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If human hearts at glorious objects glow, From ages dark, obtuse, and steep'd in sense ,
For, sure, to sense, they truly are divine ;
Such it was (Stupor ordain'd to make her truly wise!)
In ihose, who put forth all they had of man Then into transport starting from her trance, Unlost, to lift their thought, nor mounted higher; With love, and admiration, how she glows! But, weak of wings, on planets perch’d; and thought This gorgeous apparatus! this display!
What was their highest, must be their ador'd. This ostentation of creative power!
But they how weak, who could no higher mount ! This theatre !---what eye can take it in?
And are there, then, Lorenzo! those, to whom By what divine enchantment was it rais'd,
Unseen, and unexistent, are the same?
Who dare pronounce it madness, to believe?
All measure in his work; stretch'd out his line How boundless in magnificence and might! So far, and spread amazement o'er the whole ? O what a confluence of ethereal fires,
Then (as he took delight in vide extremes) From urns unnumber'd, down the steep of Heaven, Deep in the bosom of his universe, Streams to a point, and centres in my sight! Dropt down that reasoning mite, that insect, man, Nor tarries there ; I feel it at my heart.
To crawl, and gaze, and wonder at the scene ?My heart, at once, it humbles, and exalts; That man might ne'er presume to plead amazement Lays it in dust, and calls it to the skies.
For disbelief of wonders in himself. Who sees it unexalted ? or unaw'd ?
Shall God be less miraculous, than what Who sees it, and can stop at what is seen? His hand has forn’d? Shall mysteries descend Material offspring of Omnipotence!
From un-mysterious ? Things more elevate,
Be more familiar? Uncreated lie
Could we conceive him, God he could not be ; Withholds his homage, not alone I wake;
Or he not God, or we could not be men. Bright legions swarm unseen, and sing, unheard A God alone can comprehend a God; By mortal ear, the glorious Architect,
Man's distance how immense! On such a theme, In this his universal temple hung
Know this, Lorenzo! (seem it ne'er so strange) With lustres, with innumerable lights,
Nothing can satisfy, but what confounds;
Nothing, but what astonishes, is true.
These stars, this furniture, this cost of Heaven, An undevout astronomer is mad.
If but reported, thou hadst ne'er believ'd; True, all things speak a God; but in the small, But thine eye tells thee, the romance is true. Men trace out him ; in great, he seizes man; The grand of Nature is th’Almighty's oath, Seizes, and elevates, and wraps, and fills
In reason's court, to silence unbelief. With new inquiries, 'mid associates new.
How my mind, opening at this scene, imbibes Tell me, ye stars ! ye planets! tell me, all The moral emanations of the skies, Ye starr'd, and planeted, inhabitants! What is it? While nought, perhaps, Lorenzo less admires ! What are these sons of wonder? Say, proud arch, Has the Great Sovereign sent ten thousand world (Within whose azure palaces they dwell,)
To tell us, he resides above them all,
In glory's unapproachable recess?
A moment's audience? Turn we, nor will hear
Let thought, awaken'd, take the lightning's wing, But when I drop mine eye, and look on man, And glance from east to west, from pole to pole. Thy right regain'd, thy grandeur is restord, Who sees, but is confounded, or convinc'd ? O Nature! wide flies off the expanding round. Renounces reason, or a God adores ? As when whole magazines, at once, are fir'd, Mankind was sent into the world to see : The smitten air is hollow'd by the blow;
Sight gives the science needful to their peace; The vast displosion dissipates the clouds ;
That obvious science asks small learning's aid. Shock'd ether's billows dash the distant skies; Wouldst thou on metaphysic pinions soar ? Thus (but far more) th' expanding round flies off, Or wound thy patience amid logic thorns ? And leaves a mighty void, a spacious womb, Or travel history's enormous round ? Might teem with new creation ; re-inflam'd Nature no such hard task enjoins : she gave Thy luminaries triumph, and assume
A make to man directive of his thought; Divinity themselves. Nor was it strange,
A make set upright, pointing to the stars, Matter high-wrought to such surprising pomp, As who shall say, “ Read thy chief lesson there." Such godlike glory, stole the style of gods, Too late to read this manuscript of Heaven,
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 oslices, 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.
And kingdoms tottering in the field of blood.
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 -'Tis 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 excellence, 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 demi-gods descend
Of stronger wing, of aquiline ascent On every beam we see, to walk with men.
In theory sublime. O how unlike Awful 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, obey'd. A sudden succor, unimplor'd, unthought;
The Stag yrite, 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, Black-brow'd, and vaulted high, and yawning wide They took their nightly round, through radiant paths 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 litileness! What childish toys, Through various virtues, they, with ardor, 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 ardor 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 warm'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 thee; What then the force of such superior scenes ? And Pagan tutors are thy taste.—They taught, Enter a temple, it will strike an awe:
Thal narrow views betray to misery :
That wise it is to comprehend the whole :
And yet, so thwarted Nature's kind design That mind immortal loves immortal aims :
That boundless mind affets a boundless space • That guard from ill) his shelter, bis temptation That vast surveys, and the sublime of things To more than common guilt, and quite inverts The soul assimilate, and make her great,
That, therefore, Heaven 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 splendor void of use; weight?
Use rivals beauty; art contends with power ; 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, magnificently wise. Of toys terrestrial, she can rove at large ;
How rich the prospect! and for ever new! There, freely can respire, dilate, extend,
And newest to the man that views it most ; In full proportion let loose all her powers ;
For newer still in infinite succeeds. And, undeluded, grasp at something great.
Then, these aërial racers, O how swift! Nor, as a stranger, does she wander there; How the shaft loiters from the strongest string! But, wonderful herself, through wonder strays; Spirit alone can distance the career. Contemplating their grandeur, finds her own; Orb above orb ascending without end ! Dives deep in their economy divine,
Circle in circle, without end, inclos'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 scen, we labor to believe it true! Grows conscious of her birth celestial; breathes What involution ! what extent! what swarms More life, more vigor, in her native air;
Of worlds, that laugh at Earth! immensely great' 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 firmament, Lorenzo ?
roll ? As earth the body, since the skies sustain
At once it quite ingulfs all human thought;
Nor think thou see'st a wild disorder here;
The path prescribd, 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 it, the breast-plate of the true High-Priest, What knots are tied! How soon are they dissolvd Ardent with gems oracular, that give,
And set the seeming married planets free! In points of highest moment, right response ; They rove for ever, without error 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! Thus have we found a new, and noble sense, In motion, all! yet what profound repose ! In which alone stars govern human fates.
What servid action, yet no noise! as aw'd O that the stars (as some have feign'd) let fall To silence by the presence of their Lord; Bloodshed, and havoc, on embattled realms, Or hush'd by his command in love to man, And rescued monarchs from so black a guilt! And bid let fall soft beams on human rest, Bourbon ! this wish how generous in a foe! Restless themselves. On yon cerulean plain, Wouldst thou be great, wouldst thou become a God, In exultation to their God, and thine, And stick thy deathless name among the stars, They dance, they sing eternal jubilee, For mighty conquests on a needle's point ?
Eternal celebration of his praise. Instead of forging chains for foreigners,
But, since their song arrives not at our ear,
Their dance perplex'd exhibits to the sight
The circles intricate, and mystic maze,
And more divine than these, thou canst not see. Where are the pillars that support the skies? Dazzled, o'erpower'd, with the delicious draught What more than Allantean shoulder props Of miscellaneous splendors, how I reel
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 bung 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 waves, In number, weight, and measure, all ordain'd. In time, and measure, exquisite ; while all Lorenzo's boasted builders, chance, and fate, The winds, in emulation of the spheres,
Tune their sonorous instruments aloft;
Her point unable to forbear, 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,
Though nothing half so rapid as their flight.
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 depih, 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, That sweeps away all period ? As these spheres To give his lottering faith a solid base. Measure duration, they no less inspire
Why call for less than is already thine ?
Thou art no novice in theology;
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 slars. had never whisper'd it to man.
By recent argument, but not more strong. Nature informs, but ne'er insults, her sons. Say, which imports more plenitude of power, Could she then kindle the most ardent wish Or Nature's laws to fix, or to repeal ? To disappoint it?—That is blasphemy.
To make a Sun, or stop his mid career ? Thus, of thy ereed a second article,
To countermand his orders, and send back Momentous, as the existence of a God,
The flaming courier to the freighted East, Is found (as I conceive) where rarely sought: Warm'd, and astonish'd, at his evening ray ; And thou may'st read thy soul immortal, here. Or bid the Moon, as with her journey tir’d,
Here, then, Lorenzo! on these glories dwell; In Ajalon's soft, flowery vale repose ? Nor want the guilt-illuminated roof,
Great things are these ; still greater, to creale.
Than this, call'd un-miraculous survey,
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 Nature's course control ? And purify from stench his watery realms ? But miracles a part, 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 bowld them flaming through the dark profound, And defecate from sense, alone obtain
Numerous as glittering gems of morning-dew, Full relish of existence undeflower'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 horror smile ?" “ Bad to be sufferid ; blessings to be left:"
Or, if the military style delights thee, Earth's richest inventory boasts no more.
(For stars have fought their battles, leagu'd with man,) 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 wider here ; Appoints their post, their marches, and returns In mid-way flight imagination tires ;
Punctual at stated periods ? Who disbands Yet soon reprunes her wing to soar anew,
These veteran troops, their final duty done,
If e'er disbanded ?"-He, whose potent word, O what a genius must inform the skies!
more, Where now they war with vice and unbelief. Who blaze, or die, as great Jehovah's breath O let us join this army! joining these,
Or blows you, or forbears : assist my song;
And is Lorenzo a demurrer still?
Truths, which, contested, put thy parts to shame.
Fill'd with an atom! fill'd, and foul'd, with self ! Nor longer rob them of their noblest name.
And self-mistaken! self, that lasts an hour! ye dividers of my time! Ye bright
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, Though man inspects it not, stands good against him; Where order, wisdom, goodness, providence, Since you and years roll on, though man stands Their endless miracles of love display, still ;
And promise all the truly-great desire. Teach me my days to number, and apply
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 smoothes our path 10 prudence! sweeps aside Fush 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 grey 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 flight,
Admit the boundless theatre of thought With such an inder fair as none can miss,
From nothing, up to God; which makes a man. Who lifts an eye, nor sleeps till it is clos'd; Take God from Nature, nothing great is left! Open mine eye, dread Deity! to 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, unalter'd through the glass Emerge from thy profound ; erect thine eye; Of worldly wishes. Time, eternity!
See thy distress! how close art thou besieg'd! ('Tis these, mis-measurd, ruin all mankind) Besieg'd by Nature, the proud sceptic's foe! Set them before me; let me lay them both Inclos'd by these innumerable worlds, In equal scale, and learn their various weight. Sparkling conviction on the darkest mind, Let time appear a moment, as it is ;
As in a golden net of Providence. And let eternity's full orb, at once,
How art thou caught, sure capuive of belief! Turn on my soul, and strike it into Heaven. From this thy blest captivity, what art, When shall I see far more than charms me now? What blasphemy to reason, sets thee free? Gaze on creation's model in thy breast
This scene is Heaven's indulgent violence: Unveil'd, nor wonder at the transcript more? Canst thou bear up against this vide of glory? When this vile, foreign dust, which smothers all What is earth bosom'd in these ambient orbs, 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 cause, And, readopted to thy blest embrace,
Spite of these numerous, awful witnesses, Obtain her apotheosis in thee?
And doubt the deposition of the skies?
Laborious ! 'tis impracticable quite ;
And crime flagitious, I defy a fool.
Some wish they did; but no man disbelieves
God is a spirit; spirit cannot strike
As much is seen, as man a God can see,
Conception of design, how exquisite!
How complicate, in their divine police