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Love's element ! true joy's illustrious home! The bare ideas! solid happiness
O'er bog, and brake, and precipice, 'till death?
Defy the dangers of the field, and food,
A name, a mortal immortality.
$ 236. Genius connealed with Ignominy.
! Ourselves th' aitonith'd talkers and the tale!
Heart-merit wanting, mount we ne'er so high, When mount we? when these Thackles caft: Our height is but the gibbet of our name. when quit
When I behold a genius bright and base, This cell of the creation ! this small nest,
Of towering talents, and terrestrial aims; Stuck in a corner of the universe,
Methinks, I fee, as thrown from her high sphere, Wrapt up in fieccy cloud, and fine-fpun air ?
The glorious fragments of a foul immortal, Fine-ipun to sense; but grots and feculent With rubbish mixi, and glittering in the dust. Ta souls celeftial; fouls ordain'd to breathe Hearts are proprietors of all applause. Ambrofial gales; and drink a purer lky;
Right ends, and means, make wisdom : worldlyGreatly triumphant on time's farther thore.
Is but half-witted, at its highest praise. [wife In an eternity what Scenes hall strike! What webs of wonder thall unravel there!
§ 237. Exalıcd Station. Whar full day pour on all
the patlas of heaven; -WHAT is station high [begs ; And light th'Almighty's footsteps in the decp!
'Tis a proud mendicant; it boasts, and How thall the blefied day of our discharge It begs an alms of homage from the throng, Unwind, at once, the labyrinthis of fate, And of the throng denies its charity. And straiten its inextricable maze !
Monarchs, and ministers, are awful names; If inextinguithable thirft in man
Whoever wear them, challenge our devoir. To know; how rich, how full our banquet here! Rcligion, public order, both exact Here, not the moral world alone unfolds; External homage, and a supple knee, The world material lately seen in fhades, To beinys poumpoully set up, to serve And in those shades, by fragments only teen, The meaneft llare; all more is merit's due ; And teen those fragments by the labouring cye, Her facred and inviolable right, lpbroken, now, illustrious, and entire, Nor ever paid the monarch, but the man. Its ample iphere, its universal frame,
Our hearts nc'er bow but to superior worth; In full dimentions, twells to the survey ; Nor ever fail of their ailegiance there. And enters, at one glance, the ravilh'd light. Fools indeed drop the man in their account, How shall the firanger man's illumin'd eye, And vote the mantle into majesty. In the vast ocean of unbounded 1pace,
Let the imall favage boast his lilver fur ;
His royal robe unborrow'd, and unbought,
And fouls in crmine ícorn a foul without ?
Pigmics are piginies still, tho' percht on alps, If admiration is a source of joy, [heaven. And pyramids are pyramids in vales. Telf: What transport hence! Yet this the least in Each man makes his own stature, builds himWhat this to that illustrious robe He wears, Virtue alone out-builds the pyramids; Who toss'd this inafs of wonders from his hand, Her monuments thail last, when Egypt's fall. A specimen, an earnest of his power!
Of these fure truths dost thou demand the cause? 'Tis, to that glory, whence all glory flows, The cause is lody'd in immortality. As the mead's meanest tiow'ret to the sun, Hear, and assent. Thy botom burns for pow'r; Which gare it birth. But what, this Sun of 'Tis thine. And art thou greater than before ? heaven!
Then thou before was something less than man.
§ 238. Tize
$ 238. True Greai ness.
Superior wonders in himself forgot, "HAT prince, and that alone, is truly great, His admiration waste on objects round, Who draws the sword reluctant, gladly When heaven makes him the soul of all he sees ! sheaths;
Absurd ! not rare ! so great, so mean, is man. On empire builds what empire far outweighs,
What wealth in senles such as these! what And makes his throne a scaffold to the skies. In fancy, fir'd to form a fairer scene [wealth Why this so rare? becaute forgot of all
Than sense surveys ! in memory's firm record, The day of death ; that venerable day, [nounce Which, lhould it perish, could this world recall, Which sits as judge; that day which fhall
From the dark shadows of o'erwhelming years!
proOn all our days, abfolve them, or condemn.
In colours fresh, originally bright Lorenzo! never shut thy thought against it;
Preserve its portrait, and report its fate! Be levees ne'er so full, afford it rooin,
What wealth in intellect, that sovereign power! And give it audience in the cabinet,
Which sense, and fancy, summons to the bar; That friend consulted, flatteries apart,
Interrogates, approves, or reprehends : Will tell thee fair, if thou art great, or mean.
And from the mass those underlings import, To dote on aught may leave us, or be left,
From their materials fifted, and refin'd, Is that ambition ? then let flames descend,
Forms art, and science, government, and law. Point to the centre their inverted fpires :
What wealth in fouls that foar, dive, range When blind ambition quite mistakes her road,
around, And downward pores, for that which thines Disdaining limit, or from place, or time, Substantial happiness, and true renown ; [above, And hear at once, in thought extensive, hear Then, like an idiot gazing on the brook,
Th'almighty fiat, and the trumpet's found ! We leap at stars, and faften in the mud;
Bold, on creation's outside walk, and view At glory grasp, and sink in infamy.
What was, and is, and more than e'er thall be;
Commanding, with omnipotence of thought, $ 239. The Torment of Ambition. Creations new, in fancy's field to rise ! MBITION! powerful source of good and ill! And wander wild through things impossible ;
Souls, that can grasp whate'er th' almighty made, A Thy strength in man, like length of wing What wealth, in faculties of endless growth, in birds,
In liberty to choose, in power to reach,
Duration to perpetuate-boundless bliss !
§ 241. The Vanity of Wealtb.
HIGH-BUILT abundance, heap on heap!
for what? All prospect of eternity shut out ;
To breed new wants, and beggar us the more ; And but for execution ne'er fet free.
Then make a richer scramble for the throng :
Soon as this feeble pulse, which leaps so long, § 240. True Riches.
Almost by miracles is tir'd with play, WITH error in ambition, justly charg‘d, Like rubbish, from disploding engines thrown,
Find we Lorenzo wiler in his wealth > Our magazines of hoarded trifles Ay; Where thy truc treasure: Gold says, “not Fly diverse; fly to foreigners, to foes ; in ine,"
New masters court, and call the former fool, And, “ not in me," the diamond. Gold is poor; (How justly :) for dependence on their stay. India 's insolvent : seek it in thyself;
Wide scatter first, our play-things, then our duft. Seek in thy naked felf, and find it there : Much learning shows how little mortals know: In being so defcended, formd, endow'd ; Much wealth, how little worldlings can enjoy : Sky-born, sky-guided, sky-returning race ! At best it babies us with endless toys, Ercet, immortal, rational, divine !
And keeps us children till we drop to duft. In senses, which inherit earth and heavens; As monkeys at a mirror stand amaz’d, Enjoy the various riches nature yields; They fail to find what they lo plainly fce; Far nobler! give the riches they enjoy ; Thus men in shining riches see the face Give taste to fruits ; and harmony to groves; Of happiness, nor know it is a shade; Their radiant beams to gold, and gold's bright But gaze, and touch, and peep, and peep again, Take in at once the landscape of the world, [tire; And wilh, and wonder it is abfent ftill. At a small inlet, which a grain might close, How few can rescue opulence from want ! And half create the wondrous world they fee. Who lives to nature, rarely can be poor; Cur senses, as our reason, are divine.
Who lives to fancy, never can be rich. But for the magic organ's powerful charm, Poor is the man in debt; the man of gold, Earth were a rude, uncolour'd chaos fill. in debt to fortune, trembles at her pow'r. Ours is the cloth, the pencil, and the paint, The man of reason smiles at her, and death. Which beautifics creation's ample dome. O what a patrimony, this! a being Say then, thall man, his thoughts all fent abroad, Of such inlicrent ftrength and majesty,
Nor worlds pofíeft can raise it ; worlds destroy'd | Till stumbling at a straw, in their career,
and song ? Creation's obsequies. What treasure, this! Are there on earth (let me not call them men) The monarch is a beggar to the man.
Who lodge a foul immortal in their brealts ;
Unconscious as the mountain of its ore, § 242. Immortality.
Or rock, of its inestimable gem ? [these IMMORTAL! ages past, yet nothing gone!
When rock shall melt, and mountains vanish, Morn without eve! a race without a goal ! Shall know their treasure; treasure, then, no Uafhorten'd by progrellion infinite ! Futurity for ever future! life Beginning still, where computation ends !
§ 244. Disbelief of a Future State. 'Tis the description of a deity! 'Tis the description of the mcaneft slave. A
RE there (still more amazing!) who refift Immortal! what can strike the fonte so strong,
The rising thought? who finother in its As this the soul? it thunders to the thought;
birth Realon amazes ; gratitude o'erwhelms;
The glorious truth? who struggle to be brutes ? No more we slumber on the brink of fate;
Who thro' this bofom-barrier burst their way, Rous'd at the sound, th’exulting soul ascends,
And, with rever'd ambition, strive to fink?
Who labour downwards thro'th' opposing pow'rs, And breathes her native air; an air that feeds Ambition high, and fans ethereal fires;
Of instinct, reason, and the world against them, Quick-kindles all that is divine within us;
Te dismal hopes, and thelter in the lock Nor leaves one loitering thought bencath the of endless night? night darker than the grave's ? Immortal! was but one immortal, how [stars.
Who fight the proofs of immortality ?
To contradict them fee all nature rise!
What object, what event, the moon beneath,
To reason proves, or weds it to defire ? A glorious, and a needful refuge, that
All things proclaim it needful; some advance From vile imprisonment in abject views.
One precious ttep beyond, and prove it sure, 'Tis immortality, 'tis that alone,
A thousand arguments swarm round my pen, Amid life's pains, abasements, emptiness,
From heaven, and earth, and man. Indulge a The foul can comfort, elevate, and fill.
By nature, as her common habit worn. [few
Thou! whose all-providential eye surveys, Eternity depending covers all;
Whofe hand directs, whose Spirit fills, and warms
Creation, and holds empire far beyond !
Of two eternities amazing Lord !
One past, ere man's, or angels, had begun; The man beneath; if I may call him man,
Aid, while I refine froin the foe's assault Whom immortality's full force infpires.
Thy glorious immortality in man. Nothing terrestrial touches his high thought; Suns shine unseen, and thunders roll unheard, § 245. Man's Immortality proved by Nature. By minds quite conscious of their high defcent, NATURE, thy daughter, ever-changing birth
; Of thee the great linnutable, to man, Divinely darting upward every wish,
Speaks wisdom; is his oracle fupreine; Warm on the wing, in glorious absence loft. And he who most consults her, is most wise. Doubt you this truth? why labours your be- Look nature through, 'tis revolution all. [night, lief?
All change, no death. Day follows night; and If carth's whole orb by some due distanc'd eve The dying day; stars rise, and set, and rise ; Was seen at once, her tow'ring alps would fink, Earth takes th' example. See, the summer gay, And leveld Atlas leave an even sphere. With her green chaplet, and ambrofial fow'rs, Thus earth, and all that earthly minds admire, Droops into pallid autumn; winter grey, Is swallow'd in eternity's vast round.
Horrid with frost, and turbulent with storm, To that stupendous view when souls awake, Blows autumn, and his golden fruits away, 80 large of late, fo mountainous to man, Then melts into the spring; loft spring, with
Favonian, from warm chambers of the south. § 243. Man ignorant of bis real Greatness. Recalls the first. All, to re-flourish, fades : IN spite of all the truths the muse has fung, As in a whecl, all finks, to re-ascend: Are there who wrap the world so close about Emblems of man, who passes, not expires. them,
With this minute distinction, emblems just. They see no farther than the clouds; and dance Nature revolves, but man advances; both On heedleis vanity's fantastic toe,
Eternal, that a circle, this a line.
That gravitates, this soars. Th’aspiring foul No fault, but in defect : blest Heav'n! avert
A brighter fun, and in a nobler loil,
Matter, immortal and thall fpirit die? Shall Hourish fair, and put forth all their bloom. Above the nobler, thali lefs noble rife? Shall man alone, for whom all else revives, No resurrection know? thall man alonc,
§ 247. Reason and Inftinet. Imperial man ! be sown in barren ground,
EASON progressive, inftin&t is complete ; Leis privileg'd than grain, on which he feeds ? Swift instinct leaps; now realon feebly Is man, in whom alone is power to prize
climbs. The bliss of being, or with previous pain
Brutes soon their zenith reach; their little all Deplore its period, by the spleen of fate
Flows in at once; in ages they no more Severely doom'd death's single unredeem'd?
Could know, or do, or cover, or enjoy.
Was man to live coëval with the fun, § 246. NIGHT VII. Discontent.
The patriarch-pupil would be learning still;
Yet, dying, leave his leflon half unlearnt, WHY discontent for ever harbour'd there? Men perish in advance, as if the sun
Incurable consumption of our peace ! Should let ere noon, in eastern oceans drown'd. Rcfolve me, why, the cottager, and king, To man, why, stepdame nature, so fevere? Ile whom sea-fever'd realms obey, and he Why thrown aside thy master-piece half-wrought, Who steals his whole dominion from the waste, While mcaner efforts thy laft hand enjoy? Repelling winter's blast, with mud and traw, Or, if abortively poor man muft dic, [dread Dilquicted alike, draw sigh for high,
Nor reach, what reach he might, why die in In fate fo distant, in complaint lo near. Why curst with foresight? wife to miley?
Is it, that things terrestrial can't content? Why of his proud prerogative the prey?
His immortality alone can tell,
§ 248. Hirman Hope.
Of all the darkest if at death we die. In part, remote ; for that remoter part Hope, cager hope, th'allaifin of our joy, Man blcats froin instinct, tho', perhaps, debauch'd All present bleflings treading under foot, By sense, his reason sleeps, nor dreams the cause. Is scarce a milder tyrant than despair. The cause how obvious, when his reason wakes ! With no past toils content, still planning new, His grief is but his grandeur in disguise ; Hope turns us o'er to death alone for eale. And discontent is immortality.
Poffeilion, why, more tasteless than pursuit ? Shall fons of æther, thall the blood of heav'n, Why is a with far dearer than a crown? Set up their hopes on carth, and stable here, That with accomplish'd, why the grave of bliss? With brutal acquiescence in the mire ? Because in the great future bury'd deep, No, no, my friend : they thall be nobly pain'd; Beyond our plans of empire, and renown, The glorious foreigners distreit, ihall figh Lies all that man with ardour Thould pursue; On thrones; and thou congratulate the ligh: And he who made him, bent him to the right. Man's misery declares him born for blits; Man's heart th’ Almighty to the future lets His anxious heart aflerts the truth I fing. By secret and inviolable springs; Our heads, our hearts, our paflions, and our And makes his hope his fublunary joy. pow'rs,
Man's heart cats all things, and is hungry ftill; Speak the same language; call us to the kics. “ More, more, the glutton cries :" for fomething Unripend these in this inclement clime, So rages appetite, if man can 't mount, [new Scarce rise above conjecture, and miltake; He will defcend. He starves on the pofTeft. And for this land of trifles, thinle too luong, Hence the world's master, from ambition's spire, Tuinuluous rise, and tempelt human life; in Caprea plung’d; and div'd beneath the brute. What prize on earth can pay us for the storm? that rank sty why wallow'd empire's son Mect objects for our paifions Heav'n ordain'd, Supreme? Because he could no higher dy ; Objects that challenge all their fire, and leave His riot was ambition in despair.
See restless hope, for ever on the wing! And strenuous to tranfcribe, in human life, High perch'd o'er ev'ry thought that falcon fits, The mind Almighty ? could it be, that fate, To ty at all that rises in her light;
Just when the lincaments began to shine, [erer? And never stooping, but to mount again! Should Inatch the draught, and blot it out for Next moment, the betrays her aim's mistake, Shall we, this moment, gaze on God in man? And owns her quarry lodg'd beyond the grave. The next, lose man for ever in the dust?
There thould it fail us (it must fail us there, From dust we disengage, or man mistakes; 'If being fails), more mournful riddles rise, And there, where least his judgment fears a flaw. And virtue vies with hope in myttery.
Wildom, and worth, how boldiy he commends ! Why virtue ? Where irs praise, its being, fcd ? Wildom and worth are sacred names; rever'd; Virtue is true felf-interest pursu'd;
Where not embracd; applauded! deify'd ! Whar, true self-intrest of quite-mortal man? Why not compaifion'd too? If Ipirits die, To close with all that makes him happy here. Both are calamities, inflicted both, If vice (as sometimes) is our friend on earth, To make us but more wretched; wisdom's eye Then vice is virtue, 'tis our lov'reign good. Acute, for what? To spy more miseries ;
The rigid guardian of a blamelels heart, And worth, so recompens'd, new points their So long rever'd, so long reputed wise,
stings : Is weak; with rank knight-errantries o'er-run. Or man the grave surmounts, or gain is loss. Why bcats thy bocom with illustrious dreams And worth exalıed humbles us the more. Of galla.it enterprise, and glorious death? Were then capacities divine conferr'd, Die for thy country -thou romantic fool! As a mock-diadem, in salvage-sport, Scize, feite the piank thyfelf, and let her link! Rank insult of our pompous poverty, Thy country! what to thee? (lipeak with awe) Which reaps but pain, from sveming claims to The girihend what'tho'he fhould bid thee blecd: In future age lies no redress? and shuts If, with thy blood, thy tival hope is split, Eternity the door on our complaint : Nor can Omnipotence reward the biow, If lo, for what strange ends were mortals made? Be dcaf; prefirve thy being; disobey.
This worst to wallow, and the best to weep.
Can we conceive a disregard in heaven, § 249. The Machue'ls of Infidelity.
What the worit perpetrate, or hest endure? SINCE virtue's recompense is doubtful, here, This cannot be. To love, and know, in man
If man dies wholly, well may we demand, Is boundless appetite, and boundless pow'r; Why is mun suffer'd to be good in vain : And these demonstrate boundless objects too. Why to be good in vain, is man enjoin'd? Objects, pow'rs, appetites, heaven suits in all; Why to be good in vain, is man betray'd ? Nor, nature thro', e'er violates this sweet, Betray'd by traitors lodg’d in his own breast, Eternal concord, on her tuneful string. By sweet coinplacencies from virtue felt? Is man the fole exception from her laws ? Why whispers nature lies on virtue's part ? Eternity ftruck off froin human hope, Or if blind instinct (which affumes the name Man is a monster, the reproach of heav'n, Of sacred conscience) plays the fool in man, A stain, a dark impenetrable cloud Why reason made accomplice in the cheat? On nature's beauteous aspect, and deforms, Why are the wifest, loudett in her praise ? (Amazing blot !) deforins her with her lord. Can inan by reason's beam be led astray?
Or own the soul immortal, or invert Or, at his peril, imitate his God?
All order. Go, mock-inajefty! go, man, Since virtue fometimes ruins us on earth, And bow to thy firperiors of the stall; Or, both are true; or, man lurvives the grave. Thro' ev'ry scene of fenfe fuperior far: [stream
Or man survives the grave, or own, Lorenzo, They graze the turf untill'd; they drink the Thy boast fupreme, a wild absurdity.
Unbreiv'd, and ever full, and un-embitter'd Dauntless thy spirit; cowards are thy fcorn. With doubts, fears, fruitless hopes, regrets, deGrant man immortal, and thy foorn is juft.
spairs, The man immortal, rationally brave,
Mankind's peculiar ! reason's precious dow'r ! Dares rush on death, becautc he cannot die. No forcign clime they ransack for their robes, But if man loses all, when life is lost,
Nor brothers cite to the litigious bar: He lives a coward, or a fool expires,
Their your is good entire, unmixt, unınarr'd; A daring infidel (and such there are,
They find a paradise in ev'ry field, From pride, example, lucre, rage, revenge, On boughs forbidden, where no curses hang; Or pure heroical defect of thought),
Their ill no more than strikes the sonte, un. Of all earth's madmen, most deserves a chain.
stretcht When, to the grave, we follow the renown'd| By previous dread, or murmur in the rear; For valour, virtue, science, all we love, [beam When the worít comes, it comes unfear'd; one And all we praile ; for worth, whole noon-cide firoke Mends our ideas of cihereal pow'rs;
Begins and ends their woe : they die bu once; Dream we, that lustre of the moral world Bicft, incommunicable privilege! [ftars, Goes out in fench, and rouenncís the c!ole? For which who rules the globe, and re ds the Why was be wile to know, and warn to praise, Philosopher, or huro, fighs in vain.