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Apt means! great ends! consent to general good!
Each attribute of these material gods,
So long (and that with specious pleas) ador'd,
A separate conquest gains o'er rebel thought;
And leads in triumph the whole mind of man.
Lorenzo! this may seem harangue to thee;
Such all is apt to seem, that thwarts our will.
And dost thou, then, demand a simple proof
Of this great master-moral of the skies,
Unskill'd, or disinclin'd, to read it there?
Since 'tis the basis, and all drops without it,
Take it, in one compact, unbroken chain.
Such proof insists on an attentive ear;
"Twill not make one amid a mob of thoughts,
And, for thy notice, struggle with the world.
Retire; the world shut out;-thy thoughts
Imagination's airy wing repress ;—
If in the last, how many knots beside,
Indissoluble all ?-Why choose it there,
Where, chosen, still subsist ten thousand more ?
Reject it, where, that chosen, all the rest
Dispers'd, leave reason's whole horizon clear;
This is not reason's dictate; reason says,
Close with the side where one grain turns the scale;
What vast preponderance is here! can reason
With louder voice exclaim- Believe a God?"
And reason heard, is the sole mark of man.
What things impossible must man think true,
On any other system! and how strange
To disbelieve, through mere credulity!"
If, in this chain, Lorenzo finds no flaw,
Let it for ever bind him to belief,
call And where the link, in which a flaw he finds?
And if a God there is, that God how great!
How great that power, whose providential care
Through these bright orbs' dark centres darts a ray!
Of Nature universal threads the whole!
And hangs creation, like a precious gem,
Though little, on the footstool of his throne!
Lock up thy senses:-let no passion stir;—
Wake all to reason ;-let her reign alone;
Then, in thy soul's deep silence, and the depth
Of Nature's silence, midnight, thus inquire,
As I have done; and shall inquire no more.
In Nature's channel, thus the questions run :-
"What am I? and from whence?—I nothing
But that I am; and, since I am, conclude
Something eternal: had there e'er been nought,
Nought still had been; eternal there must be.-
But what eternal?-Why not human race?
And Adam's ancestors without an end?—
That's hard to be conceiv'd, since every link
Of that long-chain'd succession is so frail.
Can every part depend, and not the whole?
Yet grant it true; new difficulties rise;
I'm still quite out at sea; nor see the shore.
That little gem, how large! a weight let fall From a fix'd star, in ages can it reach This distant Earth? Say, then, Lorenzo! where, Where ends this mighty building? Where, begin The suburbs of Creation? Where, the wall Whose battlements look o'er into the vale Of non-existence? Nothing's strange abode! Say, at what point of space Jehovah dropp'd His slacken'd line, and laid his balance by ; Weigh'd worlds, and measur'd infinite, no more? Where, rears his terminating pillar high Its extra-mundane head? and says, to gods, In characters illustrious as the Sun,
"I stand, the plan's proud period; I pronounce
Whence Earth, and these bright orbs ?—Eternal too? The work accomplish'd; the creation clos'd:
Grant matter was eternal; still these orbs
Would want some other father;-much design
Is seen in all their motions, all their makes ;
Design implies intelligence, and art;
That can't be from themselves-or man: that art
Man scarce can comprehend, could man bestow?
And nothing greater yet allow'd than man.-
Who, motion, foreign to the smallest grain,
Shot through vast masses of enormous weight?
Who bid brute matter's restive lump assume
Such various forms, and gave it wings to fly?
Has matter innate motion? then each atom,
Asserting its indisputable right
To dance, would form a universe of dust:
Has matter none? Then whence these glorious forms
And boundless flights, from shapeless, and repos'd?
Has matter more than motion? has it thought,
Judgment, and genius? is it deeply learn'd
In mathematics? Has it fram'd such laws,
Which but to guess, a Newton made immortal?—
If so, how each sage atom laughs at me,
Who think a clod inferior to a man!
If art, to form; and counsel, to conduct;
And that with greater far than human skill,
Resides not in each block;-a Godhead reigns.
Grant, then, invisible, eternal, Mind;
That granted, all is solv'd.-But, granting that,
Draw I not o'er me a still darker cloud?
Grant I not that which I can ne'er conceive?
A being without origin, or end!—
Hail, human liberty! There is no God-
Yet, why? On either scheme that not subsists;
Subsist it must, in God, or human race:
Hard are those questions;-answer harder still
Is this the sole exploit, the single birth,
The solitary son of power divine?
Or has th' Almighty Father, with a breath,
Impregnated the womb of distant space?
Has he not bid, in various provinces,
Brother-creations the dark bowels burst
Of night primeval; barren, now, no more?
And he the central sun, transpiercing all
Those giant-generations, which disport,
And dance, as motes, in his meridian ray;
That ray withdrawn, benighted, or absorb'd,
In that abyss of horror, whence they sprung;
While Chaos triumphs, repossest of all
Rival creation ravish'd from his throne?
Chaos! of Nature both the womb, and grave!
Think'st thou my scheme, Lorenzo, spreads too
Is this extravagant?-No; this is just;
Just in conjecture, though 't were false in fact.
If 'tis an error, 'tis an error sprung
From noble root, high thought of the Most-High
But wherefore error? who can prove it such ?—
He that can set Omnipotence a bound.
Can man conceive beyond what God can do?
Nothing but quite impossible is hard.
He summons into being, with like ease,
A whole creation, and a single grain.
Speaks he the word? a thousand worlds are born!
A thousand worlds! there's space for millions more;
And in what space can his great fiat fail?
Condemn me not, cold critic! but indulge
The warm imagination: why condemn ?
Why not indulge such thoughts, as swell our hearts
With fuller admiration of that power,
Who gives our hearts with such high thoughts to swell?
Why not indulge in his augmented praise?
Darts not his glory a still brighter ray,
The less is left to chaos, and the realms
Of hideous night, where fancy strays aghast;
And, though most talkative, makes no report?
Still seems my thought enormous? Think again;
Experience 'self shall aid thy lame belief.
Glasses (that revelation to the sight!)
Have they not led us in the deep disclose
Of fine-spun Nature, exquisitely small,
And, though demonstrated, still ill-conceiv'd?
If then, on the reverse, the mind would mount
In magnitude, what mind can mount too far,
To keep the balance, and creation poise?
Defect alone can err on such a theme;
What is too great, if we the cause survey?
Stupendous Architect! thou, thou art all!
My soul flies up and down in thoughts of thee,
And finds herself but at the centre still!
I Am thy name! existence all thine own!
Creation's nothing; flatter'd much, if styl'd
"The thin, the fleeting atmosphere of God."
O for the voice of what? of whom?-What voice
Can answer to my wants, in such ascent,
As dares to deem one universe too small?
Tell me, Lorenzo! (for now fancy glows,
Fir'd in the vortex of almighty power)
Is not this home-creation, in the map
Of universal Nature, as a speck,
Like fair Britannia in our little ball:
Exceeding fair, and glorious, for its size,
But, elsewhere, far out-measur'd, far out-shone?
In fancy (for the fact beyond us lies)
Canst thou not figure it, an isle, almost
Too small for notice, in the vast of being;
Sever'd by mighty seas of unbuilt space
From other realms; from ample continents
Of higher life, where nobler natives dwell;
Less northern, less remote from Deity,
Glowing beneath the line of the Supreme;
Where souls in excellence make haste, put forth
Luxuriant growths; nor the late autumn wait
Of human worth, but ripen soon to gods?
Yet why drown fancy in such depths as these? Return, presumptuous rover, and confess
What page of wisdom is denied him? None;
If learning his chief lesson makes him wise.
Nor is instruction, here, our only gain;
There dwells a noble pathos in the skies,
Which warms our passions, proselytes our hearts.
How eloquently shines the glowing Pole!
With what authority it gives its charge,
Demonstrating great truths in style sublime,
Though silent, loud! heard Earth around; above
The planets heard; and not unheard in Hell;
Hell has her wonder, though too proud to praise.
Is Earth, then, more infernal? has she those,
Who neither praise (Lorenzo!) nor admire?
Lorenzo's admiration, pre-engag'd,
Ne'er ask'd the Moon one question; never held
Least correspondence with a single star;
Ne'er rear'd an altar to the queen of Heaven
Walking in brightness; or her train ador'd.
Their sublunary rivals have long since
Engross'd his whole devotion; stars malign,
Which made the fond astronomer run mad,
Darken his intellect, corrupt his heart;
Cause him to sacrifice his fame and peace
To momentary madness, call'd delight.
Idolater, more gross than ever kiss'd
The lifted hand to Luna, or pour'd out
The blood to Jove!-O thou, to whom belongs
All sacrifice! O thou Great Jove unfeign'd;
Divine Instructor! Thy first volume, this,
For man's perusal; all in capitals!
In Moon, and stars (Heaven's golden alphabet !)
Emblaz'd to seize the sight; who runs, may read,
Who reads, can understand. "Tis unconfin'd
To Christian land, or Jewry; fairly writ
In language universal, to mankind;
A language, lofty to the learn'd; yet plain
To those that feed the flock, or guide the plow,
Or, from his husk, strike out the bounding grain,
A language, worthy the Great Mind, that speaks
Preface, and comment, to the sacred page!
Which oft refers its reader to the skies,
As presupposing his first lesson there,
And Scripture 'self a fragment, that unread.
Stupendous book of wisdom, to the wise;
Stupendous book! and open'd, Night! by thee.
By thee much open'd, I confess, O Night!
Yet more I wish; but how shall I prevail?
Say, gentle Night! whose modest, maiden beams
Give us a new creation, and present
The world's great picture soften'd to the sight;
Nay, kinder far, far more indulgent still,
Say, thou, whose mild dominion's silver key
Unlocks our hemisphere, and sets to view
Worlds beyond number; worlds conceal'd by day
Behind the proud and envious star of noon!
The bounds of man; nor blame them, as too small. Canst thou not draw a deeper scene?—And show
Enjoy we not full scope in what is seen?
Full ample the dominions of the Sun!
Full glorious to behold, how far, how wide
The matchless monarch, from his flaming throne,
Lavish of lustre, throws his beams about him,
Further, and faster, than a thought can fly,
And feeds his planets with eternal fires!
This Heliopolis, by greater far
Than the proud tyrant of the Nile, was built;
And he alone, who built it, can destroy.
Beyond this city, why strays human thought?
One wonderful! enough for man to know!
One infinite! enough for man to range!
One firmament! enough for man to read!
O what voluminous instruction here!
The mighty potentate, to whom belong
These rich regalia pompously display'd
To kindle that high hope? Like him of Uz,
I gaze around; I search on every side
O for a glimpse of him my soul adores!
As the chas'd hart, amid the desert waste,
Pants for the living stream; for him who made her,
So pants the thirsty soul, amid the blank
Of sublunary joys. Say, goddess! where?
Where blazes his bright court? Where burns his
Thou know'st; for thou art near him; by thee, round
His grand pavilion, sacred fame reports
The sable curtain drawn. If not, can none
l'Of thy fair daughter-train, so swift of wing
Who travel far, discover where he dwells?
A star his dwelling pointed out below.
Ye Pleiades! Arcturus! Mazaroth!
And thou, Orion! of still keener eye!
Say ye, who guide the wilder'd in the waves,
And bring them out of tempest into port!
On which hand must I bend my course to find him?
These courtiers keep the secret of their King;
I wake whole nights, in vain, to steal it from them.
I wake; and, waking, climb night's radiant scale,
From sphere to sphere; the steps by Nature set
For man's ascent; at once to tempt and aid;
To tempt his eye, and aid his towering thought;
Till it arrives at the great God of all.
In ardent contemplation's rapid car,
From Earth, as from my barrier, I set out.
How swift I mount! diminish'd Earth recedes;
I pass the Moon; and, from her farther side,
Pierce Heaven's blue curtain; strike into remote ;
Where, with his lifted tube, the subtle sage
His artificial, airy journey takes,
And to celestial lengthens human sight.
I pause at every planet on my road,
And ask for him who gives their orbs to roll,
Their foreheads fair to shine. From Saturn's ring,
In which, of Earths an army might be lost,
With the bold comet take my bolder flight,
Amid those sovereign glories of the skies,
Of independent, native lustre, proud;
The souls of systems! and the lords of life,
Through their wide empires!-What behold I now?
A wilderness of wonder burning round;
Where larger suns inhabit higher spheres ;-
Perhaps the villas of descending gods;
Nor halt I here; my toil is but begun;
"Tis but the threshold of the Deity;
Or, far beneath it, I am grovelling still.
Nor is it strange; I built on a mistake;
The grandeur of his works, whence folly sought
For aid, to reason sets his glory higher;
But say, what thought? is reason here enthron'd,
And absolute? or sense in arms against her?
Have you two lights? or need you no reveal'd?
Enjoy your happy realms their golden age?
And had your Eden an abstemious Eve?
Our Eve's fair daughters prove their pedigree,
And ask their Adams-Who would not be wise?*
Or, if your mother fell, are you redeem'd?
And if redeem'd-is your Redeemer scorn'd?
Is this your final residence? if not,
Change you your scene, translated? or by death?
And if by death, what death ?—Know you disease?
Or horrid war?-With war, this fatal hour,
Europa groans (so call we a small field,
Where kings run mad.) In our world, Death de-
Intemperance to do the work of age;
And hanging up the quiver Nature gave him,
As slow of execution, for dispatch
Sends forth imperial butchers; bids them slay
Their sheep (the silly sheep they fleec'd before)
And toss him twice ten thousand at a meal.
Sit all your executioners on thrones?
With you, can rage for plunder make a god?
And bloodshed wash out every other stain?—
But you, perhaps, can't bleed: from matter gross
Your spirits clean, are delicately clad
In fine-spun ether, privileg'd to soar,
Unloaded, uninfected; how unlike
The lot of man! How few of human race
By their own mud unmurder'd! How we wage
Self-war eternal! Is your painful day
Of hardy conflict o'er? Or, are you still
Raw candidates at school? And have you those
Who disaffect reversions, as with us?
But what are we? You never heard of man ;
Or Earth, the bedlam of the universe!
Where reason (undiseas'd with you) runs mad,
And nurses folly's children as her own;
Fond of the foulest. In the sacred mount
Who built thus high for worms (mere worms to him) Of holiness, where reason is pronounc'd
O where, Lorenzo! must the Builder dwell?
Pause, then, and, for a moment, here aspire
If human thought can keep its station here.
Infallible; and thunders, like a god;
E'en there, by saints, the demons are outdone;
What these think wrong, our saints refine to right;
Where am I? Where is Earth ?—Nay, where art And kindly teach dull Hell her own black arts;
O Sun? Is the Sun turn'd recluse?—And are
His boasted expeditions short to mine?—
To mine, how short! On Nature's Alps I stand,
And see a thousand firmaments beneath!
A thousand systems! as a thousand grains!
So much a stranger, and so late arriv'd,
How can man's curious spirit not inquire,
What are the natives of this world sublime,
Of this so foreign, un-terrestrial sphere,
Where mortal, untranslated, never stray'd?
"O ye, as distant from my little home,
As swiftest sunbeams in an age can fly!
Far from my native element I roam,
In quest of new, and wonderful, to man.
What province this, of his immense domain,
Whom all obeys? or mortals here, or gods?
Ye borderers on the coasts of bliss! what are you?
A colony from Heaven? Or, only rais'd,
By frequent visit from Heaven's neighboring realms,
To secondary gods, and half-divine?—
Whate'er your nature, this is past dispute,
Far other life you live, far other tongue
You talk, far other thought, perhaps, you think,
Than man. How various are the works of God!
Satan, instructed, o'er their morals smiles.
But this, how strange to you, who know not man!
Has the least rumor of our race arriv'd?
Call'd here Elijah in his flaming car?
Pass'd by you the good Enoch, on his road
To those fair fields, whence Lucifer was hurl'd;
Who brush'd, perhaps, your sphere in his descent,
Stain'd your pure crystal ether, or let fall
A short eclipse from his portentous shade?
O! that the fiend had lodg'd on some broad orb
Athwart his way; nor reach'd his present home,
Then blacken'd Earth with footsteps foul'd in Hell
Nor wash'd in ocean, as from Rome he pass'd
To Britain's isle; too, too, conspicuous there!
But this is all digression: where is he,
That o'er Heaven's battlements the felon hurl'd
To groans, and chains, and darkness? Where is he
Who sees creation's summit in the vale?
He, whom, while man is man, he can't but seek;
And if he finds, commences more than man?
O for a telescope his throne to reach!
Tell me, ye learn'd on Earth! or blest above!
Ye searching, ye Newtonian angels! tell,
Where, your great Master's orb? His planets where
Those conscious satellites, those morning-stars,
First-born of Deity! from central love,
By veneration most profound, thrown off!
By sweet attraction, no less strongly drawn;
Aw'd, and yet raptur'd; raptur'd, yet serene;
Past thought illustrious, but with borrow'd beams;
In still approaching circles, still remote,
Revolving round the Sun's eternal Sire?
Or sent, in lines direct, on embassies
To nations-in what latitude ?-Beyond
Terrestrial thought's horizon!-And on what
High errands sent ?-Here human effort ends;
And leaves me still a stranger to his throne.
Full well it might! I quite mistook my road;
Born in an age more curious than devout;
More fond to fix the place of Heaven, or Hell,
Than studious this to shun, or that secure.
"Tis not the curious, but the pious path,
That leads me to my point: Lorenzo! know,
Without or star, or angel, for their guide,
Who worship God, shall find him. Humble love,
And not proud reason, keeps the door of Heaven;
Love finds admission, where proud science fails.
Man's science is the culture of his heart;
And not to lose his plummet in the depths
Of Nature, or the more profound of God.
Either to know, is an attempt that sets
The wisest on a level with the fool.
To fathom Nature (ill-attempted here!)
Past doubt is deep philosophy above;
Higher degrees in bliss archangels take,
As deeper learn'd; the deepest, learning still.
For, what a thunder of Omnipotence
(So might I dare to speak) is seen in all!
In man! in Earth! in more amazing skies!
Teaching this lesson, pride is loth to learn-
"Not deeply to discern, not much to know,
Mankind was born to wonder, and adore."
And is there cause for higher wonder still,
Than that which struck us from our past surveys?
Yes; and for deeper adoration too.
From my late airy travel unconfin'd,
Have I learn'd nothing?-Yes, Lorenzo! this ;
Each of these stars is a religious house;
I saw their altars smoke, their incense rise;
And heard hosannas ring through every sphere,
A seminary fraught with future gods.
Nature all o'er is consecrated ground,
Teeming with growths immortal and divine.
The great proprietor's all-bounteous hand
Leaves nothing waste; but sows these fiery fields
With seeds of reason, which to virtues rise
Beneath his genial ray: and, if escap'd
The pestilential blasts of stubborn will,
When grown mature, are gather'd for the skies.
And is devotion thought too much on Earth,
When beings, so superior, homage boast,
And triumph in prostration to the throne?
But wherefore more of planets, or of stars?
Ethereal journeys, and, discover'd there,
Ten thousand worlds, ten thousand ways devout,
All Nature sending incense to the throne,
Except the bold Lorenzos of our sphere ?
Opening the solemn sources of my soul,
Since I have pour'd, like feign'd Eridanus,
My flowing numbers o'er the flaming skies,
Nor see, of fancy, or of fact, what more
Invites the Muse.-Here turn we, and review
Our past nocturnal landscape wide:-Then say,
Say, then, Lorenzo! with what burst of heart,
The whole, at once, revolving in his thought,
Must man exclaim, adoring, and aghast?
"O what a root! O what a branch, is here! O what a Father! What a family!
Worlds! systems! and creations!-And creations,
In one agglomerated cluster, hung,
Great Vine!* on thee; on thee the cluster hangs
The filial clustre! infinitely spread
In glowing globes, with various being fraught;
And drinks (nectareous draught!) immortal life.
Or, shall I say (for who can say enough?)
A constellation of ten thousand gems,
(And, O! of what dimension! of what weight!)
Set in one signet, flames on the right hand
Of Majesty Divine! The blazing seal,
That deeply stamps, on all created mind,
Indelible, his sovereign attributes,
Omnipotence, and love! That, passing bound;
And this, surpassing that. Nor stop we here,
For want of power in God, but thought in man.
E'en this acknowledg'd, leaves us still in debt:
If greater aught, that greater all is thine,
Dread Sire-Accept this miniature of thee;
And pardon an attempt from mortal thought,
In which archangels might have fail'd, unblam'd."
How such ideas of th' Almighty's power,
And such ideas of th' Almighty's plan,
(Ideas not absurd,) distend the thought
Of feeble mortals! Nor of them alone!
The fullness of the Deity breaks forth
In inconceivables to men, and gods.
Think, then, O think, nor ever drop the thought,
How low must man descend, when gods adore!
Have I not, then, accomplish'd my proud boast?
Did I not tell thee, "We would mount, Lorenzo,t
And kindle our devotion at the stars?"
And have I fail'd? And did I flatter thee?
And art all adamant? And dost confute
All urg'd, with one irrefragable smile?
Lorenzo! mirth how miserable here!
Swear by the stars, by him who made them, swear,
Thy heart, henceforth, shall be as pure as they :
Then thou, like them, shalt shine; like them, shalt
From low to lofty; from obscure to bright;
By due gradation, Nature's sacred law,
The stars, from whence?-Ask Chaos-he can tell.
These bright temptations to idolatry,
From darkness and confusion, took their birth;
Sons of deformity! from fluid dregs
Tartarean, first they rose to masses rude;
And then, to spheres opaque; then dimly shone,
Then brighten'd; then blaz'd out in perfect day.
Nature delights in progress; in advance
From worse to better; but, when minds ascend,
Progress, in part, depends upon themselves.
Heaven aids exertion; greater makes the great;
The voluntary little lessens more.
O be a man! and thou shalt be a God!
And half self-made!-Ambition how divine!
O thou, ambitious of disgrace alone!
Still undevout! Unkindled ?-Though high-taught,
School'd by the skies, and pupil of the stars;
Rank coward to the fashionable world!
Art thou asham'd to bend thy knee to Heaven?
Curst fume of pride, exhal'd from deepest Hell!
Pride in religion is man's highest praise.
Bent on destruction! and in love with death!
Not all these luminaries, quench'd at once,
Were half so sad, as one benighted mind,
Which gropes for happiness, and meets despair.
How, like a widow in her weeds, the night,
Amid her glimmering tapers, silent sits!
How sorrowful, how desolate, she weeps
Perpetual dews, and saddens Nature's scene!
A scene more sad sin makes the darken'd soul,
All comfort kills, nor leaves one spark alive.
Though blind of heart, still open is thine eye:
Why such magnificence in all thou seest?
Of matter's grandeur, know, one end is this:
To tell the rational, who gazes on it-
"Though that immensely great. still greater he,
Whose breast, capacious, can embrace, and lodge,
Unburthen'd, Nature's universal scheme;
Can grasp creation with a single thought;
Creation grasp; and not exclude its Sire."-
To tell him farther-" It behoves him much
To guard th' important, yet depending, fate
Of being, brighter than a thousand suns:
One single ray of thought outshines them all."
And if man hears obedient, soon he'll soar
Superior heights, and on his purple wing,
His purple wing bedropt with eyes of gold,
Rising, where thought is now denied to rise,
Look down triumphant on these dazzling spheres.
Why then persist ?—No mortal ever liv'd,
But, dying, he pronounc'd (when words are true)
The whole that charms thee, absolutely vain;
Vain, and far worse!-Think thou, with dying men;
O condescend to think as angels think!
O tolerate a chance for happiness!
Our nature such, ill choice insures ill fate;
And Hell had been, though there had been no God.
Dost thou not know, my new astronomer!
Earth, turning from the Sun, brings night to man?
Man, turning from his God, brings endless night;
Where thou canst read no morals, find no friend,
Amend no manners, and expect no peace.
How deep the darkness! and the groan, how loud!
And far, how far, from lambent are the flames!-
Such is Lorenzo's purchase! such his praise!
The proud, the politic, Lorenzo's praise!
Though in his ear, and level'd at his heart,
I've half read o'er the volume of the skies.
For think not thou hast heard all this from me;
My song but echoes what great Nature speaks.
What has she spoken? Thus the goddess spoke,
Thus speaks for ever:-" Place, at Nature's head,
A sovereign, which o'er all things rolls his eye,
Extends his wing, promulgates his commands,
But, above all, diffuses endless good :
To whom, for sure redress, the wrong'd may fly;
The vile, for mercy; and the pain'd, for peace;
By whom, the various tenants of these spheres,
Diversified in fortunes, place, and powers,
Rais'd in enjoyment, as in worth they rise,
Arrive at length (if worthy such approach)
Sinking from bad to worse; few years, the sport
Of fortune; then the morsel of despair.
Say, then, Lorenzo! (for thou know'st it well) What's vice ?-Mere want of compass in our thought.
Religion, what?-The proof of common-sense.
How art thou hooted, where the least prevails!
Is it my fault, if these truths call thee fool?
And thou shalt never be miscall'd by me.
Can neither shame, nor terror, stand thy friend?
And art thou still an insect in the mire?
How, like thy guardian angel, have I flown;
Snatch'd thee from Earth; escorted thee through al!
Th' ethereal armies; walk'd thee, like a god,
Through splendors of first magnitude, arrang'd
On either hand; clouds thrown beneath thy feet;
Close-cruis'd on the bright Paradise of God;
And almost introduc'd thee to the throne!
And art thou still carousing, for delight,
Rank poison; first fermenting to mere froth,
And then subsiding into final gall?
To beings of sublime, immortal make,
How shocking is all joy, whose end is sure!
Such joy, more shocking still, the more it charms
And dost thou choose what ends ere well-begun ;
And infamous, as short? And dost thou choose
(Thou, to whose palate glory is so sweet)
To wade into perdition, through contempt,
Not of poor bigots only, but thy own?
For I have peep'd into thy cover'd heart,
And seen it blush beneath a boastful brow;
For, by strong guilt's most violent assault,
Conscience is but disabled, not destroy'd.
O thou most awful being; and most vain!
Thy will, how frail! how glorious is thy power!
Though dread eternity has sown her seeds
Of bliss, and woe, in thy despostic breast;
Though Heaven and Hell depend upon thy choice
A butterfly comes 'cross, and both are fled.
Is this the picture of a rational ?
This horrid image, shall it be most just?
Lorenzo! No: it cannot,-shall not, be,
If there is force in reason; or, in sounds
Chanted beneath the glimpses of the Moon,
A magic, at this planetary hour,
When slumber locks the general lip, and dreams
Through senseless mazes hunt souls uninspir'd.
Attend-The sacred mysteries begin-
My solemn night-born adjuration hear;
Hear, and I'll raise thy spirit from the dust;
While the stars gaze on this enchantment new,
Enchantment, not infernal, but divine!
"By silence, Death's peculiar attribute;
By darkness, guilt's inevitable doom;
By darkness, and by silence, sisters dread!
That draw the curtain round Night's ebon throne,
And raise ideas, solemn as the scene!
By Night, and all of awful, Night presents
At that blest fountain-head, from which they To thought or sense (of awful much, to both,
Where conflict past redoubles present joy;
And present joy looks forward on increase;
And that, on more; no period! every step
A double boon! a promise, and a bliss."
How easy sits this scheme on human hearts!
It suits their make; it soothes their vast desires;
Passion is pleas'd; and reason asks no more;
"Tis rational! 'tis great!-But what is thine?
It darkens! shocks! excruciates! and confounds!
Leaves us quite naked, both of help, and hope,
The goddess brings!) By these her trembling fires
Like Vesta's, ever-burning; and, like hers,
Sacred to thoughts immaculate, and pure!
By these bright orators, that prove, and praise,
And press thee to revere the Deity;
Perhaps, too, aid thee, when rever'd awhile,
To reach his throne; as stages of the soul,
Through which, at different periods, she shall pass,
Refining gradual, for her final height,
And purging off some dross at every sphere!
By this dark pall thrown o'er the silent world!