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But claim fuperior lineage by my SIRE,
Who warm’d th' unthinking cold with heavenly fire:
Essence divine, with lifeless clay allay'd,
By double nature, double instinct sway'd;
With look erect, I dart my longing eye,
Seem wing'd to part, and gain my native sky;
I strive to mount, but strive, alas ! in vain,
Ty'd to this masly globe with magic chain.
Now with swift thought I range from pole to pole,
View worlds around their Aaming centers roll :
What steady powers their endless motions guide,
Thro' the same trackless paths of hundless void !
I trace the blazimiriing planets tail,
Tnele godlike thoughts, while eager I purlue,
Some glittring trifle offer’d to my view,
A gnat, an insect, of the meanest kind,
Erase the new-born image from my mind;
Some beastly want, craving, importunate,
Vile as the grinning mastiff at my gate,
Calls off from heavenly truth this reas’ning me,
And tells me I'm a brute as much as he.
If on sublimer wings of love and praise,
My soul above the starry vault I raise,
Lur’d by some vain conceit, or shameful luft,
I fag, I drop, and Autter in the dust.
The tow'ring lark thus from her lofty strain,
Stoops to an emmet, or a barley grain.
By adverse gusts of jarring instincts tost,
I rove to one, now to the other coast;
To bliss unknown my lofty soul aspires;
My lot unequal to my vast desires.
As 'mongst the hinds a child of royal birth
Finds his high pedigree by conscious worth;
So man, amongst his fellow brutes exposid,
Sees he's a king, but 'tis a king depos’d :
Pity him, beasts ! you by no law confin'd,
Are barr'd from devious paths by being blind;
Whilft man, through op’ning views of various ways
Confounded, by the aid of knowledge strays;
Too weak to choose, yet choosing still in haste,
One moment girae the pleasure and distaste;
Bilk'd by saf miare till must give then geslo
Not happy, but amus'd upon the road,
And, like you, thoughtless of his last abode,
Whether next sun his being shall restrain,
To endless nothing, happiness, or pain.
Around me, lo, the thinking thoughtless crew,
Bewilder'd each, their diff'rent paths pursue;
Of them I ask the way; the first replies,
Thou art a God; and sends me to the skies.
Down on this turf (the next) thou two-legg'd beast,
There fix thy lot, thy bliss, and endless rest:
Between these wide extreams the length is such,
I find I know too little or too much.
“ Almighty power, by whose most wise command, “ Helpless, forlorn, uncertain here I ftand; " Take this faint glimmering of thyself away, « Or break into my soul with perfect day !"
This said, expanded lay the sacred text, The balm, the light, the guide of souls perplexit: Thus the benighted traveller who strays Through doubtful paths, enjoys the morning rays į The nightly mist, and thick descending dew, Parting, unfold the fields, and vaulted blue. " O truth divine ! enlighten’d by thy ray, “ I grope and guess no more, but see my way; “ Thou clear'dft the secret of my high defcent, " And told me what those mystic tokens meant; “ Marks of my birth, which I had worn in vain " Too hard for worldly sages to explain; “ Zeno's were vain, vain EPICURUS' schemes, " Their fystems false, delusive were their dreams; “ Unskill'd by two-fold nature to divide, “ One nurs’d by pleasure, and one nụrs’d by pride: “ Those jarring truths which human art beguile, “ Thy sacred page thus bids me reconcile." Offspring of God, no less thy pedigree, What thou once waft, art now, and still may Thy God alone can tell, alone decree: Faultless thou dropt from his unerring skill, With the bare power to fin, fince free of will: Yet charge not with thy guilt, his bounteous love, For who has power to walk, has power to rove: Who acts by force impellid, can nought deserve; And wisdom short of infinite, may swerve. Borneon thy new-imp’dwings, thou took'stthy light, Left thy Creator, and the realms of light:
Disdain'd his gentle precept to fulfil,
And thought to grow a God by doing ill :
Though by foul guilt thy heavenly form defac’d, -
In nature chang'd, from happy mansions chac'd,
Thou still retain'ft some sparks of heavenly fire,
Too faint to mount, yet restless to aspire ;
Angel enough to seek thy bliss again,
And brute enough to make thy search in vain.
The creatures now withdraw their kindly use,
Some fy thee, some torment, and some seduce;
Repast ill suited to such diff'rent guests,
For what thy senfe desires, thy soul distastes; ;
Thy luft, thy curiofity, thy pride,
Curb’d, or deferr’d, or balk’d, or gratify'd,
Rage on, and make thee equally unbless’d,
In what thou want'st, and what thou hast possess’d;
In vain thou hop'st for bliss on this poor clod,
Return, and seek thy Father, and thy God:
Yet think not to regain thy native sky,
Borne on the wings of vain philosophy;
Mysterious passage ! hid from human eyes,
Soaring you'll fink, and sinking you will rise :
Let humble thoughts thy wary footsteps guide,
Regain by meekness what you loft by pride.
HERE proud Augufta, bleft with long repofe,
Her ancient wall and ruin’d bulwark shows; Close by a verdant plain, with graceful height A stately fabric rises to the sight. Yet though its parts all elegantly shine, And sweet proportion crowns the whole design; Though art, in strong expressive sculpture shown, Consummate art informs the breathing stone; Far other views than these within appear, And woe and horror dwell for ever here. For ever from the echoing roofs rebounds A dreadful din of heterogeneous sounds; From this, from that, from every quarter rise Loud thouts, and fullen groans, and doleful cries; Heart-soft’ning plaints demand the pitying tear, And peals of hideous laughter shock the ear.
Thus, when in some fair human form we find The lusts all rampant, and the reason blind, Griev'd we behold such beauty given in vain, And nature's faireft work survey with pain.
Within the chambers which this dome contains, In all her frantic forms distraction reigns. For when the sense from various objects brings, Through organs craz'd, the images of things;