, blaze o'er blaze,
As in a theatre, surround this scene,
Intent on man, and anxious for his fate.
Angels look out for thee; for thee, their Lord,
To vindicate his glory; and for thee,
Creation universal calls aloud,
To dis-involve the moral world, and give
To Nature's renovation brighter charms.
Shall man alone, whose fate, whose final fate,
Hangs on that hour, exclude it from his thought?
I think of nothing else; I see! I feel it!
All Nature, like an earthquake, trembling round!
All deities, like summer's swarms, on wing!
All basking in the full meridian blaze!
I see the Judge enthron'd! the flaming guard!
The volume open'd! open'd every heart!
A sun-beam pointing out each secret thought;
No patron! intercessor none! now past
The sweet, the clement, mediatorial hour!
For guilt no plea! to pain, no pause! no bound!
Inexorable, all! and all, e treme!
Nor man alone; the foe of God and man,
From his dark den, blaspheming, drags his chain,
And rears his brazen front, with thunder scarr'd:
Receives his sentence, and begins his hell.
All vengeance past, now, seems abundant grace:
Like meteors in a stormy sky, how roll
His baleful eyes; he curses whom he dreads;
And deems it the first moment of his fall.
He falls on his own scythe; nor falls alone;
His greatest foe falls with him; Time, and he
Who murder'd all Time's offspring, Death, expire.
Time was! Eternity now reigns alone!
Awful Eternity! offended queen!
And her resentment to mankind, how just!
With kind intent, soliciting access,
How often has she knock'd at human hearts!
Rich to repay tr hospitality,
How often call'd! and with the voice of God!
Yet bore repulse, excluded as a cheat!
A dream! while foulest foes found welcome there!
A dream, a cheat, now, all things, but her smile.
For, lo! her twice ten thousand gates thrown wide,
As thrice from Indus to the frozen pole,
With banners streaming as the comet's blaze,
And clarions, louder than the deep in storms,
Sonorous as immortal breath can blow,
Pour forth their myriads, potentates, and powers,
Of light, of darkness; in a middle field,
Wide, as creation! populous, as wide!
A neutral region! there to mark th' event
Of that great drama, whose preceding scenes
Detain'd them close spectators, through a length
Of ages, ripening to this grand result;
Ages, as yet unnumber'd, but by God;
Who now pronouncing sentence, vindicates
The rights of virtue, and his own renown.
Eternity, the various sentence past,
Assigns the sever'd throng distinct abodes,
Sulphureous, or ambrosial: what ensues
The deed predominant! the deed of deeds!
Which makes a Hell of Heil, a Heaven of Heaven.
The goddess, with determin'd aspect, turns
Her adamantine key's enormous size
Through destiny's inextricable wards,
Deep driving every bolt, on both their fates.
Then, from the crystal battlements of Heaven,
Down, down, she hurls it through the dark profound,
Ten thousand thousand fathom; there to rust,
And ne'er unlock her resolution more.
The deep resounds; and Hell, through all her glooms,
Returns, in groans, the melancholy roar.
O how unlike the chorus of the skies!
'Tis present to my thought!—and yet where is it? O how unlike those shouts of joy, that shake
Angels can't tell me; angels cannot guess
The period; from created beings lock'd
In darkness. But the process, and the place,
Are less obscure; for these may man inquire.
Say, thou great close of human hopes and fears!
Great key of hearts! great finisher of fates!
Great end! and great beginning! say, Where art
Art thou in time, or in eternity?
Nor in eternity, nor time, I find thee.
These, as two monarchs, on their borders meet,
(Monarchs of all elaps'd, or unarriv'd!)
As in debate, how best their powers ally'd,
May swell the grandeur, or discharge the wrath,
Of him, whom both their monarchies obey.
Time, this fast fabric for him built (and doom'd
With him to fall) now bur-ting o'er his head;
His lamp, the Sun, extinguish'd; from beneath
The frown of hideous darkness, calls his sons
From their long slumber; from Earth's heaving
To second birth! contemporary throng!
Rous'd at one call, upstarted from one bed,
Prest in one crowd, appall'd with one amaze,
He turns them o'er, Eternity! to thee.
Then (as a king depos'd disdains to live)
The whole ethereal! How the concave rings!
Nor strange when deities their voice exalt;
And louder far, than when creation rose,
To see creation's godlike aim, and end,
So well accomplish'd! so divinely clos'd!
To see the mighty dramatist's last act
(As meet) in glory rising o'er the rest.
No fancy'd god, a god indeed, descends,
To solve all knots; to strike the moral home;
To throw full day on darkest scenes of time;
To clear, commend, exalt, and crown the whole.
Hence, in one peal of loud, eternal praise,
The charm'd spectators thunder their applause!
And the vast void beyond, applause resounds.
What then am I -
Amidst applauding worlds,
And worlds celestial, is there found on Earth,
A peevish, dissonant, rebellious string,
Which jars on the grand chorus, and complains?
Censure on thee, Lorenzo! I suspend,
And turn it on myself; how greatly due!
All, all is right, by God ordain'd or done;
And who, but God, resum'd the friends he gave?.
And have I been complaining, then, so long?
Complaining of his favours, pain, and death ?
Who, without pain's advice, would e'er be good?
Who, without death, but would be good in vain?
Pain is to save from pain; all punishment,
To make for peace; and death to save from death;
And second death, to guard immortal life;
To rouse the careless, the presumptuous awe,
And turn the tide of souls another way;
By the same tenderness divine ordain'd,
That planted Eden, and high-bloom'd for man,
A fairer Eden, endless, in the skies.
Heaven gives us friends to bless the present scene;
Resumes them, to prepare us for the next.
All evils natural are moral goods;
All discipline, indulgence, on the whole.
None are unhappy all have cause to smile,
But such as to themselves that cause deny.
Our faults are at the bottom of our pains;
Errour, in acts, or judgment, is the source
Of endless sighs: we sin, or we mistake;
And Nature tax, when false opinion stings.
Let impious grief be banish'd, joy indulg'd;
But chiefly then, when grief puts in her claim,
Joy from the joyous, frequently betrays,
Oft lives in vanity, and dies in woe.
Joy, amidst ills, corroborates, exalts;
'Tis joy and conquest; joy, and virtue too.
A noble fortitude in ills, delights
Heaven, Earth, ourselves; 't is duty, glory, peace.
Affliction is the good man's shining scene;
Prosperity conceals his brightest ray;
As night to stars, woe lustre gives to man.
Heroes in battle, pilots in the storm,
And virtue in calamities, admire;
The crown of manhood is a winter-joy;
An evergreen, that stands the northern blast,
And blossoms in the rigour of our fate.
'Tis a prime part of happiness, to know
How much unhappiness must prove our lot;
A part which few possess! I'll pay life's tax,
Without one rebel murmur, from this hour,
Nor think it misery to be a man;
Who thinks it is, shall never be a God.
Some ills we wish for, when we wish to live.
What spoke proud passion ?—" Wish my being
Presumptuous! blasphemous! absurd! and false !
The triumph of my soul is-That I am;
And therefore that I may be-what? Lorenzo!
Look inward, and look deep; and deeper still;
Unfathomably deep our treasure runs
In golden veins, through all eternity!
Ages, and ages, and succeeding still
New ages, where the phantom of an hour,
Which courts, each night, dull slumber, for repair,
Shall wake, and wonder, and exult, and praise.
And fly through infinite, and all unlock;
And (if deserv'd) by Heaven's redundant love,
Made half-adorable itself, adore ;
And find, in adoration, endless joy!
Where thou, not master of a moment here,
Frail as the flower, and fleeting as the gale,
May'st boast a whole eternity, enrich'd
With all a kind Omnipotence can pour.
Since Adam fell, no mortal, uninspir'd,
Has ever yet conceiv'd, or ever shall,
How kind is God, how great (if good) is man.
No man too largely from Heaven's love can hope,
If what is hop'd he labours to secure,
Referring to the First Night.
Ills?-there are none :-All-gracious! none from From man full many! numerous is the race [thee; Of blackest ills, and those immortal too,
| Begot by madness on fair liberty;
Heaven's daughter, Hell-debauch'd! her hand alone
Unlocks destruction to the sons of men,
First barr'd by thine: high-wall'd with adamant,
Guarded with terrours reaching to this world,
And cover'd with the thunders of thy law;
Whose threats are mercies, whose injunctions, guides,
Assisting, not restraining, reason's choice;
Whose sanctions, unavoidable results
From Nature's course, indulgently reveal'd;
If unreveal'd, more dangerous, nor less sure.
Thus, an indulgent father warns his sons,
"Do this; fly that"-nor always tells the cause;
Pleas'd to reward, as duty to his will,
A conduct needful to their own repose.
Great God of wonders! (if, thy love survey'd,
Aught else the name of wonderful retains)
What rocks are these, on which to build our trust!
Thy ways admit no blemish; none I find;
Or this alone-"That none is to be found."
Not one, to soften censure's hardy crime;
Not one, to palliate peevish grief's complaint,
Who like a demon, murmuring from the dust,
Dares into judgment call her Judge.—Supreme!
For all I bless thee; most, for the severe;
Her 12 death-my own at hand-the fiery gulf,
That flaming bound of wrath omnipotent!
It thunders;-but it thunders to preserve;
It strengthens what it strikes; its wholesome dread
Averts the dreaded pain; its hideous groans
Join Heaven's sweet hallelujahs in thy praise,
Great source of good alone! How kind in all !
In vengeance kind! pain, death, gehenna, save.
Thus, in thy world material, Mighty Mind!
Not that alone which solaces, and shines,
The rough and gloomy, challenges our praise.
The winter is as needful as the spring;
The thunder, as the Sun; a stagnant mass
Of vapours breeds a pestilential air:
Nor more propitious the Favonian breeze
To Nature's health, than purifying storms;
The dread volcano ministers to good.
Its smother'd flames might undermine the world.
Loud Ætnas fulminate in love to man;
Comets good omens are, when duly scann'd;
And, in their use, eclipses learn to shine.
Man is responsible for ills receiv'd;
Those we call wretched are a chosen band,
Compell'd to refuge in the right, for peace.
Amid my list of blessings infinite,
Stand this the foremost, "That my heart has bled."
'Tis Heaven's last effort of good-will to man;
When pain can't bless, Heaven quits us in despair.
Who fails to grieve, when just occasion calls,
Or grieves too much, deserves not to be blest;
Inhuman, or effemirate, his heart;
Reason absolves the grief, which reason ends.
May Heaven ne'er trust my friend with happiness,
Till it has taught him how to bear it well,
By previous pain; and made it safe to smile!
Such smiles are mine, and such may they remain;
Nor hazard their extinctions, from excess.
My change of heart a change of style demands;
The consolation cancels the complaint,
And makes a convert of my guilty song.